Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sand Stars

Nearby, there's a little playground on top of a large sandbox. Avey has been fascinated with sand since she first touched it and, consequently, we end up covered in sand several times throughout the week after heading over to the playground. As her fascination has continued, we have tried to come up with more ways to enjoy the sand than her just handing us fistfuls of it (on a side note, the other day she gave me some sand and said, "When you ready to paint with all the colors of the wind," resembling a scene in Disney's Pocahontas [beginning at minute 3]). We bought her a little plastic shovel and bucket at the dollar store a while back, and it came with a little mold shaped like a star. Avey has enjoyed making shapes in the wet sand (she often asks me to draw dogs and smiley faces) and so it occurred to me that we could take it another step. We have a huge bucket of plastic cookie cutters of which we will never be able to adequately make use, so we let her pick out six of them to take to the sandbox with us. She picked out two bunny shapes, a butterfly, a heart, a flower, and a ghost that looks like a piggy if you turn it on its side. They work very well and it has become part of the daily routine to go to the sandbox and make what she calls "sand stars." The other kids at the playground invariably come over to check out what we're doing and beg to try it out too. Avey's become quite the popular toddler in the sandbox.
video
In other news, I defend my thesis tomorrow (cross your fingers) and we celebrate our 5-year anniversary, Kira's professional license came in the mail, and my little sister moved back home for the summer! Avey's glad for another fan in town, and we're excited to have another babysitter! Plus we like her anyway.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Role Playing

Sometimes I wonder if Avey reads this blog when we're not looking. A couple of days after the last post, she seemed like she had moved on from the imaginary world where we are all characters from The Great Mouse Detective. Instead, she decided that we would all be assigned characters from another classic, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. You may be guessing that Avey assigned herself the role of "Snow White," right? That's what I expected. It seemed the natural fit; After all, Snow White is limitlessly kind, "very so polite," the archetype of "girly," sings in a pitch barely audible by humans, would let animals in the house without thinking about factors like rabies, eats whatever apples we give her (as long as there's peanut butter), and so on and so forth.

But somehow, my little princess decided that there was a better fit for Snow White in the home: no, not her mother - her dear daddy! I was shocked and rather disturbed to say the least. Kira ended up with the most random assignment from the movie. Of all the characters, she was cast as "a bird." Not sure what that's all about. Now, with these odd matches, you may wonder who Avey thought she, herself, was most like. Well, we were surprised to find that Avey began referring to herself as "the Queen." That's right - the evil, vain, scheming queen! I frankly don't see any similarities between the two:
video
Well, maybe if I imagine the Queen listening to "If You're Happy and You Know It" I can start to see it. No matter how evil you are, you can't help but clap and shout "Hooray!"

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Personae

A while back, Avey watched Monsters, Inc. and a few days later started calling me "Kitty," after the colorful and mild-mannered character. She naturally referred to herself as "Boo," and (per my suggestion) began calling her dear, sweet mother "Mike Wazowski." Kira has not been too thrilled about that one.
As fate would have it, Avey became obsessed with another movie a few weeks ago: The Great Mouse Detective. Kira had better luck this time, as she was dubbed "Basil," the hero of the movie, and Avey's most recent idol (with her ever-budding enunciation, she calls him "Dazzle" half the time). Avey has been the damsel in distress, "Olivia," for several weeks, and the obvious choice for me was "Flaversham," Olivia's nerdy, helpless, but caring father.
Yeah, I suppose she's a pretty good judge of character, even at 2-and-a-half. Every morning when she says over the monitor that it's time to get up, I walk into her room and she greets me with "Flaversham!" And when Kira picked her up from nursery today, she was met with "Basil!" It's all in good fun; I just hope that someday I can work my way up the father-figure-as-portrayed-in-animated-films ladder. Maybe someday I can be likened to Marlin in Finding Nemo, only not as afraid to let go. And with a little more sense of humor. And be able to read. And have arms and legs. And have some kind of super powers.

Well, or maybe she'll just like me for me. But I'd still like to have those super powers...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Annual Egg Search

Every year around this time, we get together with family and go looking around for eggs outside. No, nobody owns chickens; these are special eggs filled with treats. This year was a little more fun as Avey just happens to be one year older than the last time, so she was a little more excited about it:
video
Avey had the best time coloring the eggs with Kira. She wasn't as thrilled to fill them with treats with me for some reason - probably because we weren't eating the treats.

Not much news otherwise. I'm swamped with everything going on, and my thesis defense is coming up, so I should probably start thinking about what to write about. Kira's been busy with the Easter Cantata, a big fundraiser for Girls' Camp, and an upcoming presentation on Depression in Youth. The fun just never seems to end at the Ricks Household!