Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Love notes from Olivia

Olivia has been using her newfound skill of writing lately for good. She has been leaving us love notes on our pillows. If you think it is sweet to hear your child tell you "I love you," just wait until you see it in writing with words like "forever" and "so much" thrown in. It pretty much makes the digging through the trash for bottle caps for her collection worthwhile. But I'll tell you more about that on tuesday.

The first one is to Noah. I'll include an interpretation after each one when necessary.

(Who do I love? Noah!!!!!!!!)

The next one was found on daddy's pillow, first front, then the inside.

(I love him)

(I love my daddy forever. Love, Olivia)

The next one is for me.

(I love her)

(I love my mommy forever. Love, Olivia)

Isn't it almost too much for a mommy's heart to bear?

More love notes

Because blogger has a limit on the number of pictures you can put in each post... There are ways to get around that.

(To Mom From Olivia)

(Have a good night)

(How I love you. Love and love so much.)

On this one, your guess is as good as mine!

Olivia Maestro

I don't know what maestro means, but doesn't it sound relevant for someone learning violin? Yep, what you see Olivia with is a real, actual quarter-sized violin.

Olivia has showed extreme interest in the violin since she was 3 that has not let up. We are really not sure where this comes from. The only exposure she has had to the instrament is on Elmo. Piano, drums, guitar, flute, I could deal with any of these things, but the idea of someone so small attempting such a difficult and intricate instrament has been a bit overwhelming to me. An instrament that we do not own and are responsible for, nonethless.

But after everyone other than me has decided she is ready to give it a try, I had to give in. Don't get me wrong, I hope more than anything that she is successful. It's just that I spend the most amount of time around the girl and see the most frustrations and tantrums. But she's come a long way in the last year as far as self-control and determination.

So, here she goes! She has her drop-in lesson on monday. I'll let you know how it goes!

My big girl in violin lessons, the school play, and science fairs! What happened to my little baby? Wah!

Dunk It! Swing it! Kick it! Watch it?

I signed up Noah for his first class ever. It's through the city and it's a fun class for young kids that invovles soccer, baseball, and basketball. You'd think 4 kids running around a room with basketballs would be appealing. Not to Noah. He sat there right next to me watching it for the entire 45 minutes and would not get up and try despite me saying something like "Doesn't that look fun?" and "Do you want to try that?" every 2 minutes.

I remember last year during Olivia's dance class he would run in the room and dance every chance he got. Do you think I missed the window of no inhibitions with him? Or do you think it's because Olivia wasn't there and he's more bold when he is participating in something with his big sister? Or maybe it was just too early in the morning for him. Or maybe he's just more of a dancer than into sports. ;)

Oh well, I'll keep trying for the next 7 weeks, next time prepared with bribes and rewards to get him to at least try.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Olivia's First Science Project

Let me just premise this with my belief that a kindergartner is probably way too young to be doing a science project, simply because I believe that a child's homework should be done primarily by the child, not the parent. That said, Olivia insisted she wanted to enter the science fair this year, and I couldn't very well say "no" to such a high endeavor without all her young adult failings being blamed on me for it. And although I helped her with ideas and putting it together, I was very much impressed with her effort. She did all the writing, and never got tired and wanted to quit, she stuck with it with me until we finished. It might not be the fanciest science project at the fair tomorrow, but I think it will be the best kindergarten one that was done primarily by the kindergartner. ;)

Here is the budding scientist showing off her work. Yes, she is in her jammies on the night before the science fair right as it was completed. That is my bad influence.

The title

The procedure. Yes, there could have been more detail, but I think it does the job explaining it in a way she was able to do.

The results. Only 5 people doesn't exactly make a taste test, but when you factor in all the kids who "couldn't decide," and "liked them all," and the amount of dixie cups this requires, let's just say 5 will suffice.

(Also check out my chopping work on the right. I overestimated the width of all the display board sections. And I did not want that thing out all the time while we were getting everything ready. As it is it's a miracle it's lasted this long. Everything quickly becomes toys in our house.)

There was a section in the example that stated who they got help from. It's been a long time since I've done a science project and I relied heavily on the example. The heavy tilting is also due to my serious estimation problem.

I also left it up to Olivia which sections she wanted to include, and I think Hypothesis and Conclusion are best left for next year. Instead, she made some lovely illustrations of the flavors that were used that I think works much better.

Overall it was really fun for Olivia and I. Wish us luck at the science fair tomorrow! Her project will not be judged or graded, it's just for the experience. And we will get to look around at all the ones done by her classmates and the older kids as well. I'm really proud of my little school girl. Wah!

Update on the sprouts

Probably not the sprouts everyone wants updates on, but I'm going to try to be better about that.

I'm still pretty impressed that in just two weeks my seeds are germinating. In January!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

How to garden on a rainy January day

Lately I've been getting the gardening bug, even though it is a rainy and cold January. I decided to try this tutorial to make newspaper pots to start some seeds indoors. Olivia and her eagle eyes noticed I was doing something interesting and had to get in on the action. After a long and tedious process, we came up with these.

Then add some potting soil, which helps them hold their shape too.

Look, Noah, what we are making.

Now Noah needs something to do too. Give them a few squirts of water, Noah.

Olivia planted her seeds in hers and gave them a good soaking. She planted Mexican Sunflowers and Liatris Blazing Stars.

And here they are sitting in our window sill in the garage waiting to germinate. I guess it might need to get a bit warmer first, but it doesn't hurt to try for the cost of a few seeds and a few scoops of potting soil.

The best part about newspaper pots is that when you are ready to put the plant in the ground, you can just stick the whole pot in a hole in the ground. The newspaper will decompose in the ground, and you don't have to disrupt the roots to transplant.

I hope it works, but even if it doesn't, I satisfied my urge to garden today and had a little fun with the kids.

I love Olivia's hippy school

Look what Olivia brough home from school to give daddy and I for Christmas. (It came home before Christmas, I'm just really behind blogging about it.) The top is the envelope the pieces came in for us to put together. In case you can't read it, on the puzzle it says, "I love you to pieces." How incredibly adorable is that? She made it all herself, but I love her school for sending home such sweet gifts for her mommy and daddy!

Random Kindergarten Pics

I'm a little behind, but I finally got the CD with pictures from the class photographer. Yes, Olivia's classroom has a class photographer, another mom, that makes CDs for us with pictures. Isn't that awesome?

Here is one from the Halloween Festival. Noah and I hung around that day for the festivities. There was a costume parade, and each class provided 3 booths, one with a craft, one with a snack, and one with a game. Each class. Her school goes all out. Noah's favorites were the snacks, of course. See his face? That is not a fake mustache or beard for a costume, it's chocolate of some kind. In fact, poor guy didn't even have a costume. It was cold that morning and I was tired. He's in his jammie shirt. You can even see a fraction of me in the picture, my orange sweater anyway.

And here are a few cute ones of Olivia on the playground, from September. Better late than never, right?

She's still really enjoying school and making leaps and bounds with reading and spelling which she is very excited about, and I'm very proud of her!

Rough Day

I'm amazed at the locations Noah can drift off to sleep. I guess when you need a nap, you need a nap.