Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Year one - check!

It's Robin's final week of school. Here he is preparing for his final critique that took place Monday night. Our spare bedroom in the basement has become a repository for large storage jars over the last few months and every so often one of them creeps upstairs and finds a home on the mantel, in the bedroom, in the backyard, on the front step etc.. 

There are likely well over 50 lurking around. We are hoping to find homes for them in due time, but for now Robin is happy to live amongst them and study the progress he has made over the past eight months making them. 

For now though, he is planning to take a break from the large storage form and concentrate on some other ideas that have been churning around in the back of his mind. He won't be working with wet clay for at least another month anyways since he is off to Korea in a week, no sense getting into a cycle at this point. 

This week will be all about celebrating the completion of his first year of his graduate program here in Logan. It's hard to believe we have already met this milestone. We're super proud of you Dada! Congratulations.  

Saturday, April 25, 2009

It's Show Time!

Well she didn't fall into the orchestra pit, but she definitely turned on the cute factor at the big spring dance recital tonight and made some people chuckle and her mother swell with pride. 

Isla did great for her first major stage performance. Here she is with her group (front left) of which there were 12 in all. We couldn't use flash photography during the show, so I took this photo in the dressing room afterwards, but this is way cuter anyways with them all jacked up on candy and doing the ol' jazz hands.

Robin and I gleefully watched her on stage flit about and clap for herself at the end of the piece along with the audience. She missed several of the cues, and at one point danced alongside one of the older soloists, but it didn't seem to matter much, they reined her in and she was having a great time.

This weekend was also the final pottery show and sale at the school. The students get motivated to do a major year end clean up in the studios and turn the ceramics department into a pottery gallery for three days. Most of them by this point are dead broke, all their student loan monies dwindled away, and are in serious need of some cold hard cash. Unfortunately that translates into the ridiculous flogging of wares at ludicrously low prices. Not such a great thing for educating the public and instilling value in hand made work. 

Regardless, there was some fine work and the set up looked pretty sweet with an abundance of spring tulips and daffodils to add brightness and point out function in some cases. 

Friday, April 24, 2009

Curtain Call

Today was one of those days that actually turned out exactly how I had hoped it would. Normally I accept that 'plans' are merely wishful intentions, but today I had a master plan and I was thrilled when it all came together. 

My friend Sandra had enlisted me to help her with a sewing project, some new curtains for her daughter Anna's bedroom. Several weeks ago we hit the local fabric store and picked out some great fabric. Then Vegas happened, and Easter came along..... Needless to say, we hadn't got together to put a dent in making the curtains, until today. 

The plan was to spend the morning at home, then head to Sandra's place before noon, feed the kids lunch, put Roscoe down for a nap in the pack and play and get on with the sewing, while Anna and Isla played together for the afternoon. And it all happened, in that order, just as planned! Amazing, I know.  

We had two solid hours of sewing and made great progress on the curtains, only periodically being interrupted to fetch more fruit, or turn on another music CD for our two dancing darlings. Anna and Isla have very similar personalities, and for the most part really enjoy one another's company. They are like two peas in a pod, playing dress up, flitting about and showing one another their latest dance moves. Both girls are in a dance class this spring and have spent the last few months getting ready for their big spring recitals. 

Isla's performance is tomorrow evening at the big downtown theatre. This afternoon we had to rush over to the theatre for the final dress rehearsal after our big play/sewing date. Thankfully Sandra was willing to watch Roscoe for the hour we were gone, so he didn't have to get dragged along. 

After the rehearsal, we picked up Roscoe, made a quick pit stop at home to pick up some things (including Robin) and headed straight out again to our friend's place Kate and Mike for a friday night barbeque. The kids did pretty well, even after a big day out and about and we had them both home and in bed by 7:30p.m. with no fuss. A great finish to a perfectly planned day. 

Tomorrow is another big day. We have plans to visit friends in the afternoon, and then the big recital in the evening. I even have organized a babysitter for Roscoe so that Robin and I are free to enjoy watching Isla in the spotlight. 

I am looking forward to tomorrow night's performance with some trepidation. After watching the dress rehearsal this afternoon, I'm anticipating that my child might be the one that brings the audience to tears (of laughter of course) because of her unwillingness to conform to her teacher's wishes. Let's just hope she doesn't fall into the orchestra pit. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

So much for the Sweet ride.

Today Isla demanded we take her new bike back to the store. She apparently doesn't like the colour anymore???? 

After much convincing, several blocks from our house, she eventually divulged that she is worried about falling off her bike again, and doesn't like how tippy it feels when she rides it. We spent several long minutes negotiating how we were going to get back to the house, since she was decidedly finished with her bike ride. Meanwhile dark clouds loomed overhead threatening to downpour on us at any moment and Roscoe shrieked continuously in disgust at the long pause he was being faced to endure midst his daily stroller ride,  almost toppling himself and the stroller over in an attempt to flee his mother and sister.  

My patience was short and Isla eventually caught on that she was losing the battle, and angrily accepted her fate to pull the bike home if she wasn't going to ride it. Sadly, I was hoping for a smooth transition to the new bike and am hoping today's experience has not traumatized her further. It's these types of situations where I wish I had more of the pep talk, 'you can do it' type attitude rather than the usual 'buck up buttercup' one. Patience is not one of my best virtues. Tomorrow is another day.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sweet ride!

Our little Belle is moving up in the world. She's officially graduated from her three wheeled Tour De Neighborhood tricycle to a two wheeler with trailing wheels! The best part in her mind is that her new bike is hot pink, with a purple seat. Yow!

We had been throwing around the idea of getting her a bigger bike for the summer. With the recent warm weather, we have been doing a regular spin around the neighborhood block in the afternoon each day. With the seat on her trike as high as it would go, and her little legs pumping like mad, she'd careen around corners at a pretty good clip with hardly any hesitation.  We figured it was time for a new challenge, besides the fact that her knees were practically hitting her chest. 

I hit the local thrift store and was delighted to find the perfect sized bike at a bargain price. A trip to a second thrift store in town on the same morning resulted in a set of training wheels for the whopping price of two whole dollars. The whole package cost me less than a bucket of chicken from KFC. 

She's had several outings on her new bike over the last two days, a couple of spills and is slowly getting used to the new height and feel. Slow and steady has been the course. I'm sure she'll be taking the corners like she used to in no time, and I'll be running behind with Roscoe in tow trying to keep up.  

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Family Portrait

Here we are, the DuPonts of Logan. Parents, kids, rubber boots and pots. Says it all doesn't it?
This past friday we went to see Cody's year end exhibit (Cody is the photographer that took this portrait at our house about a month ago) . His show was set up in the lower level of the library here on campus and featured seven portraits. The family shot didn't quite make the cut as the concept of the show was to shoot ceramic students and their work.  Instead there was a photo of Robin looking intently down at a large jar propped on his knee. Cody did say although that he was most pleased with how this photo turned out and was happy to make a print for us. 

After the photography exhibit we headed home to put the kids to bed, greet the babysitter and head back out to another opening. Tony Clennell, another ceramic graduate student (and fellow canuck) was having his MFA thesis show at an art gallery downtown. There was quite a buzz when we arrived as the show coincided with the annual Logan artwalk and there were people milling about everywhere it seemed. 

After the show we joined the rest of the ceramics department at one of the faculty's homes for the afterparty. It was a late night and I have spent much of the remainder of the weekend recovering. I just don't seem to be able to bounce back like I used to.  I shouldn't be surprised, here I am posing for family portraits and instructing babysitters to help themselves to the food in the cupboards. ACK! Some days I really wonder how did I get to this point in life without realizing it?????

Thankfully it's been warm and sunny the last couple of days and I was able to spend most of the weekend lounging about on the new patio chairs that my mom gifted us while she was visiting. Thanks Mom! At least having a mom to spoil me every so often makes me feel not that old. 

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Our week in review

Has it been a week already since we gorged on chocolate eggs and planted a bed of pansies? Since then we've watched several inches of snow fall and then melt back again, much to our frustration and the pansies' dismay. But it is a bright and sunny Saturday morning and Robin is out mowing the lawn in his t-shirt. I'm hoping this weird weather is about finished for the season (whatever season that might be). 

Robin arrived home from his trip to Arizona early on Monday morning. My mom and Sam decided to stick around another day to have a visit with him before they headed out Tuesday morning. We had a great visit with them and were sad to see them go. 
We are however glad to have the daddy home again and have been spending lots of time hearing about his trip down south. We need to lap up the family time over the next three weeks before he heads off on another great adventure. He is participating in a study abroad trip to Korea as part of his program for the month of May. 

The trip to Korea will include lots of museum and university visits, as well as taking part in the 5th annual World Ceramic biennale. They are also planning a stop in Beijing China as part of the itinerary. It is sure to be a fabulous experience, and certainly something to blog about at a later date. 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

An Egg-cellent day!

The ol' Easter bunny hopped into our neighborhood last night and left behind a plump lamb, a couple of buckets and a whole whack of eggs to collect. Isla and Roscoe endlessly amused themselves with their new buckets and gardening tools, raking and dumping coloured Easter grass all over the living room carpet, with very little regard for the eggs that had yet to be found. 

The Easter egg hunting expedition didn't really get into full swing until a little later at our friend's house where we had been invited for an Easter brunch. Isla and her buddies left no leaf unturned in their backyard. 

Roscoe, still hooked on raking, and not so focused on egg hunting, went about raking the grass instead.

We headed home to meet up with Grandma Lady, only to discover more Easter eggs had been strewn about our very own backyard! I know - too much! The rest of the afternoon was spent with more friends in the garden, clearing and cleaning up flower beds, enjoying the warm air and bright sunshine. I didn't even have to lift a finger for supper, and sat down to enjoy a delicious home cooked Easter supper with my mom and Sam and the kids.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

bunnies and chicks and lambs, oh my!

It's spring time in the Cache Valley and we joined thousands of other toddler herding parents pushing strollers for Baby Animals Day yesterday at the American West Heritage Center just outside Logan. 

The weather this week has not been that great, overcast and rainy. But yesterday the skies cleared enough to put on our muckers and head outside. 

We joined our friends Kate, Finnegan and Maggie at the fairgrounds and spent the afternoon checking out the calves, chicks, piglets, kids and lambs. 

Roscoe was particularly enamored with the baby calves and it resulted in a swift and noisy departure from the cow pens when I finally decided that some of the other little children might like to pet the cows. Although Roscoe still has very little discernible words, he certainly made himself clear that he wasn't ready to leave. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Noughties

How have the Noughties been for you? If you are not familiar with the term, the Noughties, is in reference to the first decade of the 21st century - a more descriptive and more catchy title than  - the 2000s - wouldn't you say? 

The poster above was cleverly wordsmithed by John Neely, the head of the ceramics department here at USU - The last of the Noughties, referring to his 2009 slate of graduate students. Four of these students are finishing up their program this year, four will continue on and hopefully two more will join the ranks. 

All of them however are on their way right now to NCECA in Phoenix Arizona, the National Ceramics annual conference. The conference will run for the next 5 days and include many lectures, exhibitions and plenty of hobnobbing.  

Robin is showing his work in two exhibitions at the conference. The regional juried student exhibition and the USU graduate show. If you are Phoenix this week, be sure to check it out. 

The Noughties have been quite a decade for me with many highs and lows. I said goodbye to a parent, said 'I do' at the altar, travelled the globe, built a house, became a mother, and started blogging. Whew, the noughties have been busy, if not dramatic!  

Monday, April 6, 2009

Viva Las Vegas

Well, I didn't manage to sign a major record deal or sing to a sold out crowd at the Collosseum at Caesars' Palace, but me and the kids did Vegas up DuPont style and had a terrific time. There was plenty to see and do, kids in tow, and I was glad to see that I wasn't the only crazy person that takes their children with them to Las Vegas on holiday. 

Besides walking the strip and gawking at all the wonderful and weird kind of people that flock to such a place as Vegas, we kept ourselves busy.

There were plenty of shops to browse in ....


free light and fountain shows to take in .... 

we hit the pool of course...

It was even cool just to hang out by the floor to ceiling windows in our hotel room and check out the view from the 14th floor of the Mandalay Bay resort...

But the real reason we made the trip to Vegas was to see 'Auntie Kie' and 'Grandma Lady'. Many thanks to them for making it such a fun and memorable vacation. I got to see a little of the other side of Vegas once the kiddies were safe in their beds at night under the watchful eye of the Grandma. 

And of course none of it would have happened if it weren't for Victoria. 

Happy Birthday Vic, hope it was a good one. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

When in Utah....

We've decided to become polygamists while here in Utah. Robin will take on a second wife to cook and clean and help with childcare so that I can go to Vegas and pursue my career as a jazz singer.