Ivy’s Favorites at 14 Years Old

Ivy, what’s your favorite…

Color? – Pink and Black

Animal? – *looks around the room for inspiration* “Not sure.” (This from the girl who has been begging me for years to re-start the favorite posts. Maybe she wasn’t expecting such a tricky one…)

Farm Animal? Do you have one of those?- “Maybe, yes. Yes, I like the ducks”

Not a duck.

Bird? – Eagles or owls

Food? – Ice cream

Clothes? – Sweatpants, sweatshirt and a tank top. (No kidding… Covid has been rough on all of our wardrobes but Ivy lives in this 24/7.)

Dog? – “Goose, but don’t tell Trip.”

Cat? – Cassie

Thing to do? – Read, hang out with you or watch anime.

Thing to do inside? – Read or watch anime (delivered with a sigh, apparently this question was repetitive).

Chore? – “Laundry or washing dishes.” (Hooray! It’s true she does laundry and washes dishes!!!)

Time of day? – Morning (Weirdo.)

Place to go? – Grandma Mary’s

(Note the clothing choice.)

Song? – I have lot. It might be Dacing in the Dark. (This must be true since she walks around with one ear plugged into music dancing and lip synching along 95% of the time.)

Flower? – Tulips

Thing about school? – “In quarantine? I don’t have to change my pants and I can do school in my pajamas. In general I really like my teachers.”

Friend? – “Natalie (can I say my top three?) Hyja, and Kyla.”

Movie? – Brave

Thing to do with Clara? – “I like playing card games with her. She’s the most willing out of everyone to play.”

Thing to do with Jane? – “I like when we are both in the same room and we are both reading and it’s quiet. I also like playing in the hammocks or silks in the garage with her.” (Hmmm… that first answer speaks volumes…)

Thing to do with Dad? – “Play board and card games or hiking.”

Thing to do with Me? – “I like playing ecologies with you and I also like swimming when you are coaching.” (She likes it when I coach? Amazing! Maybe it’s because I don’t outright tell her I like to watch kids suffer like John does when he coaches?)

Sport? – Swimming

Book? – The lunar chronicles plus Heartless (That’s like 6 books btw…)

Author? – Marrisa Myer or Cassandra Claire

Meal? – Brunch

Thing to do in the car? – Read

Thing about winter? – Skiing!

Season?- “Fall” (Why?) “because swimming starts and it’s also really pretty.”

Part of living during a pandemic? – “I don’t like the pandemic… I get to play more games with you guys.”

What do you want to do when you grown up? –  “I. Don’t. Know.” (Someone has to choose her first high school classes and this question is looming it’s scary head quite often in a more real way than it ever used to.)

When you get older what kind of problems to you want to help solve? – I don’t know that either.

Anything else? – One of my favorite classes in school is Spanish and I also really like art.

Last time I asked Ivy her favorites she was only 9 years old, take a look back and see how things have changed!

Ivy’s Favorites at Nine Years Old

Happy 14th Ivy

Ivy turned 14 today!

She chose to spend her birthday skiing with a group of families where she is the oldest girl by far but Ivy loves skiing with her five year old buddy.

Then we had a family birthday party with Grandma, Grandpa, one Great Uncle and Great Granny. The festivities ended in a card game where she happily crushed her grandpa’s game and gracefully lost to her dad.

Ivy chatted with everyone from 2 to 96 today and while she has a special birthday treat planned with a friend in the future, John and I couldn’t help but glow with pride at the way our young lady handled herself today.

Happy Birthday Ivy!

Because Reasons and Faces

Jane went to bed late tonight. In fact I still hear her rustling as I type this.

There were reasons of course. Ivy and I were too noisy. I didn’t tuck her in fast enough. She needed another book. She was starving…

There are always reasons.

And because I’m tired and she’s the baby and I did a completely crap job of making dinner so she probably is hungry because personally I’m starving, I let her stay up.

Also. She makes these faces…

Jane is going to bed way to late tonight. I’m not proud but these things happen because… reasons… and faces.

Movie Night

We have never been big movie watchers. There always seems to be somewhere to go, or something to do, or someone to see… or at least there was.

Lately we’ve instituted a once a week movie night. And while it is nice to watch a movie more than once every six months the actual reason we started it was for the snuggle time. The girls have all been in need of more hugs and more cuddles, (Who hasn’t?) and everyone, even the teenager, wants “just two minutes of snuggling” at bedtime.

So now once a week we all pile on the couch, the dogs and cats are optional and frequent add-ons, and re-charge our snuggle-meters. And if we enjoy a movie in the process, so much the better.

Where is your snuggle-meter at these days and do you have a family movie recommendation?

First Day of Virtual School

As I write this I can confirm that we have officially survived the first day of virtual school. I am happy to report that things went smoothly and even our sometimes temperamental internet behaved. All in all, I would say it was better than we feared.

Of course before the day started, we had to take the traditional first day of school photos even if it wasn’t a traditional school day. While other mothers manage to post smiling faces with cute signs delineating grade on their children’s first day, I feel that our girls’ pictures often tell a broader story. Here is my interpretation of this morning’s quick photo shoot…

Clara: School at home means I don’t really have to pay attention- or wear pants!

Jane: New things are terrible, also I can’t find my pants.

Ivy: Seriously? Just pull up your pants like this, it’s almost time for me to log on.

Clara: I don’t want to do this so I’m not wearing pants, also I’m still in my pjs under this sweatshirt so pppbbbbttt.

Jane: I can’t do new terrible things without my pants.

Ivy: If I smile like this can I go log on now?

Clara: Fooled you I have shorts on!

Jane: I can’t smile because new things are terrible, also I still don’t have my favorite pants.

Ivy: *through gritted teeth * I’ve been smiling forever can I go now?

Clara: Just kidding. I don’t have pants!

Jane: I can’t believe this is really happening without my pants.

Ivy: I’m done.

I may never have a picture of them all smiling at the same time but I’ll not be short of memories looking back at photos like these!

An Educational Trip

Last week we left John at home working with all the animals to keep him company and traveled the few hours north to my family’s cabin to help with the annual spring clean up. It was the first time we had spent away from the house in months. We were off the property! I was ready for excitement, what I got was education.

I learned that the kids do not in fact need to pee every hour on a car ride. As it turns out, after months of Covid talk and faced with public restrooms and face masks, they can all hold it the whole 3.5 hour drive. A fact I will remember.

I learned that this railing still doesn’t seem “safer.”

I learned that a change of scenery will not make a single bit of difference in the amount of fighting the girls do.

I learned that if Grandma and Grandpa are the only people they have been able to see in two months, the additional presence of Grandma and Grandpa won’t make a bit of difference in the referenced fighting.

I learned that different chores, no matter how enthusiastic you present them “Yay! Let’s rake pine needles!”, are still chores and they will whine about them just as much.

I learned that Clara will happily pick up and drag home every bit of garbage and “treasure” she can find when out for a paddle.

I learned that Jane will pack herself up two live snails to bring home without asking for permission.

I learned that Ivy can make fantastic cookies in any kitchen.

And I remembered that life always feels better on the water.

Staying on Top

Today is the last day of the April Squares challenge hosted by The Life of B. A month of square pictures, posted everyday, somehow themed around the word “top”.

It was a good way to get back into the habit of keeping the camera handy. It was good to get back into the habit of blogging. On days that my still recovering brain was up for it it felt good to blog surf again and see other “top” pictures.

Some days I wobbled. There were days that I stretched far for the “top” connection, for a photo that might work and to post before midnight.

But I stayed the course and posted the whole month.

The last months have been rough ride but some things never change. Taking on a challenge and coming out on top always feels fantastic!