Oct 31 2012

dorothy on halloween

of course she’s dorothy. and that tiger in the basket? that’s toto.

we went to school this morning for a halloween dance party.  each kid got to stand in the middle of the circle and talk about their costume. josephine said that we got the basket at goodwill and that i made her dress and that she got toto at a friend’s birthday party. she mentioned she was wearing tights. then she hiked up her dress and said, “and when i pull up my dress, you can see the whole of my tights.”  true, all of it.  (although i suspect the real dorothy was a bit more modest.)

we met anne and meera (aka chef bear) at whole foods for a pizza lunch and then the two girls ogled the gelato case.

this evening, we’re going to trick or treat in our building and then maybe in the neighborhood. it’s been raining all day–not the best weather for little girls from kansas. but she’s pretty motivated by candy. it might even get her past her fear of just about anyone in a costume.

happy halloween!

Oct 25 2012


i caught josephine’s cold and have schlumped through this week, feeling too cruddy to be very productive or complete anything fully, but not sick enough to justify lounging in bed all day.  ned has come home from busier-than-usual days at work to pathetically cobbled-together dinners (or at least the idea of dinner–he’s been the one to execute most of them) and a daughter who needed more attention than i was able to bestow during the day.  such half-hearted living makes me uncomfortable and it’s too easy to forget that this isn’t always the way life is. i do not know how people with chronic pain endure. yesterday and today i allowed myself some time to just recline and be inactive, since i wasn’t really getting anything done anyway.  yesterday i watched a few episodes of “call the midwife” while josephine napped and this morning, while she was at school, i sat myself down on the couch with some tea and a book and forbade myself to move until an hour had passed. and this evening i sent josephine and ned off to our monthly preschool potluck without me so i can continue to convalesce and, hopefully, feel better tomorrow. my mom’s on her way here on saturday and i must be well so we can play.

last sunday, when i was first starting to feel the twinge of a sore throat and a touch of a headache, we bundled up for our third-annual pumpkin patch outing with jami, ann, and dylan.  you can watch the girls grow:

we were bracing ourselves for freezing rain and mud to our knees, but instead enjoyed sunshine and fairly dry fields. we watched the nearby foothills get dusted with the first snow of the season and warmed up over lunch at the mount vernon coop (as essential to the trip as the pumpkins) afterward.  and, of course, we got pumpkins.

Oct 22 2012

that new baby smell

josephine and i were thrilled to meet quinn — sydney’s new sister. she is, i don’t think it needs to be said, absolutely lovely.

Oct 18 2012

momentary cuteness

josephine has a cold. this cold is making her an emotional wreck. i made the mistake of taking her in for her flu shot this morning and that was not a good parenting call. the pain on her leg put her over the edge and we were both struggling to stay sane just before nap. after her nap, i went in to her room and she was cuddled up in bed, all sweet and innocent as if she hadn’t spun her head exorcist-style a few hours earlier. i asked if she was feeling better and she said yes and then the following exchange happened.

me: your body says, “thank you for the rest, joey! i’m feeling better now.”

josephine: and my snot diiiives down into my body. and my body says, “snot! yuck!”

Oct 13 2012

baby book entry posing as blog post

josephine’s doing so much these days, so many things that make us crazy and make us laugh hard (sometimes both at the same time), and i do a pretty sorry job of documenting things anywhere but here. so, mainly for myself and maybe grandparents, here are some of josephine’s latest interests, stunts, and crazy-making actions.

arts and crafts: josephine has a renewed interest in anything involving crayons, paper and/or scissors.  we brought a bag of little toys and various distraction devices on our trip but really only needed the little pack of crayons and lots of paper.  we got her a pair of toddler scissors a few months ago and, after several strict lectures about scissors safety and what it’s ok to cut and not cut (have you seen this cautionary tale?), she went to town. the first few days, there were scraps of paper everywhere. teeny little scraps of anything it was ok for her to cut.  she snipped up the cardstock cover of her jumbo-sized pad of paper in a day and i was sure she would wake up with a snaggled claw where her sweet hand had been.  but she just kept cutting.

she has figured out how to draw faces and people and filled up an entire little notebook with eyes and mouths: each page has two eyes and a mouth.  page after page of little simple faces.  now she adds legs and feet and arms and hands and sometimes, when she’s feeling especially dramatic, some tears.  she even drew a dog on meera’s birthday card.

she also loves writing her name. the letters rarely end up in the correct order (and only look like letters to ned and i) but i am thrilled to watch her discover that her hands can create the shapes she sees.  yesterday she was working on drawing a heart.  here’s a particularly nice “joey.” (and no, grinnell, you’re not getting money from me in that envelope.)

finally, i handed over markers this week. i think this shot of her desk that i took this morning says better than words how enthused she’s been about markers and scissors lately.

i promise you that (most of) the rest of the house does not look like this.

the wizard of oz: yep, the obsession continues. out of nowhere, while we’re eating dinner or out for a walk or getting dressed, she’ll say, “when i went to the wizard’s yesterday, the scarecrow was already there taking a bath! and then we walked on the yellow brick road to get the tin man.  the wizard doesn’t like beans.”  well ok then.  i thought for a moment i’d convinced her to be the scarecrow for halloween and even found a little flannel shirt at goodwill, but she has changed her mind and wants to be, surprise surprise, dorothy.  she introduces herself to people as dorothy and then tells them that we, her own parents, forget her name.  she even told the security person at the airport who was confirming our identity that her name was not josephine, as it stated on her ticket, but dorothy.

speech: josephine has figured out how to make an “L” sound like an L and not a Y.  she also, about half the time, gets the “th” sound out correctly instead of saying “f.” while i applaud progress, i’m a bit nostalgic for the days of “bayoons,” “yitto yadybugs,” and “fank you.” her Rs are still mushy, though, and it sounds like she has a bit of a maine accent sometimes. ned taught her how to really exaggerate “lobstah.”

maybe, just maybe, a mellowing of mood: ha ha ha ha ha!!!  oh, that’s funny.  i have been plunking away at this post for a few days and typed that header, in all seriousness, at the beginning of the week. ned had monday off and we spent our last day of vacation exploring a part of seattle we rarely go to.  we brought josephine’s bike and strolled along a trail along the river, checked out a massive pair of boots and an enormous hat, and ate lunch in the sun outside.  she was so delightful and happy and easy-going through it all. then we stopped at the fabric store to get some flannel for new winter sheets for josephine’s bed.  she was convinced we should get her some very bright and busy flannel featuring dr. seuss characters. i told her i had something a little more calm and peaceful in mind.  instead of melting down, she accepted that but checked in a couple times, wandering back over to the dr. seuss fabric and saying, “mama, are you sure you don’t like this? look! it’s got all the things you like on it — the cat in the hat, the lorax, the fish…”  i bought some simple pink flannel (pink! her favorite color!) for the sheets, but found the suess pattern in laminated cotton and bought some of that to make her a snack bag for school lunches. she was pleased and i was proud of her ability to cope.  she was such a pleasant person to be around all day.  even her post-nap 10-minute whimpering session was sweet instead of irritating.

that’s why i thought maybe her mood had mellowed. that and she was such an incredibly patient trooper on our trip to maine. but how long have i been a parent!?  have i not learned?  the rest of the week, she’s been her usual preschoolery self.  whiny and then sweet and then whining so much my ears hurt and then flailing on the floor in frustration and then singing gently to her dolls.

planning for the future: josephine loves cats and dogs. she is quite intimidated by them and rarely works up the courage to pet them, but she loves them nonetheless. i explained to her one day that we can’t have a dog or a cat because ned’s allergic to them. i told her when she’s older, and doesn’t live with us anymore, she can have pets of her own. she mentions on a near-daily basis the two cats and a dog she’ll have when she doesn’t live with dada anymore. although yesterday she announced that she doesn’t want a dog because dogs sometimes “make mistakes” and she doesn’t want to clean up pee from her floors.  instead? instead of a dog that might sometimes pee on her floor?  she’s going to have a cat and a real baby. also, the day after she got her bike, she started asking about how old she has to be to drive a car. one day at a time, kid.

eating and driving me crazy: this child of mine eat so incredibly slowly. she comes by it naturally; i am also a slow eater. but sit us down side by side and it will look like i’m a contestant in an eating contest compared to her.  i’m so tired of spending so much of my day sitting at the table with her, exhorting her to eat. i’m considering a timer with a display that she can easily see so she knows that at some point it’s time to be done eating, but i don’t want to nudge her toward any disordered eating. has anyone else gotten a sloooow eater to pick up the pace a bit? i suppose i could feed her only ice cream and chocolate — she manages to get that down pretty quickly…


Oct 11 2012

photos from maine

99 photos from our trip to maine/boston are here, ready for viewing. (this actually links to a slideshow on flickr. if you’d rather click through yourself, just hit the “back to omam’s maine set” in the upper left-hand corner.)

do you need stories, too? can the pictures tell 1,000 (x 99) stories for me?


Oct 11 2012


“It takes so much work for a mouth to talk that we have to say different things that we haven’t said before.”

Josephine, age 3


Oct 9 2012

the next chef

somewhere in the car in maine…

josephine: mama, when i’m bigger, can i make dinner all by myself?
me: yep. that’ll be great.
josephine: i can get the food… and make it into dinner…all by myself!
me: that’s right. what do you think you’ll make for yourself when you’re bigger?
josephine: grapes!

Oct 1 2012

mid-coast, mid-trip

so far, so so very good.