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Showing posts from August, 2010

Wabbit hunting

I’ve been trying to think of songs to sing with the Girl Scouts. Honestly I don’t like being a song leader, but I know the kids like it, so it’s a sacrifice I must make, I suppose. Anyway, last night I remembered this song:

Little cabin in the woods
Little man by the window stood
Little rabbit hopping by
Knocking at his door
“Help me! Help me! Help me!” cried
“Before the hunters shoot me dead.”
“Little rabbit, come inside,
Safely to abide.”

You do hand motions for each line, and then repeat it, dropping a line each time so that with the last repetition you ONLY do hand motions, not signing at all. I remember thinking this was great fun.

But – can you sing a song like this with children today? With the hunters and the shooting? In my time it didn’t matter; we’d all watched Elmer Fudd tracking Bugs Bunny with his gun (and we were none the worse for it, I think). Kids these days, though – they see Dora the Explorer “vanquishing” her enemy by repeating “Swiper no swiping!” three times. M…

The Plan, Part II

So, since May 1st I’ve lost 22 pounds. Yay!

However, about 18 pounds of that was between May 1st and July 15th. And in August I gained two pounds back. Boo!

Lots of reasons for this, I think. I got bored, mostly. I essentially ate the same thing for breakfast and lunch – whole wheat toast with peanut butter, salad, an apple – for three months. It’s been too hot to exercise. I was also – and this is no small thing, really – pleased enough to be 20 pounds lighter. I look better! I feel better! So my motivation more or less dwindled.

I’m ready to get back on track, though. Twenty pounds is good; thirty or forty would be even better. So I’m starting again. I’m getting some new recipes and a semi-new plan. I figured out that if I lose about two pounds a week – giving and taking here and there for plateaus and pizza and Halloween candy and apple pie – I’ll be thirty pounds lighter by Christmas.

Here’s the wacky part of my plan. I’m signing up for the Gobblers’ Run 5k race held in my town o…

M is for making me laugh

Mallory seems to be enjoying third grade. She made me cringe by saying this: “We had to fill out a graph of how many books we read this summer. Luckily, ‘one’ was an option.” (I considered telling her that sometimes, it’s okay to lie, but decided not to go there.) Then she said, “For quiet reading time I picked out Little House on the Prairie. But I decided it was boring so I switched it for Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew.” On the other hand, she’s reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid at home (for her required 20 minutes a day – although I don’t think she ever hits 20) and keeps saying how good it is, so maybe there’s hope.

She has a new BFF and they’ve decided to be “locker pen pals,” which means that she has to make a craft or picture or something and put it in BFF’s locker before school every day.

She put a note in Phoebe’s lunch box the other day: “Phoebe, I hope you have a good day in school! Love, your sister Mallory.” The “your sister” part kills me. It seems not to have occurred to her…

Spoke too soon (that's never happened before)

This morning Phoebe woke up and announced, "I don't feel like going to school. I'm stuffy and my legs hurt." This escalated to a full-blown tantrum ("But I don't feeeeel like going to schoooool!"). I confess to being bad at tantrums. My best strategy is to ignore, ignore ("I'm sorry that you're upset that you can't have ice cream before dinner, but I'm not discussing it anymore, so go over there if you're going to cry") -- but you can't ignore a child who's crying about not wanting to go to school when you actually have to get her to school. Comfort ("You'll feel better once you get there, and you'll see your friends!") and reason ("You have to go to school because I have to to work, and you can't stay home all by yourself.") also failed.

To make things even better, she locked her arms at her side every time I tried to get her dressed, so we wound up driving to school with her still i…

Phoebe goes to Kindergarten

I suppose I ought to say something about the fact that Phoebe has started Kindergarten. I think I’ve been putting it off because I’m still not quite ready for it.

The first morning was rough – actually, I’m going to say that the two weeks leading up to school starting were rough, with an increase of tantrums and tears on her part, which I’m chalking up to school anxiety. When the big day arrived, she woke up crying through breakfast and getting dressed (especially because she had to wear her PE uniform, which is just not pretty), and continued to cry until we got to the parking lot. We were early (I had to drop off some coffee cups for a teachers’ breakfast), so we had time for some first-day pictures outside of school.

Yeah, she didn’t look too happy, did she?

But, once we got in the classroom, she brightened up. She overheard her teacher say that she had just returned from visiting family in Mississippi. “I drove over the Mississippi River last Christmas,” Phoebe said. “And also, I…

Dog Days

Mouse the dog is living with us this week while my inlaws are out of town. She's been good, mostly. The funny thing is, I keep slipping and almost calling her "Finn" -- but only when I'm about to reprimand her. "No jumping, Finn...Mouse!" And so on.

I remember doing the same thing when Phoebe was first born. The only time I called my new baby "Mallory" was when I was at the end of my rope. "Please go to sleep, Mal...Phoebe." And so on.

I'm not sure what that means, really. I will say that I miss Finn, and when I see the girls walking off into the school building together I miss my babies. But I'm also very glad to live most of the time in a dogless, babyless house.

Third Grade

"Say, 'Third grade rules!'" I said to Mallory, trying to get her to smile for the camera.

"But I don't know if that's true yet," she said. My child, the eight-and-a-half-year-old literalist.

I loved third grade, myself. I loved my teacher, Mrs Neill. She could be loud and kind of scary when we were acting up, but she was funny, too. Certain things she said still stick in my mind. We did the state capitols in third grade, and I can't see or hear "Idaho" without remembering how she said, "I'd a hoe iffen it doesn't rain," when we learned "Boise." If I hear the line, "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo," I remember Mrs Neill saying in a squeaky voice, "I'm down here, Juliet!" (When, I learned that "wherefore" actually means "why," I was immediately filled with concern that perhaps Mrs Neill didn't realize that.)

One day we were learning irregular verb endings…

Y Not?

Every time we drive by a particular intersection on our way to swim at the Y, Phoebe says:

"I promise, the last time we drove by here, there was a bunny on the corner right there, and he was wearing a suit and glasses. I wonder where he went?"

And I have yet to think of a good response.


Thursday morning, the talk around the office was the Big Storm that had rolled in just after midnight. Booming thunder, scary lightning, flash flooding, power outages all over Raleigh. “I guess it didn’t get out over my direction,” I told people. “I didn’t hear a thing.”

After talking to Chris later, I realized that we DID get the storm after all. I not only slept through it, I slept through the fact that it woke both my children up, and they STAYED up for almost two hours, unable to go back to sleep because they were scared – both by the storm, and by memories of the Wallace and Gromit movie we’d watched the night before. (Yes, my children are frightened by Wallace and Gromit.)

All I have to say about that is – thanks, kids, for picking Daddy that night instead of me.

Mallory has started a prayer campaign for a baby sibling. (You can bet that I have started a counter.) She thinks this campaign will work because it did for a school friend of hers. This poor family – the husband has fo…

Summer Fotos

What, you had enough pictures from my endless DisneyWorld recaps? Too bad.

It's SuperMallory! (Costume courtesy of her father, who is the best father in the world to have if you're required to dress up as a superhero).

Phoebe had a birthday:

My mom came to visit, and brought Mallory a homemade quilt:

My sister and her boys were also there. (Look! Noah's smiling!)

They had a splashing good time:

Aimee took this picture. I love it. (I seem to have gotten no pictures of Aimee, though. Sorry Aimee! Guess you'll have to come back.)

It's been a good summer.

School starts in 13 days. Not that anyone around here is counting.