08 June 2010


So Maya has been interested in ballet for awhile now. Last summer when we were visiting the US, we watched some friends in a children's ballet performance, and the kids were mesmorised. (At one point, Maya inadvertantly pirouetted. It ranks among the cutest things I've ever seen.) She ended up feeling really sad that she couldn't participate though, so I asked her if she would be interested in doing a ballet class. I explained to her that ballet is a discipline and there are lots of rules, and if she took a class she would be doing what the teacher instructed. At the time, she wasn't interested in anything other than her own free-form ballet, so we didn't pursue it.

Then the other day, Nick and I went out to a movie, and while we were gone Maya apparently told my mom how much she wants to do a ballet class. So I did some internet searching and found a thread on mothering.com that suggested the parks and recreation summer classes. I looked, and out of the long list of pre-ballet classes at all of the different venues, there was one with availability. Nick is there now, signing her up - my driver's license is expired so I can't do it (lots of proving residency since it's a district thing).

So yesterday I asked my dear friend K where I could get Maya some ballet gear. K's girls do ballet, so I knew she would know. She had a look through the things her youngest girl has grown out of, and we came home with two pairs of shoes, two pairs of tights, a leotard, and a ballet skirt, plus a few hair pins and a hair net for a perfect bun! Wow. Score.

At the moment, Eli is rocking a pair of tights, shoes, the skirt and his pajama top, and Maya has a lovely bun, some tights and shoes, and a funky fluffy vest that she also came away with in the hand-me-down score. They, with Nate, are putting together some kind of performance in my bedroom.

06 June 2010

Black holes

Nate is completely into outer space at the moment. Particularly black holes. I am so thankful for our awesome library here that has an awe-inspiring amount of books on almost any subject imaginable. The juvenile non-fiction section had four books on black holes alone (well, four on the shelf - there could have been more checked out), not to mention the hundreds of other books on space, the universe, the Milky Way, each individual planet, all of the major planets, the dwarf planets, and all combinations therein. It has been really cool, and I have learned a lot as well. Now we're getting into Stephen Hawking. I see A Brief History of Time in the near future... And possibly a telescope too.

Eli is completely into anything FISH. We picked up a few fish books at the library and he will read them from memory (in his Eli-language that not many people can understand). My mom's cable has loads of on-demand programs and the capability to tape shows in advance, so there are a few interesting fishy things there too that he is enjoying.

Maya? Going with the flow, as usual.

01 June 2010

Eli and the crocodile

Before we left Sydney, we went to the Cultural Festival that was on at Rouse Hill Town Centre. It was pretty cool. We met a baby crocodile. It was beautiful. I love this picture, because Nick looks very wary:

The kids enjoyed some pavement chalk action:

Portland Children's Museum

My glorious mother gave us memberships to the Portland Children's Museum and the Oregon Zoo! Since it has rained almost non-stop since we've been here (please don't raise this sore subject with Nick...), we haven't made it to the zoo yet. But we did go to the Children's Museum, and the kids loved it.

We love the Grasshopper Grocery, where the kids can shop for the essentials...

...or grab a meal in the cafe:

They did some face painting:

I loved Nate's face - I've never seen anyone paint a landscape on their face before :o)

Funnily enough, the current exhibit is about Australia! We put on furry tails and pouches and hopped around like kangaroos, and visited the little Aussie shop that actually had impressively authentic fare:

All in all, fun was had by all. We'll definitely be coming back on member appreciation days when they don't schedule group visits!


Nick is completely awesome.

Because he's awesome, he put hundreds of photos on a flash drive for my mom a few years ago - all of the best photos from 2005 to 2008. We forgot. He found it today. Awesomeness. Seeing Maya's goofy little face brought tears to my eyes.

Here's Nate (looking a whole lot like Eli, about Eli's age) at the farm:

Another favorite of little Nate:

Nate meeting Maya for the first time:

Some of Maya's first smiles:

Oh geez, I could keep going for aaaages. I can't tell you how good it feels to HAVE these pictures! My beautiful babies! Happy sigh.