Thursday, April 30, 2009


Doodle is growing into a lovely young woman. Sometimes I want to stop the clock, but mostly I'm excited to see how she matures and evolves as a person. I'm proud of my determined, friendly, funny, curious girl. I'm in awe of her talents as a musician, a patient and kind teacher, an athlete who never quits, and even as a bubble gum-blowing whistler (two skills that I could never master).
This picture was taken at the American Girl Cafe a few weeks ago. The box that looks like a present contains questions to start the conversation at dinner (they're called Table Talkers). Doodle loves the Table Talkers game. If she were playing Table Talkers right now, I would ask her what she thinks this year will hold for her. As she gets ready to enter the middle school years, I think it will be a year of exciting changes and new opportunities.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Today Doodle ran her first 5K, a trial for the one that she will run in a few weeks surrounded by 1,000 or so other runners. I was worried that she wouldn't be able to finish because she has been hit hard with an allergy-induced cough this week but she ran strong, finishing in the first third of the 20 or so girls. Rain began to fall just as the girls started to run, but no one complained. Doodle's running buddy both for this trial and the upcoming race is our neighbor C who accompanied us on the trip to China to bring Tootle home almost 4 years ago. C ran cross country and the 2 mile race in high school so she's a great role model.

Doodle will continue to hijack this blog through tomorrow. She turns 11 in a few short hours!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Another Pony Tail...

and a tie on a day when the thermometer broke 90. I missed Tootle's game due to nearly identical schedules, but she scored her team's only goal of the day; her coach claims there was an invisible fence around the goals. After the games, we went to a school fair where the line to be dunked in the dunk tank was longer than the line to try to dunk people. I hope the heat breaks soon; April is too early to switch to AC.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Photographic Proof...

that Doodle wore her hair in a ponytail for last week's soccer game. Doodle much prefers to let her hair hang loose or in a headband, so this was a major accomplishment. Doodle's team lost a heartbreaker so she's likely to tell me that the ponytail brought bad luck and can't be tried again.

Falling Behind

Lately it seems like I can't keep up on the treadmill of life in the springtime. In addition to the activities that kick into high gear at this time of year with near the end of year school events, Scouts, and soccer, work has been extra busy and stressful as we all try to do more with less. I probably won't be posting quite as often until I catch my breath a bit.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hopping Along

The girls and I went back to school/work today. We spent the last four days of spring break with a house guest: my 85-year-old aunt whom we fetched from and took back to Pennsylvania. I'm not sure I want to make two runs to Pa. and back in a day so close together anytime soon, but Tootle sure hopes that I do. She wants her aunt to visit more often and reports that she knew it was going to be fun, but it was more fun than she expected. Doodle wasn't quite as happy: although she loved teaching her aunt to do Wii bowling, she didn't like the endless hours of golf on TV (Aunt G. really loves watching golf) and the higher than usual volume on the TV set. We played more games of Old Maid and Go Fish than we have in years, accompanied by lots of laughter. Aunt G. even insisted on helping me with some yardwork and enjoyed seeing how the plants that we've transplanted from her garden over the last few years are thriving in our yard.

Aunt G. has always been my favorite aunt; she was unable to have children (she had a heartbreaking number of miscarriages and stillbirths) so she poured love into her nieces and nephews and now my girls and their cousins. She was 12 or so when my mom was born so she was my mom's mini-mom within the family. Her husband died years ago and she became quite the businesswoman in her town, owning a successful shoe store that in some ways was the "sole" of the town's small business district. I hope I have Aunt G.'s positive attitude about life when I'm her age.

Friday, April 10, 2009

New York, New York

We spent the first four days of spring break in New York City, finally taking the trip that had to be postponed last year due to a flu outbreak in our house. This was Doodle's third trip to NYC and Tootle's first. Tootle loved the Big Apple and would love to live there. We packed our days with activities: walking, playing on rocks, and taking a carriage ride in Central Park; seeing Shrek the Musical on Broadway; visiting the American Museum of Natural History where the butterfly exhibit and the planetarium show were huge hits; getting up early to check out the Today show in Rockefeller Plaza (we were treated to a demonstration of a Segway car); skating at Rockefeller Center; riding the giant ferris wheel in Toys R Us on Times Square; playing the giant piano in FAO Schwartz; and dining and shopping at a little girl's mecca, American Girl Place. I think we made some memories to last a lifetime.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Super Saturday

The wind was fierce but that didn't stop both girls from playing their first soccer games of the season with great enthusiasm. Tootle scored a beautiful goal. After the games, we headed out to climb some cherry trees and enjoy the gorgeous blossoms; fortunately the wind didn't take too many of the delicate blossoms away.