Saturday, March 30, 2013

Gymnastics Show

Today was Julia's big gymnastics show, which meant Ethan, Madeleine and I got to sit in the gymnasium of Dedham High School to watch every single class perform a dance and gymnastic routine.  We arrived a half hour before the show was to begin and dropped Julia off with her classmates, all clad in their white tees and navy shorts:

Then the rest of the Rowes settled in for a LONG time sitting in the bleachers.  Luckily, Madeleine was really a trooper, and sat about as well as one could expect for a three-year-old.  Although there were the occasional attempts to do illicit things ("Can I lick Daddy?"), and the intermittent over-excited raspy-voiced demonic outbursts as she got lost in pretend play fantasy world, good old Madeleine mostly held it together.  It also helped that Julia's class performed second in the overall order, so by the time Madeleine got antsy, Julia's group was already done, thereby allowing us Rowe parents to take our eyes off the gym floor and focus more on Madeleine.

Hangin' in the bleachers

Julia's gymnastics group started off with a choreographed routine to Beyonce's "All the Single Ladies."  Be prepared to be WOWED by this amazing feat of gymnastics skill:

After the dancing and prancing around, the kids did get to show off some of their specific gymnastics skills, performing on each individual apparatus, as well as doing a coordinated floor routine with forward rolls, straddle jumps, cartwheels, and high kicks.  Madeleine appeared to momentarily forget we were watching Julia's gymnastics class - and not her swim lesson - as the floor routine progressed.

ME: Look!  They just did a straddle jump!  Now they're doing cartwheels!
MADELEINE: Mom?  And NEXT are they going to do belly flops?

Julia's beam routine was short but flawless.  Are you all thinking what I'm thinking?  The next Aly Raisman right here, folks!

Yes!  NAILED that landing!  I give it a perfect 10!

And wait 'til you see her vault.  Never before have I seen this particular technique of running straight up to the horse and coming to a complete stop before hopping aboard.  I think we've got a new style of vaulting that's about to catch on!

At any rate, Julia has thoroughly enjoyed her gymnastics experience, and she was able to have fun and learn a few things without major pressure.  I'm definitely glad she has stuck with swimming as her main sport, however, since I think that's the area in which her athletic strength lies.

As we headed to the car after the show, Julia pointed out our blaring parental/cheerleader error.  "Mom?  How come lots of kids are holding a bouquet of FLOWERS?"  Whoops.  Hadn't even thought to bring flowers, to tell the truth.  No worries, however; when we stopped at the Trader Joe's to pick up groceries on our way home, Julia pointed to the display of tulips, crying gleefully, "Oh, well Mom, NOW we can get my flowers!"

She held onto those babies good and tight throughout the whole shopping expedition:


Friday, March 29, 2013

Swim Lesson Chat

What parent doesn't want to have this conversation with her child in a pool locker room, surrounded by other kids and their parents, including a parent that I know only casually from Julia's elementary school?

JULIA: (staring at my chin) Mom?  I think you better go to the doctor and get that PIMPLE checked out.
ME: (quietly.)  Thanks, Jules.
JULIA: What, Mama?
ME: Nothing.  Just saying thank you for showing your concern.  But I think it's fine.
JULIA: (loudly) Well, I don't know.  It's really a pretty big PIMPLE.
ME: Well, I think it's slowly getting better.
JULIA: (loudly) Well, it still looks PRETTY BIG to me!  Well, ACTUALLY, Mama, it kind of looks me like a FLAP of SKIN with RED under it.

Glad to know the entire locker room now knows the exact physical description of my pimple.

Meanwhile, during Julia's lesson, Madeleine showed off another classic, creepy artistic interpretation of Belle and the Beast:

Either Belle and the Beast are habitual tobacco chewers, or they have REALLY poor dental hygiene.  Don't wanna imagine the after-cake cutting kiss...shudder...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Julia's Surprise for Mommy

Yesterday, Julia had no kindergarten because it was conference day at her school.  Even though she got to have a friend over to play, she was still chomping at the bit to get back to school today.  Here's why:

JULIA: Mama?  When I get home from school tomorrow, I have a surpriiiiiiise to give you!
ME: You do?  I'm so excited!
JULIA: I just decided, like, YESTERDAY that it's going to be for YOU, so I can't tell you what it is, but it's something special for YOOOOU!

Today, when I arrived to pick her up in the afternoon, she came gleefully trotting out the door of her school to greet me. 

JULIA: Mama?  ALL day, I was just WISHING and WISHING it was the end of the day!
ME: You were?  Why?
JULIA: So I could give you THIS!

It turns out my surprise is Julia's completed non-fiction book, which contains Julia's own newly-acquired information on the subject about which she did research.  In case you don't remember (though really, how can you forget?), her topic was surfing.  (Because she wants to be just like Merliah Summers from "Barbie in a Mermaid Tale."  Not because she has actually come across any real opportunity to surf.)

I am honored to be the recipient of the one and only copy of Julia's first-ever non-fiction book.  My dear blog readers, I present to you:

"All About Surfing."  by Julia Rowe

This is a legit book, people.  It even has a Table of Contents!:

Chapter 1.  "Siyse."  Now, just in case you are as confused as I was, this is not an attempted spelling of the word "seas," but instead is about the various sizes of surf boards.  So, the chapter entitled "Size" appropriately informs us that "surfboards can be long and shot."  I'm not sure if the grl in the picture is on a long board or a shot board, but I'm definitely digging her extra-long arms and three-fingered quirkiness.  I think she might be my favorite grl in this whole surfing book.

Chapter 2: "Good Surfing."  "You can stand up when you are relle good at surfing."  I guess this grl must be relle good, since she's standing AND smiling while she stands, cruising along on that blou wotr like she's been doing it since infancy.

Chapter 3: "Thix."  (Also sometimes referred to as "trix.")  "You can do thix when you surf."  Apparently Julia wants to be the kind of surfer grl who does thix, as she boldly labelled the grl in this picture "me."

Chapter 4: "Danjis trix."  Woah.  This is getting into the hard-core stuff.  "Thar are same rely dandis trix in surfing."  (JULIA: Mom, is your favorite girl the UPSIDE-DOWN girl who's doing this REALLY AWESOME trick?)  While I am definitely a fan of this upside down grl doing her really danjis trix, I still think my favorite is the grl from chapter 1.  I do wonder, however, which kinds of trix are MORE dangerous: the danjis ones, or the dandis ones.  What do you think??

Chapter 5: "Photograph."  "This is a rell picshr of surfing."  Wait, what?  This is not a Julia-drawn picture?  But this grl looks EXACTLY LIKE the grl doing trix.  I can hardly tell the difference!

And, finally, we have our "About the Author" page:
"My name is Julia.  I like bunnys.  I have a sister and she is three."

Bravo, Julia! I look forward to your next non-fiction book!  Maybe it will be about bunnys.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Madeleine's Pretend Play

Madeleine had some SHOCKING news for Ethan and I this morning:

"I'm not Simba anymore.  Because...Julia is TIRED of playing 'The Lion King."

No.  Way.  I can't believe Madeleine is willing to shed her alter-ego of the past few weeks.  Madeleine not being Simba is like Poopy Uncle Pants not being Poopy Uncle Pants.

Instead, Madeleine decided to play a game she called "Family Home."  In family home, Madeleine sits at her computer with her purse, filled with cell phone and camera, beside her on the table.  I'm beaming with pride to know I have set such a great example of what it means to be in a family home.

Here she is, hard at work:
As she explained, "I'm doing my VIDEO blog!"

Family home is not all fun and games, however.  As Madeleine typed away at her computer, she announced to me, "I'm playing family home!  Of course, my knee is really BROKENED." 

I've gotta say, that is one dedicated video blogger, not even bothering to take time off from typing to let her brokened knee recover.

The game of family home somehow seamlessly morphed into a game of sailing, in which Madeleine and I desperately hurried to sail our boat away before Captain Hook could get it.  As you can see from the following video, Madeleine's hiatus from being Simba didn't last very long:

Before I knew it, our hand gestures turning the wheel became a music and movement activity. 

MADELEINE: Turn the wheel!  Turn, turn, TURN!  Turn the wheel!  Hey Mom!  Let's do "Ram Sam SAM!"

So.  Despite how this blog entry began, here we are, back in "The Lion King."  As Madeleine explained, "I'm Simba, Julia is Little Heart Lion, Daddy is Scar, Gramps is Mufasa, and YOU'RE Nala!  Okay, Mom?"

If anyone else wants in, I'm sure Madeleine can easily assign you a part.  Hakuna Matata!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Auntie Birthday

Happy Birthday to Auntie Shannon!

Or, as Madeleine put it, "Mom, let's pick out a PRESENT for Auntie CAITLYN!"

One of these days she'll be able to tell her aunties apart.

Click below to view Madeleine's "Happy Birthday" video for Auntie Shannon:

Julia also made a "Happy Birthday" video, with Madeleine chiming in (and wiping out) in the background:

So, while Julia is not exactly sure what Auntie Shannon would want for her birthday (asking me, "Well, Mom, what else does Auntie Shannon like besides CLARA?"), we are hoping that she will enjoy these videos.

Happy Birthday, Auntie Shannon!  Love from the Rowe household!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Weekend Crafts

Yesterday, Ethan and I spent much of the day in Cambridge for a big performance with our choral society.  Julia and Madeleine had the happy fortune of spending the day with their beloved Nana and Gramps:

 Here are Ethan and I, all dressed and ready for our concert:

When Madeleine saw this picture, this is what she had to say:
"Awwww!  Daddy's getting MARRIED!  Mom?  Why are you Daddy's HUSBAND?  You look like a BOY in that picture, Mom."

Could she have made me feel any more attractive in this picture?  I dare say not.

Since we were away from our house for so long, Julia had ample time to work on some homemade, surprise crafts to present to us upon our return.  We even got some unexpected, special-delivery Sunday mail!:

Inside was a new book, entitled "A Sily Thing":

And oh boy, what a sily thing happens in this story!  Just wait until you hear all about Besy and her dad:

Pgs. 1-2
"One day Besy sade im tiyrd of kindrgrtingn.  im tiyrd of wrck sade dad.  lets swich."
So Besy put on her dad's soot and her dad did cartwells."

I'm pretty sure that Julia's own dad would rather be home doing cartwells than going to wrck too.  Especially if Ethan got to go to kindrgrtingn instead.

Pgs. 3-4
"Besy was very happy.  Her dad was vary happy."  (I like the way Julia varies her verys!)
"Besy was in camrshls and her dad was on the swing."

I didn't realize that her dad is an actor.  Why does he need to wear a soot to wrck then?  If he's just going to act in camrshls, wouldn't he get changed into his wardrobe when he's on set?  Regardless, it seems like he's much happier on the swing than he was acting in camrshls.

Pgs. 5-6
"Besy thot wrck was the best.  Her dad thot kindrgrting was the best.  Schoole (heart) Wrck (heart).  They went tomro and tomro and tomr and tomr."

I kind of wish I could go to kindrgrting tomr instead of going to wrck today or tomr.

Julia even made sure to include an "About the Author/Illustrator" on the back of her book this time:
If any of you have questions for the othr, feel free to come visit us in Nidam!

Today's craft of choice has been the making of snowflakes.  In fact, Madeleine was so jealous of Julia's snowflakes that she begged her big sister to make a snowflake for her as well.  Julia did NOT disappoint.  As Julia got down to work, cutting shapes out of white paper, Madeleine watched in awe, finally turning to me to exclaim: "Julia is making a COOL snowflake!  Yeah.  It's like a whole KINGDOM!"

Madeleine's whole kingdom.

Now, sadly, we are back to the usual grind; kindrgrting for Julia, wrck for Ethan and I, but at least we got a little break from the norm over our weekend.  Thank you, Nana and Gramps!


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Another Task, Swimming, and Dolls

This morning, Julia went about completing Saturday's Lenten task:

Then, she traipsed into my bedroom at 6:30 in the morning to tell me, "Mama?  I did the thing that it SAYS for Saturday, so I got up early and cleaned my room, but, uh, it says to make yourself a STAR, and I don't know what to make it with."

Totally worth waking me up for.

I suggested she take some printer paper and draw a star, then cut it out, so now her star is proudly displayed on the wall of her bedroom:

Bravo, Julia!

In other news, not only has Julia taken a bold new step in practicing her skills on the monkey bars, but she also got to try a kneeling dive off the diving block for the first time at swim lessons yesterday:

Her instructor helped her get into perfect position, then left her to do the rest on her own.  Upwards sprang Julia's knee from the diving board, pushing her body up and into the air, and....MASSIVE belly flop.  To the point that the teacher was wincing as she hit the water.

No matter.  Julia was happy as a clam, completely unaware of the fact that she had hit the water flat on her belly.  After her lesson, she asked me, beaming, "So Mama, were you, like the MOST proud of me you ever did when I did my DIVE?  Was that, like, the FURTHEST I ever went into the water?"  I heaped effusive praise onto her, which led her to prompt, "Mama, were you thinking that I would say I wanted to dive off of the EDGE because I was too NERVOUS to try the diving block?" 

I actually was surprised that she was so bold, given that she has heretofore only dived off the edge of the pool, so I made sure to play that up.  "I couldn't BELIEVE you tried it off the diving block!  I was SURE you were going to say you wanted to do it off the edge again, but then I looked and there you were kneeling on the diving block.  You SURPRISED me!"

Between the dive and the fact that Julia was able to swim several lengths of the pool freestyle, without needing to grab onto the wall or pause for a rest, I'd say it was a pretty satisfying swim lesson for her.

Thank goodness, because we certainly had a lot of panic and drama leading up to the lesson.  We were late, thanks in large part to the fact that Julia decided that four of her dolls (Linsy, May, Elina and Jenny) were going to swim lessons too, and needed to be stripped of their dresses and put into make-shift bathing suits and come in the car with us.  I was left carrying a heaping pile of baby blankets, aka towels for the dolls, and Julia was on the verge of freaking out over the fact that her dolls didn't have their seatbelts on.  Hence, my passenger seat driving companions:

Madeleine got pretty invested in some pretend play with a doll yesterday as well, parading around the house, back and forth through rooms with Baby Dashiell in a back-carrier.  For those who didn't see it on facebook, the name of the game she was playing was, according to Madeleine: "Baby Gets Carried Around in a Backpack."

Look at the safe and loving way Baby Dashiell is secured into that backpack.  Is Madeleine ready for baby-sitting or WHAT?

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Girls Make Lists

Julia has diligently carried on with her Lenten tasks this week, bringing us to today's:

She even woke me up bright and early to show me her list:

I'm sure that Graps and Daddy are thrilled to know they are being prayed for.

On a more serious note, I can't tell you how much it touched my heart that Grampa is at the top of the list.  Dad, I hope you are hearing your grand-daughter's prayers!

Even Madeleine made a prayer list, and wrote the names out all by herself:
Sorry, Yiayia, Clara, Nana, Graps, Shanine, Catline, and Yiayia Megoly.  You failed to make Madeleine's list, although she did think it was important to include herself on there.

Julia had a chance to do a lot more writing today, as she and Madeleine played an elaborate game of "school."  Julia, of course, was the teacher (Mrs. Rowe), and Madeleine was the sole student (Simba.)

The school day started with a Morning Message and Question of the Day:

Simba checked off her answer to the Question of the Day in the "yes" category, even though she doesn't actually really eat much of her pizza whenever we have it.  Since it's Friyday, Simba had miaya (media), as well as math.  After perusing a bunch of miaya books, Simba decided to check out "The Very Busy Spider," and once she had put it in her backpack, she joined the other non-existent children on the rug to work on math.

Mrs. Rowe had set up a "what's missing" sequential number chart for Simba to help fill in:

Simba sat diligently on the rug, answering Mrs. Rowe's questions. 

The math lesson went something like this:

MRS. ROWE: Simba, so, what number is MISSING at the beginning?
MRS. ROWE: Good!  (writing in the number)  Okay.  Now, what's missing.  Four, Five...uh...oh, wait, I messed up...hang on, let me fix this...
SIMBA: (getting distracted by her elephant backpack while Mrs. Rowe fixes her goof)
MRS. ROWE: Okay.  Six, seven, eight...Simba?  What comes next?
SIMBA: (still looking at her elephant backpack) Uhhhhh...ummmm...
ME: (whispering) Nine!
MRS. ROWE: Good!

After the math lesson, Simba got to practice filling in her own number line, but the game of "school" had to be temporarily paused after Simba threw a fit because she couldn't draw a "1" perfectly, and Mrs. Rowe threatened to send her to the principal's office.  Simba needed to turn back into Madeleine for a little while and sob into my chest on the couch before she could recover and rejoin the game.

When school resumed, it was the next day, and I got to make an exciting cameo!  Julia informed me that I was to be guest reader, and even wrote about it in the Morning Message:

Simbu's mom sure DID come in, and read "Dr. DeSoto."  It was fun times!

Anyway, it's almost time for the REAL school for Julia, so I'm off to prepare lunch and get her out the door.  This is Simbu's mom, signing off!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Julia's Dream, and More

When I got up this morning, Julia was eager to tell me all about the dream she'd had during the night.

JULIA: Mom, so.  I had a DREAM that we were walkin' up that SAME OLD hill, walkin' home from school, and there were TWO Madeleines, and one of the Madeleines got hit by a CAR and turned into a FISH!
ME: Wow, that's a crazy dream!
JULIA: Yeah!  I guess, because, like, when we were walking home from school yesterday and we had to look out for cars, I must have been THINKING of it when I was dreaming.
ME: Yeah, you're right, because we had to walk in the road up that hill yesterday.
JULIA: Yeah.  And, Mom, it was kind of like a BAD dream, because when I woke up I was feeling really SCARED and I then I realized that Madeleine didn't REALLY turn into a fish.

Julia then trotted off to tell her dream to Madeleine, who was on the couch watching "Curious George."

JULIA: So, Madeleine.  I had a DREAM that we were walkin' up that SAME OLD hill, walkin' home from school, and there were TWO Madeleines!  (waiting eagerly for Madeleine's response)
MADELEINE: (completely zoned out, staring at the tv)
JULIA: (trying again)'ll NEVER believe it.  There were TWO Madeleines.
MADELEINE: (no response, eyes fixed on the television)
JULIA: And ONE of the Madeleines got hit by a car...AND...turned into a FISH!!
MADELEINE: (stony silence, totally absorbed in her show.)

I told Julia that I would share her dream on my blog, since she is so eager for people to hear about it.  She was especially excited that Daddy would be able to hear the details by blog, because: "Mom, so, it's a GOOD thing I only told Daddy that I had a dream that there were TWO Madeleines, because then he can read ALL ABOUT the other parts of it when he reads your BLOG!"

Speaking of walkin' home from school, despite the fact that it is indeed spring, this is what things look like around here:

(this must be the OTHER of the two Madeleines; the one who DIDN'T get hit by a car and turn into a fish)

So, it is understandable that Madeleine doesn't actually believe it's spring.  Instead of asking over and over when it will be the end of the world, she is now constantly asking me when it's going to be spring.  She is filled with righteous indignation every time I tell her it really is spring, because she TOTALLY thinks I'm full of it.

MADELEINE: Mommy?  When is it going to be SPRING?
ME: It IS spring, honey.  It turned to spring yesterday.
MADELEINE: No!  No, it's NOT spring!
ME: It really is.
ME: It FEELS like winter, but it really is spring.
MADELEINE: Nooo!  We don't have SNOW in spring!
ME: We usually don't, but we've had some wacky weather.
MADELEINE: Well Mama.  When is it going to be SPRING?

And the cycle begins anew.

In other Madeleine news, I discovered yesterday that, despite the fact that she often appears to be in her own little world, she has actually learned how to spell quite a few words.  She decided to "quiz" me in the car yesterday, spelling various words that I hadn't even known she could spell, and asking me if I knew what word it was.

I was able to capture her attention for a short bit this afternoon and have her spell a few of these words on camera:


Who is this kid?!?  I can't figure her out from one moment to another.  On the one hand, she draws better than I do, and she surprises me by spelling words like "Julia" and "stop," and on the other hand, she does things like this:

MADELEINE: (counting her toes one by one) One, two, free, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, ELEVEN!  I have only ELEVEN toes!

On the subject of new accomplishments, Julia has met one of her kindergarten goals: she is now able to get across the monkey bars!  It only took a lot of hanging in terror and whimpering, with her feet a mere few inches above the ground, before she got up the courage to try reaching for the next bar.  Once she discovered that lightning didn't shoot her down from the sky, she warmed up to trying a few more bars, and now she's a monkey bar pro!

And I will end this post with something completely unrelated.  These are the names that Madeleine just gave to the cut-out people she decorated:


Townamo (Or perhaps Tau-Naimo?)

 Dickie Mono

Madeleine is nothing if not creative...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Last night's bedtime conversation, in which Madeleine assumes I can read her mind.

MADELEINE: Mom?  What can you cut out?
ME: What do you mean?
MADELEINE: Mom!  Can you just TELL me?
ME: Tell you what?
MADELEINE: What can you cut out?
ME: Uh...what can who cut out?
MADELEINE: (growing increasingly frustrated and impatient) No, Mom!  Please can you just TELL me?
ME: Okay.  I'm just not sure what it is you're asking me.  Can you give me more information?
MADELEINE: MOM!  Can you TELL me!?
ME: Can you tell me more about what you're asking?
MADELEINE: What can you cut out?
ME: Um.  What can WHO cut out?
MADELEINE: (on the verge of freaking out) Please Mom can you just TELL ME!
ME: Okay.  Do you mean like how the doctors cut you out of my tummy?
MADELEINE: (thoroughly done with my stupidity) Mooom.  When I was a baby, I thought you could cut out SNOW, but you can't cut out snow.  But you CAN cut out PAPER.

I still don't get it.

Today, Madeleine and I had a conversation of a different sort:

MADELEINE: Mom, you're my DUDE!
ME: I'm you're dude?
MADELEINE: Yeah.  And you have to do TWO points! (holding her fingers like this):

I have no idea where she even got that from.  I even asked Julia, and she claims it didn't come from her.  Who knew my three-year-old was going to be teaching ME surfer dude hand gestures?!?

Finally, we survived No Tv Tosday yesterday, and despite our VERY CLEAR label on the television, Julia was worried that if we didn't take it off, we might think we couldn't watch tv again today.

JULIA: (before heading up to bed) Mama!  Don't you think we better take off our "No tv" label before we go to bed?  Because...what if, like, when we wake up in the morning, we STILL think we can't watch tv?
ME: Julia.  Do you think there's even a remote chance you won't remember you CAN watch tv when you wake up?
JULIA: (sheepishly) Uhh...NO.

Nonetheless, we removed the sign, *just* in case anybody got mixed up and thought that Tosday really means Wednesday.

Madeleine, for her part, stopped wishing for the end of the world, and asked me last night after her bedtime story, "Mom?  When is it gonna be the day that we turn the TV back ON?"

That was a little easier for me to answer with certainty than predicting the end of the world.

All right, gnarly readers, I'm gonna hit the surf.  Later, dudes!

I am SO cool.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lenten Tasks And More

At Sunday school this past weekend, the girls were given a task sheet entitled "My Lenten Journey."  This sheet contains a daily task to help the kids focus on reaching out to others, as well as mildly abstaining from material goods, throughout the Lenten period.  Tasks include things like mailing a card to a loved one, donating old clothes to charity, and having a tv-free day. 

Guess what today is??

Unsurprisingly, Julia is taking this task VERY seriously.  She has had it on her radar since Sunday, even announcing to me during the day yesterday, "Mom!  Remember what TOMORROW is!"  And although the Sunday school kids all made their "No tv today" signs to hang on their television sets, Julia herself took the initiative to explicitly state which day was banned from tv-watching.  "Because, Mama, I was thinking, what if, like, somebody was over at our HOUSE, and they saw 'no tv' and they didn't know that it was only for TUESDAY and they thought they couldn't watch tv ANY day?"

So now it's clear.  No tv on Tosday.

Ever afraid of bending any rules, Julia came to a realization this morning, and cried out, dismayed, "Oh no!  At school we're supposed to watch a VIDEO today instead of going outside for recess!"

I assured her that "No tv" applies only to watching tv at home today.

So, while Julia has been somewhat excited for today's task, Madeleine is not taking it quite so well.  We have had variations of the following conversation all morning long:

MADELEINE: Well Mama.  When CAN we turn the tv back on?
ME: Tomorrow.  It's only off for today.
MADELEINE: Well Mama.  When is it going to be the end of the WORLD?
ME: The end of the world?  Not for a long, long time.
MADELEINE: Well, I want it to be the end of the WORLD.
ME: I don't think you actually want it to be the end of the world.  Do you mean the end of the day?
MADELEINE: No, I want it to be the end of the WORLD.
ME: Why?
MADELEINE: Because.  I want to wear an ASTRONAUT helmet.

Oh.  That's why.  Silly me.  And I like the idea that a day without tv makes a life not worth living, so Madeleine's resigned to just wait for the end of the world.

Speaking of Madeleine, she just recently became reunited with her special beanie baby, Meow-Meow the cat (formerly known as Bianca.)  Meow-Meow has been missing for awhile, but Julia discovered her under the couch this morning, and ever since, Madeleine has not wanted to part ways with her beloved kitty.  Meow-Meow even sat on the table, next to Madeleine's plate, during lunch today.

After finishing her peanut butter sandwich, Madeleine announced to me, delighted, "Mom!  Meow-Meow WAITED for me!"  She took a moment to ponder this, then asked, "Mom?  Why do kitties WAIT for people?"

I'm not sure I'm qualified to answer for ALL kitties, but I'm pretty confident that in Meow-Meow's case, it's because she's an inanimate object.

On another note, Madeleine is back on a serious Poopy Uncle Pants kick.  Here are just a few of the ways that Poopy Uncle Pants has been unsubtly worked into our general dialogue lately.

ME: (going over to give Madeleine a kiss) Good morning, Madeleine!
MADELEINE: (gazing at me soberly) Poopy UNCLE Pants.

ETHAN: (hopping out of our car at the train station) Thanks for the ride!  Bye, girls!  Love you.
ME: Can you girls say good-bye to Daddy?
JULIA: Bye Daddy I loooove you!
MADELEINE: Poopy Uncle Pants.

MADELEINE: Mommy!  Mommy!  I have to whisper you a SECRET!
ME: Okay.
MADELEINE: (leaning over to whisper in my ear) Poopy Uncle Pants.

But let's be clear about something, here.  Madeleine, herself, is not Poopy Uncle Pants, so don't dare to try and call her that.

MADELEINE: Mommy?  Your SECOND name is Poopy Uncle Pants.
ME: Okay.  Your FIRST name is Poopy Uncle Pants.
MADELEINE: (indignant) No it's not!  I'm SIMBA.

Sheesh.  How could I forget?!

Anyway, we are about halfway through our "No tv" Tosday.  Wish Poopy Uncle Pants and Simba luck as we head into the second half of the day!  Til the next time...

Monday, March 18, 2013

School Days

During this morning's ritual crowding of the bathroom, in which all female Rowes were trying to use the toilet, brush our teeth, and tend to other matters at the same time, Julia got quite a kick out of the number of things that were accidentally dropped or knocked off of the counter as we were all crammed together in such a tiny space.  I finally moved into the kitchen to deal with my contact lenses, only to accidentally drop my lens case into the kitchen garbage.  At that point, Julia could not contain her incredulity over the sheer klutziness she was witnessing.

JULIA: What is going ON here today?  First you and Madeleine were knocking everything over, NOW you're dropping your contact case in the GARBAGE!?
ME: I guess I'm just a klutz.
JULIA: Mom, it's just like one day at school, when Emily accidentally threw the STAPLER in the garbage!  And then later on, I accidentally threw my SCISSORS in the garbage!  And then, I don't know if Yasmine was just trying to be like me, but then SHE dropped her scissors in the garbage!

Madeleine apparently misheard "Yasmine" as "Madeleine," because a few moments later she piped up with the following:  "Well Julia?  I wasn't THERE when I threw the scissors in the garbage."  (thoughtful silence)  "Julia?  Was it a DIFFERENT Madeleine that threw the scissors in the garbage?"

Good old Madeleine.  Totally with the program, as always.

Later in the morning, it was Julia who got to meet Madeleine's school friends, as we all headed over to the nursery school together.  I had been asked to come in to preschool and do a unit on musical instruments with the kids, including a show-and-tell of my various instruments from around the world.  In lieu of payment, the director suggested I leave my girls at school for the morning to participate in "Kids in the Kitchen," a cooking program that the school runs on Mondays, which is an extra cost beyond the regular preschool day.  The director was happy to include Julia in the program for the day, phrasing it as: "Well, I can only see Julia being a help."

That's because the director knows preschool Julia: obedient, very quiet, patient, and respectful.  The school had yet to see Shy-and-Therefore-Weirdo Julia, who had to mask her feelings of nervousness and out-of-placeness by loudly proclaiming things like this to every teacher and parent who attempted to speak to her: "I don't know WHY I talk like a BOY!"  I took her aside quickly to explain that the teachers were really counting on having big kid help from her, someone who could act as a baby-sitter or mother's helper, and luckily the message seemed to sink in; when a preschool boy asked me my name and I answered, Julia managed to contain herself and merely whispered into my ear: "No, your name is Quaw-Quee Clark."

Fortunately, once the shyness got out of her system, Julia truly was a big help, and the girls both loved the Kids in the Kitchen experience.  In fact, Julia was really bummed out to learn that they won't be doing this every Monday morning.  They got to take home leftover pound cake after the baking was done, so they've got tonight's dessert all mapped out for themselves already.

Unfortunately, despite our successful morning, we wound up being late to kindergarten drop-off this afternoon, thanks to Julia's last-minute need to poop and her subsequent dreamy singing while washing her hands, followed by the insistence on telling me things about her stuffed dog Fifi while slowly and distractedly putting on one boot and then the other. 

I guess you can't win them all!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Company Party Aftermath

Last night, Ethan and I went into the city to attend his office party/St. Patrick's Day celebration, so the girls were left home with a baby-sitter.  When we returned later in the evening, we found that Julia had made us little love gifts because she'd missed us. 

I am the lucky recipient of the following:
I'm particularly fond of my "Abowt my Mom" bookmark.  My rosis are beautiful, and Julia remembered that I love blue rosis best of all flowers.  Not only that, but she colored me a blue hort, and, in case it wasn't clear that she was trying to treat me to my favorite color, she even included a blue square at the bottom (or perhaps it's a "bloe" square; it's kind of hard to make out.) 

Ethan received his own "Dad" card and "Abowt" bookmark as well:
I guess Ethan's "showr" is the equivalent of my blue rosis.  Julia knows that I dislike taking showrs, and that I dread taking one every morning.  Julia, herself, loves taking showrs, and tends to dilly-dally much longer than necessary, bellowing out songs to herself (or playing "Julia is an Opera Singer.")  Because Ethan also takes forever in the shower, and often sings to himself as well, Julia must have recognized him as a kindred spirit, and figured he too loves showrs.  And because prpl is his favorite color, he got a prpl hort, as well as a square colored prpl.

Little did Julia know it, but she had her OWN surprise gift from us, as Ethan and I made sure to bring home St. Patrick's day headbands and necklaces for the girls.  Julia is so delighted that she told me, when she got up to use the bathroom early this morning, "Mom?  I love my new headband SO much that I wanna just wear it EVERYWHERE."

What do you think of her new fashion look?  She sure is rockin' it, leprechaun style, n'est-ce pas?

Seeing as Julia gets so excited over simple little things like a shamrock-antennaed headband, and that she is very vocal about her current desires - not to mention her ever-elongating wish list - one would think that given the stereotypical genie-granted wishes, Julia would have no trouble banging out three in a row.  Not so.  As she watched a character on her tv show making his three wishes, Julia turned to me and announced: "Mom?  I can't really think of, like, three things to wish for, so what I wish for is for, like, PRINCESSES to be ALIVE, like Ariel and Belle and stuff."

Seriously?  That's what she would wish for?  Of all the concrete desires she is constantly verbalizing - going out to Cafe Sol Azteca for dinner, going to Plaster Fun Time, going on vacation to Storyland again, getting to go surfing in Hawaii or Malibu - she would pick having Ariel or Belle come to life?!? 

Dream big, Julia.  Dream big.