Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Twinkle, twinkle...

Last night Zach woke up in the middle of the night and stood on my belly to open the hatch. He let the cold air whoosh in and popped his head out in to the night.

"Zach what are you doing?!?!?" I mumbled in an antibiotic induced haze (I have pneumonia).

"I'm trying to find the North Star. Where's the North Star mommy?"

"North" I said with my eyes sealed shut hoping this would be the end of the conversation.

"Where north? I can't see it! I need to find it mommy!"

"Honey why do you need to find the north star."

"Sailors use the north star, and I'm a sailor. The north star is like a compass to sailors. It's how we know where we're going."


Then I fell back asleep. I assume he found it because when I woke up later the hatch was closed and he was sleeping. Sideways. With his head pointing north.

Monday, December 24, 2007


I was getting dressed and tidying up in our room and he was
unusually quiet up in the salon. If you have a 3 year old boy you know, they are never quiet.

So I crept up expecting the worst (permanent marker on the walls, the
dog getting a haircut while he sleeps...) and there he is quietly at
the table with pen in hand.

Now this is the child who NEVER draws. At all. Anything. Crayons and
paper just don't do it for him. Except for making "hieroglyphics" in
marker on the walls (thank goodness we have a big plastic catamaran we
can bleach) I have never seen him make any marks on paper.

So I say, "hey Z what are you doing?"

I look and he has some dry erase cards that are supposed to be play
postcards for a play mailbox he has. He found the dry erase marker and
he was drawing on the cards. I bought the set because he really wanted
a mailbox. And we've never done anything further with the rest of the
contents. Each little "postcard" has a lower case and capital letter
on it and he was carefully tracing every letter of the alphabet on
these cards and then trying to write the letter himself in the blank
space next to it!!!!

I almost passed out! I have had unschoolers tell me he would just
magically one day become interested in things like hand writing and
math and do it on his own and I thought "yeah, right."

And here he was. My son who has never even drawn me a picture --
he BEAMED and said "Mommy I can write just like you do!"

And now he pulls out this set and "practices" his letter writing
practically every morning. On his own free will. Quietly.

Here's he funny kicker. I asked him one of those ridiculous grown up
questions when I first saw how well he was copying the letters... I
said "Wow, who taught you how to write like that honey?"

He said: "Thoth."

Hmmmmm. Mommy is stumped. Maybe it's a friend from somewhere I don't
remember. Hmmmm???

"Honey, who is Thoth?"

Zach sighs like he is forever trying to explain things to us silly
adults. "He's the Egyptian god of writing."

I googled it. He's right.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Celebrating the Seasons...

This year we got inspired to make Waldorf-style "nature tables" for each season. Basically Zach and I go out walking in the woods or just around and he collects things that he finds for the season. Then we add this and that from crafts we do, or things we get from friends.
Here is our winter nature table... so far.

And this is the one we did for the fall...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

November 3 2007

My little guy is growing so fast!

What should I be for Halloween?

Zach LOVES Halloween. He's been pondering the dress up possibilities... and this is a boy who loves dressing up. So he wanted to be a shark, a farmer, an astronaut, a llama, a police man, a pilot, a fire man, a doctor,a king, a paleontologist, a WIZARD...

A pirate...?

A knight...?

FINALLY... a decision... SCUBA diver!

We spent the afternoon before Halloween at the old folks home where Zach and I used to volunteer each week. We got 6 of his friends together in costume and the kids paraded around yelling "Happy Halloween" bringing many smiles from the old folks. Then we had a big Halloween party here at the marina for the kids with pizza and pumpkin muffins and crafts and flashlights and glowing things. It was a blast! The next day on Halloween we went to a party at Zach's school and then trick-or-treated with our boat neighbor Mackenzie.

Dalai Lama Preschool Wisdom

Zach and I decided to take the metro into DC yesterday because it was a lovely fall day and he wanted to ride the big merry-go-round and I wanted to see the houses from the Solar Decathlon (

After walking around a lot, a picnic lunch on the National Mall, ice cream, and lots of exploring I was ready to head home. I noticed a large crowd at the Capitol and asked a woman what was going on down there.

She said "The Dalai Lama is about to speak."

Decision time. It's warm out. Z is hot and tired. Do I schlep him one mile down and then one mile back to hear the Dalai Lama speak. Or do I cut my losses, go home, and read about it on the news.

I hear the Tibetan horns bellow all the way down the great green lawn, I grab Z's hand, fling him on to my hip and say "let's go!"

One mile later, we make it down there just in time to join the crowd and hear the Dalai Lama speak. Of course Z was more interested in picking dry dead fish out of the drained reflecting pool and chasing pigeons. But it was amazing just being there.

Then Zach asks "Why are ALL of these people here to see a MONK?"

I have his Montessori preschool teacher, Miss Sherry, to thank for the answer. When the children say their final goodbyes at the end of the school day, the teacher has them press their hands together over their heads, then over their hearts and say: "Namaste, the good in me sees the good in you" and that is how they end the day.

So I used that to tell him the 3 year old version of why all of these people came here to see this monk:

"The Dalai Lama once lived in a magical, beautiful land called Tibet and lived in a beautiful gold castle on a mountain top. He spent his days with the people he loved reading, and singing, and helping his neighbors. One day some people came to his land, burned down the buildings, took all of his books and toys, and hurt his friends and family.

But the Dalai Lama did not hurt the men back, he did not burn down their homes, he did not even use mean words.

He just said "Namaste: the good in me, sees the good in you."

And then mean men got so angry they ran the Dalai Lama out of his beautiful land, and ruined the castle, and hurt more people. But the Dalai Lama still didn't get mad. He just said again "Namaste: the good in me sees the good in you."

And he's been saying that for a LONG time. And even though many years have passed, the mean guys still won't let him go home. And he STILL says "Namaste: the good in me sees the good in you."

Most people would get mad, and hurt the bad guys back, or say mean things to them. But he doesn't. And most people think he is the nicest guy in the whole world because of that.

And that's why all of these people are here to see this monk. Because if more people did what he does, and always said "the good in me sees the good in you" instead of getting angry when things go bad, the world would be a better place."

To which Zach replied: "Oh. Ok. Can we go back to the merry-go-round now?"

I said, "Sure pal, let's go." But before we walked away he turned toward the speaker's podium and pressed his hands together over his head and heart and whispered "Namaste. It's good that you see the good in me and all those bad guys too."

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

First Day Of School (September 6, 2007)

Zach started his first day of preschool today at a sweet little Montessori School across town. He told me , "My tummy feels excited and scared, it wants to go and then it doesn't want to go."
In the end, I only hung out for 20 minutes before he was ready to strike out on his own for the morning. His teachers are so wonderful and thoughtful and they've created an amazing environment for 12 very lucky kids.

The Reading Loft

Finally he told me, no more pictures and kissed me good-bye!

My boy is growing up!

The State Fair (Labor Day 2007)

A Late Summer Day

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