As you can probably tell from the syntax, that’s Rory talking. Earlier this week, Lily had a friend over, and Wy went to said friend’s house to play with her brother, leaving Rory at somewhat of a loose end. At least she thought so. I was working on a promised Strollerderby post at the kitchen counter. She came and lay under my barstool. She crawled up and sat in the stool next to me, fingering the fruit in the bowl. […]
It’s fall. You’ve probably noticed…not that the weather feels particularly fallish, and not that the leaves are changing, etc., but once the kids go back to school it’s fall, and the last of my kids goes back to school Wednesday. And I am once again realizing that as they go back, I go back too. Not back to work–I’ve been working all summer, in a failing effort to do every bit as much as I did during the school year […]
Thanks everyone! I appreciate the comments a lot. I was hoping for help! We do, we just have a bunch of things that don’t add up. Auditory processing sounds very worth researching. She literally does not process much of our speech beyond the first words or commands. Does the expected thing in any situation (brushes her teeth and puts on pjs when told, near bedtime, to go up and get a towel and her pajamas and come back down for […]
Just in case you don’t remember what my office looks like, let me post a small refresher photo: It’s probably worse now. I’ve added a small collection of office-related Christmas gifts, a couple of children’s book publishers catalogs, Rosetta Stone: French and a jar of peanut butter. And an unused pull-upâ€”pretty sure that wasn’t here beforeâ€”and assorted additional bits of paper. I have lots of assorted bits of paper. And an empty cookie box and a box of gallon-sized zip […]
A little office cleaning, as I’ve said before, is clearly in order: It is more than a little hard to type on this laptop. New plan: Step one: clear everything off the desk! Step two: Enjoy new work surface. Step three: Don’t turn around. New Office Cleaning Technique
“No!” Wyatt stood in our hallway, feet in his socks firmly planted on the floor. “No. I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to stay here!” Yesterday, I brought Rory and Wyatt home for about an hour before picking Lily and Sam up from school. I’d meant for us to stay out–but they were so awful, so whiny and obnoxious to me and to one another, that we ran one errand, abandoned the plan for coffee and treats (with a rousing […]
When next I post, it will no doubt be a picture–and it will surely be a happy picture, because we are off to the Happiest Place On Earth ™! Actually, is that right? We’re going to Disneyworld, anyway. The Happiest Place On Earth ™ might be Disneyland. Or somewhere else. I forget. But we’re off to Orlando. And I do expect there will be plenty of happiness, although I’m not fool enough to expect nonstop joy or even a day […]
This has never happened to me before, and I’m so happy that it waited until I was ready. Last night, Guo Ji Mama and I were at her son’s lacrosse game on our local fields. We ate a picnic from the Mexican place, left most of our respective broods happily playing in the park and sauntered over to sort of semi-watch the game. After a while, a largish blonde woman approached. “Are zose your kids alone in ze playground?” she […]
What’s in a name? Everything. Every thought your parents had about who you might be. A goodly dose of who your father’s family was, and possibly, depending on your circumstances, your mother’s as well. If you’re adopted, what’s in a name? Maybe everything, maybe nothing. Casually (as in the non-legal name you’d give, say, a gymnastics class), Rory’s name says nothing much about her except that she’s the child of two people who liked the name Rory. Her name is […]
I have a really awful cough. It’s a really awful contagious cough, because Lily had it first, and now I have it. But it’s worse for me, because I have given birth four times (once things went very badly), and when I cough… well, let’s just say I really don’t like to cough. Every night for the past couple of nights, I’ve been taking this Mucinex stuff to loosen things up, with a cough suppressant too, so I don’t wake […]
I need help. Rory has been with us now for two years and two months. And she came speaking English–about 2-year-old English. Her language is still behind in some expected ways–she struggles with “he” and “she” and verb tenses–and that’s cool. She gets speech therapy for that, and for leaving off the final consonants of all her words (speech therapy doubles as ESL in her case, since its not really her second language–they know the history and work with it). […]
Who doesn’t like to be pursued and desirable? No one! Pay attention to me! Chase me! Want me! I just wish my children wouldn’t take it so literally. Wyatt has a friend over–actually, it would be more accurate to say that both Wyatt and Rory have a friend over. A very good friend. Always a success. Rory wants him to chase her. When he does chase her, she will run and shriek NO! NO! She will dodge. She may even […]
This weekend, our family of six will load up, head to the medical center, and wait in line for our flu shots. It will be at least our sixth annual such journey, and a funny thing has happened along the way: the kids have embraced the whole thing. Not just because they don’t want to get the flu. I’m obviously a believer in the shot, even understanding its limitations. The vaccine’s effectiveness depends on the match between the influenza viruses […]
On Motherlode at the end of this week: I was thinking that my idea to allow kids more “screen time” on the computer if they were doing creative things instead of just playing, as one commenter said, addictinggames.com was a good one–but most people are still arguing for full limits or none. And what I liked best about the New York Times Magazine’s “Homeschooling Anarchist Parents” article this week was the mother’s unabashed embracing of a parenting style I thought […]
New Family Members Originally uploaded by kjda The lady I got our kitten from assured me, a novice cat owner, that all kittens come with a free companion poodle. In retrospect I can see that this must not be true, but here we are. So far, it’s the calmest transition our house has ever seen… but then, we’ve been through some doozies.
I’m beyond thrilled about the Motherlode Book Club reading Anne and Sam Lamott’s Some Assembly Required, and ditto for the opportunity to interview them both, for a short video to be posted on the Motherlode blog. I’ve always loved Anne Lamott’s work. This follow-up to Operating Instructions is fascinating: her son had a son. At nineteen. There are so many questions to ask them both about that that the mind boggles. (The mind also notes repeated use of that in […]
1. It’s an excellent way to acquire beach towels. 2. Ditto assorted children’s clothing and swimwear. 3. Bleach and Borax are cheaper than pool chemicals. 4. Apply before pool party, not after. 5. I don’t know where your goggles are. I don’t know where anyone’s goggles are. 6. Mmmm, pool water beats toilet water any day (that’s from our dogs). 7. Bacardi piÃ±a coladas are the way to go. 8. Am never leaving my house again. At least not this […]
Do you do what you need to, what you choose to, or what you’re meant to—and does the difference matter?
Here are the books I read and liked, and why, in no particular order, for November.
Your future drivers are watching. Spring is Driver’s Ed season in New England, and my oldest child starts next week. But there’s one thing about driving that I’ve been teaching him for years: It’s not compatible with mobile phones. If you aren’t putting that phone aside while you drive already, start doing it now, in a big, loud, pointed way. “I’m putting my phone in my bag because I’m driving!” you should say. “I’m not answering my phone even on […]
In honor of the fall cooking season, I’ve got two food-related memoirs this week. Growing up torn between a sugar-loving German baker and a spice-loving Arab dad, the author was bound to learn to cook. This is the story of how she reconciled those two very flamboyant, and very different, personalities within herself. Girl cooks in crazy prestigious NYC kitchens and then moves to rural off-the-grid Minnesota? That’s a story I wanted […]
Hand-dipped chocolate-covered Peeps eaten: 3 (1 pink, 2 yellow) (yellow are better) Words added to novel: 1,125 Children who had annual physical: 2 Milkshakes purchased to make up for shots received at annual physical: 1 Texts sent to Jess and Sarina:15 Texts sent, other: 26 Emails sent: 22, not counting misc replies within conversations or those sent via magical phone Children driven to or picked up from school, sports or activities: 6 (2 more than once, 1 not mine) Children […]
Reading David Sedaris—and particularly his new book of essays, Calypso —is reading about family, about families of origin and families of choice and how they shape us. And to read Calypso is to understand that that shaping can take a thousand forms—more—and still result in adults. Functional adults who still have relationships with those families of origin, even when they were arguably less than ideal by today’s standards. Outsiders might feel differently, but I think David Sedaris would tell you his […]
It wouldn’t be quite accurate to say that KJ Dell’Antonia and Jessica Lahey are winging it. Both women pull out pages of notes as they meet in a hastily tidied upstairs office in Dell’Antonia’s sprawling, well-appointed farmhouse to record the latest episode of their podcast. Both, too, are distinguished writers who know their way around an interview.
Still, there’s a sense of breezy spontaneity in the room, a feeling that unrestrained curiosity is in the driver’s seat, as they chat via Skype with Ruth Franklin, author of Shirley Jackson, A Rather Haunted Life, on a recent Friday afternoon.
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I do own an iron. We do. Also an ironing board, with a fetching blue and white checked cover (I think. I would have to check, as it’s been a while since I’ve seen it. I’m not actually sure where it is, but I think I could find it. There aren’t that many places to keep an ironing board, after all. They’re quite large.) So I do. Own an iron. Which means that I could iron something. I think it’s […]
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Yesterday we ate lunch in the grocery store cafe. My planned lunch: an avocado roll and some sliced pineapple. The lunch I ended up eating: 1/2 box of chocolate-flavored graham crackers shaped like bunnies in the car on the way home. Wyatt had to be nursed, Lily had to sit in my lap and unroll the avocado from the rice and squish it and I had to be constantly vigilant so that my over-stimulated spawn didn’t run the other eaters […]
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Other than that, all I have to say tonight is, why am I still awake? I’m feeling quite low. It’s evident that Lily has pinkeye, which will necessitate an hour and a half excursion to the doctor, as they no longer just take my word for it (or anyone’s; it’s not like I’m some sort of pinkeye boy who cried wolf). It’s like a giant, ugly conspiracy to keep me from writing. Which I’m evidently a part of, as here […]
No, not the fact that I am posting actual text blog entries twice in one day. Rob is out of town. This is night two of my three day solo. I had no babysitting today–which is to say, I had five hours of babysitting in order to allow me to ski with Lily and then sit with her in the ski lodge and wait for Sam. I had no free time today, how’s that. But we got through dinner and […]
The three and I flew from Boston to Dallas today. It’s a four hour flight, but came in at 5 1/2 (plus) due to 1) delay on the ground but in the plane because of storms and 2) no gate when we finally DID land. And you know what? It was fine. Sam and Wyatt sat in the row in front of Lily and I. Wy napped for the first hour or so after takeoff (that would be hour 2 […]
Duplicates, I know–I had some trouble uploading. Ok, if all those swabs come back negative, I’ll be the best quarantine mother ever. I will make paper dolls, I will build card houses, I will teach sam to play chess. I will be 100% present, I swear. We will know in an hour. If anyone is positive, it’s more quarantine for everyone, and the hospital for the positive person. The embassy has said they will intervene to make sure an adult […]