Ode to Muffin

Claire and MuffinHere is Claire’s poem about Muffin. ¬†She is studying poetry in school and seems to enjoy it.


Who’s that standing there

with white fluffy hair?

Big black eyes.

Tail swishing back and forth wildly

like an angry flock of seagulls.



Muffin poem

Tiny Mountain Climbing

Kit was out of town for a funeral, and I had the girls this weekend for a series of birthday parties and classes. ¬†While Claire was in Crenshaw’s for a party,¬†Molly bitterly complained that she could not go too. ¬†But I took Molly to a school park right next door. ¬†It turned out to be really fun, with the usual playground but also an outcropping of rocks that was perfect for Molly to climb over. ¬†Plus an abandoned lacrosse stick and ball and a big bouncy ball. ¬†This was all easily enough to fill up and hour and a half while we waited for Claire’s party to end. ¬†Molly showed a lot of enthusiasm for the rock climbing in particular.


Mr. Linden’s Library

Following is an original story that Claire write in her second grade class.  Claire wrote two drafts by hand, then her teacher typed out the final story.

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Frozen cast poster
The much loved characters of Frozen

The movie Frozen is a pretty big deal, at least with little girls. ¬†The movie was released in theaters¬†five months ago and seems to have only picked up steam¬†since. ¬†It probably helps that it’s now on iTunes and DVD. ¬†Anyways, this movie definitely ranks as a favorite — no, the favorite — movie for both Claire and Molly.

We have had endless discussions about “Who do you like better, Anna or Elsa?” or “What’s your favorite song in Frozen?” or “What character do you think I am in Frozen?” ¬†On the drive back from¬†Corpus Christi this weekend, Claire and Molly watched Frozen¬†in the car. ¬†When they weren’t watching Frozen, Molly was singing it. ¬†“The snow glows white on the mountain tonight‚Ķ” she always starts quietly. ¬†Molly seems to know most of the words. ¬†Claire started a series of family votes on who were¬†our favorite characters (Anna won overall), favorite songs, etc. ¬†At first, Molly thought Elsa was a “bad guy”, but Claire has slowly convinced her that Elsa is not bad, she has a good heart but she just has a problem to deal with. ¬†Molly doesn’t understand that, but she believes Claire.

We had a babysitter last weekend, and she told us that every single girl under the age of 13 who she sits has been singing Frozen songs, mostly Let It Go. ¬†She says it’s a “phenomenon”. ¬†I found myself at an after-school dinner for Molly’s school, sitting with Claire, Molly, and another dad from Molly’s class. ¬†He went on about Frozen, complete with trivia (the main character names came from the name ¬†“Hans Christian Andersen”, etc.)

There is also a backlash.  At a second grade roller skating party, the skating rink played the song Let It Go, and all the girls sang along.  But all the boys apparently took of their roller-skates, slid around on their socks, and screamed in protest.  There is also Let It Go Goes With Everything, which shows just how generic (but still lovely) that song is.

Claire seems to enjoy my personal take on Anna vs. Elsa, which is that Anna is a true optimist and person of action who is always trying to make things better, while Elsa just runs to the nearest mountain to sing a song about how sad and misunderstood¬†she is. ¬†Boo hiss, Elsa! ¬†ūüėČ ¬†Claire thinks it is funny that Elsa sings on three separate occasions the words “Conceal, don’t feel‚Ķ” ¬†Okay, we shouldn’t be too hard on the cursed,¬†orphaned¬†ice¬†queen. ¬†I’m just saying we get it, already, Elsa. ¬†It’s time to move on!

Anyways, Frozen is the only thing to really break through the My Little Pony stranglehold for Claire in the past several months, and that is really saying something.  I mean, occasionally Claire likes to watch Frozen, although MLP still forms the core of her entertainment universe.


This¬†is a picture of Claire and friends doing meditation¬†for karate. ¬†It’s a pretty cool picture.


But¬†Claire is not super “into” karate. ¬†She can do some kicks and can count to 10 in Korean. ¬†And she gets to have a brief playdate with her friend Susie after school, before karate class, once a week. ¬†But she isn’t showing a great interest in becoming a black belt, or even a yellow belt for that matter. ¬†I guess she is saving her¬†focus for¬†swimming.

Oh yeah, and Claire looks really cute in her karate outfit. ¬†It even¬†served as pajamas one time when her regular PJ’s were in the laundry. ¬†I can already picture Molly proudly wearing Claire’s¬†karate gear in a few years.

School Portraits

The girls are looking pretty stylish in their recent school portraits for second grade (Claire) and pre-pre-K (Molly).

Claire school portrait   Molly school portrait

Molly’s sassy pose is a big change from the crying toddler of a couple of years ago.

New Year’s Resolutions (Claire, 2014 edition)

Claire had to do resolutions for 2014 for a school assignment back in January.  I have just scanned it now.  Here is what she came up with.



Adding this retrospectively in April, 2014, I can say that Claire is doing very well on her resolutions.  She has had several sleepovers, done some monkey bars, has continued to not be mean to Molly, has read way over 10 books, and is learning the back stroke at swimming.  She she 8 months left to work on jumping rope, dribbling a basketball, and origami.

MLP Pool Party

This the very first My Little Pony video created by Claire! ¬†She had worked on the concept for a few days and decided to jump in and do it this afternoon. ¬†Claire’s first lesson learned is to try to find a way to keep her arms out of the camera view as much as possible.

Update (June 20, 2014)

Amazingly, this video has now has 2,071 views!  There are 8 thumbs up and 10 thumbs down.  Claire was a little bumbed about the down votes but has mostly moved on to her newer videos.

By comparison, my own videos for my little app company struggled to get over 100 views.

Update (October 8, 2014)

Wow, this video is up to¬†66,167 views! ¬†We still have no idea how this video got so popular, except that it is the twelfth video listed on youtube when you search for “my little pony pool party”. ¬†Being¬†number 12 on youtube is pretty damn good!

Awkwardly, this video is actually on my own youtube account and¬†is by far my own most popular¬†video. ¬†I have 89¬†subscribers now thanks to¬†Claire’s video. ¬†Judging by¬†their icons, most of my fans¬†are¬†My Little Pony¬†enthusiasts. ¬†


Drop Off

This is a picture of the start of a typical day for Molly. ¬†Molly has a nice, set routine each school morning. ¬†I won’t got into the all the details of the routine (although I have done that before), but here are a few highlights of how Molly likes her morning to go…

  • Molly always has Cheerios for breakfast but doesn’t finish them and asks for a “to go” for the car.
  • After dropping Claire off at school, and on the drive to Molly’s school, Molly usually initiates some sort of creative activity with me. ¬†It’s anything from “What do you want me to draw?” to “Tell me everything you see that starts with letter S” or an “I’m thinking of something that‚Ķ” game. ¬†“I’m thinking of something that grows on fences.”, which is flowers, for example. ¬†She always has something to offer.
  • On a related note, the drives home in the evening are less creative and more grumpy. ¬†A favorite question of Molly’s is a whiney “Why do you always have to cook dinner at home?” (I actually pick up food on the way home really often).
  • Once we’re at Molly’s pre-school, we can either take the stairs or the elevator upstairs¬†to her classroom. ¬†Molly always gets to pick. ¬†Lately Molly’s trick is to stand at the hallway between the stairs and the elevator and say out loud, “Hmm‚Ķwhich way?” ¬†And then she’ll suddenly sprint towards the elevator, giggling loudly, trying to get away from me. ¬†She always looks back to make sure I’m chasing her. ¬†It is hilarious to see Molly tear down the hall in a dress and shiny shoes.
  • Once at the elevator, the next game is for Molly to press the “up” button before I can do it, and then to press the “3” button once inside before I can get to it. ¬†It makes Molly giggle even more when I just barely lose to her every time. ¬†By the time we get to Molly’s classroom, she is panting and laughing.
  • Then Molly suddenly gets real quiet when we actually enter her classroom. ¬†It is hard to get a even one word out of her. ¬†Sometimes she gets a little excited to give an extra toilet paper cardboard roll from home to Turbo the Gerbil, but that’s about it. ¬†Normally it’s the quiet little girl you see in the picture above, at least until the afternoon grumps.