Sunday, July 31, 2011

Aye, me mateys

As soon as we were done making these pirate outfits, Clara turned to Elena and said "Aye, matey sister!"  They have picked up some good pirate lingo from the kid's show  "Backyardigans."

This week Elena and Clara went to their first solo camp - it was a half-day camp at the gymnastics studio where they'd go on their own from 9-12 and practice gymnastics.  It had the theme "Treasure Quest" so we believe there were also activities on this theme.  On the last day they were invited to dress as pirates and we got to come see a show!

When we got in, Clara shushed me when I tried to talk to her - she was supposed to be in line, and had to focus, apparently.
Elena was the first kid called to start the floor shoe.  She did this great kick, then got shy and decided not to do anymore (we were bummed, but were pretty sure from later evidence that she had been rocking this stuff for the last week when there wasn't an audience).
Clara went out and kept giving funny, faux shy looks at everyone.  She did every other thing on the floor show - two sets of kicks and then...
Forward roll!

Then we moved the show over the the trampoline - Clara showed us her routine of seat drop, table drop, jump!  (this is the table drop portion).
At the end of the trampoline she was supposed to slide down this mat, but got last minute shyness jitters.

So she got a helping hand!
And then she finished off with the mini-balance beam.
Then came Elena - here's her seat drop portion.

And the jump portion - she looks like she's flying!
And finally, Elena high-stepping it on the mini-balance beam.

Then, it was time for the bow - very mixed success on this front!
Somebody sat it out.

What a wonderful show!  We were so proud of them.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Into the Woods

 Scenes from a happy camping trip with friends up in Rock Creek.  The brief report - the girls slept ALL NIGHT just fine in the tent, ate their weight in marshmallows and Pirate's Booty, and no one got sun-burned or bug-bitten.  Success!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Not just out to the ballgame, but out to the ballfield!

We've been trying to go to a baseball game all summer, and today was finally the day!  Coincidentally, it was also the kid-themed day, so we went to get advance tickets to see if they had any kid deals.  It turns out there is a standing deal for a Kid's Club that was great, and we enrolled both girls in it. 
Part of the club was that you got these cool t-shirts!  They already had the gloves and balls (which velcro stick together - we love them!) and with a few new hats they were ready for the ballpark.
Another perk of the Kid's Club was to do a training clinic with the players, and it turned out the clinic was today!  So we high-tailed it over there, and the girls took part, as the youngest kids there.
First they got autographs - it was hysterical watching the players figure out how to sign these balls with the unexpected velcro on them!  But they were so sweet, and each one signed for both girls.
They were SO proud they got up the guts to ask for the autographs.
Then they called the kids out of the stands to come on the field.  Initially, the girls hesitated, but when the director said he'd take them, both girls went off happily.  To our shock they all left the field entirely, so we ran over to see where they'd gone.
It turned out to be over to the batting cages.  Neither girl ended up hitting (Elena said no thank you because she hadn't brought her own bat - we aren't sure if she was just attached to her bat or didn't know that she could use theirs.  Clara reportedly pulled the female assistant aside and said: "Ma'm, I have to go potty!" So Steve escorted her, and she missed the batting opportunity, but didn't seem upset).

It was some steep gravel that led from the batting cage back to the field, so one of the players picked Elena up to carry her.  And just like that, #29 (Conrad Flynn) became Elena's new role model.
She followed him everywhere diligently for the rest of the clinic.
He has twin older brothers, and seemed to take a liking to the girls.  He took them aside for some pitching practice in small groups.  He taught the girls how to catch grounders (like Elena, here:)
And how to pitch (like Clara, here:)
He really took his time to help them, and their advice stuck.  Both girls could tell us how to angle their bodies to pitch later that night!

We were also pleased at how the girls supported each other - here's a little sisterly pat.
The whole clinic was just so thrilling - they loved it!
Elena even got over her fear of Ollie, the mascot (he's an Osprey).  She high-fived him.  By the end of the game Clara could walk past him without freaking out, but she had no desire to speak with him or touch him.
Kerrie came to the game with us, and taught us a lot about what different plays were, what different cues were,  and what we were supposed to pay attention to!
It was a warm day, but gorgeous and we stayed pretty happily in the shade.
We scored a sweet spot on the grass, and had fun lounging during the game that followed the clinic.
Skittles, bare feet, a lap to rest your head in, and baseball in front of you - I think it was Elena's version of heaven.
The good thing about the grassy spot for watching the game was that they could run around, roll down hills, and wear themselves out coming back up!
As the evening wore on they even made some new friends - these boys let them in on some sort of grass throwing game, and made them little balls of dried grass so they could play.
Unfortunately, the fact that they had exhausted themselves physically, that it was past their bed time,  and that they had been at the warm ballfield for four and a half hours also meant that the behavior started getting a little iffy.  Clara got a warning when she swiped her sister's hat the first time and made her cry. 
Even though it was pretty funny that when she did it the second time she stacked it on top of her own cap (much like in the book Caps for Sale!) it was also the end of warnings, and Steve took her for a little time out.  When that failed to calm her it was clear that we had to head out. 

It was too bad we didn't get to see the end of the game, but the Osprey were winning and there's another home game in a few weeks.  We all went to bed happy, and the girls definitely learned some new skills.  We can't wait to try them out some more this week!