Friday, November 30, 2007

Big finish

Just as I was wondering what I should post for tonight, I looked over at you as you were standing by the coffee table. You had this look of concentration -- of effort -- as Weird Al's "White and Nerdy" blasted on the laptop. I said, "you're pooping!" and you just laughed as Dad quickly carried you off to the bathroom. Lately, you've been saying that you want to poop your pants; I think you say this to bug us, as you aren't really interested in going that direction. But why, why do you begin the process while in our living room? Anyway, you made it on time and that's what counts.

Today I picked you up at school right after your nap -- about 3 hours earlier than we normally see you on work days. You were so happy to see me; so warm, rested and non-emo. I loved to see your friends hugging you goodbye; one friend even got your hat out of the cubby and handed it to you to put on. You did have some silent angry time alone when Nana and Papa arrived -- your behavior reminded me so much of my own brand of sulking.

And now it is time for bed -- you'll chew up your cod liver oil gel caps and your gummy vitamins -- we'll tuck you in, and you'll turn off the last light. Things will go on as they do in the early late-night quiet time. Soon enough, the sun will open on another day.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Tonight at dinner, you wanted to know what I did today. You wanted all of the details. Surprisingly, this didn't feel like a burden; it helped me see that we are busy as a family, but we all come together at our table in the evening.

When we picked you up at school, you ran into my arms, yelling, "Mommy!" This makes me warm, even when it is dark and cold outside. You did cry when we almost left your special drawing behind. You had plans for that piece -- you and Dad made a paper bag hand puppet when we finally settled in.

Your cold seems to be subsiding -- your coughing is dwindling. I cuddled with you in your bed during story time. You always want to take off my glasses and set them carefully on your little, green table. I let you find comfort in this ritual -- in many rituals. May you always like the simple things.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Noted, finally

On my computer, I have these electronic sticky notes. Some of them haunt me: to do lists, credit card balances. Others remind me of gifts to give. And then there are a few that hold phrases you've uttered that I want to remember.

Here's what I found today --

February 2007:

"I see Buddha in the trees."

"The sunset has his hat on." (There were a lot of clouds, I think.)

"If I'm happy, we'll get to Nana's faster!"

--I believe all of these quotes are from one, long drive in the car.

May 11, 2007

"I want to go something like a park"

-- We had just moved from our old house and not yet discovered the closest park to us. Also, I graduated, was student teaching, preparing for house guests, and Grandma Nancy was nearing the end of her life. So, yes, the park was something we all wanted to find.

May 12, 2007:

"I want to sleep on a mountain"

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


"I'm going to spread your haircut!" ("Also, I'm spreading your haircut," or "I want to spread your haircut.")

We aren't sure where this came from. You say this most often when putting Earth Balance or almond butter on toast. You do seem a bit confused about the permanence of haircuts, i.e. after a cut, you'll say, "Don't take away my haircut," but I have no idea how you combined food with this fixation.


"I'm making a sandcastle!"

This is said when you are making anything, or even doing some things. You could be coloring, or putting your hat in the basket. There are a few other times that escape me now -- I'll have to add them when they come up. Sometimes you could be forming a castle of a kind, but other are putting your baby to bed, so it's a bit mysterious. Don't worry, though, we love your brand of mystery.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bits and Pieces

We found a vegan "cheese" we all like. This is a major breakthrough, seriously. I can eat something vaguely cheesy without washing my hands 18 times afterwards. Totally worth it. (For future reference: monterey jack flavor great on lightly grilled polenta with a bit of spaghetti sauce drizzled on top. And veggie sausage, but you can't have it because it is wheat based, darn it.)

You and Dad spent some time online looking at a yule log video compendium. Dad is really excited about the prospect of have a hot, uh, log in his...pocket. You made him play the 30 second sample over and over again. Finally, you sighed and said, "someday I will have an iPod." Save us all.

You are now dancing in the kitchen wearing a sweatshirt and your underwear. It's time for gummy vitamins and bedtime. I can't wait.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Your legs buckle as I try to brush your teeth. You are crying and laughing and screaming as I scrub each little tooth. You don't understand, fully, how truly frustrating this is: I have visions of rotting teeth -- you have visions of not entering your bedroom one second before you are ready.

Finally, I give in; I rinse the toothbrush and put it away in the cabinet. I step over you and sprint down the steps -- Dad dried your hair and told you stories. You wanted to tell me, instantly, that you were sorry, but I couldn't accept it just them. There's a part of me that doesn't want you to learn you can continue the cycle by apologizing right away. But I'm not sure, exactly, how to make it all come out right for everyone.

I made it up after stories to cuddle on the bed with you. You wanted everything just so -- and to hear my story "with the silly voice," and so it came together in the end. Sometimes I wish I knew how to always keep a sunny disposition -- how to instantly forgive you when you misbehave. Sometimes I wonder if it's simply my outlook that is flawed...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Bedtime conversation

Setting: Your room. You are in bed waiting for a story from Dad -- Don't Let The Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems. I walk in the door.

"Want to listen to the story with me?"
"Will you cuddle in bed with me?
"Of course -- can I share your pillow?"

[I lay down next to you.]

[During the story...]

"I'm rubbing your back. Does it feel nice?"
"I love it, yes."
"Let me take your glasses. And your hair clip."
"Can I scratch your head? It feels so soft!"
"Umm, hmmm..."
"Look at your funny hair; it's covering your eyes!"

[I think, for a moment, about falling asleep there...]

[The story has ended.]

"I want a hug. I'm rubbing your back again!"
"I love you so much, sweet dreams."
"I love you too."

Friday, November 23, 2007

Accidental tree lighting

Today we took the visiting family to Ikea. It was a mixed success; Ikea is fun in some ways, however, if the family ends up bothered by their lack of ability to purchase shiny new things, a trip there can feel...frustrating.

We decided (okay, DAD decided) that it was be fun! to take the train Downtown. Granted, all parties were into a ride on MAX, but in general I'm not into going there unless our destination is 1. Powell's Books, 2. To see a show of some kind, or 3. Eat really good food. It was really cold, and we were only moderately prepared. Luckily, you had on your new winter coat. Dad thought it would be neat to see the gigantic tree erected in Pioneer Courthouse Square.

We got on the nearly empty train and headed into town. As we sped closer to our destination, the train began filling up, but it wasn't too busy. As the doors opened on the square and we tried to get off, we realized that we'd stepped into the Tree Lighting Ceremony, a huge event every year. There are thousands of people and we could barely make it onto the sidewalk. It was literally freezing (well, it was 33 degrees) and we didn't have the best view. You held tight to your stuffed bear and didn't seem to mind too much. We saw: a drunk, homeless, man wearing a metal mixing bowl as a helmet, while smoking a cigarette and nearly taking out a group of young Republicans with his gigantic plastic sack of clothes and bedding; a pair of men carrying signs that read, "9-11 was an inside job" and advertising a website explaining their theories; more than a few angry, stroller-bearing parents who seemingly believed it was their right to run over the feet of 10 year olds who dared get in their way (I saw one woman make an elderly man with a walker yield to her inherent need to get to Nordstrom).

I have to stop a minute. It wasn't this bad, really; I'm not that bitter. When we found a less busy spot, listening to the jazz and all the happy, excited people, I was glad we made it. At the countdown to the lights, I felt my heart speed up in anticipation. There may have been tears in my eyes as the Holiday Tree -- and all of the trees on the street -- lit up in unison. As we were riding the MAX back to our car, you fell asleep in Dad's arms. The train was busy at first, but it cleared out as we got closer to the airport. I overheard a man talking to his mom on a cell phone about his nice Thanksgiving visiting friends in Portland; he was on his way back to San Francisco. I thought about how, someday, you would be calling me from some distant place and not here with me.

Sometimes it takes a chilly night and an evergreen to help me see things clearly.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving shiner

The story of your shiner is a long and winding story...
This morning, you awoke to the appearance of some young family members sleeping on the sofa bed; you were thrilled and proceeded to play with them all day. They were excellent companions as we busied ourselves in the kitchen.
I had my head down, chopping vegetables and fruits, mixing and mixing most of the morning and into the early afternoon. I was cook and hostess and organizer, but I couldn't have done that satisfying work without a lot of help. Nana and Papa helped with the potatoes and stuffing, table setting, snack trays, carving -- Margaret helped construct and execute the gravy (yeah for sage!) -- and, of course, Dad was there plugging along too.
We finally got to our meal and I sat with you at your little table. There were so many people in our house (14 for dinner!) that we had to bring up an additional table from the basement. The extra table (and our dining table extended) meant extra chairs.
After dinner, while people were winding down, you were winding up. Your circles around the table, complete with drive-by tickling, grew more frenetic. On one of your trips around, your foot caught on the leg of a metal folding chair and you tumbled, face first, into the back of your little, wooden desk chair. A spot next to your eye took the blow; we think that your glasses saved your eye itself. Consequently, you have a pretty nasty black eye, with a bright red scrape to boot.
You cried, of course, and I held you while applying ice. Soon, you fell asleep on our bed for a late nap. After you woke up and said that your eye felt "a LOT better," (though it looked worse), you were back to playing -- happy as can be. You didn't want to see the evidence until Dad popped open his computer and took these shots:

Okay, well, the picture thing didn't work out right now, but I'll get them up.
Here's to another great day tomorrow, hopefully one without injuries. xo

Update -- here they are!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

On the eve of giving thanks...

Three pots of cranberry sauce are bubbling --
You sleep soundly in your bed above me (I wish I was horizontal too) --

Family coming into town at 3 a.m.; Tom Turkey must begin his slow descent at 6 a.m. --
I love this holiday -- my favorite, I think --

This year, we are home, in our home which means: no bags to haul to the car, no traffic to fight, no extra late bedtime at the Grandparents' house --
And: a clean home, ready for guests, a new warmth in our house, new beginnings and traditions, you, sitting tall, and finding what you are thankful for.

Lucy, I am thankful that you will give the blessing this year -- may you always feel blessed in return.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Guest Post from Dad

Dear Lucy,

Tonight you had Mom kiss you just like the image in the Spike Lee book, Please, Baby, Please. Since your new Ikea bed arrived, bedtime has been bliss.

I sneak you in to poems, usually referring casually to "light". That's you.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Grocery man!

Tonight the Thanksgiving groceries came via New Seasons Market. (The delivery fee is a bargain when one considers the hours of time saved -- that, and the free gifts they include!) Our delivery person, Sean, was especially delightful and you were quite fond of him. As he was climbing the porch stairs, you yelled, "Grocery Man!" at the top of your lungs. As if you 'saw' something in his nature, you started stretching and bending into little yoga and dance poses. During my conversation with him, I discovered that he is a trained dancer and we had a talk about his future plans, which include dance therapy. It's refreshing to have lovely, unexpected conversations. As you hopped about, your flexibility impressed him. Perhaps, at some point, we should think of a dance class for you, however, I don't want you to become an overly scheduled child involved in too many activities. 'Grocery Man' agreed. Maybe dancing for the sake of dancing is enough. For now, I love the way you greet new people in our home -- strangers or friends -- by showing a true piece of you.

P.S. Bed update -- you woke in the night (around 3 a.m.) crying. When Dad came into your room, you asked for a tissue and said, "I love my new bed" and went back to sleep. Then, when you woke up this morning, you professed your love again, and then again after school and at bedtime. You are so very pleased (and honored) by this turn of events.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pump it up; new bed

Looking at the title, one may think that you have have a new bed of the air mattress variety; this is not true!

This morning, we went to a birthday party for two of your school companions. The celebration was held at a local spot that features giant, inflatable 'bounce houses." After a moment of hesitation, you jumped and played to your heart's content. I went down the slide, even though you chose not to join me. We watched you interacting with friends -- so sweet and inviting. Our hearts brimmed with pride as you posed for the group photo, holding still with a bright smile. A year ago, you would not have been so outgoing, so it was exciting on more than one level.

After the party, we made a trek to Ikea. I had a few things on the list for Thanksgiving, but I also wanted to look at the little kid beds. You fell asleep on the way there, so I was alone as I pondered the choices. Of woke up and wanted to look at the beds. I had already been in the store for over an hour. You said, "my bed at home is not comfy," something you've been mentioning for awhile. It's true: your crib mattress was feeling thin and narrow. When you got to the display, you were in heaven. We had to lure you away with french fries from the cafe. So...we got the bed, the 'big girl' pillow (it's a queen size!) and the pink sheet set. Although I swore a bit while putting it together, it is perfect. It will eventually stretch out into a twin size, so we know it'll last for many years.

With the new bed and a renewed sense of independence -- your lamp and tissues are now on a little bedside table -- bedtime was perfect. This change meant so much to you. The bed is much more comfortable for all of us; I was able to curl up next to you during stories. Although I felt a bit wistful when Dad took your crib to the basement, the possible sadness turned to contentment when I saw your smile and blond curls splayed out on the pillowcase.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Uneventful (under the wire)

Today was so luscious in that it seemed to flow by easily. There were things to be done, of course, but mostly we were just together. You woke Dad at 6:30; you two let me sleep in until a time I won't mention here. Once we were all up, you painted, we read and ate and drank coffee. We spent a bit of time discussing Thanksgiving dinner (to be held here, with over 10 people) and we did some chores. I know more must have happened, but I suppose there is no shame in a slow day.

After dinner, we went to a private opening of a holiday gift shop. We wouldn't normally do this sort of thing, but your former nanny Julie invited us. We went around looking at the beautiful ornaments and buying a few gifts. Dad and I decided that it's probably time to think about how we discuss the upcoming holiday season. We want to have a tree, but we'll not call it a Christmas tree. You fell in love with a big, plastic, horse ornament so now we must get a tree; this plastic horse will not fit on a neat wreath. It was good to see Julie. 18 months ago she was given 3 months to live, after receiving the devastating melanoma diagnosis. She looked thin, but well. You didn't respond to the difference in appearance -- you sat on her lap and kissed her goodbye. You love her so much, and time with her is bittersweet. Of course I want to lunch with her, to see holiday bazaars and laugh together about your quirks. But another part of me doesn't want to set you up for more sadness: the older you get, the more loss you will feel when she is gone. But isn't that a part of life? How long can I shelter you? (Or is it really myself I am protecting?)

Friday, November 16, 2007

A conference

This morning we met with your Montessori teacher E. It was such a delight to sit in the little chairs and talk about your progress. A lot of people criticize Montessori for being too 'rigid,' but we've found just the opposite. Although your school provides a report card of sorts, E. was more interesting in talking about the whole you -- the you who is interested in forming relationships -- the you who is growing more independent and who is more outgoing than just two months ago. I am so proud of you -- proud to hear about the work you do with language (you know so many letters now!), math and other life skills -- but I love, love to hear your songs and see your paintings. You are learning about watercolor and came home today with a beautiful piece of art. At our home table, before we eat, you recite a little blessing learned at school. You sing songs about how school is a place for work and play, and you now know all the words to "Do-Re-Mi." You love to pretend and tell stories from your imaginative worlds.
Whatever you choose to do, and whoever you end up becoming, I know your very first preschool teacher E. will remain clear in our memories -- for her love and support -- for truly wanting to understand our Lucy.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hold you like a baby-o.*

Tonight you were so tired. With the time change and the dark, rainy night, you fell fast asleep on our way home. Sweet girl. You finally had dinner and then asked me to "hold you like a baby-o" in the purple chair. You did hit a second wind, though, but bedtime was almost blissful in comparison to other, recent nights.

You and Dad picked me up at school tonight; you actually came inside. Seeing you in the door to my classroom made my heart perk up. The curls under your hat looked so...innocent...compared to some of the fashions I see coming through the door. You sat in one of the desks happily coloring. Finally, you tired of that work. I looked over at you and found you slumped down, with this perfectly bored expression. It took my breath away, for it matched an attitude sitting there just two hours earlier -- a window? I (naively) hope not.

I'm tired too -- why is it always so late with these? I think this pattern is why I don't write when I'm not motivated by this group effort (and fabulous! prizes!). Like every New Year, I'm going to make a resolution to stop phoning it in here. If for no one else, I need to do it for the future you (and me?).


*The 'baby-0' comes from a favorite Woody Guthrie song.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


The last few weeks, we've been taking a writing class on Wednesdays, so one of your teachers has been taking care of you. When we return, I love to hear the tales of your evening. A. tells us of the conversations you have and your discussions of the work you do at preschool. I realize she hears things we never will; you have a special relationship. I like to know that you are developing a life outside of us -- that you can trust others who are trustworthy, but I do feel a special kind of ache about this -- a sign that you are slowing moving 'away.'

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Baffled at bedtime

My sweet girl,
Tonight, Dad nearly called Harvey Karp at his home in Washington, D.C. (P.S. Does anyone have his number?). Maybe we should call Alfie Kohn.
Here's how it goes:
"Do you want to have a happy bedtime?"
"Yes! Yeah! I'm a big girl! Let's take vitamins!"
We make it upstairs, etc. etc. We start to see a struggle when putting your pajamas on.
"What's this, Lucy? We thought you wanted a happy bedtime!"
"Yes, okay. I can be gentle. I love you so much! Let's read this book!"
By this time, about 40 minutes has passed. Pajamas are on, book has been read, but now you don't want to brush your teeth.
"Alright...come in the bathroom, or we will kiss you goodnight now. 1,2,3... Okay, we love you, goodnight."
Commence screaming -- you don't come downstairs, or turn on your light -- you cry, spit and sing angry songs(!) while we torture ourselves in the living room.
"WTF should we do?" we ask ourselves. We don't want to deny you love and affection, but bedtimes that last 90 minutes (and not 90 'sweet' minutes, which would be something entirely different!) are not working for us.
We come back up and comfort, brush teeth and cover you up with 10 blankets. 15 minutes later, we are finally downstairs...until you cry because Dad doesn't exchange 25 "I love yous" through your (now closed) bedroom door. Dad goes back up to your room. Then I go up. Finally, I am covering you up and closing your door. I am at the top of the steps when I hear your sweet voice --
"I love you SO much."
Suddenly, I realize these past 90 minutes have passed quickly, but oh my, they wear us out. How can we work this out? Should we call your Union Representative?

Monday, November 12, 2007

In brief...

Though bedtime took over two hours, you've been so sweet --
Lately, your love has not be verbal, so to speak, but almost ever hour today you said, "I love you so much."
You know how much this means to me, and I hold these words close.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Meeting Roscoe Orman

Although it isn't even dinner time, we've had a busy day!

First, we went to a birthday party for our friend Simon. The party was at a cool, play structure company that rents out the indoor showroom for parties.

Next, we went to the Wordstock Festival at the Convention Center. I heard our friend Matthew Dickman read some of his poetry while you went with dad to hear Roscoe Orman (Gordon) of Sesame Street fame. You were so excited to meet him; he signed your book and talked to you for a bit. As we left the parking garage, you said, in a voice laden with regret, "Oh! I forgot to hug Gordon!" We tried to tell you that your conversation -- and the books he writes -- is the hug. You paused, thinking about our logic, sighed and said, "I forgot to hug Gordon." We'll send him a note and tell him to come to Portland again next year.

When we got home, Nana and Papa were waiting in the driveway! Papa's sleeping on the couch; you are playing with Nana upstairs. Soon, Beth will come to take care of you and we'll depart to see a sold-out show at Portland Center Stage. Thankfully, we have tomorrow together -- we will not have the rush of our usual Monday routine.

Thank you for being a girl who likes to meet authors, who loves books and rub-on tattoos -- thank you for loving the swing and quietly watching your friends open your gifts. You enjoy seeing others be happy -- this is such an important quality, and one I hope to nourish through the years.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Raking, Thai food

Lots of raking today -- I heard you gleefully rushing through leaves, helping dad. There was a short, successful trip to the local farm store where you picked up your very own little rake.

After a long, late nap, you woke in the dark, slightly confused. I assured you that it was still, technically, day time. We discussed a jaunt for dinner. I was craving Thai food; I'd heard about a new restaurant down the road I wanted to try. You were fine with going there, as long as you could have "plain rice, plain chicken, and plain peas." We loving eating at Thai places because there is (almost) a zero percent chance of dairy cross-contamination. Maybe we should move to Thailand! The restaurant is beautiful -- lots of Buddha statues -- and the menu was just different enough. The house specialties were refreshing. They had all of the plain items you requested; we didn't have to Frankenstein your food, as we usually need to do. After a leisurely meal (you were eating rice long after we were finished), we came home without incident. You were saying goodbye to people we met -- your pink glasses and shiny personality were a hit!

Should I mention bedtime? Do I have to? Jesus. It's rough sometimes, and it's been especially challenging lately. You want to have more independence, so we give it to you. And then you start pushing my buttons. I know you are doing certain things to bug me and I really don't want to be bothered. I'm the mature one, right? But when you are pushing off your blankets and saying (in the dark), "my legs aren't under the covers," and "my head isn't on the pillow," and "I'm going to take my pants off," steam begins escaping from my ears. To save my sanity and show you your behavior doesn't bother me, I say, "fine, I hope you don't get cold -- goodnight," but inside I desperately want to locate a king-sized comforter so I can tuck you in good and tight; I want you to remain covered and comfortable for the night without the drama.

My eyes want to close with all of this talk of sleep. Tomorrow is a big day -- there's a birthday party and, after that, we hope to see Sesame Street's "Gordon" at Wordstock. Maybe he has some advice for us -- after all, he played a major role in potty training you via the Elmo's Potty Time DVD.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Dance "Class"

Tonight you 'allowed' Dad to play the guitar while I pondered a new tune. It was sweet -- a nice, slow evening; we were all lingering. I was sitting on the couch, surfing websites, the cat was resting her head next to me. You and I had a nice afternoon tea, and then a filling dinner -- your belly was full.

While Dad was playing, I noticed your clothes coming off. Often, you will tell us that you are "too hot" for your shirt or pants, but we usually require you to keep them on in some form. Tonight, however, you were having Dance Class which required complete nudity. You were laughing -- running in circles and, at one point, playing your harmonica. You'd tossed everything else to the side. I thought of video taping the hilarity, but decided against it. You were so happy, so free, I wondered why, on previous nights, I'd felt it was so important to keep your clothes on.

Eventually, we got your upstairs -- you put on your pajamas after we helped you brush your teeth. You tuck yourself in now (and you don't want us to help), and then we sit at your bedside for stories. It's such a cliche, really, that time is speeding by and I can hardly believe you are you, but there is so much truth in this trite statement. I love seeing who you are becoming, even when I get so pissed I have to leave the room to breathe, alone. I love to see how you are changing me.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


"/l/ is for Lucy!" (As she is writing the letter on her paper -- cursive, no less.)

"I am soooo tired." In the car, on the way home.

Singing, "Love, love, love...I love you Mommy." While I am making dinner for you.

"Miss E. says I shouldn't wear diapers to bed anymore. I'm all done with diapers." Stated while discussing your nap time accidents at school. Sometimes, others in your life do know best; we'll see how it goes. We know you have the right amount of determination!


It's so good to finally have an evening with you. I feel like I missed a lot -- you are clearer, more composed, more agreeable. (But! You still have your moments where I remember why we do like to have our date nights; I don't regret the time away. I wish we could have it both ways.)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Missing you...

The last two nights, we've been out. We went to a concert the night before last and then, tonight, we went to our writing class. I saw you today for a total of 20 minutes. I miss you -- the hugs, kisses, sweetness. Luckily, we'll have 4 days together because of the holiday on Monday. I can't wait!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Not available

Yesterday, I was kissing your head while you arranged your things. It was after school and before dinner; I was craving attention. You told me, "I'm not available right now," without even looking at me. I smiled and walked away, understanding exactly what you meant. You love me dearly, but needed some space.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Why aren't you getting fries with that?

"Now, you ask your parents to give you a baby brother!"

We were in the mall (our first mistake) shopping for your jeans when this phrase was directed to you. The woman was strolling her 6-month-old baby; you stopped to admire him. It's true, you love babies.

Here's the thing --- you are too young to understand how and why we make decisions about our family size, but you are not too immature to learn what types of questions are appropriate for strangers (and even friends).

This woman's statement--nay, her commandment--was bothersome. First, why is it that people feel it's o.k. to begin such a private conversation in public? I wouldn't approach a child and say, "Now, you tell your mom to make sure she has that pelvic exam!" I don't ask non-friends "when they are due" or beg to stroke their burgeoning bellies. Why is family size an open topic, acceptable for discussion while shopping at The Children's Place?

Second, I make a point not to suggest how many children a family should produce. Although I don't want to have four children, I'm not going to tell someone she shouldn't have four children. And I want to raise you to be open-minded in regards to this issue. We may choose to keep our family at one child for many reasons. This isn't up for public debate...or is it? It seems that many people think they should tell us what is or isn't correct about our reasoning. One of our reasons is related to quality of life. Not for every family, but for ours. We are teachers on teacher's salaries. We want to travel internationally; to be able to comfortably afford the small house and lifestyle we strive for. We've been told (and I've read) that this reason is, somehow, selfish. What?

Finally, what if this woman's statement was very untimely due to something out of our control? What if we'd been struggling with infertility? What if we'd just lost a baby? What if I'd almost died during my first labor and didn't want to risk my life a second time? What if we were struggling with the question and simply didn't feel like discussing it?

I know that the question of "are you going to have more than one?" is automatic once you have a child. More often than not, I'm not bothered. Friends will say, 'hey, your kid is so cool, and you are such fabulous parents, you should have another!' This isn't what gets me. It's the implication that our sweet girl isn't 'enough' (or that we don't provide enough love); that we haven't broken the mold already.

You are a great daughter, the best. Even when you drive me crazy, I'd never, ever change my decision to become a parent. Maybe we will have two, or maybe we'll just have you (sorry for the rhyme, there). But whatever happens, let's learn together what is o.k. to share and ask, and what isn't. I have the feeling we'll be working on this a lot--you'll be my teacher someday, I'm sure!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Too much Elmo's Potty Training DVD?

While entering Target with Dad to find me:
Lucy -- "Where's mommy?"
Dad -- "In the Health & Beauty section"
Lucy -- "Health & DOODY!!!"
(Laughing, giggling, smirking)

While saying goodbye to Dad as he left to get dinner:
Dad -- "Goodbye Lu, see you in a few minutes. I love you!"
Lucy -- "Goodbye...DOODY!!!"


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Dancing with leaves & picking one's nose

The weather here has been so perfect lately. This is the first year we've lived in a house with big trees overhead, and the leaves are pouring into our side yard and concrete porch. You were delighted today to go outside and run around in the piles of leaves and sticks. Together, we watched a little gray and white cat dive and frolic in our leaf-covered, graveled parking area. It was simple and delightful.

Today, your developmental milestone was discovering the wonder and joy of nose picking. I think you are a bit late on this; certainly you've done it before, but at bedtime you couldn't.keep.your.finger.out.of.your.nose. (And that's exactly how it felt -- with all of those periods -- I kept stopping you and the finger, it went right back in!) It was kind of amusing, but I was trying not to laugh. Dad told you that you'd get sores in your nose which I suppose is somewhat true, but I'm wondering if he has actual experience with the type of vigorous nose-picking that would cause nasal injury. Or maybe it's just a theory. We'll go with that.

We began the day with cuddling and ended, again, with Goodnight Moon. It was a perfect day.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Today -- list format

Late wake up this morning -- barely moving in bed, your hands by your face, peaceful.
Easy dressing (you chose the outfit last night, as you like to do); you have a good sense of style.
Lunch packed -- cereal bar for the road.
Now at school, a sweet goodbye. Hugs and I love yous all around.
Picking you up, I spy through the window in the arms of your favorite teacher; you are so happy!
You choose a flower for my hair, it is yellow.
We drive, drive, drive for hair trims and a visit to "your section" at the bookstore.
You laugh uncontrollably, almost falling off of your stool, while reading a book about a cat.
Other people are tickled by your delight (we buy the book).
While walking around the bookstore with the basket you insist carrying, you say, "I am strong. Look at my muscles. I am getting bigger every day!" I hope you always feel this confident.
Dinner at the fish house. Your boots keep slipping off and you want to lay down for a nap.
While driving home (late), you fall asleep so easily.
Finally home, I look at your profile--softly lit by the car's interior glow--and notice how perfect your nose, lips are.
You run in circles in your room making up stories about guy and cat and dolls.
We wind down with "Goodnight Moon" and kisses. We tell our other stories and you are sad when we miss one.
Finally in bed, you call down, "goodnight dad!" as you do every night.
Your door is ajar -- open far enough to assure you of our presence, but not so far the cat will sneak in -- her eyes are too loud for the night.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Back in the Saddle: NaBloPoMo

My hope is that, by joining NaBloPoMo, I will get back into the good habit of posting here.

Lucy, you are so wonderful and full of fire. You rocked as pink kitty at Halloween.

More soon,

xo -- Mom