Wednesday, September 30, 2009


This morning-
"Mama, you're my sweetest big girl for ever and ever. I need to give you a hug!"

Yesterday on the way home from school-
Me: What does manzanilla mean, Roan?
Her: I don't know
Me: Sure you do. It means apple in Spanish.
Her: No Mama, apple is MANZANA!
Me: Oh.

I have a feeling I might as well get used to being corrected by my little smarty pants. At least she's a sweet one!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Precious words

Last night we were putting Roan down to bed. Arwen came in to give her a goodnight kiss. The lights were low; sleepy time music was playing; it was a tender moment. "Daddy," she whipered. Arwen leaned on closer to better hear her. "Your breath stinks."

We collapsed laughing.

Monday, September 21, 2009

fall fun

On Saturday, we all went to the Sustainable Living Festival. It was loads of fun but also exhausting. We went with our friends Adam, Elisa & Ethan (and Adam's mom Chris). I caught (at least parts of) some interesting talks on backyard chickens, coldframing, and medicinal herbs (no not that medicinal herb!). It was a long day, with an hour each way to Fort Collins, a beautiful but very sunny day, and Roan didn't take a nap even though we'd gone to the trouble of hauling the little guy up there. By the day's end I was filthy, cranky, sun baked, and my back hurt. But Adam and Elisa were so sweet to have us to their house for a lovely impromptu "picnic" dinner. I wish I'd taken more pictures on Saturday.

Sunday Roan and I stayed closer to home. We hung out just the two of us while Arwen finished up day 2 of the Sustainable Living Festival. And we just had a really relaxed day together. She was in a good mood and so was I. She slept in late and gave me a chance to drink a cup of coffee and catch up on email. She got up and played contentedly around the house while I made a ridiculously long to-do list. I vowed not to get stressed by the list, and just be happy to get done whatever I could, but not at the expense of our happiness or sanity.

So we ran a few errands, then picked up lunch and took it to the park. She had a blast at the playground and got good and tired for naptime. While she was down I got a few things done, but also treated myself to a ridiculously sappy movie on tv. She woke up right as it ended. I had hoped to go on a "leaf hunt" together (homework for this week's school project) but it started to get overcast and rainy. So instead we broke out the paints, and when she got bored with that we both put on our aprons and made sugar cookies. "I measure, you pour," I kept explaining. She was great! It was our first time baking cookies together, and it was really fun. We rolled out the dough (of course she had to have a turn at that too), cut them into shapes, and decorated them with colored sugar sprinkles. "It's very [ex]citing!" she kept saying. We enjoyed a few cookies, and then when I said, "We have to put these away for tomorrow," she grinned and enthusiastically replied, "OK!!" Wow. That was easy!

This morning she got up and it was even cooler, greyer and wetter than yesterday. It kind of fizzled my plans for a bike ride or trip to the park. Plus the library is closed on Monday. I tried at the last minute to get into a music class, but was told it was already full. So I was scratching my head over something fun to do together.

In an act of desperation, I ended up getting out a muffin tin and putting a numbered paper circle in the bottom of each muffin cup. Then I poured some corn kernels into a bowl and had her count the specified number of kernels into each muffin cup. We are working on "reading" letters and numbers. She can recognize the numbers 1,2 and 3 reliably but beyond that it's hit or miss (mostly miss).

That was fun for a little while but she started to get bored. So I suggested we pop the popcorn in the microwave. With a little melted butter and salt on top we both enjoyed that snack! Afterwards we took some of the leftover corn kernels, put them into an old grey poupon jar and presto! made ourselves a handly little shaker. We turned on some music and danced around for a while. Then we went back to the table, took more leftover corn kernels and popcorn and used them to decorate some large leaf shapes I cut out of paper plates. She painted, glued and glittered to her heart's content.

Then we had lunch with Daddy. I harvested some cherry tomatoes and broccoli from the backyard, combined it with some leftover chicken and pasta, and had a nice little hot lunch we all could enjoy.

After that we all (Sasha included) went on a walk outside and had our leaf hunt after all. Even though the leaves are just barely starting to turn, we found a lot of good ones, in all different shades of green, yellow, brown and red.

We brought home our leafy treasures, laid them out to dry on a paper towel, and admired them while enjoying a couple more leaf shaped sugar cookies from yesterday.

Wow, what a perfect day. The nice thing is, I've truly been enjoying it. I've been in the moment. So often the type-A aspect of my personality induces me to set ridiculously high expectations for myself, and even when I meet them I'm just ticking off checkboxes. I'm not really in it. I might get a lot done, but I'm a tense ball of stress and nerves by the end of the day. Today and yesterday I've been in it. Taking things as they come, transforming conflict into opportunity (oh you want to drop corn kernels on the ground? How about we make a shaker with them?), and just digging hanging out with my awesome little girl. I could tell it even surprised Arwen yesterday when he got home, found us in the kitchen up to our ears in flour and sprinkles, and couldn't detect the least bit of frustration or tension in me.

This is good. More of this.

happy birthday McKinna!

Two weekends ago we went to McKinna's birthday party. She turned 2!

There were kites and cupcakes and lots of fun. It all went down at the coolest park in these here parts.

Roan made McKinna a birthday card.

Arwen put to work the principles he's learned building wind turbines in getting a kite flying. He tied the strings from 3 kites together and had it waaaay up there. Condolences to the poor kid whose Elmo kite he swiped. [Can it be my turn to play with the Elmo? Uh no sweetie, Mr. Arwen is still taking a turn] Still a big kid at heart...

Roan really had a great time. It's so cool now that she's at the age where she's really interacting with her friends, not just playing indpendently in their vicinity. Although perhaps she was a little too excited about playing with McKinna...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

our little long

Jen and Micah have an exciting annoucement!!! You can read all about it at their new blog:

Friday, September 04, 2009

happy labor day

This labor day we were lucky enough to enjoy a visit from Lolli. And she got to see Roan and Baby Sarah in the matching dresses she recently sewed (and embroidered!) for them. That morning Roan first resisted having her hair brushed, and then insisted I fix it exactly as she specified: "Want a braid. And a flower bow. Not there. Over here."

While Lolli was here we did a couple fun things. We checked out First Friday (where all the shops near us stay open late and serve beer & wine). Our friends Tyler and Kelsey who own a bike shop had a DJ set up out front and Roan and 5 or so of her friends got down to the music. It was adorable! A couple of her friends really have some moves! Little Camilla looks like she's ready to hit the club scene. And Scarlett has this whole hip & shoulder sway thing down. Roan looked about like I felt at my first dance in 6th grade orchestra camp. Let's just say there's some room for improvement.

We also checked out Bellview Park, with has a choo choo train and a petting zoo, each of which only cost $1. Roan is still talking about it. I forgot my camera, so alas no pictures.

While Lolli was here, she and Aunt Jen also spent a little time shopping together. Aunt Jen bought her first pair of maternity jeans! Baby cousin is starting to bump out. And they picked up this dress up outfit for Roan. You know how I feel about all things pink and princess-y. They assure me it's not overly girly at all. They point out all the green on it. Mm hmm. How could I object though when she looks so cute in it, and obviously loves it?!

Seems like Roan has cracked us up or surprised us with things she's said lately.

Bedtime has been a little tough the past month until recently. We've finally gotten into a groove she seems comfortable with. A couple nights ago Arwen was in there with her and she said, "It's ok Daddy. You can go away. I won't cry. I'm a big girl now." When she said that guess who was the one with tears in his eyes! Then she added, "Baby Sarah won't cry either. She's a big girl too."

The next night he was in there with her again and she commanded, "Close your eyes, Daddy!" When he did she whispered, "I love you."

On Thursday morning we picked up Lolli from the airport. Roan had asked if G-Pops was coming too, and I explained he had to stay home this time. Roan replied, "Silly G-Pops! He forgot to come to my house!"

In another less cheerful example, there was tonight. Tonight was a rough one. Seems like she kept disintegrating into a tantrum every time we turned around. We had to cut the bedtime routine short and go straight to lights off and music. We left her for a few minutes, promising to come back. But that didn't stop her from crying and trying to get out of her room. When Arwen went back in, he found her standing at the door in just a diaper with scotch tape all over her chest. I mean all over her chest. "Where did you get all that tape from?" he asked her. She looked at him, angry, a glint of steel in her eyes and proclaimed, "I take off ALL the tape Daddy!" She was referring to the tape he'd put on the doorknob guard once upon a time to keep it on (and keep her in her room).

One thing is for sure: this little pistol certainly has her own personality, and her own mind.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

oh happy day

I have had two back to back internet discoveries that have me SERIOUSLY PUMPED!

This is a web site for people into books. It lets you create a virtual bookshelf, write book reviews and participate in discussions. When I told Arwen about it he straight up laughed out loud. "Isn't the point of a book club to actually talk to people face to face about books? Isn't reading already enough of a solitary endeavor?" Yeah book clubs are great for people without toddlers. Plus I'm kind of on a bender reading old classics. Right now it's Red Badge of Courage. And I don't actually know anyone who happens to be reading that right now. So there!

But the greatest discovery of all, perhaps of my entire life (not really), is this awesome blog. Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog. In which he writes in Middle English! Yesss! I didn't realize I could even still read it. The crazy thing is how faithful it is. "Geoffrey" refers to his contemporaries, various medieval world events, and common everyday household items of the time. And then he also throws in modern situations, like putting his kids through college and the unrest in Iran. It is laugh out loud hilarious for a Chaucer fan like me. Take for example the post about GC's trip to Las Vegas:

Philippa hath been mightily y-freaked at me for the tyme that ich spent in Vegas. And alas, ich haue lerned that fals is the man who seyd that al thing that happeth in Vegas doth remayne in Vegas - rathir, thos thynges that hap in Vegas aren revisited seven-fold upon eny sely man who thinketh to kepe them undir cover.

"Chaucer" even has a blogger identity complete with an Amazon wish list. His interests are "pilgrimage, drinking, and hanging in southwark." Oh my gosh I think I died and went to heaven!!!!