Friday, October 31, 2008

I love my mother even though she hounded me to post these pictures asap.

Little Red Riding Hood getting ready to go to the party at daycare today.
Posing with her friend Ariel, who came trick-or-treating with us...riding in the pumpkin.
The pumpkins Chris and I carved last night. Guess which one is mine and which is his!
Last Sunday, when we went to get our pumpkins...tough choices!
Earlier this week. Cora has been wearing the cape pretty steadily ever since I showed it to her two weeks ago. And we've been reading just about every Little Red book we could get at the library. She knows the story. When we go to a friend's costume party tomorrow night, I will be Granny and Chris will be the woodsman.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

No no NaNoWriMo, not this year

Well, yeah, I thought about it. I got a little fired up. And then I looked around at reality. I just don't see how the household could function with me spending all my spare time trying to pound out 50,000 words worth of novel. I wish it could, but I don't see it happening.

Alternatives: January could be my own personal NaNoWriMo, as I wasn't given a J-term assignment this year (don't even get me started.).
November could be the month I get my new poetry manuscript in working order (see above.)

But, jeez louise people, I probably won't even get all my pumpkins carved in time for Halloween, let alone a major creative project.

Friday, October 24, 2008

You can tell a toddler, but not much

To: Cora
Re: This morning. And last night. And, probably, tonight.

Dear Cora,
I thought it would be helpful for me to pull together a few helpful hints so that we might avoid the kind of hell we suffered this morning.

1. I cannot put a band-aid on your toe if you will not let me touch your toe. No amount of crying will change this fact.

2. You do not yet have the manual dexterity to get a band-aid on your own toe. No amount of crying will change this fact, only time.

3. Once three band-aids have been ruined in a twelve hour period, we are pretty much done with band-aids for toes whose true problem is that they have not been trimmed for weeks and are now starting to break off in jagged peaks. No amount of crying will change this.

4. Even Mommies have to go to the bathroom sometimes. No amount of crying will change this fact. However, screaming flailing outside the bathroom door will certainly encourage her to hold it for fifteen more minutes. Note that this will not improve her mood.

5. Telling your daddy, "No you color Ariel" sounds to him like he SHOULD color Ariel. While no amount of crying will change this fact, a universal translator might help.

6. You cannot help stir the scrambled eggs, nor may you touch the hot toaster. No amount of crying will change this, but check again in a couple years.

7. If you put a piece of scrambled egg on your buttered toast and then hold the toast vertically, yes, it will fall off. Every time. No amount of crying will change this fact.

8. You cannot go back to bed right after breakfast. From personal experience Mommy can tell you that no amount of crying can change this. Vomiting, however, can be very persuasive. But I'm not about to tell you that!

9. You cannot wear Crocs to school. No amount of crying will change this because it is the school's rule, not Mommy's.

I hope you have found this as helpful as I have. I am now going to enjoy the remaining 2.5 hours of my "fall break" that are mine to spend as I choose.

Your Mommy

Saturday, October 18, 2008

October 2008: Part 1

Cora and her pigs - believe it or not, it turns out that one is the baby and one is the mommy!
Cora takes her coloring very seriously these days.
And, she still likes sitting in small boxes. What this means, I can't imagine.
Daddy is still her favorite photography subject...
But an assortment of toys spilled across the floor runs a close second. (I am sparing you the close ups of the back of Baby Tidoo's head, the scary perspective shots of Elmo's gaping maw, and many many thumb-obscured photos.)
She is very concerned that Tidoo be smiling in the pictures, too.
Cora and her friend Eva, ready to take on the entire apple orchard.
This horse swing tried to throw her many times, but she managed to keep a death-grip on that rope and stay on. Is bronco busting in her future? (I hope not.)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cora's latest passion

Tonight we did a little YouTube watching. It started out with a link a friend posted about tinikling, and then to other kinds of dance. I knew that stepping would appeal to Cora, and after watching this video, she pulled on her new boots (very sweet with the dinosaur pjs) and proceeded to step up a storm, complete with clapping, body slapping, and hitting the floor. I really, really wish we had a video camera.

She also enjoyed the African drumming/dancing video we found, the weekly clip from Anaheim Ballet, the Zap Mama video, and watching Daddy dance to "YYZ" and the animated drummer. (I believe that as she watched him she called out, "Daddy, you dance like a pinkie!" While I do not know precisely what she means, I have no doubt that she is correct.)

But, the most requested video of the night was the Iona College Step Team. She plans to watch it again first thing in the morning.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What is more fun...

than listening to your husband sing Ariel the Mermaid's "Ahh ahh ahh' song in the bathroom while your toddler brushes her teeth?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Magazines, another sign of the season

The other day I picked up the latest issue of Brain, Child - my favorite magazine for mothers - and as usual it was packed with articles I was interested in reading, especially the one on "eco-parenting". So the other night, while Cora colored and watched her PBS shows, I sat on the couch reading my magazine. (Oh the bliss of having reached a stage where she can do something and I can do something, and they can be two different things!)

Of course, it wasn't long before she was climbing into my lap, wanting to see what I was reading. There aren't a lot of flashy pictures in Brain, Child, but we looked at some and talked about how there were a lot of words on the pages, and eventually she went back to coloring and Super Why.

Then, last night after dinner, while we were all still sitting at the table, she reached over to the pile of mail beside her placemat and said, matter-of-factly, "I'm going to read my magazine now." She'd pulled out a Hanna Andersson catalog (such beautiful clothes! such out of reach prices!), opened it up, and began poring over every page. And on every page she did the same thing. She would point to each clothing item in turn and say, "That's my pink shirt. That's my blue shirt. That's my black shirt." And so on.

One of the things this reminded me of was my own childhood fascination with the big JCPenney catalogs we used to get. I can remember going through the old ones and cutting out "my clothes" and toys. My stepgrandmother was a travel agent and she would send me brochures about cruises - I loved to pretend I was going on a cruise, and pick out which cabin I would be in, and then all the clothes I would take with me. What is so very odd about this, is that while I like having clothes that fit me and that I find comfortable, I really don't think of myself as being obsessed with clothes. But, perhaps I am a tiny bit obsessed with clothing options.

And I know I am obsessed with reading - about anything. One difficult thing this fall has been having very little time to read, and having to give books back to the library half-read or barely started, only to put them on my request list again and hope I remember where I was. I just had to do this today with Mary Roach's Bonk. I tried to skim a few chapters at lunch today - a completely dangerous and reckless activity as one should never laugh so hard that hot feta nearly comes out one's nose. I think I'll have about another three months to wait to get it again. Maybe by then there will be time to settle in with a book. Until then, though, I have been reading a lot of magazines and a lot of craft books. And maybe Cora is noticing this, too, and wanting to get in on whatever kind of seasonal reading plan her mama is following.

When she finished with the catalog, she set it aside with a sigh, looked around and asked, "Where's my other magazine?"

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Cora ate her first fortune cookie Thursday night. She thought it was pretty cool that there was a secret message inside the cookie. What did it say?

"You are admired from afar."

That's one smart cookie.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

With dreams come responsibilities...or not.

When I dream, I either have dreams with very clear messages ("I was sitting by the pool with my mom and we had just made cookies, and then margaritas appeared!") or they are so dense with surreal and mysterious symbols that they will never make sense ("I was sitting by the pool with my mom and we had just made cookies, and then margaritas appeared!"). I think this may be genetic after all.

This morning, Cora says to me, in that casual way you would use to start a conversation, "I had a dream last night."

"Really? What was your dream?"

Shrug. "Peas and carrots."

"Peas and carrots?"

"Yeah." And then she gets that little intense change of expression, like you do when you're really going to get into the meaning of something and she says, "But I no like peas! Just carrots."

"You like carrots?" As far as I've been able to tell, Cora likes neither peas not carrots.

But, she was already tired of talking about her dream, so she just gave me a look that said we were done with the topic of peas and carrots.