Friday, April 29, 2011

Jesus and the Octopus

Julia has been asking me to tell her the story of Jesus lately, spawned in part by Easter (and my telling of the story at that time) as well as the fact that Ethan and I have been listening to the Jesus Christ, Superstar soundtrack in the car with the girls of late. Unfortunately, Julia seems most interested in hearing about Jesus right when we're trying to leave her bedroom at night, so each time I promise I'll tell her in the morning. I guess she must have gotten fed up with my putting it off
and then neglecting to do so the next morning, because last night she said, "Mommy, but tomorrow in the morning are you EVER gonna remember to tell me the story of Jesus, because, like, every day you keep, like, forgetting and just spacing out!"

So, today as we were driving to piano lessons, I suddenly remembered and began telling her the Easter story in as much detail as I could, giving her back story when she needed it, and feeling proud of how well I was able to explain everything in a way a 4-year-old could understand. When I finished, I said, "Is that the part of the story of Jesus that you've been wanting to hear about?" Silence. "Do you have any questions?" I asked, wanting to make sure I wasn't just spouting the story out at her without allowing her to think freely about it. Her response: "Um, Mommy, do you think this octopus is used for sand or for water?"

Yes, that is TOTALLY related to Jesus. I definitely see the correlation. ??!??

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Quotes from the girls

So, today as we were checking out at the local grocery store, Julia loudly asked, in regards to the three women helping put bags in our cart, "Mom? Are they African American?"

Okay, Julia, GREAT job on finally getting the term correct. I mean, can you IMAGINE if she'd asked "Mom? Are they losers?" BUT - a very awkward and inappropriate time for her to ask about it. Yipes.

And on the subject of memorable quotes, I end this post with Madeleine's newest favorite saying: "Uh-oh, SGEBAGOS!"

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'm Colorin' A PAPEW!

Yesterday Madeleine impressed the pants off me with her grasp of the English language. "Up you go!" I announced, heading upstairs to put her to nap. "Up I go!" Madeleine responded brightly. As I sat there marveling over her intelligence, I temporarily lost sight of the fact that just because she seems to have great verbal acuity does not mean she has suddenly become wise enough to understand that it's utterly gross to pull an apple core out of the garbage and then walk around taking bites of it, delightedly exclaiming "Mmmm! Apple!" Or that she has finally figured out that coloring on paper means literally coloring on a piece of paper. Her latest trend of coloring on everything in sight - except for paper - continues, yet she insists on gleefully exclaiming, "I'm colorin' a PAPEW!" as she sits drawing on her breakfast plate. Or on the built-in dining room drawers. Or on the dishwasher. Or on my exercise ball. In fact, it doesn't really matter how remote the object is from an actual piece of paper; she will undoubtedly declare "I'm colorin' a PAPEW!" so long as she's coloring on anything but paper. I don't know if she is simply reciting the rule ("No no color on your cheese! You color on the PAPER!") as she sits there knowingly defying it, or if she believes paper to be an interchangeable term for whatever object her marker happens to be drawing on. Here, on this video, she displays some of her artwork:

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Day in the Life

Madeleine just toddled over to me, stinking of poop, carrying the new Max and Ruby book she and Julia got for Easter. "Wooby!" She pleaded, handing me the book. "Hang on, Madeleine, I need to change you first," I said, picking her up and heading over to her changing pad. Needless to say, she found this completely unacceptable, and sobbed her heart out, punctuating her cries with a pathetic, lamenting "Woooooby!" As soon as I had her on the changing pad and had removed her diaper, she began attempting an escape roll, in the process smearing everything from her changing pad to my hand with gobs of poop.

"Julia! I need help!" I shouted, hoping Julia could help hold Madeleine's legs in place while I wiped.
"Uh, no, Mommy, I'm coloring my ponies, and, uh, this pony is named ARTESANI and she doesn't know how to help ANYONE."

So helpful.

After I had gotten everything clean, I performed one more wipe, this time of Madeleine's nose. I then handed her the tissue and asked, "Can you throw this in the garbage?" "Uh-huh!" she replied brightly, toddling off towards the garbage. As I sat remarking on how wonderful it is that Madeleine can follow simple commands and be such a helpful listener, she returned to me holding a cracked, dyed egg that I distinctly remember throwing away last night. "Aunt egg!" she cried, holding it out towards me.

So, smart enough to understand the command "Throw this in the garbage," yet not logical enough to realize that scavenging through the trash is just disgusting.

As soon as I thought I could sit for a second and enjoy my coffee, Julia piped up with "Mommy? I kind of need to poop." "Go ahead!" I encouraged her, and she trotted off to the bathroom, where she began singing loudly from the pot and shouting to me through the closed door, over the sound of the running dishwasher. "Mommy!" followed by completely inaudible chatter. "WHAT?" I shouted. More inaudible chatter, this time a degree louder. I finally opened the door to see what she was trying to tell me. "Mommy, do you know what I'm singing about? I'm singing that I love to play outside when it's sunny or snowy, but when it's thunderstorming I DON'T like to play outside."

I can see why that couldn't wait until she was out of the bathroom.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Happy Easter! In our household, the holiday began in the following way:

JULIA: (coming into the bedroom with Ethan to wake me up) It's time to wake up, Mommy!
ME: Happy Easter, Julia!
JULIA: Happy Easter, Mom! Come on, Daddy, let's go get Madeleine!
(Ethan and Julia leave and go into Madeleine's room.)
JULIA: Happy Easter, Madeleine!
JULIA: Happy Easter! (grabbing Madeleine's foot and snuggling it)

Even though Madeleine woke up on the wrong side of the bed, both kids had fun discovering their Easter baskets and sorting through all the goodies they received. Julia's favorite Easter basket item was her My Little Pony coloring book, in which she has been coloring all day. She even gives names to each of the ponies she colors, and provides me with some back story about her various ponies. For example, I present to you Kate Drisella Bush:

Here's what Julia had to say: "Um, Mommy, um, this pony is named Drisella, but really her name is Kate. Well, Kate is her first name, but, um, Drisella is her... her... next name. And do you know what her last name is? BUSH. So her full name is Kate Drisella Bush. And Mommy, do you know which one is Kate Drisella Bush? She's this red pony right here. And her Mommy sang her a song that said, 'Oh, I wish I had a baaaaaaby and I would name her Kate Drisella Buuuuush!' That's the song her Mommy sings to her."

In addition to her My Little Pony coloring book, Julia also got a new My Little Pony to add to her collection, as well as a pony book and lots of candy. She got even more candy after participating in an Easter egg hunt at church and another one at the Rowe house. Madeleine received her fair share of candy as well (leading to loud exclamations of "Aunt chocolate!") throughout the day, and all in all the girls had a fine holiday. Julia has been so excited about her Easter goodies that you would think she'd have Easter basket on the brain all day, but surprisingly, she wound up misunderstanding my request to move her Easter basket up to her room:

ME: Julia, grab your basket and bring it upstairs, please.
JULIA: Okay!
ME: (running upstairs to put some things away and wondering why I hadn't seen Julia go into her room yet.)
JULIA: (from the hallway near the stairs that lead up to my bedroom) Uh, Mommy, okay, um, I brought the laundry basket over here but I need a little help getting it up the stairs!

I went downstairs to see her lugging our laundry hamper down the hall with all her might. This hamper is Julia's height, and it was full of folded laundry. Why she assumed I was asking her to bring that basket upstairs rather than her very own Easter basket is beyond me, but I applaud her effort to help out with the household chores!

Happy Easter to those celebrating today!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Another memorable quote

Perhaps not the most appropriate statement to make in the middle of the crowded Easter aisle in CVS, but nonetheless, Julia decided it was a good time to report the following to Auntie Shannon:

"Well, my mommy had me through her vagina, but she didn't have Madeleine through her vagina."

Glad to know the whole CVS is now aware of the particulars of how each of my children was birthed.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The World According to Madeleine

During brunch, as she spies the eggs on my plate:
"Aunt dinnew! Aunt dinnew!" (We regularly have eggs & spinach on Tuesday night for dinner, so apparently to her dinner means the type of food, not the time of day during which said food is eaten.)

Immediately following a collision between my elbow and Julia's head:
"Careful! A head is a CONK!"

While at the zoo, gazing at the sleeping lion:
"Lion! Lion is a NIGHT. Night!"

While at Creative Movement, looking at one of the painted murals:
MADELEINE: Hi! (to some random woman sitting by the mural)
MADELEINE: Apple! (pointing at the tomato on the mural.)
ME: That's not an apple, that's a tomato.
MADELEINE: Aunt eat! Bite!
WOMAN: You can't eat it, it's just part of the wall!
MADELEINE: Aunt eatin' a WALL!

While watching Ethan and Julia hiding under the big fleece blanket:
MADELEINE: (trying and failing to lift the blanket to see them) Closed!
ME: The blanket is closed?
MADELEINE: Closed! Aunt open! Aunt open a gate!
ME: You want to open the gate? That's a blanket, honey.
MADELEINE: Banky is CLOSED! Aunt open a gate!
I'm guessing she was just equating her feeling of being trapped and out of the loop when we're on the other side of the safety gate to the way she felt about being outside of the blanket, because if you ask me, two blob shapes underneath a big brown blanket don't really look very much like a safety gate at all.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Meal time battles

In an attempt to get Madeleine to eat her vegetables, a few weeks ago I began singing Yia-yia's "She's the Best" every time she took a bite of veggies. (If you are not familiar with the song, there's not much to it: "She's the best, oh she's the best, oh Madeleine is the B-B-B-B-B-BEST!") Not only would Madeleine get a delighted smile on her face every time I sang, but she would actually continue to eat her veggies in an effort to hear the song again.

That is, until she got wise to me.

She figured out that all she needs to do is take a bite to get me to start singing. As soon as the song stops, she spits out the chewed up piece of veggie, smiling impishly at me the whole time. Sometimes she puts the chewed up piece back in to get me to sing again, but more often than not, she will just insist I sing without continuing to eat. And not only that, she has become demanding about what songs I sing. Or, perhaps I should say what SONG.

ME: You need to eat a bite of green beans first.
MADELEINE: Uh-uh. No. Aunt Dowa!
ME: Eat some green beans.
ME: Eat a bite first.
MADELEINE: (taking a bite of green bean)
ME: She's the best, oh she's the best...
ME: Okay, fine. D-d-d-d-d-Dora, D-d-d-d-d-Dora...
MADELEINE: (spitting out her green bean bite.)
ME: No no spit out!
MADELEINE: Aunt Dowa. Agaime. Dowa. Aunt Dowa.

When she really wants to be sneaky, she puts her food down the hole in her booster seat (into which a tray attaches if we need to use it.) Today I cleaned out under her booster seat hole and found the following objects: three forks, three colored pencils, a hunk of bread, a wad of spinach, and a clump of lentils. Mmmm.

Of course, when the food is a non-veggie item, and more specifically, a dessert food, Madeleine needs no coaxing in order to eat. Yesterday Julia and I decorated cookies for Easter, and as they sat on the kitchen counter with their icing drying, Madeleine repeatedly asked for a cookie. Even though I told her "no-no cookie," she seemed determined to get me to give her one. Because she's so obedient, she stood on her tiptoes and snuck one off the counter while I was in the other room. She could have actually gotten away with it if she had decided to eat it stealthily while still in the kitchen, but instead she decided to flaunt her insubordination in my face, toddling into the dining room and exclaiming, "Mmm! Cookie! Mmm!" while she chomped out of it.

There's one thing for sure; never a dull moment when Madeleine is in the house.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Julia and Nate tell jokes

Julia and Nate may have a future career in comedy, as they sat telling each other spontaneously created jokes this morning. Here is a snippet of their very own original material:

JULIA: Nate, why was the ghost following the kid?
NATE: Why?
JULIA: Because it was a COSTUME!

NATE: Knock-knock.
JULIA: Knock-knock who?
NATE: (smacking himself in the face) Bah!
JULIA: Silence.
NEVA: (smacking herself in the face) Bah! who?
NATE: (smacking himself in the face again) Bah! Who's hitting my face??
JULIA: (nervous giggle.)

NATE: Knock-knock.
JULIA: Who's there?
NATE: Knock-knock.
JULIA: Knock-knock who?
NATE: Knock-knock.
(Massive eruption of giggles from both kids.)

JULIA: Knock-knock.
NATE: Who's there?
JULIA: Knock-knock.
NATE: Knock-knock who?
JULIA: Knock-knock YOU!
(Another massive eruption of giggles.)

JULIA: Knock-knock.
NATE: Who's there?
JULIA: Knock-knock.
NATE: Knock-knock who?
JULIA: Knock-knock POO!!!
(Enormous, uncontrollable fit of giggling from both kids.)

I've gotta say, they have some real potential as joke-tellers. That's some FUNNY stuff there, man. Next time I'm trying to break the ice, I'll be sure to crack the "Knock-knock POO!" joke while smacking myself in the face.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Goldfish and The Lost Statue

Madeleine philosophized on the meaning of goldfish in a sippy cup this afternoon:

While Julia played with her manger people again:

This time it was the mother, Wise Min, who had to deal with a lot of drama. She returned home from a shopping trip to find her house abandoned. Here, Julia explains:

"So, she went home, she was buying food, and she rushed up the stairs, and then when she found nobody and she sang her little song, she jumped off, rushed down the stairs to the bottom of their house, and jumped off the house. Everybody was at the Lost Statue and Wise Man, Angel and Joseph were digging to find it."

When they finally found the Lost Statue, they were surprised by what they found: "It's a PONY YELLING AAAHH??!?"

But bad news awaited the manger folk, as a chicken had gotten into their house while they were away looking for the statue, and had made the house "all dark and cobwebby." So they had to clean their whole house before they could sit and enjoy their statue of the pony yelling AAAAHH!! But rest assured, all worked out in the end, and they were able to settle back into the freezer safe and sound.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Angel Misbehaves

Julia is currently playing with her manger people, who, as you may remember, live in the freezer of her play kitchen. She just ran in and we had the following conversation:

JULIA: Mom! Angel is not the mom, but she's writing all these lists, and that's not a kid thing to do!
ME: Is Angel a kid?
JULIA: Yeah, she's supposed to be sleeping, but instead she's writing all these things!
ME: What is she writing?
JULIA: Well, she saw the clock, and thought it needed writing, and then she was writing all these things, and, Mom, is that a night thing to do? NO!
ME: Why is she writing all that?
JULIA: Well, Mommy, she doesn't want her mom to know that she's doing it, she wants her mom to think that someone broke into her house.
ME: Oh, wow.
JULIA: (talking as Angel) Let's see, what else did I forget to do? (talking as Julia) Mom!! Did you hear that??
ME: I did!
JULIA: (clanging and banging around with Angel)
ME: What's she doing now?
JULIA: Cutting windows!
ME: Cutting windows?
JULIA: Yeah, they don't have any windows. But Mom! She's not SUPPOSED to be cutting windows! In the summer, they just use fans to keep them cool, but she's CUTTING WINDOWS!
ME: Wow.
JULIA: Do you want see what she's done to her house?
ME: Sure. (going in to look at the play kitchen.) Why is she doing all this?
JULIA: I don't know!
ME: Who's her mommy?
JULIA: (opening the freezer and taking out a Wise Man.) Her!
ME: A Wise Man?
JULIA: No, Wise MIN! Not Wise MAN! Because she's a girl!

I stand corrected.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Outside play on a spring day

A little glimpse of our outdoor time today:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Julia offers the big bucks

While we were in the car yesterday, driving by a nearby house that's for sale, Julia and I had this conversation:

ME: Hey, that house if for sale. Should we buy it?
JULIA: Okay!
ME: We can't actually buy it though, because houses cost a LOT of money.
JULIA: Well, you can use my money from the tooth fairy if you want.
ME: Well, that's very nice of you to offer to share your money, but we would need even more than two dollars. Do you know how much houses cost? They cost about four hundred and fifty THOUSAND dollars!
JULIA: (thoughtful) Well, then, maybe we'll have to wait until all my teeth fall out to buy a house.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Little Bunny Foo-foo

Julia's current favorite song:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mischievous Madeleine

Madeleine has been up to her usual amount of impish behavior lately, and she has grown accustomed to sitting in her little princess chair for time-outs when she hits or doesn't listen. In fact, she has become so accustomed that it doesn't phase her in the least. For example:

MADELEINE: (smacking me on the leg with a look of glee on her face)
ME: Madeleine, honey, no-no hit my leg. You need to be gentle. Do nice.
MADELEINE: (continuing to smack delightedly.)
ME: Madeleiene, if you don't do nice, I'll have to put you in time-out.
MADELEINE: Aunt time-out.
ME: Okay, go ahead then.
MADELEINE: (trots over to her time-out chair and sits her bum down, then begins bouncing up and down and whooping joyously.)
ME: (to Julia) We can't pay her any attention.
MADELEINE: (gets up out of her seat and comes back to me, smiling widely.) Nice!
ME: You're going to be nice now?

She has also been wreaking havoc with her newfound love of coloring. She hasn't quite gotten the hang of the idea that we use crayons and markers on paper only. Here are a few of the things my little budding artist has decided to decorate lately:

Her books.

The dining room wall.

The kitchen floor.

She even colored on her piece of cheese with a purple marker a few weeks ago, then proceeded to eat the cheese slice, which I figured couldn't cause any more harm than the chunk of marker she had eaten months back. While she didn't decorate any food items today, she did stuff her cheese stick into her sandal for good measure:

Unlike the boot/chocolate chip cookie incident, this cheese stick was discovered before trying to cram the sandal on her foot, thanks to the open-footed design of this style of shoe.

I think she is trying to live up to the potential her Elf genes offer her, given that one of the definitions of "Elf" is "a mischievous fairy":

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My children make an impression

Yesterday afternoon, our baby-sitter had to unexpectedly cancel, so I wound up bringing the girls along with me to my piano student's house. This is a house they have only been to a handful of times, and they're not terribly familiar with my student's mother. They certainly didn't let that unfamiliarity deter them, however; instead, they seemed determined to show her their true colors. Here is what my client got to experience:

Madeleine was fascinated by their guinea pig (she still follows him around saying "Woof?" like she did on our first visit), but was even more fascinated with his apple core snack. In fact, she was so interested in the apple core that she couldn't control herself from picking it up and taking a huge hunk of a bite out of it. Several times. Every time I would look over to see how she was doing, she was walking around chomping out of the guinea pig's apple core, declaring "Apple! Mmmmm!" Ick.

Julia, on the other hand, decided to keep my client company in the kitchen, yapping her ear off. Now, if you were a kid hanging out with and adult you don't know very well, what story would you decide to tell them? Naturally, Julia decided to fill my client in on her booty call dance. "Did you know that I made up a dance that I call the BOOTY CALL dance? And me and my friend Nate get dressed up and we do the BOOTY CALL dance and that's what I named it, the BOOTY CALL dance and I just dance all around and do the BOOTY CALL dance."

I can't even imagine a better way for either child to make an impression on my student or her mother.

And on a completely different topic, Madeleine is still obsessed with Julia's paper doll princesses, although they're no longer singing "So wo FAAAAAAALL!!" today, but instead are eating food from the play kitchen. Here is Madeleine feeding one of the princesses:

I wonder if it's as delicious as the guinea pig's apple core.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Madeleine talks and sings

It must be hard being a toddler in the midst of acquiring the necessary language skills to function in society. While Madeleine is now well able to express herself verbally, she doesn't quite have the skills to understand the fact that I can't always satisfy her needs immediately. For instance, when she's sitting in the kitchen with three milk gallons taken out of the fridge, repeatedly telling me "Aunt muk. Aunt muk" while I'm trying to pour the scalding water from the kettle into the French press, she is in no frame of mind to understand, "Hang on just a minute..." When I was finally able to turn my attention to her and ask, "You want more milk?", she was overcome with joyous relief, laughing and crying at the same time and doing her happy dance, exclaiming "Mmm-hmm! OKAY!"

Later on today I was able to converse with her without distractions, so she was a much happier camper as we discussed the bapboom, Baby Boo-boo, and the doll stroller. Here's a video excerpt of our chatting:

And after lunch she even made up her own song (clearly she is related to Julia) while she danced two of Julia's paper doll princesses around. "So wo FAAAAAAAALL..." or something like that. Maybe she and Julia can form up a song-writing team; just imagine the possibilities with those two working together...

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Madeleine spent much of the morning toddling around in Julia's Dora crocs:

Until, that is, she spotted Ethan's dress shoes:

Even though her dinky little foot would come out of the shoe every time she attempted to take a step, she was determined to wear "Daddy!" in place of the Dora crocs. I was finally able to entice her to keep the crocs on instead by singing the Dora theme song over and over. Leading to this cyclical conversation:

ME: (singing) D-d-d-d-Dora, d-d-d-d-d-Dora, Dora Dora Dora the explorer! Dora! Boots and super-cool Explora-Dora! Grab your Backpack! Let's go! Jump in! Vamonos! You can lead the wayyyyy... Hey! Hey! D-d-d-Dora, d-d-d-Dora, Swiper no swiping! Swiper no swiping! Aw maaaan... Dora the Explorer!
ME: What should I sing?
MADELEINE: Ummmm... Dowa.
ME: (singing Dora all over again)
ME: Okay, what should I sing now?
MADELEINE: Ummmm... Dowa.

Ad infinitum. Despite my attempts to sing other songs she likes, she kept requesting Dowa. She endeavored to get me to put on the "tee-tee" a few times so she could watch Dowa, but ultimately settled contentedly on hearing me sing it over. and over. and over again. Dora!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


As much as Madeleine's vocabulary has flourished in the past few months, there are still a few words that remain stumpers for her. One such word is "squirrel"; although she has heard the word many times and is incredibly interested in squirrels, she just hasn't quite been able to differentiate a squirrel from other animals she does know. For example:

Pulling into the YMCA parking lot
JULIA: Mama! I see a squirrel!
MADELEINE: (pointing delightedly at the squirrel) Woof?

Today she was even more off base.

MADELEINE: (watching a squirrel in our back yard hop around on the fence, then catapult off into the woods) Where goin?
ME: Where's he going?
MADELEINE: (running after the squirrel) Quack quack! Where goin?
ME: That's a squirrel. I think he went bye-bye.
MADELEINE: Bye-bye! Goin? Quack quack!
ME: That's a SQUIRREL.
MADELEINE: Squewew. Quack quack!
ME: It's not a duck, honey. It's a squirrel.
MADELEINE: Squewew. Where goin?
ME: He's in the woods. He went bye-bye.
MADELEINE: Bye-bye. Squewew. Quack quack!

I can see why she was confused, because squirrels do look an awful lot like ducks, after all.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Julia's tooth and Julia's bath

Julia lost her second tooth last night:

She now has not only two gaps in her bottom row of teeth, but two dollars in Tooth Fairy money to boot. And in that amazing attention to little details that kids seem to possess and adults seem to have forgotten, she made the following comment while admiring her money this morning: "Mom, these two look the same, but they're not, because this one has an F and this one has a G!":

And in other news, Ariel had quite an adventure in the bath tub last night. This adventure did not involve her MAGIC POWEEEEEEERS, but instead her pursuit of the handsome prince. She and her mother shopped for the perfect dress to wear to the royal ball, choosing between one of two washcloths draped around Ariel's fish tail, and Julia was sure to convey Ariel's anticipation of the ball as she woke up on the big day:

JULIA: "Good morning mother!" as she leaped out of bed with excitement.

The plot then digressed a bit as Ariel dealt with her laundry, but Julia was well able to tie the laundry idea back into the delight over the perfect dress:

JULIA: And in the morning, we woke up with our slippers on, and SPREAD them off, and leaped them into the washing machine, where Ariel's pillow and blanket were.

This doing of the laundry was accompanied by a long song; perhaps a variation of the "Whistle While You Work" idea:

ARIEL: (singing) So washed what you would see, washed what you would see, waaaashed whaaaaat you would seeeeeee...

The song ended abruptly when Ariel stumbled upon her dress in the wash:
ARIEL: Oh, my little dress! I'll hang it up to dry. My wish came true! My dress!

So off she headed to the ball, where she went after the Prince with wild abandon. Unfortunately, he was none too impressed with the washcloth dress and needed some convincing:

PRINCE: But I don't wanna marry you!
ARIEL: But if you just wait a second... I'm not scared! I came over in this dress!
PRINCE: Well, if you say so, then fine, I'll marry you. I guess that dress is fine.
JULIA: (singing in imitation of wedding bells) Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun!

Sadly, this was not the happily ever after for Ariel, whose fortune took a bad turn when she lost her balance immediately after the ceremony:

JULIA: Splash! as she fell into the water.
ARIEL: I'm sorry, I don't think I can do this!
PRINCE: What? (Gasp!) She's one of those mermaids! Capture her!

The Prince had turned on her. This wasn't looking good.
After a bit of a chase, Ariel and the Prince were able to reconcile, and I guess he decided he liked her fish tail better than her washcloth dress, because before you knew it, they were back to being married and happy together. If you ask me, Ariel should have ditched the prince way back when he told her he didn't want to marry her, but then again, I was not the mastermind behind this whole enactment.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Julia's birthday, Madeleine's banana

Julia came into our bedroom at 4am with some really pressing news:

"Mommy, for my birthday party, I want to invite Erin and Megan, Ella, Simi and Millan, Loula and Will, Jovina and Wyatt, and Mary."

Okay, Julia, you got it, now please let us go back to sleep.

Madeleine did not have anything urgent to report to us during the night, but she has had plenty to say today and plenty of energy to expend. Here are two videos I shot while she ate her lunch (unable to sit still as she did so):

Monday, April 4, 2011

Find the Clock

Julia had a great time with Auntie Caitlyn this weekend, and didn't want a moment to pass without the two of them playing together, to the extent that she would come up with made-up games on the spot just to keep the fun going. As in:

JULIA: Auntie Caitlyn, do you want to play Find the Clock? It's a game I just made up!
CAITLYN: Uh, sure.
JULIA: (searching around the living room) Okay, what can be our clock? (picking up various items and discarding them.)

She finally settled on a clock:

Baby Dashiell's potty. I can clearly see its resemblance to a clock; good choice, Julia. She double-checked with me first ("Uh, Mommy, can this be a clock?") and when I gave her idea the thumbs-up, the game began.

First up, Julia hid the clock while Auntie Caitlyn closed her eyes and counted. Her chosen hiding spot:

Julia could hardly contain her excitement about her hiding place:

CAITLYN: Eight...nine...ten (opening her eyes.)
JULIA: Auntie Caitlyn, it's in something ORANGE!
CAITLYN: (deliberately passing by the jack-o-lantern, pretending to look) Hmm, where can that clock be?
JULIA: (jumping up and down right next to the jack-o-lantern.)
CAITLYN: (looking under the blankets on the couch) It's not here... it's not here...
JULIA: (jumping up and down and pointing directly inside the jack-o-lantern) Auntie Caitlyyyyyyyn!!
CAITLYN: Oh! There it is! You tricked me!

Next, it was Caitlyn's turn to hide the clock. She put Baby Dashiell's potty up on top of our Egyptian drum that we keep on our bookshelf. I think Julia expected Caitlyn to be just as generous in helping Julia find it as Julia herself had been:

JULIA: (opening her eyes and taking a quick glance around) Uh, um, Auntie Caitlyn, um, what color is it?
CAITLYN: What color is it?? It's blue!
ME: I think she wants you to tell her what color thing you hid it in.
CAITLYN: Oh, well, I'll give you a hint. It's up very high.
JULIA: (glancing around up high) Uh, Auntie Caitlyn, where did you hide it?
CAITLYN: You have to look for it!

I think the power of Julia's imagination is even greater than any of us thought, and the potty did actually transform itself into a clock in her eyes, because she next went into the kitchen and asked Ethan, "Uh, Daddy, have you seen a blue potty that has a clock on top of it?"

After a very big hint from me ("Look up as high as you can on the bookshelf and see if you find it"), the hidden clock was found, and the Julia resumed her job as hider. She continued to pose some real stumpers for Caitlyn, and figured out that if she kept her eyes slightly open while counting she was able to find that clock much faster than during her first go-round. All in all I think Find the Clock was a great success; definitely recommended as a party game for any of you expecting visitors!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Little Ponies go glam

The My Little Ponies got a glamorous makeover today, courtesy of high fashion hair-stylist Auntie Caitlyn:

It was a rollicking good time at the house of the My Little Ponies; even their two friend horses came over to play:

If you, like me, are wondering what grand occasion merited the red carpet-worthy hairstyles, this conversation I had with Julia should clear things up:

ME: Julia, why did the ponies get their hair all done up?
JULIA: Um, because it looks preetty.
ME: But is there some kind of special event going on?
JULIA: Yeah.
ME: What is it?
JULIA: Um, well, like, there's a bouncy house at their house.

I don't know about you, but I can't think of a better place to be sporting an elegant coiffure than in a bouncy house.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Pennywhistle Concert

Julia gave an entire concert on the pennywhistle tonight while I cooked dinner:

I have to admit to only paying her half my attention as she called out inquiries like, "How did that sound, Mama?" and "Did that sound like it wasn't quite right?" I encouraged her and assured her that her squeaky squeaks sounded beautiful, and she seemed perfectly content to continue whistling away without me in the room. I didn't realize at the time that the reason she was not insisting I come watch her was that she already had her own audience. It wasn't until she announced to me, "I think baby chick was the best listener, because Jack-o-lantern wasn't really looking, and he was, like, talking the whole time," that I realized I had no idea what she was talking about. I walked into the dining room to find Julia's captive audience:

I leave you with this final word from the performer herself, who has been hovering over my shoulder the whole time I type, begging to add her own words: