Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2009


My winter coat has these care instructions:

Do not wash.
Do not dry-clean.
Do not spot clean.

It limits the options, rather.

When I was in fourth grade, my older sister asked our parents if she could join 4-H and get a sheep to take care of. I'm sure my parents were as excited about this request as I am when Mallory asks to take karate lessons, or to join a soccer team; the difference is, in this instance, my parents acquiesced. For some reason, it was decided that I, too, should join 4-H and get a sheep. And so it was that for about six months, Jana and I were shepherdesses, or at least, we had to wake up early each morning and feed these sheep, and break the ice on their trough, and we also had to muck out their stalls on the weekend, and we had to encourage them to "exercise" so that they, and we, could fetch a good price at the spring Stock Show. My sheep was of the Suffolk breed, reputed to be the most intelligent of the sheep breeds, so I named him Einstein.

It also happ…


Best thing about Halloween: Mallow-creme pumpkins

Worst thing about Halloween: Eating far too many mallow-creme pumpkins in a too-short period of time.

Hello there

I haven't posted much lately; I'm saving it all up for NaBloPoMo (or whatever the correct combination of letters is that signifies a vow to post every day) in November.

I give you this, though. Phoebe likes to have a story read to her, and then to read the story back to us, often with hilarious results. Last night I read a Max and Ruby story, "Bunny Party," to her. Her subsequent rendition began:

It was time for Grandma's birthday party and Ruby was setting the table. Max wanted his toys to be invited to the party. "No, Max," Ruby beplied. "Only my toys are invited," she suggested with her mouth open.

And so on to the end. It's awesomeness, as Mallory would suggest.

What's cuter than puppies?

My daughters cuddling puppies, of course!

What's that? Oh - no no, these are not OUR puppies. No no no, although the children certainly wish they did belong to us. No, these are puppies that Auntie Mimi is helping to care for, and that we visited this weekend. The girls, incidentally, have a penchant for naming animals after various food products. Suggested names included Milkshake, Hot Fudge, Vanilla Wafer, Strawberry Cream Puff, and Dark Mint.

They were cute as buttons. However, I for one am glad that our house is puppy-free -- for now, at least.


"Mommy, look!" Mallory said, stopping in the middle of the school parking lot. She was pointing at the front license plate of the car we were passing. "World's Greatest Grandma," it said.

"Do you think it's true that the person who owns this car is the world's greatest grandma?" I asked.

"No," she said.

"Then who is?" I asked.

"Well, there are two," she said. "Grandmom and Mama."

I smiled. And I thought, not quite.

The summer between seventh and eighth grade, my grandma tried to teach me how to sew. Grandma was an excellent seamstress, a talent she passed along to my mother (who made, among other things, all of my and my sisters' prom and wedding dresses) and to my older sister. Grandma was also a Home Economics teacher for many many years, so she had some experience at teaching people to sew.

I, however, was not a willing student. Apart from a vague desire to be able to do everything that Mom and Jana did,…

Communicating with extra-terrestrials might be easier

Chris: So how was school today, Mallory?

Mallory: Ooo-kay.

Chris: Good.

Mallory: Dude. Did you notice how I said ooo-kay? That means it wasn’t a good day at all.

Chris: Oh. Sorry. Why wasn’t it a good day?

Mallory: There are three reasons. And the first reason is something that makes ME sad but will probably make YOU happy.

Chris: What?

Mallory: A kitty died.

Chris: What kitty?

Mallory: A kitten that Mimi was taking care of. It died, and you’re probably glad.

Chris: I’m not glad that a kitten died! Why would that make me glad?

Mallory: Dude. You’re allergic to cats, right?

Chris: Well yeah, and that means I don’t want a cat in our house, but it doesn’t mean that I’m happy if one dies.

Mallory: Oh.

Chris: What’s the second reason?

Mallory: [some long story about how some of her friends got in trouble at school for leaving choir practice early, the details of which made no sense at all]

Chris: But you didn’t get in trouble, right?

Mallory: Dude. I would have told you if I got in trouble. I didn’t get in…

Spoke too soon

At the risk of giving my loyal readers a case of whiplash, I have to announce that Mallory DID get back on her bike this weekend, and I DID get some pictures (taken with my cell phone, so they're fuzzy):

She goes very very slowly, and she sometimes needs a push if she's going uphill, and her legs are too long for this particular bike -- but she's riding. (Oh, and yes, she also needs a helmet -- we're taking care of that this week.)

Here is Phoebe on the same Radio Flyer tricycle that her Auntie Mimi and Daddy used to ride:

And here she is whizzing along on the big-girl bike:

Now I want a bike, too!

Why it's good to have a sister, part 2

When Mallory was 2, we got her a tricycle. She sat down on it and started pushing herself forward with her feet down on the ground. "Use the pedals!" we shouted, which startled her, and she has refused to ride anything with pedals from that day to this.

This is my quintessential Mallory story, and it's pretty much true. When she was four or five, she said that she wanted a bike, that she was finally ready for a bike, so we bought her a bike, and she tried riding it once and declared it too scary. So the bike has been sitting in my in-law's garage for years (they live on a cul-de-sac which is ideal for bike riding; we have a slopey driveway and no sidewalks).

Yesterday when I went to pick the girls up at my in-laws, Phoebe was riding the bike. All by herself. Having a marvelous time. I told her I was proud of her, and Mallory said:

"I want to ride it too!"

So she got on. We had to raise the seat up, and still her legs were a bit too long. But she started to ped…

Thoughts, notes

Phoebe uses the wrong pronoun for the female objective case (is that right, Mom?) – instead of saying, “I want to play with her,” she’ll say, “I want to play with she!” I don’t know why I find that adorable, but I do. She also says “Barnacles!” or “Darn its!” (yes, with a plural "its") when she’s frustrated.

I bought Mallory the Wizards of Waverly Place soundtrack (sigh) and she was so excited that she ripped it open, held up the torn cellophane, and said, “Do you know what this is? Crumpled joyousness!”

Re-reading Fatal Vision, and then spending a few hours reading about updates and theories about the case online on Friday night, is not conducive to sleeping well for the rest of the weekend. I was really interested in this case when I was in high school but hadn’t thought about it in many years. It’s much harder to think about – to imagine, to comprehend – now that I’m a parent. Gah. (And yes, I think he did it.)

We’re driving to Dallas this Christmas. I just looked at a map a…