Sep 26 2012

and we’re off

tomorrow morning, we take off for a week and a half in maine. we’re going for a good friend’s wedding and staying, well, because it’s maine. ned and i have both spent time there. i took a memorable trip there when i was about 8 and then spent a summer working in bangor in college. ned went to college in maine. josephine has concocted some fantastic notion of what maine will be like because she might be more excited than any of us. this was our conversation when i went in to get her up from her nap this afternoon:

josephine: mama, what are we doing today?!
me: well… we could go to the lake. or the playground. or ride your bike. and we need to pack…
[josephine bursts into sad, pathetic tears.]
me: what? what’s wrong? what’s making you so sad?
josephine, sniffing: i want to go to maine today!
me: oh. well, we’re going tomorrow.
josephine, crying again: but that’s TOO LONG to wait!!

hopefully this trip will live up to all of our (extremely high) expectations. see you when we’re back (or maybe, just maybe, from the road).

Sep 22 2012

happy birthday, meera

we’ve loved spending the last three years with you! here’s to many more…

Sep 20 2012

the earth goes around the sun

josephine’s now had five days of preschool (it takes a while to rack them up when you only go twice a week) and things are getting easier for her.  her teacher told me today that she still cries throughout the morning, but that she’s getting better and calming herself down and not needing the teachers’ help.  and although initially when i ask what she did at school, all she’ll say is that she was sad and cried, i can dig a bit deeper and hear about all sorts of stuff she’s learning and doing.  she tells me about the tunnels that the new ants are building in their ant farm and that some kids call their stuffed animals “stuffies.” she has found an older girl to emulate and tells us all about what that girl did all morning. apparently the pink blocks you can stack into a tower are fairly delicate and can’t be knocked down but rather must be carefully disassembled.  she did a work today involving sorting pictures into “yes living” and “not living” piles. and she has learned that if she sticks her finger too far into her ear, she could break her ear drum (not even sure if that’s physically possible, but now she knows where her ear drum is). and she learned this fantastic song, performed especially enthusiastically thanks to the leftover birthday blackberry crisp she’d just eaten. (please note the newly-pronounced “l” in “delicious.” we are not sure what that wonderful gesture about half-way through is. some sort of new-fangled frog? also, i believe she’s supposed to be crying at the end.)

her emotionality around school was at an all-time high on tuesday when ned and i attended her birthday circle.  we delayed the special birthday celebration a few weeks hoping that by the time we did it she would feel more comfortable at school and not be overwhelmed. no such luck. she had seen two other kids’ birthday circles and was so excited for hers. the day before she wanted to practice and practice, holding birthday circles for her dolls and stuffed animals and singing the little song that goes along with the ceremony. the morning of her birthday circle, however, she woke up weepy and asked if she had to go to school that morning.  well, yes, we told her, it’s your birthday circle! ned and i dropped her off (she was crying), went for a little walk, and then went back to school when it was circle time.  we walked in the door and she started sobbing and clung to me.  she was crying as we started to get ready and then would calm down and then cry and then calm down. the activities around birthday circle are so sweet and i think i would have gotten more emotional about it had i not been concerned about my child being on the verge of a breakdown.  or had i not been worried about her physically attacking anyone who dared to place so much as a pinky finger anywhere on the white stripe on the carpet that was her path to walk around on.  but she made it through. we all did. she walked around the circle four times, one for each year of her life so far and one for the forth year she’s entering. she carried a picture around each loop, one of her as a newborn and at one, two and three. between each circle, we shared milestones she reached during that year of life. and as she walked, the kids all sang this song to her:

Sep 19 2012

gettin’ old

in the past three weeks, all three of us in this household have added another year to our age (two of us more begrudgingly than the third) and the oldest two happily added another tally mark to the number of years of marriage under their belt.  no wonder we’re all a bit tired.

today is ned’s birthday. since i met him TWELVE years ago, he’s become a husband, a seattle resident, an apartment manager, a social worker, and a father. he remains compassionate, hilarious, gentle, ridiculously handsome, and the kindest person i’ve ever met. he’s my constant. and now we are, as we usually are, the same age again.  old.  happy birthday, ned, from your two biggest fans.

and now, a fun birthday game. josephine made a multi-part card for ned. can you spot the letters J-O-E-Y? (and a self-portrait?)

and the letters H-A-P-Y? (and a picture of ned on a sailboat?)

and the letters B-I-(R)-T-H-D-A-Y?

here are your cheat sheets:

Sep 17 2012

back to rainier

yesterday i thought that i’d lost a memory card from my camera. today i found it in the car and felt absent-minded instead of really annoyed. and then very glad that i get to share these photos with you.

we went on one final camping trip of the summer last weekend (which makes it sound like we’ve been on many; this was our second). we camped one night in mt. rainier national park.  the original plan was to spend two nights there, but we’ve had so many nights away from home this month and, therefore, so many nights of poor sleep thanks to our darling daughter, that i put my foot down and requested just one night away/of bad sleep.  well, the sleep was bad, but the trip was great.  and the stars, when i got up to pee at 1am after telling josephine a long story about dorothy and friends going camping (tin man sleeps in a sleeping bag made of tin foil) so that she would go back to sleep…the stars made the sleeplessness worth it. they were brilliant.

camp toilet:

camp library:

camp art room:

campground sunset view:

the main reason we went back to rainier after having been in the area less than a month before was to do one of our favorite hikes in the state.  we’ve done it twice and not since josephine’s been born.  it’s a hike along the wonderland trail; the path that circumnavigates the base of mt rainier.  and it’s a hike to a place called summerland.  how can you go wrong, really, with hiking the wonderland trail to summerland?  you can’t.

the 8.5 miles of trail felt… well, like 8.5 miles of trail feels at fairly high elevation.  the final destination, summerland, is at nearly 6,000 feet. josephine hiked for the first hour (!) and we played lots of rhyming games to distract her from the work she was doing.  once she was in the backpack, she and ned moved ahead of me on the trail for a bit. as i puffed my way along, i thought about cheryl strayed, the woman who wrote wild.  she hiked the pacific crest trail, starting out with a pack that was so heavy she literally couldn’t lift it.  it gave me perspective.   i was gratified when ned, too, was gasping for breath after the final set of switchbacks. granted, he was carrying josephine and i was carrying a water bottle and some pita bread (in a pack josephine could have lifted). but still.  the dust and sweat and slightly swimmy altitude-head is worth it when you get to the meadow. a pristine stream runs through the meadow, its banks lined with wildflowers. the sky was bright and open and there was that mountain, towering over it all, looking so close and so climbable.


Sep 10 2012

we partied

josephine’s birthday party was yesterday, on the first non-sunny day in over 40 days. but it didn’t rain! there were kids everywhere (several, including a few more boys, not pictured):

a lot of food that i’m pretty sure nobody realized looked like a rainbow:

a birthday-girl-requested strawberry cake with the yellow brick road on it and chocolate cupcakes:

a pin-the-heart-on-tin-man game:

one little guest:

and two even smaller guests:

a happy birthday girl and many many good friends.  we are so very lucky. and now we’re going to take a few naps.


[many thanks to ann for taking my camera hostage and taking many of the great shots here!]


Sep 8 2012

why, yes, we are having a party tomorrow

why do you ask?

(and, no, we’re not serving tofu.)

Sep 6 2012

wham bam

the kid turns three and then, the very next morning, we boot her out the door to preschool.  her birthday was sweet and low-key.  breakfast out with anne and meera and then a trip to the zoo.  she and i made veggie sushi (at her request) and had a sushi picnic once ned arrived home.  we got frozen yogurt for dessert — she chose chocolate and strawberry yogurt and wanted chocolate sprinkles and mini-m&ms on top.  full disclosure: she first wanted to top her yogurt with these clearish globs that looked like the blops in bubble tea but i talked her out of them.

as we were tucking her in last night and saying how much we were looking forward to her first day of school in the morning, she got a bit weepy and said that she’d like to just have another potluck at school instead of going by herself.

preschool day one went fairly well.  josephine was excited to arrive and could hardly be bothered to say goodbye to me and i left feeling good.*  apparently she did well for about an hour and then realized she was there and i wasn’t (and her doll wasn’t there, either. to be totally honest, i think she was more broken up about that than me being absent).  she cried and then pulled herself together and then cried again and then was distracted by something and then cried again, etc. etc.  the teachers gave her very high marks for continuing to hold it together. she sat out the first circle time, pretending instead to sleep in the little reading loft and gruffly hollering down on occasion, “you woke me up!”  but she got into the second circle time and helped set up the ant farm for the ants that will arrive in the mail soon.  she also was very enthused about the self-serve water jug and arrived home extremely hydrated. she wanted to eat lunch apart from the other kids so one of the teachers sat with her in the kitchen and they chatted about all sorts of things and the teacher taught her how to use the expression “rats!”

when i arrived, she tearfully told me she had felt “so sad,” but still she lingered in the classroom for a bit longer, not so horrified by the experience that she wanted to leave immediately. (i couldn’t help but notice that she gave her doll a bigger hug than she gave me…)  i am feeling so positive about the spot we’ve found for her; she was so well taken care of today. i’m curious about how day two will go. but that’s not until tuesday. before that, we have some 85+ degree weather to bask in, another potluck with more preschool folks, a birthday party for our three-year-old, and hopefully a few quiet moments, too.

*i also left with my mind boggled by the possibilities of four hours on my own on a beautiful day. i try not to think i squandered my time, but i did, at one point, find myself buying my child underwear.  woohoo. the list of what i will do with these precious hours is long. so very long.

Sep 5 2012

zero, one, two, THREE!

Sep 4 2012


josephine and i listened to some coverage of the democratic convention on the radio in the car this morning.  i explained about obama and romney and how they’re in a race to be president, but it’s different than a running race. and that everyone gets to vote for who they want to be president.  she already knew that obama’s president and that he lives in the white house in washington dc and that mama and dada used to live in washington dc and that we liked to eat ice cream there.

tonight, we watched michelle obama’s speech at the convention and josephine caught a bit of julian castro, who had the floor before michelle came out. she glommed on to one particular phrase:

do you think obama needs a new youth voice?