Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cover that Bum!

My mom brought me back undies for P from her trip to Colombia!  Every time someone visits from our homeland they ask me what I want.  I always say the same: undies for P!  Why can't I buy underwear for my kid in the States?  

Well, I have an issue with American underwear for girls.  Just about every brand does not cover the bum and private parts enough.  Some even look like they belong on a Victoria Secrets model.  We're talking underpants for a toddler for Pete's sake!  Cover all the parts!  

At this point in P's life her privates belong to me and I'm not willing to share them with anyone.  Also, I don't want to constantly tell her to put her legs down. She's a child having fun. She should do what she wants, climb what she wants, straddle what she wants.  Boys don't have to worry about it why should girls at this age when an awareness of sexuality is not even there.  To solve the problem I buy her boy shorts underwear for girls which I can only find at H&M. Or I ask for foreign underwear.  Isn't it a little shocking that the standard in the rest of the world covers at least half a butt cheek and half a vagina more than here?!

Now, here is where I become more "liberated" or European.  I hate underwear lines, even on a 3 year old.  When P wears her jersey pants or any soft pants or leggings I don't have her put on underwear.  You should hear the questions I get asked at school by her teachers.  I don't get it. Yes, she has no underwear on!  Can you see any of her parts? No? Ok, well those regular underwear that the rest of the girls wear well I see half a vagina when they're sitting cross legged in a dress. So where is the indecency when she doesn't wear underwear with something that doesn't expose a thing?  The expectations in this country are weird.  

Anyway, call them granny panties. Call them what you like. For now, my daughter wears imported underwear that cover all her parts!

Broken Oven

Last week I made strawberry shortcakes with P.  I got the recipe from Orangette and it recommends keeping the dough frozen until you're ready to bake.  The day after I made our first batch the oven stopped working.  It's gas; the stove works but not the oven.  I have to find a repair man quick because me without an oven is like me without an arm.  I literally feel handicapped in the kitchen. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Day of School 2011

Today was P's first day of school! She's in her second year of pre-school.  I think she'll have another year before heading off to kindergarten.  

This year I'm actually a bit worried.  Her school went through some changes and there is a new director.  She has yet to talk to the parents and let them know if there are any changes to the philosophy or direction of the preschool.  I can tell they want to go more towards a disciplined and educational route vs the developmental philosophy of where it was before....although no one has come out and said it to the parents. 

I have a strong belief that children learn best through play at this age.  Yes, they need to be structured but not at this young of an age.  I worry they may make P learn how to write and know her letters though workbooks and a structured setting. If this is the case I know she will rebel and I worry this will define a negative attitude towards learning.  This is my worst case scenario and I pray it does not come to pass.  And if it does I pray I may be ready to make good choices for her and to place her in a better setting.  

My idea of school has changed dramatically over the past year.  Before P entered school I thought it would be a place I'd send her to daily where she would get educated, both socially and academically. However, I would not be that involved. In other words, I was mirroring what my parents did.  Once she was in school I thought that it's not just about the education and the teachers but the families you become integrated with.  They are and will continue to be a huge part of the "village" that raises the kids.  

Now, after one year of school and being very disappointed by the Catholic system that took over after the last director was booted out, I have a new thought.  Basically, no one will ever know my child like I do. School is a place where she will get her basic education and hopefully a little more.  However, I will be the one to take her knowledge, experiences and wisdom to another level.  My choice of school is based on who her classmates will be: ie, what is the economic level, education, expectations and parenting style of most of the other families.  School is more about who she's associating with than developing her IQ and smarts.  The basic book smarts she can get anywhere really. But the true thinking is really up to me to foster. In most of the books I've read about childhood education they all seem to agree.  I pray that along the way she will get great, inspirational teachers who will help develop positive ideas on her role in the world.  But I've definitely changed my perspective on the whole thing and am focusing on what I can do to inspire her rather than hoping a system, school or director will. 

So, with that said, I'm excited for another year of school and another year of experience in the educational system.  I wonder how I'll feel next year.  Mostly, I pray P will always continue to love to learn.

Good Smells

We were at swimming class one day when a mom walked in smelling so good I had to ask her what she was wearing.  She couldn't remember but said it was her lotion not perfume because she never wore any.  She did remember that it was a patchouli and orange smell but she couldn't remember the brand.  The smell has stayed with me ever since.  It was soft and elegant without being over whelming.  

Yesterday while we were at Whole Foods I figured out a way to make my own lotion.  I regularly buy shea butter from a company called Now Solutions.  Shea butter doesn't have a smell. Well, it can actually smell a bit greasy but it does wonders for my skin.  I add a little essential oil to my pot and whip it up with my beauty stick so I can have a little essence of rose or ylang ylang.  Yesterday I saw patchouli and tangerine essential oils so I bought both and mixed them into a fresh pot.  It smells lovely! I'm in heaven and so is my skin. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Balance Bike

The pictures above are of P learning to ride her balance bike last week.  The small slopes in our front yard were perfect for her to get a feel for coasting.  But you can see she's not comfortable.  I was so proud of her. She kept doing the slopes over and over again despite clearly being outside of her comfort zone. Every day last week she asked to go out and ride her bike.  She's been determined to get control of it and to get her pedals on!  I'm so proud of that determination and the understanding that practice is what makes perfect.

Below are pictures of P from today. She started riding ramps a few days ago but had yet to gain her confidence and the ability to use her hand brake.  Today she got both!!! And again I loved that she kept wanting to ride the ramps "I just want to make sure I got it mom!".  The best part for me was seeing that sense of accomplishment she was feeling.  Nothing in the world beats that! Nothing!  And that feeling is what will drive her from today until the day she dies!!! 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Kid Car Wash

This car wash is just too cool!  I'd love to make one of these! Maybe next summer. The sponges and colors are so fantastic!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beaver House

I'm so far behind in documenting the little, funny, daily occurrences with P. Trying to play catch up.

A few weeks ago Dave cleaned off the back patio and P proceeded to take things and make a "beaver house".  It was entertaining to see the two of them out there spraying  things down and moving them around.  

The following day P started telling me about beavers and how they smack their tails in the water and how they swim under for safety.  I thought she had it all wrong so I pulled out the ipad and went on Wikipedia to get beaver pictures and info.  Turns out she was totally right!  She knew all these facts about beavers.  Dave and I were shocked.  Neither one of us knows where she got all this info.  We had just come back from Florida so it wasn't from school.  To this day we have no idea how she knows about beavers! 

I'm Funny

I asked P today what she thought was the best thing about herself.  Well, first I asked her what her best attribute was and she said "spending time with R"(her best friend). So, I explained "that's your favorite thing to do but I want to know what you think is your best attribute or the best part about you".  Without evening thinking she said "I'm funny".  I find her answer to be surprising and very curious.  Who knows they're funny at 3.5?  She obviously is aware of making others laugh and has figured out what makes people laugh.  

I've read that having whit means you are smart.  To make people laugh you have to have timing and be well informed, well-read and therefore be smart.  I've noticed our society norms consider people to fall into one of two categories either beautiful or funny.  Consider that when you go out on a blind date and the person setting you up says he/she is beautiful you leave it at that but if they say he/she is funny, has a good personality then you assume they aren't good looking.  Most comedians are not considered leading man/woman material because they don't have those striking good looks.  Two people who I think straddle these society norms are Steve Carell and Tina Fey, but neither are packaged as sexy.  And then there's Cameron Diaz she is sexy, beautiful and funny but her humor tends to be a bit on the raunchy, crass side. I think of all these standards and norms and I think of P's answer I'm excited to see how she will wear her humor and whit as she grows up.  Again, who knows they're funny at 3.5?