Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Here's hoping her comedic delivery improves

"Why did the crabby cross the road?"

"Why did the crabby cross the road?" I repeated.

"To see Silly Billy. Get it?" She ends every joke with Get it?? as though that's her flashing neon Applause sign.

"No. It's not funny."

"Not funny? Oh, ok. Thanks!" she replied brightly.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Mommy Driveby

I joined the municipal pool in a neighboring town for the summer. I had not planned well for the first day out there and spent more of the day out in the hot sun than was reasonable. Fortunately, the pool has a concession stand. Lauren chose a hot dog and I ordered a tuna melt and a bottle of water to share. Both sandwiches came with a bag of chips and a pickle.

We sat at a picnic table with our friends, and I fed Lindsay bite-sized pieces of the tuna melt. She is a big fan of grilled cheese, so she ate most of my sandwich, a few chips, and about half of the pickle spear.

She was sitting next to a baby, also eating his lunch in his stroller. He was quite a bit bigger than Lindsay, and struggling to eat baby food off of a spoon offered by his dad. I would guess he was probably about 8 or 9 months old. Lindsay grinned when they made eye contact and waved her food-filled fist at him.

The mom gasped. "Oh my God...are you feeding your baby a cheeseburger?"

"No. It's a tuna melt." I replied. "She likes cheeseburgers too though."

She blinked at me. "How old is your baby?" She demanded.

"Lindsay is just over a year." I replied.

She sighed in relief. "Oh. I thought they were the same age..."

They left very soon after that.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

For Kim

"At my birthday, will you bring in treats for the class?" Lauren asked.

"Yep," I said. "One of the things we're talking about at the meetings we go to while you're at school is what sort of things can be brought in for birthday parties..."

"Oh," she said. "Like cupcakes?"

I stifled a snicker. "What we've been talking about is that in September, there won't be parties with cake or candy - and what are other things we might have to celebrate happy events."

"Oh," she looked wary. "No cupcakes?"

"Not at school. But that's OK. We can have cupcakes at your party at home. It just means we have to be a bit creative about how we celebrate at school."

"Oh ok," she said. "Like how?"

"Well, since your birthday is in September, we could go to the orchard and pick apples for your birthday, and bring them in for your class."

"Really? We could pick them ourselves?"

"Why not?"

"Huh," she replied.

This morning...

"Mom, I can't wait to go pick apples for my class birthday party. That's going to be so much fun."

It would seem the symbol doesn't have to be a cupcake...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Happy birthday, Lindsay

A year ago today, you were born kicking and screaming.

It's equally hard for me to believe that 365 days have passed, as it is that you haven't just always been here. My very serious observer, perched on my hip, seems to take it all in. Now, occasionally, you offer a throaty laugh, or an emphatic babble.

You're still an enigma wrapped in a riddle for me. You have an instant attachment to all things knit, prefer to be placed in your crib with no ceremony at nap and bed times, and can't stand to be changed. From our early first days at home, you loved to sleep, and still do. Our morning nap has been eliminated for longer overnight sleep times - sometimes you sleep from 8 PM to 10 AM.

Lately, you've been learning by leaps and bounds. You've said "Hi there" and "bye!", "Mama", "Dada", and "down". You know all the hand gestures for Itsy Bitsy Spider, and when to clap for When You're Happy and You Know It. You've stood up a few times, but haven't attempted a step yet. I imagine, as with everything else, this will happen entirely on your schedule. And you'll give me that look you always do that says, "I could always do this. I just decided to now."

I love you, Lindsay. Happy birthday!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

God and His sense of humor

I spoke to either my mother or my grandmother (my mother's mother) on Monday. I may have actually spoken to both of them. Our conversations were similar about having an outdoor party:
Me: Well, I just hope it doesn't rain...
Her: Just don't even think about it.
I'm not good at the whole blind faith thing. Maybe that's just not having been raised Catholic as my mother was, and her mother before her. Or maybe it's my personality. I always have to have an emergency backup plan. Then, I feel much better.

By Wednesday, the forecast for Saturday was rain all day. Rain ALL day. Thirty-some odd people coming over...

How was I going to solve this? I couldn't fit 30 people in my house.

On Thursday, I suddenly had this brainstorm that we could clear all the stored stuff out of our unused sunroom and put the two outdoor tables and about a dozen chairs in there. It was a daunting task. We've never used the sunroom as long as we've lived here, so the accumulated discarded toys, garage sale junk, and presents that haven't yet been re-gifted. I spent Thursday night clearing space in the kitchen, pantry, and cleaning the sunroom. All of Friday cleaning the sunroom. Alec also spent a good deal of time out there. We hemmed and hawed about the rainy forecasts all week that had yielded cloudy days and sun at times and ultimately decided at 9 PM that bringing the tables in this morning would be a lot of work. Whatever we were doing, we had to get it done before we went to bed.

We brought in 2 tables and about a dozen chairs, outfitted the tables with plastic cloths, blew up and hung balloons. I awoke at 6 AM and went to the kitchen in my jammies to make salads, and this is what our day looks like:

So now what?

I'm thinking I will set up the lone table in the garage outside with our cushioned chairs. We already had set this table up for the smokers in our clan...

We probably have about 9 chairs remaining outside.

Yeah, I hear you laughing...

Friday, May 18, 2007


"I just am trying to find the right say my dear friend." She puts her hands to her throat as if the words have stuck there, flutters her eyelashes, and tosses her head back. "It is just so hard for me to say goodbye, you see."

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


"What are those pretty little flowers over there? Pansies?" Lauren asked.

"No, they're impatiens."

"Oh. Like the ones I bought you for Mother's Day?"

"The same. These are just a different color."

"I'm impatient." she announced.

"You are?"

"Yes. I just can't wait until we get to the school so we can have our picnic!"

"Good usage." I replied.

"Nice flowers." she returned.

Monday, May 14, 2007

First argument

Lindsay announced, "Dadadadada!"

"Daddy's at work, Lindsay. That's Mama."


"No," Lauren said slowly, "Ma-ma"

"Da-da," Lindsay replied, slowly.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

On September 10, 2002, I became a mom. The process was nothing like the plan I'd carefully written in the back of my journal in elegant, looped cursive. It was probably that day that I realized that I could no longer meticulously plan things out. And eventually, I let it go. OK, I am letting go. OK. I do better at letting go some days than others.

I knew back then that pushing a couple of babies out high on an epidural wasn't going to be the hardest thing I'd have to do for them. Some days that's a pretty terrifying thought. My mom was there in the delivery room the day I had Lauren. Was that the hardest thing she had to do for me? I'm sure not. I'd probably venture a guess it's not even in her top 10 hardest things...

I hope what I am teaching my girls is that the best things in life are often hard, but worth it, because parenthood is definitely one of those things.

Friday, May 11, 2007

How times have changed

"And we'll all have chicken and dumplings when she comes..." I sang.

"Mom," Lauren interjected.


"Chocolate pizza."


"We'll all have chocolate pizza when she comes," she sang back.


"Mmm hmm..."

I shook my head, "Wow."

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Because I know you won't tell...

Lauren bound off the bus today in front of her bus stop friend, Dean, who is in kindergarten and bore a single marigold in a plastic cup for his mom.

"Oh, the plant sale's this week," I exclaimed. "Must remember to send money tomorrow..."

Lauren admired Dean's orange flower. "Mom," she said very seriously.

"Yes, honey?"

"I will need you to open Piggy tonight."


"Because I want to use my own money to buy you a present for Mother's Day..."

My cheeks suddenly felt hot. I pressed the back of my right hand against my forehead, blinked away the tears that had come to my eyes, and nodded, "Ok, I will help you with that when we get home."

While I was straightening up the kitchen, she appeared behind me holding Piggy. "I want to do it now so that I don't forget," she said simply. "It's important."

She rushed out to watch some television as I struggled to open the plastic piggy bank, quite heavy with Alec's pocket change she'd been collecting for the past year. All of the crisp bills had been removed with trips to the toy store and pharmacy to pick up a bottle of bubbles or a rubber ball. I dumped an obligatory amount of change on to the table and then slipped a five dollar bill out of my own wallet in the pile. When she wandered back in, I said, "Here you are. I will put it into a bag for you."

She grinned. "Great. I'm glad that's taken care of. I feel better now."

"Cool," I managed.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

God snickered

Retracing some steps over the course of a wonderful morning spent at the park, the reasons suddenly became clear why I wore my old Rocket Dogs instead of my insanely hip black Converse All Stars with the flames painted on the side, and brought along my camera:

Avoiding a newly paved patch of sidewalk, I tried to step on what I thought was a muddy patch between the sidewalk and the street as I lowered the stroller into the street. The ground gave and suddenly I found my entire foot encased in mud. I struggled at first to pull out as the cool mud oozed into my shoe. And then I just had to laugh at myself, because here I was stuck. As I laughed, I realized I was able to slide my foot out, mercifully still in its shoe.

Lindsay appreciates a good laugh just as much as the next girl. Why, yes. If you miss the embroidered flowers on her pants you might think she is dressed like a boy. And you'll astutely notice the I believe in miracles! crown from the Easter egg hunt is still in the bottom of our stroller. Don't make me kick you - my foot will probably stick.