Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving with the Tubbs family

I took Sam and Jo down to my parent's house at Smith Mountain Lake on Thanksgiving Day. We were there with Aunt Helen from Scotland and my sister and her family arrived just after dinner. They hadn't seen the kids since the summer of 2008. And, of course, there was singing.

Since my parents built this house in 2000, there has been a large cardboard box that has been used as a boat. Ryan and Allison, my sister's kids, have played in it, as have Tristan, Trevor, and Jordan. Josephine has also played in this boat with her older brother Henry. This was the first time Sam and Jo got to play in it together. Sam is sitting in the cabin while Jo is dancing (what else?)

Of course, you can't be on a boat without pretending for at least some of the time to be a pirate.

Sam had a good time.

And Jo got to dance.

Finally, here's one last picture of Jo with her granddad.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Conversation with a Four-Year-Old

Pics above: She has - finally! - started dressing herself, complete with stockings and fancy dresses, and washing her face and hands, before I even wake up in the morning. I love FOUR!
And: We went to the downtown mall tree lighting - it was hard to get good pictures - they had some fake snow falling and free glow sticks that the kids found entrancing -

And tonight was just one of those priceless interactions that seem to happen all the time now. Josephine knows big words - today it was "cornucopia."

Jo opens up one of my blank books, sees that there's a page covered in heart stickers.
"What's all this about?" she asks.
"That's about a little girl named Josephine," I say.
"I'm the real Josephine," she notes.
"You sure are," I agree.
"But why did I do this?" she asks.
"I don't know; why don't you ask yourself?"
"Okay. Self?"
Jo- in stage whisper - "Yes?"
Jo - regular voice - "Why did I put these stickers on here?"
Jo stage whisper - "Because you wanted to."
"Oh, okay. " She turns to me. "I asked my Self and I said that I just did it!"
"I see," I say.
"Look," says Jo. "One of the hearts is broken." She shows me a thing she does with her fingers to form the shape of a heart. "When I make my finger heart and then take it apart and break it, my REAL heart breaks AT THE SAME TIME."
"Oh my," I say, "What can we do to make it not break? Can we put the finger heart back together?"
"No," she says, "My real heart stays broken."
"Oh dear, how can we put it back together again?"
"Oh," she shrugs nonchalantly, "We can just tape it."

In the kitchen the other day, Jo was helping me make french toast. She's a great stirrer. I was putting butter in the frying pan, and she asked me why.
"Well," I said, "a) to keep the bread from burning, and b) because it makes the food taste better. You always put butter or oil in a pan when you're cooking for those two things."
Jo thought a second and said, "AND c) you put it in there to keep the bread from STICKING to the pan."
"Um - yes, you're totally right," I said. Gulp.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Killing time while Daddy works

The other day, we went to Piedmont Virginia Community College. There was an event I had to record and I couldn't find a volunteer to cover it, so I figured we could go exploring. Thankfully, there were pink flamingos in the parking lot.

The hallways surrounding the auditorium at PVCC house an art gallery. I love taking the kids to any place where there's public art on display. The hallway itself was beautiful, lit up by the November sun shining in at an autumn angle. The artwork was okay, but we were much more interested in the stink bugs that were attracted to the sunlight.

Being such a beautiful day, we went outside to explore around the building. Josephine and Sam both enjoyed these cool steps, though I was a bit scared they were going to emulate Jack and Jill.

Sam was patient with me long enough to take a lot of snaps of him. The light was perfect, and I wanted to capture him at 21 months. Here's a selection of what developed.

We went back inside after a while, and the event had these little booklets from the Rutherford Institute on the Bill of Rights. Both Josephine and Sam were occupied for at least 10 minutes reading through them. I'm hoping both will ace their government exams when they're older!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Mama, you're the best cook in the whole world!

Mama, if we had a real pony, could I feed it?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Magic in a Young Girl's Heart

With her two dollars from her grandma Helen, Jo purchased a pink unicorn on a stick and a kitten puzzle. Sam likewise got a purple unicorn and a football.

All was hunky-dorey until Jo and I started to carve into the puzzle box (why do they make those things so sealed tight?) and discovered that 503 pieces is A LOT OF LITTLE, TINY PIECES and I just looked at it and laughed... Jo put a sticker on her shirt and one on mine and said, "These are magic stickers. They will make the puzzle pieces get bigger and make not as many, so then we can do it."
"oh really?" I asked.
"Oh yes, they're magic. Ah," she said, rubbing the sticker. "It's working. It's really working."
She wanted to wait while the magic worked.
I didn't know what to do! I mean, there's something so sweet about a four-year-old's faith in a magic sticker - you hate to crush it - but good lord, we couldn't just sit there staring at a puzzle box that wasn't going to magically shrink.


I got Jo a big-girl twin bed yesterday; so exciting. We were talking about the Fairy WinterSnow party coming up, and she was chatting: "I fink," ("think" comes out "fink"), "I fink we will need tickets."

So cute.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


So, I got a call an hour before this press conference hastily called by a candidate. Election Day is two days away, and so I felt obligated to go cover it. I knew it would be a very quick thing, so I took along my two assistants.

Of course, give Josephine a microphone, and she's going to want to start singing.

Dressing Up for Halloween

a) Not totally sure that dressing up for Halloween was that much different than how they dress to play normally - note first picture up top.
b) Jo found a smiley face stamp from grandma Helen and I stopped her before she got her whole face.
c) Sam was VERY serious about the whole trick or treat business. At first he was not about to leave the candy IN the basket, but tried to hold everything in his little fists. He got it down, though - as long as he always had a lollipop in each hand. He said "tick or tee" and "cuckoo" (his version of thank you) with much concentration.
d) Jo chatted the whole time. She was a ballerina (look at those long curls!) and Sam was - well, reluctant to wear anything but his sister's bathrobe. I dubbed him 'Sleepy.'
e) The night before, we went to the dog Halloween parade on the downtown mall - as you can see, Billy was a ballerina. It was ridiculous, fabulous, and, for Jo, thrilling.

It was the first time I've been trick or treating since I was a kid! It was so fun to go with our neighbors as a group.

Now, what to do with all this candy...