Friday, June 27, 2008

Little Mermaid

If you should rear a duck in the heart of the Sahara, no doubt it would swim if you brought it to the Nile. ~Mark Twain

Kiki took her first swimming lesson yesterday morning and was such a pro. She's loved the water since she was just a baby, so I'm not that surprised that she didn't have any issues going by herself with the instructor.
But, I was surprised by how much she accomplished in just 20 minutes. She's now swimming with her head in the water, diving under to pick up rings, and even learned to climb out the side of the pool on her own.

She was soooooooooooo proud of herself and, of course, I was beaming the whole time.
Ok, I admit some of the time I was silently saying "Get your head out of the water! Get your head out of the water!" But, stayed calm on the outside so as not to alarm any of the other students waiting with me :-D.

She never ceases to amaze me, and I realize how often I underestimate how much she is capable of doing.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Laughter

What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.-- Yiddish Proverb


During a birthday party today for two of Kiki's good friends from the neighborhood (Sophie and Savannah), Kiki was playing with Eric B. and I heard her giggle. A real, soulful, full of joy laugh that made all the other noises in the room full of toddlers disappear for me.


Does a better sound exist than that of a child laughing?

It reminded me of a video of her when she was about 6 months old that Amir took while I was away. She still has the same laugh...


video



And, just for fun, because people are always asking me how long Kiki's hair really is, I thought I'd post a picture of her bathtime when her hair is wet and straight.


Dry and curly versus wet and straight:





Doesn't even reach her shoulders curly and is half-way down her back straight.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Success

Think you can, think you can't; either way you'll be right. ~Henry Ford

Three year olds- really all toddlers I suppose- have a unique way of being contradictory. Kiki happens to be a fairly confident and independent child, and will nearly always tell me "I can do it my own self" when I try to help her with something.

Try to put her in the carseat. "I can do it my own self".

Try to help her with her shoes. "I can do it my own self".

Try to brush her teeth. "I can do it my own self!"

Tell her Laurie is going to feed you dinner. "I can feed my own self". Ok. Ok. Laurie is going to cook you dinner.

You get the idea. But, when it comes to something I'd like her to try "her own self", she will often times resist. For example, writing her name, or drawing a picture.

Some of it is testing how much control she has, but I can also see that she is afraid to fail. It's interesting to me that even children who I believe we all envy for not being self-conscious have a sense of not wanting to fall short. Even though I am a person generally willing to take personal and professional risks, I've wasted too many opportunities to count because I was afraid I might not succeed.

It's important to me that Kiki believe that trying is the most important thing followed by believing in yourself. Of course, you should always try your best, and more often than not you will succeed, but it's OK if you don't. You certainly won't achieve anything if you don't even give it a shot.

And if you don't accomplish your goal, pick your self up and try again...


So, Kiki has been trying to draw lately (of her own accord), and quite well if you ask me (her mother ;-D). She drew a mushroom which she has proudly hung up in her bedroom with "sticky tape".


And, she made a princess tea party scene with stickers which she then added herself to (orange drawing).
She even drew her curly hair and added fingers to the figure.
She's very pleased with the pictures as are we. But then, I'm just proud of her for trying.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tiffany and Daniel's Wedding

And I love you today, tomorrow, and forever
I will trust and honor you
I will laugh and cry with you
With unfailing love, I will stand by you
Through the best and the worst
Through the difficult and easy
As I have given you my hand to hold
So I give you my life
So help me God.


~Vows from the Senden Wedding

This is going to be a long post full of pictures! Amir and I have just returned from a fabulous weekend in Charleston celebrating the marriage of Tiffany and Daniel.


I won't lie, it was HOT and I'm covered in chigger bites, but we had an absolute blast!


The wedding was beautiful and touching, with the most meaningful vows I have heard at a wedding yet. I used a portion as my quote today. Tiffany has been a dear friend for more years than I care to mention, and I fully believe she married "the one". They looked gorgeous as you can see, but also you can see the joy in both of their faces.


For those of you who are married, you probably can relate to me in that I barely remember Amir's and my actual ceremony. I was so nervous, it all seems like a blur to me.


For Tiffany and Daniel, though, it truly looked like they were in the moment and felt every word.


Both the wedding and rehearsal dinner were on the water- just amazing scenery all weekend- and southern style. They even had a bluegrass band at the rehearsal dinner.


We definitely partook of the spirits more on Friday night that Saturday, and made poor Amir take picture after picture. He pretty much refused to be photographer on Saturday, so you'll see we have many more photos of the rehearsal dinner ;-D.




It was so nice to spend so much time talking and partying with my long time friends that I don't see nearly enough these days.




And, it was also very nice to spend some time with my husband without the pressures of daily life.


It was a great weekend!!!


Take- 1 eyes closed...


Take 2 - can you look at the camera please, Eric Balzuweit is going to be waiting for my blog post and I need good pictures ;-D


Take 3- that's better! See how professional Angela is? She has a beautiful smile right at the camera everytime!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!!!!

To her the name of father was another name for love. ~Fanny Fern

What can I say about the most wonderful Father I have ever known? Amir is without any question simply an incredible Aba! I've said it a hundred times, and I'll say it again, one of the main reasons I married him is that I instinctively knew he would be a devoted parent.


I was right. He is loving, generous, kind, attentive, and genuinely would rather be with Kiki than doing anything else in the world. Yes, online poker probably comes in as a close second, but the Kikster always comes first.

What a lucky girl she is! I so look forward to seeing their already beautiful and close relationship blossom.
We had another fun day at the pool today (after rolling in from Charleston from a fab wedding weekend- next post) with our friends from the "hood" ;-D. In all sincerity, all of these children have been blessed with wonderful Fathers.

Happy Father's Day!






Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Joys of Summer

A life without love is like a year without summer.- Swedish Proverb

I happen to love summer in the South- the heat, the humidity, the storms, everything. Amir and I sat outside and watched the lightening last night, and it was beautiful.

The other day we had an actual real-live ice cream truck come through our neighborhood. Mind you, it was flying down our street like the driver was in some sort of race, but Amir, being the loving father that he is, chased it down so Kiki could get a bit of her favorite treat.

I remember having daily visits growing up during the summer, but it's been years since I've seen one.
Of course, one of the best things about summer is the pool. Kiki is addicted and as you can see from the picture will hang around the house in her swimming gear just in case one of us gets a wild hair to take her over.

If I did have one complaint about the summer, it would be (these days anyway) school break ;-D. Good thing we have some beach trips to look forward to...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Project #5

Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.- Joseph Addison

Construction is underway with our fifth investment house (this round) which is by far my favorite. The lot is so wooded and beautiful, I feel like I'm in the mountains every time I go over there. There's even a creek running through the front yard. You're not "supposed" to get attached to the properties, but the nature moves me on this one, and I just can't help it.







Somehow, a Koi fish (enjoy the education ;-D) survived the house being empty for what looks like a year in a tiny little pond in the backyard. Kiki has named him Kiki-Koi :-D, and we're doing our best to make sure he survives us as well.









Originally I planned to talk about second chances in this post, but have decided to wait until the project is complete at the end of the month...









Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Girls Nights Out

The best mirror is an old friend. ~George Herbert

Last weekend was quite full, and very fun starting Thursday with Crystal's evening of shopping for the benefit of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. She managed to arrange for a local restaurant to donate food and wine for the evening which we enjoyed while we shopped at a charming little store called The Shoppe of Vinings. A portion of the proceeds were donated to CCFA. I was SO impressed with Crystal's planning abilities :-D.

Also, the James family, along with many of their close friends and family, did a walk for the CCFA on Sunday which earned over $200,000!!! Check out their website for more details and pictures.

Friday night I got to celebrate my dearest friend Shannon's birthday. We ate at Parish in Inman Park. The restaurant is beautiful and the food delicious. Can't wait to go back. It's always heartwarming to spend time with old friends. As I have mentioned before, Shannon and I have known each other since we were 11! Her big sis Lori (who was always so cool to us growing up), Dana (who also went to High School with us), and Jennifer (sorority sister from college :-D) made great evening!

Then, Saturday, the girls from the neighborhood had a Sex in the City night. Thanks to Susana's clever planning, we started off at her house with cosmo's and watched the final episode before heading to Atlantic Station for dinner and the movie.

Sunday definitely required some rest, but I'll never complain about being busy. And, I know how lucky I am to have such good friends.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A Beautiful Mind

I shut my eyes in order to see. ~Paul Gauguin

Kiki and I went with her school friend, Molly, and Molly's mother, Sarah, to the Botanical Gardens last week. The girls had a great time exploring the children's gardens, but the flower sprinklers were definitely the big hit.

On the way, Kiki entertained me with a rousing rendition of "Jumping Salad in a Pot" (?), a detailed description of where Molly and Miss Sarah were lost in the forest next to the highway and how we needed to save them (??), and finally she introduced me to her imaginary friend "the Grumpy Old Troll" (not Michael, or Sally, or Jake as some children might name their imaginary friends) who apparently was grumpy because Kiki ate his or her birthday cake (???). I had to wonder if she was talking about me :-D.

Isn't imagination beautiful?!?! For me, Kiki's imagination is an endless source of wonder and amusement.

Of course, this same mind decided the greatest tragedy in her young life was the fact that her Mommy gave her a plain band aid instead of an Elmo band aide for her boo-boo (cue whining, tears, and the mean Mommy soundtrack) :-D!