Welcome Rosie!

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Welcome Rosie, born March 3, 8lbs 3 ounces. We’re in love!

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Happy birthday, Shmooples!

Nora birthday girl

Happy 2015! I’m so proud of our Shmooples. I can’t believe she’s turning 3. And this will be an exciting year for her, the year she’ll become… a big sister! That’s right. I’m due February 23. I know Nora will be such a great big sister because she has a big, big heart.

What’s Nora talking about these days? Here are a few memorable quotes:

She’s thinking about being a big sister and what it meant to be a baby. “When I was a baby, I growed in Mommy’s belly all the time but I wanted to get out and get older!”

She sometimes pretends to talk on the phone. “It’s Seryn,” she said, holding her hand up. “Oh, you’re painting a picture for me and my baby sister? Oh, that’s very nice!” And then looks at us smiles wide and laughs hysterically at herself.

She likes to say things are “good and pretty and beautiful,” but the context often makes no logical sense. We say, “Don’t touch that piece of trash,” and she says, “but it’s good and pretty and beautiful!” Today, I told her not to touch anything while I was changing her poop. “But it’s beautiful!” she said.

She likes to ask, “Which one?”: “Is that a girl or a boy which one?” “Are we at the city or the zoo which one?” “Is Ian’s party today or last year which one?”

“Today is it my birthday today, or no?”

I like how she asks permission sometimes, “We’ll go home and eat lunch and watch Dora, okay?” “Is that okay?” “Does that sound good?” “Is that a good idea?”

She’s into things being similar and different. She’ll hold up two cars and say, “They match the same!”

She can be very sweet when she wants to. “I’m so glad that you’re here!” “Thank you for coming to see me!” “I’m so glad that you’re playing with me.” “Thank you for changing my diaper!”

I cough and she says “You have to drink more water. It’ll make you feel better.”

She once said to me being affectionate, “Your little nosey. Your cute cheeks. Your arms are beautiful!”

She says “dud” and “dudn’t.” We ask, did you have a nice time at the gym? “I dud, yeah.”

“Sho!” Instead of “sure.”

(Looking at billboards on a drive) “This sign says you have to eat French fries… This one says you have to eat hamburgers and telephones.” (She kind of gets the idea, right?)

“When I was younger I wanted to live in Davis square like you. But where is Davis square now? But I’m in Davis square now.”

“A book will feel me better.”

(Pointing to her stuffed dog): “Yeah that’s my friend Fluffy the Guy.”

Listening to a duet on the radio. “They’re singing together!”

Her teachers joke about her having a boyfriend at school. This older man, Avi (he’s four), loves to chase her and tickle her. We were in the car and I said something about how Avi seems nice. She laughed. “Yeah! I’ll hug him and dance with him and hug him and hold his hand!” At this, Kevin and I looked at each other and started laughing nervously. Think it’s time to sit Avi down and have a talk with him about his intentions?

We are just so proud of Nora. She is such a sweet, special, silly girl. Happy birthday Shmooples!


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Oh, well, sure

Nora wakes up from her nap with her perpetual bed head and asks, “Is it good morning time?” or sometimes, “is it dark outside?”

She tells us stories: “It’s a story about once upon a time and a little girl went to a party and said I love you!”

Her favorite cereal is Special K, which is funny to me. It’s like she’s a fifty year old woman.

We went to the Nyack Halloween parade and the fire trucks were very loud and made her upset.

She processed what happened over and over after the fact and told anyone who would listen: “The fire trucks were too noisy and, uh, I was crying and, uh, I was sad but then the music started and I was, uh, happy already though.”

Nora can at times be easily distracted. The other day I said it was time to leave the playground and she was hysterical because of, you know, the injustice. She did the limp ragdoll body thing (so clever!) “Look at the birds,” I said. She laughed, elated suddenly, her face still tear-stained. “Yeah you made me happy and the birds are coming too!”

When she is elated she’ll let you know. She climbs up the stairs of the playground and says, “I’m so happy right now!”

She’s sweet: Every time I cough or sneeze she gives me a hug and rubs my back. “I made you happy!”

Kevin bumps his head getting her out of the car. She rubs his shoulder. “I’m sorry you bumped your head,” she says. “It’ll be okay.”

She often answers questions by saying, “Oh, well sure,” but often does not do the thing you’re asking because she’s very busy.

“Will you draw me a picture of a camel?” I ask.

“A camel? Oh well, sure. But first I better erase this.”

“Will you tell me a story?”

“Oh well, sure, but right now I’m sleepy and I better rest.”

“Do you like steak?”
“Steak? Well I dooon’t. But I’ll try!”
She sits on the couch and says she wants to watch Daniel Tiger. “Let’s play,” I say, putting a puzzle together by myself.

“Well, I’m stuffy so I better rest,” she says.
Her logic sometimes makes me laugh:

“Can you draw stars?”

“Well I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“Because I’m very whiny today.”

“I don’t like this donkey tail game.”

“Why not?”

“Because I’m sad.”

“Why are you sad?”

“Because I don’t like this donkey tail game.”

“Maybe next time Rachel and Brian will come to school with me tomorrow. But Caitlin and Leah won’t come to school with me.”
“Why not?”
“Because I’m sad.”

“Why are you sad?”
“Because Caitlin and Leah won’t come to school with me tomorrow.”
Other funny/random things she’s said:

“We see a reindeer but it’s not raining!”
“When I was little, my grandmother made me a house and it was out of blocks.”
“This is a bear cave. You’re going to be a bear and I’m going to be scared.”
She still likes to sing, constantly narrating what she’s doing. She’s got a few classics such as “eat your cereal,” “figure it out,” “red blue green and yellow,” and “yummy yummy yummy.”

We did a three day potty training boot camp, which meant we didn’t go anywhere for three days and let her run around in underwear and pee all over the house. She did really well! She had accidents every half hour the first morning, and then none after that. Now she wears underwear during waking hours. She’s not yet at the point that she tells us when she has to go and she’s often reluctant to sit on the potty because she’s very busy playing. But once she starts peeing, she gets this giant grin. She’s had a few accidents here and there, but she’s doing really great! I have to admit, though it’s the right move for right now, it’s bitter sweet for me that she’s out of diapers. Our little Shmooples is growing up!

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Everything will be okay Mommy

Nora is just as silly, goofy, affectionate, energetic, thoughtful, sweet and funny as ever. Here are some highlights.

Trip to the city

Nora packs up her pocketbook, sits three or four of her “guys” in the baby stroller and leaves the room.

“I gotta go.”

“Where are you going?” I say.

“I gotta meet Nicole in the city.” (Nicole is a good friend of mine.)

“What are you two going to do there?”

“We’re gonna eat coffee.”

Then, mimicking mommy she comes back in the room. “Oh! I forgot my wallet and my purse!”


We were at a friend’s birthday party at Tumble Bee and Nora had a blast. But when, at the end of the party, a person in fuzzy bee costume emerged from the back to a rap song which chanted “Bumble Bee, bumble bee,” Nora was not having it. She burst into tears and clutched onto the leg of the nearest staff member. I picked her up and hugged her, and she let out a nervous laugh as we watched the other kids hug the giant bee.

“I want to go home,” she cried.

“That’s not a real bee,” I said. “That’s just a girl in a bee costume, like for Halloween.”

“I want to go home,” she said, kind of like, look, I think I know what a giant bee looks like, and that is one right there.

The whole drive home and for the rest of the evening, she rehashed the debacle over and over again. “Da bee came out and I was crying. I said,” (in a mock crybaby voice) “‘I want Mommy!’ And he waved his hands like this” (waving her hands in front of her). “Maybe we’ll see him again.”

She is still rehashing, three weeks later. She’ll bring it up randomly in the car. “It’s not a real bee!” she says. “It’s a guuurl in a costume.”

I’m impressed by the way that she copes with one of her fears. She processes the situation and talks herself out of being afraid. Kid’s got a good head on her shoulders.

Crib mishap

Okay, it’s probably time for a toddler bed. It’s just that, I love that nice long nap she takes every day. And friends tell me the toddler bed might put an abrupt halt to the nap.

She climbed out of the pack n’ play at Nana and Poppop’s house, pulled a sheet off the bed, knocked a gate down and made her way to the bottom of the stairs.

“I want to play with Caitlin and Leah!” she was yelling. I ran up to get her when I realized her yelling had gotten louder. So loud, it almost sounded like she was no longer in the attic. Because she wasn’t.

She is probably too darn big for that pack n’ play anyway. Sigh.

Lovable moments

She says, “Mommy you’re so cute.”

“I want to play with you. Because I love you.”

“I’m so glad you’re here!”

I sneeze and she yells from the other room, “Are you okay, Mommy?”

“I’m okay,” I say.

“Everything will be okay Mommy!” she says.

She sure keeps me on my toes but I sure love her.

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“Motherhood Absentmindedness”

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to share my essay, “Motherhood Absentmindedness,” which was published in Brain, Child last week.

The essay begins:

You think I’d learn not to rest my coffee cup on the roof of the car while buckling my daughter Nora into her car seat, but sometimes, I only have so many hands. How many times have I backed out of the driveway and heard the clunk of a thing hitting the pavement? My phone, my sunglasses, a water bottle, a lunch bag, a juice box. And I have spent much of my existence searching for lost items, so much so that my two-year-old has a habit of walking into my closet with her hands in the air, saying, “I’m just looking for something”….

To keep reading, click on the link. http://www.brainchildmag.com/2014/09/motherhood-absentmindedness/



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There’s a coyote downstairs

Nora’s words/phrases
“Just”: “I just have a poop.” “I’m just eating cereal.” “We’re just having a birthday party.”
“Berry (very)”: “I berry need the bunny right now.”
“Doe (though)”: “No, but I berry need the bunny right now doe!” “I’m still berry hungry doe!”
She often starts a sentence with “but” that are not supposed to be contradictory: “But the doggy is eating his cereal.” “But, they’re sitting in chairs.”
“Mines” (instead of mine): “This one is mines and this one is yours.”
“I fink (think)”: “I fink these are not pajama pants.”
“Maybe”: “Maybe we’ll see a bunny.” “Maybe we’ll have a snack.”
“Should I?”: “Should I throw this?” “Should I put this in my mouth?”
If she wants to be carried, she says she wants to carry you: “I want to carry Daddy!”
She still thinks if someone gave her something, that they made it. “Rachel made this glider chair.”

Her guys
She has named her guys. Baby is “Babia,” Bear is “Bearia,” Bunny is “Bunnia” and you get the idea. She also named one dog “Fluffy” and one bunny “Fluff.”
Nora and her guys have a really great time in the crib when they’re supposed to be sleeping. Nora sings to them, changes their diapers, feeds them and talks to them.
Kevin goes in to check on her.
“We’re having a birthday party,” she says, surrounded by her guys.
“It’s time to go to sleep honey,” he says.
“No, but we’re berry having a birthday party!”

Nora has an active imagination. One night she tells us there’s a coyote downstairs. “Oh really?” I say. “Where is it?”
“In the kitchen,” she says.
She wakes up talking about the coyote and won’t let go of my leg as we walk into the kitchen. Maybe she had a dream about it – who knows.
And one day, she would not step outside.
“What’s the matter?” I say.
“There’s no bear outside,” she says, laughing nervously.
“No, there’s no bear,” I say.
This nervous laugh, this attempt to soften or mask her fears sort of breaks my heart. How did she learn to do this?
She is afraid of my sister’s dog, Morgan (a very sweet dog) – she won’t put her feet on the ground when Morgan is in the vicinity, but she does that funny laugh. “Oh there’s Mooorgan! Ha ha! She’s a nice dog! Ha ha! She’s berry, berry, berry nice!” She runs over to me and climbs on my lap. “Haha. I’m ok. I’m not scared.”

Potty training
It’s sometimes funny how coherent she can be and how level headed she can sound, when the truth is, she needs somebody to wipe her bum for her.
One morning, Kevin went into her room to get her out of bed. She sat up and said, “Hi. I just have a little poop in my diaper. I better take a bath.”

Her idea of a joke

We’re all eating dinner together and Kevin and I are talking and catching up on our day.

“I said, ‘I don’t want to wear the hair bow,'” Nora says, and laughs hysterically.

Mommy’s work
A few nights a week I teach yoga. When Daddy isn’t home, he’s “at work.” When mommy isn’t home, she’s “teaching yoga.”
“What does mommy do for work?” Kevin asks her.
“Um… baseball,” she says.

Here are some pics of Nora and her cousins from their fun in the sun.



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The bear is ready to go!


Can you believe Nora is two and a half?

I just love the imaginary life she has with her “guys.” She likes to pretend she’s mommy. Today, she carried Kermit the Frog around and had a little conversation with him: “Let’s have a picnic. You wanna hold my hand? Come. We have a special picnic. K? You wanna sit here? Put you on the high chair. K? Put your feet through. We have special food for you. Here’s your bib. You wanna get down?”

Sometimes, her mommy/teacher voice doesn’t sound so sweet. Another conversation with Kermit: “Sit right there. I want you to listen. Okay? No! No! I want you to listen to me.” (Ugh, I hope I don’t sound like that.) “Don’t do dat! Don’t put popcorn on the floor.” And, “Don’t hit.”

But more often than not she’s nice to them. “What’s wrong turtle? He had a boo boo in his hand” (Gives him a kiss.)

Nora in her crib in the morning holding her bear to me: “The bear is ready to go.”

Me: “Where is he going?”

Nora: “Uh… pizza.”

I love the face she makes when she holds one of her guys up close and says, “aww he’s so cuuute,” endearing little lovey face, little coy smile, chin tucked to chest.

She’s started using the potty more frequently before bed and in the morning. She even asked once to go in the middle of the day and she went pee pee!

She got her two bottom molars and one top one. She was not a happy camper when that top one was breaking through.

Nora in the car: “I want a bar.”

Daddy: “We don’t have a bar.”

Nora: “But we have a packet maybe?”

Sometimes she sounds Russian: “What I holding in my hand?” “What I wearing?” “What I have on my pants?”

When she wakes up in the morning, she’ll say, “What are we doing today?”

She started saying “Oh my goodness!” Daddy pointed at a building and said it looked like a castle. “Oh my goodness, it is!” she said.

I went in one night to check on her and she woke up for a second, her hair a mess. “It’s sunny outside today,” she said and then went back to sleep.

I just love her adorable pronunciation like “hoteeel” and “baycation” and the way her mouth moves in an exaggerated way when she talks. I love the way she pauses between each word and the way she seems to be thinking so hard about what she wants to say before she says it.

Every once in awhile I rock her the way I did when she was a little baby and it reminds me of that time. She looks up and off into the distance, big eyes, pretty lips, mouth slightly open. Her breathing slows down. I can tell she’s about to fall asleep, her eyelids drooping, but then she reaches out and touches my face. “That your eyebrow?” she yells. “That your hair?”


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