Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer School

Our preschool doesn't hold any summer session or summer camps, and as much as Orelia and I both miss school, the summer life is pretty sweet too.

Orelia spent the morning flipping, somersaulting, and rolling on the beach.  (Perhaps she was really trying to see how much sand could get into her hair?)

After the beach, she went home and took a three-hour nap so she would have enough energy for "swim camp" in the afternoon.

Swim camp is really just a thirty minute swim lesson with her friends that happens every day for two weeks.  She isn't learning much, but she's having fun!

Swim camp is of course an excuse to make use of the pool before and after the "lessons."

Summer is hard work for a three-year-old.  Class is in session every minute when it comes to learning to make the most out of life.

 Bennett has lots to learn too - such as all the best backyard hiding spots.

And how to properly nibble corn on the cob.

Mostly he's just learning all the different ways to play with the mulch in our backyard.

Monday, June 27, 2016


 Summertime and the living is easy.

Assuming you have a giant orange popsicle dripping all the way down your arm, of course.

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Child I Didn't Want

 Do you see that child sitting calmly at a restaurant eating a meal with his parents?

 Do you see the other child walking slowly holding his mother's hand and going shopping?

 Do you see the other child doing a puzzle from start to finish without any help?

 It's hard to imagine life before kids, but I think the kids I would have considered the ideal specimens hold almost no resemblance to my actual children.

 Frankly, the kids I thought were "perfect" were quite boring.

 And also, fictional.

 The child I didn't want would be the one asking "why" when you tell her a rule (or almost anything).

 The child I didn't want would rather run around than sit and eat a meal at a restaurant.

 The child I didn't want would like to touch every item in a store, please and thank you.

 The child I didn't want would have opinions about everything and very much like to tell you what they are.

 Thank God for that child and children.

 We are still, obviously, getting to know both kids' personalities, but we know Orelia to be a firecracker and Bennett certainly has no trouble telling us when things don't go his way.

 I think every parent learns to love and appreciate their kids who who they are, and perhaps if I had a quieter, rule-loving child I would love that too.

 All I know is that I love my kids' spunk and vigor.

 I love their curiosity.

 I love their energy.

I love them.

Photos by the talented Kristin Dokoza.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Bennett's First Trip to Disneyland

 Did Bennett have a good first trip to Disneyland?

 First of all, thanks for asking.  Secondly, yes Bennett loved Disney and everything about it!

By which I mean, he loved all the different places where he could play with trucks at Disneyland.

 He loved playing with trucks in the baby pool.

He loved playing with trucks while his sister ate ice cream.

He loved playing with trucks while hanging out with Daddy.

 Oh wait, here he is quietly enjoying some poolside relaxation.

 Which of course involved trucks.

 He played with trucks while he waited in lines.

 He also played peekaboo while he waited for his sister.

 But it was peekaboo with trucks.

 Occasionally he put his trucks down to enjoy a book about trucks.

 When he was really lucky, his sister enjoyed a roller coaster somewhere that had some dirt to use with his trucks.

 He's more than capable of playing with trucks midair while in someone's arms.

 I think John drew the line with playing with trucks on top of his head, though.

Bennett rode loads of rides and by the end of our visit he didn't even dislike the rides.  But his real joy was found playing with trucks in every different location he found himself in.

Happy first trip to Disneyland, Bennett!  Now I know why toddlers get into the park for free.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Don't Let the Crown Fool You

 We went to Disneyland last week, and our time there was very princess-filled.

There were many princesses to meet and princess things to buy.

 There was even a princess makeover.

 Anyone who knows Orelia, would know that getting a princess makeover and then getting to immediately meet the princesses was just about the pinnacle of her life thus far.

Orelia loves princess dresses, makeup, and crowns.

 She loves everything about it.

And we embrace that about her.

Which is why we made her an appointment at the Bippity Boppity Boutique to begin with.

 Cinderella is her favorite princess, so she of course chose a Cinderella gown and was downright giddy to meet her and show off their matching dresses.

 They spoke of the prince, Jaq and Gus, and the Royal Ball.  It was so sweet to watch the excitement in her eyes and to see her starstruck.

 I often describe Orelia as a "princess fairy," since this love of glitter and tiaras is central to her world right now.   It's the way she was made, and she's always been drawn to this type of thing.

I don't expect her to idolize Cinderella for much longer, but while she remains enamored, I will continue to chuckle on the sidelines as she wobbles around the house in glass slippers.

I see all kinds of posts on Facebook that are essentially ragging on traditional princess adoration by young girls.  While I agree that the concept of a damsel in distress is not what I want Orelia to admire, just because she's wearing a tiara doesn't mean Orelia is the type of girl who would ever need, much less want, anyone to save her.

 Don't let the crown fool you, this girl is full of fire and tenacity and strength.

Just because she chooses to put on a gown instead of a fireman costume doesn't mean she isn't bound for the Oval Office (or even a firehouse for that matter).

Often it seems to be the people without kids, or at least without a princess fairy of a child who love princess shaming the most.

I am all for giving kids - boys or girls - the choice of what to play.  I think girls should be given the opportunity to play with trains and trucks and fireman costumes, for that matter.  I am all for more modern movies and shows where the female characters are strong and leaders.

 I just want my kid to be happy and be herself.

 And this kid is a Cinderella-loving, saucy, smart, funny princess fairy.

She doesn't need to play with trucks or trains to be strong.

She might be a princess today, but one day she will be a queen.