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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


first word


"Gimme Dat!"
"I Can't Reach It!"
"Carry Me Up"

age 2


"But I Just Want To Be Happy !"

 "Now Then..."

age 3




ages 3 - 6



ages 7 - 8


age 3

age 4

age 5

age 6

age 7

age 8

age 9

age 10


1991  g  1992  b  1993  a 1994  j 1996  g  1997
 h 1998 b 1999 a  2000


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 some up and says, "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...  Little Kelley would be right behind him, the whole time, hollering at him:  "Drop It!  Gimme dat!"  Once when we went to visit, Kelley brought with her a beautiful balloon she had aquired from somewhere.  Of course it was inevitable that Hobbit’s newest moniker would became "Pop It".  Of course, there was also the time when 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 which also housed a bank and expensive restaurant.  It was after 5:00 when I was leaving one evening with the girls, and everyone but the security guard had deserted the building.  I got a glimpse of how Kelley's sense of humor was developing when I stepped out of the elevator with Katie at my side and Kel in my arms.  She took one look at the guard and threw both arms and her body toward him and cried, "Help me!  Save me!" 



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 hang 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!



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.



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."  This is going to be a breeze, I think to myself.  "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 "runanerrand"? she asks.  Confused, I don't answer immediately, which she takes to mean she is wrong in assuming "runanerrand" is a place.  She modifies her search string, rephrasing her question 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 than 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: "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-oo-oh-vay," 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 about two male deer fighting over a girl, and how they got their antlers locked.  Well, David the Gnome comes and has to saw apart the antlers, then of course lectures the two young bucks, with the result being "…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."

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 brick wall and talked.  I mentioned I was concerned about Kelley's scar where she had had stitches, 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 couldn't move?" she asked.  That's right, we told her.  "umm...." she thought harder.  "Was I dead?"  She could remember not being able to move, but not that it was because she was strapped down in almost a straight jacket type of thing, that they use on little kids to restrain them....therefore, it must have been because she was dead....


September 21, 1997         Age:  7 yrs

After catching a lizard that I spied in the garage while doing laundry (OK, 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 has been to the bank, as well….)  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."  



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.