Thursday, November 10, 2016

some not-so-light reading

That I should come out of a blogging hiatus to post twice in two days about politics -- how strange!  And yet, here I sit.  

I followed this election cycle, from the primaries through Tuesday's election, with interest, but somehow I am perhaps even more intrigued now that it's all over than I was before.  Maybe the fact that I could have called it all so incorrectly is part of what now has me so very interested in understanding more.  (Maybe the fact that a lot of the time leading up to the election found me sleeping every moment I could, in the haze of the first trimester, and now I find myself with a little more energy, also factors into it!)

I posted yesterday some thoughts upon waking up the morning after the election to the news that Donald Trump would be our next president.  You could have knocked me over with a feather.  I thought I knew how this nation would vote; it turns out, I was within an echo chamber of sorts.  Having been against Donald Trump for his character (or lack thereof) and equally against Hillary, I voted third party and of course, read a lot of articles from others making the same choice.  I truly thought this was the year for third party votes to skyrocket, and I was excited about it!  (I wasn't the only one who thought this way.)  I also read a lot and heard a lot from my friends who were voting for Hillary.  In the meantime, I could count on my two hands the number of people I knew voting for Trump.  Was I foolish enough to think this was a representation of the entire nation?  No, but... maybe a little bit?

Today I'm just sharing a few links that I found fascinating as I think about all of this.

+ + +

From a Bernie supporter: Dear Democrats, Read This if You Do Not Understand Why Trump Won.
"I took it upon myself to understand Trump, and his supporters. What I found was millions of great Americans who had been disenfranchised, normal people like you and I, who did not recover from the Great Recession. They’re pissed off about Obama Care, endless wars, trade deals that have killed jobs, higher taxes, a rigged economy–and, they are not wrong."

+ + +

A really well-written piece, quite enjoyable to read: Millions of Americans Support Donald Trump.  Here's Why. by Thomas Frank
"This gold-plated buffoon has in turn drawn the enthusiastic endorsement of leading racists from across the spectrum of intolerance, a gorgeous mosaic of haters, each of them quivering excitedly at the prospect of getting a real, honest-to-god bigot in the White House.  All this stuff is so insane, so wildly outrageous, that the commentariat has deemed it to be the entirety of the Trump campaign. Trump appears to be a racist, so racism must be what motivates his armies of followers."
"But there is another way to interpret the Trump phenomenon. A map of his support may coordinate with racist Google searches, but it coordinates even better with deindustrialization and despair, with the zones of economic misery that 30 years of Washington’s free-market consensus have brought the rest of America."

+ + +

"The American white-collar class just spent the year rallying around a super-competent professional (who really wasn’t all that competent) and either insulting or silencing everyone who didn’t accept their assessment. And then they lost. Maybe it’s time to consider whether there’s something about shrill self-righteousness, shouted from a position of high social status, that turns people away."
+ + +

A really interesting piece by a Sanders supporter with facts on immigration, crime, and what Trump has actually said: The media needs to stop telling this lie about Donald Trump.

+ + +

An interesting perspective from David Bahnsen, a voice on the right: The Day After, What it All Means, and Where We Go From Here

"You cannot call every single person you disagree with on perfectly reasonable issues a racist, sexist, and homophobe, and them expect people to take you seriously when a real demagogue enters the fray.  The left’s hysteria and lack of charity with those they disagree with for years has led to a credibility deficit.  I find Trump’s behavior towards women and comments about Hispanics revolting, but when I see the left say to choose love not hate (in opposing Trump), I think they fail to see how utterly hateful they have been towards God-fearing non-hateful sincere Americans for years.  I don’t agree with the punishment, but the reality is that too many middle Americans were tired of being insulted so unfairly, and took it out on the other side by voting Trump."

+ + +

From the Washington Post, an article by an associate university professor: Trump Won Because College-Educated Americans Are Out of Touch

"The most important divide in this election was not between whites and non-whites. It was between those who are often referred to as “educated” voters and those who are described as “working class” voters.  The reality is that six in 10 Americans do not have a college degree, and they elected Donald Trump.  College-educated people didn't just fail to see this coming -- they have struggled to display even a rudimentary understanding of the worldview of those who voted for Trump.  This is an indictment of the monolithic, insulated political culture in the vast majority of our alleges and universities."

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Written back in January; read it now.  This ought to give every single one of us pause, I think: The 'Other Side' Is Not Dumb
"When someone communicates that they are not “on our side” our first reaction is to run away or dismiss them as stupid. To be sure, there are hateful, racist, people not worthy of the small amount of electricity it takes just one of your synapses to fire. I’m instead referencing those who actually believe in an opposing viewpoint of a complicated issue, and do so for genuine, considered reasons. Or at least, for reasons just as good as yours."

"Sharing links that mock a caricature of the Other Side isn’t signaling that we’re somehow more informed. It signals that we’d rather be smug assholes than consider alternative views. It signals that we’d much rather show our friends that we’re like them, than try to understand those who are not."

+ + +

And finally, a nice reminder that the world isn't ending from John Mark Reynolds: Wonderful to Be an American in 2016.   Yes.  Our elections are free and fair.  We have a system of checks and balances.  We have a peaceful transfer of power.  We should not take these things for granted!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

election ramblings


I'm trying to process what I watched unfolding last night, and finally, what I awakened to this morning -- that our country has elected Donald J. Trump to be the next President.

After a streak of calling every election outcome correctly since '96 (just luck, I suppose!), I was totally wrong this time.  I believed that Hillary would win by a landslide.  I believed that she was a horrible candidate, but believed Trump was even worse and had spent his campaign continuing to sabotage himself in ways from which he could not recover.  Obviously, I was wrong.

Maybe I was just living in the echo chamber of my own demographic, despite the fact that I tried to learn and understand more about the voters who were rallying around Trump.  

I am one of the relatively small percentage of voters that voted third party.  I truly hoped that third party candidates would receive significantly more support this year; that all the #nevertrump and #neverhillary voters would put their money where their mouths were and send a strong message that we could and should demand better candidates of the two major parties.  I knew that by voting third party (despite the fact that I live in such a decidedly blue state that I knew my third party vote was not going to change the outcome of MA's electoral votes) opened myself up to criticism from both sides: to a Hillary supporter, "a third party vote is a vote for Trump," and, of course, vice-versa.  Still, after carefully considering all the factors, I felt compelled to vote my conscience in this way.  I even naively hoped (although not expected) to see both candidates fall short of the 270 electoral votes required, and to see the election thrown to the House.  If ever it could happen, it could have happened this year, I thought, when so many voters from both major parties felt disenfranchised and un-represented by their party's candidate.

I have no doubt that most of my friends - college educated people who hold one or more degree, many of whom live in Boston or California - will claim that Trump won the election because America is, at heart, a racist, sexist, misogynistic country.  I am certainly disheartened that Trump will be our president, but I am not convinced by this form of anti-Trump rhetoric.   I am not willing to say that "deplorables" elected this man solely because they are ill-educated, racist xenophobes.  Perhaps I will be proved wrong in the coming months and years, but I do not believe that 50% of our nation consists of these kinds of citizens.  Perhaps a saddening 10% or so of people really stood behind Trump and loved all that he stood for and did, but I think a majority of voters who elected Trump fell into different categories.

It seems to me that - if the admittedly few Trump supporters I know personally are representative at least - that the reasons people had for voting for him were one of the following:

1) Hillary Clinton was a terrible candidate.  So was Donald Trump, but the Democratic party overestimated Hillary's ability to outperform him nevertheless.  Hillary was corrupt; so was Trump, and voters felt they had to decide between "the lesser of two evils" - a phrase we all heard a lot during this election cycle.

2) Policies and party platforms.  Despite the fact that we had little reason to believe either candidate would deliver on the platform promises they made, voters who had traditionally voted for conservative government values fell in line and voted for the candidate promising at least some of the values they held dear.

3) SCOTUS.   The election ended up being unusual in that it became not about two major figureheads and personalities, but ultimately about the Supreme Court nominations each candidate promised.  I read many articles by conservatives advocating that their readers vote for Trump for this reason and this reason alone, even if they had to "hold their noses" to do so.

4) A desire to "see the government turned upside down."  Get the career politicians out.   Mix things up in the White House.  Hillary, with all her experience in politics, represented "the system," and the Trump campaign somehow managed to turn his lack of experience to his advantage.

5) And possibly most of all - and this goes outside my own circle of friends - millions of people with whom we share a country were feeling disregarded.  They felt the need for Hope and Change all over again, but of a different sort.  The promises the Democratic party put forward were not what at least half the country was looking for, at the end of the day.  We can sneer at these people, marginalize them on social media and in our conversations, or we can seek to understand them and pursue unity as a nation.   They represent half of the American experience, for better or for worse.  Where they are wrong we should hope for them to grow.  Where their experiences are valid, we should listen and expand our own narrow experiences and worldviews.

I know that, for many Americans, a Trump victory is quite painful.  It feels like betrayal.  It feels like betrayal to women who have ever been subjected to unwanted advances by a man.  It feels like betrayal to legal immigrants who nonetheless have never felt quite fully welcomed by all of America.  It feels like betrayal to women who (while I may disagree with their choice of particular woman to be candidate) wanted to see that so-called "glass ceiling" shattered once and for all with a woman in the White House.  It feels like betrayal to people of color who were rightly horrified by comments Donald Trump made and endorsements he received.  It feels like betrayal to those in the LGBTQ+ community who fear being further marginalized and targeted if the hateful speech of some Trump supporters is allowed to continue.  

A Trump victory feels like, "How could people vote for that man unless they hate me and disregard my experiences?"  We need to listen to these people and love them.  They are not crazy to feel this way.  You cannot expect to separate politics and platforms from people and their experiences and feelings.

I believe that evangelicals of my age group also feel somewhat alienated from the older generations within their churches, in many cases.  Even as Christians in their 20's and 30's decried Donald Trump for his morally reprehensible comments and behaviors, older Christians, while not embracing him, chose to vote for him.  Perhaps they are older and wiser and more practical than the young, idealistic among us, but it was disappointing to many of my Christian friends to see evangelicals eventually come to endorse Donald Trump, rather than decrying his deplorable morals and holding ethics above party and power.  Both major candidates were far beyond just "morally flawed," yet in the end, people fell into line to vote for one or the other, for the most part.

I finally girded up my loins to watch Trump's speech from last night, and had to make a concession of my own: it was the least horrifying speech I've heard him make.  He almost sounded like he could be - somewhat - presidential.  I can only hope that he might continue in this fashion; perhaps against all odds he will surprise us all and govern wisely.  I pray that he will protect, preserve, and defend the republic and the constitution.

As much as I'm looking forward to finally having this wretched election cycle behind us, I realize that as long as voters are hurt by one another and find the other side incomprehensible at best, the years ahead will be challenging.  I can't even bring myself to look at social media this morning, because I know it will be all yelling, mud-slinging, name-calling.  If we can't treat one another with love, even when we disagree, how can we work together?  When we create boxes for other people and force them into them ("anyone who voted for Trump is a racist or is tacitly endorsing his remarks" / "anyone who voted for Hillary is a criminal or is tacitly endorsing her criminal behavior") without listening, we are just further dividing our nation.  The issues are complex.  Let's love and serve one another; let's commit to getting more involved on a local level with causes we support and doing small things to help humanity.  We can keep yelling at each other, or we can get to work to make our country and the world a better and safer place regardless of the election outcome.

At the end of it all, the question on my mind now is how to navigate these days with grace, how to seek to understand more than to be understood, how to move forward and seek unity, and perhaps most of all, how to pray for a man I disdain and abhor, who is to be my president.

I have known for many months now that, whoever had won the vote on the morning of November 9th, I would not be happy about the outcome either way.  Today, I am more surprised than I thought I would be, and I don't know what the next four years will hold for my country.  The future feels uncertain.  I am only certain of this:

Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.

Monday, October 24, 2016


Now that this little two-year-old is running around talking so much, I think she's ready for a spotlight of her own when it comes to recording the things she says.  Maybe not so much with the funny, full, complex sentences yet, but still plenty of sweet things to remember.

And actually, it's amazing that she's jumped from piecing together two or three words at the beginning of the summer to the full sentences she uses now.  She didn't talk as much earlier on as Nell did, but now it seems as if she was just biding her time until she felt like she had the whole language thing figured out.

She hates going to sleep at night {and staying asleep is a concept foreign to her, it would seem... yes, we are losing our minds slightly, thank you for asking}, hates the Big Bad Wolf and other frightening fairy tale characters, and will often leave simple carbs behind on her plate in favor of gobbling up brussels sprouts, broccoli, peas, grapes, strawberries, or clementines.  {And she can eat five or six clementines in one sitting for a snack!}

She loves spinning and dancing around, whether indoors or out, and is quite fond of "doing bayey" (ballet) in the living room along with her big sister.

{photos from back in late August}

Over the summer she said "nummies" when she wanted food, and coughed with a particular sort of desperation anytime she wanted water.  (Dramatic?  Yes.)  There was something particularly cute about seeing her walk around the house wearing my "fip fops" on her feet, a grin always on her face.  And sometimes when I would ask her to do something, she'd look at me impishly and declare, "No obey!"  And when she was impressed by something big, her attempt at saying "Big big big," her eyes always wide, would be "buh buh buh!!!"

Her language skills have grown by leaps and bounds in the past couple of months, though, and now she will utter sentences like, "Mommy, I hungee!  I want food!  I want water!  Can I have a snack please?"

She loves dressing herself in anything and everything available (nothing is off limits, not even dirty laundry!), but shows a particular affinity for shoes.

She loves joining Nell and me on the couch for a good book, some nursery rhymes, or best of all, a songbook, but is sometimes apt to decide to "read" or sing it all by herself, turning to me with her finger on her lips and saying, "No, no, shhh shhh Mama.  Mine!"  To her credit, she's has a good repertoire of songs, with a few favorites of mine being "Oh my dahin Tementine" and "Tendew fwephew, tendew fwephew, yet me hep you count youw sheep..."

When she saw me enjoying the treat of a root beer float one summer afternoon:
"Mommy!  Ice cream soup!"

She refers to all bugs as "bumblebees," and is usually terrified of them.

Roosters are "cockadoos," and monkeys are still "hoohoohahas," even though she's perfectly capable of saying rooster and monkey at this point.  She is particularly excited by cows, but says "moo" anytime she sees a picture of a horse, too.

Ree counts to ten with great enthusiasm, will proudly tell anyone who asks that she is "Two!" -- and has asked me several times if we can name the new baby "Two."  She talks with great excitement about the "new baby! new baby!" Only time will tell if she remains as enthusiastic when life turns upside-down come mid-March.

If you ask her when the new baby will be born, she'll usually reply, "Ummm, in twenty minutes."

We had a slightly traumatic encounter with heavy machinery unexpectedly clearing trees near our house one morning in preparation for a new development going in behind us (sigh), and Ree brings this up every couple of days, quivering a bit, a frightened look on her face: "Big big digger!  I scared!  A big big digger!  Cut down frees!"  Then she rallies, smiles, and reassures herself, "All done cut da free!"  And life goes on.  But if you ask her what she's scared of, diggers and bumblebees will probably top the list.  Although at bedtime she's been known to mention sharks and whales as fearsome creatures likely to be lurking in the shadows, as well.

During a brief bout with a stomach bug, after what was probably the first puking episode she remembers having, she looked at me with surprise and declared, "My tummy was coughing!"

A few of my absolute favorites of her words:
"Yook!" (Look!  Uttered approximately five hundred times a day, of course.)
"Otay!" (Okay!)
"I weddy!" (I'm ready!)
"A yibidit more?" ({Can I have} a little bit more?)
"Pea-unts" (Peanuts)
"Heyyo!" (Hello!)

Her L's are mostly Y's, but while she'll shout "Heyyo!" to her little friend "Yucy," Lucy's sister is, inexplicably, "Lili," with both L's clearly pronounced, which I find fascinating.

And to finish up with a bit of evidence of her ever-expanding language abilities...

When I put on a flannel shirt one morning:
"Oh Mommy!  Peedy! (pretty) I like your dess (dress) so much Mommy!"
{I guess I keep the standards low around here...?}

While I was helping Nell with one of her Bible verses for AWANA:
Nell: "Can you say it too, Mawie?"
Ree: "No.  I'm just a little baby.  A teeny tiny baby."

Barging in one morning for that oh-so-necessary hello while I was showering:
"Mommy!" (Eyes wide, clearly impressed.)  "Wow!  You have a big big bum!"
{Two things one can apparently not have as a mother of young children: privacy, and self esteem!}

As I was putting on my black heels -- a clear sign that I was going to play a concert:
"No Mama!  Don't go! Tay here!  Why are you wearing concert shoes?  Tay here!"

Walking up to me while I was making dinner:
"I just need a hug wight now."

Screaming inconsolably in the middle of the night:
Me: "Ree, can you tell me what's wrong?"
Ree: "I just yove you and I just want you and I just need you."

Aww.  What a sweetie.  Still, I'd prefer if she'd sleep at night and give me loving affirmations during the daylight hours.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

It's a ...

It's been a busy and fun Fall for us so far, but Friday was a particularly exciting day.

It was the long-awaited ultrasound to see the newest member of our family, expected to arrive in mid-March!

My sister-in-law Hannah had a fun idea to do a little gender reveal family dinner night, so the ultrasound technician slipped the pertinent info into a sealed envelope, which we gave to Hannah.  

I had mostly been thinking how fun and exciting this would be for our girls - Nell talked very excitedly about cutting the cake and seeing what color frosting was inside for days leading up to the event.  I didn't fully anticipate how exciting the day would feel for me, though!  By about 4:00 in the afternoon, I was going crazy to think that Hannah knew and I didn't!

Finally dinner time arrived, and we headed over to Hannah and Andrew's house.  

Over pizza, salad, and wine, we discussed our predictions and guesses.

Nell made a sudden change from Team Pink to Team Blue... and was so excited about the pink and blue balloons I had bought that she couldn't stand still:

Ree continued to say "girl," whenever asked:

Then we were finally ready to cut the cake!

Nell helped me hold the knife and cut a slice.

There it was ... definitely pink icing!

Hannah gave me the card that had been inside the envelope.

We are all really excited at the prospect of having a gang of girls on our hands come March!

Nathan declared, "Good!  I am pleased!  I don't like change!"

Thank you, Hannah and Andrew, for planning such a fun and celebratory evening with us!  

I can now say that with each of our babies, we've done things slightly differently.  With Nell, we waited until she was born to find out that she was a girl.  With Ree, we found out right at the 20 week ultrasound.  And this time, we let Hannah know first and plan a fun evening for us!  I think each way has been fun and special, but there was something so wonderful about having a whole evening to celebrate this baby; when you're still feeling queasy about half the time at 19 weeks pregnant, sometimes you just need a mid-pregnancy pick-me-up.   This was just perfect!

We are so excited to meet our third daughter in March.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

First Day of Home Preschool

Despite the fact that I tend to believe in the "better late than early" approach to academics for young children, I have a four-year-old who is dying to "do school" like some of her little friends who are in preschool these days.  So, today was our first day of home preschool!

We started the day off with a brand new book for the occasion:

During the course of the morning, we read several books, made bread, used perler beads, and worked on learning to play the game of Mancala.  She wanted to do more, more, more, and is eager to keep working on her handwriting, and asks me reading-related questions all day long.

I asked Nell a few questions in the days leading up to beginning preschool with her, and enjoyed hearing {and recording} her answers.

Q: What do you think people learn in school?
A: Reading.  Doing flips.  Doing all sorts of things.  Painting toenails yourself.  Learn how to not be naughty.  Learn how to drive a car.  Learn how to take care of plants.  Getting a new wheel for your car if you have a flat wheel.  Learn to crack eggs!

Q: What do you most want to learn in preschool?
A: Learning flips.  Doing ballerina things.  Ballet.  I want to go to a ballet dance class like Sadie and Nora do.  I want to learn like the number twenty and eight and forty all sorts of numbers.  Art, like painting leaves like we did today.  Gluing and cutting things.  And read books like about Nancy who lost her memory.  And learn to read by myself.  I don't know how to draw a dump truck; do you think you could teach me that?

Q: What are your favorite things to do?
A: Everything.  I love to go to my swimming lesson.  Play my violin.  Dance.  Play outside.  Read books.   Play!

So many things about our home environment are already things I consider valuable "preschool activities" -- like our morning basket time, the many books we read, the violin practice we do, folk songs and hymns we sing, cooking and baking, outdoor play, art, and small chores about the house.  But this eager girlie wants "preschool," and the usual daily activities are not quite enough to convince her... so I'm off to keep working on my list of new things to do in the coming weeks!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

a morning at the beach at low tide

This morning was a perfect morning for a beach trip, and we got to enjoy a spectacular low tide.

A little girl on a big beach... magical.

There were hermit crabs and snails in tide pools everywhere.  Ree was fascinated, but I had to save a few snails from her curious probing fingers and thumbs.

Small green and pink pails were quickly filled with treasures, including plenty of water so the little creatures could survive their experience in the hands of a two-year-old and a four-year-old.

Nell made sand castles and surrounded them with carefully selected stones.

Ree did some sand sculpting of her own, totally engrossed -- that little tongue!

My sister-in-law joined us for the morning and the girls couldn't have been more pleased with her company.  They were both particularly fond of scattering sand all over her towel and clambering into her lap uninvited!

It was a good morning, complete with lunch on the beach while some sea gulls circled us menacingly.

And oh, the treasures that made their way home with us in those pink and green pails.  Shells, a few sea gull feathers, and many, many rocks.  Nell is very fond of rocks.

As we arrived home and she walked inside with rocks in hand, I commented, "You love rocks so much; maybe you'll be a geologist when you grow up!"  Her face fell, her lower lip quivered, and she replied, "No!  I'm going to be a princess!"

And on that note, this worn out beach bum transferred to her crib without a peep...

...And the future princess settled down to "just read books" and immediately dropped off to sleep.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Nellisms, vol. 7

Oh man, some of these quotes are from a while ago.  Like maybe a year ago.  I jotted them down in notes on my iPhone and they've lain there neglected for too long!

Photos have similarly been neglected on my hard drive for a couple of months now.  It was a cool day in late spring, and Nell was wearing a dress my mother made for me when I was her age.  Naturally, I pulled out the camera -- in spite of the fact that she had just spilled water down the front of it, as you can see in some of the pictures!

Here are a few gems from a year ago, when we were traveling by plane to California and I attempted to buy good behavior through the bribe of Trader Joe's lollipops:

Sarah: "Shhh, please be quiet on the airplane!"
Nell: "But it's callin' to me and I'm callin' back to it!"

And, after licking for a little while and making no apparent progress:
"How do you get a lollipop into your tummy?"

* * *

and a great quote, at age three, shortly before that flight to California, and clearly not yet understanding the principles of travel by air:

Nell: "I want to take my toy briefcase to see Grandma and Grandpa!  Oh, wait.  I can't take my briefcase because if I'm holding it then I won't be able to fly."
Sarah: "Well, you don't have to fly, silly goose.  The airplane flies and you get to sit in a seat on it."
Nell: "I know, but I have to fly to get up in the sky and get on the airplane!"

And then I explained the purpose of airports.  And asked her if she had ever flown before, wondering how it was possible she thought a hand with a briefcase in it would be her greatest impediment.

While I was trying to close the door and have a moment of privacy to use the bathroom:
Nell: "Okay, Mama, I'm just going to go in the yiying woom [living room]."
Sarah: "Great."
Nell (popping her head back around the corner): "Okay, I'm just gonna go get my phone."
Sarah: "Good, okay."
Nell (back again to clarify): "My PRETEND phone."
Sarah: "Yep."
Nell: "Okay I'm back!"
Sarah: "When am I going to get some privacy around here?!"
Nell: "You won't!  Because we're kids!"

{Quite insightful for a girl of, at the time, three!}

* * *

Sarah: "Can I have a snuggle?"
Nell: "Not right now."
Sarah: "Ok.  But I love your snuggles!"
Nell: "Oh, ok then.  Maybe we can snuggle for three days.  Or maybe seven.  Okay?"

* * *

Looking over my shoulder while I read a recipe on my phone, pretending to understand what she saw:
Nell: "Whoah that is intesdin.  That is weally weally intesdin."

* * *

Playing with a shape-sorting toy cube:
Sarah: "That's called a trapezoid.  Can you say that word?"
Nell: "No I can't.  I'm too big for that."

And now for a few more recent quotes!

* * *

Holding a block up to her ear like a phone:
"Oh hiiiii pretend doctor.  My baby is just crying all night.  What should I do?"

* * *

Driving down the highway:
"Maybe someday we should just get me a teeny tiny little motorcycle."

* * *

Trying to say 'girl':
"How can I say guwul instead of guwul?  How can I say it?  I'm so little.  Can we talk about it?"

* * *

Sarah: "What would you want to do if you had a million dollars?   Is there anything you'd want to buy?"
Nell: "Some juice.  I'm thirsty."

* * *

Pondering deep thoughts:
"I wonder what it feels like to be born?"

* * *

Playing out a grim scenario with a small toy figure and bus:
"Oh sorry guy you're gone forever!  Crush crunch crushed by the bus!"

* * *

"Can I brush my eyebrows with a toothbrush?"

* * *

Overheard narrating as a playmobil girl:
"Please may I have some fingers?  I don't have any.  Please may I have a lot of fingers?"

When my foot was broken back in March:
"But how can it be broken?  It still looks like one foot!"

"I'm so glad that I get to help you when your foot is hurt.  I just love helping you!"

* * *

At tea/snack time, matter-of-factly:
"After my tea and apple I'm gonna get mawwied and have a baby."

* * *

After our friends the Hansons had a new baby named Maeve:
"I want a new baby sister!  Her name is gonna be Baby Maeve Mike Mulligan."

* * *

An apparent product of the patriarchy:
Sarah: "Okay, so the lady who teaches your nature class is named Mrs. Dunfee.  Can you say that?"
Nell: "No, no, I can't say that.  I can only say Mister."

* * *

And further revealing of her understanding of gender roles:
Sarah (absentmindedly to myself early one morning, after being out late the previous night at an orchestra rehearsal): "Why didn't Daddy clean up the kitchen last night?"
Nell (because she hears everything, which I should have known!): "Because he is not a helper.  And also he is not a girl."

{After that I told Nathan he should be sure to sometimes do dishes when the girls were awake to see as well as helping around the house after they are in bed at night!  And we did have a good laugh about her little statement!}

"Sometimes when I do my little smile and then I turn it into a really big smile, then I can't find the first one again."

* * *

Wobbling her head around from side to side:
"I'm being a wild wild wild girl!"

* * *

Admiring the rose gold watch Nathan got me for our anniversary back in December:
"I just loooove your shiny watch.  I must have one when I get bigger!  I just must!"

* * *

Sarah: "Are you going to finish your salad for dinner?"
Nell: "Well my tummy is weally full."
Sarah: "Is it too full to have one of the cookies we made, too?"
Nell: "Weeeeell the lettuce will scoot back so the cookie will have room."

* * *

Singing to herself outside: 
"Oh it's so lovely, it's a beautiful day!  Oh it's so lovely, it's a beautiful day!"

Sunday, June 19, 2016

the best polaroid in the world

Sitting on my desk is the best polaroid in the world.  A little me, hair in braids, a romper with ties at the shoulders, arms flung around my Dad's neck.  

Yesterday I called home to talk to my parents, and my Mom wasn't home.  This meant that Dad, who usually hands the phone over to Mom immediately as "the more qualified parent" (his impression of things, not mine!) was the only one home, and subsequently we talked on the phone for almost an hour.

I shared my worries about money, about the fact that I over-fertilized our lawn through my ineptitude and thus have probably killed it, about a certain daughter's tantrum I wasn't sure I had responded to correctly.  He listened, as he always has, never too quick to dole out excessive amounts of advice, but always ready with empathy and reassurances that things tends to work out well enough in the end.  And when he does offer advice, it's always good.

{I wrote this about my Dad three years ago, all of which is as true today as it was then!}

Happy Father's Day to the best Dad a girl could have.

~ ~ ~

And Happy Father's Day to the best Dad my own two girls could have, too.  He managed to come home from work a little earlier than usual today so he could play music with the girls, share a pizza dinner with us, and even pose for a picture with minimal complaining.

Marie learned to say "Happy Daddy Day" for the occasion.

Where would the world be without good fathers?

Happy Daddy Day, indeed.