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Showing posts from August, 2007

As promised, Phoebe funnies

One wonderful thing about parenting is when you realize that you love your kids not just because they are your kids, but also because they happen to be great kids. (Of course you have to have something in reserve for those moments when they’re just horrible.) Even as a baby, Phoebe had a pretty strong personality, but lately she’s really come into her own and she’s a definite person now. I think what I love most is how self-assured she seems; everything she does, she does with a great deal of determination and sense of purpose. Everything she says, she says with a sense of the worth of her own words. Which is not to say that she can’t be goofy and spontaneous; she often is, but she flings herself into goofiness with her whole being as well.

It’s hard to convey what I mean with a few snippets of conversation; nonetheless, here are some of the funny things she’s said in the last week or so.

One night she threw a paperback book at Mallory. Chris scolded her; she picked up another book and…

My Favorites

Lately, Phoebe has a lot of favorite things. "Read this book, Mommy," she'll say, "it's my fave-wit." Tomatoes are also her favorite, as are grapes and yogurt. Her blue shirt is her favorite until she changes into a pink one. Her little puppy pink one is her most favorite of all. ("Where my puppy pink one? It's my fave-wit.") Here are a few of my favorite things about the last few days.

Mallory and I made this together:

It's to display all her school papers and artwork. She painted most of it; I helped a bit and glued on the clothespins. I may choose the new colors for our kitchen around it, as the only good place to hang it up is on the kitchen wall.

(I was going to just let you wonder about the fortune cookies, but I'll go ahead and add that the cookies were entirely Mallory's idea. And when Phoebe does anything particularly pleasing Mallory will say, "You can go get a fortune cookie off the board!" Although once she got…


"How was your first day of school?" I asked.

"Great!" she said. Then added, "That means really good, you know."

"I want juice, Mommy!"

"No, it's almost bedtime. You can have some water."

"But juice is my favorite!"

I'm taking the rest of the week off. Woohoo! In the next three days I have to:

Attend Parent Orientation for Mallory's school and Phoebe's Parent's Morning Out program.

Take kids to dentist.

Get car inspected.

Take kids to bouncy house fun place because we saw one the other day and Mallory threw a huge tantrum because I wouldn't take her RIGHT AWAY so I promised we'd do it at a later date.

Take Phoebe for her two-year portrait. If she actually smiles, I will buy said portraits, but I'm not holding my breath.

Clean up my kitchen. I have to make space for lunch-making apparatus (apparati?) and otherwise declutter because I MUST get started on the great wallpaper removal/painting pr…

Mallory, in Kindergarten

Here she is, all uniformed-up:

Here she is at her desk:

She looks a bit drowsy, doesn't she? Two reasons: Despite my best intentions, I wasn't able to get the kids on a back-to-school bedtime schedule last week, so she's not quite used to getting up at 7:00 yet. Also, her allergies have been pretty bad this week. The only hitch in an otherwise-smooth morning was when I tried to give her some Claritin. "I don't want medicine! What flavor is it?" she asked, and I told her. She started to cry. "I don't want it if it's poop-flavored!" "Not poop, fruit!" I said, and all was well.

She's so excited about school, I hope she loves it. She was a bit relieved to learn that there will probably be no homework for a few months. She didn't impress me with her back-to-school assignment; she was to draw a picture of her favorite summer activity. She procrastinated and put it off until yesterday afternoon, when I told her she couldn't watch…


My friend A has a son, G., whom I consider my first baby. He's ten now, but he was born (ten years ago, obviously) before Chris and I got married, when we had plenty of time on our hands, and I hung out with A and G almost every weekend. Then both of our families moved to new houses and weren't able to visit as often, but A and I still talk on the phone almost every day. (G apparently loves it when A relays to him funny stories about Mallory and Phoebe.)

When Mallory was 8 or 9 months old, we had a daycare crisis and A babysat for a day or two. During her naps, G sat outside the bedroom door with a plastic baseball bat in his hands, just in case bad guys came to get her.

A few days ago, A told G that Mallory would be starting kindergarten soon. G asked if she'd be going to his school and A said no. G said, "That's too bad. If she came to my school, she'd have someone to take care of her. She wouldn't have to worry about a thing."

I'm a little sad tha…


A good friend of ours died on Sunday. I guess technically he was Chris's friend, but he was one of the nicest, most big-hearted guys you could ever meet and I always enjoyed hanging out with him too. There are tributes to him all over the internet today -- he was a very talented, very well-known comics artist -- and I'm not even going to try to compete with those. He had a heart attack; he was 44. This definitely goes in the "not fair" category. Rest in peace, Mike; we miss you.

School Supplies

We're going to buy the rest of Mallory's school supplies this weekend -- some crayons, some index cards (?), a box of Ziploc bags (??). She's already picked out her backpack, a cheap-looking, garish Disney princess item which may not last the semester, much less the year. I thought about ordering her a really nice backpack from Land's End, but have held off due to the school supply ghosts in my own closet.

1. Third grade. I don't remember exactly why, whether I was feeling rushed or pressured while shopping, or whether there just were no other good options, but I wound up with a notebook (a binder, a Trapper Keeper, if you will) that I just hated. It had a picture of a cat on the front; and not only have I never been a cat person, but this particular cat had a weird marking, like a Hitler mustache, under his nose. He was Gestapo cat. I loathed that cat and I loathed that notebook and every year, each time I took it out of my desk or put it in my bookbag, I was fille…


Mallory has been exceptionally sweet to her sister lately. Last night, for example, Phoebe was playing with Play-Doh while I made dinner. Mallory came over, saw that Phoebe had smushed three different colors all together in one big ball, and said, "Phoebe, that's great! You made a rainbow!"

A few days ago, we were getting dressed to go somewhere and Phoebe asked to wear a princess costume. I said no, but that she could wear her denim Elmo jumper instead. I put it on and she collapsed into sobs. "I not pretty now!" she wept. Mallory ran over and hugged her and said, "You are pretty, Phoebe! I always wanted a pretty little doll to play with and instead I got you and you're such a pretty real baby!" Which cheered Phoebe right up and made me cry.

I've read that parents of my generation are creating a bunch of "praise junkies" because we tend to say "Good job!" to our children too often. This makes kids expect to be praised for ev…

The Kind of Week It's Been

Me: Why did we have children?

Chris: Because we were stupid.

Chris and I have both been sick with colds. Mallory had "Sports Camp" all week, which she loved, but which absolutely wiped her out so she was tired and cranky every evening. Plus I had to get her up, breakfasted, and out the door on a schedule every morning after a whole summer of lazy mornings. (We were only late once! But when school starts we'll have to be out the door a whole hour earlier and being late is not an option. Sigh.) And Phoebe has been taking very late naps, despite everyone's best efforts to get her down earlier, and thus not going to bed until 11:00. And did I mention Chris and I are sick? I just want to curl up under my desk and take a nap.

Mallory, Phoebe and I took care of our neighbor's pets while they were on vacation. They have a guinea pig, a rabbit, and a cat. The girls were very excited about petsitting; they especially loved giving carrots to the rabbit and guinea pig. (Phoebe …

Maybe "Gifted" Wasn't Quite Right

Random memory: Once when I was nine or ten I glanced through a book of my mother's about gifted children, thinking that it was all about me. The book was, I think, just a resource guide to educational policies in different states. As I flipped through it, I kept seeing the word "adopted" -- I assume because the text discussed the adoption of certain programs or procedures by school districts.

But instead of reading to clarify the point, I just dropped the book and walked away, because I thought it meant that IF you were a gifted child, then you had to have been adopted. And I didn't want to know which one I was. Or wasn't, come to that.

I was a real genius, all right.

PS In the alphabet book we were reading last week, U was for Uakari (a Brazilian monkey) and Z was for Zorilla (an African skunk). So yeah, the author was just mean.