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Showing posts from November, 2006


Dear Mallory:

Tomorrow you will be five years old. You can write your name (and mine); you can draw bunnies and spaceships and people and flowers; you can make yourself “go high” on the swings; you can get lost in the imaginary worlds you create with your dolls. You ask the strangest, most impossible questions; you beg for dessert seventeen times a day; you scream louder than I ever thought possible for a child. You can probably do many, many things that you claim that you can’t (pedal a bicycle, for example, or put on your own shoes). You love family hugs and ice cream, princesses and dancing, singing and “Pinky Dinky Doo.” You like to rhyme words, to do art projects, and to dictate elaborate notes to your friends. You love to play with your friends and get wild with excitement when we have visitors. You prefer dresses to pants and you don’t like to have your hair brushed. You have beautiful hazel eyes with long lashes and when you’re telling us something very, very important you sque…


Some of my favorite moments from our Thanksgiving trip:

1. Seeing Mallory snuggled up in bed with her cousin Noah.
2. My nephew Rhett's comment, when going to bed Wednesday night, that "I'm just trying to get through another night 'til Thanksgiving."
3. Phoebe shouting "Bounce! Bounce!" at the trampoline.
4. Mallory taking my dad's hand when she crossed the street.
5. My nephew Cameron coming to me for a hug when he hurt his finger.
6. Phoebe playing the "push-you-down" game with Aimee on the trampoline.
7. The enthusiasm with which Rhett and Nicolas greeted one another -- they're going to be best friends for life.
8. The look on the kids' faces when the fireworks started at the Christmas tree lighting.
9. Phoebe chasing after Grandmom yelling "Mom-mom-mom-mom!"
10. Mallory and Noah pretending to go on a "date" while Rhett and Nicolas dared them to kiss one another.
11. This conversation between Rhett & Nicolas. N: T…


Every afternoon when Mallory gets home from preschool, Phoebe just goes wild with excitement. She flaps her arms and squeals and says "Mal! Mal!" over and over again, and then Mallory comes to give her a big hug, and then they dance together for a few minutes. A few days ago my in-laws were having new blinds installed, and the installation guy witnessed this little scene and said, "I wish my kids would do that. That's the sweetest thing I've ever seen."

I hope they're always that happy to see each other after being separated.

I know I've going to be that happy tomorrow when we get to Oklahoma City.

Happy Thanksgiving!

There's Your Trouble

I'm too excited about our upcoming trip to Aimee's house to post anything coherent. But I have to tell you that in the past week, Mallory has referred to the Dixie Chicks as both the Chixie Sticks and the Shrinky Dinks. If the Chicks are shopping about for a name change, I think those are both excellent alternatives.

Also, in the continuing saga of words-Phoebe-uses-to-respond-to-questions, Phoebe can now say "Okay!" Yeah, no, okay -- she's got all the bases covered. And yeah, it's very cute coming from her little voice. On Saturday we were playing outside and Mallory got some sand in her eye and was whimpering, and Phoebe went and crouched down beside her and said, "Okay?"

And, because you're all dying to know, we decided NOT to get the art desk for Mallory for Christmas. We're getting it for her birthday instead! Ha! I hope it fulfills my expectations as being something useful instead of confirming my fears that it will just take up space. A…

Shoulda Seen This One Coming

A few weeks ago I wrote about Phoebe's adorable "Yeah." Nowadays, she's expanded her affirmation repertoire to include "Ess" and "Ummm" accompanied by an emphatic nod of her head, but we still get a cute little "yeah!" a few times a day.

What I should have remembered is that when there is a yeah, "no" cannot be far behind.

Phoebe says "No" very nicely, and quite often, and sometimes when it's obvious she means the opposite, and sometimes when it doesn't even make sense. "Phoebe, should we change your diaper?" "NO!" "Phoebe, do you want juice?" "No!" she says, while gesturing frantically at the orange juice carton. "Phoebe, do you want to read this book?" "No!" she says, while thrusting the book into my hands and trying to climb up into my lap. "Phoebe, what are you doing in there?" I asked in the direction of the dining room this morning, when…

Books, books, books

As I lamented in yesterday’s post, I love to read and I don’t get to do it enough lately. If I had to choose between giving up reading or giving up my kids, well, I’d sure miss my kids. I found this quiz on someone else’s blog and just had to answer it. Sorry it goes on and on and on and on…1.A book that changed your life.Well, there hasn’t been just one, so in chronological order: Nancy Drew and the Sign of the Twisted Candlesticks: this was the first “chapter book” I ever read (thanks to Gran Valoris for giving it to me for Christmas, 1979!) and reading it made me feel so grown up and smart. Ditto The Count of Monte Cristo, which was the first “classic” book I read (in the fifth grade.) Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier just amazed me. Mary Stewart’s Merlin Trilogy (which actually has four books – The Crystal Caves, The Hollow Hills, The Last Enchantment, The Wicked Day) started my fascination with all things Arthurian, while Beryl Bainbridge’s The Birthday Boys sparked my interest in So…

Terms of Endearment

Last year, every day when I dropped Mallory off at preschool she’d ask for a “Big Queeze.” She’d “queeze” me and then “queeze” Phoebe too. This summer she went through a weird kissing phase – she’d come up to me and say, “Don’t kiss!” and then kiss my right cheek, say “Don’t kiss!” again and then kiss my left cheek (the point was that I was not allowed to kiss her). Lately she’s been requesting a “hug with arms” (because those armless hugs are no good, I agree). Yesterday she hugged me and then said, “Mommy, I just can’t stop hugging and kissing you!”
She’s been very affectionate, as well, in the notes she dictates. In the past week she’s had me write notes that say, for example, “Phoebe is my favorite kind of friend,” and “Phoebe and Mallory really really love Krista.” I can’t reveal too much about the note she dictated for my mom’s birthday card because it was just put in the mail today, but rest assured it’s full of lovey-dovey stuff too.

And it’s a good thing that she’…

Separation Anxiety

Today in an email to Aimee I made reference to my oldest child's stubbornness and added, "I may have to leave her in Oklahoma with you!" Naturally I would never do that (although today for the first time ever I threatened Mallory with spanking because she would not get dressed for school -- it worked but I wasn't very impressed with myself afterwards). But it reminded me of an unusual childcare decision made by a former supervisor of mine. Which I will share with you now.

This woman -- let's call her Sylvia -- was from Panama; she came to New York when she was 20, got married, got a job, had two kids. When her kids were still very young -- I think 3 and 1 -- she had to go back to work. She interviewed some nannies, she toured some daycare facilities, but nothing felt right to her. So she sent her kids to Panama to live with her parents. She didn't see her kids -- still babies! -- for months at a time, until the oldest one was old enough to start school, and th…

Decisions, decisions

So I'm trying to decide if we should get this art desk, pictured at right, for Mallory for Christmas.

It's not exactly the most attractive desk, furnishing-wise, in the universe, but it holds a lot of stuff. And it looks sturdy, so Phoebe could use it when Mallory outgrows it. And it's not that expensive. And it holds a lot of stuff! Did I say that already?

Mallory has a ton of arts and crafts supplies and lately her very favorite thing to do is "projects." She asks to do a project about fifty million times a day. And we don't really have a good place for her to do these projects. We have a kitchen table, but, you know, we often have to eat there. We have a huge dining room table, but it's mostly covered with other kinds of junk and really, it's almost too big for her to sit at comfortably. So her art supplies are in constant movement between the kitchen and the dining room, or sometimes the living room, and I swear if she asks me one more time to find …

I'll save this post to show to her first boyfriend

I dreaded the prospect of toilet-training from the moment I discovered I was pregnant with Mallory. It just seemed to be a parenting challenge – necessitating routine-setting and negotiating and attention-paying -- that I wouldn’t be up to. Either I was right about myself, or Mallory absorbed my dread from the womb, because all my fears were realized in the struggle to get her out of diapers.

There was, in fact, a week when she was almost 2 ½ that I thought we’d conquered the whole thing effortlessly. She suddenly was going to the potty on cue, all by herself! I was thrilled! And smug. And promptly punished for my smugness, because for some reason I no longer remember, it was all over and we were back to square one. Then for the next year we bumbled along without much progress, in part because she was at daycare three days a week and at my in-laws two days a week and home the rest of the time and all of us caregivers never seemed to get our potty-training-Mallory-strategies aligned. An…

Tricks, treats, and a trip to the farm

Here's my dainty ballerina. About three-quarters of the way around our block while trick-or-treating, she decided that tennis shoes would be much more comfortable than her ballet slippers. Phoebe the lion did the rounds in her stroller, because when set free she ONLY wanted to walk in the middle of the street, and woe betide the adult who tried to hold her hand. She has developed quite the fondness for M&M's, so Chris and I have to be very secretive when we sneak things out of her bucket. (What, we should let a 1-year-old eat her own Halloween candy?)

Yesterday I accompanied Mallory's preschool class for an "educational tour" of a local pumpkin farm. The kids made butter and saw cows and chickens and ducks. At bedtime I asked Mallory what her favorite part about the farm was, and she said, "Well, at the farm, I didn't have to do any of those things I'm supposed to do at school."

"Like what?" I said.

"Like learn things," she …