Monday, October 08, 2012


One night Desmond wanted me to read the Spanish translations of the rules of Candyland to him.  I don't know how we got to that place late in the evening.  I don't know why I agreed, but there I was at the end of a long day, stumbling over Spanish pronunciations.  I don't know Spanish and it was really exhausting.  It gave me great sympathy for how tiring it must be to learn to read.

Pouring over a children's dictionary given to him
by a neighbor.  The kid loves words.

Thursday, October 04, 2012


Walking out the door,
DK: You hit me once, I'll hit you back.
Me: (startled as to where this came from and with a serious voice) That isn't a kind thing to say.
Des: But it's just a song.
Me: No song I've heard of.
Des: Yes you have. It's a Florence and the Machine song.

*crickets*   He was right.

And thus began our censorship a few months ago.  Goodbye Mumford & Son's, "Little Lion Man."  Goodbye Natasha Bedingfield's, "Weightless."  A happy goodbye to Lady Gaga', "Bad Romance."

There's a lot of beauty and truth in music with less-than-innocent themes and language.  Someday I'm sure Desmond will have the maturity and wisdom to enjoy them with us.  Until then, I've begun a game of whack-a-mole in musical censorship.

As an aside, as a kid I used to love "Like a Prayer"  because they were singing about prayer on the radio.  I also thought that "Material Girl" was about a girl who loved sewing projects.  So maybe his own innocence will do the censoring for me.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Aunts

The kids had a lot of fun with their aunts this summer.   You can see who consumes most of the physical activity in the house.

Charlotte got lots of snuggles.

This cheapy beach ball gets more playing time than most of his toys.

Racing on the Wii at Grandma's house.
Charlotte's first dress shoes - snakeskin from Sudan.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Raising children is terrifying. They are so needy. And there never seems to be enough energy, wisdom or patience in me to meet those needs.   Sometimes I wonder who let us do this!?!?

Terrified, but still having fun.
To cope with these feelings, I try to do things like walk in nature and take more deep breaths during the day.  I remind myself that parenting is about the cumulative effect, not a specific instance. I try to focus on my children's lovely smiles and enjoy an extra snuggle.  I remember my own parents' successes and shortcomings and see that I turned out OK.  (Whatever "turned out OK" means!)  And I wake up and start another day.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Negotiator

Desmond has avoided the "gimmes" for a long time.  I guess marketing or human nature or something has finally taken hold, because in stores he asks us to buy things more now.  Recently, it was the Hot Wheels Bubble-matic car wash .  We barely made it out of the store without a complete meltdown....but it was very close.

While I didn't like trying coax him away from this toy, I did enjoy his reasons for why we should buy it.  None of these are rocket science, but it's interesting to see his negotiation skill develop.

Reasons to buy the Hot Wheels Carwash-o-matic RIGHT NOW
- We can buy it now and wait to give it to me on my birthday
- What if someone comes and buys it
- What if it's not on sale anymore
- What if you can't find it somewhere else