It's March Break and we are in Fredericksburg, Texas. My mom and I are tag-alongs on a week-long bike training camp of sorts called Hell Week*. The weather has been a balmy 75F something and I've been strolling the streets alone taking photos of things and making lists and drawing pictures. My mom keeps volunteering to stay home while Eli naps or play with him in the garden, so I am soaking in Lindsay time.
Although the town is relatively small and we clearly in gun-lovin' country (ex. signs with guns for the garden saying "We don't call 911." or bullets-turned-christmas ornaments or "carry and conceal" handbags on sale), there are some lovely art shops and neat architecture. I plan to walk into town again tomorrow morning to scope out the stationary shop, the fabric shop, the chocolate shop (again) and the vintage book shop.
Last night we sampled some chocolate-dipped bacon from the Lone Star candy shop. Perhaps tonight we'll sample the chocolate-dipped dill pickle or jalepeno pepper (although both look rather reminiscent of fecal). Maybe we'll settle for the chocolate-dipped twinkie or oreo or bugs instead.
* If you would like some more witty banter about the cycling and the food and beer consumption of this trip, please show my dad some love over on his blog - http://cycletooth.wordpress.com/
Nice cloth diapers 1983.
(and Andrea is sporting a nice hat and sock ensemble, if you ask me.)
Today marks a very special birthday of a very special little gal I know (two!). When her birthday hits, it means dancing and sweets and super photo-ops. It also means that Eli's birthday is in just two short days (two!).
I decided to put all of my hand-lettering practice to the test, and wrote a quote that describes this wee girl's mama quite nicely - and I thought it was fitting for her birthday. It turned out pretty nice, if you ask me.
Happy birthday little L. (and happy birthaversary to her fabulous parents)
Today we wrote some math (thomas) valentines. Here are some of my favourites translated. These kids are hilarious.
"Dear Area - You fill my heart with love and make me feel all warm and cozy inside. Love, Rectangle"
"Dear Mode - You are beautiful and smart. You'll always be my favourite. Love, a data set."
"Dear 536 - Things are not working out. We need to break up and go our own ways. I've found someone new. From, Division"
"Dear numbers, I love you in my life. Our love keeps growing and growing. Love, ascending pattern."
"Dear addition - We belong together and will be together forever. You are my match. Love, subtraction."
These valentines were part of some voice trait learning. We've been talking about adding voice to our writing with some quick-write mini lessons. One of the ways we can add voice is to change the point of view of the author. Above is a picture of my hallway bulletin board devoted to the voice trait. Included with the valentines are some "Show, don't tell" paragraphs and some voice-embedded opinion grocery lists. I also put some self-portrait collages - because if they aren't full of voice, I don't know what is.
Someone somewhere (on Pinterest) made a twitter board. Then someone else copied. Then I thought it was cool - being an "on-and-off" tweeter myself, so I copied too.
It's been up since September. Each kid has a username (mine is @madammie) and I usually write something like "What is your favourite genre of book? Why?" or "What is your opinion about finding the perimeter of polygons?" or "How are you feeling today?" under my name, and throughout the day (or week) students add their tweets. I'm a bit too nerdy for my own good.
You might also recognize the kids flying with the balloons which have their "hopes and dreams" for the year from Pinterest. Come on in... let's learn about things!
Over Christmas, our wee fam + my parents and sister boarded RCCL's Oasis of the Seas (aka. The play boat). There were a tonne of super-rad memories. Here are a few.
The pictures above of Eli in his Christmas attire in the Dining Room
Flash mobbing with Flavio (see photo below of one of the practices)
Having to decide between a Sudoku challenge or MJ dance class
Drink of the day
Banana creme brulée every night for dessert
Listening to golden oldies on the boardwalk
Hairspray on Broadway
I can't believe we didn't play any bingo
Losing my bathing suit bottoms on the Flo Rider
Surprise beers in Jamaica
Matching Christmas pjs,
Crazy amount of stuff for Eli: Fisher Price toy room, [Shrek, Fiona, Puss, Alex, Gloria, Po, Penguins, King Julian], Riding the carousel at least 5 times a day, face painting, Elmo balloons, running through central park, Power Wheels on the basketball court, splashpads and swimming pools (he liked the shower best), fist bumping the room stewards, "beep!"-ing the elevator buttons himself, bears in the car and Santa Claus on Christmas day.
Thanks mom and dad! xoxo
It is February. The month of big red valentines, random acts of kindness and 2nd birthdays.
I haven't decided if I making valentines or doing random acts or planning a 2nd birthday. I'll keep you posted.
- read more books this year (All 5 Canada Reads?)
- create some delightful art journals
- learn how to use tilt-shift effect in photoshop
- plan a birthday party
- re-watch every bh90210 episode, marathon style.
- write thank you notes to former teachers
- practice hand-lettering
- send more surprises to unsuspecting friends.
- re-read some of my favourite preteen library books
- host (or attend!) a murder mystery party
- leave notes in library books
- be less defensive
- collect some pretty outside blankets
- discover new favourite bands and musicians
- become a balloon sculptor
- be innovative
- catch up with friends
This is a picture of my nanny (Mary Jane Morgan) sitting on the couch in a hotel room she and my Gramps spent time in during their world travels. It is totally staged. She is not really reading that book! I found this photo on the same page as two others titled "Our hotel room". There is a pic of Mary posing at the vanity, posing next to the beds and this one. I think it is hilarious and just about right.
I love typography (I posted all about it here) and I am a comic sans police. I download fonts like nobodies business and I am told that I have "nice writing". I decided to take things to the next level and practice some more serious hand-lettering. It's fun and soothing and addicting, but painfully slow. I might do some scanning and editing and posters for friends (requests?), but for now I am just playing.
I realized that today that Eli is 23 months - one month away from being two. TWO. TWO? Wasn't he just one? Didn't I just go back to work? Wasn't I just preggo? I simply cannot believe it. I know it is cliché but - time flies!
I decided to pull out Benny, a white onesie and the sheepskin rug for a comparison photo shoot of the difference one year makes. The photo on the left is Eli in January 2012. The one on the right was taken today.
He was a little confused at first as to what I was trying to accomplish - but he soon caught on and laid down and said "cheese!"
He is still cute and cuddly but definitely a year older with his wild locks. He runs and jumps and kicks and climbs. Throws balls and fits and food off the table. He squeals with delight and giggles like mad. He sings and dances and holds endless conversations with his dolls. He loves being chased and going on walks. And kissing and hugging and talking and taking splashy bubble baths. He's a silly little guy.
Tonight, I nursed him to sleep. He rubbed his eyes, said "night-night" and curled up in my lap - all warm and nestled. Sweet dreams 23-month old. xoxo
Hey guys! It's been quite a while - but I'll be posting more often, now that I can say a lot more words.
This year I had a lot of fun trimming the tree (and taking down the tree). There were a lot of super fun ornaments, but they were put up really high on the tree for some reason. I could only reach them if I stood on the Christmas boxes. (don't tell mom). I added my own special touches too. Dinosaurs and Ernie make much more delightful ornaments, dontcha think?
I also went on this moving sidewalk thing in a giant building, waiting to get on an airplane (airplanes are loud!). I couldn't figure out why I couldn't go both ways on it. Everyone kept laughing at me and taking photos. I don't really know why. Whatever. I was having fun in a confusing sort of way. Buzz would have loved it.
Have I ever mentioned that love going for sushi? Well, I don't eat sushi, I just have avocado or cucumber rolls, but yum yum yum! It is most fun to eat it by stuffing my face full. That is really all I need to share.
Anyone want to come play?
I first heard of Les Miserables in grade 4 when we sang Castle on a Cloud and Little People in my school choir. I didn't know much about the story at the time, but I loved those two songs. I sang them over and over - long after the performances were over. I remember my dad wanting to take us to see it when we were pretty young, but I didn't want to see a musical about "homeless people" because I would cry too much. He bought us the piano music book instead. I played Castle on a Cloud over and over on the piano. I think my sister even played it in a recital.
My love affair for the story and music really started in grade 12. Mlle Gaudette had us read Les Miserables in our French (immersion) class in high school. It came in 3 tomes: Fantine, Cosette and Marius. We learned a lot about the major themes and symbolism in the book, did character sketches and learned about revolutionary France history. We analyzed and interpreted the music from the Broadway Musical (in French) and we even planned a secret van trip to go see the Broadway production that was playing in Toronto during school hours (which never materialized). Later that year, the movie version starring Liam Neeson as Jean Valjean came out. Geoffrey Rush was brilliant as Javert (exactly what I had pictured him to look like when I read the book for the first time) and I thought Uma Thurman and Claire Danes were good choices for the women BUT always thought that there was something lacking.
During that time, I opened up an account to one of those BMG mail-in CD buying stamp programs - for the sole purpose of the Les Mis double-CD. (I ended up with some really random CDs because I had to order 20 more). I memorized those songs right away and listened to them all over and over and over again. I also bought a copy of Victor Hugo's full 1000+ page (English) novel (one of the longest novels ever written?) and read it while on a school trip to France in OAC. On my own time I compared the condensed French versions we read in school with the huge novel and the musical adaptation. One Christmas our family gift were tickets to see Les Mis at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit.
I played Bring him Home on my trumpet to audition for a spot in a pit orchestra and my heart swells whenever Glee features a Les Mis song. I had a pang of jealousy when I found out my friend's cat is named Cosette (why didn't I think of that?). Pop culture references get me giddy too - Principal Skinner's POW number is 24601, George Costanza can't get Master of the House out of his head for an entire episode and Joey sang On My Own in Capeside's Miss Windjammer Pageant while gazing dreamily at Dawson.
The other night I saw the new movie (which I have been anticipating for a long time) Epic. Amazing. The music, the actor choices, the scenery, the intensity, the dramatics, the detail. From the moment Fantine sells her hair, I started crying. I don't exactly know why. I know the story inside and out, I had to cover my mouth to avoid the neighbouring people to hear me sing along, I knew exactly what was going to happen next. "Fantine is going to die now, I probably won't cry". WRONG. bawled. For the entire 3 hours. I think it was the addition of the music and the extra detail that made it that much more amazing. I didn't cry when I saw the play in Detroit or when I watched the earlier movie version. The historical and classically moving story that is Les Mis was portrayed perfectly for me. And I cried. A lot. It really moved me. The close-ups on the characters as they are belting out their epic songs - crying and snotty nosed Marius singing Empty Chairs at Empty Tables. Oh my.
Was apprehensive about the casting of Javert for this film (since I loved Geoffrey Rush so much in the other film) - but I was pleasantly surprised with Russel Crowe's performance. Hugh Jackman was simply stunning. I heard on Broadway Names with Julie James that he was playing the role of his dreams. Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seifreied exceeded my expectations. I thought Marius, Eponine and Enjorlas were perfectly casted. Sacha Baron Cohen (what?) and Helena Bohnam Carter were genius as the Thenardiers and added the much-needed comic relief, and casting Colm Wilkinson (the original Jean Valjean on Broadway) as M. Myriel (the bishop of Digne) was a brilliant cameo. I am also blown away that all of the songs were sung live in the scenes - there was no pre-recording of the songs for the actors to lip sync.
Not everyone will love (or appreciate) this film as I do. I know - especially if they don't know the story or musical. Les Miserables is one of those musicals where there is virtually no speaking. Everything is sung. I love that about it. Many people will hate it. It added to the brilliance for me. Some might say that the storyline is sappy and stretched - That's the story. The purpose wasn't supposed to be to re-write Victor Hugo's words (or the Broadway adaptation). The purpose was to re-create the production for big screen to expose more people to it.
I'm not telling you to go see it or not to. Do what you want. But know that I will be rewatching this film a zillion times and adding it to my Les Miserables love. There is a life about to start when tomorrow comes. xoxo.
ps. Erin - I hope you loved it as much as I did! Nobody else requests playing the soundtrack at New Years parties..... :)
pps. Since seeing the movie I've been breaking out in song all over the place.
ppps. Picture credits: Universal Pictures & ufooonek on fanpop?
It is that time of year again - when FB has a fancy-dancy overview of your profile statuses (statii?). And like last year and the year before and the year before, I will skip the fancy decorative one, and post all of the updates that were archived.
j: lazy day with the boys, happy birthday to my passionate mama-friend Aly, I want a large collection of ink pads, my sistah is coming today, two snoring bears - argh, I can't sleep!, Lindsay -"what are you doing?" Rob - "Pinteresting."
f: splashing in the toilet, I have the coolest friends, It's trashed, Whitney was my first real concert at Joe Louis Arena, Eli wishes his bestie a very happy 1st birthday!, Eli is ONE, it's cool when people pin things from my blog
m: Port Elgin Community band concert tomorrow night, gingerbread cookies, chocolate chip truffles and fluffy vanilla cupcakes with lavender icing, Come to my cousin's stag and doe!
a: 8-bit google maps. always the best april fools jokes, you love fundip and cherry coke, drowning in etsy orders, the end of a exhausting and difficult week. My staff is amazing. rip Trish. xo
m: I'm ready for the ANTM finale!, today one of my students with long long hair showed up to school with a blunt bob. "I got my haircut just like you Mme! I am a mini-Wright.", apparently if you don't play Words with Friends for a long time it resigns you. I just logged on and got 8 different messages saying that my friends had beat me. How rude!, happy mother's day to new moms, seasoned moms, moms-to-be, and MY mom!, Step 1: Run away during a diaper change, Step 2: Pee on the floor, Step 3: Try to run through it, Step 4: slip and fall in pee (pee-dripping hair!), Step 5: Cry, Step 6: Laugh.
j: lipdub=success!, happy father's day!, Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes!, School's out!
j: "She doesn't throw chairs, she throws rubber chickens!", seriously? A hotel without free wi-fi?, Happy 5th wedding anniversary!, Happy 35th anniversary mom and dad!, sriracha peach crisp
a: Spice girls!, craft wars
s: the back-to-school jitters have started to set in!, We may not win m(any) soccer games, but we are the most mathilicious team, congrats to super-hubby Rob for finishing his last centurion race of the season - 30 minutes faster than last year's Collingwood run.
o: Dear Stratford Festival - when you are finished with your Charlie Brown set, can I please have it for our school play???, hellllooooooooo everybody!, Who you gonna call?, laundry all day long. and then again. and then one more time. barf is fun!
n: must reconnect.
d: Tomorrow is opening night! woo woo! Now it is time to sleep. xo, Currently above the US at a couple hundred feet.... Oh and did i mention that flying scares the heck out of me? Should be landing in about 2 hours...., How to lose all your friends: Don't update on Facebook or blog for 2 months - and then go on vacation without Internet! But.... I'm back baby!, Held a sweet little baby girl today and bawled my eyes out at the movie-version-of-the-best-musi
Things i noticed:
I didn't really update my FB status this year....