From the mouth of Phoebes

We saw a Little Person in Walgreen's the other day, which meant I spent a few bad moments, while looking for the children's ibuprofen, hoping my children weren't staring too baldly and that they wouldn't say anything too loudly. Fortunately they were polite; it was only last night that Phoebe remembered, and said: "Hey Mommy, I saw an Orf the other day, and she looked like a grandma Orf!"

Later, she said, "How come that lady was so short?"

"God makes people in all shapes and sizes," I said. "Small, tall, skinny, fat..."

"And triangle too!" she said.


Phoebe challenged me to a staring contest. "I'm staring...I'm staring...I'm staring...oops, you blunk!" she said.


"How do you spell thur?" she asked, crayon in hand.

"Thur?" I said. "What's a thur?"

"You know, thur," she said. "Like...thur is not going to be a tornado today."


"Do you know about yish?" she asked.

"Yish?" Chris said. "What's that?"

"We learned about it in music class," she said. "You know." She did a twirl. "The music starts...and then you yish!"


If anyone can think of a restaurant logo with three mice, possibly blind, with whiskers, and maybe wearing chef's hats, please let me know. Phoebe swears that we ate at a place with these mice on the sign but none of us can figure out what she means. It's bugging her a lot.


After the Storm

Over 50 tornadoes swept through North Carolina on Saturday afternoon. Several houses in a neighborhood not four miles from our house were destroyed. People are not being allowed back in to check on their pets. We didn't even lose a shingle or a tree branch. I don't know why.

In a mobile home park outside Raleigh, a 3-month-old baby was swept from his uncle's arms when the tornado hit; the baby was found, unhurt, under a pile of rubble about 30 minutes later. Three other children in the same park did not survive. I don't know why.

"Do you feel lucky?" a reporter asked a man whose house remained standing when others around it had fallen. "No, I'm not lucky," the man replied. "I'm blessed."

I prefer to think of it as luck, honestly. At the end of the storm, I still had my house and my husband and my two children (one in a pretty dress mugging for the camera, one in mismatched clothes refusing to smile) -- but if that makes me blessed, does it make those who lost everything cursed? I don't like thinking that way. That is to say: I count my blessings and thank God for them, but I refuse to take it personally.

I'm lucky. I'm glad.


Birthday Bunnies

The latest from my crochet hook. This first bunny was for Amy's birthday:

And this one is for my niece Isabel's birthday. (I'm assuming Isabel doesn't read my blog. If she does, sorry for spoiling the surprise. And either way, sorry it's going to be a few days late.)

And, that's what I've been up to.


Weekly Update

Last night Phoebe asked me to help find her doll Amanda. “Which one is Amanda?” I asked, because there are twenty million baby dolls in my household and I can’t keep track of which one is Amanda and which one is Chelsea and which one is Megan and which one is Jaquinta.

Phoebe sighed. “Mommy. You should know this by now. Amanda is the one whose favorite color is purple. She likes me to sing to her, and she likes baby food, and her name is Amanda.”

Needless to say, this information was not very helpful in locating Amanda.


Mallory has been taking her times tables tests; for months she was stuck on her 3’s. Last month she finally passed her 4’s and 5’s. Last Friday she passed 6’s; this Monday, 7’s; Wednesday, 8’s; yesterday she knocked out 9, 10, and 11 in one fell swoop. Go Mallory!


I was just named Employee of the Month for, as my nominator put it, remaining ever-pleasant while focusing on creating a high quality product that was deployed on time. This is actually the second time I’ve been so honored. I got a trophy full of chocolate, a prime parking space, and some cold hard cash. Go me!


A few days ago Mallory said, “Today at school we learned that someday the world is going to run out of oil.”

“Yes, that’s probably true,” I said.

“I can’t wait,” she said. “That means no school!”

That’s my girl, always looking on the bright side.


This morning I dropped the girls off at school; I walked them over to my father-in-law’s car (he sits with them for 10 minutes until the doors open), then went back to my car, only to find it surrounded on both sides by two of those huge extended vans. What the? I wondered. I had to squeeeeeeze by to get to my car door, and then was barely able to open it without hitting the van to that side of me. Then I could barely see to pull out of the parking space. Who are these people in these huge vans, and why are they here? I fumed to myself. Then, as I was pulling away, I glanced over and saw a bunch of monks piling out of the vans – robed, bearded, mostly barefoot. My annoyance vanished, because really, that’s a sight you don’t see every day, and anyway how can you be mad at monks?

(I think they’re technically Franciscan brothers, not monks, but monks makes the story better.)