Saturday, July 16, 2011

Eric Carle's art and John Michael update...

Ever since I first saw Eric Carle's artwork, I immediately fell in love.  The use of color, the patterns, the simplicity (and complexity) of his animals and people, his German heritage, his Euro-style images...  What's not to love about his books?  Last September, we even had a Brown Bear, Brown Bear book embellishing party at my house that was so much fun.

When John Michael was still doing Early Intervention, most of his therapists would often bring Eric Carle books to integrate into the therapies.  His music therapist would bring the embellished Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? for sensory stuff and colors, and his speech therapist used From Head to Toe by Eric Carle for moving your body and following directions. 
Recently, I was inspired to create some hand-painted ceramics and I decided to focus on Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar as my art inspiration. 
I painted this plate, sort of as a snack plate for special occasions...

My good friend, Jen Sanchez, also painted an Eric Carle-style butterfly plate that is super cute!

Speaking of super-cute!  I LOVE this new photo of John Michael.  It shows such confidence and his huge, adorable smile.  He is changing so much, it's hard to keep up.  He is becoming a very caring, compassionate big brother to Luke, often putting his hand on Luke's back and saying, "Matter, Luke?"  or "Happened, Luke?" when Luke is not happy (which isn't too often).

John Michael is also putting more words together, using some adjectives, and modifying verbs by telling me "Mom, swing higher!"  I got so excited the first time he said "higher" as opposed to just saying "high".  He's getting the subtle differences in language.  He's also saying things like "big truck" as opposed to just "truck".  New words that I haven't heard him say, like "door locked" or "big lake" are also more frequent.  In the car, we listen to the Cookie Monster song (ad nauseum) on the Sesame Street CD.  He tells me "Mom, music up!"  Stinker wants it louder... so funny.

For Luke's 1st Birthday in early June, I also painted a special plate for all birthdays (below).  I used a Sharpie and wrote Luke's name at the bottom and then in the dishwasher, it washed away, ready for the next birthday child.  I plan to pull this out for many, many birthdays to come.  Eric Carle's art is so perfectly imperfect and so colorful.  How can you not love it?
You can sort of see Luke's name underneath one of his cupcakes  :-)

Speaking of Luke...
I am in love with this boy! 
He is the sweetest, cuddliest, kissy-est, happiest little guy EVER!  And that says a lot, since all of my kids were happy babies and toddlers for the most part...

Why on earth did I ever worry about you so much?  You fit right in, little man!  And John Michael will be so much better for it. 

I think many people are scared to have another child after they have a child with Down syndrome.  A part of me can understand the fear... but you never know what you'll get with ANY child.  But somehow, it all works out...


  1. Hi! It's me, Ty!

    My Brothers & I love. love, love Eric Carle!!! He is our favorite artist and storyteller. Your plates look so much like his work, wow!

    I think my Mom & Dad (Mom especially) were scared to have another baby after I was born because of what my Mom calls the "What If's"...but like you, she has learned good "What If's" totally over power the bad "What If's", if you know what I mean. HAHAHA! That's a lot of If's!

  2. I feel the same way about having KJ after Eon. She is so sweet and he is such a great big brother! Plus, it helped me not baby him so much. :) Thank you for being so encouraging when I was pregnant with her!

  3. so thanful for this post,great pictures of the handsome boys, wow how they are growing. JM looks like a little man and that precious L is just so sweet.
    Eric Carle I think is my fave childrens authors especially as far as the art work, I learned so much about him in my education classes in college and how cant you admire that work put into everything he does?

    So happy to see you all are doing well:)

  4. Those boys are just adorable! And JM looks like he is all grown up! We thought about having another baby right after Russell. We thought it would be good for him to have some one his age in the family growing up. But I let the Ds diagnoses scare me out of it. Sometimes I regret that we didn't have another baby, but other times I feel our family is perfect right now. I just wish the deciding factor had not been me being scared of "what if something worse happens"

  5. the pix are amazing!! so stink'n cute! I cannot tell you how much I LOVE Eric Carl...I think we have every book...our favorite r slowly slowly goes the sloth and rubber duckies...his pix are amazing and the stories are just as amazing and a great teaching tool...Happy Summer..smiles

  6. Hi there! That is so exciting about the additional adjectives and saying new things. That must be so awesome to hear the new words each and every time he says them!

  7. PS I added you to my Blogroll (bottom right hand side of my site). =)

  8. Monica, I could cry! I feel the very, very same way about Seth and Kyle. My heart knows so well that God give us exactly what we NEED. How I love my sweet kids.... Thanks for checking out our blog....could Seth and John Michael have been separated and birth and we not know it!? Good grief!!!!!! We'll be watching you. Got any good potty training tips?

  9. Oh you just gave me such hope! We've just started thinking about adding to our family and yes those worries are there. I'll say what I think everyone does- the worry isn't so much Ds again. It's just having the blinders off and knowing that you don't know what will happen and worry that maybe you should have been satisfied with what you already have. It's been a long discussion for us. I'd love to leave our family as it is. But I also see us with more children. Anyway- lovely, lovely update!

  10. Love the Eric Carle plates! Pottery Barn has some new Eric Carle things even some fun stuff for the bath tub with his artwork on the bottles. I love reading your blog and seeing the super cute pictures.