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Showing posts from March, 2010

I ask you

This is my garden:

Or rather, this is the patch of soil that was my garden last summer. It produced millions of tomatoes, dozens of green peppers, a handful of cucumbers, and two puny watermelons.

I do not wish to repeat last summer's vegetable bounty, because most of said bounty went to waste.

Nor, however, do I want this patch of soil to remain brown and bare throughout the summer, because it's unattractive.

So, what do I plant here, in the shrubbery/flowery vein? Keep in mind that I do not have a green thumb. Also, I don't want to spend a lot of money. Also, this area is in full sun most of the day. And it's really hot. And sometimes we get rabbits.

Any advice?

To thank you in advance, I give you these goofy photos of my children and their homemade parfaits (which Mallory persisted in calling "specialinis").

Friday Shorts

Phoebe missed two days of school last week; the day she returned, her teacher gave her some "homework": a coloring sheet with an umbrella (because it was "U" week). According to my father-in-law, Phoebe pulled the sheet out of her bookbag on the drive home, sighed heavily, and said, "I don't know when I'm going to fit this into my schedule."

Mallory is learning about Communion in her religion class. I was prepping her for a test a few weeks ago; the question I asked was, "Why is the priest able to turn the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ?" She said, "Because God...well because it's...because Jesus...well, because someone has to do it!"

Phoebe fell on the playground on Tuesday; the next day her teacher handed me an "incident report" to sign. Under the section for treatment, instead of checking one of the listed options (bandage, ice pack, antibiotic ointment), her teacher wrote: "Hug."


The kind of girl she is

As I may have mentioned, we joined the





What did Mallory do when we came home from swimming the first time? Exactly the kind of thing Mallory loves to do: She made a card. Mallory is forever making cards for people -- teachers, friends, families; she also frequently puts together "gift bags" of things that she "doesn't want anymore anyway, so I don't mind if this person has it instead!" We have had to have talks about when it's appropriate to give someone a gift, and what an appropriate gift is. She still doesn't quite get it when I tell her that she cannot, in fact, give a bag of discarded stuffed animals and some lip gloss to a girl she may have played with one time on the playground. "It's never wrong to give someone a present!" she'll say, and I can't think of a way to explain that, in fact, not every gift is received in the spirit that it's intended. I love that she's so generous, I don't want to squash …


A few months ago, Phoebe and her classmates were given the opportunity to sign up to "read" a book of their choosing at storytime. I would ask Phoebe periodically if she wanted to sign up, and she kept saying no, which I attributed to her shyness. Then one day she said, "I would sign up to read a book, but I don't know how to read yet!"

"Oh, honey, you don't have to know how to read -- you can just tell the story any way you want!" I said.

"No you can't," she said.

"Of course you can! None of your friends know how to read either -- they're just making up the words."

"Really?" she said.

"Really," I said.

"Wow. Wow! I can do that too!" she said.

"Of course you can!" I said.

So she signed up the very next day. And she chose her favorite book:

I went to watch her, and I don't think anyone in that room besides me realized that she wasn't actually reading. She recited almost eve…

And how are things with you?

1. I fell down the steps yesterday while leaving work. Ouch.

2. Phoebe was sick, slept all day, was not sleepy at bedtime, and got out of bed to watch Yo Gabba Gabba at 11 pm.

3. Mallory woke up, realized her sister was not in bed, and commenced weeping because she's lonely. "I can't sleep by myself!" she whined. And then said: "Also, I'm really really cold and shivering but I also feel really hot."

4. I realized that the fastest way, at that point, to get both children back to sleep was by agreeing to sleep in their room with them.

5. I woke up about every hour because of children coughing, children sneezing, or children getting up to pee.

6. I woke up for good and could barely move, because I was sore from 1. (above) and because wow, is the kids' bed uncomfortable.

7. Neither child went to school today.

8. I was supposed to leave work early to attend a parent-teacher conference for Phoebe. I wasn't able to do so. The school secretary seemed ve…

I have also decided...

...that hiring two people to reduce my workload has, in fact, only added to my workload.

...that if Mallory really wants to decorate her own shirt for St Patrick's Day, I should let her, even though I'm afraid she'll end up looking goofy.

...that I want one of these for Mother's Day, except not with the names Benjamin and Elizabeth, obviously.

...that I should ask my brother if he got horrible headaches from giving up Diet Coke? Because I have, when I've tried to stop drinking it in the past, but I don't know whether it's from caffeine withdrawal (scary) or aspartame withdrawal (even scarier).

...that instead of me explaining to my Brownies' parents how the girls earned the three badges they'll be getting at our Awards Ceremony tonight, I should make the girls explain it themselves. But also, that I should have cheat sheets just in case none of them have a clue.

...that I need to get Mallory another dress uniform, because washing the single one she…

I have decided

….that I want a pair of red shoes.

….to join the Y with the children. We would all benefit from more physical activity.

….to tell you that I have two really fascinating blog posts in mind, that I’ve been meaning to write for a few weeks now, one about Phoebe and one about Mallory, but I haven’t had the time to put them together.

….to limit my time on the computer to 20 minutes after the kids go to bed. I’m on the computer all day at work. I need to make more of the free time that I have.

….that if someone doesn’t buy my dining room furniture soon I’m just going to put it out on the curb.

….that I need to drink more water and less Diet Coke.

….that I want to take a photography class.

….that based on the number of times Mallory sneezed yesterday afternoon, spring is definitely on its way. And that, despite the allergies, I’ve never been so glad that winter is over.

Look who dressed herself this morning

Work, life, choices, and so on (and on and on)

I read two interesting articles yesterday about education and motherhood and choices and the timetable of life. The first mentioned a proposal in the President’s new education bill:

Take, for example, the National Center on Education and the Economy’s plan to have eight states experiment with allowing public school students to graduate after tenth grade upon finishing clearly stated requirements, and to then go on to community college. . . . One of the most ironically damaging aspects of the GI Bill in the 1940s was the notion, now so deeply entrenched in the American soul as to seem not an opinion at all, that four years of a liberal arts education at a university is a default experience for people after high school, and that to not do this is opt for, or be saddled with, the lowlier fate of “Not Going To College.” In this era when we so often bemoan the plight of uneducated young men, it is high time we returned to championing vocational education as America used to – and once again …