Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wild Christmas!

Louise is officially wild. She told Daddy that she and her friend Kate can be " wild as wild goats!!"

All three girls were wildly excited about Christmas. After declaring repeatedly that she hoped Santa brought her "cookies", Claire asked Mummy at bedtime, "Santa's coming?" Charlotte, who had no publicly declared wish list, showed symptoms of having watched too much West Wing in utero. "What next, Mummy? Presents?" Louise received a video email from Santa, in which he reminded her to say "please" and "thank you." "Pleasethankyoupleasethankyoupleasethankyou" was the refrain after she got the year we'll let Santa know that Louise has been asked to say those words when appropriate.

We are blessed to have generous family members and friends, who gifted all of us with toys, clothes, money, and food. We are also delighted to have warm and generous neighbours, who invited us into their home for appetisers when we were sated with gift opening.

Louise came in to Claire’s room at bedtime with some of the instruments from Rock-n-Roll Elmo. “I’m going to sing ‘The End of the World’. No, Mummy – it’s okay, it’s a lullaby.” The lyrics went something like this: “The world goes round and round and round the sun./ You think it’s going to be forever. / But then it stops./ It’s the end of the world, end of the world, end of the world./ Tambourine, tambourine, tambourine…” I think she caught the expression on my face, however, because the lyrics then switched to “But the world isn’t ending, jamboree party!”

Today we went wild at Marbles. After we returned, home we got back to nature by planting branches from a discarded Christmas tree.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

GRITS (Girls Raised In The South) 2011

Louise's Southern (US) accent is getting stronger, though she still pronounces garage (GAY-reg) as her father does. She sounds more Southern than Mummy's colleague from Mississippi, and now seems to think that "yeah" is a polysyllabic word.





Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Cheer

Pop and Granny have arrived! We are looking forward to celebrating Christmas with them. They are helping us get into the holiday spirit - we decorated the tree, delivered cookies and cards to neighbours, and built a gingerbread house last weekend. To be accurate, Granny and Louise built it; Charlotte & Claire ensured that we didn't have too much frosting on the outside of the house. But Claire was clear about her intentions from the outset - "You build it, Mommy. Me eat it."

Friday, December 9, 2011

Don't it make my blue eyes brown...

Charlotte has somehow picked up the phrase, "my eyes are brown," and she uses it to mean "I'm telling the truth" - i.e., "I won't swing Daddy's hammer around! My eyes are brown!" It seems that Pops' efforts to influence the children through telepathy are being thwarted... (For those who don't know Pops: he's fond of saying, "Your eyes are turning brown" when he thinks that someone is full of something other than Truth).

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What's in a name

Last night and this morning, we commented on how much C&C love one another - they were looking to one another (rather than Mummy or Daddy) for comfort when they fell down, randomly giggling and playing together, etc.

So this morning, we realized they might still need a little refinement before they're released into the world on their own. They each took turns reciting the lines for "A" and "B" for ten minutes in the car this morning:

A: "Boo boo head."

B: "I no LIKE it!"

A: "Boo boo head."

B: "I no LIKE it! MOMMY!"

[another family member: "Say sorry."]

A: "Sorry."

[reverse roles]


Sunday, December 4, 2011

And don't call me Shirley

We all had a wonderful time at the General Aviation terminal at RDU yesterday, celebrating neighbor Alex's birthday. There were real planes & helicopters, paper airplanes, and ample space for running round in circles - what else does one need for a birthday party?!

As the usually delightful Louise commented later that day: "I'm always good, most of the time." She does have moments of rage, but she also can show great tenderness. Charlotte was getting a little frustrated at lunch today, so Louise intervened: "I'll get it for you, Charlotte. I don't want you to cry!"

Mommy asked Charlotte if she remembered traveling on a plane to England last Christmas. She didn't, but that didn't stop her from replying "Yes! I hit my head on England! I broke it. But Mr. John (our neighbour, and a child psychiatrist) and mommy fixed it. I got a boo-boo!" So perhaps she has some lingering memory of having the flu whilst on an eight-hour flight and in a two-hour immigration queue. Or, as Louise said, "she's just making up a story."

This morning, a tired (and soggy) Claire woke up with the words, "I bet my wed, Mommy."

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Perhaps because she hears it so often, one of Charlotte's favorite phrases is "wait a minute." (She usually says it as we're trying to get her to bed). Claire likes that too, but she prefers phrases like "me do it", "MY Spencer Broder," or "What doin'?" She also has begun to insist that her middle name is not Alice, but Christine. Mummy finds this interesting, since she used to joke that Claire was the reincarnation of Nana Chris.

We all had a lovely Thanksgiving celebration at our next door neighbors' home - delicious food, great company, and no cooking, cleaning, or drama. Louise & Alex behaved beautifully and jumped at the offer to have a sleep-over a few days later. It didn't work out - the two Alpha Firstborns were overtired and had a rather heated dispute about toothpaste ownership - but they may try again in a few months. The next sleepover at Chez Atherton is more likely to be in Claire or Charlotte's room. One morning this week, Charlotte woke and, rather than going into our room, went to visit Claire.




Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Professional photos

The CD is in the mail to us, but in the meantime, enjoy the link





Mummy recently went out for dinner with some ladies from the neighborhood. She told the girls it was a "mummy meeting" to "make her a better mummy." Not to be outdone, Daddy went out later that weekend to the pub with a "daddy friend." Louise concluded the next day, "Daddy - you don't need any more daddy meetings. But mummy needs to go on more mummy meetings."

The girls' current ambitions: Louise wants to be a tree when she grows up. Charlotte says, "Me get bigger; go work in hoppital." Claire: "[raises eyebrow, sucks finger]"

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Flower children

We've had a busy weekend, though our camera has not been overly taxed. We all went to see Elizabeth Mitchell on Saturday morning in Carrboro. Mummy & Claire loved the concert. Louise was attentive and clapping heartily for most of the songs, but afterwards said she didn't like it. Saturday afternoon, Louise went to a birthday party at Bull City Craft. We've also been spending lots of time with the neighbours. Louise's head had a rather dramatic encounter with a steel-reinforced corner before bed Saturday night. The gash on her forehead is still bleeding a bit, but she didn't seem to have suffered a concussion.

On Sunday afternoon, Daddy, Louise, and Claire went to Barnes & Noble, whilst Charlotte & Mummy stayed home and visited the playground at the end of the street. On the way home, Charlotte said, "I want to play with Asha." Asha isn't home, Mummy replied. Where do you think she's gone? "England," Charlotte immediately responded. Why? "To get ice cream."

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Today Charlotte's teacher wrote, "While exploring at bike rally I was very impressed to see Charlotte riding two scooters at once. She did not even fall. To pick up speed she would put one leg in the middle and push off! This is truly a skill I would never imagine a two year old doing!" (Translate: your daughter is crazy).


Claire's disregard of historical accuracy and lack of cultural sensitivity demonstrated fearlessness about blackmail, or a decision to never seek elected office (or to do so as a neo-Tea Party candidate).


And some more random pics of Charlotte:


Monday, October 31, 2011

All Hallows' Eve

Claire is speaking in sentences when pressed, but her favorite phrase is currently "What doin'?" Rides in the car often feature conversations like "What doin', Daddy?" "What doin', Claire?" "What doin', Charlotte?"... She also likes "Good LUCK!", but she often says it with a key in hand, so she might be saying "Good Lock".

All three kids enjoyed trick-or-treating and handing out candy to other children. Claire was a bit frightened of some of the decorations, but Louise, with next door neighbour Alex, raced from house to house. After a few houses, Charlotte got into the spirit of begging too.





Thursday, October 20, 2011

All better

Louise seems to be fully recovered now. She is making up for lost protein with a vengeance - this morning she snacked on deli meat in the car on the way to day care.

Charlotte is making progress on potty training. She is going diaperless at daycare these days.

Princess Claire may show an interest in potty training eventually, or she may continue to think her sisters are suckers for doing themselves what others might do for them. Some pictures of the princess from today:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Middle earth

When we were two blocks away from Mummy's drop-off point this morning, Charlotte declared: "Mummy go hobbital. Bye-bye." A block later, she pointed out helpfully "green light, Daddy. Go!"

So far this week, Charlotte & Claire have been in separate classrooms. The change seems to suit both of them, and Charlotte is apparently quite happy to leave Mummy and go to day care...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Too cool

Louise continues to be on an extremely restricted diet, after pancakes proved too fat-and-protein-heavy for her stomach on Saturday. She acts like a child who is chronically tired and hungry, because she is, in fact, chronically tired and hungry. However, she still knows her own worth. On Saturday, she acknowledged that Claire wanted to spend naptime with big sister. "I'm trying to be less cool," she told us, explaining her solution to the problem.

Some pics of Charlotte from today: