Jan 26 2012


at one of the million preschools we’ve visited in the past few weeks (i am so thankful that we’re nearing the end of the visit portion of this journey), the teacher kneeled down to josephine’s level and asked, “josephine, what is your favorite thing?”  josephine said, without hesitation, “my favorite thing is pretending that i have a baby.”  how well she knows herself.

oh, and i made rose a sweater.  i’m slowly knitting a sweater for josephine and every time i pull it out to work on it, josephine wraps a piece of spare yarn around rose and says it’s rose’s sweater.  i decided she needed something more proper.  josephine picked out the yarn and then the button.  pink, of course.  rose appears pleased.

Jan 25 2012

with absolutely no context

she said, “cows give us milk and dogs give us poop.”

Jan 23 2012

chicken, egg

i woke up this morning resolved to (attempt to be) more patient and compassionate in my interactions with josephine.  we had friends over for dinner last night and josephine, well, she was reacting rather quickly and dramatically to any perceived threat to herself or her things.  at one point she literally fell out of her chair when she thought the 5-year-old boy was going to grab her doll.  she scrambled to grab rose, lost her balance, and fell on the floor, shrieking.  the boy, it must be said, had no interest whatsoever in rose.  at another point in the evening, she walked into her room to see our friend sitting and reading a book (one of josephine’s books) with her daughter.  josephine started hyperventilating as if she found the girl ripping rose’s head off.  they were reading a book.

we had had a busy, very social weekend and eli had been over to play in the morning, so perhaps josephine was just overstimulated and tired of sharing her stuff.  but her over-the-top reactions made me wonder what, if anything, i can do to help her react more calmly and in a more measured way to things (especially things that are not worth freaking out about).  the good news is that she’s able, with help, to calm down pretty quickly and then, with a little prompting, can say in a calm(er) voice what she needs to convey in using gentle, friendly words.  (do other people talk to their kids like this? sometimes i feel ridiculous, but she gets it so i go with it.)  in addition to helping her re-respond to tough situations, i want to work harder on being a good role model and reacting calmly and patiently to her.  i don’t think i’ve been doing the best job of that lately, especially with our snow-bound week last week.

so that brings us to this morning and my determination to be more patient.  and, of course, josephine could not have been sweeter or more loveable today.  i had no test for my resolve.  i’m not complaining; we had a really great morning.  the sun was shining (!) so we walked to music class and then ran a bunch of errands on foot.  she was patient and up for sitting in the stroller while we made our stops and completed our tasks.  we stopped by my old office (so i could turn in my keys–i am officially office-less) and she chatted it up with my old coworkers.  on the way home, i asked if she wanted to get out and run and she said, “yes!” and then she told me that when we got home i could look up how far she had run.  (one-half mile.)  this run was interrupted by stops to touch some snow that hadn’t yet melted, to tuck kitty cat into the stroller and to peek through a fence at some chickens.   we got home way past her naptime and she calmly ate a good lunch then happily went to bed without fuss.

so did my attitude this morning make a difference?  did she sense i was feeling patient so she had no need to test me?  or did she just wake up on the right side of the bed and have a good day independent of me?  some combination of both? either way, i’d love to figure out a way to more often feel like i did this morning: ready to let more of the whining and the little toddler stuff that can drive me nuts wash over me and not get me annoyed.  i’d like to do less snipping and be more accepting of how huge and confusing the world is for a little body. and take care of that little body as compassionately as i can.  it’s my job, after all.

unrelated: i’m very happy with today’s news that washington state is poised to pass legislation legalizing same-sex marriage.  it’s about time…

Jan 21 2012

magic pizza

i’m not sure what they put in the pizza at the great pizza place near our house, but after eating a slice of their R.E.M. pie (pesto, portobello, goat cheese), josephine decided she wanted to run home instead of riding in the stroller.  granted, nearly the entire trip home was downhill, but still: she ran for 0.8 miles.

thanks for the dinner date, dave, wendy, anna, and lilly.  josephine was clearly inspired by your company.

Jan 19 2012

in and out (but mainly in)

it is STILL snowing in seattle.  the snow was supposed to taper off yesterday and turn to freezing rain and then slush today, but it’s been snowing (after a few hours of freezing rain) since mid-morning and shows no sign of stopping.  it’s very snowy here.  schools have been open for about two hours total this week.  the four preschool visits we were going to make this week all got pushed to next week where they joined, on the now-crowded calendar, the other two i already had scheduled for that week.

i don’t think we’ve gone anywhere in the car since saturday. although i can’t really remember monday… i’m sure we did something, but i don’t think we drove.  we have been getting out, though.  to the park in one direction and then to the lake in the other. then to the park. then to the lake.  yesterday we went to the park with matt, allison, eli and, briefly, anne and meera.

today josephine and i walked to the lake for just a short while.  it’s colder and windier today and we don’t have a sled and the snow wouldn’t roll into good snowman-potential balls.  so josephine stayed in the stroller and i got a workout pushing it through inches of snow.  josephine was more excited about the snow that had drifted into our building’s stairwell than she was about the world covered in snow outside.

and ned? he’s managed to make it to work through the snow and ice.  his excellent work ethic is causing him to miss the fun in the snow here.  but probably sparing him the minor case of cabin fever i’ve developed.  to combat that, josephine and i made muffins and they were quite tasty. they’re also very healthy so i didn’t object when that’s all josephine wanted for her lunch.  or feel too guilty when i ate, um, three of them.  as we were stirring the batter together, josephine said, “this looks like what people say is in their diapers.”

josephine had a tea party for her friends, although i’m not sure this picture is a good advertisement for the quality of the tea she’s making.  she was walking backwards near the little cups and i warned her to watch where she was going so she didn’t fall into her tea set and she said, “then i would have tea all over me and you would drink me up.  dada would come home and say ‘where is my child?'”

she also did some reading on the couch with rose.  and nursed the fat lip she got last night when her lip got between her teeth and the edge of her dollhouse.

i’ve been treating these days like snow days, along with the rest of the city.  instead of being at all productive at nap time, i’ve been curling up on the couch with a quilt and a good book, drinking tea, and watching the birds put a good dent in our supply of bird seed.  i’ll do chores when it stops snowing.

Jan 15 2012

S is for snow

we woke up this morning to snow. ned had to work all day and was long gone by the time we woke up.  josephine and i were in my bed, cozy and warm.  i was debating between staying under the covers for the umpteenth singing of rudolf or getting us up and into the snow.  i realized we’ll be listening to rudolf well into summer, so we might as well get up and enjoy the snow.  so we did. (treating ourselves to breakfast at the cafe across from the park didn’t hurt the motivation to get out the door.)

Jan 13 2012

things she’s enjoying: the two-and-a-quarter edition

Here’s what Josephine is up to these days:

Figuring out how to correctly use the word “tease” in a sentence.  She frequently says, “You’re teasing me, Mama,” even when I’m actually being quite serious.  Or she’ll say, “My hair is teasing you, Mama,” when we are doing nothing that involves her hair. But then she’ll say things like, “My foot is teasing my shoe,” when she can’t manage to get her shoe on. That last one I think is pretty clever.

Dolls. Josephine LOVES dolls.  We’ve been visiting preschools (a topic for another post, I think) and in every classroom we enter she quickly scans the room and then bee-lines to the closest baby doll and begins to cradle it and murmur softly to it.  She’s pretty inseparable from her doll Rose and spends a lot of time tucking her into the doll bed and patting her back while Rose falls asleep, wrapping her in blankets, sitting on the couch and nursing her, and taking her in her doll stroller to all sorts of exciting places.

Asking for stickers.  Because cashiers at both the grocery store and the drug store we usually go to hand out stickers, Josephine now asks for stickers everywhere I pay for anything.  Last night, she asked for a sticker at the hardware store and the kind woman behind the counter told her they didn’t have any stickers.  I suggested perhaps Josephine might settle for one of the tiny paper bags that they use for screws and the woman put two pennies from the change bowl in the bag.  Then she asked if Josephine liked keys and disappeared down an aisle.  She came back with three keys hanging from a key ring.  She had buffed them so their edges weren’t sharp.  Josephine was so happy.  She told the woman thank you and then said, “Keys and pennies, what a lucky day!”

Jumping. The kid finally figured out how to get air when she jumps.  Now she’s jumping all over the place.

Using Ned as a jungle gym.  Josephine is NOT a physically-inclined child.  She spent nearly five minutes at the park today psyching herself up to step down a four-inch high step.  I’m not kidding.  And yet she loves climbing all over Ned.  He tries to get her to walk on his back and it turns into a kind of ill-matched slow-mo wresting tournament.  It’s very sweet.

Doing more for herself.  Josephine takes off her shoes, hat and coat on her own when we get home.  We’re working on the getting-out-the-door end of things. She is getting better at getting her shoes on without a melt-down and is incredibly good-natured about having to switch when she puts her shoes on the wrong feet.  I’m trying to teach her how to put her coat on by flipping it over her head, but she hasn’t mastered that yet.

Singing holiday songs.  Over the holidays, Josephine learned “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Jingle Bells” and now delights in singing them throughout the day.  As we rode home on a very quiet but very full bus the other day, she decided to treat her fellow riders to a loud and lively version of “Jingle Bells.”  I particularly enjoy how she says that the other reindeer shouted “hippy!” with glee.

Being precocious.  She’s got a new long word and she loves to play with it:

Jan 12 2012

gettin’ sciencey

a morning spent with eli and co. at the pacific science center

Jan 8 2012

today, in the snow, a transformation

we went out to the mountains and to snow this morning.  and oh, friends, i wish you could have seen this kid’s face when ned pulled her out of the car and set her boots in the snow.  sheer terror.  she screamed.  we picked her back up.  she refused to ride in the sled and wanted to be in the backpack.  after a little walking with her in the backpack, we warmed her up to the idea of being in the sled with one of us. i was in with her first and then when my butt froze, ned took a turn:

i got to pull them.  after a bit, we convinced her to try it by herself:

then we ate lunch by the lake and enjoyed the scenery:

then, on the walk back to the car, we convinced her to slide down a hill on the trail with me in the sled:

she rode in the sled by herself all the way back, even when the ground was bumpy and she worried about falling out. and then? then when we got back to the parking area and the snow play area, this happened:

and it happened again and again until we had to convince her it was time to go.  this kid.  she amazes me.


and now, if you’ll excuse me, i have to ready our scones and our tea for the season premiere of “downton abbey.”

Jan 7 2012

this i’m enjoying: this morning

this morning, ned took josephine and met up with jason and colin at discovery park for a walk around the loop and down to the beach.  this left me to sleep in and spend a few hours on my own.  i don’t think it needs to be said (but i will, gladly): i have an excellent husband. sometimes i spend the mornings i have to myself in a frantic flurry of doing a bunch of tasks to half-finished non-completion before i move on, frenetically, to something else, trying to fit weeks of to-do list items into a handful of hours.  this morning, however, i set the to-do list aside and it was such a good thing.

i left the messy house, the dishes in the kitchen, the laundry waiting patiently in its (large, full) bin, and walked around the lake near our house for the first time in months.  i’ve attempted this, with josephine in the stroller, many times, but her desire to turn around to go to the park (conveniently and frustratingly placed at the start of our loop) always wins out over my intentions to make it around the lake.  this morning, i walked all the way around listening to the tail end of “wait wait, don’t tell me.” i grinned widely (walking by myself, remember) when the contestants  discussed the fact that 2% of voters think mitt romney’s real first name is “mittens.”  (it’s really willard.)  then i listened to “this american life.”  it was a decidedly non-humorous episode about factory workers in china, but so riveting that i was grateful to have uninterrupted time to really listen.  i stopped by the library to pick up a book on hold and got to use the front steps, instead of the elevator entrance we usually use with the stroller.  TAL wasn’t over when i got home so i sat on the couch, sipped perhaps the best hot chocolate i’ve ever had from the coffee shop down the street, and listened to the end of the show while i finished the “V” in my alphabet embroidery sampler.  and now i’m off to take a hot shower in a bathroom that does not have a 2-year-old playing on the floor.

and you know what?  after all this blissful me-time i’m really looking forward to hearing those little feet (and the big feet, too) pad down the hallway and through the front door. and i can’t wait to hear her tiny voice give an account of her morning. well, i can wait.  quietly, and alone.