On Losing 40 Pounds, Gaining A Good Deal Back on Melted Cheese and Welcoming in a New Season Before Dozing Off...

A lot can happen in 60 days. One could, say, go to yoga 60 days in a row, if one felt so inclined.
Mike did. And he did it. Sixty consecutive days of 1.5hour yoga classes that take place in a 105degree room with instructors who chant things like, "Gobackfarbackwaybackmoreback. Lock your knees. Go back. More. If you feel pain and it's good pain work through it, stay with it. Go back. And.... change" as they guide you through the same sequence of postures designed to heal and strengthen every last cell in the body. They say if you do 60 consecutive days, your life changes. 
Well, he got a felt "OM" crown and that's gotta count for somethin'.

We all got a fondue feast (his choice for an appropriately decadent way to indulge).
 The cheese was pretty hilarious. 

 And now, it's Spring! These fantabulous creatures you see before you are watering cans in disguise.
Thank you, Grammy. We adore them! And they will be put to very good use as soon as Mother Nature stops taking care of that watering job for us. 
 Hi! I'm up to some sort of mischief and just wanted to say hi! I say lots of stuff now. Two word sentences are my biggest leap forward into the Land of the Verbal, i.e. Daddy Home! Read Book! Nona  No! Milk Please! And then, the real trick comes when you say it 58 times in a row, with a growing sense of urgency and rising volume. Mike theorizes this to be Darwin's natural selection at work with the Second Born, ensuring--against all odds--that her voice is somehow eventually heard. Sort of the toddler equivalent to dandelion seeds... Chances are good ONE of these suckers will take root and someone will get me my godforsaken glass of milk.

And here is a glimpse of mama's very favorite time of day. Now, the cynical among you might think that it's because my wee angels will soon be asleep, freeing me up for whatever my own night holds. And you'd be absolutely right. But, another far dominant reason is that this is the very sweetest and cuddliest ritual we have... and we get to do it every night. We read books (2-3 choices per child) and sing songs (2-202, depending on a variety of factors) and then, eventually Jezebel dozes off and Winona accepts the fact that all good things must end--for the night--and bravely says goodnight.
This bed is the full size mattress hoisted off of the girls lower bunk bed (upstairs) and plopped down next to our bed in our room downstairs. We call it our Bear Cave and I'm headed there now. 
Good night and Happy Spring! 


Thoughts on Japan, Chores and Priorities

The funny thing about having a Five Year Old is that we can no longer get away with spelling things, evading questions, or listening to the morning news. The first gets us in trouble only because Winona knows that the series of letters indicates that there's something secretive afoot--not because she can actually keep up with our spelling (Although, spell "cookie" aloud and you might as well just say the darn word). 
And, we used to be able to change the subject. Forget about it.
Mom, did you wash my fairy princess dress?
Hey, sweetie, wanna go to Disneyland and then get ice cream? Twice?
Sure, but what about the dress?

And, finally, the morning news. We don't watch TV in the mornings, with the exception of an occasional Super Why or Sesame Street. But I listen to NPR on the way to work and Mike reads his morning news on the internet which is often augmented by video. In both cases, little ears listen. And I often forget. She reminds me by piping up with an occasional, "Are they talking about Obama?" or "What are they talking about, Mama?" from the backseat. Of course, the stories jump from one to the next quickly and the hummingbirds migration (I said NPR, didn't I?) quickly leaps to suicide bomings before I can press "PLAY" on the CD player... and frankly, I often forget. So, I get questions like, "Why do they bomb people?" and "How come they died?" more often than I'd care to admit. And it's a fine balance--protecting and educating, one that Mike and I both probably fault on the side of providing too much information, but add it to our long, long list of mistakes we will make before they can tell their therapists all about it. :) 

Long story short, she knows all about Japan. Or, she knows that a "SooMommy" (great!) caused a lot of destruction. This is her picture of "Japan covered in Water." 

And this! This is a picture of the scene I walked in on after finishing up some gardening today. We had all been outside together, when some sprinkles came in and Winona headed inside. Jezebel and I finished up some chores, put away our tools and headed in about 20 minutes later... to find Winona proudly announcing that she had "done the laundry." I gave her enthusiastic encouragement, assuming she had "done the laundry" like she often "makes dinner" in her play kitchen. But, turns out she had emptied the actual dryer, "folded" the clothes on our bed and used her stool to get the clean clothes out of the wash machine and into the dryer. The only thing left for me to do was press "Start."

Pinch me.

And when one simply cannot decide what is more important--food or sleep--
one can choose to do both all at once. 
This kid. Oh, this kid. Tonight Mike said,
"Is this what roller derby girls are like as kids?" 
(If you are unfamiliar, Roller Derby is a competition in roller skates involving tremendous speed, aggressive play and dogged determination to stay on two feet and win).
So, yes. I'd say that this kid is prime material for Roller Derby. 
As soon as she wakes up.


Winona has caught wind of a Talent Show coming up in a couple of weeks, 
so she's preparing The Circle Game for the big night. Still working on the verses,
but she's got the chorus pretty dialed in. My favorite part was before the camera was rolling--she was in the hallway and she asked me to announce her, and then said, "In just a minute..." For the next 30 seconds or so, she quietly whispered the words to herself and then, "Ok, Mom! Ready!"


Weekly Book Report: The Opposite 
by Tom MacRae, Illustrated by Elena Odriozola
(For other Monday Morning Book Reports, see this great blog

Fun, silly and smart. We love The Opposite!

What would happen if everything that happened was exactly the OPPOSITE
of what was supposed to happen?
 Nate finds out that you have to be smarter than The Opposite to return things to normal. 
Highly recommended: Ages 3-5 ish probably best!
It's been typical "change of season" weekend-- rainy, overcast and cold one minute
and sunny and inviting the next. So we did a lot of scurrying into boots and jackets for some
time in the sun and then 
running back inside for indoor activities as the clouds rolled in.

We did some drawing,

 and Popsicle Stick "art"...

and some work in my journal, which is where I do Book Reports now. 
I'm working on a book report on Turtles.

 Then, back outside again to play in our fort!

 And dig for worms.
 I woke mama up this morning with my socks and shoes in hand,
saying, "Worms? Worms?"
We found dozens of them. I really like it when Mom finds them and shows them to me, 
but I have yet to get too excited about touching them myself.
 Which is probably a good thing as far as the worm is concerned.