Showing posts from December, 2009

Year in Review

On the eve of 2010, I've been thinking about what 2009 has been like for me and my husband. Here is our year in review: -Two new children -Approximately 1600 diapers -1200 ounces of laundry soap -27 pounds of baking soda -A new dishwasher, car, and garbage disposal (see bullet point #1) -Seven weeks of home construction -Three months with no more than three consecutive hours of sleep -Vivi starting nursery school -Delicious meals made by friends who took pity on us -Quiet winter evenings by the sewing machine -Booboos and daddy's remedies -Amelia Bedelia, why must Vivi love you so? -Our beloved Brown student who helps us several days a week and Aunt Jane who lived with us for the summer and still says (honestly, I think) that she misses seeing her nieces everyday. -Countless tears And lots and lots of joy. See you in the New Year! Love, Mama Mama

Cleaning It Up

Vivi is a master chef. We frequently enjoy onion muffins with fried maple syrup or spaghetti with poop sauce, all of which is made with love in her play kitchen. What Vivi is not a master at is cleaning up her own messes. After the millionth time of stepping on her toy whisk and cupcake pan, we had the following conversation: "Vi, will you please pick up that mess in there?" I asked in my usual exasperated tone. "Mama, I didn't make that mess." "Oh yeah?" "Chaos did it. He came up from the basement when you weren't looking and did it." For those of you who are new to this blog and don't know who Chaos is, allow me to explain. He is the monster who makes a mess. He lived in our friends' basement for several years but moved into our house right after the Turtles arrived. Now I am thinking that if we can have imaginary monsters who make messes, we most certainly can have imaginary beings clean them up. Let me introduce you to t

The Good Stuff

Our holidays were full of good stuff this year-- the kind you can't quantify or hold in your hands. The stuff that doesn't make you cringe when the credit card bill rolls in or demand batteries in a size that you most certainly do not have. The things that made our Christmas so wonderful, as Dr. Seuss put it, didn't come from a store. We shared delicious food with friends who joined us on Christmas Eve and had a joyful sing-along around our piano. My husband, who was not raised celebrating Christmas, happily indulged all of our musical requests. Vivi and I packed up a large box of food for our local food bank and she wrapped up some of her toys to give to her baby sisters. She is beginning to understand that when we give to others, we receive much in return. My husband and I got to see Santa Claus through our daughter's eyes and were pleased to hear Vivi say, "That Santa is a nice guy. I will write him a thank you note for my scooter." (A scooter that cost


Rejoice! A holiday miracle has happened-- my husband and I went out on a hot date last night. With the Turtles going to bed by 6:30 every evening, we decided we would be wild and crazy, get them a babysitter, and go out for dinner and a movie. I know. We've outdone ourselves. In order to enjoy our date, some prep work needed to be done. A frozen pizza was purchased for Vivi and the babysitter, a movie was rented, and the popcorn was pre -popped. After dinner, Vivi was to take a bath and then she could stay up and watch Babe, the film I had chosen for the occasion. Now, being a person who isn't really familiar with kids' movies, I thought a film about a sheep- herding pig would be totally innocuous. When we got home from our date, however, the sitter informed us that Vivi was rather upset about a sheep dying and Babe getting sick. ( Ummm ... a sheep dies in it? There's blood? What about the happy little pig?) So it was no surprise this morning when Vivi said, "

Holiday Happenings

Now that Vivi is three and a half, there's holiday spirit oozing out of every nook and crannie of this house. She is really into the whole thing and I find myself enjoying the holidays so much more because of it. The first weekend in December, my Jewish husband took Vivi and a Turtle out to pick out the Christmas tree while I took another Turtle with me to a friend's baby shower. My husband really seems to enjoy Christmas and I know that he and Vivi spent a good amount of time deliberating on the perfect tree. They both came home very excited by the one they chose. Here she is: We become very attached to our Christmas trees and every year we give it a name. Vivi offered Jimmy the Skunk for this year's tree but we decided to go with her second choice, Penelope. We have also been whipping up various confections like nobody's business. I participate in an annual cookie swap which is one of my favorite events of the holidays. Everyone always seems to come up with some


I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be a baby in this country. When I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Central Asia, the specifics of childrearing were pretty much lost on me. I was 22 at the time and not thinking much about kids, even though I spent most of my working days with them. What was very clear is that the children were raised by the community and they had a lot of independence. About four months into my service, I got my own bachelorette pad. It was two rooms with a shared outbuilding containing a hole for relieving yourself and an adjacent room with a torch and cauldron for washing. It was January and it was cold the day I moved. When I opened the door to my place, I found my neighbor bathing her newborn daughter in a pot next to the open flame on the gas stove. I didn't think much of it at the time but now I laugh at the thought of that sort of thing happening here. As parents, there are plenty of things to protect our kids from-- bullies,

Santa and The Mall

I hate the freaking mall. It is the last place I want to go when I need to do holiday shopping. The crowds, the nasty fast food smell, the stores that sell unoriginal Chinese-made crap-- it is all just too much for this mama to bear. And yet, out of necessity, I found myself there last week trying to find some plain old long sleeved white onesies for the Turtles' thrift store Christmas dresses. It seemed like it would be a quick trip. I would take Vivi to the mall and my husband would take the Turtles off to the local Medicare office building in a desperate attempt to try and figure out why he hasn't been paid for the last nine months of work. (Alas, his pay has been foiled by a Kafka-esque scenario involving a change of address form. It would almost be funny if it wasn't our damn livelihood. But I digress...) Anyway, back to the mall... We had no luck with the onesies and as Vivi and I were hightailing it around a corner trying desperately to get back out to the

The Rules

It seems that I got a little sidetracked with the Thanksgiving holiday and sufficiently neglected this blog. Such is the life of this mama: a week late, several dollars short, and more kids than hands. I probably should be giving myself props for just making it to New Jersey and back with all of my children accounted for but being thankful for things is soooo November. It's December now and the rules are changing. Rule #1: No more public performances during naptime. Just because people tell you that your three year-old is very mature, it does not mean that she will hold it together for an entire production of The Nutcracker. It took a meltdown during intermission at Lincoln Center and a subsequent walking tantrum on 8th Avenue to get us to rethink things. Rule #2: Everyone is responsible for taking care of their own wedgies. Vivi came up with this one and I can't agree more. I will feed you and I will love you. On occasion, I may even wipe your tush but I draw th