Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Halloween Rejects

We love goimg to the Halloween and party stores to try on masks.  These three made us howl, but we have been assured that no one wants this to be their final costume.  Bummer.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bitten by a bear?

We went to an amusement park/zoo this summer, and as we were waiting for something, I found Allie exactly like this.   She was pretending the bear was eating her arm.  Love it!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The dread and the success

Allie got her turn at learning to ride a bike without training wheels this weekend.  We "accidentally" lost hers when they were removed a few weeks ago.  She was hesitant and sure that she wouldn't be able to do it.  After teaching Lilly (one of the single most frustrating times as a Mom, then awesome) I had a sense of dread hanging over me.  I decided to have her just do the practicing balancing with her feet hovering just an inch or so off the ground while going down a slight incline for a while until she felt comfortable.  This took all of six minutes.  She was ready.  We took two turns around the playground, me running, holding her shirt, her wobbling like a drunk madman, and insisting she couldn't do it.  I told her that she could and that I didn't want to hear I can't again.  She said she was scared but ready to try.  Just like that I gave her a push and she started pedaling.  I rested my hand on her back and she was doing it!  We did a few more straight lines with my hand on her back but not helping at all. Then we took off one more time and I ran beside her, sort of behind.  She said, "I can do it I'm RIDING MY BIKE WITH NO TRAINING WHEEEEELS!!!!"  And that was that.  She can ride.  She kept at it all morning and now can take off without help.  What a relief! She is so proud, and I am, too.  She did an amazing job and told me, "Mama, I didn't give up and now I can do it and I am so proud!"  My favorite bike riding day yet. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lucky, and something else

As we have moved through this summer, I cannot stop thinking about how lucky I am.  How lucky WE are.  We have been gifted with the amazing opportunity of spending the days together with no real schedule, a fly by the seat of our pants kind of attitude, people around us who love us, general health and well being for the children, and lots of sunshine.  I am feeling especially lucky to have the family and friends that I do.  I have two amazing uncles who have always been a big part of my life, although we don't see each other as often as I would like, due to both time and distance apart, they are both in my thoughts often. While this summer has been a real gift, I have felt extremely torn. One of my uncles was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer this past winter, and has been undergoing heavy chemotherapy and radiation. He lives far from me, so I can't put my eyes on him when I just want a quick glance.   He is in my thoughts daily, and I wish I lived closer so I could go over and cook him dinner and do his laundry.  While I know this seems like a strange thing to wish for, I can't help but wish it.  I guess what I really wish for is more time to be with him.  I have always looked forward to his visits and the unique energy he brings to any situation he is in.  He has this special way of making anyone he's around smile, whether with a funny face or story or inappropriate joke... The girls all know him and think he's funny.  He always takes them to this one particular toy store downtown when he visits and lets them choose anything they want. He is usually surprised at what they pick, because it is something small, not anything extravagant, and so he always tries to convince them that they need this or that along with whatever they picked out.   Last year when he was here, Allie chose a tutu and leotard that she ended up wearing for nearly two months, every day.  This is still her favorite dress up outfit, although she is getting a little tall for the leotard.  I am glad they have gotten to know him and have been able to experience the uncle I got to have growing up.  So while I feel very lucky this summer, I also feel very conflicted, because I always have him in my mind, thinking about how he is feeling and hoping he will heal.  It's such a weird, grown-up kind of thing to be happy-sad.  Sometimes sad-happy.  I love him and want to be there for him, so there has been lots of baking goodies and sending things I have found that I think will help him feel well.  There have been many tears, some while running, (which does not make for easy breathing or seeing) and also much laughter while remembering something wonderful about him.  I am trying to balance all of the good of summer and to live in the moment, and to take time to feel sad at the same time, while also sending him all the positive energy I can muster.   So if you can, think a good thought for him, he's got a ton left to do, and I'm sure some positive vibes going his way couldn't hurt.