Tuesday, September 27, 2011


When I return from putting Abigail down for her nap, I love to find Elizabeth doing things like this:

Her foil-and-pencil boat really floats, and her rock is enjoying a lovely cruise around the toy bin.
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Monday, September 26, 2011


It's amazing how much kids learn in their first year of life, just from hanging around big people and watching what we do.
Today Abigail put on a toy baby carrier, headed for the door and yelled, "Go!"

You can't really tell in the picture, but with her left arm she's patting the monkey's back. Aww, look how she learned to care for her monkey.  It must be from all that great parenting we've done.

But she comes up with some of this stuff on her own, I swear!  We did not teach her this Flipping Monkey Upside Down move.  Well, I didn't anyway.
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fall, and That Summer List

Yeay, fall's here!  We're planning Halloween costumes and trips to the pumpkin patch and the older child is impatiently asking when it will start to snow.  (Answer:  December to never.  It varies.)

I thought it would be fun to check in on that summer list we made, and see what we actually did.  We ended up creating a separate handwritten list on the back of the door, often referred to by me and Betsy when fun was needing to be had.  So there are a few extra goodies here that weren't in the original post.

Things We Did:

pick fruit
travel to visit friends
explore Portland, Maine
swim at the pool
swim at the beach
go for walks after dinner
work in the garden
visit some local Civil War sites for the 150th
walk to the library
volunteer with the big girl
learn to make jam
go to the dog park to throw a frizbee
learn to make pickles
go bike riding
have a playdate at the house
go camping
see dinosaur bones
go to a movie
go to Theatre in the Woods (we got rained out, but at least we tried)
go to Ikea and get a new light for Betsy's room, to replace the one from which she swung
have pictures taken of the girls
get a new swimsuit for Becca

Things We Didn't Do:

find the magic laundry elves.  Dang!
finally get the house picked up. We got part of the house picked up, part of the time, does that count?
fix the sewing machine
play Cat in the Hat.  To be honest, I don't know what this means.
go to the Weems-Botts museum.  I want to see the Weeeeems!
make a hula hoop
make slippers
visit ReStore

Maybe we should start a list of fun things to do in the winter!

Friday, September 23, 2011


Bowl by me, the best piece from that pottery class I took right after grad school.

There are some foods that are so quick and easy to make, I wonder why I bought them ready-made for so long. Hummus is one of those foods. It literally takes seconds; just throw a few ingredients in the blender. We make it all the time now. Including for snack on this rainy morning.


1 can chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, grated. Or two, if you're feeling really zesty.

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. I usually have to stop the blender a few times and scrape it with a spatula to make sure all the chick peas are pureed.

Serve with pita bread or veggie sticks. Or if you're Abigail, just eat it with a spoon.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

The First Stream of the Little Fishy in Maine

The First Stream of the Little Fishy in Maine

by Betsy (mostly) and Rebecca (a little)

Me and my mommy and daddy and sister were in a submarine. And me, Betsy. And we didn't see the fishy.

There was a big storm at our house in Maine because we were at the beach together.

That was fun, because me and my sissy had fun playing in the waves. Can't you imagine playing at that kind of thing?

The little fishy did not know what to do so I ran back home to the bathroom and got my bucket and got it full of water and then I quickly got the fishy because there was a big wave coming at it. I got it right in time. And I got its family and the baby. And then we got in our car and we went back home to put the fish in the fish tank.

I saw a stream, the first little stream that I have ever seen in my whole life. I got my dad's net and I filled the bucket with water and my dad helped me to get the lid off the fish tank. And then I [on back of page] got out the door quickly before it rained. I put the fishy in the first little stream.

I hope you enjoyed this book.

The End.

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Monday, September 19, 2011


Author's note:

I often compose a post in my head throughout the day, and jot down bits of it if I can steal a few minutes of computer time here and there.  Some days it takes me many hours to actually finish the post.

And some days, while I am getting the baby to nap, someone else in my house clicks on things, e-mails jibberish to my friends (sorry if you got one of those today), opens a bunch of annoying ads, and hits the tempting orange "post now" button long before I'm done writing the post.  Someone who has been told, repeatedly, not to touch the computer without asking.  The same someone who was told not to play with a jar today and who cut her finger on said jar, then spent an hour fussing about the band-aid placement.

That someone is now in time out.  But I'm so cranky now that I don't even have the patience to go back and finish the original post.  

I think I need the lemon-scented one today.


Is someone in your house cranky?  Teething?  Generally irascible?

Then you need Fuss-B-Gone(TM)!

Yes, patented Fuss-B-Gone quickly and easily solves all of your fussing problems.  This light spray comes in three scents--lemon, mint, and chocolate chip cookie--and instantly soothes the savage beasts in your life.

But don't take our word for it!

Four Year Old Before Fuss-B-Gone:  I HATE this donut you gave me, Dad!  The sprinkles are the wrong color and there aren't enough!  I'm going to fling myself down in the street and have a tantrum now.

Four Year Old After Fuss-B-Gone:  Wow, thank you for this donut!  I can't wait to eat it right after I finish my peas and clear my plate.  Can I get you anything while I'm up, Dad?

Isn't it amazing?  Who cares what the price is, you need this now!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Some Things We Liked in Portland

More vacation photos from Maine! Also, some links.

Deering Oaks Park with good friends Angela and Dahlia. This was the day after the hurricane/tropical storm (whatever it was at that point) passed through, and it was sunny and absolutely gorgeous.

Exploring downtown to find lunch, the wee ones needed a rest.

Some fun things we found:

Yummy food with harbor view at the Dogfish Bar and Grille.

Too much fun at Knit Wit. But the yarns were so pretty, and the people so helpful. Besides, I've already finished mittens and a scarf from one of the yarns... and I'm sure I'll get to that sweater for myself soon.

Honey sampling and an up-close view of how the bees make honey (and how we get it out of the hive) at The Honey Exchange. The owner was wonderful with the kids and happily answered our many questions (like why bobby pins?).

I can't imagine why we liked Silly's so much. Its' not our kind of place at all.

Plus they had lots of allergy-friendly options, and big juicy cups of sangria, so there was that.

Reading with Nannie Pepper while waiting for our food to arrive.
Bug Light Park at sunset. It's across the river in South Portland, with some pretty views of the city.

Lovely, isn't it?

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First Day of FOURS

By Betsy

I liked my first classroom of the fours, because I made a new friend, and she was with me for a while. We're best friends. And this was not like the three-year-old class because everyone got to have a job. My job was to do the calendar. We first counted it, and then I got to put up the next number. I love my best friend because we first finished up filling up our buckets when we came back on the playground. I found a really pretty one because it was star-shaped and it was golden.

Daddy and Mommy and sissy dropped me off at school. I love, love, love my school because it's the best school in the whole wide world.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

The Smaller is the More Precious

The nice thing about candy from the H-Mart is that you can learn while you snack.

My Assorted Candy Fruits Stick informs me that, "The mind of that we always consider the smaller is the more precious."

Of course.
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rainy Week, Day 2

In which it was too wet to even walk out to the car to go to the library.

We made gingerbread cookies. Who says they're just for Christmas? Or that the frosting must stay on the cookies?

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Getting to Know Your Preschooler

The questionnaire the preschool should have sent home. A collaborative mother/preschooler effort.

If given the opportunity to decorate a room, which of the following would your child choose? Check all that apply:
A real unicorn
A bag of muddy water
Cat food
A star light
Lots of pictures of family
A giant slide
A car

Which of the following would your preschooler like on her or his sandwich? Check all that apply:
A pen
A cookie
Hot dogs
Milk and orange juice
Plain bread only
Sandwich? I wish. My kid only eats ___________.

Please name all of your child's imaginary friends, enemies, siblings, children, students, etc. Circle the ones with whom your child is current happy. Draw a black square around the ones with whom your child is currently unhappy/fighting. Use back of sheet if necessary.

Your child's interests/talents: baking dirt cakes__ singing to animals__ getting into other people's makeup__ puzzles__ asking why__ snack time__ going to bed__ feigning illness or injury__ domination of siblings__ making siblings laugh at inappropriate times (i.e. in church, during critical conversation at doctor's office)__ building elaborate cities__ caring for dolls__ riding bike or scooter__ performance art__

When is your child's birthday? Recognizing that plans may change daily, what does he or she want to do for his or her party? What did he or she want to do yesterday?

Similarly, noting that this will likely change, as of today, what does your child wish to be for Halloween?

Which of the following is your child begging to have as a pet?
Shark or Shark With Lasers
Dancing Underpants

Your child has been asked to pack a bag for a day at the beach. Which of the following would she or he not include in this bag?
Bag of small princesses
Snow boots
Slightly smooshed banana
Flip flops
Several heavy books
A sassy scarf

Is there anything else you think we should know about your child? What would your child have us know about you?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


The home we rented in South Portland was a mere half mile walk from lovely Willard Beach, where we spent many happy hours searching for treasures among the waves and tide pools.

Abigail, who dipped her toes in the Atlantic for the first time, was instantly smitten. Salt water in the veins must be hereditary, because this child had no fear of the chilly Maine water.

She also had no fear of squishy mollusks.

Betsy really liked the hermit crabs, especially when they tickled our feet. A plastic cup became a handy tool for examining a hermit crab up close.

What wonderful summer days.

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