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Showing posts from May, 2007

Nice to hear

On the last day of school, Mallory's teacher said to me: "I just love Mallory. If I had to become a kid again -- god forbid -- I think I'd want to come back as Mallory."

I can't think of a nicer compliment.

And having posted this, I'm off to the vending machine for some M&Ms

A few weeks ago I read Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia by Marya Hornbacher. And of all the things that I don’t want happening to my daughters as they grow up, I think first on that list is having an eating disorder.

The author first decided she was fat at the age of five. By nine, she was making herself throw up once a day. She was in and out of hospitals and mental institutions throughout high school and college. At the age of 20, she weighed 52 pounds. 52 pounds – that’s less than Mallory weighs now.

Eating disorders are so insidious. They’re so hard to control, to recover from. Even while writing her book, Hornbacher insisted that she wasn’t cured. (And the disease has had long-term repercussions on her health – she can’t have babies, she has depleted bone and muscle mass, her immune system is shot.) There is no cure, there is only coping. It’s not like alcoholism or drug abuse – everyone has to have some kind of relationship with food. I think in this culture it’s extremely…


I’m glad it’s summer. For one thing, it means the end of the morning rush to get the kids up, dressed, fed and out the door at a specific time. I’m really bad at that so it’s nice to have a three-month reprieve. For another thing, it means that the girls will have a lot more time to spend together, and that’s nice because they’re finally at the stage that they can actually play together and have real conversations.

For example, the other morning I was up getting dressed while the kids slept. I heard Phoebe making noises so I went down the hall to get her. Then I stopped outside the door because she wasn’t actually calling for me, she was singing a song. I listened for a minute, and then I heard Mallory say, “Phoebe, are you singing?”

“Yeah!” Phoebe said.

“What are you singing about?”

“My toes hurt!”

“Your toes hurt?”


“Why do your toes hurt?”


“Well, I’m sorry about that.”

“My-ee’s toe hurts?”

“No, my toes are okay.”

“Oh. Good!”

They like to play Barbies together too – or rather,…

My babies, a little bit grown up

Today was Mallory’s last day of preschool. Here she is posing with Phoebe. Ignore Phoebe, who as usual was refusing to cooperate.

Here she is on her very first day, two years ago:

Look at that face!

I’ve loved her preschool. I can’t think of one complaint I had in the two years she was there. I hope she fares as well in “big school.”

Their closing program was last night. Can you see her, way in the back? (Yeah, she's the tallest child in preschool.)

The kids sang one of my favorite songs -- “This Little Light of Mine” -- (I have an odd memory of me, my brother and sisters, and my mom singing that song in front of the whole church while my mom played guitar. Did that really happen?) although they didn’t sing my favorite verse, “Don’t let Satan whoosh it out! I’m gonna let it shine…” Maybe they don’t teach kids about Satan anymore. Anyway, I’m proud of my little light. She’s learned and grown so much in the past two years, it’s hard to believe. I was a bit teary all day, and it’s not …

7 Things

Everyone else with a blog is doing this, so why not me? Here are 7 things you may not know about me.

1. I often get obsessed with topics and spend weeks reading everything I can find about them. This happened much more often in college and graduate school, mostly when I was procrastinating doing my actual schoolwork. Examples include: the fate of the Romanov family (Anastasia did, sadly, die with the rest of them); the Lindbergh kidnapping (I don’t think Hauptmann did it); and Robert Falcon Scott’s expedition to the South Pole (I don’t think he was a great leader, but I also think he had some really bad luck).

2. I have breastfed both of my kids well into toddlerhood. I know that’s out of the ordinary and it’s nothing I really planned to do; it’s just that we kept hitting the “usual” cut-off dates (6 months, 9 months, 1 year) and I couldn’t think of any real good reason to stop. Mallory nursed until she was 32 months (although only for naps and bedtime for about the last six months of …

Sorry for the suspense...

Chris's kidney stone exited on Tuesday and he is all better now. Hooray!

I have not been very bloggy lately. I have thoughts in my head but not much motivation to write them out. Perhaps I'll try harder next week. Perhaps not. In the meantime, here are some recent Phoebe funnies:

Yesterday morning while my back was turned, Mallory poured syrup all over Phoebe's waffle. Phoebe cried: "I don't like syr-sup! Mommy! Affle broke!"

We had this conversation over and over yesterday:

P: How are you Mommy?
Me: I'm fine, Phoebe, thanks! How are you?
P: Good! Thank you! How are you Mommy?
Me: I'm fine, Phoebe, how are you?
P: Good! How are you Mommy?

Last night with Mallory:
P: My-ee! My-ee! My-ee!
Mallory (finally): What?
P: Um...eight nine ten elenen, My-ee!

After taking a sip of Chris's soda: "Delicious!"

P: Watch this Mommy! Watch this Mommy!
Me: Okay, I'm watching.
P: (takes a big step) I jumped, Mommy! Hooray Phoebe!

If she wants something but doesn't …

Poor Guy

Chris has a kidney stone, so he now has an inkling of what I went through to bear his children. However, saying cheerily, “Now you know how labor feels!” to someone who has a kidney stone isn’t really recommended. At least not until the drugs kick in.

We spent the morning in the ER. Then I had to run in to work while Chris stayed home all doped up. We hope this passes quickly, but your kind thoughts are appreciated.

In totally unrelated news: Last night I got home and just didn’t feel like making dinner, so I suggested we get dinner from the Sonic that just opened down the street from us. “What’re we gonna do, eat in the car?” Chris asked skeptically. “Yeah!” I enthused. “I loved eating Sonic in the car when I was a kid, it’ll be fun!”

I soon learned that eating Sonic in the car isn’t so much fun when you’re a parent. Although I did forget to try to convince Mallory that there was a little man in the speaker box that ran the order back to the restaurant, as my dad convinced me so long ag…

Why was I not consulted beforehand?

Chris and I are going away for a "romantic weekend" in June, which means, in part, that I'm going to have a whole day to myself in a hotel room. I'm so excited about this, I can hardly type. I do have one complaint, however: Why oh why can't the new Harry Potter book come out that weekend, instead of one month later in July? It's not that I'm all that into Harry Potter, but I do want to read the new one, and I know that once I start reading the new book I won't want to put it down. So that weekend in June would be perfect. I wonder if I could plead my case to the publisher, maybe they'll slip me an advance copy?...Yeah, probably not.

This mis-scheduling happened with Harry Potter 6 too. It came out in July 2005, ten days after Phoebe was born, and the only time I was able to read it was when Phoebe was nursing and Mallory was otherwise occupied. Now, when Mallory was a newborn reading and nursing was a cinch, because she was an easy baby and just l…

Submission Guidelines

I’ve had such an interesting day at work. I don’t want to reveal too much about my job, so let’s say, hypothetically, that I create html newsletters for hamster owners. And let’s say that in our last issue we invited our loyal readers to submit their very best picture of their hamster for possible publication in our next issue. Let’s say that we have received, to date, over three thousand pictures of hamsters that I now have to sort through. And let’s say that some of these pictures are alarmingly bad, so much so that I have decided that next year, when we once again open our inbox for reader photos, I’m going to include these guidelines:

1. Please submit only photos that are in focus.
2. Please fix any hamster red-eye before submitting photo.
3. Even the cutest hamster does not look all that cute when sitting on a couch with busy upholstery.
4. Or when sitting on dirty linoleum.
5. Photos of your hamster’s nether regions are not desirable.
6. Photos of your hamster snuggling into your cle…

Why Apostrophes Matter

Mallory has recently been obsessed with caterpillars. Every day she's out scouring the yard for another caterpillar to put in her caterpillar bucket (the scene of many untimely caterpillar deaths, sadly, because she insists on leaving them there overnight and I always forget to go release them so they won't get too cold. Or hot. Or whatever problem they have with the bucket that causes them to die overnight. Anyway.). A few days ago she looked up from her caterpillar observing and said: "Mommy, are caterpillars gods?"

"Gods?" I repeated blankly.

"Yeah, you know, gods," she said.

I stopped to think. I imagined a Caterpillar on a cloud hurling lightning bolts, like Zeus. I imagined a Caterpillar in a manger. I imagined a Caterpillar sitting Buddha-like on a mushroom a la Lewis Carroll. What I could not imagine was why Mallory was asking this particular, peculiar question.

"I'm not sure what you mean," I finally said.

"You know, did God…