Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Broccoli Challenge

Ada loves gymnastics. She has been attending weekly classes every Tuesday at 6:30PM for a year and a half now, still excited every time we head out the door. The class has been great, and the time works well for us. Other girls have signed up and dropped out, but Ada has remained a constant, every Tuesday, week in, week out.

Recently a couple of the other girls dropped out, and a few were promoted to the blue side of the room (where the BIG kids practice), and all of a sudden there was just Ada in the class. Her instructor, Ms. Amanda, put her through all the skill drills and decided Ada had the chops to move up a level and join the big kids on the blue side, but dang it, she just wasn't big enough.

Quick background - it took Ada about 30 seconds from the start of her first gymnastics class to start pining for the blue side. She LOVES hanging with the big kids, and if the big kids were on the blue side, that's where she wanted to be too. So for Ms. Amanda to tell her she was good enough for the blue side but not big enough - well that's going to stick in her craw.

On our way out of our most recent Tuesday class, the gym manager apologized to Ada about not being able to move her to the blue side, citing weight and age restrictions for the equipment, and ending with "tell you what, if you have a big growth spurt we can move you over, but you'll need to eat a lot of broccoli so you can grow!"

Ada replied with a quiet "okay" and was lost in thought for a moment. I turned to the manager and told her, "you know, she's going to take you up on that." Sure enough, the moment we set foot outside of the gym Ada turns to me and asks if she can have broccoli for dinner.

"Sorry honey, we don't have any broccoli at home. But we do have spinach, which is also very healthy and helps you grow."

"Okay, I'll have spinach for dinner."


"Can I have spinach with my breakfast, lunch, and snack, too?"

Hard to turn down a request like that. For the moment, Ada is happily chomping down spinach with every meal, and may well have the healthiest 5-year-old diet on the planet. But so far, no signs of rapid growth.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Ada recently started a new chapter in her life. After spending every working day since she was 6 months old at her day care center, she finally graduated! We could have kept her at the center until Kindergarten starts in the fall, but we opted to enroll her in the ESS program at her future grade school. 

While ESS is associated with the school, for the summer it is mostly summer camp, which is a totally new and amazing experience for Ada. She gets to go on field trips twice a week, has occasional swimming days and of course also gets to hang out with new teachers and some older kids. And with new teachers comes new games. Ada shared one of these new games with us this morning in the car. 

Quick side note: We were in the car at 4:45 AM driving to the airport so Elliot and Ada could catch a flight to Saskatchewan... remember that as you read the following story... 

Ada: "I learned a new game at school. Sausage"

Me: "Really, I haven't heard of that one before. How do you play?"

"Someone sits in the middle and you ask them questions, and they just say 'Sausage' to everything. You have to make the person in the middle laugh."


"So let's play. I'm in the middle."

(we played, I had to trick Ada into laughing by pulling out one of my standard goofy voices)

Ada: "OK, now you are in middle"

"OK, hit me"

"What is your favorite color?" 

(in my best robotic voice) "sausage"

"Who is your favorite person?"


"What is your favorite sausage?"


Granted I was operating on maybe 4 hours of sleep, but she caught me enough off guard that I genuinely laughed. This led to more laughter, which then led to game after game after game of 'Sausage' until we hit the airport. 

Not surprisingly, a little bit later as they were killing time before their flight, when Elliot asked Ada if she wanted just an egg sandwich or one with egg and sausage, she replied without missing a beat...


Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Ada has been curious about animals (all animals) ever since she realized there were other species roaming this land with us humans.

Now the key word there is 'curious'. She isn't attracted so much that she seeks out animals and tries to pet them while they are eating. In fact she NEVER tries to pet them. Not even if we have assurances from pet owners that their dogs LOVE kids, not if said pets are leashed up, and not even if those pets like the look of Ada's cuddly face so much that they want nothing more than to lick her to pieces.

Well maybe it is that last part that has made Ada a little hesitant when it comes to animals.

On the good side of this situation we don't have to worry about Ada trying to pet a snake and getting bitten, or chasing after a rabid bunny rabbit.

This is a good thing.

However, her hesitance to approach any living (non human) creature is pretty funny to watch. At first I thought she was scared. Heck, I was terrified of dogs when I was her age.

But that's not it.

Then I thought, well maybe she just isn't used to animals and isn't sure how to approach them. So we taught her to let them sniff her hand first and then to  pet the back, and that some dogs like it when you get your fingernails in there and scratch. She followed our instructions and gave us a look of 'yeah, I get it, don't you remember - I'm the observant one'.

So that wasn't it either.

Then this weekend while we were hanging out at floor hockey a nice woman walked up with two SUPER friendly dogs. She even said, "These dogs LOVE kids, they are super friendly".

Ada wasn't much of a believer in those statements.

But she also wasn't scared, nor indifferent. She was curious. And it almost felt like she really wanted to pet the dogs, but there was something holding her back.

So I prodded.

"Ada, honey, why don't you want to pet the dogs? They are friendly, they won't hurt you..."

No movement.

Then a look of wanting.

Then a statement. "If you hold their heads so that they can't lick me I'll pet them."

And there you have it. Ada isn't afraid of dogs (or other animals), she just really really really doesn't like getting licked head to toe just so she can give a belly rub. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011


The family recently took a trip to Maui. Partly to celebrate my birthday, partly to celebrate the end of my semester, but mostly to get away and attempt to relax and work on our tans. 

We were definitely successful in that last part.

Ada spent most of her days on Maui lapping up the luxury of one of the three pools at the hotel we were staying at. Elliot joined Ada for most of that time and I worked in some pool time, some laying out/reading time, and some walking time. 

It was great. 

But we were in Hawaii. Pool time we can do in San Diego, so we decided to get away from the hotel on a couple of occasions. On our last day we drove up one of the local volcanoes and hiked around on the trails. It was pretty awesome and Ada showed us just how grown up she is getting by knocking out the hikes with the speed and skill of parents (just with more stops to get the rocks out of her shoes). 

The volcano was cool. Really really cool.. but it isn't the adventure Ada asked me to write about. Nope. That event was the day before when we woke up early to catch the early departure for pairasailing!! 

When we showed Ada the pamphlet for parasailing she got very excited. She likes parachutes, and she likes boats, so the combo was heaven in her eyes. Still we were a little skeptical that she would actually have the guts to go once we got on the boat so we just bought her a ticket to ride on the boat knowing we could upgrade on board if she wanted to go up. 

The boat ride in itself was pretty cool. But when she saw Elliot go up in the parachute she could not contain her glee!! Ada had to be next! So we booked the upgrade, and Ada and I got suited up in our fancy straps/braces - Ada's was even PINK - and then shortly after Elliot landed, Ada and I were strapped in, sat down and then we were OFF!!! 

We took off so quick we didn't have time to even think about what was happening, evidenced by Ada's exclamation (full of pride) that "Mom! I didn't even have to close my eyes!!" 

So for the next 10-15 minutes Ada and I sailed high above the coast of Maui, taking in the beauty, talking about how grown up Ada was getting, and discussing what the heck we would do if the cord attaching the parachute to the boat was to break. (I assured her that I had a little experience sky diving and could probably do well enough to land us without too much damage). This was by far one of the cooler things I've done with Ada, and not just because we were doing something so cool as parasailing. Nope. It was because in that small moment of time we were totally alone. No work to distract, no toys to interfere, nothing. Just the two of us up there wondering about whatever came to mind and just sharing in our mutual respect for each other for being cool enough to try something like that. And then, at the end of the ride, they lowered our parachute down and dipped our toes in the water. Ada's squeal of joy and excitement summed up our ride. 


Friday, May 13, 2011


There are often moments in our daily routine where it is pretty darn evident that Ada is definitely absorbing some of the environment in which she is being raised.

I have recently started doing an 8 week fitness program called INSANITY with a co-worker, and most of the days we workout at lunch but when that doesn't happen and on weekends I'm left to do the workout by myself. I'm OK with this, I'm a motivated individual, but it does make it easier when you have someone working out with you. Ada obviously picked up on this and for Mother's Day instead of flowers or chocolates, Ada gave me the gift of working out with me. It was cute, she did most of the exercises and kept me laughing the whole time. Since then Ada has been asking me every morning if she can do my workout with me.

Well this morning was one of the days where I was left on my own to do the workout. I somehow convinced Elliot to do the workout with me (he was very skeptical about doing something that implied that you might be a little bit insane to even contemplate completing - and I'm pretty sure he isn't going to sign up for the whole program anytime soon), and once Ada caught wind that there was going to be a workout in the house this morning she asked if she could be part of it. We told her she'd have to get up early if she wanted to participate and boy oh boy did she take that seriously.

As Elliot and I were grumbling about getting out of bed we heard the familiar 'pad pad pad' down the hallway. Our little munchkin was up and ready to go. She came into our room with a GIANT smile on her face and said without hesitation, "Come on, lets go workout".

Clearly, Ada is one apple that did not fall too far from the tree. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Ada got her first promotion last night.

No she doesn't have a job, we aren't into child labor.. yet. No, Ada got her first promotion in gymnastics and she we could not be more proud.

I'm such a good mom that I didn't even realize what was happening when her teacher, Miss Kay, came over to give Ada her ribbon and qualification sheet indicating that Ada had crushed the 'Cricket' assessment and had moved on to the 'Super Crickets'.

Once I realized what was happening Miss Kay explained that it was really clear that Ada had been practicing (yay inner Tiger Mom) and that she was doing a much better job at focusing and listening during class.

Ada was pretty oblivious as to what was happening while we were at the gym but once we got home and I explained it to her she kept asking me over and over again what Miss Kay had said, and was particularly impressed that she got complimented for 'being a good listener'.

And then in a twist that even I didn't see coming Ada asked me to 'write a book about her getting her ribbon'. Which translated into - write a blog post about this and then she proceeded to dictate what I should write. So here you go, from Ada's mouth to your eyes:

"Ada did a very good job at Gyminny Kids, (make sure you tell them it was Gyminny Kids so they know it was gymnastics). I got a ribbon and Miss Kay said that I did a VERY good job. And that I practice a lot. And that I am a very good listener, and Kayla needs to pay attention more." 

For the record I told Ada that it wasn't very nice to say that about Kayla and it is pretty safe to say we still have some work to do in the modesty department, but I am glad that she gets to understand how good it feels to work hard for something and to get recognized for that hard work. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

ordering like a grown up

First off - apologizes for not posting recently - we went to Boston for the marathon where Elliot and Tia Jackie kicked butt but it also threw me out of writing whack. 

Now on to our regularly scheduled program...

About a week ago we went out to dinner at a restaurant in our new neighborhood. We've been to this establishment before and Ada has a standard order. When the waiter came to take our order, I did what I normally do - I ordered my meal and then Ada's meal. All pretty standard. The food came, we ate, and Ada earned her ice cream (our secret to good restaurant behavior). 

When the waiter came by to ask if we wanted anything else Elliot started to order the ice cream and when the waiter asked what type of ice cream we wanted Ada took over. She spoke clearly and politely and ordered herself some vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce. It was very cute, and very grown up. 

But the best part was right after the waiter walked away - she turned to the table with the BIGGEST smile on her face and said with uncontrollable glee "I ordered my ice cream all by myself!!!!" 

And so begins a whole new type of firsts in our family.