Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Happy Pumpkin Muffin Day!!!

Yeah... I know... it was really Paczki Day yesterday... but I was a Paczki Day failure this year.... sigh. I really truly meant to go and buy some paczki on Monday... but it just didn't happen. So, we thought we would be able to get some yesterday. There is a bakery by where the kids have swim lessons, so we popped in there before class.... sold out. We even checked the nearby Whole Foods and they were sold out too. So, the kids picked out some pumpkin muffins instead. At least they're pretty adaptable :-)

I have no clue the reasoning behind the "big eyes" photos...

Alex finally stopped posing and decided to eat his muffin...
Yesterday started rough (Clara was up at 4:30am)... but it ended up being a really good day. Alex had science class yesterday. Clara and her friend are now completely over hanging out in the museum for 2 hours waiting for their older siblings to get out of class. Thankfully it was a nice day out so we took them outside to explore and play.

I didn't have my regular camera with me, but I remembered that I had my point and shoot in my purse...

Wondering why pretty much all photos are of them walking away? Well... not only were they in constant motion but I forget about the shutter lag on the point and shoot. Oh well. :-)

The kids had their first swim lessons in their new levels last night. They seemed to really like them.

Well... I have really got to keep moving this morning.... lots to do!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, February 23, 2009

music in the morning

I'm sure our upstairs neighbor was thrilled as she works until midnight at a local ER.... but apparently the kids needed a musical start to their Monday morning. :-) (she claims that she can't hear them, but I still feel a little bad anyway)

When Clara got the music for Hot Cross Buns at her last lesson, Alex was all excited because he had once played that song on the piano back when he took lessons last year. This morning he got the itch to see if he could still play it. Amazingly enough, he still could! So, Clara decided that she should get out her violin and play along. My goodness... it was a musical mess!!!! They both played their parts well... however, our piano hasn't been tuned in AGES and, although they were both playing the same song, their versions were in different keys! This didn't stop them from playing it over and over and over and over again...
I just sat back and enjoyed the chaos as I so enjoy the fact that they like to play their music together.

Oh... and to prove that it was not only a riot of noise but a riot of color as well.... here's a color photo...

I honestly would love to see Alex keep playing the piano. We won't add lessons again any time soon.... but I like that he still has an interest in playing. I think it has helped perpetuate his interest by seeing that Clara's violin teacher also plays guitar and piano. Violin is her passion and her main focus... but she can pick up and play other instruments as well. And given that my only desire for them in relation to music is that they enjoy it, we're keeping everything very low key.

What else is going on here? Well... let's see. The work they were doing on our house is done. Alex has moved into Clara's old room, Clara has moved into what was a guest room/Jeff's office and what was Alex's room is now my office with a daybed for guests. We had thought we had the room arrangement thing worked out when we moved in, but after living here two years we thought a change might be in order. The kids wanted desperately to share a room, turning the extra bedroom into a play room. We let them do a trial run... it lasted one week and now they're happily in their own separate rooms. Their bathroom is painted and the new shower curtain has been hung. Oh... and new closet organizers built. We've been working on a major sort and purge so once things are a little more under control I'll have to take some photos!

Saturday afternoon, Clara and I went with some of her friends from dance to see this....
... the Joffrey Ballet's Winter Program.

It was absolutely amazing! Clara and her two friends sat completely spellbound the entire time! Her favorites were The Rite of Spring (click on the Joffrey link above and you can see a video about this piece) and Mobile.

Okay... gotta run.... I need to make a purchase or two from Alex and Clara's pet shop! :-)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

art in the afternoon

Yesterday afternoon we decided that there was just too much chaos going on at our house (they were still here working on the painting, moving, closet shelves project that started last week)... so we packed up and went to the Art Institute! We like to go fairly often, but time had gotten away from us and it had been a long time since our last visit.

First stop was Ancient Egyptian art since we're still studying it in school...
Then to visit an old friend in it's new home...
and another favorite that had been off display for a while...
many of the galleries have been rearranged since our last visit so Alex had to consult the map quite frequently...
Here I tried to take a cute shot of them consulting the map, but by the time I was set, they had just spotted a painting of interest and were off again...
and finally, a shot of Clara imitating the Spanish Dance sculpture by Degas...
.... just before we had to run out in order to make it to her dance class.

We really enjoy the Art Institute.... and our plan is to not wait so long to return next time :-)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Everything is from {we are storytellers}.... a breakdown of the elements used on Clara's Valentine can be found here.

Okay... gotta run... off to dance class with Clara!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

water park fun!

Yesterday after my friend got off from work, she swung by and picked up me and the kids so we could head out to Key Lime Cove...
We checked into our rooms and immediately went to the water park. I did one trip through the lazy river with the kids before they ditched me to go ride the water slides. :-)

We lasted around 3 hours that night (I think... I lost track of time... it might have been closer to 4 hours). The kids were soooo wiped out... which is always a good thing.

This morning we got up, had breakfast and went back to the water park. Alex made a friend and spent the whole time riding water slides with him and Clara played with my friend's daughter in the kiddie area. They had such a GREAT time. They were non-stop motion the entire time we were there. On the flip side, I got to sit and catch up on some magazine reading. :-)

Here's Clara sporting her goggles (upside down)....
Clara and Mallery, floating...
The kiddie slide...
Lemonade break (like the red line across her nose from the still upside down goggles?)....
My goofy goggle girl (but they're right side up this time)....
Wondering why there are basically no photos of Alex? Well, that would be because I rarely even saw Alex while we were at the water park. He and his friend were busy riding the slides... he did stop by once to introduce his friend to me (they had met the night before while we were at the water park). We lasted from around 10 until around 1... which was a good amount of time. We ate a quick lunch, loaded up and headed home.

Both kids were in bed super early tonight... they were so wiped out! And I'm heading to bed myself!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

notice anything different?

It's subtle.... but nearly 11 months after she first got her ears pierced, Clara has finally changed her earrings.....
She picked red hearts in honor of Valentine's Day and is quite pleased with them! :-)

Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day here so we decided to spend as much of the day outside as we could.

We called up some friends and found out that they had had the same idea. So, we all met up in the park.

The kids had a great time running.... just running free across the park. I'm not sure I've ever seen them all run that much....

After the running, we headed to the playground to play. They all had a great time....... playing and soaking up the sunshine!

After that we went to a science class, then swim and the library. The kids swim in back to back classes instead of swimming at the same time. I take whoever is not swimming to the nearby library to pass the time. It had been working well until last night. They each picked out quite a stack individually but I didn't realize how many books they had chosen until we combined both stacks after swim. We could barely get them home! Given that they do read most all that they check out, it will be worth hauling them home.... however, my shoulder didn't think so last night!

Okay.... lots to do today!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

the dog walker

When Clara learned that I was getting ready to walk the dog last night in the rain.... she insisted on joining me. Even though she had already showered and was in her nightgown. See... Clara had gotten a new raincoat for Christmas and hadn't gotten the chance to wear it yet. She saw last night as her chance.

So here she is, all suited up....
Her polka-dotted rainboots she had gotten for Easter, her umbrella she had gotten for her birthday and finally the brand new Christmas raincoat.

Sadly... by the time she was all geared up, the rain had stopped.... but that didn't deter her... she went out anyway, twirling her umbrella and sloshing through puddles.

Not much else to report here. I still haven't taken many photos.... but I might later on in the week :-)

Okay.... it's time to walk the dog again... but this time it's sunny and in the 50's!!!

Friday, February 06, 2009


Thank goodness it's Friday.... this week has worn me out. Nothing bad... just a tiring week.

Yesterday I finally realized that Valentine's Day is next week, so I got to work on the kids' Valentines. They both had ideas of how they wanted their cards to look. I shot the photos right after we got back from the dentist (they got their molars sealed) and I worked on the actual design of the cards last night after dinner.

Here are a few from Alex's little photo shoot....
I was playing with different actions.

With this photo... I never realized how square Alex's head is!

Anyway... cards are done and have been sent off to the printers. Hopefully I'll have them by Monday or Tuesday. I'll post them once I get them sent off to the grandparents or on Valentine's Day... whichever comes first. :-)

Well... that's it for me this morning... we're really unexciting around here. I'm off to walk the dog!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Yesterday afternoon the kids built this...
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you may recognize it. It's Webkinz tower and for some reason they randomly build this on occasion. It's been a while since the last one but it keeps coming back. :-)

After they built this, it was time for Clara to get ready for dance. Her fascination with pig tails has returned and she insisted on doing them herself to show her ballet teacher....

It was pretty funny.... Clara proudly walked into class.... her teacher took one look at her and said in her thick Russian accent... "Clara what have you done?" and immediately took them out and redid them for her.

Let's see... other than that, Clara's friend came over after dance for a playdate which was fun. The three of them play so well together.

Oh... and I found out that both kids got moved up a level in swim class. Clara was excited after spending two sessions at the same level and Alex was excited because after this one, he just has one more level before he completes all of the levels they offer. He definitely has it as his goal to be on a swim team next school year.

Okay... my computer is making a funny noise so I'm going to post this so I can reboot!

Monday, February 02, 2009

wow.... has it really...

...been a week since I last blogged here? Sorry about that.

It really was a rather uneventful week though. Just our usual routine... the only thing added into the mix was dental appointments on Wednesday (all good... none of us had cavities).

The kids had a joint music lesson on Friday and I video taped a bit of it... however, I'm having issues with uploading it. If I get it figured out, I'll post it here.

Yesterday we had planned on having a few people over for the Super Bowl... but at the last minute plans fell through and we didn't. It was all good though.... Alex's friend from swim came over to play for a bit and then Jeff and I finished watching the game while Alex and Clara watched the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet... popping in occasionally to check the score.

Earlier in the day they had decorated some break and bake cookies.

Here is Clara decorating her red and white Arizona Cardinal cookies...
And Alex decorating his Pittsburgh Steeler cookies...
He had wanted to do yellow and black sprinkles but they were out at the grocery store. So, he decided to go with yellow, red and blue like the Steeler logo. They didn't look very "Steeler-ish" but they were very festive!

This week is just another normal week. It is sign up week for a few of their activities so I'm trying to sort out schedules, yet again. Other than that... nothing exciting in the works for the week.

I'll try not to go another week without posting!