Monday, December 31, 2007

Little Ballerina

For months, Min has asked to take ballet lessons. Since I couldn't find any dance studios that enroll two-year-olds, I decided that if she was still asking by her third birthday I would sign her up. Lo and behold, she's still obsessed with all things ballerina. In a few weeks, she will begin weekly ballet class out in the suburbs.

Today I took Margot to a dance shop in Center City to buy her required black leotard, pink tights, pink ballet shoes and tap shoes. (Yes, that's right, tap shoes. I am sure that our downstairs neighbor is going to looovvvveeee us.) And the verdict is in: Margot's in love. She can't wait for her classes to start.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Belated Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas one and all!

The whirlwind that accompanies Christmas visits and Margot's birthday is settling down, and so I'm taking a few moments to record a recap.

The Ruland 3 visited Sherwood for a few days before Christmas, and shared tasty meals and some quality time with Grandma and Grandpa D., Uncle Phil and Anna and Ben. Margot adores her cousins, and I am so pleased that she gets to visit with them (my own cousins are older than me, and so I didn't have opportunity to visit with them often while growing up). From Sherwood we moved back to Philadelphia, and had Christmas festivities with Baba and Grandpa R. at their house. Santa visited Margot this year, and granted her wishes for 1. a snowboarding helmet (with a little help from Ebay), 2. a play house (she loves real estate, just like her daddy), and 3. a 'kitchen-castle' (thanks a lot, Nickelodeon, for showing that commercial during every Backyardigans episode, since this princess-y eyesore is now in my house!). Here in PA, Margot had some additional cousin-time and lots of noise and craziness with her aunts and uncles. It was exhausting.

Merry Christmas everyone! And a Happy New Year to all!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Birthday Margot!

Today is Margot's third birthday! We had a great day. In lieu of a party, we just had a quiet family day at home. All of Margot's friends are away this week since the Wharton students are on winter break. Honestly, it was just as well and I don't think Margot minded at all (she did get to have a classroom party last week at preschool, which qualifies as a kiddo-party in my mind).

It started with some lazing on the couch and a few episodes of Caillou. Then we had a birthday lunch complete with chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and raspberry filling (the chocolate and vanilla were Margot's requests, the raspberry filling was my own touch). Baba and Grandpa Ruland and Teal came for lunch, and stayed for Margot to open her birthday presents. After lunch, Margot took a short nap and then we headed to the Imax Theater at the Franklin Institute to see The Polar Express. The movie was Margot's special birthday treat, since she's never been to a movie before. She did great! She did comment a few times that the movie was scary (the Imax features made it extraordinarily loud and created some motion sickness for me and Brodie) but she laughed at the appropriate times and genuinely enjoyed the experience.

I can't believe she's three years old. Her babyhood has completely slipped away. My memories of nighttime feedings and diaper changes are so fuzzy that I need pictures to remind me of what she looked like then.

Happy Birthday Margot!

Third Time's a Charm

Monday, December 10, 2007

Malpractice Insurance Costs Too Much, Anyway

Last night we had to evacuate our building due to fire (someone one floor up and across the hall left the stove on [with pots and pans a-cookin'] while he "ran out" to get a few missing ingredients. Brilliant.). The sprinklers awoke and flooded the building from the fifth floor all the way to the ground floor.

Brodie was out at the time, and so Portia and Margot and I headed down the stairs and outside with the other residents of the building. Most people gathered on the sidewalk, but we were allowed to wait in the lobby, too. [Sidenote - I wonder what the offender thought when he came back up the street and saw all the building's residents outside and two 'hook and ladders' flashing in the street.] It was very stressful for Margot, although she did get to see her friend Kara in the lobby; the girls played together while we all waited several hours before we could return to our apartment. Fortunately, our apartment did not sustain any fire or water damage. Others, particularly those on the other side of the hall from us, were not so lucky.

But, stress and fear aside, the experience provided Margot with a new career goal. "I want to be a firefighter when I grow up," Margot declared, after we returned to our apartment. She'd been able to watch the firefighters in action as they carried their equipment through the lobby and up the stairs. "A firefighter?" Brodie asked. "I thought you wanted to be a doctor." That had been her previous calling. "No," said Margot assuredly. "I want to be a firefighter."

Hmmm...maybe we should get her a fire truck for Christmas.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ho Ho Horror? No more!

Margot has come so far since last year's visit with Santa! While she wouldn't actually sit on his lap (who can blame her?) she did get up close enough to tell Santa that she wants "toys" for Christmas (she wouldn't be more specific) and to ask what was in his big bag.

The funny part was that our friend Dave is under all that Santa get-up (he graciously agreed to be Santa for the Wharton Kids Club holiday party) and there was a very long 4-5 second interval where Margot appeared to recognize his voice. But she didn't say anything, so I think maybe she was just mesmerized by the beard.

In case you've forgotten about last year, please visit the archives.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Let it Snow, Let is Snow, Let it Snow!

Today we had a surprise (and minor) snowfall in Philadelphia. Margot and I held a photo shoot in my search for a perfect Christmas card photo (we succeeded). I won't post the winning photo here, but here are some that didn't make the cut.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Tales of a Flowergirl, Part I

We just returned from a weekend in Washington, DC (Margot's first hometown!) and the long-awaited event of her Aunt Katie's wedding.

Margot was one of three flowergirls in the wedding, and the youngest. All in all, she performed exactly as I expected she would: she tore off her headpiece immediately after walking down the aisle (actually, she tore it off before heading down the aisle, too, so it was precariously perched atop her head on the way down), she cried because her flowers were not as big as mine and pouted throughout the pictures (as a bridesmaid, I got to carry a full bouquet while Margot's flowers were more appropriate for her size), and she stopped about one-third of the way down the VERY long aisle and just waited awhile until one of the other flowergirls came back to retrieve her and lead her to the alter. She wasn't frightened, but I am sure that aisle just seemed like a long tunnel of faces and she wasn't sure where to go.

But she was also Margot in her truest form: she spun and hopped endlessly on the dance floor, she asked the hotel pianist if she knew the ABCs (on her own, without any prompting) and then sang them alongside her to the amusement (or annoyance) of the guests in the lobby, and she glowed while wearing her princess dress.

The weekend has taken its toll, however; today she is asleep on the couch with a fever and vomiting. Ah, well, it's a good day to be sick - it's 38 degrees out and sleeting.

I will post pictures when I get my hands on some (our camera is still broken).

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Thanksgiving Recap

Margot, Brodie, Portia and I spent Thanksgiving 2007 at Grandma and Grandpa's house in Maryland. The day was unusually balmy and so Brodie and I crammed in as many outdoor activities as possible, including lots of walks, some kite flying, swabbing the decks of the sailboat, kayaking, and sailing.

Margot got to do a little kite-flying, which she enjoyed immensely. It's amazing how quickly she is growing up; this past summer I wouldn't have trusted her to hold a kite string long enough to fly it, but now, in November, she was able to fly the kite by herself for a brief period.

Brodie and I had an adventure of our own. In fact, I think that Thanksgiving 2007 will go down in history as "the year B & C were stranded at sea." We took my folks' new sailboat out since the weather was so nice (although, foolishly, without the motor attached, since the motor had already been removed and stored for the winter). We had a great time zipping along for about 30 minutes but when we tried to return, we couldn't get past the off-shore winds and outgoing tide. After 30-40 minutes of frantic paddling (which did nothing but keep us in one spot, as the wind tried to push us farther from shore), some neighbors happened by and towed us to shore. Ah, good times. Luckily, Margot was on solid ground with Grandma while all this took place.

She Laughed, She Cried, It was Better than Cats

Some pics from Thanksgiving 2007