Friday, May 15, 2009

Hard to believe...

but most entries on this site are not from Minnesota!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Being happy

Oh come on, what more can I really say about Mother's Day that isn't being said, photographed, or blogged by hundreds of other people?!

I suppose not too many can also be saying Happy Birthday to their moms! There have been times in the past when it has seemed a kind of cheat for my mom to have to have her birthday on Mother's Day every couple of years. But more often, it just seems right that the two should coincide.

On the one hand I want to say that this is because she was so clearly born to be a mother - so gifted with love and patience and empathy and creativity. But on the other hand I have a feeling that, had the chips of life fallen elsewise, she was also born to have become any number of other things. My mother would also be (has also been - the vocation of motherhood encompassing so many other careers) a wonderful teacher. A compassionate doctor. A thoughtful mentor. A passionate artist. A dazzling cook and pastry chef (oh those castle cakes! That Easter bonnet cake! all the other crazy cakes she let her children choose out of her book!).

More than anything else I have to say that my own experience of motherhood has impressed upon me the wonder of PARADOX. Mainly in the sense that something could simultaneously circumscribe and enlarge your life. I don't think I am (any longer) breaking any codes of sisterhood to say that - I know for a long time it was all about just talking about the enlargements and not the limits. But they coexist, often in the very same moments, and in the best of circumstances one is more than warranted by the other. At least, I find it to be so, which bowls me over because I didn't expect it to be the case.

So, this was my day today. I woke to find Chris had gone to get us donuts for breakfast; we all had donuts and homemade lattes (yes, even Cora). A couple gifts: an ABBA CD from Cora (clearly she has ulterior dance party motives) and a Marie Curie biography from Chris (she is still my hero, 30+ years after I first learned about her life). We went to church and then out to breakfast where Cora refused to eat anything except grapes (frustrating) and shouted hello at everyone that walked past (mostly endearing). Then home to naps. I fell asleep almost immediately - woken up here and there by Cora's interactions with her dad (reading books...refusing a diaper change...alerting him to her "friend" in the room - a wasp...more talk about the wasp as he trapped it...screaming for a diaper change...and finally falling asleep). Later in the afternoon Cora and I watched ballet videos on YouTube (American Ballet Theater's Swan Lake, Paris Opera Ballet's Sleeping Beauty), I tried to explain the phrase "keel over" to her ("but why she wanna fall down? but why she so tired?"), then she and her dad played Legos and watched a video of the Little Women opera. Then we had dinner...homemade bread, mango and strawberries, crackers, and FIVE KINDS OF CHEESE! (Guess who was left in charge of the menu?). A nice fume blanc (this meal Cora opted for the more age-appropriate milk). A good day. A happy day, despite the frustrating parts, the tantrum (hers) before the nap, the usual spills and falls.

I'm happy to be a daughter; I am so lucky to have the mother I have.

I'm happy to be a mother; I am so lucky to have the daughter I have.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Cora has known how to spell her name for quite a while now, and she knows the letter that some other words begin with, and she can identify all the letters.

But today I started to think she might know more than she was letting on. I said to her dad, "I was thinking we could go to the P-A-R-K with some F-O-O-D." And then she started talking about the park. Does she know how to spell that word? Was it a psychic link? Pure coincidence?

We decided to test her. Chris said to her, "How do I spell my name?" And we waited with bated breath for her answer.

"M-O-P-G-I-FOREHEAD!" She shouted.

So. Coincidence, then.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Cora turned three this past weekend. I remember when she turned two, it was like a switch had been flipped and all of a sudden so many things were a struggle. It's not that she's bad or anything, just very independent. Well, the switch remains in the "independent" position, but I've also had several opportunities lately to be reminded why that is a good thing. This is a trait that will serve her well in years to come as she runs into serious peer pressure. The ability to speak her mind and speak out for herself? I can deal with it.

She chose a "dress-up" party with her friends and she was very clear on wanting a "big big round round round cake" that eventually also had to be pink with blue frosting. I think the pink/blue fetish that just surfaced about three weeks ago owes everything to the scene in Disney's sleeping beauty where two of the fairy godmothers keep changing the color of Aurora's dress. The party was fun. We tried some games this time. And after a round of "Red Light, Green Light" I can see why we don't let toddlers drive.

She's most excited about her new books, art supplies, lunchbox, and clothes. She often tells us, "I need to do some art now!" We like that. We like that a lot.

Almost as much as we like Cora herself.
(p.s. The sweet birthday crown? Found it on Etsy, from Dream Child Studio. She LOVES it!)