Saturday, February 27, 2010

Are you kidding? Snowing again?

On our 7th snow day of the season yesterday, Mom's sanity-saving tactic was to recruit the kids to help make a Schedule for the Day. It includes Work time for Mom, Cleanup Time for kids, and for everyone, Train-Track Building Time, Lunch, and Movie Time (for good behavior). Note that 11:30-12:00 is designated "Vacuum" for Mom, and "Dance Party" for kids. It went (mostly) according to plan.

Today, relief, Greg is home, and brought everyone outside to build a giant snow fort.

Friday, February 19, 2010

February happenings

A milestone this weekend, Greg's doing his last solo show before Cirque, at Bergen County Community College in NJ. He's taken a few of these gigs this winter - driving down from Montreal. It's exhausting and logistically challenging, but he needs the funds, and he likes keeping himself fresh with all of his show material.

There's a lot happening right now, in both of our lives. Greg's in a kind of rehearsal rut ... the director is absent for the month of February, so a lot of decisions seem to be in limbo; his new cone is not yet built; and he's feeling frustrated with some of the bigger-picture stuff (show content) and some of the littler-picture stuff (his lighting & music). They have just two more weeks before they move the show down to central Montreal. New housing, and the real tent where the show will open. Greg is hoping for better Internet access there! We also expect that, after that point (March 9), he will no longer be able to commute down to Philadelphia on weekends.

In the meantime, it's audition season at PSCA. Besides Kendra's ongoing audition for various things... she's coached three acts that are auditioning for Circus Smirkus this weekend. And two PSCA staffers are auditioning in Montreal for Ecole Nationale de Cirque next week! So lots of nail-biting going on. And the other big PSCA news is that wonderful Robin Marcotte has begun work as Managing Director. I'm slowly beginning to pass on my roles and responsibilities at the circus school. eek!

When we have time in the evenings, the kids and I like to watch Muzzy, French-language learning DVDs. This is more for fun and practice, than for any particular need - they're not going to have to speak French on tour. If anything, I expect most of their peers to be Russian and Chinese! But French is fun for me, and easily accessible for them, so it seems a good place to start. It's interesting how they respond to it... they all love watching the cartoon stories, of course, and Ayla, of the three of them, seems to be the most natural at actually picking up on the words, and remembering them. Baz, ever Mr. Literal, prefers vocabulary lists, and doesn't like having to just listen and absorb. And who knows what Isa is getting out of it all... :)

We're all excited for tomorrow, we've been invited to a party at the circus school! Our friend Naomi is celebrating her 8th birthday, I'm looking forward to being a party guest.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

More snow

Mother Nature was not through with us. On Tuesday night, four days after the first mega-storm, we were hit with another major snowstorm, which spread another 18-24" of snow across the Philadelphia region. This really put us over the edge... the Philadelphia schools were closed on Monday to recover from the last storm, and now they're closed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as well.

This has been a really amazing, and difficult, experience for me. I can't remember being trapped in the house during a blizzard since I was a kid. To now be in the position of responsibility... listening anxiously to the radio news reports, fretting over the poorly-stocked refrigerator, wondering what we'll do if we lose electricity ... it's been much more stressful than I expected. And to be honest, spending three days at home with the kids does not make for a terrifically relaxed Mommy in the first place. Although Baz, Ayla, and Isa have been for the most part really great at entertaining themselves, I'm still not proud of the amount of times I've snapped at them over ridiculous stuff.

Some lessons learned from this little adventure.

- Do not let your child play outside alone during the early part of the snowstorm. The child is fine - snow shovels are completely lost, somewhere mid-yard under several feet of snow.

- Get self dressed to go out in snow before children. Otherwise, you may discover, after all kids are wrapped up like Eskimos in front of you, that someone in a fit of mischief has unthreaded the laces of your snowboots, necessitating a 20-minute repair.

- Sweatpants underneath windbreaker pants, with regular socks, are not good enough snow gear for a romping 6-year-old boy. Attached to this lesson were various methods of re-heating a child screaming in pain from frozen hands and feet.

- If you ever consider purchasing a single house on a corner lot, take a moment to consider the snow shoveling. Just give it some good, serious thought.

Baz and I succeeded in making our first-ever snow tunnel today.

Monday, February 8, 2010


This past weekend, 28 inches of snow fell in Philadelphia! The biggest storm we've had, since I've lived here for 10 years. Apparently Philadelphia is having its second-snowiest winter on record... and we have another storm coming in later this week.

Greg drove home from Montreal Friday night. Fortunately he didn't hit the storm till mid-New Jersey, but by the time he got in at 3am there was a foot of snow on the ground. How he got his little rental car through the unplowed streets I have no idea.

But thank goodness he was here to help us dig out!

I have one other photo to share in this blog edition... Greg is getting a new costume piece made at Cirque, and he sent this photo of himself wearing all of the sensors they use for the computer-generated body scan.