Monday, September 21, 2009

Saxophones and Synthesizers

We take in and put out a whole lot of music here in the Jones house. The girls have always just gone along with it. Every once in a while we throw in a kid's song, but for the most part they hear what we like. This way, when they latch onto a song and want to hear it over and over, it's usually something awesome and nobody minds listening again. For the most part, they like what we put on. Their favorite bands happen to be our favorite bands, too. No quarrels at the DJ booth.
But Mazzy, at five, is just beginning to develop a musical taste that's distinct from ours. There's been something cooking since she first heard "Beat It." (Which we now perform regularly with Maz on the electric guitar and me on Micheal's part. We've almost got it down.) Couple that with the fever pitch she puts on when she sings "Eye of the Tiger" on Rock Band. I didn't really catch on until the other day when a song I didn't recognize came on the car radio. A little dramatic spacey intro led into some funky horn-heavy synth rock. She kept asking me what it was and I couldn't tell until the chorus. It was this,

and she was rocking as hard as one can rock while strapped into a five-point harness. That's when it hit me: this kid LOVES eighties music. Well, what's not to love? The acid-wash, the boppy dances, the catchy tunes, the hair?!
So we've been having some fun with that (though we're trying to keep our hair out of it). We use Pandora to keep a fresh supply of sing-along hits coming. It's like when I was young and my mom would always have the oldies station on. These are our golden oldies. Cyndi Lauper, Duran Duran, Tears for Fears, Hall & Oates, INXS, it's been an all-out revolution. We even borrowed SpaceCamp from the library, just to round out the experience. She's not quite ready for Dirty Dancing.
We invite you to come along on our little trip down memory lane. Comment your favorite eighties song or movie or line from a movie or whatever. I might bestow a hand-knit gift on one of you.
One of her newest favorites is "Voices Carry." I think I'd go with "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" if I had to pick one.
Loving the mohawks and mullets!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Back to School

School started for us the other day and it couldn't be more pleasant. It's nice to change up the routine and Scarlett is more than eager to be learning new things. We are going to be doing things a little differently this year. For the most part she'll still be homeschooling with me but for two days a week she will be going to a friends house, who just happens to be one of the best teachers I know and is homeschooling her own child this year. This is a perfect solution for us since I struggle with finding a balance between all the regular mama duties, running a small business and homeschooling. Sometimes I feel that it's impossible for me to do it all......and stay sane. Especially with a new baby coming. Oh wait, have I mentioned that we will be joined by a new little one this winter?

We are very excited about the changes taking place in our household. I feel that now I can more fully enjoy every minute I spend with Scarlett and also every minute I spend alone. It's the best of both worlds.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

School Spirit

Mazzy started school last week and it's caused a gentle shake-up of the JLF routine. I say "gentle" only because so far most of the changes have been positive.

For example, our typical morning routine of getting dressed, eating breakfast and brushing teeth now actually takes place in the morning rather than sometime in the afternoon, if at all. Mazzy's relationship with her sister seems to have benefitted dramatically from a little daily separation. There's more talking and far less screaming between them (or among the three of us), and the increased calm has laid the way for a lot more sweetness.

It's perfect timing, really. As the Summer heat gives way to the breezy coolness of Fall, the tempers inside shift from boiling hot to pleasantly warm. Sigh.

The change I was looking most forward to, though, was spending some quality "alone together time" with my youngest.

She's loving her new ability to make decisions and execute plans without interference. I'm loving her enthusiasm for following on my heels as I mill around the house. ("Yeah!! Let's make the bed!") We treat ourselves to some time at the downtown bakery at least once a week because I've found a new novelty in walking through town at a two-year-old's pace.

As for the school, I'm satisfied with our choice. It meets or exceeds all the criteria my husband and I put into place: it's public, it's small, we love the teachers, there's a strong emphasis on music and art, and when I wave goodbye to Maz every morning, it feels right.

Plus, though it's only been a week, they haven't squelched her love of reading just yet.