Sunday, October 30, 2011

Party Anyone?

October has been pretty busy in your social calendar.

Avi's Birthday.  Avi has Indian and Peruvian backgrounds, but was born in Costa Rica ;) where his parents lived for 5 years before moving to Quito this year. To the left of Avi is Antoine who is French and has been here since last year. 

You got this really cool ring from the pinata at Eithan's birthday.  
When I asked if it was an emerald ring you said: No! It is a diamond ring Mom (bling!)

Leandro had a pool party. Need I say more?

Then we have the regularly scheduled BBQ with your Dads office crowd. 
One at our place.

Where you hosted Martina and Luciana.
Love that you wanted to wear your Costa Rica dress.

And the other a Colorados place.
With Rafaela and Lana

and Ximena. 

Colorado was nice enough to let you use his drum set

Check it out Tio Xavi: lo que se hereda no se hurta!

Finally, what will october be without Halloween

From L to R: Eithan, Gabriel, Spidergirl (thanks Tita for the cool cosutme!), Ana Victoria and Naomi

Con la Sofi 

Trying out some of Spideys moves

With the wicked witch of the west ;P

Today I am grateful for candy! wohooo!


The most wonderful thing happened this month.

Since you started going to school (at 20 months) you had, at least once a week, dragged your feet and complained about having to go.  However, during the month of October you have not complained once, not even a little bit and I think this is WONDER-FUL mostly because it makes me WONDER-LESS: I don't have to wonder if someone is bullying you, or if your teacher is nice to you or if you are making any friends or if you are bored.  Ahhhh... relief!

This is your class: Spacehouse.  
You think your teacher Tia Lore rocks and you have 3 very close friends.
La Sofia who is standing right next to you and who refuses to wear her uniform.
El Gabriel (first boy standing from left to right), you think he is the funniest kid in your class.
El Leandro (third boy sitting from left to right) who is very active and whom you have learned to calm down by stroking his head.
You've had cool stories about both play and learning at school almost every day.
Estas dos ultimas semanas has aprendido mucho acerca de la Amazonia. 
Has hecho serpientes, cervatanas, has explorado la ropa y hábitos de los indios.

Every time we go by a bookstore you ask to go in and either you browse through a book on your own or ask me to read you one. Last week while at the bookstore, you asked me to find you a book about the Amazonia :D. I ran like a mad woman looking for one, ecstatic that you were motivated to learn more about a subject that had peeked your interest.

The timing of this event could not have been better, since I had been obsessing the past couple of months over choosing your "big" kid school by doing research, visiting campuses, meeting with teachers, filling in applications and weighing things like:
collaborative or competitive?
curriculum based or themed based?
small or large?
diverse or homogenous, and then what kind of diversity (nationality, economically, religious)?
solid art programme or solid sports programme?
What about the friends you have now, would it be better for you to go to the same school most of them go to, given all the changes you have been and will continue to be exposed to?
and so on...

So when you asked for that book I was reminded of the single most important expectation I have for any learning institution and that is for it to nurture the natural curiosity children have and allow for them to run with it.

This was a calming realization and so we choose the Cotopaxi Academy. You went in for you admission evaluation with the school psychologist and "played" with her for well over an hour and were eagerly admitted.  I took you on a tour of the facilities and you liked them a lot. So hopefully the transition will be a good one a year from now.

In the meantime, there is still plenty of time to continue to enjoy playtime and the friends you have made there. As well as those activities you have come to love
like ballet

while we explore new ones like baseball

Today I am grateful for that spark of self directed learning.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Twinkle Toes

We checked out a new place last weekend, its called Hosteria San Jose. Hosterias are very common place here in Ecuador, they are a combination of hotel, meeting place and park.

It has a great playground, indoor pool and 

horses! It was a good way to spend a day out and about.

Las week we also visited your Dads office for the first time. You had been asking us to take you for a while and just had not gotten around to it yet.

Your Dad took us on a tour of the operation floor and were introduced to many of his co workers. We even had lunch at the cafeteria. You were very impressed :)

Every night before your bedtime story, I ask you what your favorite thing of that day was and then we thank God for it. That day you grinned real big and said visiting my Dads office!! 

This new school year you have chosen ballet as an extra curricular activity. 
Its your second go at it. Last time you opted out because you did not like been told how to dance.  Two things have changed since then: the ballet teacher introduced a period of free dance in the class with music from all kinds of cultures and all kinds of rhythms, which you love. And you are more open to instruction now. 
You are loving it. 

So much so that for your birthday this year you have chosen a ballet tea party, instead of the princess theme you had been taking about for the last 6 months.

So let the party preparations begin!  

You get your mike (gracias Kicks por el regalo!) and dancing shoes on 
and I will ready everything else for your big day!

You know, I was never much into dancing when I was a kid. In fact, I was forever asking my mom if I could trade ballet for karate ;) .  But watching you do it makes me realize dancing allows you to simultaneously move, think, and feel. It gives you the opportunity to make creative decisions and communicate from a very young age. After all, as soon as you turn a strong beat on in the presence of a baby, most will bounce up and down and sway to the rhythm. All kids are born artists and its fantastic!

So today I am grateful for your grooviness. 
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