Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother's Day.

I remember always wanting to be a mother - in the abstract as a child - deciding I would have 4 boys and marry my current crush that I had never even kissed.  

I remember wanting to be a mother in my 20's when that perfect partner to do this with failed to appear.

I remember wanting to be a mother in my 30's and seriously considering becoming a mother on my own.  Considering male friends and sperm donation and trying to juggle it all to make that journey work.

I remember being on a third or fourth date when my now husband told me that he wanted children. And I remember feeling like I had won the lottery because this guy I was falling for wanted kids too. Wow. 

And another 2 years or so later I got to fully realize the dream that I had nurtured through my entire life.  I became a mother - to the first of two wonderful daughters.   

And I get to do all the things that come with being a responsible adult - like cleaning the house, keeping the kids clean, ordering endless boxes of diapers and wipes and toothpaste and toilet paper. But I also get to be a mom to 2 little girls who think I am the c-o-o-o-o-o-lest.

I get to be the one that makes up stories at night starring them (Clara and Freya have had some epic adventures in Fairyland)

I get to be the go-between for Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny. 
(Yes, Clara - if you're reading this, they are real.)

Almost every day Clara writes me a new book with ever-developing plot lines and artwork.  She tells me she wants to be an artist when she grows up.

Freya comes into the kitchen when I'm cleaning up after dinner and says: "Can I be with you?" And I say yes, and she carefully pulls the forks and spoons out of the dishwasher for me to put away.

I get to walk with Freya to pick up Clara at school and watch as her little hand slips out of mine and reaches to hold Clara's hand because she has missed her sister all day.

And boy do they love to snuggle on the couch.  If I ever find myself distracted by the boring minutia of life and responsibility, I just have to give into the cuddle - even when it's accompanied by ice-cold bare feet that poke at me to make me laugh.

It is nice when something you want your entire life is made real.  Happy Mother's Day.







Hara the Rabbit by Clara
The Lost Puppy by Clara



Sunday, April 15, 2018

Life Gets in the Way.

Haven't written in a while.  It's been a crazy few months.  A fluke spill off her scooter put Clara in the hospital with two bone breaks that required surgery.  Cast is off, brace is off...now off to the wonderful world of Occupational Therapy.

It's taken a lot of juggling but the girls have definitely kept their spirits up. Laughter and smiles are always the best medicine.

Hot Pink Cast.

Decorated cast.
Graduating to a brace.

Last day wearing the brace.





Saturday, February 03, 2018

Clara and Freya and what they do.


 It's fun watching how much Clara influences Freya.  Freya seems to jump in leaps and bounds simply to keep up with a sister that is 2 years older than her.  

Clara enjoys telling jokes and has a natural sense of timing that often makes me laugh.  Freya likes the idea of people laughing but doesn't really get what the structure of a joke is.

Like these attempts:

Freya: Knock Knock?

Me: Whose there?

Freya: Clowns.

Me: Clowns who?

Freya: Ba-DONGY FACE!!!! (laughs hysterically)


Now, you may think - that makes no sense.  But we have The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak to thank for that "Ba-Dongy Face" zinger punchline. This is a book that Clara had recently begun reading out loud to her sister.

I have also been known to answer Clara's: "Guess what?" With: "Chicken Butt."  which made Clara laugh.  I watched Freya examining this exchange and trying to dissect why this might be funny which lead to weeks of her endlessly trying out the joke and expecting laughter, which she got. (of course)

They play a lot together and fight sometimes.  As you do.  There most recent obsession, aided and abetted by Gerald, is fort-making in their room.  They build elaborate forts in their room and hang out underneath in the semi-gloom and talk and play.  I have to admit their forts are a lot more impressive than my attempts as a child with Becky which consisted of sitting in Becky's closet with the door shut.

Clara has become interested in the idea of allowance, and earning allowance with chores. (setting the table, keeping toys off the floor of her room, and wiping off the bathroom sink, in case you were wondering) Clara loves counting her money and talking about what she's going to spend it on.  And this too, has somehow trickled down to Freya.

The other night - 4 or 5 am - Freya came into our bedroom.  She whispered:

Freya: Hey...Mom.  Mom.  I have a question.

Me: What is it?

Freya: What's a quarter?

Me. 25 cents.

Freya: Oh.
 (a beat, then she leaves and puts herself back to sleep.)

The next night Freya woke Gerald and simply said: "It's 25 cents." before leaving the room and going back to bed.

They are endlessly entertaining and I can't wait to see what they get into next.

Clara teaching her sister about snow angels.

They found finger lights and put them in their noses.
Freya at her toddler class.

Clara at a school event. She made a dragon for Freya too.



Sunday, November 12, 2017

I love Halloween. 2017

It is no secret that I love Halloween.  Always have, always will...and what I love about being a parent is that I can instill that same rabid loyalty to the excitement of Halloween in my children.  This year I had Clara decide on her costume in the beginning of September - I need time to plan these things, people!

All summer Clara had wanted to be Powerpuff girls.  Clara, Freya and I would be the Powerpuff Girls and Gerald would be the villain, Mojo Jojo.  But in a surprise turnaround, Clara decided we would all be Trolls after watching and falling in love with the Trolls movie.  Clara would be the heroine, Poppy Troll, Freya would be the Justin Timberlake Troll -Branch, and Gerald and I would be Background Trolls.  

Over the weeks I began cobbling together their costumes, and took on the task of making the wigs because everything I could find for sale looked stupid and expensive.  When October 1st rolled around, I surprised Clara with a Halloween Countdown Calendar which stoked the embers of excitement into flame.  Freya even joined in practicing saying things like: "Happy Halloween!"  "Trick or Treat?" and "Hee hee hee, I'm a witch!"  It was awesome.

Finally the big day arrived - we were ready - and as usual - it's nearly impossible to get a family picture, especially one where Freya keeps her wig on - but here are the results of months of work.
Freya is not pleased about the wig.
Clara as Poppy Troll.
Gerald and Branch.
Background Trolls.

I host  a Pre-Trick or Treating Halloween Party for the kids in our building.  This year I went with a witch theme - I invented 2 games - throw gooey eyeballs into a witches cauldron, and the Witch's Gauntlet which involved throwing glow rings over obstacles - witches legs, a black cat,flickering candles, and a witch's hat.  Both games were very popular.

Cauldron, bowl of eyeballs on the side.
Witch's Gauntlet.

Then it was time to Trick or Treat.  Clara's friend Sara was there as well as their cousin Fred and his parents, Becky and Dustin.  The only person I know who like Halloween more than me is my sister Becky - their family costume took it to a whole new level.  I present to you Fred as Mike Wazowski from Monster's Inc, Dustin as Sully, and Becky as Boo's Closet door.  Come on People!



 As we tromped around the building knocking on doors, enthusiastic neighbors got into the spooky spirit. 
Babette chased us down because we missed her door.
Trick- or - Spider Man!
Nightmare Nurse!
All in all it was another Halloween for the record books.  Though I have notcied a pattern in Halloween costumes Freya may want to remedy next year...so far all three of her Halloween's Freya has been a sidekick to Clara's star attraction...and a boy.

Year One: Clara - Princess Anna, Freya- Olaf.
Year Two: Clara - Snow White, Freya- Dopey
Year Three: Clara -  Poppy Troll, Freya Branch Troll.

What will next year bring? Only the ghosts and the goblins know.


Freya and Clara.
Poppy Troll and Sky From Paw Patrol.
Freya and Fred get some candy.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sesame Street - 2nd Generation

Last week Gerald and I had the amazing opportunity to take Clara to visit the set of Sesame Street thanks to my old friend (and puppeteer) Tyler Bunch. There was so much nostalgia to this visit.  There aren't many shows that have been on the air since Gerald and I were kids that are still on and relevant to our children.  As fate would have it...and our parents differing industry connections to Sesame Street, both Gerald and I had the opportunity to visit the set as children - and now here we were...30+ years later taking our daughter.


When we walked onto the set the first thing I saw was Big Bird's nest.  Come ON!!!  I love Big Bird!



 The next thing I saw was the sign for Mr. Hooper's store.  The day Becky and I visited the set as children was the day after the actor playing Mr. Hooper died.  It was a quiet, somber set but I remember walking around in absolute wonder. 



I was about 6 years old when I visited, Gerald was younger - and had some real insider access, as he was allowed to take a photo sitting inside Oscar's trash can.  He wasn't so lucky this time, but we did find out that it is one of 2 pieces of set that are original and date back to our childhood.

Gerald then.

Gerald now.


The other piece of set that is original are the brownstone steps leading up to the 123 entry door.  The only photo I know of from my visit to sesame street is on these same steps...and Clara got a photo too.


Clara - 2017.
Becky and I circa 1982.

And then the real magic happened - Tyler had told me before that there was no guarantee that we would be able to meet any of the characters - which was fine - my head was already spinning with childhood glee.  From the back we watched a scene being filmed with Abby Cadabby, Grover (MY FAVORITE!!!!), Mr. Johnson, and Rudy (Abby's younger brother), and real person Chris.  

We watched them film the scene - during a short break I suddenly heard Abby say: "Hey, you, I like you're skirt - it's just like mine." And I realized Abby was talking to CLARA!!!!!   Ahhhhh!  And just like that Abby and Grover and Rudy came over to talk to Clara and give her lots of hugs.  

I restrained myself from hugging Grover and crying and instead took some photos of this momentous occasion.  As you can see - Clara was a little stunned by all the attention.





A short while later after we saw some of the behind the scenes stuff we walked back on set.  Abby swooped in and took Clara's hand and walked her over to her Fairy Garden. They sat together and talked for a long time.  I cannot express how awe inspiring it was to watch this interaction between a happy-go-lucky pink fairy and my most precious little girl.





It is something I will never forget and I am forever grateful to have gotten to experience the magic of Sesame Street as a child, an adult, and a mother.