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Showing posts from April, 2009

That Other Girl

I've been meaning to write this post for almost a year now, since we went with Chris's yearbook students to a 2-day workshop at the beach. The theme returned to me after observing my daughter at a Girl Scout event this weekend.

I noticed her right away: she was the one sitting by herself on the bus with her headphones on, the one who didn't offer an opinion as to which movie to put on the DVD player. When we got to the hotel and unloaded, she gathered her things and stood off to the side of the lobby, clutching her pillow and pretending not to listen to the chatter around her. She looked apprehensive when room keys were handed out; she didn't look surprised when the other girls crammed on the elevator together and told her their was no room for her. At mealtimes, she sat on a bench in the hallway, apparently very intent on her cellphone. The only conversational gambit thrown her way was when another girl said: "What do you have, anyway, a 4.0?" She immediatel…

A problem for the inchworm

Mallory: Mommy mommy, I brought an inchworm into the house, but it got lost in the couch.

Me: Well, that's a problem.

Mallory: Yeah...but I think it's mostly a problem for the inchworm.

We took the kids to see Monsters vs Aliens last week -- which was spring break -- and Mallory left the theatre in a bit of a sulk because she found the movie "too scary." She brightened when she saw the bank of vending machines -- the ones that vend cheap plastic treats, not candy -- at the theatre exit, and asked if she could get something. Chris gave her a quarter, and she spent many long minutes trying to decide if she wanted a flower tattoo or a teeny farm animal or a wee little monkey. She finally settled on the monkey; she put in her quarter, turned the dial, and out came...a flower ring. "This isn't right," she said. "Them's the breaks," Chris said, essentially. Phoebe also wanted a monkey, so she put her quarter in the same machine, and out a…

Good Egg

Look at this Easter egg:

I mean, it's an egg with a crack and with some drippy dye...but it looks like a branch with blossoms on it. Doesn't it? I found it quite beautiful, all the more so because it was accidental.

Here are some more eggs:

The fancier ones are due to Chris's diligence; my children lost interest in egg-dying about halfway through. Typical.

Untypically, they both let me put their hair up for Easter sunday:

My kids are good eggs too. Mostly.

Two Coins

To sum up a long story, Mallory appropriated a ten-dollar bill from Phoebe's piggy bank a week or so ago, and then used that ten-dollar bill to buy a stuffed animal which cost $6.99. (She was concerned: "But I don't have a seven-dollar bill!" she said. I explained about change. "Will I only get the change if I'm really nice?" she asked.)

Once we realized where Mallory's money had come from -- although, I just realized, I should've known, because Phoebe did come to me and say: "Mallory was pretending to be Mr Krabs and took all me money!" but I thought she was joking -- she was reprimanded and then had to give all of her Easter money to Phoebe for restitution.

The best part about this story is that when we were discussing the incident, Phoebe said: "Mallory stole my dollars. Now I only have two coins left to clink."

Easter Bunny Notes

The night before Easter, Mallory asked if she should have written a note to the Easter Bunny, telling him what she wanted. I told her no, that the Bunny only brought a few treats anyway, not like Santa Claus. She said it was best to be surprised. Then she added, "But just in case you're listening, Easter Bunny? I'd like a Penguin Webkinz."

The night before Easter is also when I went out to buy Cadbury Creme Eggs for Mallory, since she loves them. It did not occur to me that every store in town might be sold out of Cadbury Creme Eggs. Luckily, Mallory seemed to enjoy the store bought "marshmallow nougat caramel eggs" just fine. Blargh. Thanks, Easter Bunny, bock bock!

Mallory ended up writing a note anyway, to thank the Easter Bunny for stopping by. It began: "Dear The Easter Bunny," which is one of those things that your kids do that is just so cute it kills you.

If you let your children eat a piece of Easter candy from their basket before breakfast …

A Conversation

Phoebe: Mommy, will you still be my mommy when I'm all grown up?

Me: Yes, I'll always be your mommy.

Phoebe: And you can take care of my kids when I go to work!

Me: We'll see about that one. What kind of work do you think you'll be doing?

Phoebe: I'm going to have THREE kids!

Mallory: When you have kids, is it hard to decide what to name them?

Me: It can be, if you and your husband don't agree.

Mallory: Did you and Daddy agree?

Me: We compromised. I wanted to name you Briony --

Mallory: Yuck!

Chris: See!

Me: -- and Daddy wanted to name you Abigail.

Phoebe: What about me?

Me: I wanted to name you Emmeline, and Daddy wanted to name you Trixie.

Phoebe: My kids are going to be named Abby, Isabel and...and...Yak.

Me: Yak?

Phoebe: Maybe I'll just have two kids.

Mallory: Trixie? Then she'd be like Trix yogurt.

Me: Exactly.

Mallory: I really wish I could win the Trix yogurt money. See? It says you could win a million dollars if you get the lucky cup.

Me: Actually, it's ten tho…


On Date Night last weekend, Chris and I went out for pizza and then to a bookstore. Yes, the romance lives on, after all these years. It was actually the first time I'd been to a bookstore since receiving my Kindle for Christmas. In fact the one drawback to having a Kindle is that there isn't much of a need to visit a bookstore. I did browse through the fiction aisle, I and recorded titles of interest into my new "smartphone" (it was free with our contract extension and as for being smart, well, obviously it's smarter than me because I've had it for over a week and I still don't understand what it's doing half the time. It keeps beeping at odd intervals -- why?). But my greatest bookstore find, and something that couldn't easily be Kindle-ized, was this:

Games Magazine! I was thrilled to see it there amongst the word search puzzle books. My parents subscribed to Games, way back in the day. How I loved the EyeBender puzzles, and the Cryptograms, and…


I spent an awful lot of time this winter reading books about the Franklin Expedition; it's no wonder I look back at the past few months as being gloomy and depressing. It's not a happy story: In 1845, Captain John Franklin, two British ships, and 127 officers and sailors entered the Arctic sea in a quest to complete the Northwest Passage. They vanished almost without a trace. Search and rescue efforts began in 1848, but it was almost a decade later before a few paltry clues were discovered: A few gravestones on one island; a cryptic note buried in a cairn of stones on another; a scattered trail of bones; silverware and buttons offered up by the Inuit, who also told tales of a company of starving white men marching towards Canada, dying along the way.

Franklin's ships -- the Erebus and the Terror -- were frozen in the ice off of King William Island in 1846. "Wintering over" was expected on these kinds of journeys; it was also expected, however, that the ice would t…

Waiting for Wings

Mallory got a butterfly house for Christmas, and a few weeks ago we sent off for some caterpillars to hatch. A little jar arrived about ten days ago, filled with a layer of sticky goo and five tiny, fuzzy larva -- each less than a quarter-inch long.

According to the instructions, the larva would eat and grow for about a week, and then move to the lid of the jar and start to spin their cocoons. For some reason, I was skeptical. Perhaps I was remembering the disappointments of toys past -- the Moon Sand disaster, the Littlest Pet Shop Secret Password Diary debacle, the Crayola Cutter fiasco. We inspected the little larva a few times a day, and watched as the jar grew full of silk and "frass" (caterpillar poop, for those of you not in the know).

And yesterday, it actually happened. When we checked the jar after dinner, we saw that all five caterpillars had attached themselves to the lid and were partially cocooned. In a few days we'll be able to move them to the net house, a…