Tuesday, November 30, 2010

what a difference a word makes

Yesterday, Julia learned to say "more". She signs it, putting her two hands together.

Already, mealtimes are much more pleasant. Now when she starts to squawk, I can ask her if she wants more. And she's so surprised and proud and delighted to be able to communicate her needs that she has stopped being as much of a tyrant. Or--perhaps, perhaps it's just that I feel better, having some dialogue, instead of complete blind frustration.

She also learned the sign for nurse. We are doing that much more frequently. Big surprise.

Monday, November 29, 2010

sunny days

Today was not a morning of victory. A baby pulling open cabinets over and over (and over) while I tried to brush my teeth and pee, a fussy baby who wouldn't let me put her down while I tried to eat the breakfast I was ravenous for, an extra-early wake-up, etc, etc.

When Lucy balked at the clothes she'd asked for my help choosing, I lost it. I yelled, and I contemplating throwing things.

Lovely. They're clothes, honey.

A few minutes later, we left the house. We went to a nearby park, and the sky was blue, and the grass kelly-green, and the sun was warm but the air cool and Lucy found herself friends across the playground, and I thanked my sweet Lord for the outside.

And by the time we came home, it was naptime.
Sweet victory.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


We got sick, every last one of us.
We celebrated the holidays, and took a lot of naps, and decorated the house, and watched the Wizard of Oz.
It was a good, if congested holiday.
And I just put away two loads of laundry and started the dishwasher and put another load of clothes in and cleaned the sinks. All of them. Because believe you me, they needed it after mouldering dishes and phlegm.
I'm ready for a holiday from my holiday.

holidays...with children

Ever since I was young, I've wanted to celebrate the holidays with a bit more relish. I think being the youngest of three kids brings that with it: everyone else has done it before, so it's just not as fresh.
Now, I have my own kids, and it's all new. And this time, I'm in charge. We made handprint turkeys and a banner and a thankful tree. We pulled out the ornaments and wreath and decorated the Christmas tree. We're getting the advent calendar ready and we lit candles today to celebrate the first Sunday of Advent. I'm sure we'll fit in hot chocolate somewhere, along with cookie decorating.
And Lucy's right in there, eager to know about the traditions that just haven't had that richness without her there to make them come alive.
Ah, dear one, thank you for helping me celebrate Christmas so completely. Last year was lovely, too, but this year, you're so much more exponentially able to participate. And last year you were so much more exponentially able, as well. What a miracle it all is: the exponential growth, the family traditions, the wonder of creating them together.
merry, merry, merry.

Friday, November 26, 2010

even for this

thankful that we are all ill,
since flu is "very" sick here.
Thankful I don't know really sick.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Lucy has a little glass goblet, etched with a pattern of leaves and flowers. Now that she's got cool glassware, she always wants to make a toast, or in her words, "do a toasting."
Today, in the absence of a partner, she clinked my glass and said, "To the kings of China!"

To which I say,
--To the kings of China!
and also,
--Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm cold, Mama

We got home from the library today, and Lucy started complaining about being cold. It caught me off guard, because the girl usually goes around in tank tops and shorts in all weather and refuses sweaters. But it was breezy in the house, and turning colder, and she was shivering. I sent her upstairs for clothes, and she came back down with a long sleeved shirt, a fuzzy hat, and mittens.

She was still shivering, so I gave her hot tea. A few minutes later, she said she felt better, but she still wanted a blanket, and a pillow to lie down on, and was kind of quiet. Suddenly, my brain connected the dots.

So I put my hand on her head. Blazing hot.

Oh, dear. Looks like we did not dodge the bullet on Julia giving the illness to Lucy. Towels going on the bed tonight, not just outside the door.

Monday, November 22, 2010

bean soup, take two

I made bean soup again. This time, I did not put mystery herb in. It did not taste like cologne.
Deee licious.

Yes, I am ready for NaBloPoMo to be over.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Since one child woke up puking last night, we have clean sheets and towels outside the other bedroom door. Just. In. Case.

Note: Before this year, I think I'd had the stomach flu once. That was really enough. Really.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

ah, nablopomo

Is there anything that can make me want to blog less than noblopomo?

Friday, November 19, 2010


Honestly, I could almost never leave.
Why would I? My tea's fantastic.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I'm still waiting for Julia to say "Mama."
I'm prompting, and prompting. Here's what happens:
Me, tapping my chest: "Mama."
Julia, smiling, patting my chest: "Dada!"
Me, sighing.

Other words so far: "All done" (Ah-da) and bye-bye (ah-dah, meaning all done, which she does with a wave goodbye), and "Water" (da-dah). That last one, I'm not so sure about.
Obviously, she has mastered the "dah" sound. Come on, kid. Get with the program. Mamamamamama.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

trust walk

Julia is totally ready for her closeup.

Now that she has started walking with assistance (I almost wrote "assistant",) she grabs one hand, then holds out her other, confidently, knowing that someone will grab it and take her where she wants to go.
The sheer effrontery/confidence/trust of the budding toddler is just precious, really. That and the Animal-style laugh. Heh heh heheheh.


I had some lovely women and kids over to our house today. And I got kinda nervous. It was totally low-key, I knew no one was expecting anything of me other than a location, and yet I was worried I wouldn't have good toys/a good vibe/the right snacks/insert hospitality item here.

Surprise: I was worried about nothing. It seemed like everyone had a good time.

(Why, upon writing this, do I want to add I think? Self, stop being so paranoid.
Stop it!)


Monday, November 15, 2010


Today, at the park, a little girl named Katie played with Lucy. After a few minutes, she asked, "Will you be my friend?"
Lucy said yes. And they played together for a few hours, until it was time for us to leave.
Lucy keeps talking about it.
And I'm just struck how little any of us change. Because aren't we all just waiting for someone to ask that very question? And longing for the chance to say yes, and be together?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

just do it

Dear Lucy,
Please, if you're going to wake up too early, please don't throw a fit about needing to go back to sleep unless you then actually go back to sleep.
I think you'll find it make things easier for everyone, no?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

so thankful

for craft fairs with straw strewn on the ground
for honey nut sticky buns, homemade, even with an oopsie*
for taking first pre-steps, holding hands
for the ongoing sagas of bedtime stories, told out loud, wherein the possoms find a real magic wand, and make everyone fly,
for sleep and naps
for an impromptu family visit

*When making a big batch of bread dough, don't put in the thyme for herbed loafs. Because later, after you forget about the herbs, and you have a craving for sticky buns, you will have the filling made, all buttery honey awesome gooeyness, and even when you remember the thyme then, you will not be able to abandon the plan to make sticky buns, so you will have herbed honey sticky buns. Which are still pretty good, because they are, after all, sticky buns. But still. Better to not add the thyme.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lucy's Anatomy

Julia broke off the door to our play oven. Lucy immediately re-purposed it as an X-ray machine.

She held it over my midriff. "Oh. Here's the problem. The bone that takes the food from your stomach to your brain is going the wrong way. It's sideways, not up and down."

No wonder I was feeling off yesterday.

if you don't want an honest answer, don't ask the question.

Whilst making a thankful tree:
Dyami: But which are we more thankful for? Ice cream, or family?
Lucy: Ice cream.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

a busy day

We were busy today. It was kind of nice. Seeing friends, choir, and watching Dada play soccer. And home just in time for bed.
It was nice, for today.
Choosing homeschool this year (and, perhaps, after that) means being less busy. Less scheduled. Believe me, I like a good schedule. I like not being bored. But mostly, I like being quiet. Being peaceful, having time to be a little bored sometimes, and time to enjoy being home. Time to sit at our table and do crafts, or be leisurely with friends. Time to make spontaneous plans.
I like all that. But every once in a while, it's nice to have a break from so much space. If only to remind myself how tired I am at the end of the day when we're not quiet.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

still a baby

I watched a friens's 20-month son today. He's nearly two, and I was kind of expecting a kid. But no, he was syill a baby--a walking, (kinda) talking baby.
Phew. I've still got months and months.

Monday, November 8, 2010

what's next? cursing her with split ends?

Lucy, dressed as Rapunzel (long red yarn): "And the witch comes! She is a black and white witch! With her powers! And she puts a spell on me so all my long hair gets tangled!"

Sunday, November 7, 2010

favorite things

I just got a broom. It's a simple corn husk broom. We had a broom, but it was plastic, and had been used outdoors, and was filthy. This broom is my kitchen broom.
I'm not super finicky about floors, but the floor in our kitchen is white tile. And we have a baby with a bad habit of throwing food on the floor. And a preschooler. The floor was filthy.
But now I have a broom. And I have it stashed alongside the fridge, where I can whip it up and sweep up the stray food after meals.
And suddenly, I have stopped finding our baby smiling as she gums three-day-old pieces of chicken.


The premise is simple: post every day. One month. Since I post most days, lately, I thought this would be a cakewalk.
I was obviously wrong.

Friday, November 5, 2010


What do I do when it's just me getting dinner? I go out for sushi and gelato, that's what.
Also: I fold laundry. But that last part's less exciting.

in SoCal, it's "seasons"

I spent a year in Argentina,
seasons switched: almost three winters straight.
Every year, I've dreaded lengthening days.
Ten years later I'm finally recovered;
I'm looking forward to seasons' change.
Darker afternoons, hot chocolate, rain, wool,
Roast turkey, candles, peppermint, Christmas parades
Watching TV under a down comforter.

The weather forecast today is 82.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

water, water, everywhere

Julia's very interested in water cups, especially when I let her hold them herself. I'm happy to let her explore, but it's hard to sit back and watch her struggle.
She tries to take a drink, then inhales most of the half-ounce in the cup, and dumps the rest of it over head. She snuffles, and blinks, and protests.
And then she reaches for the cup again.
Would that I have that much perseverance.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

let's just cut to the chase

In our round of unpacking, I finally found Lucy's old shape sorter. It's wooden, and sturdy, and the circles and squares and triangles make a satisfying thunk when they drop in the box. The top with the shapes cut out of it is yellow.

We handed it to Julia, gave her a circle, and waited to see what happened.
She took the circle, banged it against the trianglular hole a few times, then lifted up the yellow top and put the circle inside. Then she closed the lid and crawled away.

That's what I call thinking outside the box.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


A few days ago, I unpacked three boxes!
Yes, we moved in April. Yes, I am a little behind.
I found:
  • Halloween acoutrements, just in time for Halloween! (Note to self: Lucky timing)
  • A stereo. Does one have too many posessions, when one can have a stereo in a box for nine months, and not notice it missing?
  • A butterfly finger puppet.
  • Clothes labeled "pre-pregnancy". That could have been labeled "pre-2005". Much of which still does not fit. I decided the post-pregnancy weight wins, and put the stash in the donation bins. I always used to wonder why women hung on to so much old clothing that didn't fit, until I entered the fun rollercoaster of pregnancy. Really, I might still go back to that size in a few more months. Or not. It's anyone's guess!
  • Our wedding album. Lucy had never seen it, at least not in her current memory. We sat on our bed and paged through the shiny pages, and saw pictures of "momma and her sisters" (my sister, and two friends, but perhaps Lucy is more accurate). Pictures taken around our church, which Lucy knows well. Pictures of our wedding cake, which interested me not at all (not a cake fan) and Lucy tremendously. Pictures of me and Dadda, and Dadda and me, and lots of other people she knows. Pictures of her oldest cousins when they were younger than she is now.
Lucy now has a stereo, has seen pictures of her beloved (but mostly forgotten) Nana, pictures of Grandma lacing my wedding dress, and has learned the word "boutonniere". Also, she has a butterfly finger puppet.

In other words, treasures.

Monday, November 1, 2010

christmas carol

Lucy: "Mama, look what I drew!"
Me: That looks an awful lot like a manger. "What is it?"
Lucy: It's a manger with the baby Jesus. You wanna hear my song?
Me: (Impressed) "Sure!"
Lucy: "Here is a manger, with the King inside!
Jesus! He is inside a manger, the king!
And there are pirates, out there in the woods,
The spooky woods, there with the Baby Jesus!"


Me: (Even more impressed) Bravo!!