A Little V quote (these are always dedicated with love to the grandparents!)

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Tonight, we were eating pizza at a little place in Boalsburg. Viv spotted a slot machine on the floor; the buttons and levers were at just the right height for her and it wasn’t plugged in, so we let her play with it while we finished our dinner. When I knelt down to find out what she was playing, she held her cupped hands out to me (naturally, she was holding her imaginary kitten whose name is usually Ali) and said, “Here’s my kitten, I just baked her in the oven!” Then she promptly took the kitten back, placed her back in “the oven,” poked some buttons, pulled some levers, made a “ding!” and “pulled her out” again. Cupped hands extended, she generously offered, “Here she is again!” (WHO IS THIS CHILD’S MOTHER?!)

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So far so…

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My thoughts after three weeks of homeschooling my spunky 2-year old:

*  A 2-year old can be a fantastic learner, but is not a young adult (‘learned that on day 1).

*  What I do today will influence the tone of our home as that 2-year old grows into that young adult

*  That’s why I have to default to JOY JOY JOY no matter what.

* And since JOY is a fruit of the Spirit, He’s the inspiration of our days.

* And He gets first say about each activity in our curriculum book, calendar, or else where.

* The “school day,” therefore, has quickly morphed from a strict block of “SCHOOL TIME: FROM 10 – 12 EVERY DAY!” (I promise, I was not going to install an automated bell-system, although those who know me – including my former students – know that I’m a sucker for a classroom full of rosy-faced, hand-folded enthusiastic learners. Perhaps its a rebirth of my mom’s teaching days in the Catholic school system or my own idyllic imaginings of the one-room school house. Regardless, I have to make a conscious decision every day not to assume that everybody loves to sit down and read the Classics while working through an in-depth study guide.) As I was saying, my original strict-scheduled plan has transformed into days full (or half-full, anyway) of learning activities that usually relate to the day’s themes and contain a similar structure, but are much more fun and much more… age-appropriate.

* In other words, I calmed down about the whole thing and both Vivienne and I are having a wonderful time together, learning and playing and waiting for daddy to come home.

Helping a baby to love books

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My mom passed along the idea of reading during Vivienne’s meals as soon as she was sitting up in her little booster chair at a couple months old. By the time Viv could munch on some finger food, she was listening attentively to several books and nursery rhymes; now, at age 2, she loves to read at the table or snuggled up on the couch.  I read during most breakfasts and lunches; we’ve reserved dinner time as our family’s chance to talk to each other and catch up on the day.  I hope that this tradition continues and we enjoy many lunchtimes of reading to each other and discussing our stories.

I’m going to bed at 8:30 tonight…

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* because I woke up super early, mostly in a panic that my intended-for-humor comment on a friend’s blog might have been misunderstood. I don’t know why it took me 24 hours post-comment to realize that my solution to her morning sickness (especially the nausea she feels at the scent of her toddler’s hair) could be offensive, questionable, and insensitive. At the time, I thought that shaving her toddler’s hair would be a perfectly acceptable and humorous suggestion. After all, I reasoned, the little girl would fit in with other bald toddlers and would save her mother tons of money in de-tangle spray. (Besides, I couldn’t add one more comment about saltines to her list.) Nevertheless, I promptly deleted my comment upon waking.

* because I mutilated a friend’s amazing offer to watch Vivienne tomorrow by asking if she’d vacuum my basement instead. Nothing could make me so shamelessly obsessed with my unvacuumed basement as the midwife who told me that I can’t vacuum carpets for the time being. (Don’t worry, I called my friend and took back my vacuum-request.)

* because both V and I are trying to stop biting our nails, but when she woke up from her nap, Viv confessed, “I was nibbling my nails just like a bunny!” (Which just made me worry that she is hanging out with nail-nibbling bunnies, which we all know are up to no good.)

* because the sign at WalMart reading “38 cents” on the barrel of massive gourds meant “38 cents per pound,” which I did not find out until I lugged four of the toddler-sized squash to the register. “Oh,” I mumbled… “I thought it was too good to be true.” So much for $1.52 mantel decoration. (And so much for not lifting toddlers these days.)

* because when we were driving home from WalMart, V’s voice broke through my daze, “Are you biting your nails, Mommy?!”

* because Vivienne is going through a “dance your pants off” stage (for real) and we just happened to have gone to Baby’s (a 60’s diner) for dinner. The juke-box music inspired her greatly and she was shake, rattle, and rolling through the entire meal… including the post-dinner Bazooka bubble gum course. When the restaurant was suddenly transforming into her personal playground, it was time to leave. Just as we were preparing to leave, V decided to run — shriekingly — to the opposite side of the restaurant, which really is out of character but was disastrous nonetheless. As I firmly — but *ever-so-lovingly* — took hold of V’s arm, I looked at the waitress and mumbled, “I can’t believe that the child doing that is mine…”

* because when I took Viv to the Baby’s bathroom and asked, “What has gotten into you?” She sparkled up at me, “BUBBLEGUM!”

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our personal Mary Poppins

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Vivienne is in love with Mary Poppins. So much so, that her medical advice is straight from the movie…

Case in point: Last night, Ryan was suffering through one of his allergy sneezing spells. V waited patiently for him to tuck her into bed as he sneezed and sneezed and sneezed… Amongst Ryan’s hearty ACHOO’s, I heard a sweet little voice suggest, “You could always laugh instead!”

…I’m sure he wishes he could…

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toddler time!

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At 9:15 every Tuesday morning, Vivienne finds her name-tag on the felt board, grabs a carpet square and enjoys Toddler Time at Schlow Library.  This week, all of her inhibitions faded away as she sang along to every song, played the triangle in a band, and took her shoes off (I’m glad she feels so “at home” in the library. My dream come true!)

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A collage of our favorite story characters.  I never know when V will gasp something like, “THERE’S AMELIA BEDELIA!” in the middle of book about loud trucks or women with many hats.

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Pretending to be Ms. Sharon…

jingle bells: week 19 prayers

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Weigh in: About 15 centimeters crown to rump, and weighing eight ounces!

This week’s project: permanent teeth buds are forming behind the milk teeth buds.  (Munch, munch.)

Please continue to pray that our little family would have faith that God will hold all things together.  We wait expectantly for our “big” ultrasound next Tuesday, but are resting in the fact that God already has the inside glimpse of who this little one is…

Colossians 1:17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.