Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Artist

One of O's favorite school experiences this year was "the art unit". Every year, the director of our preschool spends several weeks at the end of the year teaching the pre-K students about art. They talk about what art is, learn about specific artists, and try out many different styles and media. The in-depth art adventure culminates with a trip to the local art museum and the grand opening of their own art gallery in the school gym. I remember this unit well from 2 years ago when C learned that "We are all Artists." I knew C enjoyed it, so I was interested to see what O would think.

In general, O does not love art. Or writing. Or working particularly hard. All year, we have gotten the feedback that O is very bright, but just does the bare minimum on his assignments so he can get back to playing with his friends. And what he produces is generally simplistic. As his teacher said at his final conference, "He does exactly what is asked of him, and nothing more." So I was anticipating that this art unit might be a little torturous for him. Boy, was I wrong!

Each day O came home bursting with information about the artist & style they had studied that day. Unlike C, who told me cryptic bits and pieces that I didn't really understand, O reported the names of the artists and styles with ease. And his teachers kept commenting on how hard he was working on all his art projects.

After the trip to the museum, O reported, "My favorite piece was the Chihuly. And the mobiles and stabiles by Alexander Calder. But we didn't get to see the Mondrian, because that gallery was closed. But we did see some Jackson Pollack!"

Me: (!!!) "What's a Chihuly?"

O: "Mom, don't you know? Chihuly is an artist who makes things out of glass. And it looked like a giant floating tree but it was really made of glass."

Nope. I didn't know that. I've never even heard of Chihuly. I love that O is teaching me things!

The next day, his art gallery opened, and O was thrilled that Hubby was able to join us for the exhibition. O took his responsibilities as our "docent" very seriously and led us around the room explaining all of the works. Just a sampling of some of the display (which included line art, shape composition, color composition, artistic interpretation, pop art, photo montage, abstract expressionism, kinetic art, and quilting). I think it's quite a collection for 5 years olds!

Looks like we'll have to plan a trip to the art museum this summer, so O can teach us even more about art!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

For the Birds

A few weeks ago, I took down one of the hanging pots on our porch and was very surprised to find this inside...

The boys were so excited to see the nest, and since I noticed that the Mommy bird seemed to be tending to it regularly, we were optimistic that some of the eggs might actually hatch. We took the pot down every few days to take a quick peek and soon saw our first hatchling!

And over the next few days, all the eggs hatched. We discovered that newly hatched birds are kind of funny looking without their feathers!

My mom said that baby birds are "all mouths" and she was right. Can't you just imagine him wailing "I'm hungry!!"

Mommy bird is doing a good job feeding them, because they sure are growing. We've been careful to only peek at the nest for a couple seconds every few days, and we never touch the birds, to make sure we don't scare her away.

They're so cute sleeping all huddled up together...and now they really look like birds! Feathers and all! I wonder how soon the nest will be empty because the birds will have grown up enough to fly away.

My mom suggested keeping the nest as a souvenir after the birds have abandoned it. At first I thought that was a great idea, until I realized how much baby birds poop. You can barely even see the nest now. It just looks like the birds are sleeping in a poop circle. Gross.

But those birds sure are cute!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


End of the school year craziness is definitely in full swing around here! This month between C & O, there are 3 field trips, a play, an art gallery presentation, final conferences, soccer, TBall, swimming and piano lessons. Not to mention all the scrambling I am doing to figure out what they are going to do this summer. Add to that Hubby traveling to Europe during school vacation and one of the boys bringing lice home from school (A parenting rite of passage that I definitely could have lived without!), Baby A finally being on the verge of walking, and I feel like I've just been swept up by a whirlwind!  I know this month will fly by, and then I'll have to wrap my head around having a second grader, a kindergartener, and a toddler. 


But life is good.