Sunday, April 05, 2009


The first:

Michael's first birthday was a smashing success. You should be able to click on the collage to see larger images. We had a smallish, calmish party that was laid back and wonderful. It happened to involve only a handful of close family and friends, all people I am comfortable enough with not to have worried terribly about a sparkling house or fancy food.

Michael received a bounty of gifts, including summer clothes, some new toys and books, and some change for his college fund. (No pressure kid.) He also enjoyed his first dessert, an angel food cupcake. The frosting didn't take to the cupcake very well, sliding off onto his chin in one sugary motion. Michael did not mind.

I have a small bit of mommy guilt because his cake didn't look like anything - Harper's first was a dog. Here's my reasoning. . . he really hadn't shown a particular interest in any animal or object just yet. I did frost the cake yellow because "You are My Sunshine" seems to be his favorite song when I'm singing to him. It wasn't totally devoid of meaning!

The second:

Harper has shown and increasing interest in letters/words throughout this school year and has started doing some reading. She's had lots of practice "sounding out" words. Her interest in reading has tumbled over into an interest in writing her own words. We talk about stretching the words out and listening to the sounds they make. She's had lots of "spelling" practice playing with the fridge phonics while I make lunch or dinner.

So she was playing with some happy meal toys at the kitchen table a couple of weeks ago and acting out some drama with good guys and bad guys who were fighting. (Oh - it's the recipe for a campfire skit!) She wanted the good guys to remember to kill the bad guys and asked if she could write some "'structions" on a napkin.

(Sidebar: I was a little freaked out to hear her talking so enthusiastically about things killing! each other. That's silly though, right? It was just play and she's not overly violent as a rule. . . )

I tried and tried to scan the resulting instructions so you could see them, but the crayon on napkin writing was just not dark enough. So I will transcribe for you, the only help I gave her was when she asked me whether kill began with c or k. She wrote:

"kil the sptr and geng"

Harper's first sentence! It was supposed to say, "Kill the spider and Green Gobbler." It probably doesn't seem like she came that close, but if you look at her writing and think about the words she intended she actually hit many of the important sounds.

My favorite part of teaching first grade was helping kids grow as readers and writers. To witness and support my own child going through this process is just blowing my mind!

Way to go kid.


Erin said...

I love the bday party picture collage! And there YOU are! Hi Kelsey!

I also LOVE that Harper story. It's actually reassuring to me that Harper talks about "killing." Calum does ALL THE TIME, and it freaks me out a litte. He plays rough most of the time, and especially lately I fear we are raising a psychopath (more on that another time). I am 100% confident that you are NOT raising a psychopath, so it's a relief to me that she occassionally kills her toys too.

desperate housewife said...

I love how nervously we analayze any sign of violence in ourselves or our kids. I even freak out if I DREAM something wherein I am being at all violent and worry that perhaps I am harboring latent psychopath tendencies.
And that first sentence is PRICELESS. I would frame that napkin. KILL THE SPIDER.

Swistle said...

Oh, I LOVE it! That is SO GOOD! "Sptr"! She is so smart!

I get FREAKED whenever any of my kids mention killing or dead or ANYTHING. I'm just like Semi-desperate Housewife about it. Even though I'm sure (pretty sure) (PRETTY pretty sure) it's normal and fine.

jill said...

cool. you should have a great afternoon reading curled up cozy like very soon!

Mommy Daisy said...

I think the cake looks great, even if it's not a particular shape. And Michael looks so grown up to me in the photos.

Wow! That's super that Harper is learning to read and write. Such a smart girl.

samantha jo campen said...

Those pictures are GREAT! And You Are My Sunshine is what I sing to put Theo to sleep so that's one of HIS favorite songs too!

Great story about Harper. I hope you saved the napkin :-) She'll get a kick out of it when she's a famous author!

bluedaisy said...

Your children are amazing. Michael-blossoming & coming into his own...Harper- smart as a whip and her spelling work is impressive! Also, the fact that you made Michael's cake is awesome because I always order a cake...and I LOVE the color :) Great photo collage,too! I love reading about these important moments.

CARRIE said...

What a bright little girl! So neat to see them learning to read and write!