Saturday, September 30, 2006

Catching up

Ah Saturday. Life is busy these days. Here are some updates:

Kitchen Remodel Project: We are about 6 weeks into our kitchen remodel. The cabinets are all up. We got a dishwasher, the hood, the stove/oven, all waiting to be installed. I sold my china cabinet for $550 to a nice newly married couple who lives a few miles from here. Still to do is: get a sink, make a decision on the countertops, finalize the paint colors, finish the cabinet drawers and doors, get the new French door in the back re-hung (long story), re-finish the primer on the walls. I think once we decide on the countertop, we'll have about a month left on this. So, we continue to eat out all the time. We've been spending a lot of time with Uncle Bill and Grandpa Larry, doing laundry and watching HGTV over there. Maiya loves going to visit over there. Breakfast at home, dishes in the bathtub, dust all around. I'm hoping that maybe we can be finished in time for my birthday next month and have a little get-together and unveil the new kitchen. If not, then maybe we can do New Year's oshogatsu here.

Back in School: I think I mentioned that I am taking a class at SMC one night a week. Wow, did I ever underestimate how much work would be involved. I am enjoying it, and find the Early Childhood Education class applies to my interests, my life as a mom, and as the administrator for a large ECE program at work. Last night, I studied for 3 hours, and only advanced 1 1/2 of the 4 chapters I need to have read by Tuesday. One exciting thing is that I had to observe a preschool classroom.

I went to Play Mountain Place and totally loved it. It's a humanistic alternative school which bases its curriculum on learning through play. The children spend all day outside if they choose it looks like such a great place to be. Children direct their learning and their play. Conflict resolution, social justice, the environment, peace, are important concepts to the school, so you can see why it would appeal to me. My friend Hector and Hisayo's 4 kids went there, and Hisayo used to teach there. I found out on my visit that their daughter teaches there now. I just recently put Maiya on the waiting list for a preschool at one of the Buddhist temples in Little Tokyo, but I am really interested in this school for Maiya. It reminded me of the Open Air Nursery I read about in my textbook, and of the freedom schooling concepts that my mentor Grace Lee Boggs talks about a lot, and of the unschooling movement that is so interesting to me.

Working in J-town: My work is busy busy busy. The director of our program left last week, so I have temporarily taken on the overseeing of our infant toddler site. I am learning a lot, and I am searching desperately for a new director, so that I can get back to my regular work. But I am heading into my busy period, the quarterly state reports.

Life at Home: Tony and I are enjoying life with Maiya immensely. There are definitely some rough moments living with a strong-willed toddler, and I find that whining is exhausting and irritates me very much. We've had a rough time with getting Maiya into the car seat again lately, although we're working on it. Continuing to be difficult are teeth-brushing and nail clippin. But... the best stuff is the happy squealing and laughter that fills our lives. Every day Maiya does something new or learns something and it just amazes us. She knows signs and can point out or identify so many things. When we read books, she knows makes the sign for bunny or frog, or will make the sounds of a crocodile (not sure where she got it from cause i never heard a crocodile actually). While she's not talking much, she's babbling all day long and she communicates and understands almost everything we say or ask. It is amazing how quickly she is growing and now she is this independent little being in our ilves that requires her own meals at restaurants. She even has her own MySpace page, so check it out.

This afternoon, I caught up on a much needed nap after having breakfast with my oldest friend Maria for the first time this year. I woke up to Maiya playing with her bears on the bed, tucking them in and her drawing in my journal. I surely can't complain.

Well, that's the latest over here. Drop us a comment below (please!) and let us know you're out there, and if you made it all the way through this post.



mamalife said...

My gal also used to screech as if I was murdering her when I clipped her nails. Now she gladly sits for it because she knows then I will paint them. When her polish chips, she asks me to re-do it... so, I'm sure this will pass for you also!

allison said...

Hi Jenni and Maiya, I enjoyed your post very much, checked out the link to Play Mountain Place. I'd never heard of it before, but the philosophy/history looks very interesting. I'm going to keep it in mind as Devin gets older - who knows, perhaps he and Maiya will end up in that school together!? I like their focus on developing children's love for learning. That is something they'll use all through life. Good luck with the rest of your remodeling, and hope to see you soon. -- Allison