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.