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.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

That's not in my vocabulary

We had a weird kind of day-- some morning time spent together, then got a family portrait, then I volunteered from 12-4. After that Ian took us all out to dinner and ice cream, and we had a walk before heading home to bed.

On our way home from dinner, we were talking about our favorite parts of the day as part of our nighttime ritual. Fiona mixed it up tonight, asking anyone in the car who cared to answer what was the funniest thing that ever happened to them, or the most boring, the farthest away from home we'd been, etc. I said I'd been to Mexico. Ian said he'd been to Scotland.

Once establishing which of those was farther away, I asserted that our whole family would visit the British Isles together someday. Ian's eyebrows arched as he drove. "Hmmm... maybe," he said.

I told him we just had to think positive. And even if we never got there, our kids would know that it was our aim. "Mom and Dad never got us to Disneyland, but knowing that they always wanted to was enough for us," I said.

Fiona hadn't missed a shred of this conversation, but she didn't exactly know what we were talking about, either. Suddenly she inserted herself in the conversation, asking, "What-eyland?"

Keep it up, Fiona. We like it like that. Keep your fairy stories unspoiled by old Walt.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Night out/night in

Fiona was invited to a movie with Tessa, Elena, and Janet this evening, leaving Nora at home for some quality time with her parents. The problem was, Nora wasn't particularly seeing it as "quality time" to stay home while her sister attended a movie. At least she wasn't until she saw the surprise that was in store for her.

Fiona can't sit in bubbles for health reasons, but while the cat was away, the mouse soaked and splashed in one of her very first bubble baths. Fiona came home happy and found a cheerful sister there as well.

Nora explains herself

Nora won a sticker at the neighborhood block party last night. She chose a big, shiny, Celtic-looking rainbow cross. She stuck in on her arm like a tattoo last night, and picked it off her bedsheets to wear it again about half an hour ago.

On our way out the door to pick up the kids at school, Nora stuck her sticker onto the kitchen table, saying, "I don't want the kids at school to think I'm a church person."

I asked her what she meant, and she said, "I mean, I go there, but I don't like to sing." She's an enigma wrapped in a mystery.


Kathleen and Nate invited Nora and I next door to see the cicada emerging in their garden before it flew away. Sometimes nature is so intricate and perfect and amazing that it's hard to believe it's real at all. But this was real-- real cool.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Block party

In the end we didn't wait long enough to jump in the "jump house," but we girls had a fun time at our neighborhood block party while Ian was at work. Snowcones, fishing games, popcorn, music. . . Lots of excitement and sugar right before bed. Yes, sometimes I marvel at my own brilliance.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Enjoying the sugar, Daddy

Both kids really loved those Sugar Daddies, Grandma and Toot Toot. Next time you should give them that sort of fun at the beginning of their trip to your house! ;-)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New friend?

Today's highlight:
Fiona enjoys the company of a classmate named Treasure. Next week is a back-to-school night. I hope we get to meet her!

Monday, August 24, 2009

A new beginning

Fiona walked right into that class and got to business. I, on the other hand, am a mess. It's part anguish, part pride, part worry, part love. I guess that equals "parenthood."

Friday, August 21, 2009

They took her out to the ballgame

Addison, Korrigan, and Tinea invited Fiona to a baseball game tonight, and she just got home. There were supposed to be fireworks afterward, but it got rained out. Again. She was all smiles after her late night out, though, so she had a good time regardless and did not melt.


We joyously pulled carrots today. According to their seed packet, they should have been ready a week ago, but we held off because they still seemed so small. Then today we decided that we like baby carrots anyway, so we picked a flowerpot-ful of them. Cute, sweet, crunchy carrots! Our garden is full of stuff it's not supposed to have and not terribly full of things it is supposed to have, but we're enjoying it a great deal anyway-- two bite carrots included.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Just hangin' at the pool

Or the sink basin, anyhow. That Ivy.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Chess Tournament

Fiona entered the children's chess tournament put on by the library today. It's a just-for-fun tournament with certificates for everyone and trophies for many. Fiona got four draws and one loss, which was good enough for the 6th place trophy in her division!

The organizers have a pretty hands-off attitude when it comes to making sure the kids play by the rules of chess. If no one is unhappy with how things are going, then pretty much anything goes, at least at the beginner level. So it's important to note that the following conversation wasn't Fiona trying to get an unfair advantage - it's just her (and her opponent's) idea of how chess works.

Opponent: Check.
Fiona: I'll capture your bishop.
Opponent: You can't, you'd be in check from my queen.
Fiona (taking second move in a row): But I can just move out of check.

In the top picture, Mary is explaining that even though Fiona promised not to take her opponent's queen, there doesn't seem to be a legal move that would allow the queen to remain uncaptured. But the kids had the final say!

All the kids that I saw were having fun. Fiona was laughing and talking with her opponents throughout the tournament like they had always known each other. And that was the best result of the day.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

One smart car

Ian's 15-year-old car is slowly expiring and we really do think we're going to have to replace it, but while this Smart car (thanks for noticing it's not a Fit, Andy) is very fun, it is many seats shy of what we're currently considering. The girls did enjoy riding around the car lots in a golf cart, though!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Oh yeah, we have a flickr account! I just dumped months of photos in there. Click the Flickr badge in the top right to see some pictures.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rhyme time with Nora

Fiona and I were folding clothes while Nora read to herself on the spare bed. She was reading Play Day by Bruce MacMillan, and having read the book before she remembered the concept: rhyming words were written on one side of the page and photos illustrated the words on the opposing page.

I wasn't really listening, but I knew when she cheerily chirped, "Mud, blood!" something was definitely wrong. Clearly she's using the photos and not paying a bit of attention to the first letter cues here!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Sprinkler Party

I didn't feel up to food, party games, and the whole nine yards for Fiona's birthday, but she's never had much more than a gathering with immediate family for her birthday, so we decided to have a casual gathering near her birthday-- sprinkler/outdoor fun and cupcakes. What a blast! Tons of kids came, and we could have probably invited tons more had Ian been home to help cohost. It was a total blast.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Just for Toot Toot

Grandma and Toot Toot came to visit today, and Toot wanted to see Fiona in his hat. Unfortunately I took the photo when he wasn't standing there, so this post will have to do.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

So tough

Cleaning out that basement was tough today. Fortunately, so were my helpers and these tough temporary tattoos we found down there.

Adventures in gardening

While Fiona finishes up her last day at vacation bible school, Nora and I are tackling some gardening projects. Notice that the dog vomit slime mold continues to proliferate.

Next we'll try organizing the messy, messy basement. Maybe Fiona would like in on that, too. We find wonderful "treasures" when we go through that process.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Shoes and socks

Nora wanted to wear sneakers, and delightedly selected her own socks.

New friend

I took Fiona to the vacation Bible school at our parish. It's a scaled-down affair-- lasts three days, has stories, crafts, games-- typical stuff but shorter and less costly. Mostly I was looking forward to Fiona getting practice meeting kids she doesn't know for a couple of days and interacting a bit.

On the way home, though, she shocked me. I asked her what was fun at camp today, and she said, "I made a friend." Hooray! It's not that Fiona is unfriendly or friendless, it's just that she doesn't necessarily notice the kids around her much when she's in a class. She may sit in the same place, and chat a bit with whoever's there, but doesn't usually know anything meaningful about them later.

I asked her her friend's name. She told me. !!! Then I asked her last name. She told me that too! I asked her what they did together, and she ticked off a couple activities. "I guess she's just the right age to like me." It sounds mutual.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Happy birthday, early

It's not Fiona's birthday yet, but this weekend we've been celebrating with Uncle Eric, Aunt Carrie, James, Luke, Grandma, and Toot Toot. We went to a local park for a picnic and splashed around a little, but it wasn't a warm enough day to counteract the icy water so the kids largely romped on the playground. Tons of fun.


It was about 6:00 in the evening. Mom, Dad, Carrie, Eric, James and Luke were still at our house. We had had a long, tiring-but-fun day at the park. While Mom, Carrie and I were gathering up Carrie and Eric's stuff for their drive home, my Dad was reading to most of the grandkids out on the front porch, so I went to see how they were doing and perhaps snap a couple pictures.

Surprise! Fiona wasn't on the bench hearing a story at all. Here's how I found her.