Morning View

August 30, 2011

Mt. Etna, Sicily, Italy
August 29, 2011

Getting on the Bus

August 29, 2011

Today was the first day of school. Noah eagerly hopped on the bus this morning and headed off for his first day of third grade. Camille hesitantly attended Kindergarten Orientation today. She's not sure about this whole kindergarten thing. It is quite a contrast to Noah who couldn't wait to start and spent the summer prior to Kindergarten studying the calendar and begging to start sooner. Camille has been adamant in her protest that she will not be attending Kindergarten. I know that underneath those strong words is a tender knot of fear and worry.
 Starting school gets built up to be such a big thing. Noah likes big things. He likes drama and excitement and new adventures.Camille is not built the same way. She's a bit more cautious, she needs time to warm up, and when she's ready, she's ready.School is a monumental milestone so I can understand why well intentioned friends and strangers keep beaming at her with a big smile and asking "Are you excited about school?". I am sure they are expecting that she will mirror their enthusiasm, like Noah did when he was five, but that isn't her response. I know that once she starts she will love it and she will embrace it with her spirited gusto, but for now we all just trying to help her ease into it. Attending the orientation this morning, a home visit from her teacher tomorrow, reading books about starting school, listing all of the friends who will be starting kindergarten with her, and savoring this final week at home with her. 
 I have been so focused on her anxiety about starting school, that it didn't really hit me until this morning that this is also a monumental transition for me, too. Starting next week, both of my children will be in school full time. I am not worried about filling up that time. I have a long and growing list of things I want and need to do during those school hours. But I have to admit that there is a bit of an emotional stew brewing in my gut. Change and transition does that. Watching the school buses pull up to their stops this morning not only marks the start of a new school year, but also a new stage of life.

Sweden: Red, White, and Green

August 22, 2011

Sicilian Travel Gear

August 8, 2011

Take a close look at this horse we encountered while visiting Erice last month. He is sporting the equine version of a plastic Jesus on the dashboard. I am starting to wish we had some kind of protective element to add to our van this morning. We are loading up and heading to the land of Pippi, Ikea,Tomten, and Dala horses: Sweden! And we sure could use some divine intervention because we aren't starting this trip in the greatest shape. Noah spent most of last night vomiting and I woke up this morning feeling kind of queasy. Wish us luck!
And speaking of luck: congratulations to Summer, Emily, Jessica, Stacy and Christineo (please send me your e-mails) for winning a copy of the current edition of Alphabet Glue.

Roll With It

August 5, 2011

Toliet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, acrylic paint, ribbon and a busy pair of hands resulted in this fabulous garland for Adam's birthday celebration last weekend. I LOVE the way this turned out and also the flash of desperation (very last minute decision to gather neighbors and friends around the fire pit) which led to inspiration and a much needed way to decrease our stockpile of paper rolls. So while I frantically cleaned up and baked cupcakes, Camille diligently and enthusiastically painted and painted and painted.
After the rolls were dry, I punched holes in the tubes and strung them on the ribbon. And voila: a very festive garland. I have been wanting to make garlands like this newspaper bunting one or this fabric one or this yo-yo one but I have never gotten around to doing it. I think I am finally beginning to accept the fact that I am more of a last-minute flash of desperation/inspiration crafter and not one of those super organized, methodical ones. I don't have a lot of patience for long and drawn out projects or for precise ones either. But hand me a bag of toliet paper rolls and watch out!
In addition, to the very impromptu street gathering we celebrated Adam's birthday with the most spectacular volcanic display. Mt. Etna's fiery show was a very good reminder that some of the best moments in life are the unplanned ones and sometimes it really is best just to "roll with it"! Happy Birthday, Adam! 
 P.S. Don't forget about the Alphabet Glue give-away. Only two more days left until I pull the winning names and I'd hate for you to miss out!

August 4, 2011

New Orleans

August 3, 2011

Here's another highlight from our time in the States: the five days we spent in New Orleans with Nana and Brooke. We did all of the kid friendly tourist things in New Orleans. All of the things I kept meaning to do with my kids on previous trips but just never quite got around to doing: The Aquarium, The Zoo (with that fabulous new water space), The Insectarium, Camelia Grill, Beignets at Cafe DuMonde, plus lots of giggling, and catching up. It really was a great trip and if you haven't taken your kids to New Orleans recently, you should. You really should.

Story Lanterns and More Alphabet Glue

August 1, 2011

Summer seems to be flying past us at warp speed this year. As I mentioned in last week's post, we are savoring our time at home right now and trying to make the most of these precious weeks before school starts again. And the summer edition of Alphabet Glue is turning out to be the perfect way to fully celebrate this sunny season.

Annie has done it again. This second volume of Alphabet Glue is packed with great summer reading lists for all ages, story starters, book marks, a whole section on super sleuths and mystery series for kids, and this little project which the kids and I did today: story lanterns. So simple, yet so brilliant and fun. In fact, the kids were having so much fun that I decided to join them. We each came up with short stories. Typed them up. Printed them out. Illustrated them. Pasted them on to jars (finally the perfect use for those pickle jars I have been saving for far too long!). And tonight they lit up our table. From Noah's story about a Nofadon Express stampeding through a city to Camille's tale of a girl who runs away from home to escape extreme boredom to my little piece about voles, we all had a good laugh as we enjoyed another summer dinner outside. 

And here's the really good news: you can also have the chance to get in on the summer fun with Alphabet Glue, Volume Two. Five lucky readers will get their very own copies of the summer edition (thank you, Annie!). Just leave a comment or send me an e-mail. I'll pull the names and announce the winners on Sunday, August 7th. Good luck!

Latest Instagrams

© Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish. Design by FCD.