The pose in the purple leotard was entirely her own. That little hand on the hip with the other artistically held to the side along with one bent kneew and pointed toe. Seriously, I have been just dying watching Clara as she has started taking gymnastics. It is beyond awesome. I know this is bragging and will probably make everybody gag but she is just the cutest most adorable little gymnast this world has ever seen. And to me, she seems like a total natural. She picks things up fast - like, scarily fast, especially when compared with a class of other tots who are within just a few months of the same age (most older than her). She pays attention to the coaches, follows kids in line, tries most every new thing that is asked of her (although she was not interested in attempting the cargo net climb). And she is OBSESSED with her "lee-tards!" She has a purple one and a black one and they both came with matching scrunchies for her hair. Grandpa and Grandma are visiting and they got to come watch one of Clara's classes, which was extra fun.
I had a very specific type of gym in mind for Clara and we got recommendations and checked out Yelp before setting up free trial classes at four different gyms in the area within 20 minutes of us. We did a small but traditional gym, a tumbling focused (to me it felt sort of like a cheerleading prep) gym, and then two large gyms that have gymnastics teams and meets and one even has an olympian as an alumnus. Honestly, I also wanted to try the classes for free before enrolling Clara just to see if she was actually ready for a class like this since I worried that she would freak out or just not participate, but she has been ecstatic about this adventure since the very first class. She LOVES the trampolines and has been practicing seat drops, knee drops, pencil jumps, airplane jumps, and "open-close" jumps on command. She just has a hard time "freezing" when she is told to (think of the pose women's gymnasts do when they land a jump off the pommel horse with hands out and knees together). She is also doing crazy good at bar skills - she can hang and swing from the bar and will even let me or a coach help her lift her toes up to the bar while she is hanging upside down to try to teach her to grip with her toes. The balance beam is intimidating for her but she is willing to try it as long as somebody is holding her hand.
Clara's Gymnastics Class from Amy Nash on Vimeo.
After having randomly posted recipes on the blog for a while and getting frustrated that I still don't have a good way of keeping track of or formatting them, especially with the idea that I eventually want to print them out in a cookbook form for myself (along with a copy for Clara for the future), I did some research and found a website called www.tastebook.com. It is working really well for me because it provides a uniform approach to posting my own recipes, I can make them private (if I want to), I can add my own photos, and I can even follow friends (if I had any on there - so far it is just me and my lil' sis - if after reading this you set up an account, let me know because I want to see what you post since I am always looking for new yummy recipes). I wanted to do this because I tend to forget things that I have made that we have loved and we inevitably fall back into the rut of the same old standby dinners.
Now, if something is particularly good - good enough that I know we will make it and eat it again - I am going to post it on Tastebook (at least, that is the idea). Unfortunately, I have felt the urge to make lots of desserts since I have lots of favorite treat recipes that need to be photographed and uploaded. It is a dangerous business, I tell you what. At least we've been trying to hold out and make sweets when we have visitors or can take most of what I bake to friends or neighbors. Here is a link to my "cookbook" so far.
Paul didn't want me blabbing all over the blog about this but he is learning to play the banjo and now that he has a couple of songs under his belt and feels a little more confident about it he said he doesn't care if I mention it on here. He actually takes lessons from some guy in Palo Alto and he is really enjoying practicing and playing for Clara, who LOVES dancing to daddy's sweet music every night when Paul gets home from work. Paul and I have even jammed together a couple of times with me accompanying him on the guitar. I have a little video but you pretty much can't hear me at all over the sound of the banjo. We will have to work out sound dynamics to make a true duet work. But you can at least get an idea of how Paul is sounding.
Paul plays the Banjo from Amy Nash on Vimeo.
Clara has some new favorite books that my mom sent us home with from Utah that were in her first grade classroom collection before she retired. Green Eggs and Ham is popular, as is a book called Chugga Chugga, Choo Choo.
Bom-chicka-wow-wow from Amy Nash on Vimeo.
We are apparently real mature around here.