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Rosie’s turning 3

Happy birthday to Rosie! On Saturday, she’ll be 3.

Rosie is a character.  Today, we shared fruit and a croissant at the Art Café. She sat across from me with her hands folded on her knees, a little smile on her face. “Well,” she said. “This is a lovely snack.”

She chats from morning to night, a steady stream of related and unrelated thoughts: “Last time, it was Halloween at scoowal and I weared my skeleton costume, and Luca said to me, “hey, badoinky face! And I said, that’s silly Luca because he’s my friend and he’s a silly guy!” The story pauses so she can belly laugh, showing those little teeth with the spaces between. “Is that funny?”

Sometimes, Nora laughs with me after Rosie’s long-winded monologues. “Rosie, you’re just so cute, I can’t take it. Oh, Rosie, I just love you. I love you more than infinity!” Other times, she’s not into it. “Rosie! Yesterday wasn’t Halloween! And you weren’t even a skeleton for Halloween!”

Rosie’s favorite game at the moment is: “Can you make this guy talk?” She’s moved on a little bit from pretending that she herself is the character to bringing all of the inanimate object in our house to life. She will hand you anything—a stuffed elephant, a play doh flower, a stick. “Can you make this guy talk, and then I’ll make the other guy talk?” This happens nonstop throughout the day, so when I’m trying to clean the dishes, I’ll try to make the sponge talk. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. “No, sit over here, no right heeeare! And you be the Mommy and this guy will be the baby and it will be night night time, okaaay?”

She gets so engrossed in her make pretend, that she never wants to move on from an activity. When we must move on, Rosie freaks out. She can be a dramatic little person, screaming, “No!!!!!” and flopping around. “No, no, no, no, this is not-a-great-day-today.” I have to crawl over and under jungle gyms to retrieve Rosie and carry her, flailing, to the car. This is a challenge. I am trying to figure out how to set the limits for her, to be clear with my expectations, to decide which battles to choose, to know when to distract and when to teach, and to give her opportunities to feel in control. Sometimes, I do these things well, and sometimes, I don’t.

Rosie and Nora fight like sisters do, and it is usually because they would like to play the game in two different ways. Nora is often more logical, possibly because of her age—while she also thrives on make pretend, she likes for the game to be somewhat consistent with reality. “Rosie, if it’s a Zumba class, we don’t wear tutus. Zumba is not ballet.”

“Yes, we do.”

“No we don’t, Rosie!”

“Yes, we do.”

“No. We. Don’t!!!!”

“Yes. We. Do!!!!”

Etc., etc, etc.

I am shocked when they occasionally work it out on their own.

Nora: “Well, I guess you can borrow my pink tutu.”

Rosie in a high voice. “Oooh! That would be so very nice.”

Nora’s big sister voice is funny to me. She sort of drops her chin, lowers her voice and says, “Rosie. That isn’t true. Frogs don’t have wings. They’re amphibians and they live in the water.”

Rosie, usually flitting around the room, humming a little song: “Yes, it is. Because today was my bertday and I said, I’m not eating anything today and you said, oh yes you are! And I’m going to decorate your arm or you will have a time out.”

Nora scoffs, not even looking up from whatever she’s doing: “Rosie. That doesn’t make any sense.”

Oh, they are just so interesting. I’m not always able to appreciate it, because sometimes, I just want them to stop fighting and play nice. Sometimes, I don’t feel like “making this guy talk” because I need to move through the day: give them bath, get them dinner, get Nora in her leotard and tights and get back out the door to dance. We spend a lot of time cleaning, getting them out the door, getting them back in the door and getting them to bed.  It so nice when I’m able to pause, play, and observe them.

That’s why I want to write it all down, so I can have a little distance to sit back and enjoy the moments.  And they’re good at pulling me out of my to-dos to make sure I’m paying attention to their cuteness. Rosie sat next to me at the playground yesterday and said, “Well, it is a beautiful day, today.”

I’m really proud of them, and in awe of how they’re growing.

Happy, happy 3rd birthday to sweet Rosie!

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Nora is going to be six years old next month. That sounds really big to me. I actually remember being six. She is so smart, with this snarky sense of humor. She is a giant goofball. She still likes to hide whenever someone new comes in the door or when we’re trying to get her to go to bed.  She makes you feel like you are the funniest person in the world, because all you have to do is make a weird face and she will burst into laughter. Her smile is so bright. She is reading but she’s not confident about it yet. She is very social and goofy with her friends, but she is still not talking much to the teachers at school. She will whisper to them sometimes. She turns away from them, bringing one shoulder to her ear, physically uncomfortable. She is so tall and so extremely smart, and that makes her seem older than she truly is. One minute, we’re having an interesting conversation about planets and then, she is melting down, needing me to help her put her shirt on or buckle her seatbelt. There are inconsistencies in the way she grows and reverts, pulling forward and falling back. This uneven growth makes us work hard. Sometimes, we feel stuck. We never know what kind of a moment it will be—if she will be like an eight year old or a three year old. I don’t know if this is the way all kids are because she is our oldest. Sometimes, I want it to be easier, for her to have more confidence and to act in the ways she is capable of doing. But then, I try to remind myself that our biggest problem is how much she needs us, and it won’t always be that way.

There are moments when I look at her from a distance and I am so in awe, because she is so graceful, intelligent and funny. I see that she really has grown, through that uneven process of forward and back. It’s hard to always grasp this because we are so in it. The other day, I watched her through the little window at dance class. She leapt over the mats with her ponytail swinging behind her and she looked like a graceful, beautiful girl. I felt really proud. I remembered how small and unsure she was when she started at dance, and now, she just goes and does it. I try to have confidence that she will get through the hard spots to become her best self. I think she needs me to have that confidence.

Rosie is so imaginative. She is rarely just Rosie anymore— she is Elsa and Nora is Ana and they live in a purple castle. She is Dora and she tells me I am Boots and we are going to the volcano. She calls me Grandma pretty often, which I’m not crazy about. “Grandma, this is my car, okay, and I’m mama and we’re driving to the palace.” She tells elaborate stories about fairies, princesses, mamas and babies.

The most convincing part Rosie likes to play is that of a two-and-a-half year old. When she is mad about something, she cries fat tears and says, “This is not a great day!” or “No no no, this is not a great thing?” Her voice lifts up at the end of the sentence as if it was a question. Most of what she says is with assurance, but there is often a question at the end. “I said I wanted animal crackers so you get me more animal crackers now, okay?” Unfortunately, she’s learned some bad words from Nora and she knows to use them to rile us up. “What the heck, you’re stupid head and you can’t do that and what the heck, stupid, stupid?” Oh, help us. It’s only the beginning, I know. Also, when she’s mad, she’ll say “Nuffin,” to anything you ask. “What did you do at school?” “I did nuffin. NOT. Anyfing!”

At school, Rosie decided she would like to be called Rose, not Rosie. Then, she wanted to be Rapunzel. Sometimes Nora feels like just being herself and not a princess, but Rosie will not break character. Also, Nora says it’s not fair that Rosie always gets to be the good ones, like Elsa and Rapunzel. She always gets to choose! Nora is right, it isn’t really fair. This is an interesting turn of events, Rosie now calling the shots after years (two and a half to be exact) of being smooshed and sat on and ordered around. Nora still does get to call the shots most of the time, though, I think. There are these shining moments when the two of them are playing so sweetly together, when they are satisfied with the role they are each playing. They make a bear cave out of a cardboard box and blankets, get out all of their stuffed animal bears and start feeding them play food. They build a boat, look for treasure, drive the car to the bus or take Rosie’s baby doll Ra for a walk in the stroller.

Speaking of Ra, one day, we couldn’t find her. We looked everywhere until she finally turned up in a basket in Nora’s room. Then, something hilarious happened. We found ANOTHER Ra outside on the back deck. Finding two Ra’s was one of the funniest things to ever have happened to Nora and Rosie.

Rosie’s other favorite guy is Mim-mim, a white bunny that sleeps in her bed. She uses a cute baby voice when she’s talking to her, tells her she loves her and gives her lots of kisses.

Sometimes, I can’t even handle the cuteness. They really look out for each other when we’re out in the world. They hold hands and do a whole lot of hugging. Their heads are really extremely cute. I’m sure everyone feels this way about their kids, but no, for real. 😉 I complain about needing more time to myself, but then, when I’m away from them, I crave them. Nora says, “Rosie’s so cute and when I see her I just want to hug her all of the time.” That’s how I feel about the both of them.


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Fall pics

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by | October 14, 2017 · 12:56 am

Peanut butter and jelly in my hair!

Nora likes to take her time and move at her own pace, and she shows resistance if she is pushed. She sits back and observes rather than jumping right in, and thinks deeply about everything she sees. She is very perceptive once you get her to open up about her feelings, and she’s aware of the way she is. She’ll say, “Well, I didn’t talk to the grown-ups because I’m shy and because I’m not used to them, but I did talk to some of the kids.” She calls the phenomenon of being shy in class, “not being screwed in yet.” When she gets more used to people, she says, “I’m a little more screwed in than I was before.” She likes to do everything right and often gets frustrated if that’s not possible. After a long day of pent up frustration, of being good and quiet in school, her energy is frenetic, loud (and can sometimes get aggressive toward me or Rosie when she is exhausted.) Those who know her well know she is incredibly goofy, silly, athletic, creative, imaginative, and sharp. Once she gets over the initial shyness, she makes friends very easily and is a lot of fun to be around and loves to laugh. She loves to sing (especially songs from “Moana” and “Sing”), and dance around the room. Drawing is one of the ways she relaxes, and it’s also a way for her to be precise and imaginative in something she can control. A friend of mine said she “has a poetic face,” which always stuck with me. This is the face I see when she doesn’t know anyone is looking at her, when she is thinking about life. Last night, we wrote down her worries and then threw them away, (an exercise they did in Hebrew school.) One of her worries, she said, was about wanting to wake us up after bedtime when she knows she’s supposed to stay in her bed. She’s sometimes scared when Elephanty isn’t in her bed. She is also worried that she knows how to be good, like not hitting or saying “ha ha chicken sma, stupid, poopyhead,” but sometimes, she forgets. After we threw all of her worries in the bin, I asked if she felt better. “Yeah,” she said. “But the worries aren’t actually gone. Get of my brainy, worries!” She started hitting the palm of her hand against her head. I told her that was okay, that I worried about a lot too, and that hopefully it will at least help to share them. “I think about a lot of things all the time,” she said. I told her we are a lot alike.

This has been a big summer for her—she started to read, she got more comfortable riding her bike, she did the monkey bars by herself, and she finally put her head under water. Now, she’s started Kindergarten, and while she seems to enjoy it, I’m struggling with the transition because it’s hard for me to believe that we’re done with Mommy and Me classes and that she will spend every weekday away from me. She was ready for the change I think, but I’ve always been nostalgic and though she can at times give me a hard time, I have treasured the times we spent together.

I know Rosie is only two, but I already see such different personality traits in her at this age than with Nora. She is the kid who likes to answer every question and who will chat it up with strangers. “Aren’t I wearing a preeetty jjjjress?” At story time, she stands right in front of the librarian, pointing at the book she’s reading. We went to the Farmer’s Market to see a Bossyfrog concert—(if you don’t know of him, he is all the rage)—and she took Nora’s hand and pushed her way up to the front so they were practically standing on Bossyfrog’s toes. Nora looked so uncomfortable to be up that close to him– (she used to despise anyone in costume but she is old enough to know it’s just a person in there and that it’s not cool to be afraid.) Rosie was dancing with one arm up and then the other, making a hilarious scrunched up face. At MyGym, Rosie follows all of the directions, reaching up and then bending down to touch her toes when she’s supposed to. She is so ready for school—she’s worn her empty ladybug backpack every day for the last two weeks to drop Nora off at Kindergarten, and she is thrilled to finally get to go to nursery school herself. Last night, Nora asked Rosie what she worries about and she said, “That my friends are sooooo lovable and they hug me all the time!” We all laughed and Nora asked if there was anything else. “Peanut butter and jelly in my hair!” she shouted, and again, we laughed. She is ridiculous, her new little ringlets bobbing around as she dances, the silly things she says, her funny chubby thighs. She can be very sweet, telling me, “you look very booootiful today,” and she can lash out making her meanest (but pretty hilarious) face, yelling, “Go away!” She freaks if she is not allowed to do something all by herself. She’d like to walk on the street without holding hands, buckle herself into the stroller, or open the string cheese without any help. “No! No! No! I do it all by myself!” She is very huggable and snuggly. She likes to grab my face and pull me to her saying, “let’s kiss with our lips together.”

Together, my girls are wild, sweet, sometimes too much, lovable, loving and ridiculous. Whatever Nora says or does, Rosie does too. Both girls like to say “butt daaaance!” and dance around naked after their baths. I’m really trying not to encourage this, but it is pretty funny. They play baby together—Nora is the mommy, Rosie is the baby and I am the grandma. They sing together and dance on the bandstand at the beach. In the bath, they like to put bubbles on their heads. They fight over toys and hit each other. When one falls, the other one gives her a hug and a kiss on the cheek. They make each other belly laugh more than anyone else can. They love to hide from me and Kevin, especially when we’re trying to get them to go to bed. Together they wrestle, sing, scream, laugh, ride bikes, dance, carry backpacks, and play.

There are a lot of ups and downs, and it’s not always easy but they are everything to us. 



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Baby clothes collage

Thought I’d share my little idea with you. It was definitely time to give the baby clothes away, but I had a hard time letting go. I went through a very special, emotional process,  holding up onesie after onesie, mystified that my girls could ever fit into those clothes and by the whole thing– that at one time the girls didn’t exist, and then they did, and then, I put them in those teenie onesies and took them for walks in the carrier and nursed them and rocked them to sleep. Now, my girls are huge, and they just keep getting huge-er, and they do their activities like soccer and dance, and they have their own very strong opinions about everything, and they say things that I didn’t teach them to say. Nora is especially big now. She’s a real kid– nothing babyish about her.

It was stupid for me to let bagfuls of baby clothes collect dust in my house when another little baby could be looking adorable in them. Most of the clothes were hand-me-downs from my sister, and I really appreciated having them. So, now friends will create their own memories and go through their own special, emotional processes of letting go when the time comes, and then they might give the clothes to another friend who might go through that special, emotional process too, and it will be this endless cycle as the clothes continue to circulate from mom to mom until the end of time.

Maybe that’s dramatic.

The point is, I came up with this idea to create a collage of some of my favorite clothes. I’m thinking I’ll make a print of this for the girls’ rooms. Although, this is definitely more for me than for them. Each image tells a story for me. If you’re nostalgic like me, maybe this idea will appeal you. 😉

Here it is:

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You A Chicken For REEAL

If you were to walk by our house, you’d probably hear children singing “How Far I Go,” from Moana in very loud, (and nasally) voices. “When the sky from the light from the sky meets the sea, it calls me! Now I KNOOOOWW how far it GOOOOOs!” Nora and Rosie are obsessed with this movie, (and they’ve only seen it once), to the point that I decided we had to cool it with the soundtrack to give their brains a break. It was the ONLY thing Rosie talked about for awhile. She really hasn’t watched THAT much TV– okay more than what I let Nora watch at this age. Poor second child. She just absorbs TV unlike anything else. She started telling random kids on the playground, “We watched Moana and it was scaahwy. Moana and uuuummm Heihei  and uuuummm Maui is funny. Um. I’m Moana of Motunu and you will board my boat.” She told Kevin, “I’m Moana and you Heihei the CHICKen.” He said, “I’m not a chicken!” And she said, “But. You Heihei the CHICKen Foh Reeeal.”

She’s pretty good at zingers without even meaning to be. For awhile, she’d call us Sven the reindeer from Frozen. “Mommy, you Sben! I Anna and Nora Elsa and you Sben.”

Also, she said to Kevin, after I’d asked everyone if they’d rather be a cow or a horse (by the way, he said cow if it was a bull). “No, Daddy,” Rosie said. “You a DONKEY.” Zing! What’s with her and calling people not-so-glamorous animals?

Rosie is a chatter box now. She opens her eyes after a nap and immediately starts chatting as if she was not asleep for the last two hours, but in the middle of a thought. The way she talks is so funny to me. She sounds like a voice navigation system. The words are real person words, but her inflection is not quite right and often ends with a question when it shouldn’t, i.e. “AYE love YOU so MUCH?”

She’s started to really think about things the way Nora does. She watched an episode of Super Why with Nora (again with the TV. Sheesh. I’m ashamed!) The episode was about Little Red Riding Hood. That night, I was rocking Rosie and she kept asking, “Is da woof gramma?” “Well,” I said. “It’s complicated. Not exactly.” She was not satisfied. “Mommy, is da woof gramma?” She asked me over and over and over again. “There’s a whole story about it,” I said. “You see, there was this girl named little red…” She lifted her head from my shoulder, put her hands on my cheeks and turned my face toward her face. We were nose to nose. “Mommy,” she said.  “Look at me. I TALKING to you. Is the woof gramma?” “No,” I said, finally. “No, it’s not.” I tried to get her to relax and rest her head on my shoulder, and she started whispering to me. “Mommy is the woof gramma? Mommy is the woof gramma?”

Nora and Rosie are doing just what sisters are supposed to do. They play together, wrestle with each other, scream at each other, fight with one another, turn on us and get into trouble together and love each other in an almost primal way. It’s cool that they can play together now. The game of choice right now is called “sick baby.” Often, I find Rosie sitting in (I mean, dwarfing) a bouncy chair or doll’s stroller while Nora checks her heartbeat with her stethoscope or puts a blanket over her and tells her she needs to rest. “Don’t get up, Baby,” Nora says. “You need your rest.” Rosie says, “My rest? Okay, Momma.” They also like to put on backpacks, rainboots and our jackets and play a game Rosie likes to call, “I’m going at school.”

I can’t keep up with the rapidly shifting love/fight dynamic between these two, and often it’s best for me not to jump in too quickly. I might hear screaming and run into the room to find them both yanking on a toy. I’m just about to intervene when the screaming turns into laughter and then the two of them are chasing each other around the room, in hysterics.

Nora says she loves Rosie just a little bit more than she loves me and Daddy. But that she loves us all a lot. It’s cool. They’ll have a bond that no one can match, and they should. Their relationship will be theirs and only theirs, and that’s what I would hope for them.

PS- I’ve been really bad about updating so I’m going to add a few little funny things Rosie used to do. She’d would start walking backwards and yell “Backwards!” and bump into stuff. Or, she’d put her hands over her eyes and walk around like that and fall all over the place. Also, for awhile she investigated putting food up her nose. She did this with a very serious expression. She put stuff in her ears too. Glad those phases are over. (Knock on wood.)

Thanks for reading!

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Billy, the nicer monster

Nora and Blobbo haven’t hung out very much recently. They used to play together a lot when Nora was four. That was before he became invisible. The reason they stopped playing together is because he got tired of being her friend. 😦 (Your loss, Blobbo. Nora is the best friend anyone could ask for.) He decided to come back now that she’s five, but now she can’t see him– she can only hear him. He became invisible by stepping on the gray rug at Nana’s and Poppop’s beach house. Nora actually almost stepped on the gray rug too. Good thing she didn’t because she would have become invisible too.

Blobbo has really a lot of energy and he eats a lot of food. But he shouldn’t eat that much food because Nora doesn’t want him to be too big, because if he’s so big, then wherever she walks, she would bump into him! When she told him not to eat to much food, he said, “Cheeks!” That means he only eats cheeks. And Nora didn’t know that. Cheeks are not like cheeks on our face. They are roast beef, hot dogs and roast beef/chicken. And that’s what Blobbo likes to eat.

Nora has a new friend named Billy (pictured below.) He’s much nicer than Blobbo. They met because Blobbo was trying to be mean and throw Billy onto a roof, but Billy didn’t fall onto the roof– he got into Nora’s arms.


Billy has a unicorn horn that looks like a unicorn’s horn and it’s gold. And he has purple out here and green inside his belly. And he has ears like this and little green spots inside. He has two feet and two hands. He’s as big as Nora’s arms outstretched. He has two mouse teeth just like this:


He does person things, like he runs around a lot. He’s kind of wild. But he’s very nice. Nora knows he’s nice because she has seen him be nice to Blobbo.

Nora has sort of figured out on her own that Billy might just be better company than Blobbo, and good for her. She and Billy have a great time together. Their favorite thing to do is have tea parties, just the two of them, and to drink real tea (both cold and hot.)




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Snow snow!

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by | February 16, 2017 · 11:31 pm

Winter fun


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Peaceful day


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