Musings of a mother/scuba instructor/graphic designer/musical entrepreneur. Totally in love with my husband (Two Fish) of ten years. We have two beautiful daughters (Red Fish and New Fish) and a nutty dog (Blue Fish) who help make our family complete and completely happy. W have learned to expect the unexpected and are always up for an adventure.
I am enthusiastic about living and learning. I love people who make me laugh. I have an ironic appreciation for the unique and absurd. I am an enthusiastic and untalented tap dancer with a love for new Christmas ornaments,art, the outdoors,the water, music, good books, skiing, and travel. My greatest calling in life is to be a Mom. I LOVE it!
The girls have been working on an indoor flower garden on the side of my fridge. I cut a bunch of round shapes out for them and they went crazy painting them with watercolors. Then Red Fish stacked them and glued them together. I actually think it is really pretty and the girls are loving this project. I have a feeling the entire fridge will be covered soon.
Yesterday, my brother J brought his new puppy Benelli over to meet the kids. They are calling the puppy "baby Nellie- the little baby puppy." They were really cute with him and have asked about him about 30x and hour since they met him.
Red Fish went to Doo's trombone choir again tonight. It has been a month of concerts. First the symphony, then her cousin E had a recital and then the trombones tonight. She was really good during the music. She was quiet and only clapped at the appropriate times. Aside from a case of the wiggles (due to the fact that she is only three) she has fabulous concert manners! She had to wear her tiara to the concert to make sure that everybody knew she was a "pretty princess."
The whole way home she serenaded us with songs she made up on the spot. It was pretty funny. We've reached this new phase in communication where she tells me stories and mimicks things I have said to her. For example, during nap time today she kept calling me to let her out to play. I kept responding: "Take a nap!" Then she yelled back: "Mommy! I hear you. I understand. Please don't say it again!" Hmmm.... where has she heard that before?
We have some extremely exciting news on the speech front. I will wait until tomorrow when I get all of her test results back, but there have been some huge improvements.
My Mom came out to watch us and took one run down the hill.
New Fish LOVED sledding, which is funny because she hasn't been too keen on playing in the snow. She laughed when we went down the hill and tried to carry her sled back up. It was adorable.
Red Fish was of course, a sledding maniac. She wants her Daddy to take her again tomorrow.
It's a little ridiculous that Red Fish has been skiing but she has never been sledding. We somehow made it through the whole winter without going sledding. So when there was a tiny tiny bit of snow outside today I decided to throw the girls in the car and go. It was a disaster at first. The dog (who needs me to pick up a prescription for him because he has bladder issues I thought he was over) "wee wee-d" on us and on the rug when we were getting ready. Half the snow clothes were spread to the four corners of the earth. Getting New Fish into her car seat was a nightmare. She does that stiff as a board mermaid pose like Ariel the Little Mermaid posing on a rock and it is impossible to bend her body. There were tears (mostly from me) and I thought we weren't going to make it down the street to the hill. But we finally made it and it was worth it. We had a blast and seeing their little faces after they realized what sledding was all about was priceless!
Tonight we made masks in cub scouts. We made "clown masks" that they drew on and paper mache masks with construction paper. I didn't want to paint them later so we just made them colorful to begin with. New Fish colored one for awhile but got bored. Red Fish was right next to all of the boys the whole time copying everything they did. She loves cub scouts. It's kind of fun to watch her do projects next to them because she copies a lot of things that they do. I have a tendancy to tie some kind of art project or drawing into a lot of activities because it keeps them focused on our goal for the night. Plus, it plays to my strengths. I may not be the leader that will great with tying knots or building a bird house, but hopefully they are getting some good out of all of these projects! On an unrelated note- it snowed today. We were so desperate to run around and play, we went to a fast food play place and played. That in my book is a signal of desperation since I have only taken Red Fish one other time before New Fish was born. We actually had a good time and Lovely N and Kid A came to join us. Yesterday we went to the dinosaur museum to play in the dirt. I'm running out of indoor fun.
I'm worried because Easter isn't until the end of next month. The girls LOVE to make Holiday decorations and the Easter decor is well under way by now. By the end of April, my whole house may be covered in Easter egg shaped artwork.Last night, the girls used liquid watercolors in bingo bottles to decorate some "eggs." I thought the bingo bottles would help contain the mess but Red Fish figured out how to make all of the paint leak out by squeezing the bottles hard. Right now, our artwork is still being done in the bathtub just before bath time. It's messier because they tend to start body painting and they feel like they can make a mess in the tub. It's so much easier to clean up though, so we stick with it. Please warm weather- come soon!
This will probably go up in our front window to replace the watercolor paintings from February that have faded in the sun. There are also a bunch of collaged foam eggs covering our front door. The shamrocks will need to come down soon.
The girls came home smelling like dirt tonight. Earlier we went to the dinosaur museum, lunch, speech, naps and then the playground. It was a good day but I'm tired. Soon the smell of dirt will be joined by sunscreen. Warmer weather will be here soon! Can you tell I have cabin fever?
Our dog Blue Fish turned four this month and we had a little party for him on Sunday. He was less than thrilled with his party hat. And yes, after we ate some birthday cake, he stole the rest of it. Seems fitting doesn't it?
Just cute. It's so fun watching them be such great little friends. (That is when they aren't trying to kill each other.) Now that New Fish is old enough to try and keep up with Red Fish, they play together a lot.
New Fish was extra cute making this set. She got really into dipping things in the glue and went crazy.
New Fish/Red Fish
Fittingly, I am posting green collages today. Well mostly green anyway. Red Fish has decided she no longer likes my color themes. She wants to use purple on everything from now on. This project is almost over- my sister in law did part of orange today with the girls. Turns out 12 collages (well 11 for Red Fish) takes a long time to finish. I'm getting a bit bored. We'll probably finish orange over the weekend.
My little Bubs is 18 months. I can't believe it. How did I ever get through life without her? She is such a wonderful addition to our family. She was born 100% girly girl and loves baby dolls, tea parties, dress ups and her two special blankies. She is very attached to her little mermaid dress up right now. (See picture above.) She needs it put on first thing in the morning. It's a Halloween costume that wasn't meant to last for more than a night so it is getting very tattered already. I'm worried.
New Fish has gone through a huge change lately. She talks ALOT and is using a pretty big list of words. She picks up a new word every day. She is very sweet and gives every one in the family hugs on a regular basis and she makes the cutest kissy face in the world. She looks tiny for her age so people are always surprised when she talks to them or jumps around. She is a monkey and can climb anything. She works hard to keep up with her sister and thinks she can do everything Red Fish can do. She is the slowest teether in the world and is still working on several teeth. She currently has 11. Each tooth is excruciating for both of us.
New Fish is an excellent snuggler and I take full advantage of it. She loves music, books and making collages with plenty of sticky glue. She is the sweetest baby girl and I wish she could stay little and sweet forever! I keep telling my girls to stop growing up and they just won't listen!
The last week or so, we have spent a lot of time taking walks in the woods looking for dinosaurs, examining rocks, digging holes and examining plants. We've been playing outside as much as possible while the nice weather lasts. By nice I mean overcast, windy and chilly but not snowing. There is a tiny biker gang of kids riding up and down the street every afternoon. Isn't New Fish's outfit great? It isn't worth the fight it would cause to try and get her to match. When we aren't going anywhere I totally encourage my kids to dress themselves. I've decided that tiny kids in bike helmets may possibly be the cutest thing ever.
The Happiness Project: Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun By Gretchen Rubin
I was actually pretty excited for this book. I'm definitely a goal driven person and I love any inspiration for self improvement and resolutions. This book seemed a lot like my 12 month improvement plan I've tried to do a few times but she actually stuck through all 12 months. Maybe I need to write a book in order for me to stick to mine.
I liked that I had some things in common with Gretchen Rubin. We like the same parenting books. We're both working moms with two kids. We both like books etc. and I felt a certain kinship with her in the beginning. The second chapter on love was my favorite. I definitely felt inspired to work on my family relationships. The six second hug seemed like a great idea to me.
Then I started to get a little bored. Maybe I've read too many analytical books lately. By the fifth chapter I started to get a tiny bit annoyed everytime she said "and reasearch says that blah blah blah." The notes by her blog readers were pretty uninteresting to me and I started just skipping them. It's like reading someone's blog and then feeling the need to read all of the comments- I never feel the need. I usually don't read the blog to hear what all of the readers think. By the time I got to chapter eight she had just about lost me entirely. I raced through the last few chapters mostly because I hate to leave a book unfinished. I suppose that's part of "being One Fish."
I don't get the bluebird collection at all. Collecting crap just to have a collection. Not appealing at all- but then I have collections that are meaningful to me and have never needed to be forced. Her spiritual endeavors just seemed kind of forced.
Overall the book was decent. I loved the beginning and disliked the end. I appreciate the idea that moving forward in small ways will always make you a better, happier person. I completely believe that. It should make for an interesting discussion in bookclub.
I'm a little worried that I chose Outliers for next month just because it is another analytical book.
Today we went to see Peter And The Wolf with the local symphony and ballet company. When I saw an ad for it last weekend I knew we just had to go. I had a record of Peter and The Wolf when I was little that was my Dad's when he was little and I used to play it all the time and dance to it. The girls are very into dancing right now and I've been wanting to infuse more music into their lives so it seemed like the perfect opportunity.
The concert was fabulous. It was the girl's first professional concert and they both did great. It was an all ages concert so they didn't have to really hold still or be silent. We will definitely be go
ing to more of them. New Fish might be a little too young unless there is something going on onstage and not just music. She needs the action to help her focus. The symphony played: Holst - St. Paul's Suite, Britten - Simple Symphony and Prokofiev - Peter and the Wolf. I thought we might lose New FIsh during the Simple Symphony but as soon as the dancers came on stage she was enraptured. Red Fish loved the whole thing, especially because it starred "the big bad wolf" and she is fascinated with him right now. I think she just likes the whole archetypal bad guy thing. She is very into talking about good vs. bad right now. When I asked Red Fish what she liked best she said: "the bird, the big bad wolf and the horns. (The horns play the part of the big bad wolf.)We took Two Fish's Mom with us since she loves Peter And The Wolf. The girls wore their matching sweaters from Cannes and they looked so adorable all done up to see the symphony. After the
concert we walked around downtown a bit because we are loving the spring time weather. We talked about the crossing signals and saw window washers up high on the buildings and walked past an LDS temple. Then we went out for lunch. It was a fabulous morning.After lunch we stopped by my grandparent's house and the girls got my grandparents to play peter and the wolf with them. They took turns being Peter, the Wolf and the Bird. It was pretty hilarious. I think the concert sparked a lot of creativity for the girls and we will definitely be hearing about it frequently.
This little wolf gives big kisses.
I bought a recording of Peter and The Wolf tonight. We will be listening to it frequently and dancing around the house. The narrated version is a must.
Red Fish rode her bike for a bit when we got home and then we played "go fish" with her medial "s" sound flash cards I made her and had a blast. We've played go fish almost every night this week and played some memory with them as well. It's a fabulous way to get her to use the words and she just likes playing. What a great day! I love weekends like this.
Today Two Fish took Red Fish out skiing. He took half a day off of work and they had a special day together. Red Fish was REALLY excited. When I took her a few weeks ago, I held onto her harness the whole time. This time Red Fish insisted Two Fish "let go daddy!" and he put the little leashes on her harness. She did great! She has no fear as usual so it may be awhile before we take off the leashes and let her buzz down the hill by herself!
Crashing at the bottom of the hill (notice she is laughing because she did it on purpose.)
A little snack in the back of the car. Is Red Fish the fearless ski baby cute or what?
Something I love right now- We have been grabbing Red Fish, hugging her between us and saying "family hug" since she was tiny. When New Fish came along she joined in on the hugs. Now both kids will instigate family hugs and the four of us laugh and laugh. It is something I'm pretty sure they will only think is that funny while they are this little. It's something I don't want to forget. It makes even the worst day so much better!
I had the best weekend with Two Fish. We went to our play on Friday night and stayed in a fancy hotel downtown. Then we went skiing Saturday and went out to dinner. We went to look at the new laptops at the apple store. Not to actually purchase just to look. We saw Harry Potter finally. We don't see a lot of movies anymore because I don't usually think movies are worth the price of a babysitter. We went to an amazing brunch. I think I tried to eat myself to death. I had quiche, sushi, strawberry crepes and chocolate crepe, waffles, chicken, pasta salad and a peach smoothie. Two Fish practically had to roll me home after that meal. Best brunch ever!
It was so great to be able to spend two days with my husband uninterrupted. Thanks to my mother in law, my parents and a babysitter we were away for a little less than 48 hours. We saw "In" by Bess Wohl. A young tutor named Sara has been working on her novel for five years. She tutors for the afluent Pammie and her son Jordy who she wants to get into Harvard. The dialog was funny and the three actors in the play were great. They nailed the characters perfectly. I liked it better than the Bess Wohl play we saw last year.
I wish the characters hadn't become quite so black and white in the end. I think it would have been more interesting if the rich people hadn't turned out to be straight up evil. I thought the play was sharper and wittier when they were still kind of all in the gray area.
I've deactivated my account for at least a month. It was sapping my time and I couldn't seem to stop getting on there. I assume I will be back on it when I no longer feel like checking it ten times a day.
Supposedly the latest and greatest parenting book out there. It's sort of like Outliers but focused on parenting. Two journalists gathered the latest studies relating to raising/teaching children. It isn't really a "how to" book but it has a lot of fascinating ideas and it really made me think about things I can do better. (Something I love in any book.) Here are specific things I thought were interesting arranged by chapter. 1. The Inverse Power of Praise - Compliments must be sincere and specific. I've definitely noticed that when I'm working hard with Red Fish on her speech it has been very important that I compliment how hard she is working rather than just say flat things like: "that was great." If I say "good trying" or "wow you worked really hard to learn that she works even harder to tackle the next exercise. Also as an artist I find it irritating when people just say "Beautiful!" to everything. Not everything is even trying to be beautiful. It's something I'm working on with my kids- I'm trying to say things that are specific like "look at that great texture" or "what interesting lines."
2. The Lost Hour - basically that on average, kids are getting one less hour of sleep now than they did when I was a kid. This causes huge problems academically and behaviorally. Since I am completely non-functional without enough sleep this was pretty obvious to me.
3. Why White Parents Don't Talk About Race - gave me some interesting ideas about creating awareness of race and culture with my kids instead of ignoring it and thinking that creates tolerance.
4-6 were interesting but I have no deep thoughts on them.
7. The Science of Teen Rebellion - had some interesting studies on how arguments between kids and their parents actually indicated a better relationship. Basically it encouraged me to set rules, expect a lot from my kids and be involved. This chapter might do more for me when I get closer to parenting a teenager.
8. Can Self Control Be Taught -This chapter was fascinating. It discusses some new preschool programs (tools of the mind) and how important supporting extended dramatic play is and the importance of planning with kids. I've been giving a lot of thought about how I can teach my kids to plan and follow through. I'm considering getting pictures of everything we do in a normal week and having them velcro them onto a board to plan the next part of our day. For example having pictures to represent brushing teeth, reading stories, putting on jammies etc for a bedtime routine so they've planned it. It might take some of the stress out of some our routines if they feel that control and commitment.
9. Plays Well With Others - All TV watching creates violence and studies suggest (disturbingly) that "educational" tv might cause more relational violence than regular tv. I liked the comments on children needing to learn more conflict resolution. It made complete sense to me.
10. Why Hannah Talks and Alyssa Doesn't - had some interesting things to say about how the interactions of mothers with their kids contribute to their speech development. It also totally reams Baby Einsteins DVDs. I've got to say I didn't really love this chapter but it might just be too sensitive of a subject for me. No matter how hard I work with Red Fish on speech I always have these twinges of guilt that I somehow caused it. I know it isn't true but it still manages to seep in.
Red Fish said today was a really good day. Apparently a good day for her includes- a lot of hugs and kisses, nail polish, bubble bath, swimming, matching pjs, speech therapy, dress up, girl scout cookies, and the "magic" pop up books at bedtime.