Friday, May 28, 2010

a day full of looking...

I had one of the best days this week... on our "Nature Walk Day" ... we decided to go to the park out by our sailing squadron... it's so amazing and so peaceful... just the sounds of fish jumping, birds landing in the water, splash!, and bees buzzing... it was perfect!

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There is a nature trail which wraps all around the mangrove preserve... we stopped every couple of steps to sit and watch the bugs, the lizards, the fishies, the bees...

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I explained to the girls that it's important to just sit and look at things... watch the birds, the fish, the BLUE CRABS!!! we watched this little guy for probably 20 minutes... could not believe how content they BOTH were just gazing! we laid on our bellies and had our chins resting on our finger tips along the boardwalk just being so quiet and looking. Isabelle would whisper questions, "where's his mamma?" I like to ask questions back... "Where do you think his mamma is?" ohh the answers... she thinks his mamma is probably making him lunch... I think so too... "where are his eyes... why does he walk sideways... does he like blueberries since he's blue?"

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there is something very special to me when it comes to the mangroves in my town. I always have loved them... love the trails of them... love how they look like fingers from trees reaching for the water... I remember going on my aunt and uncle's boat through the bay trails of mangroves... so many birds living amongst them... so many critters... and now I find myself with my own girls... wandering through mangrove trails...

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Cecilia spotted this from afar... squealed and I looked and Isabelle and I giggled as we watched her try to catch this big creature...

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then Isabelle and her played on the dock...

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looking........

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there's that bird...

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Cecilia loves lizards... giggles and squeals and claps... I love how just nature alone can be enough for a child...
I also love that Isabelle noticed his big bright red throat bulging every few minutes... she asks, "Mamma, why does he go rrra rrraaa rraaaa like that with that thing...???!!" so I tell her.. "It's for his girlfriend, and when she sees that, his girlfriend comes over and gives him a kiss..." she then says, "well I can give him a kiss but he's too fast for me..."

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a little playground fun before lunchtime...

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love these blooming beauties just now... like a burst full of color...!

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and a little sneekie peekie of what we'll be up to this weekend... as well as a little red, white, and blue fun!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

a fine evening & some mouse shoes...

weekends for us are Family Days... lots of hanging out, resting, building forts, playing in the garden... just being a family. I look forward to it all week...

sometimes we plan some outings... either visiting family & friends, having friends over for a bar-b-q or hitting the town... This weekend we chose to go into town... or I should call it... go to The Islands...

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we live on the mainland on the west coast of Florida... alongside are little keys & islands... we just hop in the car or on our bikes and cross the bridge and are there in maybe five minutes (by car)... We make sure to go at least once a week... not a bad ritual. I feel so connected to nature at the beach... the sound of the small Gulf waves splashing, the feeling of the sand exfoliating my toes, and the giggles and smiles on our girls!... it's perfect... We try to connect them to nature as well... children notice things if you just listen to them... they see little coquina shells breathing in the surf... they wonder why the shore has bubbles, chase the tiny seagulls every which way... they love to see things and we try to slow down a little as we cross the bridge... let them be children and let ourselves be as well...

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when in Florida we live like Floridians... why try to fight with nature.. just be it... wear sundresses, and flip flops... open up the windows, have a Florida garden, eat fresh oranges, fish, and swim in the Gulf! We feel so light...

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a nice little yoga class ... cute to see our oldest trying out her poses..

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nothing like a fluffy pink cocktail to cool me down... and when Mamma is nice and cool and relaxed... we're all happy!

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Isabelle colored her nails nice and green while practicing drawing hearts waiting for our dinner to come...

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mmm such a great Cuban! she loves it!... needed extra mustard of course... I mean Dijon mustard... her favorite! :-)

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silly girl enjoying herself and all of the puppies walking by... what is she pointing at... dragonflies...

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kept pointing and waving to all of the little dragonflies.. I love when children see little things like that... and I love that they show us what life is all about.. the little things. :-)

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holy cuteness... can you stand it!!? so sweet little mousies for our little bunny!




Friday, May 21, 2010

what a beautiful preschool...

I really am in love with our daughter's preschool... and it's sweet to see her feel the same way too...

The sweet school is with New College.. on the campus... has student teachers... professor's children go there... it's adorable...

We have to drive to it, as it's a bit far but it's so worth every bit! We roll the windows down and the school girl lets the wind blow all through her hair... then we reach the city and marina and she and I yell out the windows.... "good morning city!" "good morning marina!" "good morning birds, dolphins, and sea otters!" Then she yells... ahhh I love school!!!

This school really is a gem... so many of the concepts are exactly how we try to live... The children are so independent... They set the table... clean up after themselves... help younger children.. They are together with different ages... When Isabelle started to go there the older kids would comfort her if she felt sad, and now she does the same to the new children. It's a beautiful thing

One thing that sold me when we discovered it... was their outside time.... ahhhh the best in town! They play outside so so much! They go on a walk everyday to pretty places such as the bay, the library, even the Ringling Art Museum! They also have a large organic garden which they pick from and eat the goodies! There is a gardener from the college which teaches the children all about gardening. The kids get their hands nice and dirty and get to learn a beautiful respect for the Earth. They learn where their food comes from... the other day we picked fresh peas and ate them on they way home! I think this is such an important age to have a start in life as a pure individual.

The school is Montessori style teaching which is fantastic! Isabelle is not interested one bit in her ABCs and that's ok. We don't want to push her to learn we want her to come running to learn...

now, if I can brag just for a bit about my little girl... I really don't mean to but I feel so proud and excited. We have traveled quite a bit with our kids and with their Pappa being from Sweden they are getting a sense for just how large the world is... so many different cultures and customs... it's great! We've always been very open minded and informative... we talk about world events with our girls... we talk with them just as they are little people... children are sponges and they get it! sooooo onto the proud mamma moment....

The other day was Girls Night at the school (next week is Guys Night)... they do these fun nights or weekends so that the parents can meet one another and the kids can see each other outside of class... So the point was for the kids to tell their Mammas about what they learn in school... "Their Works" so I ask her, "what works would you like to show me?" she pulls out a rug... unrolls it... places a fun magnet maze out and shows me how to work it. this was quite fun... then she says, "Mamma, come with me... I have to show you my favorite!" I'm like ok... so then we have to put away the rug and the magnet board of course... perfectly.
Then she puts out a rug tells me to sit and watch her... She gets out this big wooden puzzle of ASIA... there are no words for countries, just small and large little puzzle pieces every which way... She proudly hands me a piece and says, "here Mamma, this is Kazakhstan!" WHAT... are you kidding me!!! seriously! She was handing me little pieces of pure pride... Thailand, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Mongolia, India, Tibet, Philippines ... I can go on and on! It brought tears to my eyes... goosebumps! I asked her where Sitha was from (which is her teacher's wife) she reaches down and hands me Cambodia! I squeezed her and said, do you like geography!? yes, it's very fun Mamma! Next we're going to get Africa and I can learn that!

I started to get that gulp in my throat... I started to wonder where in this world she would go one day...?

Since then we have been talking a lot about the world. Her Aunt (Pappa's sister) lives in China... we talk about what it's like in China... she asks to go there! It's fantastic... such wonder and excitement in learning!

Yesterday she got into the car and said it was sad that Miss. Corrie (a teacher) was having her last day... She then said that she was going to South Korea for a year... WOW!

So basically I love how my little big girl is loving to learn things... Not forcefully but wanting! So ABCs can wait... they'll always be there!

This amazing school is needing some new children for the Fall!!! please please please contact them ASAP to enroll your child!!! http://www.newcollegekids.org

and here are some pics of Firefighter day at school...

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

natural fun...

this is our "secret beach"... some of you locals I'm sure know where this is... but don't tell any tourists... it's for us locals ONLY!

This is "Shell Beach" a nice quiet deserted island type beach! Our girls LOVE it here! They love that there are trees to climb, shells to collect, trails to explore, and lots of things to play pirate with... I love it because... well it's just plain beautiful!

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the girls sit on the shore ... sharing secrets.. enjoying the view... and warming their little shoulders with sweet sunshine...

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finding little critters, exploring the nature, and learning a bit is a perfect day... here Pappa found a little sea urchin.. it was so cute and the girls loved to have the little guy crawl on their hands...

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we never ever bring plastic buckets or shovels when we come here... instead the girls use their imaginations... it actually ends up being great... we don't have to remember anything but bikinis and towels and some H2O... that's it!

-sea grape leaves make fabulous water carriers
-big shells are the best shovels ever
-the little shells are perfect for decorating trees and castles
-coconuts are perfect for tossing and playing catch with
-coquinna shells are the sweetest shells for covering little toes

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the best laundry line ever...





our garden... I think it's lovely

I love our garden.. in all it's prettiness... all that we've put into it... all that we enjoy it...

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love how the girls feel so carefree in it.. exploring every leaf and butterfly... letting their hearts be wildflowers

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it's such a moment to have little surprises in our dear garden... we plant things and forget where we planted a bulb or a seed ... then something fun like this will pop up... that's why we always have to explore every little corner... you never know where the next surprise will pop up...

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and bloom!

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I love to have little people furniture here and there... little nooks for the little girls in my life. little hiding places... little gems.. it's a fun little life we have here...

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very glad to have some roses... I think everyone should have a rose in their lives... that smell of pure beauty is something else...

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this is a cucumber flower.. they get to be a nice blue color... lots of people have these in Sweden... you just reach down, pluck one, and pop it in your mouth... for such a sweet fresh taste of cucumber... not sure what the english word is... maybe one of you northern bunnies know...?

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it's grilling weather...

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just let them eat and play without any napkins...


Thursday, May 13, 2010

queen for a day...

happy mother's day to all the lovely ladies that grace our Earth beautifully and gracefully and to all the mammas that love their little cuties with all of their hearts...

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I was quite a lucky Mamma this mother's day... got a pretty rose ... our oldest and myself made these pretty corsages for my mama, and mimi, and myself... it was a fun little project... and I just loved it when we were finished... she looked at me with big eyes and sadly said, Mamma, when can I wear a corsage?? I said, "one day you will be so lucky to wear one..." my little sweetie pies got me a basket for my new bicycle!!! I cannot wait to take it for a spin and stop at the market and fill my basket with some pretty flowers!!!

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all the guys working hard making us mammas a feast! lemon linguini with lots of fresh shrimp!! yummmm! and loads of GARLIC!!!

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waaah laaa!

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I love my girls!!! xoxoxo




Friday, May 7, 2010

lucky

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my first preschool mother's day art work... felt so glad to receive this as I picked up my girl from school... I even hugged her teacher!

I can't tell you how lucky I feel to be a Mamma... before I had children I felt like what I had was enough... my things, my being, my happiness... but then the day came when we became 3 and my world became complete. Of course I felt complete before... loving myself is most important ... then their is the love of my husband... my best friend... my soul mate... but then their was this love that was inside of my heart... ever since I was a little girl... I always have wanted to be a mother... and now I am of two little girls.

They both make my heart feel so heavy but so light... they love me no matter what, no matter when, no matter how... just pure little girl love. They hold my hand because it is there and it makes them feel safe. I cannot count how many kisses or how many I love yous but each day it feels like a million more... I don't ever want this feeling to fade... and it won't... I won't let it... as a mamma your heart grows double for each child, I swear. I never knew this would happen 4 years ago when I had just a normal girl heart... but now I have a mamma heart and it's a heart that cries over sweet sayings, a heart that aches when my girls are sad, a heart that loves my husband more as I see him in our girls... it's a beautiful thing here.. this mamma job... and on Mother's Day and always I feel so lucky. I thank them every night and tell them how happy they make me... Last night our oldest had a sad night ...as our youngest wasn't feeling well... so we were all camping out in every which one's beds... I was exhausted and don't even remember who's bed I was in... but I remember putting my arm around my oldest girl's belly and she woke so soft... and opened her eyes as I stared at them.... she shut them and and signed and them smiled... so safely... so happy. she feels so lucky to be my daughter... and that to me, is enough...

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we had some really ripe bananas this morning so we felt like staying in and being cozy... baking day!

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getting the pan set... love how our youngest just sits with anticipation... and has to wiggle her toes...

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chores... making her bed.. everyday... she's great!

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painting some things for Uma, Farmor, and Mimi (my mom, Pappa's mom, and my grandmother).. for mother's day

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I love to let my girls paint all their hearts let them... no direction... no rules... just messy beautiful painting... and it usually turns out beautifully...

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I also feel so lucky that I have a job that lets me have my number one job of being a mamma/wife. Having our own business is a lot of work and the way we do it is fantastic... we alternate and work while the girls sleep, are at school, or are with the other one of us. It allows me to be off on Fridays and stay at home and make banana bread and paint... but then I love how good it feels to be working and being a part of our family business.... sometimes I work so hard at photography that I feel empty and drained but my girls fill me up with love just like taking a watering can and watering a flower... and I feel amazing