The Ribbon Festival was on Saturday. (You remember The Ribbon Festival. We’ve been there one, two, three, four, five times before.) It had been on my calendar for a month. The dresses had been chosen for a week. The day before, I had pulled out the music and numbered the measures, hung out the dresses, and located the shoes – in fact, we’d done a test fitting, just to be sure we were ready. But two hours before performance time, we were not ready. Julia had lost a shoe and Lucy’s shoes, suddenly and inexplicably, did not fit. So, at forty-five minutes to showtime, after a swift foot measurement, I sent the girls down their respective aisles at the shoe store with the task of selecting a black dress shoe in their size. This is how Julia ended up with a pair of heels – low heels, but HEELS – and Lucy, wedges.

This wouldn’t have happened on any other day.

They put them on right there in the store and walked proudly out of the mall like they had those robot legs from Herbie Hancock’s Rockit video.

Amazingly, we were on time for the event.

Lucy battled her stage fright on the bench for 68 agonizing seconds (which I cut from the video) before tentatively, but successfully performing Lightly Row.

Julia played Minuet 2.

They felt pretty good about themselves.

Lucy and Julia with their ribbons

They were almost as pleased with their ribbons as they were with their shoes.

The saga of Bee’s birthday concluded last night with cake and the blowing out of candles candle.

When you do birthday candles, if you have a number candle like you see in the picture below, do you also add other candles to total the number of the birthday kid’s year of celebration or does the number candle suffice? We usually do a singular number candle, but I’ve been to some other parties and I think maybe we’re doing it wrong.

Anyhoo, here’s Bee and her sisters…

Bee, her sisters and her cake...

...with Bee masks...

…with bee masks…

(You cannot see this picture…


…because they’re in ninja mode!)

...that glow in the dark.

…that glow in the dark.

And then the balloons…mmm…dropped? (Imagine me saying that in The New Style of The Beastie Boys.)

Now Bee is three, which is cool. We haven’t had a three-year-old around in a few years. I think we’ll enjoy it.

If you leave your paddling pool out and it gets all gross, you just might attract a visitor.

Visitor in our gross pool

She (Or he? How can you tell!?) had just been hanging around the pool. Then the girls put a rock in there and SHE JUMPED UP ON IT and that’s pretty much the most exciting thing that happened on Sunday or ever.

Up close visitor in our gross pool

Bee will turn three tomorrow. Three has traditionally been the first birthday for which I throw an invite-your-friends party, but we’ve decided to save that experience for next year. We will be celebrating BEE IS THREE not-so-quietly at home.

There will be a balloon drop in our dining room. It will go like this:

And now, I’ve got a cake to make.

Middle School, Day 2.

Her heart is a drummer.

(This is currently her favorite outfit.)

Our bedtime plan was complete brilliance as we have not only been up at 6 a.m. the past four mornings, we have been happy about it. Oh, I hope these good mornings last! Do you know what Julia was doing at 6:30 this morning while I was making breakfast? Practicing piano. Because, “I like to start my day with music.”

That wasn’t filmed today. And it’s not exactly piano “practice” so much as fooling around. But. My dentist loves to tease me about how many kids I have. “Trying for a baseball team?” he says.

“I’d be happy with a rock band,” I tell him.

And then Julia plays that song and I rub my hands together and chortle because yessss. My dream is totally coming true one day.

Until then, I plan to continue my origami.

You do remember my origami, don’t you? The origami notes I starting making for Julia, like, two years ago? I used to tweet them now and then along with the silly note I wrote on (or in) them. For example, this origami squirrel:

Origami Squirrel

And the note: “Squirrel! We’re both nuts about you!”

Well, I’m doing it for the girls again this year. Not every day. That was crazy. Do you know how complicated origami can get? I’m doing one a week. Here’s week one:

Origami heart notes - first day of school

Notice I didn’t write “Mom” on Julia’s. You know, Middle School.