Friday, December 30, 2011

Trip to Amazement Square

Playing with the river section on the top floor. 

Playing in the bug exhibit

Climbing high!

It's electric!

Future career?

Leaving the museum. 

Rock band Josy!

We gave a show to a guy playing a game on his phone. He didn't look up. 

They'll do anything in their own way!

Climbing the lighted stairs. Sam loved this part. 

Here's looking at you, Daddy! 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Loose Tooth Has Left the Building!

Jo lost her first tooth last night! Well, I say "lost" but really the kid couldn't take it anymore and ripped it out.

She woke up at 4 a.m. with excitement to find the Tooth Fairy had a left a note and a Hello Kitty watch-locket-necklace.

She's so super excited.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Josephine's First School Report

I'm not sure what I'm more proud of - Josephine's "grades" and reading level, or her kindness.

I just got back from my first parent-teacher conference (as a parent!) and I'm just so proud. She is already reading at the goal-level for the end of the year, and got a 92/102 on the "pals" reading test - scored 10/10 on how the "most difficult" word list part... She knows all the science concepts already, so she is getting gifted enrichment for that, and she's rocking math and everything else. The teacher's goal for Josy's reading is that she's reading at the end-of-first grade level by May. Of course, I'm not surprised. Any kid who can define "laboratory" and "immigration", likes to do math in her head, knows that moonlight is a shadow, draws schematic diagrams of soil-mixing machines (as well as princesses & cats) - well, I'm not surprised.

But also, there is a little boy in Jo's class who won't talk to anyone, because he is shy and ESL, but he WILL talk to Josephine. So Jo has been moved to sit next to him, and comes to 'lunch bunch' with him, and I am just so glad that my child is being such a kind friend to this little kid.

And she's become so kind and helpful to Sam recently, too.

She's a pretty amazing kid.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Videos from November 6, 2011

Today was a lot of fun! Josephine's writing is really growing in leaps and bounds. Today she made a birthday card for her brother Henry, and did it completely by herself. As you can see in this video, she also made snowflakes. I was standing by carefully to make sure she could use Mandi's scissors. Today, they also helped me test some colors in the back bedroom of my house. This explains why Josephine is playing the drums with paintbrushes. Josy also ate a second helping at lunch and pronounced herself a member of the Eat A Lot Club. But, I am proudest of the unsolicited lesson on the solar system that comes from Josy here!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Witch of Sweets

Watch this video of Josephine singing her song about being the Witch of Sweets for Halloween, who "keeps candy ripe" and paints rainbows of candy...

So many updates about Josephine and Sam...

Josephine's into drawing maps, because, of course, she's been learning about "immigration" in after-school (which is awesome). She drew a picture last night of agricultural machines mixing dirt to make soil and layers of clay. She's reading more everyday. And her teacher recommended her to a gifted program this winter.

Sam loves his new school, and they love him. He dressed up as Super Penguin for trick or treating on the downtown mall today. They both have terrible colds.

I tend to do lots more updates on Facebook, so it's hard to get into this blog, but I'll keep trying...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Notes from the Meet Yer Eats Farm Tour

Today was the 3rd annual Meet Yer Eats farm tour put together by Market Central. They are the organization that helps support the Charlottesville Farmer's Market. I thought it would be a great day to spend Labor Day with Sam and Josephine. Above is Josephine at Forrest Green Farm in Louisa County with miniature Herefords in the background.

One thing we learned at the beginning that there is manure everywhere. This is Josephine shortly after understanding exactly what the big black or brown splotches where.

Sam was also pretty interested, though he had found a stick that was kind of shaped like a sword, so that was his main interest. 

Josephine was fascinated by the chickens. We stood outside this pen for about 20 minutes. I've never seen her so captivated by something for so long. These chickens are raised as broilers and will end up going to market in a few weeks. Neither Josephine nor Sam eats chicken.

She looked at the chickens from every single angle and was trying to understand their behavior. 

This is Rob, who owns Forrest Green with his wife Krista. He's explaining to us the layer chickens and how they live. We learned so much about the choices he makes in order to bring eggs to market. It was great to be able to ask questions.

Sam and Josephine in one of the hoop houses at Forrest Green. I was more interested in they were, so we didn't stay too long.
Here's Josephine touching the comb of Lester, one of the roosters at Ted's Last Stand farm in Louisa County just up the road from Forrest Green. She was rapt with attention as Michael Levatino took on the tour of his farm. We actually went on the tour one and a half times. Sam was not quite as interested, but was very patient. He chose not to touch the rooster at this time. I can't blame him.

She paid full attention as we learned about how the soil is maintained at Ted's Last Stand without using any sort of pesticides or chemicals.

A group of grad students from UVA remarked that she was wearing a most appropriate dress to be at a farm that specializes in flowers. 
In all we had a fantastic day. For me, it was probably the best way I have spent Labor Day in my entire life. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011


"Why do I have to window?" Jo asked this morning.
"Because I'm in a contest!"

Get it? Win dough. So I asked where she heard this.
"I made it up!"
"No way."
"Yes, I learned it from MY HEAD. I went in there and learned it. But I only do that at night."

She's also sounding out - reading words, like "Glad" off the garbage bag box.

Meanwhile, sister Leah is in labor so we should have a baby niece / cousin soon - hurricane approaching but hopefully Richmond will just have strong wind and rain. Of course, Sam says it's "MY baby." Hmmm.

Josy (that's how she is called at school) has turned into a self-possessed firecracker this week. Suddenly she's a comic. Here she is below being a hippo, and then she started doing her feet as puppets at the table. Sam finds this enchanting.

He is, meanwhile, in love with his Mickey backpack (yay for Goodwill)... he was very frustrated when he couldn't figure out how to get it on correctly but once I taught him how he did it and is very proud every time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Day

We had to wait for what seemed like FOREVER - especially considering we got to the bus stop 15 minutes early - but eventually the bus did come.
And she got on it.
She didn't look back.
And I burst into tears.

Sam was confused - he thought we were all getting on it -we felt sad as we waved the bus goodbye.

I hate you, kindergarten.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ice Ice, Baby

Took the kids to a free ice skating lesson yesterday. Sam refused. Jo fell in love. She was amazing! She has awesome balance, kept herself from falling, went all around the rink, hopped, walked, stomped. Now she wants to be an ice skater. Too adorable.

We also went to her new school, met her teacher, saw her classroom. She's so excited!

Today is her last day of preschool.

She is excited and scared!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Baby Jozy, Baby No Longer

I knew it would happen when I set up this blog - one day she wouldn't really qualify as a baby.

But maybe I couldn't quite believe it.

Sigh. In THREE WEEKS Jo starts kindergarten, and she
- has learned to roll her eyes
- asked for a dictionary for her 6th birthday
- stated that when she grows up, she wants to be a bookmaker like Dr. Seuss, making both the words and the pictures

She also sounded like my echo when, unable to sleep, she said that half her brain was tired but the other half was arguing for staying up. I just posted on my other blog about the same conversation in my head last night.

Sam's 3 1/2 on Friday.

They're lovely.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The King has lost his head... of curls

I love how Josephine had to get in on the action at the end. Two hams, definitely.
Yes, Sam was asking to have a haircut, and he was definitely on the wild and shaggy side. He loves it. He loves playing King and wielding a comb for effect.

This morning he told me he wanted to be a dinosaur when he grew up.

Mind you, his favorite lovey at present is a fairy, and this morning he exuberantly kept giving me Big Cuddles, so he is still sweet Sam...

Meanwhile, Josephine and I are writing a book together - I'm taking stories I've told them and putting them down and Jo is illustrating. She told me yesterday, "I'm a better artist than you, Mama." "And look, I'm sketching!"

The battery of questions this morning and yesterday included:
"Why is it called a 'living' room?"
"What if no one ever got sick?"
"What if I had FIVE million things?"
"Why are they called 'loveys'?"

Sam is getting in on the action now, too. (ack!)
"Mama, why are we on this planet?" he asked the other day.
I said we didn't really know.
Jo piped up, "I know. It's because there's air and water here, this is the only planet we can live on. Except maybe one of the moons of Jupiter, where there's water."

Sam continues to tell us about his magical imagination Office. "I have a wand at my office," he'll say. At his office lives his five girls. I love listening to Jo ask questions about his office: Where is it? How do we get there? How many girls do you have? The answers vary.

Josephine starts kindergarten at the end of August.
Sam starts his new preschool at the very end of August.
They are both excited - and a little nervous.
So am I!