Wednesday, March 26, 2014


It's still ridiculously cold here but the weather forecasters keep predicting a warm day on Sunday (AFTER the snow showers expected for Saturday night...). Even with temps in the low 30s, the girls were begging to go outside, specifically to the park. We bundled up and headed out for 2 (yes, you read that correctly...TWO) hours of playtime. They were thrilled. I was...cold.
Sliding sisters from Lisa on Vimeo.

So who, exactly, is teaching "nanny nanny boo boo" to children? I mean, I have never said those words and I'm pretty sure Len never has. I asked where they learned that lovely little taunt and they said one of their classmates. So where does that child learn it? I mean, SOMEONE is saying it in just that annoying sing-song way so that children mimic it and bring its insidiousness to school so my kids can now say it ad nauseum. The only thing trumping that annoying phrase is "LET IT GO! LET IT GO! THE COLD NEVER BOTHERED ME ANYWAY!" which are the only words Lucy seems to remember from the Frozen movie soundtrack. And yes, she sings in ALL CAPS.

To counteract all that "Let it Go" business, I played a little Hall and Oates yesterday morning before we headed to school.
Morning dance from Lisa on Vimeo.

Now, I can go for that!

Monday, March 24, 2014

New sister

The girls were very excited Wednesday. Not only were they missing school but their friend, Lucy D., was coming over for the day! My friend Christy, went into labor and wanted to labor at home as long as possible before going to the hospital so Fernando brought Lucy D. over Wednesday morning. We started out watching a program so I could finish my breakfast and the girls could ease into their day together.
They played many (MANY) a game after that, followed by snacks, more games and  then lunch. Fortunately, it was also a day that Julie was scheduled to watch the girls so she came here to help me out. My Lucy needed a nap so I took her back to my room to lay down while Julie, Kate and Lucy D. played with play-doh.
Ball games ensued in the afternoon...did I mention it was rainy and cold nearly all day?

Game faces...
After Julie left, the girls were pretty much done with all this togetherness....except for my Lucy. Oh, she's sitting here playing by herself but if the picture had sound, you would hear her mullygrubbing the entire time about how "nobody wants to play with me! I'm all alone!"
Lucy D said, "I need a break from your kids. Grownups don't have that much energy so you can stay with me."
Lucy gave up after 5 minutes of "alone time" and pouted on the floor near me while I fixed supper. She actually has never learned to play by herself and makes it known that it is pure punishment to her to be forced to do so.
 After supper they joined forces to work on some legos.
Christy and Fernando left for the hospital in the evening so I took Lucy D. back home until her grandparents could arrive. Joy Leonore arrived happy and healthy on March 20th!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dinner company

The girls were super excited all day yesterday because my Chinese instructor, Shuang, and her boyfriend, Minyu, were coming to dinner. They are still talking about it this morning and Kate is calling Minyu, Min-Fish because one definition for yu in Chinese is fish. In this case, though, his name is yǚ, not yǘ. Needless to say, they were both a hit with the girls.

On the menu was grilled snapper, grilled shrimp, roasted asparagus and stir-fried garlicky kale.

There was nothing left by the time dessert was served--a sign of a good meal!
After dinner activities included "cuddling on the couch"....
 making funny faces....

and card tricks.
A great way to spend the evening!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Fatigue...to the bone

Woke up to more snow this morning. This, after more than 12 hours in bed. I'm just. so. tired. And it will probably show up in my meandering post this morning. Apologies in advance.

On Wednesday, I took the girls and Len to the train and then headed over to the lake. It was too cold to get out of the car for a walk.
Windchill from Lisa on Vimeo.

Yesterday was still quite cold but not as windy so the four of us headed to the lake again. The girls ran around for a bit and played at one of the parks before finally conking out for a nap. We ended up walking about 5 miles (Len's pedometer measured 8 miles for yesterday!).
 The ice is still about 12-18" thick according to the few ice fishermen we saw.

 I ended up climbing straight into bed at 3:30pm, ostensibly for a nap, but I didn't wake up until well past my normal bedtime. Len took care of everything else including feeding the girls and getting them bathed and into bed.

I feel like hibernating until it's all over. Is it Spring yet?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Today's videos courtesy of the letter "E"

Lucy, after much practice and coaching (she actually had asked Kate to help her on many occasions), has learned the ABC song (with the slight exception of the letter E who is omitted about 90% of the time). So in honor of this accomplishment, today's selection of videos is brought to you by the letter E, as in earnest and erstwhile.

First, the slow, focused version:
Calm ABCs from Lisa on Vimeo.

And now, the twirly, fun version:
Twirly ABCs from Lisa on Vimeo.

You may notice that she has vastly improved in her pronunciation, especially where S and X are concerned. Also of note is the outfit she put together this morning: her favorite "I love gymnastics" shirt, some striped leggings, a yellow twirly skirt and polka-dotted mermaid socks. Adorbs.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Love Letter, Month 50

Dear Kate,

You are 50 months old today.
You had your school pictures taken last month and you chose your outfit carefully, dithering over which headband to wear. Ultimately, the flower headband from Meme and Papa made the cut and off you went. You came home on picture day all upset that your teachers had "combed my hair the wrong way!" When you saw your picture, you were upset all over again that your teachers had combed your hair forward instead of to the side like Ms. Patty does when she styles your hair. I must say I was bummed as well because now it just looks like I might have cut your bangs sideways. Your smile, as always, saves the day but it's nice to know that we both share the same aesthetic! I am not looking forward to your teenage years if this is how you feel about your hair already...I was a hot mess every morning of high school, spending 2 hours in the bathroom washing and drying and hot rolling and curling and brushing my hair and it still ended up looking like everyone else's in the 80s.

This month has seen vast improvements in your behavior. You are learning to use your words instead of spontaneously combusting when things aren't going your way. I wish I could give either of us full credit but a good majority of it lays with your responsibility chart and the promise of a surprise. For the first time this month, both you and Lucy got all of your stickers for one entire week and your reward was a morning of jumping on trampolines followed by lunch at a restaurant with both Daddy and me.

We had a few other adventures this month including sledding and swimming. Ms. Paivi and her family came to enjoy our massive amount of snow so we took them sledding
and they, in turn, invited us to go swimming at their hotel.
You picked right up in the water as if you had not been out of it for several months, jumping in and swimming like a fish.
You were thrilled when we met up with my Chinese language teacher and some other friends for supper. By the end of the meal, you asked me shyly if you could sit with Ms. Shuang.
Your face in this picture made me laugh because I can tell that you are barely containing your funny combination of shyness and manic happiness at having the full attention of an adult.
You have learned to hula hoop this month which is another example of how, when you want to learn something, you will repeat it over and over and over until you get it. You've been working on your hula hoop nonstop and then suddenly, you just "got it" and you've been doing it ever since, much to Lucy's dismay. She has not been as interested in learning it...that is, until she saw you doing it. You two have a rather healthy competitive relationship.
This extends to even minor things like sleeping masks. Ever since you have been aware that I sleep with an eye mask, you have been nagging me for one which then made Lucy ask for one even though she really could have cared less. Your wish was finally granted when Meme found one in a store near her and sent it for Valentine's Day.
You go to sleep with it on every night and I was curious as to whether it actually stayed on so I snuck in one night before I headed to bed and found this:
And no, you didn't wake up!

You come home every Friday with a bag full of artwork that you have completed in school. As we were going through it, you picked out two pieces that were your favorites (actually, one "piece" is actually a series you named, appropriately, "Blobs of Paint").
 The other one is entitled, "Our Family". It now has a place of honor on the 'fridge.
You are really enjoying artwork so much more and even made a picture for your dentist, Dr. Boyd. You were beaming with pride when he taped it to the wall in his reception area.
As always, I will end with some of the funny remarks you've made this month.

Looking down at the shirt I had picked out for you to wear: Oh Mama, this is dreadful. Just dreadful. I can't wear this.

Ok, watch and learn: when showing us all how to kick a ball.

I noticed that your glass snow globe was not on the tall dresser and was instead hidden behind your picture on your nightstand. I moved it to be in front of the picture but left it on your nightstand. You noticed right away and told me you had moved it but put it behind your picture so none of your friends (or Lucy!) would mess with it. Then you said, Can you leave it on my nightstand? I think I'm responsible enough now to take care of it.

You to Ms. Julie: Ok, close your eyes!
Ms. Julie: Can I open my eyes yet?
You: No.
Ms. Julie: Now can I open my eyes?
You: Not yet.
Ms. Julie: Now????
You: You're nagging.

Pot, meet Kettle.

Monday, March 10, 2014

A tiny taste of spring

The sound of ice sheets sliding off roofs and dripping icicles is only surpassed by the sound of very happy, chirpy birds. Oh, and the shrieks of joy from my two children released from the confines of their coats and set loose on a new park downtown.

Sliding down the hill...and onto snow. Kate seems dubious and is looking for a better way down.

Seeing how much fun her sister is having, she abandons the search for a snowless descent and inches her way down.

You can see that most of the walkways in the play area are still covered in snow so she made the wise choice.

The forecast is indicating 3-7" of snow by Wednesday. The girls remain blissfully unaware and are already planning their next trip to the park. Why ruin perfectly good dreams until you have to, right?


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