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Showing posts from December, 2006

And so that was Christmas

Here we are on Christmas Eve. Don't we look happy? There's a long story about footwear, and lack thereof, that I could go into here, but it would take too long and it's not really all that funny. Suffice it to say that it was a close thing that all of us ended up with appropriate shoes on our feet.

Here is Phoebe eating her weight in mashed potatoes at Christmas dinner:

Speaking of eating, these cinnamon rolls were delicious, but this apple pie wasn't worth the trouble.

Here's Mallory after writing a note for Santa Claus, in which she asked for a "baby kitchen." Which she got the next day! Boy is Santa smart!

Here is Phoebe on Christmas morning. She was terribly excited about presents:

The obligatory sleepy-eyed in pajamas on Christmas morning pic:

The kitchen, lovingly assembled in the dead of night by me and Chris. By the time it was put together -- the night before Christmas Eve -- we were too tired to hide it, so we just locked the door to the playroom and …

Christmas Wishes

May your children be nestled with visions of sugarplums, rather than restless with hacking coughs and stuffy noses.

May you not have to hear Barbra Streisand sing ja-Jingle Bells.

May you remember that Santa is always watching, but that he’s pretty forgiving.

May you not cut off and sell your beautiful long hair to buy your husband a watch fob, only to find that he’s sold his watch in order to buy you hair clips.

May your cinnamon rolls rise.

May snow fall, but not until you’re safe at home.

May your place of employ give you a better Christmas bonus than a coffee mug and a window cling. But if not, may you go with your co-workers to deliver Giving Tree gifts and realize how truly blessed you are anyway.

May you not have to go anywhere near a mall for the next two weeks.

May your car stop making that weird noise because there’s no money left.

May you and your loved ones be surrounded by loved ones.

May your 1-year-old with erratic sleep habits go to bed on time on Christmas Eve so that you can p…

I Got Nothin' here's a really cute picture of my kid!

One thing I noticed whilst reading my diaries last week was that dudes, I used to be smart. I was all, "As Nietzsche said," or "As George Eliot so richly depicted in Middlemarch," or "I think I'm more of an Augustinian than a Pelagian." Huh? I want to know two things: What was I talking about, and where did all that knowledge go? Is it gone for good, or is it just lying dormant in my head, waiting to re-emerge once I no longer have to devote all my brain matter to calculating whether we have enough fruit snacks to last through the week, or contemplating what, exactly, is in that sippy cup behind Phoebe's bedroom door that I keep forgetting to retrieve, or wondering how I'm going to get Mallory to stop pinching me every time I tell her no? Will I ever quote anything besides Sandra Boynton or Dr Seuss again?

I mean, I guess it's worth the trade-off, but still. Dude. I miss my brain.

An Annunciation and Other News

Yesterday was Mallory’s preschool Christmas pageant. It was cute; she was an angel (or dressed like one anyway); she sang, she signed “Jesus Loves Me,” she was one of four children specially selected to play the handbells. I briefly envisioned her choosing the handbells as her dedicated extra-curricular activity. Twelve years of attending handbell concerts would be better than twelve years of soccer, or debate, or I don’t know, wrestling. We shall see. I didn’t get any good pictures because I spent most of the event trying to keep Phoebe from climbing into the baptismal font.

After the pageant, I went to collect my angel, and her teacher greeted me with a huge beaming smile. “Is it true?” she said. “Is what true?” I asked. “At circle time, Mallory said that we should all pray for you,” Miss S. explained with a knowing grin. I immediately started saying, “No, no, no, and no,” and Miss S. said, “Oh, so you’re NOT having a new baby?”

No, I’m not, but for some reason Mallory told the entir…

Thank you, thank you very much

One thing I dislike about the holidays is writing thank you notes. When I was little, a few days after Christmas, my mom would sit us all down at the kitchen table with a list of thank you notes to write and not allow us to get up until they were done. Actually it probably wasn't that draconian, but we were expected to get the notes completed without complaints or dawdling. Now, it was good and right and proper for my mom to make us do this, and to instill into us the thank you note habit, but I hated it then and I hate it now too.

The very thought of writing a thank you note just makes me feel weary. My wedding was the worst. I had four different showers, and then the wedding itself, and oh I had such a huge list of thank yous to get through. Deep dark confession: I never finished. I wrote five a night for about a month and then I just stopped. There were ten or twelve names still on the list. Luckily they were mostly people who worked with Chris at his old office and I'll nev…

I Need a Little Christmas, obviously

Yesterday’s post was a bit of a downer, so today I’ll share with you some of my favorite things about Christmas, both past and present.

Cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. My mom made them every year (except that one awful year when she made egg casserole instead (ha – just kidding Mom)) and she’d put them in the oven to warm while we opened presents and it would smell just heavenly. Now, when we stay in NC for Christmas, I make the cinnamon rolls and I have to say, they’re my best “dish.” This year I’m going to try Alton Brown’s recipe.

Christmas dresses. We always had something new to wear on Christmas Eve, and up until I was, I think, a junior in high school, that “something” was handmade by my mom. She always sewed us the most gorgeous dresses, and we often all matched (well, not my brother, of course). I loved putting on my new dress and feeling pretty.

Christmas Eve services at our church back home. The church was always decorated with poinsettias and lit with candles. My mom wo…

Worse things

Thank you for all your supportive comments yesterday. I guess it is a silly thing to be worked up about. I think what really upset me about it is that I know that IF I could stay home with my kids, I’d be able to keep the diaper dream alive. And this week I’ve just been feeling bad about not being home with them, I think because the new year is approaching and I’m going to have to start working on Fridays again soon. That just makes me sad.

In fact, there’s just a whole list of things, in my mind, that would be better about life in general if I had more time at home with my kids. We’d eat better – we could have real dinners and homemade cookies instead of frozen pizzas and Chips Ahoy. (Although I love me some Chips Ahoy.) The house would not be such a horrible mess I can’t even stand to be in it. We’d read more books together. We could go to the park more often. I could attend all the special events at Mallory’s school. I might even be able to exercise. Maybe Mallory would be less frea…

Warning: This Will Be Boring to Everyone Else

I'm feeling a bit disappointed in myself, and here's why: I think I'm going to abandon cloth diapering.

I started using cloth diapers for Mallory when she was 9 months old. She wore disposables to daycare and to my inlaws, but the minute she got home I switched her to a cloth diaper, and that's what we used all evening and overnight and on weekends, until she was almost 3. The idea of cloth diapering may sound daunting, but really, for her, it was easy. It was two extra loads of laundry every week and ten minutes of folding and putting away. It was no problem at all.

I planned to use cloth for Phoebe from the moment she was born. A few minutes after she was born -- well, okay, let's say a few days after, when we got home from the hospital -- I realized there were other things that took priority. Like sleeping. Like feeding her while trying to keep Mallory entertained. After a few weeks, I started with cloth, and it just wasn't as easy this time around. The extra …

In Twenty Years I May Feel the Same About this Blog

I’m out of books at my house (meaning, I’ve read them all, I haven’t had time to go to the library, and I can’t justify buying new books for myself two weeks before Christmas), so last night I got into bed with a few of my diaries from high school. As you may know, I published a compilation of my great-grandmother’s diaries, and I’ve often thought in the back of my mind that maybe I should try to do the same for my own. After last night’s reading, I just have to say, No. And also, Gah.

My diaries can be divided into two parts. Part the First was me whining incessantly about how unpopular I was and how much I wanted a boyfriend. Part the Second was me enthusing endlessly over how much I loved the boyfriend I finally got. I love him! I love him so much! I love having a boyfriend! Oh how I love him! We’re going to get maaarried and I love him! Every night, for two years, that’s all I wrote about. Well, then he went off to college and every night I wrote, I miss him! I miss him so much! I …

Demanding Creatures

The only drawback to being married to a talented artist is that he sets the bar on doodling for the children way, way too high. Right now, for example, the kids’ bathtub is decorated with a gallery of Sesame Street muppets lovingly rendered in bath crayon. Last night I was giving Phoebe a bath and she picked up a crayon and said, “Draw!” “Yes, Phoebe can draw,” I said. She handed the crayon to me and said, a bit imperiously I thought, “Elmo!” So I sketched an Elmo for her on the side of the tub. She examined my effort, then glanced up at the obviously superior Elmo her daddy had drawn the night before. “Elmo!” she said again, pointing to a blank space on the tub, clearly indicating that I should try again.

Yes, my 16-month-old judged my artwork and found it wanting.

So I did try again. And she looked at Elmo2 and then said, hopefully, “Bi Bir?” I told her I was sorry, I was not capable of drawing Big Bird. “Oh,” she said, sadly. I wrote Big Bird’s name on the tub and she pointed to the …

The Birthday Report

Mallory woke up on her birthday and said, "How old am I?"

"You're five!" I said.

"Wow! You'd better measure me!" she said.

I did. And she's grown two whole inches she was a measly four years old, so it's a good thing we checked.

Then she discovered her art desk, which she loved:

She’s already spent a few hours at the desk, drawing or practicing letters. What did not occur to me was that providing Mallory easy access to her art supplies would also provide Phoebe easy access to same. All I can say is, thank you to whomever invented washable markers. (And yes, that huge box behind Mallory is her and Phoebe’s Christmas present. We have nowhere else to put it. I told Mallory it was shelves for our kitchen. If she ever makes the connection I’ll just say that it was too heavy for Santa’s sleigh. Or something.)

On our way to the birthday party, Mallory kept pressing her hand up to the car window and shouting, “I’m FIVE!” at passers-by. Phoebe kept chim…