Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Birthday fun

Today is my birthday, so the Rowe family decided to take a trip into Boston to visit the Public Garden and the Common. It was a fun time for everyone, most especially the kids. We got to ride the merry-go-round, swim in the Frog Pond, visit the Tadpole playground, and ride in the Swan Boat. For Madeleine, it was the first time ever on a merry-go-round, and she seemed to get much more enjoyment out of it than did Julia (who rode completely blank-faced) on her first merry-go-round ride:

Madeleine, August 2010

Julia, August 2007

Julia enjoyed seeing the ducks up close and personal during the swan boat ride, and we even had one duck that swam side by side the boat for a good chunk of the ride. We decided to give him a name, but we weren't in agreement on what it should be. Julia wanted to call him "Nice Duckie," but I thought that "Quacky" might suit him a bit better. At one point during the boat ride, Julia exclaimed loudly, "Mama, when I grow up, I think I want to be a DUCK!" I think she was a little disappointed when I told her that a human, no matter how grown-up, is not capable of morphing into a duck. After the Swan Boat ride we took a quick visit over to the gold "Make Way for Ducklings" statues, then decided it was time to head on home. The temperature was around 95 degrees, it was past time for Madeleine's nap, it was nearing snack time for Julia, and both kids began to melt down a little. Julia especially; she had a tough time on the car ride home because her bones hurt, and because she didn't want lemonade to drink because it always has little plastic things like plastic straw wrappers floating around in it. However, once we were home, with one child fed and one in her crib, all was once again right with the world.

Monday, August 30, 2010

New solutions

Julia has done a great job staying in her bed at night, even though she's still a little nervous. She seems to have found a way to hide from the blue tarantula and fall asleep in peace, since this is what we've seen every night when we've gone in to check on her:

Seems like a pretty effective strategy, although the poor thing is sweltering under that blanket; look at how damp and sticky her hair is:

Meanwhile, my other, fearless child has come up with a new, exciting twist on her usual dining room chair play:

(The blue shiny blur to the right is Julia, about to gallop into the frame. And yes, Madeleine deliberately knocked the chair over by herself.)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

It's Jason's fault

ME: Julia, I see you took all your dress-up stuff out again after I cleaned it all up, huh?
JULIA: Uh, Mama, actually, my best friend Jason took it all out, but then he had to go home on the bus.

If I ever meet this Jason, I'll give him a piece of my mind for making such a huge mess.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

What's wrong with this picture?

Take a look at the following picture. Can you find the thing that doesn't belong?

Scroll down to find out if you guessed correctly...

Madeleine in the refrigerator!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Blue Tarantula

Last night everyone but Madeleine got a very interrupted, very horrible night of sleep; consequently, we're all exhausted today. The reason for our poor night of sleep all stems from Julia being absolutely terrified of a video we'd rented from the library the day before. You're probably trying to think of what video is scary enough to keep a 3-year old up all night in terror; there are many obvious options. I'll save you guessing: it was a Max & Ruby video. MAX & RUBY. This is the child who has watched The Dark Crystal, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Muppet Christmas Carol (with ghosts!) and many similarly frightening movies without ever having a nightmare about them. So we rent a Max and Ruby video from the library and THAT is what keeps her up the whole night?? I mean, the show is about bunnies, and it's about the dullest, slowest-moving show I've ever seen in my life. She was afraid of the blue tarantula that Ruby tells Max about before bed. It turns out, in the episode, that there is no blue tarantula and that Ruby was just trying to scare Max. Well, I don't know if Ruby succeeded in scaring Max, but she sure as heck scared Julia. Here is a synopsis of how the evening went:

Julia comes downstairs.
ETHAN: What's the problem, Julia?
JULIA: Uh, Mommy forgot to give me Benadryl.
ME: You don't need Benadryl anymore, honey. Your cold is better.
JULIA: Um, but I think I do need it.
ME: No, you're fine, and you need to go back to bed.

Julia comes downstairs.
ME: What, Julia?
JULIA: Um, Mommy? But I feel FUNNY.
ME: You're fine, Julia. You need to get back in bed.

Julia opens her door and starts walking down the stairs.
ETHAN: Can you tell her this is the last time she's coming out of her room?
ME: Julia, get back in bed and do not come out again.
JULIA: But Mommy, I'm scared!
ME: Of what?
JULIA: Of the blue tarantula! I think I need to sleep in your room.

This was followed by me walking her back to bed, teaching her some coping techniques I had used as a kid when I was scared, pulling away from her arms, desperately clutched around my neck while she pled to sleep with us, and leaving. After this she fell asleep with the blanket over her head, hiding from the Blue Tarantula.

MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT #1 (I make a point of not looking at the clock when she wakes me up so I don't have any sense of how many hours I have before morning; otherwise I often have trouble falling back asleep. Hence the vague time-heading.)

JULIA: (coming into the bedroom) Mommy?
ME: What is it, Julia?
JULIA: I'm still scared.
ME: Well, you need to go back to sleep.
JULIA: But I want to sleep in your bed with you.
ME: No, you need to sleep in your own bed. Do you need to pee?
JULIA: No. I peed already.
ME: Let me walk you back to your room.

Thus began the clutching and pleading again in her bedroom, but I told her she needed to go to sleep and left.

JULIA: (coming into the bedroom) Mommy?
ME: What is it, Julia?
JULIA: I wet the bed.
ME: Okay, go sit on the potty to see if you have any more pee, and I'll change your sheets. Did you get any pee on your sheets or did you wake up as soon as you felt it coming out?
JULIA: Um, there's a wet spot in my bed.
ME: Going into Julia's room, failing to really find any pee in the bed, but changing the sheets anyway.
JULIA: Coming in after using the potty.
ME: Okay, take off your jammies and undies and get some clean ones.
JULIA: No, but I don't want to take them off! They're not wet!
ME: You just told me you wet your bed.
JULIA: But they're not wet!
ME: Why don't you just get new ones to be on the safe side?
JULIA: Okay. (Changes, gets back in bed, pleads for me to stay, but I go.)

JULIA: Calling me from her room.
ME: Julia, you need to go to sleep.
JULIA: But Mommy, I can't fall asleep.
ME: Well, then you can sit here quietly until you get to sleep.

ETHAN: (going in to her room) Julia! You need to STOP yelling and STOP waking us up!
JULIA: But I need to pee.
ETHAN: Then get up and go, and stop yelling for us. I don't want to hear from you again! Go pee, and then get back in your room and DO NOT come out again.

JULIA: Sobbing loudly from the bedroom
JULIA: Silence until she woke up in the morning.

1pm today:
JULIA: (prancing over to me holding the Max & Ruby DVD) Mama, can I watch this?

(And in case you are wondering, my answer was "NO WAY, Jose!")

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Julia has been singing some version of the "Habitat" song from Sesame Street. You can see her arrangement of it here:

In case you want to compare to the original song, you can link to a portion of the episode, complete with "Habitat" rap, below. I think I also finally know where her use of the expression "Boo-ya!" came from:


Shifting gears to Madeleine, she had the following to say to Ethan this morning:

MADELEINE: pushing one of the dining room chairs across the kitchen like a walker, stopping at the gate to grin with wild excitement at Ethan on the other side.
ETHAN: Hi, Madeleine!
MADELEINE: picking up a pair of sunglasses from the chair and holding them up to Ethan. Sssssheeeit. Ssssssheit.
ETHAN: I see. Those are some pretty neat glasses, Madeleine.
MADELEINE: gets too excited about the glasses and drops them while flapping them enthusiastically in the air. Uh. Uh.
ME: Uh-oh! You dropped them!
MADELEINE: crawling around after the glasses. Uh. Uh. Uh. Picks up glasses and holds them up again. Ssssheeeit. Sssssheit.

I look forward to the day when "shit" no longer means "look at this." Not that I want her using "shit" in any other capacity. But it will be nice if she chooses some other word, like, say, "look," or "see?" to show off her newly acquired items. However, given that we have WAY too many little toys and little pieces of things, perhaps her label is not so far off the mark.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bathroom logic

Last night at bedtime, Julia kept insisting she needed to poop, then would proceed to sit on the toilet and whine about the fact that she couldn't get any poop out. When we would suggest she just get into bed and try again later if she needed to go, she would resist and insist she needed to stay on the toilet. And then would resort back to whining. Finally I warned her that if she didn't hurry and get to bed, we wouldn't have time to read a few chapters of "Sideways Stories from Wayside School" (or, as she calls it, "Right-side Stories from Right-side Pool.") That was enough to scare her off the pot and into bed, although she came down several more times after we said good-night to try the potty again, with no luck. She confided in me that she was scared of having an accident in her bed, but I assured her that pooping in the bed was a lot less likely a thing to happen in her sleep than was wetting her bed.

Today she has been back to normal, although she did have to go into the bathroom for round two late this afternoon. She had a very logical explanation for what is going on: "Mommy, I think the reason why I'm doing weird poops is because my tonsils are getting large." Well, there's some brilliant logic for you; good thing I have Julia around to explain the ways of the world to me.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jack and Reela

Julia has been playing with Jack and Reela lately; Jack and Reela are not actual people, but rather, they're two of her dolls. Reela has been named Reela for a long time. Reela was once Cudda's baby-sitter. Cudda was Julia's imaginary friend some time back, and Mr. Cause-Cause used to sneak into her house at night and eat her (Cudda, this is; he never did eat Julia.) Jack was once named Uncle Mike, but it appears his name has been changed to Jack. Julia enjoys narrating the story of what Jack and Reela are doing as she acts out their movements. Here is her most recent Jack and Reela story:

"Reela and Jack are BEST friends. They're kids, and they're in High School. They go to school together. Sometimes Jack walks to school first, but sometimes Reela does. Jack got up and walked to school, and he was really worried that he was going to step in mud, or in dog poop. And he did! He stepped in a mud puddle. He walked into school and both shoes were muddy, so his teacher said, 'Choose a new pair.' So he did, and he said, 'Oh, they fit perfectly! Except they're kid sizes.' And then Reela got up, and she put something in her hair, and she got dressed and walked to school. And she stepped in TWO mud puddles! And her teacher said, 'Oh, you're muddy? Here are some sandals for you to wear.' Then Jack got down. It was a long way down to his house and to Reela's house. When he got home he got in his bed, and laid down, and went to sleep. And Reela walked home and got into her bed, and they slept forever."

Interestingly, Jack and Reela went to bed under the same blanket, which leads me to believe they were sharing a bed. Uh-oh! I hope Reela's mommy doesn't find out!

Jack and Reela

Monday, August 23, 2010

New babbles

Madeleine really seems to be talking lately; aside from "ball" and "uh-oh" it appears she's saying "Dada" and possibly even "bye-bye." However, her favorite expression of late is, hopefully, just a babble that feels good in her mouth, and not something she picked up from either of her parents. Beyond all the other things she is saying, both English and baby gibberish, she repeatedly utters something that sounds alarmingly like "shit." It's more of a very wet "s" sound than an "sh", followed by "eeeit." For whatever reason, she LOVES saying it for just about everything. Holding up some new treasure she discovered on the floor: "Sssssheeeeit." Crawling along towards some coveted object: "Ssssssheeeeeit." Responding to us as we coo at her: "Ssssssheeeeit." She especially loves saying it over and over again from her car seat when we go on long drives. I'm sure she's just enjoying this new s-blend she's able to do, and wants to continue recreating the sound and sensation, but Ethan and I will definitely be happy when she has moved on to some other vocalization. (That is, provided it doesn't mimic any other, more offensive words!)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"I Love You, Children" by Julia

JULIA: Do you know what, Mama? They were throwing fits...
ME: Who was throwing fits?
JULIA: Kids who we don't know they were throwing fits but do you know what their names are? Uh, the girl is Lila, but there's two girls, and the other one is named Michaela. And they didn't want to go to the star place, so their parents just went to the star place, and they were worried.
ME: What's a star place?
JULIA: It's a place where you get stars for dessert and toy stars. Until, in bedtime they were worrying that a big hungry bear was visiting, but they woke up and it was just their parents! And they just sleep in bunk beds, so they both got up.
ME: Wow!
JULIA: And can you say 'is there anything else?'
ME: Okay. Is there anything else?
JULIA: Yes! And they were coloring in their beds because they couldn't fall asleep. And they wanted to go out to the star place in the morning. And guess what was for Lila's birthday? A big Christmas set! And do you know what a Christmas set is? It's something where all Christmas stuff falls out of the Christmas tree, and you enjoy trying to CATCH them, and you CATCH them in your hands! And then you play with them. And do you know what? For uh, uh, Michaela's birthday, she got a big AIRPORT! A pretend one. With LOTS OF AIRPLANES! But they're not pretend people. They're real people.
ME: That's great!
JULIA: Wait! There's more! And they played with their new toys from their birthday party, and they played with their mommy's earrings. But do you know why they played with their mommy's earrings? Because she lets them play with them. And they also played with their bowls. And that's the end of the story. And do you know what, Mama? Lila has a little ponytail in her hair, and Michaela has a little underbraid in her hair. And that's the other end of that story.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My little daredevil

Madeleine. Seriously?

And here is the other really safe thing she was doing:

To finish off her playtime in the backyard, she somehow managed to eat a twig without us noticing, then wound up gagging on it and vomiting up what looked to be the entire contents of the formula she had recently slurped down. No rest for this mommy!

Friday, August 20, 2010

What's it called?

While we were at Yia-yia's house, Julia was playing with a bin of matchbox cars and trucks. At one point, she showed me the following object and asked me what kind of car it is:

I have to admit, I'm not sure what it's called. An army tanker? I certainly know what its purpose is, but I don't know the technical name. Luckily for me, Julia was able to tell me: "Oh, Mama, I think it's an S-O-I-I-P. You know how I know that? Because that's what S-O-I-I-Ps look like." Maybe in her mind it's a variation of an SUV. I, of course, filled in her acronym in my mind, but I won't share it here - I'll leave it up to you readers to create your own.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Language development

Madeleine is showing us her ever-increasing understanding of the English language; aside from clapping her hands on command, she is now also to respond to other verbal prompts as well. One of her newest tricks is to wave when prompted, although her version of a wave looks more like a worshipful gesture, seeing as she likes to flap her entire arm (and sometimes both arms) up and down rather than just her fingers. She can also correctly respond to "Where are Mommy's teeth?" Yes, while most babies learn to identify the nose, eyes, ears, etc., Madeleine has been obsessed with my teeth, and I discovered that after a couple days of labeling them when she grabs them, she now understands the word. One of her favorite things to do is pry my lips apart so she can run her fingers along my teeth, and now that she's got a good feel for what they're like, she enjoys sticking her entire hand in my mouth and trying to shove it down my throat and explore what else she might discover.

Aside from clearly understanding things we're saying to her, she has started expanding her vocabulary a little bit (although really only by half a word.) Last night during dinner, Yia-yia taught her to say something new; here's an idea of how it went:

YIA-YIA: Uh-oh!
ETHAN, JULIA, COURTNEY & YIA-YIA: (clapping) Yay!!! Yay Madeleine!

At this point, Madeleine would look around with a confused expression, then tentatively clap her hands, as if thinking, "Oh, is this what we're doing now? I thought we were saying uh-oh." Then we were back to:

YIA-YIA: Uh-oh!
ETHAN ET AL: Yay!!! Yay for Madeleine!

Repeat, repeat, repeat. At one point, the dialogue changed slightly, to our excitement:

YIA-YIA: Uh-oh!

At this point, Madeleine looked totally startled and slightly alarmed by the exuberance of our praise, and glanced around at us nervously. She must have decided that saying "uh-oh" was too risky a gesture given that it elicited such an overbearing response, because afterwards she reverted back to simply saying "uh."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Julia's crib, and Madeleine climbs

Yesterday, Julia decided to make herself a crib by laying two chairs on their backs, leg to leg. I was pretty impressed with her creation, and apparently she was too, as she proclaimed excitedly, "This is concredible!" Here she is playing in her crib:

Unfortunately, her game was short-lived, since Madeleine came crawling over, completely fascinated with Julia's creation, and pulled herself up on the chair seat and them proceeded to push the "crib" around like a walker. I told Julia that some day when Madeleine is in HER crib napping, we can make Julia's crib again and she can play uninterrupted.

The chair-crib is not the only source of Madeleine's mischief. We're currently at Yia-yia's house for a visit, and the girls have been playing with toys in her play room. There is an abundance of great, age-appropriate toys for Madeleine to play with, so of course, what does she wind up doing over and over again?:

Up the slide over and over, then back down head-first (of course.) She did play with some of the great toddler toys that Yia-yia has, but for the most part, she preferred the slide, the stairs, the fireplace, and the wires and cords attached to various outlets. Yeah, I have basically come to realize that it doesn't matter how many toys are around. She will inevitably find the most dangerous, kid-inappropriate item and beeline to it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

More quotes

It's time yet again for some notable Julia quotes:

(As she struggled to take her Cinderella nightgown off)
JULIA: No! I can't do it!
ME: Julia, calm down. Keep trying. I know you can get it off yourself.
JULIA: No! But Mama! My sleeve isn't doing what I WANT it to be doing!

Upon awakening and coming downstairs this morning:
"Hey Mama! Can I tell you something? Okay, I'll hop into a hurricane! Okay, I'll hop into a tornado!"

JULIA: I'm ready for my new booty call!
ME: Your booty call? What's a booty call?
JULIA: It means you do a booty dance. I need you to put on some African music so I can do my booty dance!

Oh my. Wow. Anyway, I got some pictures of Julia and Nate doing the booty dance together. The best - or perhaps most disturbing - part of all is that after doing the dance Julia would subsequently lay down on the floor and splay her legs apart, very appropriately showing us her booty. Yikes.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sippy cup success

I am THRILLED that Madeleine has been taking to the sippy cup so readily; I still remember the screaming battles I had with Julia when I dared to try and replace her before-bedtime bottle with a bottle-shaped sippy cup. To combat this issue, I decided to start introducing the cup at dinner a few months before I really want to completely wean from bottles, and this past week I've been able to give her formula in her cup at dinner time, completely eliminating the bottle before bed. Not only is she accepting the sippy cup, but she is actually holding it herself without me needing to "feed" her at all. Not only that, but last night she ate the same dinner as the rest of the family - pasta and peas - rather than spoon-fed pureed veggies. I couldn't have been more excited - do I actually see an end in sight to the spoonfuls of baby food that get spit back in my face?? I got a few pictures of Madeleine with her sippy cup; it's no small feat that she's holding this thing herself, because it's kind of ginormous - in fact, I actually had trouble getting a shot in which her face wasn't half-covered by the cup:

Unfortunately, just because Madeleine is transitioning from pureed to finger foods, I am not off the hook with the spoon-feeding just yet. Despite her heroic showing with the dasparagus the previous night, Julia decided last night that she doesn't like peas anymore, and getting her to eat all her dinner required a lot of intervention and fork-feeding from me (as she would conveniently either drop the peas off the fork between plate and mouth, or take one pea at a time, guaranteeing she would run out of time to eat them before bedtime.) Here is a list of some of the excuses she gave for why she couldn't keep eating her peas:

-They don't have enough salt
-They're too sour
-They're too spicy
-They're too mushy
-Mama, I'm choking on them (after some dramatic fake coughing.)

However, one child eating independently is better than none, so I have to be thankful for what I can get!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Accomplishments and more accomplishments

Julia has had a few exciting accomplishments in the past 24 hours, beginning with last night's dinner. Despite the fact that she didn't want to eat it because "it's too fall-y," she finished ALL of her dasparagus at dinner last night! And this morning she had her last swim lesson of the summer, receiving her report card showing what skills she has learned. I even managed to get a video of her doing her "alligator walk" (a precursor to the crawl stroke) across the pool today:

She has absolutely loved swim lessons, and is quite fond of her teachers; in fact, when we were making a card for the head teacher yesterday, she wanted me to write the following message: "I want you to come over to my house and see my silly bands." However, we opted for: "Thank you for teaching me swim lessons!" instead. She was extra goofy and excited at lessons today, and after playing the water game "Fishy, fishy, cross my ocean," Julia decided it was really important to run over to her teacher in the middle of the next game to tell her: "Do you want to know something funny? MOMMY, MOMMY, CROSS MY OCEAN!" DEFINITELY worth getting the teacher's attention for that one.

And finally, Julia had to get blood taken from her arm to check her iron levels today, and she was such a brave little trooper, she didn't even cry. (Madeleine, for her part, also held together pretty well at her orthopaedic exam and x-ray confirming she does NOT have a hip dysplasia - although, according to Ethan, she was pretty steamed about the sandbags placed over her arms to keep her from trying to move all around while having her x-ray taken.) At any rate, Julia even declared that the blood draw didn't even hurt - it only pinched for one minute! Now, if we could have a little of that bravery applied towards the 85 degree, cloudless days on which she is terrified of a thunderstorm, all would be right in our world...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Girls at the breakfast table

Madeleine decided to be uncooperative this morning as I attempted to put her in her high chair, so this was the result:

I don't think I like this.

That's better.

Meanwhile, Julia decided to simultaneously look through two books while she ate her breakfast:

A little of this...

And a little of that.

And I leave you with this quote of the day from Julia:

"This feels so much better than you feel in a... in a... in a crocodile river. That would be so much better. Mama? Guess what? I was being sarcastic."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Madeleine makes music

Madeleine was shaking the maraca like a wild woman today:

Until she decided to eat it like it was a drumstick of fried chicken:

She then moved onto the xylophone:

and from there, the piano:

I'm telling you, between Madeleine's precussive predilection and Julia's penchant for making up her own songs, not to mention their parents' musical backgrounds, we have the makings of a family band somewhere down the line. You may very well wind up hearing an eclectic, classically-sung, with jazz harmonies and wildly unpredictable maraca rhythms, version of "Schoolbuses" one of these days. Keep your ears out for it.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Grinch

Julia has been big into singing the song that the Whos down in Whoville sing on Christmas Day. She's got the tune right, but that's about the only thing. "FABU FORREST, CHRISTMAS HELPING, Chirstmas bells todaaaaay....":

Friday, August 6, 2010

Gar animals

"Mama, do you know what gar animals are? They're mean, mean creatures. And Mama, do you know what gar animals eat? MAMMALS! And they live in the WOODS. They live in the kind of woods where foxes live. They play with the foxes and run around with the foxes and play all day. And do you know what? If a person comes up to a gar animal, the gar animal EATS THE PERSON! And do you know, gar animals can even hide from thunderstorms. They have a long shiny nose, and do you know what they exactly are? GARGOYLES!"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Colgate Total

Well, I was not expecting to hear this from Julia as she was brushing her teeth this evening, but hey, I'm glad to realize I've been letting her watch this tv show to excess: "On Max and Ruby, it says: 'Colgate Total. Advanced whitening and germ-fighting technology to kill germs. Colgate Total."

I'm guessing this is a commercial she's quoting, rather than the actual Max and Ruby episode, because there's certainly nothing nearly so intelligent in that show. Double-glad to realize she's paying such close attention to the ads...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A few noteworthy quotes

Julia took it upon herself to get her own yogurt out of the fridge while I was drying my hair. She brought it over to me as I was drying the last few strands and asked me to pull the foil lid off of the yogurt for her. I promised her I would do it in just a minute, as soon as I was done, to which she cried, "No, but Mama! We have to hurry and eat it all, before it gets RAW!"

I, on the other hand, was trying to make my raw food items into cooked food items for lunch, and was attempting to get the burners on the gas stove to work so I could boil some eggs. The flame would continuously light on just one half of the burner, until eventually it wouldn't light at all. I said that I was probably going to have to ask Daddy to come help me, but Julia reminded me, "No, Mama, Daddy doesn't like to be interrupt." While I'm pleased that she understands that Daddy doesn't like to be interrupt when he's working (although she occasionally disregards that preference to go upstairs and ask him if she looks so cute in her outfit), I would love it if she would realize that I ALSO don't like to be interrupt when I'm trying to do something important - as in the phone call a few days ago during which she demanded I tell her how to spell "gate."

And speaking of Daddy, Julia and I had this conversation about him, among other people, in the car on the way to swim lessons:

JULIA: Mama, Madeleine's so great.
ME: She sure is. I think so too. I really love her.
JULIA: And me too.
ME: Oh, I'm so glad you love your sister.
JULIA: No, me too, I'm so great.
ME: You're right! You're SO SO SO great. I love you so much too!
JULIA: Yeah, because, I was thinking, I remembered that's what Daddy told me.
ME: Daddy told you that you're so great?
JULIA: Yeah, I was thinking that I remembered that Daddy said that.
ME: Well, that's because it's true!
JULIA: Yeah, I know.

I almost broke out with Yia-yia's "She's so great, oh she's so great, oh Julia is so G-G-G-G-G-GREAT!" song, but alas, we had arrived at the pool so it will have to wait for some other time.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Big sister helper

This evening, I was sitting on the couch while the girls played in the living room, when suddenly Madeleine came crawling towards me, wailing, with something reddish around her lips. I picked her up and realized that she was bleeding, and figuring she must have bitten into her top lip with her brand new bottom teeth, I took a look up top and sure enough, found the little wound. There was only a tiny little bit of bleeding, and it seemed that she was more interested in a comforting snuggle than anything else, so I cradled her in my arms. I told Julia I had a really important job for her, and asked her to run upstairs to Madeleine's room and get the pacifier from her crib (normally only offered to her at nap and bedtime.) Julia asked why Madeleine needed her pacifier when it wasn't time to go to sleep, so I told her that Madeleine's lip was bleeding and I thought she needed something to help calm her down. Julia ran upstairs, on a mission, and a few minutes later she came thumping down the stairs, pacifier in hand. When she got back into the living room, she handed me the pacifier, then triumphantly held out her other hand, exclaiming, "AND, Mama, I brought you THIS!" showing me a tube of triple antibiotic ointment that we've used to dress the bandages on Julia's various scrapes and scuffs. She then advised me, "Mama, if she's bleeding, then I think you might want to use that." I almost didn't have the heart to explain to her that I couldn't actually use it on Madeleine's mouth, but seeing as Julia likes to be a second mother to Madeleine and help out even when not asked, I didn't want to take the chance that Julia would take it into her own hands to administer the ointment somewhere down the line... at any rate, bleeding was soon over, pacifier was much appreciated, and Madeleine was over it as soon as she saw something on the floor that was more interesting than being cooped up in Mommy's arms.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Yesterday afternoon, Julia was playing with her Winnie-the-Pooh computer and accompanying educational cards; the basic gist is that she inserts a card, and the fake Winnie-the-Pooh voice asks her all kinds of questions related to the pictures on the cards. ("Is the kite to the left or the right of Piglet?" "What letter does kite begin with?" Do you know how to spell the word cloud?" etc.) While she loves playing these games, Ethan and I are not as into it, since we are the ones who have to answer her questions about how to spell words and what letters they begin with (for example, when I was on a very important phone call and she was screaming into the kitchen at me, "Mama! Mama! But I need to know what letter the word GATE begins with!") Ethan decided to give Julia some skills to be able to figure out these things on her own, so when she asked him how to spell the word "chair," he instructed her to find the chair in the picture. Then he asked, "And what letters do you see there?" Julia's response was: "Uh... C, D, A, I, SEVEN!" Hmm. Not quite ready to do the spelling on her own yet, I guess.

On another language-based topic, Ethan and I are both fairly certain Madeleine has spoken her first word, but one can never be 100% sure with baby babbles. She has taken to saying, "Ba. Ba. Ba," when she is playing with a ball of any sort. In fact, when she saw Julia on her giant hop ball out in the backyard yesterday, she started crawling over in delight, squawking "Ba! Ba! Ba!" However, "ba" is not exactly an uncommon sound for a baby to make. It is entirely possible that she is just vocalizing and baby-babbling and we're ascribing meaning to it. It doesn't help that she only wants to say it on her own terms. If I try to give her a ball and sit there cooing at her, "See the ball? Where's the ball? Can you say ball?" she looks at me with complete disinterest. If SHE is the one who discovers the ball and goes crawling off after it ecstatically, she is highly likely to start with the "Ba. Ba. Ba." business. So, it may be an first actual word, which is exciting, or we may just be delusional parents imagining our child is way more advanced than she really is. Time shall tell!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Julia has invented a new kind of sport called "boomerskating." In order to boomerskate, one first must have the appropriate outfit on. Here is what the boomerskating get-up should look like:

Basically, from what I've gathered, boomerskating involves dressing up as shown above, then taking one high-heeled shoe and resting it on one of the rods connecting the wheels of a baby stroller, and finally, using the other foot to push off from the ground so that the stroller rolls along with the boomerskater riding on it. Or, if my explanation is not satisfactory, I can offer Julia's description of the sport:

"Boomerskating means, like, you skate in the rain. Because, like, it can cool you off. Because your feet are wet, so sometimes you like to do it in the rain. Boomerskating is kind of like roller skating; you roll on your feet, with shoes on, in the rain. Okay? That's how you boomerskate. And Boomerskating is a type of skate. The stroller is the boomerskate."

I then asked her, "What do you do when you boomerskate?" Her response was: "Like, you know, just talk to other people you meet, and look for people, and you can boomerskate over to the fireworks, and anything you can do is to boomerskate."

Does that clear it up? If not, here are some pictures of her in action so you can see the boomerskating process:

Madeleine does not boomerskate, but she did decide to try and play the Irish pennywhistle. I told her it would be a little easier if she tried using it right-side up:

That's better.

Uh-oh. Stuffed it in too far and gagged herself. Needless to say, that toy went away and has been deemed inappropriate for a 10-month-old.