Redondo Beach

After the thrills of Disneyland, it felt great to sit on the beach for a day. Nick wanted to explore Redondo Beach, so off we set. It was only about an hour away from Claremont, and the drive out was pleasant. The drive back ... in traffic ... following our friend's GPS that had us go on five different freeways ... took a little longer. (Note: we really liked the GPS—it made it easy to find our way back to their house when we'd been out exploring. It just had us go on a lot of freeways.)

Anyway, Lucy, of course, would have happily spent the rest of our vacation digging in the sand and dodging waves with Dad.

Flying her pink kite!

Oh, yeah ... (I don't know why she kept on holding that feather in her photos. Yech!)


9 am - 9 pm. Many, many rides, meeting princesses, dancing in parades—and Lucy was fantastic throughout the entire day. So were her Mom and Dad :)

First ride of the day: Dumbo. Once Lucy discovered she could make the elephant go up and down, screams of laughter ensued.

The biggest thrill of the day for Miss Lu was meeting the princesses "in real life, and not in their movies." We waited in line for over an hour, but we lucked out—just before our turn, they changed the princesses, and out came Lucy's dream line-up: Belle, Ariel, and Tiana. When I asked Lucy who she'd most like to meet that day, she said "Ariel, because she's my favorite, and Belle, because she is too. And Princess and the Frog [Tiana]." And there they all were!

Belle (Lu's a little awestruck)

Ariel, who was absolutely darling with Lu

(seriously, look how excited Lucy is!)

and Tiana!

Dramatic posing while waiting for the Winnie-the-Pooh ride

My favorite picture of our family that day

We were walking to Frontierland (I think ...) and glanced down a little side path and there was the Fairy Godmother. There were only a few people in line to see her since she was a bit hidden out of the way (I would have been too—it was hot, and her costume had to weigh a gazillion pounds!), so we were able to meet her and Miss Lu asked for her autograph :)

At the rocket ride near the end of the day—Nick tried to tell Lucy it was just like Dumbo (implying she'd already done this ride) and that just convinced Lucy she needed to do it because Dumbo had been so fun.

And ... we're done! A quick stop on Main Street for Lucy's promised stuffed animal and hat, and we were on our way "home." Tired? Yep (Lu fell asleep in the car). Fun? Definitely.


My sewing machine came

I picked it up this week. Tonight, Lucy and I decided to give it a test drive.

Behold, the pocket skirt!

I used two kinds of stitches! (You can't see the zig-zag; it's on the inside of the hem.)

Lucy put it on and said she wanted to wear it for the rest of the day, and possibly to bed. She then commented on how it didn't twirl like her twirly skirt from Nana. But she likes it anyway. I told her I'd try for something more twirly next time.

It's lined, hemmed, and I made it in about an hour and a half (and that included figuring out how to wind the bobbin). The machine behaved quite well; I even think Nana will like using it when she visits :)


Rock Star

(Scene: Lucy dancing around the living room singing "I'm a rock star! Ooh yeah!" repeatedly)

Mommy: "Lucy, what's a rock star?"

Lucy: "You know, someone who sings and rocks ... their head!" 

(Miss Lu "rocks" her head up and down to demonstrate. She would make seasoned head-bangers jealous.)


Stuff I like: the eco edition

Time for a little roundup of things I've seen over the past few weeks on the internet that I still love. And today, as a special bonus, they're all eco-friendly (or at least architecturally interesting)!

Plantable pockets you can install vertically to create a garden anywhere. Genius!

2. The custom Mobii bike by Veloris. Seatbelts for the kids, large enough for a grocery run—I want this bike in my life! (Anyone have a couple grand they want to get rid of?)

3. The recent move by the LDS Church to apply green building standards. Solar panels, xeriscaped landscaping, and parking for electric cars, among other things. Bishop Burton described the move as "doctrinally sound," and I agree! Two articles: the LDS Newsroom release and one in the Salt Lake Tribune (pics from LDS Newsroom).

4. Amazing underground house in Switzerland by SeARCH and Christian Muller Architects. Sign me up! (via design(dot)fr)

5. Kavellaris Urban Design's Gold Street House. I love all the light streaming through and then sense of openness. 

Butterfly Ballerina

This has been the week of the dance recital(s). Final classes on Tuesday and Wednesday, dress rehearsal on Thursday, and then two (two!) recitals: Friday night at 7 and a Saturday matinee at 2. And of course, Lucy's loved every minute. 

Last night, after her dances (she's in two: ballet butterflies and jazz raindrops) she was on my lap watching the rest of the show when suddenly she slid off my lap and started dancing in the aisle. I gathered her up and asked her what she was doing. "I still feel like dancing!" came the reply. This from the girl who gives us individual dance recitals nightly. At least she's having fun.


Pennies from—

On the topic of future drawings:

Me: "Why don't you draw Daddy at work? With all his lab equipment making things and running experiments?"

Lucy: "Mommy, Daddy doesn't make things at work, he makes money!"

Me: "Oh ..."

Lucy: "I know! I'll draw a sack of pennies!"

Nanas are the best

I forgot; Mom sent me this picture from our Seattle trip. But it really needs its own story. You see, Nana thought it would be fun for Lucy to go to the sheep shearing fiesta at Kelsey Creek farm. Lu thought so too, so they went.

Neither had any idea what they were getting into. Buses shuttling zillions of eager suburban farm enthusiasts from distant parking lots back to the farm. Lines for everything. Cotton candy. Sheep already sheared. Long walks. Your basic chaos for a festival that's grown, well, bigger than previously anticipated.

Nana was a trooper. Undaunted, she guided Lu through various spring farm adventures. And when Lu said she wanted to ride the pony, Nana waited with her in the line (look at that line! That's crazy! Like, Wiggles Live in Concert crazy!). Miss Lu was in heaven.

Thank goodness for Nanas. Of course, when I asked Lu later that evening what her favorite part of the day was (expecting cotton candy or the prized pony ride to emerge as the winner), she giggled and said "Nana's burps!" Apparently my mother can burp on command, something none of her children had ever known. We, along with Lucy, think it's pretty cool. I think next time, Nana will opt for an afternoon with a can of 7-Up and a princess video over the lines and craziness of the farm ...

Belated Seattle pics

Lu and I continued our traveling traditions by heading up to Seattle for a week in April. Mostly to visit the fam, but partially so I could go to the SASS conference. Scandinavianists hold a special place in my heart. 

Anyway, I took my camera, fully intending to capture our fun-filled adventures. I only took it out the afternoon Julie, Dan, and I took Lucy to Enatai beach. She calls it "Nana's beach, the one that's not the Sandpiper." And she loves it. Give her a pail and a shovel and she's good to go for hours.

Julie and I sat and talked while Dan roamed about. I love my sister. Seriously, she is so cute!

I'm trying to buy a sewing machine

It's not going so well. I know what I want and where to get it, but for some reason they're reluctant to sell it to me. Maybe they need evidence of my inner craftiness: behold, the bag I made for my mom for her birthday. See, I so can handle a machine.


My life right now

... has been consumed trying to finish a final copy edit on this book. My brain looks like this:


Preschool today

It is the last week of our co-op preschool. Lucy is sad. I am, well, I'm ok with it. It's been really good for Lu, she's grown socially and academically, and I've appreciated the extra 6 hours a week that arise whenever I'm not hosting.

But I'm hosting this week. I've got Thursday covered—we're making cupcakes, decorating them, and having an end of the year party. Today ... I decided to focus on counting to ten (numbers were given the short shrift now and then throughout the year). So among other things we're reading the story "Ten Little Fish."

I drew these ten fish and their fishbowl for the art activity. I'll have the kids color the fish and cut them out. I'll staple a ziploc sandwich bag to the front of the fishbowl page so that it falls mostly in the bowl itself. Then the kids can add their fish to their bowl. I totally stole this idea from a project my mom had Lucy do when we up there involving coloring bugs and putting them in a bug cage. 

If you need to entertain preschool-aged children, I scanned the files. You can download them here.


Tucking Lu in tonight

"Mom, why is it taking so long for me to grow up? I want to be done right now!"

Things said at dinner yesterday

(Scene: Dad made us Indian food—chicken masala—for dinner)
Daddy: Well, growing up we didn't eat a lot of food from other countries.
Lucy: Oh. Where was it from?
Daddy: It was mostly—
Lucy: From Seattle?
Daddy: Yes. We ate Seattle food.

(Brief break during which Lucy finishes, gets up, and starts making up silly words while dancing about and singing)

Lucy: Oh Daddy, you're a lewdy!
Daddy: A lewdy?
Lucy: No, you're a gewdy!
Daddy: I think I like that one better.
Lucy: No, you're a newdy!
Daddy: Um ...