Thursday, May 27, 2010

Little miss ballerina

Maia began ballet last fall and continued through the winter. She started out a bit shy and uncertain, but came to love her teacher, Miss Emily, and the other children as well. This last semester just ended and sadly she was in the middle of the "flu" during her final recital and had to miss it. By the end of the second semester she was galloping, leaping and dancing around the house, dressed in the tutu Grandma made, arms raised high, practicing ballet.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

May Days in Pictures

Starting to feel better after four days of something like the flu

Gathered flowers (and some weeds) from the garden

Maia's still life painting of our flower arrangement

Hanging laundry on the line out in the warm sun

Jumping Maia, fully recovered and then some!

Baseball season is in full swing, too bad they got slaughtered by a terrific fast pitcher on the other team

A little work in the basement which will soon be a rec room!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Feverishly Weaving

My weaving class is nearing the end with our final critique scheduled for next Monday. This warp faced weaving is as thick as a carpet and took lots of finishing to make it art-worthy. Luckily I had lots of extra weaving to play with and a little help from my sweet elf Maia, who for the first time took up a tapestry needle and did a little sewing with me; a happy moment indeed.

I still have one more weaving to beat out before Monday and it looks like I won't be going to class today since Maia came down with a stomach bug. Puke and laundry, ad nauseum, and I haven't really left her side since yesterday at 6 am. Now she is sleeping after retching up her small breakfast. Poor thing. These are the days that make studio classes difficult, doing anything at all, in fact, is difficult. The unpredictability of parenthood, the chaos, the messes, the endless laundry and cleaning, when all I really want to do is get cracking on the 20 plus hours I have left in my last project. Oh well, that's what the open studio hours are for this weekend and then it is Daddy's turn to clean up the puke!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Making Plans for Nigel

Well, not exactly plans for Nigel, since he has his future in British Steel. But for Mai and Juj, since these two could run a circus around here if left to their own devices. Most photos lately have shown one or both with the crossing of eyes, sticking out of tongues, or just the "talk to the hand" pose.

I am happy to strike a balance between structured and free-range type activities, for I have found that for kids, a little structure goes a long way and lazy days are absolutely necessary for all of us. But of course for my own sanity I need to have some sort of schedule. Schedule, plan, structure; something to punctuate the day.

Mr. Juj will finally be able to use that passport he got on his last birthday in June when he and JB go to South Africa for the World Cup (Bafana, Bafana - South African Soccer Team) in June. Beyond that, we have planned a week of overnight camp, soccer and a Lego robotics class. Then a little camping, a visit to the great Northern woods and maybe a trip to the Boundary Waters, and I think we are in business.

As for Mai Mai, we have found lots of fun things to do over the winter: Music Together, ballet with Danceworks, and many trips to the library and park. This spring we are going with Mikro soccer and later in the summer some rec. classes in art, gymnastics and swim.

So if you are looking for things for your kids this summer in the Milwaukee Area, here are some suggestions:

College for Kids/Teens at the University of WI - Milwaukee

Community Recreation programs (available in most communities)

Lake Park Little League (also available in most other communities)

For the littler ones:

Community Recreation programs

For weekly programs refer to the Milwaukee Moms Events Calender

I looked into teen programs in engineering and didn't find much in WI, so if you know of any summer programs for teens in engineering, drop me a note or leave a comment. More activities listed in older posts here and here. Happy planning.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

April Showers

January may be the coldest month, but April was certainly the most fickle. The hot sun warmed my back during high noon and the frost came fast in the late evenings. The rains pummeled down for days making the grass grow high in uneven tufts. Dandelions heads light up the yard and the sweet smells of tree blossoms waft over the fence.

We bundle up in winter clothing for soccer and baseball games, then run in the yard chasing balls and airplanes in shorts and tees during warmer days. Allergies and sinus infections, colds and coughs report from small bodies that the season is in flux.

What remains the same is the routine of daily tasks: loading the dishwasher, washing clothes, filling cups of juice and milk, sweeping up dust, wiping crumbs and noses, baking pans of enchiladas, flipping pancakes, blending smoothies, grinding coffee, boiling water and running baths.

So we make plans for summer, register for classes, camp and swimming lessons, look forward to trips up north and visits from family. We adapt, we wing it, as we move through the changes, reminding ourselves of the best parts of the day as we lay in bed at night, knowing that May will bring more sunshine and sprouts as we transition into what soon will be summer.