about a dream: May 2014

Saturday, May 31, 2014

New toys

Earlier this week, Nina and Maggie were playing with one of Maggie's new birthday toys. It's a fill- the-bottle-with-colored-sand-to-make-a-decoration-that's-one-chaotic-flail-away-from-coating-my- floor-with-grit toy. Oops, I mean, colored-sand-bottle toy.

Here, see:

 There was glitter you could put in with the sand too. How pretty.

The girls loved it. Maggie dubbed the colored sand studio "Color Wicked," which is a pretty fantastic name for a design studio. Here's Nina creating a butterfly bottle.

Maggie was really into her creations. She was so adorable with her running commentary, highlights of which include:

"I like my wicked wainbow stwipes," and "I'm thwilled with my design!"

See? That's her thwilled face!

It's magic land. This pony lives in magic land.

At color wicked, your dreams come true!

They've both absolutely loved all of the presents everyone got them. I've read Maggie Madeline books every night, and even had to wake her up by reading a Madeline. She got peeved because she woke up while I was in the shower and demanded to know why she didn't wake up to me reading. I told her that was going to be next. She never wakes up on school mornings without me waking her up!

Nina loves one of the new games that Oma got her--The Enchanted Forest. It's some kind of hellish combination of Memory, Sorry, and Clue, and I'm horrible at it. You have to land on just the right spots to look under the trees and try to fine one of 13 treasures. By the time you MAYBE find the treasure, you've looked under 6 trees, 4 of them 2 or 3 times each, and you still can't remember where the freaking treasure is by the time you get to the castle. It's perfect for Nina, a cruel joke for me.

Today we went to Yankee Lanes in Brunswick for another birthday party. Nina and I tore it up on the lanes (thanks to the bumper guards!). It was exhausting, which is why this post is probably only borderline coherent. I'll try to do better tomorrow!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Happy Birthday Maggie!

She's six today!!

We had her party on Monday. We were going to do it on Saturday the 31st, but then we got an invitation from her classmate Sophia for a party on that very day. Darn. So I was like, you know what? We'll just bump it up to this weekend, and bam, made it happen. Invitations went out on the Wednesday or Thursday before memorial weekend, and the party was at Dolphin Mini Golf 1 pm sharp on Memorial Day.

It was so fun! First the kids mini-golfed:

Look at that form! That concentration! That drive to win!!

Collecting her thoughts, of course
 After golf, all the kids got ice cream at the ice cream hut. Then they ran around a while, and Maggie opened presents. Then we did cake. More sugar!

Blowing out the candles!
 It was a great success. For about a half hour, from maybe 12 to 12:30, it looked like it was going to downpour just as the party was starting. But then a miracle happened, the clouds parted, and the sun came out! The weather was absolutely perfect.

The birthday girl and her mommy.

Today is Maggie's actual birthday, and we're going to go out to dinner before Nina's chorale show. She gets to pick the restaurant, so probably China by the Sea.

Happy Birthday Maggie! May 6 be even better than 3!

Monday, May 26, 2014

A surprise visit!

Look who decided to take his first visit to Maine this weekend!

Maggie's first hold. Aww

Everyone smile!

The four of us.
Nina's not smiling, she was too anxious for her turn with the baby.

They just decided to come up! They arrived Sunday at about one in the afternoon and spent the night. Joey is such a good baby, he was totally chill about the change of scenery. Then within an hour or two, Ian and Laura came over with their little guy Abe and Noah and Rachael came over with Levi, Naomi, and Tim and Robin, and he was still Mr. Super Chill Little Guy.

It was a busy weekend for us though, that's for sure. Saturday we had a BBQ with the McConnells, Sunday was all the above, plus a trip to the playground, and Monday was a parade and Maggie's 6th birthday party (post to come tomorrow)! Whew! We're exhausted from this weekend!!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Catch-Up Number Three: Joey!!!

And finally, the last thing to make our week hectic but wonderful was getting to meet the new baby!! He's the cutest baby ever!!

He was so happy with Nina and she was a total natural!

Too entranced by the nephew to even look up and smile!

Two little angels! He even smiles in his sleep!!
He is such a good little baby. And so tiny!! Isabelle and Erik are great too (and Chester of course!). We can't wait to see them all again!

Catch-up Number Two: First Communion and Confirmation

The other big thing that happened last week was Nina's First Communion and Confirmation (they do those together these days). Here she is!

Here she is with the Bishop and one of the parish priests. Beautiful!

And here she is with Unk, her confirmation sponsor.
The mass was fairly long, but we all did a great job. Nina actually was confirmed before she received her First Communion, because that's the order they did it in for the mass. Interesting though.

Also interesting was that they did the mass at 7 pm on a Friday. Who does that?? A 2-hour mass at 7 pm for 50 little kids. It was painful for Maggie.

Before the mass we had a lovely dinner at the Taste of Maine with Erik, mom and dad, Aunt Maria and Uncle Lee, grandma, and Aunt Rosie and Uncle John. Just the right size for a party and excellent food.

The communion/confirmation mass was for all 50 kids in the All Saint's Parish, which encompasses I think 5 or 6 churches in the mid-coast region. So the mass was held at St. John's in Brunswick. I'd never been inside that church before, it was lovely.

Then today at mass at Our Lady, the girls all wore their communion dresses again, brought up the gifts, and had a little party after mass. More adorableness!

I'll call this one "Joy and Flowers"
 You don't have to be a great photographer to get great photos of beautiful little girls in beautiful white dresses on a seaside church lawn, that's for sure...

Just like a little angel
 And finally, all four girls together:

The dandelions look cute, but those are four stained-up dresses right now...
Both masses were lovely. I can't believe how big Nina's gotten. First communion and confirmation! It all goes too fast.

Catch-up Number One: Charlotte's Web

My oh my what a busy week it's been! I'll go in chronological order, so first up is Nina's play, Charlotte's Web. She played the most adorable gosling, fair-goer, and spider #1 that ever existed. Behold:

You can just see her little tail feathers. Cheep cheep!
Next up, Nina at the fair. She also played a judge, scribbling notes about Wilbur and totally enthusiastically, totally believably pointing out the other pig.

What can I say, she's seen better fairs.

And lastly, she had four or 5 lines as Joy, one of Charlotte's children. 
This is after the play. Salutations!
A better view of the spider costume.

The play was utterly adorable. All of the kids were so cute and so funny. Nick, Maggie, and I saw it twice, Wednesday and Thursday. There was a rehearsal until 6 pm on Monday and a dress rehearsal until 6 on Tuesday, so this is part of what made our week so very hectic. Hectic but wonderful!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Welcome Joey!!

Here he is!

Look at that cutie!!

Put some big black eyebrows on that kid and he'll look just like his dad.

Congratulations Erik and Isabelle, we can't wait to meet him!!!


Here's some pictures from mom and dad's camera, from the spring. First, the adorable Valentine's Day card that Nina made for her grandpa (ok, that's a winter one!):

Joe! We're all on first name bases here...

To Joe! Also note that the bottom of the exclamation point is a heart. Aww.

These poems are the cutest thing in the world! Sorted into rhyming and non-rhyming!
I thought that card was just the cutest thing ever. And so did Joe!

Speaking of Joe, here are pictures from his birthday. The girls and I decorated that cake!

What are those decorations about, you ask? Here, I'll zoom in:

Can you tell yet? Hint: it's morbid!
It's a paper Titanic sinking after colliding with a whipped-cream iceberg. Ha! It was either that or a happy birthday/tax day cake. Darn we're clever!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

We're anxiously on baby watch!

So exciting! Go Isabelle!!

Well, us grown-ups are anxious. The kids are kind of oblivious, to be frank. They're outside playing ponies, even though it's 7:30 and I should be getting them ready for bed. They didn't get much play time together today though--Nina's play practice went until 5:15, then dinner, so it was 6 before they got to business. Play is important work!

I'm pooped though, it's been such a busy week. Nina's play practice and my students are building an launching water bottle rockets, so there's a lot of in and out and carrying things around all day. Next week will be even worse, with the actual play, a field trip for me AND a field trip for Nina, First Communion rehearsal and actual First Communion. After that's all done though we're on easy street. And it'll almost be summer vacation!

This week at school is teacher appreciation week at school, boy is that well-timed. Every morning there's been a lovely breakfast in the teachers' lounge and tomorrow there'll be lunch too. Yesterday morning Maggie saw the spread and exclaimed, "Wow, that's a lot of appreciation!" Aww!

Next blog post will have baby photos I'm sure!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

But what does it all mean?

Poor Maggie really struggles sometimes. No, not with juice boxes or sharing her monster high dolls (though she does struggle with those things. She's only 5!), it's those existential crises.

I found this comic on Facebook the other day and it totally spoke to me:

This is what my drives are like. Constantly!

Lately though, Maggie has struggled with the point of life. Why are we here? What are we supposed to be doing? What is life? She asks with italic-like emphasis too. It's cute in one sense, just because it's so uncommon to hear from a 5-year-old, but she's really upset about it. And I'm not sure what to do!

I tell her that I think the point of life is loving each other, and she kind of likes that, but I can tell it's also woefully inadequate. So I tell her that some people, many people, spend their whole lives trying to answer that question, but I think she finds that answer even more depressing.

Today she was tired so she was even more upset by the idea than usual, but she wailed "How can I go to school and learn when I don't even know what life is?"

I guess my bend is more science than philosophy, because I never struggled with the "why" of it all. Why are we here? Because evidently, there exists within the laws of the universe certain outcomes that, however unlikely, are statistically possible, and we're just one manifestation. Probability.

Boy are we ready for a nice summer vacation!!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

First Place Winner!!

Yay Anina!!!!!

I don't remember if I blogged about it over Christmas vacation, but Anina (yes, Anina. That's what she prefers and I'm trying to make the switch!) spent weeks working on a poster for the Garden Club poster contest. There were a bunch of rules, but basically it had to be a poster featuring either Smokey the Bear or Woodsy Owl with their slogan and be about fire prevention or land conservation. Anina picked Woodsy Owl (he says "lend a hand, care for the land") and made an awesome poster with a hand holding a snow globe of the Earth, and a rainbow, a stream, Woodsy, some kids.

And she won first place IN THE STATE!!

This is the best photo of the poster.

She won a certificate and a big stuffed Smokey for winning!

Here she is with her New England Regional participation certificate.
Her poster won the state for 3rd grade and was entered into the New England Regionals! Which she didn't win, but that's ok!

I'm so amazed and so proud! Yay Anina!!!!!