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Showing posts from January, 2007

Pretty Baby

My boss just returned from a two-week visit with his new grandson. He showed me pictures of the baby and said that he'd laughed at his daughter when she said, "I hate to say this, but I'm relieved that he turned out to be cute!"

I laughed too, but in fact the comment brought back memories of Phoebe as a newborn. Phoebe's first four weeks were really, really hard. (Which is nothing surprising or unusual; I think the first four weeks with any new baby must be hard, and I know I had it easier than many.) She took long, gorgeous three-hour naps during the day, and then was up all night long, often finally falling to sleep at 8 am, right as Mallory was waking up. And you can't nap when the baby naps when you also have a 3-year-old in the house, whose life has been turned upside down and who needs every scrap of attention you can give her. But the worst of it was that breastfeeding was just excruciating until Phoebe was about a month old. I dreaded every feeding; my…

Phoebe's First Joke

Last night we were playing the "Who's that?" game with Phoebe, which we do a lot, so much so that she's probably wondering why we don't all know who we are. Anyway, she named herself and me and Chris and Mallory and then I pointed to the dog, lying conveniently under the kitchen table, and said, "Who's that?"

"Rinn!" Phoebe said.

"Yes, it's Finn. And what is Finn?"

"Mouse!" Phoebe answered, and laughed. And we all laughed. And we made her repeat several times that Finn was a mouse and we all laughed some more.

Phoebe's favorite sentence nowadays is "I want this." Her use of "I" impresses me; maybe it shouldn't, but I don't think Mallory was using "I" this early -- she would say "Me want" or "Baby want" instead. But Phoebe can say "I want this" and "I sit" and "I bed" and "I play" and "I bath" and "I coat&…

Keeping Me Honest

I wrote last week about realizing that I am who I am and that's the way it'll always be. What I failed to mention is that there are some aspects of myself that I'm not entirely happy with, aspects that I do need to change, for a variety of reasons. And no, I'm still not talking about making the beds in the morning. I'm talking about losing weight.


I was overweight when I got pregnant with Phoebe. But I only gained 12 pounds during that pregnancy, and she was a 9 lbs 12 oz baby, so by the time I was home from the hospital I'd lost the baby weight. Then, through some miracle of post-partum metabolism and nursing non-stop for months (because she never liked taking a bottle), I lost a lot more weight with no effort whatsoever. By the time Phoebe was 6 months old I'd lost about 30 pounds. And I still wasn't what you would call skinny, but I was thinner than I'd been in years. I felt good about myself and I was wearing skorts, people! Skorts!

But I sho…

Things I Don't Know

I don't know what color to paint my hallways. (This may be happening on Monday, due to a guy my father-in-law knows who paints houses for cheap and has time to do something at our house on Monday and the only paintable area that won't require a whole lot of pre-painting cleanup in my house right now is the hallways.) Do you have to stick with something neutral? A Flax, perhaps? An Oatmeal? A Linen? I don't what any kind of neutral with a hint a yellow, which is what we have now and I hate. A brownish neutral may hide dirt. But really in my house the threat is not so much dirt as it is a toddler with free access to markers. And jelly. I guess that's what washable paint (is it semi-gloss? I know so little about paint!) is for.

I don't know what set Phoebe off last night. We were reading a Maisy book together. (Incidentally. Have you ever seen the Maisy cartoons on Noggin? They're pretty low-tech. They look just like the Maisy books -- 2-D characters and settings, …

Phase One (Almost) Complete

Here are some picture of the girls' freshly painted bathroom:

The pictures prove only that it's really hard to take meaningful pictures of a tiny tiny room, but! the walls that are now blue were once covered in ugly seashell wallpaper. And we got a new light fixture and a new mirror (because my father-in-law, bless his heart, broke the old mirror while trying to rehang it). The towel rack still needs to be installed and I have to do something about the ugly blinds, but I am hopeless, utterly hopeless, when it comes to window coverings. I start looking and then get all bogged down in tabtops and valances and I get paralyzed with indecision and whether or not I need a new rod and what size and why and I just can't deal. So for now the ugly blinds are staying. Despite these small problems it looks much nicer now than it did two weeks ago.

And here is a "before" pic of my bathroom, which is next on the list:

Oops, wrong way. It doesn't matter, you can still see the…

After a Solid Year of Wishing and Praying . . .

Mallory got a snow day!

It didn't snow all that much, and it's now turned to rain and slush, but it was enough to close down all the schools. I, on the other hand, had to come to work, because my job is Very Very Important and totally worth risking life, limb, and vehicle for. Plus I want to take tomorrow off, because it's my birthday, and since the Big Birthday Snow of 2005, I do not come to work on my birthday.

Phoebe, by the way, was unimpressed by the snow:

Or maybe she was just annoyed by her silly hat.

Funny; Faces

Before she fell asleep the other night, Mallory said, “I’m afraid I’m going to dream about that scary monster in that movie I saw with Daddy.”

I said, “Dreams and monsters aren’t real, they can’t hurt you.”

“You mean monsters aren’t really alive?”

“No, they’re not.”

Pause, then a knowing laugh. “You mean except in Florida, of course.”

Yesterday Phoebe bumped her head and went to Mallory for a hug. Mallory soothed her with these words: “It’s okay, honey. But you need to stop crying or you’ll get sick. It’s ridick-a-lus, this crying!”

For at least a year, Mallory has been telling us that she’s going to marry Chris’s friend Alex when she grows up. (What’s the attraction? Alex used to build muppets on Sesame Street and does a great Elmo impression – enough said.) She’s told us, for example, that after she and Alex get married they’re going to have a baby, and Alex will stay at home and take care of the baby while she goes to work. (Since Alex will be about 60 by the time any of this could take…


On Saturday, we took the girls to the local kids-haircutting-establishment, the cleverly named Kidz Kutz, for a bangs trim. It's six bucks a piece, but one time I tried to cut Mallory's bangs myself and the results were a bit slanty so I pony up the cash and move on. Mallory loves getting a hair cut because this shop features an indoor playground, free balloons and lollipops, and the kids get to watch movies while they're getting trimmed.

Phoebe went first and was docile as a lamb. I was brushing stray bits of bang off of her while Mallory got started, and then I heard the beautician say, "Mom? I think she may have lice."

Lice. I almost burst into tears on the spot. Lice? I went over and the girl pointed out some white specks on Mallory's head. I pulled myself together enough to say, "I think that's dandruff, actually," but the girl would have none of it. "Sorry, I can't work on her today, just in case," she said. So we paid for Pho…

Gettin' Old

Next week I'll turn 35. I'm not one to dwell on age, really, but there is something really old-sounding about 35. And I'm feeling it, too. I've had a backache all week and I think I'm losing my mind. For the first time in my life I've had to start keeping lists so I won't forget to do things like mail the bills or call the dentist or get dog biscuits. I used to be able to just remember those things. Sigh.

And a few days ago I realized that, for all intents and purposes, this is it. I am who I am going to be for the rest of my life. I mean, I hope that I will continue to find new interests and learn new things and so forth, but I'm never going to be, for example, the kind of person who cares whether or not the bed is made. I'm never going to get into crafty things. I will never like TV shows that involve people shouting at each other, like Crossfire or Maury. I will never like asparagus. (I used to think I would never like tomatoes, but have recently …

Hold My Calls

Can't blog. Have discovered Online Sudoku. This may prove worse than the Alchemy Obsession of 2003.

Okay here's this one story. Last night Mallory asked me, completely out of the blue and with great earnestness, "Mommy, how can God be in your heart and in my heart at the same time, HOW?" It was the second and very emphatic "HOW" that got to me. But I had to reply that, since she had just dumped a bucket of water onto the bathroom floor seconds after I told her not to even imagine doing such a thing, I wasn't so sure that God WAS in her heart at that particular moment. Or at any rate, that perhaps He was taking a rest.


Do you believe in them?

I never have. And I've never had any reason too, either; I've never experienced anything paranormal at all. (There was this one time? I was driving to my in-law's house and I swear I passed by Claudia in her car -- the car was the same make and model, the driver had the same sunglasses and hairdo -- but then when I got to their house the car was in the garage and she was in the kitchen. So apparently I was mistaken. And that's the most bizarre thing that's ever happened to me. I need to get out more.)

Chris has two friends who claim to have had ghostly encounters. One sees "auras" all around her; the other lived in a haunted house growing up and has all kinds of wacky tales about it. Another friend's two-year-old daughter keeps telling her that she can see a man in her bedroom -- the same bedroom where a man committed suicide many years ago (or something).

None of these people have any reason for lying to us about these things. T…

What I’m Not Reading These Days

Aimee posted today about reading a book she couldn’t put down. This post is about books I can’t pick up.

A few days ago, Chris asked me if I’d read the novel many critics are calling the Book of the Year – The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I said no, I hadn’t, and no, I didn’t plan to. It might be brilliantly written, but it’s an apocalyptic vision of a cataclysmic future and I just can’t take it. I had a similar problem with Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake – I read the whole thing and I hated every minute of it. It was depressing and horrible and far too plausible. I don’t care to read fictional scenarios about human beings wrecking the planet and bringing most species on earth along for the ride -- it just hits too close to home.

In a similar vein, you know how every woman’s or parent’s magazine, it seems, has an article every month about some kid who has a freakishly rare disease, or survives (or doesn’t survive?) some bizarre accident, like falling out of a third-story window or drinkin…

Day, Mama, My, Bee

That's our family according to Phoebe (ha -- I actually typed "phamily" first). She loves to play the "Who's this?" game, naming each one of us in turn. When we point to her and say, "And who is this?" she smiles very sweetly and says, "Bee!"

It's strange, having a second child. Mallory only knew about six words by her second birthday (and I was beginning to be Officially Worried) -- obviously she caught up and now there are many times I wish she would just stop talking already (for example, yesterday, when she demanded, "Mommy, what's three plus?" and I said, "Three plus what?" and she shouted, "That's what I'm asking YOU!") -- and -- where was I going with this -- anyway, Phoebe is way ahead of where Mallory was, verbally, at this age. I have to remind myself that this doesn't necessarily mean that Phoebe is smarter than her older sister is. In fact I sometimes hope she isn't, becau…

The Year of the House

I have all the usual resolutions that people make around this time of year – lose weight, exercise, eat whole grains, get out of debt, get child to stop pinching me AND to stop making that annoying slurping sound between sentences which for some reason she's copying from her friend across the street – but most of my 2007 goals center around my home, which is desperately in need of improvement. In fact I spent a few hours this holiday weekend scraping wallpaper in the kids’ bathroom, and whilst I did so – IS there a more tedious job than scraping wallpaper? – I envisioned a plan for the rest of the house.

The wallpaper in the kids’ bathroom has to go due to an unfortunate incident with the towel bar – but it needed to go anyway. Like all the wallpaper in the house, it’s dingy and out of fashion and in colors that I don’t much like. So all the wallpaper is going away, and all the walls in the house will be freshly painted by the end of this year. The kids’ bathroom will be the same b…