Saturday, July 29, 2006


That's right. Excessive heat, at least by today's standards with central air and all, kept us pretty much locked up tight in the house today. I went to farmer's market in the morning, but that was about it.

Penelope had a tiny fever when she got up this morning. I hadn't wanted to say so before, for fear of jinxing myself, but it's the very first time she's been sick. Ever. Eight months and not a sniffle, or a cough, or a low grade fever.

Pretty amazing. Must be my great parenting (see below).

Speaking of great parenting, here's my great-parenting move of the day. Carolyn doesn't really like to eat her crust anymore. Today after she left portions of her ham and cheese lunch behind, I saved them and gave them to Penny for dinner.

Yes, I am that cheap. But hey, who's to say it's not all about the recycling.

This was the first day, maybe since we first moved into this house, that neither girl went out. Yes, I'm almost positive that's right. So we actually had a lot of fun playing with all those poor neglected toys.

And...big and.... being couped up all day really sent home the potty-training message home to Carolyn. Jinx. Anyway, she used the potty all day long, went in the backyard a couple of times with shorts, and never once had an accident.

She even asked for the potty once today (I had left it downstairs, instead of keeping it in the living room like usual. I know. Classy) so I went and got it and she POOPED! In the potty! Awesome. I just hope it sticks — the potty training, not the poop.

Penelope is really crawling. Not like, "I kind of get this," but full-fledged here-to-there-in-no-time crawling. Steve and I were thinking back about Carolyn and believe Penelope is crawling a full month ahead of her sister, not that it means anything. Just observing. And quietly judging.

Carolyn today was ordering her sister to crawl through this tunnel. This is what I hear. "Go here. Penelope. Penelope. Go here. Come on Penelope. Go here."

We got her through, eventually.

Monday, July 24, 2006

One more post

Here's one of Carolyn. Pretty soon, I'll be able to get both girls together — fighting over toys. That's exciting, huh!

Yesterday, a 4-year-old boy at the park was oohing and ahhing over Penelope. Carolyn kept saying "boy play" but he wanted no part of her. He even said once, "stop looking at me."

Man was Carolyn steamed.

Stupid boys. Who knew they started causing problems so early?

Well. Here's Carolyn.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Crawling baby

This poor neglected blog. It's like I just don't care about it anymore.

Not true. I care a lot. Just because I don't send flowers doesn't mean I don't love you.

So here's a video of Penny at the park today and a picture of Carolyn.

If you care about what I'm doing, check out my other blog. Other than that, there's nothing new to report.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Carolyn's vernacular

You know who's fun?


Sure, she says "no" roughly 3.2 million times a day and takes toys away from Penny she hasn't touched in more than a year, but she really is fun.

I definitely am loving her new language skills. Here are a few examples of my recent favorite phrases.

Last night, I got Chinese food, including sweet and sour pork, which was basically deep-fried pork with a bright red, sweet!, dipping sauce. Carolyn, who rarely eats meat, was diggin' it. After a few minutes, she looked at me and said, "That's delicious!"

Tonight, I read a 50-page Winnie the Pooh book to Carolyn for bedtime. She patiently listened, even though I'm not sure how much she understood. At the end of the book she said, "That was a great story!"

Today, she was taking stickers of flowers and putting them on my legs. After doing this for a minute, she looked at the flowers and said, "That's beautiful!"

I think I see a trend of emphatic observations.

And just so nobody thinks I left Penny out, which I never do because she's such a snuggle bunny, our Penelope is just days away from crawling. I'll be kind of glad when she starts because it's so frustrating for her. She wants to move forward and instead moves backward.

We can all probably relate to that, huh? Frustrating, isn't it?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

What to do?

So, it's 90 degrees out.

Too hot for the playground, or to even walk to the pool, or perhaps the pool itself.

Too hot to walk downtown.

It's too Sunday for the buses to run (I guess people don't need to go anywhere on Sunday, hmm).

So what's a mom,who hates staying inside with her kids all day long, to do?

Watch videos. Color. Play tea party. Maybe drink ridiculous amounts of alcohol.

All viable options.

Here's a great name for my no-driving article, "How I saved the planet while ruining my life." Thanks Steve. I'm so lucky I married a headline writer.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I don't want to jinx it, but....

I think Carolyn is on her way to pottyland.

That's right. The Gardner sweetheart has been using the potty, on her own, and totally loving it. Turns out, they're ready when they're ready, just like the books say.

The key for Carolyn is she has to do it herself. You can't ask her. You can't bribe her. You can't plead with her. She makes up her mind she has to go and off she goes.

Still, it only works when she's naked and only for two days, so we'll see.

But we're just so excited. Yes, our lives really are that unexciting, but who cares. Carolyn's going potty.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Signs a babysitter is way overdue

Yesterday, I let Carolyn use watercolor paints for the first time. I hung this one on the refridgerator. Isn't it good?

Well, Steve painted it. I'm now hanging Steve's artwork on the fridge. I might already be too far gone.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Too tired for anything but blogging

Penelope has really let us have it. She's decided if I'll get up with her once every night, why not twice. Why not three, or four times.

Since Steve and I have found ourselves incredibly busy all of a sudden, we just don't have time for the midnight games of a smarty-pants baby. Tough love is what's called for.

Anyway, I'm too tired to think, much less type this, so that's all for now. Here's a picture of the girls, for those of you who check in to see how they're doing. Also, here's a link to my new blog, The Slow and the Curious, where I give up driving for the month of July. I'm writing a feature story about the experiment for Grist.

Pretty exciting, if that was an emotion I could still experience. Alas, maybe tomorrow morning after coffee.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

It scared the bajeezus out of me

So Carolyn and I are hanging out at the dining room table last night when...


Holy crap. The backyard is sparking and I think, "Oh my God. The tree was hit by lightening and is going to fall on top of the house.

In a confused state of hysteria, I grab Carolyn and run into the basement. I try to flip on the lights, which of course are out, and I stand there, listening for the thump of the huge tree in our backyard hitting our roof.

Carolyn: "It's dark."

Yeah, OK. Stay here, I tell her.

I run upstairs and hear Carolyn again, "It's dark."

I can't leave her in a pitch dark basement by herself. I wouldn't want to be down there by myself.

So I bring her upstairs and see a neighbor looking up at the tree, but he's not panicking so I think it's probably OK.

I see a bunch of stuff by our neighbor's tree and realize it was them, not us, who were ambushed by the storm.

At this point, it's pouring. The fire department comes and we watch from the doorway, but not too close.

Turns out, Ron and Rita's house was hit. The bolt traveled down their tree, through its roots, up their gutter and into their fuse box. The wood seat on their swing was blown to bits by the bolt, with most of it landing in our yard.

I was totally freaked out. Carolyn? She only cried when the firemen left. Penny slept through the whole thing.

It took me about two and a half hours to finally calm down, aka sleep. My heightened fears caused me to become afraid of stupid things, like Ron coming to my door to see if my electricity had returned, or my going into the dark and spooky basement to get candles. What did I think; the ghosts would finally make themselves known during a scary thunderstorm?

That was plenty of excitement for us. Who needs fireworks?

Monday, July 03, 2006

Video killed the still camera star

Penelope is doing stuff now, making it more fun to take movies of her. Here's my new favorite thing she's doing, blah, blah, blah. Things are pretty busy right now, so I won't be posting every day, but hopefully enough to keep all three of you entertained.

Oh wait. I just got the report back.

I hope it's enough to keep you, mom, entertained.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


I really want to thank Julie Greene for having her first baby on the same day we sold our first house. Now we'll always remember the exact date.

Who am I kidding? I don't even remember what day I got married. It's sometime in May.

What's in a day?

I had the most amazing day ever.

I think maybe I should have played the lottery. Here’s the rundown.

We woke up in the morning, knowing this would be the day we finally sold our house. Hooray. Let’s go garage sale shopping for a bed frame since ours broke and we’re sleeping on a floor mattress like a couple of college hooligans. After a fruitless search, we found a great kid sale and I realized I had lost my wallet. Uhhhh. I bought five books and a toy car for $3. Great stuff.

Minutes later, we got a call that the Greenes have their long-awaited son, Isaac Ray. Such awesome news. Congrats Greene family.

So we go home and Steve leaves for work while I retrace my step looking for my wallet (no luck) and clean my car from top to bottom in the same search, again without success.

Honestly, this story gets better.

So then I get an e-mail from Grist about this idea I have to give up my car for a month and write about it. The editor says great. How ‘bout July.

Seriously? Grist? That is better than any writing assignment I could have hoped for. Sure I’ll start, and do you one better, I’ll start tomorrow.

So for the rest of this month, I’m car free. I’ll be blogging about the experience and taking the bus and freaking out because I’m not sure how I’ll buy toilet paper. What a rush!

So I took Carolyn to the sprinkler park, where I learned we had closed on our house.

When I got home, during dinner, the dry cleaners called to say they had my wallet. AND, I got an e-mal that this vacation place I’m looking into for the fall is $25 a night cheaper than I thought.

Get out of here. What else could go right.

Well… Steve brought home cheap champagne (which is actually sparkling wine for any of you wine snob people who like to talk about this region in France and how the grape has to be grown there and blah, blah, blah) and Jimmy John subs.

See, best day ever.