Tuesday, September 21, 2010


In addition to losing her first teeth and starting Kindergarten, Eva has moved up to a booster seat in the car and got a new big girl bed. So much happening.
I found this beautiful solid pine junior loft bed on Craigslist. The standard twin mattress is about 3 feet off the ground. She and I went shopping for new sheets and she chose these grape-colored ones. The rainbow pillow case was a find at the thrift store.
What makes this bed so awesome (aside from the gorgeous pine and solid construction) is that it has a free-standing storage cabinet (below, in pic) and free-standing 3-drawer dresser that also fits under the bed. The bookcase pulls out to reveal a 3 1/2-foot long desktop. Behind the cabinet and bookcase is a wonderful hiding place (or room for storage). You can see a pillow through the ladder. It's a fantastically efficient piece of furniture.

Eva has spent a LOT of time playing in her room with her new bed and all of its stuff. Every time we go in her room she exclaims, "I have a new bed! Oh! Look at my new bed!" She tells everyone who will listen about her new bed. She's happy; I'm happy.

Some kids love to walk in the rain with an umbrella or stomp in puddles. Eva loves to sweep puddles.
Wearing her cute ladybug rain boots. She does stomp in puddles, but when she does it, she's stomp/tap dancing and clapping rhythms.
Soaking wet and happy!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


The customary First-Day-of-School-Picture-in-Front-of-the-Garage-Door

Eva enthusiastically started Kindergarten this week. She had a great time getting to know a new school, new teachers, new routines and new friends (and seeing some old friends from Preschool). The staff tell me she has been doing very well with work time and is having fun at recess, in music and at the library.

She's been anxiously awaiting Kindergarten since she started to spend some time in the mainstream Kinder class when she was in Preschool. By 7:30 a.m. on the first day, she was dressed and dancing and hoola hooping around the living room and making snow angels in the carpet to her Party Mix CD I made for her (her favorite dance/techno and lively pop songs).

So excited she can hardly stand it! (This is at 7:30 a.m.--2 hours before school starts).
Eva is going five days a week for a few hours a day to a public elementary school that has the Primary Life Skills program for the district. I don't like the term "Life Skills" because it makes it sound like they're learning how to cook, make their beds and balance their checkbooks. They're little kids. They're learning the same things other little kids are learning. The just need a little more teacher time and assistance. I prefer a "Supported Classroom". So anyway, she is there.

There are two Supported Classrooms at the school with Kinders, 1st- and 2nd-graders combined. One class generally has the Kinders and those in need of more support. The other class, the one Eva is in, generally has older kids and those who have more skills and abilities. She is one of two Kinders in this class with eight 1st- and 2nd-graders. Other Kinders in the district don't start classes until this Monday, but since Eva's class has mostly 1st- and 2nd-graders, her teacher said I could bring her this week if I wanted to. Sure! The more school the better!

I'm glad she is in this class and will have the older kids from whom to model. I'm grateful that the staff recognized that she has the skills to be able to succeed in a more challenging environment. And that I didn't have to petition for her to be given the opportunity to be in this class, which I would have if she'd been assigned to the other class. I am very proud of her.

Hooray for new adventures!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Growing Up and Gratitude

     I'm composing this post in my head this evening while Eva slips into a snuggly slumber in my lap. They're so sweet when they're unconscious, aren't they? My memory recalls moments when she was a tiny baby (though she was never tiny) and I would hold her in my arms in this same wide chair. I would look out the window at the broiling clouds and get lost in thought—or no thought—with Eva’s newborn breath making a spot of my neck warm as she slept on my chest. Soft quiet inhalation, soft sighing exhalation. 
     I gazed at her, memorizing her every millimeter, her every angle. I watched her eyebrows come in and how the deep blue of her irises had more and more pale blue flecks in them as the days passed. The flecks slowly decorated her irises but left a thick deep blue ring around the outer edge. I gazed at her. She gazed at me.  She curled up in my embrace and inside my heart and slept deeply.
     And now, I gaze at my little big girl resting her head against my chest and smile to myself. She is changing, growing so much. 

1.   She has just grown out of her car seat and we put her new booster seat in today. She was SO excited and felt very grown up! 
2.   She's lost three teeth now (we found the third one in her bed one morning after it fell out overnight) all in a row. She sticks her tongue through the gap and smiles widely. As before, she took her Tooth Fairy money to the Farmer's Market and gave it to one of her favorite buskers: Richard, a kindly man in a pressed white dress shirt and Carhartt overalls who sings old southern work songs and honkey-tonk country, a capella. 
3.   She has been totally interested in outer space lately. She wants to go there and to learn all about it. I'm ecstatic about this because astronomy is one of my favorite subjects to go on and on about (after meteorology and maps). So we looked at NASA images of the moon surface, the earth, the sun, galaxies, nebula. It. Blew. Her. Mind. I talked about how there is no sound in outer space, which I knew would be really intriguing to her since she is skittish about noise. We got a book at the library about Mars and a Bill Nye DVD about the Moon.  I'm gonna tell her everything she can handle about astronomy. 
4.   Her recent favorite show to watch is Stomp (a dance troupe that uses the body and ordinary objects to create a percussive theatre performance). Everything in our house is a percussive instrument to tap or bang on. We've collected an assortment of sticks, brooms, tubes, tubs, boxes and plastic bags for her to stretch her creativity. One of the acts the performers do is an increasingly difficult call-and-response rhythm with the audience. The other day, while we were in the kitchen, Eva was hopping and stomping and clapping, as per usual. She turned to me and clapped twice. Pause. Clap clap. Pause. Clap clap. I responded: clap clap. She squealed and clap-clapped again. I responded. She tried out a few other rhythms and jumped up and down laughing with joy when I repeated her rhythms back to her. Something major connected in her brain with this one!
5.   I was in the shower; had just turned the water off. A little hand pushes the shower curtain aside. She is holding a granola bar. "Here mommy! A granola bar for YOU!" "Oh thank you honey! But I don't want one right now--I'm all wet." She stares at me, arms limply at her sides, a granola bar in each hand. She brightens, "I have a granola bar today, too! You help me open it, please?" I tell her I will after I dry off. She stares blankly at me again and toddles off. When I come out in my robe, there are two granola bars (still in wrappers) on the living room floor and she'd moved on to something else.  
6.   She was "helping me" fold a load of towels. I showed her how to fold a washcloth--two steps. She was so excited and practiced over and over and over, talking her way through it. Joy for new small things!
7.   I had a hamper full of darks on the couch to fold. She dumped them out on the couch (Oh! Is she going to help fold?); took the hamper to the floor, climbed in and watched TV.

Eva starts Kindergarten tomorrow. She's back at gymnastics next week and will be spending an afternoon a week at Montessori soon. I'm feeling blessed, grateful and smiled upon. I was sweeping out the garage the other day and focused on feeling gratitude--not thinking the words or lists of things I'm grateful for--just feeling.