Thursday, October 23, 2014

Black Fish

It took a while to decide what we're doing for halloween costumes this year. Jackson was pretty set on being Spiderman with a Batman cape and a fireman hat. As excited as I was to make his dreams come true, I thought I'd try and direct those dreams a bit. We brainstormed some ideas of what he and Allie could be together, and we finally determined we'd go for an animal theme. He came up with the idea of an orca. Brilliant! He loves killer whales. We've read every book at the library 10 times... at least.

SO, how to find a costume. Um... the only one I liked was sold through an Indian company, that had no online shipping option. The other ones that were fine (but not amazing) were 40$-50$, and I didn't like that much. So, we/I decided to make it. The question was, should we go with an orca he was riding, or make him into an orca. Riding the orca was a nice idea but I couldn't find foam that was affordable enough to create one, or the right size pool toy. I did find a bunch of black fabric in my sewing box, and we had an XXL white T-shirt.

Some sketches later (after much online perusing),

 And way too many late nights,

AND swearing I won't ever sew another costume from scratch (without a pattern)

We got ourself a little killer whale!

 This is pre-last stitching of the tail, and I'm totally critiquing it like crazy thinking how to help the tail out.

But since it's a Halloween costume (and will likely only be seen in the dark)--and not a costume for a broadway play, we're glad it's done, and it was as cheap as a spool of black thread. And if any poor mother (or Father) out there finds this post and wants to know how we put it together, just comment and I will tell you all of our joys and woes.

To celebrate the last stitch tonight, Mark and I watched Black Fish. I'm so glad our little captive fish is only 40 lbs ;)

Allie? What is she going to be? She has 4 options, and we'll find out if she is willing to be any of them. (As of yet, she hasn't tried a single costume on.) "I don't like it" is all we hear. Ah, good thing dreeing up for Halloween is not part of our eternal salvation.

Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Playing with Words

Now that we've been in school for a good month, we've been schooling ourselves by playing with words.

 (our pathetic, 1s day of school picture)

Jackson is at a familiar stage with words, and has entered the little boy land of substitutions. I have a feeling it lasts for a while. We are thrilled that his word of choice for most substitutions is "cookie(s)"-- he uses it in place of everything from traintracks to amens.

"Humpty dumpty sat on his COOKIES! HA HA HA"
"Tell Grandma I went to a... cookie patch!"
"I'm going to go build a.... cookie train cookie!"

Although it may be somewhat irreverent, really annoying and super old, we're thrilled it hasn't fully morphed in to the other choices he has experimented with. Last week we he said "butt" and looked at me for a reaction. I nearly died laughing. I assume he heard it at school, but since it's pretty low on the foul language spectrum we talked about how he's welcome to use the word, but it may make some people feel sad, and... most of the time it's not appropriate to use. This week he's been adding "poo" into his usual cookie mix. I'm sure it's developmentally helpful, but I'm also sure we'll be dealing with all forms of "poo" talk for years to come.

Jackson and his friends have also been playing with nicknames. They call each other all sorts of nonsense words and die laughing, or act as if nothing happened. I've always wondered how nicknames start... and I suppose now I understand.

Allie's word play is much more rudimentary, and frustrating for all involved in the translation process. [We're excited for her pronunciation to clear up since she seems to have all sorts of interesting things she'd really like us to know about!] She points and repeats herself verbatim, and we somehow muddle through except while in the car, which is where she is quite the chatter box. 

Thankfully, there are a few patterns she regularly follows that aid us in translation:

-If Jackson tells us anything with excitement and detail, Allie repeats what he said in some fashion. This is the best situation, because we already know what she is trying to say--so we can repeat it easily and don't have to try and make her satisfied with a "oh really?" [aka we have no clue what you're saying!].

-We get a repeated question multiple times a day inquiring where daddy is.

A: Where daddy going?

S: He went to work.

A: Work?

S: Yes Work.

Repeated, meaning at least 5 times throughout the day. Sometimes, if I ask her back, she'll say "wook"--but not always.

-She is constantly asking "wha da?" (what's that?) Generally it's more of a "who's that?" But, she seems satisfied as long as I don't say "I don't know"--so I often have to use general terms like "a boy" to get by her curious mind.
-The last clue we get is if she is singing. This doesn't happen often, but I can usually match her tunes she wants to sing, or pick up on the rhythm of what nursery rhyme she's trying to get me to say. For an early childhood music teacher, these are wonderful moments I'm thrilled to muddle through translating! Especially when she's willing to conduct with a "pehdi"--pencil:

 Hopefully we shall continue to play and learn with words--and get this girl talking!