Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve

We spent New Year's Eve enjoying the various activities of "New Years Needham," a First-Night like event in our town, in which local buildings open their doors to host musical performances, puppet shows, storytelling, dancing, magic shows, and so forth. Our first stop was a puppet show version of "Peter Rabbit." Madeleine spent most of her time playing with my travel coffee mug, getting coffee all over her fingers and occasionally tipping the cup upside down to dribble coffee all over the nice library rug. When she wasn't occupied with my coffee, she was either playing with the laces on other peoples shoes or grabbing and caressing the hair of kids sitting around us. She was occasionally interested in the puppet show, watching the stage with rapt attention, and shouting out, "Whatzat?" at random moments. Julia enjoyed the show, although had to hide her face in my shoulder every time it appeared Farmer MacGregor might catch Peter. All in all, it was a much better experience for Julia than the last puppet show we saw at the library, during which she had a loudly hysterical melt-down about wanting to go home because she was afraid the Very Hungry Caterpillar was going to eat her.

Following the show, we headed over to the Creative Movement Center, for open gym, arts and crafts, balloon animals, and temporary tattoos. The girls loved open gym time, and Madeleine decided she was bound and determined to go on the big slide as many times as she could. After each slide down, she would toddle back around to the stairs and start her ascent back to the top. All was well and good when she seemed to be the only one in line at the slide, but as soon as bigger kids started joining in, the world was made to wait every few minutes as Madeleine made her toddly, 1-year-old way to the steps, up, and down again. In between her slidings numerous older kids would rocket their way up and down, only to be held up all over again as soon as Madeleine took her next turn.

The highlight of the day was a ride - make that three - on the kiddie train at Memorial Park. Madeleine spent the first two rides looking stoically around as if she had no idea that anything different or unusual was going on. It seemed to dawn on her by ride #3, though, because she spent our last turn around the park exclaiming, "Whee!" with a look of glee on her face. When I started putting the girls back into the double stroller after the ride closed for the day, Madeleine started writhing out of her buckle, reaching desperately for the train and crying at the unfairness of being taken from one slowly moving vehicle and placed into another.

Our last stop was Town Hall, where Julia made an instant friend. A little girl came up to her and said something which was inaudible to me, due to the loud, pumping music coming from the speakers. I saw Julia nod, and next thing I knew, both girls were tromping through the snow, Julia in her sneakers, chasing after each other. The friendship was put on hold minutes later, however, when both girls got stuck nearly knee-deep in snow and the fun of the game ceased to exist. We decided it was best to head to dinner and get Julia's wet little feet warmed up.

A few pictures from the afternoon to share with you all, and to all a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My new shirt

ME: Julia, look, do you see I'm wearing the new shirt you and Daddy picked out for me?
JULIA: (smiling widely) Mmm-hmm, but, uh, Mama, this shirt looks like it's purple, but Daddy thought it was brown.
ME: It's definitely purple.
JULIA: Well, maybe it's just purplish-brown.
ME: Well, it is sort of a dark purplish-brown color.
JULIA: Uh, um, Mama, do you know how me and Daddy thought you would love this shirt?
ME: How?
JULIA: Because we saw an African-American... uh... I mean... um... a... a loser, and the loser was wearing this shirt but it was orangish-red, so I thought you would like the red color, but Daddy thought you would like the purple.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Toilet paper fairy

Julia's creative streak really seems to flourish while she's on the toilet. Today when I went into the bathroom to help her wipe, I noticed the toilet paper was all bunched up on the roll. I ripped off a decent amount and was told by Julia, "Toilet paper REALLY wants to fly. She has such beautiful fairy wings. But she's upset now because somebody ripped them off."

Really, all it takes is a roll of toilet paper to entertain this kid. Or a keyhole. Excuse me, I mean a Wise Old Eye.

Madeleine has been entertaining herself in different ways. Here is a photo montage on what my little imp has been up to:

I keep finding her crawling around on the dining room table.

What? I'm not doing anything.

Then she decided to wear Julia's hat for awhile.

Until Julia got territorial about her hat and I had to find Madeleine a different one.

Then everyone was happy.

Monday, December 27, 2010

A bunch of goofy stuff

This morning we made two varieties of pancakes: chocolate chip, with Ghirardelli chocolate, and spice, with a blend of cinnamon, anise, nutmeg, and ginger. Can you guess which flavor Madeleine had?

Apparently the pancakes weren't filling enough for her, because she went over to the built-in cupboard and helped herself to some sea salt and lime tortilla chips after getting down from her high chair.

Aside from finding a way to obtain food despite any obstacles in her way, Madeleine also has a few new favorite skills, among them shaking her head from side to side, as well as pointing at various objects and asking, "Whatzat?" In fact, she so loves asking "whatzat" that she sometimes asks before having determined which item she is actually inquiring about. She'll ask, "Whatzat?" while pointing her finger around in several directions, finally landing on a fixed point, waiting for us to tell her exactly what it is. Then she'll adjust her finger ever so slightly, or sometimes, continue to point at the same spot, all the while asking, "Whatzat?" I think her delight in being able to say this particular phrase is greater than her desire to actually know what things are.

When she's not pointing and asking "whatzat?," she is most likely pointing at something and declaring, "DAAAA!" This new game evolved between Madeleine and Ethan, but I have recently been brought into the circle as well. The game continues as long as all parties continue pointing at each other and exclaiming, "DAAAA!" At some point someone (usually the adult) gets tired of the game and decides to move on, but until that point, it's a captivatingly stimulating experience. DAAAAA!

Here is a little video of Madeleine performing her various new tricks:

Last but not least, I share with you a photo taken of the girls with their aunties, using Caitlyn's face-distortion device on her computer. Words cannot really do it justice:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

From the Rowe household to yours, Merry Christmas!

Julia was very excited to get some new Little People figurines, including a princess and her royal coach. Cartacarizza and Project Daddy are now the proud parents of Princess Mia, who was on her way to the ball for the first time:

The beaming parents

The lovely Princess Mia (This is the name she came with; I told Julia she could come up with her own name for the princess if she wanted, to which she responded, "No, I think I want to stay it the same.")

The whole family on their way to the ball. I like that it looks like Cartacarizza and Project Daddy are making out in the back of the carriage.

Madeleine got many exciting gifts as well, including her new favorite book "Peek-A-Who," which we discovered at the town Creative Movement center. However, it seems that, in typical Madeleine style, she is most enthralled with the cardboard boxes the gifts came in:

Merry Christmas, Καλα Χριστουγεννα, all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Play-date fun

Today we had a play-date with Nate and Anja, and instead of "Shoe By Shoe: To the Beach," Julia wanted to do her "Booty Call dance" again. This time she didn't insist on African music, but since we were listening to Bela Fleck's Christmas album with banjo and Tuvan throat singing, perhaps she felt the music was danceable enough. Here is the outfit she put on for her booty call dance:

It's kind of frightening to imagine, but I can kind of picture this on the runways...

Madeleine sported her pink hat for awhile, but ultimately abandoned the whole hat idea and decided, instead, to wear a cardboard box:

And to wrap up this post, here is a video of Julia singing her very compact, non-numerically correct version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," among other songs:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Snippets of today's conversations

Various conversations with Julia throughout the course of the day:

#1: Following a trip to the potty to relieve an upset stomach

ME: Julia, how's your tummy feeling now?
JULIA: (joyfully) It feel as goooood as a stone!

I'm glad she felt as good as a stone. I do wonder, though, if "good as a stone" is quite as good as "good as lava." I guess I can't expect things will always live up to "good as lava" standards.

#2: Following a discussion of different things people like to eat for lunch

JULIA: Mommy? I know four girls, and one of them loves to eat a salad sandwich.
ME: A salad sandwich? That's silly! Actually, there really are kinds of salad sandwiches. You can have a tuna salad sandwich, or a chicken salad sandwich.
JULIA: Mmm-hmm. But Mommy? Those girls are just pretend, so this kind of salad sandwich is a circle piece of bread, and another circle piece of bread, and a big piece of salad in the middle!

#3: Conversation Julia and I had while I was putting away the dishes from the dishwasher

JULIA: Why did nobody want them?
ME: Want what?
JULIA: THEM! (pointing at the silverware I'm unloading from the dishwasher and putting away.)
ME: What do you mean, why did nobody want them?
JULIA: Why did nobody want them?
ME: When did nobody want them?
JULIA: Well, they never told me.
ME: Told you what?
JULIA: They never told me they didn't want them.
ME: Who never told you?
JULIA: Nobody!

Oh, nobody. Okay, I see now. It suddenly all makes sense. ???

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Baby Jesus joins the Rowe household

Julia has adopted the baby doll Madeleine got for her birthday, although I believe she will give him back after Christmas; for the time being, he is serving an important function. I present to you Baby Jesus:

The rest of the important figures in the Christmas story are played by real people, not baby dolls, however. Julia informed me that she's Mary, and I'm Anna, Mary's mother. Ethan is Joseph, and Madeleine, who Julia assigned to the part of Jesus last Christmas, now has a new role. In Julia's words, "Um, I think I'll let her be the angel." From playing Jesus to Gabriel, Madeleine is currently the only member of our household to take on a role opposite her real gender.

Jesus had a baby party recently. Tamara, our wonderful baby-sitter, and Madeleine were among the guests. Other notable attendees included babies Dashiell, Julia, Boo-boo, Madeleine, Aria, and the one baby whose name changes on a regular basis (today it's baby Serena.) The party was unfortunately cut short when Madeleine (the real one, not the baby doll) pulled the blanket, which Julia was using as a tablecloth, off the little art table, but until that point, a great time was had by all.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Julia's view of the world

Yesterday, I took Julia on the Needham commuter rail, which, just for the day, was posing as the Polar Express, taking children who had purchased a "golden ticket" on a ride to West Roxbury (aka the North Pole) to meet Santa. Needless to say, she had a blast, getting cookies and hot chocolate, a little goody bag, singing Christmas carols, and hearing a live reading of the book "The Polar Express." We had a host/conductor in our car who is from West Roxbury and who speaks with a very heavy Boston accent. I guess the sound of his accent must have reminded Julia of her CD of "Make Way for Ducklings," because when we got off the train, she announced to Ethan joyously, "Daddy! And GUESS who was on our train, talking in a microphone? TED KENNEDY!"

Today was another kind of Christmas adventure for Julia, as the church school got a visit from Santa and little gifts both from him and from their teachers. She was so excited during the car ride home that she couldn't seem to stop chattering for a moment. She spent a lot of the ride pointing out every little thing she saw out the window, including a family walking through Harvard Square: "Mommy, look, it's a whole dark family!"

Now, I have not really talked much about race with Julia, aside from saying that God makes people in all different colors and sizes. She has never really seemed to observe a great difference in people with different skin color than our own, and I have been happy to see that she just accepts everyone for who they are, despite differences in skin, hair/eye color, gender, age, size, etc. However, I decided, after her comment about the "dark family" that today might be the day to talk about the acceptable terms used to describe different racial backgrounds. "Those people who had the really dark brown skin are African American," I said. "There are many different terms to describe people of all different colors." I then talked about how we could be termed "Caucasian," and how sometimes people use the words "black and white" but that really, those aren't accurate descriptions of the colors of skin. I talked about all shades in between dark brown and peach and explained how there are many different terms for different cultures and skin tones. I finished off by saying something along the lines of, "Isn't it wonderful that God gave us so many beautiful colors in the things that grow on Earth? Just like plants and flowers and fruits come in all different colors, so do people, and it makes our Earth so colorful and beautiful." Julia's response to this attempt at describing racial differences in an accessible, loving, accepting way? "Mommy, um, I know a kind of skin that NOBODY even has a name for it, and it's kind of black colored, and people don't know what to call it, so they call it CHICKEN POX BEARD! Isn't that silly, Mommy?"


Later on in our drive, Julia announced with delight, "Mommy! I just saw TWO losers, so that must be a mall!" I affirmed that we were driving through a strip mall of sorts, and then, since I had already handled one big lesson on terminology, decided it was time to explain that those "losers" are in fact called "mannequins," and that a loser is really a term for a team or a person who is not the winner. Phew. Knocking all kinds of subjects off my list of things to explain to Julia.

Apparently I did *really* well, seeing as after we got home and I began telling the story of seeing two losers to Ethan, Julia chimed in with her correction, "No, Mommy, AFRICAN AMERICANS!"

All I need now is for her to tell someone that her mommy taught her that losers are really African Americans and I get to look like the worst mother on earth. (And on a beautiful earth filled with so many different colors, at that!)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Madeleine on the Catwalk

Madeleine decided to sport a new fashionable look yesterday:

While I admire the cutting edge, avant-garde style of the hat over the eyes, I thought I'd adjust it just a little for her runway walk:

Friday, December 17, 2010

Poufy the Gimelighter

As some of you may have seen on facebook a few weeks back, Julia has created yet another alter-ego for herself, known as "Poufy the Gimelighter." For those of you who are not familiar with gimelighters, here are a few facts and explanations about them, provided to me by Julia:

*A Gimelighter can go to bed in the morning, but in the night, they make music and buy little toy children.

*A Gimelighter means that they live in a nice heart castle and they travel in the night and sleep in the morning.

*Daddy's Puffy the Gimelighter, Mommy is Pumpkin the Gimelighter, and Madeleine's Witchy the Gimelighter.

*Gimelighters make jazz music. They play trumpets and loud violins, they play piano, they play on a tuba, they plan on the flute, they play on the drums, because there's lots and lots of gimelighters.

In conclusion, Julia says, "I think that's all I know."

If anyone would like to apply to be a Gimelighter, send your applications to Poufy the Gimelighter, along with an audition tape of some jazz music.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Woo Ba Be!

Here's the little tidbit Julia shared with me this morning:

? I know four girls, and it was Christmas Eve, and their mommy said they couldn't go outside because their mommy checked the weather and it was a hundred and point nine TWENTY! And the kids said 'Woo, Ba, Bee!' to go outside."

Madeleine might occasionally say "Woo, Ba, Bee," or something like that, but her interests lie elsewhere. She has been very hands-on with her snowman ornament from Nana, which she loves to pull off the tree and walk around with. Today she decided to give it some hugs and kisses while she toddled around holding it, temporarily pausing in her affections to use it as a phone:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Julia as Mary

Julia decided to dress up as the Virgin Mary, using baby doll blankets wrapped around various parts of her body:

She also had the following report for me:

"Mom, do you know why Mary just plods along? Because she thinks Joseph doesn't want to go and have a baby so she plods along and Joseph just follows Mary. But it's NOT true! He wants to have a baby, but just Mary was just walking slowly because she had a baby in her tummy. She's plodding along while they're getting to Bethlehem."

Good thing I have Julia to explain things to me. I've always wondered why Mary plods along, haven't you?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Coloring book wackiness

Here are the various goofball things Julia had to say about the pages in her new coloring book:

"It looks like Elmo and Zoe are playing a kind of game where Elmo is the grandfather and Zoe is the daughter." I guess Elmo's walking stick makes him appear elderly to Julia.

JULIA: Daddy, I know a show called "Now We Put In Cookies."
ETHAN: Oh yeah? What's it about?
JULIA: Well, I know it, but I don't know what's on it.

JULIA: Uh-oh, Mommy, I shoudn't have gone this way, because look, I wound up back where I was before.
ME: Oh, you took the long way, huh?
JULIA: But Mommy, are there any paths on this maze that are blocked?
ME: No, nothing is blocked, it's just that certain paths make you kind of loop around and wind up back where you were.
JULIA: Like which ones?
ME: Well, like the path you just took. Remember you just said, "I shouldn't have gone this way because I wound up back where I was before?"
JULIA: Um, Mommy, have I ever seen it?
ME: Seen what?
JULIA: (pointing at the picture) This.
ME: This picture?
JULIA: No, the show of it. Of Bert getting lost on his roller skates.
ME: Um, I don't think there is a show of it. It's just a picture.
JULIA: Well, but then how did Bert say "I shouldn't have gone this way because I wound up back where I was before?"
ME: (silent.) Julia, YOU said that.
JULIA: I did?

Was she so deep into her imagination as she drew a path that she momentarily thought she was Bert??

Friday, December 10, 2010

Baths and babies

So, yesterday I was getting the girls ready for the bath, causing excitement of all sorts in both kids. Madeleine was toddling around carrying toys when I said, "Madeleine, do you want to take a bath?," prompting her to drop her armful of play-things and toddle off to the bathroom, climbing into the tub fully clothed and then screaming over the injustice of me taking her out of the tub to take her clothes off. I'm glad to know she greets her bathing time with such happy anticipation. Julia, on the other hand, was perfectly willing to take a bath, but not over-the-top excited like Madeleine was. Instead, she found something else to get delighted about:

JULIA: (flushing the toilet after going potty) Mom, is that SO cool?
ME: It sure is.
JULIA: Does it make you feel magic in your heart?
ME: Uh, yeah, it does.
JULIA: Does it make you feel like waking up in a thunderstorm?
ME: Yup, it does.
JULIA: Does it make you feel like Mommy's in the toilet, getting flushed away?
ME: No, it doesn't.
JULIA: (disappointed) Why not?

Another thing Madeleine has been excited about lately is babies. She's going through a baby phase that is similar to the one Julia went through around this age. Every glimpse of a baby, whether it be a picture, a baby doll, her reflection, or the kid on her yo-baby container, causes her to urgently exclaim, "Baby!" followed by an attempt to give the baby a hug. (Or her version of a hug, which is to lay her head down on the baby of the moment.) Lunch time has suddenly become more complicated, as she needs to hug the baby on her yogurt in between spoonfuls of food, and if I'm not careful to remember what's coming, a yogurt-filled spoonful and and Madeleine's head wind up colliding. Here is some baby-hugging caught on video:


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Julia's Wish Lish

I got an e-mail from Auntie Shannon today, asking what Julia would like for Christmas. I turned the question over to Julia, expecting that she would list one or more of the following items from the wish list she has been citing for months:

-A Cinderella doll
-An Ariel doll
-Polly Pockets
-Littlest Pet Shop
-A play coffee maker
-An American girl doll

Instead, she rattled off an entirely different set of items, including:

-Ice skates
-A toy roller coaster
-A toy airplane
-A squeaky mouse
-A Care Bear puzzle
-A dinosaur that can turn into a cloud

Hmm. Good luck, Auntie Shannon. And seeing as I already bought several items from her earlier wish list, I sure hope she's not disappointed to get a Cinderella doll and a play coffee maker instead of a dinosaur that can turn into a cloud.

I'd have to point out, however, that her powers of imagination might make it entirely possible to pretend she has her squeaky mouse and toy roller coaster and what not even without having such toys in hand. We were late to school today because it took Julia over half an hour to eat even a few bites of her lunch, all due to the fact that she was completely distracted by a broken chair rung that was sitting on the table. Did I say broken chair rung? Excuse me, I meant magic wand, which she used to make magic spell after magic spell, narrating every moment of what went on in between spells. No amount of prodding from me to eat her lunch could draw her attention away from waving the chair rung around and granting one wish after another to herself (or whatever character she herself was playing.)


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Turning round and round

Madeleine's new feat: turning around in a circle and switching directions. Or, sometimes, staying in one spot and repeatedly turning in circles, just for fun.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wacky words

Here are the latest wacky things that came out of Julia's mouth:

JULIA: Mom, are my feet bigger now? (sticking her bare feet towards my face.)
ME: Yes, they are.
JULIA: When I was only three, one foot was big, and one foot was little.

ME: (after having given her ibuprofin for her sore throat/cold) Julia, how are you feeling now?
JULIA: Gooooooood as lava!

JULIA: (While snuggling with Daddy) Daddy, I'm TWENTY Julias!
ETHAN: Twenty Julias?
JULIA: Yeah, and you're ELEVEN Daddies.

And on a side note, clearly I cannot take my eyes off from Madeleine for a minute, not even to sit down and write a blog post. I heard her toddle into the kitchen and could hear her talking to herself, and when I went to peek at her I found her in the hallway, just hanging out in her booster seat:

The gate to the hallway is now closed and shall remain that way.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

O Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree is up, which has been an enormous source of joy for Julia. In fact, she declared that yesterday was "the best day I EVER had!" after returning home from Volante Farms with Ethan, proudly showing off "the PERFECT Christmas tree." Not only did they return with a tree, but also with four new ornaments to hang, one for each of us. Julia's ornament was a mermaid that she named Cassandra, and she has spent an inordinate amount of time lying on her tummy at the base of the tree playing with Cassandra, who is "The Youngest Mermaid," but who is able to grow older at long last thanks to a magical spell cast on her by one of the other ornaments. I asked if I could take a picture of The Youngest Mermaid for the blog. "Sure," she replied, holding Cassandra up for the camera:

Then, after I took the photo, she asked, "Did she smile?"

Ethan and I had been agonizing over where to put the tree so that we could potentially block Madeleine from gaining access to it, and after all our efforts, it turned out she was completely uninterested in the tree. Her newest fascination has been sitting at Julia's little art table; she now prefers to take her meals there along with Julia:

In fact, this morning I got totally ditched at the big table by everyone:

And, cycling back to the original theme of this post, in an effort to have some sort of correlating conclusion, I present to you our tree:

Ta da!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The guy in Julia's closet

JULIA: Dad, do you remember this? 'There's a guy in my closet!'
ME: Oh, we sure do remember that.
JULIA: But do you know why I thought there was a guy in my closet?
JULIA: Well, because my closet door was open, and it was dark in my room, and I thought my clothes looked like two DUCKS!

Wow. It now makes perfect sense why she thought there was a guy in her closet. I had thought it was simply because she was having a totally normal childhood fear, but that's because I didn't know about the two ducks.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Big bash in Bethlehem

Today was the Angel's birthday, and she had a big birthday party in the play kitchen freezer, complete with all the manger folks as guests and a chocolate worm cake, fresh out of the play microwave. Here they are, having a grand old time at the party:

Here are their yummy party treats:

Julia informed me that the Angel was turning four. Then she later informed me that actually, the Angel had turned eleven. And the birthday isn't all; Angel has another exciting bit of news to share, revealed to me by this conversation:

JULIA: (waving two manger people around in the air) Mom, which one looks like it's flying?
ME: Uh, the angel.
JULIA: (putting the Angel down and waving the other figure around)
ME: Oh, he's flying too? Is that a Wise Man?
JULIA: Wise Men. Because she's a girl.
ME: Oh, it's a wise woman?
JULIA: Yeah, she's a girl, and she's having a baby. The Angel and the Wise Men are having a baby and they're gonna have a family. They said it's a baby girl.

Apparently, the child of Gabriel and Balthazar (or one of the other Wise Men, whose names escape me... Caspar and Melchior maybe?) turns out to be twins, named Kiki and Caroline. But they're still in the Wise Men's tummy. I will send out the birth announcement if or when it comes...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Little helpers. Or not.

Last night while I was making dinner, Madeleine stood wailing for me at the gate between the dining room and kitchen. I had to just tune it out and ignore her, because I wasn't about to let her into the kitchen near the hot stove. After about ten minutes she quieted down and crawled off to play, and I exhaled a huge sigh of relief, thinking she was learning to self-soothe and entertain herself. After I had things simmering enough that I could walk away from the stove for a minute, I poked my head into the dining room to check on the girls and discovered the reason for Madeleine's quiet, engaged behavior:

In case you can't tell, those are tissues that she had shredded all over the table.

And all over the floor:

Helpful child.

My other helpful child gave me a dressing down this morning. I asked her if she saw my water glass, and if so, could she bring it to me?
"Mom," she scolded, staring at me like I'm a big dummy, pointing at my water glass on the table. "It's right here. Come on, Mom, that's not very fast."

I'm guessing that by "fast" she means "difficult," since I often reprimand her for whining to me that she can't find some toy or another, when she hasn't even really looked and it's right in plain sight. In fact, I could hear myself in her tone and gestures. "Come on, Julia, it's right here. That's not very hard to find. You didn't even bother to look..."

I have created a little mini-me. As Madeleine would say, "UH-OH!"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Madeleine, keeping me busy as always

A few pictures of what Madeleine has been up to these past few days:

I'm just gonna climb on this chair, then stand up on it and try to reach things, Mom.

Now I'm gonna poke myself in the eye trying to put these on...

How do they look?

I think I'll just hang out in my toy bin for awhile.

Oh, hi Julia. (Thanks for the sister dresses, Nana!)

This is a more comfortable place to sit.

And last but not least, a video of Madeleine's most recent phone "conversation":