Friday, June 17, 2011

Biology Is Hard

Explaining a potential adoption to preschoolers is not for the faint of heart. Atticus continues to ask lots of questions about when our new baby/babies will join the family and he's very frustrated that we can't provide a concrete answer. He's not at all on board with the idea of adopting only one baby and provided the following plan: "My tummy could get bigger and Norah's tummy could get bigger and then we could have two babies."

Yesterday as we were walking out the door to swim class, he dropped the age-old question: "How does a baby get into a mommy's tummy?" Caught off guard, I gave him the timeless chestnut involving mommies, daddies, and special hugs and he seemed satisfied with that answer. Until tonight that is, when he was asking more questions about our new baby. "Will Papa give you a special hug to make the baby in Ethiopia? Will he give a special hug to the baby's Ethiopian mommy? Could you call the nice people at Toukoul [the care center where Atticus and Norah resided in Ethiopia] and tell them about the special hug so they can know and we can bring our new baby home?"

Oh. My. Goodness.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Start of Summer

In all honesty, it always seems to take us about a week of vacation to find our groove. The kids enjoy having the extra time with me, but it's hard for them to have a disruption to their routine. Both of them are missing school terribly right now and they don't really understand the concept of summer break. Added to this is the fact that all four of us came down with a cold on Monday.
It's been a slightly grumpy few days, but at least I anticipated that based on vacations of the past.

I always find it to be a slight shock to the system to realize how many activities it takes to fill a full day spent alone with young children. On Tuesday, we made muffins, read books, colored, picked strawberries in the garden and played in the yard, I cleaned out some kitchen cabinets while the kids watched more TV than I care to admit, we dropped a bag off at Goodwill, deposited our books at the library, went to the farmers market, attended swimming class, came home and had lunch and then quiet time. And then it was 1:30 in the afternoon. As I said, it takes us awhile to get our groove.

On a happier note, I'm so excited about some of the extra mobility we'll have this summer. Four and almost-four are awesome ages and there are so many new activities that we'll be able to enjoy. Case in point: Riding bikes. We live on a busy street and this is the first summer that I've felt comfortable with the kids' ability to follow directions and heed warnings about the danger of traffic well enough to take both of them out on their tricycles by myself. They just recently learned to pedal and we had a great time riding around the neighborhood today.

For the past several months, the kids have gotten in the habit of skipping their naps on the weekends and conspiring to play together during our enforced quiet time. We've let it slide because they've always cooperated so nicely together and it seemed like great bonding time. The past couple of afternoons, however, they've both been a total mess and today's debacle was making me feel as though I was going to lose my mind. I announced that we were going to the library at which point Norah sobbed even harder, whipped off her underpants, and declared that I couldn't make her go (the underpants apparently symbolizing a necessity for entering civilized company). Luckily, I still outweigh her by quite a bit, so panties were reapplied and kids were strapped into their carseats. By the time I reached the bottom of our street, this is what I saw in the backseat:
I drove to a Starbucks in the next town, went through the drive-thru, and spent the next half hour in the sweet silence of the car before proceeding onto the library. The rest of the afternoon was a lot better and I'm sure our summer will be too!

Friday, June 10, 2011

A New York Times Article about Natural Hair

For African-Americans, "Going Natural" Requires Lots of Help

This article has some great links to websites for women of color who choose not to relax their hair. Awesome!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Some things we've heard in our house:

Atticus: Are we going to drive to Camp or take an airplane?
Me: We're going to drive.
Atticus: Oh no! We can't drive because Papa's P.O.S. can't get us to Camp! (further probing uncovered the fact that he was referring to Paul's G.P.S.)

Me: Norah, what happened to your eye (pointing to a tiny fingernail-shaped scratch on her eyelid)?
Norah: A big tiger named Magatease came and he BITED me and I said, "No! No! Magatease! Bad tiger!" and then I put him outside in the yard and shoved him into a molehole, but Magatease was too big for the hole and he didn't fit. So then I turned him into a squirrel and pushed him down in the hole and that was the end of Magatease.

Atticus: Mama, Mrs. V (his teacher) was wearing a new dress today and she looked so gorgeous! Someday, when I'm a lot older, like five or ten, can I take some money and buy her a flower and give it to her?

Norah: I have to wear sunglasses so that the sun can't see me.

  • I caught the kids trying to cooperatively lift the toilet off of the floor this evening.

  • Atticus was found recently using a bottle opener to try to pry open the babylock on our kitchen cabinet that still holds Easter candy.

  • The children found a box of Band-Aids after they were supposed to be in bed tonight and had applied the entire box to their bodies. On the bright side, this assuages some of our worry about Norah's fine motor skills. She was pretty good at opening all those wrappers! When I asked how they got into the bathroom (it was locked with a hook-and-eye lock at the top of the outside of the door), Atticus replied, "Oh, it wasn't a problem Mom. I just built a stool out of books."

  • Last night, Paul was playing a game he calls "College Fund" where the kids are supposed to try to pry open his fist to retrieve a quarter. He ceded when Atticus held his wrist firmly while Norah came running out of the kitchen with a fork and a big grin.

  • We've been having discussions with Atticus about real emergencies because for a while he had a tendency to yell, "Emergency! Help! Help! I'm in trouble!" out his bedroom window whenever he wanted us to come up to his room.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Favorite Place

The Artists at Work

The figure in the middle is "Mama in her bathing suit." Obviously.
A family portrait by Norah. It's kind of like an ultrasound photo from early in someone's pregnancy when you just nod and say, "Right, of course that's a person." And then you hope that you're holding it right-side up.

Proof that the kids aren't quite ready to be trusted alone with their markers

Making her own pizza - There was much disappointment when I said that we would not be spinning the pizza dough above our heads.

Backyard Agains

Pretending to be lifeguards (note the imaginary whistle in Norah's mouth)

The road the kids were digging now sometimes becomes a canal. The sight (and dirt all over) makes me cringe a little, but it keeps them occupied for hours.

breakfast Popsicles made from blueberries, yogurt, and spinach