Monday, December 18, 2006

Cutie Cutie Kokee revisited

The frog, remember? He's still with us. Fiona has added on to his name, and I am guessing at the spelling. The accent is on the first syllable.

He sings. No one told us they sing. We found out after Fiona abandoned her room again. She only slept in her room for a week (unrelated to CCK). Wait. We need more background here.

Doug got an iPod nano for me for our anniversary! I have named her Shiny. We all refer to her as Shiny. What Shiny mostly does is play stories for Fiona. I get them at, which you should definitely discover right now, if you haven't already. She is really loving The Secret Garden and I feel like Cultured Mother. Doug also showed me these pillows that have a speaker in the middle and you can hook your iPod up to. The things they have these days. You can't hear it unless you are lying on the pillow. The first night we put her to bed with this, it did not work, but Doug also stayed with her. Now she goes by herself, and so far, after two nights, she falls asleep during the story.

However, after that first night, Doug asked me incredulously, "Did you hear the frog?" I think he asked me in the morning, so at first I attributed it to early morning delirium. He was totally serious, however. I was reassuring. It had to be the noise machine in the middle bedroom, which I use right now, playing "Summer Night". He was adamant it was not.

We brought the CCK downstairs to change his water. One night with the girls upstairs asleep, we were able to sit in front of the fire watching Kinky Boots. At the end of the movie, we sat a bit and then I heard the noise. Sort of like crickets. I went to check Kokee. He stopped. Doug joined me. We started talking, then the frog started chirping, too. I feel like I should call and ask about this. First, he eats his fellow frog and now he sings. Doug wonders if he is calling for a mate. Maybe he's just hungry.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Here is my Top 100 List of Movies

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These are not necessarily "great" movies. My dad asked the three of us (sisters) for our lists of 100 movies that we could watch over and over--even if they were hard to admit to. I got stuck around 65 (I thought I might get to 50), but as I was the last person to finish I got to cheat and look at my dad's list and my two sisters where I could freely steal movie ideas and be inspired by them.

This is not a hard and fast list by any means and I reserve the right to substitute at will. I also lied. It is a list of 102 movies.

I now have fancy pictures like Ellen Aim, who has posted her list. Remember, these are not necessarily award winning movies. I mean, she has Pretty Woman on her list. I will say no more.

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1. Watership Down

2. Bridget Jones's Diary

3. The Lord of the Rings Triology (I know, this is too easy, but I adore them)

4. Beauty and the Beast (Jean Cocteau, 1946)

5. Beauty and the Beast (Disney—hey, I think with small children I am entitled to a Disney movie)

6. L.A. Confidential

7. Seven Samurai

8. The Seventh Seal

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9. Big Night

10. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

11. All About My Mother

12. Amelie

13. The Andromeda Strain

14. Miracle on 34th Street (do I need to say the original one?)

15. Babette's Feast

16. Pippi Longstocking movies (let's just call this one, shall we?)

17. The Lemondrop Kid (Although I never would have remembered this without seeing Dad's list! I can't wait to see it again)

18. Philadelphia

19. A Christmas Carol—I used to say the George C. Scott one was my favorite. I think it still is, but I just finished the Alistair Sim one, and that is also great. I also like Jean Luc in the role.

20. The Cane Mutiny

21. Brazil

22. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

23. Eat, Drink, Man, Woman

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24. Tampopo

25. Totoro

26. La Cage Aux Folles

27. Labyrinth (oh, leave me be!)

28. The Last Temptation of Christ

29. Logan's Run

30. Firefly series (I would not have added this, but I see we are bending the rules a bit)

31. The Piano (oh, if I were rating this, this would be in my top 5)

32. Princess Mononoke

33. Nobody's Fool (what a great movie)

34. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the original one)

35. Ringu

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36. The Secret of Roan Inish (another top 5)

37. Spirited Away

38. What's Eating Gilbert Grape (as Doug said, "who knew Leonardo DiCaprio could act?")

39. The Wizard of Oz

40. Yellow Submarine (yes, still).

41. The Wrath of Khan (Star Trek II)

42. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

43. The Secret Garden

44. The Flame Trees of Thika (ok, bending the rules again)

45. Orlando (I love this!)

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46. Much Ado About Nothing (*hides*)

47. My Fair Lady

48. The Princess Bride

49. Ferris Bueller's Day Off

50. Halloween

51. Alien

52. Invasion of the Body Snatchers

53. Joy Luck Club

54. A Christmas Story

55. Holiday Inn

56. Cinema Paradiso

57. The Exorcist

58. Big

59. Bringing up Baby

60. Christmas in Conneticut

61. Casablanca

62. Airplane!

63. A Fish Called Wanda

64. Dead Poet's Society

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65. the OLD Star Wars movies

66. Thelma and Louise

67. The Full Monty

68. Amityville Horror

69. Parenthood

70. The Time Machine (the 60s-70s version, I think…HG Wells)

71. Stand By Me

72. Out of Africa

73. War Games

74. Sneakers

75. Shallow Grave

76. Black Adder Series (NOT including season 1)

77. Romancing the Stone

78. Farewell my Concubine

79. Amadeus

80. Breakfast at Tiffany's

81. Kafka

82. The Shining

83. The Professional

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84. They Live (even that drawn out fight scene—ha ha!)

85. The Fog

86. El Mariachi/Desperado

87. Oliver's Travels (I have to agree!)

88. Rear Window

89. This is Spinal Tap

90. To Kill a Mockingbird

91. Memento

92. Seven

93. Terminator

94. Die Hard

95. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (I'll include also The Life of Brian)

96. Blade Runner

97. Working Girl

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98. Mr Smith Goes to Washington

99. Braveheart

100. City Slickers

101. Philadelphia Story

102. The Bishop's Wife

Why Do Birds Suddenly Appear...Every Time...You are Near?

Two things have happened recently in regards to Fiona. First, we went to her friend Max's birthday party; he is five now. She has been playing with Max since she was about 6 months old. I suppose it would be more accurate to say, she has been playing near Max since then and they gradually started playing together. Anywho.

A couple of days later, Max told his mom, Ame, the following (the words aren't going to be exact here; I am paraphrasing)...his party was at a barbeque restaurant that has a !!play area!!:

Max: At my party, Fiona and I played a racing game.

Ame: Oh?

Max: Fiona said that if I won, she would give me a kiss.

Ame: Oh? Did you win?

Max: Yeah (said very sweetly).

Ame: Did she give you a kiss?

Max: Yeeeah (same sweet tone, sort of shy and happy).

(Fiona told me she also gave Kira a kiss, too, as well.)

And a few days later, I hear from her friend Gryphon's (I love this name) mom. At his school, the kids made paper turkeys and wrote something they were thankful for on each of 5 feathers. He wrote his mom, his dad, his brother, his grandmother, and ...Fiona. It's fairly surprising because now that Fiona goes to school every morning, she doesn't get to play with him very often anymore. I can't even remember the last time she did. Surely not as long ago as last summer! Perhaps, though.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

We Fear Change

Boy, Blogger really does want us to change to beta, as Ellen Aim points out in her blog...soon they'll start sending me emails about Beta...then who knows what. I guess the other version will cease to exist and we'll be forced to comply! Maybe that's when all the bugs will be gone.

I just actually have not ever had a problem with Blogger except not being able to get in at times.

So the documentary was good, funny at times, but mostly the kind of thing where it pisses you off. You KNOW all the information (well, most) in the documentary but seeing it all in one place and realizing, once again, that the USA is so far behind other industrailized nations in terms of health care, maternity/paternity leave, and equal pay and work rights for mothers (the documentary states that mothers make 60% of what men make for the same work...women without children make 90% of what men make---and here I thought it was closer to 100% now!) that one is totally dumbfounded.

If you are interested, here is more about the organization, MomsRising, behind the documentary. MomsRising is co-founded by a co-founder of, Joan Blades.

We have more snow now! We didn't need to shovel the driveway this morning, though, so it's not a lot.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Motherhood Manifesto

I get to see another movie tonight, only it's at the library and so far 18 other women are going. There will be food! Here's the blurb about it:

An engaging new documentary, The Motherhood Manifesto, presents moving personal stories combined with humorous animation, expert commentary and hilarious old film clips to tell the tale of what happens to working mothers and families in America.

The film illustrates how enlightened employers and public policy can make paid family leave, flexible working hours, part-time parity, universal healthcare, excellent childcare, after-school programs and realistic living wages a reality for American families. Featured people include:

• Dr. Deborah Richter, a Vermont doctor and advocate who has seen patients die because they didn’t have health insurance.

• Kiki Peppard, a Pennsylvania mother who has been battling discrimination against moms for the past decade.

• Selena Allen, who had to return to work four days after she gave birth prematurely.

• Sharon Dorsett, whose son’s illness bankrupted her family even though the Dorsett’s had health insurance.

• Jim Johnson, a conservative Republican businessman who found that flexible hours and family-friendly policies can increase a company’s profits and success.

• Joya Chavarin, who knows what California’s new paid family leave law means to mothers.

• Republican pollster Frank Luntz who says that “lack of free time” is the most important issue for women with children.

• Democratic Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, a former welfare mother who works tirelessly to help working mothers.

• Angenita Tanner, a childcare provider who takes in children from families too poor to afford childcare.

I'm excited!

We baked some ornaments (Sophia was a little confused at first and tried to eat one---it's just salt, flour, and water but not tasty). They are now painted and ready to hang. We have paper chains and cranberry/popcorn chains. The gingerbread house just needs candy and I will take a picture.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

O Christmas Tree!

We bought a huge fluffy tree for $20. Get this. They also deliver for free. The only problem with that is, we aren't sure when they will deliver it. I think it's supposed to be this weekend, but it didn't come yesterday. The price was so great, that we also got a $15 wreath. Apparently we can write it off on our taxes (which I'm sure we won't, ha!) because we are buying them from the Northfield Ambulance Depot. I guess the trees are donated to them? I should find out.

We are in the process of making a gingerbread house from scratch. I have never made a gingerbread house, period. I have the walls and the roof made. I made stained glass windows. Today we have to glue it together and possibly decorate it, but I think that will probably happen later. The dough is tasty and light but it puffed up way too much. We're just going for fun here, but next time I'm going to try a different dough recipe. If I rolled it out any thinner, it would have fallen apart as it was also a very soft dough. I think I need a dough with fewer eggs. Fiona is very excited but she wants to eat all the candy decorations.

We had decided there would be no fires in the wood stove this year because we could just not find firewood and Sophia insists on getting behind the gate. But lo and behold! I found firewood and Doug stacked it all up (the only place to put a cord of wood or two is right in the driveway). Doug also bolted the gate to the wall, so Sophia is really blocked away from the wood stove. Now we have toasty fires. It's also nice to have in case the power every goes out. I hope we never have a nasty ice storm (as has happened here before, of course, but it was before our time here), but it's nice to be prepared. On that note, we need pantry supplies!

And on a last and even more exciting note, I finally ordered snowboots for Sophia. Now if it would only snow!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Media Surge

On a media related note, I actually got to see Casino Royale, the new Bond movie. I really enjoyed it, but this new Bond is rather, uh, buff. It's sort of odd. The movie also seemed a lot more violent. More action and less witty reparte. Not that there aren't some cute lines in the movie. And Daniel Craig is a good Bond. I think he's perfect for being "early Bond". Doug sent me out for time alone and it makes such a difference to get away for a few hours (that was a long movie!). I also got to stop off before the movie at the toy store and the book store. I need to get two very cool children's books for the girls (almost 5 years old and 2 years old). Any suggestions? We have a tradition where we leave a wrapped book on the edge of their bed for Christmas morning and we write a little something and the date on the inside. But it has to be a very cool, special book and I'm totally stumped this year.

I ended up getting Richard Dawkin's The Ancestor's Tale which is a look at evolution starting from the present and working back to the beginning. It is a really thick book. I just read The God Delusion and I was really impressed with it. I actually read it very slowly (I usually speed read through things--I can't seem to help myself) and could not put it down at the same time. His name was bugging me because it sounded so familiar and then I read that he wrote The Selfish Gene which I read when I was at UT Austin. Most book stores don't seem to have anything by Dr. Dawkins except the recent bestseller, so I was pleasantly surprised to see something different. It's not the book I would have picked out from a list, but it is something I do want to read. It's just going to take me a very long time.

God Damn It!

Fiona is sleeping in her own room now. I do not know how long this will last. I am dying now to paint her room and make it more her own...if only the farking wallpaper wasn't there! How I hate wallpaper.

I must confess to you all that I went to Hellmart (ahem, Walmart) today. I hate Walmart, ok? I don't know where else to go for some things, however. It's fairly rural here. I really only went for Christmas lights for the porch (they were already out of the hanging blue and white ones! I had to get just white.). Anyway, one reason I hate these big stores (I know Target must not be much better, but I have to say I like it a lot more than Walmart. Alas, there is no Target in Vermont.) is that I walk in for one thing, and if I'm not careful, I walk out with a lot more. That is what I did today. Well, Hershey's Kisses have all these cool flavors all of a sudden. They appear to be seasonal. Then I saw the chocolate mint candy canes. I got Fiona new bed sheets for Christmas. I got an Elefun game I've been meaning to get for them. Some play dough for the stockings. Some holiday cupcake papers. Damn you, Walmart.

I'm eating wonderful turkey pot pie made by Douglas last night. He mixed the turkey with carrots, leeks and potatoes (All hail the mighty leek!) in a veloute sauce, then put the leftover stuffing on top of that and some of the leftover gravy on top of that. Then he made biscuits and put them on top of that. It's real comfort food.

I did a tea swap with some far away friends and I just got some Hazelnut Lipton. This person is in Canada (thank you, Chantal!) and I am wondering if there is any in the U.S. It's pretty good! I don't usually sweeten my tea (unless it's Chai), but I did submit to adding some chocolate syrup along with my milk to the tea. It's good without the chocolate, too, though. I love that the back is in French. Maybe I can get more next time we go to Montreal. Really, I should go to a grocery in Montreal anyway, just to compare.

Fiona has started saying "goddamnit" on a regular basis. We've told her it's okay to say at home, but not outside the house or when we have guests. This prompted a slew of "goddamnit"s so she could try it out (I suppose). We then told her we would appreciate it if she did not use the word gratuitously. Yes, she asked what that word meant. I've discovered that there are many, many words I have a very hard time actually defining. Unfortunately, Sophia is a little tape recorder. She says everything Fiona does. It is actually very cute but you just know it's going to pop out at a very inconvenient time.

It's time for some homemade butterscotch pudding.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Thanksgiving was low key around here. I roasted at turkey at 450 for crispy skin (I could eat a sackful of crispy skin), made buttermilk mashed potatoes (good, but not as good as the usual hazelnut brown butter ones), whole wheat parker rolls (and for freak's sake--I forgot the salt! I did this once when Annie and Andrea were eating turkey day dinner with us and I made these beautiful challah rolls...that tasted like ass. So they look nice but you chew on them and think to yourself...what is off here? It's the salt. So I slathered butter on them and salted the top. It didn't really help.), creamed leeks (heavenly), gravy, and stuffing with bacon, apples, and dried cepes. I love stuffing. Oh, I also made some cranberry relish. Very cheerful, the dainty cranberry.

It was the first Thanksgiving in a while where we haven't had any friends visit. Fiona was sort of sad about this but we did some little crafts together for the table. When 2 PM came around, however (we ate early this year--I like this. It means we can eat dinner all afternoon and evening), Fiona decided on peanut butter and jelly after smelling the stuffing and tasting oh-so-faintly of the cranberry relish. Doug had made two pumpkin pies the night before. One we ate for breakfast that morning and the other we mostly ate on Friday. Apparently, Fiona also does not like pumpkin pie. Sophia does, but she fell asleep at her highchair at dinner time. Later, she gladly ate all the dishes of that dinner.

And on a completely unrelated note, I've decided we need a new couch. We have two very beautiful couches that came down to me through my Grandmother. Well, one is a love seat. They are both antiques, however, and not exactly durable. By durable I mean "meant for the hard wear that two young kids put on them". They both have wood trim and wood legs. One of the wood legs (the couch) is nearly broken off. It is heartbreaking. So the plan is to somehow move the couches into the storage room formerly known as the study (this is also known as the Wasp Room, if you have read my posts from last year). This room is collecting all sorts of things that aren't great to have out with the kids (ok, let's point fingers here--with SOPHIA. Although neither child is exactly gentle with the couches). I have dreams of something very cushy that you could sleep in, if you needed to. Something that will undoubtedly be covered with a spare bed sheet for a slipcover!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Catching Up

Ok, so let's see. I've spent the weekend trying not to cough up my respiratory system. Fiona also has a cough, but she's had it for 6 weeks now and we actually gave her antibiotics for it which did...nothing. Yes, she had it in Texas, but back then it was mostly at night. Now it's all the time. It's not really a bad cough and it's short in length, but it sure is persistent. I think we may have an allergy test done.

We have a new CAR! The Subaru (1999 Legacy) was turning into quite the money pit (I won't even list it all here because it is too depressing) so we just traded it in before we had to replace the clutch (and who knows what else). Not really wild about the Subaru dealership here, anyway. The HONDA dealership, however, is very reliable and seems honest. So we bought a 2007 (!OMG!) Civic. I call her Pippi (I called her Pippi before Fiona named the new parakeet Pippi in case you caught that). She's dark red. That's what was on the lot. It's an LX because now I am spoiled and I like the power locks and windows. I don't like that I can't do the windows when the car is off, though. There should be back-up for that. I still can't believe it--especially since we just paid off the fracking Subaru and now we'll have another car payment. It is really nice to have a reliable car, though. Our other car is a 1994 Honda Civic that Doug and I have had since before we were married (shh). He has 207,000 miles on him and we've never ever had serious problems with him (there was that one time he didn't start at all, but it was easily fixed--and I think it cost about $250). I am not even sure we've replaced the clutch...ever. I better ask to make sure. Oh, and the new car is an automatic. I usually insist on manual, but I don't feel so strongly about it now.

I will try to take pictures later. The inside looks a little like a starship to me. It's kind of odd. It didn't smell like new car. It didn't really have a smell. I'm sure it does now.

Fiona's new parakeet, Pippi, is green. Fiona is also starting a terrarium which is in the fridge for 8 weeks. I honestly had no idea there was a chilling period.

Sophia is really belting out the sentences. She adores Fiona more and more and now Fiona clearly likes to have her own time and space alone now and then. Not at night, however. They do play a lot together and they still put on those unicorn costumes or their fairy wings and fly. They use the play kitchen a lot. Fiona will bake and cook and Sophia goes inside the play kitchen under the sink and pops the sink out so it looks like half a person coming out of the sink. That is something I really need to get on film to post. She stays there the whole time. Oh,they also make pizza. Sometimes Sophia brings me something in an oven mitt for me to taste.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Travel Tome

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Whew, ok...where to start? We are back from Texas and we had a fabulous time! We went to see Corinthian and Ellen Aim get hitched. We all went in costume...there are great pictures on Ellen Aim's blog and Triana's (see the sidebar on right for the blogs). This picture is the lovely bride herself! My mom made the gorgeous dress.

I guess I will start at the beginning. We got up at the ungodly hour of 3:30 AM and trucked on down to Dartmouth Coach in Lebanon, NH. The bus was very clean, they showed good movies and I was impressed. I also discovered Sophia gets motion sickness on the bus. Good thing we are seasoned parents and had a change of clothing for her. Too bad I didn't have any for me. I also had Dramamine with us, but I thought I'd be using that for the plane. I should mention here that we were traveling with only carry on luggage and the huge Britax car seats. I mailed our costumes and clothing to my parents' house.

Our flight didn't leave until 10:15 (and it takes about two and a half hours to get to Boston airport from Lebanon) but with rush hour Boston traffic and the increased "security" at airports, I thought it would be just enough time. Rush hour traffic did suck, but the security line went really quickly. I would also like to cheer for on-line check-in. I printed out boarding passes and since we had no luggage to check, we sailed right on the plane (after checking the stroller--a.k.a car seat transportation--at the gate). It's true, though, at security everyone takes their shoes off...even 2 year old Sophia who was wearing her little leather Robeez (just a sort of slipper/shoe, very comfortable, flexible, and hard for kids to take off--ha ha!). All jackets come off. Even Fiona's fleece layer. I totally forgot about my tiny Swiss army knife on my keychain and that went through undetected. Oh well. It's really small.

The plane ride was hell. Sophia and Fiona were next to each other in their car seats (for a variety of reasons, we decided not to check them with the stroller)(I am now reading through this and I want to clarify that I do indeed mean the car seats and not Sophia and Fiona). Since these seats put them higher up, Sophia's feet naturally came to the middle of the seat in front of her and she kept kicking the seat in front of her the whole time, despite our best efforts. Thankfully, that person was very understanding. The kids slept for the last hour of the plane ride. They actually were not interested in the DVD player. They were interested in all the wrapped dollar store treats I had in my carry on, however. That was a great idea and I also recommend that.

At the DFW airport, which is way too big for its own good, we took a bus to the car rental place. Let me just say Thrifty isn't that and look out for all sorts of stomach dropping fees. I also somehow rented a tank, and I blame myself (and my travel agent) for that. At least we felt very safe.

At last we were at my parents' house and Fiona was thrilled to be there. Sophia warmed up pretty quickly. I felt like I hadn't been in Denton in years. Oh wait! That's because it had been years! The rest of that day and Wednesday are a bit of a blur (I'm also finishing this entry about a month later, by the way). We went to the North Park Mall with Alex and got there way too early for the LUSH party. We had a pretty good time, though, and Alex introduced me to the heavenly evil of the Starbucks Pumpkin Latte. Thankfully, there is no Starbucks here (actually, there are at least 2 in Burlington, incredibly). We meet up with Triana and look at Christmas LUSH goodies. I was very good and bought nothing (mostly because Doug went on a bit of a spree for me when he was in Montreal a few weeks before!). However, despite my RSVP, LUSH did not have me down on the guest list, so while I did get my free goodie bag, I did not get one for Alex. That was really lame. Triana got on the list, but she called twice. I mean, how hard is it to take names down? Honestly. Sorry, Alex. I'm making you your own goodie bag.

Then the cake making! Triana and I had great fun in Ellen Aim's kitchen (They have a fabulous house that is very nicely painted. Alas, that I did not sample the legendary hot tub. Another day.). Ok, here is one of the cake:

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Looking at this, I am pretty sure that this cake picture has been cropped to hide the part where the goddamn strawberries kept falling off because the buttercream was melting in the heat.

I screwed up the buttercream the first time. I did the "Neo-Classic Buttercream" from the Cake Bible, which is a wonderful recipe and, I thought, nearly foolproof. Nope. It's not. All that butter. All those eggs. The chocolate. I weep still. The second batch was divine. The chocolate dipped strawberries kept leaping to their demise during the wedding, however. Next time: either store the finished cake in the fridge until the last minute (a perilous task, however) or ice the cake at the last possible moment with many people watching you. I am used to people watching, so I should have done that. Oh well. I was otherwise pleased with the cake (a butter cake with lots of red food coloring, strawberry jam in one layer and raspberry in the other, and triple sec syrup) and I believe the bride, groom and guests were as well. Triana made these hilarious finger cookies (the recipe came from the eGullet forums) and the famous eyeball cake. I must show you more pictures.

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The wedding itself was perfect. I loved reading Ellen Aim's and Corinthian's account of it (his blog can be found if you go to Ellen Aim's. I am too lazy to link.) Fiona was the flower girl (and I hope there are pictures of her somewhere!) and did an amazing job---not only was she the first to come out, but she had to walk out into a crowd of strangers, who were all wearing costumes! Doug and Sophia spent most of the wedding outside. I only cried a little during the vows. I think that is because I couldn't see Ellen Aim's face. They both did so well and the minister they got was really good. (I have to confess here that I totally blubbered through the vows at my own wedding. I cry at everything. I am utterly hopeless.) The barbequed boar was delicious as was the homemade pumpkin ale made by a friend of the newly wed couple. I was surprisingly not that hungry, however. That happened to me while I was working, too. At the end of the day working on the line, I would be happy with a bowl of rice. But I digress.

The happy couple went on their honeymoon (Dallas, then Austin) and Triana went home to Austin. We spent the rest of the trip with my parents and Alex and went trick or treating with Doug's brother Matt's family in Keller (near Ft. Worth). Fiona and Sophia have cousins there, Taylor, 13 and Sydney, 7. Fiona is completely smitten with Taylor. She wants to call and write him all the time. Every day. He is very sweet. Still, I've been curbing things a little so he doesn't get overwhelmed! At the first house we went to, Sophia went right in when they opened the door. That was rather alarming, but she wised up after that. Sophia and Fiona were both unicorns. Here's Sophia:

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I forgot to mention the costumes we wore to the wedding! So the kids were unicorns and I was a genie (some thing I picked up at Jo-Ann's fabrics with a purple wig) and Doug wore his fabulous cape (that he made!) and Ren-fest style leggings and shirt with sexy boots. Here's a picture of me, Ellen Aim, and Alex. Alex is wearing the Lolita Gothic style. She looked amazing!

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Oh, and dig those roses. So fragrant and the most amazing roses ever. The color was also amazing.

We did go to the Ft. Worth Zoo with Matt's family and Fiona got to feed and hold the parakeets (and by the way, we now have a second parakeet named Pippi---she and Sweety are getting along wonderfully!)
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The trip home was uneventful. At the airport, they didn't board people with kids and other people who need assistance first (which I have never seen before). So that was interesting because we weren't even the only people using carseats on the plane--in fact, also Britax--and putting carseats on the plane with everyone else on board is not easy or enjoyable for anyone involved. Thank you, American Airlines. Oh, and they do feed you, but you have to pay four bucks for each snack tray. I did buy one on the way down to Texas even though I had more than plentiful snacks with us. I wanted the "meat stick". It's ok to laugh at this. Yes, I know what's in (or probably in) the "meat stick". I don't care. Rather, I do care, but I needed meat. Sophia slept for most of the plane ride. Fiona had her turn with motion sickness on the bus (no change of clothes this time! At least we were on the next to last leg of the journey). Our '94 Civic got a crack all the way across on our drive home.

It had been too long since our last visit and I am so thankful we were there for Ellen Aim's wedding. I think Fiona wants to live in Texas (I think she really just wants to be closer to our families!) Sigh, so do I!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sophia is TWO!

Here is what I wrote about her birth:

"The evening of the 17th I had irregular menstrual like cramps. I thought it might be leading up to the real thing so I called my friend Ame who was going to be at my birth and the birth center to give everyone a heads up. I went to bed at nine.

On October 18, 2004 I woke up at 1 AM with a contraction. I piddled around, worked on the computer, had some tea. They were very regular but pretty weak. I could talk and walk through them. They got a little stronger so I thought I'd call the birth center. The midwife called me back and said she would sleep at the birth center but to call and come it when it felt right. I took a bath and thought it couldn't hurt to go to the center since the contractions weren't stopping but were still really mild. So I woke everyone up at about 3. We got to the birth center at about a quarter to four. My contractions were quite a bit stronger. I was on the monitor for about 15 minutes and only had 1 full contraction and a half one but then they let me get into the tub anyway (THANK GOD. I just wanted to be in the tub). Oh, I was 5 cm dilated.

I loved being in the tub. I got in at 4 AM. My sister put in a CD: Jan Garbeck's Officium. After that we listened to B-tribe's Sensual Sensual. There was a 3rd CD but I didn't really hear it at that point.

I don't really remember much at this point. I will have to ask the midwife. I do think it was pretty regular until about 5 AM or so? (A guess) I do know I moved around a lot more in the tub trying to find the right position--the baby's heart rate went down if I laid on my left side, so I avoided that. When I was at 9 cm and thinking how bad this was (but I wasn't begging for mercy just yet!) the midwife said I was almost fully dilated and I wanted to cry! I wanted to hear it was almost over!

I felt a lot of pressure and I think what happened was that as soon as I was dilated, I pushed! The baby's head came right out! There was NO break and NO crowning. Just intense holymother-something-is-coming-out--they said one push and her head was out but you know, I think it was really two or three. It was so fast I swear it felt like I was going to just bust open. (And I did tear a teeny bit. One stitch which she would not even have done but she said she figured I'd be on my feet a bit more this time... ) It felt like I was thrashing around and begging for help. I felt very desperate and not in control at all. It was SO weird to feel how strong my uterus was! I felt like I was just along for the ride and could not get off. I don't think they liked how I was breathing but everything was so strong and intense and I felt so helpless. My mom said she could hear me from the parking lot.

As soon as the baby's head came out, it was much better and I didn't want to push anymore. The midwife firmly said I should push the rest of the body out now and I did and she same right out. As soon as that happened, I felt instantly normal. I felt elated and surprised! My baby was so beautiful but also SO tiny (Fiona was over 8 pounds) and SO dark! She had this head full of dark hair, darker skin than her sister, and dark eyes. She had perfect little nails that reminded me of doll nails. Her skin was very dry looking and peeling.

I swear she smiled.

Then she cried for a bit and I held her close and we wrapped her up and just hung out for a bit while the water from the tub drained. She nursed a bit--maybe 15-20 minutes later? She was born at 6:22 AM. When we saw she was a girl, we gave her the name of Sophia Tyne.

The placenta plopped out with a token push maybe 5 minutes after her birth. It was very peaceful after the birth and she has been nursing really well. Recovery seems to be much faster this time, too.

Fiona was there for some of the birth. My contractions weren't as productive when she was there, so she spent most of the labor with my mom in the playroom. She missed the head coming out (it took the midwife by surprise, too! She said "oh there's the head!") because she was having a poopy diaper change (ha! so typical of life) but she saw her sister coming from me out of the water into my arms. She did keep coming in the room to check on me (after the REALLY loud noises she kept asking if the baby was here yet?) and to talk to my friend Ame who explained the noises and what was going on. She would leave when she saw that everything was normal and all right. She has been very sweet and curious about her new sister but has become quite possessive of her daddy and is acting out a bit more in small ways."

I am so glad of the presence of the people there...Doug, Fiona, my mother, my sister Ellen Aim, my friend Ame, and the midwife who not only delivered Sophia, but also delivered Fiona, and most unfortunately, is no longer practicing at the birth center. It's a real loss; she is a fabulous midwife.

Happy Birthday, Sophia.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Ok, let's see if I can post something! I have posts started, I swear, but not finished. So look in the next 2 days or so for prior posts. Doug left about 2 PM Friday for a conference in Montreal and he won't be back until Monday at about dinner time. Fun this is not.

Ok, let me do this thing I was tagged for by Ellen Aim!

1) Would you bungee jump?

No, I would not. Not with a box, not with a fox. Not in a house, not with a mouse.

2) If you could do anything in the world for a living what would it be?

I would travel the world and eat and write about it. Or I would open my own cafe--kid friendly.

3) Your favorite fictional animal?


4) One person who never fails to make you laugh?

One person? Hm. There is more than one, but I'll say Ellen Aim.

5) When you were 12 years old what did you want to be when you grew up?

I don't think I knew what I wanted to be. 12 was not a good year for me. I just wanted friends.

6) What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

It varies. I might nurse Sophia. I might sneak downstairs for tea. I might use the restroom. I might fein sleep in the hopes that others will go back to sleep.

7) Have you ever gone to therapy?

Not yet.

8) If you could have one super power what would it be?

I like the flying super power. Yes, I'll take that, although transporting sounds good, too, and I'd like that this month, actually.

9) Your favorite cartoon character?

Favorite? I guess right now I really like Bob and Weebl.

10) Do you go to church?

No, I do not.

11) What is your best childhood memory?

The best? Hm. I agree, I think it has to be Christmas mornings. I have other good memories, but they are sort of vague. That could be sleep depravation at this point, however.

12) Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual?


13) Do you own a gun?


14) Have you ever hit someone of the opposite sex?

I think I slapped a boy in nursery school or first grade. I was trying to be playful. Yes, I am totally embarrased by this.

15) Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people?

Does junior high choir count? Oh, and some play in elementary school. That's it.

16) What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?

Eyes and shoulders.

17) What is your biggest mistake?

Not flossing enough.

18) Say something totally random about yourself.

I am wearing 4 rings.

19) Has anyone ever said that you looked like a celebrity?

I've been told I look like Katherine Hepburn, which makes me feel great. I don't really think I do, but that's ok. I'm also a LOT shorter.

20) What is the most romantic thing someone of the opposite sex has done for you?

Doug often takes the girls out or entertains them while I take a bath. That's real love. It really comes down to the little things every day that is true romance for me. That sentence doesn't really seem right, but I'm leaving it. I do still remember the huge jasmine plant Doug brought to me at work while we were in Florida.

21) Do you actually read these when other people fill them out?

Yes, I love to read other peoples' responses, especially if I know them.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Compost Happens

Whoa, sorry about the pause there! It's been busy while I try to do everything before our Texas trip. Not only are there things to do for the trip itself, but everything we want to do before the onset of winter should also be done before the trip (well, except firewood, which we may or may not be able to get at all because, once again, we slacked off on getting that done early). For instance, we bought about 100 bulbs and planted them in a newly made bed with compost we made over the past year! We got some beautiful tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, crocus, and muscari. Hopefully, the deer and moles and other digging creatures will stay away. I guess I don't have to worry about the daffodils, but we have mostly tulips. I love tulips. I am so tickled by the compost; that it actually worked. Actually, it worked but there were still egg shells and avocado skins in there. Everything else became dark moist soil. Very cool!

So Doug is in Montreal from Friday afternoon to Monday evening/afternoon. Sophia has a cold and is apparently teething. She is very needy and clingy. Fiona's saucy. I'm bored and I'm lonely and I hate business trips. Soon we will all be going to Texas, which I'm very excited about, as long as the getting there and back part of it goes smoothly. I just realized that they won't be able to use those trays on the airplane because they'll be in their ginormous Britax car seats. They are really big. They take up a lot of room. I'd check them at the gate, but there is a safety reason for little ones to be in car seats, so I'm tempted to sacrifice convenience for safety. I hope we don't piss off too many people, but there you go.

Next week is our last full week here but Fiona has two days off school for teacher workdays or something. Our parent/teacher conference is Thursday. Fiona's friend Ellie's parents offered to watch Sophia and Fiona so both Doug and I could go. I hope that works out for Sophia! Well, if it doesn't, we'll just bring her, I guess and hope for the best.

We don't seem to have wasps inside (yet?) but Doug has been more active with the wasp poison in the attic this year. I have no idea what I would do without Doug, because I am way too chicken to do this. I can barely GO in the attic.

I got pumpkins for carving but I just have to find the energy to do it. I got ingredients for birthday cake (Sophia turns 2 on Wednesday!) and I suspect it will be a mini version of the wedding cake. No strawberries, though. They are god-awful up here. They are crunchy and half white. Yes, I bought some out of desperation.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


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Last Thursday through Sunday, we had Triana up for a visit and what a time we had!  After picking her up at the airport, we took Triana to the Wayside Restaurant for a lovely lunch and a maple creme pie.  I would like to point out that this is also a very child friendly restaurant--not always easy to find!  Friday, after we picked Fiona up from school, we all went out for pizza, then down to King Arthur Flour and the Montshire Science Museum.  At King Arthur, I got some faboo blue-iridescent sugar and food coloring made by Americolor, the red of which I'll be using on Ellen Aim's wedding cake (hey, she wants a red cake!).  I also got some Whole Grain Chocolate Fudge Waffle Mix.  Ok, look, I never EVAH buy a baking mix, but Triana has given me some of their mixes, and I love to use whole grains in my baking (and King Arthur is really pushing the whole grains in their products, I suspect because they have a whole grain cookbook out now.)  You know, for a non-yeasted waffle batter, it is totally scrumptious.  Triana also bought me this whisk.  It looks very cool and I can't wait to use it!  Doug made fried chicken either Friday or Saturday night.  It's all a blur.  I think it was Saturday.  I can't remember everything, I may have to come back to this post and add on things!

Saturday Triana and I dashed to Vermont Chocolatiers, then everyone went to the farmer's market, Ben and Jerry's factory outlet, and the Adams Apple Orchard and Farm Market for apple picking.  Sunday we just chilled because it was cold and rainy.  Doug and Fiona went to the open house at the school while Sophia and I took Triana back to the airport :(  Oh well, we'll get to see her at Ellen Aim's wedding in a few weeks!  Expect plenty of blog enteries about the anxiety of taking a trip with two energetic kids.  I really am looking forward to it, though.  We haven't been to Texas in far too long.

By the way, my MySpace profile has now been made private, so if you want to see it, I believe I either have to add you or you have to invite me. I am not sure; I'm still figuring it out. If you don't want to bother, don't worry. It will remain fairly static, I'm sure, and you won't miss anything if you just stick to this blog.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

MySpace Sheep

Ok, there is no potluck at all. There is now an open house on Sunday. So Doug will take Fiona and Sophia and I will take Triana to the airport---and Triana arrives tomorrow! Squee! I have to clean out the room she'll be staying in.

Ok, I have caved and I now have a MySpace account. I did it out of curiosity and because once it's up, I don't think I have to keep up with it so much. I have a hard enough time trying to write here everyday!

The playdate with Fiona's friend yesterday was awesome! They played so well and Sophia napped nearly the whole playdate. Playdate days are so much easier--even when Sophia doesn't nap.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Jeepers Peepers

No potluck yesterday. They cancelled due to rain. It's moved to the 1st, but we're taking Triana to the airport then. I switched dishes with someone and she is making a vegetarian chili and I'm making vegan cookies.

Yesterday we did go to the library's centenial birthday party and had cake and punch. Fiona got a $10 book store gift certificate for winning the poster contest in her age category. Her picture was taken, too, so I'll have to pick up a Northfield News to see if it got in.

Yes, Triana will be here Thursday through Sunday and we are so excited! I heard on the radio that peak foliage is coming up, so she will be just in time for that. I think we'll have to peep and pick apples. I have no idea when we are going to make this practice cake. A lot to do in four days! People who come up to Vermont to look at the autumn foliage are called "Peepers", which I find amusing.

Fiona said her tummy hurt on the way to school today, so we're still dealing with that. Now it seems more like either a food intolerance (she just had a huge bowl of cereal with milk) or maybe anxiety over school. I am not sure what to do at this point. It's hard to get a four year old to talk about her feelings.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Happy Autumn!

It must be all that cool air because it's a quarter to 8 AM and Sophia is still asleep. Naturally, I have an eye appointment this morning, but Doug is taking the day off so all should be well.

We're going to have some sort of little autumn party (just the family!) but I am not sure what to do now. I already made cupcakes, but that was just because. They are coconut and they are very nice but I forgot to put vanilla bean in them (I'm out of extract). The cupcakes look more like spring than autumn. I will mention here that I am a coconut fanatic. I made chocolate tapioca pudding the day before with coconut milk and it was sort of like a almond joy pudding (I also put almond extract in). Fiona didn't like it--I thought it was probably the texture, which I admit may be an acquired taste--but she said it was the taste. It was not that sweet, more bittersweet, which is why it was so good, of course. Oh well, more for me. Sophia inhaled it. This is the sand connoisseur, however. But back to the autumn celebration. Maybe we'll go for a hike if it doesn't rain and then come back for spiced cider? Make some sort of craft with leaves? I am not all that crafty--I have to find craft guides and use the internet to come up with projects for Fiona. Plus we can't keep ALL her crafts and I feel like a horrible mother throwing any piece of paper she draws on away. Believe me, I have. I've had to, okay? Leave me alone!

So this weekend is Fiona's school potluck, which includes both schools, and I find that odd because the two schools aren't exactly close to each other and the parents don't know each other and the kids don't know each other so why...? Anyway, before that is the local library's centennial birthday party which we are going to because Fiona won the poster contest in her division. I'm making "Chili Non Carne" from Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything which will probably end up pretty different from the recipe's chili. It's not even real chili. It's spiced beans with condiments and chips. I like that, but it's not chili. I don't even know why I am using a recipe. What can I say, I love cookbooks.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

We Can Dance if We Want To

School went well today, but Fiona went up to nap of her own will (Sophia not so much, of course). She still seems not quite back to her old self, but hopefully that won't be long. She's scheduled to have a play date with her friend, Ellie, at our house next Tuesday. Ellie's dad volunteered to pick up Fiona with Ellie and drive them here. I think it will be okay. Ellie has the same kind of car seat Fiona does (I'd drop Fiona's car seat off with her in the morning, like Doug used to do for me). Fiona is going to be crazy at the idea of going home in Ellie's car. Now I just have to figure out what we should all have for lunch.

Doug bought Fiona her own pair of tap shoes, so Fiona has been wearing those while Sophia wears the shoes Fiona has been borrowing from the school. Tap tap tap on our wood floors! I think Sophia would really like a tutu similar to Fiona's. Too bad we'll be taking the tap shoes back tomorrow!

I watched the entire season of House, Season 2 and now I'm left with nothing until whenever the third season comes out on DVD. Doug needs to catch up, so House is back in the queue on Netfux. Wait. I bet I can see it on iTunes. Damn you, iTunes!

Back to School

Due to popular demand, here are pictures!

Here's Fiona in her new dance duds.

Sophia taking a break from raking leaves.

Fiona resting in the leaves.

Fiona's back at school today and I'm just waiting for the phone to ring. She has a cough but it is really mild and seems to happen just at night and in the early morning. I gave her some OTC cough syrup which I never do unless she needs to sleep at night. So I met the other class's teacher's assistant and I didn't get a great first impression. She introduced herself, which was good points, but then her manner with Fiona was sort of impatient and distainful. It's sort of a vague impression I got and it may be a false one. Good grief, though, the day is just starting. I can sound like she did, but it's usually about 4 PM. It was pick up and drop off time, so we did need to act in a timely fashion (Fiona likes to chat and show her teachers things and she hasn't been there in 4 days now, including the weekend) but just something in her manner didn't sit well with me. I'll give the benefit of the doubt this time, but the next time I should say something. I am just not sure what.

Last Monday morning--or maybe this was Sunday night--we knew she wasn't going to school, as did she and she said she needed her special things, which were: "1. Ginger Ale (editor's note: I think this is the first time she's had ginger ale), 2. Crackers, 3. Hot Soup, 4. Show, 5. Snuggling, 6. with Daddy, 7. with Mommy if it’s a work day" in that order, with the numbers. Glad to see where I stand, ha!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Dying of the Cute

Ever have those days where you just lounge and gaze at the chaos that is your home? Yep, that is today over here. Fiona did throw up, so that's mostly the reason. No apple picking. We hope to go later, especially with Triana in late September. The TV has been on every minute of the day. I rented movies (we don't have broadcast TV, so we rely on our DVD/VCR contraption).

I keep forgetting to mention two things. One. I got most of my hair chopped off and it's now at my chin line. I may get it shorter. I have this really thick, curly/wavy, tends-to-frizz hair. I always get the comment from hairdressers: "Wow. You have a lot of hair". It was pretty long, down to mid back or so. Now I can actually get my fingers through it in the shower while conditioning it. And it's also a lot lighter (in weight). I splurged and got highlights, too. Copper and blonde. Maybe I'll post a picture. Maybe not.

Two. Fiona is taking dance classes! She started last Thursday. Yesterday (when I could swear she was totally better) we went out after Doug got off work and bought her a very blue long sleeved leotard, black tights, black ballet shoes, and this totally adorable blue tutu that isn't foo-foo so much as it hangs in strips and has blue roses on the ends. She loves all of it and she, naturally, is so freaking cute--so much so that I can't even bear it. Sophia joined in and said "Oh, Feenona! Cute dress!" Hard not to buy two. We still need tap shoes, but we are borrowing the school's for now.

After today, I would like to put the TV in the attic for a few months. It won't happen, it's too heavy, but maybe I could hide it...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

An Autumnal Update

Whew, what a week! It's not over yet, either.

This was the first week of school on the regular schedule with all the kids. Fiona had a good time, she says, but I got a call from the teacher Thursday saying Fiona was having some behavioural problems...screaming, inappropiate body language (that is not exactly what she said, but the gist of it...I know what she means, I think---when she doesn't like what you have to say, she pushes her hands out at you and makes all sorts of colorful faces, maybe covers her ears, turns away, etc), crying, defiant, bothering the other kids at their work. Really, nothing that sounded unusual--she acts like this at home from time to time. We had a gentle talk with her about expectations at school and Friday was much better. Sigh. I am so over the screaming tantrums. We're at the end of the so called rope. I know the saying "this too shall pass" but WHEN? She is four and a half. I love that she is independent and questioning and assertive, but I want her to use her powers for good.

The weekend before was the La Leche League (LLL) "baby sale" where we sell clothes, toys, and gear and it looks like it will be our best year ever. Doug is working probably all day today (a Saturday) which sucks rocks and there is a LLL meeting Tuesday on weaning which is usually a pretty popular topic, and is fresh in everyone's minds after the baby sale (the LLL meetings, not weaning!). I am exhausted. I don't go to the October meeting because there is just too much going on that month, but October is also filled with delights. At least October will be fabulous in that we finally get to visit my family and I get to see Ellen Aim and Cornithian tie the knot but the weekend (or two?) before that, Doug is off for work again to Montreal. He said he would stop in at LUSH for me, so that will be nice!

The girls have had some sort of tummy bug, but so far it's only meant messy diapers and knowing where the bathroom is at all times. Sophia seems to be "aaaah done!" with that, but now Fiona's tummy hurts. She certainly hasn't been eating any raw bagged spinach. Or any spinach for that matter. I think she is getting better, but the length (a little over a week now) concerns me. I guess we will see where we are Monday.

We're hopefully going apple picking tomorrow where they should have fresh tiny warm doughnuts and maybe some animals. Tomorrow is supposed to be about 80F which is unseasonably warm. We may or may not be going with one of Fiona's classmates. We went to the farmer's market today, just the three of us and it went okay. Fiona picked out some little artichokes (which I am not sure what to do with, but she loves the artichoke leaves from the "big" artichokes...I guess I'll show her where the heart is, and we'll go from there and maybe toss it with pasta...) and wanted blue potatoes, but none were to be found. I got some mizuna, mixed basil, ham steak (say that like Homer Simpson, I can't seem to say it any other way), eggs (I forgot we already have 2 dozen so we're going to have lots of egg dishes and baked goods this week!), flat leaf parsley, chantrelles (hooray for autumn!), POBLANOS (I nearly got down on my knees), and vibrant fresh flowers. Today is gloomy and cool, so I needed the flowers. I'm going to take a page from my friend Ame and try to have fresh flowers around more often in the winter. Winter is just so dark and colorless. It doesn't have to be, though! Fiona ate an apple samosa and a pumpkin sugar cookie, Sophia had a veggie samosa and the same kind of cookie, and I had a turkey samosa. I will really miss the farmer's market! It's over in October.

Fiona picked out some bulbs and I hope to pick out more and get them planted with her help in a few weeks. This year I swear I will stash away some bulbs so I can force them. We slacked and did not order firewood in the spring/summer, so now we're having a hard time (again) finding some. I even wrote where we got it last year on the calendar, but they did not call me back this year.

The leaves are definitely changing, but we aren't at peak yet. The compost pile will be so happy to have some leaves in it. If I can just get out there and rake them up...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Hydrogen Sulfide "Burps"

The other day, Fiona and I went to get Sophia after her nap. As she sat up, she farted. Fiona laughed and said "Sophia's bottom burped!"

After another nap, Sophia and I were reading How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?. She pointed to all sorts of things, saying their name. Then she pointed to T. Rex and said "T. Rex!". She'll be two on Oct. 18. I think she pointed to and said "Stegosaurus", too, but I am not 100% about that. She said "T. Rex" twice, however (correctly).

Yesterday, we marched in the Labor Day parade in our little town of Northfield--we were with the Library. I had great trepidation about this because I don't like marching in front of a lot of people and crowds...doesn't sound good, right? But it was fun. Fiona dressed up in her unicorn costume and she was a big hit. She stayed in Doug's arms or on his shoulders. I pushed Sophia in her stroller while carrying a sign (that said "Storytime"...we most of us had signs with something we liked about the library). Sophia was totally relaxed and even waved to people.

Friday, September 01, 2006


There is something about the end of the summer and the tinge of the autumn that makes me reflective. After a nice drop off and pick up from the hour of school...remembering to get more paint for the bathroom but forgetting the primer...getting shortbread for all and latte for me at La Brioche...then a quick bike ride and walk to the duck bridge before Sophia's nap...I found myself in what we affectionately call "The Study". This is the room that right about now--or soon--I fear will be innundated with sluggish confused w-a-s-p-s (if I spell it, maybe they won't come this year). It is a room with warped painted white wood panelling and the most ugly ceiling that is not quite in one piece (give me popcorn ceiling over this any day). I suspect there is nothing between the wood panelling and the outside of the house, either. In any case, this is a "graveyard room" in that it has no purpose other than storage of forgotten items and items we can't find a place for yet with inquisitive young children, one of them thinking she can climb to the top of anything (I found her on top of the diaper table the other day and that has been added to the Graveyard).

I was going through the filing cabinet, which is in this room, trying to find the user's manual for the diaper table (which is really a co-sleeper) so I can either sell it at the consignment store or donate it to the La Leche League sale (where we sell baby stuff very cheap and all the money goes to the local group, which is a non-profit volunteer organization). I didn't find it--I know it's here somewhere because we save all the user's manuals, even for the toaster---but I found other treasures.

First of all, I found the Christmas piano music that I have been looking for for at least four years (this is a clue that we need to take some sort of organization classes, I know). I nearly wept. I found a journal with black paper that I'd written in gel marker how the ideal rooms would look in our house (I made it for Doug, I've only used about 6 pages out of approximately 50...I have a few journals like this). I found another journal where I had been writing 5 things every night that I am grateful for. I started sometime in 2000 and the last time I wrote in it was when I was pregnant with Fiona. I completely forgot about it---I stopped writing in it just before we moved to our purple--then white--house, I think. I found some Astrology notes given to us by a friend (yeah, that went right into the recycle bin, but I have fond memories of the friend). I found old botany notes. I found a compliation CD from my sister Alexandra that I had totally forgotten about and now it's going on the computer.

I also just realized I have saved in the Graveyard Closet a cool sand toy for Fiona from my sister Maggie. Fiona is exactly at the right age for this now, so I will go find it since Sophia is sleeping. Sophia would just eat it. She has a taste for sand. Especially colored sand.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Purple Unicorn Sisters

Fiona started school yesterday and the only negative thing she said about it was that it was too short to do anything and she "hated that". School is only an hour a day this week with 3 separate groups of kids. Next week is 2 hours a day and the groups sort of blend together rather than stay separate. The last week is normal---3 hours and they're all together, all 17 of them (egads). She also said that there were a lot of tables and chairs but not a lot of things to play with. Hm. Well, we'll see.

What many of the parents seem to dislike (me included I must say) is that we are supposed to drive in the far entrance, circle around the back and pull up to the child's entrance to the school and wait. The teacher comes out, takes the child out of your car, and walks with them into the school. So there is this line of cars in the parking lot, idling. This is not so bad now, because we don't all come at the same time, but soon all of us (including the second classroom to our 15 families--15 rather than 17 because 2 families have siblings in the class) will come and go at the same time. Well, we'll see how it goes. It does mean Sophia can hang out in the car with me and stay warm in the winter, I guess. But it just seems rather ineffecient. Many people are short on time and have to get back to work. Of course they'd rather just get out and get their child and take them on to day care or whatever (most kids leave at noon, the older kids leave at 2?--although they have an aftercare program now).

I went to the consignment store the other day and I found a like new unicorn costume for Fiona. She loves it. She slept in it once, but she got too hot. I hope she doesn't decide she has to wear it to school. Then I looked through the costumes some more and there was a second one---in Sophia's size! They spent one afternoon flying around the house and now Sophia seems to be over it. We'll see. I took many pictures.

When Fiona pretends to be a unicorn, she is very, very quiet. She crawls over to me (with her head down so it looks like the unicorn head on top is the head) and waits until I see her and then I get to stroke her mane. She tells me in this little funny voice that Fiona is gone but she is here and Fiona will be back later---in sixty fourty days (or some big number). The amazing thing is, is that she is very, very quiet (unless Sophia is with her and then there is lots of shrieking laughter, and ultimately, crying because someone always falls down). I like the unicorn costumes.

Monday, August 28, 2006

School Countdown

Tomorrow is "Moving In Day" at Fiona's school and she will stay for about 20 minutes, putting her things away in her cubby and getting a look at her new classroom. She goes to the local Montessori school, which was new last year and they moved to a bigger space this year (thank goodness). She is very excited and keeps asking how many bedtimes (the spell check says this word should be beatings)away her first day of school is (that's Wednesday).

I made a nice rich gelatinous batch of chicken stock yesterday and I made chicken soup for lunch for the girls--carrots, celery, zucchini, vegetable alphabet pasta, and shredded chicken. They inhaled the soup. They were so taken with this soup that it was very, very quiet. It's rainy and cool lately, so maybe it was just what they needed.

Last Saturday we went to one of Fiona's friend's birthday party (I hope I did not make a possessive error there or I would have to smite myself) and had a great time. They had a pinata and everything. We've been to 3 parties now where the whole class is invited---I don't know what those of us with winter birthdays are supposed to do. Our house will not hold all those kids and siblings and parents--and there are MORE kids this year! Egads. One of Fiona's friends (with an April birthday) just invited Fiona and some neighbor friends, so I guess that is ok to do...I just hate to leave anyone out, especially because Fiona actually likes each of her classmates (so far). There is one child she has this weird love/hate relationship with, but he has a very similar personality to hers. He is a very sweet, smart kid but he can be rather boisterous, loud, energetic,, sound familiar? Anyway, she and this particular boy went frog hunting and he let her hold the frogs (which I was really impressed with). She held on to these frogs forever. I kept trying to convince her to let them go or give the boy a turn. She kept trying to kiss one of them (thankfully Sophia did not see this). She finally did hand them over and one of them was playing dead. We thought it was real for while but her friend told us that the frog was only playing dead. Whew. But from now on, less squeezing of the frogs!

After that we went to the Champlain Valley Fair! We met a friend there who has a son who is 6 and a son who is 18 months. Everyone loved riding the horses. Even the little ones got to ride, which thrilled Sophia to no end. I took Fiona in first and Sophia was inconsolable---so after that I thought it might be worth a try (I was worried it would be hard to keep her on) and it went brilliantly! Every time the horses stopped she signed "more". She had a huge fit when it was really time to stop, though. After a birthday party and a couple of hours of the fair (which is an hour away from us) they were both totally worn out (heh heh). I think Fiona would have liked to get to know the 6 year old better---I think they have similar personalities and suspect they would really get on well, but they live in upstate NY.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I Lost My Title

Fiona's been referring to us as "Rachael and Douglas" for a while now. This has happened before and it seems to come and go. I don't really mind but it does sound sort of odd to hear her say it.

If (I should say "when") Sophia starts imitating her, that will be double the fun.

I haven't really lost my title. If she's feeling tender or sleepy---then I am "Mommy".

Pluto is No Longer a Planet!

I suppose you've all heard this by now. It's all very exciting!

I don't have much else to say except last weekend we went to Bath, NH for the sole purpose of bacon: The Brick Store . Their smoked bacon is heavenly. We also got some of their smoked cheese and summer sausage and fudge. The fudge is a little too achingly sweet for me, but the cappuchino flavor was very nice.


Fiona loves to take her vitamins, even before they were dinosaurs. She also takes (sometimes) her fish oil capsules. She sometimes takes these "green" vitamins which amazes me because I think they taste awful.

We have these calcium chews for both the girls and they taste pretty good. Fiona wants so badly to like them, but she doesn't. I said to her: "They are supposed to taste like vanilla milkshake, you know" (as I am reading the bottle yet again). She said, "Too bad they don't".

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Versitility of Tang

Bacon and...Tang?


Bacon Snack Bars

Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 15 min
Makes: 12 servings, 1 bar each

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 pkg. (2.8 oz.) OSCAR MAYER Real Bacon Recipe Pieces
4 tsp. TANG Orange Flavor Drink Mix
3 cups POST HONEY BUNCHES OF OATS Cereal, any variety

MIX sugar and syrup in large saucepan. Bring just to boil on medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
ADD peanut butter; stir until well blended. Stir in bacon pieces and drink mix. Add cereal; mix well.
PRESS evenly into greased 8-inch square pan. Cool completely before cutting into 12 bars to serve.


Prepare as directed, using 1 pkg. (3 oz.) OSCAR MAYER Real Bacon Bits.

Jazz It Up
Prepare as directed; sprinkle with additional drink mix.

I'm trying to decide what's more horrific. I can almost see the bacon (for heaven's sake, is it so hard to cook bacon?) but...Tang? Why? Why would we want to "Jazz It Up" by sprinkling more Tang on top?

This got three stars, by the way. Someone supposedly actually made this.

I get that bacon is good with sweet things sometimes (coat bacon with brown sugar and cook at 500 until done) but TANG?

Maybe it's more horrific that someone actually thought something like: "I'd love to make a snack bar that is really unique. People sometimes eat them for breakfast, so a protein like peanut butter is a good idea. People also like to eat bacon for breakfast, so that will probably taste pretty good in there. Why not add some fake orange-y instant drink so it can be an all-in-one bar? I'm brillant!"

Thursday, August 17, 2006

She Won!

A few weeks ago, the library ran a poster contest for its 100th anniversary in September. There was a category for Fiona's age group, so she did a poster for fun. I forgot all about it until just now when they called and told us she won her category!

She said, "I bet it was the glitter that did it".

Here, Mommy

Sophia likes to practice using the potty (by this I mean the big one, no one uses the red plastic potty I got...). Right now this means taking off the diaper (wiping her up if needed), putting her on the toilet, her saying "all done!" and then she likes to wipe and throw it in the toilet. That is her favorite part. So today I do this and it's just a wet diaper. I am running around doing a million things and it's a moment before I can put her on the toilet (she always wants to get right up and then the toilet paper and flushing and turning off the light and saying "bye bye" to the toilet and bathroom is a bit of a production). I come in and she is standing there and handing something to me.

She hands me two pieces of bowel movement. I know what they are, but I take them anyway. Believe me, I was weeping inside. I am just glad she handed them to me (she likes to hand things to us when she's done with them). She could have done much worse. Soooo...after I washed my hands and her, she took a nice soapy warm bath.

And by the way, if you are ever faced with ballpoint ink on your antique couch, blotting rubbing alcohol on it takes it out very nicely.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

You've Got a Little...Um, Yeah...Right There...

Fiona is taking afternoon classes at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science---the same place where she (and I) got to hold a Madagascar Hissing Roach (which she did again today, actually). Monday they learned about worms and yesterday they learned about slugs and snails. It's great. It's right at Sophia's ideal nap time, so she has just been napping on the go. The problem is, Fiona is totally wiped out at the end of this class and Sophia is ready for action at the end of her class.

This morning we played with a couple of their friends and had a great time. We played on a playground (we had to do some searching) and then went back to their house. I unfortunately forgot the tube of sunblock was in my back pocket when we got in the car to go back to their place. I would not even have noticed except I picked up Sophia from her car seat and then put her down in the back of the station wagon to change her diaper and there was a vast amount of cream on her leg. I was perplexed and then noticed it was all over me and my shorts. So I took the excess cream and slathered Fiona and myself and Sophia. I think it was half the tube. It's also all over the seat. So. Don't sit on tubes of cream.

Her friend, Nick, was telling us all about this boy in their neighborhood who "isn't very nice" and nearly ran over himself and his sister Linnea on his bike. This boy was riding past us on the street while Nick was telling us this. Fiona responded (boy nowhere in sight thank goodness): "Don't worry, we'll just kill him later". I swear to you, this is a non-violent household and we restrict what they watch to avoid this sort of thing (well, and other things) but something must have slipped through.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

It's Official

Not that there was any question of not going, but I just bought four (gulp) plane tickets from Boston to Dallas. We are going to take the bus from New Hampshire into Boston (about 2 1/2 hours). Fiona will be very excited but I think Sophia is going to not be quite so thrilled. Well, we'll see! She'll be a different person in 2 months. I am glad to have this under our buckle, so to speak.

I am not even sure if I've mentioned this, but we are going to my youngest sister's wedding in October (hence the plane and bus tickets)! Ellen Aim and Corinthian are tying the knot (and currently buying a house) and are having quite the creative wedding. We are all going in costumes (no, I do not know what we are going as yet) and I am making her cake, with the help of the talented Triana. I think the food there will be all desserts and I am not sure if I am helping with that. I'd love to, but I guess it depends on the kids and timing and whatnot. I plan to search through recipes to find my favorites anyway. The cake will be chocolate buttercream with a red interior. I am planning to dye a nice spongecake for the red. The plan as of now is to have cascading chocolate dipped strawberries on the outside of the cake. The wedding invitation was very unique. I would love to post it here. It was goulish and creative and very cool. I didn't show it to the kids, though.

So we had the Home Visit from Fiona's new teacher (Fiona goes back to school on the 30th)(Yes, I edited the date! It's not the 23rd--I can't tell my up from my down.) and Fiona gave her a tour of her room and OUR room (didn't see that one coming, so yes, look, we don't make our beds and, yes, they are just mattresses on the floor---don't mind the books all over the floor and the baskets of cloth diapers). I think it went well, Fiona has met her before and likes her. She had the teacher (named Kristen) read her a dinosaur book--which was a cool book which came with very tiny pieces of dinosaur bones to put together--and apparently (I forgot about this) it is a quite graphic dinosaur book where they talk about this T.Rex mauling some Triceratops in great detail. Kristen asked her if this book didn't scare her---to which Fiona said no, of course. She comes up with all sorts of ghastly "meat-eater" type of dinosaur stories. At least she didn't ask Fiona what she had for dinner last night. She could very well have said "cow muscle with leeks". (Doug made this incredible "silky beef with leeks" dish that all four of us inhaled. We finished it off with leftover blueberry buttermilk lemon tart from his birthday).

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

We Just Have Time for a Quickie

It's so hot and humid today. It's that Armpit thing. Level 5. We all just took cold baths/showers. The refrigerator is sweating which is gross.

So the science museum summer camp thing is going well. It's quite a drive to do every day and of course they nap in the car and awake refreshed (if sticky, but at least we have car a/c now) while I feel like sleeping the afternoon away. Sophia loves being able to play at the exhibits on her time table instead of Fiona's and having all my attention. Fiona gets to do neat things in class and take walks outside. There is this awkward hour between 9 and 10---the dropoff hour and the time the museum actually opens for visitors. Yesterday we ended up just driving around and today we went to the Hanover Co-op.

Doug made these incredible spicy Hunan noodles. He's made them before but it's been a while (We neither of us have any energy at the end of the day, so he is heroic for making dinner. I think I would make...cereal).

I got Doug's birthday present (Aug 5) and it's so hard not to give it to him so he can enjoy it immediately.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Portsmouth, NH

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Hopefully I am not going to regret this, but for the next 5 days we have to leave the house at the cheerful hour of 8 AM so Fiona can do the summer camp at the Montshire Museum of Science. She loves this place (which is why I'm driving an hour and back each way) and what better close to summer than spending every morning there for an entire week? Now, you may be thinking, 8 AM, that's nothing! Hell, I used to leave for work at 3 AM. The challenge, you see, is getting everyone and everything in the car BY 8 AM... really more like 7:45 that first day just to make sure. I'm one of those people that is either just a little bit late or way too early. It sucks, but there it is.

So we went with Doug to Portsmouth, NH for another business presentation. Portsmouth has a lot more going for it than Latham, I have to say. We were also in a very nice hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn . I'm not really picky these days, I like to think. A/C, TV, bath/shower, clean floors and we can get by. Our room had a microwave (didn't use but I brought popcorn just in case and YES I know how to make REAL popcorn---bugger off!), a coffee maker (eh), and not only clean floors, but very clean floors. The beds were soft, white and filled with pillows. The staff was downright friendly. The kids loved the buffet at breakfast. There were minor flaws, but I would stay here again in a heartbeat, even if I had to pay for it (well, we did pay for the 2nd night). We didn't walk much that morning because Fiona just wanted to watch TV in the A/C. That was about as exciting as that time she and I were stuck in a motel room when we had the outside of the house scraped and painted (we have lead paint out there!) and she was about, what, 18 months?, and hadn't seen much TV at that point and wouldn't have except I was sick as a dog so I just left it on all morning and let it eat her brain. Teletubbies are four minions of Satan and Bush except I can actually follow what Teletubbies are saying if I haven't had more than 4 hours of sleep.

Right, where was I? Right--we stayed in the room also because Fiona had a "tummyache" (god DAMN those creatures, I almost wrote "tubbyache"). So even though I got the car down (unfortunately, there is only valet parking) for the baby carrier (no stroller) we walked for about 10 minutes and then we sat, glazed in our clean room. Doug came back for the afternoon and I can not even remember what we did except finally walk around. We also braved the pool which is hard with two young girls who do not know how to swim---and the 21 month old has No Fear of water At All.

The next day was better (except the car still didn't have a/c but it does now after we gave them a lung and $600) because we went to The Children's Museum of Portsmouth. Now, looking at it, it just looks like a nice old house. I'm telling you, it is very cool inside. The yellow submarine was the biggest hit (Fiona still loves Yellow Submarine and the Beatles; it's just that John is no longer the focus of her adoration). There were all these neat little details there that made you (the adult) want to play there all day. We also went to the beach to look at whatever sea life we could find and jump along the rocks (there was a "real" beach there but the water was so cold...however, people were swimming there--I'm going to guess these were native New Englanders who have family here going back several generations when the water was probably even colder in July).

Depsite the heat, we went to the outskirts of Boston to Stone Zoo, where we've been a few times before. Many animals were hiding or were missing except for the cool jaguar and her cubs. They were right next to the window. At this point, our girls were the most wild animals at the zoo.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

NY Trip

Sunday through Tuesday we went to Latham, NY, which is just outside of Albany. Doug had a presentation which went, of course, very well. I got to see him in his suit, which is always a real treat.

Those were the days of really high temperatures (high of 97) and it was bloody humid, so I can quote (with some glee) Ellen Aim and say that in our un-airconditioned car (it will take $600 to fix it because we have to replace the parts...which still seems freaking high to me) it was definitely "Armpit Level 5". I was hoping we could wait until next summer to fix it, but we really need to take care of it.

Anyway, Latham was pretty uneventful. The hotel had a nice trail where we saw tons of bunnies which Sophia loved to chase back into the high grass. They were very cute with the white fluffy tails. The pool was shallow (hooray!) and we had a couple of frog visitors. That was the highlight of the trip for Fiona.

Doug took the next day off and we went to a very cute botanical garden in Massachusetts called the Berkshire Botanical Garden. They had a children's garden amoung other fabulous gardens. We also went to the Berkshire Museum that had a dinosaur display and a bug exhibit which was really a gallery of bug artwork. It was really neat. It was also not airconiditoned so it was really hot. Sophia loved the museum and raced around the entire building. She is really talking now and saying things like: "Where is Daddy?" "Where is Fiona? (fe-nah-nah)" "That's Sweety!" "That's mine!" "Give me that!" "You!"

Fiona is at a birthday party today for her friend Juna and Doug took her there. I was going to take Sophia grocery shopping but she fell asleep in the playpen while I was taking a shower. That has never ever happened before, but I have wished that it would happen. Now I am waiting for her to wake up! She wakes up at 6 am which seems to early for her, but she doesn't usually go back to sleep. She ends up taking these really early naps instead. She's been asleep for a bit over an hour now. We may not go to the farmer's market today! Oh well, the blueberries aren't ready yet anyway.

Things I am Glad Not to Witness

So let's review the pet population up until a certain ghasty moment which I will relate. We had two frogs named "Cutie Cutie" and one parakeet named "Sweety Tweety". The bird is fine, by the way. Oh, and the aquarium of three (yes, three, now...I hope Doug took the latest casualty out of the freezer...) fish. The frogs we raised from tadpoles (we just bought them). One of them grew really fast and seemed very healthy (I guess). The other took forever to change into a frog and when he was finally a frog, was much smaller than the now Big Frog.

Big Frog and Little Frog seemed to live in harmony, eating and swimming, and...whatever frogs do. These are frogs that live in the water, by the way. One night before bed, however, Doug looked into the frog home and said "Rachael? Can you come here for a minute? How many frogs do you see?". Sure enough, there was only ONE frog in there. There is no way the other frog escaped (I looked to be sure). Big Frog's belly did seem quite...bulky? We told Fiona. She was sad and distraught. She was sure he had gotten under the bookcase (I looked again) but even if he had, he would still not be with us. She is ok with it now. I thought they were supposed to be friends, but I guess something was not quite right. We could get a free frog for a new friend (the people we bought them from say they LIKE to have company) but as Doug says, maybe we had better not. Now that the one and only Cutie Cutie has gone down this dark path, maybe he's developed a taste for his own kind.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Medium: Wet Dirt

The other night was such a lovely night. Doug watched the girls, king superhero Aragorn-like manly man who can wear tights that he is, and I took a bath with a Golden Slumbers ballistic, had a nice glass of port, and turned off the lights (it was still somewhat light outside) and listened to the rain. I'm ok with rain if it happens at night. And, really, it's the other way around. Aragorn wishes he were more Doug-like.

'Course it rained during the day, too, and that I didn't like so much. I mean the ground had just barely dried.

Doug has taken the car in so the a/c will be fixed. We're going to somewhere near Albany, NY for a couple of days, so that will be nice. Unfortunately, the car also has all of our sunblock and swimgear in it. Nothing like being stuck at home (we can't use the little Honda) with no sunblock! Argh!

Ok, I have a bottle I can scrap the lotion out of. This is why one can not have too much sunblock. I've blocked off the driveway and we're going to try to paint with mud. I'll bring the camera and we'll see how this goes. We don't normally play out front b/c of said driveway (it's sort of steep, but ok if you stay at the top, and it's hard to see from the street b/c it's behind a hill), so we'll see how blocking it off goes (people like to turn around in our driveway...we don't get a LOT of traffic but we get more than you would think for being on a dead-end street). It's being blocked off with the Honda, by the way.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Another Ice Cream Post

I'm eating Godiva's Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Praline ice cream. Sorry, Ben and Jerry. This is amazing. I almost never buy chocolate ice cream (I'm just weird that way) but this is REALLY good. Do what you have to do to get some.

I'm eating it before dinner---I used a friend's recipe for a quiche she entered in a contest. Please vote for it here! :) I didn't make it exactly like that (I always change something) but it's close enough and it smells divine (it's baking now).

Well, it wasn't ME!

So Fiona has a bit of a shiner. She and Sophia head-butted Sunday (Sophia is fine) and Monday she had a purple bruise under her eye (it hurt when it happened, but apparently it feels just fine now). Today it's purple and yellow and brown and it covers the area under her eye. I took her to the library yesterday and took her today to the grocery store. I think we are getting some looks (covert looks) but I could be paranoid. An older lady came up to them in the grocery store all smiling and cooing and then asked Fiona if her sister had given her a black eye. I laughed and said, well, in a way she did.

She didn't really look at me or talk to me. Maybe official people will be showing up on my doorstep this week.

Whine for a Rainy Day

So this Sunday, we're accompaning Doug on a work trip to Albany, NY. I'm searching for things to do with kids on a Monday morning. Even a playground would work really well.

I finally made an appointment to get the Subaru looked at because the A/C no longer works. I thought we could tough it out, but even in Vermont the car gets very hot. No one likes driving on the highway with the windows down (I'm also afraid of someone tossing something out of the car. Now I suspect I understand the Mystery of the Lone Shoe on the side of road...).

The weather has finally been co-operating and we've been enjoying warmth and sun. Today looks like a rainy day and I have no idea what to do with two small kids on a rainy day. One, yes. Two, no. Sophia is not really into arts and crafts--unless you include their culinary value. I can only play so much hide and seek. Maybe I'll just go outside in the rain with them. We could adventure to the Montshire Science Museum but I am feeling a bit under the weather. It's an hour away and with two explorers, requires hardy and intense supervision. I was wondering when it would rain again. The ground is actually dry (was) and we can't have that!

I would like to get out of the house, though, because I really think something has died in the basement. I loved the idea of a basement as a kid. I have to say I'm over it.

Friday, June 30, 2006

What's Your Favorite Ben and Jerry's Flavor?

I thought it was going to be sunny today so I took the girls to the Ben and Jerry's factory. (I think the playground is the third picture, it's a short slideshow). They have a playground there (and, naturally, ice cream).

Fiona had the chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, Sophia had the (entire cone of!) triple caramel ice cream...and I had the key lime pie ice cream, which Fiona preferred to the chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. Sophia was a royal mess, but happy. I inevitably got chocolate caramel blobs on my fairly new shirt.

The playground is clean and stable and we had it all to ourselves for a while, then the big kids came, and my girls gravitated towards the sand box. It rained off and on while we were there, but it was still fun. With all the fracking rain we've been having, you'd think we'd at least see a rainbow today because of the bright sun mixed with copious amounts of rain!