Monday, December 28, 2009



Wednesday, December 23, 2009

what's it CALLED?


What's it CALLED? What's it CALLED, Mama? What's it CALLED? What's it CALLED? What's it CALLED, Mama? What's it CALLED? What's it CALLED, Mama?
Tree.Trees.Trees.Moon. MOON! MOON! MOON! I see you up there, MOON! What U DOING, MOON?


Monday, December 7, 2009

the monster who ate cookies


K: What do you want to do to make money?


Friday, December 4, 2009



while walking home from the Y, we stopped to look at the moon, and talked about how it was full, and how big it loomed. we moved on, and he cried out for the moon to follow us. i told him it would.
we reached our block, and there it was.

Phoenix: Hiii Moon!
Phoenix: You walking home? Yeah.
Phoenix: You want come inside? You play? Drink tea, yeah?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Don't let the Toddler Stay Up Late!


I not tired.


Um, is there a linguist in the house?
Someone call Pinker, stat.

Monday, November 23, 2009



'What are YOU doing up there, MOON?

Hi Moon,
How are you doing up there?

Moon! Are you coming?

Moon! Follow me.

Mommy Moon.

Hiii MOON!
I SEE you UP there, MOON!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

these are all quotes from today:


Ya want jelly?

Ya want jelly on your face?

I''m carefuling!

I'm drawing.
Leave me alone.

Thank you, Water!

Sorry, ice cream!

Monday, November 9, 2009

tonight's dinner conversation


I no like people. No like Daddy, no like Mommy, no like Gypsy. I like trees.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Daily Muppet


No YIKE Don Knotts!

I like Steve Martin bettah.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

i'll EAT you UP!


Last night he faked like he was going to kiss my bent back but bit me instead.
Then he tried to eat the moles on my face.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Big Boy Day


First day of playgroup.
First visit to the dentist.
First milk trail. Puddles.

Friday, October 2, 2009



Me: What makes the moon grow?
Phoenix: Apples on it!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Neeix Goo Goo


Last week, my mom told him that she misses holding him like a baby.
She scooped him up, cradled him and cooed "Gooo goo ga ga ga ga"

This week:
HBA chick at Berkeley Bowl: What's your name?
Phoenix: I'm Neeix. A goo goo gagaga. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

yesterday's new phrases uttered within five minutes



Hello Toe!

When I'm older, I drink coffee like Mommy.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

naptime birdsong

"You're my AAAnGHELL"

"You're Myyy AAnGGELLL"

today I got the lullaby.

today I got the cuddles.


it's been two weeks since i weaned him.
two weeks of inventions and new routines.

now, there is "Cuddlespot"
now, there is "Sheriff Night Light"*
now, there is a boy who sometimes refers to me as "Elissa" and "a lady"**

today, a boy who cuddled and hugged me where he used to headbutt and kick me.
today, a boy who sang me a song in which i was his angel.

*(i know you're just dying to see a photo of Sheriff Night Light. someday i will take a photograph and post it and you will sigh with contentment.)

**i have been encouraging him to say "Woman".

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Andy Warhol's Colors


I bought this for Phoenix at MOMA when he was just a teeny wee one,
about 6 mos old or so. It's a great book for teaching kids about
identifying colors, as well as art, or at least, a perspective on art.

Phoenix loves it, and sometimes requests it while I'm changing him.
(He always requests a book or two during diaper changes;
it's the only way he will stay still.)

Yesterday, he asked for it by name: "Andy Whore Hole."
Yes, buddy. Exactly...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

overregularization (i think)




Wednesday, July 15, 2009

new phrases yesterday


on the bus: "BACK! DOOR!"

on line at Berkeley Bowl: "HELLO. KITTY."

en route to bed: "SUPER. MAN."

and for those of you who have seen Meet the Fockers, all of these phrases were said in the tone and cadence of "ASS. HOLE."

Monday, July 13, 2009

out of his nose and into my hand


His new thing is stuffing food up his nose. Fun.
We were at TJ's the other day buying stuffstealing free coffee, and he told me "ALMOND! NOSE! UP THERE!"
My response was "Dude, you're kidding me right?"
I eventually relented enough to investigate.
We became a team and co-blew his nose for a few minutes, but that sucker wasn't budging.
He seemed fine, so I quickly finished our shopping and got on line to pay.
Once on line, I tried again and we blew and blew. I could see the head!
Just as the checker waved the paddle, and called "NEXT!", he shot that almond into my palm.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


We've reached the third tier of NO.
It's not pretty.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

moon, please.


What would you like for breakfast this morning, Phoenix?

The moon!

Monday, July 6, 2009

a handful of wist


i look at you in pictures and i see what i pretend not to see when you are here.
you are a boy now.
all signs of baby are gradually dissipating from your demeanor, your hair, your cheeks.
your legs are so delightfully hairy.
you kiss girls at the lake and we smile but soon you will be on dates, on picnics, and kissing girls and oh my. we're going to have to let you.

Thursday, June 25, 2009



Last night I was running around making dinner, cleaning the tub for his bath, and doing laundry - hey, he helped - and I got some great comic relief.
He stole my sunglasses, put them on and barged into the bathroom to tell me "I'M COOL." I laughed and snuck a peek into the living room. He had made makeshift drums out of a plastic mail carrier box and was beating away on them with two whisks. Yes, he was still wearing the sunglasses. He was also watching the Muppet show.

On the subject of muppets, he has been backing me up when I sing " MAH NAH NAH NAH"
by singing "du du du du."

The duet I have always wanted. I love that kid.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

maisy nap


We read Sweet Dreams, Maisy at naptime today. When we got to the part where Maisy has to go home, he managed his anticipated whimpering, knowing this meant playtime was all done for the day. However, when we reached the page which showed Maisy in bed, he tore the book from my hands and yelled "NOOOOOO!!! UP UP UP!!" Apparently, he was trying to rescue Maisy from the perils of napping.

two fingers pointing at the sky


he signed starfish and promptly fell asleep.

Monday, June 22, 2009

phoenix-sized cubby

On our first night at the cabin in Tahoe, Phoenix acclimated well to his new environment:

NEW WORDS this week


off the top of my head, here are words he is pronouncing with 97% (or greater) accuracy:



Monday, June 8, 2009

i learned it from watching you.


On Friday night my mom caught him telling Elmo: "I MEAN IT!"

Wednesday, June 3, 2009



Here are some new words and phrases that Phoenix has acquired, and has been pronouncing clearly in the past week:





Tuesday, June 2, 2009



Why is throwing everything on the floor a favorite pastime of toddlers?
There are pinecones, baskets, little men, Legos, flash cards and plastic everywhere!
PLEASE send a housekeeper and a nanny to Moss Avenue.

Monday, June 1, 2009



Last week at Frog Park with Phoenix. The monarch who circled us.

I felt like Mary Poppins telling the kids “Check out the butterfly!”

Bewildering to expect monarch to fly off each time he circled back.

Impatient to deal with the loss.

Joy to be there as he fluttered our eyelashes and ears.

It must have gone on for twenty minutes. Circling. Fluttering. Flying just out of reach.

Camouflaging on a nearby leaf. What a tease that guy was. And what an entertainer! He kept three boys entranced for some time. They looked for the monarch long after it had flown away.

Yesterday we visited again but no monarchs.






o dear Wonder.

He is remembering,

Wednesday, May 27, 2009



Yesterday at the Berkeley Farmer's Market, after a missed nap, a belly full of chicken, brown rice, strawberries and other foodstuff I am forgetting, Phoenix was exhausted. I got on line to pay for some sugar snap peas, and left my mom to man the stroller. When he caught sight of me (I had been pushing him for some time, and thereby out of his view) his eyes rolled back in his head and he exclaimed "DORA!" Except he didn't pronounce it Dora, but DOYA! as in GOYA, OH BOYA, and all drawn out. Over and over "DOYA!"

This has become one of the universal Phoenixisms for "HOLY GOD, WHY AM I STILL AWAKE?", along with a request for "boos coos" (Blue's Clue's) and "i peam" (ice cream).
So, it was not like I had never heard it before. Nevertheless, it was startling. Immediately, the implication, to my mind, was "BAD PARENT! BAD PARENT!"

Guy on line in front of me: "Dora, huh?"
Me with head in hands: "Um, yeah."
Guy: "I really like the Backyardigans"
Me: "Oh yes, me too. And Jack's Big Music Show isn't bad either. Oh, and Wonder Pets...
AAAHHHHHHH, wait a damn..., oh crap.....

Part aversion to pre-packaged templates of fun, part fear of being hanged at the organic mecca which is the Berkeley Farmer's Market, and part irritation that he has become hooked on the show so easily and requests it daily, we have scaled back the Dora watching.
Dude, that bitch mispronounces words. We realized this after he started calling the beach "the beak." Not cool.

It was fun for a while. On our daily adventures, Phoenix got a kick out of calling me Dora, and I called him Boots.
We even entertained the idea of Halloween costumes where Phoenix was Boots, I was Dora, Kevin was (well, not really, but ok, maybe) Diego.
You know, cause of Phoenix. Right.
Forget it.
Down with Dora.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

good morning starshine

Uber-destructive lately. Ripped pages out of four different books in two days, one of which was a photo album of his first birthday. After discovering the first two books were ripped (The Very Hungry Caterpillar and GALLOP!) and explaining why this was unacceptable (books are for READING!), it was time for a diaper change and he was not havin it.
Don't know why, but the lyrics for Good Morning Starshine came to me (a memento from 5th grade chorus class), and I sang it to him. He was entranced: "MORE! MORE! MORE!" and did not want to get off the changing table when he was done. Usually, he tries to jump or climb off.

Here are the lyrics, for those challenging diaper changes or your own personal amusement:

Good morning starshine
The earth says hello
You twinkle above us
We twinkle below

Good morning starshine
You lead us along
My love and me as we sing
Our early morning singing song

Gliddy glub gloopy
Nibby nabby noopy
La la la lo lo
Sabba sibby sabba
Nooby abba nabba
Le le lo lo
Tooby ooby walla
Nooby abba naba
Early morning singing song

Good morning starshine
The earth says hello
You twinkle above us
We twinkle below

Good morning starshine
You lead us along
My love and me as we sing
Our early morning singing song

Gliddy glub gloopy
Nibby nabby noopy
La la la lo lo
Sabba sibby sabba
Nooby abba nabba
Le le lo lo
Tooby ooby walla
Nooby abba naba
Early morning singing song

Singing a song
Humming a song
Singing a song
Loving a song
Laughing a song
Singing a song
Sing the song
Song song song sing
Sing sing sing sing song

Sunday, May 24, 2009



Oatmeal for breakfast.
As soon as I got up from sitting at the table with Phoenix to go pour coffee in the kitchen, he dumped his bowl over and made it into a drum. Gypsy (our cat) ate some of what fell on the carpet. I cleaned him up, went back to the kitchen. He climbed back into his high chair, knocked his giant thermos of milk onto the carpet, climbed down and danced in the puddle.
Two minutes later, he asked if he could go "in his room and read a book."


Saturday, May 23, 2009




"the heads are yellow"

Friday, May 22, 2009

jesus lives in my kid's painting


I see things in things. I think the term is pareidolia.
Wait, just a sec... Ah, here.

I like to think of this as though things that touch other things leave their imprint somewhere; perhaps beneath a layer or four; sometimes deep under the palimpsest, sometimes hanging out on top to be observed. I like finding these images and shapes; it helps me connect the particles of the multiverse, and sometimes lends meaning to seemingly random multitudes of fucked-up-ness. However, my ability to see these shapes is not unique (as can be seen from the definition) and does not come from a place of desire. It is also not a wish to anthropomorphise or shape a preexisting thing. It's my mind, tells me this belongs with this, and that has touched this.

Sometimes it's a person, sometimes it's a ghost or a witch, and right now it's a man who looks like a Catholic version of Jesus. I know, WTF.
I AM Italian and was raised Catholic, but I do not currently practice any particular religion, nor do I necessarily believe in Jesus or even God for that matter. I do think though that if Jesus does exist, he might just live in a kid's painting.
Shit. I mean, I would.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

vocab word for today - MOONTNS

Welcome to the Daily Phoenix, a space where I will post adventures, challenges, sillies and the growing lexicon of my son Phoenix, age 2. He is in fact 27 months old to be exact, but I would prefer to stop referring to his age in months. Where does one draw the line with this, anyway? I'm hoping for at least age 3.

On to today's vocab word. For the last two weeks, he has been saying a new word, for which my husband Kevin has decided is most likely spelled: MOONTNS. Periodically, during this time, Kevin and I have paused mid-unrelated-conversation to ask "MOONTNS, what is a MOONTNS?" Sometimes even while talking with coworkers and greeting guests. Needless to say, it has perplexed us muchly.
Well today, we have a fair idea of what a MOONTNS is. According to Phoenix, it is a "mountain of bubbles." Which I can only surmise was said bemusedly to Kevin as in "What, you didn't know that?" So there you have it.

Our first vocab word on the Daily Phoenix:

MOONTNS - a mountain of bubbles