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precious moments

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Blast Off!

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, BLAST OFF!

Up like a rocket

Down like the rain

Chugging along like a choo choo train

Twirling and whirling like a spinning top

Now fall to the floor with a gentle PLOP!

what better way to celebrate fall than dancing with friends to live music.  it is a blessing to be in an area where music is cherished and supported.

these past weeks i’ve enjoyed listening to rowan hum his own little tunes around the house as he plays with his blocks or stirs up the veggies in his pot.  we’ve been admiring the moon and stars in the night sky and singing the classic “twinkle twinkle” at bedtime.  mark and i melted as we listened to him sing “tinkle, tinkle, litla sta” as he sat at his table making shapes with his playdough last night before bed.

light, space…ahh

i did not realize how much i missed the quiet mornings and starry night skies until we spent our first days in our new home in chatham. i feel inspired to create, to write music, to get my hands dirty. my little guy dances, hops, runs, and twirls through the space with pure delight. we haven’t turned the television on since we left our little home in carrboro and have had no desire to even open the tv cabinet doors. instead we read, write, sing, and watch the bugs and bunny rabbits outside. it is our little paradise. i feel truly at home.

Bagpipes, old time music, dogs with goggles, fire trucks, jeeps, children dressed up like smores…it all sounds so sweet. Unfortunately my sweet pea found the whole experience to be big, scary, loud, and unfamiliar. He had no idea that his 4th of July would turn out to be so very traumatic. We hiked in and found the perfect spot at the start of the parade and waited for the festivities to begin. A cop car led the parade by beeping its siren and the tears began to flow. Rowan’s love for big trucks and animals was lost in a sea of big, loud sounds. His world had been turned upside down. I couldn’t seem to hold him close enough and couldn’t draw his attention over to the sweet little puppy dogs and camp kids. No one had told him this was coming and he wanted to be far, far away. I managed to find a spot to sit on the ground with him and had him face away from the parade. He eventually did calm down and turned his head to see the last remnants of the towns people marching through the streets.

I have to remind myself that Rowan’s world is so wide open. So many things in his day he is seeing or experiencing for the first time. His reaction at the parade took me by surprise, but reflecting on it now it makes so much sense. Imagine that you are having a quiet morning with the family when suddenly a bunch of giants start stomping through town. I’d be crying too.

scarf play

today i had my largest class yet…seven enthusiastic and curious toddlers with their mamas! i must say that exploring music and movement with little ones keeps me on my toes. a wonderful way to keep the children engaged for 45 minutes at this age is to have a big basket of tricks. by tricks i mean puppets, scarves, big drum, balls, shakers….the list goes on. there are few pauses in between activities to keep them from wandering off into the kitchen or down the hall (although there is always an occasional wanderer who just can’t resist those stairs!) we sing and dance our way through every transition.

a favorite activity for the little ones is a game we call “jack-in-the-box”. a child crawls into the big drum and sits down with a scarf over their head. the group sings “jenny in the box so quiet and still, won’t you come out?” and jenny replies “YES I WILL!” as she takes off the scarf. it is a beautiful process that takes place for each child as they build up the confidence and ability to crawl in the drum, to wear the scarf, to pull it off, and to sing the words. the photo in this post was taken back in october after one of my classes. rowan and keaton continued the game on their own.

pinwheel magic

We have had windy, windy days here in North Carolina…perfect for watching pinwheels spin. Rowan has been carrying his pinwheel with him everywhere he goes. He took it to the park, to the grocery store and on our bike ride. It is a joy to watch his eyes light up every time the wind catches it just right. Below is a song we’ve been singing over the past couple days. This is especially fun with scarves.

photo by Wendy Banning

Windy Weather by Lynn Kleiner

Windy weather, breezy weather

When the wind blows, we all get together

Like a leaf of a feather, in windy windy weather

We whirl around and twirl around

And all fall down together!