Sunday, February 12, 2006


We were afraid that Jacqui would plop down in the snow and make the same "Take me inside NOW" face that she made a year ago ... but that's because we forgot who she was a year ago. A year ago, she wasn't walking and she certainly wasn't curious about anything that might potentially cause discomfort.

This morning she played in the 6+ inches of snow with her daddy. They made snowballs and snowfolks, and stomped through the powder and touched the trees and got matching pink cheeks and hands.

She's napping now, with a bellyful of lunch and a head full of stories and ears full of promises of more snow-play this afternoon, while snowflakes dance to a windchime accompanyment and the sun plays peek-a-boo through the clouds.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Jacqui recommends ...

Jacqui's favorite book for the past few weeks has been Kitten's First Full Moon.

(Note that I don't get an subsidy. They're just convenient.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Eventually we'll have a fruit basket.

Jacqui is 22 months old now, and she is growing up faster than I ever imagined she would, and faster than I really want. She explores and examines everything. She loves to play pretend, she loves to run and play "oh no you caught me!", she loves interacting with the dogs. She pushes buttons and turns knobs and climbs stairs and flips light switches and tonight, as we were leaving the mall, she walked right over to the handicapped entrance and pushed the automated "open" panel. And then she walked halfway through the open door and turned to look back, as proud of herself as she could be. She really wants to interact with other children, but the kids in the rec-center playgroup only interacted with their own parents; the kids in the mall play area are mostly just obnoxious. And she's still not talking, and I know everyone says "don't worry", and I'm NOT worried about her cognitive abilities, but I want her to learn to use WORDS to get what she needs and wants.

So for all of those reasons, Geoff and I have begun investigating nursery schools. She'd start in September, wherever we take her, and so far we've seen three facilities: the Montessori School of Northern Virginia, Providence Nursery School, and Pinecrest School. The three of them are apples, oranges, and bananas, when you put them side-by-side, and that last one isn't even in the running for this year: we arrived 5 minutes and 1 year early to their open house. ;)

The Montessori School was really wonderful, and I wish I could send MYSELF to school there. The 2 year-olds go to a 5-day program, for three hours per day ... which at first was daunting to ME, but I've begun to accept that it might be best for Jacqui. We've already submitted the application, so now we just have to wait until February to see if they call us to schedule interviews. They have classes up to third grade, so if Jacqui got in, we'd seriously consider keeping her there for the duration. The likelihood of acceptance is pretty low: they've got room for 14 students; 10 of those slots are already allocated to siblings of older students, and the remaining four will be in high demand.

Providence Nursery School was much smaller, much more relaxed ... and the 2-year-olds only go to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It's a definite option, if she isn't accepted into MSNV. Providence accepts students by randomly choosing applications that were submitted before the deadline -- they've got 12 spaces available. If she weren't accepted into the pre-school program, we'd have the option of enrolling her into their "Child's Day Out" program, which is basically an unstructured 3-hour play group that meets Monday and/or Friday.

Pinecrest begins accepting students at 3 years old, which is why we were a year early. They seem to be very committed to over-achievers, and I'm not sure that's what we want for Jacqui. It seems like the sort of school where *I* would have excelled, so I want to sit in on a couple of their classes, to see if my perceptions are right and ... well, just to see. According to the school's director, they accept applications on a first-in, first-accepted basis -- but I find myself skeptical.

There are other schools in the area, and we'll likely visit all of them before we're through. (And then probably I'll decide to keep her home til she's five, anyway. ;)