Saturday, February 26, 2011

Miss Melly’s Dance Studio



Another storm system came through yesterday, this one dropping eight inches of wet sloppy snow.  With slippery streets and near white-out conditions, they decided to cancel the girls’ morning dance class.  Foolishly, though, I didn’t check my email before wrestling the girls into leotards and tights.  Rather than switch back into play clothes and resign ourselves to a sedentary morning, though, we decided to roll up the carpet in the front room and have dance class at home. 

While I am undoubtedly the least-qualified person in the world to teach dance, we still managed to muster our way through some silly stretches, a review of first and second position, and then lots of creative movement, all to the soundtrack of the Primary 1 CD.  My favorite part was dancing around with each of the girls by themselves for a few minutes at the very end. 




It was probably good that visibility was low enough someone walking down the street couldn’t see in our window, because we probably looked pretty silly sashaying with stuffed animals, but it was easily the most fun I’ve had dancing since the great backwards-leotard-episode of the early eighties.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Worse than taking down the tree



I finally did it.  I took apart the cradle. 

One moment you’re smoothing a piece of buttery yellow flannel around a mini-mattress and daydreaming about swaddled bundles of baby-ness; the next moment a whole year has gone by and your nine-month-old is crawling, standing, giggling, babbling, and scooching all over the house, far too large and far too wiggly to be contained by a cradle. 

I’m almost afraid to go to sleep at night—what if I wake up tomorrow and she’s already off at college?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Royal Treatment

Somehow we continue to dodge the diseases that are apparently running rampant at church.  A week ago we had Primary with fewer than half of our teachers and a whole class of children home sick.  (Very bad.) Today the meeting I was supposed to be at was canceled last minute because everyone else involved had sick family members.  (Not so bad.)  Suddenly finding ourselves facing a morning alone at home, the girls and I decided it was time for an elegant little ladies’ luncheon.

Prominent on the guest list were Aurora and her princess-pal Cinderella.


The menu?  Applesauce cookies and apple juice.  Around the time Amber was born we used to make applesauce cookies regularly and Robyn loved them!  We always used Bryan’s great-grandmother’s recipe, including chopped walnuts.  Then we found out about Robyn’s peanut allergy and, unsure whether walnuts would suddenly become a problem too, I stopped making them.  Turns out they’re just as good nut-free!

Pouring apple juice out of a tiny toy teapot brought back memories of Mom having apple-juice-parties with Karin and me in Texas.   I can’t believe that was more than a quarter century ago!


A bird’s eye view of the princess compound.


Only royalty allowed!  They were having such a good time I let them eat lunch in their castle too.

Would it be wrong to hope for more other-people-sick-days this week?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

This birthday brought to you by the letter 'P'

Four years ago we checked into Utah Valley Regional Medical Center labor and delivery with contractions 90 seconds apart.  Within moments my water unceremoniously broke, startling me and soaking the arm chair at the registration desk.  A wheelchair ride down the hall, a clean hospital gown, and two hours of labor later little Robyn Melissa was born.  Our life has never been the same.

Here are a few of the highlights from her birthday celebration:

The Pastries. 

With two boxes of Funfetti Cake in the cupboard, Robyn decided what she really wanted was a pink strawberry cake.  Unwilling to haul three kids to the grocery store just for cake mix, I toyed with the idea of adding food coloring to the batter.  Then, fearing some sort of pink-dye-toxicity after how much we used on Valentines Day, I came up with another idea: strawberry Jell-O.  Adding the Jell-O powder in with the cake mixes, plus an extra egg for texture and then buttermilk instead of water (to help tone-down the super-sweetness Jell-O + Funfetti was doomed to create), resulted in a surprisingly good, perfectly pink, strawberry cake that even Bryan ate!

To get the shape I wanted for the cake I needed to get a little creative with cake pans.  Our all-metal sauce pan ended up being the perfect size for one of the layers.

Robyn has said for weeks that she wanted a Sleeping Beauty cake.  Sans magic wands, we made do with homemade buttercream frosting in Aurora's signature colors and a plastic figurine from a little play set we had lying around.

Sleeping Beauty cake done.  Only 48 more cakes to go until our children leave home.  :)

The Party.

When some of our earlier plans for a family get-together didn't pan out, we decided to do a little birthday party for Robyn instead.  It was pretty low-key (I planned the activities in the shower that morning), but I think everyone had a good time.

Can you draw a pumpkin?  A crown?  What about a castle or a slipper?  A rousing game of Princess Pictionary (or Pickin'-ma-cherry as Robyn calls it :) was a hit.  We also did a bouncy ball activity, since, of course, princesses love to "go to the ball."

Making princess party hats out of colored paper and long ribbon streamers.  (We didn't relegate Amber to the high chair: she begged to sit there and rather than fight it we just went with it.)

Time for cupcakes and ice cream!


The Presents. 

We had a little celebration with just the five of us in the evening, complete with pizza, cake, candles, and ice cream, followed by unwrapping an unnervingly large pile of presents.  Robyn loved all of her gifts and is grateful to be surrounded by so much love.  A big thank-you to the Grandmas and Grandpas for thinking of her on her special day!!!

Make a wish!

More sprinkles please!  The Weatherbees made this beautiful apron for Robyn, which we've already put to use making cookies for Joy School on Thursday.

Organizing all the fun art-supplies from Grandma and Dah-Dee-Doh.  This was very serious business with Robyn telling us exactly where everything was supposed to go.


Checking out the big gift from Mom & Dad: a bed tent and flashlight. Note to self after first night with this present: don't become too anxious when you see someone stalking down the hall with a flashlight in the middle of the night. 

The Princess.

A parting glance at our newly-minted four-year-old.


The Post-Script.

Because every post is a little bit better with a baby picture in it.

Did she get to eat cake?  You betcha.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Many Faces of Robyn

Over Christmas our family did a photo shoot.  While my sister took the professional pictures, my Dad (Dah-Dee-Doh to grandkids) took candid shots.  He noticed that Robyn had a particularly expressive face and sent us this little photo story in honor of her birthday.  It seriously made me laugh out loud!  (After all, what says birthday cheer better than a sleep-deprived mommy in pajamas heckling to herself at the computer? :)
So here it is: The Many Faces of Robyn...
This is so boring
I can't stay awake...
Hey!  It's Robyn!
C**P! It's Dah-Dee-Doh!
Danny, help me!

Thanks for nothing, Danny!
Hum...Let me think.
I know just what to do about that.
Quick!  Change.  Burn his mind out with my laser vision.
Ahh!  My eyes!!!!
Ooops, missed.
Mom, I've been good!  Promise!
Honest, I don't know what happened.
Mom!?!  You wouldn't would you?
Remember?  I'm a princess!
Really, just look at me!
Uh-oh.  I'm a goner.
Thank you, Mommy.
I love you too!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Day to Dye For

Those who have forgotten the fun of February 14 as a children's holiday and who would also rather not be bothered with seemingly arbitrary romantic responsibilities have accused the greeting card companies of "making-up" Valentines Day.  Surely the food coloring industry is in on it too.  Yesterday we squeezed and swirled scarlet drops into all sorts of things, including breakfast cereal, bathwater, and big bowls of frosting.  The results? Our pink-est day to-date. 

What could say love better than a steaming bowl of pink Cream of Wheat and raisins?

We even installed a pink bathtub for the occassion.  Oh.  Wait.  No we didn't.  We are blessed to have access to a pink bathtub EVERYday!  How did we ever get so lucky?

Time for the traditional sugar cookies.  We decided to decorate them together for Family Home Evening last night.

Documenting out bad parenting for posterity's sake.  At least we didn't give her frosting too, right?

This might be the real reason the bathwater was pink at our house yesterday!

And since every good Valentines should involve getting dressed up for a night out, here are a couple of pictures of Robyn testing out Mom's heels yesterday. 

Happy Valentines from our family to yours!