Hadley started dance class a few weeks ago, and it has been a riot thus far. Hadley loves it. One thing I know about my oldest daughter is that she loves group activities, and she loves music. In this class, they get to prance around with pretty wands, flap their arms up and down while leaping in the air, spin around waving fancy scarves, it's all very Fancy Nancy. For 45 minutes every week I get to watch what looks like a mime production of popcorn popping.
The best part? Hadley gets to wear ballet shoes, and a leotard.
The fun doesn't stop when we leave class, folks. Oh no. We carry on the dance party at home, too.
Harper wanted to have a leotard and ballet shoes as well, so I compromised. She's wearing a onesie and Dora slippers.
It was only a matter of time before they got bit by the dance bug. After all, their father has four completely different ranges of motion.
I don't know how long it'll last, but every year since Hadley's been born I start remembering what I was doing X years ago at that time. Around the teens of October I start to say, "Right around this time I was down to wearing Jesse's old workshirts because that's all that fit." Or, "Oh yeah, today is the day that I called Jesse up crying because I couldn't get my left shoe tied and I didn't know how I was going to leave the house with just one shoe on." As the 23rd gets closer, the memories become more vivid. I remember on the 22nd, which was a Sunday, Jesse and I ate breakfast on our porch and read The Washington Post. I remember reading an article about the guy who writes cartoons for Doonsbury. Since I knew that I was going to be induced the next day, I would ask Jesse things like, "What do you think we'll be doing at this time tomorrow?" He would humor me and come up with some kind of response, and every time I asked, "Do you think it'll be over by this time tomorrow?" He would always say, "Oh yea, definetely."
It almost feels irreverent not to take pause on the 23rd of October and marvel at all that happened the day I first met Hadley. So I kept watch of the clock and noted what I was doing 4 years ago on the 23rd: Staring at the recieving blanket and hat draped across the baby table next to where I was, pressing the button that increases the "juice" for the epidural, eating an ice chip and thinking it was the tastiest thing God created, and of course, holding Hadley for the first time. I remember when the doctor asked me what her name was, I was thinking, "Don't you know? It's Hadley! Have I not said it outloud yet? This is my girl, Hadley."
My mom and dad, and brother and sister-in-law all came this weekend to celebrate Hadley turning 4. I know Hadley had a fabulous time. We played with the new toys, did lots of coloring, went to the park, had birthday cake, and took a trip to Port Discovery. I don't know if Hadley can pick out a favorite time of the weekend. For me, it was the point when we were driving home from Baltimore and Jesse squeezed my hand when we passed Holy Cross Hospital. "That's where we were 4 years ago today." Our travels in and around the Beltway have never been the same since.
Here are some pictures of the weekend:
Trying to make the world's largest bubble in the Water Room at Port Discovery.
I think the water room was the girls' favorite room at the museum. Hadley is working on a "will it sink or float" project.
Harper had a good time, too.
So did Jesse.
He's mad at me here because I told him it was time to get out of the darn net and come and eat lunch, for Pete's sake.
And of course, there was birthday cake. Hadley requested a chocolate cake with "lots of little candles and one big '4' candle." Check.
You might think I'm in the middle of singing "Happy Birthday" to my daughter, but what is really happening is I'm saying, "I actually made this with no disaster! At all!"
You need full concentration when eating cake. I think Hadley liked it.
I know Harper did.
This is the first time I've seen the kid use a fork.
I am writing this on the 25th of October. Four years ago today, we brought Hadley home from the hospital. I remember driving home and thinking I've never seen such colorful leaves on the trees before. I remember Jesse putting Hadley, who was sound asleep in her carseat, down in the living room and she immediately started screaming. I don't think I remember much more about the 25th except that when I think back to those first few days, everything was so new and fresh. And of all the things that have changed since we've had kids, that is one thing that has stayed the same.
First. There is no need for your hands. They'll just get in the way.
Second. Ignore everyone's reactions and just keep eating.
Third. The only thing your hands are good for is to hold on to the sides of your chair to push you further into the donut. That is a good use for hands in this situation.
Fourth. It's good to have a wipe. I am a lady, after all.
Fifth. Watch out for your sister. She might eat a donut differently (some might say "the correct way"), but she doesn't leave any chocolate to waste. She will lick the chocolate off your cheek and that is a hard fact. So just watch out for those siblings.
Do you see her in the background? Can I get a witness people? She's coming for that chocolate!
Repeat the above steps as many times as your parents will allow.
Hadley wrote her first story today, and because I have a slight interest in writing, I thought I should document the artist at work.
The inspiration for the story comes from the picture she drew to her right (you can see it on the paper that's taped to the window).
In the above picture she's taking a look at her "rough draft" to get the letters down correctly on her own piece of paper. She told me what was going on in the picture, and I wrote it down for her so she could copy them.
Here she is working hard.
(She did not draw that tree. I did that. It's good, right? Hadley drew the leaves.)
After awhile, Hadley needed to pull up a chair and sit down. Writing is tough stuff. It wears you out.
Here is Hadley's story. Before you read it, I'd like you to know that I had nothing to do with the topic. This is all Hadley.
"Once there was a little girl who was stuck in the spider's tummy and was named Sarah."
Yesterday we took a trip to Home Depot to check out PVC pipes (I think).
We needed to be in this aisle looking at whatever we were looking at because we currently do not have a washer. As in, to wash one's clothing. Well, we have one. We actually have a pretty nice looking one. Except that it's in our living room. Next to the bookshelf. I didn't take a picture of it because of all the things I want to remember about this particular event in our lives, a picture of the washer in my living room is not something I need to see. I'd rather remember this:
We went shopping for birthday presents on Saturday and apparently went to the wrong store. All we needed to do was buy different pieces of PVC pipe and throw them in cardboard boxes and we're golden. Hadley and Harper made telescopes, whistles, snakes, all sorts of things while Jesse looked for a little piece that was going to help him install the washer.
I stood by very patiently and didn't worry at all about when I will be able to wash my underwear again.
All that looking at PVC pipe worked up our appetite, so we went to Roy's Place.
Jesse says, "Let's check this place out. They have a lot of sandwiches." If you asked me which character on Friends that I most resemble, I'd want to say Rachel but really it's Joey because I don't like to share food at all, and I love sandwiches. So I was up for going to Roy's Place.
Jesse suggested I look at the menu before we went but, and here's another weird thing about me, I hate looking at the menu before I go anywhere. I don't know why. I also don't know why I don't like to share food, but it's out there and make of it what you will. However, I should have looked at the menu because Roy's Place has 216 sandwiches to choose from. Two hundred and sixteen! And there are no categories. It's just page after page of a different kind of sandwich with these catchy titles and funny little tweet like anecdotes after them. I was completely overwhelmed.
Harper is re-enacting how I felt while looking at the menu. Also, she was ticked off because she had to sit in a high chair.
I eventually made a decision and went with the 216th sandwich - a caprese with marinated peppers. I thought this was a safe choice because it came on bread that I knew wouldn't get soggy. I hate soggy bread. I also hate sandwiches where the stuffing comes out and dribbles down your arm. So I stayed away from any sandwich with the words "smothered" in the description. I'll have you know that marginally narrowed down my choices despite the frequency that this word occured in the menu.
Jesse chose "The Father's Regret." I don't remember what was on it, but the waiter, who reminded me of Matt Sorenson said it was his favorite. I wanted to say, "Of all 216 sandwiches!?!?!" But I didn't want to hurt Matt's feelings.
While we waited for our sandwiches, we made mustaches out of straws and straw wrappers.
When our sandwiches came, we were not at all disappointed. They were delicious. Mine was very tasty and not at all soggy, and Jesse couldn't stop talking about how fantastic his sandwich was.
So Roy's provided us with a fun, tasty dinner. We both agreed we'd come back again. Certainly for the sandwiches, but also because it reminded us of South Bend. This place has the same kind of character as Corby's or Macris.
And it was such a fun dinner we almost forgot about the washer sitting in our living room. Almost.
I believe I've set up a nice little schedule for me and the girls this fall. Oh, how I love a schedule. Anyway, the only day that we don't have something planned is Wednesday. So it has the potential for being a bit of a free for all (a great fear of mine), but this past Wednesday we had a good time.
We went out out for breakfast.
Why bring the food up to your mouth when this is just as effective?
Food on the face. Always.
We played with Play-doh.
Before I took this picture I told both of them they had to clean it all up if they wanted to play with something else. Hadley's like, "Wha?" And Harper's already got her finger pointed to Hadley. "Go ahead, Hadley. You can pick it up. I didn't do much but sit here anyway."
But the highlight was dressing up in Halloween costumes. What? She let them play in their Halloween costumes? But it isn't Halloween! This is just going to cause all sorts of problems. I'll tell you what. I use the same philosophy with Halloween costumes as I did with my wedding dress. Wear it if ya got it, you know what I mean? Why not put on that dress and pretend you're Scarlet O'Hara when everyone is out of the house? All that tulle is just going to waste otherwise. Tulle is meant to be worn, and frequently.
Just like an elephant and dinosaur costume.
My mom - of all people - asked me if I made these costumes. Mom, whose daughter did you think you were talking to? Do I need to remind you of the sequins you tried to sew to my leotard for Drill Team? No, no. I did not make these costumes. Just the children in them.
When I grow up I want to be a writer. I practice a lot on my two blogs, Notes from Naptime and Sit A While. Sometimes what I write gets into magazines. My work has been in Christian School Teacher, Christian Home and School, the online magazine Mommy Times, and The Banner.