Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2011


Early Tuesday morning I found Mallory on her bathroom floor, soaked with sweat. “?” I said, and she said, “I don’t feel good, and it’s just easier not to go back to bed.”

She did not go to school on Tuesday, but this morning she looked less peaked so I told her that she needed to go today. She said she still felt bad. I said I thought she’d be fine. “You don’t know everything, you know,” she said. “You’re not God.”

“No, but I’m your mother, so I know more than you,” I retorted.

Before lunch, the school secretary called and said that Mallory had a fever. Apparently strep throat has stricken the fourth grade. I feel kind of bad about sending her to school this morning. But then again – I think I would rather her teacher think that I’m a mom who errs on the side of sending the kid to school than a mom who keeps the kid home just in case.

This would be a good strategy, if I’d only known as much as God does.

My brother has suggested that I repent

Yesterday, an earthquake. This weekend, a hurricane.

Yesterday, Mallory told me that her math homework was fun. Today, Phoebe woke up, said she was stuffy and had a bad cough, but did not request to stay home from school.

Yesterday, my boss told me that the promotion which has been in the works for me for almost two years is on the cusp of being approved.

It just may be the apocalypse, y'all.

First Day of Shool!*


A first grader, a fourth grader. Another summer gone, another year ahead. When questioned, Phoebe said her first day was "Good," and Mallory said hers was "Bad, because I hate school." So there you are.

Phoebe is supposed to read aloud for 15 minutes each night. Last night she chose her favorite book, which is, alas, Spongebob and the Princess. I’m not above laughing at Spongebob the TV show every now and then, but the whimsy doesn’t translate well into books.

I also thought the book might be too hard for Phoebe, but I was mostly wrong. She read words like “gloomily” and “understand” and “delivery” with no problem. And when she got to a word she didn’t know…well, for the first few pages, she would just kind of make a confused noise: “Spongebob walked through the door and …bishbesh?” And I would say: “busily,” and she would continue. As we went on, though (and as she gained additional audience members, namely Chris and Mallory), she became more inventiv…

Charlotte was both

Mallory was required to read Charlotte's Web over the summer; what ended up happening was me reading it aloud to her. We finished tonight, with one day to spare before school starts, and my children proved themselves soulless by not only failing to cry when Charlotte dies, but by giggling at me when I cried.

Although I saw the original Charlotte's Web movie many times as a child, and can still hear the voices of Templeton and Wilbur in my head, I don't think I've ever read the book until now. (I did read and re-read The Trumpet of the Swan several times.) It will seem silly to point this out, but it's a very good book, isn't it? I love the exchange between Mr and Mrs Zuckerman after the first word appears in the web. He says: "A miracle has happened and a sign has occurred here on earth, right on our farm, and we have no ordinary pig."

"Well," said Mrs Zuckerman, "it seems to me you're a little off. It seems to me we have no ordina…

I laughed when she said it in spite of myself

"When did you and Daddy move into your first house together?" Mallory asked.

"The year 2000...we bought a house in Durham."

"Was I born yet?" she asked.

"No, not yet."

"Were you pregnant with me?"

"No, not yet," I said.

"Were you..." she paused for a minute. "Were you maybe trying the thing that would make you pregnant with me?"

"That's a personal question," I said.

"Well, I'm sorry if you were," Phoebe chimed in. "That's not pleasant for the woman."


Next to impossible: Getting all four kids to look good in one shot

Seems impossible: That these kids (plus two others!) used to look like this:

Completely impossible: Two girls getting along better than these two did for four days

Possible: That I have the best family ever

Also possible: That I'm sad that it'll be several more months before we're together again

Crafty Update

I've made a whopping total of two things this summer. A puppy for Phoebe's birthday:

And a cell phone case for me:

The case needs a bit of tweaking; I'm not happy with the strap. But it was way easier than making a stuffed animal, I'll tell you that much.

The girls were on etsy with me last night looking at crochet patterns. Now I have a list of requests a mile long. I'm not sure when I'll have time to get to these new projects, but I'll keep you posted. Because I know you care.

The Rest of the Story

We had planned a grand tour of downtown Chicago, a kind of Ferris-Bueller's-Day-Off extravaganza. Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, Gino's Pizza, Rock n Roll McDonald's, Navy Pier, John Hancock Observatory -- the works, plus some. As it turns out, we were overly ambitious -- and we had underestimated how much time it would take to get from Aunt Kathy's farm into the city, hindered by, among other things, railroad crossings and toll plazas and our inability to get up and at 'em at the crack of dawn as planned.

So we didn't manage to see everything we would've liked to see, but we saw enough. Sunday morning we started at the American Girl place on Michigan Avenue, where my children were overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff available to purchase:

In the end, they each selected a "Look-Alike Doll" (a more difficult task than you would imagine):

Money spent, we went down the street to the famous Gino's East for some deep-dish goodness:

The fun thin…