Monday, February 28, 2011

It's raining, it's pouring

Madeleine isn't the only one wanting to wear her coat around the house today. Julia was so excited by the rain that she simply couldn't wait until we actually had to go outside, so she opted to play indoors in all her rain gear until it was time to head out for gymnastics:

But of course Madeleine joined in too:

I have a suspicion that come summer, they'll insist on sporting bathing suits around the house all day.

And on another note, I bring you random quote of the day, by Julia:

"Mom! This balloon is FUNKY and GUNKY!"

Sunday, February 27, 2011

More "dress up" and quotes

Madeleine decided she needed to wear her winter coat and boots while she played around the house this morning. She even kept her outerwear on while eating lunch. I suppose it's no different than playing dress-up:

Meanwhile, Julia has been full of such insightful observations today:

"Mommy! 'A' and 'A' rhyme!" (After I pointed out that they were in fact the same word, rather than rhyming words, she insisted that because they sound the same, they rhyme.)

"Mommy, in the My Little Pony movie, I think that Applejack is just her nickname, because I know that pony is a girl, so it must just be her nickname." (Never mind the fact that Julia has a purple fairy doll that she named Jack, who is also a girl.)

(After jumping into my lap with ferocity and jabbing her knee into my pelvis) "It's okay, Mommy. You can open your eyes. You're okay. Mommy, do you need some Ethan?"

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Madeleine's new friend

Uh-oh. Madeleine seems to have made friends with a total loser:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Madeleine's new style

Madeleine has graduated from her phase of wearing hats around the house all day; here is her new in-house fashion statement:

She has been absorbing more and more of what she hears in the world around her. Yesterday she walked around the kitchen, exclaiming to herself, "No no touch! No no touch!" And last night when she was trying to get her hands on Julia's chocolate lollipop dessert, I calmed Julia down by saying, "I'll just get her a cookie so she won't be grabbing at your lollipop." Next thing I knew, Madeleine was beelining towards the kitchen, where she planted herself underneath the cupboard where I hid the Girl Scout cookies, screeching with her arm extended upwards, crying "Cookie!" I had no idea she even knew what a cookie was, let alone where I kept them, seeing as I've let her have maybe two Girl Scout cookies this entire winter. But her knowledge of the secret cookie stash is balanced out by the fact that she DOES appear to actually be listening when I say "No no touch" - at least enough so that the phrase has stuck in her head. Next goal: actually responding to the command. Small steps...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bagels and goldfish for breakfast

This morning, Julia and I had the following exchange:

ME: Julia, what would you like on your bagel?
JULIA: Um, a fluffer.
ME: You want a fluffer on your bagel?
JULIA: No, I want a bagel that's a fluffer!

One of the many ways in which her parents have rubbed off on her. (I must point out an earlier exchange Ethan and I had, months ago: ME: Which bagel do you want? ETHAN: That one's fine. ME: Are you sure? These ones have no hole. ETHAN: No, that one's good. ME: Don't you care about fluffers? ETHAN: I care about fluffers! I just don't care about no hole.)

Meanwhile, Madeleine decided to forgo the bagel all together, and instead went into the kitchen cabinet and got herself a little baby bowl, then went to the dining room cupboard, opened it up and pulled out a bag of Goldfish, then sat down on the dining room floor to pour some goldfish into her bowl.

It's amazing how their quiet observation of their parents' speech and behaviors has sunk in so deep...

Monday, February 21, 2011


Julia and I built castles out of blocks today, and she delighted in the fact that her tower was taller than mine:

In fact, once she broke out the Little People, who inhabited her castle, they had a discussion about the size of her building:

-"Wow! This is a really big tower!" (This was said by Laurie, who is not a member of the Royal Family, but is Princess Mia's friend.)
-"It's two feet tall and wide!' said Princess Mia, dancing around her bed."
-"You should show everyone around your castle."
-"All right, Mother,' Princess Mia said."

Princess Mia and Laurie in the castle.

After Princess Mia and Laurie went inside the castle for the tour, it seems Cartacarizza and Project Daddy forgot they had suggested she show Laurie around, because they couldn't seem to find her:

PROJECT DADDY: Where did she go? Did she go in the tower?
MIA: Hello, Mother! Hello, Father!
CARTACARIZZA: Oh, you're teaching Laurie in there?
MIA: Yes I am. That's my friend alright!
Princess Mia then broke into an on-the-spot Julia-composed song about friends.

When that was over, the Little People had the following conversation:

PROJECT DADDY: Cartacarizza? Here, dear. Come sit down in your local chair.
(Julia's interjection to me: "Mommy, Project Daddy was saying that to Cartacarizza, because she was being too busy. She was, like, picking so many flowers.")
CARTACARIZZA: Well, I'm not going to sit down. It's bedtime.
PROJECT DADDY: Please, please stay in your chair.
CARTACARIZZA: Come on kids, come lay down.
MIA: Why?
PROJECT DADDY: It's bedtime.
LAURIE: What did you make for me?
PROJECT DADDY: Here, this is your bed right here.
JULIA, AS NARRATOR: But she STILL couldn't resist sitting down.
(Julia, to me: "Mommy! Project Daddy said, 'Don't go to bed, stay in your chair!' But she couldn't resist staying in her chair because she was tired! So she hopped out of her chair, and laid down in her bed.")

Before long, another Little People figurine, Sarah, had joined the castle group, and the game ended with all the available Little People standing on the castle, chanting, "This is the way we stand up on the day!"

And so the Little People stood up on the day and lived happily ever after.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The tuning fork game

Julia asked me a few days ago what our tuning fork was. I tried to explain and demonstrate by putting it up to her ear after whacking it so she could hear the pitch resonating. I told her that the tone she heard was the note A, and that I could listen to that in order to figure what note to start singing on. It's a really hard concept for a child with no knowledge of reading music or singing particular pitches to understand, but I didn't realize how little she understood my explanation until today. She came over to me with the tuning fork, saying, "Mommy, I just need to use this for a minute, okay?" I gave her the go-ahead, and she said to me excitedly, "Okay, so you hold it and put it to your ear, and I'm going to sing you a song." "Do you want me to sing you the pitch?" I asked her, wondering why I was supposed to hold the tuning fork while she sang. "No, no, you just put that up to your ear and listen to it and I'm going to sing." "Okay," I said, still not getting it, and whacked the fork, listened to the pitch, and sang it for her. "No, no, I'm going to sing!" she corrected me, as if I had been goofing around trying to start singing in her place. She then looked at me really seriously and asked, "Mama? Do I need to do A?" "I can sing you an A," I said, again singing the pitch. "No, I'm gonna sing Mommy! You just hold that up to your ear and listen!" So I put the tuning fork up to my ear and simultaneously listened to the sound of the A resonating from the fork and the sound of Julia singing "Frere Jacques." After she was done, it was my turn to sing, and her turn to listen to the tuning fork. We did this back and forth for about six songs or so, at which point she lost interest and went scampering off to play something else.

Interesting concept of what the tuning fork is used for, but then again, this is Julia, who is capable of making up a wacky, imaginative use for just about anything.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Belle and Ariel save the day

Julia and I just played a riveting pretend game with her princess dolls. She was Belle and Jasmine, and I got to be Ariel. I was a miserable failure as Ariel and needed constant reprimands and corrections from Julia on what to say (and not to say) as the game unfolded. Here's the exciting story of Belle and Ariel and their baby-sitter turned mother turned baby-sitter Jasmine:

JULIA: Okay, we have to bring them to the park and the park is the top of the couch.
ME: Okay, hang on one second while I help Madeleine.
JULIA: But come on, Mommy, we have to sing at the park and they're singing "Rat tat tat, clap clap clap."
ME: Okay, let's sing. (taking Ariel and dancing her around) Rat tat tat, clap clap clap!
JULIA: Noooo, you have to bring her to the park! The park is on top of the couch!
ME: Oh, okay, sorry. (Putting Ariel on the top of the couch) Rat tat tat, clap clap clap.
JULIA: Nooooo, Mommy! You have to really clap!
ME: Oh, okay. Rat tat tat (clapping my hands)
JULIA: No, you have to make THEM clap!
ME: (clapping Ariel's cloth hands together) Rat tat tat!
JULIA: (exapserated) No, you have to do it like this: (clapping Belle's hands together) Rat tat tat, clap clap clap.
ME: (imitating Belle with Ariel.)
JULIA: Okay, Mommy, now Jasmine is the evil mother, and she's going to put a spell on them!
ME: Oh no, hurry, let's escape before she puts a spell on us! (Diving Ariel off the couch into make-pretend water.)
JULIA: No Mommy! You don't do that! They have to talk to their evil mother.
ME: Okay.
JULIA: (holding up Jasmine) Girls, it's time to go to sleep.
ME: (laying Ariel down on the couch.) Good-night.
JULIA: (holding up Jasmine again) Now it's time to wake up!
ME: No, I don't want to wake up, I'm still tired!
JULIA: No, no, Mommy, that's not what you say!
ME: Okay, what do I say?
JULIA: Well, you have to go to the park where there's a spell that will make you fall asleep.
ME: I don't want to fall asleep, evil mother!
JULIA: No, Mommy, they have to go to the park and find the bell that chimes, and when the bell chimes then the evil mother will turn back into the baby-sitter because she was the baby-sitter before.
ME: Oh, okay.
JULIA: So come on, Ariel, let's go to the park!
ME: Okay!
JULIA: No, Mommy, the park is the top of the couch.
ME: Oh, yeah. (putting Ariel up there.)
JULIA: Now we fall asleep.
ME: (laying Ariel face down.)
JULIA: Wake up! Let's clean up the park!
ME: Okay! (singing) Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up...
JULIA: No! Mommy, we're not singing that song!
ME: Oh, okay. (singing) Let's clean up, let's clean up, come on everybody, let's clean up...
JULIA: Okay, the park is all clean. And look, we found the bell! We have to make it chime!
ME: (singing) Ding dong ding dong ding dong ding dong
JULIA: Okay! The evil mother turned back into the baby-sitter!
ME: Hooray! We got rid of the evil mother!
JULIA: (running off) Uh, Daddy, it's time for me to take my bath now.

I guess she was getting as tired of the game as I was.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sisterly love

Julia and Madeleine have been especially enamored with each other of late; Madeleine wants to do everything her big sister does, and Julia has really delighted in seeing Madeleine develop into a walking, talking kid and play-mate. Of course, sometimes I have to intervene, since Madeleine seems determined to do all of the "big kid" things Julia is doing, even if they're not actually safe for someone her size. I took the girls to Open Gym at the movement center in town yesterday, and had to monitor Madeleine as she attempted to swing from the parallel bars just like Julia. The big hit of open gym was the trampoline; Madeleine wanted to climb on every time Julia was jumping on it, and luckily, she quickly realized that it was more fun if she just got on for the ride rather than tried to stand and jump herself. She preferred to lay on her stomach with her chin in her hands, getting bounced up and down with each of Julia's jumps. My favorite part was when she would try to talk while being jostled around. "Aaaaaatzaaaaaat?" she would ask, like a bleating goat, attempting to lift her hand up and point at something as her body flailed around.

Julia has been a great "baby-sitter" for Madeleine as well, filling in with some of my duties if I'm tied up. Last night as Ethan and I were getting dinner things together, I discovered Julia reading Madeleine's favorite "ABC" book aloud to her. I tried to record it on video, but unfortunately, as soon as Madeleine saw me she wanted Mama to read it to her instead:

It has also become clear this week that Madeleine really notices Julia's absence while she's at school, although apparently in Madeleine's mind, anyone who is not home must be on the train, as she informed me, after we returned home from dropping Julia at school, "Daddy. Joowa. Choo-choo." Close, honey.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Both Julia and Madeleine seem to be building up their vocabularies lately, coming out with words I didn't realize they knew. Madeleine's new favorite is "bapboom," or, in adult English, "vacuum." She spent about twenty minutes yesterday calling for the vacuum, reaching her arm over the gate to the hallway towards the closet where we keep it. Since she had elected to dump her spinach into her lap and all over the floor instead of eating it, after dinner I fulfilled her wish by getting the bapboom out of the closet and going to town on the dining room floors. It turns out that Madeleine only likes the bapboom when it's not actually on, because as soon as I actually started bapbooming she stood, frozen in terror, in the kitchen, wailing her heart out. Once the cleaning was done, it was back to her old friend the bapboom, as she touched various parts of the machine and fondly called it by name.

The girls have shown off their expanding vocabularies quite a bit today; here are some of the conversations we've had:


JULIA: Mama, do you know why I scurried down the stairs?
ME: No, why?
JULIA: Because I needed to go pee.


JULIA: Mama, did you know there's a crack in the wall by the fuzzy stairs?
ME: No, I didn't realize that.
JULIA: Yeah, Mama, come here by the fuzzy stairs and look at the wall.

(The fuzzy stairs, it turns out, are the ones that are carpeted, as opposed to the non-fuzzy ones, which are just regular wooden stairs.)


MADELEINE: (picking something out of the garbage) Atzat?
ME: Oh, yucky. No-no touch the garbage, Madeleine. Yuck.
MADELEINE: (putting the piece of garbage down on the floor)
JULIA: Aw, Mama, Madeleine looks distressed!


JULIA: Mama! Look! (running over to show me a Golden Graham on her hand.)
ME: Oh, a Golden Graham.
JULIA: Mama! It looks just like a soft, wooly blanket.

That is exactly what I think of when I see Golden Grahams. A bowlful of soft, wooly blankets.

And the final conversation we had in the car:

MADELEINE: (as we approach the commuter rail tracks.) Choo-choo.
ME: Yes, that's where the train goes.
MADELEINE: Daddy. Choo-choo. Bye. Bye.
ME: Yes, Daddy goes bye-bye on the train! You're right!

In fact, Madeleine has been so interested in the choo-choo lately that I'm thinking we may need to take a trip by train into Boston soon so we can all go bye-bye on the choo-choo together. Until then, I guess we'll just play with the bapboom, as long as she doesn't get too distressed about it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Return of the Contrary

I have a Julia, Julia Quite Contrary on my hands this morning.

ME: Come here, Julia, let me do your hair.
JULIA: (whining) I want you to do it in heeeeeere, Mommy.
ME: Julia, I'm thinking you're not going to do Lunch Bunch today, because you're acting way too cranky and contrary, and I think going to Lunch Bunch will just be too much for you.
JULIA: Fine, Mommy, everything you want me to do, I'll do it.
ME: Then please come here so I can do your hair.
JULIA: Mommy, you should just RIP my hair out!
ME: Julia, this is the kind of contrary behavior I'm talking about.
JULIA: No, Mommy, you're being mean to me! We're being mean to each other! We're FIGHTING!
ME: I'm not being mean to you, Julia. I've been very nice to you all morning. But you're being very cranky to me.
JULIA: Fine, Mama. You should just EAT me.

This contrary behavior is the result of a nasty cold she's had for the past four or five days; not only is she feeling lousy during the day, but her sleep has been very interrupted. She is not a pro at blowing her own nose yet, and has been waking us up multiple times per night needing water for her coughing fits or needing her nose blown. And yesterday during the day, we discovered who was the true champion nose-blower in the house:

JULIA: Mama, can you blow my nose?
ME: (helping her blow her nose and then wiping it.)
JULIA: Mama, why do you always yank? Daddy doesn't yank.
ME: I guess Daddy's just better at blowing noses than I am.
JULIA: (consolingly) Yeah, yeah, Mama, you're right. Daddy does a better job at blowing my nose than you do.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

This morning I gave cards and candy to the girls, and they also opened their cards from Nana to delightedly discover stickers inside. Julia and Madeleine also exchanged Valentines; Julia had made one for her sister at school, and Madeleine scribbled all over a heart I cut out to give to Julia. After basking in the glow of all her loot, Julia turned to me and said, "Mama, did nobody give you a Valentine?" I told her that no, I didn't have a card to open, but that I didn't mind, because I got to spend the day with my two loves. We followed our card-opening with a special chocolate chip pancake breakfast, then I started getting the girls ready to go to Julia's gymnastics class. After I had dressed Madeleine, I called to Julia to come get dressed. She yelled back, "I'm working on something!" I came into the dining room to find her at her little art table, cutting away at some red construction paper. "Uh, Mama, can you cut out a heart shape for me? I'm having trouble," she told me. I grabbed a new piece of construction paper, cut out a heart, and handed it to her. She immediately handed it back to me, exclaiming, "Happy Valentines Day!" I think I did a fairly decent job of acting TOTALLY blind-sided with surprise.

Julia's favorite Valentine treat, aside from the Peeps I gave her, was her set of robot and monster stickers from Nana. She had the ability to mix and match various eyes, mouths, and arms to stick on the creatures, and she worked quite diligently on them. She even made up a brand new composition, "Robot," to accompany her stickering, and she asked me at one point, "Uh, Mommy, could you add a robot to my wish list, because I really want to get one." Not sure that one's going to come true for her, but I told her I'd add it to the list, of course. Here's a video of her "Robot" song, in case you want to learn to sing along:

Perhaps she should create a song-writing team with her aunties, one of whom came up with the following lyrics as a kid:

Robot, ya bought it, it was a mistake
Robot, ya bought it, but it didn't do a thing.
You was sad that you bought it 'cause ya can't exchange
Robot, ya bought it, it was a mistake.

At least her song has a catchy melody and she isn't like the student in line in front of Ethan at New England Conservatory who was making beatbox sounds and occasionally interjecting "ROBOT!" and talking about how "off the hook" it was.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Where's Madeleine?

Madeleine's new favorite game:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Creative baking

Julia really loves helping me bake, and this afternoon she excitedly hopped onto one of the kitchen barstools to give me a hand with the cinnamon bread I was whipping up. I guess her eagerness to help me out was temporarily muted by her interest in the mixer's head attachment, though, because as I was measuring out the first ingredient, she sat on the stool waving the mixing head around in the air, dreamily singing a self-composed song about a hot air balloon ride, completely oblivious to the fact that I had already poured the sugar into a measuring cup. When I dumped the sugar into the mixing bowl, however, she was snapped back to reality, leading to this conversation:

JULIA: Hey! I wanted to pour that in!
ME: I'm sorry, honey, you were all spaced out singing your song about a hot air balloon so I thought you weren't interested in pouring it in.
JULIA: (holding out the mixing head) No, uh, Mommy, this is my hot air balloon.

As I have stated before, it takes veeeeery little to spark her imagination.

Julia's hot air balloon.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Little stinkers

It's amazing how much Madeleine now understands. Not only did she bolt towards the bathroom and start trying to pull off her clothing after she heard Julia say, "Daddy, it's a bath night," the other day, but today when I got home from work, after Julia reported to me, "Mom, I only watched one 'Curious George' while you were gone," Madeleine toddled over to the television and began attempting to turn it on, squealing in desperation at me, and crying heart-brokenly after I told her Curious George time was over. Luckily, I have taught Julia how to spell the word "milk" so that I can speak to her in code without setting Madeleine squealing towards the door of the fridge. Unfortunately, half the time Julia loudly asks me, "You mean milk, Mommy?" But we're getting there.

Julia has been extra contrary the past few days, which leads me to wonder if she's starting to come down with a cold, since her contrariness is in direct proportion to how she's feeling and how much sleep she is getting. Some of our more ridiculous interactions have been as follows:

JULIA: (from the toilet, as I put dinner on the table) Mommy, I only want you to give me one egg for dinner.
ME: Well, I made you two.
JULIA: But I only wanted you to give me one.
ME: Well, two is what you're having.
JULIA: Fine, I guess I'll just eat dinner in my room.
ME: (Ignoring her.)
JULIA: Mommy, I want to eat dinner in my room.
ME: (Ignoring her.)
JULIA: Mommy, I have to eat dinner in my room.
ME: (Still ignoring her.)
JULIA: Mommy, you want me to eat dinner in my room.
ME: (Silence.)
JULIA: Mommy, you said I have to eat dinner in my room.
ME: Julia, you are more than welcome to go to your room, but you may not eat dinner in there. We're eating dinner at the table.
JULIA: But I want to eat dinner in the bathroom. Mommy, you don't like me anymore. Mommy, you want to take me to the dump.

Uh, yeah, I kind of do when you act like that.

And then today:

ME: Madeleine, come here so I can change your poop.
MADELEINE: (Ignoring me.)
ME: Madeleine, come to Mommy.
MADELEINE: (Walking all the way over to me, grinning, and spinning around and toddling away.)
ME: Okay, forget it, I'm not playing games with you. You can sit in your poop then.
JULIA: No! Mommy! You can't let her sit in her poop! Mommy, change Madeleine!
ME: No, I'm not going to change her right now because I'm tired of her not listening to me. She can sit in her poop if she's going to ignore me.
JULIA: Mom. Then let me sit in my poop.

Okay. She can sit in her poop when I take her to the dump, I guess.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Play kitchen hide and seek

Yesterday, as I attempted to run through my chorus music after dinner, Julia helpfully banged away on the piano and loudly sang other songs, while Madeleine played happily with the plastic food in the play kitchen beside the piano. (How unusual for Julia to be the one pounding loudly and Madeleine the one playing quietly and independently...) At one point I realized I no longer heard the sounds of Madeleine scuffling around by my feet, so I turned to see what she was up to. In utter disbelief and slight panic, I realized she was nowhere to be found, as if she had vanished into thin air. A moment later I spotted her:

Perhaps she was missing the good old days of being a bun in my oven. More likely, she thought it was funny to hide on me, because boy did she look delighted when I opened the oven door:

You may notice she is once again in the pink ballerina dress; she has become very attached to this particular article of dress-up clothing. And in addition to the various winter hats, her newest fashion accessory is the medal I got from the Hartford Marathon back in 2003. Totally vintage!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

And yet more quotes and hats

JULIA: Mom? When is it going to stop being these HUGE snowstorms?
ME: I don't know. Soon, I hope.
JULIA: Because, Mom, I just feel like it's a snowstorm to one to nother.

I'm guessing she meant "one after another."

JULIA: Mom, you forgot to turn off Madeleine's light-night!
ME: Her light-night, huh?
JULIA: (laughing) Oh, I meant her light-night.

I'm guessing she meant night-light.

And here are my sweeties, all ready for church this morning:

The striped hat stayed home, of course, but Madeleine was not to be foiled. She discovered another hat in the diaper bag and insisted on wearing it throughout the church service. So just picture that little pink dress with the following hat and you'll get a sense of how fashionable she looked for all of the church choir to see:

This photo is current, by the way; she re-discovered the hat and is now wearing it all around the house. At least I don't have to worry about any heat escaping from her head in all this brutal winter weather.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The rehearsal

Last night, Ethan had a group of singers over to our house to rehearse for an upcoming recital they're all giving. This is a group of all professionals, so it was an exciting event for the rest of us because we got to have our house filled with madrigals sung by fantastic musicians. While Ethan was out picking up one of the singers, another of them arrived as the kids and I were finishing up dinner. I knew of this woman, having heard her sing before, but had never formally met her. After introducing myself and the girls, we chatted for a few minutes about our children, who are of similar ages. This led Julia to join the conversation, and to my horror, she decided it was an appropriate time to tell this woman, who I was just meeting for the first time and who stood as a respectable figure in my musical life, the story of my water breaking the day she was born. In detail. As she sat there recounting what had happened ("Mommy felt like she needed to pee, so she went pee and then went upstairs, but then when she got upstairs she thought she needed to pee again...") I was inwardly smacking myself for having told her the story in such depth. I wonder who else has gotten to hear all the leaky details of my labor experience from the mouth of this kid.

Aside from that awkward little moment, the kids were quite well-behaved during the rehearsal. I took them upstairs to play in their bedrooms while the music was going on, so that we were out of the way, but we did take a few moments to sit on the top step and listen when the rehearsal first began. Afterwards, Madeleine couldn't be interested by any other activity. Each time I would bring her back in her room, she'd charge off, barging through her accordian door and carefully plopping her little bum back on the top stair. Luckily, it was close enough to bedtime that I was able to put her in her crib a little early, and with her white noise-maker running the singing voices were mostly blocked out. She fell right asleep, although from the looks of things she may have tried to escape from her crib before conking out:

Friday, February 4, 2011

Etcetera etcetera

It's as if today is Groundhog Day - the Bill Murray version, that is. Julia said wacky things, and Madeleine wore hats. More of the same:

JULIA: (calling from the bathroom) I'm dooooone!
ME: Okay, start wiping please.
JULIA: Uh, but Mama, I want you to come in and see what my poop looks like.
ME: Oh, boy. Okay.
JULIA: (pointing proudly into the toilet as I entered the bathroom) Mama, see? It looks like a DINOSAUR claw!

ME: (upon leaving the gym) Julia, guess what? I ran seven miles on the treadmill - can you believe it?
JULIA: Uh, well, Mommy, I know four girls, and they ran on the treadmill TWENTY times!

Those four girls. They're always trying to one-up me.

And now, the hats:

In fact, she is so insistent on wearing hats all over the place that when we went to Julia's school yesterday to do a music session, she began squealing indignantly when one of the teachers tried to take her hat off, and then repeated the same protest when we arrived at my piano client's house later that afternoon. Given the weather we've had lately, I guess I'd rather she be interested in wearing hats than in pulling them off.

She also spent some time clacking her toddly way around the house last night as a tap-dancing princess:

I wonder if she is so interested in wearing thing on her head because of the fact that she generates all her affection from her head. She loves giving people "head hugs," in that her version of a hug is to tilt her head to the side until it makes contact with another person's body part. I think, in her mind, all that needs happen in order to hug someone is to tilt her head, regardless of proximity. Today after giving a head hug to Julia at the breakfast table, she then toddled over to the bathroom door, saw me inside, and did her head tilt, despite the fact that there were a good 2-3 feet between us. Maybe it's the hugging version of blowing kisses.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Quotes and hats

More kooky things out of the mouth of the older babe:

Upon inspecting Julia's room after sending her up to do a pre-bedtime clean-up:

ME: Julia, were you playing up here instead of cleaning up?
ME: Hmm. I don't understand. You were up here for a REALLY long time, and you didn't do a very good job cleaning up in here.
JULIA: Mama, that's because I was just being a slow poke and SINGING away!
ETHAN: She takes after her father.

This morning:
JULIA: (worriedly) Mommy? I think you better take me to the doctor today, because both my leg bones are loose. (Jiggling the muscle next to her shin bone back and forth.) See? My bones are moving.

And on the Madeleine front, you can see that the winter hat trend continues:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Imitative Play

Madeleine and Julia have really enjoyed playing together lately, and Madeleine in particular loves to try and imitate whatever Julia is doing, whether it's dressing up in a ballerina costume and high heels, giving fist bumps (RESPECT!), or leapfrogging around the house uttering "Ribbit!" Here, a photo and video montage of their recent goofy play:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Little People go to school

Julia's Little People attended school yesterday, with Julia as their teacher:

They learned about glass and making hats. Actually, I should clarify: the large group of students were at preschool, and they learned about making hats. Princess Mia, who is standing by herself, was off in elementary school, and she learned about flowers and how they grow, and she learned about Halloween too. And she learned about roots, and she learned about rain and about snow.

Left: Princess Mia at elementary school
Right: the preschool class, learning about making hats.

Speaking of hats, Madeleine decided to sport a few different ones around the house today as she played with various toys: