Semantics

Semantics

Mary Virginia likes to play house, and whenever she does, she assigns everyone a character. For example, last weekend she was playing house at the beach. She was the mommy, David was the daddy, Tom was the grandpa, and I was the mermaid statue. One morning before playing house we were ironing out the details: Mary

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Semantics

Semantics

If you know Mary Virginia at all you know that she is very, very aware of her wardrobe. She prefers dresses. Skirts are ok. Pants are intolerable. She also loves anytime I wear a dress or a skirt, which actually isn’t very often. The first time she saw me in my bathrobe she exclaimed, “OH MOMMY! I

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A certain kind of lifestyle

This morning, before 8 o’clock, my kids dismantled the playroom. When I say “dismantled” I don’t mean they made a typically giant toddler mess, disproportionate to their small size. What I mean is they took apart their toy bins and moved around furniture. Thomas spent the morning wondering how we fit all of Disney World into our

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Just two girls at the beauty salon

Just two girls at the beauty salon

It’s true. Since I had kids, certain things have fallen to the wayside. Things like trips to the doctor and dentist and shopping for a pair of warm boots for the fall. Of course I’m talking about appointments for me. Don’t worry, my kids are set in the appropriate-shoe department. I’m the cookie-cutter, stereotypical mom you see

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Imitating life

Imitating life

It has been unreasonably hot here for the past few weeks — we’ve spent all of our time in the air conditioning or the pool or wishing that’s where we were. But don’t misunderstand me — even when I’m sweating through my shorts at the park, chasing the shade and praying for a breeze? Just a small one? Is a breeze be too

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Maternal instincts

Mary Virginia loves to play doctor. Usually I’m the doctor and the game starts out by me telling her that I can’t play doctor because I’m cleaning up the mess from painting and, remember Mary Virginia? When you were painting 15 seconds ago? Can we have even a little bit of transition time? She now

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Just a few doors down

When we bought our last house, it never occurred to me to ask if there were kids in the neighborhood. I was 7 months pregnant, and that just wasn’t on my radar. I didn’t know how important it would be to have friends for my children, and friends for me just a few doors down.

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The kindergarten decision

The kindergarten decision

Last fall I took the kids to get new shoes before school. I went to a particular store in Richmond, one that has a reputation for how well they measure and fit shoes for children. Because of this reputation, I consciously ignore their high prices and the 47 other shoe stores I pass while driving

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And on and on and so it goes

And on and on and so it goes

Last fall we were struggling to get in the flow of the preschool schedule. It’s a lot — getting all three kids and myself fed, dressed, and out the door with all their bickering and necessary bags. Plus, Thomas was still very new, and I was spending much of the night awake with him. The year

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Funshine Bear

Funshine Bear

When I had David I constantly thought about what it would be like to have more than one child. My day was so full — so consumed. From the moment he woke up in the morning to the time he went to bed at night I was harried and overwhelmed with every step of caring

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On family dynamics and age gaps

On family dynamics and age gaps

Recently I wrote age order posts about each of my children (David, Mary Virginia, Thomas) because, when I have time to think, I think a lot about my kids — about who they are and what they need as individuals, and about how they fit into and shape our family. Our kids are pretty close in

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Just in time for Thanksgiving

Just in time for Thanksgiving

I don’t often give parenting advice here, but Thomas asked me to tell you about this. Give your babies a chicken bone. A chicken bone, cooked and stripped — it’s nature’s teether. All my babies have loved chicken bones because all babies love chicken bones because, what’s not to love? It has flavor, it’s the perfect shape for holding and

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The oldest of three

The oldest of three

Most mornings, David asks me how we’re going to spend the day. Often, he asks if we can go to the children’s museum. No, I tell him over and over. We aren’t going to the museum. Inevitably he asks why and I tell him the truth: Because Mommy’s afraid to go to the museum with

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Nothing but skin and bones, this one

Nothing but skin and bones, this one

This is Thomas’s Halloween costume. I’ve been putting it on him as Halloween approaches for two reasons: 1) Glow-in-the-dark skeleton clothes are completely seasonally appropriate, and this skeleton costume doubles as pajamas! 2)  I’m worried he’ll grow out of it by October 31. After every wash I cross my fingers and hold my breath as I

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That peace-keeping middle child

That peace-keeping middle child

A few weeks after Thomas was born, I got a package in the mail from Alli, a close friend from college. I gasped when I opened it, so David came running to see what was inside. When I held them up, David wrinkled his nose in disgust and disappointment. SHIRTS!? No, David, not just shirts. Shirts with your

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33 never looked so good

Today is my 33rd birthday, and I’m going to spend it doing two of my all-time favorite things: 1) Licking icing off cupcakes 2) Hanging out with my family A few weeks ago Tom and I were taking the kids to the park, and as I was walking out the door he stopped me. Tom: Why are

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Vacation mom

When we go on vacation with Tom’s family, there are six kids and six adults. That sounds like a manageable ratio, perfect for man-to-man defense, but it’s not. Somehow toddlers multiply when they’re together. Several times a day one of us would look around and say, “Are there extra kids here? It feels like there are at

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Semantics

Semantics

Aside from her cameo last November, this is Mary Virginia’s first Semantics post. It surprised me because she makes us laugh all day, every day. There’s something about her tone, her enunciation, her confidence with speech — she talks like an adult but sounds like a two-year old, and it’s all hilarious. This is her first post, but

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The newest member of the pack

The newest member of the pack

When Thomas was just a few hours old, Tom brought the kids to the hospital to meet him. David was extremely uncomfortable when he came to meet Mary Virginia in the hospital, so this time I planned ahead with lollipops. “Mommy, where’d you get these lollipops?” David asked me, because he thinks that lollipops are contraband

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The arrival – Thomas’s birth story, part 2

The arrival – Thomas’s birth story, part 2

This isn’t the craziest birth story you’ll ever read. It isn’t the most dramatic or fastest or the closest call. But it is my craziest birth story. I’ve already told this story several times, and each time I feel a bit like I’m lying, or at least exaggerating because the timeline just doesn’t feel real. Whenever I tell it, I

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Support staff

Support staff

One thing I didn’t expect about having kids is the arranging required to do absolutely anything outside of the normal schedule. You take this kid, I’ll take this kid, Mimi will pick up that kid, and ugh, I wasn’t even thinking about their carseats. Do we have enough Goldfish and carseats? The arranging is why moms just stop

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While we wait

While we wait

We are in the middle of the late-pregnancy waiting game. Maybe tomorrow we’ll wake up, make breakfast, go to the park, have lunch, shirk a few chores, and count the minutes until Daddy gets home. Or maybe tomorrow I will have a baby and our family will be forever changed. Who knows. The weather just turned — it’s

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April flowers

April flowers

Mary Virginia loves babies. She acts like an over-eager grandmother when she hears about an infant. She gets so excited that she starts talking in falsetto, and has to channel her energy into frantically knitting tiny sweaters and bootees. Then when she’s actually in the room with an infant, she transforms into a middle-school-aged boy with a crush. She

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36 weeks

36 weeks

David looked at me the other day and said, “Mommy, the baby is taking a long time to come out.” Then I had to sit down and rest because I was exhausted by how right he was. When people ask me when I’m due, I always say, “In May” because the ambiguity seems deter unsolicited

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On naming our third child

On naming our third child

These blankets I knit for my babies take a long time. 130 stitches per row, 238 rows, all on 4.5mm needles. I’ve knitted 93 rows so far, and I just have eight more rows before I’ll need to start purling the initial. That means we need to finalize the name for this baby. I love

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31 weeks

31 weeks

I always dread asking for the bathroom when I’m pregnant because, suddenly, I become a cliche. Oh! She’s pregnant! Of COURSE she needs to pee! Get this girl to the bathroom! But, actually, I have to go to the bathroom because I’m a human. In fact, I bet you’ve used the bathroom today. Maybe even more

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