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Showing posts from September, 2006

They wouldn't have been as sweet

Had the choices been mine and mine alone, my daughters would've been named Bryony and Emmeline.

Had the choices been made back in 1986, my daughters would've been named Koryn and Acacia.

If I had a baby boy today, I'd name him Theo. Choices back in 1986 would have been Kellen or Damek.

I'm going to guess that everyone will concur that it's pretty lucky that my kids were a) girls and b) born in the 21st century and c) named with someone else's input.


As I have mentioned, Phoebe is in a Parent's Morning Out program at our church. This is a cooperative enterprise; each child's mother has to help out every eight weeks. Today was my day to be the helper.

There were eight 1-year-olds in class. One of them cried non-stop. For three hours. Three others cried about 75 percent of the time. The other four cried about half the time.

That's a lot of crying. That's also a whole lot of baby snot. Fortunately I brought a clean shirt to change into before I went to work.

Phoebe cried less than the others, unless she saw me holding another (crying) baby. At other times she was content to read books or play with trains. There was another little girl there who reminded me of my niece, Isabel. She was fine for a while but then started to cry because the other babies kept taking out the toys that she was trying to put away. "All done!" she would scream, snatching a toy out of the unsuspecting baby's hand and hurrying to sto…

Favorite Things

This is kind of lame but I need to get it down on paper, as it were. For each of Mallory's birthday (up until last year) I've written down a list of "stats" -- weight, height, and favorites. I never got Mallory's 4th bday stats written down, and I haven't done one for Phoebe's first bday either. So I'm writing them down today, sorry it's not more interesting.

Mallory at 4
Weight: 52 lbs
Height: 42 inches
Favorite Toy: Jessie & Woody dolls
Favorite Movies: Monsters Inc., Toy Story 2
Favorite TV show: Max and Ruby; Oobi (She called the "oobiputer")
Favorite Food: Bowtie pasta, ice cream
Favorite Song: Hand Jive ("Danny dances with Cha-cha"), B-O-O-T-S

Phoebe at 1
Weight: 29 lbs
Height: 31 inches
Teeth: 7
Hair: Light reddish brown
Eyes: Blue
Favorite Toy: Anything small and clutchable
Favorite Movie: Baby Shakespeare
Favorite TV Show: Sesame Street, Miffy
Favorite Song: The ABC Song, Elmo's Song, Woo-hoo
Favorite Food: Stra…

Phoebe's Busy Day

Or, why working from home isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Today, whilst I was "working," Phoebe did the following:

Climbed into and got stuck in a mesh laundry hamper. Once liberated, strew contents of hamper down the hall and throughout the bedrooms.

Stood at the front door banging on it and yelling "Ma! Ma! Ma!" at Mallory, who was playing across the street with her friends.

Threw terrible tantrum after I closed the front door so she could no longer see Mallory.

Watched "Franklin" on Noggin. (Why is it that Franklin is the only one of his friends to have a real name? Everyone else is "Bear" or "Goose" or "Badger" or "Snail." How did Franklin get so lucky?)

Ate Honey Nut Cheerios.


Pushed the button on her Elmo tractor that made Elmo sing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" about 47 times.

Took a 2-hour nap. Hooray!

Ate an apple.

Read books with Mommy. Correctly identified a dog, a duck, and Cookie Monster, …

This one is for Aimee

...because only she will understand what I'm talking about.

Chris and I bought each other ipods for our anniversary last June. I mostly wanted an ipod because my car doesn't have a CD player and I am so, so sick of the Elmo's Greatest Hits tape that Mallory requests every time we're in the car. I figured I'd put a bunch of children's songs on the ipod and thus have a wider variety of Mallory-acceptable music while driving.

So yeah, how uncool is it that the first songs I put on my ipod were from Sesame Street, Laurie Berkner, and Disney CDs? I'd say decidedly uncool.

But it gets even lamer, because once I got all those songs on there, I then couldn't decide what songs of my own to upload. I really haven't bought any new music for myself in years. I went through my CD collection and it was all Crowded House and Mary Chapin Carpenter and They Might Be Giants -- and I love all that stuff, don't get me wrong, but there was nothing new there. But then I…

Doing my part to save the world

Here are Ten Things to Do to help stop global warming, with commentary by me!

1. Change a light -- Switch from regular to compact flourescent lightbulbs. Am planning to do this as soon as my stock of regular lightbulbs runs out.

2. Drive less. Would love to, seriously, but I have a daily 60-mile commute. I am being more conscious of driving less on the weekends. And our next car will be a hybrid!

3. Recycle more. We're lucky; we have curbside recycling and they take just about everything except plastic bags.

4. Check your tires -- to improve gas mileage. I never think of doing this.

5. Use less hot water. We have low-flow showerheads (which oddly enough give really good water pressure -- they're of European design) and I wash almost everything in cold. Except myself. Ha!

6. Avoid products with a lot of packaging. I have more to say about this later.

7. Adjust your thermostat -- 2 degrees up in summer and 2 degrees down in winter. Ours is 78 in summer and 66 (I think) in the winter. I…

It's what's for dinner

One of the things that I failed to appreciate about my mom until I left home is that she always made dinner (although I think we called it supper then), by which I mean, something hot, usually involving a vegetable. I don't remember my mom ever saying sheepishly to her hungry spouse and offspring, "I don't feel like cooking, how about a bowl of cereal?"

I hate making dinner. Haaate it. It's my least favorite chore. It's not necessarily because I can't cook. I can usually manage to create something edible, although I have yet to perfect the science of getting, say, the chicken and the broccoli and the rice and the rolls all ready at the same time. (There are those among you who may be surprised that I make and serve broccoli. It's true! It's best when roasted: Toss with olive oil and salt, spread on a baking sheet, put in 400 degree oven for about 8 minutes. It's delicious! Delicious as broccoli can be, at least.) It's also not necessarily t…


A very large bouncy house now resides behind my in-law's house. My father-in-law (let's call him Bob, because that's his name) bought it at the flea market last weekend. The girls, needless to say, love it. They've been bouncing all week (well, except when hindered by the rain). I love it too because now we have an excellent Birthday Party attraction at our disposal. And if I play my cards right we can have the Bouncy Birthday Parties at my inlaw's and I won't even have to clean my house!

(If I put as much effort into cleaning my house as I do into thinking of ways to avoid cleaning my house...well, my house would be clean.)

I worry that my girls are terribly spoiled. Is it right that they have their very own carnival-sized bouncy house? Not to mention the bikes, trikes, and scooters; the Barbies, the princess figurines, and the baby dolls; the train sets, the magic wands, the kids have enough stuff for twelve children. (Which explains the messy…

Sweet nothings

Last night Mallory whispered in my ear, "Mommy, you are my very best friend ever."

I hugged her and whispered back, "You're my best friend too."

She then looked very serious and said, "But when you were a little tiny baby and I was a little tiny baby I was sad because you couldn't be my mommy because you were so little."

I took a moment to untangle this, then tried to explain: "But when I was a little baby, you weren't even born yet."

"Oh." She didn't seem convinced. It reminded me of the weeks following Phoebe's birth, when, any time Mallory found herself alone in a room, she'd shout, "I'm all by myself in here!" During this time, for some reason I mentioned our wedding and Mallory asked if she'd been there. I said no, and she burst into tears and said, "But I must've been sad being all by myself!"

But back to last night. I told her, "You weren't born yet, but the whole time …

About Zack

Yesterday was the anniversary of our dog's passing, but there was no way I was going to post not-really-a-tribute to not-really-a-bright-dog on 9/11. So here it is today instead.

Zack was, no bones about it, an annoying dog. We "rescued" him from a shelter so have no way of knowing if he was just born irritating or if Bad Things happened to him in his first home that made him so. He barked a lot, he followed me absolutely everywhere I went, he jumped up on counters and stole the food thereon, he had a pathological need to steal and eat kleenexes, he had to be carried bodily into the vet's office for every appointment. He did have one endearing trait -- if you scratched him on just the right spot on his neck, he'd go into a deep trance. Mostly he was a nuisance. We loved him, as people do love even annoying dogs, but I'm not going to pretend that he was the Best Dog Ever because he just wasn't.

The Sunday afternoon he died, I was sitting in the living room, …

Oh, him

Well of course Phoebe can say "Dada." I didn't include that in the list because it just seemed so obvious, so hardly worth mentioning. In point of fact "Dada" was her very first word (well, it was either that or "dog.") So there!

My husband (Chris) pointed out to me that the only times I've mentioned him were to say that a) he eats Frosted Flakes and b) he lost his job. I said, "Yeah, so?"

But of course he is more than a sugary-cereal-eating, job-losing schmo. I haven't mentioned him yet because a) I've only written what, three whole posts anyway and b) I kind of think of him the way I do my right arm. Do I need to tell you people that my right arm is an essential part of my being? Do I need to tell you that I rely on my right arm for everything I do? Do I need to tell you that I would be absolutely lost without my right arm? No, I didn't think so. And so it is with Chris. (I can tell you now that he will be utterly unimpressed…

To think that last year she was only 2 months old!

This post is about my funny fourteen-month-old daughter.

Phoebe loves to talk on the phone (see photo). She jabbers on and on and will occasionally even say something that resembles "okay" or "all right" or "who is it." She will talk for a minute, then frown, then break into her Webster-laugh. She gestures wildly, then talks some more. She almost always walks around in a little circle while she talks. (Clearly she is used to watching me wander around the house doing little chores while I talk on the phone.)

Phoebe can say the following words:

Ball, baby, book (these all sound the same but it's in the context)
Fish (for actual fish and the crackers)
Mama (although it's usually ma-ma-ma-ma and only when she's distressed)
Papa (for Grandpa, and she always whispers this for some reason)
Cheese (the other night I put her in her highchair and gave her some string cheese. She'd pick up a piece, say "Cheese!", drop it on the…

First Day of School!

Mallory started preschool today, hooray! You can tell by her shiny white sneakers. And Phoebe has her first Parent's Morning Out session tomorrow (baby school, we call it) so she got to be in the picture too. Phoebe's jacket was necessary because it's pouring rain and I have to haul her along while I walk Mallory into her class. Clearly I need to remember to brush my children's hair before taking photographs.

Mallory met her teachers last week and obviously they made a great impression on her. Last night she said, "I have a great idea. Whenever I need Ms Mary's help I'm just going to yell, 'Hey Redhair! Redhair!'" I told her that she should instead call the woman "Ms Mary" and she was crushed.

When we got to school Mallory's lip started to tremble and her eyes filled with tears. But she didn't cry. She hugged me and went to play in the "Domestic Area" with the toy kitchen. On the one hand I was proud of her for not …


As you can see, one of our Bradford pear trees was struck by lightning a few weeks ago. And last nigt the wind howled and the rains came down as Ernesto passed through. (No damage.) And it's supposed to rain all weekend here.

Naturally this all makes me think of Katrina. Like our President, I was unaware of how bad things were in Louisiana and Mississippi until several days after the storm went through. My excuse is that I had a 7-week-old baby and a 3-year-old and was spending all my time feeding the baby or watching Grease or Noggin with the 3-year-old. Once I realized what was going on, I was, like everyone else, shocked and saddened and absolutely horrified that such suffering was happening in this country, just a few states away from me.

And because I did have a new baby, I was especially affected by the images of the children stuck at the Convention Center and the Superdome -- those poor hot, sweaty, listless babies. I couldn't stop thinking about what I would do if I was …