Things have been so busy this past week, with all the holiday hustle and bustle, that I have gotten quite behind on my posts here! I can not, however, let the chance slip by to post photos of my amazing little performers.
Lola Gray danced in her ballet school’s production of The Nutcracker, and was amazing as always. She said she messed up once, but I didn’t notice. I thought she was the most beautiful little sugarplum cherub ever seen!
Not to be outdone, Fletcher had his first violin performance during the school holiday program. In his words, he “rocked it.” It’s a loooooooooong road to Carnegie Hall (or, um, wherever violinists would want to play . . .) but I am so proud of him!
We are freshly back from the
happiest, COLDEST, happiest place on earth. That’s right folks, Disney World!! The trip wasn’t exactly like we expected. I had visions of the kids splashing away in the resort’s incredible pool for hours on end . . . but temperatures in the 20′s put a fast end to that notion. Yes. The 20′s. In Orlando. Oh well.
But I have to tell you, while we froze our tushies off and probably didn’t stay as long past dark as we might have otherwise, it was still a magical experience.
Fletcher discovered a love of roller coasters – one his sister does not share. Lola learned the joys of It’s A Small World and animatronic singing bears.
Lola Gray was given a button saying that it was her birthday – but she wouldn’t wear it. She got soooo embarrassed at all the people wishing her Happy Birthday! I didn’t expect that shyness from her.
Watching them interact with Snow White and Mickey and Minnie (Lola Gray was so nervous!), watching their faces as they waved to everyone in the Electric Parade. . . . priceless. And the fireworks! What a show!! We are already planning our return trip!!
One of our favorite parts of visiting the river in the Fall is picking lemons off the huge lemon trees. We came home from Thanksgiving with a huge bag full of them. The question is: what exactly do we do with all those lemons??
Holiday decorating, of course! My first project was wrapping the banister in greenery with the lemons thrown in as accents. A little bit of Williamsburg influence perhaps?
Next up, sugared lemons perhaps?
At first I thought it was just gibberish. I mean, she was crawling around the playroom with a cardboard box overturned on top of her like a giant turtle, muttering. Gibberish would have made sense. But it wasn’t gibberish. It was the Pledge of Allegiance. In LATIN.
And I was worried about her learning her alphabet?
Fidem meam obligo
et rei publicae pro qua stat
uni natione deo ducente
cum libertate iustitiaque omnibus
Once again, in my quest for keeping the gifting aspect of Christmas in perspective, we are opting to make many of our Christmas gifts this year. This is equal parts frugality and sentimentality – there is something so precious to me about handmade items – and when the process of making the gifts is both fun and educational what could be better??
Over the weekend the kids and I started on our first project: cyanotype photograms.
The process is so easy! You can purchase pre-sensitized cyanotype paper or cloth from museum gift shops or from several online retailers. (I ordered precut squares from Blue Sun Prints.) Any object can be placed on top of the paper/cloth and exposed to sunlight for approximately 15 minutes. Opaque objects will produce a silhouette effect while objects with some translucency will create varying tones. The kids were able to watch the cloth change color throughout the 15 minute exposure, changing from yellowish green to beautiful shades of cyan blue. When time was up we rinsed the sheets under cold water and were done!
I love the way the sheets look drying on my clothesline! The varied tones of blue were created by different exposure times – the darker ones were done for 15 minutes in direct sunlight while the lighter ones were either shorter exposure times or when the sun was not as intense. There is a definite aspect of chance in how these images turn out, but that is part of the fun of it!
Raymond built these simple wooden frames which I painted white – I think they work perfectly with the photograms! Totally gift ready!
Before we began we looked at the iconic cyanotypes of Anna Atkins from the 1840′s when the process was first developed and photography was in its infancy. They are stunningly beautiful. Ours may not quite measure up to those of Anna Atkins, but the children enjoyed the process of creating the images totally on their own, and the surprise of watching the photograms develop. I think we will have to revisit this process in the spring when there are more flowers and plants to print!
So we have a few little problems with the Christmas lists this year . . .
Did you notice they both ask for a dog? We aren’t opposed to the idea, but finding the right puppy before Christmas . . . .I don’t know if it will happen. The bigger problem is on Lola Gray’s list. What she wants more than anything? A UNICORN. Not a toy one, but a real, living unicorn. I have tried and tried to explain to her that this is impossible. I told her unicorns are mythical. I told her no living person has ever even seen a unicorn. She just smiles and says it’s OK because she will ask Santa and the elves can take care of anything. Tonight she told me that once she gets her unicorn, she won’t ever need to ride in the car again because she can just rider her unicorn – but don’t worry, she will always let me know before she goes somewhere.
I don’t have a clue what to do.
Of course, once the Big Man arrives worries must be put on hold and he arrived this afternoon at our neighborhood holiday party!
Lola told me he didn’t tell her he couldn’t deliver a unicorn, so he must be able to do it! Oh boy. That Santa is full of big promises! Now let’s see what Mama is able to deliver . . . .
Today was a big day. Today, I ordered our Christmas cards. Yes, I know those super-organized types had their Christmas cards in the mail last week, but who are we kidding – I am not one of those types. It isn’t that I haven’t been thinking about this for a month. It’s just . . . picking a photo is soooooo hard. And as many photos as I take, and as good as I sometimes seem to be at capturing other people’s children, I have a terrible time getting my children to cooperate!
But today I did it. It picked a photo and I ordered the cards before I could change my mind! I won’t show you the actual card photo, but here are a few from the same session that didn’t make the cut. Man do I have cute kids!
It has happened. My baby turned five yesterday.
We celebrated with cupcakes at school, friends at the park, and sushi for dinner. But of course the big celebration comes in just over a week when we head to the happiest place on earth! Disney World, here we come!!
I want the trip to be pure magic for my magical girl – and I’m getting nervous about it. This child has definite ideas about the way things should be – like how she spouted off elaborate directions for her birthday cupcakes that involved making edible wand cake toppers, a task I was certain to fall short in completing.
Or how she announced in the Sistine Chapel, surrounded by some of the most magnificent art ever created, that really, it wasn’t as pretty as she expected.
The other night she reminded me that last year Cinderella came to her birthday party. Then, after a long pause, she said “If Cinderella at Disney World doesn’t look like the Cinderella at my party, that means the one from my party was NOT the real Cinderella.” Yikes. Hard to argue with her though!
I think (hope) I’m worrying needlessly though. I can only imagine that when she sees Cinderella’s castle and all the princesses walking around the park . . . well, how could that not be magical?