Well, they're both funny. J's note under the tree she's always climbing.
Well, they’re both funny. J’s note under the tree she’s always climbing.

We’ve had a rather dramatic home lately. I hate it. Still, I guess that there’s one perk: parenting multiple children is good preparation for writing characters.

I’ve been meaning to do more creative writing–that was part of why I reduced this blog, really. The truth? I haven’t done much.  But when it comes to thinking about characters, I know that as a reader, how I feel about the characters has a huge impact on how I feel about the whole book.  If I don’t like any of the characters, I don’t like the book (I’m talkin’ to you, Madame Bovary! Also, come to think of it, Twilight). But if I love the characters, or if the author gives me enough information to make me empathize with the bad guys, that’s a huge part of what makes me love a whole story.

Watching my daughters interact sometimes feels like reading a book that’s become frustratingly predictable. Each of the two protagonists are uniquely lovable, but their vastly different personalities and character traits lead to misunderstanding and heartache, seemingly at every turn. I enter a scene, catch a snippet of dialogue, and I know both how and why it’s going to play out, yet I feel powerless to stop it.

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The Limits of Magical Creatures

I’ve had a bit of low-level anxiety this April about Easter.

Growing up, the Easter Bunny used to always bring me a new outfit, suitable for wearing to church that day. It was a lovely tradition that I planned to continue with my own children. Early on, in fact, the girls did get cute little dresses. Except that they had very strong opinions about their clothing preferences, and finding a dress that they were willing to wear was a challenge. In fact, it was too challenging for the Easter Bunny. For the first several years of the girls’ life, the Easter Bunny made all sorts of slacker moves, like handing out the exact same stuffed bunnies and chicks from previous years, because it turns out that if you put something away in August, toddlers forget that those furry items ever existed by the following spring, so they greet them like new. And yes, that sounds sneaky and clever, sure, but then the Easter Bunny would totally fail Easter with loser moves like gifting M with a large white chocolate bunny when it turns out she doesn’t like white chocolate anymore. Not as bad as that idiot Santa Claus, who once



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The Big Shave

I mentioned recently that M decided to shave her head for St. Baldrick’s, and I owe you a report on how it went. So here it is.

Cute W and I spent the week prior to the St. Baldrick’s event not sleeping. We were tense. I don’t know what, exactly, about the whole thing made us so overwrought, but we were definitely overwrought. I was worried that M would change her mind at first, but that receded as the donations started streaming in. Then I continued to worry that she’d regret doing it. And Cute W and I both went through a little bit of a mourning period over her hair, all the while feeling guilty that we were so shallow that we were mourning her hair. J was also sad. On the night M announced her intentions, J came down from bedtime, tears streaming. “But why?” she sobbed. “Why does she have to do this? Her hair is so beautiful! I love her beautiful hair!”

J art

And Cute W and I pretty much felt the same way! But
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Spring Cleaning


How was THIS for a gorgeous weekend? I’m hoping that it bodes well for our week-long spring break. We’re going nowhere. Nowhere, nothin’, just hanging out. I’m really happy for those of you who are heading to tropical locations. I’m not bitter at all. Well, okay, I’m a little bit bitter, but I’d be satisfied if we could have a few more days of genuine spring. Did you notice that we practically skipped mud season, or was that just me? It seemed like it was still frozen-cold in between thaws, making all the mud that I whined about back in that Dark Side of Spring post seem practically non-existent. So that’s a bonus.

We’re taking the spring cleaning thing seriously.
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Sunny Skies, High Winds

I promised that my next post would be a break from reports of my family’s virtuousness, so I’ll talk more about the St. Baldrick’s shave later. If anyone’s curious, you can click the link to M’s page, which now includes multiple photos as well as a video of the actual shaving.

Meanwhile, in other news, my children are currently gallivanting around the neighborhood without supervision.

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Her Crowning Glory

On Monday afternoon, J and I had an appointment right after school, so by the time we arrived home, M was halfway through the online registration process.

“I’m shaving my head on Saturday!” she announced.

“Do you really want to shave your head on Saturday?” I asked.

“I don’t just want to: I’m doing it. It’s going to be great.”

“But. . . but, honey, it’s your crowning glory!” I mock-wailed, laughing.

I laugh when I’m uncomfortable. I was stalling with a joke. But I was not entirely joking.

And M? She was absolutely serious.


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Girls’ Circles

This year I’ve started a new activity that I haven’t mentioned on the blog until now. I am a muse. “Why, I knew that already!” you are no doubt saying, “because you always inspire wisdom within me, and you are in many other ways quite goddess-like!’

Well, thank you.

But that’s not exactly what I mean.

craft picture-001

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Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Friday night was a bit frantic. I was responsible for taking J and her BFF to the Learning Fair, and they spent the afternoon augmenting their project with new projects and sub-projects and design ideas. Meanwhile I looked up and realized that I had about half an hour before we had to get going, and I hadn’t started dinner. Actually, I’d looked up at about 3 pm and realized that I’d failed for the day, because the original plan was a slow-cooker meal. But it was too late to get that started. So I had chicken in the fridge from the meal-that-wasn’t, as well as an overabundance of mushrooms. I’d been vaguely craving a dish that I make which involves chicken and a bunch of sauteed mushrooms and artichoke hearts and white wine on pasta. But taking a look at the clock and considering the girls’ dietary preferences, I downgraded sharply to plain old spaghetti with a random assortment of raw vegetables on the side so that I could feel better about basically carbo-loading for an evening in which the most taxing activity would be walking.

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I’ve Completely Lost Control of My House

I am anxiously awaiting tomorrow night, our elementary school’s Learning Fair. Right now there’s evidence of J’s project with her BFF everywhere. They’re researching chemical additives in food, which has led to all sorts of groovy-cool little projects-in-process. Like noticing that the brown candies contain multiple color dyes:

candy dye

Cool. Excellent. The girls are exploring and enjoying science! For a little while I had these contained, but after the last work session, I just gave up.
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Saturday Morning Agenda: Soccer Game & Gymnastics Meet

This actually is our agenda for this weekend, too, but I wrote this on another Saturday morning a few weeks ago:

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