talk about it more

a virtual baby book

When she was two, Fiona regularly said "Talk about it more!" to express her desire to know more about whatever we were discussing.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Nora: I made an A.

Fiona: You did!  You did make an A!  Dad, come look!

Nora: Don't look yet.

Me: How about now?

Nora: Yes.

Me: You made two As!  Now you can write letters like Fiona.  (Looking knowingly at Fiona - ) Well, maybe not quite as many of them.  But still, that's writing.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Nora: I like crust now.

Kathleen: What changed your mind?

Nora: ... I did!

Everything is fine.

The kids are happy and healthy and we're as busy as ever, but I have lost my blog groove-- and perhaps even the ability to string meaningful thoughts together into sentences. Either Ian will blog or I may take a couple days to get my groove back.

In the meantime, enjoy some together time with family and friends, and think of us. We'll be thinking about you, too.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Strep throat

Yup, all that fever led to something more. I've been talking to the pediatric nurse for days now, and even today they weren't sure that Fiona had enough symptoms to necessitate a visit. But today was better than tomorrow, and I was pretty sure it was strep throat.

I stayed home with Nora, who's fever came down this morning. The two of us got a nap while the pediatrician took one look into Fiona's mouth and said, "Oh yeah. That's strep all right." She confirmed it with a rapid strep test. Ian and Fiona came home with two big bottles of berry-flavored antibiotics. Fiona's not so sure about it, but Nora is more than willing to drink it right down.

Bottoms up, girls. Lets get well soon, wipe down all the surfaces, clean the toys, and start talking about copious hand washing. Again.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Now Nora

Well, Fiona's fever came down last night to stay. Whew! She has red spots on her throat and the top of her mouth, but we'll need to see how they look tomorrow before she has to go to the pediatrician.

It looks like it may be a two-fer. Tonight we had an early meal since Ian was working late, and Nora wasn't ready for dinner yet. I felt a little silly insisting about it during the 4:00 hour, so I simply fed Fiona. We had a leisurely meal together, and when I hadn't heard from Nora for quite awhile I figured I'd better see what, exactly, she was into.

As it turns out, she was into a sofa pillow on the living room floor. She had wrapped the beach towel from the dress-up box around herself and was soundly sleeping. She wasn't excited about waking up to a diaper change and tuck-in, so I set her up with a small, light meal after that attempt. She couldn't get psyched about that either, though, and her temperature is rising. Poor things.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Painting practice

Yesterday we repainted our basement stairway together. Fiona learned that there is almost more prepping than there is painting in such a small space. She was almost disinterested by the time we got to the actual painting! Now instead of deep red sponge painting on ceiling and walls, with pinecone stenciling that Fiona continually refers to as 'pineapple stencils', we have creamy yellow walls and a white ceiling. It looks just like the kitchen will look if we ever finish it! We finished off two old cans of paint on this job, even though it looks relatively small.

We worked so hard we missed a call to go outside and play with friends in the freshly fallen snow, but that turned out to be a good thing since Fiona has since spiked a temp of 103 with no other symptoms. This morning she's much cheerier, but still over 101. We'll see what today holds...

Monday, November 17, 2008

One is the loneliest number

For a moment, I thought we were going to have another baby. I thought of every bit of baby gear and clothing under 4T which had been yard saled and given away. I thought of my current Mom-in-sweatpants physique. I thought of our none-too-big house. I had a moment of bare-faced panic.

Once sharing this bold thought with Ian though, his calm, loving, wholly open demeanor put me enough at ease to get at least 110% excited about the whole prospect. I had mentally moved the girls into our bigger room and selected a new paint color by the time my test showed only one lonely pink line. It's surprising how thrilled one can become before realizing their own miscalculation.

I'm still stunned by my lingering disappointment. Ian and I 'agreed' on two children, to the degree that plans like that can be made, anyway. What's one more chair at the table in a happy family? So this shouldn't be so hard. Looking at our spunky, quirky, hilarious daughters reminds me daily that the two of us truly do produce enchanting children. But it also reminds me of the wonder I have in my home right this very moment.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Science is fun! Science is active!

We met our long lost friends Helena and Heather for fun at our local science emporium. We went later in the afternoon, and there was a huge, rowdy birthday party, but nothing could ruin our fun. We shut the place down.

Ready for work

Fiona had put on some clothes over her ballet stuff this morning which were MUCH too short, so we started over once we got back from class. She selected one of the fabulous outfits Aunt Carrie found at the Mothers of Twins sale.

Fiona pulled it all together, tucked in her shirt, and added a belt. Then she came downstairs and asked me, "Don't I look like I'm headed to work?" I don't exactly know what cinched that idea for her, but I am afraid to ask...

(NB) She just told me spontaneously that it was the tucked in shirt that 'professionalized' her outfit. I'm glad she clarified, because I was guessing it was the belt.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Aunt Ruby Adventures

We've been spending the week with Aunt Ruby, and we've been so busy! Despite a broken kitchen faucet (and subsequent, unrelated kitchen fire) that rocked our world a bit, we have been having a ball all day long and sleeping like babies. Besides playing, reading, and eating as best we could under dire kitchen circumstances, we've also been getting a number of household projects moving during her stay, including time spent mudding walls and organizing in the basement and garage. Must run now-- there's more fun to be had!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players

Oh joy! The blurry photos from this concert don't do it justice-- unless you consider that active listeners turn out excitedly blurry... Ian took the girls to a morning concert while I worked, and I took them to the afternoon show after lunch. Apparently the place filled up at both shows, and Fiona said she heard an almost completely different set at the afternoon performance.

The band's energy and enthusiasm were wholly infectious, and people young and old were bopping along with Roberts and crew even if they had never heard his music before. Our family was delighted to hear some of our favorite songs-- Nora jammed to "Willy the Whale" and Fiona especially enjoyed "Billy the Bully". I even got to hear some of my more sentimental favorites like "Cartwheels and Somersaults" (written just for our daughters, I am convinced) and "From Scratch". Ohhhhhhhhhhh, 'From Scratch'. Gets me every time.

Our budget was too stretched to buy the latest CD today (we have others) but Fiona had been waving a hand-colored poster that said "We (heart) Justin Roberts!" He signed it for us, penning, "I (heart) Fiona and Nora above his signature.

We have happy, singing hearts and dancing bodies today.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Stories come alive at the theatre

We just returned from a Theatreworks presentation that has us all talking. If You Give a Pig A Pancake was actually seven books that came alive onstage for us. Our friend Janet had invited a small number of homeschoolers to come with her on her field trip, and it was truly entertaining. Now we're reading all the books that were in the story. (I try not to 'read the book' beforehand, myself, because it's always somewhat different. Now the girls can be pleasantly surprised with the books and some activities we can try too!) Besides Pig, we also saw Diary of a Worm, A Prize for Fluffy, Horace and Morris (but mostly Dolores), How I Became a Pirate, Lilly's Big Day, and The Paperbag Princess.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Talking about the election

Over breakfast today, Ian and I were talking to Fiona and Nora about yesterday's presidential election. We started by showing them pictures of Obama and his family, and told them the ages of Malia and Sasha. We told them that a Mom, a Dad, two young girls, and a new puppy were going to be in the White House. We discussed the historic significance of an African American president, and showed them photos of all the presidents who have come before.

It took a little explaining to describe to our young children that the color of Obama's skin was a part of what made yesterday night's results so momentous, though it's about much more than that. Fiona has friends and teachers who aren't the same color as herself, and we could she was struggling to see what the big deal was about.

But she was interested-- interested enough that we went to the library today to pick up some books about the presidency, the White House, kids in the White House, and books about Abraham Lincoln, the Civil Rights movement, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr-- as well as more books about poetic forms to be able to talk some things over, then find some new ways to express our thoughts.

Even as I wiped off the kitchen table to get ready to dig into them this morning, Fiona and Nora planted themselves on the floor and Fiona read My Beak Your Beak and Being a Good Citizen. After their little afternoon break we're headed outside to enjoy this lovely day and we'll investigate some more of them.

This election has been such an intense, historic experience; and was made even more so because of our children. I don't agree with everything President Obama has to say-- even now, as a president-elect. I have some religious quandaries and environmental concerns. And in general, I don't rely on government to make my life good/better/OK/livable, no matter who the president may be. Nonetheless, I am comforted by the fact that an African American in the White House, a man with family near the ages of our own children, will be the norm for our kids. Large numbers of people of many skin colors voting for Obama doesn't eliminate racism in our culture. But it's a start.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Nora sees the future. . .

or does she?

Philharmonic fun

The girls and I were offered tickets for our local philharmonic Children's Concert, and were delighted to be able to attend! There we heard the story of The Twins and the Monster by Tololwa M. Mollel and Dandi Productions. Before the event, we made masks and enjoyed listening to our local Jenbé Ensemble. Nora decided to try a violin; and while her technique needs a lot of work, the interest was definitely there. I think she would have continued sawing across those strings instead of venturing into the theatre had that been a choice.

Contrary to Nora's face in one of the above photos, we loved the musical storytelling-- we were certain that we were in the forest, too! Norma Lewis, who performed the tale, had us mesmerized. We snuggled in and grasped hands for the louder, more ominous sounds, and Fiona needed to know how the storyteller could go through a door on stage left and come back moments later through stage right. There was definitely much to absorb, and we'll do some more reading, wondering, and playing about it tomorrow as well. Wow.