Sunday, July 15, 2018

Potty Talk, Take One Million

Madeleine has some opinions on the frequency with which I use the toilet.

MADELEINE: Mommy.  I have a question.  When are you NOT on the potty?
ME: What do you mean?
MADELEINE: Like, EVERY TIME I go in the bathroom, you were just in there going pee.
ME: Well, I do have to pee a lot.  I have to drink a LOT of water in the summer to keep me hydrated for running, so that makes me pee more.
MADELEINE: Oh.  Mommy.  Is THAT why your pee looks so clear?
ME: Probably.
MADELEINE: Yeah.  Because Mommy.  After you pee, it just looks like there's TOILET PAPER and water in the toilet.
ME: Well, it's definitely a sign that you've had a lot of water if your pee is clear.  And I definitely pee a lot more than most people.  I just read something that said the average person pees six to eight times a day, and I'm like, I think I might pee six to eight times an hour!

This conversation really stuck with Madeleine, because it came up again a few days later.

MADELEINE: Mommy, you need to drink LESS water.
ME: Wait.  What?  Why?
MADELEINE: You drink TOO much water.
JULIA: (joining in the conversation) Why does Mommy drink too much water?
MADELEINE: (gravely) Julia.  Mommy said that you're supposed to drink SIXTY-EIGHT cups of water in a day, and she drinks SIXTY-EIGHT in one hour!
ME: No, no, no.  People go PEE six to eight times a day.
MADELEINE: Oh, wait!  Julia.  Mommy goes pee SIXTY-EIGHT times an hour.  So she's drinking TOO MUCH water.

Okay, I'll admit that my bladder is kind of ridiculously active, but I most definitely do not pee sixty-eight times an hour.  And I absolutely do not drink sixty-eight cups of water in a whole day, let alone an hour.  Wow, I'm feeling way less abnormal already! 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Good-bye, Old House!

Well, the old house that we lived in when this blog was first created is no longer in existence.  I witnessed its tear-down just the other day:

I am surprised by how sad I was to see this house, which is kind of an icon for the Rowe family, getting the heave-ho.  I truly think the house is best off getting torn down and re-built, because the conversion from old 1900's house to 4-family house left a lot of really kooky and impractical architectural issues in each unit.  However, I was still not ready to see the home that created so many family memories disappear. 

Madeleine was way less understanding of the inevitable need to tear the place down than I was.

ME: (as we drove by) Look, honey, that's where our old house used to be!
MADELEINE: (gasping) Why couldn't they just have FIXED it UP?
ME: Well, I think they want to build something new.
ME: Erm...
MADELEINE: And we KNOW what's gonna go there instead.  A McMansion. 
ME: Actually, I think it's going to be townhomes.

Oh.  Well then.  I guess she doesn't care that much about what a nice house it was, as long as it's not turning into a McMansion.  Because I'm sure the luxury townhomes that are inevitably built there are NOTHING like the McMansions that are built on single family lots. 

Julia is also bummed out about the disappearance of our old home.

JULIA: It's sad, because, like, I *lived* there for seven years, and it's not there anymore!

And Julia is much more savvy about what will be built there.  As she put it, she expects to see "luxury townhouse monstrosities" built on the lot.

I like how the kids have all kinds of ideals about money not being everything and appreciating our modest sized home over the "monstrosities," but then they're willing to shell over their own money on - or, worse, beg for their parents to buy - ridiculously expensive toys that they'll hardly ever use.  At the moment, Madeleine is planning to use the entirety of her savings to buy a swimmable mermaid tail with a monofin so she can pretend she's a mermaid.  So, yeah, diss the big houses, kids, but then use every penny you've saved for eight+ years on this:

Totally logical, right?

Farewell, old red house, former home of the Rowe household!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


Here is video proof that Julia has finally conquered the dinky slide at the Boston Sports Club!:

And that's not the only victory Julia celebrated recently.  Both Julia and Madeleine are elated that their swim team won last night's meet, against a team that beat them last summer!

Not sure which accomplishment is bigger!  I mean, that little slide really proved to be a worthy foe for Julia!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

How to Speak Dolphin

Madeleine is reading a book called "How to Speak Dolphin" which, although it's a fifth-grade level book, has drawn some criticism from its third-grade reader.  A few nights ago Madeleine addressed her main complaint to me.

MADELEINE: Mommy?  There's something that I think the author, like, just FORGOT to explain, or FORGOT about in this book.
ME: What's that?
MADELEINE: So.  Zoe can TEXT and use a cell phone, but she's BLIND.  I think the author forgot that a blind person can't SEE a text.

Madeleine was quick to dismiss the author as a forgetful dimwit, but had she shown a little patience, she would have realized her questions were soon to be answered.  Tonight, Madeleine came scampering out of her room to update me on her book.

MADELEINE: Mommy.  They finally say how Zoe is able to text and use her phone.
ME: Oh yeah?  How?
MADELEINE: So, this ANNOYING VOICE reads every message she gets out loud.  And the buttons on her phone have: (raising her hands to make derisive air quotes) little BUMPS on them.  That's what Lily calls them.
ME: Oh, yeah, that's Braille.
MADELEINE: Yeah.  I know.  But I'm like, SERIOUSLY?!? Lily's in SIXTH-GRADE, and she doesn't know that these so-called BUMPS are Braille?!?

Sheesh.  I guess the intended fifth-grade audience for this book must be a bunch of easily fooled simpletons if they don't take issue with this whole Braille thing the way Madeleine does.  Good thing we've got SOMEBODY shedding light on all the scoff-worthy problems embodied in this award-winning book.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Swim Meets Begin

The girls had their first swim meet of the summer last night, marking the start of bi-weeky competitions!:

Since our town pool, which is being re-built, is still under construction, the meets are all away at the home pools of opposing teams.  I printed out the schedule for Julia, so that she could write the events and locations in on the calendar in her room. 

Apparently our town is not the only one whose pool is unavailable this summer; next week, we have two meets, both at locations other than the home team's pool.  One is scheduled to be held at a nearby town's High School pool, while the other one is listed as "TBD." 

JULIA: Mommy?  Will they still time our events at the meet against Newton?
ME: I think so.
JULIA: Because it's not at the Newton pool, it's at TBD.  And I don't know where TBD is.
ME: Uh...TBD just means "To Be Determined."  It's not the name of a pool or a town.
JULIA: Oh!  I didn't KNOW that!

Well, now she knows.  I will update you readers next week on how our swimmers do swimming in the town of TBD!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Independence Day

Happy 4th of July!  Or, as Madeleine insists on us all saying, "Happy Independence Day!"

We kicked off our Independence Day celebrations last night, with the town's fireworks.  We watched them from a different location than usual this year, and the girls wound up playing with some of their best friends until the fireworks show began. Madeleine was offered a plethora of glow sticks by her bestie, which she used to adorn herself:

Once the fireworks began, Madeleine offered a play-by-play commentary for everyone around us.  She came up with names for the various types of fireworks; for instance, "sparkle-burst," which describes the fireworks that continuously fizzle and sputter from the ground up into the air. 

An example of Madeleine's running commentary:

MADELEINE: Ooh!  Red!  Oh, that one's orange.  I don't like the orange ones.  Sparkle-burst!  Sparkle-burst again!  This is QUITE the sparkle-burst!

We got home at nearly 10pm, so it was a late night for everyone, but the girls were able to sleep in a bit this morning.

To celebrate Independence Day today, we headed out to the town parade and survived the sweltering heat sitting in the blazing sun along the sidewalk curb.  Madeleine eventually got too hot in the sun, so she and I moved to the shade on the other side of the street  and stood behind the seated onlookers. 

Various musical ensembles went by, from marching bands to a steel drum ensemble to jazz combos.  As one jazz group paused in front of us, I discovered that Madeleine and I had an extremely different reaction to what I thought was pretty great music coming from the float.

MADELEINE: I don't like jazz.
ME: You *don't*?

I immediately texted Ethan, who was across the street with Julia in the sun, to let him know of Madeleine's egregious statement.  Here's the summation of our text convo:

Madeleine herself expressed disdain for many of the parade participants, mainly because so many of them dared to shout out, "Happy 4th!" at us as they went by.

MADELEINE: Why do people say "Happy FOURTH?"  It's "INDEPENDENCE Day."
ME: Well, you can call it the 4th of July too.
MADELEINE: But it's "INDEPENDENCE day."  It's not called "FOURTH."  People should NOT be allowed to say that.

Yeah, folks.  STOP calling it the fourth.  How dare you sully our country with your ridiculous notion of referring to the holiday by its more commonly used nickname rather than calling it by its PROPER title??

After the parade ended, we went home for a few hours before heading to the pool to cool off.  However, the time at home was not ill-spent.  We put on our AMAZING Independence Day Assembly!!  Madeleine had decorated for the event and written an acrostic poem:


Ridiculosly excellent
Crazy good

I guess this applies not just to the United States, but to all of North America??  If you live in South America, however, you LOSE OUT.

Julia, Madeleine and I performed Madeleine's song and dance number and IT.  WAS.  EPIC.  Let's just pretend you don't see my accidental flashes of underpants while I flail around doing dance moves, K??

After the dance, Mr. America, who you saw appear at the end of the video, gave an educational lecture about the United States:

Madeleine had no tolerance for the length of his facts.  She made frantic "Wrap it up!" signals at him after about 30 seconds of lecture.

After Mr. America's speech, we female Rowes all sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee" and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.  Then it was time for a quiz show!  Ethan asked us trivia questions about America and we had to bang a cup on the table if we knew the answer.  Madeleine got super upset because the questions were too hard for her and she was getting everything wrong. 


ETHAN: In what century were women given the right to vote?
ME: (banging my cup)
MADELEINE: (banging her cup)
ETHAN: Madeleine?
MADELEINE: Um...the 18th century?
ETHAN: Wrong.

Luckily, Ethan was able to change tactics quickly and ask questions like "How many states are in the union?" and Madeleine made a comeback.

The rest of the day took place at the pool, where -- EXCITING NEWS! -- Julia FINALLY got down the dinky slide!, and Ethan is now setting up the grill to make us a bbq dinner, so I'd say we managed to pack in a LOT of activity on this Independence Day.  Yeah!  'Murika!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Independence Day Performance

Madeleine is putting together an Independence Day performance for the Rowe household, and plans to enlist all of us to learn her song and dance moves.  Take a sneak peak; folks, I can tell this one is gonna be a SHOWSTOPPER:

I can't wait to take part in the final production tomorrow OMG!