27 December 2009

Well, They're Not Cerberus

Mama, I'm a scared of the puppies.
Mama, I'm a scared of the kitty.
Mama, where's the dragon?
Mama, I'm a scared. (When the lights go dim in a cartoon)
Mama, I'm a scared. (When the sharks in Finding Nemo appear)
Mama! (When Frank from Cars bellows his way into the scene)

My fearless little girl who used to embrace dogs five times her size now finds the world a spooky place. And not just when the scary music cues. Danger lurks everywhere, even in Tickle Me Elmo who I donated to charity because for Zora, the line between real and make-believe is still pretty blurry. Elmo may as well have been Chuckie.

New situations conjure up more of these anxieties. Right now we're battling an intense fear of Biggie and Max, two miniature daschunds my in-laws own. Harper, Zora's cousin and consummate consoler tried her best to allay Zora's fears.

"Don't worry, Zora," Harper said, "Biggie is a nice doggie. She won't bite you."

Zora looked nonplussed.

"But Max bites," Harper continued earnestly. "He's nervous."

The truth is not setting Zora free. She keeps her tiny toes tucked under bum her at all times.

26 December 2009

Day After Christmas Sale

(Note: King Soopers is a local grocery chain in Denver.)

Harper: Poo poo.

Oma: Pee pee.

Saskia: That's enough you guys.


Harper: Poo poo for sale at King Soopers.


Harper: Poo poo yogurt at King Soopers!

25 December 2009

Christmas in Denver 2009

Check out the festivities before we all (except Rodney and Zora) were knocked flat by a stomach virus. Christmas dinner will probably be ginger ale and crackers. Luckily we're here long enough to reschedule Christmas.

20 December 2009

Snopacalypse 2009

It's not easy calculating how far a toddler is willing to walk in 20 inches of snow before she demands "up!"

18 December 2009

The Second Child Conversation: Redux

With R's mom in town the week before last, we took the opportunity to sneak away for a drinks and dessert at 3 Bar and Grill. It was a lovely setting: flickering candlelight, nary a toddler in site, gooey chocolate bread pudding with vanilla sauce. We held hands and talked about our five-year plan.

On my list: a four-day-a-week career as a web writer or manager, getting published, being fiscally responsible (the stuff that money gurus always tell you to do, but that you think is impossible -- six months living expenses, retirement accounts, etc.), a larger house in Arlington so we can all have our own study and room to have friends and family stay with us.

On R's list: a better paying job that uses his security clearance, various computer certifications, more time enjoying creative pursuits like photography. He even agreed that a bigger house was in the cards for us -- a major victory for me. For a long time, R seemed convinced that we could stay in our little  850 sq. ft. condo forever. "People in Manhattan do it!" Good for them. I didn't want to.

Then, I launched into that conversation (See: Does Only Mean Lonely??).

"So, I know that we've talked about this before," I began, "and you may not like what I have to say, but I have to bring it up. I'm still thinking about a second child."

R tried hard to maintain a neutral expression and let me continue.

"My reasons haven't changed, " I told him. "I just think about what I've been through in the past two years having to deal with my dad's estate and finding care for my mom. I don't want Zora to be lonely if anything happens to us."

R responded: "You realize that most of the five-year plan isn't doable if we have another child."

Daycare. A bigger house. Restricted traveling for a few years. College. Less sleep.

"Yes, but," and I faltered. Wanting another child wasn't necessarily rational.

The conversation sputtered. Finally, R asked that we change the subject, and I was left feeling slightly dissatisfied.


But the longer I let that impasse sit, I find myself coming around to R's perspective. I don't like to think that I'm giving in, but rather, that I'm reconciling our vision of what it means to be a family and what decisions we can make together to sustain us financially and emotionally. A second child would alter the goals I've set for myself and for our family. After lifetime of trying to meet other people's needs, I would like to meet my own. Even if it means Zora is an only child. And I think I am okay with that.

11 December 2009

Where's My Oma?

Oma is in da house! Finally people can see for themselves where the red hair comes from. Check out our most recent photos with Oma as well as our trip to Eric & Michelle's for a rollicking good Thanksgiving.

07 December 2009

Circumlocution: Toddler Style

Zora after wiping out in the snow this weekend and shivering in cold, soggy clothes: "There's a puddle on me."