Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hank the Happy Camper.

Here is my boy on Saturday morning when I picked him up from a week away at Camp Ernst.
If the photo looks hazy, hot and humid, it's because it really was... and Henry was too. 
But he had a great week. 
He did all sorts of adventurous stuff, zip lining, giant water slide, giant swing...a lot of giant stuff happens while at camp. 
And also some messy stuff too.
On Saturday afternoon, I was semi alarmed to find something not quite right in his hair and scalp. I looked closer (with my readers) and asked if he was itchy before I realized that the foreign matter in his hair was potato chips and not bugs. 
How did you get chips in your hair?
Don't remember.
But it really could have been any time over the course of the week because, while I packed 7 shirts for 6 days of camp, 5 of those t shirts were still folded neatly in his bin. He wore exactly two shirts during a week of camp.
He also realized that the closest thing to a parent at camp were these two very fun and kind of goofy college guys who didn't really care if he showered or changed his clothes. 
It was Henry's week of heaven, although I think that he wasn't really Henry at all because I found this amongst his post camp debris. 
It seems that my son "Hank" was awarded Camper of the Day on one of the days last week. 
He wasn't sure what he did that day to deserve such and honor... thought that it might have been some of the awesome jumps that he did off of the trampoline anchored in the middle of the lake.
Or maybe it was this party trick...

Strange but very true.
I am more than proud that my son "Hank" can now blow up a balloon with his nose.
Every young man needs to own a skill and now my dear son has this.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Our Friend Mac Barnett.

A few weeks ago, Mac Barnett came to town for a few author talks and became Lily, Henry and Rosie's new best friend for a couple of days.
(alas, Jamie was away at camp and missed out) 
First, he spoke at Wordplay http://wordplaycincy.org/ a new creative writing center in Northside that develops and hosts all sorts of wonderful literary events for kids. Its a terrific spot and
Mac read his newest book the fabulous Count the Monkeys.
He was very entertaining and shared how he came up with different ideas and how they eventually became books.
Mac was so engaging and kind that my kids thought that he was both the funniest grown up they had ever met and their new best personal pal. 
So we went to see him at another bookstore the next day.
I guess we had become Mac groupies. 
And Mac very graciously remembered us and greeted my kids by name as we sort of semi-stalked him for a couple of days.
Rosie! tell me... what have you been up to since I saw you last night!
And now my crew are loyal Mac fans, because after all he is their buddy and how fabulous is it that one of your friends writes cool books for kids?
By the way...we have now read all of his books and they are all smart, funny and very lovely. He writes a wide variety of children's books, from beautifully illustrated picture books to a mystery series for middle readers called Brixton Brothers...inspired by Hardy Boys and Encyclopedia Brown.
Lily inhaled the whole Brixton Brothers series...leaping in before we even left the book scene at Wordplay.
Thanks Mac for being so nice to my little guys, and for sharing your wit and good humor with the under 12 set... they appreciate it more than you know.  

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Three New Little Free Libraries!

Three fabulous Little Free Libraries have graced the neighborhoods of Cincinnati recently...
 and three more will go up soon.
My girls and I did a little tour visiting these dear little libraries...they chose to dance and pose in front of the libraries while I took a few photos.
(far more cute than if I danced and they photographed...which would have been really weird)
The Faherty family, lovers of all things books, recently installed this little library in front of their house on Mooney Ave. in Hyde Park.
It is built to match their own house and is lovingly dedicated to Elizabeth Ann Kendrick...  
"who loved to share books."
This is Rosie's most favorite library in the world because Lucy, the youngest member of the Faherty family, does a wonderful job taking care of the books as a part of her duty as head librarian.
Lucy and Rose are dear friends and kindred spirits.  
Here are Lily and her pal Mia posing in front of the newest, cutest, library in Oakley.
The Blume Family Little Free Library in located on 32nd Ave
(behind King Arthur's Court) and is
 "dedicated to teachers everywhere who's love and dedication change children's lives and futures everyday."
This one is hosted by the Moran Family on Oxford Terrace in Clifton.
It is all dressed up in festive balloons for it's grand opening that Rosie and I were so graciously invited to attend.
Abby Moran is a dedicated teacher who absolutely loves books and is excited to get them into the hands of other people- kids especially, who absolutely love books.

The mission of the little free libraries are to build community and promote the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide.
It appears that the people of Cincinnati agree and believe that the simple act of sharing books is a whole lot of fun as well as being a valuable means of building community. 
Stay tuned Cincinnati...enjoy these three new and awesome little free libraries and know that there are three more coming soon!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Camp Anna!

Lily and Mary traveled to Charlotte to pay a little pre-4th visit to their oldest and uber cool sister Anna.
"Camp Anna" began with a field trip to the zoo and also included shopping, pedicures, and Pintrest inspired crafts as the main camp activities. 
Not exactly a wilderness camp experience, but these are survival skills of a different nature.
Here are three of the four sisters of the sisterhood  posing in their adorable hand crafted patriotic t-shirts.
The shortest sister (Miss Rosie) is not quite mature enough for the rigorous demands of Camp Anna...her time will come soon enough. 
Lily G. at the Lily P. store.
Anna treated her sisters to a early morning visit to the Lazy 5 Ranch...a safari inspired zoo where you drive through the zoo in your own car and feed the animals out the windows.
Lily loved this concept and happily popped out the top of Anna's sun roof to feed this cute giraffe.

Lily noted that while the act of feeding the animals from your sun roof was not illegal, jumping out of your car to take a photo of your sister doing so was against the rules and Anna got yelled at by a guy for doing so.
She was honored that her big sis risked park ranger humiliation to get a cute picture...true sister love.
And here she getting up close and personal with a cute and hungry llama.
Although the Camp Anna visit was short, it was a sweet one with all three of my little bears enjoying each other company immensely.
Thank you Anna for being such a wonderful host/camp counselor... you are a perfect big sister!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Betsy Ross and George Washington...a short bathroom drama.

In honor of out nations birthday, Rosie and Jamie "wrote" and produced a play based on probably not very historical events.
In this production, Betsy Ross (Rosie G.) went to the bathroom while George Washington (Jamie G.) waited in the hallway. When she was finished doing her business, George banged the butt of his rifle three times on the floor and called out  "all hail Betsy Ross!" 
Following that robust announcement, Betsy would emerge from the bathroom, have some sort of revolutionary emotional breakdown causing George to leap into action and subdue her.
It's not clear if George and Betsy are friends or foes...it seems as though they are frienemies at best.
After all that bathroom drama, Betsy insisted on exercising her her own personal independence and fled the scene in her hot wheels Barbie jeep. 

Hope your 4th was just as lively. 
Happy birthday to you, United States of America!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Hyde Park Blast Kids Run

My neighborhood was absolutely oozing with physical fitness yesterday.
I participated mostly by shopping for cute Hyde Park Blast t shirts, but
my daughters and their pals were a part of the actual sporty scene, waking up early to join the kids races.
As you can see, the 4-6 year old heat was super serious.
Some kids wore tutus and some brought their parents as support/paparazzi.
Rosie was very excited to be a "runner girl" and counted the days to the race on her Hello Kitty calendar. I suggested that she practice running the route while she waited for race day, but she thought that marking each day off with a Sharpie marker was preparation and conditioning enough.
 The older kids division was more competitive. The 10-12 year old gang ran a lot farther and faster than the little guys. 
No parents even attempted to keep up with this crew.
Here goes Lily 
(green shirt/ black socks)
and her pal Mia
(purple shirt/black socks) 
12 year old girls really are all long legs and ponytails.
 The big finish!
 The little girls were thrilled with their post race medal bling...
and the big girls were thrilled with their beers. 
Just kidding!
Mia and Lily didn't really have a 16 oz drafts, they just chose this spot to rest and recover following their run.
The Hyde Park Blast was founded 12 years ago by two Hyde Park residents and has grown bigger and better each year since. Over the years they have added an elite run as well as bike races to their ever popular 4 mile run. 
The entire day is very well organized and a whole lot of fun for all ages, in fact, it's a blast!
Energetic volunteers have worked hard to make this event a success and have raised a lot of money for a good cause- the fight against cancer.