Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rollin' in Rockville

Harper and I are having some quality time with each other because The Big H is off participating in some theological study this week.  This morning we went over to Rockville Town Center to play on the rocks and splash in the water.  We met up with some other gals and their kids - all went to Calvin so Harper had a chance to be around a God fearin' group as well.

Loved playing with the woodchips.

My hair is so awesome.

I think we were all very thankful when the fountain turned on because it is insanely hot out today.
A quick wardrobe change, and we're good to go.
A little hesitant.
These kiddos could all be at Calvin together.
Taking a break in the shade.
Not a bad way to spend the morning.

Monday, July 26, 2010

New Shoes

Hadley and I made shoes today because she wasn't going to take a nap even though she has been up since 6am and didn't go to sleep until 9:30 the night before.

That's a well crafted sentence if I've ever created one.

First we traced her feet on cardboard.

Then we measured "straps" and glued them to the pieces of cardboard.

After the straps you have to glue another piece of cardboard onto the shoe.  I wouldn't have known to do this which is why I did not make this activity up.  It's a little project from a very cute book I got from my in-laws. Or "ILs" as some other people are saying.  I've been running into phrases like, "ILs" or "DD" or "DH" and it is taking me forever to figure out what these things mean.  Do you know it took me about 2 years to figure out what "LOL" means?  I hate "LOL."  Is it so hard to write out "That's really funny." or "Wow, you made me laugh outloud."?   See, this is the kind of stuff I come up with when people's whose name rhyme with Schmadley Fryen don't nap.


OK, so one shoe makes her foot look like something out of "Lord of the Rings" but the other one's kind of cute.
No, she is not going to wear these on her first day of school.  These are just inside shoes. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Last Music Class

Today was our last Music Class of the summer.  I told Hadley that it was our last class and she thought about this for a bit and then said, "You mean we're not going to have any more Wednesdays?"  I told her that I was pretty sure we'd have more Wednesdays, we just wouldn't be going to Music Class on Wednesdays.

When we got there, Hadley had to do this:

Don't ask me why she needed to put a rubber ducky (that is supposed to be in the bathtub) on the dashboard of the car.  I don't know.  I asked Hadley why the duck had to be there and she answered in Spanish.  That's what she does now when she is explaining something to me that neither she, or I know the answer to.  She just makes something up, and she knows I don't know Spanish so she just starts saying words that sound like Spanish until I say, "OK."  So the duck stayed on the dashboard while we went to Music Class.

The morning was full of treats.  The building where the class is held has this very nice flower garden that you walk through to get to the main doors.  There were butterflies flying all over the garden this morning and the girls were quite excited.  But as we were standing there admiring the butterflies, Hadley saw her teacher and just kind of stood in awe.  Hadley loves her Music teacher.  I love her too.  She is so much fun and so creative.  Anyway, we happened to walk in at the same time as our teacher and she asked Hadley to help her with some things.  I wish I could've snapped a shot of Hadley's face when she was asked to help out.  Hadley was so proud.  She got to carry the teacher's water bottle to class for her.

Hadley is the first to clean up in class.  She makes sure Harper always has the materials she needs for the next song.  She knows that the other kids like to clean up too, so Hadley will go around and give kids the toys/musical instruments that she's picked up so they have a chance to put things away, too.  Hadley would NEVER do this at home.  If I had a quarter for every time I said, "Can you guys please share?" I'd be living next to the Obamas.

Carrying the water bottle wasn't the only thing Hadley got to do that was special today.

There she is, next to the teacher, showing everyone how "The Cobbler Song" is done.  That's my girl!

I can't say Harper really warmed up to the whole "be nice to people you don't know" concept. 

Harper's favorite part of the hour was the songs we did with the parachute.  One of them is "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and all the kids get in the middle of the parachute while the parents go around in a circle singing the song.  The last two weeks, Harper sat with the other kids.

Flexed legs.  A sure sign she's enjoying herself. 

It looks like Hadley's thinking, "I swear, I'm too old for this."  And I think Harper's found someone she thinks is kind of cute.  Either that or he's crowding what she believes is her space.

After music class we went to get ice-cream.  It just seemed like the right thing to do after your last music class.  I asked the lady at the ice cream shop for a scoop of chocolate ice cream with sprinkles for each of the girls.  She not only put sprinkles on them, but placed two googly eyes and a nose.  So it looked like you were eating a face.  Isn't that sweet?

Don't get between me and my chocolate ice cream, and nobody will get hurt.

Just a little lesson I learned today about Harper.  I think it's important that I let those who might want to give her ice cream know what I now know:  If you say "ice cream," "we're going to get ice cream," "gee, I really like ice cream," or anything with the word "ice cream" in it, you better be ready to give her ice cream within seconds of the words leaving your mouth.  I made the mistake of saying we were going to get ice cream while I was putting the girls in the car and Harper screamed and SCREAMED the entire drive until we got to the ice cream shop.  The child has absolutely no patience.  It has to be done.  And it has to be done NOW.

And Hadley?  Hadley just wants to party:

Crash. Boom. Bang!

Monday, July 19, 2010

200th Post

Not that I keep track or anything.

I had today's post bumping around in my head since last Thursday night when I was standing in line at the Giant.  I saw a flyer with Dora and the Gang on it with recipes for a creative, healthy meals.  I took a look at it and thought to myself, "Well, they girls love Dora.  Hadley likes to cook.  Maybe if she's a part of the process of making a meal she'll eat it, too."  So I took a recipe page home with me (they're free at the Giant-there was no stealing involved).

This recipe was for breakfast.  Basically, you combine apples, cream cheese, honey, and cinnamon in a bowl, then spread it on a tortilla.  This is not something I think I'd ever eat but all the ingredients sounded good, and I figured Hadley would like to pour and stir all the stuff.  Plus, she loves cream cheese.  Once, when we were at Panera, she took the little tub of cream cheese you get when you order a bagel, and started eating it straight using her fingers to scoop it out.  Oh my goodness just thinking about that makes me want to gag.

So we got to work.

Pouring in the honey:

Dumping in the apples:

Stirring it all up:

I spread the concoction on the tortilla, and this is how much they each ate:

Not good, Callie. Not. Good.

Here's what they ate instead:


I was in this lovely little book club when I first moved to DC.  We met once a month at The Colorado Kitchen on a Saturday morning for brunch and a discussion of the book we read.  One Saturday when we were there, I chuckled at a note that was placed on each of the tables.  It said that kids were welcome to eat here, but they didn't serve things like "chicken shaped like stars or other shapes" and they were expected to sit at the table and not run around.  I remember saying that I thought this was so great.  Who wants to eat food like that and also, who wants to go to a restaurant when there are kids running around all over the place?  I think in the same breath of this statement I said, "And when we have kids, we're NEVVVVVER having a DVD player for the car!  That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of."

Yup.  Our kids are going to eat all the food we give them, never complain about what we give them, and be able to self entertain themselves while we drive the short trip to Grand Rapids and Chicago.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I Found the "Insert a Video" Button

I don't know where it went, but it's back.  So go ahead and pop some popcorn and turn the volume up, because you're sure to be entertained.
Harper will one day punish me severely for letting her hair be the way that it is.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Yoo Hoo!

Sorry for not posting any new pictures from the week.  I've been over at Sit A While talking about a few books.  And I'm talking about stuff over here too (the entry, "It Gets Better" is mine).

Because I like to think I'm Katherine Paterson, or Oprah, or somebody awesome like that.

I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking, "I came over to Notes for some pictures of the H's and Callie's just shamlessly publicising herself all over the blogosphere."

Well, here ya go.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


The 50 year anniversary of To Kill A Mockingbird was on Saturday, I believe, so I felt it necessary to write a post on my daugthers' names. 

I was not a reader when I was growing up.  I liked listening to stories.  I liked telling stories.  But I didn't like reading them.  I don't know why that is.  I could blame it on the fact that I was in all the dumb classes growing up.  The ones where I had to read a ditto and answer several multiple choice questions.  But I don't think that was necessarily it.  I do remember being rather disappointed when I learned how to read because the stories I read weren't as interesting as the ones I had in my head when I looked at the pictures.  I remember thinking, "That's it?  That's all that's going on here?  Just this one sentence?" when I'd read through a picture book.  Clearly, my lack of interest in reading had to do with my enormous ego and the fact that I thought I, as a 5 or 6 year old, could write a better book then the published author. 

So To Kill A Mockingbird was introduced to me in movie form.  I didn't read the book until I started student teaching.  Oh, but I loved that movie.  My mom brought it home for me from the library when I was (probably pretending to be) sick.  Right away I complained because it was black and white, but my mom, in her always patient manner said, "Oh just give it a chance!" So I did.

It didn't take long for me to become enthralled.  The opening credits were even interesting to me.  What song was the girl humming?  Where did all those little treasures come from?  Why did she rip her picture of the bird she drew?  To Kill A Mockingbird quickly became the most requested movie when I was "sick."

The book, I found, was just as good as the movie.  I don't know if I have a favorite scene.  I love every scene Miss DuBose is in. I wish the scene where Jem and Scout go to church with Calperina was in the movie. I get chills every time Scout sees Boo Radley for the first time.

I think about the story all the time.  When I see a house with pretty flowers in the front, I get a tug in my heart for Mayella Ewell.  I wonder about Truman Capote, and his character Dill, and I think it's so cool that he was friends with Harper Lee.

I don't know exactly what I'll pass on to Hadley and Harper.  It has become clear that Hadley digs dancing and reading books, and has recently taken an interest in flip flops.  And Harper has shown with exuberance that she has very little patience, a true Mediterranean temper, and a disgust for anyone that gets too close to her territory. But whatever they end up becoming, or whoever they take after, I hope that they find some good stories to accompany them in their lives. I hope they use the stories they read to make meaning out of their own lives, or learn something about others that they might not have known before. I hope they have friends who they can sit down with and discuss books over coffee or apple juice.

Hadley has a pretty nasty scratch on her knee from running around this summer.  We've had to keep a fresh band-aid on it almost every day the past several days.  It's a process every time we need to change her band-aid.  Yesterday, when she was sitting on my lap and I was putting a new one on her knee, she said, "Mama, I don't ever want to have another boo-boo again."  I said, "I know, but you will probably get another one, one of these days.  That's what happens when you play.  Sometimes you get hurt."  Hadley didn't like this answer, so I rolled up my jeans and showed her the scar on my right knee.

"I got this riding my bike one summer.  I was being chased by your uncle and thought I'd outsmart him by turning the bike around really fast but I fell and my knee got stuck in the wheel.  It was a really big boo-boo."

"Was there blood?"


"What happened after that?" Hadley asked.

"Well, I had to go to the hospital and get stitches."

"Did your mom, my grandma from Chicago, take you?" she wondered.

"Yea, and she gave me a calculator to play with while the doctor took care of me.  I thought that was pretty cool." I said.

"What are stitches?" Hadley asked.

"They're something that makes the boo-boo better." I told her.

"What happened after the stiches?" Hadley asked.

"Well, I went home and a little while later I got back on my bike.  I really liked to ride my bike."

"And what happened after that?"

"That's it.  That's the end of the story." I said.

"OK, now can you tell that again?" Hadley requested.

So I told it again, this time adding a little more details, a few pieces of dialogue, a wee bit of hand gestures to illustrate the action. I hope the story helped her not so much forget about her fear of getting hurt again, but that it helped her understand that even though she could get hurt, riding a bike, or running down the sidewalk, or sliding down a slide is so much fun despite the chance you could get hurt doing these things.

Besides, it all makes a good story.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

City of Oaks

I went out with a couple of friends earlier this week and one of the things we talked about was growing up in the midwest.  They're from Indiana but quickly said that they weren't from Gary, Indiana.  Anyone whose driven to Chicago via Gary knows why one would want to say they're not from Gary.  However, I told them that I always knew when summer was on its way when I could smell Gary from Oak Park.  It's disgusting, but for some reason it made me happy to smell that old french fry smell and know that soon I'd be wearing flip flops. 

I've noticed since summer began this year that our lives have been filled with evidence of summer in ways that have not been common the last few years.  I've been continually washing bathing suits to get them ready for the next day.  I need to get more sunblock.  We all have tan lines, and I can see blond streaks in Hadley's hair.  And we travel a lot more. 

I like that we are able to do a lot more this summer then we have in the last few years.  Maybe I've become more relaxed about things (probably not, this is me I'm talking about), but so far this summer has been a lot of fun.

Over the weekend we went to Raleigh to visit Geoff and Kellee.  They live in a great neighborhood and we had a fabulous time with them.

They have a swingset in their backyard that the girls thought was A-OK as you can see from the picture.

The girls had their first warm Krispy Creme donut over the weekend, too.

Stars and stripes forever, man.

We walked to a couple of parks in the neighborhood.

Everybody had a great time.

Geoff and Kellee took us to the local swimming pool, which was a lot of fun.
Hadley had a good time in the "big" pool.  She really needs more swimming lessons, but she managed to figure out how to kick her feet and move around with the life vest and noodle. 

Harper enjoyed the "little" pool which had all kinds of toys to play with, so she was a happy camper hanging out there.

Hadley joined us a little later.

And what would the 4th of July be without sparklers?

You can't see the sparkler, but Jesse's showing perfect form here.  Look at that concentration.

You guys are all dorks.  I'm going into my house and far away from this madness.

We were also able to walk through a Farmer's Market, and pick up some things.
These pictures don't look like a huge deal, but I was trying to get one of Hadley when she had her hand on Geoff's shoulder.  She kept putting her hand on him and doing a little dance, and then she'd take it off.  I couldn't get the one I wanted, but I thought it was sweet she was so friendly with him. 

Another thing that meant summer was going to Grand Rapids to see my Grandma, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  I said to Jesse on the drive to North Carolina this weekend that the trip from DC to Raleigh isn't that much longer then a trip from Chicago to Grand Rapids.  So maybe Harper and Hadley will associate summer with the splash parks, and sunblock, and going to see their aunt and uncle in North Carolina.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Little Music, A Little Splash

I signed the girls up for a music class that is through Montgomery County.  This is the same teacher that did the class when Hadley was 2, and I just loved her.  When I saw that she was teaching again, I was so excited because she is awesome!  She has a beautfiul voice, she's creative, and she is so good with the kids.

To say that Hadley likes this class would be an understatement.  Watching her these past couple of weeks made me realize how ready for school she really is. 
Yea!  I'm so happy!

Harper, on the other hand, is a little too cool for this stuff.

People are talking and looking at me, Mom.  And they want me to do stupid stuff!  You of all people should know how ridiculous this is.  I can't believe you brought me here!

The teacher taught us a firetruck song, so the kids got to wear hats when they sang and ran around.
Don't you dare let go of my hand, Mom.  Seriously.

We did a bunch of songs with a parachute.  You can see in the above picture Hadley's in full participation mode. 

Harper still thinking this is the dumbest thing ever.
Here she is in full on "feel sorry for me" mode.  Don't feel bad for her, folks.  She is a master of this face.
Hadley is the only one who can get her to participate.
There's a smile.  By the way, Hadley's on the floor because the teacher told the kids to lay down and put their hands up.  We're singing "London Bridge is Falling Down" and raising the parachute above our heads then letting it float back down to the kids.  So Hadley's just following directions, she's not randomly lying on the floor.

It's a very fun class.  Definetely a highlight of the week.  Plus, there's a park right outside the building where we take the class so of course we need to stop by and play.
When Harper climbs up the stairs now she says, "I'm coming, Hadley! I'm coming!"

After naptime, we drove to downtown Silver Spring to meet Jesse and play in the water fountain.
When Hadley's really happy she likes to bust out dancing.
Enjoying a little picnic dinner.
Doing some more dancing.
There was also a moonbounce that Hadley jumped in, but I didn't get any pictures.  However, I did get some pictures of the girls drawing with chalk in the street later that evening.  The street was closed off for all the little kids to do the moonbounce and chalk, etc.
So there's a whole lot of pictures from our Wednesday.  I figure viewers won't mind since my last post only had pictures of what looks like frogs getting ready for an attack.  At least, that's what it looks like to me.