Thursday, March 31, 2011

Club House Participation

Every kid is different, I've realized that over the past few months.  Some are really energetic, some are really shy, some love to climb, some want to stay on the ground....

When Aliza, Norah and I do something together, I'll see millions of differences between them.  It continues to amaze me every day.

A few weeks ago, we were over at some friends' house and I saw that they most definitely have two different strategies to enjoying club house time.

Norah wanted everyone to be involved in the togetherness of the club house.  Here she is reaching out to others, inviting them in to her fun.

Come one, come all.

While Aliza was conducting a delicate sting operation with a long stick.  I'm sure in her imagination she was rescuing someone from impending doom.

Close, closer.  Now, just grab the stick!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Potty Time

Recently, Norah has been undergoing some intensive training.  Not ninja training or training to be a chef.  No.  Potty training.  And the thing I've learned about potty training is that you all have to be on the same team...

Norah, we're on your team.

Golden Camels

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Yaya Has Moved Up in the World

Or back, depending on how you look at it.

She's now the cool big sister that gets to sit at the very back of the Pajero!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rolling past the dunes

This is what it looks like to be "rolling past the dunes," as it says above:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Norah's Quiet Time

If I were Norah and I had an hour everyday to do whatever I wanted to in my crib....

Oh, the plans I would make.
Oh, the stories I would create.
Oh, the projects I would begin.

She has started to catch on....

She put her pajamas on over her dress and secured her baby inside for maximum motherly protection.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Friend George

is one cool guy.  Thanks for the new header George, it's wonderful!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Little Sleeping J-Town

Many people have asked me: "How's J-Town?"  And with the hub-bub surrounding his fame and his baby-ness, I thought it would only be right to give you an update.  It would be selfish of me to keep all this information to myself, right?

Two days ago Gloria and I were googling over the fact that J has become more active.  Oh no, wait, we were goggling... goggled.... gogglizing.  Wait, maybe we were just giggling.
He was socializing with me as I walked away from him to the door.  Just laying on the bed and following me with his eyes.  As I reached for the door knob, he cooed and continued to look at me- and that's when we realized.  So, of course, I went back over to the bed and socialized some more.  We're just all so social here.

I also get some good time with him when he's wrapped up like a little burrito:

A Little Sleeping J-Town

Monday, March 21, 2011

I'm hiring

someone to take pictures of the sunset for me from now on.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Winter Wonderland

There's always a possibility that someday I'll be able to show you pictures from the inside of this winter wonderland.  But until that hypothetical day, I'll show pictures from the outside looking in.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

One Early Morning...

I went into the girl's room and was surprised to find that Yaya had already dressed herself.
This is the ensemble she put together:

I'd like to point out a few things:

1. She looks like a tennis player.  You see the way that headband is adorning her head?.. Yeah, you see it now.
2. I don't know if you noticed, but there seems to be a color trend...
3. She's wearing socks with Mary Jane's, always a classy look.
4. I loved this moment because I could tell that she was so excited about her selection.  It really touched my heart to see her like that.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A is for...

I'll never remember the difference between an alligator and a crocodile.  That's just a fact of life for me.  No matter how many times I look up the facts and re-educate myself on the topic, I forget seconds later.  But you'll never see me spending even an entire second worrying about this fact of life either.  So the above statement isn't meant to make you worry about me.  I'm not worried, so you shouldn't be either.  And hey, maybe you have the same problem, in which case we should get some tea and talk about it together.  Maybe we'll form a support group, I'd be up for something like that if you would.

But I'm moving away from the real reason for this post, which is:  I used to talk to kids about science.  All the time.  And there was one class that I taught where we would talk about the inherited traits of animals and how those traits helped them in their ecosystems.  Alligators or crocodiles, which ever one I would talk to them about, have some pretty cool inherited traits.  Like their color and scales, which help them to blend into their environment.  Or their jaw strength.  Their jaws are much stronger when they are biting down then when they are opening up.  That's why an alligatordile (new term coined by me) will sit in the water with it's mouth partly open to catch some dinner, as opposed to keeping it closed and then opening it really fast only to bite down again.  That's also why when I wrestle an alligator, I just put a piece of tape around his mouth to keep it closed and win every time, impressing all of my friends.

Here is a picture of me wrestling an alligator:

Oh wait, the alligatordile newsreel must have gotten mixed up with my fish dinner newsreel.
Maybe I can find that picture some other time...

But this brings me to my next point.  You can admire alligatordiles without even knowing any information about them.  Aliza would fit into this category of person.  She does know one good fact about them though and that is that they start with the letter  A!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Full Cart

This week, our friend Amber came to do some cooking for us.  She stocked the freezer, made yummy breads and fed us dinner.  But before all that could happen, we had to buy groceries (Bethany, this one's especially for you):

Don't worry, that's 10 packages of chicken.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Bubble

Gloria took some pictures of Shoes on Wrong and I this morning:

Shoes on Wrong was being my Bubble.

I call her  my bubble anytime she lets me hold and cuddle her.  If you know Norah, you know that she doesn't always want to cuddle.  So if the opportunity is given, you jump at the chance!  I'm so grateful for my lil' bubble.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My New Favorite Place

They even have Jarritos... wow.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Feather in his Cap

I have a favorite memory.  You may too.  Most people do.

My favorite memory is of sitting on my Grandpa Swanson's lap while he would sit in his easy chair.  He always wore a feather in his hat and I loved taking them out and sticking them in my hair.  That was always a happy place for me to be, sitting on his lap and visiting.

A few weeks ago during a skype conversation with my parents, Gig looked just like Grandpa Swanson.  He was wearing a different type of cap and the feather was a little bigger than I remember, but it reminded me of my favorite memory.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Biggest Project Yet

A few years ago, while in University, my mum made me a prayer shawl to wear when: I was having a hard time, having a good time, praying, watching a movie or missing home.  Basically, I could wear it whenever I wanted to, as long as I remembered that there were people praying for me that loved me.

Recently, I made a prayer shawl for my friend Kate.  It's my biggest knitting project yet and it was a lot of fun!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Everyone knows what tinsel is, right?  According to my Mac's dictionary, tinsel is "a form of decoration consisting of thin strips of shiny metal foil; showy or superficial attractiveness or glamour."  That's deep.

But have you ever seen any tinsel like this?

Someone please tell me how this is showy!
Ha! (she says in disbelief)

I think it's beautiful:

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Tricks of the Trade

I have realized that teaching the girls is an everyday occurrence.  Yes, art is my subject with Yaya, but there are a variety of other things I can be teaching her and Norah at all times.  That's why something entitled "Tricks of the Trade" has entered our lives.

Every woman knows that being a woman is a trade, a profession of sorts.  You may be a teacher, but you were a woman first.  And as every woman grows up, it is the job of older and well-seasoned women to teach them the tricks of the trade.

Tricks of the Trade:

1. If you spill yoghurt on your shirt, use your spoon to lift it off of your shirt and then eat it.  This should be done before you ever think about reaching for your napkin.

2. If you don't have a hair band for your hair and yet need to put it up, use a pencil.

3. Some things have shells or protective casings around them.  If you pick up something of this nature, like a banana, orange, or hard-boiled egg, and then decide a few seconds later that you don't want it- you can put it back.  But if something does not have a protective casing around it, like an olive, than you must eat it or you will suffer penalties and stares from those you are with when you try to put it back.

Those are the three tricks of the trade we have discussed and reviewed several times over the past few weeks.  And it's working:  Yaya asked me today if I would help her put a pencil in her hair.  Of course, I got distracted and forgot, but the point is: she asked!  She has a deeper understanding of what it is to be a woman.

This morning I also revised the second trick of the trade with an addendum:

2. If you don't have a hair band for your hair and yet need to put it up, use a pencil or the combination of a plastic drinking cup and a clothespin.

Happy Trekkie Tuesday!

Monday, March 07, 2011

A Pig Nurse

The other day Aliza was nursing her pig, Wilbur, back to health.  I think his fever may have been induced by the extra bright light next to his sick bed.  But what do I know?...  I'm not a doctor.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Some people apparently have

something to say.

And I guess they find ways to say what they feel.
Maybe they need to start something more constructive, like a blog...

Friday, March 04, 2011

In the Spirit of the Tutu

When I was a little girl, I liked to play dress up.  I would go over to my friend Jordan's house and sneak into her dress-up box, which I envied more than I like to admit.  We would put on dresses, shirts, pants and boas.  But the thing most prized in that box was Jordan's pink ballerina outfit, complete with tutu.

Whenever I was away from Jordan's I would try my hand at dress-up, but I could never quite master it without those quality costumes.  Oh man, I wish I had a picture to show you...  The only outfit I could come up with was a full-length cat costume my mother made, spiced up with a pink tutu over it.  On a good day, I would also hold a wand.  I must have been a magic ballerina kitty.  You'll be happy to know that I'm allergic to cats and have been for the extent of my life, so none of this quite makes sense looking back on it.

But even after my failed attempts, I think about the spirit of the tutu often.  And can see that the girls I am blessed to walk alongside here every day are also spirited tutu-wearers.  More passionate than I ever was.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Pop Art

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

"Grocery Shoppers"

After J-Town came into the world, two super heros emerged from some kind of rubble somewhere to help the cause of the villa mates.

The cause: Tummies: We need food to eat and the fridge needs to be well stocked.

Because we are super heros sometimes we go incognito to the grocery store to keep our identity a secret:

I can't reveal the identity behind this zucchini or my own identity.
Oh, wait... did I say "my" identity.... I was talking about my friend.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

It's Art Time

We haven't had as many art times as it would take to fill the MoMA in New York City or the Louvre in Paris, but we still have heart.  And besides that Aliza's collection is growing.

A Blue Seal

Princess Yaya