December 16, 2012

Maturity levels rising

A couple of incidents recently were very remarkable to me.

Quinn was nearby when Brock had fallen over her  and hurt himself. She quickly tried to explain to me that is wasn't her fault. I pointed to Brock, indicating that I wanted her to acknowledge that he was hurt before she told me about. She did, but then went to her room to cry.  I went in to talk to her, telling her that I saw the whole thing and that it was purely an accident, that Brock ran into her, and in no way was it her fault. I said it was important that she still recognized that Brock was hurt, if she was inches away or across the room. She nodded in agreement, but not in a dismissive way, but in a way that, I believe, represented a fundamental understanding.

The second incident was around one of her hanukkah gifts. She wanted a phone from Santa this year. And we convinced her that Santa doesn't give phones, but Mommy and Daddy could. Before we gave her the phone we had the following conversation. (Note, this conversation was precisely timed for efficacy, after breakfast and during morning peak energy). We basically said that you will be getting a phone and instead of giving you alot of rules... there are certain things we value. Family, friends and play time. We will be making up the rules as we start running into areas that conflict with our values. We left it at that.

Then a couple of hours later, Quinn and I had some alone time were we were working on wrapping presents. I asked her if she understood what we were talking about regarding the phones. She responded very clearly and correctly with examples when using the phone would be appropriate and not. She was very understanding that we wouldn't be taking the birthday party or to school, yet we could take it to a restaurant but only play with it after she and Brock had finished eating.

It is hard to describe in words, but I'm really impressed and really proud of her.

December 02, 2012


While we were counting her allowance, we discovered that we had 339 cents. Then I said you also have a 3 dollars and 39 cents. Does that make sense?

Then I was trying to explain the difference between cents and sense, when Quinn tells me that those are homonyms

Jaw dropped.

November 24, 2012

Taking Quinn to work

So the day before Thanksgiving, Quinn didn't have school, so she went to work at Lonestar College with Pam. Overall, this wasn't very productive for Pam, but that was expected. The surprising thing was that during Pam's "Best Start" class - the class that helps students identify what they want to do and who they want to be - Quinn says that she wants to be a nurse because she "wants to help people and be a part of her community"

Jaw dropping awesome.

November 21, 2012

Wrench Nose Shark

Quinn tells me (completely out of context) that there is no "wrench nose shark".  Having no idea what she is talking about, I ask her to repeat it a couple of times.

Finally she says, that there is a hammer-nose shark (hammerhead) and a saw nose shark, but not a wrench nose shark.

Is she my kid or what?

November 08, 2012

Writing and counting in Chinese

Quinn is not only signing songs in Chinese, but she is writing numbers in Chinese as well...

That's so cool!

October 31, 2012

Wizard of Oz in School?

Apparently she watched the first part of Wizard of Oz, until just after meeting the scarecrow. She was singing "Ding Dong the Witch is dead" on the way home from school. I'm intrigued by this, as I think that Oz is kinda scary for her, and I'm not sure school, esp kindergarten, is the right place for it. 

Lost a tooth

Yesterday, while picking up Quinn from school, she came walking down the hallway covering her mouth. She was super excited to show me that she lost her first tooth.
Then she talked about how she wanted to be a pumpkin for Halloween because now she looks like a jack-o-lantern.
We talked a lot about the tooth fairy, and what kind of toy she brings. I told her, when I was a kid, I remember the tooth fairy only bringing a quarter. Apparently these days, she brings a dollar :)

October 26, 2012

Quinn's Kindergarten reading level

So since this is my forum for bragging, Quinn just received her DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment). Quinn's *beginning* reading level is a 4.

The end of year goal for kindergarteners is 4. It is 2 months into the school year.

Although the information that we don't have is, what was the G/T class average? What is the non G/T class average. Is the goal of 4 for all kindergartens or tailored for the G/T class?

Update: The DRA level is the same for all Kindergarten classes. Most GT students (Quinn's Class) are already on level 4.

October 23, 2012

I'll be really smart when i'm older

Quinn said that she'll be really smart when she is older. She said that is the case because she pays attention when she reads. She recognizes the difference between fiction and non-fiction.

I also told her because she pays attention outside of books too. And she works hard, and she stays focused, and doesn't give up.

And she nodded on agreement.


October 17, 2012

School lunches

Quinn decided to participate in the school lunch program yesterday. This is AWESOME. For us it means we don't have to struggle with the guilt of only sending her with jelly sandwiches and hot dogs. For her, she gets a healthy variety of foods.

We are very excited that she has decided to do this.

Jobs: Geneticist, Bicycle Repair, Electrician, Cartographer

As a geneticist we watched movies about DNA, made DNA out of pipe cleaners, and did a study on the diversity of mommy cookies (with chocolate chips), daddy cookies (with m&ms) and kid cookies (mixed together)

As a bicylce repair person, Quinn helped assemble her new bike, put air in all of the tires, discovered grease and that it doesn't come off easily, and learned about gears

As an electrician, Quinn learned about the breaker box, helped install a fan light, helped install a remote for the garage, and we studied light bulbs and the differences between incandescent and flourescent

As a cartographer, we looked at a story book about maps (kinda) and will hopefully draw a map of something (either from our house to school, or her bedroom, or something like that)

Reading and Math

Quinn is doing a fantastic job reading. She is able to cover the high frequency words very quickly and can usually read about 50% of a page easily. If she takes her time she can usually sound out the words she doesn't know, but sometimes she is in a hurry and guesses. Her guesses are usually not even close.
Overall though, she'll be reading and I'll just be watching her in amazement, with some internal kvelling.

On the math front, she is able to figure out all of the combinations to get to a value. For example she has 5 stars left to get to a prize at school. Stars can be earned in 1 (ready to learn) , 2 (Great), 3 (Amazing) increments. She has figured out that she needs 1 amazing + 1 great, 1 amazing + 2 ready-s, 2 greats + 1 ready, 5 ready-s to get to her prize. I think that is pretty cool.

October 01, 2012

Loose tooth

I think we are getting the beginnings if a loose tooth...

September 20, 2012

Quinn's sense of humor

Tonight was open house at Kindergarten. There was a game, "How well do you know your kids", where the kids had filled out some answers, and the parents were supposed to fill out the same questions to see if they matched. Ms. Glapion, the teacher, said don't feel bad if you don't guess them correctly, because some of the kids were making up answers... like their 2nd favorite color. I said, that sounds like Quinn, and Ms. Glapion was quick to confirm that yes, Quinn was the tricky one in the group who decided to write down intentionally incorrect answers.

So I guess her 2nd favorite color is yellow :)

September 18, 2012

Skating Achievement

Quinn was able to roller skate two blocks to the park today. Granted it was *really* slow and holding my hand most of the time, but it was her on her skates non-the-less.

September 06, 2012

Kindergarten reports

So in one week in  kindergarten, Quinn has reported learning the following

  • Days of the week in Spanish song
  • Marcarena dance routine (with different words)
  • High frequency words like: a, an, and, is, for
  • Vowels

September 05, 2012

Adrienne mournful cry

For whatever reason, when she is not physically touching Adrienne (or any of her other best friends that are within sight), Quinn gives this loud mournful cry... " AAAA DDD R IIIII ENNNNEEEEEE"

At first it is cute, but gets old very fast.


We went to the Schlitterbahn in New Braunfles this past weekend. Quinn had a great time on both the big and little slides. She particularly loved the wolf pack, "yellow" slide. This was a very tall ride that required a tube to ride down. Daddy ended up facing backwards going down the ride.

I had told Quinn to tell me when things were coming up because I couldn't see them. She didn't say anything. I made a big deal about not knowing when I was going to be in a turn or to be sprayed. And she just laughed. She thought it was hysterical.


Quinn started kindergarten last week. She has Ms. Glapion as her G/T teacher. During the first week they learned safety procedures, like fire drills and hurricanes. She is very excited to be the line leader during EVERY fire drill.

From the parents perspective, school is a very hands-off kinda place. Drop your kid off at the door, and pick em up outside. That takes some getting use to.

Jobs: Reporter, Resort Manager, Makeup Artist, Anthropologist

As a reporter, Quinn observed and reported what the new camp building was like. We also watch videos of news reporters and studied newspaper articles.

Being a resort manager wasn't that great. As a family we went to La Torrenta on Lake Conroe, and was expecting to see lots of people doing lots of jobs on the resort, but we really didn't. We observed the receptionists, valet, cafe workers, lifeguards, and the people who made the smores.

Makeup artist was fun. Quinn and Sabrina went to Sephora to learn how to put on makeup. Quinn and Popo did clown makeup. We got some books from the library about beauty makeup and special effects makeup. We also watched a trailer for Face-Off to see some of the special effects makeup in action.

As an anthropologist, Quinn had to learn the rules and customs of a new culture (Kolter Elementary). We also read some Greek mythology stories and talked about how sometimes cultures made up stories to explain things that they didn't understand.

August 14, 2012

Revisiting Dinner

An amazing milestone. When we were having dinner at 6pm, Quinn said that she didn't want dinner now, but that she would come back to it. Thinking that we were being tricked (as this meal was new, and certainly didn't meet her visual criteria for food) , we said okay and kept her dinner separate.

Later that night, just before bed, Quinn was now hungry. On her own, she said that she'd finish dinner now. So we gave it back to her, and she ate it. Flavorful ginger chicken. Awesome!

Family Meetings

We started family meetings this week. While Brock lost interest quickly, the meeting was an overall success. After a round of praise and kudos, we determined as a group that "Stop please" would be our phrase that indicates that the current action has gone to far. Then we had cookies (BTW the kids didn't like Sandies, clearly they can't be related to me), and watched a video.

August 01, 2012

Jobs: Critic, Buyer, Horticulturist, Author

As a critic, we tried new foods (she liked the Red Robin Burgers... the only burger she has liked), saw Brave  the movie (of course we liked it, but the bear part was a little scary), and evaluated some songs.

As a buyer, we shopped for items for Quinn's birthday party. We had to balance a budget, items appropriate for the hot outside weather, and the range of kids appropriateness (1 - 6  yrs old). We also worked on thinking about what others might like, not just what she wanted

As a horticulturist, She went shopping for a lemon tree. She had to evaluate the different trees and options with them. There was not as much maintenance involved with the tree this week as it rained everyday. There we compared and contrasted a horticulturist to a florist (who we talked to at length in the grocery store).

Quinn came up with the author idea on her own. She wanted to color pages from a coloring book and write a story about it. We've had to extend this job, as she is more focused on the coloring than on the writing. But she choose it, so we will see if she actually completes this job.

July 24, 2012

Not Playing with Brock

"Brock, I don't want to play with you right now. Because then we will fight, and I don't want to say I'm sorry," says Quinn in very nice non-whiny words.


July 11, 2012

Long bike ride

Tonight Quinn rode her bike from our house to Fioza, for a smoothie, and back. 2.2 miles round trip. I only made her stop to walk across the busy streets.

Yea! Quinn!

Excited about 5th birthday

Quinn's birthday is Sunday, her party is Sunday morning.

The Monday prior, here is what she said:

"I can't wait until Sunday morning, no I can't wait for Sunday day, no Saturday night, no I can't wait for Sunday morning, no Friday night, no Friday at school, no Saturday for dinner, no Sunday morning....

June 25, 2012

Job 7: Banker

We started a minor's savings account for Quinn this week. She put in $6. So she still has $6 to spend
Also this week she decided to buy a headband with her allowance. The label said it was $3.13, which I told her was about 1/2 of her money. When we went to check out it was actually $4.20, which I told her was most of her money. She was very upset by this.

I was looking forward to the teachable moment of you-have-to-choose-between-the-things-you-want-and-can-afford, but a generous spectator gave Quinn a dollar to account for the difference... . I guess that teachable moment will have to come around again. 

June 22, 2012

Job 6: Pet Shop Owner

This week, as a pet shop owner, Quinn was in charge of feeding Zoe. We also went to the pet store for a scavenger hunt. We found a gerbil's house, frog food, cat toys and doggie day care.

June 18, 2012

My house is peaceful when....

"my brother and I aren't grumpy, and we take naps" -- Quinn

Quote taken from kindercamp

June 11, 2012

Job 5 - toy designer

This week we talked about what makes a good toy versus a bad toy. We talked about different contexts, like airplane versus at home and different audiences, like girls, boys, and parents.

Quinn made a puzzle and several logo based cars and planes for Brock and Gavin (the son of the person that Pat is currently dating)

June 08, 2012


Throughly enjoyed playing Do-re-mi on the piano this morning. Both kids were singing along... What a warm fuzzy.

June 07, 2012

Job 4: Hostess

Quinn was a great hostess last week. For our Memorial Day party, she greeted all of the younger guests and would play with them. She helped set the table and bring out extra napkins.

Then she helped Popo get ready for her Maj game

And finally, when we went to a friends party (house warming), she helped light candles and clean up.

I think she really enjoyed being a hostess. It is a good thing. She comes from a long line of party throwers.

May 29, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

We had a great party for Memorial day.

It is fantastic to be able to have Quinn swim with all of her friends and not have to worry about her in the pool. She can swim, dive down, jump in the deep end, and be completely okay in the water. Fantastic!

Also, I think that she was so hungry and involved with her friends that not only did she eat a burger, but it was a spicy Tex Mex burger... This is hope!

Job 3: Event Planner

There was so much going on this week, that we needed Quinn to help by being an event planner. 

This week there was  
  • Monday: BAC Pool party and Gymnastics Showcase
  • Tues - rest
  • Wed: Graduation
  • Thurs - Messy day @ school and dance recital
  • Friday - Playing at Popo's and Shawn's Bday
The actions that Quinn took as event planner were
  • Drawing up on an hourly calendar all of the events for the week
  • Packing all of the outfits, bathing suits, and other clothing that she would need for the day
  • Deciding what meals and snacks would be

May 23, 2012

Pre-K Graduation

Quinn is super excited about her graduation today. She is talking about Kolter kindergarten for next year and how she is a big girl. I hope that all of her graduations have as much excitement for her.

May 21, 2012

Job 2: Dress Designer

Quinn was a dress designer this past week.

  • We designed a dress using Dress creator, where we talked about different necklines and dress types. 
  • Quinn particularly liked the sweetheart style
  • She spent lots of time coloring different style dresses. Greens for Daddy and oranges for Mommy.
  • We went to International Dance Design to look at different gowns and costumes and also the different types of fabrics.
  • Quinn even tried on a latin costume that was close to her size.  

May 16, 2012

Job 1: Picture Framer

Quinn's first allowance job was a picture framer.

  • We looked at many different pictures around the house. 
  • She identified that some were thick, and some thin. 
  • Some were decorated and some plain
  • Some had different color borders. We learned that these were called mattes
  • We also noticed that the corners of the frames had diagonals. 
  • Quinn drew a photo and then drew a matte and frame around it, making sure to add the diagonals in the corners
  • We visited a picture framer shop and got to choose several frames (pink and purple). Then we choose several mattes (green and orange). 
  • We talked about how the frames and mattes should be choosen with the photo in mind, so that they bring out certain colors from the picture. 
  • We also discovered that some frames are deeper, to allow for things like baseballs and bats to be framed. 
She was neutral about this career

Careers and Allowances

So we've started Quinn on an allowance. After doing some research, we didn't want to pay her for nothing. We also didn't want to pay her for normal expectations, like cleaning her room, or putting her dish in the sink. Furthermore it is difficult to do extraordinary things all of the time. Then we came upon the Earn it, Learn It approach.

This approach is basically get a career for a week and learn the different aspects of that career.

For us, we are at minimum having Quinn keep a journal. In this journal she needs to write the job title, date, draw / photocopy / create a picture of the career, and finally a happy, sad or neutral face for her impression of it.

She will be earning 2 dollars a week. A $1 bill, and $1 in coins. The intent of the bill is to be saved, and we will deposit it in the bank every month. The intent of the coins is for whatever she wants.

We will let her use the saved money after 3 months in the bank, but then she can only take out 1/2 of her savings. At least that is the going plan at the moment.

We are using the Earn it, Learn it book, as well as Would you like to Fly a Jet, Would you Like to Be a Vet for inspiration on what careers to choose.

The most challenging things at the moment, is keeping track of the coins, and not letting Brock play with them.

April 19, 2012


Quinn is really good at problem solving. She was excited about how long her shadow was this morning. I asked her to see if she could separate herself from her shadow. I was thinking that this would be pretty hard for her. In probably less than 30 seconds, she figured out if she got in the shadow of a car (we were in the parking lot), that her shadow would go away and she'd be separated.

That was really really fast. I was a little stunned.

April 06, 2012

Gold fish

Last weekend we "won" 14 goldfish from the Japan festival.... yeah, couldn't keep them alive for 12 hours... they were all dead by the morning.

March 29, 2012

Strings on the sun?

Queston of the day:
How many strings [rays] does the sun have [for drawing]?

March 13, 2012

Anti - Sharing Decree

If I were King, I would decree that there shalt be no sharing or attempted sharing before breakfast.

Brock, as usual, was up with mommy working on a puzzle. Quinn said that she wanted to "help". Which meant taking every piece that Brock was working on away from him. Even after delegating the sun to Brock and the beach to Quinn. She still wanted the sun. And of course after switching out the sun and the bird, Quinn wanted the bird.

Oh the drama of a morning kid versus a non-morning kid.

March 11, 2012

Brock time

This morning Quinn was reading Brock a story. Pam asked them if they wanted cereal. Quinn said no... "This is me an Brock time. We will have it after I finish reading..."


February 19, 2012

Imitation Drawings

If I haven't mentioned it already, Quinn loves art projects, drawing, and coloring. I wanted to post some examples of her ability to mimic what others have drawn. The one on the chalkboard, Pam guided her through "circles for faces" and "rectangles for arms". The gnomes almost all on her own.... I did have to help her draw the swing, stop at the body, then continue on the other side. And just for the record, she is 4.5.

Falling lessons

Last week, Quinn was determined to watch a movie and that ment pulling down the projector screen. She carefully constructed a stool on top of the ottoman cushion to enable her to reach up high enough. I told her it wasn't safe and she was going to fall. She of course countered and said that she was being safe.

She fell, and probably hurt herself, but she didn't let it show.

I then did an experiment where we stacked up blocks on the floor and had her try to jump to knock them over.  Then did the same experiment on the cushion . Clearly the pile was less stable on the cushion.

You could see Quinn processing, that the next time she needed more solid surfaces (like the buffet) for her next climbing adventures.  I love teachable moments!

Cinnamon Life Cereal

Cinnamon Life changed their packaging, now Quinn's favorite cereal is invalid. Yup, that is the logic that we live in.

February 14, 2012

Cute / Sick Quinn

Quinn woke with a fever today. She didn't go to school, so she is hanging out with us. Currently she is asleep on the floor in my office while I'm working. She is such a great kid.

February 04, 2012

Daddy / Daughter Dance

We did our first daddy daughter dance tonight. I went in having the expectation that I might get a dance with Quinn, but hoping that we'd dance all night. Quinn had a blast dancing with her friends and eating desserts. I got 1/4 of a dance, split across two songs (so that would be an 1/8 of a dance each). I guess this was better then my expectations, yet still disappointing. Maybe she will actually dance with me at her wedding :)

February 03, 2012

G/T Testing

Quinn took the G/T test today. It was a 40 minute test, that Quinn described as a lot of "find the ...." She said that it wasn't much fun, at least not as much fun as we made it out to be. We will find out in March what the outcome is

February 01, 2012

Cheese toast with Parsely

Huge milestone today. Quinn tried cheese toast with visible parsely. She said that there was more cheese than green things, so it was okay. THERE IS HOPE!

January 29, 2012

the role model that sticks

trying to teach Brock not to put stickers on the furniture, Quinn pointed out that Drew's labeling stickers were teaching Brock that it was ok to put stickers on the furniture. Looks like there are labels coming off today.


before a dinner party the kids wanted to draw on the drive. Quinn took our welcome mat so she would know how to spell welcome.  resourceful!

allowed sleep

Quinn: are you done sleeping yet?
Pam: Yes, we've had all we are allowed.

January 28, 2012

Well duh moment - scrapbook == scraps

When you give a kid a scrapbook for Christmas, I guess I didn't think through, what you end up with is..... scraps....

While she loved the gift, and actually made a good Princess / Disney scrapbook... we did and do have tons of paper scraps left over from this art project.

January 26, 2012

Water cycle braclet

Super cool water cycle (hydrologic cylce) bracelet came home from school today.

Quinn beaded the bracelet as follows

yellow = sun
iridescent = water vapor
ivory = clouds
pink = rain
white = snow
brown = erosion
indigo = oceans
baby blue = lakes
rainbow = puddles
green = plants.

Yea! science!

January 19, 2012

Orion and simile

While walking tonight, Quinn proudly identified the Orion constellation (proud papa). She was asking who he was and I said that he was a hunter. She asked if he was bad (she is very much into good vs bad), and I said he was good. He was a hero (making this up, but why create bad people?). Quinn says that as selfish as Mother Gothel was in Tangled, that was as good as Orion was.

That is pretty deep. And I'm pretty sure that creating a simile and making that association is well above her age level (I have no basis for this, but I feel it must be true :))

January 06, 2012

Parenting is like a balloon

Somedays I feel like parenting is like being an inflated balloon that someone hasn't tied. You are all good and full of patience, then all of a sudden there is a massive release... you bounce wildly around the room, making hissing sounds - then you are deflated, spent, and at wits end. And you wonder what happened, for just a moment ago, life was good and full. Yup... you reconnected with the kids at the end of the day.

January 01, 2012

city center

at city centre Houston Quinn pointed to the buildings at the side and exclaimed that that must be city side since the grassy place is city center. very observant!