Monday, December 9, 2013


We have had a lot of change over the last few months around here. Andrew started a new job, and it is very different from his last, including the hours. What this boils down to is that he gets twice as many "awake hours" (as we call them) with Genevieve as he did with his last work schedule.

... and then he got LASIK surgery on his eyes. (You'll notice that he goes from Andrew to SuperAndrew in the pictures that come after this post.)

It's great, and I'm flexible, but it's taken me a while to find my comfortable rhythm. So here we are!

Genevieve helped us carve the pumpkins for Halloween this year, which mostly consisted of squishing pumpkin guts while SuperAndrew, Mom and I all kept the carving implements at a safe distance. (If you like our pumpkins, you can get the carving templates here. I found them via Pinterest.)

The whole family
She was delighted by the pumpkins, mostly because we had five that were all different sizes, which she would label with our titles. Toddlers LOVE order, especially my toddler.

For the two weeks we had the pumpkins, she couldn't pass them without adjusting their order. Since I know nothing about décor, I let her do her thing. Maybe I could learn something, you know?

Fung shui-ing the porch.
I spend a lot of time waxing poetic about how much (and how quickly) Genevieve changes, but seriously.

Last year:

Halloween 2012
You'll notice that the mouse costume is a bit roomy, and she has the footies on- because she's not walking yet. (She took her first steps on Thanksgiving, which was super memorable.) And LOOK AT THOSE BABY CHEEKS.

Brace yourselves. This year:

Halloween 2013
Walking. Talking. Carrying her Elmo bucket.

The whole night went remarkably well, with the exception of a few small ... hiccups. The first was both major *and* minor. I hadn't remembered to charge my cell phone, and I got the "20% battery life" warning RIGHT as I was about to take pictures of Genevieve in her full mouse-y glory. And then, the screen went black.

[Dear Apple, Inc.; 20% does not equal 0%. Love, Jasmin.]

Fortunately, we were in front of our house, and my camera was ready to go, so I got my pictures.

Family jack o'lanterns

What I may have been *most* pleased about was that she kept the mouse hood on nearly all night. The hood was more challenging than it should have been, but fortunately, I had Mom doing all the hard work helping me.
Mouse ears in progress
Fortunately, I brought fun to the party, which as we all know, makes up for any of my sewing shortcomings. Style eclipsing substance and all that.

Adjusting her ears. Like you do.
Mom stayed at the house with the dogs and handed out the candy (full-sized candy bars; that's how we roll), and SuperAndrew, KidBrotherSam and I took the Mouse from house to house.

It was really fun watching her learn how Halloween works. It took us a few houses, but she got it. She would knock, hold out her bucket and say "Beet!" ["treat" for the uninitiated], sign "thank you" after they put a treat in her bucket, and by the end of the night, would say "'ween!" ["Happy Halloween", again for the uninitiated.] With only the *tiniest* bit of prompting on our part.

The things that were supposed to be scary (rotating saw blades, dismembered body parts, giant spiders) didn't phase her in the slightest. I was feeling really great about how we had done nearly our *whole* street without a panic, and then, two doors down from our house, terror struck.

Our neighbor, dressed in the most *phenomenal* Chewbacca costume, opened the door. Genevieve let out a bloodcurdling scream and tried to -simultaneously- climb up and *through* SuperAndrew. Our incredibly nice neighbor (a father of two middle schoolers), pulled his mask off and tried to make Genevieve feel better.

"It's just me, Genevieve," he said, over and over, in his nicest voice.

Genevieve was having NONE of it. She pointed at the sidewalk, and we apologized profusely to our lovely neighbor (who may have been more traumatized than Genevieve) while we made our way to sidewalk safety.

It was all SuperAndrew and I could do not to laugh. And maybe we did. But there were also a lot of hugs, kisses, and "it's okay, you're okay"s.

[KidBrotherSam chided me about not teaching Genevieve about the classics. I maintain that she's too young for Star Wars. She is barely old enough for the Muppets.]

We took a quick break with some of our other neighbors, whose boys are extremely fond of Genevieve. Fortunately, Genevieve loves them right back, and after we let Genevieve have the packet of pretzels from her haul, we all hit the pavement for a little more trick-or-treating.

The older son, [whom I will call "Mario", since that was his costume] wanted to hold Genevieve's hand while they went door-to-door, and after a couple of houses after the Wookie Trauma of 2013, Genevieve was willing to go with him.

It was one of the sweetest things I've seen in ages; the kindness, the patience. (Halloween is my Christmas, and this was my Halloween miracle.)

I know next year will be 100% different than this year, and that's ok. I know she'll definitely need a new costume, and she'll have opinions about what that costume is.

I'm really looking forward to next 'ween.

Monday, November 25, 2013


It feels so cliché to say it, but it feels like it was just yesterday that we brought Genevieve home from the hospital. I blinked, and WHOOSH, she's a walking, talking toddler. It's awesome and completely unbelievable.

I knit a little sweater for her before she was born, out of yarn (from Froebe Fibers) that I bought at Camp KIP (just before we conceived). The colors made me happy down to my toes, and while I knitted it, I thought about the little girl I was growing.

[For those of you playing the home game, I bought the pattern in a kit from Churchmouse Yarns and Teas, when I went there in 2008.]

Once she was born, and I realized that she had an olive complexion, I thought that there was no way she'd be able to wear it; the colors would wash her out. To say the least, I was disappointed that this sweater would have to wait for DistantFutureBaby#2, or worse, the gift pile.

So, I decided to check the fit, to see if I could at *least* knit her a sweater that would match her skin tone, to be pleasantly surprised to find that she *could* rock the colors.

It's a perfect sweater for reading.
Truth be told, it's a little small on her, so I find myself debating whether I should knit her another one (and make it larger, of course), or knit a different sweater. (There are so many cute little sweaters.)

I-cord waist tie!
For now, I feel the *tiniest* bit guilty when she brings me this sweater to wear, given that the sleeves are 3/4 on her.

But it's so darn cute.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Toddler style

We've had a lot of big changes over the last couple of months. Genevieve is growing so fast, and learning so much.

Did you miss me?

Of course you did.
She's talking up a storm, and she has more words, and knowledge and stuff every day. We sing, we play, we read books, we make animal noises, and we do toddler stuff.

You know, toddler stuff. Like wearing ALL of the hair bows.

Less is more? No. MORE IS MORE.
And eating blackberries the messiest, and incidentally, most fun way.

"Did you want one of these?"

Genevieve also discovered that I can do *unbelievably* cool things, like playing "Twinkle, twinkle little star" on the piano. We play it together, and she is delighted because she can make music with her finger. Her finger.

We play it twice, and then do something else. Toddler style.
I wake up to this smiling face every day, and we're teaching her to wake us up with kisses. Because there is literally nothing like toddler kisses.


She is a wonderful kid, and (mostly) incredibly cooperative. I used to talk a lot about "old Jasmin", the busy person who used to get everything done every day. "Old Jasmin" is long gone, but "New Jasmin" gets a load or two of laundry done after bedtime, makes dinner (almost) every night, and sometimes an errand or some housework with Genevieve.

A place for everything and everything in... a place.
She does some things that are so distinctly grown up, like drinking out of a mug, or pretending to read something. Or sitting on a "big" chair, as opposed to her highchair.
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We are genetically incapable of taking a regular picture.
But just as soon as we see a glimpse of that older child, she does something to remind us that she's still little. Like snuggling up against my chest, or waking Andrew up to read her a book.
Barely keeping his eyes open.
And just like that, she's my sweet, snuggly little baby again.

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Little girl, big bed.

... Right until she wakes up again.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

A reason, a season, a lifetime

On Monday, I was hunting through the garage for Genevieve's mouse costume. When we made it last year (and by "we" I mean "mostly Mom"), we purposefully made it larger so that it could be a play costume and maybemaybemaaaaybeee fit her for another Halloween.

Halloween 2012

In a bin of miscellaneous stuff (from Mom's house), I came across this photo:

Halloween 2001 (Pardon the photo of a photo)
(The blonde is ChrissyG, my best friend through high school and college. Shortly after Andrew and I got married in 2005, ChrissyG and I stopped speaking. Why? That's not the point of this story. The point is that for eight years, there was a ChrissyG-shaped hole in my heart and life.)

I was getting my shownotes together for the podcast after getting Genevieve to sleep for the night, and with my laptop right there, I thought, "I wonder how ChrissyG is doing. I'll just google her."

In three clicks, I found her Twitter stream and her Instagram profile. For two hours, I fell down a rabbit hole of catching up with her life, 140 characters and a thumbnail photo at a time.

Over eight years, I had thought about her a lot. About her kids, about how she was doing. I missed her like crazy. I had even talked about mourning the loss of our friendship with Dr. Boyband, YEARS after the fact. The loss of a friendship like ours is one that is mourned for a long time; and like with any loss, you never really get over it.

I didn't want to intrude in her life if she didn't want me in it, because hellooooo, boundaries. But I couldn't stand at *least* letting her know I was there, just in case.

When I woke up the next morning, I saw a tweet from ChrissyG to me, saying she had looked for me under my old handles from high school, but, YAY that I had found her. (I paraphrase.)

I shot her a message with my phone number, and we texted throughout the morning, until Genevieve went down for her nap. Then we talked on the phone for an hour and a half, catching up on what eight years of separation had robbed us of.

We made plans to see each other, and she came over the next day. The superficial stuff had changed, her hair, her clothes, but there she was. My best friend.

ChrissyG was always the cool one, knowledgeable, doing her own thing and not caring what other people thought. She was smart, funny, and stylish. I am pleased to report that in these respects, the important ones, she hasn't changed a bit.

When she came in, Genevieve was immediately comfortable with her. (This is a big deal.) We spent the morning together, chatting about where our friends and acquaintances have been up to, talking about our kids, and the usual stuff.

It was great. We have both grown up, mellowed, and become more of ourselves than we were before, and the best thing is this: where some folks become different people over time apart, we're like a stream that got separated in the middle by a rock and met up again on the other side.

Treasured trinkets
My mom has always said that there are different types of friends; friends for a reason, friends for a season, friends for a lifetime.

Let's never be apart again, ok, ChrissyG? I'd hate to make a liar out of the dog tag.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Bon apétit

I have had a lot of questions about how I do my meal planning. I put thought into it, yes, but trying to figure out exactly how to write it out has been driving me crazy. (Once you finish reading this, you will confirm that I actually am crazy, but my methods are solid.)

Step 1: Check the weather.

I don't like cooking hot food when it's hot outside, or cold food when it's cold. I don't run my oven when I run the air conditioning, partly because of how I was raised, but mostly because it's wasteful. So, first, I check the weather.

Some of my favorite "hot weather" foods include Kale Salad (I promise I'll post my variation soon), bruschetta,  pesto and pasta, and grilled chicken. (The grill and I have a tenuous relationship, but we're working through it.)

Step 2: Regular rotation check

I have a couple of dozen meals that are "repeaters"; stuff we like to eat on a regular basis. When I make something new, we always ask, "Is this a repeater?" This takes practice, and it can be a challenge to establish what is a repeater because you *first* need to cook on a (somewhat) regular basis. I promise, it gets easier.

Our regular rotation includes meatloaf, beef stroganoff, risotto, and kale salad, among other things.

Risotto with peas and lemon

Step 3: Go to the source

I have quite a few cookbooks- some are specialty cookbooks, some I bought on impulse, but I have a select few that I use all of the time. I use these post-its, write the name of the dish, abbreviate the title of the cookbook it comes from, and include the page number that the recipe is on. Then, the post-its go on the large calendar on our fridge on the day I'm planning to cook the food.

The way I try to pick recipes is "three tried-and-true, one new." 
You can see some of my repeaters.
This works on a number of levels; I plan the meals around the weather, around activities, and because life is nothing if not unpredictable, it helps me go with the flow without causing any disruption come dinnertime.

Step 4: Know your pantry, stock your pantry, love your pantry.

While I'm making my post-it's, I'm also making my shopping list. We are all busy people, and good planning saves time. When I was growing up, my mother would go to the grocery store once a week, that's it.

We keep a running list on the side of the fridge so that we can restock regular pantry items as we run out (or just before). Things I tend to buy every week include: carrots, cabbage, onion, potatoes, cheese, bread, meat, bananas, milk, yogurt, and sour cream.

My pantry also includes spices from Penzeys (which is a fantastic value, even if you mail order), my herb garden of love, and tomatoes. (Oh. My. Tomatoes. Love is homegrown tomatoes.)

I try to check my fridge before we go to the store; mostly because I don't want to end up with three cabbages. (Again.) Three is too many for cabbages.

Step 5: Shop the seasons, shop the sales

Once you get in the swing of regular cooking and meal planning, you'll be able to do a little improvising at the store- alternatively, if you have your cookbooks on your kindle or smartphone, you have your recipes at your fingertips. Chicken thighs are on sale? STOCK UP. (I love chicken thighs.) Beef chuck roast is $3.99/lb? Sounds like pot roast (or Texas chili!) just hit the meal rotation.

The same goes for produce. I don't buy berries or melon in the winter. EVER. Why? Because it's expensive. (As I write this, I recognize that a lot of my rules are my mother's as well. Coincidence? Perhaps.)

Joining a CSA is a great way of getting accustomed to what grows locally and seasonally for you; alternatively, the farmer's market does exactly the same thing without the problem of getting three beets, a dozen bunches of chard, four leeks, and a small squash. (What I'm saying here is, we got a lot of weird stuff in strange quantities.)

Step 6: Prep your kitchen and do the cooking.

If you don't have a lot of time to cook, you need to have your ducks in a row. A 30-minute meal will take twice as long if you have to wash the pots, knives, measuring cups, and mixing spoons before you can even start your mise en place.

(Trick from Mom: if you clean up during the "let simmer for 10 mins" bits of the directions, you will end up with a hot meal and a clean kitchen.)

I also regularly double my recipes- this way we're guaranteed leftovers another night during the week. (I try to cook four meals during the week and use leftovers for lunches and dinner on the weekend.) Sometimes I freeze stuff, too. Depends on my mood.

Step 7: Enjoy

Plate your food, take off your apron, and enjoy a meal with your family.

Bon apétit!

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Toddlers are amazing. A week or two ago, Genevieve started making clear associations, and it was like a little switch flipped on for her.

It all started around naptime, which if you've been reading for a while, you know has been fraught with challenges. She took me by the hand, and led me to the bedroom.

"Up," she said, arms up.

For the first time since she started rolling over (about four months old?), I nursed her down for a nap in the Big Bed. Because we sleep in the Big Bed. We have been nursing to sleep in the Big Bed every nap time and bed time since. (This is a HUGE win.)

A few days ago, she dragged me to the bedroom (because she was tired), and I said something like, "Ok. We'll do naptime in just a minute," and then went to pick up one or two things.

Clearly, I hadn't gotten the message. Genevieve dragged me to the living room, picked up her sheepskin, and had me put it on the big bed. Tired = nap = sheepskin = big bed.


She knows what she needs, and when she needs it. I can't wait to see what the future hold for all of us.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Finding the joy

We have reached the point in Genevieve's development where things that were part of our established routine (getting in the car seat, the high chair, having a diaper changed) no longer go smoothly in our previously well-practiced routine.

We still have good days, where she's cooperative, cheerful and a complete joy to be around.

Snuggling and watching Sesame Street while I lean on an ice pack.
And then there are days like today, where she's testing boundaries. It is incredibly challenging; balancing being firm with kindness and empathy. Most of all, trying to model good problem-solving and patience without losing my temper.

I take a lot of deep breaths, but I'm not perfect. I can tell you about the guilt I have, because I'm not what I think a perfect mom should be- far from it, but that's not helpful.

I realized that it's days like today, where you have to consciously, mindfully, stop, breathe, and find the joy in the moment.

Where you let go of the bad feelings, let the sun shine on your face, and take in your toddler twirling in the driveway. Listen to her delighted shrieks when you unload the groceries like a dinosaur. (This involves a lot of roaring.)

Make faces into the camera, because she thinks it's funny. Watch her do her crazy toddler run and make the Hamburglar noise.

Tight hugs because she loves being squished a little. Attack kisses during a game of peek-a-boo.

It's all there. The good with the bad. It's just that - upon reflection - there are so many good moments that they deserve to outshine the bad. They've earned it.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Magic words

On the list of "important things to teach Genevieve", good manners are at the top. I've mentioned before that we have been doing a little bit of sign language with her, and using a Costco-sized container of raspberries (and a trip to Costco, coincidentally), Mom and I got Genevieve to consistently sign "more, please".

Positive reinforcement is an amazing thing.

She said "walk, please".
She wants a sip of water? Please. A toy? Please. Another chorus of "Ten Little Monkeys"? Please. She asks for things that are - generally - totally fine, and we insist on the "please" to get her used to saying it. (Truth be told, I'm a habitual please-and-thank-you-er. Old habits die hard. Or last on and on indefinitely.)

What Genevieve has learned is that "please" opens doors. All she has to do is say "please", and she gets what she wants- especially from Grandma and GrandpaDahling. (As it should be, said every grandparent ever.)

Since her language is developing at a rate that is slower than she'd like, Genevieve will take her grownup-of-choice's hand, tow them to what she wants, and sign "please?" If nothing else, it keeps our days interesting.

A couple of weeks back, after dinner, she was taking GrandpaDahling for an informational tour of the house ("That? That?") when she reached for the bathroom door. Normally, we have an open-bathroom door policy (two dogs and a toddler; the math is simple), but not so much with guests (or my dad) in the house.

Genevieve reached for the doorknob, and GrandpaDahling said, "Nope; you need to wait until your Mommy is ready for you."

Two which she gave him the Biggest. Eyes. Ever. and signed "Please?"

What could my father do? He was powerless against the cuteness. And the manners. He sent Genevieve in, and explained simply, "She said 'please'."

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Lookin' good, Daddy-o

We were at a graduation party (for LittleJ) last Sunday, and Mahvelous Margot mentioned that fatherhood looked good on Andrew.

Baby press-ups: good for the body, good for the soul.
I couldn't agree more.

I mean, who else would think that doing pushups with their baby facing UP would be so much fun?
Andrew is a phenomenal father. He sings, he dances, and he uses Genevieve as his own personal home gym. That's frugal, responsible, AND stellar parenting.

He wants to be an involved father, so there isn't much that he *doesn't* do, including learning how to brush hair (without pulling on the tangles), and executing a fantastic set of pigtails.

Hair by Daddy
But it's more than that. Being a good parent is about being engaged. He's outdoors-y and adventurous when it's appropriate, and quiet and cerebral with Genevieve when it's time to calm down.

Andrew, I love how you follow her cues, letting her lead you to what she wants or needs. You are a great listener, even when the cues are (mostly) nonverbal.

Like today, when Genevieve wanted to play in the pool. She got her swimsuit and swim diaper, towed you to the changing table, handed them over then said, "Daddy?"

Like any Daddy worth his salt, you melted where you stood, and then got her ready to go for a swim.

I hope that as Genevieve grows up, she never stops thinking that you're the greatest guy in the whole world, and that she never stops looking at you like this:

Best. Daddy. EVER.

Happy Father's Day, Monkey. You're the best Dad a kid could ask for.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Toddler telephone

Genevieve is going through a helpful phase. She wants to do what we're doing, and more than anything, she wants to be helpful. I hope this phase lasts FOREVER, because as her skills develop, I am LOVING having her as my right-hand Mouse.

Right now, Genevieve loves to take things off of shelves and counters and put them away. (Thank goodness one of us does.) The first time she did this, we discovered an excellent game.

"Can you go and get Daddy?"
She pulled a protein shake out of the box in the kitchen, and Andrew asked her to bring it to me (in the bedroom). Genevieve toddled it over to me, handed it over, and awaited her next set of instructions. I handed her *something* (probably an empty protein shake bottle) and asked her to please, take this to Daddy.

Back and forth and back and forth, the patter of enthusiastic toddler steps was sweet music echoing throughout the house. The sound of happy toddler feet is like no other; it's my third favorite toddler sound, after her laugh and her voice.
It doesn't matter what she's relaying, Genevieve LOVES this game. We call it "toddler telephone"- where we send her with an item (or a task, like bringing someone to the dinner table), and she's off on a mission.

Most recently, I was looking for something in my office, and handed her paper to take to [her] Grandma to put in the recycling bin, one piece at a time. The more paper I sent with her, the more enthusiastic she was about relaying the delivery.

It's a great way of keeping her busy AND getting things done, albeit slowly. Tiny feet take little steps, and learning takes time. We are more than happy to oblige her, because we're investing in all of our futures.

She is learning how to work with the rest of her family towards a larger goal; how to sort, how to follow directions, and she gets the satisfaction of a job well done. She also gets her wiggles out, which is a win all around.

And someday, when she has kids of her own, she'll appreciate the genius. And hopefully pass it on.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Saving Private Bert

Some days are rough. Teeth are cutting, naps are interrupted, and Genevieve is growing at a rate that boggles the mind. Growing pains are a real thing. So, we rock the routine and roll with the punches.

And roll literally, in the stroller. The fresh air does us both good, and it gives her a chance to decompress while she has her snack. We take a toy along for the ride, and the toy gets to model good behavior.

We had One of Those Days last week- parenting fail, after parenting fail, after parenting fail. I decided to try a walk to reboot our afternoon, and that day, she picked Bert as her ride-along buddy.

Bert loves to go for walks.
To add to my challenging day, I had made the mistake of reading a thread on Facebook in which an acquaintance's friends were opining as to what is the *best* way to raise children. Then the opinions turned into an argument that has no winner, with both sides digging their heels in and shouting "I AM RIGHT, AND YOU ARE WRONG! YOU ARE A HORRIBLE, SOCIALLY IRRESPONSIBLE MOTHER!"

There is really nothing as incendiary as discussing parenting choices.

I stayed out of the discussion, but my stomach was churning over the whole mess, and taking a quiet walk helped soothe my troubles, too.

As we wrapped up the walk and came home, I went to pull Genevieve out of the stroller to find Genevieve... but not Bert. I had stopped partway during the walk to tuck my jacket into the basket underneath, gave Genevieve a kiss, and Bert had been there. And now he was noticeably absent.

In my mind, I saw Genevieve's heart break over the loss of a favorite toy. The tears. Not understanding WHY Bert was gone. Worst of all- how would we tell Ernie?

Obviously, at some point, Bert had gone overboard, unnoticed. I turned the stroller around, intending to retrace our steps, and I realized that (based on the timing of the last diaper) Genevieve - likely - needed to be changed. We went inside, I asked Mom to change her and keep an eye on her for five minutes while I took the car on a recon mission.

I knew, intellectually, that if I couldn't find him, it would be simple to replace Bert. But it wasn't about that. It had been a horrible day, and if I could save Bert, I could have gotten at least that part of the day right. No toy left behind.
Dramatic re-enactment.
As I drove the route, I found Bert on the sidewalk, undisturbed. He was 1/3 of a mile from home, and I could see him from the street. I (safely) pulled the van over, leapt out, scooped him up and returned home VICTORIOUS. I had SAVED Bert!

When I came home, I didn't quite get the hero's welcome I had expected. Genevieve didn't really seem to care much, or notice.  It didn't matter. I brought Bert home.

You can add "Special Ops Mom" to my resume. Officially.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Positively yes

I am so unbelievably lucky to have a (mostly) happy, (mostly) easygoing kid. She is funny, she is kind, and every day she's learning more and more.

I alternate reading Zombie Apocalypse Books with books on child development and parenting. (This is my idea of balance, in case you were curious.) I'm reading Positive Discipline: The First Three Years, and Dr. Nelson emphasizes the need to think beyond "no" when it comes to discipline.

Children need boundaries, yes. But they also need to know that there are other possibilities, and that there is are options other than "yes" and "no". At my last job, my entire world was predominantly "Yes" and "Let's try something else," with only the occasional, "no". Our lives are structured (at least in part) by language; hearing "no" all the time creates a limited worldview.

We certainly say our share of "no"s ("No knives!" "No scissors!"), but this way we're not all "no" all the time. The "no" train runs both directions, which is why we're working on our language choices. I like to think of it as an exercise in creative, on-your-toes problem-solving. (My favorite is when Andrew says, "Let's redirect!" to Genevieve.)

I find myself saying things like, "We need to be kind with our hands/feet/teeth," and "We sit on our bottoms in chairs," and "Plates stay on the table." I'm telling Genevieve what she *should* be doing, instead of what she *shouldn't*. 

Despite our drastic reduction in "no"s, a serious downfall with raising Genevieve multilingual is that we have gotten "NO!" in not one, but THREE languages (Mom's favorite being the angry "NEIN! NEIN! NEIN!"). Even so, we get WAY more "yeah"s, which I really and truly believe is because we're able to say it freely, and you know. Mousie see, Mousie do.

"Do you have a wet diaper?"
"Yeah." (Sometimes this isn't true. She's only 17 months old.)

"Would you like some cheese?"

Hearing "yeah" from a toddler is like a choir of angels, and cuter than a litter of puppies sleeping in a pile. I'll admit to asking her questions just to hear her answer in her tiny little voice.

"I love you. Do you love me?"