Monday, September 29, 2008


Tootle had a fabulous time at the sleepover party. When I arrived to pick her up for church on Sunday morning, she was still in her pajamas, accessorized with a superhero cape. She was pretty tired last night so we didn't have much of a pre-bedtime chat. Tonight I finally got around to asking her if she missed us when she was at the party. The following exchange probably falls into the too much information (TMI) category:

Me: I know that you had a great time at the party, but did you miss us at all at bedtime.

Tootle, as she breaks into a fit of giggles that lasts for several minutes: Well, I missed smelling your armpits. (As she settles down at night, Tootle often asks me to put my arm over my head so she can snuggle and smell my deodorant. She always sniffs and tells me that she likes the smell. )

Me, as I kiss her on the forehead: Did you miss these kisses?

Tootle, as she breaks into a fresh round of giggles: A little.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

On Alert

It's after 10 p.m. and Tootle hasn't called, so I assume that she is doing OK at the sleepover party. She likely is already sacked out because she has only stayed up past 10 once or twice in three years. She's also likely to be the first one up in the morning. I'll continue to stay close by the phone.

Tootle's soccer game was called off due to rain but Doodle played in the rain (fortunately there were some breaks in the rain). She assisted in the only goal of the game, with a beautiful pass to her teammate, who booted in an equally terrific goal. As defender, she also blocked what almost certainly would have been a goal for the opponents. The much larger opponent practically tackled Doodle, who then collapsed, not moving for what seemed like an hour but was actually 2-3 minutes. I ran down to the sidelines and was there to greet her as she walked off the field. She said her elbow cracked, but it now seems that the bigger injury was to a tendon in her leg. She was able to go to the bowling birthday party, so I think she'll be fine, but we're still applying ice and dispensing Tylenol.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Miss Her Already

Tootle has a very full social calendar this weekend, which will keep her away from home for long stretches of time. I'll only have a few hours with her between now and Sunday, and just thinking about it makes me miss her. Tomorrow, before I get home from work, Tootle is going to her BFF's house for pizza, popcorn, and a movie. Once she gets home, she'll likely be so tired that she goes to bed almost immediately. On Saturday, we'll do chores in the morning and then Nana will take Tootle to her soccer game while I go to Doodle's game. Then Tootle goes to a sleepover birthday party and Doodle goes to an evening bowling birthday party. This will be Tootle's first sleepover, and I'm not sure how well she's going to do. This is a kid who finds her way to my bed in the middle of the night almost every night. I think I'll sleep in my clothes that night just in case I have to go get her; fortunately the birthday girl only lives a block away.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What You Get When You Ask a Kid to Open Her Eyes Wide for a Picture

Blue State Blues

I live in a blue state in an even more blue county and neighborhood. I am a lifelong Democrat whose friends are almost all Democrats. I haven't talked to anyone who isn't extremely frightened of Sarah Palin and deeply insulted that John McCain thought women were so dumb that they would ignore Palin's extremist views and support her simply because she is a woman. So I've been going about my business in my insulated bubblelike world, feeling 100 percent certain that a McCain presidency would be a disaster and pretty confident, hopeful, and proud that Barack Obama will be our next president.

Occasionally something will pierce my bubble, like the crowd that McCain/Palin drew in also pretty blue Northern Virginia or those pesky polls that show that Obama hasn't pulled away from McCain by much even though most Americans blame the Republicans for the current financial mess. My bubble may have been popped forever on our quick trip to Pennsylvania on Sunday to visit my mom's twin sister. My aunt lives in a red county (and she and her family are Republicans), but I was still taken aback by the level of support for McCain in her area. As we drove around, I counted at least 20 McCain signs, proclaiming Women for McCain and Family for McCain and even Democrats for McCain. I found one lonely Obama sign (I'm very proud of that lone supporter). I wanted to knock on one of those doors and ask how they could claim that McCain is for families or women, but I didn't think the girls would enjoy the interruption to their fun day.

This trip left me depressed as well as ready to act. I'm going to do what I can to help Obama get elected. My daughters' future is at stake.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Two for Tootle

Tootle scored two goals in her soccer game on Saturday. Unfortunately, I didn't see her score because I was 10 miles away at Doodle's game. The girls have the exact same game time 3 of the of the 8 weeks in the fall season. Nana generously takes Tootle to her games but isn't willing to drive Doodle because she prefers to avoid highway driving. Doodle and I did get to see about 15 minutes of Tootle's game this week before we had to leave. More of the same next week; I'll finally get to see Tootle's entire game on October 4.

Doodle's team is adjusting to more competitive play. This week they tied. I predict a win next week; I'm really impressed with how much the girls have stepped up their level of play.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Doodle joined a photography club at school. This week they received their first assignments: shoot photos that show light, texture, and emotion. Although I tried to talk Doodle into taking her camera to her soccer game so she could photograph the emotion of joy or frustration, she chose a different subject. The subject became even more upset once she realized that she was being photographed.

Miracle Grow

Someone must have sprinkled some Miracle Grow on the mushroom that Tootle found on her way home from school yesterday. I've never seen anything quite like it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cooling Off

Our community pool closed for the season on Sunday, a day when the high reached 95 and we were grateful to have a place to cool off. Since then, the daily high temperature has dropped by 20 degrees and it appears that fall is almost here. I love fall, but I was happy to have one more lazy Sunday afternoon at the pool.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Win and a Loss

Tootle had a momentous day. She played in her first soccer game--and won--and lost her second tooth.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Through the Years

Doodle may be extra busy but I appear to have too much time on my hands, or at least a desire to procrastinate rather than finish a quarterly report. I yearbooked myself and the girls.

1956, the year after my mom graduated from high school.

1962, the year I was born.

1984, the year I graduated from college. This one could have been an actual photo of me from that era.

1998, the year Doodle was born.

Tootle, 1984 style.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Our community pool is still open from after school until dusk, but the girls' schedule is so jam packed that we can't get there except Friday night and over the weekend. Here is our schedule for this week:

Monday: Tootle's soccer practice; Doodle serves as a junior assistant coach
Tuesday: Doodle, Girl Scouts
Wednesday: Doodle, soccer practice
Thursday: Doodle, piano lesson
Friday: day of rest; playdates
Saturday: soccer games
Sunday: Doodle, soccer practice

Starting in October, Tootle starts Daisy Girl Scouts and an after school Chinese class, so the schedule will get even more crowded for a month until the soccer season ends. Then, Tootle will start skating lessons again, and Doodle is likely to play basketball.

Yesterday one of Doodle's friends called while we were at the pool; she wanted to come over to play. When Doodle called S back as we were headed out the door to soccer practice, she realized that she wouldn't be able to play until Friday. Doodle didn't complain, but I think she'll be happy when her schedule eases up a bit.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Maybe I'll Vote for This Guy in November

The President's Race is one of the best thing about going to a Nationals game. Everyone cheers for Teddy, who has never won the race. We made a spur of the moment decision to go to last Sunday's game, partly so the girls could run the bases after the game (a Sunday tradition) and partly because tickets for kids were only $1. Here are the girls entering the field at 1st base and being greeted by the beloved Teddy, and Doodle posing with Teddy at the game we went to a few weeks ago.

One of the first political biographies I ever read was about Teddy, and I've always had a soft spot for him. Go, Teddy, go.

Soccer Tidbits

  • Tootle had her first soccer practice this week. She scored several goals and is excited about playing in a game. Her team is called the Marshmallows; how perfect is that for a first grade girl's team. She loves her uniform.
  • Because Doodle's team is playing in a more competitive league, her games involve longer drives and keeping track of whether they are the home or away team so that she wears the right uniform. They have light blue and white/red shirts; the shorts for both uniforms are navy blue. Doodle the worrier is nervous about her first game.
  • Both girls are scheduled to play their first games on Saturday. Tropical Storm/Hurricane Hanna may wash the games out, delaying the start of the season for a week.
  • I had to resort to making a chart to track soccer game times for the girls. The girls have three games with conflicting times so Nana will be taking Tootle to those games and I will make the trek with Doodle.
  • Between the two girls, we now have soccer four days a week: Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. I'm glad that the fall and spring seasons combined are only 16 weeks long.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Some toys have far longer shelf lives than others. One of the long-time favorites in our house is Kapla building blocks. Doodle loved playing with these pine blocks in her kindergarten enrichment class five years ago, so I invested in some. Five years later, she and her friends still love to create cool structures with them, and Tootle does too. Each block is an identically sized and shaped piece of pine, with dimensions in the proportions 1:3:15. The possibilities seem to be endless. Doodle and a friend recently created an exclusive hotel just for celebrities, complete with several buildings, walkways, and a swimming pool/diving board. Tootle likes to build towers with tall crosses on top. Kapla blocks are my secret weapon on weekends when Tootle wakes up too early, and I still want to sleep; they can keep her entertained for at least an hour. I see that Kapla now has some colored planks; maybe Santa will have to bring some this year.