Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Next month she *may* be up to playing with the piano accompanist, which is a big milestone.
There will be another surprise at next month's recital as well, which will be Sunday, May 17th. Stay tuned!
Liesl with Claire, Miss Sharon's other 3 year-old student
I'll show you mine if you show me yours
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Papa C. stepped in and saved the day. He built a play structure that he designed himself, and it was up in under a week. The girls absolutely love it, and so do we...especially when they wear themselves out so much that they are practically comatose while getting ready for bed.
Peek-a-boo! (Or, "Bah-booooo!", as Ava says.)
Smile! Ava loves the baby car swing.
Smile again! Liesl learned to accelerate the swing herself very quickly.
(De-acceleration is catching on, ironically, a bit more slowly
Pausing for an on-board sisterly hug
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
A few weeks ago, a group of ladies treated me to high tea at the Sweet Afton Tea Room in Plymouth, Michigan. I have never really liked tea. I usually choke down some Lipton decaff when I am sick, and that's about it. Well, there's a reason I haven't liked tea very much to this day: I've been drinking--according to the tea snobs of this world--swill.
I found myself a little bit hooked on the orange spice tea that the Sweet Afton Tea Room offers (not to mention their cucumber sandwiches with curried mayonnaise, quiche, scones, and tarts. It was, to say the least, a very fun and elegant treat--not just the food and tea, but the atmosphere as well.) Having been introduced to what "good" tea can taste like, I did a little research, found a moderately affordable brand, brought it home, tried it, loved it.
So now I'm in the habit of taking "afternoon tea" most days. (Ok, it's lunch, really, but it's lunch eaten after the girls are in bed for afternoon naps, and I am enjoying a small measure of peace and quiet before tackling the rest of my day.) I made my own curried mayonnaise, which turned out quite good, and did a little experimenting with tea sandwiches. Now, for lunch/tea, I slice some bread super-thin, make a few cucumber sandwiches with curried mayonnaise, and brew a cup of slightly-better-than-average orange spice tea. Occasionally I turn on the TV to catch a few minutes of news, but usually I sit and enjoy the quiet, or turn on some nice chamber or piano music. I read somewhere that the ritual of bringing out the tea things and going through the motions of brewing the tea is soothing, relaxing, and calming, and I find that to be true.
Today, however, is tax day, and I wanted to watch a few minutes of the news. So what's on the news today? Thousands Rally at Metro Area "Tea Parties"
Nothing short of ironic. Really. I'd laugh some more, if I wasn't so fearful for the freedom of our country.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Look, we expect the weather to be somewhat variable in the early spring, but SNOW in APRIL? Snow that lasts for two days, as well? C'mon, don't you think we've suffered enough? It's bad enough that I've already gotten used to throwing the kids in the car with little more than their tennis shoes and sweatshirts on. Now you make me drag the boots, mittens, and hats back out of hiding; force me to let the car seat belts out once again to accommodate for those puffy winter coats; turn those nice spring puddles into icy slush that is guaranteed to make my kids sick. (Again.) Don't you see how much we all appreciated the warmer temperatures, sunny skies, and dryer ground? Don't you see how, the minute you re-create these wet winds and grey skies, my kids got crabbier, the house got smaller, and poor little Ava has that awful rash again, breaking out around her nose and mouth due to her rubbing, runny nose, and your stiff winds? Didn't you see how hopeful we were when our children ran themselves silly in circles on the dry lawn, happily rode their bicycles up and down the clean roads, and admired and exclaimed over the spring flowers that were poking their heads up hopefully through our gardens?
I'm starting to feel like this relationship is unbalanced, Mother Nature. After all, we are committed to making things as easy on you as possible, too. We've been avid recyclers for years and have made "greener" living choices long before it became fashionable to do so. We try to teach our children the wonders you have to offer, and to respect the gifts you have given us. Don't you think that, in return, you could cut us a little slack? We're not asking for miracles, Mother Nature. We don't necessarily need weather in the 70's with perfect sunny skies. (Not that we'd complain about those, though!) All we're asking for is the 50's back, Mother Nature. Just 20 little 'ole degrees, and a break in the grey clouds for more than an hour a week (and if you could manage this by tomorrow morning so we don't have to cancel our outdoor Easter egg hunt, we'd be truly grateful for that consideration.)
We really aren't ready to deal with winter again, Mother Nature, so could you please stop teasing us and do what you know you HAVE to do eventually? Give us our spring back?
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Wild Swan Theater is legendary for their commitment for making theater accessible to children of all ages and abilities. Besides providing ASL interpreters/performers in every public production, they also offer backstage touch-tours and audio-description during the performance for the visually impaired. A few years back, one show was even modified to accommodate a deaf-blind patron. Because of their commitment, Wild Swan is fairly popular with the Deaf community. So I can usually count on having Deaf patrons in the audience for at least one performance in each production. But I was incredibly lucky this week: I had Deaf patrons in 4 out of the 5 performances. I know that the hearing kids can get a lot out of having the ASL performers woven into the shows, but it is so much fun to have Deaf kids come up to me after a show and talk to me about what happened during the show, laugh at the jokes, touch the props, give me hugs. I always feel very welcome in Wild Swan shows, and I love interacting with all of the kids (hearing, Deaf, sighted, blind); but when I get these kinds of hugs, and chats flowing from those tiny, pudgy little hands, I feel like I am where I *belong.*
My parents are huge supporters of Wild Swan--my Dad brought his school to their performances every year before he retired--so they were willing and able to watch the girls while I was performing. And they even brought Liesl and Ava to one of the shows, which was geared towards the very young set anyway, so it was perfect for my kids.
I only wish I had a picture of all of our costumes from head to toe--that also included our rainbow-striped knee socks and Converse high-tops in varing colors (mine are turquoise). That Wild Swan costumer...she really has a sense of humor.
With some of the students from Michigan School for the Deaf, having traveled all the way from Flint to see the show.