Wednesday, April 30, 2008

a few of our favorite things

dining al fresco

ethan reading Drake's book on CD with andrew

"mommy, this is my favorite shirt!!"

ethan working at his "new" (circa 1960) desk

spring has come in like a cheetah (kola's newest fav animal) - almost faster than we can see. ethan exclaimed out the window at breakfast the other morning - mom! look!!!!! from his reaction, i thought the cable guy was mooning him, but when i got to the window, i saw that shelley's peonies had grown a foot over night. a la little shop of horrors. the garden is exploding with fireworks of color that change at least once a day. kola wakes up around 7 each morning and starts with a steady stream of, "go outside? yeah? mommy, yeah? five minutes? a hundred and five minutes?" part of his motivation is to start up his vehicles. something clicked a couple days ago and after nearly a year of trying, he figured out how to pedal. he was soooooo excited, and now i have to wear my track shoes when we go outside.

kola's vocabulary has exploded too. he talks non stop and names everything. he'll walk in a room and say - tissue, toilet paper, hot water, cold get the idea. he has gotten quite in depth with his naming of train cars and trucks - i have to study to keep up with it - the more detailed the name, the better he likes it. backhoe and excavator and forklift are so three weeks ago - his brain is craving multi-syllabic complicated words. when i say a new, long word, he giggles and tries it again and again until he matches it perfectly. my favorite kola quote of the week came when we attended my niece jennifer's ice show last weekend. kola sat on my lap bouncing to the music, anticipating the spotlights, and admiring the skaters in their costumes. it may have been the copacabana number (barry manilow - admit you remember it!) when kola saw a skater and said, "mommy - she has gloves on with her bathing suit!!" perhaps you can picture it. we all had a good laugh on that one. kola also likes to ask, "mamma - who's that guy??" might be a girl, guy, lady, man. i may say "i don't know" and he'll ask louder or say "huh?" last time i said 'i didn't know that guy (a woman)' he said "that's dover and he drives a pickup truck." problem solved.

ethan's quote of the week was, "mom, when kola had his overnight at grandma and grandpa's house, it was quiet here. and when i had my overnight at grandma and grandpa's house, it was quiet there." re: a fav piece of candy, ethan said, "this is very good. it tastes like grandma or grandpa or their garage." more favs. ethan's preschool took a tour of a parking garage today and ethan was very excited to meet the security guard because of the huge number of keys she had. ethan had her go through each key and name what it was for. you may know that is one of ethan's fav hobbies. he can correctly ID all keys on several friends' and neighbors' keychains, and when he meets you, if you have keys in your hand, he'll ask you about each one. in the two years he's been doing this, we've found that probably 80% of people surveyed carry at least one key on their chain that they can't ID. his favorite art teacher gave him an unidentified key off her ring and that's a prized possession. ethan has three sets of keys totaling about 45 keys. they "lock and unlock" all our doors, including the linen closet, and his vehicles. for thanksgiving, he said he was thankful for grandma, grandpa, and their garage. for christmas, he wanted a three car garage with a remote door (sadly, we have none.) when he sees shelley's garage go up next door, he's very excited and sometimes he'll get to open and close it. about a year ago, ethan memorized our neighbor colin's football schedule. he'd put a lawnchair in our front lawn and wait until colin and his dad would come out so he could use their key fob to open the sliding door on their nissan quest. pat told me they'd always try to leave a couple minutes early to fit us in:)

one of my favorite things lately has been working with our park district to develop an environmental policy. a little out of my comfort zone of knowledge, but i get to dust off my project management skills and it's been fun to use that part of my brain again. i'm chairing a team of about 10 to develop this policy practically from scratch and somewhat by quilting together pieces from other entities. it includes guidelines on the installation and maintenance of biodiverse/natural areas, trees, and recycling/energy efficiency programs. it's close to 70 pages and is awaiting park board approval...then on to implementation. one of the goals is to support the park district in managing their existing biodiverse areas and targeting spots in the park system for new ones, so we'll soon be recruiting park stewards and volunteers to work in those spaces (if you're interested...!)

sig has also been busy with his annual crisis intervention conference that he has co-chaired for years with his friend barry. they recruit speakers and attendees and host a weekend in a chicago hotel for an exchange of ideas in that genre. a wide range of professionals from around the country attend, and barry and the conference are definitely on sig's favorite things list!

thanks for checking in....more soon!! xo b/s/e/k

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