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Showing posts from December, 2007

The missing link post: Unresolved about resolutions and looks back, but grateful iPod knows my musical style for me

Many bloggers are doing these fabulous retrospectives of their blogging through 2007. Others are doing these awe-inspiring lists of resolutions for 2008. Some impressive bloggers are doing both. Here's where I let my inner Slacker shine through. And do neither. But I will throw out a few random and frank (versus Ethel, Lucy or Fred) comments here: 1. About resolutions A while back (and dear me, if I were a better blogger or not so lazy I'd link to the post I mean here) (this is what I call a Typical Julie Guilting Self Trip---I travel this often) I went on a little rant about the abuse of prayer. After my more recent rant about gift wish lists (again with the missing link), it will probably surprise not one person to learn the direction of that rant. I was disturbed by the specific desires uttered in prayer. It seemed to me that the utterly faithful would only ask for God's guidance, presence, support or peace to deal with outcomes that are usually beyond our control. Only

The Every Day Princess: noble, brave, and twice as quick

Persistence is in a hardcore princess phase. Jon and I are baffled by it. Where did it come from? Prior to her obsession (and believe me, it's an obsession) we had a very limited amount of princess stuff. Neither girl had ever expressed much interest in princesses, and we had no desire to push princess stuff, so...we lacked stock. We had maybe a few books, although not ones she read much. We don't watch any princess TV shows or own any princess movies. There were a few dress-up princess dresses Patience had gotten as gifts in years past, and maybe a doll. I think school might be the genesis. At Halloween she wore a Georgie costume and every other little girl wore a princess costume. The following week, she was princess crazed. She wore one, or two, of her princess costumes every single day. I freshened the dresses as best I could, and changed out the base clothing underneath. I refused to let her go out of the house in the ridiculous clunky plastic shoes and we came to an agree

Lola and Flavia Spill All

My sister Flavia happens to be sitting right next to me so we decided to be efficient (we're smart and sweet that way) and do a single blog entry that covered both of us for today. We decided to do a Tell All entry. The whole thing is eye-numbingly boringly juicy but the best bit is at the end so you have to read the whole thing. Weirdest Thing Lola: Flavia makes up words, like all the time. For example, we went to the green belt across the street to use the trail for a run this morning. On the way back she was describing the effort it took to come and go with six kids and three adults. "It's just dedonculous," she laughed. You know she means ridiculous plus annoying, but the words. She's too much. Also, she gets everyone around her talking like she talks; that is to say, using made up words. Her kids all come out of the bathroom and say, "I just dropped The Bizzomb." Flavia: Oh yeah? Well words are the weirdest thing about you, too. You know every sing

Someone's special someone for the holidays

Tip was smarter and Teddy was sweeter. They had heard it since a time before memory. Sweet and Smart or Smart and Sweet. Either way it should have been a name of a magazine for teenaged girls or a brand of hard candy or a sauce for crispy duck. The teachers in their elementary school said it when the boys were a grade apart. ... "Tip is one of the smartest little boys this school has ever seen," the teachers would confide when Doyle came in for conferences. "But Teddy is just so sweet." --- Ann Patchett, Run And, in so saving the most precious comment for the end---best for last--we reveal what we value most: sweet. The truth is, I think, that the majority have a taste for sweet, but fewer have a taste for smart. That's how I always knew my sister was better---because she was prettier and sweeter. Like Tip and Teddy, we were Smart and Sweet, Smart and Pretty. She had layers, outward assets. I was just smart. Smart got you in trouble. It made you ask questions th

Rosemary: Our Christmas tradition, a short story, and a brief poem by Marianne Moore

Each Christmas we buy rosemary, a small tree, in a little plastic pot, with a red or gold bow. It's a tradition Jon and I began a while back and I don't recall exactly why, which is ironic since rosemary is for remembrance. Every year we buy it and every year I try to keep it alive and plant it. Every year I fail. Except last year. Last year I managed to keep the rosemary alive. It thrived and grew, fragrant and full in its pot. I kept saying I needed to plant it but wasn't sure where, and felt worried that transferring it would end my happy steak of luck with the herb. Then we lost Bubba . As a memorial to him, we decided to plant a garden with his grave. Now the rosemary had a spot and a purpose. It has flourished there, too, along with the beautiful hibiscus---golden, of course. This year, so far, until today I have forgotten to buy rosemary. Another small fetch of irony. Or not. Perhaps I have let go of what I was trying to remember, or perhaps having finally succeeded

On the first day of DIY my true love gave to me. . .

. . .A carpenter with a fair fee. Beginning today, I imagine most people will be madly engaged in celebrating Christmas in its various forms (Before, During, and After). At our house, we will honor and celebrate the season by decorating our house with Round Tuits. Have you ever received a Round Tuit at Christmas? I believe I got the first one ever in elementary school at an ornament exchange. One child brought a large red, breakable ball with silver glittery letters that proclaimed, "Round Tuit." Attached to the hook was a small tag that read, "Do you often say, 'I'll do it when I get a round tuit?' Here's your round tuit, so get cracking." You can imagine how much that thrilled me. However, the adults were greatly entertained and I quickly and willingly lost the round tuit to some grown-up. It became a family joke, though. And as I grew older I began to appreciate it, and how its important message was delivered with humor. So this Christmas---the f

Hanging out my Dirty Laundry

Can you believe that Don Henley had a hit song about this topic? I know, me neither...Don Henley. I'll admit I was never a Henley fan, the singer or the t-shirts. And if you don't know what I mean you are probably too young to read my blog. (KIDDING!) But you probably do know what I mean when I say kids generate an unbelievable amount of laundry. I washed FOUR LOADS of kid clothes yesterday. Little teeny tiny kid clothes. Two-thirds of it was Persistence's, which are the smallest clothes of all. She still wears some 18-month and 24 month stuff! She is heavy into her Diva stage, which apparently requires multiple wardrobe changes a day. I was talking to my two good friends about this and as I griped I realized, umm wow, they probably only see her in the exact same outfit all the time . When Persistence goes out, she must be in full Princess regalia or Ballerina costume. It's the layers under and over that...the layers I insist upon, resulting in numerous fights every day

What Patience Really, REALLY wants for Christmas or There's no funny like kindergarten girl/big sister funny

Today was the Winter Party at Patience's school. Here are the girls making reindeer sandwiches: The teacher and I had a little tete-a-tete as the kids went through the fun stations. I mentioned the ink incident. She asked if Patience had shared what Those Boys Did with scissors. I said yes. She was very cute about it. Then she asked if I had seen Patience's letter to Santa that she wrote in class. She said it was the funniest letter because...well, see for yourself: Translation: A cat and 3 kittens. (She means REAL ones.) And a dog and puppies. (Again, real ones.) Bunkbed And for my sister to calm down. Please Santa Claus, make my sister calm down. Love, Patience She and I laughed and laughed. I got home, read the letter, and laughed and laughed again. Then I had Patience read it to me, and kept my giggles to myself, no mean feat, especially when she added, "Because That Child is way too busy for her own good." Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert Also blogging at: Using My W

There's no funny like kindergarten boy funny

Since Patience began kindergarten, she's come home at least three to four days a week with a story about a boy in her class that seriously makes me laugh out loud. I know she tells me the stories not because they are humorous but because she's puzzled by the boys and what they said or did, and a little disgusted. I can tell she's already figuring out that XY people can be very different from XX people. I can tell she's already forming the age-old female conclusion that boys are just so very boy sometimes. I'd spent most of yesterday at my best friend's house. She and another good friend (the mother of Persistence's adorable Love of Her Life) were doing some serious home renovation. My contribution was largely to entertain them while they worked and mediate territorial disagreements among the three year olds. They were still heavy into the demo portion (the moms, not the three year olds, although technically, that description could be apt for them too) when

Good grief, Charlie should be Hump Day

There I was clapping myself on the back all pleased as punch with myself: kids dresses bought, Christmas cards mostly done, shopping complete, most parties set, donations made, school volunteering all set, and so fact, I spent last night working on New Year's Eve! That's how In Control and On Top of Christmas I am. Well something had to give this week...this month. Something just did. And do you know, it just now, nearly mid-day, occurred to me what gave. Hump Day. The Hump Day Hmms. What does it say that I totally forgot those until I opened, just now, my feed reader and noticed numerous devotions to my rival, Wordless Wednesday? I apologize. Can we call the Hump Day off for December and pick it back up post-New Year's? I expect you are all as distracted in one way or another as I am. May I ask the same indulgence for the Blog Pledges (and if you sent me an email I did get it...just haven't replied yet). A brief hiatus until January. Fair enough? Okay, carry on

Out of the mouths of babes

How my children dress is extremely reflective of their personalities. They choose what they will wear and dress themselves, my girls. They both started this by two. They are quite insistent about it, actually. I think children need some power and control in their world, and why not over the things they wear? Other people---moms mainly---have debated this point fiercely with me. The main counterpoint is that the moms feel it is no favor to the child to let her go about looking like a ragamuffin or freak. I hear that point, I do. But. I'm not sold on this. In the past, I have definitely thought my point---if you can't dress up and dress how you like at 2, 3, 4 then when can you? let's indulge the littlest kids---weighed more than the rest. So what if Patience sometimes felt like being a cat, and thus wore a cat tail with her clothes, and only spoke in meows? But now, at school age, the small doubts that had been creeping in---the worry that maybe those moms, who seem to be th

The Top 10 Ways Christmas is the Ultimate Downfall of Western Civilization (Late Entry Monday Mission)

1. Christmas Insanity The first nod goes to the American Psychological Association, who I believe are actually the ones behind the whole Christmas Madness Syndrome. I mean really, who stands to gain the most from holiday madness, which, by the way, ensues regardless of amount of spending? That's right: shrinks. In fact, I notice an inverse correlation between holiday sales and level of insanity. 2. Christianity is not for greased pigs I'd also like to nod towards the Christian Church, all denominations, for losing complete control over the holiday they instituted. Despite legislation from the US Congress (which graciously and magnanimously allows the whole world to value Christianity and Christmas), once again, the holiday has run amuck. I'm impressed that the Church is able to control Congress (talk about herding cats) but distressed that they've lost the handle on the holiday overall. 3. Think of Albert, but let's not cry, I know he'd not want it that way A

A Blue Christmas With You

I will share a little family history today. I am usually more circumspect. However, for a tiny glimpse into a bit of a why about me and this month, I will share this story. It's never the whole story or the only story, and it's never only about me, the writer. However, I've written it as completely and honestly as possible, although I'll admit to editing a bit out of respect of privacy. That Christmas I felt ebullient. If emotions could make you glow, I shined brighter than the lights on the tree. I was in love. Big time love, grown-up love. Going to the chapel and gonna get married love. And he had agreed to spend Christmas with me. I set aside the fears and worries about bringing him home to my extended family. He was so wonderful I knew they'd suddenly morph into the amazing, loving, close-knit and welcoming family I always wished I had. How could they not glow in his presence, too? This was only the second time I'd brought a man to meet my extended family. T