Monday, January 31, 2011

keystone kops at the playground

Toddler goes up the play structure. I follow up one step, two, until the first platform. Toddler (who has done slides all by her very self, thank you very much) heads to the slide, pauses.
I think: I should be at the bottom to catch her.
I think: No, I should go down the slide with her.
I think: No, she loves doing it herself! And (not to compare, but comparing) my other child won't even look at a slide. I want to encourage her!
I think: I'll feel awful if she gets hurt.
I think: I worry too much!
I think: Don't remind me of all the stuff I should be worrying about.
I think: She'll be fine!
I think: But all the mommies will judge me if my toddler bites it going down a slide.
I think: Really, you're worried about that?
I think: I'll just run down really quick and catch her!

Then, I think: Oh, crap, she's going.

So I grab her and we go down together. Which was fun, too. But perhaps would have been more fun without the mutliple personality disorder.

clothes colt

Suddenly Julia has turned into a fashionista. Yesterday, she pulled down a sweatshirt, presented it to the Adult In Charge, and bellowed until the sweatshirt was on. Five minutes, and we repeated the process.
Is it just me, or are we on an express train to the Land of Laundry?

Thursday, January 27, 2011


We are pirates (arrr), ahoy there!
Aboard the boat (box)/raft (quilt).
Dropping anchor (ribbon) to dig (push toy).
The X? Two crossed magic markers.

I'm not always great at pretending;
today, I feel refreshed. (arrr, Matey!)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

promised pictures

Here's Dyami's alphabet cake:

Here's Dyami blowing out the candles:

And here are the cheery pictures in our kitchen:

And my two favorites, a bee and a portrait of Julia:

And here's me saying, "Julia, where do you think you're going?"
(Note the very small arrow and the even smaller child)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

happy happy happy happy

Dyami's birthday was today. We baked a cake, and bought some candy letters to decorate it with.
"I want to do it, Mama," Lucy said.
I left her with the letters and some sprinkles.
When I came back, we had an alphabet cake.
I know, I know, pictures. Except my computer won't connect to the Internet today, and I can't get to the pics on this computer. (which may mean I may not be able to post tomorrow...)
Just imagine a (very badly frosted) cake, with yellow letters all over it in no particular order.
Happy birthday, my love.

Monday, January 24, 2011

cheerful math

Beige cabinets+white walls+white tile=boring kitchen.
(Beige cabinets+white walls+white tile) x (child's watercolors of mermaids and bees)=home.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

kitchen tips

Dyami as the fairy monster: "Arrr! I eat fairies! I catch them and cook them up with salt and pepper!"
Lucy, patiently: "Dadda, fairies don't need to be cooked."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

baby habits

Helpful, cute baby habit: taking the Kleenex and sniffing a little to "blow" her nose.
Not so helpful: Emptying the dishcloth drawer and using those instead of Kleenex.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Thankfully, when I whacked my thumb with a knife* it looked a lot worse at first, when I was freaking about having whacked my thumb with a knife. Then later, after the band-aid and the panic and some dinner, and calling the nurse help line, I looked at the wound and thought, oh, okay. Whacked, but not cut off completely.
Time, perspective, and also a full stomach. Better than stitches!

*What is it with us right now? I slashed my thumb, am recovering from the flu, and Dyami has a broken rib from soccer. Luckily, we seem to be careless only with ourselves.

Monday, January 17, 2011

note to self

When you go to the beach, and you explain that you will not be getting in the water too much, because it's winter, and the water is cold, and then you explain it again (water/cold/keep dry), and then again (no WATER), remember:
bring towels, and a change of clothing.

all one really needs to say?

Nurse, food, water. Up, down, more. Diaper, that, sister. In, out, banana.

Okay, we'd like to say more than that. But these words are gold. Every single one.

Friday, January 14, 2011


At this moment: Tea, toast, eggs.
Also: quiet. And don't forget: bliss.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

homebody family

We've had a busy week. We're not generally busy people, but adding a new dance class and a trip to the Natural History Museum, and a few jaunts over to friends meant that we were out a lot.
Today, after a fun time at a friend's, Lucy had a meltdown.
She screamed, "I don't want to go anywhere tomorrow!"

As chagrined as I was to have over-scheduled the week, I also felt a flush of relief. She likes being home. She likes our quiet routine. And it makes me feel good that she does.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

change? You're not supposed to change!

Julia is social! She likes people! She wants to be held by everyone! Including random people we meet on the street!
This is what I've been telling everyone.
Except today, I realized it isn't exactly true anymore.
Still social, this girl, but stranger danger seems to have bit her. And today, I realized that she doesn't reach out to strangers anymore, will veer away from people when they smile at her, and she'll shake her head no if they reach out their hands.
It also occurred to me that she's been this way for at least a week or two, and I kept thinking it was just for today, that she hadn't really changed, that it was just this time.
It makes me wonder: what else do I know about my children that just isn't true anymore?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

a brand new playground

Took the children to the Natural History Museum today. All went swimmingly, except when Julia decided that the hadrosaurus display looked like a really great playground. That tail, that crest: surely it was meant to be climbed?
Ah, museum: next time, install monkey bars instead of the fossils. The toddlers will thank you.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

taking stock

It was the end of a long week. I was tired.
Lots of excuses, but I was not at my parenting best. Impatient, and snippy, and snarling when she didn't snap to attention when I issued orders.
I drove to a friend's house and was so distracted I nearly hit a woman pushing a stroller. It did not make hell self-esteem go up.
I kept thinking I need to get over myself, but the self proved to be slippery and hard to climb.
And then Saturday came and I got time to myself and a nap and time out of the house and exercise and time with a friend and some cookies.
And now I feel ready for another week of raising kids (hopefully) kindly.

I also borrowed a book from said friend: Unconditional Parenting. This is sort of a go-to book in the parenting circles I run in--the kind of crunchy/granola/brown rice crowd.
And it's a book I hated a few years ago, when I first picked it up.
Re-reading it, I think it's because it was mostly theoretical, and I run more to practicality. Also, I was at the end of my rope, and the man seemed to be asking me to conjure more rope. I mean, please.
But a few years and better mental health later, I liked the book, after skipping the theory/current parenting critique (which was about 3/4 of the book).
My take-away? Try to say no less often. Ask questions more. And see if I can get my child in on some decision making.
Also: I'm doing better than I thought I would, years ago. Not perfectly, but better-than-expected.

I gave some of those lessons a try today, and I liked it. I liked the way I related to Lucy. I think if I don't default to "no" and try talking at Lucy less, we'd both be better served.

One thing I like about parenting: there's always tomorrow. There are a lot of days to try something different, and no one day ruins the pie. It's all a work in progress: me, my parenting, my kids, and (apparently), my driving.

digital lifestyle

Seen on an site for children's movie-making software: "[This software] brings purpose to the digital lifestyle."
Question: How exactly would making my own short films with children's toys give my life purpose? And will purpose really only cost $49? Also: what the heck is a digital lifestyle?

Speaking of digital lifestyle: I recently got a very nice smartphone. I'm all organized and texty and messagey and connected. I love it.
However, I also stopped reading books. Usually, I read books like I eat food. So now I'm organized, but not myself. Sigh.
So: purposeless reading has been replaced by purposeless smartyphoning. Not a good trade. So much for the digital lifestyle.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Question: What am I this year?

Re-solved, a jigsaw, comfortingly puzzling?
Solved: a caper from 221 B?
Resolved, resolute, resold, resoled, solid, solvent?

Shall I decide to decide which?
Or dissolve the solving? Embrace/Accepting?
May the solving be solid fun,
The resolving soluble, the resolutions resolute.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

dance, everybody

After months of begging, many impromptu performances, and the purchase of some severely cute pink ballet shoes, my oldest daughter went to her first ballet class today. There was fairy dancing, some scarves and stars, and even an obstacle course (Mr. Baryshnikov, take note). We're trying the class at our local Y, so I also tried the infant center with Julia, checking back every few minutes to confirm that yes, she was still busy disassembling their toy area.
And so I sat outside in a courtyard in the sun while both my children were entertained.
And then I got them back and we got to go home for more entertainment.
I love seeing my girls getting so big, so full of skills. Brava!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

surely not related...?

Says Lucy, "I'm making a diary of life!"
Me, curious where she learned this: "What does diary mean?"
Lucy: "Well, uh, it's like diarrhea. You know, poo-poo."

Perhaps etymologists should take note.
And maybe bloggers, too?


D had to go out of town over the weekend. All went well (no sickness, fine sleep, etc). But it has messed up my sense of time. Without the weekend, I could swear it was Friday. Right? Shouldn't my day off be starting any time now?

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Julia's walking. She was taking steps last week, but she's done with that, thank you very much. Now she chooses walking over crawling, and holds one hand up over her head as she goes. It looks either like she's still holding someone's hand (proto-imaginary friend?) or like a victory punch. Hi-yah!

Is there any sight sillier than a nude toddler? I mean, roly-poly beligerant waddling? Really?

She is also starting to get signs, come when I ask, point and nod when she wants things. Sometimes this backfires, as now she is sure that we just won't give her something, instead of perhaps just not understanding her. The other day she gave Dyami the saddest-clown face ever when he said no, and then (one-one thousand, two one-thousand) burst into tears.

Ah, my toddler. Still snuggly, still pudgy, still only with six teeth. Still a baby, sort of. And yet: you are leaving babyhood quickly as your little bow legs will take you. Sweet girl, I love you at any age.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

welcome to a new year

I've been gone a bit, after NaBloPoMo burnout. And now it's 2011. What happened?

And now, for a Lucy joke created after watching a TV show based upon the classic "chicken/road" joke (which, now that I think about it from a preschooler's perspective, is rather avant garde):

Q: Why did the chicken cross the bridge?
A: To get across it so it could go down to the riverbank! (hahahahaha).

And: Happy New Year! May your days be filled with laughter!