September 17, 2005

Catching Up, and Letters

I know, I know, it's been too long since I posted. Life is like that sometimes. Deal. ;-)

Last weekend, Matt's fundraiser garnered about $350; they had to end it early since the thunder and lightning started. No one wants to be responsible for teenagers running around in the lightning. It is, however, $350 more than the team had when they started the day, so, hooray! The next day, Sunday, was a whopper; we went to church, picnicked, Matt managed to get to the store while Laura and Emily took a brief siesta, and we went to the library before they closed at 5:00 (I am still not sure how, since we didn't leave church until 1:45 or so...). It was good to see the Vic again!

The library was a hoot. Laura had been earning "book bucks" all summer for the hours she spent reading (o.k., being read to), one "buck" per hour, and Sunday was the last day to spend those "bucks" at a little shop set up for that purpose in the library. She got a little sort of magic-wand thing, with mylar streamers and something that rattles in the end of it (10 bucks) and the first American picture book ever: "Millions of Cats." (the remaining 20 bucks; we read more, but you get raffle tickets for any time over 30 hours). Having waited literally until the last few minutes of the last day, the selection was less than stellar. On the other hand, she's really enjoyed the wand, and the book is one that I remember from my childhood, so I'm glad to have it. If you've never read it, it has a refrain with a great, driven meter (try saying it!) : "Hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats!" Certainly an appropriate choice for our household.

The other fun part was that I had, oh, about a minute to grab some books for myself. So I rolled Emily over to the paperbacks, and grabbed virtually at random, trying not to get anything I'd already read. Sort of the blind date approach to reading, I guess. As a result, I'm part way through Tom Clancy's "Rainbow Six", which will probably end up being a read-it-once guilty pleasure.

On a related note--since it goes with reading, doncha know--Laura has learned all her letters (the capitals, anyhow.) It wasn't on purpose. Grandma Pat gave her a bag full of soft, stuffed letters shortly after Emily arrived (or before? I forget now...) So she's been learning with those, as she carries them over to me to ask what they are. She's been learning shapes at the same time, which I don't think is a coincidence--she's getting that whole symbolic/spatial intelligence thing going on. Then, our neighbors--they of the double stroller--brought over a toy they're not using anymore called Fridge Phonics. It has a whole set of the alphabet, and each letter can be "plugged in" to a base unit that plays a little tune and tells you what the letter is and what it says. So now we have a not-yet-two-year-old who can't always make herself understood (who can?;-)), but knows the alphabet. And some of its sounds.

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