Friday, April 30, 2010

Hanging with Sylvie

We got to spend this morning with our friend, Sylvie. She is one day shy of being exactly one year younger than Elena and Clara. She fits in like a third sibling - she was sometimes nurtured, sometimes harassed - just like the girls do with one another.

We did some baking at first - the girls were very interested in seeing someone else in their baking zone, and kept quite an eye on Sylvie.
I was proud that they could wait their turns to stir, although it definitely didn't come easily. You can see them watching like a hawk for their turns.
Clara was especially concerned that Sylvie not fall over, and kept putting an arm around her, checking on her, and patting her.

Sharing some of the other toys went a bit less well - some maneuvering was involved to keep all three happy at once, but eventually they started to get a swapping system going.
Acting up at lunch - what a fun group of girls!
Finally, this should have gone in yesterday's post, but I didn't think of it. Here are the girls with their gym instructor, David (aka, Spiderman). They really love him...we hope to take another class in the fall.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Little bites

Today was the girls' last gym class of the season, and even though we had just had burritos last night for dinner, they wanted what has become our traditional "after gym burrito and juice." As they enjoyed little bites of their burritos, I thought of a few little quips they've come out with lately that we wanted to share (and not forget ourselves).

Elena has gotten in the habit of creating a long list for us of her requests - she issues them so sweetly it is almost impossible to refuse. A typical litany goes like this: "Mama, I wake up I watch Caillou, and have peana budda and jelly, and milk and nappy (napkin) - okay?"

Leni also has taken over introductions for herself and Clara. She will readily tell you her name (first and last, all slurred together) but now often when Clara is too shy to respond, she'll say to the person inquiring: "...and that CaCa" (which is still what she calls her more often than not, even though Clara now calls herself Cwawa).

Yesterday Christina came home from a tough day with students (it's the end of the semester, everyone comes in with their problems) and she was telling the girls she was tired. She said: "So many people came to Mommy today to say that they made a bad choice, and needed help." Clara nodded sagely, then asked "In you class?" How smart of her to know we teach classes!! And, indeed, it WAS in those classes (darn those group work assignments that seem like such a good idea to assign, and are such horrors to grade).

Today in the car, Clara was singing to the bottle of Odwalla Superfood juice. As far as we can tell, it's a song she composed herself. "You be okay, you be okay, so good a day, so good a day." It reassured Christina, too.

Clara has also coined a now-frequently used phrase in our household; we first heard her say it about a week ago when she said "Daddy, I love you all the time." She has now said it to Mommy and Elena, and we all find it a handy phrase of affection. Even if we are annoyed sometimes, or worn out, we do indeed love each other all the time.
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Monday, April 26, 2010

Photo Fun

The girls commandeered Christina's camera tonight after dinner, and got pretty thrilled with themselves for being photographers. They put the camera strap around their necks, pointed the lens up (no easy task with an SLR) and snapped away.

In the midst of the overall merriment, Clara went off to the bathroom, undid the child safety latch on the cabinet, and got out the Q-tips. They know they are never to use these on their own, but for a brief moment things got a tiny bit out of hand.
You can tell these are barely in their ears/nose at all, certainly not enough to do any damage, but the overall game could get risky pretty fast, and so we cracked down right after taking these pictures.
Who egged them on for that briefest of moments?

Well, he seems to have turned out okay. Next up - new safety locks for the bathroom.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Marching Band

Ever since a Caillou episode, the girls have been convinced that they want to be in a marching band. They talk about it a lot. Tonight we were eating dinner outside, and Elena suddenly got up, told us she'd be right back, and went in the house. Then she came out like this:

That's a mixing bowl on her head, and two pastry brushes in her hands! And although she explained it to us, she needn't have - clearly, she was being in a marching band. A moment later, having decided her getup was incomplete, she went in to retrieve a pan lid to act as her cymbal.

Predictably, Clara also asked us to stay put, told us she'd be right back, told us to enjoy our dinner, and then came out with a mixing bowl and two rubber spatulas.

They definitely have a future ahead of them in marching band, should the desire persist!
How will they get to their marching band gigs? Don't worry - they have perfected fuel-free and license-free transport:

And, it's clear they will always have two big fans - one who ends up in front of the camera (maybe more than he'd like, sometimes!) and one behind the camera, eager to document it all for them!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sun, friends, spring

We've had snow regularly for the past few weeks, so it came as a surprise that today turned out to be NICE! Our friends Kate, Kevin, and Annie had us over for dinner, and we had such a great time with them.

Leni and Elmo have a little heart to heart, though Leni looks a bit caught in the act here.

We had a vision of catching three sweeties having fun together here - but we never did get the shot that let us see all of their sweet faces smiling at once!

A best friend moment between Clara and Annie.

And a best friend moment between Elena and Annie:
Clara got in on the house action, too. They just love this playhouse!

You couldn't pull Clara away from these oranges tonight. Or much other food, for that matter. At one point I tried to get back a bowl of mixed nuts she had pulled from the table, and she said "But Mama, I so hungry!" Believe us, we DO feed them!

We are SO ready for spring to be here - here's hoping this weather sticks!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Little Big Girls

So, we know they are not BIG big girls yet, but they seem awfully big for little girls. Today, the girls asked for pedicures. Tonight, they picked the silk pajamas Nana Rose and G-Daddy got for them (in 4T!) and they fit almost perfectly. They regularly put together sentences (this weekend we were about to leave a friend's house, and Elena looked up at us and said "I don't want to leave, and I'm really sad about that." Nice sentence structure, clear feeling statement, AND she still left without heaps of tears...coping skills on top of great verbal ability!!).
They're still our funny little girls, ready to crack up at just about anything.

They tell each other little jokes, do things to make us all laugh, and have the best giggles we've ever heard. Yet, Clara's adorable indentification of her "fimers" has turned into "fingers," and Elena's request for "kepuch" have turned into "ketchup." They tell us they are big girls. They wave their hands over their heads to say "Look, I grow up!" But somehow, we just can't believe it. Going on 3, in some ways it feels more like they're going on 8. Tiny little big girls.
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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Grizzly Triathlon

Today, Steve competed in his second triathlon. This time, it was a local event - the Grizzly Triathlon. The girls were ready to fully support their Daddy.

We got to the pool early and watched a few heats before Steve's. The girls were happy to cheer for anyone swimming, and asked often if they could go in the pool, too.
But it was a different story when their dad got in the pool for his swim - they were focused, almost never stopped ringing their bells, and told everyone who passed by that it was THEIR daddy who was swimming.

After a smooth transition into his biking gear, Steve took off into the sunshine for a 20k bike ride.

Christina and the girls once again missed seeing him return from the bike section, just like we did in Oregon. It is astounding how alike all the bikes and bikers look in action. This time, though, we went immediately to the finish line and staked out a spot, so there was no chance we'd miss his finish.
We ended up spending a lot of time with these twin six-year-old boys, whose dad was in the same heat Steve was in, and who finished nearly the same time. Christina had packed loads of snacks, toys, and other diversions, so the kids happily played with those for some time while we awaited the return of the runners.

Caryn and her son Charlie came out for the finish, which was a great show of support! It was also awesome because right around when we expected Steve to finish Clara announced she needed to go to the bathroom. And, frankly, Christina was more willing to have her go right there and change her than she was to leave the finish line and risk missing Steve finish like she did in Portland.
Caryn, sweetly, escorted Clara off to the bathroom, and not one minute later Steve strode across the finish line.

He finished even better than he did in the last triathlon - we'll post his final time a bit later (I don't know it at the moment - there was no big clock there like last time!!). Elena raced right up to give her dad a congratulatory hug.
And when Clara got out of the bathroom and saw that her dad was done, she took off running right for him.

Both girls were just so proud (and so was Christina).
Even Charlie jumped in on the action.

Congratulations Steve/Daddy - you make us all so proud!!