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.