Friday, June 29, 2007


“I’m safe now,” Reesa will say to me when I come to get her after she has been sent to her crib for a time out.

What does that mean, I’ve wondered. Marilee thinks she understands.

Apparently, Reesa was scared in the pool recently, and Marilee calmed her down and then kept telling her, “It’s okay, honey, you’re safe now.” Reesa associates this phrase with the act of calming down. To her, “I’m safe now” means “okay, I’m much calmer now, thank you very much.”

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Immediately following every bath, the girls demand to dry off with a game of “Rock.” Here’s how we play. After stepping out of the tub dripping wet, they each get a towel from daddy. They cover their heads and back sides with the towel and drop to the ground face down with their legs tucked under, and they wait for daddy to say:

“I wonder where Genevieve and Reesa are? Hmm, I don’t see them anywhere. Ooof, oh, I stubbed my toe on this rock. Where did this come from?”

Giggling. Then daddy says: “Hmm, I don’t remember any rocks here before. I wonder how they got here?”

Genevieve will frequently stick a leg out and wiggle her toes.

“Hey, wait a minute…what’s this? Toes! Do rocks have toes?”

(Reesa usually says, “nooooo.”) Tickle feet. Much laughter.

“Oh, and right here, and here…two doopahs! Do rocks have doopahs? I don’t think so!”

Pinch doopahs. More laughter and squirming.

“And wait, that’s a belly button! These aren’t rocks! They’re little girls!”

Huge dose of tickling, lots of squirming and laughter. The moment I stop, Reesa stands, re-drapes her towel over her back and exclaims, “Again!”


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Back in the (blogging) saddle

Whoa! I haven't been posting for many-a-day, in part because the computer was in the shop for a few days, and in part because we are enjoying summer. Oh well, time to hop back into the saddle and get blogging!

Summer seems exciting for the children--so much goes on. Genevieve will stay up late even if put to bed early. Reesa sometimes will recognize her limits and ask to be put to bed. Correspondingly on the other end of sleep time, it is Reesa who is likely to be the early riser.

No photos (of our own) until we get out photo software updated, might be a week or so. Let's see... what's going on here lately? Today, Mommy had a day in which she used up all of the "good mommy" just before daddy got home, so daddy and the girls took a dinner picnic to a park and ran an errand with daddy. Since I last wrote, daddy has also had a couple of days in which the "good daddy" tank was near Empty, and mommy helped rescue me on those days.

We've had three campouts in our backyard this summer. Everyone learned a little more each time. I've become much less aprehensive about using mosquito repellent on a child (Reesa). Compared to the alternative suffering and week-long swelling, I'm going with the repellent. The kids are learning to sleep through a couple hours of morning light on these campouts, so hurrah for that.

Brooms are popular. They both pretend to be be witches. Reesa says, "I'm Kiki!" Yup, they sure love that Kiki.

The backyard, five-foot diameter, 10 inch deep wading pool is popular. Slip and slide is more of a hit with the older neighborhood boy. Sprinklers are fun for everyone. And another fire-pit and grillout will be held Friday. Hopefully, pictures will be available next week.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

This is for my dad, and my big thanks for all he did for me as a father. For one thing, I am well prepared to be a homeowner, what with all of the lawn mowing and painting practice I had!

And the photographic evidence doesn't lie--I'm at least as good looking as you! Way to pass on those genes!

Sorry I'm not there to take you out for fish fry. Happy Father's Day.

Daddy's ten-count

Expectations. They come in many flavors, so maybe it’s helpful to myself to distinguish amongst them.

Expectation of the moment.

--Most frequently manifests itself in the negative form, as in the internal dialogue of “oh no, I can’t deal with that whining right now.”

--Occasionally appears in the neutral form, as in contentedness without the necessity of an internal dialogue.

--Occasionally appears in the positive (or surprise) form, as in the internal dialogue of “aww, she just said ‘I love you…soooo much!’ in her soft little voice. That is so stunningly sweet!”

Both the positive and negative forms point to lack of balance in my mindset and preparedness to be the best father that I can be. Of course, I find the negative form most frustrating.

The primary set-up behind that negative situation is that I am attempting to simultaneously perform several of my roles while with the children, such as cook, dishwasher, waiter and launderer. Each child can, at any moment, suddenly want all or most of my attention, and that will usually trigger the other one to want the same. I will attempt to give some time, to balance all of the tasks, to distract them. But it may not work, and after a while I will hit a threshold.

If I’m in tune to what’s going, I’ll count to ten. Mostly, I now do this out loud—I am trying to have them hear that I am frustrated and will not be responding to them until I arrive at ten. Then, I try to talk about how I feel, why I am frustrated. Sometimes this results in peace and sometimes there is still upset, but by then I will usually be clear about some options that are appropriate.

However, I am not often in tune to what’s going on, and I end up frustrated and make abrupt decisions. *sigh*

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Parade and camping

First of all, photos from the Memorial Day parade. Genevieve enjoyed watching the parade with our friends, and we have a rare picture of daddy, this time holding a flag-waving Reesa.

Second, we have taken the children camping twice this summer. All the way to Camp Backyard, complete with blood-sucking mosquitoes, bunny-killer cats, bats, birds, neighbors stereos and floodlights, and roar of the highway from one and a half miles distant. It’s all good practice—first night, Reesa didn’t make it the entire night, then the second time it was Genevieve that had to come inside at 2:00 a.m.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Pink. It's the new blue.

Pink is the new blue

As noted in an earlier entry, Lily has no time for the finer distinctions of hues and color tones. Or primary colors. Used to be, that when you asked her what color something was, it was “blue.” Not anymore.

“Lily, what color is that?”


Pink. It’s the new blue.

A-cute test

“Ant! Ant! Ant!” Lily was pointing up over my shoulder as we were eating dinner at our backyard picnic table. I looked in the direction she indicated—the roof of our house, one of our maple trees.

“Uh…no, I don’t see any ants up there, Lily,” I said.


My wife pointed them out to me. Two ants walking on a wire about 20 feet from us.

She might see the world in black and white for all we know, but you can’t find fault with her visual acuity.

This is a child who can spot a one foot drawing of our local college mascot (a.k.a. LCM) across two lanes of traffic while moving 30 m.p.h. Of course, when LCM walked right by us at the Memorial Day parade, she was too enthralled looking at something else to notice LCM. I had to gently grab her hand and hold it out for LCM to touch on his way by.