Thursday, August 13, 2009

Busy Bees

Well, this has been a rather busy summer for the Peck-Creech clan.

Sy has almost finished the first Suzuki book, and has now begun improvising with left hand chords and right hand virtuosity. He gives us regular concerts. This involves zero negotiation, since he sees this as a joyful act in and of itself. Alfie Kohn would be proud.

Violet is learning how to use the potty all on her own, without the "help" (or hindrance, shall we say) of the infamous (and ineffective, perhaps even traumatizing) potty party touted by some as "effective" and "enjoyable" (yeah, right.) Okay, so maybe we are clapping and singing her praises, but there is no chocolate or threat involved, so I think we're on the right track.

We are watching our garden grow (and get rather weedy). The kids can identify all of the mints, the zinnias and bee balm, and enjoy walking on the cushy irish sagina moss around the wigwam.

We have spotted a hummingbird at the bee balm, and have discovered lots of wildlife in the backyard: besides the usual suspects (caterpillars, toads, rabbits, deer) we have a large family of wild turkeys that walk through a couple of times per day, browsing in the butterfly garden. Our woodchucks have disappeared - I imagine they have found other foraging spots, but we certainly miss them.

The Waldschule has taken off! Our first trip was to Mendon Ponds Park with the Rochester Butterfly Club. There we were introduced to a variety of caterpillars, including that of the Cecropia Moth (beware of hairy and colorful caterpillars - they can be aggressive!)

We also saw a crysalis up close

spotted a Common Wood Nymph

a White Admiral

and a Cicada Killer (including two flying through the air, bum-to-bum, in a mating dance!)

We ended the afternoon with a lovely picnic while the kids frolicked under the trees and transformed into birds of prey.

Sy has started reading the Bob Books First! series and thinks they're pretty cool. He has read almost all of the first book in the first series. It has also been the summer of the fairy tale, and we have been reading our favorite Grimm and Andersen tales all summer (only the Svend S. Otto and Lisbeth Zwerger versions, of course, since we adore the illustrations!) and listening to a few on LP. Violet continues to ignore her ABCs and give all the wrong answers when you ask "what color is this?" I think she's figured out that she's "supposed" to know and is just pulling one over on us.