Sunday, August 28, 2011

Par For The Course

In keeping VERY true to form, Luz and James decided to trade around a nasty fever virus that sort of came and went over the course of three days and coincided with the first full week of the school year. It is always a chore to figure out how to juggle work schedules and sick kids and these guys have the uncanny ability to get sick at the very end of the school day, just in time for the school administrator to detect the illness and remind us that each kid must be fever free for 24 hours before returning.

This particular virus was just a fever virus but it was a tricky one. There were periods of absolute misery and discomfort mixed with bursts of energy that left the kids bouncing off of the walls. Christian and I tried to keep things quiet and peaceful over the weekend, but there is only so much you can do with a 2.5 year old. Fortunately, they discovered the joys of the Ipad over the summer and what was once an only very occasional treat became a fixture over the weekend.

Here they are, enjoying the Ipad, playing Plants v. Zombies, some game they discovered in Atlanta (thanks Papa-T):

They have been fever free all day (James since Friday) so I am really hoping to get back to the routine tomorrow. I have a trip to Lake Charles (for work) and things will get very complicated if the virus is still lingering.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Jamesy Firsts

James had his first bona fide 'playdate' last Sunday with one of his friends from ASHFIN, Grace. He could barely contain his excitement all weekend and told everyone who would listen that he was going to play at "Gracie's house". When we pulled up to her house and she was on the porch waving he practically catapulted out of his car seat. He enjoyed every minute of his time with Grace - playing with her many wonderful train sets, cooking in her kitchen, checking out all of her dress up and enjoying a peaceful lunch together featuring some of his favorite items -Gogurt and fruit gummies. It was the perfect day.

Here he is with sweet, adorable Grace:

I just love how his happiness is captured in the pics. There is no denying that he is totally psyched. Grace has graduated from ASHFIN and is headed to 'big girl' school, much to James' chagrin.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I cannot begin to describe how much I dread going outside in the middle of the day right now. The heat is totally exhausting and we are all in agreement that it is time for that first snap of cooler air.

For some reason I decided to take the kids to Audubon Park after school on Friday even though it was 97 degrees outside. I figured a cold Icee would keep them comfortable. As you can see from the picture, they were rather miserable:

They are obsessed with feeding the turtles right now. There are tons of turtles in the lagoon that is adjacent to the bandstand so whenever we have stale bread or cereal we venture out there. Generally 10 - 20 hungry turtles show up ready to eat. Last Friday there were eels in the water as well (at least I think they were eels)...hideous creatures...frightening in fact. We only saw two of them, but that was enough to freak me out. The kids did not seem to mind them. In fact, they thought the eels were kind of cool.

As if I did not learn my lesson on Friday afternoon, on Saturday I took the kids back out into the scorching sun. We went to the farmer's market Saturday morning - looking for peaches (but there weren't any) and we ended up with zucchini & squash instead (which I thought were winter veggies, but what do I know). After the farmer's market we headed over to the Ogden Museum for the Ogden Family Fair. Luz visited the Museum over the summer while at ASH camp and loved it. I had never been and was totally blown away. The mumseum is beautiful and interesting and totally manageable, even with a tired two year old. The Family Fair was incredible - so many wonderful activities for kids and games focusing on learning about and appreciating art. I cannot wait to go back when I have more time to look around and a not-so-tired two year-old on my hip.

The watercolor station, a big hit:

Luz, working on the scavenger hunt at the 'found objects' rocking horse:

Luz and James with their 'horsey' creation:

Luz, pinning the tail on the virtual donkey:

Outside of the Ogden Museum by the lamp post covered in stickers. I pass it on the way to work and love the colors:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Another Year, Beginning the World

School started today and I don't know what it was...maybe something about the new uniform and the fact that I have rather distinct memories of life in the ASH jumper, or maybe what seemed to be some small but profound developments over the summer that appeared to suddenly transform a baby into a big kid, or perhaps it was just that haunting sensation annoying me once again with the reminder that it is all happening just as fast as everyone warned me it would...whatever it was, I sort of felt the emotion more than I have in prior years. This morning I felt happy and proud and so incredibly blessed.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I Came to Dance

Somewhere buried deep in the middle of one of Luz's more recent summer mixes was a song featured only at her request and called Dynamite by a guy named Taio Cruz. From what I can tell, the song is all about this guy that is very serious about his dancing - something he plans to do all night while throwing his hands up in the air. Needless to say, it did not really make sense tucked between How do you Solve a Problem Like Maria and the theme song from Tangled, but it never seemed to bother Lucy or James and, in fact, it became an instant hit and one of the top requested songs of the summer.

After a few weeks it was clear that this was not something that was unique to my kids. Most of Luz's friends knew the lyrics, impromptu dance parties started up whenever the song came on, and summer camps around the country probably used it in their farewell celebrations - playing it while sweaty kids tried to do the robot. There is something about having a six year old that has made me appreciate pop music for pop music's sake again and that feels nice. I do not think I will ever LOVE it again, but I can tolerate it, and I cannot help but smile when the kids are listening to this (and yeah, listening, not watching the video - I do have limits):

and doing this:

Luz and James dancing to Dynamite while at the bandstand at Audubon Park after feeding the ducks and turtles one hot morning this summer. She is sort of doing the robot and he is just straight up "dancing".

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

End Of Summer

Summer vacation is finally coming to an end...Christian is enjoying his last few days of time off, the kids are using every excuse to stay up much later than their normal bedtime and sleep later than a kid in college, and I am benefiting from later than usual morning runs, long showers and late arrivals to work. It all comes to an end next week when the school routine begins. At this point I cannot fathom 5:30 a.m. runs, am dreading enforcing the 8 o'clock bedtime and am not sure how the kids and I will be dressed and out of the house by 7:30 each morning. Christian suggested a trial run this week, but I quickly put the brakes on that idea...why give up a lazy summer morning just to prove that we can do it? It is not like we have a choice. We have to do it, practicing is not going to make it any easier. So, for the next few days I am just going to enjoy every minute of a good thing while I have it.

A little round of early morning Leapster...don't mind if I do:

I guarantee there will be none of this in the morning next week. No, it will be all about waking up, getting dressed, brushing teeth, eating breakfast, packing bags and hurrying off to school.

Monday, August 08, 2011

At Last!

Have you been missing these guys?

Yeah, me too. They are back after a week in Atlanta spending time with the gang. I was busy with work and redecorating and purging and cleaning and really missing everyone.