Do I think of the Elton John song, the Degas paintings? I do. So Becca is deciding that ballet is IT. Like, her thing. Soccer certainly was not her thing, not when she walked off the field to take a cookie break, ignoring the coach. Gymnastics she could take or leave. The violin teacher was not her cup of tea. She dropped out of her art class. But this is Becca’s thing. So be it.

We registered her in a half-day camp program last week so that she could try out a new ballet studio that specializes in ballet (vs modern dance, which is mostly what she had been doing). She loved it, totally met her crew, laughed on the stairs with all these other ballet girls. I had never seen Becca so in her element. Honestly, I was a bit bewildered by it all. But she wants to do it. Dance, perform, wear the shoes, walk the walk.

Madeline will take a class too, but she’s isn’t nearly as into it as Becca. She likes it for the costumes, the flowers at the end, the glitter. Becca loves it for the movement. Madeline’s alter ego is Water Girl, a super hero that has special swimming powers. She wants to join a swim team, but there just isn’t a swim team around for a five year old. Perhaps one day.

So these are my tiny dancers at ages 5 and 7:


A lovely student from Kurdistan, Sundes, stayed with us for a family host weekend as part of the summer program on women’s leadership, culture and history I teach in every year. We had a great time at Silver Beach, seeing a silly summer movie, and drawing and biking together. Sundes and I had some interesting long talks too, and I learned a lot more about Kurdistan and her town and upbringing. I didn’t take too many pics the whole time since we were so on the go, but here is one of Sundes with the girls:


We also went peach and cherry picking last Sunday here, so here are a couple pics of us outdoors in Michigan:

The kids are doing a half-day week long dance camp program this week too. It’s not much coverage for anyone to get any work done around here, but they’re loving it – and I feel like the photo below says a lot about their personalities:

tiny dancers



Daytrip to Chicago

We took them to a Gauguin exhibit at the Chicago Art Institute last Saturday, and then we all hung out for a bit in Millennium park and Maggie Daley playground. The kids still don’t last more than 30 minutes of real concentration in an art museum, but it’s fun anyway. Here are a couple pics from the day:

Also, I love when this little kid gets silly:


We also hung out for the fourth of July at our wonderful friend and neighbor’s home last night, and here’s an adorable pic of the kids w/the neighbor’s new puppy:


This coming weekend, we are hosting a student from Kurdistan – we can’t wait to meet her and get to know her more!

j, j, r and m

Spying on my children

I LOVE overhearing them play pretend. Jake does, too.

Here are some snippets from Madeline: “Friends! Friends, I need you to come up to the front of the class” (she totally uses Montessori language when she pretends to be teacher). “We need you to put on your listening ears. We’re taking a classroom picture.”

It’s TOO MUCH! They’re really into playing with dolls lately, creating elaborate scenarios for dolls like The Dolls Go Camping For The First Time and Encounter a Hungry Teddy Bear and The Dolls Go to Kdgn and The Dolls are Traveling and Don’t See Any Vegetarian Food. The horror, the horror.

They finished their week of four half days of camp at Fernwood, and I’m glad. It was too short. I have no images for this post, though they have been taking pics of their dolls – I’ll spare you posting these images. More soon.

The long month of birthday celebrations

The kids had a good joint bounce house Star Wars birthday party this past weekend – I think it’s probably the last time I can get away with a joint home birthday party though. Madeline dressed herself this year and took a long time trying to find the most fancy dress she could find. The kids are in a new 1/2 day camp program this week, but I think we’re all looking forward to when they go back to their beloved Camp Eberhart.

Good to be back, and Becca’s birthday

Oh, man, did I miss home while being in NY for a conference and then in Houston for an 8-day seminar. Tissue paper thin dorm sheets and food made in bulk in a dining hall every day isn’t easy to get used to, not when you’re approaching 40. The kids had a blast at their day camp in Michigan though – I was so relieved to learn that they loved it.

Yesterday was Jake and Becca’s birthdays, so we celebrated with a chocolate cake from Whole Foods. The kids are in a science camp program this week at one of the public schools, and they’re loving it. They come home talking about space exploration and electricity.

Their grandma is coming in for their bounce house birthday party this weekend, and they’re very excited. Becca has been reading new chapter books and riding her bike a ton too. More soon. Here are some random pics that make me nostalgic – a visit to Central Park when I was pregnant with Madeline, getting used to grocery shopping as parents of two tiny ones, Becca pinching baby Madeline’s ear in our first home in Indiana…



pizza dinner

This pizza dinner wasn’t particularly notable for any other reason than a) it was Madeline’s birthday and b) they requested to bring their friend, Harper. For some reason, the kids felt so old to Jake and me. The notion of going out to dinner and bringing a friend felt like a milestone for kids much older than ours, yet there we were, the five of us, munching on kid pizza and laughing. Cute.

Poor Becca now has an ear infection of the year, and she is not. happy. at. all. Tylenol and now antibiotics, cold compresses held to the ear and a new Star Wars film. Just. not. happy. I hope it passes soon.