Thursday, March 24, 2016

Happy Dr. Seuss Day!

Evan has been celebrating Dr. Seuss week this week. Each day has had a different theme, all of which have been very low key. Of course, pictures were not allowed.

Today, the whole school was invited to dress up as their favorite character for Dr. Seuss Day. Evan didn't want to be a character and instead went with the red and white theme suggested by the first grade. Issa, however, does not miss an opportunity to dress up, although she did tone it down this year:
She and Melanie decided to be Thing 1 and Thing 2. I made the shirts earlier this week so Issa could deliver Melanie's in time for the big day. They were so excited to look "exactly like identical twins" this morning. Oh, I love these girls.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Mama Fix It

When both kids were little, whenever anything went wrong I would hear, "Mama fix it." It wasn't a question; it was a statement made with great confidence. In their little eyes, I could fix anything.

I hear that less now--if ever. The problems are getting more complex, and they are both learning to fight their own battles, solve their own problems, fix it themselves. It's a good thing.

But...a few days ago Neela ate the eyes and nose off of one of Issa's teddy bears. The rest of the little guy was fine, but it was a sad day in our household. Issa was devastated. (In Neela's defense, he had fallen on the floor and looks a lot like one of her toys.)

Yesterday, I stopped by the craft store and bought a package of eyes and noses. Before Issa got home, I fixed her bear and just set him on the shelf for her to find. Her little face was priceless. And for one more moment, I could fix anything.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Another One in the Books

We have another dance competition in the books! Issa danced beautifully, and we just keep seeing growth every competition this year! Her little team took a first and second overall, and she took a fourth overall for her solo. The studio also got Top Studio for the third year at this competition, which is awesome!

These are the moments that I love, though:
I love watching her warm up and rehearse before she goes on. In these moments, I see how much she has grown.

I also love watching her be with her friends. I love hearing their giggles and watching them hug. I love listening to the squeals when they place, and I love knowing that she will hold on to these memories long after she packs up the trophies and medals.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Budding Thespians

We are very fortunate that the kids' school has a grant to bring artists in residence into each grade! In first grade, the focus is on performance. They do a six week series of classes that teach them the four Ps of performance (Plant your feet, Project, Move with Purpose, and Personality), see a play, and then they present a class performance. This week was the performance, and I'm so glad I was able to go:
Look at that smile. They were demonstrating some of their acting warm-ups. This is also the only semi-decent picture I got.

Here's what I loved: Evan was smiling the whole time. Last year, he looked miserable in his school performances. I have never seen a child gesture with less joy. This year, though, he was having fun. And I sure do love that smile.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Last night, just as we were getting ready to head for bed, Issa got a look of panic on her face: "We have to leave a snack in case the leprechauns come!"
 Evan later added a glass of water with four green straws.

Sure enough,  those ornery critters came overnight:
 Buddy left a very sweet note saying that the leprechauns brought all this sugar (those are rice krispie treats made with Lucky Charms), but he and Walter had brought the kids each a new green shirt and cleaned up the mess. He also asked the kids to be sure Daddy didn't set any traps for them! (Please notice Buddy's green necktie and Walter's bow.)

The leprechauns even ate all the snack:
Please notice that they apparently have green backwash. Poor Evan was no more good over that  one.

Tonight, we will have corn beef and Irish soda bread and celebrate all of the good luck of the Irish we have. After all, our little family started 15 years ago today when Daddy asked me to marry him.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I'm Swearing Off WebMD

I'm swearing off WebMD. I've said it before, but I really mean it this time.

Since January, Issa has had some sick days. She would throw up once and then be fine. It was bizarre. When it first hit, we thought she had the stomach bug that was going around. In February, we thought she was super unlucky. When it came back two weeks ago, I called our doctor and we thought it was a super-fun three month virus that was hanging around and flaring when she got overtired. Every episode had been after a dance competition or slumber party. Since that diagnosis, though, I have the been the bedtime dictator.

When she threw up again yesterday morning, I knew it couldn't be that virus. WebMD convinced me it was either a serious gastric issue or cancer. I called our doctors and insisted they see her yesterday; we were in at 9:15 with a doctor who specializes in adolescents and I'm sure he now thinks I'm crazy. Of course, by the time we got there she looked and felt great. She had thrown up, and I had given her Motrin to help with her general achy feeling, which I attributed to her tiny body throwing up. We had a routine.

He asked about her symptoms, and then asked if she had headaches, which she said she did, which was news to me. Apparently they didn't bother her as much as her stomach so she just didn't tell me. He did some examining and asked a few more questions, and then diagnosed her with migraines. My response, "Oh, thank God." He looked perplexed until I explained our family history. I know migraines. We've got this.

That's also when I realized I already knew her trigger. Nitrates. Just like me. Because you know what you eat at dance competitions and slumber parties: lunch meat sandwiches, pizza, and bacon. All loaded with nitrates.

Issa and I went to too many stores to find B2, which should also help stave off the migraines. And we spent the rest of the day talking about what this means and what's now a very special treat.

This morning, I met with the school nurse to brief her. If Issa starts to get a headache at school, she will give her Motrin. We have plans if she starts to feel lousy there. And she let me cry when she said Issa was now officially on her caseload.

I hate that my baby has to be on a nurse's caseload. But I am so overwhelmingly grateful that if we have to be on a caseload it's just for migraines. We've got this.

Thursday, March 10, 2016


We are fully into spring! My hyacinths are blooming, and the kids have worn shorts to school the past two days. The windows are opening, and I listened to birds outside the bedroom window this morning. It was lovely.

My favorite moment yesterday, though, was homework time. The day was too nice to stay inside, so the kids and I headed out front to do homework. Evan and I sat on the porch, and Issa actually did her reading perched up in the tree. Pure loveliness.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Zoo Days

It's spring break on campus, which means my schedule is wonky. I'm definitely still working, but my days are filled with student teacher observations and data analysis on my couch. All that said, the disruption in the routine has meant the blog has been ignored. This is especially sad because we had a great weekend!

For the first time in ages and the foreseeable future, we had no plans. Saturday, Brad and I totally surprised the kids and too them to see Zootopia.  It really was a cute movie! We came home and had the first burgers and corn on the grill for this season. It was lovely.

Sunday, we decided to continue the theme and went to the zoo:
 We've never gone this early in the season, but the weather was perfect. It was in the upper 50s with beautiful sunshine. The animals seemed to love this weather, and we had the best timing at every exhibit. Our first stop was the polar bears:
 A new bear just joined the zoo, and we were able to see the two bears play together. All of the bears were very active!

Issa also stole my phone to become photographer since the animals were feeling cooperative. The bison was maybe eight feet away from us:
 And we watched one of the adult gorillas teach a little guy how to dig up bugs:
It was a perfect day!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Thank Goodness for Big Kids

Yesterday poor Issa was home sick. She seems to be fighting a virus that is just hanging in and rears it's ugly head when she gets over-tired. According to our doctor, we could have one more month of this. Lovely.

This morning, Issa came in while  I was still sleeping and said, "I have good news and bad news. The good news is I feel great and can go to school. The bad news is your alarm didn't go off and it's 6:20."

Yes. That is good and bad news. Thankfully, I have big kids.

I jumped in the shower, and they both hopped out of bed and jumped into action. Issa made breakfast: cereal and chai tea.We made it to school on time and happy--even with field trip lunches packed.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Throwback Thursday

Here's a little throwback to last Thursday:
 It was career day at school!

Issa went for the second year in a row as an event planner:

Until Tuesday, Evan was refusing to dress up because he didn't know what he wanted to be when he grew up--totally fair. At dinner, he was saying he was torn between scientist and police officer. When I explained forensic scientist, he was thrilled:
I truly cannot wait to see what these little people grow up to be!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Moments of Magic

This week, I finally packed up all of the snowmen. They have been banished until next year; I think we are all ready for spring. 

With the snowmen safely packed away, I let the bunnies out of the attic and into the house. We now have bright baskets, eggs, and bunnies everywhere. I finished while the kids were showering and doing the nightly getting ready ritual. Then I stood back and watched magic.

The kids started exploring the treasures in their Easter bags, remembering which year the Bunny brought each toy. They came downstairs and loved on stuffed rabbits and talked about hiding eggs for practice rounds. For a few moments, they were little and there was magic everywhere.

It seems like the kids are growing so quickly. Everyday they look less little. I'm seeing the man and woman they will be more and more. I'm so proud, but I'm also grateful for those moments of magic.

This morning, we had a roller coaster. Evan woke up to discover he had two new fish in his tank. These are the most prolific fish we have ever had. It's crazy.

Two minutes later, Issa discovered Neela had chewed the nose off one of her bears. Not good. I can fix it, but she was devastated and so angry with the poor dog.

Then the kids came downstairs to discover Buddy made a visit:
Magic. Here's to many more moments of magic on this roller coaster.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


I have started making time to read at night again. I used to push through the to do list, the book would sit on the nightstand--a cruel joke. Life is too short.

Whatever isn't finished by 9:30 can wait. My days start at 5:30; my days now end at 10:30. At 9:30, I snuggle in with my book. It's cozy. Frosty and Neela like this new development:
I'm learning. Finally. To take care of myself. To seek joy. To recharge. When I do, everything else seems to fall into place.