Showing posts with label Vivism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vivism. Show all posts

Thursday, May 01, 2014

{six}


Vivi is six! My mom came up to celebrate her birthday with us. Vivi is particularly fun to celebrate a birthday with because of how much she loves the event. She talks about and plans her birthday for weeks and even months leading up to it. She is just so excited! It's nice that her birthday is in spring because, for me, it marks the beginning of a change in the weather and even the demeanor of the people around here. Everyone heaves a collective sigh of relief that new life has sprung once again.

As in years past, we incorporated a local farm in the birthday activities. Because her birthday nearly coincided with April vacation week, we were able to sign Vivi, Charlie, and a few friends up for a gardening class. Afterward mom and I took them to eat dessert at one of those frozen yogurt places where you pick your own toppings. When I returned one of the girls to her house, her mom came out and said, "Now you can go home and have a glass of wine." That wasn't her first rodeo, but it was mine. Phew! The sugar shock was so great, it almost seemed like the ice cream intoxicated the girls for a full hour afterward. Much fun ensued, as I'm sure you can imagine.


This year I'm seeing how Vivi's growing sense of self is changing how she experiences her birthday. I was surprised to discover, come birthday morning, that she was disappointed to learn that even planning ahead couldn't make her birthday as perfect as she might have wanted. She hadn't considered that perhaps the weather wouldn't cooperate (ha, what's new?) or that she'd still have to participate in regular life activities--school, swim class, bath time--even though it was her birthday. But being the resilient, happy girl we know and love, she recovered quickly and by the end of the day, she said she had a great time despite those minor setbacks. I came to her kindergarten class and read one of her favorite stories, Bad Kitty, much to the giggly delight of the kindergartners, and then I watched as each and every one of them hugged her on their way out the door. She seems to have made quite the impression on them too.

I'm planning to write a personal letter to Vivi that isn't on the blog this time around. You can check out my previous birthday posts, a few with letters, here: onetwo, three, four, and five.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

on writing, adorably

It has become a tradition for me to begin blog posts with an aside, a practice I could also refer to as "My 11th grade English teacher probably hates me." Hi Ms. Clinch! Anyway, this time my aside is somewhat related to what the rest of my post is about, and it starts with you reading stuff on other places on the interwebs. But promise to come back afterward.

Okay, here goes. Firstly, I am turning last year's post about gut health and antibiotics into a three-part series on MindBodyGreen, and the first article is up today. Go check it out! Next read this Onion article about Boston. Finally, watch this youtube video of bad NFL lip reading, which has nothing to do with anything but was so funny I nearly actually fell out of my chair laughing. [Dad, Billy will love it.]

****************

Oh hi, you're back. I thought of that Onion article when I mulled over the concept of this post because it's kind of how I feel telling people I'm thinking of writing full time, like, as a career. They smile and say, "That's great!," but in my head they are saying, "Awww, how adorable. She thinks she can wriiiiite."

People are probably not actually thinking that at all. Or, maybe a few are, but my anxiety isn't about them; it's just an excuse to keep me from writing. Once I stripped away those lame excuses, I had an epiphany. It's me. I'm the only thing keeping me from writing. This realization is both good and bad because now there's nothing stopping me. Well, nothing except watching that youtube video on repeat. Or feeling bad that I am not always writing now that I've had that epiphany, then gorging on peanut butter and bananas while watching that youtube video on repeat.

But even with all that banana-gorging and youtube gawking, I am somehow managing to write a little every day. I owe a lot of my inspiration to my parents, who are possibly the two most encouraging souls around, and...is this turning into an acceptance speech for a phantom award? I'll wrap it up before I get played off the stage...and to Anne Lamott for writing her very funny, very encouraging book about writing, Bird by Bird.

Something you may not have noticed, unless you're one of my children's grandparents, is that I haven't been writing about or posting Instagram photos of Vivi as much so far in 2014. There are several contributing factors to this trend. But the most essential point is that she is growing into a person with her own thoughts, feelings, and opinions, and I think she deserves to have her privacy back. It's bittersweet to see her become a little lady and be so proud of her but also realize that Vivisms are probably all but gone for good (which means no more tripping on butt cracks). I still write about being a parent, but I think I'll post less about my kindergartner's day-to-day behaviors and more about the postcard-worthy accomplishments.

My BRF when I am reading what I've written...more like CRF (creepy resting face)

Friday, January 10, 2014

winter journaling

This is an account a regular day in the Ranger house. I know I'll treasure whatever reporting I manage to type about these normal moments of life because I already do treasure the ones I've made in the past (see Feb. '12...boy do I miss my morning NPR-listening and zoning out). Most of my days are one of two or three possible routines, including 1) the gym, 2) the library, or 3) shopping, or some combination of all of them.

Monday, December 02, 2013

joie de Vivi

"Oh how I love cake!"

I just went back and read this post about Vivi. If there's one thing I'd tell that version of myself from six months ago, it'd be not to worry so much about kindergarten. Vivi seems to be enjoying herself and staying out of trouble. On the day I visited, she excelled at the tasks given to her, from leading a small group to writing sentences (she balked at the teacher's request that she complete two sentences, but she did it). I say "leading a small group," but it primarily involved her bossing around other kids while reenacting a scene from a book they had just read, and she ate up every moment, bless her.

She has many friends and loves life, so thus far I am able to report that school has not yet squashed her spirit. It's all good. Oh, and don't get me started on school lunch, which she ADORES. If I would let her buy lunch every day, she'd be happy as a pig in a poke, but we'd be $60 broker per month. For now I let her buy once a week, and she typically chooses either pizza, hot dog, or soft pretzel/yogurt. Her cafeteria routinely serves veggies like green salads and mashed sweet potatoes too, so I have mostly praise to give them on that front.

Vivi still asks more questions than I thought humanly possible. I'm considering getting her this book for Christmas as much for my assistance as for her edification. Nate gets into the answering of the questions with patience and good humor, and I try to use his example as my guide. Oh my goodness, the girl just wants to know. Here she is watching football with her daddy. In this clip, she's asking him about a football player whose name is Ball:

video

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

golden girl

I know that as parents, we all love our children to pieces. I'm not talking about just the two of us in our parenting unit but all parents collectively. We think our children hung the moon and are the most special, bright beings ever created. Each of our children is the absolute best, and we are unwilling or unable to hear otherwise. My mind tells me that my bias blinds me against our children's faults and weaknesses, yet still in my heart I know that my children ARE the best.

Genevieve had her well child visit, and the doc gushed over her as usual. She said something to the effect of "You are my absolute favorite kids today, and I'm so glad you came to see me!" which could have been just fluff but who cares? Loving her bedside manner. I ate it up as much as my kids did, since I still have my fervent desire to please all who can be considered teachers in this life. And our pediatrician is most certainly my #1 teacher at the present time. It was she, you might remember, who told us that we should ignore rather than acknowledge our kids' protests when they don't want the meal we are serving. Pure genius, that woman.

Meanwhile, Vivi strutted her stuff during her appointment, as per her usual diva standards. She walked back and forth on command and answered all questions enthusiastically. Her favorite fruit is mango, and her favorite veggie is edamame (at least it's green). After the visit, I treated the girls to ice cream and then a bus ride home, which sounds like no fun to you or me but is high on their list of amazing feats.

Hey y'all. I'm on instagram now! You can see this photo there too...and follow me.

Nate and I were conversing last night about her appointment, and I started in again about not being sure I am enjoying her enough. Rather than griping about it, I am more resigned to the situation as it is and have moved on to explaining the possible reasons I'm feeling this way. Looking at Vivi's preschool photo, I am caught imagining what her senior picture will look like. Then I think about how it's not so many years from now, and then I have to sit on my hands to prevent launching myself upstairs to wake her up and give her a hug.

So why don't I just sit around hugging her all day? The truth is that while the two-dimensional girl in the photo is easy to put on a pedestal and adore, the walking/talking version of the girl is a whirling dervish who hardly sits still all day. She is a chatterbox with the ideas and energy of three children together. I find that the best way to enjoy her is to set her loose and watch the Tasmanian devil in action. Any attempt to pin her down winds up frustrating all of us.

Actually, if I had to pick one concern I have for her next year, it's that I think kindergarten is probably the time when she will be asked to sit still and complete tasks more, and I know she will clash with her teacher over this requirement. At the kindergarten parents' night, the teachers suggested we start giving her responsibility to complete tasks on her own. While I am happy to oblige, my tasks are certain to be less challenging to her since I don't accompany them with a room full of peers for her to befriend. Her pre-k teachers have told me that when Vivi is chatting with friends, there is little they can do to encourage her to stay on task. She is super duper excited about kindergarten beginning in the fall, and I know she'll do great. I guess what I'm saying is that I hope they don't change her too much. I enjoy her unbridled innocent joie de vivre!

She is still a music-lover, and her current favorite is the Icona Pop song, "I Love It (I Don't Care)." Nate and I wince when she gets to the lyrics "You're so damn hard to please, we gotta kill this switch. You're from the 70's, but I'm a 90's bitch." I've mostly decided to let it happen, figuring if she says these words in her normal conversations, I will address it then. It's not like she has any clue of what the singer means, so it seems harmless enough. Right? RIGHT?

Just a few more days until SUMMER OFFICIALLY BEGINS!!!!1!
xoxo
~J

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

on the range {week 9}: buttermilk roast chicken

{On the Range} is my weekly series where I discuss what we're doing, reading, and eating. It's a little bit 52 project and other photo projects, and a little bit {Did you Read?} and {In the Ranger Kitchen}.


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."
 Others from that portrait session...



Wednesday, June 06, 2012

stuff is happening

Watching them play peacefully from inside the house. Two peas in an adorable pod, they are.

Seems like we're due for me to give y'all a what-I'm-up-to brain dump. I mean, enough with the organization and the structured posts already, right? Things are going along swimmingly, that is if you don't count the fact that I got a second nasty cold in two months (so much for my moronic "I haven't been sick in two years!!" bragging, s'pose I had it coming), and the fact that it has been the dreariest of dreary weather for too long to count, and the fact that I am so disorganized right now that I missed Vivi's last-day-of-school-sing-along. And then two of my friends called later to ask "What was up with you not being there?" And then a third friend emailed to say "We missed you at the sing-along!"

Nevermind all that. I can't even. I might start crying.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

one-drink mommy bakes, and other tales

N.B.: My post title is an homage to Mike Birbiglia, one of my favorite comedians, and his bit called "Two-drink Mike." Alternate titles I could have chosen are:

This is Why I Follow Recipes 

Evidence My Husband Needs to Come Home Soon

Lately I have been having a cocktail in the afternoon evening. And I've been baking more often. Would you like to know what happens when a mojito-filled, overconfident mom decides that coconut rum banana bread with lime glaze sounds so delicious that she just has to make it?

Disaster. That's what. Prepare yourself...



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

on bathroom talk and blooming relationships

Pics taken with Nate's smart phone, which I pirated while he's gone

We are having glorious weather this week. Last year at this time we had definitely not broken out the shorts sleeves for a few weeks yet. We went to the park again yesterday and had such fun. On our walk, my mind was wandering to what I might write about today on the blog. I thought to myself "I haven't posted Vivisms in a while. I should remember to write down the next funny thing she says." Then literally twenty seconds later, Vivi nearly fell in the road and exclaimed "Oh! I almost tripped on that butt crack in the street!"

Saturday, March 10, 2012

on compulsory tiger stripes

Photobucket

I LOVE this picture. I had to draw in a little pitchfork (my very own crappy picture) because it looks so American Gothic-y. Seeing how grown-up the girls look in that snapshot makes me realize I haven't given an update on them in a while.

Monday, February 06, 2012

I am a regular June Freakin' Cleaver

I am not the crafty sort. I am nearly positive I cleverly conned sweetly asked my parents or my talented, artistic best friend into helping me make every craft assignment required of me by grade school. I love being creative, so it's not the ideas I have trouble with, it's the follow through. There was a time that I used to needlepoint, but I never finished a single piece. Sigh. When Vivi asks to do an art project, I find myself doing either finger-paints, gluing cotton balls onto paper, or coloring a giant piece of kraft paper A LOT.

I do love the parent-child connection that an art project provides. As I child, I remember really enjoying pressing flowers with my mom and helping my dad paint furniture. My parents both selected careers that involve working with your hands, being on your feet all day, and being able to think creatively, so needless to say they are both incredible crafters. When I was growing up, I would casually I mention to my dad that I would like a playhouse or to my mom that I'd like to garden, and before you could say boo, they'd be outside banging on 2x4s or tilling the ground. Talk about energy.

Friday, January 20, 2012

it takes a metaphorical, sometimes virtual village

Nate is having a long work week, during which he is still in Boston but pretending to be in San Francisco where the rest of his team is working on The Big Project. Cali time means late nights at the office. I can go a couple of days without his husbandly companionship and parental assistance, but usually by day four I am officially unraveling. Last night I was having one of those moments in parenting that we all try not to talk about, where all I want to do is work on my night cheese, and meanwhile I have a child who is insisting on playing the matching game--or infinitely worse, "princesses."

What is a mother to do in such a scenario? Parenting books offer the occasional good idea. Back when she was just turning three, we had a "will you play with me?" terrorist living with us, and we learned to enact 'special play time with Mommy/Daddy.' Fortunately now she plays for much of the day with Charlotte or off in her own little world of make believe. But there are moments, particularly the after-dinner, dark-outside, Charlotte-asleep time of day, in which you're just too tired to play but can't stomach the thought of turning on the TV/electronic babysitter. I find that books aren't good at offering solutions for this time of day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

blessed are the cheesemakers

A blogger friend wrote a comment a few days ago reminding me of a scene from Monty Python's Life of Brian--love that movie! Watching it again got me thinking about religion and humor. The movie was apparently controversial on its release; it was made the year I was born so I wouldn't know, but so I've heard. Getting up in arms about religious satire is a strange phenomenon. From my perspective, it seems only natural to poke fun at your own faith, just as you would any other area of life, or other faiths for that matter (remember a certain Danish cartoon, anyone?).

It's been necessary for me to hone this point-of-view lately, since Vivi has started making jokes about everything in her life, including her spirituality. The jokes aren't very good; most of them only she gets, but she laughs hysterically every time. I find myself unsure about whether to let her make the ones about God and Jesus (see: Cheez-its), but as I said, it seems to me a little levity couldn't hurt. Here's another recent example of a Vivi joke:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

a side effect of listening to The Killers

It seems like I haven't discussed the mundane details of home life lately, so I know you must be on pins and needles with anticipation, reader. Here goes...

The goings-on are happening in our house. We are headed to Florida on Christmas Eve to be with Nate's family, so Santa is coming to our house tonight, and Nate's taking the day off work tomorrow to do the pancakes and present-opening. All this means I am running amok today to prepare. What is it about the holidays that makes us all loony tunes?

Vivi goes to school twice a week, and when she's not at school, she can be found reading in her princess tent, harassing the kitty, listening to her dinosaur CD for the bajillionth time, and playing with Charlotte. These days, "playing" consists of smothering her with a blanket or whining "Charlie, stoooooopppppp!" Really though, she's a great big sister and seems to care quite a bit about Charlotte's well-being. If Charlotte is fussy, Vivi is almost always the first to suggest maybe she's not feeling well, rather than my go-to diagnosis, "bratty toddler stage." And she's almost always right.

Charlie can also be found bothering the cat, but unlike Vivi, she hasn't yet figured out she should do it with a long instrument from a safe distance. You should see the perplexed look on her face when kitty strikes back; but then thirty seconds later she's back for more. I have to admit, there is something irresistible about that kitty. As I type, Charlie is trying to put a sticker on kitty's face, and kitty is desperately attempting to defend her one square foot of sunlight on the couch. Poor kitty.

The girls had some great leaf-jumping yesterday while I attempted to bag up the suckers. Much to my dismay, a product of living in a compact neighborhood is that there are no wooded corners in our back yard in which to pile up the year's leaves. To top it off, the neighbors to the back of us are grouchy gardeners who are not to be messed with, so I'm trying to do my part and complaining all the livelong day while I do it.



Although I haven't been good about collecting them here, Vivi still says some funny "Vivisms." Generally, they are now full conversation-length instead of the one-liners they once were and often involve a complicated question or two. Here are a few recent conversations.


The exact location of Heaven...
Vivi: Mommy, I know God lives in Heaven, right?
Me: That's right.
Vivi: And I know Heaven is somewhere in the sky, but it can't be higher than the sun because that would be too hot. So where is Heaven exactly?


On Christmas, grandparents, war, etc...
Vivi: Tomorrow is Christmas, and then Saturday we are going to see Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Katie, right Mommy?
Me: Yes! Are you excited?
Vivi: Yeah. And today I'm going to school, and Daddy's going to work. What are Grandma and Grandpa doing today?
Me: Grandma is probably getting ready for us to come, and Grandpa is working.
Vivi: What is he doing?
Me: He's flying his airplane to help the soldiers come home.
Vivi: What's a soldier?
Me: A soldier is a hero who helps fight a war.
Vivi: Oh. What's a war?
Me: Well, sometimes countries have problems, and soldiers go to help them figure out their problems and stop bad guys from hurting people.
Vivi: Like Batman?
Me: Yeah, kind of like Batman.
Vivi: Oh...(long pause) I got soul but I'm not a soldier...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

on the bellies of grown-ups, and other observations


Vivi was watching me put my hair in a ponytail yesterday morning, and while I had my arms raised over my head, she said "Mommy, your tummy is getting small so you will have another baby now." I'll let you chew on that one.

An hour or so later, I was driving her to school, and all was quiet in the car except the radio. Out of the blue, Vivi says "I don't want to be a grown-up." This statement is a bit easier to understand if you consider the fact that at the time I was listening to the BBC World News instead of the pop music she prefers.

When I was about Vivi's age, I remember asking my mom to come watch cartoons with me. She politely declined and when pressed further told me she really didn't like cartoons very much. This admission was a revelation for me. Peeling the layers away, you've got the lesson that Mom and Dad might not love everything I love, and then there's the dawning realization that not everyone adores cartoons. Oh the horror! As a kid, I made the leap that if adults don't like cartoons, I don't wanna grow up.

Looking back in the rearview mirror, I recognized that same look of awakening on Vivi's face. And so begins her Piagetian sociocentristic view of the world. I'll say it again, our baby is all grows up.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Vivisms, vol 30


Vivi: What did Daddy say on the phone to you?
Me: He wants me to tell you he misses you.
Vivi: Oh. I misses him too.

Oh, the irony of cows in costume...
Vivi: Why is that cow wearing that?
Nate: It's ironic.
Vivi: No it's not. It's a handkerchief.

Remind me, who's making the rules around here?
Vivi: Mommy, I want a chipmunk with a stick to go on your cake.
Me: Haha, I have no idea what that means, but I think I'll get cookies instead of cake, okay?
Vivi: NO! (look of exasperation) I told you that you are going to have a cake, Mommy.

Vivi: It's bright outside today! I can't believe my eyes!

And so it begins...
Vivi: Are we there yet? Are we there yet? [times a million]
Me: Quiet please, so I can follow these directions.
Vivi: Okay.
 [A few minutes go by, then I notice her quietly amusing herself]
Vivi: Pee pee on your shoes. Hee hee hee. Pee pee on your pants. Hee hee hee. Pee pee on your face. HA!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Vivisms, vol 29


Happy Halloween!

Vivi: Guess what, Mommy? Grandpa Jim is coming! Oh, (hands clasped) I love him every day.

Vivi: Why are you so big in this picture?
Me: Because you are in my tummy. You weren't born yet.
Vivi: Why? Did you ate me?

Vivi: Wait down, wait down! Wait for me!

Dressing up for her preschool Halloween costume party...
Me: Put your arms in so we can tie the back (putting on her frog costume, which she insisted on to go with her frog backpack).
Vivi: No.
Me: Why not? We need to get ready so I can get Charlotte up.
Vivi: No. My friends won't like this one. I want to be a cowgirl instead.

Vivi (yelling from the kitchen to the living room): Daddy, when I'm done eating, I'm coming in there to give you a big hug.

Me: Do you know what your middle name is? It starts with a J.
Vivi: Jack?
Me: Haha, (to my dad) I say "Let's hit the road, Jack" when we're leaving the house, so that's why she thinks that. No Vivi, your middle name is Jane.
Vivi: Then stop calling me Jack!
Me: Ok, should I say "Let's hit the road, Jane"?
Vivi: Sure. [long pause] But I really want to be a superhero.

Nate (sweeping the kitchen): Ack! Where does all this come from?!
Vivi: I don't like"crumb crumbs" either, Daddy. They hurt my feet.

Vivi (walking in the bitter cold outside): My feets and legs are too windy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Vivisms, vol 28

 
Vivi: I love Grandpa Jim. I saw him yesterday. 'Member that, Mommy?
Me: It wasn't yesterday, it was longer ago than that. So you can say you saw him "a while ago."
Vivi: I can also say "banana."

Me: What are you thinking about?
Vivi: I'm thinking of how whales eat bunnies.

Nate: Vivi, you don't need to touch Charlotte so much. People don't like to be touched all the time, so let's not touch each other any more for a while.
Vivi: But we can touch ourselves whenever we want!

Vivi: Oopsy woopsy! That's a good thing to say, right Mommy? And 'damn' is a house that a beaver lives in.

Thanks to school, she now has a whole new vocabulary. Here are some examples...
  
Vivi: This oatmeal is stupid.


Vivi: I hate the sun.
Me: Where did you hear that word?
Vivi: A boy at school. He hates everything, 'specially the sun.

Me: Well, we don't say that because it isn't nice. If you aren't fond of something, you can say you don't like it.
Vivi: Well, I'm saying it because I'm mad at it, and I hate it.


Vivi: Shit shit shit shit.
Me: What are you saying?
Vivi: Shit!
Me: What does that mean?
Vivi: It means you crawl around the house and you put a blanket on your head, and you say "Shit shit shit."

Vivi: Can I help you fold the clothes?
Me: You can fold the panties, and I'll fold the big sheet.
Vivi: But I'm stronger than you, so I can do it!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Vivisms, vol 27


Charlotte crawls away...
Me: Charlie! Where are you going?
Vivi: She's going to Boston.

Vivi (after hiccuping): Mommy, I just hicced up.

Vivi (shouting from the next room): Mommy, Charlotte go pooped!

Practicing her foreigner speaking Ebonyx...
Vivi: What it means lunch?
Me: Pardon?
Vivi: I'm axing you a question, Mommy. Why its lunch?
Me: Because it's lunch time, so we are going to eat.
Vivi: No. Aghhh. I know it be's time, I wanna know what is lunch?
Me: Oh, we're having peanut butter and jelly.
Vivi: NO! I know THAT already!
Me: I'm not sure I understand your question, honey.
Vivi: Oh, nevermind.

Telling me like it is, after I banged around some pots and pans...
Vivi: Mommy, do you know what "taking it easy" means? [pause for effect, hands on hips] It means you should stop being so loud, don't make as much noise, and be quiet.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Vivisms, vol 26

Me: Do you want more spaghettios?
Vivi: Yes, please!
Me: Wow, you're the spaghettios queen!
Vivi: No, I'm not.  I don't have a crown.

Charlotte laughing in the back seat...
Vivi: Charlotte's laughing! She likes my face.

Watching a movie...
Vivi: I don't like that guy!
Me: Don't worry. He won't hurt anybody.
Vivi: Yes he will!

Vivi: This is the best kind of cheese EVER.
Me: I'm glad you like it.
Vivi: I love these 'chicken peas' (chickpeas) too. And I love chickadees. Chicka-dee-dee-dee-dee! And I love Grandpa.

Vivi: We have new movies from the library, Mommy! I want to watch "Flushed in the Toilet" (aka "Flushed Away").

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