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Showing posts from July, 2011

How we spent our summer vacation

Last week we -- being Chris, the girls and I; Amy; and Chris's parents -- set out for Chicago and its suburbs to attend a reunion of Claudia's family, the Podgornys. Chris was born in Hammond, Indiana, just south of Chicago, and lived there until he was about seven. He described the region -- in fact, people call it "The Region" -- as the "Industrial Armpit of the Midwest." Both of his grandfathers and many other assorted family members worked for the steel mills (one worked in the Cook County jail and once turned the key on Capone). There was a great deal of nostalgia about this trip -- eating at White Castle, getting Green Rivers at Schoop's; driving past the spot on well-traveled Calumet Avenue where Chris, then three, fell out of the car and narrowly avoided being killed. We saw his and Amy's elementary school, and the Dairy Bee where they got ice cream, and the cute little house where they grew up.

We stayed with Claudia's cousin, Kathy, a…

Travel Tips

If, at the end of last summer's road trip, you put away the cables to the portable DVD player in a spot that you think that you'll remember before next summer's road will be wrong.

If you tell your 6-year-old to pack six changes of clothes, she will pack 6 skirts and 6 shirts...none of which match.

If you tell your 9-year-old to pack six changes of clothes, she will ask you why a million times, and then not do it.

If you're excited about visiting Chicago, but dreading the 13-hour're only human.

If you hope to have lots of good pictures and stories to tell upon your're a blogger.

Catch you next week.

Growing Up

Today I had Mallory try on the sundress I got her to wear at our upcoming family reunion. "It looks good," I said as she examined herself in the mirror.

"It's kind of grown-up looking," she said. "It's sleeveless." Then she raised up her arms and examined her armpits. "I just hope I don't start puberty before the reunion, because that wouldn't be pretty."


Phoebe is six today -- six on the 6th, so it's her "golden birthday," and it's also the first birthday that falls on the same day of the week on which she was born. (Like me, she's a Wednesday child -- full of woe.)

"Good-bye, Five, I'm sorry to leave you," she said last night before bed.

I'm sorry to leave Five too. Five was a good year for Phoebe. She did big kid things -- started school, started Girl Scouts, learned to read, made a new best friend (MEGAN! -- always said like that, in caps with an exclamation point). But she was still little -- loves to snuggle, can't sit still for more than a minute, says "bekfrast" and "callerpitter," sings and dances for us without being self-conscious. And she's still full of giggles and jokes and still a clothes diva and loves dolls and Spongebob and, somehow, usually manages to get her own way by turning on the tears.

I will miss Five. But as Phoebe also said last night, &quo…