Wednesday, May 31, 2006

This guy

He's absolutely mortified as he reads the blog today. Oh my God, why would she put up THAT picture. She can't actually be writing about me...

For those of you who know us well, you also know this story. We met at Emerson College in September 1992. I was in the third week of my freshman year. My workstudy job was putting in 15 hours a week in the box office at the Brimmer Street Theatre. The first show that year was The Miser, and Alec was the stage manager. The cast and crew of a production were entitled to some number of comped tickets, and Alec came by to claim his. He flirted and grinned. Later that day, at the first performance, a very different Alec rushed over in his show blacks, stopwatch in hand. He was terse because the box office manager, Dierdre, a graduate student, hadn't told me that I was supposed to keep an eye on the call light directly behind where I was sitting from the stage manager signaling that he wanted to close the front of house and start the show.

"Do you know what that flashing light means?" he hissed between his teeth.

"Tinkerbell is still alive?" I offered.

He set his jaw arrogantly. "The next time I use the call light, I expect an answer." With that, he stormed off.

Dierdre sat hunched over her ticket sales spreadsheet, her shoulders shaking with laughter. From that point forward, we just referred to him as "Tink", which seemed to fit his slight build and frenetic manner.

In March 1993, I was assigned to work patch panel (for nontheatre folk, I had to plug and unplug a bunch of circuits in a certain order during the course of the show) for a production called Story of Him. Alec designed the set, so he was there for production week. He came into the lightbooth to say hi to the lighting designer. Since the patch panel was mounted at about 5 feet, I was sitting on a table in the lightbooth, mostly waiting for my half dozen cues. It was dark in the booth, and we were all wearing our blacks, so he was startled to find me sitting behind him. He introduced himself.

"Yeah, Alec, I know who you are. You've introduced yourself five times now, so apparently you really want to know me, but just can't be bothered to remember my name. I hope you're paying attention this time, because the next time I'm just going to ignore you."

That got his attention. During the subsquent breaks, he seemed to always be wherever I was. He followed me into the lounge while I was smoking apparently to scold me as only an exsmoker does, to which I said something choice like "I don't care what you think". The next day, he invited me out to coffee after the call. By the end of production week, and the show's week long run, we were pretty much inseparable. I moved in with him in June 1993, and we got married almost exactly 3 years later on June 1, 1996. Five days after we got married, we packed all of our belongings into a Ryder truck, including Seamus the then very small cat and moved to Green Bay. In 1998, we moved back East, basically because I was tired of the Midwest, and we moved into an apartment we'd never seen, and Alec took a job for someone he'd never met.

So our relationship now spans over 13 years - we've been married for 10 of those years, and parents together for almost 4. I fell in love with Alec when he was 20 years old and he will be 34 in a couple of weeks. I couldn't have possibly imagined at 18 that I'd meet this guy. That we'd fall in love, get married, and commit to spending our lives together. I had no glimmer in my eye of the 2 beautiful daughters we'd have. I fell in love with this guy because he was really smart and he made me laugh. He likes to tell people he's glad he met me when I was a kid because as a grown up I never would've put up with him.

But the truth is, I could've spent a lifetime searching and I would never found someone who loves me the way this guy does. Who really believes in me and shares in our successes and in is able to find the lessons behind our struggles, both as individuals and as a couple. Someone who just gets me. I am blessed to call this brilliant, adorable man my husband and I am very proud of him. He is an amazing Dad. He is passionate about his work. And above all else, he still makes me laugh. Remember, when I roll my eyes, I'm laughing on the inside, Schmoopie.

Happy 10th anniversary! I'm looking forward to seeing what the next 10 years has in store for us...

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

G and Lauren


My mom and grandmother came by today to visit and took some pictures with the girls. Here's Mimi:
And Lauren dressed as Princess Cinderella:

Sunday, May 28, 2006

One vote no

Fed up with the house apes, particularly the tiny loud one, Seamus contemplates escape.

Feeding little sis

Chill baby

Lindsay is the chill baby. Unlike most newborns, she doesn't care if she's naked, has wet feet, or alcohol rubbed on her belly. Although that list sounds suspiciously like an ad for Girls Gone Wild! Spring Break Edition, that happens to be what Dr Queen of Sheba, the pediatrician, recommended for waking her for feedings. After a few hours of trying to diligently wake her every 2 hours to eat, we paged Doc Q of S to tell her this wasn't working, and in fact, Lindsay was sleeping more soundly than before and seemed a bit lethargic. Since HP Pediatrics doesn't do evening weekend hours, the Queen told us to take the baby to the emergency room. So, Alec took off with the sleeping baby under his arm, and I feigned "the evening routine while Daddy is out of town" with Lauren.

Lindsay is fine, of course. Not only is she fine, she gained 3 ounces since Friday. I took her in this morning to see Dr Queen of Sheba. When she saw my tired face, she apologetically started in her exotic accent "there are several serious illnesses which present in the first week with symptoms of lethargy and I felt it was most prudent to have your baby seen immediately". I knew that she and Alec had talked after he left the ER, and she said she'd called to follow up with the lab about the results for Lindsay's urine and blood cultures which were apparently still not back (further supporting Alec's decision NOT to hang out at St Peter's and wait for them). She spent the rest of the exam assuring me that everything looked good and that we should schedule the next weight check on Wednesday. She also admitted that her babies wouldn't take to nursing either, and that our reasoning of quantifying how much Lindsay eats made sense.

Chill baby is now in a diaper in the Neglectomatic (baby swing) having eaten about 6 ounces of milk (the Mommy variety) this afternoon.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

A break from all the cute stuff

When we were released from the hospital on Tuesday, Lindsay had lost about 15 % of her body weight. We instructed by the pediatrician to supplement nursing with formula. We're not new to this - Lauren weighed only 4 pounds when she left the hospital and we had a similar routine of feeding every 2 hours. Fortunately, since Lindsay weighs just under 6 pounds, we're able to let her wake herself when hungry at night which has been every 4 hours - which makes this a whole lot more bearable than it was with Lauren.

Lindsay is starting to prefer the bottle, which is to be expected. It's a whole lot easier for her. It is entirely about hormones that this feels like rejection, but I'll embarrassedly admit I burst into tears yesterday in front of one of the partners in my pediatrician's practice and her medical student, completely frustrated that for the second time I find myself failing at what's supposed to be a natural process. I can step back and realize it's sort of ridiculous that doing what's best for my babies would cause me to feel rejected and like a failure. Particularly since it's just the delivery system that's not working for us - I am making plenty of milk and Lindsay is drinking it out of a bottle. It's more efficient for both of us, and allows my husband to share in feeding the baby. Yet, I can't seem to shake the negative emotions about it. Taking the pediatrician's advice to make Lindsay nurse for a half hour every 2 hours before offering a bottle just makes us both upset. She's ravenous. I feel like every single interaction I have with my newborn is a struggle.

I decided to take my husband's advice and stop struggling with this. It's much more important that Lindsay puts on some weight than whether or not I feel validated. Besides, I'm not sure if I would've scored his admiration were it not for being able to pump, answer client e-mail, and catalog Lauren's inventory of Playdoh food. Oh, right. I just birthed a 6 1/2 pound baby. Du-uh.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The girls


"I want you to know that I would do anything for you."

"I know, Daddy."

"I mean it. If there was ever anything you needed I would get it for you."

"Yeah," Lauren said, "I know. You can reach things that are too high..."

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Newborn fix

All together now: awwww...

Animal games

As you know, Lauren spent most of last week with G. Although you usually get her funny/random/poignant observation of the day, even I forget sometimes what a delightful little person she is.

My mom told me that Lauren likes to play a game she calls "Animals that can eat people". Though there were 4 of us, and mom spent a lot of time around her younger cousins, and with her niece and nephew, she hadn't heard of the game where you discuss different creatures that consume human flesh. Her initial reaction was to try and find less morbid animal facts to discuss, but Lauren was persistant.

"Come on, G. How about alligators?"

"Sure," she said, looking a little pale.

"And sharks! Think about those big teeth!" she offered.

Somehow I doubt these facts are from Go, Diego, Go! The other source of animal facts is her Leapfrog Globe, which is more believable to me that one of the facts of the great white is that it's a man eater. Geez. What were they thinking?

Oh, I know. I'll take "Ways to shock and amuse the grandparents" for $100, Alex...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

And on to the next thing...

Here we are. A new day, a new photo.

Minutes after Lauren met her baby sister, she crawled up into G's lap and announced, "Okay. I'd like a baby brother next."

My husband and I laughed. "We're not going to decide that today," I replied.

"I think we should name my baby brother Grampie."

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Lindsay Alexandra, born May 21 at 7:11 AM

I know, Internet! You are clamoring for pictures of the future supreme court justice Lindsay Stoll. But I really need a nap.

I look pretty gorgeous and divine for just having given birth, if I do say so myself.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

To Benbom and Amira

My brother had his own language as a toddler, and I was the only one who could interpret it. Ben called me Ha-ah and called himself Benbom. Ben and I were best friends and preferred playmates easily until I started 6th or 7th grade. As teenagers, we had very separate lives. That 2 1/2 year age difference became huge, and also we attended different high schools - I went to public school and Ben went to prep school. The years before I left for college were difficult ones for my family, as our parents separated and divorced. Before Ben left to attend Bryant, both our parents had remarried. It isn't strange that those events probably contribute as much as anything to the close relationship we've always shared, despite that we haven't lived near each other in about a dozen years. And also, a person who remembers you when you tried to see how many pieces of gum you could cram into your mouth in hopes of blowing a bubble worthy of The Guinness Book usually has the ability to make you laugh hard enough to snarf milk at formal family functions.

When we met Maria, we already knew she was The One, and within the first few minutes of meeting her it was easy to see why. I mean, besides that she's staggeringly smart and gorgeous (she's rolling her eyes as she reads that - and modest), but like my brother, Maria has a great outlook on life and a killer sense of humor. My daughter had a unique pronunciation of her name when she began associating names with people, and for the longest time would jumble the syllables to Amira as in "Unta-Ben-and-Amira". Anyway, I think my brother is a pretty awesome guy...and I couldn't have picked a better partner for him.

Today they start their lives together as husband and wife - I wish I could be there to celebrate because we are so excited for them - and I wish them all the best. I hope he doesn't make her laugh and snarf wedding cake because that would make for some pretty funky pictures.

I love you both!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Haven't had the baby yet...

Thanks to those who sent cute email, IMs, or made funny phone calls this week. I really needed that!

The news is...there's no news really. We're in a holding pattern where I have random contractions and don't sleep. I have a major case of the grumps today, this being the 6th straight day of same old same old.

My daughter is on her way to Haverhill for THE BIG WEDDING, and she is very excited. It's still mostly about cake, but hey. I'm sure Ben and Maria are also excited about cake. Oh and dancing! Dancing is fun too.

I tried to get my daughter to taunt my dad about the Yankees. I really have no idea why. Lauren can only identify the sport of baseball about 6 times out of 10, and hasn't even a dim idea of the teams involved. I spent a couple of hours working on "So, how 'bout them Yankees?" and then tried simply "Go Mets!" I suspect he's going to get some sort of muddled greeting like "Hey, Grampie! Mom says you met a yankee", which he's likely not to understand at all. Piffle. Two was a lot better for sending parrot messages.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Classic moments in parenting

The best recent moment was on a Saturday, we went for a family walk. When we got back, we decided to make a trip to The Home Depot. We had planted all the seedlings and young vegetables in our garden and realized that our garden hose (a garage sale purchase) had sprung too many leaks to make it through another season. So we hopped in the car.

There's a Dunkin Donuts on Route 1 North in Edison. It's hard to drive by there without stopping to have myself a small iced decaf hazelnut coffee extra light with milk. It's sweet. It has no sugar. And if they make it extra light, it can count as one of those wretched 8 ounce glasses of milk I'm supposed to drink 4 times a day. So as we turned on to Route 1, I mentioned we could stop at Dunkin Donuts.

My husband is programmed at this point that he just nods, rather than saying he doesn't feel like coffee or whatever. He's gritting his teeth a bit as he drives because I had gone out earlier, and not filled the gas tank, so as we turned off of Woodbridge Ave, the car's gas light came on. There's nothing that makes a husband more crazy than no gas in the car. I swear, he'd react better if I used all his t-shirts for dust rags or dropped his toothbrush on the bathroom floor.

At the same moment, his mother calls on his cell phone and he's trying to have a conversation with her, listen to our daughter whine about how it's time for Chicken McNuggets, and watch the needle of the gas gauge sit on "E".

We stop at Dunkin Donuts, he orders 2 iced regular coffees with milk, and I am fuming because I wanted mine flavored, decaf, and with extra milk and how dare he not ask me how I wanted my coffee. As he pulls up to the window, he looks at me expectantly.

"What?" I demand.

"It's $3.45."

"I don't have my purse."

He puts down the phone. "What?!"

"I don't have my purse."

He picks up the phone, "Mom, I have to call you back." He lowers the window and says to the cashier holding out her hand, "I'm sorry. We should've checked before we ordered, but I didn't realize my wife didn't have her wallet." Without waiting for a reply, he pulled out of the lot with a screech.

"How could you not bring your [expletive] purse?"

"Dammit! We were on a walk and we just got into the car. Of course I didn't have it with me. How was I supposed to know you had no cash?"

We continue having this silly conversation until we arrive at The Home Depot where I insist on sulking in the car rather than indulging my mean and cruel husband by accompanying him to purchase a hose. Really.

So, as stupid arguments go, about ten minutes later we realize that it's actually sort of funny that we left the Dunkin Donuts lady with coffee and silly that neither of us had cash and after all, every other chain now accepts credit cards. Once we're able to pin the blame on someone else, we've moved on to talking about how we're going to mount the hose on the house.

We went out that night to see a movie while Jess watched our daughter. When we got home from the movie, Jess said, "She told me a weird story when I tried to put her to bed."

And I said, "Oh. What was the story?"

Jess replied, "She said it would've been a good day today, if only Mommy had remembered her [expletive] purse."

Clipped wings

My daughter had an impromptu playdate yesterday. Contractions somewhere around 8-12 minutes that wouldn't go away with the warm bath/ drinking water combination led to a call to the doc, and Karen and Chris came to save the day. Karen took me to see the doc while Chris and son entertained my daughter, and took her to McDonalds for a Happy Meal, because as Karen says, if you're going out around lunch, you really need fries.

The doc pronounced I am now too prepared for labor to travel 250 miles to Haverhill for the wedding. Yeah, I know Haverhill is underwater right now...I'm sure Joyce (mother of the bride) has already ordered black tie snorkel and swimfins. If trying to find ivory toddler shoes is hard, y'oughta see what a pain in the rump getting an ivory snorkel is. And before you ask, I am sure swimfins are rated for mucking in sewage (seriously, that was the news headline out of Haverhill this morning that if you're trying to pump your basement, there have been problems with seepage from the city sewers and you should wear protective gear).

My daughter is getting picked up today by my mom for the wedding. She is an enthusiastic flower girl, and wanted to know if she can wear her dress today for (shouted at full voice) BEN'S WEDDING. She's very also excited to spend some time with her grandparents, her great-grandmother, and her uncles and aunts. But even better...oh and this is just exciting enough to make a 3 1/2 year old girl bounce on her bed...there's a big party with dancing after the wedding and, get this, CAKE!! A huge cake! "Well," she said thoughtfully, "you really need to have cake at a party."

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

My mom always spent a lot of time decorating and preparing for holidays when we were growing up. There was a drawer in the hutch in the kitchen that smelled of tapered candles and was cram packed full of wreaths, paper cut outs, garland, and crafts for nearly every holiday. And I don't just mean a plastic mosaic Santa or little plastic eggs. She had a collection of little leprechauns for St Patrick's Day, flags for Memorial Day, and bright foil hearts for St Valentine's Day. She drew elaborate little scenes on her calendar for these days with flair pens.

Mom took us to the beach at least once a week in the summers. Most of the time, we went to Old Lyme, which is where her mom, aunts, and cousins vacationed when she was little. We always stopped for Italian ices and penny candy before we'd climb, covered in sand, back in the station wagon to ride home. When I was a little older, my parents rented a house on Cape Cod, first for a week, then two weeks...eventually, my mom, brothers, and sister would spent a month up there, while Dad drove up on Friday nights and spent the weekends with us. We'd go to the beach every sunny day and eat balogne and American cheese sandwiches and lemonade.

My mom was fun. So much so because she didn't try to be. I hope when my girls think back on growing up, along with the bitter arguments about curfews and make up (gosh should I be so blessed!) they think that growing up with me was fun too.

Friday, May 12, 2006


My daughter and I made a birthday card and printed some pictures for a 3-part frame for Jess' (aka The Best Babysitter in the World) birthday. We used black construction paper, stick on letters, and wrote her message in white crayon.

In the middle of our craft project, the Peapod delivery arrived. My daughter greeted the deliverywoman at the door with cheers of "Go, Peapod Lady!"

As she brought the groceries into the house, she began talking about a mile a minute. "We're making a card and printing pictures for Jess' birthday."

"Oh, really?" said the woman, as she carried the 8 plastic bags into the kitchen and set them on the floor.

"Yep. Well, you know, Jess is my babysitter. And her birthday party is tomorrow."

The woman laughed. "You always get a life story at this age," she said to me.

"True enough," I replied.

"Jess will be here at noon," my daughter added, ignoring our talking over her.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The fish

My daughter has begun her aquarist hobby early, and has a 6.6 gallon freshwater tank in her room. It's a pretty fascinating little colony both in that her fish have a lot of personality, and that they're comfortable and happy in such a girly aquarium with brightly colored stones and neon glass starfish and shells.

The "star" of her colony is Candy, who is a male Siamese betta (Betta Splendens). He looks a little like this:
Candy is a very personable little guy and swims up to the top of the tank to say hi. Or he's always hungry and is constantly begging for food. It's hard to tell with fish.

We had purchased a dozen neon tetra (Paracheirodon innesi) that she named collectively Cookie or the Cookies. We still have about 9 living in the tank. They suffered some as we learned that the tank must only be fed once a day or else tetra eat too much and die.
The community seemed pretty happy at that point. We figured we're about at the end of the bioload for such a small environment. However, a couple of weeks led to growth of lush green algae on the rocks at the bottom of the tank and along the sides of the glass. We purchased a couple of snails, but sadly, they perished quickly without making a dent in the algae. About 2 weeks ago, my husband and daughter returned from the fish store with 2 Chinese algae eaters (Gyrinocheilos aymonieri). After a couple of days, our daughter named them Vanilla and Chocolate.
The tank is now as pristine as the day my husband set it up. Vanilla and Chocolate made short work of clearing the algae problem. They like to hang out in the little cave together, and spend most of their time eating algae off of stuff while hanging upside down.

We didn't offer any encouragement for the pet naming. We've had a 20 gallon saltwater tank in our living room since we moved in here about 18 months ago with 2 mated black percula clownfish (Amphiprion polymnus).
My husband and I rarely named our fish. But once our daughter turned 3 and everything had to have a name, she started calling them Marlin and Coral after Nemo's parents in Finding Nemo. We expected that the freshwater tank inhabitants would also receive character names, but it has been oddly themed after dessert.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

What am I?

"I have no eyes. I have no nose. I have no brain, no heart, and no bones. What am I?" she demanded, as she jumped up in the tub.

"Wow," I replied. "What a pecular creature you are! Do you have a mouth?"

"Yep." she said.

"A jellyfish?"

"I am! I will be the baby jellyfish, and you can be the mommy jellyfish, and we can float through the ocean together."

"Ok," I said.

"We're the stinging kind of jellyfish."


"That's what keeps us safe from predators."

"Good thinking." I said.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Hammin it up

"You know, I used to watch The Mickey Mouse Club on television when I was your age," I said.

"Minnie is much cooler than Mickey," she replied.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Go away, Mom, ya bore me

My poor daughter has been looking at me as though I am the most boring person on the planet today. It is hard to blame her. There's a certain amount of sleep deprivation that occurs for being 34 1/2 weeks pregnant, some more added for husband traveling, and a bit more still for the nearly absurd amounts of food I have to eat with the latest changes to my diet which increased my protein and fat intake to keep me out of ketosis. I have been a lump today, talking about when we were going to go to a doctor's appointment that got cancelled and then a walk that never happened because I fell asleep on the couch while she was watching Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Kids until the phone rang as has happened about 20 minutes in to every nap I've tried to take this week.

She looked so relieved when Jess arrived today. Finally! Someone who doesn't moan every time she stands up and complain about food. Poor Jess had her last exam today, which she was up until 4 am studying for...hardly the playtime relief she was looking for. They did play at the park for a little while. *sigh*

Hopefully we will all get some rest tonight.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

And in other Mommy news

We went to the Twos 'N' Threes program today at the public library. I thought this would be a great opportunity to get ready for's advertised as a story hour.

Unfortunately, the program mostly caters to the Twos. There were 2 stories read, which were OK. They were mostly simple sentences per page. There was about 20 minutes of singing, followed by a craft project. One of the other Moms called this "Mommy and Me" which is closer to what's going on - this program is NOT about peer interaction. *sigh* My daughter seemed to like it, though it was so far below the activities that we usually do, I will be shocked if it holds her interest for the full 4 weeks.

The "teacher" was OK. She was good at getting the kids to interact with her, and mostly kept their interest through the stories. She was better at the songs, and the craft time was really about the Mommy's being artsy. The theme today was elephants, so we made paper bag puppets that looked like elephants out of paper plates, felt, eyes, and popsicle sticks. Ours looked a little anemic.

There was only one kid close to my daughter's age, and her Mom hadn't been to the library before so she kept asking questions about the books at the library and how you check them out. Her daughter apparently misses the Pre-K cut off and so she won't enter in the fall.

Well, I have the Pre-K orientation later, so hopefully that will be a more positive experience...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Her big big little sister

We had an ultrasound this morning...sorry, dear readers, the technician didn't give us any pictures. Once the baby gets beyond a certain size, they can't take full body shots and she was facing forward which produces a pretty creepy skull shot.

My daughter was excited to see her little sister and kept cooing at her while the technician did the ultrasound. Of course this caused the baby to move around a whole lot, which isn't the most comfortable when you're lying flat on your back with someone pressing a 5 1/2 pound baby into your sciatic nerve...I imagine if we get to do another ultrasound at 38 weeks...if the big man up there is listening, I really want to be done with this whole thing by then, dude...that it will be far worse with a 7 1/2 pound weight.

They are estimating her weight at 5 pounds 8 ounces, which is in the 57th percentile for a 34 week old fetus. She's gained 2 pounds since our last sonogram at 30 weeks. Since my firstborn weighed in at a paltry 4 pounds 3 ounces at 37 weeks gestation, this baby seems HUGE already to me, but the technician didn't seem to think that was particularly remarkable. Nor did my obstetrician who we ran into on the way out of the hospital. He was, of course, in the middle of a conversation with his partner and not looking at the radiologist's report or my chart, so we'll see what he says on Friday.

A Shout Out

Occasionally our clock radio knob gets knocked while we're dusting or playing and the tuner ends up at Hot 97, the local Hip Hop station. Well, Hip Hop culture is just different than the rest of what airs in the morning on the NYC stations...sometimes the program is a little hard for a suburban white girl to understand.

They do "Shout Outs" during their show where the listeners call in and say "Hi Mom" or "It's Keshaun's first day of high school". So, I thought I'd throw up a holla to my baby bro on his birthday. Enjoy the last year of your 20s, little brother.

It's all downhill once you turn 30...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

She said She said

I got the over-the-reading-glasses glowering look over the positive ketones noted in my diabetes test tracking. Ann, my dietician, reminds me a little bit of my Gramma Jean. Well, I guess she reminds me of my Gramma Jean when I was growing up...Ann's probably in her early 60s. She has beautiful, impossibly smooth peaches and cream skin. Seriously. I have more wrinkles at 31. Ann said I have to eat more for evening snack and have my dinner earlier. I am disappointed that we won't be able to have our family dinners for the next several weeks. If I have to eat at 6:30, and my husband doesn't get home from work until 7:15, it's just not happening.

Karen and I had our nails done today. I feel so girly. The color I chose was called Italian Love Affair. My daughter decided it looks like Pink Pink You Stink. Of course, she said that after I disappointed her by saying I didn't actually have the nail polish to put on her nails because "please please, Mommy! Pink is my favorite color..."

She spent the afternoon playing with Karen's youngest son. Before bedtime, we read a book about Pooh and another about Piglet. The story about Piglet says "Piglet is a very good friend".

My daughter interrupted the story, "I am a very good friend too."

"Oh," I replied. "What makes a very good friend?"

"I am a good friend because I play fair. And I listen. And I'm nice." she piped up.

"Yep, those sound like things that make a good friend."

"Okay, Mom, you can finish the story..."

Monday, May 01, 2006

They're not actually talking to you

Ever since last September, when my mother-in-law was here to visit, my daughter has been interested in riding horses. There's a stable about 3 miles from here that has pony rides on the weekends, so we try and take her there when the weather is nice. They offer lessons too, but not until she's 9.

Here she is with Happy the horse:
It was pretty windy in the field, but she was excited to get to ride all the way around.

Every morning, she watches television while I eat my breakfast and set up a few things for my work day. She watches mostly Noggin in the morning - commercial-free programming...except at 9:30 when she likes to watch Go, Diego, Go which airs on Nickelodeon. The show is a spin off on the Dora the Explorer show and features Dora's older cousins Diego and Alicia who work for an animal rescue. Since the show is geared at an older audience than Dora, the school-aged set, the concepts are a bit more complex. They teach them bits of conversational Spanish, facts about different animals, and focuses on the value of helping people (or animals). After Diego, since it's on regular television, there are about 3 minutes of commercials between shows. My daughter will say, as the advertiser intended, "Oooh, can we go to Chuck E Cheese?" or "I really really need a magic singing princess and her frog!" or "Oh. It's Baby Surprise!"

Right. The commercials aren't actually talking to you. That's what I seem to say every morning when this happens, but she's lost in some sort of subliminally induced nirvana thinking about how much nicer her life would be if only we could go to McDonalds RIGHT THIS SECOND.