Wednesday, December 30, 2009

letting go

it would seem that the end of the year is a good time to let go of things no longer useful. Viv, you decided that two of your baby teeth could go. of course we know that you didn't decide this but we can pretend you had something to do with it. your first one fell onto your tongue when you were outside building a snowman with papa. it was not the one that i thought would go first. the really loose one hung on one more day and papa pulled it out while you were taking your bath. so you had a visit from the tooth fairy 2 nights in a row. the first night you got a shiny gold dollar coin. you tried to give it to me but i insisted you put it in your piggy bank. this morning you got two silver quarter coins. you don't know anything about the value of different monies and are happy with anything you get. i like that. you immediately give your second quarter to Beatrice who is now excited that the tooth fairy came. you both are planning the next tooth "outing" so that the tooth fairy will return tonight. you currently have no more loose teeth. when Phoebe woke up you decided to give your second coin to her. what a generous little girl. we'll see if that holds true when you discover the value of each coin. hope that doesn't change. so we put coin in all your piggies since you gave your two away, i found a coin for you to put in yours. it was a morning of celebrating.
while we are letting go of things, you girls could let go of whining and i will let go of impatience. i could also stand to let go of a few pounds but that is not all that important.

Friday, December 25, 2009

nice surprises "under" the tree

Christmas has many mixed emotions for me. i love the season, the lights, the parties. i hate the retail, the mean people and the whining.
you girls get invited to a santa party every year. santa is perfect and you always get a small gift. V, you were funny since you actually got what you had been asking for, you were concerned that you wouldn't get anything more on Christmas. B, you wanted what V got and couldn't enjoy your little playmobile unicorn/ carriage. And Phoebe, well, you were just so excited to get to see santa and get a gift. i know you like your magnadoodle cause you throw a fit when you have to share.
you girls were cute because i made chex mix and chocolate sauce for gifts and gave you a choice on what to give your teachers. B, you were definite about wanting to give chex mix to your teachers and i even gave you the option of both. and V you wanted chocolate sauce even though i gave you the option of both. i'm glad to be raising little girls that have an opinion although it makes me crazy at times.
you all were introduced to the Polar Express movie and seem to love watching it. i have to admit that it is well done, magical and fun to sing. asked for it almost daily. the very monkey Christmas was also a big hit. curious George has a way with songs that you girls love to sing and dance to. watching movies in our house is rarely a passive thing.
V, you had a winter celebration at school where you all sang. it was nice and you seemed to love the songs that you learned for it. you were very happy that i made it there and wanted to show your little sisters how to behave at school.
Phoebe, you like to sing the most. PO will break out in jingle bells anytime you hear some "tinkling" i love that you find a song almost all the time. and join me when i sing silliness.
it's quiet this year. no extended family to hang with but that made it for a little less stuff as well. although your papa's family loves to bestow the gifts. you girls were pretty good with the gifts stopping to play and appreciate the gift instead of just ripping through it all like crazy. you seemed to be more interested in seeing me or Will open a gift too than you have in the past.
V, it was important to you that you and papa go get me something special. after W got off work on Christmas eve you went to the mall and got me something. W said that you were looking at stuff for you as much as for me but that it was fun to hang with you. he even bought you an ice cream because it was a special date for him and he wanted to just take some time to chat. you ended up getting me a hip purse, raspberry with fringe. i love it because it makes me a cool mom. thank you.
now in the quiet that happens after all the gifts are opened, you girls flicker around between drawing and playing and watching videos. mostly getting along. a good Christmas gift for sure.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Naughty or Nice

ah Beatrice, there isn't a day that goes by that you don't make me smile with some little nutty thing that you do. you truly are a coo coo bird. of course that makes up for the little things that you do that make me want to pull my hair out but that's not what this post is about.

today you are sitting in on the toilet with a toy phone in your hand. i overhear you say, "hey baby, whatcha got going?" i wonder who you are imitating since no one i know speaks this way. you continue with your one sided conversation to the point that i have to remind myself that there is no way anyone is on the other side of a toy phone.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

when you're hot, you're hot!

oh, Phoebe, here you are with the new sink showing us how small you are and how big the sink is. maybe, i'll even fill it up for you to soak in one day. you are becoming so much your own little person.
last week, we were at the bank trying to set up all the details on our home loan and you were being a little difficult. so instead of doing what i should have and just struggled with you i let you wander. you and Beatrice ran circles around the reception area and then you spotted the light switches. you stretched and managed to flip the switches and i told you to stop. you did. but once again instead of doing what i should have done by picking you up, i let you wander. this time out of my view where you found another switch, in seconds. the fire alarm. and like the light switches, i imagine you stretching and stretching until you finally caught you fingers on that lever and pulled it down. the damage done, you come crying and screaming to me while it dawns on me what you have done. it is a horrifying thing to have a fire alarm go off but even more to know that your child caused it. "bad mother. bad mother. " was ringing in my ears right along with that alarm. we were asked to evacuate, everyone was. everyone felt sorry for you Phoebe. wanting to comfort you. i have to say i didn't want you to calm down and feel good. i wanted you to know that this is not okay. that you need to see there are consequences to your actions. sometimes very unpleasant ones. and i have learned that you are not to be trusted in public to make good decisions. you are, after all, a two year old and i should still be making your decisions. duly noted. i'm not sure if i am welcome at the bank anymore. and i'm still keeping my fingers crossed that we don't receive a bill from the fire dept. for the accidental trip. so far, so good.

getting distracted, catching up.

halloween night the rain held off just long enough so my little creatures did not get soaked through.

went the week before halloween to trick or treat because i needed candy to hand out on halloween. (kidding, but really, did you need more candy, think not!)

we picked up Sophie to go with us on Church st. but had a great time running into friends, Baxter and Paige. this got B's attention and she let me finally take her photo. below, is a sweet pic of Sophie and Viv. having loads of fun.

hey girls, things have been busy around here what with the kitchen being "fixed" so that i can see your smiling faces all the time! thought i would load a couple of photos so that you can see that you had a fun, fun time being woodland creatures and trick or treating. the big thing this year was the chant "trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat" don't know where you hear these things because i certainly did not teach you this. i blame school. you got too much candy (took the excess to work and shared with them, you'll thank me later) Beatrice, i threatened to take your candy away because it makes you crazy. and you just replied without missing a beat. "it's not the candy, mama. it's just me" good to know you are crazy on your own.

Friday, October 30, 2009

on fear

sometimes i get busy and don't do all the things that i would like to do. right now we are tearing down the kitchen walls so that i might me able to see your beautiful smiling faces all of the time. i've been trying to get halloween things done. working my normal hours. heck, just getting you girls off to school on some days or getting you to bed at night takes an act of God. and apparently i have been making excuses too. but one thing that i have not done is take care to protect you girls from the things that go boo.
for this i am so sorry and am now taking my stand. today i got a call from the school nurse. "Vivienne has a slight fever" she says. really? so i pick V up. i go through the usual affirming with her that she can never express anything that God did not make. i remind her that she only needs to recognize Love and think of Love. V, you start to get frustrated and i stop. i am lecturing and that is not helpful. but you are such a precious idea of joy and love that i have a hard time not yelling it out to everyone. i can't believe that you would think differently yourself. "but i am sick," you say. i press you a little and ask what in the world would make you believe such a thing. because, this i know, you are not sick. you finally tell me that you didn't get the shot on Mon. so you are sick. you say this with a sense of inevitability. and this makes me angry. the kids were all getting a flu shot at school. everyone is in a panic because they don't want to be sick, so they get this silly shot that is supposed to keep that from happening. i am angry that someone would put it in your little head that you will now be sick because you have no shot. i am frustrated that i didn't see that coming. that is fear talking. you can no more be sick than they can. and it would be fear saying that it is even possible to be sick in the first place. so some people get a shot and that maybe helps take the fear away. they can be safe. i can tell you this much that the shot will do no good in protecting them if the fear is still there. and V you don't need to be afraid. you can go no where and do nothing without the purifying sense of Love. this is your "safe" and it works. there is not a moment when you do not express Love and therefore not a time when you are outside of His care. Love is at school long before you wake in the morning. and Love rides the bus with you. and Love is holding each and every one of your schoolmates and friends in a big hug so secure that not a single hair on their heads can be touched, just like you. Love is real. it is the shot that is fake. and the outcome will always be the same. you are God's child, Love's child and can express nothing but what you know to be a part of Love. and this spiritual path is potent and safe.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

busy, busy

it has been a busy month and i can't believe we are finished with September. School has taken much more thought and planning than i thought it would but i think we are getting the hang of it. in the process we didn't really make much of a fuss over Phoebe turning 2. i hope this won't be the case every year, Phoebe. we did have the kids from playgroup over for a little party and then later in the month i took the time to actually make a cake for you. pretty sure you enjoyed it. you are still trying to get the hang of what the potty is all about. i know you'll figure it out like you always do. when you put your mind to it, it happens. you certainly do a great job keeping up with your sisters.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

hi-ho, hi-ho, off to school we go!

Beatrice so wants to join V on the school bus. it is her morning mission to stand out front and wave as V passes by on her way to school. it makes me only slightly sad that B will have to wait not one but two years to join Viv. Beatrice gets over things pretty quickly. she does pretty much everything pretty quickly. i watched her figure out how to pedal the bike right after V did and i watched her figure out how to pump on the swing with V's help, watching her. she watches and she does. that's Beatrice.

i have yet to mention about B's first day at school. she is going two days a week at the YMCA. she has two teachers, Laura and Josh. she will get to go to the gym and she will learn to swim this year. and she will. she watches and she does. i told her she had to talk with a teacher if she was upset or had a question when i was taking her the first morning. she told me that she would have to talk to Laura because she is "shy with Josh." ??? she is having a blast. she cried the next day when she couldn't go to school. although, we are told that she likes to decide whether she will do something or not. she doesn't make a big deal of it. she just politely declines to do something. we are working on following directions. and that directions are not optional, but necessary. i was told she is doing better. and she said goodbye to Josh when she left last week. it was the first that he had heard her say his name. i think it made his day. she watches and she does. a perfect fit for school. she has a new friend named Vivienne. yes, she has a classmate of that name. you don't hear that name much, unless you live here. oh and apparently she doesn't like boys. something she learned her first day of school.
yesterday, i set the girls up with a netflix movie to watch with Grandma while i ran errands. when i came back later B was still watching the same movie and i asked her about it. she simply stated that Grandma set it up for her. (Grandma, yeh, right...) when i asked Grandma, she said that B put it on to watch. Beatrice showed me later how to click a movie and even how to make the movie full screen. i asked her how she knew that and she said very matter of fact, "i watch you, mama" i am in sooo much trouble... what if i teach her the wrong thing? she will be online shopping and facebooking before she hits first grade. i am in soooo much trouble. okay, B, i've got my eye on you!

oh and Viv loves school too. she has a "best" friend named Makayla (she likes to be called Kaki?) and she wants to do things that she does. she wants cheese and crackers because that is what Kaki has for a snack. she wants to have a cafeteria lunch because Kaki does. i'm sure Kaki is very sweet but i want Vivienne. i told her that she needs to do what Vivienne does.
she had a bagel and cream cheese for her snack and she is taking her lunch. thank you.
Vivienne also has a bus buddy who is in 5th grade. her bus buddy makes sure that she gets on the right bus to go home at the end of the day. Viv got a note the other day that said, "Toni, phone #, please have Vivienne call me if she wants to talk or play. p.s. bus budy" that is so very kind. V has a great school. and she is off to a great start!!! i am grateful.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

flying the coop.

yesterday was your first day of kindergarden. i am so proud of you. you have grown so much over the summer. at pre-school you were always a little apprehensive when walking into your class. you didn't seem to know what to do even after you had been doing this for the entire year. this year you marched right into class and listened to direction. you are beside yourself with excitement. i hope that school and learning will always be this much fun for you.
i made up some excuse that your bag was too heavy to let you take the bus the first morning. i took you so that i could run a few things by your teacher. and secretly, so that i could see that you are actually fine with it all. you are more than fine! you made friends and rode the bus home just like a pro. we were all waiting for you at the bus stop. your auntie anne was visiting and taking photos. your sisters and papa were there too. even big john was standing there applauding your dismount. you are loved, dear Viv.

Vivi, while you had a huge audience for your first bus ride home, your second day was sadly the opposite. you had no one show up at the bus stop. i was getting a haircut which ran long and your papa was taking auntie anne and uncle calhoun to the ferry. we both thought the other would be home at 3pm for your bus. luckily my hair place is right up the road so as i was sitting in the chair talking about my girls with the stylist she asked when your bus came. i said around 3 and wondered what time it was now... and then she said, "look there's a bus now" i got this strange feeling and tried to call home. couldn't get anyone. she saw the look of panic and asked if i wanted to skip the blow dry. so i quickly settled up and left. tried to run home in bad shoes and got to Elsom just as the bus was coming out of the neighborhood. the bus driver luckily saw my frantic wave and stopped to let you off. i'm so grateful to have not sent you back to school especially since i didn't have a car to retrieve you. you came off the bus teary-eyed and i felt awful. later at bedtime you told me you were not crying because you were left on the bus, you were crying because you wanted to go back to school and couldn't. i think you were trying to make me feel better. thank you my V. you are never out of my thoughts or forgotten.

tying bows

V is so proud to be able to tie bows that she and B pulled up lilies and decorated all the spindles on our side porch. (papa was not amused.) we were somewhat impressed once we stepped back to look at the scale of the project. a fairly nice art installation will be on display for a couple of weeks here at la cage des trois oiseaux. *

*i thought since i have three little birds that my home is somewhat of a birdcage which brought me to the movie title La Cage Aux Folles so not wanting it to be just a birdcage i edited somewhat. then i looked up the true translation of La Cage aux Folles and it literally means animal box of the madwomen. maybe a more appropriate house name, ne c'est pas?

open mic

Phoebe, you are quite the stitch. you sing to me all the time and now you are definitely ready for the stage. of course, you do realize your stage will be at home for a very long time.

and the beat goes on!!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

tinker bell

i know that i shouldn't put you girls in front of the t.v. as much as i do but it is such fun to sit with you as you watch tinker bell and hear you explain to me again what is happening in your oh-so-excited way. you tell me who's who and explain what is good and bad. i love that. i'm happy that you can get sooo excited about things and begin to understand what is happening. i'm glad that you identify with the good.
we started netflix finally and our first film is for you. tinker bell. it's a simple story of how tinker bell came to be and what the fairies do. how to work together and help one another. how to identify who you are and be true to that. very imaginative and pretty.
you have become somewhat bored with it. you walk in and out of the room and get easily distracted from it. i guess 8 times in about a week and a half is overkill. time to send it back and get the next one.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

just to catch you up

Beatrice, we are working hard to see you as you are. sometimes this little creature appears out of nowhere and roars an ugly roar and doesn't listen very well. or listens and then does the opposite. we know this is not you or who you are. you can banish the creature anytime.
Vivienne, we are making progress on your being "too" sensitive. you are mostly agreeing to put your hair up so that you don't unconsciously suck on it. thank you. and you let me floss your teeth last night mostly without struggle. you do not have to be afraid. you always have Love and where there is Love there is comfort and peace. look to that and you will be fine.
Phoebe Odette, you will never catch up to your sisters although someday you may surpass them in many of the activities that you all do. no need to be frustrated with what your little body can't quite do. you always have what you need at the moment. let's be happy with that. and just because your teeth are coming in doesn't mean that you have to prove it to us by biting Beatrice. (even though sometimes it's probably that little creature that shows up that eggs you on. don't be provoked by it.)and maybe "no" isn't the answer to all my questions. you might miss out on something like chocolate.
you girls can be a handful sometimes. the constant wants, needs, questions and complaints are often seemingly over-whelming. it doesn't have to be. i DO take delight in your activity and marvel at your ability to process and understand. i need to be reminded to be more like you girls, open and resilient. but we could all do with a little more volume control. when it seems like i may not be listening. it could be that i choose to not listen. or i may be wearing my ipod. maybe you should check.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

go Phoebe go!

yesterday Vivi wanted to "help" Phoebe go to the potty. so Will got Phoebe all set up with the dora potty seat close by and left. Viv got Phoebe out of her diaper and onto the dora seat and coached her on going potty. much to our delight V really did "help" and PO went poopee, V wiped her and they flushed and yelled to us and the world "Phoebe went poopee!". then we all celebrated and P got m&ms. all day long she used her diaper instead of wanting to go potty. but we've started. i am told that before bath time she did use the potty, sort of, a little.

this morning when i got up and went potty i asked P if she wanted to try. she said "on the dora seat." so we got her set up and she went, really. and her diaper was dry. we celebrated and she got m&ms. we are very excited that soon we may be a diaper free house and moving on to just pull ups during sleep.

Phoebe Odette you will get anything you want for your 2nd birthday if you potty train before then. (good thing you can't read yet, but i'll throw a rockin' party for you, for sure...with lots of m&ms!!)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

swingin' uh-huh

my birthday week was spent building this swing for you. your dad is a trooper. you see, we work best together. i look at the instructions, agree that it makes sense and then tell him how to put it together. (i'm usually not capable of climbing ladders and tightening things safely) so i started him out but then ran off to work and he spent the rest of the day reading instructions and second guessing them, therefore reading them again. he's a perfectionist, that's what he does. so i bought a kit because i priced it out and it was slightly cheaper. only the kit was for a slide too and we didn't want to labor over a slide. we don't get that much time off together. so we build it over two days and get the thing upright only to find that without the slide portion the set sways left and right. and so i go in search of the green brackets that now adorn your set. i go to lowes and they have only one. now we live exactly in between two lowes so i have the store call the other one. they have three. don't you know i picked the wrong lowes. so i have them set one aside for me and go to pick it up. when i get home we find out that the one that was set aside has two of the same bracket (not opposing ones) and i have to go back in search of another. by now Will, who has taken the morning off has to go to work. so he puts up the good set of brackets and drills holes for me to put up the second set, given i find them, and leaves. i get a good set of brackets and go to put them up and he has drilled the holes on one slightly at an angle so i can't get the back to fit. the carriage bolts are also stuck so i go knocking it with a hammer...still no. i decide i have to take out the bolts. one comes out great, the other, i get a screwdriver that i'm using to drive it, stuck. ugh! while i'm perplexing Big John yells over to ask how you girls like your swing... to which he gets the full sad story. he comes to the rescue. (sorry he asked, i'm sure) but he fixed the bracket and Will got up early to finish the job (i can't be trusted, apparently these things need a perfectionist) and get you girls swinging. we still have not secured the darn thing so it won't tip forward. it seems safe though.
you love it. B, it took you a bit of time to figure out how to do little back flips on the trapeze bar but you nail it now. it's interesting how frustrated you get when it doesn't just happen. you are that way writing your name and still haven't given it a fair try. V, you are tall enough to have that in your favor. you just keep pulling yourself up to sit on the bar and then get stuck, scared really. B comes in to tell me that V needs me... she is stuck up on the bar again. you'll figure it out though. and PO you are an angel flying on the swing. you constantly ask "underdog, mom" which i try to oblige without sending you too high. i'm not sure if your squawking is because i don't send you high enough or that you are a bit scared of the motion. you won't get off the swing though.

this is Beatrice on one of her first attempts that stuck. she was so excited but now she just wants to climb up on the bar like V does. she just too small yet. although i have been told by the neighbors that she climbs up on their's which is closer to the ground. no problem. she will run off to the circus one day. i will try and be happy about this.

Viv figured this out easily enough although doesn't sport the same upper body strength as B does so not as consistent. you do use your height to your advantage. if you keep this dress thing up though, we will be wearing bloomers.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

while the older girls are away

i am so lucky! little Phoebe sings me songs all the time. this one i captured one day when the girls were at camp. it's so fun to have the quiet time with her.

singing "bushel and a peck"

she was working on an art project of her own while singing to me. she pretty much sings all the time. she will be ready for the coffee house circuit by the time she hits her tweens. (it may be in a "smelly cat, Phoebe from Friends" sort of way. but she'll be ready! she just needs to refine her playlist.

singing "you are my sunshine"

apologies for the vulgar background prompting. she is still learning the material. remember, she's not even 2!

summer camp

we have just survived two whole weeks of summer day camp. V and B had a blast and we discovered we are completely unprepared for school in the fall. and by unprepared, i mean to say that our girls are night people and NOT morning people. B does a fairly good job "snapping to" once she has a few moments to shake awake. V is forever dreamy in the morning and will sit on the floor staring at her clothes until being threatened about a million times that she will be left behind. i envision taking her to school at least once a week during the school year because she has missed the bus.
but back to camp. B surprised me in being the most excited about going to camp but not wanting us to leave her there once at camp. she finally shook it off about midway through the second week of camp. and the last day she actually told me to "go, i don't want you here." the camp does a great job on a budget. and they seem to really wear the kids out. it is just a park and rec camp and very affordable. the kids always get lots of physical activity and seem to always do an art project. B is turning out to be a by the book, follow the instructions art student while V seems to march to the beat of her own inner vision. i love that you girls are fully expressive of who you are and not trying to be something that you are not.
each day went by a different theme and the first week covered different ecosystems. like desert, mountain, rainforest, ocean, and antartica. the second week covered transportation and they talked about planes, trains, boats, spaceships and even had a visit from the firetruck and the ambulance on the last day. i'm sorry that i didn't get pictures of any of it. i did take pics of some of the art projects since i fear most will not survive. the "mountain" B made out of home made play dough already started weeping and had to be disposed of. sorry B. i hope you girls know that i cherish EVERYTHING that you make. i will always support your creative sides. and keep what i can to remind me of your progress of individual expression. it is so wonderful to see.
B made this fish, ( excuse me, "shark" she keeps correcting me.) during the ocean day.

the top is V's rainforest bird, and the bottom is B's version.

during desert day the girls made me a catus. V's is on the left and B's is the right.

now when the girls came home with this one it was antartic day and this was a snow picture. i paused and had to ask V if there was some sort of instruction because her picture was very unique. B's on the right looks to be a snowman like what most of the kids did. V told me that the direction was to "make a snowman, or do what you want." really? well then they BOTH follow direction well.

during the second week they didn't bring as many of the projects home because some of them were group efforts. the above are boats which i guess they were to race only my girls somehow did not participate. the large one is a sailboat which V made and the small one is B's little boat.
very sea worthy, i'd say.

i just love V's sail boat, if you look closely there is a white pipe cleaner that actually moves the "sail" around.

finally they talked about space ships and made UFOs. V said her alien was a ducky and B had Sophie, a counsellor help her with her alien.... love it!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

not the party girls

i bought tickets to see Dan Zanes. you girls love Dan and often dance around like crazy when i put his music on. apparently you are not so much into the live performance...yet. V, you looked like you were being punished. said that the music was too loud. (you all yell louder when i'm driving you around in the car.) B just could not decide what to do...wanted to wander and dance, or maybe just sit. at one point all three of you were piled on papa like you wanted to nap while i danced in the back. oh well, i had fun.

Friday, June 26, 2009


there is nothing quite like a fresh picked (insert fruit or veggie here). we finally remembered yesterday that we belong to a CSA and our pick up is thursday. it started a couple of weeks ago and so we are a little behind. not much produce quite yet. we are set for salad, could feed a small army. i fear that i took too much considering you girls don't yet embrace the wonder of salad.

we did however pick some strawberries and sugar peas. Phoebe, as expected, you completely caught on to the pick and eat process. i don't believe you actually put any of your picks in a basket. you do like the strawberries better than sugar peas but the whole texture thing takes getting used to. Viv, you are a big help with the picking and want to find the perfect one. it is nice to have such a helper. B, you helped more than expected since i did not think you liked the actual stuff we pick up at the farm. you did a stellar job helping with the strawberries and while you didn't feel like eating them while picking you begged for them once we got to the car and would have eaten the whole quart if i had just handed it to you. i'm happy that you have finally added strawberries to your list of fruits. i can't believe it took so long. i might make a good eater of you afterall.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


here at the Park, summer is in full swing. the gracious neighbors across the street set up their slip n' slide. (glad of that, our baby grass couldn't take that kind of abuse) and the girls had a blast. B, for the first time wasn't quite sure what to make of it. finally an "athletic" activity that she didn't take to at first. there are bound to be many. after a few runs though she was hooked and V had to be pulled away. V is really becoming more accomplished and coordinated. she is quite the runner and started pulling herself up on the monkey bars at the playground. she can pump very proficiently on the swings and is not at all unsure of her too-big-for-her bike. still, i don't think we will be taking any training wheels off soon. meanwhile, Phoebe is doing extremely well keeping up. a week or so ago the kids disappeared into neighbor's backyard and when i went to find them, Phoebe was standing in the middle of the kiddie pool, fully clothed and soaking wet. i was not at all alarmed (annoyed, yes) but the mom of the home was. (it was her kiddie pool after all) then when she was drilling her kids on the dangers of the pool and what to do if Phoebe went under and was stuck....her husband, quietly said, "you know this is Phoebe, she is freakishly advanced like Beatrice." it's true, you girls are pretty athletic. (thank you Will) you study things and figure them out, AND you have natural instinct. can remember a time i dropped P in the pool and she started kicking for the side. (took in a little water, but was not freaked by it) B has done the same thing and V actually helped her to the side.
yes, it should be a fun summer. lots of water and ice cream. i am at work when the ice cream lady comes but i did have a rare tuesday off when i got to witness the expectation and excitement of the girls, listening for the bell. i am told that the same excitement is present when waiting for the book mobile. unfortunately that never arrived. wish it were as consistent as the ice cream lady. V was sobbing when the book mobile drove past, a day late and didn't stop. some things can break your heart.
also under the heading of things i am told....B is trained and ready for retail! Will set up a pretend play with the girls where they were running a garden store. B was sitting at the desk, doing paper work, Will asked if she could help him and she responded in a very exasperated way, without looking up, "i'm busy right now, papa. you have to find someone else, ask Viv" it totally cracked Will up. B, you just have this timing thing down.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

happy birthday take one

my, how time minute you're holding a tiny baby and it would seem like the next, you celebrate her fifth birthday with chocolate princess cake. and the cake is so good i think i will celebrate her birthday for many more minutes!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


lav yooou mama! progressively louder... laaav yooouuu maaamaaa! this is what i hear from you Phoebe. about a dozen or more times an hour, yes, i mean it, an hour. sometimes it is from across the room. sometimes it is flung at me along with your cute little frame, hugging my legs. sometimes it is even smeared across the kitchen as i drag you along on one leg while trying to get food ready. this is a very nice thing to hear and i will never tire of it. what more could one ask for but to have someone follow them around declaring their love. and Phoebe, i LOVE YOU, infinity.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

may i borrow the car?

today i made a small error in judgement. i first began a debate with V on the merritts of pants over a skirt when it comes to looking pretty. (mistake, yes, not the error in judgement however)apparently only the missing princess shoes will complete pants when it comes to making a 4 yr old look beautiful. and we won't go into the fact that if V would just put the shoes back where they belong when she takes them off they would not be missing. so while i have this debate the other girls are out waiting patiently in the car, right? well, i actually buckled in Phoebe before i realized there was a missing daughter so she was waiting patiently. B, you are another story...always the exception. apparently you were not buckling up since once you do so, you can't move about the car. silly mama. you were just pretending to buckle up. instead you were roaming the car, finding the car keys, putting them in the ignition and starting it up. i went on a tirade the entire car ride to take papa lunch while my heart took its time slowing down to a normal rate. and your excuse? i wanted to be like mama.

so what did we learn here? no one is allowed in the front seat until they are taller than me. no one is allowed in the car unless an adult is present. and i will never leave the car open or even the keys within child's reach ever again.

and this will be why you may not be able to drive when you are 16, in case you were wondering. (i've been scarred for life.) and we also learned that if kids are going to imitate mama, i really need to be making better decisions. and i'll start by not entering into any debates on fashion with a 4yr old.

and the answer for today is NO, you may not borrow the car!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

once upon a time

the other night at dinner i was getting just a little fed up with you B. you had been whinning quite a bit and did not really want to stay at the table. in your wiggles you ended up banging your leg. i said something like "come on, shake it off" and you said "i can't" in a horribly whiny tone. and i said something like "sure you can, just laugh, ha ha ha" you then replied "no, i can't, it's not in my story" so i was now no longer annoyed with you. you can be terribly disarming when you want to be. then i suggested that we rewrite the story. so you began "once upon a time....Beatrice banged her leg and then began to laugh, ha, ha, ha" now i have a secret weapon that i will use repeatedly. anytime you are not happy or behaving well i am going to suggest a rewrite. i am the mama and that makes me the supreme editor. i will work until we get to the part that says, "and they lived happily ever after"

Phoebe, you are quite the smarty. you no longer just repeat what we say but reply in your own words. i love the way you seem to alway hold my face and say "mama, i la lou" and i love that you call Viv, "Wivwene" and somehow Beatrice is always "Teatou" (still trying to figure that one out but that explains a little how Aunt Shirley became Doodie to Nanah)...teatou reminds of a french word but i can't remember what it means. some day i'll look it up. and girls....mama loves you.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

mother's day special

i find the greatest bargains at Will's store...this was not one of them. but if you ever wondered what kind of wonderful things can come in a small package-- this would be one excellent mom's day gift!!!

a successful day with papa

Thursday, May 7, 2009

letting go

today i went through lots and lots of baby things. one of papa's co-workers is having a baby and seeing that we are not, i decided they should benefit from all our generous donors (they are young and have none). most of the things we get are second hand and we are so fortunate to have such a well-spring of hand-me-downs. and once all the hand-me-downs mingle together i swear they create more hand-me-downs because i was a bit overwhelmed looking at the boxes and boxes of things. i hope i didn't scare them too much.
i decided to just let them go through the boxes and choose what they liked since i didn't really feel like walking down memory lane. hope i didn't pass along anything too girls have not been on best behavior the last couple of days with all the rain and waiting for repairmen. i should just consign myself to taking you straight to the laundry and therefore just let you play in the mud. but sometimes i'm just not in the mood for that much dirt. i will have to get used to it since i've promised to try a garden patch with you this year. it could be very small but i could at least try to grow salad. luckily we are not in full growing swing so i have a bit of time on this one. the topsoil gets delivered next week.
there has been quite a bit of competition between V and B lately. not sure what to do about it. i talked with our wise neighbor Ms Alida (mom of 4 and retired school teacher) about it and she laughed, essentially saying "good luck". i know you girls love each other and we will figure it all out. i am really hoping that you learn to anticipate how your actions will make others feel. V, you are so sensitive that i hope that you will "get it" quickly and i know you all have it in you.
we had quite the nice day on saturday. you spent the better part of an hour helping big John clean out his compost. sifting, filling bags for later use, putting worms back into the compost pile. hope you are this helpful with the garden.
just wanted to make a comment about the saturday before last....we stayed at V's dance class. it was her last and we got to watch what they have been up to. V is not much of a dancer yet. she gets distracted and doesn't seem to have her heart into. she does have a good time. then we went to the Maple festival and the girls road the rides. V loved the whirly one, B did not. Sophie's dad was a good sport and road on all the rides with B. didn't see that one coming. i do think B likes to be in control of her daredevilness. she doesn't seem to like true "out of control" much. hope that stays with her in her teens. Phoebe slept during the rides but certainly LOVED the maple creamee. (it was a pity since i was planing on eating her leftovers)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

recovering from cake overdose

last week we had to celebrate Bs birthday no.3 and also Easter. it is such a festive time what with the painting and hiding eggs. the frilly clothes and loads of chocolate. then you add in a birthday cake from costco and find yourself whimpering in the corner wondering how in the world you could have thought the cake looked so small when you picked it up. it started well. how could you go wrong with real buttercream on chocolate cake with a chocolate mousse filling? B, our resident sugar fiend was elated. i need look no further for a birthday present than this. good thing she is also an non-stop action hero. she burns up sugar like our mini van burns gas. days later after shooing her away from the fridge again and then finding new finger prints in the icing again, i had to make the painful decision to throw the cake away. i'm sorry Beatrice, to tell you this, but the cake just about did us all in. you were sugar obsessed and i was... well, sick of sugar. you may understand this when you get to my age. we'll see. i'm sure i could have eaten an entire coca cola cake when i was you're age. for all i know, your Nanah threw away my cake when i turned 3. (knowing your Nanah, i doubt this) but you see, i don't know what happened when i turned 3 and i'm just fine with my childhood. we took advantage of such a large cake by singing "happy birthday" at playgroup with the neighborhood kids and then again on your real birthday with your friend Sophie. you had a great 3rd birthday! of course all three of you love to celebrate, but you, B, are a true party girl. happy to eat cake any ol' time. apparently now that you are 3 you also want to be like V and simply must wear dresses. fortunately for me, i can still talk you wearing appropriate clothes for the weather.
we also decorated eggs for easter on your birthday. B and V did a great job dipping and then when we got out the painting dye and PO had to get in on the act. you all did a pretty good job considering the mess you made.
we decided to hide eggs inside since it was sure to be cold in the morning. i did it at night after you went to sleep. your papa loves to watch Moses every year and mock it... the movie, not Moses. so we watched Moses and hid eggs. i decided i did not like the idea of NOT finding the eggs you decorated so i filled plastic eggs with chocolate and loose pocket change which i made you take turns hunting. the pocket change was a big hit and it saved us from too much chocolate. (i can throw out cake...chocolate, dark chocolate is out of the question.) Phoebe cleaned up with the change. then i went off to work and you all played "easter bunny" which comprised of hiding eggs for each other while hopping about. somehow the real eggs got mixed in with the plastic ones and i'm still not sure we found them all. B you found one under the t.v. cabinet just the other day. i won't let anyone eat it.
today we are back to what seems like winter weather. a very gray day with a chill in the air. i tried to let you play outside as much as possible but i could no longer stand the cold so i made you stay in after lunch. V and B play a good game of princesses who go to school. quite the get-ups i have to say...and you made me put your hair in pig tails which was not easy considering you have little hair. good thing P was asleep, i never would have gotten pig tails on her and she wants to do everything the big girls do.
as i type you watch the highlights of The Sound of Music with papa and sing and dance along. it is so precious and entertaining. i do hate to call out fair princesses.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Phoebe flair

your really are becoming the chatterbox, Phoebe. just a word here and there really, but non-stop. all of your words have an e added to them. like you want to sound italian or spanish or something. down sounds more like don-nee. up is up-pee. you will say bagel-ee. and sit-tee. i have to try hard not to say the words like you do because i do want you to know the right way of speaking. you are just so darn funny, it makes it very hard.

Vivi, you have just become the big sister in all ways. you have to help Phoebe out. pretending that it is such a nuisance to keep tabs of her all the time. telling Beatrice that her screaming is giving you a headache, it is sooo loud. (sorry if i ever gave you this idea. i am hoping this phrase came from school because headaches are like dreams. they are only there when you are sleeping in your consciousness.) And the other day Beatrice complained that Phoebe was saying mean things to her. i reasoned that Phoebe doesn't really talk yet. but you, Viv, explained that Beatrice could understand Phoebe's talk and that is why she knows what Phoebe was saying. well, could you explain her to me then, Beatrice?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

things that make us smile

Phoebe likes to dance and sing. she is appropriately named since there is such a thing as a phoebe bird. the phoebe bird says its name though and our little bird does not....quite yet. she does sing to us. "twinkle twinkle" mostly. Will was commenting the other day how all the girls did the same thing when learning "twinkle, twinkle, little star". there is a vague reference to twinkle and then they say star. Phoebe says it like "tar" and then she goes from "up" to "high" and the best of all they (all of them) have the "diamond" part down. she will also sing (sounds like humming) along with the others when they sing a song, any song.

Beatrice will sing songs quite a bit too. it usually involves the chipmunks which i find frightening. mostly because i think i dislike the chipmunks as an adult but also because B has a voice that is very unlike the chipmunks. it's almost baritone in comparison. and today she started a dialog with her spoon at dinner that made me have to look away so she would not see me spit out my food, laughing. i wish i could share it with you but it was all way too fast. Will and i have decided that when B flashes her dimple it is one of the best things in the whole world.

another best thing is when they all sign the ASL shortened version of "i love you" to me as i go off to work. Phoebe's looks a bit like just the "L" and V's is pretty much a mirror of mine. but not to be topped, B has to tweak both her hands into the sign and double "i love you" to me. i usually am late to work because i have to keep this pong game of "i love you" going for as long as i can. it's so great.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

kids will say the darnedest things

this week i received a box in the mail, but this isn't what the story is about. i just would like to clarify that i do not leave boxes lying about. then again i may not get rid of boxes as quickly as i should. so Beatrice decides that she is going to try to fold herself up in this box; this box that is too small for her almost 3 year old frame. B has been having a difficult morning. it's too dark out. she wants it to be morning (sunny, i suppose) time. it's cold. although it is not below freezing and beginning to show signs of sugaring time. i am quite sure the sap is running after this week. so it's quite comical to look down and see moping B trying to stuff herself in a not quite Beatrice sized box. i ask her if she would like me to ship her somewhere. she answers, "un-huh" in a classic Beatrice fashion. so i say "where" and she simply says "to the beach". i swear we have not been talking beach talk or even wish-it-were-warm talk. maybe she can read my mind. anyway it cracked me up.

Phoebe talks a lot these days. it's always in such a way that makes me think she truly believes that i can understand her. we will hold long conversations (a minute or so) where i say something and then she responds in her Phoebe-speak and back and forth. then we reach some sort of conclusion where i'm sure i just promised her a car on her birthday or something equally outrageous and she wanders off, satisfied with herself.

Vivi had her very first ballet class today. she learned how to plie and then apparently forgot it when i asked her to teach B. B was very sad that she is not old enough to take ballet. it is probably more like, she is very sad that she can not do everything that V does. B is not what i would call a ballet girl. although very athletic, i will probably put her in a gymnastics class since she is more climb and jump girl. she may surprise me, usually does. V was very excited about the class though and then not so excited when she heard her friend Sophie would not make the class. she chin-upped eventually and decided that she could check it out and then be able to show Sophie the ropes next week.

there is a music club near our house that actually gets some pretty good acts that want to play small venues. the owners must be with small child since we have seen Dan Zanes play there and they now do a dance party for kids under 8 about once a month. today we decided to brave loosing a child or two to be able to go dancing. Phoebe is my dancer. V sat on a chair to sulk and "wait for my friends to show up." Beatrice stood too close to me until a little girl in a big froufrou tutu came up to dance with Phoebe (scared her) and then tried B (scared her,too). but then after i pushed B away a couple of times, telling her to dance, she started holding hands with her new hovering friend and sort of tried dancing. when Paige showed up the three held hands and scooted, sort of morphed around the dance floor. finally, V had her friend Baxter show up and ran across to greet him (tripping on the little dancer) then she ended up sitting on the chair again after about 10 min of running around with Baxter. not sure what happened but Baxter "doesn't like me anymore" what?? did i miss about 5 or 10 years? again, Phoebe Odette is my dancing partner.

won't do that again for a while.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

on being a mommy

i don't know if i've ever mention this, but Vivi talks alot about being a mom. she will help me by getting something for Phoebe and say, "see mom. i'm going to be a good mommy when i am big." last night, Will said that when he was cleaning the kitchen, V started talking about being a good mom. she used to ask occasionally why Phoebe drank from my "paws". on a few occasions, i corrected her and explained that babies drink from their mother's breasts. again, last night she told Will that she would be a good mom and feed her baby from her "paws". it is comical that she has decided this the the name. i have no idea where she gets this notion from and she can't explain it to me.

as far as Beatrice being a good mom....yesterday she decided that Phoebe should use the potty. we were reading her current favorite book. My Big Girl Potty. not sure why she likes this since she has mastered the potty but we read it at least once a day lately. so we start to talk with Phoebe about using the potty. Phoebe has the word "potty" down. so B thinks she needs to use the potty. we go get the little potty, just for Phoebe and B proceeds to show Phoebe how to use the potty. we get P on the potty and she's not so sure this is where she wants to be. i let her off the hook while B throws a fit, insisting that she use the potty. later i find B trying to take P's pants off telling her it's time to use the potty. Phoebe is not happy. i had to intervene. i hope this does not backfire on any potty training efforts for P.

on a tangent...Phoebe has taken to laughing every night when we get dressed for bed. she finds the word pajamas to be very funny. she will say "jamaa" and laugh. over and over. then the other day i noticed that she gets fussy when we try to get her dressed for the day. we thought it was just a i-don't-want-to-be-naked thing but she started saying "jamaa" and crying. i think it is a sad thing for her to take off her pajamas. she gets over it quickly though when i let her pick out her own outfit. i now have three girls who want to dress themselves and apparently think that my fashion sense is, well...not for them. sorry mom, if i ever gave you grief over my clothes.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

practice, practice, practice...

right now, it's all about figuring things out. i try to see how to get everyone to eat well. Viv, you are doing very well. i actually think that if you didn't have the evil influence of B tainting your taste buds, you would be eating everything we put in front of you. B, i am proud to say that you were fighting, yes fighting over the last slice of pear at lunch today. what a proud moment. this time last year, i could barely get you to eat anything resembling a fruit. now you eat grapes, apples and pears. there is hope for you yet.

Phoebe, you do well with the food as long as it's not too crunchy. i can't believe you still haven't gotten many teeth. i feel like you are constantly teething. i mean, really, what is all the biting about anyway? yesterday you came up to me like you were going to give me a big smoocheroo and about bit my lower lip off. you also bit B's belly. i'm keeping my distance today, and advising others to do the same. you do make me smile even when you are being a little terror. i like the way you wander about, singing. sometimes i can even tell what you are singing, like "a,b,c" or "twinkle, twinkle" other times it's just a little babble that i once thought was an effort to talk, but now i believe it to be singing. you do talk quite a bit, often repeating what we say like, "up you go" and you definitely know what you want. it's not uncommon for you to take something from us and look at it in disgust, then petulantly spike it to the ground. you will chant "tee" when you want to brush your teeth. usually you are already at the sink with toothbrush in hand and just need water and toothpaste. this you do just about every time you pass the bathroom. you really don't need to brush your teeth 20 times a day. and when you want to cuddle at bedtime you will find a "banket" and drag it around until you find a lap to crawl into. and when i ask you if you want something that is food (which you pretty much always want) you always exclaim a raspy, open mouthed "yeahhh" i love how your eyes sparkle with excitement.

Phoebe, before i move on, stop climbing. please. you are making me a wreak. i can't sit down. i can't even not be in the same room with you when you are awake. you pulled the stool onto you when trying to climb on it the other day. this is a heavy foot breaking stool. (head breaking, in your case) we often wonder where you get some of the bumps and bruises that come and go as quickly as you tear through the house. and don't you dare get up on the top bunk and stand up. just stop. your mama doesn't much care for heights, so you need to not like them too.

B, you do practice my patience these days. you don't sleep through the night. ever. i pretty much have to settle you in your bed at least twice during the night unless i stay with you. the strange thing is that you don't care where you sleep as long as mama or papa is there when you fall asleep and when you ever so slightly wake. it never takes long to get you back asleep. i'm not even sure you are awake! as a consequence you get really cranky if you don't get a nap but also refuse to take a nap. so you pass out at 4pm and stay up late so we want to knock you out at 10pm. i suppose i could force the issue but i really dislike fighting with a cranky B and i'll just go to sleep when i won't keep me from my bedtime. heck i may have to be up in a few hours to put you back to bed...

Will took you girls out for bike rides this week during our sunny weather melt. he says that the training wheels may come off soon this summer. probably B first.

V, you are quite the story teller. i wish i could record some of your tales. i am pretty sure you know you are telling a story but sometimes i get mixed up as to what you are talking about and wonder if you are telling me about what happened at school. eventually you seem to sit back with a smile on your face as if you accomplished what you set out to say. so, you really are trying to confuse your mom, is that it? (or should i say "mother" since that is what you have started calling me lately.)

so i get a little irritated these days trying to get you all out the door in the timely manner. i know, i should just try earlier or just let it go. it's hard for me to not be on time. so i find myself repeating my request for you to get coats and boots on, dozens of times and chasing Phoebe around (this is a game for her) trying to get her coat on. i happen to know that she can do this herself. i've seen it. today B, you were trying to get the knit gloves on that you like to wear. you like gloves as opposed to mittens. not sure why. but i said, "nice job, B. you are pretty good at that" and in a way that only you can say, you reply "yeah, it's because i practice everyday" just soooo matter of fact, you are.

out of the mouths of babes. i guess in order to get pretty good, i need to practice everyday.

i do know that i'm already pretty good at loving you girls. i like to practice that!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

ain't no mountain high enough

more like...ain't no surface high enough. Phoebe, Phoebe, it would seem that you have graduated to big kid climbing school. in the last week, i have found you on the clothes dresser, in the top bunk (easy for you), and on the art table stool which is by the way taller than you are. i'm sitting at the desk, paying bills and doing paper work and next thing i know you are there. one moment you are playing nicely under the table, which is also higher than your head, and then you are perched atop the high stool. i had to help you down and then watch you to see how you managed to scale it. turns out that you step on the baseboard heat and then after doing a belly flop on the stool, you worm your way to your knees. well done, but not very steady for my liking. i may have to start hiding the stool.

we had to put a lock on the outside of the guest room in order to keep you girls from making all sorts of messes with the paper work, art supplies and games we have there. most, if not all, require supervision, sometimes with V and i can't expect V to supervise when it is okay for her to play with it. it will be so much nicer to have everyone at a safe age for these activities. won't be too much longer...

we've been making valentine's cards for Vivi's classmates. i have to say that those silly boxed cards are seeming very attractive to me at the moment. V was going gang-busters for the first 10 or so then she jumped to making cards for her neighborhood friends. she and Beatrice both did well making those. then we went back to the classmates and i lost her. she didn't want to sign her name (she signs it "viv", but with her whole name she writes her "e" upside down and maybe forgets an "n") ...couldn't even decide who the cards would be for. she fell asleep today, which is rare for her. hopefully we can get a few more cards done before dinner. i may have to step in and just start writing names on cards and have her put stickers on them.

it is a rare moment in the house where i have three girls sleeping. (unfortunately even at night) i probably should be trying to clean and get the house ready for Grandma Liz since she will be here for a visit tomorrow. instead i'm goofing off and having a cup of tea.... one that i don't have to reheat over and over. yesterday i forgot about it so much that i had it reheated 5 times before i finished my cup. this all makes up for the fact that i average 6 hours of interrupted sleep a night. B is the worse. she will come to my bedside sometimes 3 times a night. each time i take her back to bed, settle her fairly quickly, and then try to fall back asleep. last night, Phoebe was also fussy. so i had a moment of settling her as well.

Phoebe, you are such a girl these days. no baby, anymore. you ask for things. saying "peease". saying "tankqou". it's so cute, and a bit sad. we still have plenty of days where you want me to carry you around and cuddle but it won't be long before you are just like Viv. writing your name on cards and helping yourself to all sorts of activities that i usually help with. i will then do a little dance and then look for ways to entertain myself.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Phoebe, i love that you are giving out hugs and kisses very freely these days. you hug with a little grunt and your kisses are more sound than kiss. you make the kiss noise but you do it with your tongue like a cluck instead of smacking your lips. it's sooo cute.

Friday, January 30, 2009

my apologies

oh Vivienne, i am so sorry. you spend the whole month looking forward to your day when you get to show and teach and i didn't write it on the calendar. it was today. i forgot to get the snack together and i forgot your show and teach. as a mother there are just times when you want to sit down and cry. i do okay handling your boo-boos and i am pretty solid when you get disappointed by a friend or your sisters. but i feel just awful when i have let you down. i would go so far as to say, i'm heartbroken. i'm sure that this will not be the last time, but i hope that if it happens, it will be as small and inconsequential.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

grading on a curve

when you read these posts, i hope that you aren't too harsh with me. there are always going to be things that will make you say, "i won't be like that when i'm a mom" but sometimes you just don't know until you are there. i can't recall anything that my mom did that i would not do. she is a good example for being a mom. i don't think i ever had a "i hate you mom" moment. hopefully you girls will feel the same.

today was a challenge for me. Phoebe gets her nap cut short by Beatrice so she follows me around fussing. She also keeps trying to climb onto a high stool and i think i'm just going to have to make it disappear. no matter how many times she slips trying to get up she still tries. her mother's determination, she has.

it started snowing when we got up this morning and did not stop. i burnt your papa's grill cheese because Phoebe fell off the stool and i forgot about it. and i left the house before they snowplowed so i had to dig myself back into the driveway. how silly is that. so we all made some bad decisions today.

V and B, you kept pulling things out of the bedroom that you aren't suppose to touch. you dropped something down the sink which made the water back up and you continue to pick on one another. if you learn anything, i hope you learn to think about what it is like for others.

and B, you took a fork to the nice dining room table. what? we made you call Uncle B since he gave us the table and apologize for hurting the table.

Phoebe you had a complete screaming, crying fit when i was outside shoveling but you forgave me quickly. you tried to help me unload the groceries. of course the kind of day i'm having found me playing pick up sticks with the spaghetti when the box opened as you pulled it out of the bag. you are great though and tried to help. good thing another parent just sent me an article from the NYTimes saying that eating a little dirt is good for kids. so i didn't have to even claim the 5 second rule. i just thought to myself this is going into boiling water so i'm using it. also, Phoebe, stop climbing up on things, but don't stop that little squinty thing you do with your eyes. and it is so cute when you try to give me butterfly kisses. you are the only one of my girls who doesn't really know what butterfly kisses are. but you have a great time when we snuggle, giggling and giving me butterfly kisses. thank you.

grading on a curve, this was a lovely day....

Monday, January 26, 2009

stuck in vermont

if you ever wonder why you live in Vermont, i think i found an answer for you. it doesn't mean this is the reason we are here. i am here because your papa wanted to move here. i also see it as a great place to raise children. the politics are dead on.

but when you spend over a week in frigid, below freezing temps you begin to question your locale choices. there is this public access t.v. show called "Stuck in Vermont" which highlights interesting places and people, in VT. there was a cartoonist on tonight's show that was asked, "why Vermont?" and her response was, "vermont attracts a sort of person that likes to suffer and struggle." so there you have it...maybe this is why your papa picked this place to raise you. i know i'm here for the love.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Viv, sometimes you just make me shake my head. it's one of the coldest januarys on record with days not even making it above freezing and you are running around in a short dress proclaiming it to be summer. i happen to know that our thermostat is set on 62 degrees. what about that says summer? so you just come to me after finally putting on tights, a sweater and shoes and announce that you are cold. really? putting on cotton tights, a cotton sweater while wearing a short sleeve dress isn't enough? there is a teenager down the street who wears flip flops and very short skirts almost everyday and i wonder what her mom thinks or says. i will find out someday i'm sure. at some point, the battle is not worth it.
last night all three of you took turns waking up and crying. Phoebe you win for perseverance. B and V took seconds to go back to sleep. you kept the scream going for more than an hour. not sure what the deal was. i guess it doesn't much matter now. your papa finally came downstairs and sat with us to settle you. i was a bit tired this morning and you sure napped well.
play group was meeting at the ice rink today. i really had to push myself to take you after my lack of sleep. but love never needs sleep so off we went. B, you made a great effort pushing milk crates around the ice. better than last year when we put on your skates, and the second your feet hit the ground, you screamed, "take them off!" V, you are a star. off to a shaky start but once the instructor started you followed right along. by the time you were asking to switch to your boots the instructor asked you to be her partner and off you went....without much help. a few more visits and you'll outdo us all. (certainly your mom who has logged only about twice as much ice time as you.)
so everyone was mostly in a good mood today. even with your mom being in hibernating, grumpy mode. you even want dinner that requires no going to the market. breakfast. a great meal any time of the day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

inauguration day

girls, you won't remember this day. i will try to remember it for you. this history books you study may not even have this history. it my be too new. but you need to know that for a while now, we americans have been waiting for the moving of the water. waiting to be the first to jump in and be healed. looking for our miracle. i've often looked at that bible story without wondering why Jesus didn't heal everyone waiting and what was special about this story that we learn something from it. i recently read something that questioned that very thing and noted that it maybe wasn't the healing that we were to focus on but the fact that there is a man who does NOTHING but wait. looking for help and making excuses was basically the rut that this man found himself in. sure, he was a cripple so it must have seemed hopeless for him but in thought and action than in physical being. well, Jesus basically said to get up, roll up that bed of excuses and walk. he refused to see this man as hopeless mortal. this is where we are as a nation. we can no longer look to government or others to help us and we definitely need to stop making excuses. i am hoping that in his inauguration speech, Obama will tell us to roll up our sleeves and get to work. i hope he will be the president that inspires us to do better and be our best selves. and to stop making excuses. it is time to stop our wait on the water and see ourselves in the proper way. well, enough of the metaphors... we are entering a time that will require lots of patience. patience with ourselves and our government. we have quite a few things to correct about our nation and hopefully we will roll up our sleeves and, with wisdom, set to putting things in order and seeing things as they should be. your future is a bright one and it's time we make it so.
on the home front, you, Phoebe could be a little more independent, if i had my wishes. it is becoming tiresome to have you follow me around wanting to be picked up all the time and screeching when i don't relent. i know you have it in you to be little miss independent and know that some day (like with Viv) i will miss having you come up and want a hug and want to be my baby. can we find a happy balance, please? and when there is only one mama you need to share. you and B can't keep fighting over mama and screaming, shoving, even biting when you can't have me all to yourself. enough. on your part Phoebe i know it's frustrating not being able to talk yet and not having the words to say, "it's my turn." or whatever. i try to keep it even but just because you can't say it doesn't give you the right to scream nonsense.
Vivi has started to go to preschool on tuesdays instead of mondays. this is a good thing to spread the week out some as well as give you more physical activity since tues. is gymn day. today V, you wouldn't kiss me on your way out the door to school. you gave me an air kiss. i guess this is the anti-Phoebe but i'm not ready for the "i don't have time for mama" routine yet and i hope that we never actually get to that. i will try my best to be there, to have time. i hope you will too.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

the power of chocolate

Beatrice, it would seem that you can poop on command. the thought of getting a peanut butter chocolate is so appealing that you will disappear at least twice a day and produce "poopie in the potty", at which point you will announce, "come see, i did poopie in the potty" you will not allow anything else to occur until all of us have had a chance to see and fully appreciate the moment. then you begin the bargaining for the reward.
today we went to the potty twice while at church, just to pee. when we got home you began to even add Viv into your requests for the chocolate prize. "can i have a peanutbutter chocolate since i went pee/poop in the potty, and can Viv have one too?" you ask. you are quite the generous one when you know you've got it all locked up for yourself.
the only thing that i take issue with is that you need to have a new pull up on after you have used the potty. the old one is, well, old. it isn't even slightly soiled, you are so on top of the "going to the potty" thing, that isn't an issue if you are awake. so i decided that you don't have to wear pull ups except for nap time and when we run errands and might not find a potty fast enough. you seem okay with that. you are a big girl now.

Friday, January 2, 2009

before i forget

Beatrice gave us the best present ever. she started trying to use the potty. one day she just decided to go and then had to take a picture of it since i was at work and could not see it. she has been doing fairly well since. she seems to understand that she needs to keep the pull up dry. i'm not counting on it being a take away the diaper and she goes without accident sort of thing but i do like where we are headed with this. she is highly motivated by peanutbutter chocolates.

the girls are all little dancers lately. it's very cute when music comes on and they will start to dance around sometime holding hands. the other night some "donna" tune came on that Will had to turn up for me and the girls were dancing around right out of the bath. it was a snapshot straight from Matisse's Dancers.

Phoebe and i play this little hug game where i ask for a kiss and she reluctantly gives me a hug and we take turns squeezing and making a little grunt noises. it's the best.

and Beatrice likes to get real close and look wide eyed at me and say "i can see me in the black of your eyes."

happy new you

well girls, we made it. we made it through all the holiday work hours, holiday visitors, parties and gift wrap, the holiday meals and lack of sleep. you did splendidly! i could have used some of your energy and optimism but i'm learning from you.

it was a smaller party of visitors this year. your aunties, Joy and Christia, just bought a house and are preparing for a move so they stayed home. your Nanah and Um B stayed about a week and your Uncle Robert made a 4 day guest appearance over the main event.

we had a series of storms come through just before Christmas which didn't really affect our plans but somehow Nanah got delayed so that she arrived at 330am. it's times like that when i'm ever so glad i don't fly anymore.

there was enough snow that Papa shoveled a big mound for you to slide down and another one, he hollowed out so that you had a little igloo to climb in. you had the best snow playground in the neighborhood. Your Papa would have spent all day outside perfecting it, if i would have let him.

Christmas morning you all had a blast ripping through the paper. Vivi woke first and did a very good job of patiently waiting for Beatrice to wake up. You almost never have to wait for Phoebe since she wakes almost as soon as you go to move out of bed. it's as if she just knows she may miss out on something.

so, V, you were the main present presenter. i'm convinced that you were just looking for the 'V' on the tags but you did a very good job of getting the gifts to their proper owners. you and B both did well helping others open their gifts. i still need to work on paring down the numbers as you all don't slow down and enjoy what you get, but after barely acknowledging a gift, you move on. the big hit for V was definitely the dresses. you got a frou-frou dance dress which is supposed to play the nutcracker when you twirl but you instantly figured out how to take the music box out so it only twirls. i'm not sure you even know you could make noise when you dance. some things are a blessing.

B, you like almost everything that makes noise and i'm glad that most of it has an off switch. the biggest hit i think may be the alphabet toy that sings the alphabet song and when you put a letter in place it will sound it out. right now you just like carrying it around singing the alphabet song. (as does Phoebe) i'm hoping you will get more into the individual letters later.

art stuff has been big lately too. V and B can sit for fits and burst creating big masterpieces all day long. V is especially into mixed media and B loves to paint. you both like to make a mess. Phoebe is kind of sad at these moments since she is not big enough for the art table yet. soon Phoebe you will be sitting up there with them.

i think you did a good job entertaining your guests. although one can argue that you watch too much t.v. your Papa keeps saying he was raised by a t.v. and it didn't hurt him. i'm a bit more into keeping a balance but i do have to admit that the winter time is rough on me. i just don't last long when the temperature is below freezing. we did manage a trip to the grotto (swim pool) right before Christmas and you all seemed to love the water even more this year. B was a bit apprehensive at first but then figured out how to work the lifevest and was happy to splash about with little help. V was happy to be all on her own, quite a change from last year. and well Phoebe just loves being a part of it all. Last year P was too small to go in the water since it was cold. i did have to pull P out for shivering but she loved every second in the water.

back to entertaining your guests....not sure if it was you doing the entertaining or the Uncles. Robert played this tickle game with you that involved tossing a coin and the person who called it right (heads or tails) got to be tickled. He brought you "Horton Hears a Who" and "Wall-e" and i think you liked them quite a bit. at least you still ask to watch it. the big Christmas hit this year was "Chipmunks Christmas" which i'm sorry to say i picked up in a moment of weakness. what was i thinking? watch it as an adult and you will know what i mean. Uncle B did a good job of keeping you girls clean and cuddled. all of you may have fallen asleep on him at some point and we all had a good chuckle watching him try to keep up with the "tornadoes of mess" that you seem to be. good thing he doesn't have you girls as his own. he would go crazy trying to keep it all clean.

as far as i'm concerned the biggest gift was to see you all through their eyes and have a little help appreciating your unique talents. it's hard to spend almost too much time alone with you. not that i don't love you. it's just that sometimes it can be too easy to stop loving the little things and start obsessing over the big messes. i sometimes feel like all i do is pick up one mess while you make another...and all to a chorus of 'give me'. i try to teach you to pick up after yourself and say 'please and thank you' but i never see it happen. when others are around i sometimes hear the please and thank you (not always :-{ ) and the best is when you are besides yourselves to show them something and share with them what you think is cool. and it's nice to be able to take a 15 min. shower without someone wanting to jump in and play in the water.

i put together a little brag book for the Grandmas this year and it's crazy to see you all growing up in pictures. V is becoming quite the young lady. and Beatrice is definitely not a baby anymore. Phoebe, I still claim you as my baby even though more and more you want to do things yourself. (you are getting the eating thing down with the spoon or fork almost better than V.) but you still don't have much hair and that makes you look a bit younger than you are. it's okay. people still tell me that i look younger than i am, and i feel it most days. i still can't believe i'm in charge of raising 3 wonderful daughters.

this year i started what i hope to be a new year's day tradition. a family photo on the steps. we gave it a good try. about 5 pictures and the results were to be expected. some of them were a bit blurry, very disappointing. you all were good sports especially your Papa. we still need to work on looking at the camera without fingers in our mouths.