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A Journal Of Her Words And Deeds

From The First Decade Or So Of Her Life

That Struck Her Mother Funny

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Favorite Sayings
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first word


"Gimme Dat!"
"I Can't Reach It!"

"Carry Me Up"

age 2


"But I Just Want To Be Happy !"

 "Now Then..."  
(How she begins every story)

age 3




ages 3 - 6



ages 7 - 8

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age 3

age 4

age 5

age 6

age 7

age 8

age 9

age 10



1991  *  1992  *  1993  * 1994  * 1996  *  1997
 * 1998 * 1999 *  2000
2002 * 2003 * 2004 * 2005

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Winter, 1991                   

Age: 1 yr 5 months (17 months)  

In the kitchen one day, I am holding Kelley and stirring something on the stove.  I tell Kelley it is "Wonderful!" and I ask her, "Can you say "wonderful"?  She looks at her fingers and holds them up in turn, as she repeats, "One, der, free!"  




Spring, 1992

Age:  1 3/4 yrs (20-22 months)  

Lora has a cocker spaniel puppy that she has named Hobbit.  Kelley has been going through a series of variations on this name that are extremely appropriate at each time she uses them, and I don't think she realizes this.  She thinks each one is the dog's real name.  Even though our visits are fairly infrequent, Kelley continues to refer to Hobbit by that name for several visits - either until we convince her of his real name, or until he does something to warrant a new name.  The first name change was right off the bat when Hobbit apparently assumed Kelley, being the smallest kid around, was another puppy and was forever trying to get Kelley to play with him by jumping on her, knocking her down, and roughhousing with her.  Thus “Hobbit” became "Stop It".  After this came the period when we would be there and Hobbit, thinking Kelley's "Baby" was his, would, at every opportunity (which is quite often when you are waiting to catch a toddler off guard) snatch it and then trot off with the "Baby" in his mouth. He was always just ahead of her, as he led her out one kitchen door and in the other, going around and around through the kitchen, through the mobile home, out the doggie door, splashing across the wading pool and the other little kids in it, back in through the doggie door...  with little Kelley right behind "Drop It!" the whole time.  Once when we went to visit, Kelley brought with her a beautiful balloon she had acquired from somewhere.  Of course it was inevitable that Hobbit’s newest moniker would became "Pop It."  And then there was the time Kelley happened to witness one of Hobbit's particularly large, smelly, and messy – uh – outdoor routines, and he became known as "Plop It"....




June, 1992 

Age: 23 months  

The Court Reporting firm of which Jack was a partner had recently moved their offices to the elegant building at 555 W. Ocean.  It was after 7:00 when I was leaving one evening with the girls, and we were the only ones in there, besides the security guard.  I got a glimpse of how Kelley's sense of humor was developing when we tried to leave.   I was holding Kelley and Katie was at my side when I stepped out of the elevator.  Kel took one look at the guard and threw both arms and her body toward him and cried, "Help me!  Save me!"



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Summer, 1992  

Age:  2 yrs  

Kelley's first real phrase is "Gimme dat!"

Her second is "I can't reach it!"


Kelley calls Granny "Grampa"

          and she calls Kevin "Uncle Papa"

          and Lora "Uncle Mama"



Kelley loves "Atban" (Batman)



Fall, 1992  

Age:  2 yrs

Kelley ends most questions and sentences with "Mom", only the "M" that begins "Mom" disappears and the rest is sort of run on to the end of the previous word.  For example, "Night-om!"  


November, 1992

Age:  2 yrs  

After changing bedrooms with the girls, I hung my big mirror at the head of my bed.  One morning I woke up with Kelley standing on my bed, her face about one inch from the mirror, and informing me, "I'm me, Kew-wie, om!"  

Early December, 1992

Age:  2 yrs  

After 6 or 7 months of periodically emphatically exclaiming "CA-WATT!" (which my unimaginative brain could only interpret at this time as meaning "carrot") when she was excited, I finally realized during a louder than normal discussion with Jack that Kelley was ordering us to be "QUIET!"  Sure enough, thinking back, this would happen whenever she thought an argument was ensuing!  



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February, 1993                Age:  2 1/2 yrs

Whenever we go to Long Beach we cross the San Gabriel River just before getting off the 7th Street off ramp.  As soon as she sees the sparkling river, Kelley excitedly exclaims, "Wahdees, wahdees!"


Kelley always asks me to, "Carry me up"


Kelley loves to sing and watch "Ee - ee - a - pooh"



March, 1993                     Age:  2 1/2 yrs

"Ee - ee - a - pooh" becomes "Shampoo"


Kelley wants me to do her hair in a "Chuck E. Cheese".  I guess correctly this is 2 ponytails, like the little girl in the commercial is wearing, and Kelley goes off to search for two "Band-Aids" (rubber bands) so I can do this for her...



April, 1993                       Age:  2 3/4 yrs

I show Kelley her first snail crawling in the grass.  "That's a snail," I tell her.  She looks at it, then looks at me and asks, "Why?"



June 14, 1993                   Age: almost 3 yrs old

Garden Grove

Kelley gets a hold of my tambourine, turns it over in her hands, searching, then looks up with a puzzled expression and demands, "Hey!  Where's the batteries?"


Coyote is "ky-dodie"



September, 1993             Age:  3 yrs

Kelley finishes dinner before the rest of us, and so we ask her to tell us a story.  She runs upstairs and gets some big paperback books Jack has gotten them.  She sits at the end of the table and opens a book and begins - "Now then...."


Every story now begins with "Now then..."



August 25, 1993               Age:  3 yrs

For quite a while Kelley is terrified to go into the bedroom she and Kate share because she is convinced "ET" is in there.

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May 16, 1994                    Age:  3 3/4yrs

Kelley asks me, "What's a pickle pine?"  I finally figure out she means "porcupine"!



May 21, 1994                    Age:  3 3/4yrs

Kate, Kelley and I are in the upstairs bathroom.  I ask Kate to go tell Papa the Yellow Pages are downstairs.  She goes to the top of the stairs and hollers, "The Yellow Pages are downstairs!" then comes back into the bathroom.  I ask her, "Did he hear?"  She doesn't know.  So I ask Kelley, "Go downstairs to where Papa is, look at him and tell him 'The Yellow Pages are in your office."  She says, "Uh-huh", goes half-way down the stairs and yells, "Papa, the blue pencils are downstairs!"



May 23, 1994                   Age:  3 3/4yrs

Got some Wheaties at the market last night in hopes of trying to wean the girls off of sugary cereal.  Not much luck, though.   This morning I poured a bowl for Kelley who tasted it then informed me, "It's too healthy for me, Mom."


Kelley and I are in the computer room singing "My Grandfather's Clock".   After we finish, she asks me where the clock is.  "Is it at Jack's?"  I'm impressed that she has remembered a long time ago I told her about the clock Jack and I used to have up the hill, but I have to answer her,  "No.  I think Jack's ex-wife has it."  "What's her name?" she wants to know.  "Ingrid." "Can we go see Anger?"  "Ingrid." I repeat, and she asks again, "Can we go see Anger?"

What can I say?  The kid knows.  And when she's right, she's right!



August, 1994                    Age:  4 yrs

Kelley sees ants on the wall in the bathroom; 2 of them.  "There are lots of ants!  There are 2 of dem," she tells me.  I take this opportunity to engage in a little number lesson.  Holding up my fingers, I ask her how many.  "Four," is the reply.  "No, 2." I count, "One, two."  She nods, understanding.  "Two."  Smart kid, I think to myself. This is going to be a breeze!  "OK, how many arms do I have?" I ask, holding my arms out from my body.  "Six," she says.




July 7. 1996                      Age:  6 yrs

Kelley explains a new kitten's gender to her friend, Taylor.  "No, stupid, he's a girl !"



July 18, 1996                    Age:  6 yrs

Kelley is helping me with the dishes and wants to know where Katie is.  "She went to run an errand with Jack."  "Where is run and errand?" she asks.  Confused, I don't answer immediately, which she takes to mean she is wrong in assuming this is a place.  She modifies her search string and asks, "I mean, who is Run and Erin?"



October 9, 1996               Age:  6 yrs

Kate has been pretty sick, and is staying home from school.  As I brush Kelley's hair, getting her ready for school, I tell her we are taking Kate to Dr. Kurtz today.  Kelley is quiet a moment, then comments, "I hope Dr. Kurtz doesn't have to put Katie to sleep."


I howled!  And then I asked her where she heard that, and does she know what it means to be 'put to sleep'?  "It means when you're dismissed," she answers.


You can't get more to the point then that, can you?  She is spooooooky!



October 18, 1996             Age:  6 yrs

Kelley is at her dry erase board.  She asks me to spell my name, so I say, "L" and she writes "L".  I say "i", and she writes "i".  I say "n", she writes "n", and so on until she has written my name, 'Linda'.  "There," she says proudly, and pointing to her work reads, "Mama!"


I am putting the girls to bed that night and am in Kelley's room.  Kate has followed me in and is asking me something, but spelling it out so Kelley won't know what she wants:  "S-l-e-e-p   w-i-t-h    m-e?" she spells.  But Kelley pipes up, "Does that spell 'sleep with me'?

Katie and I look at each other in amazement!


A few mornings later, I am in a hurry and Katie is in my way -- I keep tripping over her, so I tell her, "move, move, move!"  From the other room we hear Kelley's voice, spelling it out: "Em-oh-vee-ee!”  Again, Katie and I stop and look at each other in amazement!  I tell Rich when he gets home about it.  Later that day I hear Kelley boasting to Papa about how she can spell, and then shows a sample of her skill:  "Em-oh-vee-ee," she proudly spells for him, then adds, "It spells, 'Get outta my way.'"



January 20, 1997             Age:  6 1/2 yrs

At the kitchen table, Kelley is telling the story about how two male deer got their antlers locked while fighting over a female.  David the Gnome had to come with a saw to cut apart the antlers, then of course lecture the two young bucks, "…and the two deers never fighted again."

"Fought," I say. "What?" she asks.  Papa explains, "There's no such word as fighted," and I add, "Fight -- fought."

Kelley understands immediately, and nodding, says, "and they never foughted again."

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February 23, 1997           Age:  6 1/2 yrs

For bedtime, I agree to read out of these journals for the girls.  We had been talking about Kelley's ability to 'know' things. After discussing many of them, Katie says, "Kelley's sort of like a fortune teller." Kelley, very seriously leans toward me and confides in a voice that is half boasting and half amazement, "Um, Mom...  I don't use a crystal ball..."

April 12, 1997                  Age:  6 3/4 yrs

Kelley still can't ride a bike, so when Kate and I were going to ride ours around the block, Kelley said she would accompany us by running.  "Honey, you can't run that far," I told her.  She insisted she could.  "No you can't, Kelley," said Papa.  "Yes, I can," Kelley insists.  "I know I can!"  I tell her I don't think she can even make it to the corner without stopping.  She says she can, keeps insisting she can go around the whole block.  I finally bet her she can't go around the whole block without stopping.  If she wins, we go bowling.  If she loses, we don't.


We're going bowling.


She was incredible!  About halfway down the second half of the block, I was telling her it was OK to stop, we would go bowling anyway, I was very impressed, but she kept on going, didn't stop once, until she got back to our lawn, where she collapsed.  She had paced herself very well!!!!  I was extremely impressed!!  She is such a determined person!!!  A little while later she wanted to go again, and we had to almost order her not to.


(note:  as of 7/20/98 we still have not gone bowling!)


After she had collapsed on the lawn and Papa drove up in the motorhome (he had been following), we all sat on the little brick retaining wall and talked.  I mentioned I was concerned about Kelley's scar where she had had stitches when she was about two-and-a-half, just above her eye. Talk turned to how brave Kelley had been when she was in the emergency room.  I asked her if she remembered.  "I don't think so," she answered.  "Was I dead?" 


September 21, 1997         Age:  7 yrs

After catching a lizard that I spied in the garage while doing laundry (well, it scared the hell out of me and I didn't want to come upon it by chance again!) the girls and I decide "Lizzie" needs a larger home.  As is usual for me, I dive headfirst into this project.  We go to Pet City and purchase a ten-gallon aquarium, and some ground cover, and send Jack off to get wood and screen so I can make a lid.  We are getting ready to put the contents of her new home inside, and are planning how we will arrange it for her:  A beautiful pond to drink and bathe in, a bridge to go over it, a beach to lay on, moss to hide in, a mountain to climb....  Kelley throws her arms wide, then hugs herself as she exclaims, "It will be a habitat of love! "


October, 1997                  Age:  7 yrs

 At the girls' request, I am regaling them with stories of their births.  As I begin the part about the labor, I ask Kelley, "Do you know what contractions are?" I ask her.  "Oh, sure," she  nods her head.  Then a little unsure, "Um, well, sort of.  You mean, like contraction and addition?"

I am cleaning Kelley's ears when she reminds me, "Be careful, Mom.  My ears are sensible."


December, 1997               Age:  7 yrs

The girls and I are making paper ornaments (snowflakes, angels, etc) for our tree, but Kelley is worried:  "How will we make the angel's harnesses?" (halos)


June 15, 1998                   Age:  8 yrs

I'm helping Kelley with her report on a famous person.  She has chosen Michelle Kwan, the young Olympic Silver Medalist Champion Ice Skater.  I ask Kelley if she knows what a "role model" is, and she answers, very seriously, "Uh-huh.  It's someone who stands like this (she poses) and wears beautiful clothes."

August 15, 1998                Age:  8 yrs

Rich was in an irritable mood as we walked toward the checkout stand in Sam's Club.  Kelley had been walking with us, only she was sort of hopping and dancing and singing a little to herself.   Rich snapped at her, "Why do you have to do that?"  She answered, "Because it keeps me amused."


October 15, 1998             Age:  8 yrs

Jack's here.  After dinner tonight we are all mulling around the table.  Papa wants a cookie, and since he has gone to the bank today, I am going to make him pay for one.  I ask him how much money he has and Kelley answers, "He has $16.00."  He says that is right, and how did she know?  Well, we all think she must have been peeking in his wallet earlier, but she is very adamant that she has not. (Now that I think about it, she wouldn't have had a chance to, since we were not with him all day and he had been to the bank without us.)  Kelley explains to us that she just sort of has this….power….and starts to tell us about one time she knew about a tattoo that a guy had on his arm….  But I am very intrigued about how she knew how much money Papa had and I want to explore this a little further.  "Kelley,"  I cut her off.  "Let's try this."  I'm going to give her a chance to prove her psychic abilities by telling me how much money I have in my wallet.  (Only first, I have to count it to see…)  Okay, now I know, and I am thinking the number really hard….  Can she tell me how much I have?  She looks really hard at me…..  starts to say…a number…..then stops….then…"Th-"  She falters, says it again, "Th-….  I think it's….  Is it in the thirties?  It's thirty-something."  I am TOTALLY incredulous!!!!!!  I have $31.00!!!!!!

 There is absolutely NO WAY she could have known that.  Jack and I had just come from the market with the girls, and Kelley had been two aisles away, reading a book at the time I paid for the groceries.  Heck, I didn't even know how much I had!

 Ok, Mr. Doubting Thomas Jack decides to try the final test.  How much does HE have in HIS wallet?  (But first he has to count it…)  I go over and watch him count it….  47, 48, $49.  Okay, the test is on.  I think the number really hard to Kelley….  After a few minutes of theatrics where she is agonizing over the telepathic message I am sending her, she announces, "It's in the…forties…  It's…$48."

 Even Jack is amazed!

 But wait -- there's more!

 Jack and Papa leave to go get milk at the store, and I come in here to write this all down.  While I'm in here I call to the girls to come and see the pictures I have captured from video today.  I tell them to turn around so I can surprise them.  Now, they know the pictures are of Molly, Granny's new kitten.  But they don't know that what I have been wanting to show them is a fantastic picture I got of our little hamster, not Molly.  As they're waiting, turned away from the computer (which is irrelevant since I have so much stuff running at the moment that I haven't been able to access the picture I want yet anyway) Kelley says, "I bet it is a picture of the hamster."  I am amazed, again, but I don't say anything.  "Okay," I think to myself.  "I'll show the picture of the hamster in the ball with Molly."  That is the only other shot of the hamster I got.  Then Kelley says, "Or it's the hamster in the ball with Molly."  

I think I'd better try to keep my thoughts pure when I'm around Kelley...



October 2, 1999               Age:  9 yrs

Saturday evening.  Richard feels he has been unfair to Kelley, who spent the whole day “cleaning her room” as per his instructions when, at 6:45pm it dawns on him that while she has been cleaning, Katie has been playing with Kate and Hannah, friends from across the street.  He calls her over to apologize.  “Kelley, I’m afraid I haven’t been fair to you.  I told you to clean your room and Katie didn’t have to clean hers.”

Kelley shocks us with her reply.  In a good natured voice she states,  “Oh, well, Katie’s was pretty much already clean.  She keeps her room pretty much clean and I don’t.  I should always keep mine clean, too.”

From the looks on our faces, Kelley feels she must clarify herself:  “I say these words because I want a movie.”

Katie, Richard and I burst into laughter, while Kelley stood there beaming.

(By the way -- she didn’t get a movie that night)  



September 3, 2000          Age:  10 yrs

Kelley is sitting at the kitchen table drawing. Pouring Rich a cup of coffee, I suggest the family might want to go to church some Sunday, but the only church Rich will agree to go to is, of course, a Catholic church.  I counter with Lutheran and we're off on a religious debate.  A few minutes later, when I am in the office, I hear Rich laughing and say, "Where's Mama?  She has to see this."  He comes into the office to show me how Kelley has perceived our discussion:




September 20, 2002          Age:  12 yrs  

Papa has been on another health kick.  First he got a heart monitor that is strapped around the chest that sends a signal to a wristwatch that has an audible beep whenever your heart beats.  Then he got a treadmill which has a heart monitor built in.  Then he decided he should wear the heart monitor while he is using the treadmill to be sure they both are correct....only he doesn't always take it off after he walks on the treadmill.  So today we are all going somewhere in the car and he is wearing this monitor, and his wristwatch is going beep- beep- beep- beep- beep- beep- .... and driving me crazy.  I finally ask if he can do something to stop that thing from beeping.   He says 'sure.'  From the seat behind me I hear Kelley's not so muffled giggle and ask her what's up.  She tells us of the mental image she just had of Papa saying "Ok." and  making it stop beeping by pulling out a knife and stabbing himself in the heart then slumping to his death, still behind the wheel...  It was a riot, the way she told it!


October 28,2002   Age:  12 yrs

On the way to school I tell the girls about Senator Paul Wellstone who has just recently died in a plane crash with his wife and daughter.  I tell them a little of his background, how he was a grass-roots college professor whose class everybody wanted to be in because he was so neat, how he turned out to be one of the most well-liked representatives etc.  Kate comments, "Why is it the really cool  people always get killed?"  From the seat next to me Kelley gasps, then wails, "I'm going to d-i-i-i-e!"

November 11, 2002

 In helping Kelley with a report for her core class, we go on the internet looking for clarification.  The first site we come across looks good, so I start to read aloud.  The text runs remarkably parallel to Kelley’s report…  I look at her and pause in my reading.  "What?" she asks indignantly.  "I haven’t ever been to this site!”  I look at her again and she insists, “Really!”  I reply, “Oh.  They must have copied this from the same place you did.”  She nods, and answers, “Maybe…”


November 30, 2002

  Kelley used to make fun of Kate's Rock and Roll, preferring classical music instead.  This afternoon when Papa came in from the garage he found Kelley at the dining room table doing her homework.  Rock and Roll blared from a radio nearby.  I heard Papa complaining to Kelley, "How could you go from classical to that?!"  Kelley replied, very matter-of-factly - "Evolution, Papa."

December, 2002

On our way to visit Granny, Kelley is sitting in the backseat, and Kate is up in front next to me.  As we turn on to Ocean Blvd. I notice it is one of those days when, although clear, you can't see Catalina at all. 
   "Well, Catalina's gone," I comment. 
    From behind me, Kelley asks, "Where'd it go?"  
    I can't resist:  "The Japanese towed it away." 
    "They did?  Wow!" 
    "Yeah, they got a really big grappling hook and what, about 10 ships, Kate?  Is that what the papers said?" 
    Without missing a beat, Kate answers.  "Yeah, I think so."   
    "Yeah, I guess they brought over something like 10 ships," I continue, "and hooked Catalina up and pulled it to Japan.  Where have you been, Kelley?  It's been in all the papers and on the news and stuff."
    "I guess I didn't hear about it." she answers, then asks in a worried voice,  "What about the people who live there?" 
    I admit I don't know, but add, "I think that's one reason Uncle Curt moved back here.  They've been planning to do this for a long time, and I guess they finally did it." 

  When we get to Granny's, Kate and I get into the house before Kelley, because she's looking for Siameezer, the cat that hangs out in the alley by the garage there.  We quickly clue Granny and Don in on the deal with Catalina.  A few minutes after Kelley comes in, Granny casually tosses out, "So what do you think about the Japanese towing away Catalina?"  Kelley jumps right in with her opinion of how terrible it is, and asks Granny about the people who lived on the island.
    "Oh, they towed them away too," Granny tells her.  At this information, Kelley gets herself so worked up she decides she has to call Uncle Curt to let him know.  He wasn't home, but Shelly was home.  She said she would tell Curt so he could fly back and take his tug boat to go tow the island back.  Kelley seemed okay with that until Granny finally couldn't do it any more and told Kelley we were only joking...

Kelley wouldn't speak to me the whole way home, but it was worth it!

December 24, 2002

    I did it again.  Poor Kelley...  She is talking to me while I do some last-minute stuff for Christmas.  She says excitedly, "I can't believe tomorrow is Christmas!" 
    I turn to her and say, "You know all about Leap Year, right?" 
    "Um, sort of," she answers. 
    "You know that every four years February has 29 days instead of 28, right?  And how on Leap Year it's okay for girls to ask guys to marry them, and stuff like that?"  She admits she is a little fuzzy on Leap Year facts, so I fill her in, telling her that because they add an extra day to February, that bumps the holidays for the rest of the year a day later. 
    "You mean Christmas isn't until day after tomorrow?" she gasps.
    I look at her little face, horrified to think that there was yet another day to go, so I have mercy on her.  "No, Leap Year is next year," I tell her.  Relief washes over her.  "I can't believe you didn't know about this, that they didn't teach you in school," I comment casually.
    Kelley is doing the math, then says, "Four years means the last one was in 1999.  I had Mrs. French for my teacher."  We both realize that could have explained it, because neither one of us thought too much of Mrs. French, but I tell her, "Oh, you know, that was when all that Y2K stuff was going on, and everybody was so obsessed with that, they probably just didn't think the Leap Year thing was a big deal," and she agrees.
    Later, in the kitchen, I tell Papa, Jack and Kate about this latest conversation Kelley and I have had.  A few minutes later Kelley comes in, and the subject of Leap Year 'somehow' gets brought up.  "Oh, yeah, Papa,"  Kelley says, eager to impress him with her new knowledge.  Very seriously and matter-of-factly she explains,  "What happens is all the holidays are a day late, like 4th of July isn't until the 5th of July, and Christmas isn't until the 26th of December!"  Then a thought strikes her -- "What about my birthday?  Is it going to be a day late, too?"  She looks worried.  "Oh, you don't have birthdays on Leap Years," I explain.  "No one does."  The look on her face -- it's all I can do to keep from totally busting up, when Jack has to spoil the fun. 
    "They're pulling your leg, Kelley," he tells her.  She doesn't understand at first, then takes a look at us, all grinning (except for Jack, who thinks I am mean), and wails, "Ohhhh, you tricked me again!  Waaaaaa!  Why do you do this to me?!"  And goes upstairs to her room and wraps herself in her bedspread...

    Boy, kids can be so much fun!


March 29, 2003       Age:  12 yrs 8 mos

Around 8:30 on Saturday night Kate and I raced out to the pet store to get a net for her new fish.  We planned on coming right home, and told Rich, Jack and Kelley so.  However, the pet store we usually go to had closed at 8:00, so we went to a little "dive" pet store on Katella that we new was there from driving by every day on the way to and from school. 

To make a long story short, here are the facts:

Saturday night, about 8:30 pm.  Kate and I race to the pet store, promising to be right back.

Pet store is closed. 

On a whim, we decide to go to Barnes and Noble.

On a second whim, we drive by Kate's friend, Amanda's house to see if she wants to go with us.  It is after 9:00 pm.

Amanda is ecstatic, and her dad agrees to let her go.

In front of B&N, I tell the girls to go on in while I call Rich to let him know where we are.  Kelley answers, and I speak briefly with her then Rich comes on the line.  I tell him we are at B&N, but don't say anything about Amanda being with us. 

After he hangs up, Kelley is still on the phone.  She wants to know who Kate is with, is she with any of her friends?  Is she with Amanda?

Tell me, why on earth would she think that, knowing we had just run out to the pet store and then decided to go to B&N on a whim, at this late hour, would we arrange to pick up Amanda and take her with us?  Weird...


May 6, 2004       Age:  13 yrs 8 mos

Kelley seems to be going through a pronunciation-challenged phase...  For example, she told me they watched "A Polo 13" in school today.  (Apollo 13)  Later, she asked me what "swaydo" meant.  I asked her to spell it and she did: "P-s-u-e-d-o.  The 'P' is silent."  

A few weeks ago she told me she had watched a movie with "Joe Quinn Phoenix" in it.  (Joaquin)

This afternoon she asked me if I was familiar with Vivaldi's "Winter Large - Oh".  


May 15, 2004

Rich has started talking to himself again, and sometimes he gets quite animated.  This morning Rich had a guy come over to look at maybe putting in a new kitchen sink.  He and the guy were in the kitchen, I was down at the bottom third of the stairs, nearby so I could hear and participate if Rich needed me to.  The girls were each in their rooms with their music going, so were unaware anyone was here.  Kate came out of her room after a while and sat on the stairs and we talked quietly, while Rich and the guy, who was just about as loud as Rich is, continued their discussion from the kitchen.  After a few minutes, Kelley came out of her room and stood at the top of the stairs.  "Who's here?" she wanted to know.  "Papa's talking to himself,"  Kate  replied.  "Yeah," I joined her.  "Only now he's using a different voice when he answers himself.  I'm starting to get worried about him."  Kelley cocks her head and listens for a minute.  On cue, Rich's voice can be heard, though not really the words.  When he stops, a second voice is heard.  "That's Papa??" Kelley is incredulous.  "No way!"  She heads down the stairs and Kate and I shrug and make way for her.  While still on the stairway, about a third of the way up, it is possible to peer around the corner of the wall and see part way into the kitchen, and this is what Kelley did.  It was absolutely perfect timing, too.  She could only see Rich, who was leaning  with his arms crossed, back against the stove, but no one else.  It really did look like he was talking to himself.  She looked at us with huge eyes.  Then turned back just as the other voice started.  Only Rich's mouth didn't move....  



May  9, 2005

Yesterday was Mother's Day, and the girls hadn't gotten me gifts or planned anything special at all for me.  So today, after school, they came up to me with a cake from Stater Brothers that had "Happy Mother's Day From Your Lame Daughters" written on the top.  

Me:  "Oh, thanks guys!  Who got this?"

Kate:  "I did."

I sampled the frosting by scooping off the 's' at the end of 'Daughters'.

Kelley:  "I would have gotten it too, if I had been there."


We went downstairs, and I showed Rich what Kate had gotten me.  Still hoping for some of the glory, Kelley again pipes up, "I would have too, if I had been there."  Jack remarked that he was the one who paid for it and Katie said she would pay him back.  I added Kelley would too, but the little miser quickly reminded us, "I wasn't there!"


December 13, 2005

Kelley thinks belladonna is a really snooty singer.


Kelley was following me down to the garage as I took stuff to the washing machine, and she was complaining about her teacher giving them a particular assignment.  "She expects so much out of us," she whines.  "She thinks we're all geniuses, and we're not!  Well, actually, I am, but they're not ."


Later, while Kate and I are on our way to the store, I share the story about Kelley thinking belladonna is a snooty singer, and Kate responds appropriately, with  "Really?" and a chuckle.   But a minute or two later she admits, "I'm smiling and nodding because I'm sure it's funny, but I can't think of what a belladonna is...."  




October, 2006

One of Kelley's favorite subjects in or out of school is history, and she is getting an A in the class.  One day she came home from school and asked me a question about the Civil War, to which I answered, "Oh, you mean the battle of Antietam,"
(pronouncing it, of course, 'an-TEE-tum'). "Oh, no!" she wails, then tells me how, when the teacher had passed out the assignments and she read hers aloud, she had read it "Auntie Tam." That explains the strange look the teacher gave her 'star pupil'!