Saturday, December 1, 2012

Geome-Try This on for Size...

Today, Kaleia discovered that two triangles can be put together to stand in for square tiles when you run out. 
Discovering Two Triangles Make a Square

She also methodically tried various angled shapes until she found just the right ones to complete this interesting design. 
Kaleia and Her Megnatile Tower

Her Geometry teacher Mama is proud!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Visit (and train ride!) with Moses Moes

Our friends, Moses and James Moes came for a visit. While the dads worked, the kids and I took the Max or "train" to Catlin Gabel to play and visit Brian on caretaker duty.
A visit with Moses Moes 2

The soggy day made everyone tired, so the Phil and Ted's double stroller was pushed to carry three.
A visit with Moses Moes 3

Overall, fun times were had by all, and Moses got some good preparation for his new sister. A visit with Moses Moes 1

Monday, November 12, 2012 as a Bunny

A common phrase added to commands in our house is "Quick as a Bunny!"

Magnolia came out after some time in the project room with these to help them look the part.

The ears might help them be "Cute as a Bunny" but it's not helping in the speed department.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Visit from Astrid Hofferson

Astrid from How to Train Your Dragon visited us today. 

It is a good thing too, because we needed her to fight the fierce black dragon that flew around our living room (while trying to fold laundry). 

***I can't seem to find a picture of the finished costume. She added string tied around her arms in a criss-crrossing fashion, and used various play kitchen tools, taped to her for knee and shoulder pads. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Our Little Mermaid

"Mama, can you help me make a bra?" - Magnolia (4.5)

These are words I did not expect to hear from my four-year-old daughter, or really from my daughter at any age. But when a girl wants to be a mermaid and her cupcake papers are not cooperating...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Preschool Costume Parade

I'm not sure why the girls preschool wanted to do a Costume Parade the week before Halloween, rather than on the actual day but the girls, always ready to dress up, didn't mind. Any excuse to wear their fairy princess outfits that are usually off limits for school.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Rain Rain Go Away

Portland is a lot soggier than I remembered. Beijing would go weeks or months at a time without precipitation.
Wet leaf collection.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

K is for Kaleia

At the park, surrounded by boys roughhousing and playing with their dump trucks, Kaleia picks up a stick and with stern eyes silently and purposefully points it at each one.  When one comes within easy earshot she furrows her brow even harder, jabs the magic twig toward him and says, "I put a K on you!"

When little Johnny scowls back at her, probably a little confused, Kaleia tilts her head, smiles and in a consoling, ain't-no-thing voice, adds: "A 'tend one..."

A Letter to Kaleia at 2 1/2

**Disclaimer: Again, I started this post last January. Kaleia is actually 3 now. Her 3 year post is coming soon!**

At 2, you still seemed so much like my little baby. But I can't say that anymore. As you reminded me this afternoon, you are a big girl.

Kaleia Turns 2!**

***Disclaimer: This post was written over a year. As with Magnolia, I started writing it just before her 2nd birthday. Life was SUPER crazy when Kaleia turned 2. I jotted down notes and have been working on it intermittently. As usual, it is long. Mostly, it is for Kaleia, but I hope you enjoy learning more about my daughter through my eyes.***

A letter to my Kaleia Shalom:

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sauvie Island with the Parris Family

We decided we needed to do something touristy in our new hometown. So we headed out to a farm on Sauvie Island with our friends, the Parris family. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Kaleia's "First" Haircut

Kaleia's hair, unlike her sister's, has not been fast to grow. I think I trimmed her bangs once in China because I was cutting Maggie's and she really wanted a hair cut too. This is the first official one though where I actually needed to even it out a bit. I still hardly took anything off. I'm a little afraid she'll lose her curls and she is desperate to have long hair. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Self-dressed and Accessorized!

Self-dressed for school, even accessorized!

Though we've got to figure out how to convince her to put her shoes on the correct feet. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Report from the Playground

"Today, when I was on the playground, I heard crying. I said to myself, in a quiet voice, 'That sounds like Kaleia.' So I went to find out. It was Kaleia and her leg was stuck on the slide. David -- the kid David -- David the kid tried to help her get her leg out, but he couldn't and Kaleia cried louder. My teacher Patricia came over and helped Kaleia get her leg out. Then David showed her how to do it." 

-- Magnolia (4.5), reporting on her school day in the car on the way home

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Difference Between Our Daughters, or, The Hot Tub Gate

Magnolia creates a game in the hot tub pulling my arms up to meet Brian's, creating a gate. This gate requires a key, a "tend" key, that must be inserted into my mouth.

After several rounds, I decide to see what happens if I change the rules. No longer does the "gate" open when she inserts the "key." How does she respond?

Magnolia tries to insert it again and again. As her frustration begins to mount, her Papa suggests that the "gate" may need something different this time. Giggling, she inserts a second "key" into his mouth. Viola! The gate opens.

All the excitement draws Kaleia's attention. As Maggie explains how the game works, Kaleia cheerfully asks, "What key?" and shoves my arms down and climbs over.

Monday, August 20, 2012


My girls love being cats. This time Kaleia asked me if she could draw whiskers on her face. I obliged and strategically gave her a washable marker. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Toward the end of the London Olympics, signs popped up all around our new apartment complex and at the neighborhood park: "Olympic Celebrations for Kids of All Ages!"

Thursday, August 16, 2012

How the Rushes Stay Cool...Lately

Dinner, in this case Pizza 

at our pool!

One of the benefits of apartment living this year is the community pool, which we are taking full advantage of during this hot August. How are you staving off the heat?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Blake visits Hillsboro

Our good friend, Blake visits us wherever we live. Even Beijing. So we were all excited to him be our first guest -- before our boxes were unpacked -- at our newest home in Hillsboro.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Brian and his brother Kevin had season's passes to Splashdown, a nearby water park, when they were growing up. In the 12 years we've been together, I've never been there, though I've heard frequently of its wonders. So when a deal came up for discounted tickets and Kevin's family was in town from Calgary, we had to go.

Click to read more

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Celebrating 10 Years with Tin!

Each year Brian and I try to incorporate the traditional wedding gift into our anniversary celebration. Tin is the gift for 10 years. We brought back old memories of how we met at Camp Firwood and cooked some tin-foil dinners on the BBQ, while we house-sat for my parents. A big thanks to Auntie Alli and Uncle Taylor for taking our girls for the night!

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Monkey on Your Back

After hearing an Olympic announcer report that a swimmer was hoping to "get the monkey off his back,"Maggie decided that might be a condition she'd like to duplicate.  This has been a common sight for several weeks now.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Canada Day 2012

Our first visit to Brian's home and native land after our year in China was fittingly Canada Day. We had a great evening reconnecting with Great Grandma, Auntie Lori, Uncle Travis, Cousins Noah and Ella, Grandma and Grandpa Rush, and of course, our dog Trudy. We ended our visit with a quick trip to White Rock Beach for some fireworks.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Our Dining Room

This week our restaurant street got even better -- Avocado Tree arrived! This Beijing chain tries to imitate Chipotle with imported beef and organic vegetables. Tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and smoothies!

Magnolia's verdict after our first visit: "Let's eat here lots of times before we leave China!"

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Bicycle Whisperer

In October, we got Magnolia and Kaleia bicycles. We no longer had a super steep driveway and were surrounded by a flat courtyard. Perfect! 

Not so much. 

Cards with Lucy

Who needs a bilingual preschool when you can play cards with Lucy outside her parents' fruit store with your Spanish friends?

Lucy and Kaleia

Magnolia, Gabriel, and Lucy playing cards

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Word of the Weed: Doorman

Doorman (noun): a person wearing an official looking uniform. This may include, but is not limited to people employed to open doors, military, police, and security guards. 

"There's our old doorman!" - Kaleia (2), seeing our doorman in the courtyard
"Where is that doorman going?" - Kaleia (2), asking about an embassy guard leaving his post on his bicycle
The girls with our favorite doorman (January 2012)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Birthday in Beijing

I turned 34 yesterday. There was much less fanfare than the last birthday our family celebrated here. For the most part, it was a normal day in China, but we ended the day with a nice dinner and dessert. Magnolia very proudly kept these birthday candles a secret until they were presented.

My highlight was also my favorite present, enthusiastically handed to me by Magnolia as I walked in the door after work. Brian had suggested she make me a card a few days earlier. But on the day, unprompted, she found our Dr. Seuss Happy Birthday to You! book to copy the words and added a cake. 
A Birthday Card from Magnolia

Happy Birthday to Me!

Word of the Week: Scrinkles or Wrinklies

Scrinkles (noun): a small furrow, ridge or crease on a normally smooth surface; wrinklies (synonym)

My toes have scrinkles! - Kaleia, age 2.75
They are not scrinkles. They are wrinkles! - Magnolia, age 4
My toes have wrinklies! - Kaleia 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day in Beijing and Children Paradise

For Mother's Day, we had two wonderful meals out, brunch and dinner. Both happened to be at Element Fresh, though at different branches. After some refreshing afternoon naps, we headed to Si De Park for some "quiet" and "nature." Overall it was a great day. Below are some of my highlights.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Aquatic Ecstasy, Medical Emergencies, and Unusual Affections. At the Mall.

The evening was pleasantly warm and frozen yogurt was calling our names, so we set out for a family walk to nearby Solana mall. The girls were ECSTATIC about the choreographed fountain shows set to classical music. Who needs Disneyland?

(More after the jump.)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Kaleia's Theater

Kaleia, Monkey, and Baby are watching Finding Nemo with their snacks of choice. 

"Baby is pretend so she gets pretend food. Baby, look at the camera!"