Saturday, July 21, 2018

Ghosts and Fairies and Learning to Sew.

One of the best parts about having 2 children is seeing how different they can be. Freya has been going to day camp three hours a day and she is loving every minute of it.  Every day I pick her up she's bouncing to tell me about her day.

"I had a great day at camp. I listened to all the teachers and I played with all their toys" 
"I made a jelly fish!"
"My name is Freya. F.R.E.Y.A. That spells Freya"

This past Friday was "Dress Up as Your Future Career" day.  A little heady for an almost three year old but I asked her the question. Her answer: "When I grow up I want to be a ghost so I can scare all my friends."

Unusual but I decided to roll with it.  I tried to get Freya to wear a big white undershirt as her "ghost" look.  She was furious - showing me that real ghosts wear it completely over their heads.  Freya proceeded to walk around the apartment like this, increasingly frustrated as she bumped into walls and furniture.  We were at a stalemate.  Freya had to be a real ghost who couldn't see through the shirt on her head or nothing.

Then Clara stepped in and said: Freya, I'll help you find something else. After a few minutes alone in their room, Freya reappeared magically transformed into a fairy princess by her big sister.  Fairy princess...ghost....both  equally legitimate future careers. 

Freya even got to present her career to her class.  Other notable presentations included: "I'm a firefighter. I have water.  I'm a doctor, they use stethoscopes." But come one people, who needs water and stethoscopes when you have a magic wand?  Am I right?

Waving her wand.
Over summer break Clara has become very interested in sewing.  Her aunt got her a doll dress-making kit for her birthday.  True to form she immediately went off script and wanted to use the fabric to make a much smaller dress as well as a stuffed animal.

It was good we started small.  Clara was frustrated by the idea that conceptualizing, cutting out a pattern, sewing, and stuffing all didn't happen in a 15 minute sit down.  But she persevered (with some helpful stitching from her mom) and pulled off her first 2 original designs.  I present to you, red dress for Barbie, and Pig-a-Lig the doll.

Oversize sack dresses are in!

Clara has since moved onto more complicated projects.  She's learned that smaller stitches help the stuffing not fall out. She is not interested in real patterns - she wants to draw them herself and cut out the fabric.  See the round cheeks sewn onto her panda - which she named Bamboo.

Bamboo the Panda.

My friend Rachel who happens to be a costume designer hooked me up with a bunch of fun fabric remnants - this blue paisley inspired Clara's current project - a whale. Gerald sent this over to me at work.  I haven't heard back about the name yet, but that whale sure is wearing a dashing ascot?  Scarf?  

Note: After I got home I was informed that this was a dolphin and her name was Dolphinia.  I still love that saucy ascot...even though Clara told me it was a fin.  Hmpf.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Conversations with Clara and Freya Episode One.

Clara and Freya constantly amuse me with their conversation and comedy.  Both have a fabulous sense of humor and love to make people laugh.

Clara's Graduation from Kindergarten.

Freya continues to perfect her Banana, Orange Knock Knock Jokes.  She keeps me on my toes - changing up the punch lines.

Knock knock...Who's there? Strawberry.  Strawberry who?...Aren't you glad I didn't say banana?

(I know...needs a little polishing.)

Freya finds a worm.

Clara has tried the old....Mom, Spell I Cup.  Me: I See You Pee. (Clara bursts out laughing - "You said pee!!!!!")

She followed up with: Spell Apple. 
Me: A-P-P-L-E. 

Shrieks of laughter.

Clara: You said PEE PEE!!!!!

So does Clara.

But here's where her comedy starts to get more sophisticated...

The girls were taking a bath the other night, playing happily. 

Clara calls out: Mom!  Mom! I really need you to come in here RIGHT NOW!

I walk in expecting a mess or something.

Me: What is it?

Clara: (deadpan serious) Mom - I really need you to tell me how to spell Apple.

Freya and Clara burst out laughing. 

Clara's first recital. 

Or the other night, while trying to get them in pajamas, both girls spontaneously create a new song to the tune of Frere Jacques -

"We're not sleeping!  We're not sleeping! We're awake!  We're awake!"

Freya in the playground.

Freya has also invented a dance she calls the "Ouchee Chihuahua Dance" which involves her dancing around her room, preferably unclothed, while sort of galloping and slapping her own butt while shouting: "Ouchee Chihuahua! Ouchee Chihuahua!"

Freya showing Clara how to be a Little Teapot.

We have a lovely babysitter named Alisha that the kids adore - she's very bohemian and is currently sporting blue hair.  She shared this conversation with Freya that she had the other day:

Freya: Alisha, you have poop on your arm.

Alisha: No I don't.

Freya: Yes you do Alisha, you have poop on your arm.

Alisha: Show me this supposed poop.

Freya points to Alisha's armpit - rocking the unshaved look.

Alisha: That's not poop.  That's hair.  I have hair there just like I have hair on my head.

Freya: Nooo...Alisha, poop isn't blue.  You're silly.

Fun in the sun.

Thanks girls for keeping our conversations lively and fun.

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 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.