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Joie de Vivre

Showing posts with label Joie de Vivre. Show all postsShowing posts with label Joie de Vivre. Show all posts

Sunday, October 20, 2013


getting ready for Halloween!

Ladybug Girl and Princess eat apples after our local farm’s spooky hayride

The Halloween countdown is on. Every year Vivi impresses me by being more excited about the holiday than the year before. As a kid, I never put as much effort into the planning and decorating as she does, so it’s fun for me to create new traditions with her. Here’s a shot of one of the two banners she made completely by herself:

Read more >>at8:25 PM4 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Clever Girls,Frugality,Halloween,Holidays,Joie de Vivre

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!
~Jat4:46 PM4 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Joie de Vivre,Kids,Parenting,School,Vivism

Thursday, May 02, 2013



Genevieve turned five years old this week. For some reason, five seems like a huge milestone. Perhaps it’s because I remember turning five myself…or rather, I remember the dreaded booster shot in the hiney. These kids today have no clue how fortunate they are that they can forgo this exercise in humiliation. But as I was saying, five is a huge birthday, and I’m hanging on for what is sure to be a wild ride of a year.

I’ll write more soon about the birthday party, but for today here is my yearly letter to sweet Vivi.

Dear Genevieve,

Over the past year, I’ve seen your four-year-old personality continue to develop, and much of what I said last year applies to you this year as well. It’s an extraordinary journey to be invited to witness the cultivation of your marvelous self. Mostly, I feel like you are molding me instead of the other way around. A new friend exclaimed, “Vivi’s face lights up at EVERYTHING. How wonderful!,” and I couldn’t agree more. Here are some of my favorite of your qualities:

:: keen eye for detail :: You have a precise and discerning regard, and you can often be heard from the backseat reminding me, “Mommy, it’s faster to go the other way to the library, remember?” What would I do without your help in getting where I want to go in life? Your keen eye extends to the fashion world too, and your nose crinkles when I attempt in my own fumbling manner to broaden your clothing horizons outside your limiting criteria of 1) pink, or 2) leggings (see also: ruffles). To your credit, this spring you are stepping out in frocks of blue and green (praiseallujah).

:: leadership potential :: What others might call bossiness, I see as the leader in you exploding forth. You direct the operations of many a household task or sisterly game, and I wouldn’t choose any other executor as my partner (with the one exception of your daddy). I hope you seek an opportunity to lead a team as an adult, for you will make a heck of a chief. May your brave quest to lead both men and women happen without or in spite of the limitations that both genders seek to put on women who lead my generation.

:: sharp wit :: You’ve become a lover of Shel Silverstein already, and you laugh heartily throughout his poems. I’m thrilled to share a sense of humor with you. Your expansive vocabulary grows ever greater, and your hunt for information is nearly unparalleled in my experience (your schoolmate Jacob vies for first place in this area, asking his grandmother today, “How was Europe formed?”).

:: tender heart :: When I asked you if you wanted to make your grandpa a birthday card, you said “Yes! But I’m going to need a really big card because there are going to be lots of hearts.” I hope you will maintain your loving nature and with it, your ability to bring even the shiest of friends into the fold with your patient and kind ways. You are a genuine people lover, and I feel lucky to be loved by you.

:: endeavorous spirit :: Endeavorous is not a word, although I’d like to make it a new one for you because I feel it sums you up so well. You are willing and even excited to try new things, whether they be activities, sports, or food. You encourage our whole family to experiment with your love of life. Thank you for being a stupendous individual.


Teaching Charlie to play baseball.

at4:09 PM5 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Joie de Vivre,Kids,Milestone,Parenting,Photos

Sunday, December 23, 2012


the star of our show

Yes, that is a pretzel ornament behind Vivi. What can I say? We kinda like food.

Christmas is right around the corner, and Genevieve couldn’t be more excited about it. My mom is in town to celebrate with us, and she mercifully allowed the overjoyed child to open one of her gifts early.  It was a box full of dress-up clothes, and Vivi got to work right away accessorizing herself with boas and frills. A girlier girl has never existed, nor one who is more anxious to step out on a stage somewhere. She’s the yin to her wallflower sister’s yang, and being a bit of a wallflower myself, it’s a hoot to play the role of stage mother to one of my own flesh-and-blood offspring. What a ham!
Read more >>at5:50 PMNo comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Clever Girls,Holidays,Joie de Vivre

Friday, September 07, 2012


parenting a “spirited” child

Picking a Halloween costume. Much to Mommy’s dismay, Raggedy Ann is not the winner.

Although I realize I handily place myself into a parenting cliche with this next observation, I’m going to say it anyway: Vivi is a special kid. I know, I know, I went there. I even nerdily bolded the text. Go ahead and call me a trite mother. But it’s true, she is special! Ever since she turned to me at eighteen months old after a lengthy car trip and said “Oh my goodness, that was long!,” I knew I was in for a parenting experience I wasn’t quite expecting. The child knew about 150 words (counting what she knew in Spanish too) and spoke in 5-word sentences by the time the doctor told me at her check-up that she should know “about three to five words.”

Read more »at7:30 AM2 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Books,Challenge,Confession,Discipline,Joie de Vivre,Kids,Parenting,Video

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


at least the house is clean: {vacay recap & recovery}

We just returned from a trip to see the grandparents and Aunt Katie in sunny Florida. It was a great vacation! The upside of returning was that we went from 90’s to 70’s in just a few hours. The downside is of course leaving the fam. Vivi has been distraught ever since we left. She lives life with such an admirable energy and thrill of every moment. Here’s where she could be found 99% of the time we were there:

Read more »at11:07 AMNo comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Family,Joie de Vivre,Travel

Thursday, July 05, 2012


dear diary: life’s a peach

Do you keep a journal? I am a journaling extremist, typically picking it up only when times are exceptionally good or bad. In the end, I treasure each and every time I’ve written a part of our lives down, no matter how awful or embarrassing it might have seemed at the moment. Time really does heal wounds, doesn’t it?

Read more »at11:07 AM1 comment: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Aimless Digression,Joie de Vivre

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.

Read more »at7:30 AM1 comment: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Cuteness Overload,Doula,Home ranging,Joie de Vivre,Vivism

Monday, April 30, 2012



Juice! Vivi’s favorite birthday party treat.

Genevieve is four years old! We made a big birthday breakfast of hot cross buns (I froze some of the dough at Easter), pancakes, bacon, fried eggs, special candied fruits (pineapple and kiwi, yum!), and a coconut. I thought it would be a fun breakfast project to break it open and drink the juice in our morning smoothie.
Read more »at7:30 AM2 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Joie de Vivre,Milestone,Video

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


(almost) wordless Wednesday: happiness is…

…bouncing your little sister in a giant spider web at the zoo…

Read more »at8:00 AM9 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Boston,Joie de Vivre,Kids,Photos,Video,WW

Saturday, February 04, 2012


a day in the life

Lately I get carried away with all my recipe-posting and life-organizing, and I miss the times we digress together. I thought it’d be fun to jot down what I do in a typical day, which I did yesterday. Shall we?

7:00 a.m.: My day started with the usual; oatmeal and yogurt and “puffs and cheerios,” the girls’ munchy snack–while I stood leaning against the kitchen counter, vaguely listening to NPR and generally staring off into space. It’s a good time, people.

Read more »at8:44 AM2 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Aimless Digression,Food,Home ranging,Joie de Vivre,Kids

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


you just need a little dip

Don’t you just love holiday weeks? Vivi’s joy for every milestone and event is unparalleled and makes me happy to know her. She routinely gasps at the neighbors’ festive decorations and pines for the day when we’ll decorate our Christmas tree (Friday…T minus 2 days).

We had a nice conversation on the living room rug while getting her dressed about what it means to be thankful and all the things on her list for which she wants to give thanks. Her Sunday school class helped me out by introducing the topic to her, but I like to pretend it was all my own teaching. When I asked, she promptly replied she is most thankful for “reading.” Alrighty then. Later in the day, the teachers gave us leaf cut-outs on which the kids had written what they were thankful for, and Vivi’s said “Genevieve is thankful that her mommy and daddy love her all the time.” What a kid.

I’m telling you all this as a lead-in to a moment I had with her today. Her preschool had a party in honor of Thanksgiving, and the parents were invited to come a half-hour early to celebrate. All the moms signed up to bring a special snack, but I didn’t notice the sign-up sheet until Laid-back Mom asked me what I was bringing. Uh oh.

Sure enough, waiting until the last minute meant the only empty row on the list was for “veggie stix.”

Yes, with an X.

I dreaded the snack hand-off because I knew how disappointed she’d be, but I was unprepared for the level of doom & gloom written on her face. She tossed the bag of carrots and celery onto the buffet table, where they solemnly stated their healthy presence amid a sea of cookie goodness.

All you childless peeps out there beware. Parental guilt is the pits.

Then I got a dose of perspective from Laid-back Mom when we arrived to the party. True to form, when I told her what I brought for snack, she shrugged and said “You just need a little dip.” Of course! Why didn’t I think of that?

Here is Vivi with her best friend in class, Laid-back Mom’s daughter:

The party included a recital, which was pretty cute. During the second song on my shaky video, you get the idea that Vivi isn’t going on Star Search any time soon, which reminds me. Did you catch the 60 Minutes interview with Taylor Swift? Nate and I were majorly impressed, particularly by the fact that her parents produced such an intelligent, talented beauty at so young an age.

at2:15 PM3 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Holidays,Joie de Vivre

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


somebody loves baseball…

Vivi was just a tad excited to hear she might be able to play baseball tonight in the yard with Daddy.
p.s. She is really and truly like this ALL the time. Where does she find the energy?

I am posting a video of Charlie even though the High 5 trick wasn’t nearly as funny the second time. I just hate the thought of her missing the spotlight next to her hambone sister.

at1:17 PM3 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Joie de Vivre,Video

Thursday, February 10, 2011


under the gun

Vivi is a great eater. She’s so great that I wish there were such a thing as a toddler eating contest. C’mon, she’d win every trophy! And yesterday’s post should clue you in to the fact that she ain’t winning a running trophy any time soon. Yeah yeah, I know, childhood obesity and all that. What-EVER. That’s sooooo 2005. Lame.

Think I’m exaggerating? Yesterday for lunch I made her first ever adult-sized lunch meat sandwich. I’m not a huge fan of lunch meat (listeria, E. coli, and other public health-y reasons), but I bought it because it’s a quick protein, and she seems to be really hungry at lunch. Anywho, the sandwich had 2 pieces of turkey, 4 pieces of salami, cheese, lettuce, and mayo (gag), and my plan was to serve her half of it and save the other half for today. She not only ate the entire sandwich, crusts and all, but she finished it before me and proceeded to ask me if she could have some of mine. During the meal, she periodically would say “Mommy, what IS this called? This is a GOOD lunch!”

Still not convinced? She doesn’t like, but LOVES, adores, can’t wait to eat Nate’s green olives stuffed with…get this…anchovies. You can’t even get a green olive near me, let alone after stuffing it with a disgusting fish. And don’t even get me started on the jalepeno marinated sardines. This brings me to my favorite story to tell about Nate.

On our second date, Nate counted the appetizer and then apportioned out how many each of us could eat. I’d like to play the role of Captain Obvious and point out that no single lady on a second date would consider scarfing down more than her share of the appetizer (except perhaps my daughter), not to mention the fact that we were at something like a Macaroni Grill, so I had more than my share of pasta on its way to me. Ha! I always follow this story by saying he is lucky we had such a first date, or I might not be writing this post today. Like father, like daughter.

So all of this occurred to me this morning, as I was standing hunched in a corner of the kitchen quickly consuming my breakfast. I actually found myself trying not to make a sound in the hopes that Vivi wouldn’t come running into the kitchen to request her own bowl of my expensive adult cereal, despite the fact that she had just eaten her own breakfast. And I had to laugh at my own ridiculousness! But there’s one thing I’ve learned. In my family, it’s survival of the hungriest.

at9:03 AM3 comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels:Joie de Vivre,Toddlers Older PostsHomeSubscribe to:Posts (Atom)


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