Monday, March 29, 2010


After a long weekend in Minnesota not too long ago, I came home to a broken computer. Then I got the bug that's been going around, affecting my throat and making me cough incessantly, and it just won't move on. The we had two snowstorms in 5 days, followed by a visit from Dave's parents. At work, we kicked off a strategic planning process, I turned in three grants, with three more due this week, and organized the many final details for our presence at a major literary conference, coming to Denver in two weeks.

Now, with the computer fixed and hundreds of photos uploaded, I am facing a problem that is not uncommon: having fallen behind in blogging, I am overwhelmed by the task of making sense of the last few weeks, while not boring you to pieces (if "you" haven't given up on me in response to the spottiest month of posts in Clio Confidential history.)

Having gotten that off my chest, allow me to share this:

Aaaahhhhh. that feels better.
It's like spazzing out all at once, but without making a total ass of myself.
(Is spazz one of those words we're still allowed to say? I sure hope so.)

Perhaps now my head will be clear enough to resume nice little focused blogposts.

It's a theory.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

First Haircut

First of all, I'm going to go right ahead and pat myself on the back: a minor milestone for a second child, and I TOOK PICTURES!

This was actually the second attempt at Eleri's first haircut, and I'm not so sure I took the camera the first time, so I suppose I had the benefit of a second go round. Eleri's hair has been a combination of scraggly and ratty for quite some time now, but last time I got her an appointment at Lollylocks, where Clio has been having her hair done (I know, I put it that way on purpose, just for fun), we walked one foot in the door and Eleri started shaking her head and saying "oooohn," which was "no" before she recently discovered the "n."

At any rate, for a repeat performance, I knew I needed a strategy. The first time around, I went alone, on a busy Saturday. Today, I dragged everybody. Reinforcements. We had the second appointment of the day, so the salon was quiet. My plan was multi-fold: For starters, Clio got into the chair first. The chair, importantly, was actually a car. Facing a TV, which happened to be playing Happy Feet. It was critical that desire build in Eleri, and sure enough, as she watched Clio in the car-chair, she got more and more, well, jealous, I guess. She wanted in. Yes! But, Clio's cut was taking too long, and I was afraid that Eleri would either lose the desire for that coveted seat, or- entirely possible- have a meltdown. So I talked Clio out of the chair when her cut was complete but before her "styling" could commence, and plopped Eleri in.

And you know what? It worked!
For all of 3 minutes, while the stylist sprayed her hair with water (confusing) and combed it out (terrible.)

Do you think I was out of tricks? Dear reader, you underestimate me. I whipped out the fresh-from-Costco twisted strawberry fruit snack and handed it over. An excellent distraction though, for some reason, it made Eleri want to look to the side.

So I stood in front of the Car and acted like some kind of airport ground control, waving and directing and keeping ALL EYES ON ME. Well, that child finished her fruit twist in record time, and I was about to go deep and give her a lollipop to keep her occupied, but, mercifully, the stylist was done.

Of course, Clio still had to get back in the car-chair to get her twisty ponytails, butterfly clips, and glitter (these three items are the reason that Clio will volunteer to get her haircut any day of the week). And now that we wanted her to get down, do you think Eleri was going to relinquish her hold on that sterring wheel? No, she was not. Stylists in kid salons are very flexible people, so ours just put both girls in the car and gamely proceeded to twist up Clio's hair, despite the shrieking from future NASCAR-driver Eleri.

All's well that end's well, and all around lollipops, plus glittered hair, is certainly a well end. (For the rest of the afternoon, Clio kept asking "is there still glitter in my hair?" We assured her that there was.)

Springtime on Pearl Street

Around 1:30 this afternoon, we realized that Eleri was still awake, and had little plan of sleeping (perhaps it was the lollipop she had as reward for her first haircut- that's up next.) So we had the rare opportunity to head out for an afternoon activity as a family. Because the snow was melting and the weather mild, and because we couldn't handle another trip around the block with the girls on bikes (Clio asking for a push every few seconds and guidance around corners, Eleri refusing to put her feet on the pedals and steering off the sidewalk on a regular basis), we headed off to Pearl street, the main drag of Boulder's "downtown." As is so often the case, we were not the only ones with this genius idea, and the Pearl Street walking mall was so full of people reveling in spring, it felt a bit like a festival. Especially when you consider our activities, which included getting a baloon flower and "bonker" from the balloon man, a long-time staple on Pearl street (in fact, I overheard someone say he's been there as long as they've been in Boulder- some 30 years)

Playing chase on the footbridge

Rock climbing (hey, we're in Colorado, after all)

Eating vegan maple donuts from some people raising money for animal rights (the donuts were "by donation only")

Stopping to listen to a "traveling band with an empty can" play bluegrass (Clio bopped around and then got very shy about putting some coins in their banjo case)

Running free

And so on.

Clio loved passing under awnings, where the snow was melting in such rivulets that it sounded like it was raining; she stood by the edge of an overhang and hold out her hand to catch the water.

other than running free, Eleri's favorite bit seemed to be this awesome marble tree, at the equally awesome Into The Wind kite and toy store (another Boulder Institution.) She sat here and ran marbles down the tree for half an hour or so.

Without further ado, we say: welcome, spring! (Until the next snow, of course.)

Winter Storm

See what I mean?
70 degrees on Thursday, all day snow on Friday, and this is Saturday.
(Photos courtesy of Dave, if you couldn't tell.)
We sent Clio and Dakota our sledding yesterday because of the rumors that the snow would all melt quicker than you can say "send dakota sledding" five times fast.
Stay tuned for my next post, in which you will see what came next. Hint: the title of the post is Springtime on Pearl Street.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Only in Boulder

Yesterday it was close to 70 degrees.
This morning, we woke to snow. Snow!
Tonight we will go to bed with more than a foot of the stuff on the ground.
The forecast calls for our next 60 degree day: Tuesday.

There's a saying in Minnesota: "Don't like the weather? Stick around for a minute: it'll change."
This seems doubly applicable here.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

School Lunch

We're visiting Minnesota, and Clio was a guest at Lucia's school this morning.
Afterwards, the girls had lunch, and Maud sent me this cell phone pic.

I love that they look so happy, and that Lucia called Clio on the phone tonight (when we called her back, she said "call me at 7am"- so we will.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Perfect Day

I always liked that American Express ad with a "survey" filled out by Tina Fey. She describes her perfect day, which includes a multitude of activities all over New York with her young daughter. At the end of the description, there is an asterisk, and a note at the bottom of the page that says "this day may not actually be possible."

I feel like we are having one of those almost-impossible perfect days, despite a mis-communication or two. I got up early with Clio and had a nice quite breakfast while Eleri and Dave slept in. Clio and I had tea together and I read New York Magazine and she did some art. We had a second breakfast at the Walnut Cafe with the Desautels-Steins, a super-family friendly spot with good food and great coffee, then took the girls next door to the Dollar Tree to spend the dollars that Grandma and Grandpa sent to each of them for Valentine's day (Eleri chose a bag of plastic easter eggs; Clio, a pair of high-heeled plastic mules, which she has already broken.) We dashed home, threw dinner in the crockpot, and headed off to reconnect with Dakota and crew for this hike:

(that's Clio, who did give me a near heart-atack, flirting with the edge of that hill). We had play time and snacks at the top,
which made Eleri's day, in particular.

Back home, I headed to yoga, where I had an out-of-body-experience. Now Dave is out with Clio on her new bike, which she is loving, Eleri is sleeping, and I'm finally feeling in the mood to blog (guess that post-a-day actually took it out of me!). The library is up next, then we eat our crock-pot carrot-orange soup with mango chutney and --get this!--the babysitter arrives, the awesome one who really plays with the girls and leaves a tidy kitchen, and Dave and I head off to see Avatar. In 3-D.


I don't usually like to post the contents of a day like this, a list with no insight or reflection that others can relate to. But I would like to remember that we can have days like this, in inspiration for more of them. And when I see a picture where we, as a family, look like this:

I think it's worth taking note of the circumstances.