Monday, August 31, 2009

Quote of the day

Little S, while saying the prayer at dinner: "and please help us to behave; and help us be professional..."

Can you tell she likes to experiment with Daddy's office lingo? She also uses "documents" "schedule" and "reduce" a lot these days.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First day of school

Yesterday was Little S's first day of the new school year at preschool - she's in Mrs. Little's Blue Class. A few friends from last year are there with her, which makes it all a bit easier. In the morning she kept saying she was sick - this hurt, or that hurt. D and I were sure she wasn't really sick just nervous (later in the day she asked me what nervous means and I realized it's a hard one to explain).In honor of school starting, I thought I'd share some of my favorite thoughts and findings on early childhood development. I started studying up on the subject when Little S was about 1 1/2 years old - trying to learn which philosophies I most agreed with and how I could foster a love of learning and creative inquiry in our home. I got into books on Montessori and Reggio Emilia - both Italian and both child-directed learning theories.

One of my favorite tidbits I gathered was the idea that a child will develop more creative and problem-solving skills when she's not required to put one toy away before playing with another. The free association that naturally comes from combining toys that are out but aren't necessarily meant to be played with together allows for creativity and exploration that is so crucial to childhood (and is carried into adulthood). This doesn't mean a chaotic mess of toys on the floor is ok - rather, don't make the child put the blocks away before playing dolls - maybe she'll build a house for her dolls to play in. (My mom is a big advocate of organized toys - "no child wants to play in a mess of piles of unorganized toys.")

This is all very true as I have watched Little S's creativity go wild with random household items. She especially loves my party cupboard where I keep paper supplies, decorations, etc. The pic below is from one of the parties she often sets up for her dolls: Finally, I share with you one of my favorite talks on education - Ken Robinson speaking at a TED conference (see their website for videos of inspiring speakers giving interesting info on diverse topics). Be sure not to miss the story he shares at the very end about the dancer. At a time when music, art, science and even PE are being removed from elementary curriculum, Ken inspires us to help change the system for the better.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Slumber my darlings

I'm the only one awake in my house and this song started playing on a blog I happened upon. I haven't heard this gorgeous lullaby since before baby J was born - now that I have 2 darlings the song's beautiful poetry is even sweeter to me.

We also got news yesterday that our good friends' 14 month-old was severely burned by scalding water on 65% of his body. He is at Shriner's hospital in Boston undergoing what will be months of surgeries. I have learned it is only after you become a parent that stories like these touch you in inexplicable ways.

Friday, August 14, 2009

11 Years

We got married in Los Angeles on this day 11 years ago. That sounds like we're so old and boring! We are apart on our anniversary for the first time - I'm in Utah with the baby helping my mom recover from knee surgery and D is headed to Vegas this afternoon to spend the weekend with Little S and his parents who are watching Little S while I'm away. Ah, the demands of middle-age.

We had a mini celebration last weekend. We went to see Julie and Julia (one thing I love about my husband: he has NEVER refused to see a movie I'm interested in, he always indulges me and isn't pouty about it, either). He enjoyed it as much as me because he loves cooking and eating a fine meal even more than I do.

As we were leaving the theater I told him that I think I need a strand of pearls. The next night he gave me a lovely strand of antique pearls he bought at our local antique auction. He was thinking during the movie that he would get them for me even before I mentioned it. So sweet, isn't he?

Saturday he said he wanted to make the star recipe from the movie for Sunday dinner: Beef Bourguignon. So I was trying to buy the "ambassador ingredient" of the dish, red wine, at the grocery store and I got carded (how flattering!). To my surprise, my driver's license had expired on my (30th) birthday 2 months ago and they didn't sell me the wine. This is what happens in middle age - you start loosing your mind.

We did get some wine and make the dish on Sunday - it was FANTASTIC. But we used theWilliams Sonoma recipe instead of Julia's. Sorry, Queen J. It was one of the best dishes we have ever made ourselves and Little S liked it, too!

This crazy Julia saga got me to the DMV for 2 hours on Monday morning before I drove the girls to Las Vegas. D had to take the girls to Baby J's 6 month check-up and shot appointment and got Little S's hair cut while I enjoyed some great people-watching at the DMV.

I'm glad I got carded at the grocery store instead of realizing my mistake at the airport in Las Vegas. I'm glad my husband indulged me and went to the movie, requested the famous dish and that I went grocery shopping for wine. And I'm glad that I'm married to my best friend. Here's to the next 11 years!
ps - this pic is from the Williams Sonoma website, but ours looked about this good.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


These two are finally engaged! He popped the question in Yellowstone National Park during their cross-country roadtrip to her 10 year high school reunion last week. It was a perfect venue for these two nature loving rangers. Other stops on their roadtrip included Bountiful (to see our mom), the Black Hills, Wall Drug, and Moab, UT, to name a few.
No official wedding date yet, but it will likely be sometime during the second half of 2010. We could not be happier with our future brother-in-law - he's a fun-loving, the-glass-is-half-full kind of guy. Congratulations Linds and Matt!