Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Belated birthday interview with a 7 year old

Continuing my semi-regular tradition writing about and interviewing my children  on their birthdays, here's an overdue interview with Ada, who turned 7 in mid-July. We celebrated with a birthday party for friends at a local pottery studio and again with extended family in Colorado.

But before I let her speak for herself, a quick note to my second-born.

Ada, you've lost all your baby fat. You're lean, brown from the sun and you still possess those big brown eyes and long, long lashes. You learned to read with fluency this year and you loved school and your first grade teacher. You also love every camp and every activity we've ever signed you up for. You thrive on novelty outside of the home and routine within. You happily eat the same foods over and over again (your favorite meal is black beans, cheddar cheese, a tortilla and an apple); you play with your LEGOs for hours on end and you need to be tucked in just so at night. And yes, you still sleep with Funny Bunny.

On to the interview!
What's your favorite color? Teal.
Your favorite animal? Pig.
TV show? LEGO Friends and Littlest Pet Shop
What's your favorite toy? LEGO!
What's your favorite book? The Best Birthday Party Ever, Just Grace, Ivy and Bean and Judy B. Jones
Do you have a favorite song? No.

What's your favorite thing to wear? Shirt and shorts or DRESSES!
What's your favorite sport? Soccer.
What's your favorite restaurant? Salernos.
Your favorite cereal? Corn flakes.
Your favorite food? What kind of food? Food or desserts? I'd pick any dessert. And pasta.

What do you like to do at school? Recess.
Who are your best friends? Jessica and Amelia.

Where would you like to go on vacation this year? Colorado, again. I loved it so much.
What do you want to be when you grow up? An illustrator or artist. Well, they're the same thing.

Where do you want to live when you grow up? Here.
Do you plan to have children? [Holds up two fingers.]

Boys or girls? Girls.
Will you have pets? [Holds up one finger] Cat.
If you could change your name, what would you pick? Violet.

What do you love about Mommy? That she smells good and she's very cuddly.
What do you love about Daddy? That he cleans things up for me.
What do you love about your sister? This is very hard…I know! That she does what I want.

What would you like to do when you’re 7 years old? I want that Zoe takes me to get ice cream ALONE!

Do you have a birthday wish? I can't tell it to you because that's going to break my wish.

And now, for a trip back through time...

Friday, July 25, 2014

Steamboat Springs family reunion

Steamboat Springs is not a convenient vacation destination for Chicagoans. We drove to Midway, flew Southwest to Denver, rented a car, and drove 3+ hours through hills and thunderstorms to get there.

However, we were greeted by a rainbow as we turned into town. And while Steamboat might not be easy to get to, our family reunion in a rented 5 bedroom ski chalet/townhouse made the trip worthwhile.

So what is there to do in an upscale Colorado ski town in the summer? We took the gondola to the top of the mountain and walked through hills of wildflowers. We hiked to waterfalls, rafted down the Colorado River, rode tubes down the Yamba River and soaked in natural hot springs. We also enjoyed a little local color at a professional rodeo, where big buckled cowboys rode honest to goodness bucking broncos and my 5 year old Australian nephew chased a bewildered sheep for a chance to win a new pair of Wranglers.

We also jogged, cooked, ate out, celebrated Ada's birthday, swam in the community's private pool and negotiated the wild and wooly moods of four children between the ages of 5 and 9.

Colorado is just as stunningly beautiful as people say. There are miles and miles of forest and flower-filled meadows between each small town and everyone there seems to be out enjoying it and generally living a healthy lifestyle: biking, hiking, swimming, running and walking their dogs. It, however, isn't a terribly diverse place. We ate lunch at a highly recommended local sandwich shop that listed the "Jewish" as one of its sub sandwiches. It was a pastrami and cheese, something no observant Jew would ever eat.

And while it rained at least once every day we were there, the atmosphere is remarkably dry. My skin, nose and throat were continually parched. My hair, however, enjoyed a break from the humidity. Below are a handful of pics from the trip. You can see more here.
View from our dining room window
Most of the gang at Fish Creek Falls
Zoe and Eliza photograph me and Eleanor

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Ada the Fish
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Me and Ada, before the rapids
Mom and Rick at Strawberry Park