sábado, maio 23, 2009

Sometimes in the afternoons, Ju and I will do sort of research projects to figure out how things work, mostly focusing on science. We spent some days looking at videos of tornadoes and hurricanes and discussing them because of the recent weather patterns.

He has always be very fascinated by the elevators in the mall, watching them go up and down, so we made our own elevator on the stairs one day to learn about pulleys. It was a good time for Ju and for Duse who thought that we had hung string that moved just for him to play with.

Ju got annoyed several times as Duse would quickly knock our string off the pulley with his constant pawing, but I think all in all the activity was a success.
Ju generally wakes me up early on any given day when I'd rather not be up early. It begins with him running into our room, getting on me in bed, usually asking for me to look at this thing he made with leggos or playdough or grabbing a cat who was pleasantly sleeping on my legs or my hair. He will run in and out of the room for about 20 minutes, and then begin telling me to get up because he wants breakfast. Usually I can waylay him a bit if I don't want to get up quite yet and he finds something else to do until I go downstairs. This morning was much the same story, except when I rolled over and told him to give me a few more minutes, he took it upon himself to get what he wanted. I could hear him moving things around downstairs, and eventually I heard the sound of granola being poured in a bowl. As the granola is kept on a shelf above the sink, I decided I had better get up in case he was doing something even more dangerous than climbing up on the kitchen counter. He must have been really hungry and unwilling to wait for me, got his stool from the bathroom, used it to climb up on the counter, got down the granola and the cashew nuts, climbed back down, got his own bowl out, served himself half the container of granola (about 2 cups) into the bowl, and was just about to put milk on it which he had gotten out of the fridge on his own as well. Although it's nice to see him so independent and it may mean I get to sleep in in the future, it may end up being an awful waste of food. Maybe it's time to put a scoop in the granola, and perhaps take it out of the glass container and put it in plastic instead.


As I was typing this, we had this conversation.

"mommy, look, the car is on the pedga."

"it's on a what?"

"it's a pegda."

"a playdough?"

"no, a pegda!"

"a peda?"

"no, a pega!"

"a what? a prega" (nail)

"no! a peda!"

"a playdough?"

"no! something else, hard!" (hits his fist on the floor beside the car)

"oh! you mean a pebble?"

"yeah, a peddle."

sábado, maio 09, 2009

We went to the supermarket today to do our big bimonthly shopping trip. To pass the time, Ju and I wandered over to look at the fish on ice. There were some whole salmon and some red fish. One of the red fish was chopped up into fillets, yet still connected by the skin and with the head attached. Ju and examined it and had the following conversation.

"Mommy, why's it like that?"

"All chopped up? Why do you think it's like that?"

"Because the tubarão came and shwish shwish swish." (motions what I think is swimming)

"The shark came and cut it up?"

"Yeah, he cut it."

"How did he cut it, do you think? With a knife?"

"No, he did it with his sail." (he has been studying dinosaurs at school and is probably thinking of Spinosaurus)

"Oh, you mean his fin? On his back, right?"

"Yeah, he cut it with his fin. He came and went swish swish swish."

quarta-feira, maio 06, 2009

Ju has figured out ANY is part of the negation of English, so he says things like "Mommy, there is any cars coming. We can cross."
More rain.

A friend had told me yesterday her house was filling up with water - today I heard she lost everything. There was over a meter of water in her house. I can't get in contact with her and I want to know how she is and what she needs. She has two boys.

terça-feira, maio 05, 2009

Are you paranoid about swine flu? We sure are. There are stories passing left and right about confirmed cases (there have been no confirmed cases in Brazil, as of yet), paranoid parents wanting me to tell them about every sniffle or cough that I witness in the class, people canceling their trips to Disney, you name it. At the moment I can feel myself getting a cold of some kind, nose feels like it's filling up with something, feeling a bit tired. Just watch, I'll go to school sick tomorrow and the parents will assume I caught swine flu just because I am American (yes, seriously, some of these parents think that way and I wouldn't put it past them to tell people they meet as much as well).

And lets not even worry about the rain (more on This Week in Bahia). It has been raining a lot lately, as it usually does at this time of year. The last week of April had more rain here than was predicted for the entire month. It's still the first week of May and we have already surpassed our expected rainfall for May as well. It has been raining pretty much nonstop since Saturday. Today the whole city was a giant traffic jam. I had kids who were supposed to go home at 12 still in my classroom at 2:40. Parents couldn't get to the school to get them, and the ones that were able to arrive where then stuck there with no way out with all the flooding. By 12 several people were out digging canals in the playground to try to direct the water around the building instead of into the preschool classrooms. I tried to make it an educational experience anyway and took the kids in small groups to look around at what was happening to the grounds. On the news they recommended that one not drive on the roads that usually flood during heavy rains - they listed every road that is a "main vein" to get to anywhere else in the city, except the Orla, which is two lanes in each direction. The mayor, or someone, advised everyone to just stay put at home for their personal saftey, lest they end up floating away in their cars. Mostly people were just stuck wherever they were at 10:30 when the major rain really began taking hold. Ceilings caved in, houses collapsed, lakes and rivers filled up, taking over roads flooding houses. And this isn't an unknown phenomenon - it happens nearly every year. Why nothing is done to improve drainage is beyond me. I don't want to think about it too much because there is nothing I can do to change it.

Ju's 4th birthday, by some miracle, was clear, cool and miraculously rainless. We got a bit more involved with games this year and sent the kids running all over to find the hidden 4s we had concealed all over the garden after a rousing game of pin the baby stegosaurus on the mommy stegosaurus. One of my favorite parts of Ju's birthday is to have my best friends here in one place for a day. Two of my girlfriends always stay till late (they are the LIXO as we say here, they go out with the garbage, when the party is over) with kids and husbands and everyone has a great time. I learned my lesson from last year and used only non-dye-running materials to decorate and therefore was able to actually enjoy the party. Ju was the only one to go in the pool, initially because he dropped a new car and it sank to the bottom (did I mention that he swims to the bottom of the pool by himself now?) and then I think just for the joy of trying to get the other kids wet. It wasn't exactly pool weather as I was cool enough to leave my hair down, but I think he is slowly turning into a fish, or perhaps a bobcat - don't they swim?

We have been reading The Missing Piece Meets the Big O. Ju has many parts of it memorized and likes to practice the exchanges with me at odd times during the day. He also can pick up the book and "read" some of it to us. He has learned several phrases and words just from watching things like Oswald and Sesame Street on DVD and now I see he is beginning to get more of them from books as well. The book fair is coming up at school, so I hope he will finally get to acquire a book of his choosing. I am curious to see what his tastes are and what they may be based on. He loves all the books I have chosen for him in the past.

I have been sewing a lot lately, creating things that come to my head during water bike. I don't have enough time to do them all justice. Eventually I will put some photos.

In other news, I see my Sandal boots have arrived in the States, finally. Come on USA, get with it - they came in and seem to have gone out of style almost a year ago!