Category Archives: Stories

In Case Of Emergency…

23 Oct 2013


This week at Laurel Hill, Lucy is participating is a Fire Drill week: a fire drill each day.
What happens is, they sound the little fire alarm, and the kids all go to Bike Deck and get counted.
It’s cute and not particularly stressful.

Yesterday, Lucy did get scared, but I wasn’t there, so the details are unclear.
I gather she was having trouble finding her shoes, (they’re still lost) and unfortunately that’s when the buzzer sounded. The rule is that you must wear shoes on bike deck, so that may have been a part of her conflict.
She told us many times last night that she didn’t want to go back to Laurel Hill if they were having another fire drill. I talked her into it by promising to talk to her teachers, and also by putting her in tennies (less drama in the shoe department).
It worked! Today was smooth: Lynn held her hand and she even got to sit in Lynn’s lap.

Concurrently, another funny bit of conversation unfolded this morning.
Let me set the scene: Mark stayed up late last night. Then he got up for a work conference call at 6 am. Naturally he went back to bed at 7:15 when he could. I got up at 7:30. I’ve been leaving 25 minutes early this week so I can work in the kid drop-off line at Clarendon. (It’s our class’s week to volunteer, and I use that drop off line religiously.) So the plan was to leave Lucy in front of cartoons while I was gone. I told her Daddy was downstairs if she needed anything. We’ve done this a lot, so no big deal. I did the morning at school, and came home almost an hour later. As far as I could tell, Lucy hadn’t budged. So I sat down to check my email.

Five minutes later, I look up, and Lucy is not there. I get up and see she’s gone downstairs – What? She’s going to wake up Mark! I get her out of our room as fast as possible, and when we’re out of earshot I scold her. “What were you doing? It’s not okay to wake up Daddy when he’s tired and trying to sleep!”
(She just had an unimportant question for him.)
“I’m home now – ask ME whatever you need!” Then I realize I had told her she Could go down there (While I was Gone). We’re now in a confusing/gray area, and I feel I should try to explain.

We talk. We get to the part with me giving examples of an emergency, where she Would want to wake up a sleeping parent…
Did you spill milk all over the kitchen floor? {no.} So don’t wake up daddy.
Did you have a pee pee accident? {no.} So don’t wake up daddy.
Is there someone knocking at the door? {no.} So don’t wake up daddy.
Did a kitty get outside? {no.} So don’t wake up daddy.
Did you get hurt? Like you fell, or you bonked your head? {no.} So don’t wake up daddy.

By now Lucy wants a turn. Pause – She thinks of her emergency.
She replies,
If there was a humongous mean dinosaur who stepped on our house and made a giant hole!

A Battle Over A Princess

25 Jun 2013

Who will win?! Tune in on Halloween and find out!

It’s not much, but since I remember it, I’ll write it down.
Lucy wants to be the Princess Rapunzel for Halloween. Of this she has been consistently certain, for months now. Unfortunately she’s not inspired, or even aware of, the original story by the Brothers Grimm. Lucy likes the Disney version, and has seen the movie Tangled, at least three times now. Also, Aunt Kiera gave her some costumes as a Christmas gift, and one of them is the slinky, gold-trimmed, purple and lavender Disney Rapunzel gown. Therefore, even though it would not be (in my opinion) new or exciting, to wear this for Halloween, she’s at least able to do it under her own power. And she knows it.

So that’s the back story. Why we are talking about Halloween costumes in June, is no more odd than the many, many year-round conversations in which my kids plan their birthday parties. I think, like me, they love to look forward to things. Our most recent chat about her costume choice was on Saturday afternoon, under some shady pine trees in Sebastopol. At first I had the hammock all to myself -which we brought with us for the day. I took a video on Instagram, you can see it here if you don’t already follow me.

A little later Lucy climbed in, and struggled to find a comfy and balanced spot. At last she settled down (settled down for a 3 year old doesn’t really compare to a grown up version, but beggars can’t be choosers). “Mom?”
–I’m right there, in the hammock, and there is no one else. —
Me: “Yes?”

Lucy: “I want to be Rapunzel for Halloween.”

Me: Hmmmm.

Lucy: I think a long lellow hair on my head too.

Me: I like that part. Maybe you could make up your own Princess.

Lucy: No I like Rapunzel.

Me: Well she’s not my favorite.

Lucy: Well She’s my favorite!

Me: silent

Lucy: You don’t like purple. Purple is my favorite color. Rapunzel is a Purple Princess.

Me: I think you should think what else you could be for Halloween. (Fightin words.)

Lucy: I’m going to be A Purple PRINCESS of Rapunzel.

Me (losing my cool): I don’t like purple princesses! You can’t make me like her!

Lucy: Fine! You Can’t Make Me Don’t Like Her!

And I honestly do not know what I was going to say next, but Heaven sent us Oscar with a message that Dinner would be ready soon, and we both were requested to go inside and wash up.
Any words of wisdom on this one will be received with much gratitude.


Lucy in the Sky with Scissors

18 Apr 2013


This is a nothing post – I just want to write down a cute thing she does.

When you play RoShamBo with her,
(a.k.a. rock paper scissors)

She Always Chooses Scissors!
She acts all ready and happy to play, and then no matter what, she throws down the scissors.
Surprisingly, the game is still fun.

(does this have anything to to with her fourth self-haircut?!
She really loves scissors).

With Nanu a couple of weeks ago.. I’m retiring the Snow White gown, 2T is too small.

Under the Dome, with Nora and Charlotte

Ava in The SF Chronicle

11 Apr 2013

I was recently interviewed for a story about childhood cancers, not the ones that are doing well, but the ones that haven’t seen improvements. The article was written by a recently bereaved mother (who I greatly enjoyed talking with), and it was published today.

Here’s Ava on the Front Page:


Here is a snapshot of the article:


Mark has made a .pdf so you can read the whole thing more easily. There are 3 pages. The file will open in a new tab:


There is a link to the article online, but you need a subscription to read past the first little bit.

Thank you, everyone, who has used this opportunity to check in and say something sweet! We love the good wishes! I hope to have something new and nice to show you on her birthday, which is coming soon… May 7th – she would have been Ten! Which makes ten years of parenthood for us. Maybe we should go out to celebrate?
Anyways, stay tuned for more Ava goodness.

Xmas Card Runner Up, And Wishes

19 Nov 2012

(click for larger)

Now that I have my real card photo all wrapped up, I can share this runner-up happily.
I like this shot. For minimal effort, the results were fine. I couldn’t get a good close up.

Also, I sort of made a mistake in telling them I wanted to try for a Christmas Card.
So of course, my outfit-obsessed daughter pulls out her biggest, fanciest red velvet gown.
(Do you remember it from last year? I’m happy it still fits. I do love it, just maybe not for a casual walk in the park). She insisted with tears, so I acquiesced.

I’m very excited to place the order on our real holiday card soon!


Tonight I was talking to the kids at dinner about Santa.
Oscar still remembers The Visit, but is starting to have some questions on the whole big picture.
I steered the conversation to safety: “So what do you think he’ll bring you?”

Oscar: I’m getting Coal this year!
Me: Pshaw. (of all the kids… yeah right.)
Oscar: No, really!
Me: Kids don’t actually get coal. If they’ve been bad, and are in danger of geting coal, they always clean up their act for the month of December. If you turn it around then Santa forgives.
Oscar: {happy with that}
Oscar: Oh, and I want a remote control Helicopter.

Lucy: I want a Dress!
Me: Really? What about some fun toys? Santa has good ones.
Lucy: No, I want a pretty dress.
Me: Okay. What does it look like? Is it fancy?
Lucy: Um, yes. It’s really, really, Really fancy. And it’s purple.
Me: What? You have a purple dress. Kiera just gave you a purple dress.
Lucy: Oh yeah… I want a Pink One from Santa!
Me: (whew. close one.) What else do you you think you might want for Christmas?
Lucy: Treats!
Me: Treats, like to eat?
Lucy: Yes! Treats! Treats! Treats!
Me: what kind of treats? Cake? Cookies? ..Candy?
Lucy: Donuts.