Sunday, July 19, 2015

Short hair and lots of babies.

Well, three out of four of us now have short hair. 

The original plan was that we would all go to the hair cutting place and we'd take turns, but once there, I went first and then no one else wanted to get their hair cut that day! In fact, on the way home, Maya insisted that she would never cut her hair in a million thousand years. Ella said she just wanted to eat cookies for dinner and she wouldn't get her hair cut, ever, either. And I don't think Brett really wanted to cut his hair in the first place. 

Fine. At least I got my hair cut. So I just let it be, no one else had to cut their hair if they didn't want to. A few days later, while we were outside at the picnic table painting nails, Maya and Ella decided that they actually did want to have their hair cut. It came out that the reason they didn't want to cut their hair the other day was because they were afraid to sit in the big chair and they didn't want that cloth to go around their necks and the scissors the lady was using were, "too big and pointy". So, we pretended that I was the lady who cuts hair, I took my scissors and cut off their long, beautiful pony-tales, and they were delighted. I think I did a pretty good job, considering that I only had about a minute where they sat still.

Brett didn't see their new haircuts until the next morning, because he was at his baseball game while all this happened. But he agrees, they look super cute.

 The last picture I have of Maya and Ella with long hair, taken just before Brett left for his baseball game. Maya and Ella are showing him their pretty nails.

So short! 

 Washing off with the hose.

 Maya remembers when she was a baby and she used to fit in this tub.

 My short hair!

All three of us.

Sillies with short hair.

 Another picture from a trip blueberry picking a few days later that shows the back of their hair. 

Babies. Lots of babies.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Bikes and rhymes.

At the very end of June, Maya learned how to ride a two wheel bicycle! Ella isn't far behind, but hasn't yet ridden completely unassisted. Both girls are VERY proud of themselves and want to tell everyone that they see about their accomplishments.

Proud girl.

Ella is very proud of her sister.


My almost-4-year-old bicycler!


Cheering her sister on.

Ella gets a little distracted, but with a bit more practice she will be biking on her own, too!

What else has been going on, lets see... both girls are really into rhymes right now. There has also been a lot of noticing/paying attention to similar words, or when one word sounds the same as another, but with a different meaning. Like, "pea" that you pick from the garden, and "pee" which you do in the potty.

Our garden is coming along nicely, in large part thanks to Papa who did so much taking care of it while he was here visiting.  I have been trying to do a few minutes in the garden everyday, but there is just so much more I would like to do and so many other things going on, it's hard. Here is an article I read that I liked a lot about gardening while you have young children.

When I do go out in the backyard to do some work in the garden, I almost always bring my camera. I was happy to see this mama merganser with her five babies in the river this week.

We have managed to pick blueberries! Here are a couple photos from a fun morning picking at QuonQuont farm.

Strawberry the Whale came along to pick blueberries, too.

Maya is one super serious berry-picker.

Quotes from Maya:

"Independixday! Independixday! Independixday!" (On July 4th)

"When I grow up, I want to be just like Papa." (This was said with great admiration, while she and I made the kefir one evening. Papa left us some kefir grains from when he was visiting and Maya is especially fond of making/drinking the kefir we've been making from those grains.)

Quotes from Ella:

"Get these yucky, cheeky, clothes off me!!"

"Mama, huggle me closer." (Sitting together just after Brett and I got back from our weekend away at Clearwater)

"When I'm afraid, I just snuggle whale." (Strawberry, Ella's pink stuffed whale, who is really actually a dolphin, has become very special to her. She still cares for Purple Dog a great deal, but Strawberry is always tucked up right next to her at night.)

"Mama, can I just pick into my mouth?" (When asked which container she would like at the U-Pick blueberry place) 

Quotes from some or all of us:

M: "Why did you and Dada get married?"
Me: "Well, we loved each other and we wanted to live together and spend the rest of our lives together. So we got married."
M: "I want to get married too...
M: <thinks for a minute>
M: ...to Ella."
M:  "Ella, lets get married! And we can spend the rest of our lives together!"
E: "Okay!"

Maya: "Did you know that when Papa gave us frozen raspberries, he only gave us two each?"
Me: "No, I didn't."
Maya: "He wanted to make sure we would eat them all, so he didn't give us many..."
Me: "Oh, maybe he didn't realize how much you like frozen raspberries!"
Maya: "Yeah... I could eat a whole FIELD of raspberries!!"

Me: "When everyone is cranky and hot, what is the best thing you can do?"
Maya: "Be nice to each other?"

The girls playing baby with Dada...
E+M together: "I think we'll name this baby, "Baby Brett."
E: "Yes. And when it's bigger, we'll name it, "Dada Brett."

These two live a pretty charmed life.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A little bit of our life these days.

Okay, let me catch up a little bit more... First, pictures!

Here are a few from back in March and April, when the snow was just melting and the first spring flowers were starting to come up:

Ella - so delighted about the world warming up.

A rainy day in April with snow still on the ground.

Maya's turn with the rainbow umbrella.

Our first (of many!) batches of maple syrup from our trees.

When the snow finally melted, it left glorious mud puddles in the front yard.

Family photo at the Smith College Bulb Show.

We did our annual photo shoot at the daffodil hill on a windy day near the end of April. Aunt Anne was visiting, and Selena met us at Smith College to help take some pictures. We got some really nice ones this year I think!

 So many daffodils!

 Brett, Maya and Pinky Dog.

 I love this one.

 We are mostly all looking at the camera!

 Ella taking a picture of the doggies in the flowers.

 "We aren't going to smile."

 "Just kidding!"


Behind the scenes.

In May, we finally made a visit to Cloverdale pre-school happen. We had also visited Farm Hands about a month earlier, which we all loved, but Cloverdale is walkable/bikeable from our house - a huge plus. Maya and Ella seemed to really enjoy the visit and wanted to stay when it was time for us to go home. We are planning to have Maya and Ella go a couple mornings a week starting in the Fall. It will be a big change, but seems like a fun program and we are excited about it!

 Ella with her bike on the way to Cloverdale.

 I love when it's finally time again to pick flowers for the upstairs.

Ella has really been into taking pictures lately.

 A sweet treat - out on a mama and daughters date.

Just me and Ella. Special time together, lunch out at Paul and Elizabeth's.

Just me and Maya. Special time out together - we got a treat at Evolution Cafe and played with their blocks for a while.

Speaking of blocks, we were given some amazing big blocks from someone who was passing them along on a local Buy Nothing group that I am part of! Maya and Ella love them. Brett and I love them, too.

Dada paints.

Playing by the river in Leyden.

Taking a break from watching Dada play baseball to go play in the playground with Grandma Kathy.

 This is a photo that Brett took of us on Mother's Day. I am so lucky to have these two!

Sometime in May, we all got a cold. Everyone else got over it fairly quickly, but my version of it ended up lasting and lasting and lasting. I am still coughing now, months later. I feel like I am getting better, but very, very slowly.  

Washing off after helping in the garden.

Some of the first greens from our garden this year!

Not feeling well, watching a video outside to be near me while I work in the garden. Videos the girls love these days include: Franklin, My Friend Rabbit, Richard Scarry's stories and Peppa Pig.

In the middle of June, Mama and Papa came up to visit and they also stayed with Maya and Ella for Father's Day weekend so that Brett and I could go juggle at the Clearwater Festival. We had a great time at the festival and the girls had a great time with their grandparents. Papa did so much in the garden and down by the river while they were here.

Me juggling 5 balls at the festival.

Eating ice cream together after arriving in Croton-on-Hudson. We look pretty happy about it.

Maya, Ella, Grandma and Papa.

What else happened in June? Strawberry picking!

Maya and Pinky Dog show off their berries.

It was so hot in the sun, but we picked a lot!
Three very warm girls.

"A huge one!"

Maya made breakfast for everyone, all by herself! She got out the bowls, got out the yogurt and strawberries, poured the yogurt and cut up the strawberries!

Learning to rollerskate.

Selena shows off her new bike!

Who needs a pool to cool off in? A bucket works just fine if you're Ella. Get hose, fill bucket, sit in bucket.

Pretending to be little babies.

Ella put herself to sleep one afternoon by listening to our new keyboard play some very loud repetitive music.

Best friends.

A few things I've been up to...

Back in April I got this idea to try to make some earrings with a photo of a blue bird that I'd taken. I wanted to give them to Mama as a Mother's Day gift. After a lot of experimenting, I came up with something I was happy with, and I was completely addicted to making photo jewelry!

Since April, I have made a bunch more earrings and a few necklaces. I set up a little Etsy store and am adding new things whenever I get a chance. It's so much fun!

This pair of blue birds checked out our nesting box in the spring. They decided to move in somewhere else, but for a few weeks they were around and I had fun taking lots of pictures.

Beautiful birds.

My other exciting thing has been making friends with this little Tufted-Titmouse bird. I supply the peanuts and he flies down and takes them right out of my hand. It makes me smile so much!