Posts Tagged: family

Happy Place, Happy Weekend

We escaped to happy place again and the L’s were able to join us.  Cass and Eric were roommates (in the most disgusting rental house in the history of college rental houses) but even before they met, Cass and I went to high school together.  Over the years our families have grown closer and have really enjoyed doing things together.  We have become “festival” buddies, which is one of my highlights every years.  It’s really too much fun.

Friday night we grabbed some pizza at Tower.townhomewlatons-1and after I snapped Annie’s picture he ran up and said MY TURN.townhomewlatons-2and then Miss A wanted a turn too. townhomewlatons-3and then we went to ice cream, of course.townhomewlatons-4 townhomewlatons-5and then I put my camera away for the rest of the weekend.  It was freakishly hot.



Annie’s taking a musical theater class this week.  She spends half of the day dancing and half of the day singing  and acting.  For her end of the week performance, she signed up to be a student director.  “MOM, I don’t really like people telling me how to act. I want to be the one in control.”

Oh dear.  I think we’ve created a DIVA.

anie class blog-1

And Then There’s This Girl

She had double duty in music/recital concerts. Last night piano and tonight the spring concert, where she was very excited to play the xylophone during one of the 3rd grade songs.

It was a little blustery.


As you know, this girl makes me laugh.  On the ride home from the piano recital she tells me (out of the blue) that Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell are her favorite actors.   Please know that she’s ONLY seen them in kid movies.  AND…that she can’t wait until she’s 18 so she can watch Anchorman. Oh dear.

Annie hates taking sandwiches in her school lunch.  I’ve always thought it was because she doesn’t like the gluten free bread.  I learned this week that I wasn’t making the right sandwich.  Monday night she had a bite of my grilled sandwich with Applegate turkey, thinly sliced red onion, Just Mayo (eggless mayo), sliced tomato and basil leaves. Turns out THAT’S the sandwich she wants in her lunch.

This girl hates taking showers, so when she came down this morning and told me that she was going to hop in the shower…well, I nearly fell over.  I was bending down to feed the cat. I looked up with such astonishment that she said “MOM, YOUR FACE!!! Yay, Annie finally learns the importance of hygiene.

On the way home from the orthodontist today (gracie got an expander and they told her to talk a lot to help manage the saliva that is produced when you first get an expander), they requested Love Is An Open Door so Gracie could sing along. Gracie was the girl part and as she was singing, Annie heckled her the entire time because Gracie was singing so funny from the expander.  I don’t know where she gets it.

She’s so sad that school is almost out.  She loves her teacher and her friends and she loves to learn.  This girl’s got a gigantic heart and and even bigger funny bone.

A Happy Mother’s day

It was very lovely.  In fact the entire weekend was lovely.  Everyone chipped in to do the household “stuff.” That in itself was a mother’s day gift.

Although I have learned that Mother’s day right after earnings and in the middle of three weeks of travel provides for really good Mother’s day gifts.  Can you say FEELING GUILTY?

Sunday morning the girls and I went to church.  It was my turn for the month to work with a student with ASD. It was not a very cooperative day for this child, but we made it work.

This what you get when you’re trying to self timer a quick pic after the service and the kids are complaining because they just want to go home. weird stream of light.


For mother’s day I wanted to go somewhere in the Seattle area that we had not explored.  I chose Discovery Park. It’s really big.  Mmmm, let’s just say we weren’t really dressed for the weather and a long walk/hike.  Nor did some of us have the right shoes…new white lacy toms in the muddy forest.  There was much moaning and complaining.


We finally made it to the beach where my sensory kid played in the sand and got it all over herself.  She was still digging sand out of the cuffs of her shorts at dinner that evening.




I love that when they only have each other, they still create elaborate imaginative play schemes.


Hot and tired and out of water (we didn’t pack any in the first place), we headed home, freshened up and met my parents for dinner.



And then we all headed back to the house to have a fire in the fire pit.


And I needed a portrait for my photography class. Gracie was a negatory so Annie let me snap one.



She is…

She is kind.


She is considerate.


She is thoughtful.


She is loyal.


She is hard on herself.


She is smart.


She is quiet.


She is observant.


She has a great sense of humor.


She is learning to be brave.


She is beautiful.



She is learning to be confident.



She is 12.


We’re lucky she is ours.

gracie12thbirthdayshoot-16Side note: I’m taking 3 photography courses all at once, so I thought it would be a good idea to do a 12th birthday shoot. It lasted all of 30 minutes, right up until the man on the boardwalk said he saw a snake just down the path.  OH, like a little gardner snake?  NO, it was HUGE.  Thanks. Thanks for that sir.

Happy Birthday Gracie!




My Itinerary Accounted for Everything BUT the Weather-Day 2

Dang it.

Our first plans on Sunday were to visit the Empire State building.  It was drizzly and cloudy, but we charged on.  I had already pre purchased the EXPRESS tickets ( I highly recommend it). Except when we got there, the nice gentleman warned us that there was zero visibility.

ERIC:  Maybe we should come back another day.


Half way up the escalator… ERIC: Uh, are you sure? (It’s not something I like to admit…he’s often right in situations like this)

At the top…ME: OK, let’s do it another day. BUT WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?????

Shop you say?  Ok.

On the way to Times Square we stopped at a Fresh and Co or as Annie liked to call it COFRESH.  She’s got her own style. What can I say?  They had awesome quick food.  I had a vegan falafel and Annie devoured an omelette. She wanted to go every morning. I want to franchise one here. We may have gone 2 more times during the course of our trip.

Then we shopped and saw some Times Square sights.  Exciting things like the NASDAQ and NYPD cars.




Eric had the idea of getting a picture like this:IMG_5489


He was right again.  That’s what I love about him.  I don’t want flowers and serenades.  I want ideas for a good photo.

We had to scurry back to our room to unload the goods the girls had purchased with the money they had been saving.  They had just a little time to play. DSC_5341-1



And then we had to get ready for the 3:00 performance of WICKED!


It was, of course, fantastic! The girls loved it.  Eric and I had seen in it in San Francisco several years ago.  This performance blew that one out of the water!

After, we had dinner at a lovely mexican restaurant on the same block, but not before we walked a block in the other direction and realized we were going the wrong way…and it would be a shame to go a day without bsc, so we ordered our dinners-a caesar salad sans croutons and anchovies for Gracie. The sweet server came rushing back.  THERE’S SOY IN THE DRESSING.  I took that to assume she meant soy sauce.  So we spent 5 more minutes trying to find something Gracie could eat and settled on a white fish that Eric assured her she’d love.  The server said the soy was in the Worcestershire in the dressing.  Then the light bulb went on.  Worcestershire is generally gluten free.  All that fuss for nothing.

In the end, everyone loved their dinner.

We walked several. AND I MEAN SEVERAL blocks back to the hotel. In heels. I don’t recommend it.

After we got the girls to bed, we walked down to the hotel bar to grab a drink to take back to the room.  We ran in to Charles Barkley. He’s a big man.

It was a great day.


Oh This Kid


She is making me crazy lately. Today she asked me if I was “understanding” what she was reading to me about dinosaurs.

This morning at 7:45 AM, she begged me to let her make little clay figures for her friends in her acting class. Today was the last day and she wanted to give them something.  I sighed and said yes.



…because she is just like her mother.  I would have wanted to do the same thing and I would have waited until the last minute, too.

NOT that I do that at all lately.  Nope, not me.  Ahem… I supposed that’s why I’m writing rather than doing laundry, creating yearbook pages for PTA, getting photos ready for personal yearbooks when we get back from spring break or…you name it and I should be doing it.

She tucked little cards in the envelope to share her phone number.  As to be expected, she had quite the dramatic flair during their little performance they did for families. It was great!

She’s been wanting high tops FOREVER. Apparently, I’ve always said no.  I’m pretty sure I said NO because the high tops she showed me were those puffy, ugly things that give me flashbacks to being a child in the 80’s. No thank you. I don’t need to re live that area of clothing.  I also despise neon, tube tops, leg warmers, overalls aaaaaand off the shoulder sweatshirts.


If I had known she wanted these, I would have got them for her ages ago. Daddy got to be the hero by buying them for her. And I see our walkway is in serious need of some pressure washing.

She recently and FINALLY mastered the art of bike riding. I thought we were going to have to take her to a special bike riding class.  It was NOT good.

I took her and Gracie as well as two of our neighbor friends to the park last weekend.  I jogged while the 4 kids rode their bikes.  I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t dicey riding with Annie.  I kept her between me and the road.  She only turned into me 20 times.  I only actually fell once. She tends to over correct.  It was a very long 2 miles to the park.  Of course, she thought she needed her bag of essentials. Which ended up being too much for a newbie. I jogged with it for almost a mile and then kindly asked our friend to wear it while she rode her bike (Gracie was already carrying my camera).

Apple…Tree…It does not fall far.


Essentials to Annie meant the following: snacks, a pencil, a journal AND her FEDORA.  She’s really into fedoras right now.  Yes, she took off her bike helmet and put on her fedora.

The kids played at the park for a bit but when it was time to go run around in the woods, Annie wanted to observe nature and journal.






Oh this kid.

Good night.




Band Concert No. 2

Well, it’s been a rocky road, but Gracie just had her band concert and the 6th grade performed nicely.  At least I thought they did. Gracie told me that her class rated themselves and decided they didn’t play very well.  Apparently a percussionist was CHEWING GUM.  Not. Professional… I was informed.

It’s been a little rocky because Miss gets a little po’d when she doesn’t get a good grade on a song that she’s practicing on Smart Music.  You know, because she practices it once and gets mad.  Oh these pre teen hormones are KILLING ME. KILLING. ME.

Fortunately she has this friend…


And this friend has this fantastic mom that I can commiserate with.  And someday, we will find time to grab some coffee and chat.  (Jeri, if coffee is code word for wine, I’m totally ok with that).

She finished her Smart Music that is due March 15th.  I’m prepping myself for the next round: tissues, noise canceling headphones and wine.  Lots and Lots of wine. Or Moscow Mules.  Whatever.  Someone get me some copper cups.

(ps how cute are her new glasses?)

Did I tell you the story of the 8th grader who bumped into her so hard that it broke her old glasses?  The 8th grader did not even turn around to check on her. Rude. She cried a teeny bit then carried on.

And in other news…TOMORROW. IS. FRIDAY.

That is all.



These Two

This weekend, Annie randomly remembered she had some money on an amazon gift card that was left over from her birthday and Christmas.

“It’s only $19.99 on prime, Mama.”  The girl is mad for prime (personally I don’t blame her).

Anyway, the toys arrived one day late, much her her disappointment. Instead of monday (a two activity day) they arrived on tuesday (a multi activity day wherein we don’t get home until 9 and then it’s time for bed).  That did not deter the girls from setting them up as soon as Annie walked in the door that afternoon. They had 35 minutes to set up and play before we got out that door.


Mission accomplished.

I grabbed my camera, feeling light in the heart about the two of them playing together.  They don’t get much time during the week to do so and often the weekends are busy with other activities or other friends.  Gracie is slowly growing less interested in play like this.

And they’re both noticing it too.

Gracie lamented to me this week that she thinks Annie doesn’t like her.  I listed several examples to counter that statement.

Annie showed her feelings in a different manner entirely… by crying on the way home from her acting class last night.

“I miss my sister.”  “I want her back.”  “I wish she wasn’t in middle school.” “I wish we were twins so she’d always be with me.”

It was very sweet…and I think those acting classes are paying off.


This Girl…

couldn’t wait to get home to add her money to the coin drive.  Note that her coat is only half way off.

One of our favorite teachers at school does a coin drive every year to raise money for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society.  It’s called Pasta for Pennies.  The top fundraising class gets a pasta party catered by the Olive Garden.

“MOM,” she says, “I don’t care about the pasta, I just want to raise money. ”

Last night, she asked Daddy if he had any pennies, dimes, quarters or CHECKS to donate.”

pennies for pasta

I LOVE her giving heart.