Archive for November, 2010

Drawing and Writing

Monday, November 29th, 2010

[Portrait of Punk Rock Girl]

Ronin was impressed when Punk Rock Girl appeared in the Macy’s Parade last week. I asked who it was and she shouted “Punk Rock Girl!” and another little girl yelled “Raggedy Anne!” The looked at each other in confusion.

The parade was a big hit and afterwards we to the Sauvie Island tree farm to get a Chirstmas Tree. Ronin has been busy rearranging the lower ornaments ever since.

Here is an earlier work (April) from when she was just starting to make clearly representational pictures. Can you guess which one is Punk Rock Girl?

She’s also really interested in reading and spelling. Here’s an example of writing her own name. Remarkably only slightly worse than my own penmanship. She finds her lack of hand coordination really frustrating though. She knows what she wants to write but just can’t make the shapes. I showed her how to type words on the computer and she’s really excited about that. She’ll type her own name over and over and asks me to spell things to type out.

We haven’t spent too much time explaining letter sounds but she clearly understands the concept of reading. She can recognize all our names and some other words on sight. I know that there is a long standing controversy about sight reading vs phonics. I learned to sight read and I partially blame this for my inability to spell. However, I think sight reading is a simpler concept. Going from letters to sounds to a word is too many steps for her right now, but it’s pretty easy for her to just memorize a word. Mostly I teach her by pointing to the words as I read. She can answer questions like “Which word is Cat?” Then if I ask how to spell it she can read the letters off the page.

She spends a lot of play time “reading” books to herself. Of course, she isn’t really concentrating on the written words. She just memorizes the story after a couple of repetitions with mom and dad.

Fairy Ballerina

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

When we asked Ronin what she wanted to be for Halloween we got the predictable answer, “Bat Bear!” Although it would have been easy just to go with that, her bat bear outfit has seen a lot of wear over the last year. We had to bring the subject up a few times to get her to commit to a second choice. “A ballet dancer.” She loves to watch ballet on Youtube (Here’s a favorite and she’s recently shown a deep interested in Mother Ginger) and plays ballet dancer a lot. Some sort of tutu was on a list of things she needed anyway. It’s clear that she’ll get a lot of use out of it and we’ve already had a few fights to get it off.

We went by The Kennedy School again to trick-or-treat and see all the other costumes. Then we met up with some other toddlers in a part of town rumored to go all out for Halloween. They weren’t kidding either. The center of it all was a corner house with a couple of hearses out front and an Elvis impersonator on stage. We were through early and it appeared to be just ramping up on our way out.

Ronin loves the candy, of course, but we are mean parents and only allow it on days when she consents to eat reasonably healthy food. When we do let her have some I put a selection on a plate and let her choose one. She makes funny choices. I would have always gone for biggest one, but she often picks out one of the smallest. Maybe she just hasn’t figured out yet that larger package means more of it.

Mount St. Helens

Friday, November 5th, 2010

I wanted to get up to Mount St. Helens this year since it’s the 30th anniversary of the eruption and I haven’t been up there in at least 15. I thought we had missed our chance, but we had a few beautiful days this week so we made the trip.

The Johnston Ridge Observatory was closed for the season and the place was mostly deserted. The wind blasted us with grit as we peeked over the edge and I could barely hold the camera still enough to get a picture. Ronin enjoyed our stories about the mountain exploding, but hated being out in the wind.

[Coldwater Lake]

[Sliver Lake]

On the way out we stopped at Silver Lake to hunt for giant maple leaves and mushrooms. There were many but mostly not the mushrooms we wanted. I did find one large lobster.

Cheyenne Weil, Joshua Coxwell