Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Five (and five months!): A questionnaire

  1. What is your favorite color: red and purple. black. green. blue. and white. (I'm guessing it's all of them).
  2. What is your favorite toy: stuffies (She does love her stuffed animals and does all her creative play with her favorite stuffed animals.) 
  3. What is your favorite fruit: apples or grapes 
  4. What is your favorite movie: The Grinch or Spirit (We watched the cartoon version of The Grinch almost every day between Thanksgiving and New Years. We have since cut her off.) 
  5. What is your favorite thing to wear: dresses 
  6. What is your favorite animal: puppies, horses, and bunnies  
  7. What is your favorite song: "Small Boat" and "Hygge" (This is Rachel Platten's "Fight Song" - I love that she calls it "small boat" and never correct her. I hope she calls it this for her entire life. Her other favorite is from the Broadway Frozen soundtrack.) 
  8.  What is your favorite book: Ivy + Bean (We have been reading through the entire series this past year - and have loved them all. Other favorites include Bear and Mouse, Mother Bruce and any from the Bear Book Series by Karma Wilson 
  9. Who is your best friend: Shea (These two are the cutest friends.) 
  10. What is your favorite breakfast: chocolate chip pancakes and bacon 
  11. What is your favorite lunch: macaroni and cheese (Its not just any macaroni + cheese - it's Annie's that is her absolute favorite). 
  12. What is your favorite dinner: spaghetti and meatballs or cheese pizza 
  13. What is your favorite snack: banana bread 
  14. What is your favorite dessert: cotton candy (Mom's note - she had cotton candy one time when she was three. She still talks about it.)   
  15. What do you sleep with at night: all my stuffed animals and Piper 
  16. What is your favorite thing to play outside: ride my bike or jump on the trampoline with Shea or walk Piper around the block. 
  17. What do you want for your birthday dinner: this girl celebrated her birthday in upstate New York. We celebrated that day with a sunset boat ride on the Hudson and pizza at Rip Van Winkle Brewing Company 
  18. What do you want to be when you grow-up: a teacher, a car driver, and a mom 
  19. Where is your favorite place to go: Lake Tahoe with Shea or Grandma and Grandpa's house to go swimming. Even in the winter!! 
  20. What is your favorite game: Uno Dare 

Saturday, October 19, 2019

The Middle


Ironically, I started this post on the days of 100-degree temperatures. The days when you can’t quite put away the swimsuits and flip-flops, yet cozy sweaters and fleece-lined boots seem too far in the distant.

Summer is melting away as we’re welcoming fall, and this is the time of year the weather always throws me. It both drags on as we adjust to a new schedule and erratically changing weather. Last week our days included icy popsicles and tank tops. This week we drink hot tea in the morning and don flannel pj's at night. Next week, the forecast expects more shorts in the future.

A busy summer has meant for us what it likely means for many: full hearts, messy homes. Swimsuits hanging on the bathroom hooks, power tools on the kitchen counter, deflated birthday balloons in the hallway. Summer was good to us: the road-trips and vacations and ice cream in waffle cones. Park walks, bike rides and swim meets. Sidewalk chalk on the soles of our feet. Impromptu lemonade stands with neighborhood friends. Juicy giant tomatoes and sweet strawberries. It was the lightness we needed after a long, hard, challenging spring.

Transitions are hard for me. I want to force them, to speed them up, to snap my fingers and be done with the whole process. Summer to fall, fall to winter, all in a matter of tidy moments. We’ve been back in school and tightening the reins on our routine for nearly eight weeks now. Homework done. Papers graded and lessons planned. Bedtimes adjusted. Soccer games, tennis clinics, and ballet lessons. Summer is melting away. I like summer, I like the heat, I like the long days and the early morning light. I like the spontaneity that the season brings.

This weekend, two of our members have gone on a daddy-daughter campout. So, the big girls and I have nearly the entire weekend to ourselves. We watched Harry Potter, snuggled on the couch under blankets. We read multiple chapters of our current read-aloud, The Indian in the Cupboard. We have plans for an afternoon hike, a Target run to pick up the final pieces for our Halloween costumes and perhaps another round of Monopoly, or a long bike ride to grab dinner.

I look forward to apples, and blankets and leggings and for shorter days in the sun. But, it’s not yet time. The sun is still high in the sky, the leaves still lush. I see the squash popping up at the market, and cucumbers are still in my CSA, but the tomatoes have disappeared. Then, yesterday morning, there was a chill in the air, enough to grab the gloves for the girl’s morning bike ride to school. On my walk home, I picked up a fallen leaf of brightly colored golden orange and red.

It felt a little like acceptance. It felt like an announcement of “and,” like a declaration that life can be both summer and fall, spontaneous and planned, … and everything in-between. It felt like both the mourning of tomatoes and the celebration of apples. The hot, the cold, the wool, the stripes, the summer, the fall, the beginning of the end of the beginning.

Here’s to the season we’re in, and the one to come. Here’s to the middle, the “and,” the both. Here’s to all of it.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Nine and a almost a half: The questionnaire


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  1.  What is your favorite color: yellow & gray
  2. What is are you looking forward to in the next year:  going to New York. playing in a tennis tournament.
  3. What is your favorite fruit: watermelon
  4. What is your favorite movie or TV show: Night at the Museum and Jumanji
  5. What is your favorite season: summer
  6. What is your favorite animal: all of them (Mom’s note: I will say, we went to the Oakland Zoo a few weeks ago, and she lingered the longest over the Giraffe exhibit and the Brown Bears).
  7. What is your favorite song: “My House” and “Glourious” (Mom’s note: I would argue that her favorite artists would be Rachel Platten and/or Imagine Dragons since that is always what she will pick first when she is in control of the music).
  8. What is your favorite book: whatever book I am currently reading (Breakout by Kate Messner.) (Mom’s Note: I will say she tends to enjoy most books she encounters, and usually gravitates towards the fractured fairy-tale type reads. She also just finished the Percy Jackson series, as well as the entire Little House series and loved both of those).
  9. Who is your best friend: Adell, Violet and Lily (Cue heart melting).  
  10. What is your favorite thing about school: reading, writing & science
  11. What is your favorite sport: tennis & swim
  12. I am best at: being happy
  13. What is your favorite snack: granola bars & grapes
  14. What is your favorite dessert: brownies or chocolate pudding
  15. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be: Iceland (She has been pushing hard for this trip.) 
  16. What do you want to learn more about:  writing and music (She's excited about learning to play the flute next year) 
  17. What do you want for your birthday dinner: In N Out (Mom's Note: She requested an In-n-Out visit for her birthday dinner. This was a win-win situation since we were just finishing up a kitchen remodel. That being said, if she got to pick any meal to have it would undoubtably be In-N-Out) 
  18. What do you want to be when you grow-up: scientist (Mom’s Note: she talks often of an oceanographer. She also talks about being a musician.) 
  19. Where is your favorite place to go: tennis practice and piano lessons (Mom's Note: I find this answer boring, but she does love tennis and she is pretty happy every Wednesday afternoon). 
  20. What is your favorite game: any board game or tag