Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Only in Colorado

Towards the end of May, the Avid 4 Adventure team came to Clio's school. There were forms to read and fill out, special packing instructions for lunches and backpacks, and at the last minute, we got a flyer letting us know that parents were encouraged to participate at the end of the day. I had worked a number of nighttime events in the weeks leading up, so I took a half day and ran back to Boulder to see what this was all about.

More wristbands, plus waivers signing away and kind of claim to life or limb lost in action, and Clio was demonstrating the climbing wall

And tooling around in a kayak in a pool on her school's lawn.

It was kind of jaw-dropping. All the parents kept proudly saying things like, "only in Colorado!" I didn't know if this was true- we certainly didn't have kayaking at Clio's school in Brooklyn- so I just smiled and nodded and pretended that I, too, was a proud Coloradan.

Since I was coming straight from work, I hadn't thought to bring my camera. I remembered that there might be a camera on my phone (yup, I have one of those now), but I could not for the life of me figure out how to use it. So thanks to Kathryn, Alex and Tamsin's mom (and Clio's personal advocate), for taking and sending along these photos!

Water Play

As it turns out, it's summer.
And summer is hot in Colorado!
And we have no air conditioner.

We're beating the heat with this cool squiggly wiggle sprinkler

And a visit to the pool in Tamsin and Alex's neighborhood

And keeping things stylish in swim-dress coverups.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Father's Day

While blogs are very good at pointing out when we miss something timely, like that father's day tribute I had up my sleeve, they're also forgiving when it comes to just posting the photos after the fact.

Ours was low key, though it's a crazy time around here. Lately, Dave is home with the girls (they've been sick, he's done with school), and I think we can all agree he is an awesome dad. I just encountered the concept of the "awesome button" over at hyperbole and a half, and if I had an awesome button on this blog, today it would link to a picture of Dave. Maybe even to these pictures:

Happy Father's day to all the daddy's out there, including my own, and Dave's, and my brothers. Love to you all.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Birthday Presents

Somehow, another year has passed, and our girls will be 4 and 2 in mere weeks. Days, almost. I know this because Clio has been asking the exact number of days until her birthday on a regular basis for, oh, maybe 4 months now. When I tell her the number, she then makes me count. As in:

Clio: How many days until my birthday?
Me: 18
Clio: Can you count to 18?
Me: one, two, three...

and so on.

This weekend, while Dave was off mountain biking for Father's Day and I found myself at a loss as to what to do with these girls, we headed off to Grand Rabbit Toy Shoppe, perhaps the greatest toy store ever, to get ideas for their birthday wish lists. Clio and I did this last year, and while Dave thought it was crazy (and it did yield some strange gifts, like the Furr Real duck), i thought it was fun, and it looks like a tradition was born.

Clio came in the door and immediately started lifting up items and saying, Can we put this on my list? Can we put this on my list? This applied to anything in her line of vision, an "I randomly see it therefore I want it" approach, and the list included a very tiny stuffed panda bear, a stuffed meercat (or something equally skinny and rodenty, yet adorable), a tinkerbell costume, and a train set complete with train table. She was fickle in her desires and easily convinced to want anything and everything in sight. I think it is fair to disregard the entire venture and go with the things she has been asking for for months: a Snow White Polly Pocket doll and a Cinderella dress up dress. She would also be interested in any princess movie she does not already have, meaning: Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and any prequels or sequels the Disney machine may have churned out.

Eleri was more single minded. She spotted the doll strollers straight out of the gate and proceeded to push not one, but TWO of them around the store for the duration of our visit (over one and a half hours, but who's counting?) She collected Thomas the Train engines and put them in the stroller's storage compartments. She shrieked in anger when I pried her fingers off the handles in order to change her (stinky, stinky) diaper. Then, when we were returning the strollers to their rightful place (under tremendous duress), Eleri discovered her second desire: one of those plastic, real-looking babies with a soft body and a pacifier that actually goes into the mouth. She hugged that thing in a death grip and tried for many long minutes to get the paci in its mouth. When it was time to go, I once again had to forcibly remove the thing from her body and hand it to the salesgirl, who looked very sad at Eleri's wails and sobs. (I was not so moved.)

So. Dibs?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Barb and Pete left today, and Clio and Eleri thought it was hilarious to jump on their bed.
Their flattened, not at all bouncy, blue plastic aero bed.

I guess if they're keeping themselves entertained, I'd best just keep my mouth shut, right?


The girls spent some time with their grandparents this weekend. People are always saying things like, "oh, Grandma and Grandpa are spoiling the kids, huh? Letting them run wild?" And Dave and I just laugh and shake our heads and say that we're pretty sure Grandma and Grandpa are doing nothing of the sort. In fact, its kind of nice to have someone else try to get the girls back in line every once in a while, since we're doing such a good job of letting them get so very far OUT of line.

So imagine our surprise, amidst the aforementioned protestations, when we left Clio alone with Dave's parents for about 5 minutes and they took her to a pet store and bought her a pet.

To be fair, the pet is a fish and Clio claims she bought it with her own money. Since she doesn't really have her own money outside of her savings account and 529 plan--any spending money, as it were--we asked her to clarify, and discovered the change used to procure this new beta fish was taken from the change drawer that Dave keeps on his dresser. Crafty girl.

A while back, Clio fish-sat for Dorothy, a male beta fish who looks an awful lot like this one, and who belongs to Lola, the 6-year-old who lives across the street. Clio adores Lola and is constantly suggesting that we invite ourselves over to play. The fish-sitting went well: Clio mostly remembered to remind us to let her feed Dorothy, and the fish was returned in one piece after a week in our three-year-old's hands. We can only hope that the attention span for a 3-year-old minding a fish is longer than a week, because the man at the pet store swears that betas live long lives.

I have to admit, I like the blue fish combined with the hot pink plastic seaweed Clio chose, and the curve of the tall "bowl" that Grandma picked up at the Goodwill. I like the way they placed all of this in the center of the table, and the way it does actually make a pretty nice centerpiece. And I like that they named the fish Swimmy, after (I suppose) this Leo Lionni book of the same name, which we recently borrowed from the library. The name Swimmy is almost as good as Rupret, one of my goldfish in college, who was named after the Steve Martin character in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. I'm just sayin.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A letter From Your Mother on the Occasion of Your First Dance Recital

Dear Clio,

I want you to know, I am so proud of you today.

For weeks, with your dance performance looming, you have been telling us that you were not planning to participate. You would say to me, "Mommy, I don't think I want to be in the performance, and that's okay," because this is what I kept telling you: that you did not have to get up there if you didn't want to, but that I thought you should give it a try.
And you did! I'm so proud of you for actually giving it a try, even though you were nervous and didn't know what to expect. On Friday, for the dress rehearsal, we got you dressed in your costume at home and negotiated your hair into a tiny little bun and put on red lipstick (you loved that part) so we would arrive at the Centaurus High School auditorium feeling ready. We got there nice and early so we would not feel rushed and panic. You seemed a little melancholy sitting backstage with your friend Tamsin, and then I had to leave you and go out to the auditorium and wait and wonder if you would ever appear on stage. It always amazes me that so much of motherhood is leaving our children--ultimately, whatever it is, we can't do it for you. And even though I leave you at school every day, and at day care before that, I always wonder what happens after I leave you in a new environment, and am struck that, especially at this age, I can't really know.

When it was your turn, you walked right out on stage with miss Tia, and you looked like such a small person, kind of too small to be expected to dance on a vast gulf of a stage, but you smiled a red lipstick smile and you did your best. You know what? You danced most of the steps. I came down to the edge of the stage to take pictures and you saw me and smiled some more. Afterwards, I asked you how you remembered all the steps, and you just shrugged your shoulders and said, "Oh, I just watch Tamsin."

And you repeated it all the next day, for an auditorium full of hundreds of people. Sure enough, you did watch Tamsin for all your cues, but you remembered parts on your own, too. When you finished, the crowd cheered for you, because you were the smallest dancers and you looked so great in your sparkly green costumes and you did an excellent job. I shouted your name and hoped you would hear me, because I had explained before the show that today you would not see me at the edge of the stage, but that you could rest assured that I was in the audience, watching. I wanted you to know I was really there.

I was the first in line to get backstage after the finale, and brought you the balloons that Eleri picked for you, and the peonies I chose because you like the ones in our yard so much. You loved the balloons, even though they were, technically, for a new baby girl. I kept saying how proud I was of you, but you just acted like it was no big deal.

We took you for ice cream and you got a chocolate cone and I think the thing you liked best about the day was all the treats, and who can blame you? On our way home, you said, "and now that the performance is over, I can wear my costume for dress up!" Ultimately, I think that's what you were waiting for all along.

I love you,

Saturday, June 5, 2010

This is Your Child on Sugar

Clio's last day of school picnic was today. At the last minute, as Dave and I were heading out the door (already late), I noticed that we were supposed to bring a blanket to sit on and....dessert. Pressed for time and supplies, I grabbed some crackerjacks and some godiva dark chocolate and caramel squares, both left over from the last day of MY class, and stuck them in my purse.

After eating barbeque chicken, baby carrots, and chips, Clio noticed that there was a dessert table...and that it was empty.

I offered her a choice between the two thing I had brought along, and, much to my surprise, she chose the chocolate (I think there's just something so appealing about a box of crackerjack, but what do I know?)Dave looked at me like I had gone completely apeshit insane, and exactly 32 seconds after Clio finished the chocolate, I knew he was onto something.

Apparently I needed one more confirmation that Clio has inherited her father's sensitivity to sugar.