Name Changes

Haven’t had a lot to share recently, in case anyone was wondering about the lack of updates.  I wanted to share something very cute from last night, though.

Yesterday, I was reading a new library book to the girls, which included a bunch of kids names in a preschool.  Everything was going well until I hit the name Francesca.  For the life of me, I couldn’t remember how to pronounce it.  I tried Franseska, Fransheska, Fransheshka, nothing seemed to sound right.  I told the girls that we’d have to wait for Mommy to come back from elsewhere in the house, and then we could ask her.

Eliana, in her almost-5-year-old wisdom, said “We can just call her Stella.”  So we did, after I could breathe again from laughing so hard.


Artwork by Eliana

Eliana’s been in camp since mid-June, which is when she transitions to the next year’s class and stays there in the Fall.  I don’t know if her new teachers are more encouraging about her art skills, or if she’s naturally getting better as she gets older, but the drawings she’s been bringing home have been much improved over the usual random scribbles we’ve seen over the last few years.

I started a gallery of them, and will add to it as time goes on.  Framed original versions are available for $49.95 plus shipping and handling.  These drawings, much like the commemorative plates put out by the Franklin mint, will only go up in value as time goes on, so be sure to take advantage of this exclusive offer now!

Duck Photos

Based on the covers of these books, you might not think they’d have anything in common.

At least, I certainly didn’t think so. The book on the left, with the ducks, is one she’s had for a couple of years now, and used to be one of her favorites. But she hasn’t spent a lot of time with it for a while now. The book on the right, with the polar bears, is much newer, and was a gift from friends of ours.

On Friday night, Eliana asked me to read her the book on the right. So we start reading. And we get to this page:

Eliana tells me to stop reading, and she runs off to her bedroom. A minute later, she returns with the duck book, turns to a page, and says “matchy patchy!” So I look closely at the two images. And I look closer still. Here’s the one from the duck book:

Needless to say, I was shocked that she’d made an association I never would have in a million years. When we showed Rina a short time later, she was also amazed. Yes, there’s a few differences (two too many ducks in the drawn version, for example), but it’s obvious the drawing was based off of this photograph. Such a scarily smart girl, that one is.

Here are the two pages side by side for comparison, click on the image to make it bigger if needed.

Maya Really Walking

Last time, I mentioned Maya figured out that she could walk while holding onto something. Over the past week, she was starting to get the idea that she could walk unassisted, but would only take one or two steps before falling. Yesterday, right after she woke up, she started walking and never looked back.

Maya Walking

Just because Eliana can read and write now (sorta), doesn’t mean Maya’s not making her own achievements. Aside from teething (two, maybe three teeth in the space of a week) and probably having a bad cold as well, and thus being pretty miserable for the last few days, Maya’s also learning that she doesn’t need to crawl in order to get around. A couple of years ago, friends of ours lent us a walker-like toy with things to play with on the front. Eliana never used it that much for walking; she was just on the cusp when we got it, she figured out how to walk a day later, and never looked back except to play with the gadgets on the front. Other than that, it’s mostly sat around.

But now, Maya’s figured out that she can use it to walk, and now we can’t stop her. Almost literally; if we try to pick her up, she clings onto the handlebar for dear life. If we succeed in extracting her, she wails like there’s no tomorrow (which is usually how she wails, to which anyone who’s ever heard her can attest). The video below is her shortly after she figured out how to use the toy.

Eliana Reading

So, my last entry was about Eliana learning to write. So it seems fair to talk about her ability to read.

We had a parent-teacher conference a couple of months ago, and her teacher mentioned how Eliana is her little helper; when it comes time to pass out items to the kids in her class, Eliana can read their names off of the items and pass them to the appropriate child. Last night, I tested this ability, by writing out names of the kids in her class. Eliana only had trouble with the names that started with M.

The painful screaming in the background is her sister, who was unhappy her cuteness wasn’t being put on display. Okay, really she had just decided that she didn’t want to sleep because she had a new tooth coming in. We went to comfort her right after this video finished. Really.