Friday, May 31, 2013

Hat Day, and More

Julia got to go off to school sporting her brand new (thanks to Mommy!) pink cowgirl hat, because today's alphabet theme was H(at) Day!:

While we sat in the Kindergarten Waiting Area, having arrived about ten minutes early for afternoon kindergarten, Madeleine had the delight of seeing all of the other hats that Julia's classmates had worn to school.  But her excitement became even greater when she glanced up at the new decoration hanging next to the school banner.

MADELEINE: Look, Mama!  It's a WITCH!

It wasn't a witch, actually.  It was, in fact, supposed to be Anne Frank:

ME: Oh, that's not a witch, honey.
MADELEINE: Then who IS it?
ME: It's Anne Frank.
ME: Uh, no.  She's not a witch.  She's someone really important in history.  She wrote something really important that a lot of people still read today.
MADELEINE: But Mama.  Does she have NO head?

This whole (very LOUD) discussion brought me uncomfortably close to the good old days when Julia informed me that the proper term of "losers" was African Americans.  I didn't even want to think about what Julia might have said had she seen the headless Anne Frank when she was 3.5.

At any rate, Hat Day was a big success, although Julia opted to walk home hat-less (but NOT headless) in the near 100-degree weather.  Lucky for her, she had swim lessons after school, and even though the pool at the Y is indoors, she enjoyed the chance to cool off in the water.  When we got home from school, the girls and I set about the long and involved task of frosting all the cross-shaped cookies I had baked for Sunday's PTO-sponsored church coffee hour.  The process came to a temporary halt when I realized that Julia, who is sick with a cold, was literally licking her frosting spoon after each dip into the cup of icing.  Once I returned with some freshly made, germ-free icing, we were able to start anew, with me icing about 75% of the cookies in the time it took Julia to do a handful and Madeleine to do a mere three because she was too busy eating all the frosting drippings off of her plate and exclaiming, "Mmmmmm!  Sooooo, soooooo GOOD for my TUMMY!"

Our finished cookies.  See if you can guess which plate was Madeleine's.

After dinner this evening, the girls got an EXTRA-SPECIAL treat, as the new frozen yogurt shop in town was hosting a fund-raiser for Julia's elementary school.  20% of all proceeds would go to the school PTC, and students were all encouraged to attend with their families and eat froyo on the town green.  Julia needed to exchange her cowboy hat and tank top for her school tee-shirt, and Madeleine opted to put on a tiara, because, well, why not??

The black flip-flops beside Julia on the bench were casualties of our walk to the frozen yogurt shop.  They have been falling apart for days, and I honestly don't know what possessed Julia to try and wear them on our mile+ walk tonight, but we had only made it about a quarter of the way there when the flip-flops broke.  Ethan tried to dash into the CVS to buy her a new pair, with Julia shouting, "Daddy!  Make sure you get ones JUST LIKE THESE!", but CVS was out of her size.  So, to resurrect a term from the good old days of Toddler Madeleine, Julia had to "borefoot" it the rest of the way to the yogurt shop.  I managed to find a pair in her size at the nearby Walgreens while Ethan ordered the girls their froyo, but, alas, there were no plain black flip-flops to be found.  I instead had to settle on the complete opposite and purchase wildly colorful and decorative flip-flops:

Turns out that, despite Julia's insistence on the EXACT SAME flip-flops, these new ones were even bigger of a hit.  "I just looove my new sandals," Julia sighed in contentment on the walk home.  "You know why I especially like these better than my other ones?  Because, I'm, like, in LOVE with peace signs!"

PHEW.  I nailed it.

Our walk home took significantly longer than the walk there, even though Julia was no longer borefooting, because Madeleine opted not to ride in the stroller, but instead to push it the whole way home:

Then, as if *that* didn't delay us enough, and as if Julia's peace sign flip flops on top of frozen yogurt for dessert didn't already make it the PERFECT night, we spotted this guy out in front of a neighbor's lawn:

So, naturally, we had to stop and stare at him for awhile, because, if you remember, Julia "really loves bunnys."  (Madeleine, always totally with the program, climbed into my lap as I was loading this picture on my computer and using my red-eye reduction, and asked me, "Mama?  Why does that bunny have RED EYES?  Is it because he's POOPING?")

Uh, yeah.  That's why.  Bingo!

At any rate, it is now nearly nine o' clock and the girls are just getting to bed, but it was totally worth the late night for the fun of a family outing on a summery night, treating them to a special dessert and peace-sign sandals and spending some extra time all together.  I know I'm going to curse my foolish sentimental thoughts when the kids wake at the crack of dawn and are tired crank-pots all day tomorrow, but for now, I'm living in the moment!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Green Day and Recital Day

Today was another double-fun day for both girls.  For Julia, Kindergarten Alphabet-Theme Count-down continues, and today was G(reen) Day!:

For Madeleine, it was Ballet Recital Day!  This afternoon was her last ballet class, and parents got to watch as the kids did warm-ups and then performed their routine, set to a rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

Here's a quick video of their warm-ups, in which Madeleine smiles proudly as she carries a ball around the circle on tiptoe:

And here is their recital dance, which they performed twice for the audience:

I'm *really* glad I decided to video the first dance rather than the second, because Madeleine's attention span seemed to lapse on the second go-around.  Instead of dancing or doing anything, she opted to stand in place, staring blankly while all the other kids completed the dance routine the second time.

In addition to videos, I was able to snap a few memorable photos of Madeleine in first position, in which she managed to alter her face or position *just* as the camera happened to flash.  In our series of really photogenic Madeleine pictures, we have:

Madeleine, in First Position, with her tongue out:

Madeleine, in First Position, Over-Smiling and bending her legs:

Madeleine, in First Position, picking her nose:

Madeleine, in First Position, Obscuring Her Face:

Madeleine, in First Position, with her mouth gaping open:

At long last, I was able to capture this somewhat decent photo, after which I gave up on the camera all together:

After the recital, Madeleine and her ballet friends were all treated to popsicles, which they enjoyed out on the front steps of the house where class is held.  All was hunky-dory until Madeleine chomped too big of a popsicle bite and burst into tears over the "freeze-brain" she was experiencing, but on the bright side, it was the last bite, so she was able to enjoy all but the final bit of it.

One final comment from the little ballerina, on her recital experience: "It was GOOD. was sooooo PRACTIBLE."

Got it, loud and clear.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Morning Activities

This morning, as I scrambled around the kitchen getting breakfast together before school, Julia came running over to me with a revelation.

JULIA: Mama!  I think I figured out why they call Sponge Bob "Sponge Bob Square Pants!"
ME: Oh yeah?  Why?
JULIA: Because.  He's a SPONGE, and he wears SQUARE PANTS.

NO.  WAY.  Really?!?  Way to crack the code, Jules!

After dropping Julia at school, I settled down at the dining room table with Madeleine while she attempted some more art work.  Today was an experiment in self-portrait, as she decided to draw herself wearing the very dress she has on:

The first attempt was discarded because the dolphin on her dress was "just really HORRIBLE":

Look at that dolphin.  EPIC FAIL, Madeleine.

ME: Madeleine, why are you crying in this picture?
MADELEINE: Uh, no, Mama.  That's SWEAT.

Next attempt went more smoothly, especially since Madeleine enlisted the help of her head-cold-addled, working-from-home father to draw the dolphins:

This picture is of Madeleine playing in the snow, wearing her short-sleeved, summery Georgia Aquarium dress.  Thanks to Ethan's help with the dolphins, this picture was deemed acceptable to the main artist, and it is now en route to Nana's house to hang upon her refrigerator!

Not only did Daddy get to participate in Madeleine's art work, but he inadvertently wound up with a role in her pretend-play game during lunch time.  Madeleine decided that instead of eating her blueberries, she would rather run around in circles on the living room rug, flapping her arms and yelling "Flap flap flap!  Flap flap flap!"  When I tried to encourage her to have a blueberry, she gave me this utterly logical response: "Uh, no, Mama, this is a NO BLUEBERRY game."

What was she pretending, exactly?  Here is some of the dialogue of her game to give you a sense of what exactly was going on in her head:

MADELEINE: (pausing from her flapping and running to give me a kiss and hug)
ME: Oh, thank you for my kiss!
MADELEINE: I gave you a HUG too!  Now can I keep flapping?  So Jesus doesn't get STINGED by the BEE?
ME: Where IS Jesus?
MADELEINE: (solemnly) He got TOOKEN.  The BEE taked him away.  I have to FLAP over to find the bee.

Madeleine then flapped off to the kitchen, where Ethan was sitting at the breakfast bar, working on his computer.

MADELEINE: Daddy?  You're GOD.  And that's JESUS.  I'm MARY, and...I'm...I'm...I'm a little girl that can get Jesus.  I GOT JESUS!  Lookit!  I'm holding Jesus!  (running into the dining room)  Mama, lookit!  I'm holding Jesus!

Madeleine then resumed her flapping and running in circles in the living room, only to trip on something and put a halt to her momentum.

MADELEINE: Ow!  (stopping to rub her leg)  It's okay.  Jesus is still in his cradle.  Oh no!  Jesus is gone AGAIN!  Mama?  Every day when we STOP FLAPPING, Jesus gets thrown in the DUNGEON!

Madeleine finally discovered a solution to her problem that allowed her to take a break from her endless flapping AND keep Baby Jesus safe.

MADELEINE: (running over to me and throwing something invisible at me) Mama, HERE!
ME: Uh, thanks.
MADELEINE: Mama, that's JESUS.  YOU can hold Jesus now!

So now, here I sit at my computer, guardian of Baby Jesus.  Thankfully, I don't have to do any flapping to keep Him safe.

On another note entirely, I'll give you readers a little hint of the latest Julia Rowe novel that the author began last night.  Get ready for an upcoming review of "Tabatha Tibby Talk" in the near future.  I truly can't wait to read the finished product.  And when I do, Jesus and I will post our review on this blog for you all to read.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Another Night-Time Interruption

Well, my hopes for uninterrupted sleep were squandered last night, as Madeleine once again awoke sometime after midnight, sobbing from her bed.  I went running in to find her, face awash in tears, lying in her bed looking distressed.

ME: Madeleine, honey, what's the matter?
MADELEINE: (grief-stricken) I don't have any BUNNIES.
ME: You don't have any buddies?  (feeling around the bed until I found all her "friends" - aka the various loveys and stuffed animals she sleeps with: Cowie, Kitty, Puddles, and Meow-Meow.)  Here you go, honey.
MADELEINE: (clutching onto her friends for comfort and laying her cheek against my face to snuggle close.)
ME: Do you need to go potty?
MADELEINE: (pausing, then slowly shaking her head from side to side, rubbing her plump, wet cheek all over my own in the process)
ME: Okay.  Here, you go back to sleep.
ME: Yes, honey?
MADELEINE: Mama, there were TWO BUNNIES hopping around SOMEBODY'S yard, and I was chasing them, and...they HOPPED AWAY.  And...then we had to come home and I didn't have ANY BUNNIES.

It was at this point that I realized that a) Madeleine was talking not about "buddies," but about BUNNIES she had been dreaming about, and b) she was completely unaware of the fact that what she was describing was indeed a dream and not a heart-breaking scenario that had literally just occurred.

It took a few minutes for her to full awaken and understand that the whole bunny chase had NEVER ACTUALLY HAPPENED.  Once she was sure that she hadn't missed out on capturing a new bunny for a pet, she was able to settle and get back to sleep.

I'm sure that inside Madeleine's head, it's pretty hard to tell dream from reality, especially considering the wild imagination she has.  Just a few nights ago, I checked on her after putting her to bed, only to find her having a one-sided conversation with an invisible angel, who was instructing her to hand out flowers to a group of invisible children.  (Invisible to me, at least; Madeleine was kind enough to point out both the angel and the group of children, but I guess I'm not Divinely favored enough to have been privy to their appearances.)

And let's not forget her (also invisible) friend Ellie with whom she argued a few days back over who got to get their bum wiped first after pooping on the potty.

She also spent about a half hour yesterday having a long and involved conversation with an imaginary dragon as she galloped around the dining room showing off her "magic stick."

Even when she has only a split second in which to pretend-play, Madeleine will seize the opportunity, as she did this morning when I announced it was time to head out the back door for school.

ME: Okay, come on down the stairs, Madeleine, it's time to go!
MADELEINE: (pausing to splay her arms out so that her hands touched each respective side of the door frame) Okay, hang on Mama!  I'm on my CROSS!  Mama, this is my CROSS.  Mama?  I'm JESUS.

So, at any rate, it's a wonder that I was even able to clarify for her that the bunnies had been a product of her dreaming mind.

Now, if only she could allow her vivid imagination to invade her perfectionist artistic world.  Hey, what she tries to draw may not look EXACTLY like she envisioned in her mind, but why not just use her imagination if there are slight imperfections?  Then we wouldn't waste a whole piece of paper on utter FAILURES like this:

After all those failed heads/bodies, Madeleine started anew, and was satisfied with this picture:

Until she asked me to write words on it like in Julia's books, and I ruined the WHOLE THING by not writing the letters exactly like Julia does, and Madeleine had to THROW THE PICTURE in the GARBAGE.

So it goes.

I wonder if that picture is supposed to be of Madeleine being Jesus on the cross.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Fun

While Julia is a very light sleeper and tends to wake up multiple times throughout the night to use the potty, Madeleine tends to sleep like a rock once she's conked out.  Therefore, when she does wake up in the middle of the night, it's usually for some sort of emergency: she peed her bed, she vomited, her night-light burnt out, etc.  So when I was awoken in the middle of the night by Madeleine yelling for me, I immediately sprinted towards her room.

ME: (bolting out of bed and racing into her room)  What is it, honey?
MADELEINE: Mama?  Why can LITTLE KIDS not climb all the way to the TOPS of really, really TALL TREES?

That was so worth waking me up for.  I'm really glad she didn't try to hold onto that thought overnight. I can understand its urgency and why it needed answering at 4am.

At any rate, I was at least able to catch a few more hours of sleep afterwards, and we started our day off with a pancake breakfast to celebrate our extra weekend morning.  Julia, who is famous for eating an endless supply of pancakes, cut herself off after only two, stating that she was full.  Seeing as we ate breakfast at 10am, I figured it was probably for the best that she didn't stuff herself silly, given that I'd probably be feeding the kids lunch inside of the next two hours.  However, it seems Julia's metabolism works much faster than I anticipated.

JULIA: Mama?  Can we have snack at 10:10??

Yes, full at 10am, but hungry for snack ten minutes later.  Makes perfect sense, right?

The Rowes took a special trip down to the Museum of Science for the afternoon, heading into Boston shortly after lunch.  Despite the fact that a large part of our drive follows the same route as the drive to my church, Madeleine was utterly convinced that we had taken a much longer journey.  As we pulled into the parking garage at the Museum, Madeleine exclaimed from the backseat, in wonderment, "I can't BELIEVE we drived ALL THE WAY to Atlanta!!"

Well.  If I knew we could have just DRIVEN to Atlanta in a half hour's time, I wouldn't have spent all that money on plane tickets for our family vacation last month.

I tried to set her straight, but Madeleine remained adamant that we had, indeed, magically arrived in Atlanta.

ME: We're in Boston, honey.  We're at OUR museum, the one that's in Boston, not Atlanta.
MADELEINE: Well Mama.  I know that the really, really TALL building over there is the SAME building I saw in Atlanta.
ME: Well, it might look the same, but we're really only in Boston.
MADELEINE: Well Mama.  I know that's the SAME really, really tall building that was in ATLANTA.

Okay.  She convinced me with her irrefutable, concrete evidence.  We had, indeed, driven ALL THE WAY to Atlanta.

After we explored the museum, we Rowes decided to take a stroll along the Charles River to enjoy the beautiful weather:

We ended our walk at North Point Park, where the kids got to enjoy the playground area as well as the sprinklers (despite the fact that they were fully clothed):

After a fun afternoon in Atlanta Boston, we returned home to barbeque some salmon and veggies for Memorial Day dinner.  The girls showed their deep appreciation for Ethan's hard work at the grill as we sat down to dinner:

JULIA: (gesturing towards the asparagus) Well, Dad.  You know what thing I don't want.

MADELEINE: (examining the food on her plate, which I neither cooked nor served her) Mama.  I'm eating BLACK things.  Don't you KNOW I don't like BLACK THINGS in my food??

Regardless, both girls managed overcome their adversity and clean their plates, therefore earning their rights to a very un-Memeorial-Day-like dessert of pumpkin cookies.

Now, so long as Madeleine can keep her curiosity about little kids climbing very tall trees during the night, I am looking forward to a solid night's sleep for all of us Rowes!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Julia's Music Opinions and More

Because Julia has a natural ability to carry a tune, and because she has lived all her life hearing her singer parents practicing music and performing with choirs, she is well aware of what constitutes a strong singing voice and what constitutes a less than capable voice.  Therefore, poor little Berrykin on today's episode of "Strawberry Shortcake" wound up being subject to Julia's critique.

JULIA: Mama, Daddy was telling me about how SOME people can't repeat the thing they hear, and, like, Cherry Jam said "can you sing this?" and she sang this really low note, and Berrykin sang "AAAAAHHH!" like, really high, so, do you think he's really a very good singer?
ME: No, sounds like he isn't.
JULIA: Yeah, so, like, Mama, it sounds like he kind of sings, like, OUT of the LINES a lot.

I applaud her use of synesthesia here in describing the sound of an out-of-tune singer as if he's an artist who is incapable of staying in the lines of a coloring book picture.  Very poetic, Julia!

Not only is Julia able to discern the difference between a good and poor singer, but she also waxed sentimental on the subject of Christmas music today as we drove home from church.  We were listening to our CD of "Muppets" greatest hits, and one of the songs from "Muppets Christmas Carol" came on.  Julia was immediately delighted, seeing as she is still somewhat INSESSED with that movie.

JULIA: Mama?  Do some Christmas songs ever give you, like, a really, really HAPPY feeling in your heart when you hear them?
ME: Definitely!  Sometimes when I hear Christmas music that I love, I feel like my heart might burst.
JULIA: Yeah, that's how this song makes me feel, I think because, like, I'm remembering the FEELING of Christmas and, like, how FUN it was.
ME: I know what you mean.  Sometimes when I hear my favorite Christmas music, I feel a mix of peace, and joy, and excitement in my heart.
JULIA: Yeah.  Like, right now when I'm hearing this, I almost feel like I'm gonna start crying HAPPY tears!

Who would have thought Kermit the Frog singing "One More Sleep 'Til Christmas" would be the first song to evoke such deep emotion out of Julia?  I guess his throaty, gulping voice really gets to her.

Something that made ME want to cry happy tears was the little inscription I read on the back of her Sunday School art project.  The front is an icon of Jesus and the Paralytic, which she colored:

On the back, she had written this:

Meanwhile, here is what Madeleine wrote on the back of her own icon:
ME: Madeleine, I love it!  You wrote your name so nicely!
MADELEINE: Well Mama.  Is it OKAY that I made so many LINES on my "L" and "E" and "I"?
ME: Of course it is!  And tell me (pointing to the letters under the hearts)  What were you trying to write here?
MADELEINE: Uh...uh...well, I was trying to write "I was WALKING down the HILL."  Because...that's what they're doing.  They're walking down a hill.

Good old Madeleine.  She always makes SO much sense.
Hey, you know, Jesus DID tell the Paralytic to rise, take up his pallet and walk.  So who knows, maybe they DID walk down a hill together.

Glad to see that Madeleine is with the program, as always.

AND, speaking of Madeleine, she was DEEP into the doghouse last night after she got over-excited with her goofing around and bit Ethan in an attempt to be silly.  After he reprimanded her and put her in time-out, they were able to make up with each other, but I was still not happy with the fact that she had bitten her dad.  As I brought her up to bed, I gave her an interrogation.

ME: Madeleine, WHY did you ever think it was okay to bite Daddy?
MADELEINE: Because...I though it would make him feel really, really, really, really, really HAPPY.

Like I said above, she always makes so much sense.

A moment later, Ethan popped his head in to say good-night.

ETHAN: Good-night, Madeleine.
MADELEINE: Good-night, Daddy.  I love you.
ETHAN: I love you too.  (closing the door)
MADELEINE: (goofily) I fart you!
ME: Madeleine Emilia!
MADELEINE: (wide-eyed and innocent) What Mama?
ME: It's NOT okay to say "I fart you."
MADELEINE: (bewildered) But WHY?
ME: Do you know what "fart" means?

(I should point out that we have always used the euphemism "toot" in our household, and I realized at this moment that Madeleine was likely attempting to be silly and say "I fart you" rather than "I heart you," which is something Julia is big into saying lately, thanks to her "I heart belugas" t-shirt.)

ME: "Fart" means "toot."  Would you say "I toot you" to someone?
MADELEINE: No!  (beginning to giggle, then catching herself, and instead laying still in her bed with her face frozen into a big goofy smile)
ME: Okay.  Thank you.
MADELEINE: (still trying to control herself, but ultimately losing it and beginning to giggle with abandon.)
ME: What's so funny?
MADELEINE: (giggling and giggling) I don't know!  (looking sheepish, but continuing to giggle) Uh...the THING that I SAID...(giggle, giggle, giggle, giggle.)

Well, at least she didn't repeat the THING that she SAID.  I can't really blame her for the giggling.  Potty talk is HILARIOUS to both my girls right now.  And all their friends.  And all children I have ever met.

And on that note, I'm off to go walk down the hill.  I fart you, blog readers!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Under the Ocean

Julia completed a new book of poems today, entitled "Under the Ocean."  This poem book is LONG, so I'm only going to share select poems on the blog.  Because, believe it or not, there are many more pages than the 11 that I'm posting here.

"Thar is corle like bubles and brane, corle with gulowr.  I seek it.  I seek it."
Wow.  This poem makes ME want to go seek corle too, or at least sit quietly with my thoughts as I contemplate a corle reef.  Julia makes the seeking of corle feel like such a soul-searching journey, I can't help but want to do it myself, especially if I can see corle with gulowr.

Whall (of course we couldn't have an "Under the Sea" book without a poem about a bulga whall!)
"I am a bulga whall so big and so brite.  I am a bulga shing my ligt."
I love how happy the bulga whall is.  It make ME feel happy too.

"Thar is a zoo in the ocan.  I know it.  I know it."
And to convince us of the ocanic zoo we get a picture of a little elf with the word "zoo" on her tunic.

"Pigs are safe in the ocan cas they don't get hntid."
Yes.  Pigs ARE safe in the ocan.  Except for the fact that they can't live under water because they would DROWN.  Or get eaten by a shark.

Anjle Fish
"Wiy das this fish look so fine?  Wiy das this anjle fish glidre with divind."
I had to double-check with the author on this one, since my kindergarten-spelling translation abilities only extend so far.  The final sentence is, in fact, "Why does this angel fish glitter with divine?"
Now that is seriously poetic.

"Dolfan are so quwt they are my fafrit thing."
I think dolfans are Auntie Shannon's fafrit thing too, Julia!

"I'm a shark and I live in the ocan.  I'm a shark and I mack lots of cmoshan."
GOOD RHYMING, Julia!  Bonus points for the rhyme being relevant to the subject of the poem.

"I have 8 tentikle that macks me feel so speshle.  Im an octipoos."
So, it turns out that it's NOT just moms that are speshle.  An octipoos is speshle too!

Vipre Fish
"I'm a vipre fish and wish I cood eat you.  Your dulishis."
Woah, this one is awfully ominous.  I mean, I appreciate that I'm dulishis and all, but I'm kind of creeped out that the vipre fish wants to eat me.  Especially because vipre fish are bottom-dwellers, so I would have had to be previously ripped apart by a shark or something before my dulishis flesh floats down to where the vipre fish is hanging out.
Maybe I'm overthinking this one.

"I'm an eyle.  I have so much fun obuv in the sun."
I've never seen a sun-bathing eyle myself, but I'll suspend my disbelief and pretend the eyle has lungs and can lay out on a beach towel having some good ol' summer fun.

"I arf like a syle.  I swim like a syle cas I am a syle."
Wait -- REALLY?  You're a syle?  Wow, this totally stumped me.  I would NEVER have guessed that the protagonist of a poem called "Syle" would ACTUALLY turn out to be a syle.

Well, folks, Julia has done it AGAIN.  Turned out another book of deep and lyrical poems.  Is there any genre this kid WON'T master by the time she's in first grade??

All I have left to say is: I walk like a human, I talk like a human cas I am a human.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Julia's Latest Book

Get ready, folks, because there's a new Julia Rowe publication fresh off the presses.  I present to you her latest book:
All Difrint
by Julia Rowe

Let's open to the first pages to find out WHO exactly is difrint:

"My name is Lilly.  I am in first grade and I love schoole.
But my big sister in third grade das not like it at all."

Uh-oh.  That's a MAJOR difrince to have.  If one sister likes schoole and one doesn't, how will they ever get along??  Let's find out!

"I've hird her saying mine wards to her frends and they wore never agen."

Oh no!  Mine wards?  So is Lilly's big sister a mine girl?

"But I know spels tickle tackle bickle backle mack this girl happy."

Wait.  So is Lilly a wizard?  And why does Lilly's sister suddenly have red hair instead of brown?   Or is that a hoodie??  I'm so confused here.  I better keep reading.

"But then my sister sade I lide but what I sade back to her was nevre had a hart to liye stick a cupcack in my eye."

Okay.  That makes lots of sense.  I would definitely stick a cupcack in my eye if I was caught liying.

"But onfochintle my sister sade I'm biger and smarter then you are."

That IS onfochinte.  Lilly's sister is DEFINITELY a mine girl.  But will she and her sister patch things up??

"But I know she was rong becase we wore difrint.  And I know wiy she dasint like the thing I do."
YEAH, Lilly's sister.  Lilly's not less SMART than you.  She's just DIFRINT.  Lilly likes to do the mukey boars, and you like to...uh...swing??  Fly in the air with a red cape?  Not really sure what you're doing in that picture.

"and some times she bugs me but she rely loves me.  Today in class we will woch a movie."
Awww.  Now this is getting really sweet!  But...why is the movie screen blank, and why do the floating heads not have bodies attached to them?

"And me and my sister got to act in it.  And if we fite we still love ech ather."
This is getting a little autobiographical here.  Julia and Madeleine DEFINITELY still love ech ather even though they fite.

"My name is Lilly Idla and evryone is difrint."

Um, I think I really LOVE this book.  What a sweet little message, and good for Lilly for understanding that she and her sister are difrint but they still love each other, even when Lilly's sister says mine wards.

I think Julia was definitely drawing upon her own sisterly love when writing this.  Just yesterday, as Madeleine and I arrived at kindergarten pick-up, Julia told me joyfully, "Mama?  I just can't HELP myself from just LOVING that little Madeleine when I look at her and I see her little PLOPPY cheeks and those TWINKLING eyes and her little MADELEINE SMILE!"

I have to second that sentiment.

My name is Courtney Elf Rowe, and evryone is difrint.