Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Tentscape

Here's what it looked like from inside the tent this morning:

The previous night, we heard coyotes and an owl before we fell asleep.  I think the coyotes were really close.

And here's all our pillows and sleeping bags squished together.  I brought my Kindle, which worked great with my headlamp.  I love my Kindle.  I was reading an essay about Japan after the recent earthquake and tsunami, called Into The Forbidden Zone by William T. Vollman.  It's one of those Kindle Singles, which I think is a great idea because they're often on very timely topics and this one is about 60 pages, too long for a newspaper or magazine article.

Here's Lily this morning at the Dodge Preschool playground.  This is a little tower for the kids to climb into.  A bunch of girls went up there and Lily did, too, but she mostly observed their play.  They were playing Rapunzel, as one of the girls had a wig and dress (yes, I know, yak) from the Tangled movie.  She was perfect for the part, a real drama queen (spoiled brat at times). 

Lily would drift in and out of play with them, and not participate in the drama.  She's very much an observer.  She takes it all in, but often it's intense enough from a distance and she doesn't want to jump in.  Which is how I was as a child.  So I think it's fine!  Not just because I was like that, but really, I'm grateful she's not into the drama.  She does play-acting sometimes, so it's not that she doesn't have an imagination.  But she stays herself.  She doesn't like to do face-painting.  She doesn't really dress up in costume.  But she has a very strong personality.

Here's Lily running after the other girls.  She's always up for a game of chase.  Shortly after this was teken, Rapunzel tripped or something and I think she tore her dress.  Or maybe she just fell in the grass.  But she was wailing like she had a mortal wound, and all the other girls were gathering around her.  Lily stood back and observed.

This grassy area is actually part of their playground, which is so fabulous.  All the playground pieces (swings, tower, sandbox, etc) are spread out in this grassy area, so it's wonderful to run around in bare feet, which Lily did for a while.  I think it also gives the kids some breathing room.  It feels very organic, esp. with things like a garden, a slide built into a natural hill, things like that.

And here's Lily after we got home from camping.  She napped (which she doesn't do much anymore) from 11-2, she was so worn out from all the activity this weekend.  What a great time we had!


So that was the first half of Saturday, swim class, ballet show, pony ride, oh, and bouncy house, but I didn't take pics of that.  We also ate mini-donuts.  It's that time of year, where every festival outdoors has a mini-donut vendor.  You don't have to wait for the State Fair anymore, they're everywhere!  I love it.  So did Lily.

Then we had to go home and get ready for camping!  Tegan's Mum invited us to this family party at Dodge Nature Center, where Tegan goes to preschool.  It is so cool there!  They have woods and ponds and a squishy swamp (okay, wetland, but I called it The Squish), and some animals who were hurt in the wild and brought there to recover and teach kids about wildlife.  And even a bear head someone found while camping up north.  Actually he found a whole bear (dead) but only brought back the head.  So they put it in a cage outdoors and are leaving it to decompose, and the kids can watch it.  I know, it sounds disgusting, but it was actually really cool.  There is still fur on the top of the head, but the mouth is clean of skin and fur, and you can see the big jaw and huge teeth this black bear had.  I think it's actually a pretty neat way to teach kids.

So we went to this party called Rock the Barn, at their barn area, and they had music, a craft fair, concessions (they ran out of veggie hot dogs before I could get any, which pissed me off.  I swear, that happens at every event we go to where they have veg dogs, I think because a bunch of meat-eaters decide to try it.  Hey! Back off of my dogs, you carnivores!), face painting, and some animals the kids could touch.  Lily held three baby chicks, one after the other, until I had to drag her away to do something else.  Before that she sat in a chair and had a snake in her lap.  I controlled my squeam factor reaction.  She actually really likes snakes.

There was also a hayloft in the barn where they kids could jump in the hay, and then use a hoist to lift a hay bale.  She liked that.  I let Dad take her in there, because I'm allergic to hay.

I didn't take any pics of Rock the Barn because I forgot the camera in the tent and didn't feel up to being the photographer.  I had a migraine from the sun and had to do my injections in the tent.  It worked okay.  But I was a bit crankers.  Esp. when they ran out of veg dogs.

But it was a beautiful place and we slept in the tent in the forest, with Tegan and her mom right next to us in their tent, and the girls had a fabulous time.  This was Lily's first time camping and I think it was a wonderful introduction to it.  Here she is in the tent:

After the Rock the Barn party, there was a campfire for the people who were camping.  It was really fun, with all families with kids.  They played together well.  Lily roasted a few marshmallows but didn't really eat them.  Her and Tegan liked eating them raw better.

Here's Lily after dark.  T.'s mom got them both these cute kiddie camp chairs to sit in. 

And here's the fire in the dark.  I love taking pics of campfires.

And here's our little glowing child. I think there might have been a flashlight pointed at her.  That or she's glowing from within.  Notice her flaming marshmallow.  She never had any intention of eating it.  Just wanted to see it burning, I guess.  Which is pretty fun.

And Then, A Pony Ride!

No, really!  Actually I think it was a regular horse, just short.  But it was so fun!  At the same festival, just across the ball field from the stage where they did their ballet performance.  Cool!  It was very well organized, too.  And sweet.  There were two horses, so two lines, and when we got up to the front of the line, before the kid got on the horse of their choice, they got to put a carrot in a bucket and hold it up for the horse to eat!  Lily wasn't afraid at all, which I thought was so wonderful.

Man, I look fat in these pictures.  In my mind I weigh as much as the horse handler.

Lily held onto the horn at first like they told her to, but then she just relaxed her hands and went with it.  I think she was very comfortable.

When I asked her later if she liked riding in the saddle, she said no, that she wanted to ride on the horse's fur.  Aw.  Maybe one day.

Circle Time

I have no idea what Lily is thinking, but what a funny face!

Everyone get in a circle

Doesn't the teacher look like she's having fun?  This must be why the kids love her.

Hey, Lily's smiling!

And another smile! I think she's having a good time.

And check this out, I love this teacher.  When they're all done, she parades them around the stage so all the parents can cheer and take pics of their kid.


The Twirl!

Wait for it, here's the exciting part, and so kewt!

I love Lily's expression here, she's very inwardly focused.

I was trying to watch live and take the pic at the same time, so I'm a bit off center here...

Oh, I love this one.

And this.  I think the two ballerinas in the back got lost because they were getting their feet tangled up in the cords for the sound equipment.  Ah, show biz.  It's rough.

Tegan sure looks like she's gettin' into it.

Dancing, Sometimes

And now for a series of not very exciting shots, but it's my kid so hey.  This might have been more interesting as a video, but we can't find our charger cord for the video camera.  So just try to imagine they're moving (which they were, sometimes, when they weren't too distracted).  I think Lily had fun but was a little grumpy when she had the sun in her eyes.  She seems to be very sensitive to bright lights and noise, which worries me a bit, as that's what bothers me when I have a migraine...but back to the dancing!

Standing in the right spot.

Watching Miss K

First position

Um, yeah, stick one of your feet out.

Stick that belly out!

Hopping foot to foot

Tegan is rockin' out

Little Ballerina

We've had a busy weekend.  Saturday we had swim class and then a ballet show, or recital, I guess you'd call it, by Lily's ballet class.  It was pretty informal, outside on a stage as a part of the park's annual festival (the park being McRae Park, where Lily takes her ballet class through Mnpls Parks and Rec).  It was so much fun to watch all these little girls, who love their ballet teacher, Miss K., trying to pay attention and follow along with Miss K's movements.  Here they are parading out of the gym to the outdoor stage:

That's Miss K in the front with the light blue top on.

Lily chose to wear a blue t-shirt under her tutu.  That's Tegan right behind her.  They are in the same class together.

Tegan works on her royal wave.

Then they had to sit quietly in the front row while the other classes went (there were four):

See John standing in the back, and Lily and Tegan in the bottom middle of the shot.

Nose-picker!  Not my kid.

Then they paraded up onto the stage with Miss K in front: