"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Reasons Today is Wonderful

The kids and I made rhubarb-apple crisp and ate it warm. There were second helpings involved.

Ari produced the first diaper I have been able to shake out into the toilet. This is gross and not what you want to be reading, but when you cloth diaper, Baby's First Turd is a big deal.

The writing project I have been working on for the last few weeks is finally finished. It's not perfect, but it's done, and I'm not even horrifically embarrassed of it.

I finished reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets aloud to Geneva and Lavender, and they were with me the whole way with gasps of "oh no!" and "so The Heir of Slytherin is-- is--!" And then after the climax, when the story returned to feasting and congratulations, Lavender fell asleep and drooled on my back.

In related news, I now reside with Harry Potter and Hermione Granger. Me? I am Professor McGonagall. It is an absolute hoot, I tell ya, to get to say "Miss Granger, please clear your plate from the table" and "Mr. Potter was using that first," in my best McGonagall voice of course.

Both girls managed to lose one of their ballet shoes last week. Tonight is ballet night, and we found both missing shoes this afternoon.

The DVD of Frozen that we ordered has finally arrived. It's downstairs, and the girls have no idea. I'm just going to sit on it until we all really need a break, and having this hidden ammunition is doing really positive things for my state of mind. I have that smug poker face.

I'm making korvstroganoff for dinner. It's delightfully easy and I know my whole family will eat it without complaint.

Ari is crawling, and it's that perfect, adorable, hesitant kind of crawling where he only actually takes three or four "real" crawling steps each day. It's exciting and thrilling and is still more of a party trick than a form of locomotion, so I don't have to worry about chasing him.

Geneva pulled the word "protagonist" out of thin air, and even used it correctly. They do listen!

But most of all, it just IS. Some days are inescapably wonderful, and today is one of them. The tense, awkward, frustrating moments have just rolled off our backs. I haven't been the world's best parent, and my children aren't models of deference and respect, but we are loud and happy and free. I want to wish for another day like this one tomorrow, but that might be tempting fate. One is enough. One is plenty.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Frozen: Spring Edition

Seeing "Frozen" in theaters was not enough. Listening to an endless loop of the soundtrack was not enough. Going to the theatrical sing-along was not enough. No, the "Frozen" love in this house required a party. And party we did. The festivities were held here on Saturday, but I only provided the venue and the food. The games, decorations, and enthusiasm were brought together by friends and parents, all based around our kids' fascination with "Frozen" and our desire to do something special for them.

Sanna and Prince Ari of Arendelle. Yes, my son's name comes from the same Norse word as the fictional city in "Frozen." Coincidence, I assure you. 

A screening of the movie got everyone in the "Frozen" mood! Well, almost everyone. Pictured are Ellie, Katie, Cameron (hiding behind the arm of the couch), Isis, Geneva, Paloma, Lavender, and Goya. Colten is not pictured, as he was busy building a train.

Goya and Paloma slipped away from the movie and created a snowstorm in the living room which, though not part of my plan, was pretty cool.

While the kids were (mostly) watching "Frozen," we brought Arendelle to the rest of the house, with snowman activities...

...and a Scandinavian smörgåsbord, with Swedish meatballs (kötbullar), boiled potatoes (potatis or, to use my favorite Danish word, kartoffler), pickled herring with onions (löksill), flatbread (knäckebröd), carrots (morötter), and salmon (lax). There were sweet treats too: hot chocolate (choklad), glögg, and appelkaka. Somehow we managed to eat it ALL.

I attempted to replicate the ice chandelier in Elsa's tower using a giant tissue pom pom and a blue lightbulb. The effect was slightly underwhelming in the daylight, but boy did it look cool later that night!

When the movie ended the kids came out to a surprise party and feast. Avery missed out on eating with the rest of us, though. He was rocking Ari to sleep.

After the feast it was time to build snowmen.




The parents were all hard at work, whether it was helping with dishes, decorating, creating games, or making a coffee run because our pot couldn't support the number of caffeine addicts in the house. The party was absolutely a group effort and a group success. Here are Sanna and Jeff in the kitchen, and Stephanie putting the finishing touches on Olaf.

I had fun capturing the princesses in attendance. Here is Isis in motion...

...and Geneva bundled in her new Frozen scarf...

...and here is Ellie in her finest royal attire...
...and Katie, accessorized with a Frozen crown and a hug from her daddy.

 The whole experience, though aimed at the preschoolers we know and love, was a lot of fun for the adults, too. Margie provided not just the snowman materials but great ideas for the kids to use when putting them together, and some who took her advice were not kids at all. Here is Margie helping to attach a hat, and Kelly's snowman creation.

Kelly, Ellie, and Margie.

We had a snowball fight out in the yard using yarn pom poms that Sanna made. It was a huge hit, and a much-appreciated outlet for some wild energy! 


Geneva and Katie playing catch

Geneva and Goya, swinging and sliding

One of Lavender's favorite "Frozen" lines is when Kristoff refers to Anna as "fiestypants." Lavender is a bit of a fiestypants herself!



Swinging sisters

Ellie pouncing

Katie enjoying a quiet moment...

...and Sanna too.

Back inside everyone lined up to pin the nose on Olaf the snowman.





Geneva boldly announced that she was going to place Olaf's nose right in the middle of his face...

...and was a little disappointed in her performance.


Isis pinning... and winning!

Katie, the tallest-- and therefore last, and most patient-- participant

The party concluded with a sing-along of "Let it Go" and tinsel ice everywhere. It was chaos. And awesome.

By this point in the afternoon Geneva had become a wiggling, shrieking blur. I snatched her up for one tiny moment, and then she was off again.

When the guests had gone and the house was quiet, Geneva and Lavender laid around in fluffy clouds of snow.  Oh my loves. I'm so glad I could share in their "Frozen" joy and the delight they find in their friends. What a wonderful day.