Thursday, June 7, 2012

I am Clio

Billion Books Bash

Bright Water had an excellent goal this year: A Million minutes of reading from the children in the school community.  All year, we tracked out minutes and handed in the numbers.  (Some of us more regularly than others.)  All yea, we watched the volume grow in a special sign at school.

Last night, we celebrated the accomplishment of exceeding this goal.

Clio chose to dress up as Trixie and Knuffle Bunny.

There are many beloved books around these parts, and yet, when asked to dress as her favorite character, Eleri suggested "That Barbie from the first Barbie book?"  I suspect she just wanted to wear a fancy dress.  We compromised on Sleeping Beauty (At least this was a fairy tale before it became a Disney movie, and we have on occasion read the story.)

Dave and I even got in on the action (but luckily I was not photographed.)  I was this:

But most people thought I was this:

Can you guess who Dave was?

If you guess Bartholomew Cubbins, you are correct.  Most people did not guess this.  It was amazing to me how many people didn't know books so familiar to us, and how many children brought favorite books to the event that I had never heard of.  We each have our own family canons, I suppose.

At this point in the year, it is fun to see the girls so comfortable at their school, and so cemented in some relationships.

Eleri sticks to Adele like glue.  (She has been saying she wants glasses, which I thought was because of Clio's glasses.  But then I heard her ask Adele, "how did you get your glasses?")

Clio has become very close with Elizabeth and Ophelia this year.  Both girls dressed as Dorothy, which may explain Clio's original plan to dress as Toto.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed at school functions.  Even though I know many of the families and most of the staff and administration, the noise of the gym and chaos of so many kids at an event can paralyze me.  I had been feeling sort of squinchy all day, and leaving the party in a sunshower broke me out of it.  The resulting full rainbow completely made my day.  We pulled into the dollar store parking lot on the way home to be sure everyone could see their fill.

The Graduate

Tomorrow is Clio's last day of Kindergarten.

On Tuesday, she participated in the flying up ceremony.  (We only just made it: diagnosed with strep and impetigo on Monday, her antibiotics took effect just in time.)

Tuesday evening, at swim lessons, she also graduated to the next level of swimming.  While you have to be 6 to move in to level 3, it is also a skills based move, and Clio's new classes will be longer, and in the "big pool."

That was a lot of growth recognized in one day.  Hard to believe how big and smart and creative and talented this kid is.


The girls continue to create all kinds of innovative art projects.  On Tuesday morning, waiting out Clio's contagion before heading to school, they wanted to use the tempera paints.  Because we only have the primary colors, we mix our own secondary colors on makeshift palettes.  This morning I improvised and cut squares of cardboard.  One thing led to another and suddenly the palettes were being pressed to the giant sheets of paper.

I explained about monoprints, and we cut many "plates" from cardboard so they could print more.

Eleri, in particular, was quite methodical about painting her plates.

Later, they put all the painted cardboard into plastic bags and drew them out one by one, asking me to tell them what I saw.

A sunset.  A rainbow.  A red planet.  Hot lava cascading down a mountain.  A giant chick hugging a girl.  A forest fire.  An oil spill in a puddle.  A slice of a mask.

So many beautiful things.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Clip on earrings

A while back, we took the girls to the mall with the idea of spending a little bit of Christmas money on something they picked out for themselves.  We went to the dollar store with the idea that it would be easy to pick things out with that kind of price equality, but as they grabbed for all kinds of crap, I wondered if it wouldn't be better for the to understand the value of choosing just one thing that you really wanted.  Quality over quantity, you know.  (I'm sometimes still learning this myself).

Clio had been wanting earrings, so we set out in search of clip-ons that were $5 or less.  We found some--faux pearls, so funny for a 5 year old--at The Rack, and of course they promptly broke.  Plus they hurt her ears.

Fast forward to this week, when Nonny revealed herself to be an excellent source of clip-ons.

Clio, naturally, refused to be photographed, but Eleri was happy to model her score with the Nonners.

Nature Center

One of the "Great Gatherings" offered at the recent Bright Water fundraiser was an afternoon at a nature center with a naturalist, who happens to be the father of two of our girls favorite girlfriends.

With a trip to the family day at the Walker preceding our bug-finding fun, some of us were pooped out.

Nick Universe

My mom's friend Florence gave her a ton of tickets for Nick Universe, the Nickelodeon-themed amusement park in the middle of the Mall of America.  When we realized that the tickets were about to expire, we ended up with not one, but TWO outings to the mall for unlimited rides and the glories of the food court.

Eleri had very specific ideas about the rides and refused to go on most of them.  She did, however, spend a lot of time watching the huge rollercoasters in fascination, and my theory is that the baby rides are beneath her, and she's just waiting until the day she is big enough to ride upside down.

On the first day, we barely got her on the balloon ride. (doesn't she look contemplative?)

On our second trip, she went on the kiddie rollercoaster--and loved it.

Clio was more adventurous, especially on round two when Lucia was with us, too.

I have to tell you, as a rollercoaster and scary ride lover, part of me was proud that Clio was showing a real aptitude for the big guns, but as a mother, I will admit to slight terror.

This thing, which I rode with her the second time around (and which was SCARY--I am clearly out of practice-- and which I kind of can't believe she wanted to go on again) goes VERY high in the air and then drops you mercilessly to the ground.  Oh, my stomach.

Oh, yes, for the second round, Dave was there, too.