Something About Unpreschool Must Be Working

April 28th, 2011

K: (Puts red Love Rat on top of white Love Rat) Look, they’re mating.
[Our ladybugs were really going at it before we released them]
A: Does that mean soon we’ll have lots of little Love Rats?
K: Sure. If someone sends them to us.
K: They’re mating right now to get their babies out.
(Moves Love Rats so their noses are touching)
This is called rat love.

This is called rat dancing.

A, leaving Prehistoric Pets: That was fun. I like reptiles!
K: Yes, but people don’t like polars bears, panthers, cheetahs…lions…rattlesnakes….dinosaurs…
A: Because they’re all scary?
K: Because they eat people.
(Later, discussing this with Grandma)
K: Sharks…
G: We’re so lucky to have animals all over the world!
K: You shouldn’t get too close to them.

A: What does your poop look like?
K: It looks like…Do you remember the Galapagos Islands? It looks like the Galapagos Islands!

A Rather Inspiring Leonardo da Vinci Exhibit

April 19th, 2011

Mirror room with peephole!

This catapult and the one in our Mickey Mouse Prince and the Pauper book inspired some catapult making at home.

We’ve also found a few uses for this parachute.

A Very Sparkly Couple of Weeks

April 19th, 2011

Well, we got the flu again, and then rallied just in time to hit a phenomenal string of events.

We went to the Youth Expo at the fairgrounds twice, on Friday alone and on Saturday with Bill and Grandma. I was especially reminded of our summer at the fair when Katya asked to go on the giant slide and then panicked when we were at the top, deciding to walk back down the stairs. It all turned out well though because then we had money left for PONY RIDES. Katya enthusiastically smiled and waved at lots of people we don’t know. She also enjoyed the bug zoo, giant bubble tubs, and student models/dioramas.

(Did you see that? After 6 months or so of total and complete devotion to The Owl Pants, Katya nonchalantly started wearing other pants. Also, after not wearing a  jacket or sweater since Halloween, she recently accepted a fuzzy white cardigan we call “the bunny fur sweater.” Now, the new Owl Pants is the Mulan Dress, which is due to appear a few photos from now. She will wear other things, but she’s currently on day 3 of wearing it. )

Then home for lunch, and a costume change for the Minnie Mouse Masquerade Release Party at the Disney Store! Katya won the “Splashiest Princess” award in the costume contest.

Sunday, we went to OCMA for the monthly family day and opening of the Alexander Calder exhibit. I asked Katya what a bird made out of coffee and beer cans eats, since we saw one. She said, “Everything!” That’s her standard answer to most things these days. We now have a Calderesque mobile of paper circles and pipe cleaners hanging from one of the ceiling fans.

Monday we went to the matzah factory at HB Chabad.

As we were getting out of the car at home, she said, “Let’s make more matzah NOW!” Once we got inside she got distracted by the 30 plus Disney books we have checked out right now.

Tuesday morning we went to Centennial Farm with Maddie & Emily during field trip hours, which allowed us to go to a presentation about the chickens on the farm. Katya pet a chick, and later a cow.

Then that afternoon, another cow.

When we went home for lunch, I’d found out it was Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone day. Katya had her first ever ice cream cone! At the urging of the employees, we went through the line twice, and she thoroughly enjoyed both mango and berry-berry.

I especially like that photo because you can see the big splotch of ice cream on the display case next to her.

Afterwards we went to the Borders store that was closing 4 days later, a strange experience, and then Prehistoric Pets. Katya wants a chameleon. We’ve been talking about reptiles a lot.

Wednesday & Thursday we went to free programs at Newport Beach libraries, the “Animal Tales” song & puppet show. There was much pointing at a map and talking about where the songs were from, and Katya just about fell over when England was mentioned, because Pocahontas went there. Of course we had to go to our local library too. I got a picture book biography of Pocahontas. Katya’s response was, “That was different from the movie.” We talked about that for a few minutes, and then she said, “That was good. Can you please read it again?” Somehow, that book always needs to be read twice. Thursday, we saw a live animal show. Katya says if she had to choose one of those animals as a pet, she’d choose the tarantula. What would she do with it? “No, I’d just keep it under a basket.” Which would she want to BE? “A prairie dog. Did you know they live underground LIKE WORMS?”  Which was the silliest? “The hyena.” (commonly known to others as the coati)

Friday, we had a wonderful model seder with a group of Jewish homeschoolers and one guest Catholic family. Katya and I had made macaroons for the occaision. She very carefully put the chocolate chips on top. Afterwards we  stopped by to visit Luka and Sadie Jane.

Saturday, we got up and let the ladybugs that we raised go. I found 4 different garage sales on my dog walk, all with baby and children’s clothes, so Katya went back out for a walk with me when we got home. One lady we bought a few things from spoke zero English, so Katya said “gracias” and “adios” to her.

Then, getting kind of tired, we dragged out to the sea base open house only to find that they were shutting down early. Katya was consoled with some licorice ropes that they’d been using to practice tying knots. We walked around on the dock for a bit.

Sunday, we went on the train rides at Fairview Park.

Monday, we had our seder. Katya made the salt water and helped with the charoset. Right at what was already a slightly late bedtime, we started talking about iguanas, and having iguanas for pets. I brought out our coffee table book about the Galapagos and Katya insisted I read every caption of every iguana photo in the whole book.

Today, we were thrilled to have a quiet day at home. I tried making matzah brei (eggs with soggy matzah) for the first time, and nobody liked it. Katya requested a morning swimsuit bath, and stayed in telling stories with her toys until she was quite pruney. She ate a whole sandwich for lunch instead of a half, which is new. She played in her sand box. We read books, although we ALWAYS read books. We made Easter egg cards with new Dot-A-Dot markers. We put on crowns and shiny necklaces to dance around to reggae versions of Disney songs. Katya watched a few Disney music videos while I looked something up on the internet. We went for a walk with Grandma. We did a new puzzle. Katya is getting good at jigsaw puzzles. We made a Holton Rower-inspired pour painting.

The end! We’re looking forward to our Easter egg hunt and taking it easy until then. Maybe. 🙂

An Incomplete Account of Our Princess and Barbie Movie Experiences

April 2nd, 2011

Milestone: A few weeks ago Katya saw her FIRST movie in the theater, Disney’s Tangled, which is the Rapunzel story. She wanted to leave at one scary point but was easily talked into waiting for the happy ending. Happy endings are often discussed these days. When we watched Mulan 2, Katya said, “I think this is the happy ending!” at about 9 different points in the movie.

Speaking of Mulan! Oh, it’s my new Disney favorite. The sequel’s just as good! Aside from the cool characters and story, we learned so much from the special features. The Chinese invented the wheelbarrow! Katya has been not exactly using chopsticks, but definitely carrying them around the house. We looked at my grandparents’ travel photos from when they went there, we went out for Chinese food, and we read an awesome book called Red Butterfly. It tells the true story of how a Chinese princess smuggled silkworms and mulberry leaves out of China in her elaborate hairdo when she was being sent off into an arranged marriage.

Since we’ve been sick a lot off and on I’ve been ending up in Katya’s bed in the middle of the night and when I wake up there in the morning I often ask Katya what she dreamed about. The most frequent answer is that she bought a Disney Princess sparkle heart bag. I have spent many, many hours helping her research these and similar products online. There are quite a few printouts floating around the house. Also, sometimes this last week she has brought them along to social occasions, without ever telling any of our friends why she is carrying around paper. Michelle bought her a Disney Princess folder to put them in and Katya was enraged that Grandma would suggest such a thing.

Katya has purchased several similar sets, so we now have 3 identical Cinderellas. One is called Anastasia, since in Cinderella 3: A Twist in Time the evil stepmother magically makes her daughter look like Cinderella so she can marry the prince. The 3rd, I don’t think we have an explanation for her yet. There have been a number of times that Katya will bring 2 to us and say that they want to switch clothes. Bill tries to trick her but it never works.  There is also a Barbie she calls Cinderella and a medium sized actual Cinderella doll that came with the dollhouse. The poor Barbies are losing their popularity currently. I’m pretty sure they’ll bounce back at some point but somehow I’v eonly seen Theresa, the Latina Barbie, out and about and changing clothes in the last few weeks. 

Last week we had Beauty and the Beast checked out. Katya has this to say plaintively every time the movie or story book finishes: “They didn’t show the WEDDING. Why didn’t they show the wedding?” There are lots more temper tantrums in Beauty and the Beast 2. Even Katya said he wasn’t being nice. This is by far my least favorite Disney movie series.

Bill and I both just might love Barbie: The Princess and the Pauper the most. There is a cat named Wolfy who barks like a dog. The villian’s excape attempt is foiled by his own formerly trusty steed who turns around and turns him in, “because his his horse knew he was evil.” The princess saves the kingdom from bankruptsy by discovering that the gold mines that ran dry are actually filled with “valuable geodes.” Needless to say, we are awaiting word from Acorn Naturalists that they have valuable geodes back in stock. The Muth Interpretive Center was out too, leading me to fear a Worldwide Shortage of Valuable Geodes.

K: Now I’m saving my money to get the Jasmine sparkle heart bag.
A: What are you excited to get that comes in the Jasmine sparkle heart bag?
K: The two pillows. The princesses can rest their heads on them.
A: Do you want me to sew you a tiny pillow? Just to use until you get the Jasmine sparkle heart bag?
K: No. (Pause) If you make one by accident, I will tell you to give it away.

Overheard from Cinderella doll on the roof of the dollhouse: Yes, my dress is beautiful. And this is my castle.

Sleeping Beauty, overheard singing: Happy to be MEEEE, Happy to wear this DRESS, All over my LEGS!

We made heart cookies with our names on them because Snow White made heart cookies for the dwarves.

Also, we went out picking wildflowers like Snow White. Probably I should leave out the part where when she wasn’t looking I pretended to stand behind her with a knife like Brad the Huntsman, but Bill and I thought it was really funny.

The Muth Interpretive Center Has Taxidermy and a Tree You Can Sit In

April 2nd, 2011

A: Excuse me, but my daughter wanted to ask you something.
Lady Behind The Desk: Yes dear?
K: Why did people shoot and kill those animals?
LBTD, giving me a desperate look: Well, some of them were sick.
(whispering towards me) I don’t know what to say about the other ones.
(resuming normal voice, but much perkier) Isn’t it great that their bodies didn’t go to waste? They brought them to artists who could make them pretty so you can see them and learn about them!
K: I’m looking at these rings.
LBTD: What’s your name?
K: I don’t know.

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