It seems it's time for an update. The hard part about writing general "what's going on these days" updates, when one person in the family stays at home, one is a one-year old, and one has a job which requires him to work 7 days a week, is that our days start to run together in ways which are simultaneously somewhat boring and blissfully fulfilling. I think this is probably the way it is for most families though. :)
Let's get to it:
It's almost over, sadly. Kids have gone back to school. Yet, we're stuck in that weather pattern (September in Seattle), which is essentially still summertime, only with cooler, autumnal nights. It's 80 degrees outside, but the way the sunlight hits the trees and the crispness of the evenings are playing tricks on my psyche. I don't want the summer to end - ever - but I've started to daydream about beef stew and fattening comfort food dishes and other fall-related things. Ellie and I had the best summer together, and I'm sad to see come to an end (or maybe just serious decrease) in our outlets of ways to entertain ourselves during the day. Yes, we can still play outside during the fall, winter and spring months, but it's not quite as easy, and not quite as fun for this mama. I've started collecting ideas of fun things to do with a toddler during the long grey PNW 3/4 of a year, but it's challenging. She's still putting everything into her mouth, which seems to limit our indoor activities slightly.... ideas welcome!
Back-to-school's on my mind right now, for obvious reasons. I read too many mom bloggers & online articles than is good for me, and keep seeing people talking about putting their toddlers into "school." This is something I am SO NOT comfortable with, and by "this," I mean, the whole "school thing." Is it really time to think about school for Ellie? I think not yet, but then again, I really don't know anything about early education, and Washington State educational requirements. Heck, I don't even know the difference between preschool and pre-K (someone care to fill me in??). Here's what I believe, based on nothing but my own instincts: early education should be more about socialization than anything else. Anything "academic" she could and should be learning can come from me, just as easily. Plus, I'm a big believer that kids learn best (at least in early years) by exploratory, self-led play time. When I was a kid, we did one year of preschool, followed by kindergarten at age 5. It seems it isn't that way anymore? I'm seeing preschool start at 1-2, do that for a couple of years, pre-k start at 4, then kindergarten... I'm just not comfortable with that kind of structure in a kid's life, but I do worry that she could miss out on the social aspects of all this (or, heaven forbid, she misses out on the educational aspect and falls behind her peers, setting her up for a lifetime of educational struggle).
(Okay Jordan, I guess I need to talk to you about this... thoughts?)
Speaking of play - here's a new thing I've observed in Ellie lately. She is OBSESSED with babies. She wants to look at pictures of babies, points out babies when we go places, and loves, LOVES, baby dolls. This is interesting to me. Is this a gender role kind of thing, where she's drawn to playing with babies because she's a girl? I've always thought that gender-traditional play (ie, boys playing with trucks, girls with dolls) was a result of kids being coaxed to gravitate towards those types of toys, either consciously or subconsciously by their parents or those around them. We definitely do not do that. Ellie has more trucks and cars than she has "girlie" toys, but time after time, she prefers her babies. (In fact, yesterday at Costco she had a total meltdown passing the Cabbage Patch Dolls display. Like a good parent who parents discipline effectively, I caved and got her one. But seriously - Cabbage Patch Dolls smell SO good!). I'm thinking that her gravitation towards dolls is likely due to a phase and not because she's a girl, but I guess we'll see. She's the most physically active little girl I know, and does loves balls and being rough & tumble, so it's not like she's being "traditional" in all senses. (and not that I have anything against her playing with dolls or her playing a traditional gender role [I play a very traditional gender role in our home] - I just want her to explore her preferences freely and without social constructs of what she "should" and "shouldn't" do, based on her gender).
Sadly, the time has come to find them new homes. Here's what I wrote in an email:
Mary Bailey is a medium/long haired tri-colored, small adult female (spayed) and is likely part ragdoll. She's got a purr you can hear across the room, and is very sweet and content. She's happy to go outside, but generally prefers to be snuggled up on a pile of pillows or clean laundry somewhere in the house.
Janey is a short haired, dark grey and white, small adult female (spayed), with striking green eyes. She's very independent and loves to go outside, but is happy to find a good lap and cuddle as well.
Both kitties are free to a good home. Both are house trained, and neither has ever had an accident in 6 1/2 years. They are very easy cats, and will make a great addition to your home!
If anyone knows anyone looking for one or two great kitties in the Seattle area, please let me know!!
Lastly. Pictures. You're welcome!
|Toddler shoes. So dang cute!|
|Indoor activity #1 for the fall: Library story time. She was captivated!|
|Why hadn't we grilled pizzas before? Use this recipe for crust, and her grilling technique. This was phenomenal.|
|I got nothing. She's seriously the cutest.|