Sunday, September 28, 2008


Elisabeth and I had a little argument on the way home from lunch today. We were playing the spelling game. She spells a word, then I spell a word. It is speller's choice as to the word. I chose tree. Here's how it went.

Me: T-R-E-E- tree!!!
E: no.
Me: yes!
E: no.
E: Ch, ch, ch, chree. Mommy, its c-h-"ree"
Me: no, its t-r-e-e. Tr just sounds like ch sometimes. Train, tragedy, trying.
E: Its ch, Mommy. Chree. Not t. There is no t.
Me: ok, we're home now. Go in and ask your daddy how you spell tree.
E: ok. but you're wrong.
Me: you just ask.
E (running inside): Daddy, how do you spell tree?
Doug: c-h-r-e-e

I don't know how we expect our children to turn out ok. Somehow Elisabeth manages to tell when we're joking around with her.

Another funny story from this week... We always play upstairs before bath/bed time. The games are usually physical in nature: volleyball, tackle, soccer, crazy dog, etc. Wednesday night, the game was not as Elisabeth wanted and so she was up on the bed being naughty. She stood up on the foot of the bed, directly over my head (I was sitting on the ground). She is not allowed to stand up on the bed. And, of course, she fell off. Onto my head. And I yelled at her, maybe more than it merited, but I really don't need any ER trips with preschoolers.

She started to cry pretty hard, but she wasn't hurt. So I asked if falling scared her, if that is why she was crying so much. Through her boo hoos, she said "no, mommy, you scared me." And Doug couldn't control his snickers.

and, my running list of exciting happenings at the courthouse since I've been working there: vomiting in open court (not me, some party), childbirth on the 2nd floor, and crazy man wandering the halls of our floor, throwing things, breaking bathroom doors, pounding on walls, and entering private offices (he got taken down by the deputies).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

failing miserably!!

I am failing miserably at posting here 3x/week. And no one is calling me on it. Tsk tsk. In my defense, my days lately go like this: wake up at 6:45, get dressed and leave for work sometime between 8 and 8:30 (depending on if I drop Elisabeth off at preschool). Work until 5ish and then come home, have dinner, do bed and bath with girls and then work until 10ish. (9ish tonight). So really, are you people interested in that? I'm certainly not interested in remembering this.

So as an update, the Halloween costume is not complete but good progress has been made. I got this brown "poodle fur" type of fabric and made a jumper thing with long sleeves and legs - so she mostly looks like a gorilla when she wears it now. I figure a tail and a mask with wolf-ish ears will help convert us from gorilla-esque to wolf-esque. I need to get some little piggies for her to carry around with her, to give some guidance to others as to what she is. Or perhaps a better plan is to sew a sign to her back that says "I'm the big bad wolf and don't mention this sign to the wearer of this costume."

There were no significant injuries during the making of the costume. The costume, however, is not finished. I did poke my finger with a needle, but I survived. And, blame my mother. She stuck the needle in a dangerous place. If I had done that, I would have been putting all children within a 4 mile radius in imminent danger, but if she does it all I get is an "oh, sorry."

Elisabeth has confused buttercups with suction cups. Insects have buttercups on their legs to help them climb walls. So sweet. Elisabeth has also been sick all week.

Charlotte has been in a fabulous mood the past few days. Clearly she is coming down with whatever Elisabeth has. Good mood and Charlotte are not synonymous as of late. Luckily she's hilariously funny in her grumpiness. Poor second children get laughed at when they pitch fits over ridiculous things.

In an important milestone, Charlotte can make monkey noises when you ask her what a monkey says. Tonight I taught her cat and dog noises which are potentially more useful for her.

I think I've run out of even semi-interesting things to say.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Elisabeth, by all accounts, has very good manners. The problem is that she doesn't quite get what things are really, truly nice. An example...

Me: Elisabeth, you look like you have to go to the bathroom, do you?
E: Yes! I have to poop! And youuuuuu can wipe my bottom. I don't want to hurt your feelings. I'm being nice.


Me: Elisabeth, do you want some chicken nuggets?
Elisabeth: Yes please! And you get to get them for me, because I'm nice and I let you.

I'm glad we've created a little world for her in which she is the center of the universe, but perhaps maybe it is time to let her know that wiping her butt isn't really, truly my idea of a fabulous time.

Charlotte walks everywhere now. It is too cute. She's still wobbly and looks like a baby giraffe or something. She is also quite a climber, and I believe she is the textbook example of "independent cuss." She wants no part of being held or cuddling. And if you kiss her, she gives you an evil look and turns her head. She wants to be put down and she wants to go about her business. Her business is playing with every single toy and non-toy in the house. If it is anything less than 3 feet off of the ground, she grabs it and plays with it.

The only cuddling you get with this one is by putting her on your back in the Ergo.

As an aside, does anyone else get actually dizzy in some supermarket aisles? The cereal aisle especially. I walk down it and, perhaps I walk to fast, but the fast color changes out of the corner of my eyes makes me feel like I might get dizzy and fall over.

This weekend, I might try and sew a Halloween costume for Elisabeth. Lord, help us all.

double knots

So, I'm a law clerk and as a law clerk, I get to sit with the judge in court one day a week. Two weeks ago, I was wearing my nice black suit, with the jacket buttoned. Under the jacket, I wore a nice red/pink sweater that tied around the neck. The only thing holding that sweater up was a tied ribbon. And, friends, lesson learned. Double knot whatever it is keeping you from flashing a courtroom. As I'm sitting there listening to some oral arguments I think.... hmmmm, I feel a bit of a breeze. I look down and my sweater is now around my waist. Thank heavens the jacket buttoned up enough to keep me decent, but leaning over might have lessened that decency.

So I had to sit there and figure out how in the world I was going to re-dress myself without everyone knowing. And can you imagine how hard the people who watched the whole situation "un-furl" laughed? I turned my chair around and pretended to shuffle the files that I keep in boxes behind me. I managed to get myself re-dressed relatively quickly, but it provided a good laugh and an important life lesson.

At least I didn't give birth on the 2nd floor of the courthouse like someone did two days ago.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

IM from Elisabeth

just a quick one tonight. I know I failed in my 3 updates last week. Blahblahblah. Work got busy, I got tired. I do have fun stories from this past weekend though, which I will hopefully post tomorrow.

But this is an IM that I received from Elisabeth this past week. Thankfully I can use electronic means of communication to keep up with her life while I am at work.


These are the important things in life!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I don't want them to get older!!!

I know that you can't protect your kids from the world forever. And that eventually most kids turn out to be somewhat decent adults (ok, maybe that is an overstatement). But, a story that Doug related to me about this little girl at the preschool opening day celebration has me really annoyed.

The opening day celebration was on the school grounds. Lots of kids were on the playground, including Elisabeth. There are two "house" structures on the playground. Elisabeth and this little girl were playing in one of the houses. After awhile, Elisabeth came over to Doug and asked, "Daddy, how do I become beautiful?" And he said, "what do you mean?" And she said, "That little girl said that only beautiful people can play in that house."

Doug handled the situation differently than I would have. I would have snatched the little girl bald-headed and let her know just how beautiful my little Elisabeth is. Doug, the high road taker that he is, told her that she is beautiful and that the little girl wasn't playing nicely. And then he told her to go play in the other house, and make it the nice house that anyone could play in. So she did. And then little boys came in to play. And then the little boys decided it was the "boys only" house and that she had to go. But, my little shrinking violet told them that it was not going to be the "boys only" house, but that it could be the "boys and one girl only" house. They were happy with that, and all played happily.

Ever since Doug told me that story, though, I've kind of had this pit in my stomach of the things to come. I don't know how I'll sit idly by and watch my little girls go through what all little girls go through. Maybe I should start a bail bond fund. But seriously, this aspect of child rearing seems so out of my control and so awful. Certainly a big check mark in the plus column for home-schooling. Luckily Elisabeth didn't seem too sad and couldn't really even recount the story to me, which means it didn't really bug her. So I guess as long as she isn't bothered, I shouldn't be too worked up over it. But that little girl better hope she doesn't see me in a dark preschool hallway...

In happier news, Charlotte chose today to really start walking. She's so cute. She takes a few good sturdy steps. Then the wobble starts. It starts pretty small, just a balance check. But with each step the wobble gets greater until it knocks her right over.

We saw a deer in our backyard today, eating my butterfly garden. Most people would probably be upset about this, but in this house we are thrilled to get a deer so close to the house in broad daylight. Elisabeth and Charlotte were both excited, but for Charlotte it was one of the most exciting things she's ever experienced. She thought it was a dog. She clapped. She banged on the window. Clapped some more. Bounced. Hollered. I hope that deer comes back, just for Miss Charlotte.

In my next post, I will shamelessly brag about Elisabeth's art skills. Let's just say, she definitely got my artistic genes.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

3 weeks...

That's how long Doug made it as the primary caretaker of the children before the police were called. I made it 3.5 years.

He took the girls in the double decker stroller out of our neighborhood, down the walking path, and to a gravel parking lot. He took the girls out of the stroller and took both of them down to the stream, where there are huge boulders to play on. As he's packing them back into the stroller, a cop pulls up and ambles over. The cop asks him if that's his stroller. He wisely kept his snarky remark to himself and just said yes. The cop told him that some concerned citizen saw an abandoned baby stroller and called the police, thinking there might be a baby in it. As the cop said, what kind of concerned citizen who thinks a baby has been abandoned in a stroller doesn't actually stop? Anyway, Doug didn't end up in any trouble, but it did provide us with a lot of laughs on Friday.

Last night, Elisabeth showed us that she'd make a fabulous lawyer, probably even now. She was apparently trying to put as many black beans as she can into her mouth (as an aside, our dear heroine can eat almost an entire can of black beans in a sitting). I told her not to shove "too many" black beans in her mouth. She managed to swallow what she had in there and then asked, "is 2 too many, Mommy?" No. "What about 3.5?" No, that would be ok. "10? How many is too many?" Somewhere between 3.5 and 10 is too many, and too many must also vary with age.

We all survived Tropical Storm Hanna. The flood plain behind our house was higher than anyone in our neighborhood remembers it being. The access road to our neighborhood (the only way in and out) flooded with probably 2.5-3 feet of water stranding and flooding at least one minivan. Elisabeth and I foolishly went out to the library yesterday morning to read some books and got soaked. Driving was hazardous to say the least, lots of pooled water on the side of the roads and road closures.

Elisabeth starts preschool again this week. She'll be the youngest in her class, but I'm not too worried. As someone at the wedding last weekend said, "she's got some sort of leadership ability." In her class, each morning when the kids get there they are supposed to find their little name tag on one chart and then pick a "daily task" on another chart and stick their name on it. In other words, tasks are on a first come, first serve basis. I'm just telling you now, she is going to harass us to death to get there first. Our prediction is that "line leader" will be her position of choice since "dictator" is unavailable.

OK, new deal - I resolve to update this at least 3x/week from now on. You are allowed to email me and harass me if I do not. See - if I don't, entertaining and noteworthy things happen and then I promptly forget them. Remembering these things was the entire purpose of this blog.

Monday, September 1, 2008

fun weekend

We just got home from a whirlwind trip to Boston and then Wareham, MA. In Boston, we showed Elisabeth (and a sleeping Charlotte) a few of the MIT sites, including Baker House where I lived. Elisabeth thought it was pretty neat, but for the most part all she wanted to do was play tennis. "This is where Mommy lived for four years, Elisabeth." "Oh. Daddy? Will you take me to play tennis now?" Now that's enthusiasm.

Then we went to see my dear friend Becky and her family. I lived with Becky at Baker for 2 years (and despite that fact, we're still great friends...). I hadn't ever met her 20 month old little girl, Lily - which is shameful - and I was so excited to pinch the cheeks I had been seeing in pictures for the past 20 months. I was also very excited to see her condo because, well, for some number of years now I've heard a lot of things about it. I mean, I think it says a lot about my IM habits when I can go through her condo - that I've never been in - and tell you details about the things that went into the decisions about paint colors, furniture, mirrors, light fixtures, deck furniture, etc. It is a beautiful condo and such a fun area.

Then we drove down to Wareham, MA (which is on Buzzards Bay) for Adam and Alicia's wedding. Elisabeth had been prepping for this for months, practicing all of her "dance moves" in the house. She was ecstatic to have students willing to learn her dance moves. Almost immediately upon arrival, Elisabeth taught "Owl-ex" all of the moves she had filed away in her brain. Then later that evening, she made him put on a recital at the rehearsal dinner. He, in a rare showing of good sense, convinced her that they could dance somewhere other than the dance floor.

That very same day, Saturday, Charlotte took her first steps!!! She stood there, holding on to the coffee table, with a very different look in her eyes. We surmise that she watched Lily earlier in the day and decided her time had come. Her personal best is 5 steps in a row, and since Saturday, her interest in walking has plummeted. But, we have a repeatable 4 steps which I think counts.

On Sunday, we had Becky, Gordon, Lily, Mia, Mike, Jen, Jeff and Nathan over to the house where we were staying and Becky made something called Dutch Babies. I think it sounds sick and wrong to say things like "hey, throw the Dutch Babies in the oven, " and "can we eat the Dutch Babies?" but I learned long ago that people from Fall River have funny sayings and so I don't ask. Dutch Babies are a sort of oven pancake and you put fruit or syrup or sugar or, Gordon and I think you could put things like flank steak, sausages, cheese, etc on them. It was really great to sit around a table with wonderful friends.

Later Sunday was the wedding, in perhaps the most beautiful location you could get for a wedding - overlooking the bay. After the ceremony, there was the reception. Elisabeth had the time of her life, dragging Jesse, Alex, and Amanda out on to the dance floor and making them twirl and do the marching dance.

Let's just say that 2 late nights + travel + sleeping in a different place than usual = crabby children and crabby crabby Mommy. That said, I was sad to leave. I definitely would have enjoyed staying a few more days.

But alas, I don't have any vacation days yet. I'm a working girl, now, so back to it I go. You will all be very happy to know that I did not embarass myself in court at all this past week. Sure, sure, there may have been an angry missive mailed to a higher up, it may have been about me. But its ok. The author is lacking in credibility. And it provided a good laugh for everyone involved. It took me a little while longer to laugh, but I'm laughing now.

I'm adjusting to this working thing, and I think that with every day I get a little faster with my job. Pretty soon I'll be working 9-4:30 and I'll be much much happier. And maybe post a few more blog entries. As it stands, I keep mental notes of blog posts to write. And, it turns out that with all of the other stresses going on in my life right now - the mental notes aren't worth the price of the paper they're written on. So somewhere in the depths of my brain, I have a wealth of hilarious stories to tell you. Maybe one day they'll emerge!