Sunday, October 29, 2006


Dear Hazel,

Happy Birthday! Today you are four. You. Are. Four!

You are so big! Every ounce of your toddler plumpness has stretched and curved into muscle and grace; I love watching your long legs swish on the playground, and your thin arms fold into themselves in your sleep. You are tall and wispy and strong as a tree.

You are so present, Hazel -- wherever you are, you are there, 100 percent. Nothing gets by you. You take in everything, everywhere we go -- sights, smells, sounds. It is amazing, to watch you navigate this life so deliberately, so intensely. You are, at four years old, a student of the world.

You talk regularly about how lucky you are, to have your friends. You love them so much. Every day, during Violet's nap, you embark upon elaborate art projects, each one dedicated "to Molly and Maddy, my best friends." You and Daisy have a new tradition of hugging hello. You call Alice your "baby friend" and you hug and kiss her freely each time you see her. You make them so many cards, paintings, drawings and collages. You call them on the phone. They are your family. You adore them, and it is just a joy to see.

You and your little sister are becoming better friends every day, too. You play together, and scheme together (Violet is always a willing accomplice), and talk each other to sleep. Violet is always hot on your heels, and some days you love that, others, not so much. You love and pester each other, you push and kiss, kick and cuddle. I feel so happy that you will always have each other.

You are full of opinions, and "why?"s, full of reasons and questions. You love to argue. You love to challenge. You talk, and talk, and talk... and talk... and you are always thinking. You are four going on twenty-four, and you have the self-awareness of someone three times that age. You are, above all else, your own person. You are a firecracker. You are awesome.

Together, you and your sister are the heart and soul of our family, and we love watching you grow, and change, and learn. With each passing year, you are more beautiful, and more fun.

Dada, Violet and I wish you the happiest of birthdays, you big, growing-up girl, and many happy returns.

I love you, Hazel! You're four!


Friday, October 06, 2006

Feel Good Friday

In the spirit of spewing happiness and light (see previous post), here are ten things that have me feeling good today:

1. The rain! The fog! The highs in the 60s! I'm in heaven...

2. Floradix. I've only been taking it a week, but I swear, I can feel it working. Hazel's taking it, too, and I've noticed her energy level is picking up, which is good.

3. The YMCA. Yesterday I took the girls to the (free!!) childcare room for the first time. Hazel smiled and waved when I told her it was time for my pilates class to start, and Violet just looked at me and shrugged. They both got upset when I came back an hour and a half later to take them home, because they didn't want to leave. Amazing. I'm sore from the pilates, but in a virtuous, feel-good kind of way.

4. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. My new favorite band. Went to see them last weekend and can't stop raving about them. Karen O is mezmerizing.

5. Kashi's new line of Tasty Little Cookies. Specifically, the Oatmeal Raisin with Flax variety, which have more fiber, protein and whole grain, than a bowl of hippie health cereal. I let the girls eat them for breakfast this morning!

6. Rainboots. Not only that I actually need some, but that $20 buys me some that look like this. Cool, right?

7. Halloween. It is now seasonally appropriate for me to be listening to "The Nightmare Before Christmas" soundtrack, so I'm wearing a groove in my decade-old CD. I gave Hazel her first "who's who in Halloweentown" lesson last week. Felt good. On a slight downer of a sidenote, she's decided to be Cinderella for Halloween this year. *Sigh* I tried talking her into being Laura Ingalls (starring Violet as the little bulldog, Jack), but it was a no-go. Those goddamn Disney princesses are the bain of my existance. We're going to try to make Violet into an Edward Gorey character, since she reminds us so much of one, anyway.

8. Ramona Sarsgaard. Maggie Gyllenhall and Peter Sarsgaard, my favorite indie-actor couple, named their newborn daughter Ramona. Aghghhhhhh, so cute!

9. The Office. Best half hour on television, hands down. Actually, I'm probably not qualified to say that, since it's the only half-hour of television I watch all week, but it's so, so funny. I've been crushing on Steve Carell since "The 40 Year Old Virgin" came out.

10. Date night. Tonight, Mike and I are going out for Lebanese food, then to see "The Departed." Even if they both suck, which I know they won't, I'll be happy just to be out on the town with my man.

Happy weekending, everyone!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Molly & Wallie

I'm done spewing bitterness and bile on this blog. Done. Fin! Want to see something happy and cute for a change?

Check out this awesome Magna Doodle creation Hazel was hard at work on this morning, on our way to Trader Joe's. Molly is the one "with the loooooooooong hair." And that's Wallie, "with the cute face."

As for the letters, they are scattered in what appears to be a haphazard fashion, all about the picture. But Hazel explained that, "the 'o-l-l-y' is all around, because the 'm' can make it say 'Molly', and the 'w' can make it say 'Wallie.' 'Cuz 'Molly' and 'Wallie' rhyme! See, Mama?! See?!"