Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jingle Bells and more

Madeleine may not be quite on top of things in every situation; for instance, she still seems confused about what constitutes snack versus lunch, in this strange reversal of the recently posted snack melt-down:

ME: Madeleine, would you like some snack?
MADELEINE: Yeah! I want some snack!
ME: What do you want for snack?
MADELEINE: A peanut butter sandwich?
ME: That's not a snack, silly. That's a lunch! What would you like to eat for SNACK?
MADELEINE: (silent, thoughtful) A bitamin?
ME: No, a vitamin is not a snack. How about a graham cracker?
MADELEINE: Yeah. A bam cracker.

And she may not be a master of counting yet:

MADELEINE: (coloring) One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen. Mommy! I spelled ONE HUNDRED!

But she sure can learn new songs pretty quickly and bellow them out like a champ. Having just heard me sing "Jingle Bells" over the weekend, she has swiftly become a pro at the words to the refrain:

Yeah! She did it!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Julia does "Mad Libs"

Julia recently received a MadLibs Junior book as a party favor after going to a birthday party. While the MadLibs Junior actually supplies a list of adjectives, verbs, nouns, etc from which to choose when filling in the blanks, I thought Julia might have more fun if she got to think up the words herself. So each time I prompted her for a word to fill in a blank, I would give her a simple description of what the required type of speech means. For the most part, she gets the concept pretty well, although for some reason she feels the need to come up with a complete sentence rather than just one word. For example:

ME: Julia, can you give me an adjective? That means a word that DESCRIBES what something else looks, sounds, smells, or acts like.
JULIA: Umm... I think my mermaid ornament is SO pretty!
ME: Okay. So pretty is your word?


ME: Julia, I need another adjective.
JULIA: Umm... the sound that balloon makes when it hits the ceiling is WHACK!
ME: Uh... so, um, whacking?

Today I think she got so hung up on her made-up sentence that she forgot what part of speech she was actually supposed to give me:

ME: Okay, Julia, I need an adjective, which is a word that describes something.
JULIA: Umm... I hang ornaments on a CHRISTMAS TREE!
ME: (silence)
JULIA: Uh... wait a minute, that was a thing by accident.

Once she re-remembered what an adjective is, we were able to get going. Here is the complete MadLibs story, with all the blanks filled in. See if you can figure out which words were the fill-ins:

The sea cucumber is not a vegetable; it's a fancy creature that lives in the ocean. A sea cucumber looks kind of like a big pretty stocking. It's not a very smart creature and doesn't have a very big princess. It likes to tiptoe its food, but it doesn't do much else. However, there's one really cloudy fact about the sea cucumber: If another creature tries to hang it, it shoots its burp out of its housy-housy-house-mouse. What a sunny mess! So remember, if you ever meet a sea cucumber, don't try to jump or run it!

Madeleine, of course, got her hands on the MadLibs packet when we weren't looking, and she added her own contributions to one of the pages:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Various quotes


While sitting on the potty: "One morning I woke up and I did a FOOT-LONG!"

While being pushed in the stroller through the Creative Movement parking lot as an SUV drove by us: "Mom! That's a HIPPO car!"


During a play-date with her friend Mary:
MARY: Let's play cook!
JULIA: Yeah, yeah, yeah! Let's play restaurant! Mommy, can you be our patient for the restaurant?

I was an awesome patient, I must say. I cracked the girls up to no end with my exclamations of "Blech!!!" while I ate the various disgusting foods they served me (pie made out of dirt and rocks, coffee with mud in it, toast made out of flowers, and what not. Mind you, that was their idea, not mine, but I ran with it.)

In other pretend play, Julia decided that we should play "school" while we were waiting at the front door for her ride to her real school this morning. In Julia's imagination, school was at the top of our stairwell, which posed a bit of a problem for me, as I was trying to keep lookout at the front door for the mom who was coming to pick Julia up.

JULIA: (running up to the top of the stairs) Come ON, Mom! School is up here!
ME: I can't go up there, honey. I'm staying down here.
JULIA: But Mom, SCHOOL is up here!
ME: How about we pretend school is down here?
JULIA: (chiding) Moooom. You're being just like your sister Shannon.
ME: Like Shannon? How?
JULIA: Mom. You know!
ME: Do you mean like when you want her to come play a game up in your room and she asks if you can play it downstairs?
JULIA: Yeah, or, like when we're in Connecticut and I want to play down in the basement and she says 'Aunties don't go in the basement because there are no windows.'

Uh-oh, Shannon, you've been BUSTED.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

It's been a long time since I blogged about poop...


Tonight when I put Madeleine on the potty, I heard a small gaseous explosion, followed by a stream of pee. "It's POOP!" she declared, wide-eyed. Since she has been mixing up poop and pee for the past few weeks, I didn't think much of her declaration. "It's PEE," I corrected her, praising her for doing pee-pees on the potty. "It's POOP!" she insisted, informing me, "Mom, I did a FOOT-LONG!"

Well, lo and behold, she has finally figured out the difference between poop and pee, although personally I would characterize what she did as a nugget, not a foot-long.

Unfortunately, turns out that one little nugget wasn't it for the night. As we sat decorating the Christmas tree before bed, Madeleine cheerfully inquired, "Who tooted? I NEEDA GO POTTY!" (The second half of the sentence changing from cheerful joviality to panicked dread.) Luckily, she had a pull-up on at the time, so her liquid toot was easy to take care of, and she made it to the potty in time to do the rest of her business there.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Toes and dancing

Madeleine discovered a hole in the toe of her tights this morning, and broke the news to me by running over, exclaiming, "Mommy! I have a TOE!"

It's like she just grew a new tooth. The excitement! The discovery! She now has her first toe!

After she used the potty and was getting ready for nap, I took off her tights (since she doesn't like sleeping with anything on her feet.) Utterly relieved at her newfound freedom, she cried out in delight, "Mommy! I got my TOES back!"

In other news, to celebrate the opening of the Christmas season, we began playing holiday music around the house, and Julia put on a lively dance performance for her parents, Nana, Gramps, and Madeleine. However, she was not too happy to share the limelight with me when I made an impromptu cameo in the middle of her ballet:

I don't blame her. Her dancing was way better than mine.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday, Julia!

I can't believe that Julia is five! - it seems like it was just the other day that I felt the fluttering excitement of discovering I was pregnant with my first child. It is amazing to contemplate the fact that I have now been a parent for FIVE YEARS. No longer a rookie, I suppose, although each day both girls certainly present me with unexpected surprises.

The birthday girl started the morning off with presents, followed by chocolate chip pancakes. Among her gifts were the coveted Rapunzel doll she has been asking everyone on earth for (which means I was secretly telling everyone on earth not to get it because I already had), the movie "Tangled," and some long-desired Littlest Pet Shop figurines. Poor Rapunzel has been forced to fight off a few unwanted advances by Madeleine, who seems to think it's her own birthday as well and that the gifts are really for her. While Julia has managed to (mostly) hold it together during her sister's attempted grabbings of her new toys, she did explode with this very clear and comprehensible statement in response to Madeleine touching Rapunzel, "MOMMY! I DON'T LIKE when things that I DON'T LIKE happen!!"

Madeleine was content enough to look through the Littlest Pet Shop brochure that Julia pulled out of the box to give her, which allowed Julia a chance to play with her new pets uninterrupted. As she ate her lunch, she played with her new figurines, and even took the time to give them names befitting ancient Roman emperors:

Sealius and Kittius

As is our birthday tradition in the house, Julia got to choose a fun family activity for the afternoon, and she chose a trip to Kids Fun Stop, just like last year. The girls had a ball, and were both too busy playing to stop and adequately pose for a picture for me:

Of course, no Julia birthday would be complete without dinner at Blue, her favorite restaurant, where she can get an exquisite, gourmet dinner of mac 'n cheese:

As a special surprise, our waitress arranged for her dessert to come with a birthday sparkler, which Julia was utterly terrified of (although she did smile nicely for a picture with her face a few feet away from her dessert):

Once the sparkler was extinguished, she was perfectly happy to put her face near her ice cream:

Vanilla ice cream and m-n-m's - Julia's two favorite desserts!

When Julia picked up her sugar wafer cone, she did exactly what any typical child would do with an ice cream cone: held it out to me and announced, "I'm going to take this cone home for Thanksgiving and it can be my CORNUCOPIA!":

HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my sweet Julia!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Birthday countdown, towers and astronauts

Julia is eagerly awaiting her birthday tomorrow and is really excited to turn five. She has kept such specific track of her age over the past year that she can refer back to points in the past and give me her age to the quarter of a year. For instance, while watching "Curious George" this morning, she told me, "Mommy, I've only seen this 'Curious George' one time before! I think it must be a new one, because I didn't see it when I was three, and I only saw it one time when I think I was four and a quarter or four and a half."

Good thing she's keeping track of such important matters.

Over the weekend, she discovered that since her birthday is coming up so soon, she is not actually four and three quarters as she has been telling everyone. During a dinner with some friends, the adults tried to come up with a more accurate fraction, although four and three hundred sixty-three-three hundred sixty-fifths was a bit much for her to understand. As I put her to bed that evening, I tried to simplify matters for her:

JULIA: Mama, but why downstairs did you say that I'm not really four and three-quarters?
ME: Well, because you're really older than four and three-quarters now. You're almost five. Your birthday is just a few days away. When you turn four and three-quarters, that means your birthday is three months away. Now you're more like four and eleven-twelfths. Even older than four and eleven-twelfths, really.
JULIA: (silent, pondering.) Well, Mama? Why didn't you ever tell me when I turned that?

Oh, boy. I suppose I should have been giving her a daily update on exactly what fraction describes her current age as of that day. What negligence.

Madeleine will soon be two and one-sixth years old, but there are times when she surprises me with abilities of a much older child. Today I walked into the living room to see that she had built this tower all by herself:

Pleased by my exuberantly impressed reaction on seeing her tower, Madeleine decided to tout her mad building skills. "I doing a great job the TOWER!" she exclaimed with glee.

She also did a great job the astronaut the other day, performing for our aforementioned dinner guests. Not only did she show off her twirling ability, but she was at the height of her drunken stagger-walk thanks to the dizziness inspired by her twirling:

I wonder how well she'll be able to do this when she's two and one quarter!

Monday, November 21, 2011

What Julia is thankful for

Julia came home from school today with this beautiful Thanksgiving project she and her teachers had put together:

Attached to her picture was a little booklet, each page of which labeled what she was thankful for. So, this Thanksgiving, Julia's deepest gratitude is for:

Way to go, ponies! Right up there with Ethan, Madeleine and I! Now THAT'S some love.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

New toys

Julia continues to enjoy her birthday gifts, and has spent much of the morning playing with her new Little People Trick-or-Treat set.

It's an exciting day in the Little People world, as the various characters attend a collective Halloween party and then set out to trick-or-treat. Not only are the brand new trick-or-treat figurines ready to partay, but the rest of the Little People are joining in as well. Proving that I am the totally uncool Mom who is completely out of the Little People loop, I offered suggestions on who else might be eligible to trick-or-treat, only to have most of my options shot down by Julia.

Some of my rejected ideas:


ME: They can be dressed up as a king and queen because they're wearing crowns!
JULIA: Nooooo, Mom! They're GROWN-UPS! Grown-ups aren't ALLOWED to trick-or-treat!
ME: But you could pretend they're kids dressed up as a king and queen.
JULIA: Noooooo! They're NOT kids! They're PARENTS!


ME: Ooh, here you go, she's dressed up as a princess!
JULIA: Noooo, Mom, she's a GROWN-UP!
ME: She is? I thought Princess Mia is the daughter of Project Daddy and Cartacarizza.
JULIA: She IS, but she grew up! SHE has kids now!

My bad.


ME: Oh, how about they go to the pumpkin patch and ride on the hayride!
JULIA: No, Mom, that's their CAR!

Some of my non-rejected, but corrected, ideas:


ME: Here you go, Sonya Lee is dressed up as an explorer!
JULIA: No, Mom, she's not an explorer, she's a JUNGLER.


ME: How about someone dressed up as a Wise Man?
JULIA: Well, or you can say Wise MEN. But if it's a girl, I call it Wise MIN.

Once they passed the test and were deemed appropriate to trick-or-treat, the Little People gathered in a big herd and were ready to hit the Halloween party:

For an extra spooky end to the evening, it seems that Julia decided to drive the passengers in the purple van around with Grandmother's dead corpse lying atop them. Either that or she thought it would be crazy scary to pig-pile the passengers into the car without seatbelts... or even seats.

As she drove from the Little People house to the wedding set to the trick-or-treat arena, Julia clarified where everyone lives for me:

ME: Julia, are they all neighbors?
JULIA: Well, their houses aren't all next to each other, but they're all best friends.
ME: Oh, okay, I see.
JULIA: These two are on Nofidel street, and this one is on Princess of the Land street.

Okay. Got it.

Meanwhile, Madeleine busied herself with a Dora figurine and a plastic piece of toast from the kitchen set, acting out a Dora the Explorer episode:

MADELEINE: Let's help Dora eat the SANDWICH! Eat, eat EAT! (loud chomping sounds.)

What an adventure.
Hooray! We did it! We helped Dora eat her sandwich! Thanks for helping!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Singing and playing

Both girls had a great time at Julia's birthday party yesterday. We held the party over at Creative Movement, which was a great opportunity to let the kids run rampant without having to worry about them tearing our house apart. The kids even got a chance to get up and sing a song with a real microphone at one point, and Julia, feeling a bit shy, opted for a whole Rowe family rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." Some of the Creative Movement staff were stunned by our use of 3-part harmony and the fact that Julia was able to hold her own against the harmonies. However, that's probably just because the staff members don't realize that both of our kids sing ALL THE TIME. EVERYWHERE. In public, in private, in their bed/crib, on the potty, songs they've heard, songs they're completely making up on the spot, etc. So really, with that in mind, "Twinkle Twinkle" is kind of run of the mill.

Speaking of the constant singing, Madeleine went to town yesterday singing and acting out "Old Brass Wagon" in our dining room. Good thing our grouchy downstairs neighbor wasn't home, because as you can see, she wasn't exactly moving with light-footed grace:

In the meantime, Julia has been singing her heart out with all of her new birthday gifts, including a composed-on-the-spot song about her new My Little Pony, Pinkie Pie, and how she is the pony who is full of glee. She also bellowed away operatically while playing with her brand new play-doh ice cream shop this afternoon, although she did pause to give me some verbal explanations about what was going on in her shop.

"Mom, do you know what this ice cream is called? My beautiful cawtacaw, because I don't even know what cawtacaw means!" (Starting in on a new cone creation): "This one is called POFOMA!"

You'll be glad to know that even though she about to turn five, she's still as wacky as ever.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Madeleine's requests

As we rode the 59 bus home from the Y today, Madeleine had a very unexpected request:

MADELEINE: Mommy? Give me a turtle?
ME: A turtle??
MADELEINE: Mommy? Give me a BLUE turtle?
ME: I don't have a blue turtle, honey.
MADELEINE: Mommy? Give me a PURPLE turtle?
ME: Sweetheart, I don't have any turtle that I can give you. I'm not really sure what you're asking for.
MADELEINE: (after a few moments of silent thought) Mommy? Give me a PURPLE waterfall?

Oh, yeah, okay, I don't have a turtle on me, but I do have a purple waterfall. Right here in my back pocket. Here you go.

In addition to wanting a blue and purple turtle, Madeleine has also had some unusual lunch requests over the past few days. Today she asked for peanut butter grilled cheese, the thought of which literally makes me want to gag, and the other day she had a full-out meltdown over not getting the lunch of her choice:

MADELEINE: (standing at the glass cupboard, pawing at the doors) Mooooooomy! I want BAM CRAAAAACKER! Get me BAM CRAAAACKER, Mom?
ME: Honey, it's not time for a graham cracker right now. It's time for lunch.
MADELEINE: (breaking into new, fresh sobs) I want BAAAAAAM CRAAAAAACKER!
ME: No, you already had your snack. It's time for lunch right now. Do you want a peanut butter sandwich?
ME: Do you want an egg?
ME: What do you want for lunch?
MADELEINE: (tears of relief pouring down her face) Um, a bam cracker?
ME: No, you're not having a graham cracker right now.
ME: Do you want some lunch?
ME: What would you like for lunch?
MADELEINE: Um, a bam cracker?

This went on and on for quite some time, although when physically presented with a banana and peanut butter sandwich, she decided it wasn't a half bad lunch option, and finally got over her bam cracker obsession. I can't really blame her for her melt-down. Nothing beats a good old bam cracker.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Julia reflects upon "The Lion King"

Julia watched "The Lion King" for the first time yesterday; though she has seen most of the classic Disney movies, I had held off on this one for fear it might be too scary. It turns out that was a wise decision, because she was even now too frightened by some scenes to watch and needed to hide her face on my chest. I wound up fast forwarding one of the chase/fight scenes, after which she was able to continue watching without freaking out.

Some remarks she made while watching the movie:

JULIA: Mom? Why do hyenas eat lions?
ME: Well, I don't think they usually eat lions, but I think they're going to try and eat Simba because he's just a little cub and he's smaller than them.
JULIA: Well, what do hyenas eat?
ME: They're scavengers, so I think they'll eat most anything they can.
JULIA: Oh yeah, you're right, because they said dinner is whatever's lying around.
ME: Yup, I heard them say that too.
JULIA: (thoughtful) Well, Mama, I think if there was a hyena at any zoo, that might be terrifying for the kids who are there, if they know that hyenas will eat ANYTHING they can.
ME: Well, you don't have to worry, because there are no hyenas at our zoo.
JULIA: I know, but I mean at ANY zoo. (thoughtful) Mom? Do hyenas that aren't in the zoo eat people?
ME: Well, hyenas live very far away from here. They live in Africa.
JULIA: I know, but do they go into people's backyards in Africa and eat the people?

My goodness. I thought she was going to be scared of Scar, not of the ridiculous hyenas.

Speaking of hyenas, this scene prompted a lot of laughs:

WHOOPI GOLDBERG'S HYENA: (to the other two hyenas who are covered in cactus needles) I ain't goin' in there, or else I'll look just like you, Cactus-Butt!
JULIA: (shocked but pleased face) What did she say?!?? Mama, she said Cactus...
ME: Butt?
JULIA: I wasn't gonna say that word, because I know it's potty talk. But Mama, I don't think that was really a cactus. I think it was just a pricker bush and they got prickers on their...
ME: On their bottoms?
JULIA: (relieved) Yeah.

Julia's favorite scene of all was one in which Pumbaa and Timon, the warthog and the meerkat whose existence in the movie is to provide slapstick humor, were initiating Simba into their "Hakuna Matata" world. During a close up scene on Pumbaa, Julia, who had been sitting in my lap, suddenly got up off the couch and started walking towards the tv. Usually when she spontaneously gets up it means she's scared and needs to get away from the tv, so I was confused as to her feelings and intentions.

ME: Julia, what's the matter? What are you doing?
JULIA: (turning to me sheepishly, inches from the tv) I wish I could stick my fingers in one of his nostrils.
ME: What!?
JULIA: They're so BIGGY!

Unfortunately, Pumbaa has not posted any nose-picker positions for hire, so Julia will have to satisfy herself with her own, teeny-tiny nostrils for the time being.

They're so biggy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


With the exception of the freak October snowstorm, this fall continues to be unseasonably warm, and today is no exception. Although it's balmy enough that Madeleine is dressed in short sleeves, she did not let the warmth prohibit her from wearing her winter gloves around the house:

Of course, I'm not surprised by her odd pairing. After all, this is the child who, upon seeing our old baby bathtub that Ethan was planning to bring to the dump, felt the need to don Julia's winter hat and climb on in, singing "Row Row Row Your Boat":

Apparently she doesn't remember that every time we've actually ridden in a boat we've been in bathing suits and it has been summer.

At any rate, the gloves completed her outfit in perfect Madeleine style, although they were a bit of a hindrance when she tried to experience one of her "touch and feel" sensory board books:

I'm guessing that fuzzy orange pencil case felt a little bit like the inside of her gloves.

Speaking of books, Madeleine brought down a book from her room and asked me to read it. Not knowing the actual title, she took a pretty decent stab at what it might be called. "Mommy, read 'Beach Ball Time'?"

Julia was quick to correct her dunce of a sister. "It's called 'Dora Goes to the Beach," she sighed. Good thing I've got Julia to tell Madeleine how it is.

"Beach Ball Time," or, if you prefer, "Dora Goes to the Beach."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The most ridiculous game ever

I am stuck playing the MOST RIDICULOUS GAME EVER with the kids right now. Julia built herself a "secret hideaway" under the little art table by covering it with blankets (you may be familiar with this set-up as her "fort" or her "library" in past games.) She is now hiding under the table with a flashlight and yelling out from underneath, "Mama! Pretend you don't know where I am and you're trying to look for me!" Meanwhile, Madeleine is laying in the middle of the dining room on her belly, coloring in her Sesame Street coloring book. Here's a general recap of how the game goes:

JULIA: (shouting out from under the table) Mama! Try and find me!
ME: Hmmm, Julia disappeared. I wonder where Julia can be.
JULIA: Mama! Don't look under the table! Pretend you can't find me!
ME: Let's see. Where's Julia? Is she in the bathroom?
MADELEINE: She's under the BLANKET!
ME: Julia, calm down. Hmm, is Julia in the garbage?
ME: Let me see... where can Julia be?
JULIA: (panicked) Mama, don't look under the blanket!

This has literally been going on for about 20 minutes. Julia has popped out from under the table and "surprised" us 3 times now. After we express our startled delight at finding her and commend her on fooling us, she then sneaks back under the table and announces, "Okay, Mama, pretend you forgot that I was under the table, and you can't find me again!"

ME: Hmmm, where's Julia? Is she in the dishwasher?
MADELEINE: She's under the BLANKET!
JULIA: (freaking out) MAAAAADELEINE! Don't SAAAAAAY it!

Seriously. Fun times. Love this game.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Weirdness abounds

Ethan reads to the girls while they eat a piece of Halloween candy for dessert:

ETHAN: (reading from "Farm Animals") A male chicken is called a -
MADELEINE: Cock-a-doodle-dooooooooooo!
ETHAN: Yup, it's a rooster. A male chicken is called a cockerel or a roost-
MADELEINE: COCK-A-DOOOOODLE- (breaks into violent, choking coughs, her face turning beet red and the chocolate candy she's eating spewing all over the place)
ETHAN: Are you okay, honey?
MADELEINE: (hacking her lungs out)
ETHAN: Are you okay, Madeleine?
MADELEINE: (coughing spasm subsides, sits silently)
ETHAN: A male chicken is ca-
MADELEINE: (cheerfully) Wow, that was a BIG SNEEZE!

Julia plays "School" with the little people, as the teacher addresses the "Big Kid Class":

JULIA: Okay, class, great job. Now let's go check on the little kid class. (Driving the big green tractor around in circles, finally settling on the other side of the rug, where a collection of Little People is set up.) Okay, class, today we're going to talk about what we have on our heads. (pointing to each Little Person in turn) Good! Good. Good. Good! (driving the tractor around in circles.) And the first one is... PATRICK LOLO! And the second one is... SARAH MINTZ!

Man, if only I could get first or second place for what I have on MY head.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Julia and Madeleine had a great play-date today with their friends Nate and Anja, keeping busy with such activities as building a library (by draping blankets over the little table) and hanging out underneath by flashlight, playing mommy to our various baby dolls, and riding bikes out in the driveway. In addition to their active play, both the older and younger sets of kids took the time to socially interact, providing us mommies the opportunity to overhear some amusing conversations. For example, while hanging out under the blankets in the library, Julia and Nate discussed the importance of transformers:

NATE: Julia, transformers are REAL! They're cars that turn into other kinds of things and they come and RESCUE people!
JULIA: Yeah, I know, one of those fell off from the power lines during the snowstorm right by my house and it caught on fire.
NATE: (in awe) What kind was it?
JULIA: I don't know, but my daddy went outside and saw it and he told me about it.

I wonder if Julia is now imagining the transformer that fell to have been a car that turned into the MAN OF FIRE in order to melt all the snow off of the road.

Madeleine and Anja had a slightly less intellectual conversation:

ANJA: (with glee) DOH!
MADELEINE: (giggling)
ANJA: (giggling)
ANJA: (still giggling)
MADELEINE: Anja, do it! Say 'doh!'
MADELEINE AND ANJA: (cracking up with wild abandon)

And on the subject of amusing conversations overheard, I was able to capture one on video last night. As Madeleine stuffed her face (way too) full of bread, she and Julia took turns telling knock-knock jokes. And let me tell you, they were mightily pleased with their own wit and unbridled humor:

Man, they are HILARIOUS. I think they really get the hang of how to tell a good knock-knock joke. Highball diaper PUMPKIN!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A trip to the playground

To fully enjoy the beautiful, unseasonably warm weather today, I decided to take Madeleine to a nearby playground, both of us traveling on foot. The entire trip was full of Madeleine-isms, starting within our very first few minutes of walking. Thoroughly delighted at the chance to walk by herself, instead of being stuck in the stroller, Madeleine burst forth with her drunken-staggering hop-walking down the sidewalk; that is, until she heard the noise of lawnmowers and leaf-blowers at a house across the street from where we were walking. Frantically reaching her hands up towards me, she demanded that I rescue her from the fearsome sound.

MADELEINE: Mommy? Carry me to the NOISE?
ME: It's okay, Madeleine. The noise won't hurt us. Let's keep walking. I'll hold your hand.
MADELEINE: Mommy? Carry me to the NOISE?
ME: Don't be scared of the noise. Let's keep walking.
MADELEINE: I want Mommy carry me to the NOISE?
ME: We're almost past the lawn mowers. Don't worry.
MADELEINE: (as we moved past the mowers) That's so better to the noise.
ME: Yeah, see, I told you the noise wasn't scary.
MADELEINE: It's just LAWN MOWERS! That's SO better to the noise.
ME: Did the noise make you feel scared?
MADELEINE: Yeah. I scared to the NOISE.

As we continued along our walk, I insisted Madeleine hold my hand anytime we crossed an intersecting street, which apparently made her feel the need to have me assist her in "crossing the tree" as well.

MADELEINE: Mommy carry me crossing the tree?
ME: You don't need me to carry you. You're okay. Let's hold hands.
MADELEINE: Yeah, we're crossing the tree. Mommy, I did it! I cross to the tree ALL by MYSELF!
ME: (having no idea what tree we supposedly crossed) Great job, Madeleine!
MADELEINE: Yeah! I crossed to the TREE!

When we got to the playground, Madeleine busied herself climbing ladders, turning steering wheels, going down the slide, crawling through tunnels, and so forth. As another little girl arrived at the park with her grandparents, Madeleine decided to go into one of the baby swings, and the little girl went in the swing beside her. Hearing the other girl giggle with glee as her grandmother pushed her, Madeleine decided to prove that she shares her sister's utterly random associations and began forcing out some raucus fake laughter.

ME: Are you laughing?
MADELEINE: Yeah! I laughing at PINKIE PIE!

A few minutes later, Madeleine's stuffy nose began bothering her, and she asked me for some assistance.

MADELEINE: Mommy, I have STICKY nose.
ME: Your nose is stuffy?
MADELEINE: Yeah, I have STICKY nose. Mommy wipe my sticky nose?

So I used the sleeve of her shirt to wipe her nose, but I guess my efforts fell short of her expectations.

MADELEINE: Mommy? Wipe my OTHER nose?

What could I do besides wipe her other nose.

As we walked home after a fun half hour on the playground, Madeleine languished in the entire experience, stopping every few steps to play with leaves on the ground, and at one point she picked up a large stick, pulled off every leaf attached to it, then continued walking as she brandished her sword.

MADELEINE: Mommy? I just carrying my stick. I want to take my stick to the home?

I allowed her to take it to the home, but it wasn't allowed to come IN to the home, so it is now sitting out on our front lawn, awaiting its owner's return next time we go to play outside.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


You've heard Julia sing the theme song from Dora the Explorer, but it turns out she's not the only one in the house who knows it word for word (for the most part):


Monday, November 7, 2011

Julia's logic

Julia thinks out the answers to some real stumpers:

As we rode by the Coldwell Banker real estate office on the 59 bus, we saw a man carrying a huge American flag on a pole into the office.
JULIA: Mom, why was that person carrying a flag inside that building?
ME: I don't know. I was wondering that too. I'm not sure why.
JULIA: Well, maybe he needs to get it fixed.

Ah, yes, the real estate office, doubling as a flag-repair shop...

After we missed our bus stop because the stop-request button that I pushed failed to work:

JULIA: Mom, I can't see where we go onto the other sidewalk.
ME: Well, we have a ways still. See that across the street? That's the playground. So there's no sidewalk on that side of the street for awhile.
JULIA: What? How is that the playground? Mama, did we MISS our stop?
ME: Yes, we had to get off further down the road because the stop request button didn't work and the bus went by our stop.
JULIA: Mama, thank you so much for telling me, because I was so confused that I didn't RECOGNIZE anything!
ME: Yeah, we have to walk a little further because we got off at a different spot.
JULIA: But why didn't the stop request work?
ME: I have no idea. I pressed it over and over but it wouldn't work.
JULIA: Mama, maybe the batteries died.

Must be.

At home, picking up a pair of totally useless kid scissors that came with a birthday gift from Julia's 3rd b-day party:
JULIA: Mama, why don't these scissors work?
ME: I don't know, but they really don't cut well.
JULIA: Mom, maybe Vivan was getting tired of giving everybody things that work, so she just got me these.

Uh... yeah.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pony Adventures

Madeleine took My Little Ponies Minty and Fluttershy on a wild adventure this morning:

After which she took them on an EVEN MORE EXCITING triangle adventure:

I'm not entirely sure where they went on their adventure, but it certainly looks like they got a good workout in!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Back to Children's Museum

Julia has been asking if we could visit the Children's Museum in Easton again, so this afternoon the Rowes headed on over. Since she remembered every detail of our summertime trip there, Julia had planned out her agenda while on the car trip over. First up: face paint. I urged her not to paint the entirety of her face this time, since her last face-painting extravaganza led to a swollen eye and a trip to the doctor. She took a more conservative, but still very expressively artistic, approach today:

Next up was the play-kitchen area, where both girls created wonderful faux-food meals for me. I was particularly impressed with Madeleine's piece de resistance:

"Here you go, Mom! A cookie and a watermelon!"

After my delicious feast, we headed into the doctor's office, where Ethan and I had the pleasure of becoming grandparents. Julia gave birth first, to a daughter named Marina. I guess she must have given birth in the wheelchair en route to the delivery room:

But that's okay, because we had Doctor Ethan on hand to immediately check her out:

Madeleine gave birth next, although she seemed much more interested in getting a fun ride around the room in the wheelchair than in her baby:

And in a strange twist of events, Julia wound up leaving the hospital on crutches. Why? "Because I had a baby!":

Next up was the dinosaur room, in which Madeleine took the time to pick up each and every dinosaur and label it for me: "That's a DINOSAUR! That's a DINOSAUR! That's a DINOSAUR! That's ALLOSAURUS! That's a DINOSAUR! That's a DINOSAUR! That's a DINOSAUR! That's a ROAR! That's a DINOSAUR! That's a DINOSAUR! That's a SHARK!"


She really enjoyed pretend-playing with the dinosaurs, especially the Brachiosauri, who had a heart-felt reunion while crying out, "I found you!":

Unfortunately, the fun came to an end when, just as while watching last week's episode of "Curious George," Madeleine became "scared to the dinosaur" after Julia held out one of the dinosaurs and made a roaring sound at her sister:

Soooo, we decided to head to a different room and re-direct. The girls got a chance to go inside the space shuttle and be astronauts, although the helmet was a weeeee bit enormous on Madeleine:

I don't think either child actually wanted to leave when it was time to go, proven by Madeleine's wails of "I wanna go back in MUSEEEEEEUM!" as I dragged her along to the car, so all and all, it was a successful outing. My little chefs/new mothers/paleontologists/astronauts seemed to thoroughly enjoy their museum visit.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Style and singing

Madeleine decided to don some accessories while I was teaching piano lessons yesterday afternoon, going for her typical bohemian chic look once again:

The dichotomy of a pair of Crocs against a winter hat and scarf totally *makes* this outfit, don't you think?

Meanwhile, Julia was busy composing yet another hit song. Although she didn't give me an official title, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess it's called "Do it":

Rock ON!