Monday, March 31, 2008

"I'm the map"

Maps. Our kids love 'em. They have colors, lines, are folded exotically, and adults consult them for important information. Maps are exciting.

When we went to Buffalo last fall, momma drew a simplified map to demonstrate where we were on our trip. Sunday morning, Genevieve drew an impressive three-color globe (blue, green, and black). I'd show you here, but our scanner and/or driver aren't performing well right now, so you'll have to take my word on it -- a fairly round globe with blue oceans and green land part, with people and other items on the edge.

I wonder what Genevieve makes of the various maps she sees, and why does "where do I live" look so different from map to map. I barely think of having to translate a city map from a state map from a national map from a world map, but she is exposed to all of these and the place that we point to in response to that question looks very different on each of those. At the very least, she has traveled a little within this country, so she can get a sense of how far places can be.

And of course, there is the map from Dora the Explorer -- another reason for pre-K's and tykes to like maps.

[Dora photo ©2006 Nick Jr. -- Dora, The Map, Backpack, and Boots in a drawing cell from a Dora the Explorer episode.]

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Max and jelly

This drawing on the left is of Max, the bunny. Genevieve the artist informs me that her interpretation of Max includes lots of jelly on his mouth. He was a messy eater. Max is also doing boy pee-pee; it's in yellow. (Yes, she really said that -- do you think that I could make that up?)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Valentine for Daddy, by Genevieve, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Gigi and the radio

Here's a post from my wife, who observed the following interaction today.

"I'm the witch," says Reesa.
"And I'm her friend," says Genevieve
"Can you climb up and turn on the radio? I don't think I can handle
it," says Genevieve.

All this as they're both straddling one of the longer boomwackers-
together, and walking around the house. They had me tie up Reesa's
taggie with one of the fleecy scarves so they could hang it over the
boomwacker also. "This is the radio."

I would be completely lost if I didn't know Kiki's Delivery Service.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Everyone in the Pool!

The family selections for the men’s college basketball tournament have been entered in the Johnny Quest Memorial Candy Bar Pool, and the prognosticated champions are:









Despite having the same final selection, I am very hopeful that I will not lose to my wife for the second year in a row. Yes, this is a family affair—if daddy’s going to spend that much time watching basketball over the next two and a half weeks, everyone else figured they may as well join in. It’s the only pool I’ll be getting in for a while—we are supposed to get 4 to 7 more inches of snow on Friday. Happy Spring in Wisconsin.

But it’s not all TV around here. This evening, the girls played a board game with me (Grouchy Ladybug), and were introduced to a standard playing card deck by mommy, who taught them that childhood favorite, War.

I can’t get a new slideshow to load on the sidebar, so I am going to begin to sprinkle in some photos from our recent trip to Arizona.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Current frustration

Reesa is a two-year old. I mention this to emphasize the polarities of her age-induced personality: one moment, the embodiment of squeaky voiced china doll cuteness (“I’m going to the ped-a-tician now. I feel yucky.”); and the next moment, having a ninety decibel screaming fit about…well, it’s often hard to figure out, because she refuses to use her words.

“Reesa! You have words. YOU NEED TO USE THEM.” Oh, how many times have I said some variation of that?

Lately, I have fallen into the trap of crossing the line between being firm and being dominating with Reesa. One example is that when she is wearing underwear (she is sometimes in diapers), every couple of hours she needs a reminder to go to the toilet. Sometimes when she refuses, such as when we are about to go out, I place her on the toilet anyway. I am frustrated because I know that even if she does not go potty now, she will need to go very soon and she often does not initiate going to the toilet until it is too late. When we are out, it means that I have to clean up the mess, and is often a lot of extra work. That is an example of a situation that will cause me to attempt to “correct” in a way that I believe is probably not a very good solution. But when I’m in the middle of it, I often feel like I am out of patience. The alternatives are difficult to find when I’m in the middle of it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


We recently returned from a nine-day vacation in Arizona, spending some time with my wife's family and four days in the resort town of Sedona, known as "a four-season playground for everyone - for history, geology, archaeology, art and sports buffs, and especially for curious, outdoor enthusiasts who love spectacular scenery."

We marveled at the beautiful scenery, hiked briefly to give the girls a chance to experience the trail, and played at a couple of creeks.

And what did Genevieve enjoy the most about her visit to Sedona?

"Playing with my sister. Playing Baby with my sister, and superhero rescue."

[photo from]