Saturday, May 16, 2009


My kids love to dance! I love that they love to dance! It's fun for them to do, fun for me to watch. We spent many-a-winter day, music blasting in the living room, and Ava, Jax and I dancing like a bunch of crazies!

Ava has been in a ballet class since the fall. The class is focused on getting the students (all 2-3 years old) comfortable in their feet and familiar with coordinated movement. It's been great for Ava to, not only learn, but have a special class that is all her own. It's amazing the skills she has developed in the eight months she's been in the class. But, best of all, is seeing her face as she dances, the joy just radiates from her. At the end of June she'll move up to a "Big Girl Class" (3-4) which is less carefree than her current class. Her teacher, Miss Michelle, will remain the same, but the class is much more structured and begins to focus more on actual ballet techniques and positions. Ava will be the youngest in the class, but she's ready. She did tell me she was a little afraid because she didn't know what to do in the "big girl class," but I assured her that Miss Michelle would teach her. As with all things, her desire to learn far exceeds any concern she may have about her skill level. She'll catch on quickly, she has such a love for dancing. Here she is doing her "Mamma Mia" warm-up routine. The second video is "freestyle" dancing.


Jax, I think, has learned to dance by watching his big sister. As soon as he hears music he begins to bounce his booty (if standing), shake his head or wiggle his whole body. It's pretty darn cute!

Jax is very aware of the effect he has on people. Sensing how adorable we think he is when he dances, he's begun to use his booty-shaking abilities as a means to acquire food. He knows we can't resist his adorableness, so he uses it to his advantage. Watch this video and you'll see what I mean.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Duck's Mouth

Ava has become very interested lately in people's real names, nicknames, etc. She was shocked when I told her my real name is Rebekah. She really only hears people call me "Bekah" or "Becky" so, finding out that Mommy has yet another name came as a surprise to her. A few weeks ago she asked what all her grandparents' names were. I told her and the conversation was over. However, today it came up again.

"Mommy, Grandpa's nickname is Ralphie."
"Actually, honey, that's Grandpa's real name. But you call him Grandpa. What's Grandma's name?"
"Cherryl, like my favorite on the dancing show." (She and I watch "Dancing with the Stars" on Mondays and her favorite pro is Cheryl Burke)
"What about G-Pa?"
She stops and is thinks very hard.
"Do you remember, honey? What is a duck's mouth called?"
"BEAK! G-Pa's name is Beak!"
Through laughter I correct her, "Birds have beaks. Ducks have bills. G-Pa's name is Bill."
"Oh, G-Pa Bill. No, he's just G-Pa."

She also remembers my mom's name (Patti) by calling her "G-Ma Patti-Cake." Whatever works, right?

Saturday, May 9, 2009


This past week has been a doozy. Three-quarters of our little family was hit pretty hard with illness and we're just beginning to finally recover. Ava had a slight ear infection (not enough for antibiotic), sore throat and a runny nose. Poor little Jax suffered his second ear infection in less than a month. Actually, the doctor didn't think he had completely recovered from his last ear infection and had likely developed a resistance to Amoxicillin, so she prescribed Omnicef and it seems to be doing the trick. I have been worst of all. Before I go on, I should say that I am feeling TONS better today and actually went outside for a bike ride with the fam. Outside of a cough and a headache from lack of sleep caused by said cough, I feel pretty good. That said, I somehow got the H1N1 virus... otherwise known as swine flu. I only feel okay sharing that now that I'm pretty much over it and no longer contagious. We were hesitant to tell many people because of the misconceptions about swine flu and didn't want to wake up one morning with quarantine tape across our front door. I feel like I now know how Curtis (#3 of the 5 Kleinman boys) felt when his brothers would taunt him with "Contagious, contagious." I feel your pain, Curty. Anyway, really, it's just the flu. All the same symptoms -- fever, green snot, hacking-up-a-lung cough, painfully sore throat. H1N1 is just a different strain of the flu virus.

So, I'm going to take it easy a few more days, but I think I'll be back to myself soon enough. The only blessing that has come from this wretched sickness is the opportunity to sit back and reevaluate my business. I think I got sick because I was only getting 3-4 hours of sleep a night for about a month, weakening my immune system. I was just up late every night working, coming up with new designs, answering e-mails, etc. I don't work when the kids are awake, so naptime and nighttime are really my only windows to work. However, that being said, I don't need to be up until 2 am working. I'm not going to lose customers if they have to wait an extra day or two to get their orders. I don't have to come up with new designs every day. I do fine with the ones I have. This business was just supposed to be a little side thing to help earn a little extra money, but I've let it turn into a full time job. That's not necessary, and it's certainly not healthy. It's unfortunate it took the swine flu to make me realize that, but I think it had to be that extreme or I would have kept it up. So, I've vowed to stop working by 10:30 every night. I'm excited to go to bed earlier and see my face without bags under my eyes... it's been so long, I've almost forgotten what I look like well-rested.

I wanted to post some pictures of the kids... because, let's face it, that's why you're really here anyway. Ava pushing Jax and me on her trike

She is always so interested in watching Andy shave and asked one day if she could too. She has some Tinkerbell foam soap that we let her spread on her face and "shave" with her finger.

Just like his Daddy, happiest in the buff.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Ava has a new pet. A snail. Whom she appropriately named Ava. Ava the snail entered our lives via the backyard a few days ago. Ava the little girl sat and watched her and fed her leaves for about an hour and then kept checking on her for several more after that. When she woke up from her nap, Ava the snail was gone. Ava the little girl was, of course, devastated that her pet had "run" away. I explained that Ava the snail was probably just visiting her family and would be back in a few days because snails moves at, well, a snail's pace and take a long time to get from one place to another and back again. That seemed to suffice. Ava the little girl hadn't mentioned Ava the snail since then until this morning when I heard a delighted shriek from the backyard:

"Mama! Ava is back!!"

Sure enough, Ava the snail, or a cousin of hers, had made her way back to our backyard. Ava assumed she was tired from her long journey and gave her a nice resting place in the shade on our back steps. She fed her, introduced her to Jax, you know normal pet stuff. All of which would be a little weird if she weren't three, but since she is, it's all kinda cute. So, after the feeding, talking and introductions, it was time for lunch followed by a nap. Several times during lunch Ava the little girl poked her head out the back door and called, "Ava are you still there?" and then with relief, "Oh, there you are." However, once again after naptime was a different story. Ava bounced down the stairs and in to the backyard to greet her pet, but alas, Ava the snail was nowhere to be found. With a sense of urgency in her voice Ava rushed inside and announced, "Mommy, we need to make a sign! Ava is lost. And we need a map so someone can bring her back to our house!" So, Ava the little girl and I promptly went to work on creating a MISSING SNAIL sign. She drew Ava the snail and I wrote, "LOST SNAIL PLEASE RETURN IF FOUND." I asked Ava the little girl to write Ava the snail's name on the paper and she replied, "But I don't know how." "Honey, it's the same as your name." "No, it's different because it's HER name." I guess that is a confusing concept to a young child. Anyway, eventually I got through to her and she wrote Ava's name on the sign.

We were getting ready to post it when she demanded she and I go look in the backyard one more time. So, there we were, walking around the backyard calling, "AAAAAVVVVVVVAAAAAA!" No luck. However, we did find several roly-poly bugs which quickly gained Ava's interest and Ava the snail was soon forgotten. The MISSING SNAIL sign is sitting on our kitchen table. Since the news of the lost snail isn't getting out to the masses, I thought I'd take it to the blog. So, if you see a snail and it answers to the name Ava, please return her. A funny little girl will likely begin missing her again tomorrow.

Searching for her snail in her Cinco de Mayo dress (which was mine when I was a little girl)