Monday, January 31, 2011

While You Were Out

So we redecorated the basement "apartment". Above is the girls "sitting" area where they can color and draw and play and read and all kinds of stuff.

I found a lot of cool posters (an actual movie poster for Harry Potter movie numero uno with the reverse side and errything ;-)). Forgive me for the Justin Bieber... Alanna refused to let me rip it in half. And next to the wonderful Charlie and the Chocolate Factory poster is where they put all their coloring books and art supplies. Purchased from Lakeside Collection.

That above is my makeshift bookshelf. With a Harry Potter bookend purchased when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was released (and the dragon you see by the Hatian treasure chest is Norbert!). And there was only one injury! I was attacked by a pushpin. But I think the finger's gonna make it!

I know it's not spectacular, but I used what I had. And I like it. :-P Maybe when I find more old posters I'll put those up there too.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

On A Bicycle Built For 2

Both of my girls have journeyed into the world of training wheels (I am aware Lydia is on a scooter in this picture.... her bike is in Maine at the moment).

And I can tell you, one thing Lydia does not lack is confidence. She thinks she can do just about anything in the world. So apparently she is a natural learner (when she listens, hehe). I know she's only 3 years old but I don't generally hear her say "I can't". When she figured out all she had to do was put her feet on the pedals and push, she didn't stop.

She's daring. She jumps off the stairs when she gets to the bottom. She used to ask if she could jump off the equipment at the playground, saying it was ok if she fell. She loves theme park rides and when she swings it's always "Higher!" or "Faster!"

Now Alanna... seems the polar opposite. When she was Lydia's age, she didn't like to swing too high. She was never the thrill seeking type. She was terrified to go on Splash Mountain at Disney world. She got a bike for Christmas. While we had some daylight left the other day I took her out to ride around a bit.

Seemed like every few seconds she threw her feet off the pedals and back down on the pavement because she thought she was going to tip over. Problem was she was going to slow to stop the bike from wobbling. So I gave the bike a push to get her going and off she went. Still has a problem with the breaks. She doesn't use them. Heh. Puts her feet down. Has ended up with a few scraps from the pedals for doing that.

She kept telling me that she sucked at bike riding. When I took her out, it was only her second time on an actual bike. She's ridden trikes and big wheels before but never an actual bicycle. I told her she was doing great, all she had to do was get started. I feel bad that she has that little confidence in herself. When there is absolutely no reason for it.

Good thing is though, that she's excited to keep learning. And I know she'll get the hang of it soon. And Lydia... well, she's only 3 and she'd probably tell you to take the training wheels off of her own bike before she rides it again. Haha.

Make sure you encourage your children. Don't get frustrated if they don't get it the first time. Or even the 2nd and 3rd times. Remember what it was like when you were young and trying to figure something out? Trying to learn something that scares you? Getting frustrated at them isn't going to make it any easier for them. Or for you. They need to know that you're behind them. That you're there to help them. Pick them up and dust them off if they fall down. Let them know it's ok to make mistakes. They want your approval. They want to make you proud. They don't need you to be upset with them to do that. And I can't tell you how many parents I've seen get ticked off at their kids for not "getting" it the first time.

I hope my girls know that I'm proud of them. Mistakes and all.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Time For An Outing

Today I met one of my favorite authors ever. Maggie Stiefvater. For those of you who don't know her, she's written amazing books like Shiver and Linger (and the upcoming release FOREVER) and books that I have not read (unfortunately, but believe me, I will be remedying that) Lament and Ballad.
She had a book signing at the Borders 5 minutes away from me. So of course, I packed up my kiddos and rolled on over. Meeting up with my best friend, her hubby, and their adorable little boy in the process.
Now... I had to find something for the girls to do, some way to entertain them while Maggie was talking, because let's face it... they LOVE to fight with each other. Non stop. All the time. Seriously. I decided, while looking desperately among the shelves for Lament and Ballad and coming up empty handed, to get them their own books. Both picked out sticker books. And apparently that meant they had to get toys as well. So Alanna picked out a little wolf, and Lydia picked out a little puppy dog. I found this funny considering we're at the signing of an author who writes about werewolves.
She's totally sweet and she's funny. Up until the invention of Facebook... I always pictured best selling authors (or really just any authors) as the stuffy, stuck up type. Intimidating and just kind of scary to be around. Being professional book writers and all.
With Maggie (and really, with most of the authors that I've had the pleasure of "meeting"), my impression of professional writers flew right out the window. As cliche as it sounds, she's a normal person. She lives maybe 20-30 minutes from where I grew up and spent most of my life. She's got a wicked sense of humor. She's completely down to earth. She found something she loved to do, and got other people to love what she does because she's so good at it.
She was even kind enough to take a picture with my girls after everyone at the signing had left with their books (or everyone that I saw, there were probably more after I left).
AND the icing on the cake?!? I was the first at the table (that's just how I roll) to get my books signed. Explained to her that, while I know she likes people to buy from the book store she does her signings in, I was unable to find any copies of her books that I HADNT read. So what does she do? Takes the copy of the UK version of Lament that she brought with her and told me that because I was the first person to the table, she'd give it to me!

So I'd say it was a pretty good day. My girls were relatively well behaved. I got to meet an amazing author/person. And I got to spend time with my best friend all at the same time.