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That’s why I woke up

April 24th, 2009 by Joyce · 3 Comments

From a note by Matt:

One of life’s great pleasures, especially if you don’t do it every day, is rocking a little kid to sleep.  Most weekends, I get to attempt this feat with Carmen.  Today seemed to be a success, and I walked upstairs after laying Carmen down onto the bed.

Two minutes later, I hear some thumps and see Carmen walking up the steps. At the top of the stairwell she makes the following little speech, with no prompting:

I asked the bunk bed and I said, ‘Bunk bed, do you want me to sleep a short time or a long time?’
And it said, ‘A short time.’
And so I did, and that’s why I woke up.
Can I have a snack?

→ 3 CommentsTags: Dynamic Duo

I’m so glad you’re here

April 23rd, 2009 by Joyce · 1 Comment

Just before dinner yesterday evening I walked over to visit a neighbor and express my downright contrition about a mistake I made via e-mail.  She and her husband invited me in, and we chatted while they fed their toddler dinner and cooked a meal of their own.

About an hour later, I sat down at home and reported the results of the visit.  They accepted my apology graciously, and invited us to dinner on Sunday.  “And they talked to me while they were feeding their baby and cooking dinner.”  All at the same time.  “Did I do that?”

Matt reported I had.  Now in the evenings I just mostly stand in the kitchen and let Matt do most of the work.  At least I’m up there; for the longest time I couldn’t stand to be upstairs at all while he cooked.

“In fact,” he added, “Some of our best conversations were when we were cooking dinner.”

I padded off to the kitchen to stare at the counter and figure out how I would serve myself dinner, now cold.

He sent Carmen and David off to get ready to go shopping, and gave me a big hug.  “I’m so glad you’re here,” he said, then grabbed his wallet and walked out.

→ 1 CommentTags: My Brain (& the AVM)

Pictures from Above

April 19th, 2009 by Joyce · 1 Comment

A blog post from Matt:

Carmen drew herself a picture of a slide, but not a view from the side, or top, or anything.  It’s a top view, of the slide and ladder and gravel below, with a circle around it to mark the boundary of the picture.

Carmen - Slide and Ladder

Carmen - Slide and Ladder

David drew a picture of a watering can.  The spout, the can, the handle, the pipe connecting the spout to the main can, the hole in the can so you can dump in water, it’s all there.  But again, from above.  They weren’t given any direction in this – just some chalk and paper and told to do what they want.

Do all four year olds draw pictures as if they’re in an airplane?

David - Watering Can with Spout

David - Watering Can with Spout

Unrelated:  Carmen today woke up from nap and took out the blocks to make a building.  That in itself is interesting, because Carmen rarely plays with the blocks.  The building had two doors, and apparently is a public restroom.  One for “men” and one for “women”.  The women got a water fountain placed outside their door for visual interest as they walked in.

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To-Do: Plant vegetable seeds in garden

April 7th, 2009 by Joyce · 1 Comment

Yesterday C&D ate a late snack, so at noon I sent them outside to the patio to play.

I made lunch, cleaned up the kitchen, and completed a few small chores.  At one, I stood at the door and called them for lunch.  They ran to the stairwell and called back they were fine and wanted to stay outside a little bit longer.  I shrugged my shoulders and walked back inside.  Usually they’d be starving by this time of day, and they didn’t eat that much of a snack, but maybe they just weren’t hungry.  Rumor has it that happens to young children, though in this house that seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

But they had been hungry, all right.

At one-thirty they marched back inside.  Carmen walked through the door first.  “We were hungry so we ate all the carrots!” 

They’re not only expert at raiding the fridge and pantry, but they know how to raid the garden, too.  We don’t worry about deer, raccoons, and hogs raiding our city garden.  Just my children.

David left a few carrots in the ground last week, which I hoped would have a chance to grow larger than fingerling-size.  No chance.  Now they’re really, really gone.  Better get some planting done tomorrow.

→ 1 CommentTags: Dynamic Duo

Texas Childhood

April 7th, 2009 by Joyce

Carmen and David are pretending that the living room is a big back yard.  They’ve got horses back there, they say, and they’re building some fences.

I leave my bread in the kitchen to take a look. 

“This is our backyard,” Carmen says, grandly gesturing with her arm like I’m looking at her back 40.  I take a look at the fence David is building but she stops me at a receipt on the floor.  “But don’t step here, I’ve got poison for the fire ants.”  She points at an Amazon box from yesterday.  “And don’t go here, because there are ants.  And here, and here.”

Can’t be a proper Texas childhood without fire ants.


Last week Carmen was opening a stack of junk mail, tearing it open and digging for surprises (stickers, cardstock credit cards) like a bunch of hungry kids attacking a fallen pinata.  She got hold of a piece of mail addressed to me, and I was afraid the letter inside would rip before I had a chance to read it. 

“Carmen,” I said, “Is that your name there?”

She turned the envelope over.

“It has a J,” I pointed.  “Who in our house has a J in their name?”

She stared at the address label.  I decided to help her along. 

“Does Daddy have a J in his name?”






“Oh.  Well, who do you think this letter is for?”

She fingered the envelope.  Who cares?  She just wanted to open the dumb thing.  I decided I needed to drop another clue.

“What’s Mommy’s name?”


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