Saturday, August 31, 2013


So it's the big old 35 for me today!  Time simply moves too quickly these days.

This is the generous, loving birthday greeting I received from Madeleine upon coming downstairs this morning.

ME: Hi girls!
JULIA: Hi Mommy.  Happy birthday!
MADELEINE: (silence)
AUNTIE CAITLYN: Madeleine, can you give Mommy a "happy birthday" hug?
MADELEINE: Uh, no.  Because...birthday hugs are BORING.

Despite her disinterest in the hug, Madeleine was definitely invested in my birthday presents.  Both girls were eager to shower me with gifts this morning, though I suggested we wait until Ethan was out of the shower so he could be part of the celebration.

MADELEINE: But Mama.  Why do we need DADDY for you to open your presents?
ME: Well, because I think he'd like to be here when I open them.
MADELEINE: Here Mama.  I'll be Daddy.  I'm sitting here in Daddy's chair, so let's just pretend that I'm Daddy so you can open your presents.

Even though Madeleine pulled off her role as Ethan like a pro, I still opted to wait until the REAL Ethan could join us.

In the meantime, Madeleine was busy thinking about whether or not my having a birthday would be of any benefit to her at all.

MADELEINE: But Mama?  When it's YOUR birthday, does EVERYONE get a piece of cake?

I assured her that yes, indeed, she would get to partake in my birthday cake consumption.

As Ethan finished up his shower and the present-opening time grew imminent, Madeleine decided she simply couldn't hold out any longer and announced to me what my gift from her was.

MADELEINE: Well Mama.  When you open this, you're gonna see your DINOSAUR DOLL.  Because...that's what is IN here.  It's a DINOSAUR DOLL on your picture.

She wasn't kidding:

That's a pretty awesome dinosaur doll.  According to Madeleine, the non-dinosaurs in this picture are me (smiling) and herself (zombie-like creature with bared teeth looking like she's about to hunt down her unsuspecting, smiling mother.)

This one's a keeper, all right.

Julia, as usual, had made me multiple cards, pictures, and books, including this lovely card:

And a newly written book:

ME: Ohhh!  Eva Momolin and her baby sister!
JULIA: Moooom!  It's Eva MCMULLIN!
ME: Oh. Oops.

I also became the honored recipient of "Harry Potter and the Frist Year Wich," despite its having been an established part of our household home-made book collection for some time now.  On top of that, Julia drew me two pictures: one of a blue rose (my favorite flower), and one of a rainbow colored heart.  Was I spoiled, or was I spoiled??

Julia even had to give herself a congratulatory pat on the back.  Sitting down on the couch, she let out a great sigh and remarked, "Whew.  I really OUTDID myself this time!"

Ethan and I took the kids to the Museum of Science for a fun family afternoon, and the girls enjoyed themselves so greatly that Madeleine couldn't handle about leaving.  There were intermittent tears during our entire walk through the museum exit and parking garage, because: "But I don't waaaaaaant to go hooooooome!"  I thought about chiming in with, "But I don't waaaaaaaant to be 35!  I waaaaaaaant to be 29!", but figured that would just add to the chaos.

Now my wonderful husband is setting out to cook me a birthday dinner, and the girls are happily watching "My Little Pony" as I drink a glass of California Cabernet, so life is good.  All and all it was a wonderful day spent with my favorite guy and my favorite kids in the world, so I guess turning 35 isn't all THAT bad...

Thanks to all you readers who have sent along birthday cards, emails, and greetings.  Love to you all!

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Prinscesce of Fall

I'm pleased to announce a brand new Julia Rowe original book, folks!

Take a look at her recently completed work:

"The Prinscesce of Fall"
by Julia Rowe

Pgs 1-2:

"Thare is a prinsese for evry seisin but the Prinsese of Fall was the best of them all.  Fall was named Hermione.  Winter was named Ivy.  Spring was named Emily and sumer was named Ginny."

Wait.  A.  Minute.  Is anybody else as stunned as I am that one of the characters is named Hermione??

Pgs 3-4:
"The Prinscese of Fall sade 'Fall has beigone and I need to get ready.'  Hermione saide 'I have pupkins to macke and ather things,' she said."

First of all, can we start keeping track of how many different spellings of the word "princess" seem to exist in this book?  Secondly, I like the discrepancy between the spelling of "said" between pages 3 and 4.  And finally, I wish the Prinscese of Fall lived in MY house so she could macke ME some pupkins!

Pgs 5-6:
"It was Halloween and thar wear kids dres't like a wich and a gost.  It was winter and Ivy was on ice."

That was a really fast fall/Halloween.  I am really digging that hollow-eyed gost though.  He kind of looks like some sort of amorphous sea creature.

Pgs 7-8:
"And evry one was bundeld in winter clothes.  It was spring.  Emily was vaery buisy."

I can tell Emily is vaery buisy.  I mean, she even looks vaery buisy, standing there in the middle of nowhere with her arms out to the sides, doing nothing.  Unless she is telepathically causing the leaves on that tree to grow.

Pgs 9-10:
"The grass was grein and the sky was blue.  And then came cummer and Ginny was geting reity."

Ohhhh, okay.  The grass is grein and the sky is blue.  Great job, Emily!  You must have been vaery buisy making that sky blue and that grass grein!

Pgs 11-12:

"The pool was open'd and evryone live'd happely ever after."

Well, no WONDER they live'd happely ever after.  If the pool was open'd, that's pretty much a dream-come-true scenario, right??


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Little Movers

As we have done in the past several days, the girls and I visited yet another new place today: Auntie Caitlyn's new apartment in Boston!  Julia was officially hired to help move boxes into the apartment, a fact of which she did not fail to remind me at least eight times as we drove down to Boston.

JULIA: Mom?  Did you know Auntie Caitlyn hired me to help bring boxes into her apartment?
ME: Yes.
ME: I know.  You told me.
JULIA: She hired me for DONUTS!
ME: Oh, wow, you lucky girl.
JULIA: But Mom.  Do you know that she really did HIRE ME?

Was somebody feeling extra-important??  Can you tell??

Once we had found nearby parking, we all walked up to behold the gleaming floors of Caitlyn's new place:

So, one might think that a completely empty studio apartment would not hold much entertainment value for two young kids.  In the case of my two children, however, one would be wrong.

There was SO MUCH fun to be had there.  The empty apartment served as:

1) A Great Place to Play Hide-and-Seek

Girls peeking out of an empty (aka extra-roomy) closet

2) A Dance Floor

Madeleine twirling

3) A Gymnastics Arena

Julia turning cartwheels

4) A Place to Plop Down and Watch Dora On Auntie Caitlyn's Computer

In fact, the girls enjoyed their visit to the apartment so greatly that Julia wistfully remarked, "Mom, I wish that this was OUR new place to live, too.  It's just REALLY nice here."

Hmm.  Yesterday she nixed the idea of moving to Newton to become a member of Gath Pool, because she would miss Rosemary Pool and her school and her friends too much.  But today she's ready to cast all of that aside and downsize from a three-bedroom, two floor home to a studio apartment.  Not sure I'm down for that.  I mean, it's an incredibly beautiful studio apartment in a really cool area of Boston.  But I'm kinda thinking having our own separate bedrooms is a lot nicer than us all sleeping in the same room.  (Which also happens to be the living area as well.)

At any rate, Julia more than held up her end of the bargain, helping Auntie Caitlyn carry boxes and bags from the car, parked about a block away, into the building, up the stairs, and into the apartment.  Even Madeleine helped a little bit, but we adults realized pretty quickly that things were going to work much more smoothly without Madeleine's involvement.  On our first trip to the car, Julia grabbed several items.  I handed a plastic bag with about two articles of clothing inside to Madeleine, then put a backpack over my shoulders and filled my arms with boxes.

As we walked along the sidewalk towards Auntie Caitlyn's building, Madeleine announced loudly, "Wow, this bag SURE is HEAVY!!"  Then Julia almost lost hold of the box she was carrying and Madeleine tripped over her flip-flops and nearly face-planted.  As we trekked up the stairs to the apartment, Madeleine took each step slow as a snail, puffing, "Boy, I just can't carry this HEAVY, HEAVY bag!"

After that, Madeleine stayed in the apartment with me while Auntie Caitlyn and Julia unloaded the car.

At any rate, the girls had a grand old time visiting their auntie's new place, and to add the cherry on top, they are off now buying their donut reward to save for dessert tonight.  Great work, girls!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

More Vacation Week Fun

The trend continues this week of taking the kids to new-to-us places, out of town, to play and explore, taking advantage of our freedom in this last week of school vacation.  Yesterday's excursion was to a playground in Newton Corner, one full of crawling tunnels, hidden under-structure playthings, and climbing challenges of all kinds.

Of course, this led to an enormous amount of pretend play.  I can't even remember every single game the girls roped me into, but the Big Four were as follows:

1) Hogwarts School
Julia, as Hermione, decided that I, Professor McGonagall, had put her in charge of exploring all of the secret passageways (crawling tunnels) to look for "special tires."
(ME: Okay, what do the special tires do?
JULIA: Mmm...maybe keep you alive forever?)

2) Hide and Seek
Julia's inventive hiding places included a) under the ginormous, in-ground monster truck tires, b) inside the tunnel of the tunnel slide, and c) inside various crawling tunnels.  Madeleine's hiding places consisted of the very last place Julia had hidden in her turn right beforehand.

3) Spy
This was the most elaborate game of all.  The objective was for Julia and Madeleine to sneak around the playground and stay out of my eyesight, whether by climbing into tunnels, or by hiding their bodies behind larger structures as they moved.  My job was to try and spy them.  If I actively caught them out in the open trying to get from one hiding spot to another, they had to go to jail.  Jail was a set of metal bars underneath one of the slides.  Only one person could be in jail at a time, so if Julia was in jail and then I spotted Madeleine, Julia would be freed from jail and allowed to take off stealthily once again.  Seeing as I was never going to actually let my kids get out of my eyesight, I kind of ALWAYS knew where they were, but tried to make it look like I couldn't see them unless they were blatantly out in the open, making a mad dash to another tree or structure they could slink behind.

4) Baby
This was probably the game the girls loved best.  Madeleine was Julia's newborn baby, Emily, who was coming home from the hospital.  They started off in one of the under-structure play areas, which happened to contain two wooden beams upon which to sit, as well as a wheel that served as their car steering wheel.  After Julia took baby Emily home, she set up a crib (inside one of the crawling tunnels.)  As Emily grew, Julia took her on daily trips to places like the donut shop, and off to Vermont to visit me, the grandmother.  The best part of this game was that I wasn't supposed to live in state with them, so I got to sit on a bench and just watch from afar as they played, only needing to interact when they came to visit Vermont.  MUCH less mental and physical energy than was required in the Spy game.

When we got home from the playground, the kids were FILTHY from all their crawling around underneath tires and things, so I gave them both baths, got them into their pjs, put on a show, and cooked dinner.  As soon as we all sat down to eat, Madeleine announced she needed to poop, so she then pulled OFF her pjs in order to get on the potty.  From behind the closed door of the bathroom, I then heard this:

MADELEINE: Mama?  After my bath, did you use the DUCKIE towel on me?
ME: Uh, no, I used the pig towel.
MADELEINE: (wailing) But MAMAAAAAAA!  I wanted you to use the DUCKIE towel!
ME: Well, hon, it's all done with now, and it was a few hours ago, so there's not really much I can do about it at this point.  Next time I'll use the duckie towel.
MADELEINE: But Mama?  Tomorrow can we go to that SAME playground and then can we come home and take a bath and you can give me the duckie towel?
ME: Uh...we'll see.
MADELEINE: But MAMAAAAAAA!  Don't say "We'll SEEEEEEEE!"  I want you to say "YES!"

Turns out we didn't go back to the same playground today after all, and Madeleine was a-okay with it, because Day #3 of out-of-town adventures took us to Gath Pool in Newton:

Julia immediately took the deep water test and passed, so she spent the majority of her time happily plunging off the diving boards:

Instead of taking Madeleine over to the separate kiddie wading pool, I figured I'd try taking her into the main pool, which is 3 feet at its shallowest.  Madeleine could basically tap her toes down on the ground, but otherwise was forced to rely on her own knowledge gained by swim lessons.  And, wouldn't you know it: the kid can actually, really, legitimately swim, all by herself:

Holy Cow.  I knew she could swim a stroke or two without touching the ground, but at Gath Pool today, Madeleine just took to swimming back and forth, stroke after stroke, without needing to grab the wall or me or anything.

She even took a few jumps - all by herself - off the side and into the pool, but then she cut her foot on the metal frame around the edge of the steps and started bleeding and we had to go see the lifeguards to get her foot all bandaged up.

After that, Madeleine was pretty much done with swimming:

Hangin' out, pool-side

Once Julia was ready to come out of the water, we headed to the car, and Julia lamented, "I'm REALLY gonna miss this pool!"  As we drove home, I asked the girls if they'd had fun.

ME: Only one fun?
MADELEINE: Yeah.  Because...I hurt my TOE.

I'm glad she had at least *one* fun, though, and I would bet she actually had a lot MORE fun than only one fun, seeing as there was a bunch of swimming and jumping taking place before the big bloody toe incident.  Especially since she suggested we all move to Newton so we can frequent that pool as members.

MADELEINE: Well, Mama, maybe we can just MOVE to NEWTON so we can get a membership!
JULIA: Madeleine.  We can't move to Newton.
MADELEINE: But Julia.  Don't you LIKE Newton?
JULIA: I do, but I just want to live at home.  Madeleine.  If we move to Newton, we'll miss Rosemary Pool too much.  And I'll miss my school too much.  And we won't get to see our friends that often.
MADELEINE: Well...we can just have THEM move to Newton too!

That Madeleine.  Always so on point with that logical mind of hers.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fashion Models

As if Julia didn't portray "haute couture" enough with her last fashion photo, today she and Madeleine decided to model high fashion at its finest.

Julia shows off a floppy blue sunhat and pink knit slippers.
Madeleine shines in a green sunhat, borefooting:

Now the models change things up a little to highlight fall's upcoming couture footwear: galoshes!

(While Julia pulls off the above fierce, lounging pose, Madeleine apparently decided to feign sleep.)

Per Julia's instructions, I must now give the following heading to the next picture: "Then, Julia decided to turn into Ginny Weasley":

Re-enacting Ginny Weasley's scene in "The Chamber of Secrets" in which she is "alive, but only nearly."  The big goofy grin on Julia's face really adds to the image of Ginny's comatose state.

Next thing I knew, the fashion shoot took things to a whole new level: a fishing boat:

WORK IT, Fisherwomen!

Even in the rain, these fisherwomen can't help but look TOTALLY FIERCE!

And don't even get me started on how SMOKIN' they look when the sun is out!:

Modelling is only a small part of the whole fishing boat extravaganza.  The girls are now deeply engrossed in a whole pretend-play fishing game.  Julia is speaking with a British accent, and the girls have embarked upon a trip to the fashion capital of the world: Lake Champlain, whereupon they will live in their fishing boat, spend their days catching seafood, and make millions posing in photo shoots.

I expect you will all see them again someday on America's Next Top Model: Fishing Boat Edition.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Last Week of Summer Vacation

So, it's the last week of summer vacation for Julia.  It's hard to believe that school starts back up one week from tomorrow.

I think Julia is more than ready.

Rosemary Pool is closed.

The playroom at the YMCA is closed all week for cleaning.

The weather is cloudy with showers in the forecast.

Now, while Julia is no stranger to coming up with ways to entertain herself (like her fashion show she decided to put on yesterday morning while the rest of the household was sleeping:),

she is sort of at a loss as to how to pass her time now that swimming is done.  The girls were fighting all morning over reeeeeally stupid things.  Like whether the title of Julia's new book is "Magic Bunny: Vacation Dream" or "Magic Bunny: Nation Dream."  (For the record, it is the former, but the fact that Julia couldn't just let Madeleine get away with calling it "Nation Dream" had me at the end of my rope.)

So I decided it was time to take an adventure to some place we'd never been.  After doing some research online, I opted for a trip to Woburn, which is a good 30+ minutes from where we live, to try out an indoor play place called The Klubhouse.

Let me tell you, it was SO worth it.

Despite the fact that Julia had issues with the spelling of the place,
(JULIA: Mommy?  I always thought you should spell "Clubhouse" with a "C." 
ME: Well, that's how it's really spelled.  This is spelled with a "K" on purpose.
JULIA: (annoyed) Mommy, I just don't get WHY anyone would decide to spell a word WRONG on PURPOSE.  Like, WHY do they DO that?
ME: Uh....I really have no idea.)

she had no complaints about the contents of the place.  The girls had a field day in there, starting off in the bouncy house:

(Madeleine spent a good deal of time bouncing around while simultaneously grabbing onto her bum, as she is wont to do lately.  It literally has nothing to do with whether or not she needs to go potty.  I'm sure the lifeguards at Rosemary Pool couldn't help but be a little freaked while she hopped around in the water, clutching her bum cheeks, chattering away at them while they were on duty.)

Next up was the big wooden pirate ship:

Ahoy, mateys!

Madeleine, below deck

Madeleine manning the steering wheel

Julia keeping lookout aboard the ship

Madeleine peeking through a porthole

I will point out that I spent most of my time below deck in this pirate ship, since we were playing "Olden Days," and I was Julia's pet crocodile.  Because that makes lots of sense, right?

One of the quickest ways to get below deck was to slide down the fireman's pole, although both girls were completely freaked about it at first for some reason.  After a few attempts in which I held onto their bodies as they slid down, they finally built up the courage to try it themselves, and by the end of the visit, they were pole-masters! (yeah, that sounds kind of inappropriate):

Madeleine sliding down all by herself

There was also a big wooden castle, aka "Hogwart's."  It seemed to be decided by silent understanding that the castle was really the famous School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

For instance:

MADELEINE: (climbing out from the pirate ship) Julia, wanna go to Hogwart's now?
JULIA: Okay!  (both girls dashing off towards the castle)

Julia Hermione at Hogwart's

Then, as if the above mentioned structures weren't enough, there were also play items like these weird things that the kids decided to swing on:

as well as things like this talking, mechanical dinosaur to perch atop:

If I had predicted how HUGE a hit this place was going to be, I would have taken the kids earlier in the day.  I brought them around 1:30, knowing the place closes at 3pm, so we could get a good hour and a half in.  Turns out they would have liked a lot more time than that.  Both kids were really bummed to find out we had to leave, especially Madeleine, who has no real concept or understanding of time yet.

ME: Okay, Madeleine, we have to leave in five minutes, so pick one last thing to do and then we'll go!
MADELEINE: But Mama. WHYYYYY do we have to go?
ME: Because this place closes in five minutes, honey.
MADELEINE: (lamenting) But Maaamaaa!  When is this place gonna NOT be CLOSED again?

So I have promised them both that, some other day when the Klubhouse is gonna not be closed again, we'll take another trip out to Woburn.

Afternoon #1 of no-pool, no-YMCA = success.  Now to see how the rest of the week goes!...

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Trip to the Toy Store

Julia has been chomping at the bit for the past few days to go to the toy store and pick out a birthday present for Madeleine.  Despite my reassurances that we have plenty of time before Madeleine's birthday, Julia just couldn't seem to contain her desperation to go shopping.

What a generous big sister! it turns out, what an artful, scheming mind Julia has.

JULIA: Mommy, please, please PLEASE can we just go to the toy store RIGHT NOW to get Madeleine's present?
ME: Julia, I don't understand.  Madeleine's birthday is still over a month away.  Why are you so insistent on going right now?
JULIA: Because I wanted to get a toy, TOO!

Ahhhh.  Makes a lot more sense now.

I did wind up taking Julia to the store today while Ethan stayed home with Madeleine, and lucky for both girls, I had just recently received money from Yiayia Megali specificially for birthday gifts for the kids.  So not only did Julia get to pick out a birthday gift for Madeleine, but she also got to use her $15 of birthday money to buy something for herself.

Julia opted for a new book and a set of Wow! Car figurines to go with her collection of cars, people and animals.  The newest figurines are RIGHT up her alley:

I know this will take a lot of mental effort, but can any of you readers wager a guess as to what Julia decided to name the wizard??

If anyone guessed Dumbledore, give yourself a big pat on the back.  YOU'RE RIGHT!!

Meanwhile, Madeleine's birthday money went towards her own Wow! Car figurines, which I had to pick out for her, since she was not with us, as well as a new board book.  Madeleine was THRILLED with her new Wow! Car friends:

Madeleine's North Pole figures; she named them Ginny (human) and Hermione (polar bear.)

Madeleine was equally enthralled with the pictures on the back of the packaging that the Polar friends came in, picking out which figurines she wants on her wish list for future birthday gifts.  At one point, she came running to me in delight to point out the Caveman/Dinosaur combo that she is coveting:

MADELEINE: (pointing at the caveman) Mama!  If I had THIS guy, I would name him JESUS!

Later in the afternoon, as she sat studying the various figurines displayed on the packaging, Madeleine brightly announced her latest observation.

MADELEINE: (enthusiastically) It looks like Jesus is digging for FOSSILS!

Ahh.  Here I thought Jesus was a caveman.  Turns out he's a paleontologist.

At any rate, once Madeleine had moved on from playing with her Wow! Car people and animals, she decided to play "Doctor" with Daddy, who was trying to take a nap on the couch.

Madeleine was able to demonstrate the proper, doctorly way to use a pair of tweezers:

Turns out I've been using them wrong all these years.  I always thought I was supposed to hold them in my hands and squeeze them together to remove splinters.  I had no idea until today that I was just supposed to dangle them from my nose and let them work their medicinal magic.  Good thing I have Doctor Madeleine to teach me new things.  I wonder if she got her scientific training from Paleontologist Jesus.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Fun Day

This summer just went by way too fast.

Today was the last day of swim lessons at Rosemary Pool, as well as the last free swim of the season.  The girls got to enjoy one last Friday Fun Day at their lessons, which entailed all sorts of water games, rides on the giant surfboard, and, of course, jumping off the diving board.

Madeleine literally took the plunge and jumped off all by herself, rather than being lowered down into the water.  Bravely leaping off the board, she landed with a happy splash into the arms of her swim instructor:

At the end of lessons, the girls got their Friday Fun Day cheap-o piece of garbage toy, as well as their customary donut hole, so moods were cheery all around the board.

That is, at least for a few moments.

MADELEINE: Mama?  When is it gonna be Friday Fun Day again?
ME: Uh, well, not until next summer, honey.
MADELEINE: But when IS it gonna be Friday Fun Day again?
ME: Well, probably next July.

Madeleine apparently reasoned that Friday Fun Day could instead occur on a day that was neither a) Friday nor b) one on which the pool is actually open.

MADELEINE: Maybe...TOMORROW I can get my toy and my donut again.  Maybe TOMORROW can be Friday Fun Day.
ME: Well, honey, tomorrow is not Friday Fun Day.  Tomorrow's the weekend.
MADELEINE: But why IS it?
ME: Well, because it just is.  Tomorrow is the weekend.  The pool is closing today, because it's the end of summer.

At this point, Madeleine burst into bitter, wailing tears at the injustice of it all.

Thankfully, some snuggles with her swim teacher and assurances that next summer would be even MORE fun managed to console her.

The really exciting news is that BOTH girls successfully completed the level of their swim class, and both were promoted up to the next level for the following summer!:

Of course, we took a trip back to the pool this afternoon for free swim, and the girls got a chance to give hugs and waves good-bye to all of their favorite lifeguards.

The plan is to take the girls for a celebratory ice cream dessert, although that didn't stop them from ALSO wanting a piece of home-baked pumpkin bread after finishing their dinner.  Madeleine was so excited for her piece that she *almost* couldn't wait for one of her parents to get it for her.

MADELEINE: (sweetly) I'm done with my diiiiiner!  Can I have some dessert, please?
JULIA: (chastising) Madeleine!  We're going to LIZZY'S for ICE CREAM, remember??
ME: Well, you just had pumpkin bread, Julia, so I think Madeleine would like some too.
MADELEINE: Can I have some pumpkin bread, PLEASE?
ME: Let me finish my dinner, then I'll get it for you.

Madeleine then trotted off to the kitchen, only to reappear wide-eyed and earnest with an important declaration.

MADELEINE: Mama?  I just DECIDED to get some for myself, but...I didn't want to...just...GRAB a KNIFE and CUT it.

Wise choice, Madeleine.

Julia then decided to demonstrate how wise she herself can be by pounding her hands on my computer keyboard.

ME: Julia, I need you to know that you should never do that to ANYBODY'S computer again.
ETHAN: There is no circumstance in which it is EVER, EVER appropriate to do that on ANY computer.
JULIA: (chagrined) Okay.  But why?
ME: Because.  Bad things can happen.  You can accidentally delete things, or wreck things people are typing.

After a moment of communal silence, Madeleine opted to chime in as well.


More silence.

MADELEINE: (breaking into a nervous laugh) Mama, I was just being GOOFY when I was saying GLOBAL WARMING.  I was just trying to be SILLY.

Oh, okay.  I guess we all blew it by failing to laugh - or react in any way - when Madeleine first made the comment.

We are now off to take some swimming stars out for ice cream!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Pool is Cool

Rosemary Pool closes for the season on Friday, and since yesterday was a hot, sticky, humid 90 degree day, we made sure to spend a good couple of hours enjoying the pool while we still can.  We weren't the only ones taking advantage of the chance to swim; the pool was crowded with people of all ages, including an elderly man walking with a cane and a heavy cast on his foot.

Madeleine was especially taken by this man, for some reason.

MADELEINE: Mama!  Look.  That guy is wearing a CAST.  I think he can't WALK very well.  Mama, I feel BAD for him.  I feel BAD for that guy because he has a CAST.  I really HOPE his leg gets better!

I then decided to tell Madeleine what I do when I'm feeling bad for someone who is injured or sick, which is to say a prayer for him or her.  When I suggested this to Madeleine, she looked at me like it was a completely crazy idea.  (I'm gonna go out on a limb and take a gander on what just went through Ethan's head upon reading that last sentence: "Well, it was.")

ME: You can say a quick prayer for him if you like.
MADELEINE: (flabbergasted) Right NOW?
ME: Yeah.  Go ahead.
MADELEINE: (folding her hands in prayer) Thank you God for making me...

Apparently Madeleine's concept of saying a prayer is limited to her routine bedtime prayer.  "Thank you God for making me, thank you for my family, Amen."  No wonder she was confused as to why I would think praying would be in any way related to the man with the cast.

I guess she needed rapping Jesus to dance around and guide her along in her prayer.

Later on during our free swim time, Julia happened to meet up with one of her good friends from preschool, and the two swam happily off towards the diving board together.  At the same time, Madeleine had a sudden, urgent need to poop, so I had to rush her towards the bathroom and try to keep poking my head out of the bathroom to make sure I could still see Julia in the pool.  She and her friend wound up having such a grand time swimming together that they wanted to extend the fun, and Julia was invited over to play and have dinner at her friend's house.  I ended up leaving the pool with Madeleine around 5, leaving Julia in the care of her friend's mom.

Apparently Julia went through a bit of Mommy-withdrawal, even though she was basically off swimming on her own and not having any interaction with me before I left.

JULIA: (upon returning home from her play-date) Mom?  So, I was just, like, really MISSING you, because I don't DO WELL without my mommy, and I was, like, looking at the sparkling water with the sun shining on it and I started feeling really SAD that the pool is closing on Friday.

Oh, boy.  Who would have thought me leaving with Madeleine would open such a floodgate of emotions for Julia?  Luckily, she got over her feelings of sadness and had a great time playing at her friend's house, coming home in a buoyant, exuberant mood right at bedtime, unable to keep from yapping happily about all the things she and her friend did together as Ethan attempted to brush her teeth.

While Julia had eaten dinner at her friend's house, the rest of us Rowes lazily ordered take-out from our favorite Thai restaurant in town.  Madeleine had her usual order, chicken and steamed veggies with peanut sauce.  I had asked her if she wanted me to put some sauce on her plate, and she declined.  However, it turned out that she actually DID want sauce, as she realized halfway through her dinner.

MADELEINE: Uh-oh!  Something is MISSING!
ME: What's missing?
MADELEINE:'s a LIQUID that I don't remember what name it is.

Luckily, I remembered what name it is and was able to pour some sauce onto her plate for her.

Meanwhile, although it's still blazingly hot around here, Madeleine is in full-out autumn mode.  Today she trick-or-treated around the house looking like this:

Julia, too, is in Halloween mode.  Here's the picture she drew for us:

I'm not sure which aspect of this picture is my favorite thing.  The amoeba-like ghost coming sideways out of the chimney?  The cactus hands that the happy, smiling witch is sporting?  Or the girl who looks to be barfing bloody guts into her hand?  It's a tough call.

And now we are switching gears back to summer, as we are off to the pool for the penultimate day of swim lessons!