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Puppet Theatre
Monday, 03 March 2014

Yesterday on the way home from church, the girls were lamenting the fact that I was going to be gone most of the afternoon: I had a dear friend in from out of town and we were going to catch up. In the midst of the general grumbling and kvetching, Maddie suddenly said to Cora, “Hey, Cora, I actually have a great idea of something we can do while Mommy is gone!”

Should I be scared here?

When we arrived home, Maddie threw off her coat and made a list of supplies she’d need, starting with two boxes of a very specific size. Lucky for Maddie, her mom is a box hoarder (yes, it’s probably a real thing) and I was able to find the boxes before having to run back out the door. As I left I saw Maddie happily using the good scissors while Cora reverentially lifted out our bag of multi-colored Sharpies.

Saying a quick prayer of thanks that I wasn’t in charge for the next several hours, I left.

When I got home right around dinner time, the girls had a smug, self-satisfied look about them. As soon as the meal was over, Maddie said, “Are you ready for the show?” And the two girls ran into the living room.

Maddie and Cora spent all afternoon making a puppet theatre. They’d designed an ingenious system of two attached cardboard boxes: one for the stage, and the other, lying on its side and stacked under the stage box, for them to slip their hands into for the show. They’d designed and colored scenery and a dozen puppets and even made a show announcement placard.

The grown-ups sat down to a fantastic re-telling of The Three Little Pigs, and let me tell you, I think it’s my favorite version. Ever. Maddie and Cora were happy and laughing and so proud of the work they’d done. They even cleaned up all the detritus from their creativity.

I? Am so in love with my kids.

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The Queen Of Funk
Friday, 28 February 2014

Cora’s been in a rotten, terrible, no-good, horrible mood.

Since, like, CHRISTMAS.

Over the past few weeks we’ve seen our sweet, happy girl turn into a weepy, crabby, snappy, angry little brat. Over, and over, and over again.

Cora will leave school and be monosyllabic. She won’t want to talk, walk sullenly home, and head straight for her candy jar. Then she’ll ask for something ridiculous, like a trip to the Build-A-Bear store, and when I say no she’ll storm upstairs and cry and sulk and yell at me when I darken her door for a good HOUR. Then she’ll pull through it, then be cuddly and sidling up to me and wanting lots of love.

I’m telling you, if it were someone else’s kid I’d be looking for signs of bullying at school, or abuse at home. Since it’s MY kid, I’ve had those talks, in depth, several times over the past few weeks. And I’m looking for signs of puberty because I swear, my six-year-old is acting like a teenager.

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Be the Mama Bear
Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Since moving to Texas six years ago, I’ve been very fortunate to find a small group of neighborhood friends to go through parenthood with me. In our neighborhood we have seven other families with children almost exactly Maddie and Cora’s ages; moms who tolerate my crunchiness and willingly watch my kids when I have a babysitting crisis; and dads who like to play rock music and video games as much as Brian does. This core group is very dear to me: the children are rock solid besties with my kids, and will never leave each other out, and I know my gal pals ALWAYS have my back.

Yes, we are all super close. And yet my children know they are not EVER allowed to get into a car with one of those dads unless there’s someone else in the car, too.

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Death, and the Other Certainty
Monday, 24 February 2014

Yep, I’m knee deep in ‘em.

And I’m wondering why I can’t write off the bajillion dollars I spend every year on lessons.

I mean, isn’t that preparing them for meaningful future employment? If Cora becomes a world-class ballerina, shouldn’t I be able to pre-emptively deduct the cost of her ballet lessons and tights? And if Maddie’s an Olypmic equestrian in the making, it only makes sense that I should write off her riding lessons.


Almost finished. Almost. I’m in the home stretch as I prepare for our Tuesday meeting with our accountant.

If the tax prep doesn’t kill me first.

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Dreams Do Come True, My Daughter
Friday, 21 February 2014

As the weather warms up, this family spends as much time as we possibly can out-of-doors. We’ll go for bike rides; we’ll play in the park – for HOURS; we’ll take books, snacks, and a blanket to our neighborhood pond and lie on the grass for hours reading books and feeding the ducks – really, we’ll do anything to simply hang out in the great outdoors.

With all this time spent outside comes a lot of great things – fresh air, vitamin D, lots of exercise, seeing our neighbors – and one bad thing: the ice cream truck. I swear, that guy waits until we leave the house, hiding around the corner, then fires up his tinkly little music and starts stalking us. EVERY SINGLE TIME we are outdoors we hear his music, and Cora always turns to me and says, “Mommy, PLEASE may we get an ice cream? PLEASE? Just this once?”

EVERY SINGLE TIME I have to say no to the kids – and not just because I want to. But I never bring money with me on our outings; why would I need to? So every single time, I promise Cora we’ll get ice cream the next time Mommy has money when the Ice Cream Guy is around.

Yesterday was that day.

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