Monday, October 29, 2007


Yesterday after church was over, I was trying, on my own, to get the girls organized and into the car. Yeah. That's pretty much like a herding a bunch of cats. They were running around, chasing each other and squealing, and at one point when I turned my head for a nanosecond, Elaine ended up in the pastor's study. (Let me just digress here a moment and say, this is why I have only two kids. That way there's one hand to grab each back of the collar.) I finally got them into their coats and I said to Lucy, "We need to find Dad. Do you know where he is?"

She gave a big, patient sigh and said, "I don't know, Mom. I'm sure he'll turn up."

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Weekly wrap-up

Last Thursday was Darren's birthday. He took the day off and got to take Lucy to swimming class for the first time in months. He hasn't seen her in this new class before--now she's out in the middle of the pool, getting real coaching. No more sitting on the shallow side of the pool, playing with toys and learning to put her face in the water. He had a class at night, so we ended up celebrating on Saturday. That could have been more fun than it was, honestly. We went to his favorite pizza place and had cake at our house afterward. But in order to accommodate everyone's schedules, we had to do it at noon instead of evening. That didn't really accommodate Elaine's schedule, so I spent most of the time at the restaurant, keeping her away from the table and letting her climb on the benches outside. He did enjoy his cake--Lucy picked out the design and decorated it.
If you can't already tell, it's a camping cake. The center is a pretzel campfire, there are some marshmallow/cereal trees, and frosted graham cracker sleeping bags (Daddy in the middle, Lucy and Elaine on either side. Lucy said, "But where are you, Mom?" and I said, "Upstairs--sleeping in my own bed.")
This week at school was community helper week. I basically consider these almost-weekly dress-up days as a thrown-down gauntlet to my creativity. I put Lucy in some cotton pants and a pajama top, with a stethoscope around her neck.

I think she looks very professional. She told everyone at school she was a nurse, just like Aunt Kimmie. (However to be honest, she did drag her feet on the way out the door and say, "I just don't like my costume very much." Seriously? I dream of being able to wear scrubs to work.)

Also this week was Elaine's first trip to the salon. As you can see, it was more than necessary.
[Note the wallpaper behind her head. She currently sleeps in our guestroom--when she is ready for a big girl bed, she and Lucy will share a room. We decided to redo the guestroom as soon as she's out of her crib. It was done by the previous owners; it was their teenage son's room. It's nice for a teenage boy but kind of dark for our taste. About a week or so again, Elaine began an independent project of stripping the wallpaper. Always trying to help her parents, that one.]

Here she is at the salon, reading a magazine. She instinctively knew to do that, I'm proud to say. She was particularly interested in an article featuring Queen Latifah called "Black Biker Chicks." She wasn't sure what to make of the haircut, but I let her sit on my lap throughout and she did a great job. Afterward, she said good-bye and blew kisses to the girls at the salon.
A blurry pic of girls with twin haircuts...A better shot, while eating a strawberry...

Those are the highlights of this week at the Daniels' house. Tuesday night I had dinner with Judy and Michele, Thursday night I had dinner with Sarah, and Friday I had lunch with Becky and Kathi. Consequently, I'll be eating cereal each meal for the next several days. And currently, it's Saturday morning, and I'm letting the girls watch The Muppet Show while I sit in my robe and write in my blog. That's a sentence I know my mother has never said!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I'm sure she is....

I recently ordered the unabridged version of "Betsy-Tacy" on CD for Lucy. She's been listening and enjoying, and today she showed me the cover and asked me "Who's that?"

I told her, "That's the lady who is reading the story to you."

"What's her name?"

"Let's see...her name is Sutton Foster." [I'm envious]

"Sutton FLOSS-ter? I don't like that name at all, Mom. But I'm sure she's a very nice person anyway."


Monday I had kind of a low day. I think I possibly read too many blogs--that might be what started it. I've always liked to take walks in the early evening when you can catch a glimpse into people's houses--they're getting supper ready or watching the news...It's fascinating to get a little look into other's people's lives. Blogs let you do that. I read some great ones. However, it seems that in addition to being great and funny writers, these women I read somehow homeschool all their children, sew all their clothes from vintage fabrics, knit, set up elaborate home organization and cooking systems to follow, take fabulous photos, dispense fashion advice, grow organic's so overwhelming. Then I tell myself, "But...Self! You work!" Yeah, I do. So do some of them. They're lawyers and professors and people obtaining their PhDs while I'm sitting at my desk sifting through 10th-grade science rubrics for hours on end, making sure the grammar and punctuation is correct. Then I go home and am so tired I give my kids Chex mix for dinner and let them watch Madeline.

Lately too Elaine has been waking up at night. I think she's napping too long and too late during the day (oh good. I get to shorten her naps!), and then by 2:30 a.m. she's ready to be up. It also could be the approximately 72 ounces of bathwater she ingests right before bedtime, so she's waterlogged and wants a change. Plus another drink so she can be waterlogged again by the true time to get up. So I'm dragging myself out of bed, changing her, then she commands, "Blanket. Rock." We get her blanket and settle ourselves in the rocking chair. I sit there in the dark, holding her dead weight on my lap. Then she'll bring her little face right up to me, push her nose against mine, smile her huge smile, and say "HI!" in her loud, raspy, chain-smoker's voice. Then she'll fling her arms around me, bury her face in my neck, and whisper to herself, "Mommy!"as she snuggles up to me as tight as she can.

Then as I sniff the little dandelion fluff that is her hair and rock her in the peaceful dark, I think, "I get this. I get her." And I think about those other women and go, so what? Whatever.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Garden Celebrity

I remember when Darren and I brought Lucy home from the hospital. I said to him, "Can you imagine that someday she'll have her own little personality? Someday she'll tell us what kind of ice cream she likes." It completely blew both our minds; we couldn't even imagine that.

Now, every two weeks in Mrs. Hogan's class, there is a new "garden celebrity." She sends a poster board home with the would-be celebrity and they (read: their mother) are supposed to make a collage of themself, which will then be posted in the classroom.

This is a project I can get behind. I stayed up late both Friday and Saturday night working on "our" poster. (I let Lucy help me color the fence.) Here's what we wrote:

"This is my house. I live there with my dad, my mom, my sister, Elaine, and Rabbie. I was born on June 7, 2003.
I love my sister. We like to read together, play dolls, and try on shoes."

"My favorite color is yellow."

"I love music! I love Selah, Keith Green, and Meredith Andrews. Elaine and I sing along to Strawberry Shortcake and Winnie-the-Pooh."

"I like to play dress-up."

"I love to swim."

"I like to drink tea every day. I have tea parties with my Manga."

"I like to play outside with Elaine. Best of all, I love to read! I have lots of favorites. I love 'Lyle, Lyle Crocodile.' I listen to books on CD, too."

"My dad and I go to baseball and football games. We like to take bike rides and stop for ice cream. We like to eat at Happy Joe's. My mom and I like to read and cook and sing hymns together. We take walks together, too."

"My favorite food is scones."
"This is me with Rabbie and Bittie as a flower girl at my Tia and Tio's wedding."
"I like to do art projects."
"I go to First Baptist Church. I go to Sunday School, Children's Church, and Kids4Truth. I like hearing Bible stories and singing best!"

"I'd like to be a cook. I can make poppyseed bread, banana bread, apple bread, cookies, and potato casserole. Rabbie likes to cook with me."

So...that's our little garden celebrity. I couldn't have imagined it...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Why, Si, si it is...

[last night before bedtime]

"Mom, do you want to know how to say 'I'm sorry' in Spanish?"

"Sure, how do you say 'I'm sorry' in Spanish?"

"It's 'Ioweyouanapology.'"