Saturday, November 19, 2005

A Whole New World

(Ever notice that I tend to name my entries with song titles? I love music, so I guess it's appropriate. Anyway....)

Two things have recently entered our lives that have totally opened our eyes to a whole new world of fun and activities for the whole family.

The first: activity books

Sweetie recently acquired a bunch of partially-used activity books. These books belonged to her sometimes-babysitter's young daughter. Now that she's outgrown them, she is passing them along to Sweetie. And Sweetie LOVES them! And we do too. My husband and I love them because it provides a brand new set of games we can play with her. Instead of her playing by herself with her puzzles or Care Bear figurines while Daddy and I sit on the sidelines watching T.V., now we have these activity books that we can all do together.

There are matching activities, fill-in-the-blank-games, letter and number tracing, connect-the-dots, and pick-out-the-differences challenges. Sweetie has quickly caught on to all of them. Sometimes she wants us to do the games while she tells us how to do them. But she is also happy to do some of them all by herself.

One evening early last week she was busy looking at one of the books, pen in hand, while I was checking email on the nearby computer. My back was turned to her when she ran up to me and proudly exclaimed, "Mommy, I did activity all by myself!", to which I answered, "Good job, Sweetie!". Then, two seconds later, she said, "Mommy, I want to hug you.". At that, I turned around to find her little face beaming up at me, arms open wide, ready to accept her congratulatory hug. I scooped her up and said, "I'm so proud of you!" to which she answered "Why, thank you!" Too cute. :)

(She really had completed a matching activity, correctly, all by herself. Wow!)

It's so fun to do the activities with her too. Watching the little wheels in her head turn as she tries to figure out the different games is fascinating. My husband and I are sometimes surprised, but always so proud to see all that she already knows how to do.

My only "complaint" with playing activity book with her is that it's doing a number on my back and legs. It's my own fault - whenever I change her diaper or her clothes, give her a bath or, now, play activity book with her, I'm always hunkering down, sitting with my legs bent beneath me. NOT a good thing for me to ever do (or so I've always been told ever since I was a small child), and certainly not something that will help my lower back pain. In fact, it is probably the main reason why I'm now experiencing shooting pain down my right leg. I know I need to stop sitting like this. And I don't mean to. It just seems to happen. And I've got to stop it.

The other new thing in our lives that is so wonderful is "NetFlix".

My husband's birthday is this weekend and for one of his gifts I signed him up to receive the NetFlix service. He is absolutely giddy with excitement over this. In fact, as I write this, he is watching the first movie I had sent to him, "Star Wars: A New Hope". Sweetie is watching it too. My hubby is in his glory right now - kicking back and relaxing, watching a movie he loves with his Sweetie, while he enjoys a nice, big mug of mocha coffee. Happy Birthday to him!

As for my point of view, NetFlix is a wonderful thing. I had always "pooh-poohed" it, saying it wasn't worth the money. But now that we've signed up, I see what a great service it will be for us, and me in particular. It is so hard for me to get out to the video store, especially with just Sweetie and me. Yet there are so many movies I want to see and I'd love to share with Sweetie. Now all I have to do is browse through all my choices on the NetFlix website, click on all the movies I've ever wanted to see, and they'll just show up at our doorstep some day. No fuss, no muss. Easy beans. So convenient for me, so fun for the whole family. Yay!

Activity books and NetFlix: in the words of Martha Stewart, 2 very "good things".

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