Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is here!  Halloween is here!

In case I had forgotten, the girls were ready to remind me as soon as they woke me up.

MADELEINE: (barging through my bedroom door and leaping onto my bed) Mama!  It's Halloween today!  (jumping up and down on my bed) It's Halloweeeeen!  It's Halloweeeeen!

JULIA: (bursting out of her bedroom) Happy Halloweeeeeeen, Mommy!

Since it is finally Halloween, I can rest assured knowing that tomorrow morning I can take Julia's Emily Binx gravestone picture off of the bathroom mirror.  As awesomely spooky as it is to have such a creepy decoration greeting me each time I go into the bathroom, I will certainly be happy to actually be able to see myself as I style my hair in the morning without having to stand on tiptoe.

And speaking of this gravestone picture: I gave the details a bit more attention recently, and realized that Julia had even given death dates for poor old Thackery and Emily Binx.  Knowing that in the movie "Hocus Pocus," the Binx kids die on the Halloween three hundred years before present day, Julia inscribed the tombstones as thus:

Emily Binx October 31 300
Thacory Binx October 31 300

Apparently, the Binx children are older ghosts than we thought.  Although I have to say, in the year 300, I'm assuming that kids in Salem would more likely have borne names like Sakhonteic and Kewanee rather than Thackery and Emily.

The girls were excited for school today; for Julia, she had pajama day and a Halloween party to look forward to, and for Madeleine, the chance for the teachers to finally carve the classroom pumpkin and toast pumpkin seeds for snack.  And speaking of pumpkins, the girls deigned to pose by our own pumpkins this morning before we headed off to school:

Both kids were in great moods after school, and Julia showed off her goody bag and Halloween bracelet from her school party.  As part of the party, the class got to do a Halloween-themed packet of worksheets, among which was a blank page for writing a poem.

Here is Julia's masterpiece:


Pumpkin shinny and big now you are a griining Jack-o-lantern.

LOVE it.

And: speaking of loving it, the girls THOROUGHLY enjoyed tonight's Halloween experience.  Hermione spoke in a British accent throughout the entire trick-or-treat route, while Ballerina Cat (who insisted we call her Emily Binx) saw opportunity to grab fistfuls of candy when allowed to choose her own pieces out of the neighborhood bowls.

All in all, it was a great Halloween for the Rowes!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Awesomely Weird Kiddos

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you likely have already realized that my kids are totally weird.  And while I write about them in a rather tongue-in-cheek style, when I say they're totally weird, what I mean is that they're totally weird in an AWESOME way.  I never want to come across as a parent who spends every waking second boasting about how amazing and adorable her children are.  However, like every parent in the universe, I *do* so happen to think my children are absolutely amazing and adorable. 

This is all a BIG disclaimer for the following boast I am about to give.  Please forgive me for a moment, but I just must say:

Julia is a super trooper.  Not only does she walk all the way to school and all the way home every day (each direction being roughly a mile), but she is tough enough to handle the walk in any kind of weather.  This morning we walked there in the rain, and I felt the need to point out to her just how awesome she is.

ME: Julia, I gotta tell you.  You're SUCH a trooper.  I bet you're the toughest kid in the whole school when it comes to walking.

Julia, of course, was more concerned with uncovering whether I was truly qualified to make such an assessment.

JULIA: But how do you KNOW?
ME: Well, I doubt any of the other kids walk quite as far as you do.  And whenever the weather is bad, most of the other kids don't walk to school.
JULIA: But Mom.  How do you even KNOW how far they walk?
ME: Well, because we see the same kids every day who are walking to school when we are.  And I know where most of them live, and it's not as far as where we live.
JULIA: Well Mom.  How do you even KNOW if we live the farthest?
ME: Well, I don't know for sure, but I have a feeling that you walk a lot farther than most of the other kids.  And you can even do it when the weather's not great.
JULIA: Well, how do you know the other kids don't walk in the bad weather?

Okay.  I'm just gonna give up on trying to convince her how super awesome she is.  And I don't really want to be teaching her to feel some sense of competition or one-up-manship about this, so I didn't bother to point out to her that each month's "Walker of the Month," featured at school, states the distance the Walker travels each day.  Most of the distances are around a tenth of a mile to a quarter mile.  Julia has never been "Walker of the Month," probably because we enter the school through the back door, so none of the administration is even aware that she's a walker.


On to weird stuff now.  Let's just talk about some of the things Madeleine has said over the past 24 hours.

(In reference to the fact that she was VERY poorly behaved for our sitter yesterday.)
ME: Madeleine?  So tell me.  How are you going to behave for the baby-sitter today?
MADELEINE: Well Mama.  That's a difficult QUESTION.

(In reference to kids at her school)
MADELEINE: Mama?  At school, the kids say "this letter is green," when really it's TURQUOISE.
ME: Oh.  Did you tell them it's turquoise?
MADELEINE: Yes, but they don't say anything...because...their mouths are CLOSED, and...their heads are still facing the direction they're GOING.

 (Emerging from the play kitchen area with a pot full of stuff)
MADELEINE: Here you go!  I made this for you!  It's PUMPKIN stew just for YOU!

I joked that it should really be shepherd's pie.  Because it had real shepherds in it.  And angels.  And Jesus, Mary and Joseph:

After she fed me my pumpkin stew, Madeleine ran back off to the play kitchen, only to emerge once again after creating a loud clattering sound.

MADELEINE: (concerned) Mama?  By accident, I put my cookie that is JESUS into cat's BOWL.

Well, Jesus' symbol is a fish, after all, so I bet cat is pretty happy to find Jesus in his bowl.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween Powums

Julia has been writing a brand new book of Halloween poems, but unlike the author's previously cheery, upbeat works, this collection takes a serious turn toward the macabre.  This is no "Halloween yay yay yay" material here, folks.  And here I always thought Madeleine was the creepy one.

I present to you, the latest seasonal collection of powums:

Wich Stuw: Halloween Powums
by Julia Rowe

Now, what exactly does that title allude to?  Wait no longer than page one to find out!:

Wich Stuw
"What a nice smell of pumpkine stuw but I can not have it bekuse I am alurgick to cats.  I do not no what beckame of her but I think she got coockt in the stuw."

(In case you missed it here, readers, because let's face it: this poem is a bit dense, the witch standing next to the cauldron COOKED HER FELLOW SISTER WITCH in the stew.  I'm not *quite* sure what the being alurgick to cats has to do with all of this, but I'm wondering if maybe the witch chef was getting sick of her witchy friend and the witchy friend's cat, so she decided to just off them in the burning cauldron of pumpkine stuw.  Forevermore known as wich stuw.)

"Pumpkine, pumpkine, I whant to picke a nice big pumpkine."

(Well, that one is MUCH less gruesome.  I guess after subjecting us to the cannibalism {witchabilism??} on the first page, Julia decided to give us a little break with her mild and inoffensive pumpkine powum.)

"Boo said the goast and the girl screem'd.  'Aaaaah!' and now she is a goust."

(Julia was careful to make it abundantly clear that the girl in this poem was transformed into a ghost, hence the same red side-tail on the ghost as on the screaming girl.  I never knew before that a ghost could actually TURN A HUMAN INTO A GHOST just by shouting "Boo!"  Yikes.  That poor girl barely had a chance to know what hit her before she was herself a red-haired, gray-bodied goust.)

The Gravyourd
"The gravyourd is waer pepol are barid like Esmorelda Green on the paige befo this one."

(WOW.  This is HEAVY STUFF from Julia.  How very Edward Gorey of her.  Poor Esmorelda Green, who suffered the misfortune of being "booed" by a goust.  Now she's simultaneously stuck barid in the gravyourd in body, while her spirit - and her red hair - float around looking for other, innocent, unsuspecting victims to BOO! at.)

And we're not QUITE done with Esmorelda yet:

Esmorelda Green
"Esmorelda,' said a wich. She shode young Esmorelda the goust and thar was Esmorelda Green."

(Oh, my.  Esmorelda ALSO ran into a wich before meeting the goust?  So was the wich the mastermind behind Esmorelda's untimely demise?  And is that Esmorelda's lifeless body drawn on that page?  This is getting way too creepy for me, folks.)

"Ding dong whent the door bell.  'Trick-or-treat.'  'boo!"

(I am shaking in my boots here.  Is that Esmorelda up there at the door?  Did she Boo! someone else and turn them into a goust too?  Or am I just letting my imagination run away with itself.  Calm down, Courtney.  This is just a book of powums.  Stop being such a scaredy cat.)

The final powum gives us a break from the spooky Esmorelda Green story arch:

"Jack-o-lantern, jack-o-lantern, shiney and orange.  Your as big as a pig."

(I'm just at a loss for words on that one.)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Very Halloweeny Weekend

It has just been a whirlwind Halloween/autumn extravaganza around here lately!  It's hard to believe we still have the REAL Halloween coming up, what with all the fun and exciting activities the kids have taken part in over the weekend. 

From baking - and decorating - Halloween cupcakes with Auntie Caitlyn:

to cutting out sugar cookie dough in Halloweeny shapes with Mommy, to a Haunted House and Halloween party in our town, the girls have *definitely* gotten their spook on.

Speaking of, the kids were WAY into the idea of a spooky haunted house. They could barely contain their excitement as we stood in line waiting for our turn through the haunted happenings:

Okay, okay, they don't look so excited in this photo, but that's because they STINK at doing posed smiles for pictures.

I actually did not have a true sense of how excited they were to be scared until the person in charge came through to organize folks into groups of 8 or so, based on whether or not the kids wanted a "scary" or "not scary" Haunted House adventure.

ME: Girls?  Do you want NOT scary?
ME: Well, hang on, Madeleine may not want that.

Believe it or not, even when going with the not scary group would have allowed us to jump the line and enter the haunted house much sooner, the girls held steadfast to their desire for a scary good time.

When we finally entered the haunted house, the girls were absolutely delighted with every aspect of the adventure.  As a skeleton in the shadows reached out and grabbed Madeleine, I expected some freaking out to occur, but instead, Madeleine giggled joyously.  Julia brazenly stalked right up to the monsters and ghouls holding cauldrons full of candy and selected her choice chocolates and sweets.  In other words, the kids weren't scared AT ALL.

I'm relieved.  But baffled.  After all, these are the kids that won't go up to their bedroom alone because they're "scared of the DARKNESS" (Madeleine), and can't fall asleep at night because they think they hear a tornado brewing outside our house EVERY DARN NIGHT (Julia).  But monsters jumping out of dark corners and grabbing at them?  No big deal.

After the haunted house, we got to attend the Halloween party upstairs, complete with games, refreshments, and a bouncy house!:

As Madeleine and I snuggled in her bed last night, she had several requests to ensure the Halloween fun just goes on and on and on:

MADELEINE: Mama?  Tomorrow...I want to frost our Halloween cookies STRAIGHT away.
ME: Sure, we can frost them tomorrow morning before church.
MADELEINE: And Mama?  Tomorrow can we go to the Haunted House again??
ME: Oh, honey, it's not open tomorrow.  It was one night only. 
MADELEINE: But Mama.  PLEASE can we go tomorrow?
ME: Honey, the Haunted House was ONLY open today.  It's all done now.
MADELEINE: But Mama!  Why do they NOT want us to have Halloween FUN?

Yeah.  Those pesky teenage volunteers at the Congregational Church who put this WHOLE thing together for no pay.  Why, oh why are they trying to RUIN our Halloween fun??

Turns out Madeleine meant it in the most literal sense that she wanted to frost those Halloween cookies straight away.  Upon trotting down from her bedroom this morning, she was raring to go.

ME: Good morning, sweetheart!  Can you go pee and brush your teeth?
MADELEINE: (hopping up and down frantically) But Maaamaaa!  I *said* I wanted to frost Halloween cookies STRAIGHT AWAY!

We were able to hold her off until after dropping Ethan at his church choir rehearsal.  Then we Rowe ladies got to serious work putting icing on some pumpkins, ghosts, and half-moons:

Afterwards, Madeleine scooped EACH AND EVERY stray drop of frosting off of the four plates we used, licking each scoop off of her fingers, so I'm not even really sure she NEEDS the sugar from one of these cookies for dessert tonight.

To top off our autumn weekend fun, we had a play-date after church with friends Loula and Will, and spent time doing Madeleine's favorite fall activity: jumping into a big pile of leaves!:

To truly capitulate the spooky weekend, Julia drew me this very Halloweeny picture:

Halloween can't come soon enough for these two kiddos!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Morning Mania

This morning, we were running behind on getting ourselves dressed and out the door to take Julia to school.  (Running behind is basically our default state of being around here.  If Julia would just get dressed when I ask her to instead of replying, "Not yet!" as she does Gallop Time across the dining and living room floors, and if Madeleine could actually just wear the outfits we had previously picked out the night before, maybe things would go more smoothly.  But...)

At any rate, in a rare moment of compliance, Madeleine actually allowed me to just dress her in the clothes that were picked out for her, without hesitation.  Perhaps this is because this outfit had actually been picked out earlier in the week, then had gotten peed upon during the infamous "I peed on the flooooor!" incident, and instead wound up in the laundry basket and not on Madeleine the next morning.  I thought we had dodged a serious bullet this morning, as Madeleine was easily dressed, Julia's lunch was packed, and all we really needed to do was go potty and do hairstyles before heading out the door.

Well, the potty really did me in.  As she sat upon the toilet, Madeleine suddenly realized that the underwear she was wearing were NOT the underwear of her choice.  She began insisting she needed to go change into her "two monkey" underwear.  I told her that there wasn't time to pull off her pants and undies, put on new undies, and put her pants on once again. 

So she found a creative solution to her problem:

(Also notice that she was dissatisfied with her socks, so in her hands are her replacement socks.)

She's not stubborn.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halloweeny House

Julia decided to add some spooky Halloween spirit to our home decor, so she hung various drawings up all around the house.  It's kind of a fun surprise to see where she placed these drawings. 

Who knows, maybe you'll go to grab a snack out of the pantry, and - BOO! - you'll be greeted by Frankenstein and a skeleton:

OR, you may be walking in the back door and be shocked silly by the lyrics to one of the hit songs of "Hocus Pocus":

I poot a spell on you - now THAT'S some scary stuff!

Or you may go to look at yourself in the mirror and instead see tombstones:

Wait a minute.  Whose head is that peeking out from the mirror reflection?  Is it mine, or...could it be THE GHOST OF EMILY BINX?!?!?!?  Spoooooooky!

OR, you might sit down at the table for a nice meal, only to be - BOO! - scared by this creepy ghost!:

Then we've got our lovely new wall decorations:

A jack-o-lantern, a cauldron, and a spooooooooky spider web!

And perhaps best of all is the blood streak on the window glass:

JULIA: Mommy?  Are you wondering WHAT this thing is?  It's BLOOD, because, you know how it's kind of scary if you walk into a house and you see, like, blood stains all over the place??

Definitely scary.  And not in a Halloweeny sense.  More like a this-house-belongs-to-a-murderer sense.  But let's not get macabre here.

Finally, Julia designed a very special haunted box house that is ONLY to be used on Halloween:

Madeleine desperately wanted to play inside the haunted house today.  Did Julia allow her to?  Do you even need to give it a moment's thought?

I had to intervene at the point that the girls were ready to throw down in their fight over the box, and afterwards, Madeleine decided to make her OWN haunted house (as she called it, her haunted fort), complete with furniture covered in blankets, a witch's broom, and a pumpkin-colored balloon from the dentist's:

BAM!  In your FACE, Julia!  You can have your haunted box, and I'll stick to my haunted fort over here!

Now, to add even more spookiness to our day, Julia and I get to visit the doctor's office this afternoon to get flu shots.  A big, pointy needle in our arm, probably causing some bleeding - woooooooowooooooooh!  It doesn't get more Halloweeny than that!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Madeleine, the Peeing Chatterbox

Around 4:15 this morning, I heard a loud thud coming from Madeleine's room, followed by crying.  I went rushing in, only to find that both Ethan and a sleepy, bed-headed Julia had also gone running in. 

ME: Madeleine, what's the matter, honey?  Did you fall out of your bed?
MADELEINE: I peeeeed on the flooooooor!

I turned on the lights to find Madeleine sitting on the floor, her underwear around her ankles, with a big wet stain surrounding her.  Ethan and I sent Julia back to bed, reassured Madeleine that sometimes accidents happen, and that she had done the right thing in trying to get out of bed and to the bathroom, and then Ethan began the process of pee clean-up while I brought Madeleine downstairs to clean her legs off.

Once I had Madeleine back in bed, I climbed in with her to offer sleep-inducing snuggles, while Ethan repeatedly patted paper towels over the rug to sop up the last of the pee.

This is when I found out that Madeleine had actually been trying to handle her own pee problem for quite some time.

"Mommy!" she lamented.  "First I peed in my PINK pajama pants, THEN I peed in my HEART pajama pants, and then I peed on the FLOOR.  All I can do is pee, pee, pee!"

I found the slightly wet heart pajama pants in her bed, with a discarded pair of underwear inside them.  I found the pink pajama pants, which she had worn to bed, draped over her laundry hamper.  I am not entirely sure how it came to be that she was in and out of two different pairs of pajama pants and then still managed to pee on the rug, but I do applaud her efforts to take care of the problem on her own without waking us up.  However, perhaps if she had simply gotten herself down onto the potty BEFORE attempting to change pajama pants, the whole peeing-on-the-rug incident wouldn't have occurred and the entire household wouldn't have been awoken.

My attempts at soporific snuggles proved futile.  Madeleine had WAY too much to chatter about as I lay, trying to calm her down.

MADELEINE: Mama?  At first, I didn't know what Daddy was doing with the paper towels on the floor, and I was like, "Daddy?" and he was like, "Yes?" and I was like, "What are you DOING?" and he was like, "I'm cleaning up the pee," and-
ME: Madeleine.  No more talking.  You need to get back to sleep.
MADELEINE: Mama?  On Curious George, I'm SCARED of the part when they said that the scarecrow got so angry about being headless that he didn't like anyone to wear a HAT, until...the night it lost its HEAD to KICK peoples' hats off.
ME: Shhh.  No more talking.
MADELEINE: And it will continue, until it gets a NEW head.
ME: Madeleine.  Time to go to sleep.  No talking.
MADELEINE: Mama?  I know how to speak with a BRITISH accent.
ME: Shhh.  No talking.
MADELEINE: (affecting an English accent) They're GHAHHHHHSTLY!

So I decided to leave her to babble at herself and went back to my own bed so that at least one of us could get some more sleep.

Madeleine had the chance to be a chatterbox once again during the day today, as she had her long-awaited dental cleaning.  Just as she had during her doctor visit, Madeleine chose to elaborate upon every answer she gave to even the simplest of questions.

DENTAL HYGIENIST: So Madeleine, what are you gonna be for Halloween next week?
MADELEINE: Sooooo, for the SPOOKY WALK I was...a BLACK CAT!  And for...for...for...for Halloween...
ME: You're also gonna be a black cat.
MADELEINE: For THIS Halloween I'm gonna be a black cat, and for...for...for...for the NEXT Halloween, I'm gonna be Emily Binx.

Okay then.  Now the hygienist won't have to ask that question next October, because Madeleine has already informed her of her Halloween plans a year from now.

At least Madeleine pauses in her chattering to ask questions of others every once in awhile.  After she added some decorative touches with marker to the October song Julia's teacher had sent home,:

Madeleine held the sheet up to me to inquire: "Mama?  How much MATH SCIENCE does it take to MEASURE down to the sort of DRYING OUT marker color?"

Gotta admit it.  I'm stumped on that one.  I think my kid may be smarter than I am at math science, because I really have no idea how to solve that problem.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Madeleine the Mermaid, Madeleine the Bird

This afternoon, while Madeleine and I were snuggling on the couch as she guzzled down some milk, she was suddenly struck with the need to ask me something.

MADELEINE: (pausing in her milk guzzling) Mama?  I wonder what YOU are?
ME: I'm a mommy.
MADELEINE: What KIND of mommy?
ME: Uh...a loving mommy.
MADELEINE: (gulping down more milk for a moment, then pausing once again)  Mama?  I'm a HUMAN mermaid.  I'm a mermaid who's getting STRONGER.

That's Madeleine, logical as always.  Her train of conversational thought is always so predictable.  Never random at all.

On the way to pick up Julia from school, Madeleine was no longer a human mermaid, but was instead a bird, in a game she has dubbed "Birdie, Birdie Peep-Peep."  In case you're trying to figure out how much fun this particular game is, I think I can safely assert that the title of the game says it all.

Madeleine's name in this game is the aforementioned Birdie, Birdie Peep-Peep.  This is one of her commonly played walk-to-school games of late, and the game always starts off with Madeleine tweeting like a bird, upon which I am commanded to remark.

MADELEINE: Okay, so Mama!  Say "Oh, I hear a BIRDIE!"  But Mama.  You CAN'T see me.
ME: Oh, I hear a birdie!  I wonder where it is?  Is that an orange wing with a black tail I see over there?
MADELEINE: No, Mama.  You can't SEE me.
ME: Oh.  I *thought* I saw an orange wing, but now it's gone.  I wonder what's making that tweeting noise??

At some point along today's walk, Birdie, Birdie Peep-Peep decided to make herself visible to me.  Then things got REALLY exciting.

MADELEINE: Twet's tway twin twa TWOUDS!  Mama?  That means: "Let's play in the CLOUDS!"
ME: Oh.  I can't get up into the clouds.  I wish I could fly like you, little birdie.

Fortunately, Madeleine had a quick-fix solution for me.

MADELEINE: Twime twa TWATWICK twirtwie.  Mama?  That means: "I'm a MAGIC birdie."
ME: Oh.  Great.  So can you make me fly?
MADELEINE: Twoo twaf two tway TWACE twee twome TWATWICK!  Mama?  That means: "You have to say 'grace me some MAGIC!"

At this point, we were encountering all kinds of neighbors out on their front lawns, who had the pleasure of hearing me exclaim, "Grace me some MAGIC!"

MADELEINE: Twoo twaf two tway TWACE twee TWINGS!  Mama?  That means: "You have to say 'grace me WINGS!"

So before long, I had the great fortune of making the rest of the walk to school whilst flapping my wings in the air alongside Madeleine.  I guess I shouldn't even call it a walk to school at this point.  You ALL knew that Madeleine and I flew there, grace to the magical wings she bestowed upon me.

I'm lucky enough to be included in MANY of the girls' pretend play games, and I have to say: it doesn't get much better than Birdie, Birdie Peep-peep!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Halloween Books

Well, folks, the Rowe household's most prolific author is at it again, having churned out several Halloween books over the weekend.  These books are part of a series that follow the adventure of best friends Molly and Mea in their yearly Halloween adventures. 

Book #1 mainly deals with Molly's struggle to find the perfect Halloween costume.  I would tell you what she finally settles on, but I'm afraid I'd spoil the sekret.  So to find out for yourselves, pick up a copy of:

The Halloween Sekret
by Julia Rowe

Now, the second book in this series is where things REALLY get exciting.  Molly and Mea are both a year older, and this time, there's no debate as to what the girls should dress as.  They both go as wichis:
Two Halloween Wichis
by Julia Rowe

I'm especially fond of the way Julia wrote her name here, to make it look EXTRA spooooooky.  (Either that, or she had the hiccups while writing it.)

Pg. 1:
"Mea wocke up.  It was almost Halloween and Mea was glad she was a wich.  Mea whent out the door and thar was Molly.  'Hi,' she said."
(Are the girls high-fiving each other?  Why are their arms up like that?  And why don't they have any hands??)

Pg. 2:
"The two friends walk't to school.  It was a crisp day.  Thay when't thar class room thay wore the frist one's thar."
(Are the squiggles in the air supposed to be the wind blowing on the crisp day?  Or perhaps smoke blowing from chimneys?  Either way, I'm digging the added details to make the day look EXTRA crisp.)

Pg. 3:
"So ooh let poot are bag down Molly,' said Mea.  'Good morning girls,' said thair teacher Mrs. Banaana."
(I'm really glad Molly has a friend like Mea, who is there to remind her of all the imporant daily tasks, like pooting thar bags down.  And let's talk about the teacher for a minute.  I have so many thoughts running through my head.  Mrs. Banaana?  And is she wearing a dress that says "Yes Please?"  And some sort of banana-pilgrim hat hybrid on her head??)

Pg. 4:
"On Halloween thay when't on thar brooms.  Weee!  Then thay did thar which chraning."
(Wait a minute.  Molly and Mea are *actual* wichis?  How did I miss this??  All along I thought they were just dressing up as wichis for Halloween.  WOAH.  Talk about a surprise twist.  Book 1 did not so much as HINT at this shocking revelation, despite its title being "The Halloween Sekret."  I had NO idea that Molly and Mea were actually chraning to be wichis.  Was I just oblivious??  Did any of you readers see this coming?  And look at these word-salad spells they're casting.  I'm a little freaked out by "A galan of blood."  Are they vampire wichis??)

Pg. 5:
"It is hard being a wich but it is fun.  Boo!"
(You can say that again.  But you gotta put in the hard work if you want to be a successful wich, I guess.  Man, I've gotta say, this book is a doozy, all right.  I'm still reeling from the wich revelation.  I can't wait to see what happens in the next book!)

Book #3 in the series is a work-in-progress at the moment, but because I know you're all desperate for more Molly and Mea, I'll leave you with a little sneak peek of what's to come.

Book 3:
The Mustiris Closat
by Julia Rowe

Oh my gosh.  CAN'T.  WAIT.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fun Fall Activities!

Today was our town "Spooky Walk," and the kids couldn't have been more excited.  Or more eager.  They were prancing around the house in their Halloween costumes well before it was time for us to leave, and begging for us to head out the door at least a half hour before we actually needed to go.  Julia carried herself around the living room with a regal glow, feeling absolutely at home in her Hermione costume.

ME: Julia, you look so much like Hermione!
JULIA: (with total complacence) I know.

Despite our attempts to hold off our eager beavers, we wound up at the Spooky Walk about 15 minutes early, which meant I had plenty of time to take pictures!:

BOTH KIDS: (in annoyance) Mommy?  Why do you always have to take SO MANY pictures??

Before too long, thankfully, it was time to head out with our group on the Spooky Walk!  Despite its title, the Spooky Walk is really anything but spooky.  It's a bunch of kids, toddler-sized and up, shuffling slowly along the sidewalks through the center of town, stopping at various benign local businesses (banks, real estate offices, bakeries, hardware stores, etc) to jam themselves in a big block through the doors, clog up the store as they grab candy out of the big candy bowls, and then squeeze their way en masse back out of the doors.  Then on to the next stop!  Doesn't matter how un-spooky the ordeal is, however; the girls absolutely loved it.

 Pausing for a picture outside Dedham Savings Bank

I think the highlight of the WHOLE experience was the moment after which I heard a couple, uninvolved with the Spooky Walk, remark upon Julia as she passed by.

WOMAN: Oh my gosh, look at that girl!  She looks just like Hermione!
MAN: (chuckling) Yeah, I know!

I ickmediackly relayed this information to Julia, and I don't think there has ever been a smile more radiant with delight than the one that spread across her face.

The fall fun wasn't over for the day after the Spooky Walk ended, by the way.  Ethan and I took the kids to our Town Forest for our traditional family fall walk, during which the kids collect colored leaves to keep as fall treasures (until I get sick of the leaf bags cluttering things up and I chuck them sometime in the spring.)  The girls got to work writing their names on their leaf-collecting bags, so as not to mix them up.

ME: Madeleine?  I think you forgot something.  It says "M-A-D-E-L-E-I-N."  What's missing?
MADELEINE: It's right there! (pointing to the lower right corner, which is apparently, in her mind, the perfect place to complete her name.)

Julia's bag had WAY more than just her name:

I guess she really took that couple's comment to heart.  Given that she looks just like Hermione, we might have accidentally REALLY thought the bag was Hermione Granger's.  I'm so glad Julia included that disclaimer letting us know her real name, because I might have gotten confused.

When we first set off on our walk, Madeleine was ready to lead us blindly into the forest.  

MADELEINE: Okay!  Everybody follow ME!  

Luckily, she got way too interested in every possible leaf on the ground of the trail, even the crumbly, diseased, hole-ridden ones, so the rest of us quickly took the lead away from her.  In fact, Julia and I got way ahead at one point, and after stopping to wait for Madeleine and Ethan to catch up, quickly got ahead once again.

JULIA: (lovingly) Mommy?  You and I are CHAMPS.
ME: We are champs.  You're right.
JULIA: It's like...we're the CAMP CHAMPS or something!

At one point during the walk, Julia decided to sing me a song she had made up, entitled "Mommy and Friends":

This spontaneous song then prompted what is perhaps the BEST IDEA EVER in the history of movie making.

JULIA: Mommy?  I feel like there should be a movie called "Mommy and Friends."  Mom?  Can we make a movie called "Mommy and Friends?"  
ME: Uh...what would it be about?  A mom sitting around with her friends talking about grown-up things?
JULIA: Well, like, the mommy's kid could come in and be like, "Mommy!  Your friend Alice Ann is having a BABY!"  Oh, oh, Mommy, I know!  Madeleine could be the little kid who says that.  And I'll be the big sister.  And we can have Auntie Shannon and Auntie Caitlyn be your friends.  But...I don't really know who can be Alice Ann.  Hey Mom!  Maybe you could ask some of my TEACHERS to be in it, and one of THEM can be Alice Ann.  And we can use SPECIAL EFFECTS to make it look like she's pregnant!
ME: Or we could just stuff a pillow under her shirt.
JULIA: So Mommy.  Can we please make a movie called "Mommy and Friends?"
ME: Uh...
JULIA: Mommy?  Mommy?  Can we make a movie called "Mommy and Friends?"
ME: Uh...maybe SOMEDAY...
JULIA: But Mommy!  When we get home, can we play "Mommy and Friends?"  Because, don't you think Madeleine is just the PERFECT one to be the kid who says: "Mommy!  Your friend Alice Ann is having a BABY!"  Wouldn't that be so hilarious??  Can we PLEASE make a movie called "Mommy and Friends?"  Please Mom?  Can you ask my aunties to be in it??

So, what do you think aunties?  Because let me tell you.  I am ALL.  IN.  This is going to be a MASTERPIECE of a film, I can feel it in my bones.  With a joke as hilarious as "Mommy!  Your friend Alice Ann is having a BABY!", how can it possibly go wrong?

The Rowe family - future MOVIE STARS after our blockbuster film, "Mommy and Friends" hits the theatres - enjoying an afternoon in the Town Forest.