Sunday, November 24, 2019

A Tale of 2 Sisters...Disneyworld and Halloween.

Clara and Freya are now 7 and 4, respectively.  Clara is funny and smart, and very kind. Freya is offbeat and silly, and she truly marches to the beat of her own, wacky drum.  As a family we seriously love Halloween and decided to take the girls to Disneyworld in October to show them the Disney version of Halloween.  When I asked the girls what princess they wanted to dress up as I got two very different answers.  Clara chose Tinkerbell - not technically a princess - but totally suited to my quick witted 7 year-old. And Freya...oh, Freya, chose Malificent.  The Queen of all Evil from Sleeping Beauty.  You go girl! 
Maleficent and TInkerbell waiting for the bus.
Freya took her role as Malificent very seriously.  She was always in character.  When she got her hair styled at the Bippity Boppity Boutique - she told the Fairy Godmother that she wanted" The hairstyle with the tiara because I'm the QUEEN."  

Freya puts on her "I'm Evil." face.
Evil meets Sweet.
Watch Out!
2 Tinks - twice the sass.

Our trip ended. and we returned to New York in time for more Halloween fun.  I thought I was all set with costumes. Clara was eager to roll out her Tinkerbell outfit for everyone to see. She had taken lessons in attitude from the real Tinkerbell.  Predictably Freya had other ideas.  For an entire year - since last Halloween - Freya has insisted that she wanted to be a Baloney Sandwich with a Baloney Sandwich hat for Halloween.  How did she get this idea, you may ask?  I have no answers.  I think Freya had a baloney sandwich maybe once in her life.  The only sandwiches she will eat are peanut butter and jelly.  So who knows. But do you know what I KNOW?  You can't find Baloney Sandwich costumes at Target.  So during the week leading up to Halloween I cobbled together a Baloney Sandwich costume out of: pink leggings and shirt, toy food  from the kids' room, and I miraculously found some crazy person online who makes cat beds that look like slices of bread.  Perfect scale to sandwich a 4 year-old.

Baloney Sandwich.

Sassy Tinkerbell and Happy Baloney Sandwich.
Tinkerbell is hungry.
Another fun fact about Clara.  She absolutely adores roller coasters.  The scarier the better, and she's so tall she can ride on all of them.  Unfortunately for her, she was born to parents who DO NOT love roller coasters. But we do love her, so we go on these crazy rides with her.  On our last trip to Disney, Gerald bit the bullet and went on Expedtion Everest  - the SCARIEST roller coaster at Disney with Clara.  This time he totally chickened out and made ME DO IT!  I present to you - the proof.

There is so much to unpack here.  Clara is smiling/cheering.  The two people behind us - also clearly enjoying themselves.  Me - what has happened to my hair?  Is it literally standing on end?  I'm the Don King of Expedition Everest.  My eyes are squeezed shut - I grab Clara's leg, consumed with terror while Clara's hands are neatly folded in her lap - Ho Hum.

Happy Halloween.

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.