Sunday, September 28, 2008

Paging Dr. Ting Ting

Well, hello! I'm Dr. Ting Ting. We provide the very best in patient care at my hospital.

. . . once you've made it out of our waiting room. (Hey, Mr. Bear! You can't use your cell phone in here.)

Say, "ahhhhhh."

A few of these drops will soothe that achy throat.

I don't know, Elmo, it doesn't sound good.

Fortunately, I have just the right antidote.

Still waiting . . . but at least she still has a smile on her face.

Well, my work here is done. No, don't worry about the possum -- she's just playing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Ladies and gentlemen, The Rachel Chronicles brings you the very latest in toddler fashion.

In gathering her ensemble Monday morning, Miss Ting Ting first insisted on wearing the exact same top and skirt she had worn the previous Friday. Her stylist at first objected, but Miss Ting Ting has strong confidence in her own fashion instincts, so the stylist quickly relented. Miss Ting Ting put on the matching socks her stylist offered, but in a fresh interpretation of the ordinary, she pulled them up to her knees instead of cuffing them demurely above her ankles. Then, in a shockingly brilliant move, she chose headgear and footwear in an insect theme. Note the bold use of primary colors to offset the pale green outfit. She wears the bumblebee hat rakishly askew so that the bee appears to be searching for a new source of pollen and ignoring the sweetness right beneath him. The famous ladybug slippers complete the ensemble, which is all tied together with a non-designer bag that looks amazing like a sack full of trinkets she might have won at a recent carnival. It's definitely NOT what all the other girls are wearing these days.

(Yes, I let her wear it to daycare -- oh, yes, I did -- although I put a pair of regular shoes in her cubby so she could go onto the playground. And when she was strapped into the car seat, I managed to distract her long enough to cuff the socks. But you pick your battles on Monday mornings, and this one was too cute to fight about.)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I'm one of those clueless moms

Ting Ting: Mama, I'm a superhero.

Mama: You're a superhero?

Ting Ting: SHHHH!! Don't say anything! It's a secret.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The kid is too quick for me

Ting Ting: Mama, I'm a choo -choo train. Choo Choo! Choo Choo!

(She chugs her way downstairs to the kitchen)

Mama: Well, it's time to eat. What do choo-choo trains have for breakfast?

Ting Ting: Cookies.

Nice try, kiddo. Next time I'll know better than to ask!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Happy (belated) birthday to us!

This is my grandmother. Lance took this photo when we visited in August, and she celebrated her 96th birthday on Labor Day.

Although she has marked this occasion nearly a hundred times, she can quickly name her favorite birthday gift of all: her first grandchild.

That would be me.

I was born on my grandmother's 48th birthday. On Sept. 1, I turned 48 myself. So I considered this birthday extra special.

My grandmother has told me many times the story of how she got on a bus the morning of her birthday to travel to Nashville to meet me. She describes standing at my father's side as they peered at his pride and joy, his first-born daughter, just a few hours old. She loves to recount how she patted her son on the arm and reassured him, in that grandmotherly way, "don't worry, honey, she'll look better in a few days."

(I might be offended at that story if I hadn't seen the pictures. Thankfully, she was right.)

My grandmother was born before women had the right to vote and lived for decades in a segregated South. Now she's witnessing an election that will give us either the first female vice president or the first African-American president. The scientific and technological achievements of her lifetime are mind-boggling. And perhaps the societal changes are best marked by noting that while she celebrated her 48th birthday by becoming a grandmother, I marked mine by snuggling on the couch with my 2 1/2-year-old daughter to watch an episode of "Dora the Explorer."

Yes, things have changed.

But no matter how dizzyingly fast the changes come, one thing is constant: I share a birthday with a smart, resourceful, opinionated, funny, sometimes stubborn and amazing woman that I love and admire very much. And that will always be my favorite birthday gift.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Again with the excuses

I've been sick, but I'm on the mend . . . just wanted to give you the latest excuse for not posting! I'm finally back at work and so will get back into the swing soon.

I apologize for those of you going through Ting Ting withdrawals.