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Showing posts from 2008

Conversations

Vivi and I had two memorable conversations this morning. The first was while she was standing on our loveseat and throwing her play food onto our other couch. We were yelling between a couple of rooms.
Vivi: Mama, come watch me throw my ice cream real hard.
Me: Just a minute V, I have to use the potty.
Vivi: Mooooooom, are you going pee or poop?
Me: I'm going pee. I'll be right out.
Vivi: Do you want your privacy?
Me: Yes, please.

10 seconds of silence...

Vivi: Mooooooom, are you sure you going only pee?
Me: Yes!

By the time I got out of the bathroom a whole 20 seconds after I first went in, she was done throwing the food and was camped outside the bathroom door wanting to know if I had washed my hands. The irony of all this is that we have these conversations ten times a day except I am usually the inquisitor. I think I shall give her more space in the future now that I realize how truly annoying the questioning is!

Our second conversation was while I was cutting vegeta…

The Kindness of Strangers

My long blogging silence is due in part to the holidays and in part to Blogger itself. I wrote a lengthy post last week on my midwife/birth plan only to have it disappear from my screen when I hit "publish." Floating without a trace in cyberspace, I decided to utter some choice words and take a break from the computer for several days.
I'm back now because not only do I want to wish my readers very happy holidays but also I wanted to share something really nice that happened to me last night.

Yesterday afternoon, I discovered that the shopping cart I purchased for a premium at Pottery Barn Kids had gone on sale online for $20 cheaper. I called the store and asked whether they would refund me the difference in price and they said that they would but I would need to come in. Always on a hunt to save money, I decided it would be worth heading to the mall on the eve of Christmas eve to collect my $20. (After all, that's a bunch of Turtle diapers!)

So at 8 pm, I left home an…

Jokes

Vivi has made a running jump into the world of knock knock jokes. We discovered this in the car on Saturday evening when she kept saying, "Mama. Knock? Orange you glad to see me?" She would then crack herself up for a good minute.

I'm not sure where she learned this joke but we have spent the weekend perfecting her delivery of it. She's pretty good at it now.

Vivi: Knock? Knock?
Me: Who's there?
Vivi: Orange.
Me: Orange, who?
Vivi: Orange you glad to see me? Mama, that's a joke.

She has told the Turtles and several aunts and a grandmother her joke, each time reminding the listener that it is indeed a joke in case her laughter didn't give it away.

Now if we could just find a way to combine her poop jokes with the knock knock ones, she would be in a two-year old comedienne's nirvana.

Three Dreaded Words...

Well, yesterday it finally happened. While decked out in a poofy pink dress and sparkly tiara, Vivi uttered those fateful words: "Mama, I'm a princess!"

I guess I should have seen it coming. There has been no shortage of signs of Vivi's inherent girliness. She loves purses and shoes. She bedazzles herself with various finds from my jewelry box. She loves to rub my Chapstick on her lips and then give me "lipstick kisses." She is a girl, no question about it, but there is something about the whole little girl as princess thing that REALLY gets to me.

What does it mean to be a princess? Well, to Vivi, right now it means that she puts on a big sparkly dress at our local playroom. There's no other association and I'm going to try and keep it that way. I would argue that the pervasive attitude in our society, however, is quite different. Being a princess means owning expensive things and possessing a strong sense of entitlement-- at least that'…

HealthyToys.org Lead Check

Like any other parent, I want to make sure that the toys Vivi receives are safe. Visit Healthy Toys or use the widget in the sidebar to check that a toy you are considering doesn't contain lead.

Getting Used To It

So, the whole twin thing is really starting to sink in and dare I say it, I am starting to look forward to meeting both turtles. I am also still very scared about the birth and how I am going to handle it all but over the last few days I've adopted a "just deal with it" attitude. And dealing with it, I am.

The inspiration for my change of heart has definitely been Vivi. While there no doubt has been much anxiety on our part over the change in birth plan and the idea of having a toddler AND two babies, Vivi is delighted beyond words about the addition of two siblings. Her happiness is infectious and for that, I am truly thankful.

This morning, while doing our usual post-wake-up snuggle, Vivi asked if she is still a big sister even though the babies haven't come out yet. I told her that indeed she was. Then she bent over, kissed my belly, and said, "Turtles, will you give a kick for your big sister?" They moved and she laughed at their "response.&qu…

Stages of Shock

I'd like you to think that the reason I haven't blogged for over a week is because I've been so busy with the Thanksgiving holiday and assorted other celebratory events. Unfortunately, that's just not true. I haven't written because I've been too consumed with trying to come to terms with the fact that I am carrying twins. At 24 and a half weeks pregnant, I was utterly unprepared for the news and I'm afraid I haven't been handling it well.

I'm not sure if there are "official" stages of emotional shock like there are with grief, but I think my husband and I have run the gamut of emotions at this point. Here is what the last week has held for us:
DISBELIEF
I guess deep down I knew that there was a possibility I could have twins but it just never seemed likely. This pregnancy seemed to mirror my experience with Vivi with the exception that I felt more tired. I was assured that this was common because I was chasing after a 2 and a half year…

A Bounty

I've tried very hard not to be worried. You see, since we discovered my pregnancy, my husband and I have been amazed at my quick expansion. Everyone assured me, "It's your second pregnancy. You show quicker, that's all." None of my prenatal visits yielded anything out of the norm and my midwife has been confident in my health and my ability to have Turtle at home. Then Thursday came and everything changed.
When my midwife walked in Thursday morning, she commented on how much bigger I seemed from the month before. I agreed and questioned whether or not I could be having twins. She said that I likely would have been measuring ahead all along but that hasn't really been the case. Nor could she find two heartbeats. Her thought was that we needed to investigate whether or not I was developing gestational diabetes and/or had too much fluid in my belly which could lead to pre-term labor. I burst into tears because all the worry finally came to the surface. …

Santa Claus

Santa Claus has become a frequent topic of discussion around the house these days. I have happy memories of the visits Santa made to my childhood home on Christmas (especially the year he brought us a puppy) and I am very excited to impart the wonder to my own child. My wish is that Vivi will find the experience of Santa as magical as I did.
Like Halloween, it is taking a lot of explaining on my part to help Vivi understand how this holiday and the whole Santa thing works. (For several weeks before Halloween, she would repeatedly and somewhat incredulously ask, "Mama, I knock on doors and say 'Trick or Treat' and people give me candy?) We've had a number of questions about Santa too. Here are a few highlights:
"Will Santa ring the doorbell?"
"Does Santa have a tushie crack?"
"Does Santa like clementines? Is he gonna eat mine?"
"Does Santa have a penis so he can stand up to pee?"
"Mama, if I a good girl, will Santa bring me …

To Buy or Not to Buy, That is The Question

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I can't say that I am much of a shopper. Hmmm, actually, that is a bit of a misrepresentation. I am probably an excellent shopper-- always researching items, comparing costs, and efficiently purchasing the things that my family needs. I enjoy the victorious feeling I have when I find something for less money than I expect which, I guess, means I am likely an atypical American consumer.
As I have written about before, my husband and I live a pretty simple life. We tend to splurge on luxury items like organic pears, fairly-traded sugar, and greener sources of electricity. (Let's get real here: the flood of cheap corn and soy into our food markets is making quality fruits and vegetables seem more and more like a luxury. Plus, the rising cost of everything else and a struggling economy don't leave most people inclined to pay a bit more for their electricity either.) When we can, we try to spend our money on things that represent our values.
Our frugality is interwoven into our p…

Merely a Vessel

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It appears that our preparation for Turtle's arrival into our family couldn't be going more smoothly. We are reading all the children's books our library has to offer on new babies, birth, and being a big sister. Vivi seems utterly delighted with my expanding girth and we frequently talk about her birth and what she can expect when Turtle comes out. The idea that we are going to have a "leetle, leetle baby" coming to live with us and she is going to be a big sister and mama's helper often has her bubbling with excitement. I frequently find her with her shirt pulled up "nursing" her teddy bears or trying to change their diapers just "for practice." She has conversations with my belly and will stop in the midst of play just to come over, lift my shirt, and kiss Turtle.
One would think that I would be overjoyed by Vivi's enthusiasm and, to be honest, part of me is. I am sure this is so much easier than having a child who is completely ambi…

Pumpkin Pancakes

Now that we are coming out of our viral fog, I decided to redeem my grumpy self and make pumpkin pancakes for my family this morning. Here is the recipe:

PUMPKIN PANCAKES

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (use another cup of white if you don't have WW)
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 T. pumpkin pie spice

1 and 3/4 cup milk
3 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup oil

1. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a second bowl, combine wet ingredients. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture until slightly lumpy.

2. Heat a lightly greased griddle over medium heat. For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle. Cook until tops are bubbly and edges are dry. If you have a particularly strong case of parental guilt, you can throw some chocolate chips in when the top begins to bubble. Then flip.

Makes about 16 pancakes.

Bad Colds and Pregnancy

Back in September, my husband and Vivi came down with a horrific cold. Both had runny noses, coughs, fevers, and were far too exhausted to do much of anything. They were a pathetic pair and I was their sympathetic caregiver who managed to come out of the whole thing without so much as a sniffle. This was not because I took extra precautions to wash my hands or refrained from eating Vivi's leftovers. (As if!) I reasoned that I didn't get sick because I am a pregnant lady with a superstar immune system.

Yeah, well, the jig is up and my superstar immune system ain't so super anymore. Since November came, Vivi and I have been sharing a cold back and forth. She feels fine for a day but then I'm wiped out. I feel better and she turns into a cranky monster who wipes her boogers anywhere she can reach. We're both too gross for words.

Amazingly, in all of this, Vivi seems to have associated being "pregnant" with being "sick." Last night, she asked, "M…

Obama's House

I admit it. I've been like a giddy teenager the last couple of days with the election looming. The knowledge that it is nearly over has put butterflies in my stomach and contributed to hours of browsing on political blogs and following news reports. Last night, I even turned on the TV (with Vivi right there in the living room) just to hear the latest poll numbers. It's exhausting being sooo excited and I am bound to collapse in tears tonight just by the sheer relief that the whole damn thing is finally over.

It appears that my enthusiasm has spread to Vivi. Last night, while watching the news, Vivi pointed to Obama and said, "Who's dat guy?" I told her that he is Obama and Mama and Daddy are going to vote for him tomorrow. She asked if I loved Obama and I replied, "Yes. I think I do."

This morning, as I was explaining to Vivi that she was going to go with me to vote. She said, "Are we going to Obama's house?" When I told her that w…

More Questions

There's something about seeing the world through my two year old's eyes that has made everything a little more interesting these days. While still in a somewhat demanding phase, Vivi also seems to have all sorts of questions about life and I welcome the opportunity to try and help her figure out the world around her. As I've blogged before, some of her questions I simply can't answer (what is love?) but for the most part, I can come up with something that is reasonably satisfying to her.

Here are some recent examples:

"Mama, does a birdie cry if it bonks its head in the woods?"
"Does Turtle like Chuka Salad?" (Asked recently when we ordered out for sushi.)
"When the sun goes to bed, does it have to brush its teeth first?"
"Mama, when I have big poops, you gonna say 'WHOA!'?"

The answer to all of these questions is yes.




The Bad, The Ugly, and The Sweetest of All

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The Bad
Thursday evening, in the midst of all of our pre-Halloween chaos, I remembered that I had signed-up to volunteer at our local library's book sale. Of course, when I put my name down weeks ago it didn't occur to me that Vivi's superhero costume wouldn't be done. I just thought a couple of hours of quiet time at the library would be a welcome retreat. When the day actually rolled around, I was a little scattered and really worn out but I did my duty and headed over to the library at six.

When I arrived, I had the following conversation with one of those ubiquitous old ladies who always seem to hover around the bake sale tables at these types of things:

Old Lady: So, when are you due?
Me: In March?
Old Lady: Whoa! Are you having twins?
Me: No. It's my second. I guess you show much earlier the second time.
Old Lady: Yeah, I guess I was HUGE with my second one too.

Nice. My official costume for Halloween is no longer doting mother of adorable superhero. I am a blimp.

The…

Order Please!

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It seems that Vivi has decided that her world needs a little bit more order these days. Shoes jumbled in a heap on the floor? Not anymore. They are neatly lined up in a row. A stack of library books piled on the futon in her bedroom? No, they must be put edge to edge to form a concise border around her rug. Groceries tossed in a cart? Not unless they can be organized into a circle first.

This picture may not look like much to you but to Vivi it is a highly organized collection of her belongings.

Initially, I was feeling all self-congratulatory about this change in Vivi's behavior. As someone who prides herself on systems and organization, I just knew that this inclination had to have come from me. She may get her athleticism and facility with language from her dad but, by god, it is Mama who knows a thing or two about keeping things in order!

Then it occurred to me-- people who need to have control are often the ones who feel most out of control. (Ummm... guilty!) I think Vivi, like …

Words to My Ears

This morning, instead of immediately demanding breakfast like she usually does when she climbs out of bed, I heard Vivi say the following:

"Daddy, I want to snuggle in bed with Mama and then I eat breakfast."

Ladies and Gentleman, Mama is back in favor! Woohoo!!

On the Day You Were Born....

Soon after we discovered I was pregnant with Vivi, my husband bought me a copy of Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin. Like many women who are pregnant for the first time, I was afraid of giving birth. I had only heard horror stories from other women who described birth as "absolutely unbearable" and appeared profoundly traumatized by the experience. No one seemed willing to tell me what I could reasonably expect and the mystery scared the hell out of me.

Ina May's book changed all that. The first section was full of positive birth stories. None of the writers omitted how painful the process was or minimized the strength it took to deliver a baby and I really appreciated that. Instead of feeling afraid, I began to feel empowered. I started to believe in my body's ability to birth without intervention. Over the next seven months, I found a wonderful midwife, read as many books as I could, and even made flashcards to remind myself that "the pain is …

Lazy Person's Vegetarian Chili

I've been remiss in not posting any recipes lately. With the election, my pregnancy, and Vivi's various adventures, I really have not been paying much attention to my culinary endeavors. It's not that we haven't been having good meals lately. In fact, now that my nausea has completely abated and my energy is back, I've generally had it together in the kitchen. I've been whipping up mushroom risotto, Tuscan bean soup, vegetarian pot pie, and large quantities of homemade macaroni and cheese. (I've also been eating large quantities of all of the aforementioned dishes.)
Still, there are nights when all I want is an easy, hearty meal. That's where my recipe for Lazy Person's Vegetarian Chili comes in. It'll cook on the stove in half an hour or you can let it sit in the crock pot for most of the day. You can also substitute fresh ingredients for any of the canned/frozen items. Here are both variations below:
Lazy Person's Vegetarian Chili

1 …

Reunions

This past weekend, my husband, Vivi, and I found ourselves traipsing through Harvard Yard to attend my husband's thirtieth (yes, that's 3-0) college reunion. We had no intention of going but my husband has a very persuasive college friend who made the trip out from Texas so we reluctantly agreed to show our faces for an hour or so.
As reunions go, this was probably your run-of-the-mill type event with the exception that everything at Harvard seems to cost more and be more self-congratulatory. When we arrived at the designated location, the woman at the door told my husband that he needed to pay $125 to enter. He explained that we weren't there for the brunch but just to see a few classmates for a few minutes. She let us in but only on the condition that we don't touch the food or she'll "have to wrestle it out of our hands." Not twenty minutes later, my husband was chastised by a former classmate for not registering in advance. That's some school…

Metaphysical Questions

Yesterday, Vivi asked me something very important. She said, "Mama, what is love?"

Oh boy! Have I been trying to figure that one out for a while now. I thought, somewhat cynically, it is when mama frantically chases you down the sidewalk praying the whole time that a car won't back out of a driveway and hit you. Or it's when I read Where the Wild Things Are for the millionth time or clean up your poop. That is definitely love.

What I really wanted to explain is that love is a warm, tingly feeling inside but since Vivi is still potty-training I thought that might confuse things.

Since Vivi came along, love has been more than a tingly feeling though. It is like my heart is swollen-- a feeling that I could just explode from the weight of my adoration for my little family. It's something that I find impossible to contain and certainly one that I probably couldn't convey to a toddler without scaring the hell out of her.

Ultimately, I told Vivi that love is …

In the Mouth

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Not only are interesting things coming out of Vivi's mouth these days; there seems to be no shortage of things going in. In the last month or so I have removed a button, earrings, money, paper, felt, and crayons from her mouth. It's disturbing, really.

You might look at this photo and see my darling daughter with her beloved new cousin. Take a closer look and you will see that Vivi is snacking on grass during our photoshoot. That's right-- my little peanut is part Holstein. Ugh...
Now, I was under the impression that Vivi's compulsion to put things in her mouth was SOOO two years ago. How is it that this child, who will officially turn 2 and a half in a couple of weeks, is once again trying to eat things that aren't food?
My husband and I were thinking that maybe she has some sort of deficiency so we started her on a multi-vitamin. It hasn't worked and if anything, the inappropriate consumption has intensified. Is it the "I think I'm a big gi…

Words of the Wise

Many an experienced parent has warned us to be careful what we say in front of our toddler. After all, children are sponges and they have a remarkable way of quoting you at inopportune moments. That's the conventional wisdom, at least, but I have to say that until recently I haven't been too worried about it.

You see, my husband is not the swearing type. In all the years we've been together, I can count on one hand the number of times an expletive has escaped his lips. And, it should be noted that with the exception of one very colorful expression he used for our President, his verbal transgressions have fallen on the minor end of the expletive spectrum.

Like my husband, my language mostly falls under a G rating. Of course, there is at least one point during a day where the phrase "Oh shit" will come out of my mouth but, in general, I've tried very hard to keep myself in check.

Well, it seems that Aviva is giving me a bit of a reality check these days. T…

Memo to Sarah Palin Part II

As a mother, and as many mothers and fathers before me, we believe that all of our children are created equal. Apparently, you don't feel the same way about your own children.
You seem to have no problem appearing on the cover of popular magazines with your special needs son or carting him around on stage after the debate on Thursday night. Yet, there have been no public appearances by your teenage daughter since her pregnancy was announced around the time of the convention. Why wasn't she on stage with you and the rest of your family after the debate? Oh right, it's not in your political best interest to include her. You're just exploiting the baby for this election.



Memo to Sarah Palin

It's Senator "Biden" not "Obiden."

McKiernan is the commanding general in Afghanistan not McClellan.

You used "kind of" and "you know" to punctuate your statements at least fifteen times. If you need to do that, it seems to us that you aren't sure and you actually don't know.

Is bringing some "Wasilla Main Street" reality to Washington a euphemism for moving crystal meth across state lines?

Oh, and it's "nu-cle-ar" not "nuke-u-lar."

Doggone it!

Money, Money, Money

Not only is Money, Money, Money Vivi's favorite ABBA song but it seems to be a primary concern for the majority of us these days. With all the news of banks collapsing, the stock market uncertainty, and mounting foreclosures I find myself worrying less about whether or not we'll have the money to send Vivi to college and more about whether or not the money in our retirement plans will actually be there when we need it.

I'm a worrier by nature so all this economic news hasn't exactly left me with a warm and tingly feeling. I try to remind myself that we're lucky though. My husband makes enough money that we are able to live a full and happy life. Not an extravagant life, by any means, but a happy one.

What makes a happy life? For us, it's lowering our standards for what we "need." We don't have a huge house and, thanks to my husband's foresight, we have a fixed rate mortgage and expect to have it paid off in less than seven years. We have one cel…

Names

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My husband and I are having a heck of a time coming up with a girl's name for "Turtle." It seems we really shot our wad with Aviva and there ain't no going back. The boy's name came to us rather quickly but the girl's name, well, it just isn't coming at all. I am starting to fear that "Turtle" may be it, after all.
I am very particular about names. I want something that is easy to spell and easy to pronounce. It has to be clearly feminine or masculine and it has to work with my husband's last name. (That's the name we have chosen to give to our children although I have maintained my own.) I don't want anything trendy or common but I also don't want it to be weird. No Trig, Track, or Bristol for us. It would also be nice if the name had some sort of meaning to us. Oh yeah, and my husband has to like it which is proving to be the most difficult task of all.
When I was pregnant the first time, we didn't find out the sex of our bab…

The Arm....The Sequel...

I've learned that there is nothing worse than seeing your kid crying in pain. I'm not talking about the "I wanted that cookie and you said no" type of crying. I mean the "I pulled your arm too hard and dislocated it from the elbow" hysterics. The guilt of knowing that I caused Vivi's pain has officially topped my list of life events that royally suck.
Yesterday morning, we piled into the car and headed to Vivi's pediatrician. The office was great when I called and they got us in right away. The receptionist assured me that Dr. Ray has a "great technique" for setting a dislocated forearm which was good because I was starting to feel like he was our last hope. After three tries in the emergency room, it didn't seem as easy as everyone professed it to be.
When we walked in, Vivi told Dr. Ray that she loved him and that he was gonna make her "boo boo arm all better." It was really amazing to watch him work. Vivi sat on my…

Worst Mother of the Year

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I have officially awarded myself the craptastic title of Worst Mother of the Year. Is it because I let Vivi fill up on candy and cake at my sister's wedding? Nope. Is it because I've let her sleep in our bed for the last three nights? Nope. It is because I dislocated her elbow yesterday. That's right people- full on bodily harm.



It all started on our walk home from the bakery yesterday morning. Vivi will periodically drop to her knees while we are headed somewhere and I periodically swing her up by her arm. Well, when I did it yesterday, she let out a scream and her arm went limp. Then she started crying...hysterically. I wasn't totally sure what had happened but I knew it was my fault. I picked her up, carried her home, and we got in the car to go to my husband's office. (Yes, the first official medical opinion that I got was from my psychiatrist/homeopath husband.)


When I burst through the door of his office, I was panicked and sobbing. I said, "I think I disl…

Please Meet My Granddaughter

Ever since Vivi learned that there was a baby in mommy's tummy, we've been helping her understand the different relationships in our families. She knows, and proudly announces, that she is going to be a big sister but the fact that she may have a sister or a brother is a little harder to grasp. (That's why this baby will probably forever be known as "Turtle.")
Vivi is aware of who her grandparents are and who goes by aunt or uncle but the fact that Katie is my sister thus making her Vivi's aunt, well... I think it'll be awhile before she has a handle on that. She seems to be processing it though.
We recently discovered that Vivi has renamed many of her stuffed animals. A teddy bear that used to be known as "Big Ted" is now "my big sister" and her little stuffed frog is a "little cousin." It's not stopping there though.
As we were putting Vivi to bed a few nights ago, she told us to be quiet because someone was sleeping …

Manners, please....

OK, the truth is out. My husband and I have no official parenting philosophy. We try to be thoughtful and respect Vivi as an individual being but we also try to be firm and consistent with rules and structure. I wouldn't say that we fall entirely under the attachment parenting umbrella but we certainly don't ascribe to the old maxim "spare the rod, spoil the child". We are just trying to find our way like everyone else.
There is one thing in our household, however, that is absolutely non-negotiable: manners. Although the golden rule of treating others how you want to be treated is tough to instill in a toddler, the words "please" and "thank you" should not be.
I'd like to say that we've worked hard to get Vivi to be a polite child but the truth is it was pretty darn easy. If she wanted something and didn't say please, she wouldn't get it. If she didn't say thank you, she would be reminded. It comes up a 100 times a day …

Two's Company and My Politcal Problems

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I've been a little depressed about the state of the world to write much in the last week. This upcoming election has me all worked up and I've been spending too much time dwelling on why I can stand John McCain and Sarah Palin. Rather than turn this blog into a forum for my political rantings, I've just been lying low and planning an international move with my husband and daughter should the unthinkable happen in November.
I did have a chance this week to forget about the election when I took a brief foray into the world of parenting more than one child. I happily volunteered to take my friend's 8 month-old little boy for a few hours while she was classroom mom at her 3 year-old's nursery school. I had no doubt that I could handle this task. Vivi LOVES babies and this child is the sweetest, calmest baby to come our way. Plus, with five younger siblings, I was sure that I had been in this situation before.
Then the baby's dad left, he started to cry, and I ha…

No Batteries Required

In my quest to keep Vivi occupied without turning on the television, I have discovered two wonderful books. The first, Unplugged Play by Bobbi Conner, is a collection of 700+ activities for kids aged 1-10. The games can easily be constructed from materials you already have lying around your house. I checked the book out of the library and it has so many great ideas that I plan on buying my own copy.

The second book is The Mister Rogers' Parenting Resource Book by Fred Rogers. I received this as a gift while pregnant with Vivi and I've found it to be very useful. Not only does it have several easy activities for kids but it also has reassuring parenting advice.


As promised, I also wanted to share some of the games and activities that have kept Vivi occupied for fifteen or more minutes. I hope for those of you with toddlers, these games will be useful for you.


Whole Body Drawing
Vivi loves to have me trace her outline on a large sheet of paper. (I tend to save the paper that comes …

Television and Play

I admit that I spent a huge amount of time in front of the TV as a kid. A cringe-inducing amount of time, really.

As a young child, I loved Mr. Roger's Neighborhood and possessed a great fear of The Incredible Hulk. Saturday morning cartoons weren't often worth the battle since my brother staked out the TV well in advance of my rising from bed. Cable television hadn't found it's way to rural Vermont yet so the few channels we got were very often of little interest to me.

Around middle school, it all changed. We got more channels and I had a television in my room. I would come home from school, grab a snack, and turn on the television. I probably spent more time watching such quality programming as Melrose Place than I did doing homework. And there was the little matter of my crush (obsession?!) with Fred Savage that caused me never to miss a single episode of The Wonder Years. I'm sure by the time I graduated high school, I was watching 3-4 hours of television a day…

Big Girl Bed

We greeted the month of September with an exciting change in our household. Vivi's room now contains a big girl bed-- and she is happily sleeping in it!
We ordered the bed a couple of weeks ago and when we looked at it in the showroom, it didn't look very big. It's a twin bed but because it doesn't require a box spring, it is quite a bit lower to the ground than a typical bed. When we got it set up in Vivi's room, however, it looked huge and when she climbed into it, she looked so much like a baby that I actually reconsidered whether I was ready for this transition.
Still, she was so excited and napped without incident in it that first afternoon. Her first night, I offered her the choice of sleeping in her crib or her bed. She looked at the bed and said, "Mama, dat bed is a lot of space for me but I sleep dare." She did well until about 2 a.m. when we heard a loud thump followed by some crying. She had pushed so hard up against the railing that they …

Voting for Women

Well, in case it wasn't glaringly obvious, my husband and I are supporting Obama this election. Perhaps it was the Prius in our driveway that gave it away?!?

At the start of this whole election process a year and a half ago, my pick was John Edwards. He was not the most dynamic candidate but I felt that he best represented my progressive values. While I loved the idea of having a woman or minority as our president, I strongly feel that the Democratic process only works if people vote for the person who most closely represents what they are looking for in a leader and in our society. I felt that Hillary Clinton tended to vote for things that she thought would be politically popular. (The war? She is a bright woman-- how could she have thought that was a good idea?!) With Obama, I loved his charisma and life story but I didn't think he was as progressive as the others.

By the time Rhode Island's primary rolled around, Edwards was out and I was struggling with whom to vote for.…