Two for tulips

IMG0540 copyThe weather man lied again.  I should’ve known when I requested a personal day a week ahead of time that the predictions might be wrong – – that the forecast would change, as it inevitably seems to do whenever I have plans. Maybe Mother Nature has it out for me?  Or, maybe, she has plotted to alter my plans for some unknown purpose yet to be revealed.

A week of beautiful weather – warm temperatures, clear skies, sunshine.  It was awesome.  Except the blooming tulip field was miserable.  What had already been called a shorter, sparser crop than in previous years suffered terribly under the out-of-the-norm heat. And then the long overdue rain could do little to salvage the flowers.

It’s like the weather flip flopped.  What should’ve been gloomy and wet, was anything but.  What should’ve been comfortable, dry and mildly sunny became a slippery, chilly, dreary day.  Nevertheless, I insisted the girls and I would try for the fields.  We dressed in compatible colors, selected footwear we could (theoretically) clean, and located our umbrellas.  And though I’d splurged on cute umbrellas once before, they somehow clashed with our attire and we desperately need to invest in cute rain boots and slickers.  The voice in my head whispers: “someday soon… charge it!” But I decline.

After confirming Chi had earned her straight-A report card in a “student-led conference,” we returned home in pouring rain.  It seemed as though it would never let up.  I checked the field report on FB, inquired as to whether the daring could still venture out in the soggy fields.  I was assured that at noon, they’d be open for business regardless of the precipitation.

We had the field mostly to ourselves, which was no surprise considering the puddles and mud that slurped and sucked at our shoes with each step.  Ri loved the mess.  The gooshy noise as the mud sucked down her shoes was excitingly new.  And watching the thick brown ‘paint’ cover her legs as she brushed a shoe across them was safely naughty behavior.  Who could fault her for getting a little dirty in all this sludge?

IMG0543 copyIMG0444 copyChi humored me.  Despite an unfortunate teenage breakout that turned into a long blemish down her nose, she was a trooper.  We covered the mark with purple glitter shadow and dubbed it a trademark.  It looked exotic. She looked – as always – stunning.

I realized that our annual sunshine and tulips photos would be a little different this year.  And I relished in the time spent with my quickly growing girls.

They traipsed through those fields with their baskets.  They pulled at their selected tulips and secured a few bulbs, too.

Laughter caught the wind as they got stuck in the mud, struggled to maintain clean shoes.

Each raised her face to the sky to catch the rain as tiny droplets fell in a shockingly chilly drizzle while we lingered.

And the smiles – – those precious smiles as the camera clicked and froze the moments alone in the fields on a rainy ditch day in the middle of the week.

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Happy 3rd birthday, baby!


Today is your birthday. My sweet spitfire, my mini. “Thank you mom! Kiss. Hug,” you say several times a day. Later, though, I’m reprimanding you for swatting a sibling who refused your whim. Your teachers tell me you are the class protector. You sing all the time. You remind us to pray, frequently saying, “Mom, hallelujah. ” And you love to act as you “read” books. You love stickers. Anna, Elsa, Olaf (hola?), Minions (nanana), Mickey Mouse (hot dog, Mik Mow) are all favorites. You love watching Annie original and 2014. You love “teeyee,” or rather YouTube videos. You dislike “bubs” (bugs). And you are an excellent back seat driver.

Happy birthday, Ri. You are our favorite wedding gift.

Story time for Curly head

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Mud and chaos: field trippin’

My dearest Ri,

You wont remember much about this, your first official field trip.  I’ll remember, though, because this is my forth “first field trip,” as I’ve gone with Rico, Chi, and Ya in years past.  Interestingly enough, I accompanied Ya on his trip with Victory to this very same location five years ago.  Nothing has changed!

Your class dynamic is quite interesting.  There are the two students who still miss the comfort and security of their first caregivers, and so they mourn the change that this new school has brought.  There are the students who completed summer session and have become professionals at navigating the learning environment.  These kids seem to know all the answers, sit “criss cross apple sauce” with ease, and speak with eloquence beyond their two or so years.  And then there are the students like you.  Your speech is still developing and your conversation – though steadily and quickly expanding – is still unclear.  You love the activities and the inclusion in this little people haven, but you’ve not quite gotten into “student mode.”  And you’re excited to be a part of something beyond our family.IMG5375 copy

 (performing “I’m a Little Tea Pot” with Ayden)IMG5366 copy

(Good morning, RiAnne. Can you jump, can you dance, can you wiggle?)

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(Who wants to do their colors?)

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Rain canceled the initial date to the Burke Nursery, and the rescheduled day met us with residual mud and puddles.  You rode with your class on the bus, while Mommy followed in the school’s van.  The trip was chaos.  Despite the messy grounds, field trippers and stay-at-home kids clambered about in large, disorganized groups.  Each child flitted about, with some harried attendant racing to catch up and monitor the wayward explorations.  And there was so much to explore!IMG5473 copy

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IMG_5530 copyWhen finally it was time to leave, you carefully selected a pumpkin (which you call a poonkah), and joined your classmates on the bus. You weren’t at all concerned about me leaving you. Independence, it seems, has set in strong.

Fashion Show-off

Strutting her stuff at the track


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You can’t tell from the photos, but Ri was not feeling this drizzly-day shoot.  She humored me with the hair bows, but cooperation beyond keeping them on was just not in the plan.

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