Weekend Plans

On Friday evening after work, I ran into a good friend at the grocery store. She asked what I was doing that night and I think I let a good full 15 seconds tick as I thought about it. "Nothing" wasn't quite right. But how does one say...

 "Well, I'm going to hang with Gypsy Princess and Kangaroo Ballerina (don't ask-- no one really knows) in our tent city that doubles as a bear cave. There will be moments of tenderness...

and bursts of chaos...

We'll be using a placemat from a Chinese restaurant as a Pirate's Treasure Map to determine where the Saucy Gold Bowl is buried, awaiting our discovery...(Turns out: in Mama's underwear drawer. Who knew?  Adds a whole new meaning to the term "pirate's booty," I tell ya...!)
...and we'll be tucking our babies into bed at the very end of it all--far past our bedtime because even though I kept SAYING, 'Ok, let's brush our teeth and get to bed' I didn't really MEAN it because it was all just too sweet and fun."

I couldn't quite come up with all that, there on Aisle 3, and said something like,
"Hanging with the girls...." Which, is another way of putting it, I guess.

A Balancing Act

Assuming it would rain--because, well, it's January and it's Oregon-- I planned on taking the girls to an indoor gymnastics open gym to play this morning. When a call came in from a friend to join them for biking in the park--because, lo and behold, it's SUNNY this January in Oregon--I nearly changed my plans. 

But then, I know how that goes. I relish the time with my friends, and the kids relish their time with the other wee ones. Then, we come home, they head into (much needed) quiet time/naptime and DOH! I haven't spent any of my precious Saturday with my kids! 

So, I asked the girls what they'd rather do, loading the question like nobody's business. (I think it went something like, "Do you want to go jump around on fantastically fun toys at place we hardly ever get the chance to go or ya wanna ride bikes? Jez, do you even have a bike? Winnie, I think your training wheels are broken. But, you know... it's up to you.")
Guess what we did?

They bounced like crazy. And we had a blast together. I briefly lamented not being out in the sunshine (must. soak. it. up. while. it's. here!) but got over it listening to the incessant giggles and "C'mon Jez! Let's try THIS!" and "NONA! OVER HERE!" 

 Jezebel pulled herself approximately 47 miles on this thing. (That would be a rope and a wheely-stool).

And Winnie. Dear, sweet, sometimes timid Winnie. She hasn't learned to fully trust her strength or physical abilities and when it comes to physical activity she is often scared of the "fall" or the "hurt" or the "whatever else could go wrong." She not only looks before she leaps (good thing); she frets before she leaps (something we're working on). She got in line, onto the rope and off of the rope 3 times before she was able to push off the mat and swing without reaching for me (instead of holding onto the rope... yikes!). The third time she got off, we talked about needing to trust and believe in her strength and that she was just as strong or stronger than any other kid there. She did it! 

 She was really proud. And really done with the rope. Back to the trampoline! 

"Hey Mom! I got myself up here when you weren't looking. Now what?"
Now, you borrow some of your sister's fear. Just a little. And don't give it back. 


Year of the Dragon

Because no self-respecting holiday can go by without celebratory food--despite said holiday landing on a Monday after a weekend of a sick mama--we had noodles for Chinese New Year. 
Ok, so it wasn't dumplings and plum sauce (as per the original plan), but a soba noodle will do in a new year's pinch. 

And noodles, it is said, represent Longevity. As in, "Look how long I can slurp this noodle!" and "Look how long my sister laughs at my attempts to use these chopsticks!" and "How long before mama says 'It's going to be the year of the rat before you finish your dinner; please just EAT!'" 
 Happy Year of the Dragon! Jezebel is rather concerned about this one, pretty certain that dragons are real and scary and "going to bite my leg!" But she thinks it's hiLARious that Daddy was born in the Year of the Monkey, so we just focus on that.

In other news, we got an unusual snow "storm" here on the valley floor last week-- and although we were disappointed that it didn't amount to much (not even a No School Day! Drat!), we were grateful that we didn't see the crazy weather patterns of the rest of the state. Lots of rain, but no overflowing rivers and no freezing rain.

Just enough snow to justify a dog costume and romp.  
 But nowhere near enough to justify this getup. For real, Mom? Aren't you from Wisconsin? This doesn't even qualify as "It snowed" in Wisconsin and I can neither breathe nor see. Or use my thumbs. What in god's good creation is this thing on my hand? 
 I, Winona, was much more enthused by it all. For starters, I could move in my clothing. Also, I make a good snowball... which was fun for the whole 38 minutes we had snow on the ground. 

 Me? I'm happier in the more tropical environs (of, er, say, the Y pool deck). That's right. I'm learning to SWIM! And it's awe.some. I kick and flail and have. no. fear.
Tonight, at bed time I (Julie) said, "I'm proud of you for learning to swim, Jezzie." To which she replied, "I'm proud of you for learning to drive, Mama." Hey, thanks! 


The Results (thus far) Are In

You'll have to click on these pix and make them bigger to see them, I imagine. 
If that doesn't work, you can just take our word for it. We're BRILLIANT and PERFECT in every way. 

Jezebel has fallen into the swing of preschool very happily and REALLY loves that they go swimming three days a week. On Monday, she starts Tennis Lessons (!) as part of the weekly routine. Gotta love the Y! My favorite part, of course, is that I get to peek in on her and she gets to come visit me for quick hugs throughout the day. Doesn't get any better for a working mama!

Winnie continues to love Kindergarten... and read her first book ALL BY HERSELF on Thursday night (while mom was drinking wine and watching movies with friends-- doh!) Dad heard it, though... and she did a replay for me on Friday.


Never Never Land

 I brought Winona to her first Hip Hop class today, only to discover that the studio was also hosting call backs for Peter Pan before this evening's Parent Meeting for the show. I did the math (Musical with Kids + Rehearsals Have Not Yet Begun + Auditions Still (Sort of ) Going = Our Spring Calendar Just Got Filled with Tinkerbells).

Rehearsal #1 was after tonight's said Parent Meeting. There's wee Winona Fairy (one of Tinkerbell's Gang) in the center! (P.S. Sorry, Hip Hop--see ya next time around!)


If  one were ever to wonder what's going on at our house, the odds are VERY good that there is a "show" going on. Right now. That's very likely what we're doing--or SOMEone's doing, anyway. A "Show" does not require an audience--which is a good thing, because they are  24/7 (less some sleeping and eating). Mike and I can often be heard muttering such things as, "Is that what it was like living with Irving Berlin?" 

Sometimes it's cover or holiday tunes... but mostly, it's improv. In the next post, you have a rendition of "Jingle" ---Bell Rock  by Nona; Bells by Jezebel. It didn't seem to bother either one that the other was doing a different tune. 

If not performing, I'm drawing pictures of performing.
Why yes, those are stage lights.

Jez started Preschool this week! Typical second child--doesn't get the "smile on the porch with your backpack and lunch and sweet little outfit" picture, but, rather the "Oh Shoot! I forgot to take her picture! Good thing she's just downstairs and my phone doubles as a camera. Oh, it's nap time? That'll do." picture. 

But it is representative of how tired these days have made her. LOTS of activity and kiddos packed into her days now! 

And, today, the park for some sunshine and sticks.

Jingle Bell Rock as performed by WinnieLou
Jingle Bells as performed by Jezebel Alisa...


Fondu Forever.

A decadent, delicious beginning to a wonderful year! 

Our Family Gift: Time at the Coast!

A Room With a View:
What these pictures don't reflect is just how much time we spent in this perfect little room. It was a STORMY, WINDY, RAINY week at the coast--which proved just perfect for the whole point of the trip, which was to spend un-distracted time together. We did a lot of art, watched a lot of movies, read good books and ate a lot of good food (thanks to Mike). We did get out onto the beach... just long enough to satisfy the pups, and get some good shots that make us look entirely more active than we actually were. :)
 Off to the pool! (trip #1 of about 47, give or take).

It's WINDY! Can we go back to the pool?

Perhaps you've heard the phrase, "like a kid in a candy store?"

Oh yeah. This is cool. I love my boots.

Happy 2012, everyone!!! xox