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Showing posts from April, 2007

Not the Weekend I Had Planned

Friday night. We took the kids over to my in-laws because Mallory had expressed her desire to have a sleepover. Since Chris and I are planning to go out of town without either child in June (not a moment too soon might I add) and Phoebe’s never been left before, we figured we might try to leave Phoebe overnight as well to see how she handles it. I felt a bit conflicted about this, however, since I had been at work all day and hadn’t been able to spend any time with her. So we went out to dinner, bummed around for a while, and went back to Chris’s parent’s house around 9. I figured if Phoebe was already asleep, we’d leave her there; if not, we’d just take her home.

Well, both children were still awake, and not only did we have to take Phoebe home with us, but Mallory decided that she didn’t want to have a sleepover after all. So we didn’t get rid of either kid that night. Bummer.

Saturday morning. My friend Julia had planned to bring her two girls over because she and her husband are bui…

Expecting Adam

Expecting Adam, by Martha Beck, is the best book I’ve read in a long time. And I read a lot of good books, so, you know, you should rush out and read it yourself immediately. Beck and her husband were Harvard graduate students when she became pregnant with their second child. They were both driven, ambitious, pragmatic people and were very concerned about how the new baby would affect their career paths – especially when Beck became very ill during pregnancy, and even more so when they found out that the baby had Down Syndrome. Everyone around them assumed they would terminate the pregnancy. But ever since she became pregnant, Beck started having inexplicable but comforting “spiritual” experiences – a friend suddenly showing up at the door with groceries when Beck herself was too ill to get off the couch and feed herself and her daughter; a mysterious stranger helping her and her daughter down the stairs when their apartment building caught fire; the ability to “see” her husband as he…


As the second child, Phoebe has been exposed to certain things at a far earlier age than Mallory was. For example, Phoebe already knows that she can ask for ice cream when she's done with dinner (we kept dessert a secret from Mallory for at least two years, I think). Phoebe plays with Barbies, whereas at this age Mallory was still playing with Little People. Phoebe's favorite movies are Stuart Little and Grease; at that age, Mallory had only seen Sesame Street and Baby Einstein.

And I'm thrilled to report that Phoebe can already say, "I FIRST!" and "Mine!" (although she pronounces it "mines" which is pretty funny), and, my very favorite, "Why?" Yeah, she's asking "why." The problem is -- beyond the problem that being asked why a million times a day is just annoying -- that she isn't quite able to understand any answer we give her. So she just keeps repeating "Why? Why? Why?"

But here's a lesson I'm g…


I mailed our taxes off late Thursday afternoon.

My check to the IRS cleared yesterday.

That strikes me as being really, really quick. Almost impossibly quick.

Wonder if they would've sent a refund that fast.


My mom is coming to visit us on Saturday. Yay! As much as I love it when my whole family gets together, I also love it when it’s just my mom, when she can spend one-on-one time with my girls. (I guess it’s one-on-two time, now.) And I’m glad that she’ll get to see Phoebe on her “home turf,” since last time we went to visit, Phoebe was pretty overwhelmed and crankety and wouldn’t let me put her down. So I’m looking forward to this visit.

So is Mallory. She keeps asking when exactly Grandmom will be here, how long it will take her to get here, where she will sleep, who else will be here, how long she will stay, what we will give her for dinner, and how many days again is it til she gets here?

This morning she got to preschool and announced to her teacher, “My grandmom is coming in five days! And she’s taking two planes!”

I’ll be glad when Grandmom gets here just so the questions will stop! Of course, they’re bound to be replaced by others, but at least Mom can provide the answers for a cou…

Almost Two

This weekend I caught myself telling someone that Phoebe was "almost two." It caught me off guard. It's true, of course, and it's much more precise than just saying she's "one," but I was still surprised to hear it coming out of my mouth. Almost two! My baby!

The truth is, I'm only the teensiest bit nostalgic for her babyhood. I love the age she's at now.

When I come home from work she runs to me and says, "Mommm-ie!" with a huge smile, and when I pick her up she wraps her arms tightly around my neck. This greeting almost makes going to work worth it.

She can count to ten -- "Wan. Two. Free. Four. Fize. Sik. Senen. Eat. Nahn. Ten!" But if she hears someone else counting, she'll hide her eyes, then say, "Here I come! Where are you?"

She loves her baby dolls. She carries them around, she hugs them, she feeds them "juice." If she drops a doll, she picks it up and says, "I sowee! Okay?" She also say…

24,000 Easter Pictures

Mallory has developed the habit of exaggerating quantities -- "I want 18 million pancakes for breakfast! I want to play outside for 28 thousand hours!" And since last week I have picked up 12 billion strands of Easter grass and stepped on 14 hundred plastic eggs. Oh, and I took lots of pictures too.

Egg dying. (No eggs died!) Incidentally, Mallory told me not to take pictures of her because her clothes didn't match. This from a child who once purposely wore a Halloween shirt with candy-cane pants and summer sandals.

Phoebe received this Elmo bubble machine from the Easter bunny. Bubble-blowing Elmo is very loud and wastes lots of bubble liquid. Phoebe likes him anyway.

Phoebe did not like having to have her picture taken in her Easter dress.

Still not liking it:

Nope, not liking it now either:

A bit happier, with a "pop-pop" and grandparents:

Hunting for Easter eggs:

"Easta-weggs! I find! All done!"

Songs I've Sung

A few nights ago Mallory asked to take a shower rather than a bath. This was surprising – Mallory usually hates getting her face wet in any way, and the few times we’ve attempted to give her a shower have been disasters. “I don’t think you’ll like it,” I said dubiously, but she insisted (loudly and tearfully), so I relented.

And she did fine. “I really like showers!” she announced when she got out. “Hey Daddy!” she called across the house. “I like showers!”

I was chalking this up as yet another inexplicable whim when Chris said, “Hey, Mallory, let me ask you something. Do you like showers now because of the Sandy video we saw on TV?”

Mallory blushed, giggled madly, and said, “Um, yes. And I really like showers!”

This is what happened. She and Chris had caught the tail end of Grease on TV the other night, and for some reason the station played Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” video right afterward. As you may know, Olivia (or Sandy, as we know her) is in a gym with a bunch of guys and takes…

Places I've Been

(Alternate title: How to waste a whole lot of time at work, thanks to Google Earth)

Here's where I grew up. That's right, no pavement!

Then I went to Trinity University in San Antonio. Lots of pavement and red brick. Spent most of my time in the rectangular building at the top, near the parking lot -- the library.

I spent a semester here. My dorm was one of the squiggly white buildings. England was on the whole beautiful; the campus of UEA was not.

After graduation I moved to North Carolina and lived in this apartment:

Then Chris and I bought our first house in Durham. House was cute (but very small), neighborhood was beautiful (but close to some undesirable parts of town); we only lived there for two years.

I couldn't get a clear image of our present home, but here's where I spend every working day. Our office is in the one towards the bottom. Oh, and all those trees to the right? Gone, as of last week.

Where've you been all your life?

Mama Guilt, Twice

1. We had a trip to the zoo planned for last Saturday -- we being Chris and the girls and I, plus his parents and sister, whose birthday it was (Happy Birthday Mimi!). However, to make a long story short, Chris woke up with a a bizarre throat problem and he and I ended up spending the morning at the doctor's office, while everyone else went to the zoo without us. (Chris is fine -- well, he's not sick. He has a swollen uvula, probably caused by allergies and/or sleep apnea, which makes it difficult for him to talk or swallow. Not life-threatening, just very unpleasant.)

After we were reassured that Chris was not going to require an emergency tonsillectomy, I was actually a bit pleased with how things had turned out. I got a day to myself! I went home and cleaned the kitchen, including under the oven (disgusting) and behind the fridge (horrifying). I even took down the curtains and washed them (and will probably not put them back up -- I never liked them much. I've kind of l…