Monday, November 14, 2011

Pee and Poo: What Homeschooling Has Done For My Kid

I'm going to preface this post with two things. The first is that I, as Nourit's parent, do not encourage nor condone potty-talk (except for the times when it's funny. Please note also that this is all from Mike's side of the family.) The second is that this post will probably make her very angry with me in 15 years, but hopefully in 30 years, she'll forgive me. =)

We had just come from our weekly playdate with my homeschooling friends and their kids where the topic of conversation between the three moms was how to teach/encourage writing and spelling. One of my friends has taken the approach of creative spelling, allowing her daughter to sound out words and write them how she imagines, for the sake of freedom of thought. My other friend's son spends time writing 2-3 sentences per day in a journal about his adventures, or the weather - very acceptable and appropriate things. My contribution to the conversation was, "Nourit isn't really even interested in writing, and isn't so motivated to read on her own yet, despite the rich literature we explore together each day." Not a half and hour later I learned how wrong I was. My homeschooled child has just shown me she can independently (and sometimes with the help of her dear friend who shall remain nameless) sound out words and write an entire book, given the right motivation: pee and poo. Here it is, with English subtitles.

The Poo and Pee Book

I shake my butt to 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'
Poop is Ice Cream - Pee is LemonadeI Dance with Poo and the Poo dance with the Pee
I Love Poo and I Love Pee
How to Go Potty

Do You Like Pee and Poo?

It's all there - creative spelling, rhythmic meter, metaphor, literary references, punctuation, chronology and anatomically correct illustrations. I think this could be a best-seller for the potty training set as well as 10 yr old boys.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Bit About Avi

I feel like Avi has really been growing up in the recent weeks. Oh, sure, she still sucks her thumb and throws wonderful fits, and today I spanked her and made her eat soap, all before noon (and we don't even believe in eating soap!) In between all that, though, she's shown me some increasingly mature behavior.

For instance, she is my little helper these days. She helps me fold the towels (very neatly, I might add) when Nourit runs and hides to get out of it. She spent a good 45 minutes manning the apple peeler/core-er the other day, and it actually helped me! I was able to make the applesauce, wash the dishes, clean out the fridge, all with free child labor (and a smile!) Nourit? Nowhere to be seen...(not that I compare my children.)

Here she is building an almost exact replica of Stonehenge.

And tonight, before bedtime, during a particularly diffuse book on volcanoes (Nourit: "Mommy, I don't even know what they're saying." Mommy: "Yeah, me neither.") Avi, not to be outdone by her older sister (who actually did give me a fairly lengthy and accurate description of a volcano), stopped me and said, "Okay, so I'll tell you what a volcano is. The sun comes down to the earth, it cracks open the earth, and the moon comes down, then there's hot lava coming down in the mooncrust, which is then falling down, and that makes a volcano." Indeed!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Apple Picking 2011

Two days after Nourit's second tooth came out, we deemed it safe to go apple picking. That, and the weather finally shaped up. It was good timing, since the tooth had been loose since July, but waited until the first nice weekend this fall to wiggle out. The tooth-fairy came with a beautiful book, Madlenka, about a little girl whose tooth comes out and she goes around her New York City block to tell her neighbors, which is really like a trip around the world because her neighbors are all from a different country. Kinda like our backyard! If you look closely, you can see the adorable gap in the bottom row of teeth. Nourit, Lucas and Avital
We went to Radke's this year - our first departure from Garwood (although, we did sneak over there afterward to pick up some pumpkins from the pumpkin patch.) It was our neighbors' pick, and a beautiful and quiet orchard. No pony rides, no corn mazes, no crowds, and best of all, no too-loud 80's rock band. Just apples. (About 90lbs less of them since we visited today.)

Oscar, Nourit and Avital

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pyramids, Planetariums, and Paper Maché, Oh My...

I am exhausted. Today the girls and I built a pyramid (scaled way, way down, and out of red hardening clay, so it will look nothing like a real pyramid, but so what? they now know all about the discrepancies between pharaoh and the rest of the ancient world, and also the phrase "you can't take it with you!"), trekked to outer space (okay, just to the planetarium, but it was in the rain and the car battery died so we took the metra and wow, is it hard pushing two children totaling around 80 lbs in a 35 lb stroller to and from the train station, so it might as well have been outer space), and started making paper maché masks (it's only been 2 months since Nourit started pestering me about these and wow - wow, are those every messy). Not to mention some avant-garde artwork just before bedtime. What a great idea - taking a top dipped in paint and seeing what kind of design it makes while it spins...all over the dining room table!

Did I mention all the cleaning up I did today, too? No? Well, I cleaned alot. But it was worth it. The sun came out for 5 minutes today and we discovered that Nourit's sundial actually does work! And the pyramid hasn't been marauded by marauders yet. And I'm finally getting to all the things the girls have been wanting to do since before we moved and that I've been putting off until "after we're settled."
I guess we're getting there! (and hiding there in the back of the really awful picture of our really fun pyramid is Avi's version of the Queen of Sheba.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The 'Ff' Word of the Day

My Ffriend gave me the idea of doing a 'letter of the day/month' with the girls, and although I really intended it for Avi, it has become one of Nourit's Ffavorite morning activities. It's simply this: I give them a sheet with the Big and Small letters, we discuss what insect/animal/other thing begins with that particular letter, and then they draw for a Ffew minutes while I interject as many words with that sound. Today we used lots of 'Ff' words. The picture to the leFft is by Ffar my Ffavorite. Nourit even got some handwriting practice (something I'd just been stressing over with some other homeschooling Ffriends, who assured me it would Ffind its way into our days organically.)

Next is Avi's picture. We'll just call this one 'Ffreaky Ffoxes with Ffour or Ffive Million Ffeet'.

Ffun, Ffun, Ffun!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Snoopy and the Big Bag of Science

I love that Nourit is excited about science, because I never was...

...until today!

She's been begging for the Big Bag of Science since she saw it in a catalog last winter, but I bought her a little chemistry kit instead, which was interesting, but not super exciting (to me). So I've been prevaricating every time she asks to do more experiments. I should also say that, in general, my kids don't ask for much, which is a huge relief. (Aside from Avi and the Pillow Pets. It has been 2 years, so maybe it's time to give in to that, too.) I guess it's not really 'giving in' to get Nourit something educational. It's just that, like my mom, I needed to hear from at least 3 other people that it was worthwhile. Would she really be able to do anything besides the baking soda/vinegar volcano, or "see if it sinks or floats"experiments? After visiting a few homeschooling blogs, I was convinced, and I ordered the BIG BAG of SCIENCE which arrived yesterday.

This morning, with the bribe that we could 'do science' after she filled in her requisite handwriting worksheets, we were in investigative mode by 8 a.m., lab coats (I mean, pajamas) donned. After reading through the 70+ possible experiments, Avi chose the 'The Secret of the Diaper' and Nourit chose 'Glop' or 'Goop' or something like that. Wow. After pouring 4 ounces of water into the diaper powder stuff (there is a technical word for it, but I'm not getting up to find out), it IMMEDIATELY turned into gel. No liquid in sight. Which explains why I would sometimes find icky gel stuff in my kids' diapers (um, when I wasn't using the eco-friendly kind, which wasn't often. Honest.) So cool! Now I KNOW the evil that's happening in all those non-eco-friendly diapers. The next experiment was the gloopy stuff, which had something like PVA or TVA or ?VA, the name of which I made the girls memorize, and we combined that with something blue, shook it while counting to 60 (see? math!), and viola! GOOP! (or gloop...) Really, really fun and cool, and I can't wait for the next experiment!

Now, why was I never interested in science as a kid? Maybe because I had never read 'Charlie Brown's SECOND Super Book of Questions and Answers about the earth and space...from plants to planets!' And, I had never read the FIRST, either. This is a book we have been reading religiously since visiting Nanny and Papa and their bookshelf in the basement two weeks ago. Nourit loves this book (she calls it 'Snoopy Science' because there's a picture of Snoopy on the front)- and asks for it at every lull. She really impresses me with how much she retains. Honestly, she's more articulate than I am when describing gravity. And aside from the really boring cartoon strips, it's pretty straightforward and compelling. The problem is that it was written in 1977.

Now, I'm pretty sure a few things have changed since then. I explained that Pluto has been downgraded, and that satellites are now also used for cell phones, and (my favorite), the answer to "Will there be other women in space?" (besides the first woman cosmonaut in 1963) was, "Probably." (That was when I checked the issue date! Not very encouraging for a girl who talks about going to outerspace like it's Europe.) Her other favorite going now is "The Tiniest Giants" about a group of researchers who found teeny, tiny dinosaurs in Patagonia. Poor Avi. The only thing that remotely holds her attention in that one is the picture of dinosaur skin. It is a little more current, but I still need to find some more updated general science reads. Preferably with someone more á la mode than Snoopy (but, please, no Spongebob!)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Modern Wing

Although it's been open for quite some time now, I had yet to experience the entire Modern Wing at the Art Institute. When I discovered the first 2 Wednesdays of each month are free to Illinois residents, and that I simultaneously had a free 2nd Wednesday (!), I planned an outing for the girls and their teacher (me!) There was much excitement this morning as we packed Nourit's polka-dotted backpack with, count 'em, 4 drawing pads and two pencil cases stuffed to the gills. They were ready to plagiarize, I mean draw, everything, most especially the 'Bloody Ghost'.

We set off toward the Metra with our umbrellas, backpack, and 2 bags of snacks to be consumed before entering the museum (they won't allow food, even in packed bags, which, incidentally, ended up costing us $22 in other snacks and lunch. So much for the 'free' entry.) We arrived on Michigan Avenue, snickered at the long line by the lions in front of the Art Institute, and walked smugly around the corner to the Modern Wing entrance, where there was not even the hint of a queue.

And we had a wonderful time! Nourit was the tour guide since she'd been there a few more times than I, and we giggled at all the nakedness, ooh'ed at the psychedelic colors, looked sideways at the Picassos, and had fun during the interactive exhibits, like the checker board they could walk on, the groovy gold beads we could walk through (I'm getting some of those for our apartment!), and the candy exhibit, where viewers could eat a piece of wrapped candy from the exhibit. (It was bittersweet, literally. I didn't tell the girls that it was envisioned by a man who died of AIDS, and that eating the candy was symbolically taking a part of this man's body as he lost weight.) Morbidity aside, I was impressed by their unabashed interest in the art.

Unfortunately, we never found the 'Bloody Ghost', although Avi talked about it very loudly throughout the 3 hours we were there. We followed our gallery tour up with a trip to the Education Center, which had a lovely room with a carpeted mountain-y thing that Avi crawled upside down and backward on for quite some time, blocks, puzzles, alphabet foam things, computer games (Nourit's fav), and books galore. Another room featured books and artwork on the alphabet, and another room had hands-on craft making. The best part, though, is that we get to come back - gratuit! Their website offers a yearly educator pass for teachers, including homeschooling parents. It does require documentation, and of course, I didn't have any - Nourit's only in Kindergarten and it's not required in our state for that grade. The woman was kind, though, and took my word for it and issued me the pass. My kids are going to be sooooo art savvy after this year. (Craft savvy is a different thing and a different post. Oh, boy, am I bad at crafts...)

Post Script: Later this afternoon, after Nourit had been outside for 30 minutes while I taught a piano lesson, she learned to ride her bike. In less than an hour combined without training wheels, she's riding in circles and popping wheelies. I love this kid - once she got the pooping thing down, everything else came easy. Stopping her thumb sucking addiction, simple addition, and now bike riding.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Taking Off the Training Wheels

We finally took Nourit's training wheels off her pink bike today. The same bike we bought her when she successfully stopped sucking her thumb. She's been asking for at least 4 months and my answer was always, "Later, when dad can take them off." If I'd known how easy it was to use a wrench, I would have done it at least 3 months ago. Of course, I chose this morning on our way out the door to someplace else, and while my husband was just getting down to work, to revise our schedule. I guess I was cashing in on our new freedom to finally say, "Yes, let's do it now, because, well, we don't have to wait for the weekend anymore." Surprisingly, my perfectionist 5 1/2 year old, who gets very uncomfortable and makes strange noises when she doesn't do some exactly right*, had fun trying to balance on her new bike. I stayed behind her with my hand on the seat, but she never got frustrated with herself. She hasn't managed to bike without the trainers yet, but at least she's still smiling!

*I've started teaching her piano and we've been sitting down together every day for about a week now. This is one of the hardest things for me to do, but also one of the most rewarding parts of having her home every day. There's sure to be a post soon about how I'm totally messing her up for any type of musical future, but for this week, our lessons end with a hug.

On the Blog Again

I just can't wait to git on the blog again, goin' places that I ne-e-e-ver been, oh I can't wait to git on the blog again. (Although, I'm not sure anyone is still checking for updates since those have been few and far between!) Regardless, here I am, up at midnight without anything specific to write, armed only with the need to make up for lost time.

Highlights of our year on the northside: Yoga with Gina at Namaskar, Nourit's class and teacher at the Lycée, Ionela (Renela, as Avi endearingly refers to her), the park on our cul-de-sac, passing the basket across the balcony with Natalie next-door, playing with Lida, conqueror of the playground, Fritz croissant every Saturday morning, coffee from Macondo, $8 car cleaning around the corner, a huge kitchen, our mulberry tree, having Matthew and Christine close by (okay, relatively close by in DG!), Monday night dinners with Karen & girls, the Diversey bus to Peggy Notebaert, Wednesday climbing at the zoo, a beautiful drive down LSD (albeit, 6 out of 7 days), Nourit's first lost tooth. Did I mention lovely neighbors?

Lolights of our year on the northside: Holly and the outdated windows that let in all the cold air. Those two things are unrelated. Not enough extra funding from Lycée to afford us to send both girls to school.*

Other interesting, worthwhile, and somewhat amazing events: Disney World for Mom's 70th, weekend in Milwaukee, Michael's dissertation 'Bird Show', Tuscany without kids, turning 37 at the Point, girls' weekend in D.C., and, last but not least, a move back to Hyde Park and to our 4th apartment in as many years. We really like this one and think we'll stay. For a year, at the very least.

*Thus, I will be homeschooling the girls this year in our homey new/old apartment. And that is where my blogging adventure resumes. Goin' places I really never been! Stay tuned...

Friday, April 1, 2011


When we were stopped at a gas station off I-94 this past weekend, Nourit spied a McDonalds next door, complete with a brand new Playspace. Now, we secretly love to play the elitist game of pointing to the big yellow 'M' in front of other people and asking "What's that?", then giggling at the shocked looks when our girls sweetly say, "I don't know" or "Old MacDonalds". How could a child not be intimately acquainted with McDonalds?

We have just had enough other choices when it comes to food, and have been able to avoid going there (because we're busy frequenting all the bakeries in Chicago, for instance.) We're pretty conscious about what we eat, and tend not to eat out much at all (but that is mostly because we're poor!) We were thrilled when they opened Panera along the route to Grandma's house because it gave us an alternative to fast fried food. But...I do like me a cheeseburger and fries when I'm prego, so Nourit has been to McDonalds at least once, not that she remembers. Also not sure I told my husband that yet...

Anyway, back to the gas station and the Playspace across the road. Nourit's interest was piqued and she tried to figure out a way to get us to take her and Avi there. "Can we go in and play for 5 minutes?" No, because we'd have to eat there, and we aren't buying food there. "Can't we just pay to go into the play area without eating?" she queried. That's when I dropped the bomb and told her that she had already been to a McDonalds (and perhaps that very same one) when I was pregnant with Avi, because "I usually go at least once when I'm pregnant, because of the cravings."

Then it started. The girls want a sibling.

They started lobbying for a little sister or brother on the car ride home. "You mean to tell us you love each other so much, you want another sibling?" Mike asked. "Yes!!" they both cried simultaneously. Did they not recall the last hour of fighting over toys in the backseat? "And then we can go to Old McDonalds!" piped up Avi. Ahhh...the real reason.

I would like to have a third baby sometime - and not just for the chance to have a cheeseburger, fries and Coke without guilt. Hopefully, though, we can work it out so that I'm like that gorgeous woman in her mid-40's I met last summer with a brand new baby boy and two doting daughters that were old enough to help change diapers. She looked so happy (and rested) that whenever I get anxious that I'm getting too old, I just have to think of her blissed-out visage and I feel I can be little more patient.

Tonight, though, Avi started again, even picking out a name for the baby, definitely a girl. "We can call her by my name!" So we'd have...Nourit, Avi and Avi. Anyone remember the old Newhart show with Larry, Daryll and Daryll? I can see some similarities already. "Or, pooh face!" (that's more like it), "or Lightening the Queen!"

Maybe we'll wait until she at least old enough to help pick a decent name, if not change diapers.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Lately, the girls have been coming out with some funny things (and some doozies.) Here are some of the more recent ones that I can remember.

While discussing the ungodly hour that Avi creeps into our bed every morning
Nourit says: "I like to sleep in."
Avi: "I like to sleep out!"

Foot Washing
In a pre-Easter mood, Nourit decides to wash Avi's feet during their bathtime. Still basking in the afterglow of watching my girls treating each other with such affection, I'm rocking Avi to sleep while Nourit runs by on her way to bed. "Wait!" I say, "I need a hug and a kiss." She runs back to provide those, and Avi holds out her arms to Nourit, who, in turn runs away. Avi scrambles down to follow her, arms still open. Nourit, on the stairs puts a foot in Avi's face and generously says "Kiss it!" Of course, Avi does so happily.

Two's and Tree's
Nourit was practicing her math at the dinner table. "1 and 1 is 2. 2 and 2 is four."
Avi asks in her three-year old voice "What's tree and tree?"
Nourit answers without missing a beat, "Two trees."

Synonyms for Nice
On Monday, after spending some time with Nourit's class at school, Avi was in a magnanimous mood, describing Nourit's classmates. "They are friends and kind and nice and...fratulating!"
Nourit: "Fratulating?? That's not even a word!"
Avi: "Yeah it is. It means 'nice'!"

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Month (and a day) of Birthdays

From December 26 through January 27 we run the Birthday Marathon. It actually starts the day before, on Christmas, with Jesus' birthday - but we don't bake him a cake. Nourit came into the world 5 years ago on 12/26/05, but on 12/26/11, she wasn't in much of a celebrating mood. She barely got out of bed, and only with the aid of her 15th dose of children's Motrin did she blow out her candles. The upside is, she had cupcakes at school two weeks before, Fritz cupcakes at our house, a cake at Grandma's house and a cake at Nanny & Pappa's. I guess we won't feel tooo sorry for her!
5 Candles
This is how she really felt.

And then, Grandma's 70th birthday happened on the 30th, but this year, we celebrated it for 5 days with Mickey Mouse and all his friends.

Birthday Breakfast with Chef Goofy

Up next comes Mike's birthday on January 12 - right in the middle of a busy week during a busy month during a busy year. We paused long enough to have a birthday lunch and chocolate cake.
38 years ago today, in a small town in the southernmost part of Canada, Mike was born.

Finally, Avi's birthday came and went with various mini-celebrations of her 3 years over the course of the week. This is as close as we'll come to getting her a pet of her own. This horse is currently on his back, a blanket spread across him with a bandage around his foot. Maybe we're cultivating a little veterinarian?
Trot ol' Joe!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Elizabeth and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (or No Good Deed Goes Unpunished)

It all started a week ago when THE SNOWSTORM blew into Chicago. Fascinating and fun for about a day and a half, and parking. My husband dutifully shoveled out our car (and that of the neighbor downstairs - the one who bangs on our floor and curses at us), and we set out two cute little children's lawn chairs when school and work resumed on Friday. We (and about 2/3rds of our neighbors) continued this reservation system through Sunday, but that's when we got THE NOTE.

"What did you do to make you think you deserve this spot?! Next time, I'm taking it."

Didn't they get that we had shoveled it out, and couldn't they see that we had children? (note: the cute teeny tiny lawn chairs were strategically planned.) It made me so mad that someone wrote those mean words, that those people are Out There, filling our air with their selfish, ugliness, and so I decided to make it my mission to do what I could to help shovel out our street. Reverse the ick, and spread more joy and available parking. So I removed the chairs and tried hard not to spend my entire drive to Nourit's school and back worrying about where I'd park again upon returning home. There was, of course, no parking when I returned home. So, while Avi cried in her carseat for a half hour, I shoveled out a spot and pulled in. More goodwill, more parking!

Yesterday, (when it was in the single digits) I got really ambitious. I gave the girls some spoons and tupperware, told them to play next to the street, and got to work. It took me over an hour, but I pulled down one towering mountain of snow single shoveldly. Avi, however, was miserably cold and so I put her in the car and ignored her cries while valiantly wielding my shovel against that bad person who left the mean note (and all the other people like him. Or her. At this point, I was imagining it was the Woman Downstairs.)

That was where it all went wrong. I got prideful. And, I left the car door ajar all night.

Did I mention Mike just happened to be out of town for 32 hours?

This morning, after my usual "Hurry up-we're gonna be late-you're old enough to put on your own coat" routine, I ushered the girls out to the car. The automatic locks didn't work but it didn't register with me until the car didn't even make a noise. Not even a little chirp. I got the girls back out and stood on the sidewalk looking in all directions for...direction, I guess. The young knight in the white, American-made car drove by slowly and offered to jump the car. Amazingly, I was able to find our jumper cables very neatly stored on our back porch, and soon, the car was running strong. Here's where I made the second mistake. I took the housekeys OFF of the car key (to keep it running) and ran back inside for the backpack. Nourit made it to school, we made it back home, the sitter came, and I was on my way to teach class. Things are good. There are good people in the world. La di da!

Class was 44 degrees when I walked up to our space and the building manager was not in. Appropriately, I led my Music Together class through "I'm freezing, I'm freezing, I hope I don't start sneezing" and after a few rounds of 'Trot, trot to Grandma's House' and 'Pop! Goes the Weasel', we started to shed our coats and scarves, and my good humor returned.

A short hour at home, then out to pick up Nourit and head to Hyde Park for two more classes. I meticulously packed my lessons plans, books, extra shoes, snacks for everyone, brewed myself a steaming cup of Emergen-C, took Avi by the hand and walked out the door. Mistake #3 - I left the house keys inside. I didn't realize this until we made it to Hyde Park to meet Mike and discover HE didn't have his house keys either. But I prided myself (there is that word again - pride!) on my quick thinking. Mike could meet my brother in the West Loop, get our extra set of housekeys from HIM, and then meet us again after class. All would be fine.

And it was - right through classes, dinner at Salonica, and out into the car. Everyone's in their carseats and seatbelts and..."Mike, you put the Club on the steering wheel and that key is on the ring with our house keys. Inside the house." He looked like he would cry. After 16 hours on a train, 5 hours sleep and a sore throat, I don't blame him. So I laughed. And Nourit cried. And we tried calling the only three people we knew in Hyde Park whose numbers were in our phones to see if we could borrow a car for a couple hours. However, (and here's that parking thing again), if we borrowed a car, the probability of finding another parking spot that late at night was nil.

And so we ran. We made it to the Metra just before it pulled away, and between heaving chests, laughed some more. Two trains later we were walking the last mile home with the girls sitting on our shoulders singing the theme song from Veggie Tales. Now they are in bed, and hopefully Mike is on his way back with our car after a quick $50 cab ride back to Hyde Park.

And there won't be a single parking spot available.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Favorite Things

One of my favorite things is when both my girls are sleeping peacefully, Nourit in the top bunk, Avi on the bottom, their little noses breathing heavily. They are doing that right at this moment and it took exactly 29 minutes from the time I tucked them under the covers until they were snoring in sync. And what magic happened during those 29 minutes that got them from 60 to 0? Why, my melodious voice, of course. All those years between the ages of 7 and 17 when I would play my records (yes, they were LPs), brush in hand, and would belt out every word to every show tune I knew? I was preparing for this day. Whenever I was alone in the house, I would sit at the piano and accompany myself to all the ballads I knew, from 'Where is Love?' from Oliver! to 'On My Own' from Les Miserables. I still pride myself to knowing every single word to 'The Music Man', including the train song. (Whadya talk, whadya talk, whadya talk...)

That career never got off the ground, high school follies notwithstanding.

Until now!

Since the birth of our kids, we've spent almost every bedtime singing our kids to sleep in two part harmony. I have a strict order:
1) Twinkle, Baa Baa, and ABC's - they are all the same tune, something I didn't figure out until graduate music school
2) Hush Little Baby - I decided early on which version we'd sing, and have stuck to it
3) after the first two, it's a mixture of every other lullaby I know (and being a Music Together teacher, I know many), then Jesus Loves Me, Jesus Loves the Little Children, and I culminate with Kum ba yah (at which point, it's a deep and real pleading for God to come quickly and knock these children out to sleep.)

If God (or the Sandman) hasn't come at that point, I'm desperate. I have no more songs to sing. Nourit is begging for "a song that you've never sung to me before." That's when I pull out my deep, unquenched passion: show tunes! I get to sing old sappy ballads, uninterrupted, to a rapt audience. How great is that? It's an educational time, too, though. In fact, tonight my girls learned what a 'sash' and an edelweiss were. (3 points if you can name that musical!) They absolutely love My Favorite Things. At this point, my repertoire also includes Goodnight, My Someone and 'Till There Was You. In the course of writing this, I've even recalled a few more that I'm anxious to try out on them.

But... it will have to wait until next Monday when Mike is working and I put the girls to bed all by myself again. See, he's not so fond of showtunes. (He won't even let me sing anything from 'Grease' around them. Sheesh!) So, unless it's something from 'Spamalot' (the ONLY musical he even admits to liking), I'll have to keep it solo.