Tuesday, September 28, 2010

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Bedtime Sillies

Sometimes they disappear at bedtime.

Other days, there's time for one more game.

The Chocolate Fairy

Did you know that there's a magical fairy who sometimes leaves an M&M under the pillows of children who sleep all night in their own beds without fussing to get into Mama and Papa's bed? Things have gotten a little wacky around here regarding sleep lately, and the Chocolate Fairy made a blessed appearance to *ahem* motivate the children to stay in their own beds.
Answers to some questions you may have:

"But what is the Chocolate Fairy's name?" Princess Chocolate Sleep Fairy
"What does she look like?" She has wings and a beautiful princess dress.
"Mama, how does the Chocolate Fairy get into our house? Through the door?" I don't know. It's magic.
"How does the Chocolate Fairy know if I sleep all night in my own bed? Do you email her?" I don't know. She's magical.
"I need to open my window so that I can hear the Chocolate Fairy, okay?" Uh...

Norah was so delighted to find the M&M under her pillow that, after running in to show it to Paul, she immediately got back in her bed and tried to go to sleep again so that the fairy could make a repeat visit. Please note that last night was the first night in two weeks that she stayed in her own bed. We love you Chocolate Fairy?

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Atticus: But Mama, how does the sun know when to get up? Does it have an alarm clock?

Earlier in the day
Norah: What are we going to do today?
Paul (lying on the floor): Let's go to the grocery store.
Norah: Open your mouth.
Paul: Okay. Ahhh...
Norah: [spits in her father's mouth, at which point I try to stop convulsing with laughter long enough to tell her that the behavior is not acceptable]

Oh, three-year-olds. They're so much fun and, in the interest of full disclosure, so challenging. They're hilarious and creative and so full of life, even though it sometimes feels like they're aging Paul and I before our time.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Attempted Chicknapping

We took a little trip to the Brookfield Zoo today. Norah fell in love with a tiny chick that a volunteer was letting the children pet. She lingered petting it and trying to hug it for nearly ten minutes before we led her away against her will. A bit later, when she thought I was distracted, she bolted from the next exhibit and went running back to "her" chick and tried to take it out of the volunteer's hand before I could reach her. The girl knows what she wants. Thankfully, she didn't injure the chicken by loving it too much. No harm, no fowl.

Watermelon Success

I don't know if they were supposed to be this little, but the kids deemed them delicious and I therefore consider our first crop of (two) homegrown watermelons to be a triumph.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Their First Day of School


Excitement: the feeling of lively and cheerful joy
Today was finally the day. The kids were indeed very lively and full of joy. I took a personal day so that I wouldn't miss out on the occasion and everyone woke up full of anticipation. After a few minor hiccups (Atticus deeming his handsome collared shirt to be "terrible" and his motorcycle T-shirt to be "more cozy"), we were off.

Norah found her locker right away and was delighted to find out that breakfast is a part of the morning routine at school. She happily accepted a bowl of cereal and was fine with kissing me goodbye. When I last peeked in, she was wandering around the room looking happy with the situation.
The principal led Atticus to his classroom while I was getting Norah situated. When I checked in five minutes later, he was already hard at work looking completely unfazed by the new environment. He gave me a distracted kiss and said he'd see me later.

This is what I wanted, right? For them to head off to school joyfully without any trepidation?
It still makes me want to cry a little bit.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Adoption Talk

We tell Atticus and Norah their adoption stories frequently. They each have little books from kodak.com that have pictures relating to their adoption along with the script we generally follow. At three, frankly, they don't really understand it at all. Norah insists that she was born in Bonga like Atticus because jumping up and down while yelling "Dessie" just isn't as much fun as jumping around while yelling "Bonga!" Some recent conversations:

I got out a box of baby clothes to sort through before a garage sale.
Atticus: Look, Mama! Clothes from when we were babies! When we were adopted!
Me: That's right Sweetie! You and Norah were babies when we adopted you!
Norah: (struggles valiently to cram her body into a 6-9 month outfit) Look at me Mama! I'm adopted again!
Atticus: (gets out a baby outfit for himself) I want to be adopted again too!

At three o'clock this morning as he sat on the toilet:
Atticus: Mama, I was sad before I was adopted.
Me: You were? Why were you sad? (Thinking: Wow, I did not expect to have our first meaningful Atticus-directed discussion about his adoption at three in the morning in the bathroom. Is it too early for coffee? Too late for wine?)
Atticus: Because I didn't have a big toilet. I only had a little potty.
Me: No, babe, you wore diapers. Your Ethiopian mommy changed your diapers and then when you went to live at Toukoul the nannies changed your diapers. Then after we adopted you, Mama and Papa changed your diapers because you were still a baby.
Atticus: No, I didn't have a big toilet in Ethiopia before I was adopted. Just a little potty.

Clearly, we still have a ways to go before our work here is done.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Why Does Anybody Spend Money on Toys?

The weather report promised that we would finally see some significant rain this afternoon. That didn't happen, but the kids made sure that the yard got at least a sprinkling of water.