Monday, November 30, 2009


What S brought home from school last week.

Monday, November 23, 2009


A few nights ago, I taught H how to play charades. I am on the side of loving charades- It seems its one of those things you either love or abhor- H loves it too.

After a bit, H was having trouble coming up with new things to charade (well, she had no trouble being a cat 1000 times, or a tree 1001 times, but I saw the desperate need for some new material) I suggested we each draw some ideas and put them in a bag, and pick out an action when it was our turn. I loved her drawings so much- here they are:

fly like a butterfly
look in the mirror

stir soup

draw a picture

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The little things

I had this dream that thousands of tiny birds where flying packed together so tightly that they made a big mass. I stood on the ground looked up, thinking how strange they looked. When the mass flew by, I could see that they were all carrying something, I could see feet. They looked like human feet. Someone, who was next to me all of a sudden said, see- its true, The birds have taken to eating the raccoons. That's how bad its gotten. But I knew those weren't raccoon feet. When they got up high, they thing they were carrying broke free, and was suspended in air. The birds came together to form a large creature and swooped their prey up again. Then I woke up feeling like a human/raccoon that can't escape the little things.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The query

This morning, while adjusting the fractured driver side mirror on my car with duct tape, I thought, everything is just falling apart.

I went to meeting for worship at H's school this morning- the whole school gathers every Thursday for 1/2 an hour for Quaker meeting. I usually can't go because on Thursdays I rush to S's school after dropping off H. Today J took S to school so I could go to meeting. Today was the kindergartens turn to do the query, (the Quakers use the term 'query' to refer to a question or series of questions used for reflection and in spiritual exercises. Thanks, wikipedia, for those words)

Each kindergartner stood and said what they were thankful for. H was thankful for her friends. They went down the line, each standing and saying what they were thankful for- the earth, mom and dad, their teachers, the turkey. When they were done, one of H's classmates stood and invited everyone to share what they were thankful for. One by one, kids of all ages stood and said what they were thankful for.

I'm thankful for my mom
I'm thankful for spiders
I'm thankful for DNA
I'm thankful for food
I'm thankful for my teachers.

One girl stood and said "I am thankful I have everything that I need."
The cynical side of me I work so hard to keep muzzled broke out- " yeah? How do you know what you need? Your a kid!" I got it releashed, punished it for breaking out and remembered that I have everything I need too. And duct tape to fix the rest. I am thankful to that girl for reminding me.

Yes, everything is still falling apart. I wake up overwhelmed. I go to bed overwhelmed. Everyday feels like a race, and I know there will be tasks that are benched until tomorrows game. I am trying to be ok with the possibility (probability) that it won't all get done.

Thank you, kindergarten, I will remember to be thankful.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Synchonized tantrum

Just when you think you've figuring it out, is all goes sideways.
Case in point, S's tantrums.
I am being yelled at because I don't want any popcorn.
"No thanks, I just had some. Would you like some more popcorn?"
I am getting a little concerned at the control freakishness that is growing and growing with no end in sight.

Last night, we had a fantastic duo tantrum. S wanted a tissue, but what she started screaming about was that I wouldn't let her get in the refrigerator. H was freaking out because she wanted to print. Its a bit out of context if you don't live in a printmaking home like we do, but yes, she said she wants some ink. Right now. And no, I don't condone talking to me that way- which I have mentioned time and time again. But I do understand wanting to print and not being able to, so I let it slide.

This is just a drop in the bucket- the entire video goes on for a while. This was taken at the end of the day, right before dinner. The craziest hour in this house. I was all tapped out of patience and words, so decided to record the mayhem. To step away from the situation, documentary style.

I think the tantrums dissolved earlier than they might have. I played it back for H, do you see how silly? I asked? I'm not sure she did.

(And just so you know, I did listen and explain why we couldn't print at that precise moment, but that we could after dinner, and why we couldn't hang out inside the refrigerator, but that I'd be happy to remove something from the refrigerator and present it on a plate. No children or animals were harmed, I promise.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why I not runnin?

We live a few blocks from a park. I take my kids there, take the dogs there, every so often I take them both there at the same time. H and I walked to the park nearly daily when she was younger. These days, I am so often on my way to or fro somewhere that I find myself driving S to the park more often than not. It was a rare day yesterday when I felt I had not only time to walk to the park, but time to encourage S to walk too, instead of strapping her into the stroller and hurrying some more.

We did stop to pick flowers of each color, and leaves, and grass- but when we weren't collecting nature we were running. S with her arms chugging, shoulders hunched up around her ears- an animated run. We got to the park more quickly than I expected, I was planning on more of a dawdling stroll, not the bolt it turned out to be. After we were there for a while and lunch time was drawing near I had a brief panic about how I would get her to leave the park with out the restraint of a stroller or car seat. I talked myself down and did reverse bread crumbs all the way home (lets walk to the gazebo, lets walk down the hill, lets walk to the silver car) we were half way home before S had her "hey...wait a minute, we actually ARE leaving the park" moment.

S wanted to run the whole way home, and was annoyed with me for holding her back at the street crossing. Once we crossed the main street on the way home, we hit a steep uphill. S asked if she could run, I said she could. She geared up, got her arms ready and gave it her all, started running up the hill. She stopped, frustrated that the hill was slowing her down, looked at me and demanded, "Why I not runnin?!"

I tried to explain the physics of running up hill, and tried not to laugh too hard, S is very sensitive to being laughed at, or even with. Though boy can she dish it out.

J and I were talking last night, after the girls were in bed, about the many things we're working towards, the many things that overwhelm us. He said, "Why I not runnin?" and we laughed again.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Exploring new dimensions

My 3 dimensional self has been awakened. I have always been drawn to working 3 dimensionally, but its been a while since I indulged the urge.

I released the hounds this Halloween, making costumes for the girls- had a lot of fun.

in progress



I used to do a lot of costuming and set work- for friends, mostly. Some were successful, like the giant Dionysus puppet I made using found objects, (such as the crutches I had obtained earlier that month after spraining my ankle jumping off a wall after a run away cat- who I did catch, at least) for a production of The Bacchae. Some not as successful, like the giant rib cage made from fallen branches I built on stage for my friends senior thesis in dance- it collapsed during the performance, but she's such a master it looked intentional. Or the meat dress I made for the same friend that nearly made me a vegetarian.

Here are some small things, in varying stages of progress- none done yet:

Not sure where I'm going with this yet- but am enjoying the ride.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Big dummy

In the car on the way to school yesterday, H was talking about all the things she'd do at school that day. Art, Music, nature walk.
I said, "I wish I were going to school. I love school"
H said, "How do you know if you never tried it?"

Its hard to be 2. So hard.

My 2 year old is not the boss of me. My 2 year old is not the boss of me. My 2 year old is not the boss of me.

S is screaming right now because her doughnut is in 2 pieces. Doughnut! I know! We don't eat the doughnuts around here very much. You'd think the doughnut existing on her plate would trump the fact that it dare split in 2, but sadly that's not the case.

If anyone were to walk by my window right now they may wonder, why is that mean mean lady typing while her 2 year old boss is writhing and screaming on the floor? Clearly very unhappy about what certainly must be extremely important? Why isn't she caring for that poor tortured child?

I have gone down the route of yes, I understand. How frustrating it must be for you that you have two pieces of doughnut. Do you want to talk about it? Yes, kick the floor. Let it out. But try not to eat the doughnut while your lying down crying.

This is the part where I feel like a trained monkey. When I get up, go to her- manage to pick her up through the flailing, and sing twinkle twinkle little star about 20 times. Then give her the other half of the doughnut that I had saved.

The joke is on S. Her doughnut was broken to begin with.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Me and my girls

Pumpkin scooping

the winged unicorn

The artist cat at work

Another one bites the dust

Another lunch box casualty. (See this and this for more tales of lunch box demise)
This time, S hung up her backpack and lunch box on the hook by the door, on her own, so I forgot to put the lunch box on top of the refrigerator to safety. We came downstairs this morning to find the above lunch box in shreds, the hook PULLED from the wall, chunks of wall the hook brought with it, and the hook itself bent. All for some peanut butter sandwich crusts.

S is very attached to her lunch box, and was very sad. I am very sad that this seems to be a milestone in my house. I picture the girls out with their friends when they're older. "So how old were you when the dog first got your lunch box? What? that never happened to you?"

This time I had a spare lunch box. Again, I wonder on my way to present the new lunch box to the sobbing S- who has a pinch lunchbox? I do. That's who.

J reattached the hook by the door. It doesn't lie flat anymore, since it was bent off the wall- but we're back up and running for the most part.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Trickle down bossing

Some things S has said to my* dog in the last few days:
1) "Mayo, you NOT watch my TV!"
2) "You NOT go in H room. (door slamming) Ok? Mayo?"
3) "Mayo! you NOT eat my geegies." (raisins.)
4) "No Mayo, that MY mommy!"
5) at McDonalds, where there is no dog in sight, tears and pouting:
"Mayo eat my french fry..."
and the constant "Not YOU Mayo. NeeeOW."

We have 2 dogs, S only yells at Ruby when she's on the couch ("Ruby! You NOT go on foh-fah! OK?")

She will occasionally attempt to boss the cat, but I think shes realized, as all of us must sooner or later, that theres just no bossing a cat. With Maxi its less about bossing and more about controlling. As in direction the cat is walking in, hysterics when its the wrong direction. A cat can have fun with this.

Meanwhile, my littlest tyrant is keeping one of the dogs in line. And that dog is getting a little jumpier and I swear I've notice more white hair on his face.

*I guess I could say our dog, but he's my baby. Which I believe is the main cause of the bossing.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A little less hair

As I was doing one of the many picking up junk around the house tours over the weekend, I noticed a chunk of dark brown hair. It was on the floor, right next to the drawer where the scissors are kept. The girls were both out with J when I found it- I honestly couldn't tell whose hair it was. I suspected S, but that was pure profiling. She is totally the one who would cut her hair.

Later, at the dinner table, I said to J, " you know, I found the strangest thing today- some brown hair on the floor. Right over there!" We watched as H turned her face away from us. Her body language suggested she'd like to be swallowed up by the floor. J and I kept going pretending not to notice, and trying not to laugh. "I know its not my hair, was it your hair?" Then we looked a little closer and saw that H was very upset. We felt awful to say the least. She finally looked at me, her face all wet- "it was an accident!" then she was sobbing.

I am a little troubled about where my mind went at this point. I was more concerned that she didn't cover her tracks. What does it mean that she is so upset to be found out but does nothing to hide the evidence? Growing up, that was my sister, K. It used to make me crazy that she would go into my room, go through my things, and not even pretend that she hadn't. She'd deny it, sure, but she'd never put anything back where it was. Then again I took great precautions not to be discovered. I would lay single hairs across my drawers to see if they'd been opened, and make sure to notice which direction the label was pointing on a bottle of shampoo that belonged to one of my sisters so I could put it back exactly where it was and they wouldn't know if I'd used it.

As a mother, I am happy H didn't hide the hair she cut off- I would never have known about it otherwise. Was she upset about it already, and we just brought it out by talking about it? Or had she forgotten all about it? She has said she wishes she had short hair- was it really an accident? I am so torn by all of this- I always wished I was the kind of kid who cut her hair all off, but as far as I ever got was as far as H got. I was always too responsible. I never wanted to let anyone down.

My mother did let me get the short hair cut I wanted- I was in 1st grade, the woman who cut it asked how I wanted it to look in the back. I had no idea. "We'll give you a duck tail" she said. "Do you know why they call it that? Because the back of your head looks like a ducks behind!" HA HA HA. I was horrified, even at 6. All my new short hair did was cause everyone to think I was a boy, since I was always a bit of a tomboy anyway.

So there- that is a lot of my resisting H getting her hair cut. I don't want anyone to call her head a duck butt. Besides her hair is gorgeous. Thick, luxurious. Perfect. And what does she say to me? "Mom is there anyway my hair can look like yours? Your hair is so shiny! Like gold." I would gladly trade with her if I could, but that is so not the lesson to be learned in all this.