Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Chicken

I knew we would enter this phase soon and we are there.

Tonight at dinner...

Caroline: Why did the chicken cross the road?
Me: I don't know. Why?
Caroline: Because his leg fell off.

At this point, I asked her if she knew the original chicken crossing the road joke. She didn't so I told her. This was followed by...

Caroline: Why did the cow cross the road?
Me: I don't know. Why?
Caroline: Because there was a water fountain on the other side and cows drink out of water fountains.

Followed by...

Caroline: Mom, what's the orginal cow crossing the road joke?

I decided I really couldn't top the new and improved cow and the water fountain joke so I remained silent...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Imaginary Friends

There are a group of people who feel like friends, although I have never met them. Most of them I have never spoken to and some, I have never even e-mailed. These are the people whose writing I have read on the internet for years. I know their children's names and ages, what they like to eat for breakfast, often what scares them and what they love. I know more about some of these people than I do about the people I know in "real" life.

Perhaps this is why I am so incredibly saddened by the death of Vicki Forman's son. You can find her writing, her life, her story here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


So I haven't written a sleep (or lack there of) post in awhile but I just can't resist this one... We are back in an ugly place. Katherine is getting her 2 year molars and Caroline is in an anxious sleep pattern. This means I am up a ton.

Last night, Rob asked if there was any way I could get Katherine's motrin (which she has been needing in the middle of the night recently) without turning on the light. I had been going into the bathroom to measure the motrin, assuming that it was better to brighten our room than Katherine's. As the words came out of his mouth, you could tell that he was picturing the blog post to come. I promised him that I would link to this post but that I just couldn't not write it. As if I was so thrilled to be up myself- I just wanted to share the experience with as many people as I could...

Thirty minutes later, I was talking to Caroline before she fell asleep. I was demonstrating how she could actually pick up her own blanket if it fell to the ground at 3am. That I really didn't need to come into her room to help her with that. Nightmares yes- fallen blankets no. She looked right at me and said, "But I don't want to get up."

So now we know that my husband and my daughter do not want to be bothered in the middle of night. I'll keep all of that in mind...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

You blog?

My friend in the blogosphere and in real life, Vanessa, wrote a post yesterday that got me thinking. She wrote about that little bit of shyness that often comes with writing a blog. I find my voice getting quiet when I tell people about my blog. I have overheard people wondering why in the world bloggers would want to air all their dirty laundry in public. And then I start to wonder too. I have added my blog to my e-mail signature but have deleted it when sending certain e-mails.


Do people who write books become shy about their writing? Perhaps... but I think in a very different way. This whole blogging thing is so new and so foreign to some people that many just don't understand it. I think I often read people's confusion as lack of support. I think they really understand what blogging is and that they think it is weird. In reality, I think many people just don't know. They don't know that bloggers are writers who have formed a community around their writing. Today I will promise to tell at least two people about my blog. I will tell them with my head held high and I will gain two faithful readers by doing so...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Play ball?

For years now, I have watched my girls love to read and be read to. I am a life long reader so this has been a wonderful thing to see. For years now, Rob has watched Caroline try to love ball but she has really struggled with throwing and catching. Rob is a life long athlete so this has not been so great for him. Finally, Rob has had his day. As we were trying to get Katherine to come in for a bath, she shouted, "I don't want to go in. I want to play ball." Guess who got to play ball for a few more minutes...

Friday, July 18, 2008

To be two...

Earlier this week, I wrote about the joy of being carefree and five. Today, the joy is in being two. Katherine and I went on a very routine trip to the grocery store. No car cart. No cheese from the deli. No spontaneous balloon purchase. Nothing. Just what was on our list and then out. As I was buckling Katherine into her carseat, she said, "That was fun!" I said, "The grocery store?" and she said, "Yes!"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

New Jersey Moms Blog

I have a post up on New Jersey Moms Blog about Caroline's birthday party. Better late than never, right?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Being Five

Caroline swims every day at the most wonderful camp in the world. This means that every day, I need to remember to pack a bathing suit. Caroline is wearing these bathing suits from Land's End this year. They are fantastic because they are two piece making dressing and undressing incredibly easy. They are apparently not fantastic because I have to remember two things.

Caroline showed up at camp yesterday with only the top half of her bathing suit.

Her counselor told her that it would be fine to wear her extra pair of underwear as her bottoms. Well, this would have been fine if I hadn't accidentally packed this cute diaper cover of Katherine's into Caroline's back pack. It looks an awful lot like underwear and often ends up in Caroline's underwear drawer...

Now for the good part. And the part that makes me wish I was still five. As Caroline told us this story, her face got brighter and brighter, happier and happier. Until she could barely get out the part about the diaper cover. She thought is was one of the funniest things that had ever happened to her. She went swimming in her sister's diaper cover. Which not only was a diaper cover, with ruffles on the back... it would have been three sizes too small. There was not a trace of embarrassment. To be five again and to be that self-confident always...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Favorite Part

During dinner, we often discuss our favorite and least favorite parts of our days. Caroline has been an active participant for a long time. Until last night, when asked for her favorite part of the day, Katherine has replied, "Me." Knowing her cheery demeanor, she was probably right. She is a girl that enjoys being in her own skin. While cute, it didn't, though, give us a real sense of what she had enjoyed during the day.

Last night, we asked Katherine again to tell us her most favorite part of the day. She paused, which was unusual. We could really see the wheels spinning and knew we were going to get a real answer. She looked right at me and said, "Playing with you, Mom."

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Diving Board

While Caroline crawled at seven months and walked at nine, coordination has never been her thing. She can climb and do monkey bars like a circus performer but many things have just escaped her. In the past year or so, she has really been noticing the differences between herself and her peers. Somehow though, in the past month, her body has caught up with her wishes. She hits a ball with a bat, she hula hoops, she rides a Razor scooter with ease.

Yesterday at the pool, Caroline jumped into the deep end unaided, swam for lengths at a time- holding her head out of the water when she needed a break, treading her legs the whole time. While Rob was never more than a few feet from her, she never needed him. As Caroline watched her older cousin jump from the diving board, she asked Rob when she could go on the diving board. Rob told her that whenever she was ready, she could try- to which she replied, "How about now?"

Rob caught my attention at the baby pool and we all congregated at the diving board. She looked so tiny walking out on the big board. She kept looking up and then down. I tried not to look at her while my sister-in-law and I exchanged stories of how terrified we had been of diving boards when we were little. I couldn't believe that my little girl was getting ready to jump off the board- at age five...

At the last moment, Caroline looked at Rob, said, "No thank you Daddy." and climbed back down the ladder. My little girl will remain little for at least one more week...

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Rob is back from a business trip. For many moms, this is not a big deal. I know moms whose husbands are gone more than they are home. For me, it's a big deal. Rob rarely travels. In fact, since moving to NJ nearly a year ago, this was Rob's first trip for work. Now, I know I work hard to keep our house running and to keep the girls happy. Whenever Rob is gone, however, I realize just how much he also does...Not that I don't appreciate him when he is here but...

Who knew... the garbage gets taken out 97 times a day, the dog poop gets pick up 5 times a day, the paper towel roll gets changed more than twice a week, the toilet paper does not show up magically in the basket, the dishes are taken off of the drying rack more than once a day, the windows are opened and closed scientifically depending on the temperature and the radar as monitored by the Weather Channel and on and on and on...

Welcome home Rob!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Five Years Old

Caroline turned five years old today. Five feels like a big one to me- somehow she really is now a big kid...

Many people have asked what we are getting Caroline for her big birthday. We did get her a big girl scooter and a few other fun toys... However, what she really wanted is a bit funnier...

Repeatedly, when asked what she wanted for her birthday, Caroline responded, "Combos (the pretzel and cheese snack), gatorade and flip flops." No joke. This is really and truly what the child wanted for her birthday. We avoid high fructose corn syrup in our house so we don't have a lot of the 'cool' snacks or drinks- apparently, combos and gatorade lead her list of missed favorites. And the flip flops... I have said no to flip flops for years now- Caroline is just not the most coordinated kid out there. Literally, she fell the other day, flat on her stomach from a standing position. I just have not felt like flip flops were in our best interest. Much like the princess towel, however, I have decided that it is time. My mom arrives this afternoon with the most special present of them all- the flip flops. We will hope there is more flip than flop.

Happy Birthday Big Girl!!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy Belated Fourth of July

The night before the 4th (that would be the 3rd), Caroline said, "It won't be a very happy birthday for America tomorrow." We looked at her, confused, and asked "Why?" To which she replied, without missing a beat, "Because everyone is standing on America and I wouldn't want anyone standing on me on my birthday."

Let's hope America was able to get a few feet free moments and enjoy the day!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Decorated Towel

On the way to camp this morning, Caroline and I discussed beach towels at great length. At this most wonderful camp in the whole entire world, the children swim every day. This has made me realize that we don't have too many beach towels. The other day, I sent Caroline with a towel, that by report, was much too big.

I told her that I would get more towels, to which she relied, "Can I have a Cinderella towel? I am the only one without a decorated towel." She then went on to describe all the different commercial figures that adorn other children's towels- Tinkerbell, superheros, princesses. She is right. We only have pretty striped towels. I like stripes and I like high quality towels. And I hate that she is being sucked into this overly commercialized world we live in. I hate more, though, that she feels left out.

There will be many battles that I will have to fight over the years- amount of tv, use of video games, violent play, piercings, tattoos, curfews. I am sure that I will impose rules on her that will make her uncomfortable- rules that will make her stick out a bit from the crowd.

This seems to be a time that she can run with lemmings- I am off to buy a princess towel...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Big Girl

Caroline is off to her third day of big girl camp. I have a new post up at New Jersey Mom Blogs that describes a bit about her first day. My reaction was not what I had expected...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Today my childcare plans fell through. I had appointments that couldn't be changed and that were not activities that your typical two year old would have enjoyed. Perhaps Katherine would would have had fun pulling all the tissues out of a box at the doctor's office or stealing all the pens at the attorney's office when Rob and I updated our wills but needless to say, I wanted to go solo.

We were able to figure things out but it was a stressful day. Full of confusion, change and flexibility- all things that I do not love. I found myself thinking a lot today about mothering in America. When Caroline was first born, I read Judith Warner's, Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety. In the book, among many other things, Warner discusses the differences between mothering in America and in France. She had done both and the differences she felt personally were startling. One of the contrasts that stuck with me and resonated the most today, was the ease, affordability and guilt free nature of childcare centers in France. I kept thinking that if I lived in France, I might not have felt today's stressors.

There is a fabulous on-line organization called Moms Rising. I have read their book and I often visit their website. I receive their e-mails that ask for simple calls to action- things as easy as calling my senators when a family related bill is on it's way to Congress. I have to admit to ignoring many of these e-mails feeling a lack of time. Perhaps if I stopped complaining long enough to respond to these e-mails, I would have nothing left to complain about and nothing but time to contemplate the positive changes to the American family.