Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's all about the egg

Regardless of what religion you subscribe to... what holidays you celebrate... at this time of year, eggs are present. At least in the two religions, and their associated holidays, that I know anything about.

And so we roll with that.

Hard boiled eggs were a feature at our Passover Seder. Plastic ones filled with candy also made great "OMG-I-totally-forgot-about-Afikomen-finding-gifts" at the thrown-together-36-hours-in-advance-yet-totally-lovely Seder I hosted this year.

Dyed eggs, and those filled with goodies, were a front and center at our annual "Find the Passover Bunny" Easter egg hut at my cousin Gail's house.

Be it real eggs, candy eggs, Passover or Easter, I loved celebrating it all with family. But I may have to run another 10 mile race to burn off some of the sour gummy bunnies and chocolate malt balls that made their way from the girls' baskets in to my belly!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

And then she was three...

From her slightly early and ill-timed arrival on April 10, 2008...

To the first birthday surrounded by LOTS of friends and family...

To the second birthday, where she started to get the hang of this birthday thing (and her party persona began to emerge)...

To April 10, 2011. 36 months in to our Anna adventure...

school party

Tangled-themed friend party... chock full of princesses and knights (of which I didn't get a single picture!)

The many faces of Anna...

She's sweet but sassy. Timid at times but vivacious once she gets going. Kind-hearted but, occasionally, wicked (and watch out for her right hook!). Super, super silly. Crazy, CRAZY smart. Athletic. Precocious, but in a way that's totally different from that of her big sister. Bilingual and, now, the family translator. Next dancing with the stars champion -- unlike me, she's got rhythm. Darling. Charming. Coy.

I spent the first few months of her life comparing her to Lily (cardinal sin according to the parenting books!). Did they look alike? (no) Did they act alike? (no) Were they going to follow the same path? (no)

Anna is her own person...

But most of all, she's a love. And she's three. My baby is no longer a baby. I can't wait to see who she grows up to be.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Lily, as it turns out, will do just about anything for money. Including run 3.1 miles. At age 6.

Our elementary school PTA organized a professionally-timed "fun" run (although that seems like an oxymoron to me), the first of its kind, that was held last Saturday. The race was first announced at back to school night in September, and the buzz has been building since then.

Kids stretching pre-race. Lily is #357 in the photo below.

Noah and I, who are always looking for great excuses to get Lily away from the computer or her art project du jour (ie, moving her body), decided it would be a great family activity. We'd talk about it. We'd train for it. We'd run it together. Of course, at the time it didn't occur to me that the first time I'd EVER run this distance was after I'd graduated from college...which would be in, like, 18 years for Lily. Never mind, she could do it at 6.

I was not exactly wide-eyed and bushy-tailed early that Saturday morning...

...neither was Anna, who rode the 5k, bundled in her PJs.

Not long after the training started (rest assured, it was run-walk training and we took it easy!), so did the complaining. According to Lily, running is the most horrible/terrible/boring/and evil thing in the world. So plan B was launched -- dash for dollars. Yes, Lily got paid to run. Suffice it to say, her little wallet is fat and happy right now.

The event culminated on a perfect day. Ideal temperature. Blue skies. Happy-ish kids. $11 for the 'ole wallet. Don't ask... Apparently Noah offered Madam Negotiator $10 and somehow it ended up being $11. So while we're $11 poorer, she's got a 5k under her belt. Completed in less than 43 minutes. Not bad for a 6 year old who thinks that sweat is gross!

Lily and Noah post-race!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Are you listening?

It's slightly ironic that Lily and the K-2 choir at Temple would end up singing a song with this title since I swear it's the refrain in my house every other second... "Um, girls, is anyone listening to me?" "Can you hear me?" "Am I talking to myself??"

Recently the award-winning children's musicians, Peter and Ellen Allard, came to Temple to run a workshop with the Sunday school kids and perform in a family concert. And although they were great, the Shir Joy choir stole the show. Well, specifically, Lily and her cousin Camilla stole the show (in my book)... they're the super cute ones, second in from the end in both the first and second rows.

On a related note, Lily has become exceedingly spiritual of late. Well, if I actually think about, this has been building for the last few years; joining the Temple last summer certainly has fed her feelings.

Lily and I were in the car a yesterday, and she asked me if I believed in God. I decided to be honest with her, and I said I wasn't sure. How could I know, afterall, if God really existed...?

"Oh it's easy Mom. Really easy!" Lily replied. "I mean, who else could have created the first seeds...the ones that grew to be the first trees, the first flowers, the first grasses? Who else could have created water? Or air? Or Sunsets?"

"By the way, Mom," she continued, "I kind of feel sorry for Adam and Eve. They never got to experience childhood."

"You do believe in Adam and Eve, don't you Mom?"

Sigh. If it's this hard to keep up with a six year old's questions, I'm DOOMED (and should probably start now preparing for the "where do babies come from" question)!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dear Loly...

Thanks to my own mother -- and my neurotic tendencies -- I appreciate the importance of thank you notes. Thanks to the realities of life with two small children and a more than full time job, they don't always happen on time. But they do eventually happen.

Lily got quite a care package from my aunt Lois Anne, AKA Loly to all those who know and love her so, when she broke her arm last fall. The thank you note was delayed a tad due to the backlog of birthday thank you notes. When writing those, she recited out loud to Noah or me what she wanted to say; we wrote that down on a piece of paper; and then she copied the note on to her card. I figured Loly's thank you note would go something like that too.

But it didn't.

Just as we were sitting down to write that one, I had to break to answer a phone call. When I returned to the dining room table, little Miss Lily had gone right ahead, sounding out the words and writing them down phonetically.

Translation if needed...

Dear Loly,
Thank you for all my treats when I hurt my arm. They made me happy. I love you.

You are my super star
(and note the picture of an eye + heart + you in the upper left hand corner... I ♥ U)

Melted my heart and made me smile. Now I understand why my mother saved so many of our notes, paintings, class reports and letters home from camp!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Got love?

Who would have thought that a trip to Michael's for Valentine's Day party supplies for Lily's kindergarten class party, the weekend before Valentine's Day, would have unearthed TONS of Easter decorations...but not one red heart to be found?

Who would have thought that a preschool class, comprised of 10 two year olds who cannot yet read OR really understand the meaning of the holiday, would have required a red shirt + jeans combo for their party that a trip to Target would fail to supply?

Who would have thought that this stretched-too-thin working mother would have pulled a great Valentine's Day off, in spite of herself, at the very last minute?

The day started off with heart shaped waffles topped with berries and whipped cream...and ended with two devilish darling girls, decked in the requisite red and white, giggling their hearts out having had a wonderful day.

Happy Valentine's Day from Lily and Anna!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Color us happy

The sad news is that Noah's sister, Sara, and her new hubbie, Leon, have jumped the pond and taken up residence in jolly old England. London to be specific. The great news is that we got some nice QT, in the form of a visit, before Sara had to leave for good. (The silver lining is, of course, that we now have a great excuse to visit -- and a place to stay!)

We took full advantage of having an extra adult in the house during Sara's stay, and we decided to tackle a DIY house project...painting.

For those of you who know me well, you might be scratching your head. Moi + painting? Say it ain't so! After painting our living room in the house we tore down, Noah and I swore that we'd never do it again. Painting would be a thing we'd outsource from here on out. Like hauling heavy boxes when moving from address A to address B. Or scrubbing toilets.

But I've recently become addicted to the design/DIY blog Young House Love. (WARNING -- it's highly addictive, so please don't say I didn't warn you!) And these guys, who recently moved and are redoing a whole new house, make painting look so easy and fun. So I decided to give it another chance.

And... it was easy and fun! And the transformation was so major and immediate. I love it!

I started nice and small with the kitchen island. And while I don't have before pictures, you can paint one in your mind. Because until this color went up, our ENTIRE house was "moon mist", an ever-so-slightly-yellowish-tinted white.

Benjamin Moore's "kingsport gray"

Then we tackled Lily's room. Before = none other than "moon mist." After = Benjamin Moore's "freesia." The exact same color as her cousin, Camilla's, room. Because, you know, at age 6 imitation really is the most sincere form of flattery. That and the fact that these girls are two halves of the same person...separated at birth (and by about 15 months).

Taped, furniture moved to the center, and ready to go!

The colors we were deciding between -- purple, purple and purple. Guess what won? Purple!


And while we have decided to leave the big/hard spaces to the painting pros, Noah and I are up to the challenge of bedrooms. Next up... Anna's!

Color us happy, indeed!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Random Act of Kindness

Noah and I went back and forth, back and forth about the "ideal age difference" to have between our kids. There seemed to be pros and cons to both spacing them closely together as well as farther apart. I knew that I could not have done two in diapers, so 3 1/2 years seemed like the happy medium. But some told us that even that was too far apart... the kids may, but may not, become playmates.

The jury was out until recently. But I'm happy to say that not only have they started playing -- I mean really playing -- together, but watching their relationship blossom is nothing short of beauty. Of course they have their hair-pulling, name-calling, toy-grabbing moments too, but all in all they're becoming the best of buds.

There is enough of an age difference that they have their distinct personalities and roles. Lily is just enough older that she feels slightly maternal to Anna...but not so much older that she thinks she's a little mama. Anna is now old enough to hold her own...but still young enough that she likes it when Lily babies her.

Lily, who just recently started earning an allowance, journeyed out to a toy store a few weeks ago with a pretty heavy piggy bank in tow. Not only did she buy a something for herself, but she insisted that she buy Anna something too. With her own money; no parental contributions were accepted. And she bought a baby, because that's what Anna loves best.

A random act of kindness that made this mama very proud.

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