Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Halloween is here!  Hooray, hooray!  It's not like the girls have had Halloween fever for the past month or anything...oh, wait...

Because watching Halloween movies, making Halloween cookies, hanging jack-o-lantern crafts all over our walls, and playing "Haunted House" is not *quite* enough pre-Halloween preparation, we have made sure to cram in every last fun Halloween activity to get ready for the big day.  Aunties Shannon and Caitlyn were aiders and abetters in this Halloween mania.  Together, they created a short chapter book for Julia and Madeleine, sending the text they wrote for me to read to the girls, with the opportunity for the girls to create accompanying illustrations:

Julia and Madeleine got immediately to work on their drawings.  Can anyone guess which page Madeleine illustrated?

I'm particularly fond of Julia's pig-nosed pumpkin, shown above.

After finishing her illustrations, Julia decided to make a Halloween book for her aunties in return.  Without asking anything of me, she sat down and wrote out the words all on her own, creating her very latest masterpiece, "Lee lee is a Wich."

I guess she decided her initial text was unacceptable.

Now that's MUCH better.

Page 1:
With all the cross-outs and write-overs, I'm a bit lost as to what's going on in the text here.  Clearly Julia does not share Madeleine's compulsion to start each imperfect word over until she gets it right, and instead goes for the time-saving option of correcting her own mistakes on top of each undesirable letter.  I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume it says: "I'm Lee lee the Wich."

Page 2:
"Lee lee is my love.  I love you to."  Aww.  Sweet.

Page 3:
"Lee lee go and stop." 

WOW.  What a dramatic ending.  I don't know if I can handle being left with this cliffhanger.  What happens AFTER Lee lee go and stop?!?  How can Julia leave us in the dark like this?  I'm hoping there will be a sequel out soon: "Lee lee the Wich 2."

In addition to Halloween books, the girls and Ethan got to work last night carving jack-o-lanterns, adding to all of the Halloween excitement:

And, even more exciting, Julia gets to look forward to a Halloween parade and party at school today.  Her teacher even encouraged the kids to wear a part of their costume throughout the day today, before changing into full regalia in time for the parade.  Julia headed off to school donning her witch hat:

Which meant, of course, that Madeleine insisted upon wearing HER witch hat on our way to drop Julia off at kindergarten:

Unfortunately, I was not able to break my streak of heading to school with crying kids, even though it's a fun and exciting day.  Madeleine was not satisfied with *only* copying Julia's hat.  She was reduced to heart-broken sobs over the fact that she did not also have striped leggings and striped socks like Julia, and she felt completely gypped over the matter of not also having a raincoat inside her backpack as we drove over to school.  The fact that Madeleine does not actually have school today and therefore needs neither backpack nor raincoat was a moot point, in her eyes.  Her orange pumpkin shirt and black pants simply would not do.  It's identical-twins-with-Julia or bust.

I'm sure there will be much more to post about our Halloween adventures trick-or-treating this evening, so stay tuned for a recap on tomorrow's blog! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Aftermath of the Storm

Hurricane Sandy seems to have passed, and we in the Rowe household are feeling very lucky to have suffered minimal repercussions.  While we have some branches and limbs that fell in our backyard, we had no major damage and were fortunate enough not to lose power.  I guess all the candles Ethan bought on Sunday night were for naught, although Julia seemed to think she knew of a good use for them.

JULIA: Mama, can I have some lunch?
ME: Yes, in a few minutes I'll get you a cheese stick.
JULIA: But Mama, can I have one of those EXTRA LONG cheese sticks that Daddy bought?
ME: The cheese sticks are all the same size.  There are no extra long ones.
JULIA: No, I'm talking about the ones on the COUNTER that Daddy bought!

Extra long cheese sticks.  Mmm, nice and waxy.

Last night, Ethan and I decided to have the girls sleep together in one bed, so that a) if we lost power they would have each other for comfort, and b) Julia would not have to hear the sound of the howling wind and clacking tree branches right outside her window to the backyard.  So they snuggled close to protect each other in Madeleine's room throughout the night:

While they certainly look like little precious angels in this picture, it took some doing to get them to this point.  A sleepover in Madeleine's room was such an exciting idea that neither kid could seem to calm down during their lullaby.  Madeleine did not help matters when the girls were choosing their song.

ME: Okay, what song would you girls like?
JULIA: I want "Under African Skies."
MADELEINE: (barely able to contain herself) I want BUNDER BAFRICAN BYES!
ETHAN: (beginning to sing the instrumental intro)
MADELEINE: (sticking her tongue out and loudly making "BLAH BLAH BLAH" noises over him.)
ETHAN: (singing) Joseph's face was as black as the night...
MADELEINE: (singing) Boseph's bace bas bas black bas ba biiiight....
JULIA: (hysterically cracking up)
MADELEINE: (goofing around even more loudly) BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAAAAH!

Our ultimate solution was for Ethan to take Julia out of the bedroom until Madeleine was asleep, after which we were able to put Julia back in Madeleine's bed.  This morning, however, upon waking, Madeleine was just as excited as ever.  The girls got a stern visit from me shortly before 6am to tell them it was fine if they wanted to talk or play but the VERY loud, VERY rambunctious "BLAH BLAH BLAAAAAH!" resonating through my wall was unacceptable. 

I mean, as Madeleine knows, I like sticking my tongue out and saying "blah blah blah" just as much as the next guy, but there is truly a time and a place for it, and the crack of dawn is definitely not that time.  Furthermore, to my dismay, Julia also reported: "And Mama, Madeleine asked if she could LICK-KISS me!" 

That girl seriously needs to learn to keep her tongue to herself.

School was cancelled yet again, unfortunately, so the girls and I are facing a second day of being house-bound.  We were able to add some excitement to our day, however, by arranging a play-date at our place with Nate and Anja, whose house has no power.  The kids got to have yesterday's Halloween cookies for snack, play "police officer," hang out upstairs in Julia and Madeleine's rooms, and watch Sesame Street while eating lunch.  Here they all are, sitting around the tv, eating some non-extra-long cheese sticks:

Now that our friends have gone back home, Julia is busy doing "Gallop Time," while Madeleine has decided to dress up as "a beach girl who's going to the BEACH":

Halfway through no-school day #2.  Fingers crossed for school tomorrow, AND decent weather for evening trick-or-treating!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Stormy No School Day

Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, which so far has produced nothing but light rain, both school AND swim lessons are cancelled for today.  Julia, who whole-heartedly loves going to both activities, questioned the reasoning behind the school cancellation.

JULIA: Well, Mama, why WAS school cancelled today?  Is it because the kids would be, like, all cooped up inside the school all day, and because the kids would be, like, all FOCUSED on the storm and looking out the window and stuff?

I actually think that's a pretty fair description of why there's no school today.

In order to make up for missing school, Julia put together her own school session at home, and added the double bonus of hurricane protection, as she and Madeleine attended school inside their home-made fort:

What a nice, sturdy fort made of blankets and chairs.  There's NO way a hurricane could blow that over.

While in school, Julia diligently worked on her reading skills, reading books aloud to Madeleine:

Julia took a break from reading to announce it was snack time, which presented a difficult dilemma for both girls: "Brave" fruit snacks or Disney Princess fruit snacks?  Oh, what a hard choice.  Madeleine originally went for "Brave," but then changed her mind when she realized her sister was eating princesses.  However, that didn't stop Madeleine from giving me a whole synopsis of the movie "Brave."  Given that we saw it back in July, I'm awfully surprised at how much she remembers about it.

To further keep ourselves entertained as we are house-bound for the day, the girls and I decided to make some Halloween cookies with the brand new cookie cutters I bought.  Julia was quick to delightedly declare what objects the cookie cutters represented, even if her interpretations of the various shapes weren't always quite on target.

"A dinosaur!"

"A tomato!"

"A moon!"  (At least she got that one right.)

The girls had so much fun cutting out cookie shapes that it was an utter travesty, in Madeleine's mind, when we were finally out of dough.  It was absolutely necessary for her to wrap her arms around my leg, holding the black cat cutter, and sob into my thigh, while I was washing dishes, about the injustice of the whole situation.  "But I just really need to make another caaaaaaat!" she lamented.  It's a tough life, Madeleine.  Sometimes you just run outta dough.  What can you do??

Julia has also added to the Halloween spirit by adding yet more taped-up pictures to our walls and door frame.  Below are the spooooky Haunted House decorations she drew:

Wooooh!  Scaaary!  Behold: a window (top), a JAIL WINDOW (middle), and a door (bottom.)  Yikes.  I don't know if I can handle this.  I might be too freaked out by these images to keep them hanging on my door frame.

And talk about spooky.  Take a look at these mean and scary jack-o-lanterns!:

Maybe I can get Madeleine to make some of her black ghoul people or her bloody-eyed Ariel to spice up the scare factor here.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

80th Birthday Party

Yesterday, my dear grandmother turned eighty years old, and we Rowes helped her celebrate by attending her birthday party down in Connecticut.  The drive down Friday night was off to a very auspicious start when we got stuck in complete stand-still traffic a few minutes into our journey.  Luckily, we had music to keep us entertained:

Though Julia seemed to find the music invigorating, Madeleine apparently found it to be a lullaby, as she conked out cold about twenty minutes after we set out.  Upon seeing her asleep in her car seat, I felt my stomach sink, because it's a given that an impromptu late-afternoon nap means a wide-awake Madeleine at bedtime.  Attempting to rouse her, I called her name loudly several times until she awoke, then told her that one of her favorite songs was playing.

"Don't you want to listen to 'The Sunny Side of Life?" I entreated her.
She responded by nodding her head, nodding off to sleep as she did so, sitting there conked out with her head drooping down in front of her.

Julia was not at any point lulled to sleep by the music, though she was occasionally lulled into inattention to her own OCD rules of conduct.

JULIA: Mama?  I'm doing a thing where EVERY song, I switch dolls (pointing to her pile of four American girl dolls that she brought along for the car ride.)  But sometimes, I, like, just start, like, relaxing, or, like, ENJOYING the music, and I FORGET to switch dolls, so then when I remember, I just SWITCH them.

Madeleine, fortunately, did not sleep for the ENTIRE car ride, but unfortunately, was not particularly thrilled to be stuck in the car once she awoke.  In fact, neither kid was loving our extra long drive down to Yiayia's house, made even more fun by recurring pockets of heavy traffic the whole way down.  Julia seemed to think that Ethan and I were the gods of the highways who had omniscient understanding of why everything was the way it was.  "Mama!  But WHY are these cars all driving so SLOWLY?  WHY is there so much TRAFFIC?  I just wish we could get to YIAYIA'S HOUSE!" she would lament over and over again from the back seat.  I'm not sure she fully understood that no matter how badly SHE wanted the drive to be over with, Ethan and I actually wanted it to be over ten times as badly.

In a final desperate attempt to quell the kids' boredom, I suggested we play the Alphabet game.  I explained the rules of searching the signs, license plates, and storefronts around us to find each letter of the alphabet in subsequent order. 

ME: Okay, so first we need to look for the letter A!
JULIA: Okay.  Oh!  Mama!  I see an A!
ME: Great job!  Okay, now look for the letter B!
MADELEINE: (pointing aimlessly) Oh!  I see a B!
ME: Where?
MADELEINE: (pointing aimlessly again) Right THERE!
ME: Okay.  Let's look for C!
MADELEINE: (pointing aimlessly) Oh!  I see a C!
JULIA:  Madeleine, can I PLEASE have a turn to find the next one?
ME: Yeah.  Okay.  Let's take turns.  Julia, you look for D.
MADELEINE: (pointing aimlessly) Oh!  I see a D!
JULIA: Moooom!  Madeleine!  Mom, she's not giving me a turn to FIND ANYTHING!

Julia's gusto for the game lasted until we got temporarily stumped on the letter H, at which point she decided to try and alter the rules.

JULIA: Well, Mama, I can't find any H!  So...should we just skip it and go on to the next letter?
ME: No!  We have to find all the letters in order - that's the rule of the game!
JULIA: Well, WHY do we HAVE to find every letter?

Because, Julia.  This game is SUPPOSED to take a long time to keep you entertained and to keep you from asking every two seconds how much longer until we get to Yiayia's house.  Help me out, here.

By the time we got to K, Julia was really pooping out on the whole game idea.

JULIA: Mama, I just can't FIND any K.
ME: Really?  Keep looking.  I've seen FOUR already.
JULIA: Well, Mama, then why don't YOU just find the letters?

Happily, I managed to keep both kinds interested enough to get through the whole alphabet.  As we approached our exit, we were down to the last few letters, and tensions mounted as we wondered if we could complete the alphabet before arriving at Yiayia's house.  Madeleine was so sucked into the excitement of our down-to-the-wire letter search that she jumped in to contribute in the only way she knew how.

ME: Quick!  We need to find W!
MADELEINE: (pointing all around her and crying out in delight)  SIGNS!  Mommy, I see SIGNS!
JULIA: Oh!  Mama, I saw a W!
MADELEINE: Oh!  Mama, I saw a D!
ME: Okay, look for X!  Quick!
JULIA: I see an X!  In the word EXIT!
MADELEINE: (shrieking enthusiastically) Mommy!  I see SIGNS! 
ME: And is there a Y on our exit sign?
JULIA: YES!  I see a Y!
MADELEINE: (in frantic excitement) SIGNS!  Mommy, I see SIGNS!

It seemed that we were doomed to lose the game, however, as we pulled off the highway and were stuck with one of the most elusive letters of the alphabet to find as we drove through small town roads to Yiayia's house.  THANKFULLY, Miranda's Pizza saved the day.  HOORAY!  I'm not sure if we were more excited to have completed the alphabet or to finally be off the traffic-laden highway, but the car sure was full of wild delight.

The girls were, of course, amped up and full of energy once we got out of the car, so it was not only a late bedtime for both, but they were up - literally - at the crack of dawn the next morning.  As the adults got busy readying the house for the big party, the kids managed to keep completely entertained playing with toys in the play basement.  Once the guests arrived, however, Madeleine literally became the life of the party.  Hanging out in the laps of relatives she had never even met before in her life (or hasn't seen since infancy), she was her usual confident and gregarious self:

Madeleine even managed to hold her own in conversations with various relatives, and if she didn't have something relevant to say, she wasn't afraid to forge on ahead with total confidence regardless of her tangent.  As we sat at the table eating dessert, I announced to the girls that after they finished their cake, we were going to take baths and put on pajamas, which spawned a conversation about baths between Madeleine and one of our relatives.

ELAINE: Ooh, bath time!  Do you like taking baths, Madeleine?
ELAINE: Do you like soap?
MADELEINE: can be PUTTING YOUR HAIR in your eyes like this and it's, like, CRACKING ME UP!

I can't imagine there could be a more clear and concise answer to "do you like soap?" than the one Madeleine gave above.

As we went upstairs to start the bath, Julia announced dreamily, "That was a reeeeally fun party."  Then, suddenly curious, she asked me, "But Mama?  Do you KNOW the names of all the boys AND the girls down there?"

You mean my relatives?  Uh, yeah.  I know their names.

After baths were finished and pajamas were on, we began packing up the car to get on the road back home.  The girls made their rounds with hugs for all our relatives, and the transition seemed smooth until we were heading out the door and Madeleine discovered she was borefooting.  I had assumed she would prefer to ride home borefoot so that she could conk out in the car, but I could have not been more wrong.  My uncle was fortunately able to step in and help me out with the process of getting my sad little borefooter to the car.

ME: (opening the front door) Okay, come on girls, let's go to the car.
MADELEINE: (bursting into tears) Oh no!  I need my SHOOEEES!
UNCLE DAVE: (lifting Madeleine into his arms)  Can I carry you to the car since you don't have your shoes on?
MADELEINE: (burying her head in Uncle Dave's neck and releasing a heart-broken wail)
UNCLE DAVE: Are you sad that I'm carrying you?  Do you want your Mom?
MADELEINE: (inconsolable) I just RILLYRILLY need my SHOOOOEEES!  (breaking into a fresh wail of injustice.)

I think she may have been a little overtired.  About ten minutes into the car drive, I turned around to see this:

Luckily, we had Julia, wide awake in the back seat, to provide cheerful chatter the whole ride home, despite my hopes that she, too, would conk out in back. 

At any rate, they had a great time partying down with the Bellas family.  Happy Birthday, Yiayia Megali!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Madeleine has long been interrupting the stories we read to her in order to ask questions about every single picture on every single page.  Starting way back in her "What happened to his MOUTH?" phase, in which she struggled to understand the complicated emotions the various characters were experiencing in the drawings, she has, over time, grown able to refine her questions and elaborate upon her concerns regarding each picture.  Of course, this makes the book-reading at least twice as long, especially since she likes to follow up each answer I give with a further question. 

Today, as we read through "Aladdin," she had a LOT to ask about.  Here are some of her most pressing concerns:

Now, when I view this picture, my general sense of the scene revolves around Jasmine and Jafar arguing.  Perhaps Jafar's serpent staff may grab my attention as well.  But Madeleine sees it in a whole different way.  Not bothering to remark upon Jasmine, Jafar, OR the staff, she is instead curious about the overhanging lamps.  (At least that's what I'm guessing they are.)  Pointing to the one near Jasmine's head, Madeleine asked me, "But Mommy?  Why is this ANGRY?"  Wow.  Way to notice the finer details, Madeleine.  I would never have given one iota of attention towards the subject, but thanks to Madeleine, I now have a new mystery to contemplate.  Why is the overhanging lamp angry?  I'm truly stumped.  Anyone want to weigh in, here?

This picture, for me, primarily conveys the idea that Aladdin is near dead, weighted down on the bottom of the ocean floor, and the genie is showing his concern for his master.  Madeleine was more interested in a different issue.  Pointing at Aladdin's head, she asked me, "Mommy?  Why is his hair STICKING OUT OF HIS BRAIN like that?"

This image elicited two highly relevant questions from Madeleine.  #1: "Mommy?  But why is everybody wearing their JAMMIES?"  And #2, in reference to the Genie: "Mommy?  What are all those BUMPS all over the blue genie?"  I tried to explain the concept of muscles for her, even attempting to make my explanation concrete by rolling up my sleeve and flexing my bicep for her.  I guess my muscles are much smaller and less remarkable than I thought, because when I asked her if she wanted to feel the "bump" made by my muscle, she instead began caressing one of the moles on my arm. 

Upon seeing this picture, Madeleine was initially concerned about her bumpy genie friend.  "Uh, Mommy?  What happened to the BLUE GENIE?" she inquired.  After learning that this red genie was, in fact, Jafar, and that the blue genie was still around, just not shown in the picture, Madeleine began to contemplate other matters.  Pointing to the red genie, she demanded, "But why is he SQUEEZING?"

Madeleine took great comic delight in the above picture.  Pointing at the genie, she squealed, "Why is he a DOG BOY CONSTRUCTION BOY?"

I was able to answer why the genie is bumpy.  I don't really know why he's a dog boy construction boy.  Anyone else want to wager a guess?

Finally, Madeleine had a picture of her own that we brought home from school today.  She had traced a house shape with a stencil, coloring it in red to match our own house, and drawing our family outside of it:

According to child psychologists, I must be the central, most important figure in Madeleine's life: OR she just happens to think I'm a giant, because according to Madeleine, the biggest person in the picture is Mommy.  Below me is Madeleine.  To the left of me is Daddy, who appears to have two heads.  And below the two-headed Daddy is Julia.  Madeleine offered a bit of clarification on the two-headed monster that is Daddy: one of the heads belongs to her, Madeleine.  Now what would child psychologists say about THAT?!?  Unfortunately, my asking about the double-headed Daddy caused Madeleine a great amount of lamentation.  Perfectionist that she is, she found it COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE that there be TWO Madeleines in the picture.  She suddenly began imploring me to fix her enormous flub-up disaster.  "Uh, Mommy, can you just WIPE THAT ONE off, because...I don't want TWO MADELEINES." 

Unfortunately for Madeleine, we can't erase marker, so she will have to live on in this picture as Ethan's conjoined twin. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Julia has come up with a new, inventive way to play with her Little People.  Yesterday was the grand opening of the brand new Little People school, aka her play kitchen set. 

Project Daddy is the principal:

The oven serves as the main classroom, because the oven is definitely the safest place to put a bunch of kids:

I like how the kids are all lined up neat and orderly-like.  Even Baby Laurie knows how to follow her teacher, Cartacarizza, in a straight line.

According to Julia, the teachers at this school stay at school forever.  They don't take vacations and they don't ever go home on holidays, nights, or weekends.  They even sleep at the school.  Now THAT'S dedication.  Or prison.

I'm guessing this is a parochial school, because the manger people are still hanging out in the freezer:

Speaking of school, I attended Julia's first kindergarten parent-teacher conference this morning.  I was really pleased and proud (though unsurprised) to hear that Julia is, according to the teacher, always a good listener and always following the classroom rules.  I was also unsurprised to hear that Julia is somewhat quiet at school, though I still can't get over the difference between Julia's at-home and outside-of-home persona.  This is the child who took about 45 minutes to finish her dinner last night because she was so busy spewing non-stop verbal diarrhea at her favorite baby-sitter.  However, I was VERY much the same way as a child, so I can completely understand the veil of shyness that takes over in outside settings.

I was not only proud of how well Julia seems to be listening in kindergarten, but I was proud of Madeleine as well, who obediently sat in silence, coloring in her Dora coloring book, throughout the whole entire conference.  Who would have thought?!?  It was not until the conference had concluded that Madeleine piped up at all.  After running over to check out the sand table, she told the teacher, while hopping towards the classroom door with me, "I saw your SUGAR over there!" 

Can you imagine the chaos that would reign if there really was a table full of sugar to play with at school??

As I got Madeleine into her car seat after we left Julia's school, I kissed her cheek and told her how proud I was of her great listening.  She stuck her tongue out goofily and responded with what is probably the least expected thing to hear from a 3-year-old EVER.  "Mommy, can you lick-kiss somebody with your TONGUE?"

Yikes.  Uh.  Wow.  While I know that she will someday realize that you can, in fact, lick-kiss somebody with your tongue, at the moment, the idea of her putting her germy, slobbery tongue anywhere near other kids is unacceptable.  So I simply explained that we don't put our tongues on any part of other people, because we don't want to share our mouth germs.

Back at home, Madeleine got busy "reading" the pages of one of Julia's educational game books.  In the following video, you can hear all about both Cinderella's AND Ariel's School Ackventures:

She doos it GREAT!
You're welcome!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fine Motor Skills

While Ethan and I have similar skills in a number of areas - music being the big one - we also have extremely differing capabilities in other arenas.  Ethan was quite interested and talented in the visual arts as a youth, and numerous paintings and etchings of his decorate the walls of our home to this day.  I, on the other hand, cannot be relied upon to cut a piece of paper in a straight line, let alone slice a bagel or a piece of bread.  I got in trouble in kindergarten for opting to tear the construction paper feathers of my Indian headdress (ah, the good old non-P.C. days of school Thanksgiving celebrations) because I deduced, as a 5-year-old, that ripped paper looked no more jagged and terrible than my scissor-work, yet was completed much, much faster.  I currently have a Make-a-Plate in our stack of dishes that I made - AS A TEENAGER - featuring Ariel the Little Mermaid looking like some sort of monkey-octopus hybrid. 

Just for comparison, here is some of my adolescent artwork:

I think the MOST pathetic thing about my drawing skills above is my complete inability to even accurately draw FISH.  I'm pretty sure my children could draw fish better than that pitiful display up there.

Here is some of Ethan's adolescent artwork:

Just to seal this case even tighter: when our children see the above etching, they are both immediately able to identify the subject as "Daddy."  When they look at the plate I made, they'll point to Ariel and ask, "Mommy?  What's THAT?"

At any rate, we have two children.  One of them has clearly inherited Ethan's artistic skills.  Although Madeleine has a predilection towards coloring everything black so that you can't actually see the details, her ability to color in the lines, write her letters, and draw objects boggles my mind, given that she only recently turned 3.  Julia, on the other hand, seems a lot more like her mommy. 

Last night, Julia and I sat down to work on her kindergarten homework.  Her homework packet consisted of four pages, with each page devoted to one number.  The first page, dedicated to the number one, started off like a piece of cake.  Trace the number one: easy-peasy, just a straight line down.  Then draw the number one.  Again, easy-peasy.  Straight lines don't got nothin' on Julia!  Then trace the word "one."  Julia was able to trace the lower-case letters with no problem, though I noticed she was tracing the "e" starting at the bottom of the letter, which posed difficulty for the following step in her homework.  Write the word "one."  After a few erasures, she was able to get the "o" and "n" somewhat accurate.  The "e" - not so much:

Uh...Hm.  Okay.  Let's try again.  After laborious efforts, we FINALLY had the whole line filled with repetitions of the word "one":

Thankfully, my long efforts working on the proper way to make a lower case "e" with her truly paid off.  Look at what a pro she was by the time we got to the homework page on the number 3!:

Success!  Or, as she put it, "Mama, those 'e's look like a GROWN-UP made them!"

Moving on to a completely unrelated topic, Madeleine had a lot of random thoughts on her mind this morning upon first waking.  After I showered and went upstairs to dress, I peeked through the crack in her door to see if she was still asleep, only to view her big brown owl eyes wide open as she laid in her bed.  I went through the door and greeted her, which opened the flood gates for all the things that must have been swirling through her brain while she had been laying there.

ME: Good morning, honey!
MADELEINE: Good morning, Mommy.  Mommy?  Did you know that I went to the DENTIST?
ME: I did know that!
MADELEINE: Yeah.  But...Mommy?  Why does a shot HURT?
ME: Shots hurt because your skin gets a little pinched.  That's what makes it hurt.  But shots are really important.  They make it so that you don't get sick from dangerous diseases.
MADELEINE: But...why does a shot hurt your THROAT?
ME: They hurt your throat?
MADELEINE: Mommy?  But...what happened to your throat?

I had no idea what she was talking about.

After we descended the stairs, I put Madeleine on the potty while I applied moisturizer to my face.  Clearly, watching me rub my lotion in completely threw Madeleine for a loop.  It was like she'd never seen anything like it, asking me, "Mommy?  Why are you putting that on?  Why are you putting that on your OVAL HEAD?"

Because, honey.  Mommy's oval head is starting to get wrinkles now that she's getting older, so moisturizing is important, just like getting shots at the dentist that hurt your throat is important.

At any rate, my oval head is now smooth with lotion and the kids are both off at school, where hopefully Julia will get a chance to show off some of her new, kick-butt lower case e's!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pony Halloween

Talk about productivity: Julia completed yet another book yesterday.  This is another Halloween-themed book to get you in the holiday spirit. 

Freshly stapled together this morning, I am now the proud owner of Julia's latest picture book, Pony Hallow

Page 1:

"The ponys saw the costu."  I know it's pretty evident and obvious what these costus are, but *just in case* you need some help interpreting, the pony on the left is wearing a bat costu, the pony in the middle is a chicken, and the pony to the right is wearing a scarecrow costu.  I'm sure you figured all that out already, though.

Page 2:
"Little Pony Pie saw Mom and Dad."  Is it me or do Mom and Dad look kind of like a hat-shaped blue scribble?

Page 3:
"They coloring th book."  YEAH they are!

Page 4:
"No no you don-t to a book."  Yeah.  That's right!  You most certainly DON'T to a book.  (Even Julia seemed confused by this page when reading it to me.)

Page 5:
"I love yow to.  Rhyming words zoo sue blue noo."

I think Julia truly outdid herself this time.  Much more detailed pictures, more pages, longer text on each page.  Definitely a must-read!

And with that, we are off to Julia's swim lesson at the pool.  Rhyming words school cool fool drool.