Saturday, November 14, 2009

no tv

Rembrandt size 2T

Since it gets dark so early and it's been a little chilly, we've been spending our evenings in front of the tv and our computer screens. Spring is a long way off, so we had to break this pattern.

In combination with the nice weather this weekend, I unplugged the tv. I do this from time to time. John still has his tv in the basement, but we don't spend much family time there. I unplugged the tv on Friday morning.

When I was getting his breakfast, I saw JT try the power button. Nothing. Try again. Nothing. Try another button. Nothing. Walk away. Look at toys. Pick up toy. Start playing.

He has asked a couple times to watch cartoons or a movie. But no meltdowns when I refuse. He thinks the "battery died" on the tv and we have proven ourselves to be less than efficient at replacing batteries, so he doesn't ask further.

We played outside a LOT, which is pretty usual for nice days. But we also got into some art things. Crayons and a coloring book lasted for more than the usual 5 minutes. Ok, it was 6 minutes, but I'll take it!

And I couldn't believe JT was completely enthralled with the watercolor paints tonight. Last time I tried painting he didn't want anything to do with it. But tonight, he found my little paint tray, asked what it was, and immediately wanted to get some paint for it. I put water in each well. He dabbed paint from the watercolor tray into each new spot of water, mixing colors along the way. I have to say, looking at some of what made it to the paper, he has an eye for color!

Monday, November 09, 2009


The pic has nothing to do with anything... just an old shot from April that makes me think, WOW, JT has grown a TON!

I've been thinking a lot about storytelling lately. Between reading to JT, devouring some fiction, and writing my own story for Ali's Yesterday Today class, it's on my mind frequently. I also listen to a podcast of This American Life and catch StoryCorps on NPR sometimes.

The other night JT wanted to read Good Dog Carl. This time, I had him tell me the story. Good Dog Carl is a picture book with just a few words on the first and last pages. John and I each read it a little differently. It was much more like a conversation than storytelling, though. He didn't understand the laundry chute because he's never seen one. So I spent some time trying to explain that. And he told me the dog was mean, though we've never told the story to portray the dog as mean. He must have just thought the Rottweiler looked mean. It was a wonderful way to see what he has taken from our readings of the book.

We aren't just reading stories, we are making them up, recitng tales, and discussing old stories, too. Becka mentioned Little Red Riding Hood the other day when she was here. Unfortunately for her, she then had to tell JT the story of Little Red. JT's Nana tells him the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. He looooves this story. I think she told it about 20 times in one weekend.

And the stories he makes up when he's rambling in the car or at bedtime? They are classics. The Halloween decorations from around the neighborhood have provided endless fodder for characters to his stories. He and roof cat have had some amazing adventures in his mind!

It occurs to me that storytelling may be a good way of encouraging learning. I think it appeals to his sense of adventure, forges a connection to loved ones and the world around him, and maybe even helps to develop critical thinking skills. Yet, when I peruse our vast collection of books around here, I have found we're lacking in the wordless books. I made a meager list of the two books we do have. You can find it here.

Won't you share with me the title of your favorite picture book? I can add suggestions to this list and hopefully develop it into something a little more substantial.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


JT: I wanna go to the MALLLL.
Me: Nope, we don't have any money.
JT: Yes jou do.
Me: Oh yeah, I'd like to know where?
Me: *huffs* It's not a suitcase. It's my purse.


red leaves

I think it was on Sunday after we set the clocks back an hour. JT woke me up insanely early after spending most of the night in our bed kicking me in the head. While I was making coffee I noticed the sun was coming up, causing the yellow tree in the back yard to glow. There was frost, so the leaves were heavy and falling off at a slow, but steady pace. It's such a different feeling than when the wind blows warm, dry leaves from the trees... it's a much more peaceful way to usher in the next season.

For a moment I considered taking the video camera out and setting it up on a tripod to capture those leaves falling to the ground. But I didn't brave the cold (and stench of skunk) to go set it up. So now I'll just have to close my eyes and remember when winter is getting me down.

Hopefully the pictures will help me remember.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

yellow leaves

yellow leaves
Originally uploaded by brungrrl
Remember daylight? Daylight was cool. We did fun things when there was daylight after 5:30pm...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

fall romance

new boots

I got some slouchy calf-high boots to wear with skirts. What do you think? I'm not sure I'm a boots with skirts kind of gal, but it's certainly comfortable and these boots are so warm... I'm going to love them when it's cold out.

The fall color was just phenomenally beautiful last week. I don't know if it was a combination of activities, weather, and trees... but it was such a scenic and romantic time. Monday morning first thing I noticed was the missing colors from the leaves that had fallen. And then there's the lack of sunlight making my mood more somber. It has been an amazing fall for us. I have so many pictures still to process and share with you. In time... there will be plenty of winter for picture play, right?

One of the wonderfully romantic things we did last week was to take a nighttime walk around our neighborhood to see the Halloween decorations. (Sorry, no pics!) JT fell in love with an inflatable kitty he dubbed "Roof Cat". He has talked about the spider webs, witches, elephants, and tractors a lot. Yeah, I saw a witch and a cat, he saw an elephant and he won't let it go. Who am I to argue? He also saw a tractor where I saw none and there was apparently something hiding behind it. Ok, if you say...

Well, today he asked if we could go see Roof Cat, the witch, and the spider webs. I told him they were taken down already. He got tears in his eyes an his lip started to quiver. Oh, the fancy talking I had to do to defuse that puddle of tears.

So now we'll look forward to the excitement that Christmas will bring. It is going to be an amazing, wonderful holiday season.

How about you? What has been lovely in your world? What are you looking forward to?

Sunday, November 01, 2009

déjà toddler

I'm scanning some pictures tonight for the Yesterday Today scrapbooking class I'm taking. I came across this picture and had a bit of a panic moment. Suddenly JT is grown, married, and has a kid of his own. Aack! My heart can't take it!

This is my brother in December of 1981. And he is grown, married, and has a baby girl. In this picture he's about 3 years old, just a little older than JT is now.

What caught my eye was the studious look on his face, the long eye lashes, the footed pajamas, and the piles of toys with an emphasis on trucks.

I'm having so much fun talking to JT right now. He tells wacko stories that are mash-ups of what has happened and what he'd like to happen. He says "pick me up like a rectangle". Which means to hold him horizontally like when he was a tiny babe. I have no clue why that's like a rectangle, but it makes me laugh. He always asks, "what brought me that shirt?" which means, who got him the shirt. It's funny that he asks that way and I love that he wants to know who to associate to some toy or shirt that he likes. And he'll say, "I have an idea." And when you ask him what his idea is, it's usually a truck or firetruck. "Good idea," I tell him.