Wednesday, 20 May 2015

52 Weeks: Week 20

Week 20: Bike to Work (School) Day

The last week was one filled with lots of physical activities for the kids, especially Ava. On top of their usual karate, swim and dance classes, and riding and scooting to school, we also had a runathon at Ava's school, the Berkeley Kids' Triathlon (which Ava won!) and Bike to Work (School) Day. What a busy week!

Last Thursday was Bike to Work (School) Day and Ava was super excited to ride her bike to school. She usually rides her scooter as it's easier in the mornings. She'd love to ride her bike every day but we're always in a hurry and collecting her bike from the garage plus locking it up again at school adds too much time. So riding her bike to school for this special day made it more of a treat.

Lola always rides her balance bike. It seriously is the best thing ever. When Ava was Lola's age she'd hitch a ride on the skateboard attached to the back of Lola's stroller which meant I had to push two kids. Lola has been riding her balance bike to school (and pretty much everywhere else) for just over a year and it makes things so much easier for me. Plus it's fun for her.

We started our day by riding to Ava's school which is about six blocks away from our building. Both Ava and Lola rode on the sidewalk for the first few streets but once we reach a nearby "Bicycle Boulevard" (a street designated as safe for cyclists) Ava moved into the bike lane. Seeing as Lola rides a balance bike she stayed on the sidewalk the whole time.

At the corner of Ava's school an official Bike to Work Day station was set up with volunteers handing out goodie bags filled with stickers, water bottles, bike lights, maps and snacks. Ava and Lola were each given a goodie bag and then we headed into the school yard.

After dropping Ava off, we headed on to Lola's preschool. But first we had to pose for a few photos at Ava's school. Lola is pretty excited that she'll be going there too in the Fall!

Mathilde may not have biked to school - although given the chance she would've happily walked much of the way - but she did ride in something with wheels, so that counts, right? Either way, she had to be in a photo too.

When we arrived at preschool Lola was proud to show off her "I biked today" sticker to all of her friends. Of course, she bikes to preschool every day, but she doesn't get a sticker for it every day!

   Maybe next Bike to Work (School) Day we'll be back on a cargo bike. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Berkeley Kids' Triathlon 2015

Today Ava competed in the Berkeley Kids' Triathlon for the third year in a row.

I can't wait until the end of the post so I'm just going to blurt it out now...

...She won!

She won! She won! She won!

I'm so happy for my little triathlete.

This year Ava was once again competing in the Girls 7-8 Year Old category. Last year she hadn't won a place but she had been the fastest 7 year old, so she figured that she had a good chance this time around with the older girls moving up to the next category. 

There were quite a few girls in Ava's age group this year; enough for three heats. Ava was in the third heat so she got a chance to see how fast her competition were at swimming while she waited. When it was finally Ava's turn she took off like a rocket, swimming her fastest stroke: back stroke. By the time she finished she was about half a lap ahead of the next girl. In the third photo down she's the little dot near the end in the second lane from the right.

After drying off and quickly putting on shoes and a t-shirt Ava was off to the next part of the race: the bike ride. She was too fast for me so I didn't get a chance to see her on her bike. Or while she ran afterwards. Instead I made my way to the finish line to watch her cross it.

Ava crossed the finish line first in her heat. She was so proud of her effort and could not wait to find out if she had been the overall winner for her age group. Sure enough, when the winners were announced Ava's name was called out for first place in her category. Actually, the name "Aza" was announced, but quickly corrected! Here she is posing for a local newspaper with the girls who came in second and third places.

Ava was so pleased with her win today. This is the first time she has come in first place for anything and she is so proud of herself.

And we're pretty proud of her too!

Congratulations Ava!

Friday, 15 May 2015

Get Well Cards

Yesterday Ava and Lola were making get well cards for a family member and it got me thinking about a card that I made back in 2008 when Ava was a toddler. At the time my Grandma was in hospital and I thought that seeing her little great-grand daughter playing doctor would cheer her up a little.

So we got out the toy doctor's kit, some bandaids and bandages, and a patient - in this case, one of Ava's teddy bears. I bandaged up the bear's arm and Doctor Ava set about checking his heart rate and temperature, feeding him medicine, giving him needles, and putting spare bandages across his face!

Here's a look at the collage card I put together.

And here's Doctor Ava in action. Look at the concentration on that little face!

Looking back at these old photos I can definitely see a resemblance between toddler Ava and Mathilde. I rarely notice the similarities in person, especially seeing as Ava has blonde hair, blue eyes and fair skin, while Mathilde has brown hair, brown eyes and olive skin, and of course there's a huge age difference between them. But looking back the similarities are definitely there.

And in case you're interested, here's a look at the get well card that Lola made yesterday.

It's been a while since I've shared any of the girls' drawings (not counting Ava's school art exhibition yesterday!) so I think I need to share some again soon.

P.S This is completely unrelated, but I just had to point out how much I love the wallpaper that Ava had in her bedroom in these pictures. It's from UK wallpaper company Graham & Brown and is called Scribble Natural. I found it when I was pregnant with Ava and had it chosen for the nursery long before we even bought a house. As soon as we had the keys to our old house I was up on a ladder (7 months pregnant) wallpapering a feature wall! I was so sad to leave it behind when we moved. You can find the wallpaper here.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

52 Weeks: Week 19

Week 19: Art Show

Last Thursday we visited an art exhibition featuring our very own little artist.

Students at Ava's school take part in an art education program with teachers from Kala Art Institute here in Berkeley. Now that the school year is coming to an end (eek!) the educators at Kala have put together an exhibition of work created by all students at Ava's school. Unlike a regular school art show that would generally be on display in a school auditorium, this exhibition is on display at the Kala Gallery. An actual gallery! How cool is that?

Last Thursday was the opening night of the exhibition so we headed to the Kala Gallery to check out the artwork on display.


Ava had no idea which one of her artworks would be included but she was a little worried that it would be a painting of a dog that she created in the first week, so long ago. It was her least favorite artwork from the year and she hadn't been happy with how it turned out. It turns out that her "crappy dog" as she called it, was indeed included. She was a little upset at first that they hadn't included what she deemed to be one of her better pieces, but after seeing how dynamic all of the animal paintings looked together she was soon happy. 

We walked around the gallery viewing all of the work on display when we were met with a surprise. Another piece of Ava's work was on display. This time it was an illustrated book that Ava was very proud of. A little while back Ava's class had illustrated their own stories and created books. They even had a publishing party at school! Ava had been really happy with how her story "Ice Cream Monster vs Mud Monster" turned out. She was so excited to see it on display.

Here's a look at the rest of the exhibition. I love that it was set up like a real art exhibition. You could see how proud the kids were that their work was displayed in such a manner. It really did look amazing. And some of the artwork - just, wow! There are some serious little artists at Ava's school.

The best part about this exhibition is that people from outside of the school get to see it too. The opening night was shared with another exhibition so there were plenty of other art lovers there who dropped in to see what the kids had created.

The exhibition runs through Friday May 22nd and is free and open to the public. Opening hours are Tuesday - Friday 12pm - 5pm, and Saturdays 12pm - 4:30pm. Kala Gallery is located at 2990 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley.