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Showing posts from September, 2007

Sisters and Brothers

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while, but it feels vaguely maudlin and also vaguely like plagiarism. But, it’s Friday afternoon and I have no real work to do, so here goes anyway.

I mentioned that our friend Mike died last month. Chris and I went to his funeral, of course, and, as funerals go, this one was…quite wonderful, really, if such can be said about a funeral. The family invited Mike’s friends to come forward to share stories and memories about Mike’s life, and of the twelve or fifteen people who came forward, most of them began by saying, “Mike was one of my very best friends…” and if that’s not the marker of a successful life, I don’t know what else would be.

But it was Mike’s younger brother’s eulogy that touched me the most, and that I still think about almost every day. The recurring theme of the speech was that as they were growing up, Matt wanted to do everything his big brother would do, and that Mike would call him on it. “You just want to read comic books because …

Again with the juice

Last night Mallory poured herself a glass of grape juice. Before taking a drink, she asked, "Mommy, does juice have cabizees in it?"

"Cavities?" I said.


" has sugar which can cause cavities, though."

"Oh." She thought. "No, I mean, you know, cabizees."

" you mean calories?"


"Yes, it does have calories."

"So, if I drink this I won't be able to go to sleep tonight?"

"Wait, do you mean caffeine?"

"Is caffeine what makes you not able to sleep?"


"Okay, that's what I mean."

"Well, juice does not have caffeine."

"That's a relief."

It certainly is.

Kindergarten Blues

I was going to do a whole long post about Mallory's Kindergarten Troubles, but I've been talking or emailing about it to various people all morning and now I don't feel like rehashing it again (although I am certainly going to bore my mom and sister with it on Friday!). I will instead ask these two questions:

1. If you're a mean person, why would you want to be a kindergarten teacher?

2. How do you explain this to a 5-year-old: Some people are just mean. You just have to toughen up and deal with it. Oh, and welcome to the rest of your life.

Holly, thanks for the tips. It is federal court that I was summoned to. I guess I won't smuggle in a book after all (sob!). And I'm really hoping I'm not assigned to a 3-week trial...Oh, and I sympathize with your heartburn. I had such awful heartburn with both my pregnancies (and both babies were born with a lot of hair, giving credence to that old wives' tale). In fact my three reasons for not having a third child are…

Work, Vampires, Kings & Queens

I've been called to jury duty. I met this summons with a groan but also with a touch of curiosity. I've never been called before; I wonder what it's like. I was alarmed, when reviewing my Juror Information, to read that I should NOT bring any reading material into the courthouse. From what I understand there's a lot of sitting about and waiting during jury selection. I can't possibly be expected to sit around without a book. Perhaps I'll bring a large purse and "accidentally" slip in a paperback.

Another part of the summons amused me greatly. There's a section on what constitutes a "hardship" which would get you excused from duty. The accepted hardships are age (over 70); prior service in the past two years; medical condition. Then there was this line:

"Please note that work is usually considered a hardship for everyone."

Were truer words every written?

Chris has been playing "vampire" with the girls lately. How they lo…

And speaking of juice...

Have you noticed the absolute wealth of orange juice varieties lately? One can stand, paralyzed with indecision, in front of the juice case for hours. There's juice with extra-antioxidants, extra calcium, extra Vitamins; there's juice with low acid, low sugar, and low pulp. My criteria is: Must be on sale, and must have no pulp. (It's not so much that I dislike pulp; it's that my little brother used to call pulp "zits," as in, "Ewww, there are zits in my juice." See, now you don't want to drink juice with pulp either, do you?)

So that is how I ended up purchasing orange juice with added Omega-3 this week. After I got it home I glanced at the ingredients, wondering exactly how they got the Omega-3 into the juice anyhow. The list was: Orange juice from concentrate, anchovy and tilapia oils. These last had an asterisk which led to the following helpful note:

"Ingredients not found in regular orange juice."


A Cup of Juice

Mornings do not always go smoothly in our house. This morning, for example, my girls ate dry pancakes for breakfast. In the car. On the way to school. Because I overslept by ten minutes and then they overslept by a lot -- they were very sleepy today. ("Phoebe, it's time to get up!" I said, to which she replied, "I'm sleeping!")

Things are not always quite that bad, but neither are they as organized as one might wish. And I do everything that people suggest: I lay out the clothes the night before, I pack the backpacks, I make the lunches. But in the morning there are still water bottles to be filled (for me, Mallory, Phoebe on days she has Parents Morning Out, and the dog if she's fortunate enough to be remembered) and teeth to be brushed and shoes to be found and, sometimes, depending on the whimsy of my children, menus to be written ("Mommy, you have to write down everything we have for breakfast before I can choose what I want!" says my child…

The Dreaded Mumble

My father has always accused me and one of my sisters (to protect her identity, I won't say which one) of mumbling. I think that both of us used to respond to this criticism with a "Daa-aad! I don't mumble!" but over the course of time I have come to accept the fact that I really can be a mumbler. I am trying to overcome this deficit, not least because I get irritated when I'm asked to repeat myself. (Maybe I just don't like speaking out loud in general.)

At any rate, I seem to have passed the mumbler gene along to my oldest daughter. Lately she is mostly incomprehensible. Last night I asked her how school had been and the answer was: "We mumble mumble gym mumble marble mumble mumble and then mumble mumble celebrate mumble mumble mumble with a mumble party."

"Huh?" I said, and got an exasperated "Mommy!" in reply. At least that came out loud and clear.

Recently read:

The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue. This was an odd book, both in su…

Forgotten Funnies

...because my memory is not what it used to be.

We were at a playground a few weeks ago and Phoebe left her special puppy, her pink one puppy, on a bench. A little boy grabbed it, Phoebe saw him, and I expected a major contretemps to ensue. Instead she said, "It's okay. You can hold it. Don't worry! You can squish it too."

My in-laws overheard this conversation Phoebe was holding with two of her dolls: "Where's Mommy? Oh, she's not available right now."

Chris greeted us when we came home yesterday afternoon and Phoebe responded: "Hi Daddy! I'm Phoebe! And this is my mommy!"


"I did really good at maths today," she said. I asked her what exactly she did in "maths." "I don't know," she said, "but I was really good at it."

Later: "Two kids in my class cried today," she told me. "Annie cried because she missed her mom, and Molly cried because she didn't like the drill.&…

Summer, summed up

Two little girls, feet
in matching pink Crocs, fingers

(It's a haiku!)