Monday, November 30, 2009

Triple Threat Treat

For reasons that are too long to explain, Cassandra and I ended up staying in Northern Virginia this Thanksgiving while the rest of the family went to Annapolis and Rehoboth, DE. As a result, I got lots of good video of Cass. When I downloaded the video from the camera, I created a file called "Cass being Cass," which seems to fit these.

This first one is my personal favorite as is shows her meticulously opening a desk drawer in our office. Just when we think we've baby-proofed enough...

Toward the end of this clip, Cassandra does the baby sign version of "help" (patting her hand against her chest). Although she knows some signs, for the most part she does them when we say the word, as opposed to pro-actively (if that makes any sense).

In this last extreme close-up video, I turned the view screen around so she could see herself and she was fascinated.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I never thought I’d be like this. Well, that’s not true. Either way -- here I am -- scrutinizing the work my child brings home from school. Part of it is that Zander was able to do so many truly rich, open-ended projects at his small, somewhat alternative preschool and I'm snooty about the one-dimensional and traditional work he brings home from kindergarten. Another part is my background in women’s issues, which trained me to look closely at cultural messages. And still another part is living IN THE 21ST CENTURY.

Anyway, Zander came home with this 'cut-and-glue' project the day before before Thanksgiving:

Let’s take a closer look at the pictures, shall we?

First, the smiling Native American woman (I assume she is Native American because of the feather in her hair) who appears just thrilled to be harvesting something for the a white pilgrim's Thanksgiving? Alternatively, she might be a pilgrim who is just wearing a feather in her hair. Come to think of it, that must be it since Native Americans didn't celebrate Thanksgiving.

Here's what really throws me though...the woman in the "Thanksgiving Today" frame is clearly the same woman (sans feather)!

Next, let's look at the frame of the men and boy sitting in front of the TV presumably watching football also in "Thanksgiving Today." Hello? Stereotype much? Maybe they're actually watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

And while I'm at it, who sets the table with the knife on the left and the fork on the right? Heathens!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rum Tum Tum

Zander's kindergarten class had a Thanksgiving show today. He was an Indian. (I was a bit surprised that they were called "Indians" instead of Native Americans, but apparently this same show has been done for twenty or so years. That fact doesn't make it okay, but it's just not my battle to fight.)

Nonetheless, here are our highlights...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

From the desk of...The Tooth Fairy

Not entirely sure how this came about, but Zander seemed to think that he would get a note from the tooth fairy along with some money. (Prior to when the tooth fell out I asked him how much money he thought the tooth fairy would leave and he said "maybe $100 or something." I quickly adjusted his expectations.)

Anyway, this is the note we left (with $1):

It was signed "The Tooth Fairy," but that got cut off when I converted it for posting here.

Regardless, below is the note I wanted to leave. (Double click on it if it's too small to read.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Big News!

Today, Senate Democrats unveiled sweeping health care reform legislation that would expand insurance coverage to millions of Americans and potentially cost $849 billion over ten years.

And also, Zander lost his first tooth...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tell and Show

No, you read that correctly. What we knew to be "Show and Tell" growing up has now morphed into "Tell and Show." It's a good idea really. The child is supposed to come up with three clues about his or her chosen "Tell and Show" item and then relay those clues to the class. The class then tries to guess the item.

We've always left it up to Zander to decide what he would bring, hard as this might be for an over-involved parent such as myself. My stomach dropped when -- for his first "Tell and Show" -- he brought his Taggies blanket. (Would they call him a baby?) But that seemed to go just fine. Other "Tell and Show" items have included: favorite books, a NASA postcard from an astronaut-themed birthday party goody bag, and a mini-torah.

When I ask how it went, he usually proudly says he "stumped the kindergartners." (I'm sure that phrase came from the teacher.) Problem is, I think he thinks the goal is to stump the kindergartners. How I'd love to be a fly on the wall in that class sometimes.

Friday, November 13, 2009


We are really trying hard not to pigeonhole Cassandra . I believe that children will often rise to even unspoken expectations and if we feel that she is the child who will be a "handful," then indeed, she will turn out to be so.

Yet as mentioned once before, she is so different from how Zander was at this age. It seems that she is "into everything" and needs constant supervision. She will bee-line to the one item in a room that is not baby safe. Her latest stage is crying real tears if we take something away from her, say a plug or other item equally unsafe. Her behavior is totally age-appropriate though and we know that.

So, I prefer to think of her as an intrepid and detail-oriented explorer who is hungry for new things and physical challenges. Has a more positive spin, yes?

We were not entirely surprised, however, when her daycare providers (who apparently are not trying as hard as we are not to pigeonhole her) were printing out photos and captions for decorations and gave us this extra one to take home:

Not sure if you can tell from the photo, but she has climbed up onto the table, apparently to get to another child's food.

Monday, November 9, 2009

What will you bring to shabbat dinner?

Got an e-mail with the subject line "cute story" from Zander's religious school teacher the other day. (Still can't believe they call it that.) Anyway, here is the story:

Just wanted to share with you that Zander said the cutest thing today in class. We played a game "I am going to Shabbat dinner and I will bring...."

The other kids said things like chicken, pie, etc. and Zander said he would bring love.

In my response I did NOT say, "Did you ask if he knew what shabbat dinner was?" as I didn't think she'd appreciate that.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mr. Pinata Head

Brad attended the Halloween parade and party at Zander's school. Somehow after the festivities, he ended up wearing the pinata as a hat. Somehow the children started referring to him as "Mr. Pinata Head." Somehow after volunteering at both the library and computer lab, the children in the class have come to know me as "wife of Mr. Pinata Head." Nice.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Brad here. This new word is best defined with a brief story:

Brad: "So I have a theory about why the....blah...blah...blah.... Well, do you agree with my theory?"

Zander [slightly sarcastic]: "Daddy, you mean your hypothesis."

Brad [trying not to sound too amazed that he knew the difference between a theory and a hypothesis]: "Wow, you're right. Where did you learn that?"

Zander: "The dinosaur website I have been going to."

I was schooled by a 5 year old. I'm so proud!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Shrek and Fiona

Halloween was so last week, I know. But, I thought this too good not to share.

We have these friends who go all out every Halloween. I'm talking about spending weeks creating costumes from scratch and then competing in multiple competitions. They came over to our house before one such competition on Friday night:

Not shown:
  • the stilts that Shrek walked on;
  • older child who was the dragon; and
  • younger child who was the prince.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Requisite (but Cute!) Halloween Post

Cassandra's costume was made by my sister-in-law Erin. (Same sister-in-law who made this.) The costume has been worn by both my nephews (Ben and Nathan), Zander, cousin Zoe, and now Cassandra.

Here's a short clip of Cass crawling skunking around the office complex where she is in daycare and where Brad works: