Friday, April 30, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Family Night at New Ballet

Last night was family night at New Ballet Ensemble, and I love that they don't do recitals. I think it's nice that we all just show up and watch the kids dance in the big studio. Beautiful kids, beautiful dancing - neutron blue tutus not required. Honestly, Meredith would probably love to be in a recital and would love everything about a neutron blue tutu. But for the parents, I think this is preferable.

Mer's class did their nursery rhyme "brain dances" (they're all about core-distal and cross lateral--what?!) and then their "flamingo" dance. I need to apologize to Meredith, because when she talked about class in the preceding weeks--and wanted to practice at home--I corrected her and said "flamenco, honey." Wrong. Oh well, we still had fun dancing to the Gipsy Kings in the living room.

I mostly saw Mer's back, so I took a few pics of some other dancers...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Big Kid School

Everybody starts school in April, right? Mer started Tue/Thur CLUE at Downtown Elementary this morning. There are about 5 weeks of school left, and she's only 4, so it's not as if it was terribly important to squeeze this learning opportunity into her young life. But. She is Meredith. And I've never seen her so excited about anything, in such a sustained and persistent way. When I talked to her about it and tried to assess how she would handle being the "new kid" and only knowing a few kids, she promptly reminded me: "Mom, I really like to meet new people." Right, babe.

Our church meets at Downtown Elementary, so the building will be familiar. Walt and Adam and Abby-from-ballet are in her class, so that will be good. Daddy is taking her to school, which I think ranks as high or higher as going to school at all. But frankly, I think I'm the only one who needed these reassurances. Thank goodness.

That's my girl - smiling so big she can't keep her eyes open.

Monday, April 26, 2010

After the Rain

This looks like a place for some rock and roll, right? It's true.

Saturday was a windy, stormy, dark, sunshiny, clear, cool, sparkling day.

Luckily the storm was the morning part of the day and the sparkling part was just in time for Rock-N-Romp. The Dixon gardens weathered the storm beautifully and we followed the sounds of rock and roll down a narrow brick path through dripping trees and drooping azalea blooms. Not a bad way to start the afternoon.

First shout out goes to the amazing board of Rock-N-Romp who continue to put together incredible events. Next shout out goes to the 14 year olds who absolutely rocked - The Motions, they were called. Additional shout out to Glorie - Jeff (blue shirt) and Chris both play for Midtown Soccer Club. Speaking of which, that soccer club could practically be a band. Chris could play the tambourine... But I digress. Hope Clayburn wrapped up the rocking - Meredith and Nora were dancing quite a bit by this point. Meredith especially enjoyed the sax.

Meredith also loved the Dixon's craft offerings. She and Nora made great magnets.

Madeline enjoyed soothing her incoming molar by chewing on her finger. She also enjoyed sitting in exactly the same spot for about 3 hours, good, sweet girl. In keeping with the theme, we'll call that a Tom Petty mullet.

As I'm sure you've noticed, all of these pictures are in focus, were taken with a camera that has a clean lens, and are well composed. That's because I didn't take them - my friend Chip Chockley did. If you're looking for a fabulous photographer in Memphis check his site.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Yes Ma'am

Mer just walked into the room with a bag - apologized for being late. Asked where she could change and who would be her dance teacher. I said it would be "Mary," hoping she would go imagine on her own - she said "No, I saw on the web page that it's going to be you, when you get off that computer." Fair enough. As you might imagine, I taught the dance lesson.

Friday, April 23, 2010

My Big Back Yard, Again

Meredith's school went on a field trip to the Botanic Gardens yesterday - specifically, to My Big Backyard. They learned all about bees, ate some honey, picnicked in the most perfect picnic spot imaginable, and then ran around for an hour like happy banshees.

Also, as you may have seen in the slide show, Madi is quite the stander-upper these days.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Classic Madi

This is one of her favorite games. She can barely reach, but she tries to hit the keys. But the best part - and the part that really requires video - is that while she's randomly plinking away, she's also dancing. It's intermittent, to match the "music," but it's definitely dancing. HILarious.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Instead of working...

I got up early to work, but turns out I'd rather not. Here's some pictures I liked from California.

Traditionally, when we're in the desert, we rise before dawn and leave the house for walks, so as not to disturb the west coasters. That didn't happen this year. Meredith sleeps later, Madeline's sleep is unpredictable, and there were very few walks. I missed them. But I did squeeze one in, all by my lonesome. It was early, and it was beautiful.

And there was this, which I thought I should share because I'm betting most of you have never seen a cactus decorated for Easter.

The Easter picture was a challenge and we didn't get the pefect pic. But at least we took it, and at least Madeline didn't fall out of the chair. There's that.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Madeline Jane Turns One

Madeline is one. I remember driving to the hospital last year - actually in labor, rather than in dreadful anticipation of being induced - and enjoying the drive because it was a stunningly beautiful spring day - dogwoods, azaleas, tulips, and green, green grass. We drove by an Easter egg hunt, all the children in their Southern spring finery. It was a good day to have a baby.

Madeline is a joy. She beams. She radiates. People often ask "is she always that happy?" And she is (except when she's not, but that's rare, and usually earache induced). She's learned about 5 signs that she uses all the time. I was grateful when she started using the sign for 'more' rather than shrieking like a banshee every time she wanted a bite. Last week Great Grandma Poo taught her how to blow a kiss. Like her older sister, she seems to eschew toys in favor of things like cd cases and measuring cups. One exception is seen above - a deck of Spiderman cards that she plays with rather obsessively.

Madeline loved listening to us sing "Happy Birthday" to her - but she really loved watching Meredith and Walt dance as they sang.

You only wish you could have such a performance on your birthday.

It was a great day. We even managed to make homemade cupcakes, chock full of orange zest and cream cheese. I hope Madeline enjoyed them as much as I did.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Easter: Earthquakes, Turbulence, and Other Fun

It was another beautiful holiday in California...a bit more mellow than usual. We only left the house to lay in supplies (essentials like 47 avocados) and go to what was deemed a "Country Fair," but looked nothing like any fair I've ever seen. There was enough time in the pool to devise a couple different obstacle courses, and you'll see evidence of my athletic prowess in the movie.

So after days of relaxing by the pool and taking naps, and generally getting all soft and mellow, we were visited by a 7.2 earthquake. Good heavens. Give me a tornado any day. Plenty of warning with those. Cloudy skies, bit of wind, and super obnoxious sirens. Earthquakes give you none of this. This one went on quite a while and even the Californians around us were calling it a doozy.

Not long after that we all got ready to drive to the airport. As we ate our beignets (well done, Beth) we couldn't help noticing that it was a palm tree bending kind of windy day. Not surprisingly, this led to some turbulence on take off. The kind of turbulence that makes every passenger scream like a little girl--and is followed by the attendant picking up lots of barf bags. Awesome. We felt sick for about 72 hours afterward.

So now you know what we survived to bring you the following movie, produced entirely by genius-brother-in-law Dan (though everyone contributed pictures). I think it's fabulous that youtube chose the picture that's showing to represent the movie, considering it's one of my least favorite photos of myself ever. What am I doing with my arms? Weird-o.

This movie is LONG and probably only interesting to family members. Except for the first 20 seconds or so, which will amuse most folks, I think.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Easter: Midtown Style

I'm late, I'm late. For a very important date!
--The White Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland

Just a little bunny humor to celebrate my blogging tardiness, since I've been sitting on about 200 pictures in my camera for several days now. Let's start with Midtown Easter hijinks.

The clan with the Bunny. And a fabulous Bunny he was.

The rising Kindergarten class of Peabody Elementary prepares for the hunt.

Walt, Mer, and all of the children, treated the egg gathering expedition as the athletic endeavor it is when there are dozens of kids and an open field involved.

One lovely mom brought cupcakes for all.

Papa. Performing one of his favorite tricks. I think Keddi will be thrilled that I've posted this.

Meredith and Charlotte spent about 20 minutes peacefully trading the toys they'd found in their eggs. There are some political parties that could learn a thing or two about negotiating from these two.

We'll be back soon with Easter, Act II.