Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Today was something of a big day for the Peanut family, in that we received official word that we are pre-approved for a mortgage. This is the first step in the home buying process, and we are all feeling simultaneously excited and scared. I have been looking forward to owning a home for a long time, and it makes me happy to know that there are people willing to lend us the money to do it. At the same time, though, we are faced with the reality of actually having to make a decision about which house, in which neighborhood, with which features, for which price. All of it can be a little bit frightening, and I'm beginning to think that it is all made worse by the internet.

Using the internet for research in purchasing a house can be a wonderful thing. We can view pictures of just about every house on the market in the Twin Cities area. We can see the dimensions of each room, the age of the roof, and the mechanical updates made to the property. But the internet can also be damaging to the process, because it give us too. many. options.

I read an article recently in which the author made the point that the internet is one of the tools in our society that has caused us to lose the concept of "good enough." For example, if someone wanted to buy a lawn mower thirty years ago, he was likely to go to a store or two, look at the options and pick one. And, guess what? That lawn mower was probably good enough. Yes, there may have been another more ideal lawn mower out there somewhere, but the one he purchased probably did the job just fine. If this person had been able to use the internet in order to research his lawn mower, on the other hand, he may have gone insane while comparing all of the options and eventually hired a gardener.

I think that I am going to try to adopt a "good enough" philosophy as we continue in this home search. If I don't, I believe that I will drive myself crazy scouring the internet for something that is just a *little* bit better . . . a *little* bit more ideal. The reality is that, as long as we buy a safe, solid home, we will be happy in our house. We will be together, and the house *will* be good enough.

In the words of one of Mr.'s favorite artists, Tom Waits,

So if you find someone
Someone to have, someone to hold
Don't trade it for silver
Don't trade it for gold
I have all of life's treasures
And they are fine and they are good
They remind me that houses
Are just made of wood
What makes a house grand
Ain't the roof or the doors
If there's love in a house
It's a palace for sure


Tonight the Peanut household is buzzing with anticipation. We have so much to look forward to in the coming month that we can scarce contain ourselves.

First, we are eagerly looking forward to the arrival of Grandma and Papa Peanut. They will fly in tomorrow, and spend a week here with us. Miss asks each day if they will be here "after my nap." She truly is getting antsy while waiting for them to come. She will be so excited to see them, and I am eager for them to see all of the changes in the two littles since they were last here.

In addition to the grandparental visit, Mr. and I are also looking forward to an overnight trip to Chicago this weekend. We are being flown to our former home city by Trader Joe's in order to attend their Midwest regional company party. So, we get a free flight, a free 4-star hotel room, a free rental car, a free meal, and a chance to see friends that we love and miss. We also get our first time away from the kiddos for more than a couple of hours since Master was born. I believe the technical term for my feelings would be Wooo-Hoooooooo!

As if these exciting events weren't enough, we are also looking forward to being back in Southern Cal by the end of June for Uncle M. Peanut's wedding. While there, we'll be able to celebrate Master's first birthday, and see *so many* people that we love and miss.

So much to look forward to. While we miss family members and friends, we are reminded, through anticipating our time with them, that we are so blessed to have them in our lives.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Look, Ma . . . One Hand!

Master appears to be getting closer and closer to taking his first steps. He is holding on to the furniture / front door / kitchen cupboards / stove / mommy's legs with one hand these days. He glances around and looks as though he will take off at any moment. How exciting that will be. And frightening. I have a hard enough time keeping up with him now!

We are really beginning to see more facets of this little guy's personality every day. He has begun to show a truly mischievous streak . . . especially when he rolls away when I'm changing his diaper and crawls as fast as he can through the house whilst in the nude. He laughs hysterically the whole time, until I can catch up with him and wrestle him down to complete the diaper change. He is also maintaining his sweet and cuddly side, though, and has started to give kisses to Mr. and I. So sweet. It almost makes up for the mad naked dashes around the apartment.

Soon, he will be reading on the couch and quoting "Winnie *of* the Pooh" like his big sister.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Long Days for Daddy

A few days ago, Miss decided to name each member of the family after a Care Bear. She designated herself "Cheer Bear", Master is "Grumpy Bear", I am "Wish Bear", and Daddy has been named "Bedtime Bear." His bear name was actually my suggestion, because Mr. is always falling asleep on the couch these days.

He is working *so* hard for 12 hours or so each day, and then he comes home and is completely zonked. I am a actually amazed that he has any energy at all for playing with the littles, which he always does, no matter how tired he must be. Tomorrow, he will be back to work by 3:00 AM, and so he has carried himself off to bed, as I sit here typing.

The store continues to do business at a break-neck pace, and he is running around like a maniac all day long. The pressure and responsibilities are numerous and I would never survive doing what he does all day long. All that we can do is encourage him and appreciate him. Months ago, Miss asked why Daddy has to work, and Mr. explained to her that he has to work so that we can have a place to live and food to eat. Miss' favorite special treat is a cheeseburger, and so he drove the point home by telling her that, if Daddy doesn't work, we can't have any cheeseburgers.

So, she now often tells Master when he's crying, "Don't worry, Daddy's at work getting us some cheeseburgers."

In her own little way, she is grateful too. Someday, I know she and Master will be grateful for a Daddy who took them to the swimming pool, played with them and tickled them, brushed their teeth and read to them, even when he was working so hard and was so tired.

I am so thankful that my Dad did those things under similar circumstances. I am so thankful that my kids' Dad does them now.

What We're Reading

This week we've been reading:


Hey big guys, open your eyes!
What do you say, it's a brand new day!

We've owned this one for a while, and it's a favorite around here. Quoted in all sorts of situations.


We found this one at the library last week, and Miss absolutely loves it. Very fun illustrations.


I've enjoyed this book more and more as I've read through it. Some of my favorite insights so far include:

No wonder our youth is confused and in pain; they long for God, for the transcendent, and are offered, far too often, either piosity or sociology, neither of which meets their needs, and they are introduced to churches which have become buildings that are a safe place to go to escape the awful demands of God.

But my husband and I have been encouraged by the fact that we ourselves have learned something about love and honor and loyalty as we have tried to teach these values to our children . . . This is a humbling process, but also a joyful one.

So I know, with a sense of responsibility that hits me with a cold fist in the pit of my stomach, that what I am is going to make more difference to my own children and those I talk to and teach than anything I tell them.

Read that last one again. I read it over and over when I ran into it in the book. A simple truth, but a profound one. I'm off to start the day with the littles, praying that God would give me the grace to make who I am more like that person I would like to be. More like Him.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Change of Weather

The past two days have seen temperatures of around 80 degrees in the Twin Cities. This is quite an abrupt change, as we have experienced 40-50 degree temperatures within the past couple of weeks. The warm weather is nice, and makes for an easier time of dressing the little Peanuts. For the first time in months, I whipped a pair of shorts out of Miss' dresser after her morning bath. She took one look at them and inquired, "Aren't those brother's pants?!" I assured her that this article of clothing did indeed belong to her, and that they are called "shorts." She cast a skeptical eye at the shorts, and at me, and then begrudgingly agreed to wear them.

Later in the day, Miss proceeded to recite the names of every person who was in her Sunday School class at our church in California. She even told me that "Jeffrey was four years old on his birthday. His birthday was on Halloween."

She has an almost eerie memory at times, but she can't seem to recall having ever seen a pair of shorts before. Perhaps this is evidence of the fact that we are truly becoming Minnesotans, as she has not seen others wearing shorts, either, and therefore does not believe that legs should be exposed, lest the rules of social decorum be compromised.

Who can truly understand what is happening in her little mind? All that I do know is that she looked cute in her denim shorts, with her white legs kicking and dangling off of the swing this afternoon. We will all try to soak up the summer . . . for as long as it lasts.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


We celebrated Mr.'s day off yesterday with a trip to historic Stillwater. This little river town, right outside of St. Paul, was the first town in Minnesota. It is a really cute little city, with a downtown filled with antique stores and used book shops. It only took about 40 minutes to drive there, and we saw deer, the St. Croix river, and a swell little candy shop. It was a beautiful Spring day, and we truly are enjoying living in a place of such amazing natural beauty.

Miss was most impressed by a 50 cent ride on the mechanical horse.

"Wooo-Hooo! I'm a COWgirl!"

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Pictures of a Sunday Afternoon

Mr. is home and recovering from the opening week at work. We are making the most of our time together by doing some romantic late-night laundry. Ah, the life we lead as parents of small children.

We had a nice morning at church. Miss went to Sunday School and explained to me later in the day that Jesus died on the cross because "there were some sheep."
This would have confused me, if I hadn't seen her coloring paper from the class which said "Jesus laid down his life for his sheep." We discussed who the sheep are supposed to represent. Not sure she understands the symbolism.

Here are some pictures of our Sunday afternoon with the kiddos. It was good to be together.

Friday, May 19, 2006

First Minnesota Playdate!

Today I took the little Peanuts to play at the brand new house of our brand new friends. We met Sherri and her two little boys on the playground here at our apartment, and hit it off right away. Unfortunately, she moved a few days after we met, but promised to call me so that the kids could get together and play. I wondered if we would just lose touch, but she did indeed call this week, and we went for a visit today. The kids had a wonderful time, and the mommies enjoyed some grown-up conversation. We have so much in common, having both just moved here from California and having husbands who are both putting in some really long hours at work right now. It felt like an answer to prayer when she called this week, because I was just starting to feel a bit lonely with Mr. being so busy at the new store.

Not only was the playdate fun, but we also had the opportunity to see our friends' new house. It. was. huge. Four bedrooms, a den, a formal dining room, a living room, a large playroom, four bathrooms, and the kitchen that dreams are made of. Beautiful. It was just an amazing place. I loved looking at all the neat-o features, and Miss loved going up and down the stairs. When we left, I asked if she liked the wonderful playroom, and she replied, "No, I liked the stairs."

So, as we hunt for houses, we'll skip the playroom and look for stairs as our primary feature of choice. I can't help but wonder what it would be like to live in a home like that. I wouldn't want to clean it. Especially the four bathrooms. Ugh. Yes, I'll just remember that and be content with the teeny tiny home we will buy someday. Less space to clean, more proximity to my beloved and my children. No room to get away from each other is good for family unity, right?! Right?!

Seriously, though, I am happy for Sherri and her family because they are so thrilled with their new home. I am equally excited to start looking for a house that we will love. I know it will be smaller, and in a very different location, but we love the idea of living in the city and will be just as thrilled to have a little bungalow there as our friends are to have their giant house in the new suburban development. And, as long as I can come visit her kitchen and playroom occasionally, I will be fine.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Awww, That Stinks!

Miss' new favorite way to describe something with which she is unhappy:

"Awwww, that stinks!"

As in . . . "I think it's raining at the playground. Awwww, that stinks!"

Or, "I fell off the potty and bonkded my lip on the sink. Awwww, that stinks! *sniff*"

I think that I will be using that phrase a lot as we begin to really search for a house. Mr. and I are both of the constitution that says just. get. it. over. with. We want to buy a house. We don't want to have to deal with ten million tons of red tape and jump through umpteen hoops in order to accomplish it. We are in touch with a friendly realtor, and are hoping that she will help to simplify the process. Perhaps she will keep me from uttering Miss' phrase multiple times each day.

Even if things do seem to stink as we go through this process,

I am still determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other with us in our minds, wherever we go.

~Martha Washington

Besides, I'll lose my title as Mary Poppins around here if I give up my cheery disposition. So, I'll have to imitate Martha Washington

. . . and little Master.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


1. Yesterday was a *huge* day for the TJ's of St. Louis Park. They had the biggest day (total sales wise) that Mr. has seen thus far in his career with this company. Giant, happy crowds of people, eager to try the tasty foods and the Two Buck Chuck. Mr. worked 10 hours yesterday (on his 'day off'), and will work quite a bit more than that today. I spoke with him earlier, and they are having another busy day. Crazy, exciting, exhausting, and Daddy-missing all at the same time.

2. Miss has reached a new milestone . . . she can now take off and put on her clothes all by herself. She is very proud of this achievement, to say the least. It's funny how these changes come about. A few days ago, she simply decided that she wanted to do this herself. She struggled with her shirt and got lost in it a few times, but then *ta-da*, she had the hang of it. Another reason to look at her and realize that she truly isn't a baby anymore. Thankfully, she has yet to express very specific concerns about *which* clothes she will be wearing, as long as she can put them on herself.

Here she is, modeling her PJ's . . . "I did it all by MYSELF!"

Monday, May 15, 2006

We Have Lift-Off

Today is the day. After weeks of anticipation on our family's part, and years of anticipation on the part of Twin Cities residents, Trader Joe's St. Louis Park is finally open. Mr. has been working insane hours, as has everyone else on the crew, but the effort was worth it. The store looks wonderful, the opening was exciting, and (most importantly) there were a jillion customers there for the big event.

The little peanuts and I arrived early, so as not to miss the cutting of the ceremonial lei. We could not see the cutting, however, because there were so many eager Minnesooootans pushing toward the door. As we stood waiting for the doors to open, we heard the conversations whirring around us.

"I have been waiting for this day for so long."

"Oh, I am SO HAPPY!"

"This is going to be so great. My sister lives in Phoenix, and I shop with her when I'm there. Oh! This is going to be *so* great."

One customer drove from *Iowa* in order to stock up on TJ's products.

As the mayor (who's duty it was to cut the lei) said, "I have *never* seen such enthusiasm over a *grocery store*." But, we all know, it isn't just a grocery store. Mr. is back at work tonight . . . helping to iron out the kinks, place the new orders, and re-stock the shelves. It was an exciting day for him, and an exhausting one. We're hoping that he gets a day off sometime this month. But, for now, he'll have to settle for being one of the most beloved men in the twin cities. As Cap'n Hugh thanked the customers for coming this morning, many of them yelled back, "No, thank YOU!"

The excited throng.

Miss and Master survey the flowers.

Miss eyes Daddy's snack section.

The tribute to Mary Tyler Moore inside the front door.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Reading Aloud

An important part of our day, here in the gallery, involves reading aloud to the little peanuts. I love doing it, and they never tire of hearing stories. Master *loves* sitting in our laps for reading time, and especially loves it when his Daddy makes 'brroooom, brrroooom' car noises. He chuckles and grins, and tries to help with turning the pages. I am always amazed at the degree to which very young babies can enjoy looking at books and listening to stories. I thought of Master when I read this quote, from Dr. Grant's blog:

The best thing about reading aloud to children aside from developmental progress and all that good stuff, is onomatopoeia. “Clang, clang!” “Harrumph!” “Chugga-chugga” “Choo-Choo” “Splat” “Ring! Ring!” “Flutter, Flutter.” Wonderful children’s literature doesn’t just progress along the pages in staid font transferring information, it sings out from the very book at us! Be it Mike Mulligan’s steam shovel digging away furiously or Peter Rabbit hopping lippity, lippity through Mr. MacGregor’s dangerous garden patch, we are fully engaged from once-upon-a-time to everyone-lived-happily-ever-after. Ducks wear poke bonnets, trains wish desperately to make children happy, dreams come true, elephants and carpets fly, and small children affect the outcome of their worlds. Adults who wear business attire and behave perfectly appropriately in steel and glass towers day after monotonous day transform themselves into snakes, mean old hags, princesses with snooty accents, and sorrowful baby bears when a small child is snuggled on their lap with a good book. Is it any wonder that a happy child’s evening litany includes “Read one more book, please?”

Friday, May 12, 2006

Bible Reading

When Master was born, we were given this wonderful children's Bible by some dear friends. It is a really well-designed tool, meant to give the "Big Picture" of redemptive history by showing how God's promises are fulfilled throughout scripture. Miss has taken the Bible as her own, and *loves* to read it every day, throughout the day. She can recite the first few chapters verbatim . . . and then it gets interesting. We listen with great amusement as she attempts to tell the story by interpreting the pictures.

She has declared that this chapter is entitled "God Gives His People Pasta."

Oh well. We are so glad that she is truly and thoroughly fascinated by the story of God's big promise, and we are fairly sure that she'll eventually understand that pasta was not involved in the story.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Today I'm Wondering . . .

*What exactly is it that our neighbors upstairs are *doing*? Seriously. Could they be bowling? Racing each other from one end of the apartment to the other? Step aerobics? Tae Bo? We will never know the answer to this pressing question, but we will look forward to living in a single family home. I'm all for neighbors, but I think I'd like to have my own four walls.

*Where does the energy of a three year old come from? If I would allow it, Miss Peanut would spend the entire day running around on the playground. She never tires of climbing on the equipment, sliding down the slide, swinging on the swing, and running to and fro. Even in the apartment, she spends a *lot* of time dancing, jumping, running, and rolling around with Master. I have said it before, and I declare it here again -- I will someday write a book called The Toddler Diet. I will instruct people to spit out three fourths of their food and run around like a maniac all day long. It is no wonder that Miss does not have a weight problem.

*Why does Master insist on biting me as though he were a little puppy? Miss never did this. Master loves to bury his face in my shoulder and then *CHOMP* -- take a bite out of me. He enjoys doing the same thing to my legs when I'm sitting on the sofa. OUCH. I have scolded him for this and given his mouth a little (very little) smack. He looks at me as though he is deeply hurt and cries as though his heart is broken, but then he proceeds to bite me again at the next opportunity. Yeesh. I know that he will eventually catch on to the fact that this is unacceptable. But in the meantime, have I mentioned *OUCH*??

*Could anything ever possibly be as cute as watching Miss play with her Daddy? Some of the games they play together have become long standing traditions in our household, and it is so fun to watch them make each other laugh. How wonderful it is that she can have both of us in her life, and that her Daddy can give her the special attention that only a father can provide. And, if it weren't for Daddy, she wouldn't be able to touch the ceiling or try the monkey bars.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Step in Time

My free time of late has been taken up by helping Mr. Peanut put together some signs for his section at the new store. Thus, this will be a very short entry. I will just give you a window into my world by relating this conversation that I had today with Miss.

Me: Get off of the coffee table.
Miss: (singing) Step in time, step in time, come on maties, step in time.
Me: Get off of the coffee table *right now*.
Miss: (singing) Step in time, step in time, flap like a birdy, step in time.
Me: *DO NOT* stand on the coffee table. Get *down* NOW.
Miss: (crying) But Mommmmmyyyyyyy, I *need* to flap like a birdy, step in time!!

Oh, how she loves Mary Poppins. She often wants me to call her Jane. She sits looking longingly at the ceiling and tells me that she wants to "go up there like the guy who loves to laugh." I can hear her singing the entire score when she's in her room for "nap time." She can completely transport herself into that world, and can't think of anything that would be better than going on a "Jolly Holiday." We don't actually watch the movie very often . . . she has only seen it once since we moved here. But, I think that she actually enjoys imagining it all even more than seeing it on the screen.

I love watching her imagine and pretend. It is adorable and precious. As long as she stays off of the coffee table.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Things We Are Thankful For Today

Today we are thankful for:

1. The wonderful news that Nana Peanut is recovering and will, hopefully, be able to go home from the hospital soon. We have all been praying for her over the past few days.

2. A good day at church yesterday. Miss attended Sunday School, or "Kids' Class" as she calls it, for the first time at our new church. She had a wonderful time, and didn't want to leave. It's a definite sign of her feeling much more secure here in our new environment. We were also able to stay for a fellowship luncheon after the service yesterday, and we had a nice talk with several members of the church. As I've written here before, we have been so encouraged by the kindness and warm reception we've received there.

3. A warm, sunny Sunday which allowed for a beautiful walk around Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. We are loving the beauty of the lakes, and the handy double-stroller-friendly paths situated around them.

4. Miss making us laugh with her ever-expanding vocabulary. She informed me yesterday that she was *furious* with her brother. She has also picked up the habit of shaking our hands and saying "congratulations" when she goes to bed at night. Don't know where she got that one, but it entertains us.

5. The *big* thunderstorms that came through our area this evening, dumping marble-sized hail all over the grass outside our apartment window. Miss was quite taken with the whole experience, and she actually loves to hear the "clouds bumping into each other."

6. Caribou Coffee. More prevalent than Starbucks here in the Twin Cities, it is just as tasty and wonderfully caffeinated. Mommy loves her coffee.

7. Wagner's Drive-In, where the burgers are tasty, and the food is cheap!

8. Finger painting in a red smock on a rainy day.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

And the Winner Is . . .

Today has been a wild one around here. We began our day with my acceptance of the "Bad Mommy of the Week" Award, after Master attempted to pull himself up on our step ladder and ended up pinned beneath it on the floor. He cried vociferously for a few minutes while I tried to ascertain if there were any broken bones, and then he started laughing at his sister, much to my relief. The little guy has just started to crawl on his hand and knees, rather than army-crawl style, and, man, is he *fast*. He now has some bruising on his face, and he just seemed to keep bonking his little injury repeatedly throughout the rest of the day. This is my second time winning this prestigious award . . . the first time being when Miss rolled off of our bed and onto the hardwood floor at the age of 5 months.

Our exciting day continued with an episode of the ongoing saga "Nap Wars." Miss flatly refused to take her nap today, even though she seemed quite tired. This was especially frustrating because we were expecting company this evening, and I had a feeling that the no-nap factor would lead to some *interesting* interaction with our dinner guests.

As it turned out, we had a very nice evening with Mr.'s co-worker and his family. They had two adorable little boys, and we enjoyed lasagna and good conversation. We had a great deal in common, and it was nice to talk with some other people who are adjusting to life in a new state. Master was a tad fussy because of his difficult day, and Miss was full-on hysterical by the end of the night, but a good time was had by the adults, nonetheless.

I will now place my Bad Mommy sash in the bureau and head to bed, hopeful that it will be another few years before I have the honor of accepting this award again. Here's a look at Master and I, during happier times:

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Three Bits O' News

Three news bulletins on a chilly, cloudy day:

1. The wee Peanuts and I visited Mr. at his store today, and enjoyed a lunch date together. The store is coming along quite nicely, and they are gearing up for the big grand opening celebration. Apparently they have hired someone named Pineapple John to be the DJ for the big celebration. Apparently Pineapple John often talks about Pineapple John in the third person. Apparently Pineapple John's best man was Tiny Tim. Yes, *that* Tiny Tim. Should be an interesting grand opening, to say the least. Tune in here on May 15th for pictures of the store and reviews of Pineapple John's performance.

2. The ballots have been cast, and we can officially declare Master's first word to be (drumroll, please) . . . . "no." As I chastised little Master today for trying to operate the stereo, he turned to me with a wry grin and said "noooooo . . . nooooooo." I'm quite sure that he knows the meaning of the word, and has been repeating it often. It makes sense that it would be his first word, since he hears it umpteen times every day. Here is Master practicing his new word:

3. Miss had her hair trimmed today. We went to an establishment called Kids' Hair (clever name, eh?) near our apartment. The people were nice, the cut was good and greatly overpriced considering it took a total of 2.5 minutes to complete. Oh well, Miss watched Elmo while the nice lady snipped away, and enjoyed herself thoroughly.

A fresh, sassy cut and a green sucker reward:

Who could ask for anything more?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Nap Strike

Behold, dear reader, my two beloved children. One of whom is well rested and peacefully content. The other has refused to take a nap for three out of the past four days. Can you guess which little urchin is sleep deprived?

Yes. I know. She is three years old. Many children give up their naps by this age. This does not change the fact that she still seems to *need* her nap. If she refuses to nap, she is a wilted, frayed, dazed looking little thing by approximately 5 PM. And I *refuse* to put her in bed by 5 PM. If I do this insane thing, she will wake me up at 3 AM, ready to watch the Waltons and start her day. Thus, I am in a pickle. Perhaps this is just a phase. Perhaps she will return to regular napping and all will be right with the world. Couldn't she just settle for a happy medium? An hour's nap in the afternoon would be just the ticket. As it is, she either sleeps for 2+ hours, or not at all.

Three year olds are wonderful in so many ways. I am amazed daily by the conversations I am able to have with Miss Peanut. However, she will not understand my exhortations to take a "good nap," or my assurances that this will help her to enjoy the remainder of her day. Ah well . . . my three short years of parenting have taught me that There. Is. Always. Something. I am always concerned about the latest transition, and how painful it will be and how long the painful part will last. But, these things always seem to work themselves out, and the difficult part of it all becomes a distant memory.

Poor Miss will always be, I fear, the victim of this worrying parent, since she is the first child. I remember my sense of panic when, at three months, she learned to roll over onto her tummy, and would get stuck that way in the middle of the night. She would cry and I would have to go roll her back over. I was so worried that my good sleeper would now become a high-maintenance child. I was constructing theories and methods for coping with this challenge. The challenge only lasted for two nights, for she had learned by the third night to roll the other way.

I suppose that I should let this history be a lesson to me, and realize that she will soon be able to function in the evening hours without a nap. Yes, I'm sure that is true. Just another little stepping stone on the path of growing up. This has been helpful and therapeutic. Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Small World

Today, for the second time, the little Peanuts and I ran into Sherri and her children at the playground. We met a week or so ago, and found out that she 1)just moved from Southern California to the Twin Cities, 2)has an almost-3 year old and a 10 month old, 3)is a Christian and wanted my advice on looking for a church, and 4)lived in Chicago before moving to Southern Cal. So, in other words, we had just a *few* things in common. She seems really nice, and is (unfortunately) moving out of our apartment complex in just a few days. We've exchanged phone numbers, though, and are hoping that we can still meet at a playground somewhere nearby and get to know each other better. Miss has a blast playing with her sweet little boy, and Master loves to grin at her little one as they swing side by side.

Before heading to the playground today we also talked with the friendly woman who cleans our apartment building. We see her every day, and she loves to say 'hi' to Corrie, but we've never really stopped to talk with her. As it turns out, she is from Bosnia and has been in the U.S. for six years. She told me that she really enjoys this country, and said, "I have no problem with criminals or things like that, so why shoudn't I be happy?"

Two different encounters, and two different reminders of how many interesting and unexpected relationships can be formed with those right outside your own front door.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Daily Routine

Every morning, I hear the same words.

"Mommy! It's so nice good to see you! I'm glad you came to see me! Let's go watch The Waltons!"

Miss and I have developed a tradition of watching The Waltons each morning while I nurse Master. We have the Hallmark channel included in our free cable package here, and I've found that this is a show I can watch with Miss in the room with no fear of graphic violence, bad language or other "adult themes" appearing in the plot. (This is more than I can say, by the way, for The Today Show or any other news program. I used to try watching the news each morning, but found that I had to be might speedy with my remote finger in order to avoid teaching Miss a new vocabulary and simultaneously giving her nightmares.)

This viewing tradition is only a few weeks old, and we seldom watch more than 20 minutes of each show, but it is already an important part of the daily routine for Miss. The comfort that little ones find in their routine never ceases to amaze me. Both of the children seem to be so much happier when they know what to expect, when they know what is coming next in the order of their day, and when they know that Daddy and I will be there to share all of these little things with them. One difficult aspect of Mr. Peanut's job is his ever-changing schedule, which causes our routine to vary somewhat from day to day. We are learning, though, to keep the routine alive for the children regardless of Mr.'s schedule, and that he can just join in for whatever part of the day that he spends with us.

We've yet to transmit to Mr. Peanut the enthusiasm over the Waltons, however. He'll have no choice but to catch on if Miss has anything to say about it. She is consistently calling me Mary-Ellen, and likes to proclaim "Good-Night, John-Boy!" every chance she gets.