Yep, that's right--bird poop. :-)

Last Monday morning we got out of my Jazzercise class and Cece saw something funny on my car's window. She asked what it was and I said it was bird poop. Well, she thought that was the most fun word to say in ages, and ever since then she's been saying (or yelling) "Bird poop right DERE!" She's even gone so far as to name the little man in her Brio train set Bird Poop. Now, when we have visitors over and she says, "Mommy, I want to play with Bird Poop," I know what she's talking about but I'm sure these people are wondering what kind of mom I am to let my child play in that stuff! LOL!


Cece started potty training on Monday and since then has only had two accidents (can you hear me knocking furiously on wood now?)! Every time she peed or pooped on the toilet I would applaud for her. Anyway, this AM I was using the toilet and she walked into the bathroom. I offered to let her flush the toilet for me and she happily accepted. As she pulled down the handle she looked into the bowl and said, "Mommy? Mommy made poopies?" I replied that yes, I had made poopies. She started clapping, jumping up and down, and shouting "Yay Mommy! Yay Mommy! Mommy made poopies! Yay!" I just burst out laughing; it was so funny!


I babysit a friend's 2-y.o. daughter Chloe for five hours every Friday and her mom babysits Cece for five hours every Wednesday; so far it's working out well. Today we were at Chloe's house and she needed her diaper changed. They don't have a changing table at their house so I used their bed. Cece had already climbed up on it so the two girls were talking to each other and holding hands as I started to change Chloe's diaper. As soon as I got it off, Cece lunged for the diaper wipes, grabbed one, and started wiping Chloe's privates, saying "I'm wiping Chloe's bottom, Mommy!"


Kids this age just crack me up and warm my heart all at the same time. Cece's latest thing is to take my hand, look adoringly into my eyes and say, "This is MY mommy!" This afternoon when I picked her up from preschool, she did that and led me over to her teacher, saying all the while, "This is MY Mommy! This is my MOMMY! THIS is my MOMMY!" She was changing inflections and it made me laugh. This evening we had dinner guests and Cece asked to say prayers, which is her way of saying grace. The grace we usually say is actually sung to "Frere Jacques" and the words are as follows: "God our Father, God our Father, up above, up above; Thank You for this blessing, Thank You for this blessing, Amen. Amen." Anyway, we asked her to start and lead us off. What did this child of mine sing? "Happy Birthday!"


Last Saturday we were at a music store so I could do some shopping for my students. I thought my parents were watching her, they thought I was watching her, and you can imagine what happened next. A frantic search through the store ensued and we couldn't find her. We noticed a large crowd gathering in front of the store, looking into the display window and laughing. I ran out there to ask if anyone had seen Cece, when I looked in the window and there she was! She was in the midst of a guitar display; standing on one and reaching up to play two of them on the wall; one with each hand. It was very funny but I was so upset at the thought that she might have been lost!

Sunday we were at church. She was in childcare and I was singing in the choir. During the sermon everyone heard some knocking on the door and a little voice saying, "Let me out! Let me out!" No one sitting near the door got up to help this child, and only after the child said "Let me out!" for the fourth time did I realize it was Cece! I flew across the church, opened the door, and there she was, sobbing that she wanted her mommy. I grabbed her, held her close and ran over to the childcare area. There were three brand-new teenage assistants, none of whom had seen Cece just open the gate and walk away! I was livid, and the poor director--who was helping another child at the time--was so apologetic. I offered to lock the gate for her and we went out together to do it. That's when we discovered that the padlock was on in such a way that the gate wouldn't close properly. I fixed it and tried to close the gate, but now it wouldn't close at all! I tried pushing against it and then Cece started screaming. The gate wouldn't close because her fingers were in it! I feel like such a bad mommy!

Monday morning we were puttering around the house and she decided her stuffed bunny had to go pee-pee. She put him on her potty seat, washed its hands after, and then turned the water on in the sink full blast and stuck the bunny under it. "Mommy, my bunny's taking a shower in your sink!" she said.

Later that day, she got into my laundry basket and pulled out my bra. She put it on backwards and was all excited that she was wearing my bra. I offered to hook it up for her and she said okay. After that she started crying and I asked her what was wrong. "Mommy, I wanted my boobies in it!"


Today, the day before Thanksgiving, my car is in the shop getting its 90,000 mile servicing. Now that Donald is working outside the home he wasn't able to take me down this AM to drop the car off, so Cece and I drove down to Santa Cruz from our place--a half-hour by car, to drop the van off. From there we walked all the way to Shopper's Corner, the best grocer in town, to pick up our turkey for tomorrow (it's about a mile). I knew we'd have to lug that big bird home on the bus, so I brought along a pair of umbrella strollers that I had clamped together with special stroller clamps to make an instant double stroller. It worked great! Cece sat on the left, and the turkey sat on the right. A very kind soul lent me some duct tape to strap the turkey in, as the stroller's straps weren't made for turkeys. You should have seen the looks we got, and heard the laughter in our wake! It actually felt kind of good to give people something to smile about today.

We took a bus back to Felton to go to the park til lunchtime, but it started raining so we went to eat an early lunch instead. It was good, and then we hopped another bus back to Boulder Creek and got home at 1:45 PM.

By car, minus the lunch, all this would have taken an hour and a half. We were gone for six hours, and I still have to go back down there to pick the van up at 5 PM.

11/22/01 (Thanksgiving Day)

<look carefully, it is all there... -D>


hhhhii mmmoooonmm

nnnnnnntthhiissss iiss cece

888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888 888888888888888888888888

hhhhhawwwwppppy tthamnks givimng

+love xzxcece


Today we took her to get her pic taken with Santa. She ran right up to him; she was so excited! When he said hello to her, she shouted, "Trick or treat, Santa!" He burst out laughing and Donald and I fell over, we were laughing so hard.

Her all-time favorite thing to do now is play music. Most days she'll come up to me and pull me to the piano, saying, "Mommy, *I'w* pway da piano, and *you* pway da tambouwine and dance wight dare (as she gestures to the floor next to the piano). Okay?" Then she'll bang out a few tunes and I jump wildly all over the floor, banging that tambourine for all it's worth.

I LOVE this age!


<Necessary pre-text>

My wife is a professional pianist and frequently records tapes for our personal consumption, to learn new songs, and to aid people she rehearses with.

</Necessary pre-text>

A couple months ago, my wife was creating tapes, she was in a hurry and she needed to learn "Live and Let Die" for a gig she was playing. Since we were about to climb in the car, she played "The Bear Cha-cha-cha" for my daughter to listen to and then recorded "Live and Let Die" from CD a couple times so she could learn it.

Over the past months I've played the Bear Cha-cha-cha tape for the little one in the car, and just let the tape play. The little one normally asks for the tune by saying "I want Bear, Daddy." Daddy hits the tape and everything is wonderful.

So, last night, as I was cruising home, from the back seat, in a cute little toddler voice...

"I want Die, Daddy!"

That's it. No more rock and roll until she's 30!


As I was brushing her hair this AM, she picked up a piece of blank paper. When I asked her what it was, she said, "It's a wetter for Uncle Dan."

Me: A letter for Uncle Dan?

Her: Yeah!

Me: What does it say?

Her: I wi' weed it to you, Mommy, 'kay?

(now, picture her holding this blank paper, studying it closely and "reading" aloud in her sing-songy voice:)

"Dear Uncle Dan, I actuawwy wuv you vewwy, vewwy much. Actuawwy, you are vewwy, vewwy beautiful. I wuv you vewwy vewwy much and you have a bewwy button. Wuv, Cece."

Now, picture me falling over from laughing so hard. :-)

She is fascinated with belly buttons and her newest word is "actually," and she uses it ALL THE TIME, no matter what the context!


Cece was playing with the magnetic letters on our fridge the other day. I had my back turned but I heard her saying, "M-M-M-Milk! M-M-M-Milk!" I turned around, and here she was, standing in front of the fridge, sounding out a word she had spelled. I asked her what she was doing, and she said, "Look, Mommy! It spells milk!" The letters she was pointing to were


Like mother, like daughter! LOL You see, when I was four years old, my dad and I were riding around in his pickup truck one day and we stopped at a signal light, right behind another pickup truck. "Look, Daddy," I apparently shouted, "F-O-R-D spells pickup truck!" :-)


Yesterday she tugged at my bra strap as I was getting dressed. "Mommy," she said, "you need to buy a new bra." When I asked her why, she said, "Because your bra has old boobies in it!"

Over the weekend I'd made black bean soup in our crockpot but it wasn't as thick as I knew it should be. I put it all in the blender and pureed it. It came out just right. I gave her some and asked her to guess what kind of soup it was. She looked at its color and said it was chocolate soup.

3/7/02 (this is the Cece Story as I tell it to her at bedtime)

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful lady and a handsome man. They met, fell in love, and got married.

After a while, they decided it was time to have a baby. A little while later, the beautiful lady got a big surprise; she had a baby in her tummy! She was pregnant! That made the handsome man very excited.

They did all kinds of things to prepare for the new baby. They picked out a bedroom in their house to be the nursery. They painted it blue and the beautiful lady handpainted clouds, rainbows and heart-shaped music notes all over the walls. All kinds of furniture came too: a crib, a bookcase, a table and lamp, even a dresser that had once belonged to the handsome man's grandfather. All of it was white and looked great with the blue room.

The beautiful lady went to several special parties called baby showers. At each shower she got lots of wonderful gifts for her baby, like clothes, diapers, toys, and even a stroller.

During all of this time, the baby in the lady's tummy grew bigger and stronger every day.

One morning, when the trees were covered in blossoms and the world was full of the promise of spring, the beautiful lady woke up early in the morning. "Honey," she told the handsome man, "it's time to go to the hospital. It's time to have our baby!" When the handsome man heard that, he got out of bed. He and the beautiful lady got dressed, got the suitcases and got into the car for the short drive to the hospital.

At the hospital, they were met by Dr. Nancy. "Good morning, you two!" she said. "How are you today?"

The beautiful lady replied, "We're ready to have our baby now!"

Dr. Nancy said, "Okay, then, follow me!"

The beautiful lady and handsome man first went into a hospital room to get ready, then they followed a nurse into the delivery room. A delivery room is a very special place in which babies are born. The beautiful lady got onto the delivery table, the handsome man held her hand, and Dr. Nancy went to work. With a snip, snip snip and a cut, cut cut, a beautiful baby girl was born.

Dr. Nancy took the baby girl, cleaned her up and wrapped her in a blanket. She put a tiny hat on the baby's head and gave her to the handsome man. He was thrilled, because from that moment on, he had a new name. It was "Daddy."

The Daddy held his new baby daughter in his arms and gazed at her. She had a full head of black curly hair, a cute little nose, and eyes that were as blue as the heavens. She had a little cleft in her chin, just like her nonno's, and a dimple in her right cheek, just like her daddy. The new Daddy fell in love with her, and then gave her to the beautiful lady.

The beautiful lady was thrilled because she too had a new name from that moment on. It was "Mommy." Her brand-new daughter looked into Mommy's eyes and promptly fell asleep.

The new Mommy and Daddy felt that their baby daughter was the most beautiful baby that was ever born, and they wanted to give her a name that was just as beautiful. They named her Cecelia, for a saint who loved music, and Aphrielle, for a character in a book that Daddy had read and liked.

Cecelia Aphrielle Kerns grew from a tiny baby to a beautiful, loving little girl who makes her mommy and daddy proud every single day. We love you, Cece!


The other day, Cece and I were grocery shopping. She was asking me to buy all these odd things, and I told her no to each item because A) I didn't have that much money, and B) they weren't on sale. A few minutes later, we got to the produce aisle and I put a 5-lb bag of potatoes in the cart. She started yelling, "YAY MOMMY!!! The potatoes are on sale!"


I've got a headlight out on the Saab. (Already have the bulb, but the retaining spring is screwed up, requiring a shop visit to fix.)

Got pulled over by CHP (with Cece in the back seat) and he gave me a fix it ticket for the light.

Cece wanted to say "Hi" so I rolled down the back window and the officer gave her a "badge" sticker... (She LOVES stickers)

So anyway, last night at about 9:00 pm on Hwy 9, SC sheriff pulls me over. "NO WAY" I think. Wasn't speeding! I wasn't!

Sure enough, Sheriff Van something wants to have a chat about my head light. I just hand him the fix it ticket and he chuckles "CHP already gotcha, eh?"

So Cece wants to talk to the guy, again I roll down the window and usually polite Cece demands "I want a sticker!" I burst out laughing and have to explain it to the poor guy. He has a laugh then goes back to the car, rummages through the trunk and pulls out a sticker from somewhere...

That's our girl, not even three, and a deputy of two different peace officer organizations.


(In my defense, Cece knew about police officers talking at windows because my wife has been pulled over recently too...)


Cece and I were pulling weeds and planting flowers earlier this week. I thought she should have a pair of her very own gardening gloves so we went to the store to get some. She was so excited, she told me "when I turn four, I can have my very own plant too!" We did find the gloves, but the smallest size was a ladies x-small. I bought them anyway and altered the fingers so they fit her. They actually do, and we had a blast!

Tonight she and I drew monster faces on empty paper bags. She and my husband wore them and chased each other around the living room . It was hilarious and our camcorder was nowhere in sight. :-(


Ever had one of those moments when you just wanted to crawl into a hole because of something your child has so innocently said? LOL

Donald has been home sick with a bad case of diarrhea since Thursday (today he finally goes back to work) and on Sunday Cece and I went shopping for few things and some Gatorade (DH's request). We hardly ever buy Gatorade, so when Cece asked me why I was buying that funny juice, I told her it's because Daddy has a tummy problem that's giving him diarrhea, and the funny juice will make him feel better.

At the checkstand, Cece is putting all of our purchases onto the belt and telling the cashier what each one is for. "This is my mommy's hat. This is my friend Madeline's birthday present. This is my ball." When the Gatorade was rung up, she said, "My daddy has diarrhea!" The cashier managed to sputter, "Gee, I'm sorry to hear that," and Cece came back with, "That's okay. My mommy is buying diarrhea juice and Daddy will be all better." I was mortified, but laughing so hard it didn't matter.


Now that Cece knows all the alphabet and can recognize the sounds each letter makes, I thought I'd have some fun with her this morning and try teaching her some phonics.

I wrote the letters A-T on a piece of paper and told her it spelled "at." "At," she dutifully repeated. I then wrote a "C" next to it and said that it spelled "cat." I erased the "C," rewrote it and asked her what it spelled. "Cat," she said. "Cool!" I'm thinking to myself. I erased the "C" and wrote an "H." Again I asked her what it spelled, and she said "Hat." Really, she did!

By now I'm getting really excited and thinking we really DO have a genius on our hands, so I erased the "H" and rewrote the "C." Again, she said it spelled "cat." Now I was quietly freaking out, so I erased the "C" and rewrote the "H." "Cece," I said, "what does this spell?"



Yesterday afternoon my students had their spring recital. Yesterday was one of my student's birthday, and Cece was begging to sing "Happy Birthday" to him. How could I say no? LOL

She was very quiet during the performance--having a big bag of Goldfish to snack on helped--and at the end of it I was passing out certificates of participation to each child. As the birthday boy's name was called up, I told everyone it was his b-day and that I had a special treat for him. Cece walked up to this kid, and in front of one hundred people sang to him. I was so proud of her! Everyone was clapping and cheering for her! Her back was to the audience so I was telling her to turn around. Well, she did. She turned around and around like a dog chasing its tail. I was laughing and told her to stop and take a bow. She stopped, again with her back to the audience, and "bowed." You see, her idea of bowing is to bend over and put her head on the floor like a headstand. Now, if you're back is to the audience, and you bend over to put your head on the floor, and you're wearing a DRESS, what do you think happens?

That's right. My daughter's first public performance and she MOONED the audience! LOLOL Thank God she had panties on; usually she likes to run around with them off.


We were doing some fun errands today and on the way home, after lunch, Cece was getting really tired and refusing to close her eyes and relax. She was getting more whiney and irritable and DH and I were counting the seconds until we got home. At one point she yelled at us, "DON'T TALK ABOUT ME! I'M TRYING TO BE CONCENTRATED!" Huh? She fell asleep a few minutes later.


We have a potty story to share. A few weeks ago Cece had a bout with the runs, and she was asking me why her poopy looked so funny. I told her what diarrhea was and how it was her body's way of getting all the yuckies out of her system. Two weeks ago she had too much candy one day and ended up with the runs (that happens to me too when I eat too much sugar). I told her that the candy did that to her body because there was too much of it in her tummy and her body was trying to get rid of it.

Now, whenever she goes to the toilet, she proudly proclaims in her loudest voice, "Mommy!!! I didn't eat too much candy and I don't have diarrhea today!" Um, thanks for sharing, Cece! LOL


Cece started preschool ballet/tap classes three weeks ago and watching her in class has been a riot. She is so used to dancing her own way that no matter what steps Miss Terri wants the kids to do, Cece will run to the center of the room and yell, "Look at me, Miss Terri! I'm DANCING!" and then start jumping up and down and doing this Cece-ized Irish jig. It's hilarious!

In todays' class Miss Terri had the kids skipping and hopping around the room. I felt so bad for Cece; she still doesn't know how to hop (I bet it's either late development on her part or a leftover side effect from her hip problems) or skip and she was the only one in the room who couldn't keep up. I took matters into my own hands and decided to teach her as soon as we had a free moment.

Well, the hopping/skipping must have struck a chord within her. She and DH visited me at work this evening and she was dancing/hopping all over the place as I was playing. She even danced over to a youthfully middle-aged man and said, "Hey, you! I'm DANCING!" He almost fell over laughing, as did Donald and I. She's such a ham; after each song she'd bow. This same man tipped me for the music and told me that Cece "was the best entertainment I've seen here in a while. She made our evening!" He then tipped HER too! She ran over to Donald and showed him her dollar bill, and that rascal husband of mine folded it up and taught her how to put it down the neckline of her dress! Grrrrrrr . . .

On my break I took her outside to practice skipping. She and I took turns skipping back and forth across this cobblestone patio in the VERY hoity-toity shopping mall I work at, and we got quite a few stares and a lot of muffled giggles and smiles from the passersby. So has she learned to skip yet? Let's just say it's a good thing she knows what practicing is; she's got a lot more of it to do!


This morning Cece appeared in our bedroom after she got dressed, and she had added her purple dress-up shoes and about four plastic necklaces from her dress-up box. "Look at me!" she shouted. "I'm a Teenager!"


8/18/02 (Cece's first original story, translated by Daddy)


as kagggggggggg (cow)

1234567890/kkkkwttyuccceeeeppppppi (Dear Daddy

You're going to be on a dirv whale with me.)

(Dear Mommy, she's going to be on a whale with Daddy.

I'm going to be on a surf whale.

It's going to jump off on you.)


While driving to work on Friday night, Cece and I saw a U-haul pick-up truck parked on the side of the freeway. It was towing a large Caltrans (for those of you who don't live in CA, Caltrans is the state roadwork company) sign, the kind with the flashing lights that spell words. The truck was covered in big pink paper hearts and the sign was programmed to read, "I love you, Laura. Laura, I love you," over and over. In front of the sign stood a man holding out a small black box to a woman who looked like she was in utter shock.

I started to cry and Cece asked me why. I explained to her that the man and women were getting engaged and that made me happy, hence the tears. She looked at me like I was from another planet, so I went on to explain, "You see, when a girl grows up and becomes a lady, she will meet a man and fall in love with him. He will fall in love with her and they will decide to spend the rest of their lives together. That means they have to get engaged. Then he has to ask her a question, she has to say yes, and then he buys her the most beautiful diamond ring that he can find. This is the ring Daddy bought me (showing her my wedding/engagement ring) when we got engaged. Cece, someday when you grow up, you will meet a wonderful man and fall in love with him, and he'll fall in love with you. Then he'll ask you a question that's kind of like 'Will You Marry Me' and you'll say yes. Then you'll have a diamond ring like mine and I'll cry because I'll be so happy for you."

She thought about this for a minute, then brightened up and said, "Mommy, the Beast (from Beauty and the Beast, her fave movie) will fall in love with me! I can share my french fries with him and he can share his toys with me. And he won't get frustrated with me because I'll play nice with him! Then we'll get an engagement too!"

In a funny way, she hit the nail on the head. A good marriage includes sharing, communication, and respect. If she can remember that when she's actually married, then I know we will have done a good job with her.


Today's front page of the San Jose Mercury News, which was an entire page full of thumbnail-size portraits of those who died on this day last year, sparked the following conversation between Cece and me:

Her: Mama, look at all the people in the newspaper! Why are there so many people there?

Me: It's because they were all in a terrible accident on this date last year. Each of those people got hurt really, really bad; their bodies didn't get better so they died. That means their body gets buried in the ground and their soul goes to Heaven.

Cece: Why?

Me (now wishing fervently that Donald was here to help me figure out how the h*** to explain terrorists and the ugly realities of our world to a three-year-old): Well, there were a bunch of men who were really sick. They thought that it would be fun to hurt a lot of people so bad that they'd die. So they figured out a way to hurt a bunch of people all at the same time, make them all go to Heaven when they weren't supposed to, and make everyone in America very sad because of it. These sick men thought that it was fun but it's not. It's mean, hurtful, and a terrible thing. And you know what? Remember when we brought cookies to the firestation this morning? That was because the firemen work very hard to keep us safe, and there were a lot of firemen who died trying to help all those people you see in the paper. That's why we brought them cookies; to help them feel better.

Cece: But Mama, why are you crying?

Me: I'm crying because when it happened we were so far away from it and I wanted to help, but couldn't.

Cece: It's okay, Mama; I'm here. (reaches up and starts wiping the tears off my face)

Me: I love you, Cece.

Cece: Look! (at this point she looked up to the sky--because she knows that's where Heaven is, raised her right arm, and formed the ASL sign for "I love you") I showed them an 'I love you!' I helped, Mama! I helped those people!

And grown-ups think these little kids don't get it . . .

Sometime this summer, probably July, 2002

Remember when we were driving in the van somewhere and we were listening to some music on the tape deck? Cece has asked us to turn it down. "Mommy, Daddy, please turn the music down. My ears are very expensible!"