Archive for February, 2011

Olivia at three

There are  a couple of lines from an old Counting Crows song that keep coming to mind lately:

She’ll change so suddenly
She’s just like mercury

As I adapt again to life with a three year old, I’m reminded of how unpredictable and uneven they can be. One minute, there’s a red-faced ball of anger throwing a massive tantrum on my kitchen floor. She is, of course, dressed as Sleeping Beauty in this scene. Her tiara is slightly askew and her round cheeks are wet with tears. She wants the impossible, and the fact I absolutely can’t deliver only makes her fury grow. It seems the only word she knows is “no.”

And then, moments later, she’s bright and cheerful, and she puts her sticky, pudgy hands on my face, presses her nose to mine, and says, “Lend me some sugar, I am your neighbor!” She tells me she loves me, and asks, “Are you happy at me now?”

Inevitably, I am.

She’s completely unreasonable and absolutely adorable. She’s the most challenging part of my life right now.

But, in the words of Adam Duritz:

She’s entwined in me
Crazy as can be
Yeah, but she’s alright with me

Keep calm and carry on

I turned out the lights upstairs tonight as I put the girls to bed. From the dark room, I heard Ava announce in a calm and even voice, “Mom, there’s a ghost right there.”

As goosebumps sprang up all over my body, I responded just as calmly, assuring her there were no such things as ghosts. I reached out to flip on the light, and the bulb went out with a flash and a loud pop.

I screamed.

I’ve scarred her for life, haven’t I?

And so it begins. AGAIN.

We first visited Madison in early March of 2000. It was 55 and sunny, and the committee trying to woo Bryan into their grad school program assured us that was normal Madison weather for early spring.

It wasn’t.

But in Kansas, 55 and sunny IS normal, or at least not unusual, for this time of year. This winter, though, has felt very Wisconsin-like in comparison. After an inch or so of sleet today, we’ve seen another few inches of snow. I can safely say I’ve seen more snow this winter than I have our four previous winters combined.

It’s pretty, but I really hope it melts tomorrow.

The roads are remarkably slick, but air temperatures are hovering right around 32 degrees.

What’s it like where you are tonight?




Ava Fix

We spent the weekend in Nebraska, playing games with the Smith family. I didn’t have my camera at the ready, but fortunately, Aunt Jess was on top of it. Here’s a shot of Ava with her newest cousin Sylvia. You can check out the rest of the weekend’s photos (along with other hilarity) at Laugh at Jessie.


I made chicken noodle soup for dinner. Here’s how the conversation went:

Rebecca:  “Guess what, everyone! I came home over the lunch hour during a very busy day to make you homemade chicken noodle soup, because I am the best mom ever.”

Olivia:  “I don’t wike chicken noon-nul soup.”

Rebecca:  “Yes! You do!”

Ava:  “Me either Mom. Why can’t we go to Crush Sandwich for dinner?”

Rebecca:  “I think you mean Smash Burger.”

Ava:  “Yeah, that.”

Rebecca:  “Ava, you love chicken noodle soup. It’s just like Gramma Great’s!”


Rebecca:   “…celery?”

Ava:  “Gramma Great DOES NOT put celery in her soup. Also, what is this OTHER green stuff?”

Rebecca:  “Um….dill.”

Ava:  “Mom. Seriously.”

All of this aside, they both had three bowls!

Ava Fix

Handmade holidays, continued

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that we were the grateful recipients of several handmade gifts this Christmas. Karyl kindly gave me this gorgeous holiday quilt, which—as you can tell—did not get put away with the rest of the Christmas decorations. I love it so much I think it will always be on hand—it’s perfect for snuggling under when you’re dressed in nothing more than swimwear in February.

Just add summer

Temperatures are climbing, but not quite as high as the girls would like to think. Still, it was a balmy 71 degrees in the living room last Sunday.

Happy Valentine’s Day

The girls and I made four batches of smashed berry muffins this weekend. Sixty-four mini muffins went to kindergarten and preschool unadorned (to fulfill the “healthy” food preference expressed by the teachers). The others were topped with a towering swirl of strawberry-meringue buttercream and enjoyed by friends and coworkers.  Thanks to Laura for the adorable cupcake boxes!

Good company