Monday, November 30, 2015

Thankfulness, Again

Okay, Madeleine, this is much better.  I approve:

This is a HUGE improvement over "I am thankful for the ran."  Even if Madeleine did draw me with a blue nose and ginormous clown hands.

On the other hand (no pun intended), this is at least the third thankfulness project Madeleine has brought home from school.  The first project, in and of itself, contained six separate things for which Madeleine is thankful.  I mean, it's kind of no wonder that Madeleine was grasping at straws after awhile and writing things like "the ran" and "my froots" when prompted to list what she's thankful for.  A kid can only do so much, right?

Saturday, November 28, 2015

'Tis the Season

The tree is up in the Rowe household!:

Julia is already ready to engage in her favorite seasonal activity.

JULIA: I'm gonna have to do some THOROUGH staring at the Christmas tree!

Now, if only I could get her to do some thorough cleaning of her room, we'd be in great shape around here!

Friday, November 27, 2015


The Rowe family celebrated Thanksgiving up in Vermont with the (other) Rowe family.  Madeleine and Julia were thrilled to see their Nana and Gramps, and, of course, to re-visit all their favorite VT activities.  They spent time down by Lake Champlain, they rode on the tree swing, and they played with the Loving Family figurines that Nana keeps for grandchildren visits.

Madeleine had an especially intriguing game going on with the Loving Family teenagers.  She turned to Nana and solemly announced the impending fate of the teenage couple.

MADELEINE: Nana?  She's gonna BREAK UP with her boyfriend, because...he's giving her too much PRESSURE.

Oh, boy.

The teenagers continued on down the path towards their breakup, when suddenly Madeleine took the narrative plot in a completely unexpected direction.

MADELEINE: They're getting MARRIED!
ME: Wait?  They're getting married now?  I thought they were breaking up!
MADELEINE: They WERE, but then they decided to get married.
NANA: What made her decide not to break up with her boyfriend?
MADELEINE: Well, he told her that they might be having a baby soon, because they're being TOGETHER so much.

Yikes.  O.  M.  G.

In non teenage-pregnancy related news, Julia channeled her inner Martha Stewart and got REALLY into setting and decorating the table for Thanksgiving dinner.  Not only did she set out all the plates, crystal goblets, cloth napkins, etc, but she made place-settings for each guest so he or she knew where to sit.

Madeleine was super jealous of the fact that Julia got to do all of this.  As we all sat down to eat dinner, Gramps suggested Julia lead us in saying grace.

MADELEINE: But.  Julia isn't ALLOWED to say grace, because she ALREADY got to set the WHOLE TABLE all by herself.
ME: Do you want to say grace, then, Madeleine?
ME: Okay, then Julia can do it.
MADELEINE: No, that's not FAIR!  Julia ALREADY got to set the table!

So I came up with what I thought was a compromise.  I suggested we all say the "Johnny Appleseed" grace from the girls' preschool, since both girls remember it well.  I began singing the grace, and Julia tentatively joined in, while Madeleine sat chomping on a bite of pumpkin bread.  I turned to Madeleine in between phrases of the song and said, "Sing with us!"  Madeleine, instead, opted to stare indifferently ahead, shoveling the entire rest of the pumpkin bread into her mouth.

Oh well.

Regardless of the envy over table setting, the girls seemed to have a lovely Thanksgiving dinner and enjoyed the time with good food and loving family.  Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What the Kids are Thankful For

Both girls came home from school today with thankfulness projects.  The great disparity between these two accounts of being thankful pretty much sums up everything about their individual personalities.

Here is Julia's:

"I am thankful for my home and my family.  I am thankful for my house because without it I would'nt live anywhere.  I am thankful for it because it keeps me warm.  I am thankful for it because it's cozy and everyone I love lives there.  I am thankful for it because I feel safe there.  I am thankful for my family because they comfort me.  I am thankful for them because they help me.  I am thankful for them because my sister is so cute and I love to play with her.  I am thankful for them because they love me and I love them."

My heart is truly bursting. 

Here is Madeleine's:

I am thankful for..
"the ran."

Wow.  She put some serious thought into that one.

ME: Madeleine, what makes you thankful for the rain?
MADELEINE: I dunno.  I just felt like putting that. 

(Julia also felt the need to question this)

JULIA: Madeleine.  You're thankful for the rain?!?
MADELEINE: I just decided I wanted to write that.
JULIA: You like it when it rains??
MADELEINE: Sometimes.  A little bit.

Just when I didn't think it was possible to feel more touched and heart-warmed than I felt while reading what Julia is thankful for, WHAM! -  Madeleine went and hit it out of the park.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Pink Eye and Thankfulness

Well, just as Julia went back to school today, recovered from her Sunday vomiting, Madeleine stayed home sick with pink eye.  We just can't seem to keep a healthy Rowe household lately, folks.  At least the one silver lining is that Madeleine came up with a perfect impetus to her unconscious reflex of wiping her gooey, germy eye:

Ahoy, mateys!  Captain Maddog here to run your ship!

While Madeleine may be thankful for her grrrreat eye patch, she is apparently more thankful for other aspects of her life, at least as far as her school turkey project shows:

Let's take a more in-depth look at what Madeleine is thankful for.

1 and 2:
Aww, Madeleine is thankful for her sistr, who is clearly so big an influence in Madeleine's life that she can barely squeeze her head inside the box.  Madeleine is also thankful for trkys.  She rarely thinks about trky, nor does she ever interact with trkys, but she does look forward to the few times a year she gets to consume trky meat.  So I guess it's a legit thing to be thankful for.

Madeleine is thankful for her frnds.  I'm so glad she has been making so many new frnds in kindergarten!

Madeleine is thankful for her famuly!
Although, apparently, only one famuly member made the cut.  I think it's a picture of me, though.  I'm so honored!

Madeleine is thankful for her hous.  I am too!  Even though it recently had a dead mous in it.  And a live mous that we took out of our hous and deposited in a park in the hopes that it can make itself an outdoor hous.

And finally, 6:
Madeleine is thankful for her froots.
Of all the foods to express thanks for, she picks one that she doesn't even really like?  I'm lucky if I can get my kids to eat at least an apple every day.  That's about all they get in the way of froots, since they claim to dislike most every other froot I try and feed them.  But clearly, that one daily (partial) apple fills the void deep in Madeleine's heart.  Hooray for froots!

Personally, I will be very, very thankful when we Rowes are a germ-free, illness-free bunch.  Maybe an increase in our daily froots and vitmain C will help get us there!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy 9th Birthday, Julia!

Julia is nine years old!  I can hardly believe it.

She definitely successfully made it through a rite of passage on the eve of her birthday: puking, all on her own, into a public toilet.

I had been sitting in the viewing area watching her swim team practice, seeing her bobbing up and down doing her breast stroke, when another mom started talking to me.  I turned away to converse with this mother, and when I turned back to look through the viewing window, I couldn't see Julia anywhere.

A few moments later, she appeared at my side, wet and dripping in her swimsuit and swim cap.

ME: What's up, honey?
JULIA: Can I talk to you in private?

I quickly excused myself to the other mother, and went around the corner to see what Julia wanted to tell me.

ME: What is it?
JULIA: I told Coach that I wasn't feeling well, and he said, "Like, how?" and I said I felt like I needed to throw up, and he said okay, I could get out, and then I did.
ME: You did get out, or you did throw up?
JULIA: I threw up.
ME: Where??
JULIA: In the locker room toilet.

It turns out she also spattered her swimsuit pretty nicely.  Poor kiddo.  I got her into the shower and had her rinse her suit and clean herself, and then we headed home to get her into her pjs and into bed.

So our poor newly 9-year-old had to miss school on her birthday, which was a disappointment, as she was eager to bring in the birthday poster she had made, along with her white tee-shirt that would soon be decorated with permanent-markered signatures from all her classmates.  On the bright side, however, she got a chance to hang out in her pajamas and watch the new DVD I had given her for her birthday: the Canadian miniseries "Anne of Green Gables."  Sometimes we all need a pj and tv day.

Luckily, Julia was feeling recovered enough to go out to the restaurant of her choice for a birthday dinner, although she didn't have much appetite for her mac n cheese.  Both girls represented the Rowe family with class and style at this nicer-than-average restaurant:

Julia, with her birthday ice cream.  She wore her winter coat, and at times sat draped with Auntie Caitlyn's scarp wrapped around her body, throughout the whole meal.

Olaf.  I mean, Madeleine.  Who also ate her entire dinner in her winter coat and hat.

The whole table, being totally chic in their built-in half-gloves.

Happy Birthday, my dear Julia!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Madeleine's New Christmas Book

Even though Thanksgiving hasn't even happened yet, the girls have made it clear that their minds are already on Christmas.  Madeleine started writing a brand new Christmas book this week, and although it remains unfinished, I'm pretty intrigued by the story so far.

The Chrismiss purty at my hous

I'm not sure what a black square and brown stars have to do with Christmas.  Or with parties, for that matter.  I mean, I suppose the brown stars could be gingerbread cookies.  But I have to say, this is not exactly the festive picture I had in mind upon hearing the title of Madeleine's book.

"We just wock up frum a iksiting sleep it was chrismiss."

Let me tell you.  There's nothing more iksiting about Christmas than the sleeping part.  What else can you ask for?  You lay your tired head down on the pillow and conk out, right?  I'm gonna remind the kids, when they don't want to go to sleep on Christmas Eve because they're too wound up and energized thinking about the presents, that their sleep is bound to be iksiting!

"We camm to open up the presints"

I really like their yellow bird angel.  I also like the fact that the Christmas tree is too skinny for the presints to fit underneath.

"We got a seekrit rumot dad got a dril mom got a mag tomis got a..." 

Wait.  What did Tomis get?!?  A plab?  I'm not sure if I'm reading it correctly or not.  Let me look at the picture to analyze.  Which one is the seekrit remot?  My guess is...uh...either the second or third image.  Whichever one is not the seekrit remot is Dad's dril.  Mom's mag seems to be the image on the right.  So that leaves the yellow blob as the plab. What is a plab??  Did she mean to write "blob?"  Or are the letters so squished together that I can't make them out?  What does one do with a plab?  I'm so confused.

This is where the book leaves off.  I can't believe we don't get to find out what Tomis got yet!!  The suspense is going to keep ME from getting an iksiting night's sleep tonight!  Stay tuned, folks.  If I solve the mystery of Tomis's seekrit presint, I will be sure to give you the update!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Birthday Celebration

Julia celebrated her birthday today with a rock-climbing, zip-lining, trapeze-swinging party!:

Madeleine worked so hard trying to keep up with the other 14 guests that she proclaimed, upon coming home, "I'm EXHAUSTED."

I guess she was so exhausted she just had to fall asleep clinging onto her laundry basket:


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Wise Words of Madeleine Rowe

Madeleine's words of wisdom:

JULIA: Why does Auntie Shannon keep saying it's so LATE, when it's only 7:52?
MADELEINE: Julia.  Remember?  The clocks changed.  'Cause it's NOVEMBER.  Daytime Saving Lights.

MADELEINE: Mama?  Does everything go LOW, and it starts out HIGHER, in the years?
ME: Uh, what do you mean?
MADELEINE: Well, like, if it's 2009...
ME: Do you, is it a lower number year now that it was when you were born?
ME: Well, what year is it now?
ME: So what number is bigger?  2009 or 2015?
MADELEINE: Uh...2015?
ME: Right.  Why did you think the numbers started higher and get lower?
MADELEINE: Cause it seems like, a little bit, like 2009 was a LONG time before it.
ME: Before what?
MADELEINE: Before now.  'Cause 2015 seems, like, I don't know, LOWER.

MADELEINE: (lying beside me in her bed, in what I hoped was soon-to-be sleep)
ME: Yes?
MADELEINE: Why when I'm trying to cross my eyes and people say "try sticking out your tongue to do it" and I do, and they say "You did it!," then when I do it at HOME, you say, "You're close!" and Julia says, "Madeleine.  You're really not crossing your eyes AT ALL."?

And finally,


MADELEINE: (running up from the play room) EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!  Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  (dashing into the bathroom)
ME: Then go!
MADELEINE: (from the bathroom) Oh, GREAT.
ME: (with dread) What?
ME: In your undies??
ME: Honey, you've GOT to stop holding it so long.
MADELEINE: Well Mama.  I was looking for a COLORING book.  Because...I couldn't find the GLUE, so I decided I would COLOR instead.

Well, with that totally legit reason for why she simply HAD to hold her pee to the point of her bladder bursting, I guess I can't be too mad, right?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Understanding our Disabilities Awareness

Every Friday, Julia brings home a "Reflections Journal" from school, detailing the important things she studied and learned that week.  My job, then, is to write a full-page response for her to read when she is back in school the following week.  (Is this a lot to ask a parent to do on a weekly basis?  Yes, it is.)  This past week, Julia wrote about the special school-wide unit called "Understanding our Disabilities Awareness" or "UDA." 

"Dear Mommy,
Thursday we had understanding our disabilities of awareness.  Mrs. Gibbons brought in some prostheithes.  We watched 3 videos, one about a girls who could'nt use her legs, a swimming event, and a video about a girls named Macy.  Then we walked to the preformence center to do the activitys.  My favorite was using the wheel chairs.  We learned that you should always think of the person first because people are'nt really disables, they can do anything we can do.  Doing this inspired me with some of the Mintz's friends, and I would really like to meet someone who has a different ability.  The two other groups were crutches, canes, and walkers and the other was something wrong with peoples arms.  I think this was my favorite diabilities of awarness program I've done yet!

I am *so* glad that this unit inspired Julia to create some disabled characters for her imaginary family that she thinks about while galloping through the house.  After all, isn't that what this sort of a unit is for??

Friday, November 13, 2015

Julia's Potty Poem

Although Julia does all of her imagining about the Mintz while galloping, she apparently does all of her deep thinking while on the toilet.

She emerged from the bathroom this evening to recite a poem she had freshly composed:

"The white sheep walk across the meadow
Making a snowy blanket all across the tall grasses
And everyone nearby, raising their glasses,
Know they have seen the symbol of the sheep, white as snow."

ME: I *love* it!  That's BEAUTIFUL!
JULIA: I made a lesson out of this.  Rich, fancy people do this too.  Not to just think of yourself, think of OTHERS, too.
ME: What do rich, fancy people have to do with it?
JULIA: Because rich, fancy people are always RAISING their glasses.

So there's a lesson to you all: when about to raise a glass to your present company, think ALSO of the sheep, and of others, and not only of yourselves.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Tonight, after Madeleine read a book to Ethan at bedtime, she asked for some Mommy snuggles in her bed.  However, she didn't seem to actually want snuggles, as she complained that I was too close to her and snuggling her too tight.  After laying beside her without actually touching her for several minutes, I decided enough was enough and I would let her fall asleep on her own.

ME: Okay, honey, I'm gonna go.  Good-night, I love you.
MADELEINE: (clutching me) No!  Mama!  I want you to STAY!
ME: Honey, I'm not even snuggling you, I'm just lying next to you.  You don't need me here.
MADELEINE: But Mama, I *do* need you!
ME: What do you need me for??
MADELEINE: You're my COMFORTER.  You make me comfortable.  You're one of my BEST comforters.
ME: Well, I can stay for another few seconds and then I'm gonna go.
MADELEINE: How about ONE minute.  How about, like, TEN minutes.
ME: How about I'll stay and snuggle you a bit if you can quit yapping?

So I snuggled her as she lay silently, yawning with more and more frequency, and decided I'd gotten her settled enough to fall asleep on her own.

ME: (kissing her cheek) Good night, honey.  I love you.
MADELEINE: (distracted) Good night, I love you thousand sixty-six, one thousand sixty-seven, one thousand sixty-eight...
ME: What are you doing??
MADELEINE: Oh.  I just started COUNTING in my brain while I was trying to fall asleep.

So I left her to her counting; that is, until I had to put away a shirt I had finished ironing in her room.  I figured she'd be asleep at this point, but nope, I saw her bright eyes gleaming up at me from her blanket burrito she was wrapped in.

MADELEINE: Mama?  After the TRILLIONS, I just said, "infinity," because I don't KNOW what number comes after the trillions.
ME: I'm not sure I know either.


I'm mighty impressed with the speed of Maeleine's brain counting, if she was able to get all the way through the TRILLIONS that quickly, seeing as she was in the mere thousands when I had left her earlier in the evening.  Let's just face it: with superhuman mathematical ability like that, this kid is bound to be a rocket scientist.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Madeleine's lovely little poem, for those who are not on facebook:

howsis by Madeleine rowe

"sum howsis are sginny and sum are brocin down sum have to windows and sum are small thay all are uniqu, gust the waye thay are."

I love her sentiment.  I love my own uniqu house, gust the way it is, even though it's not sginny and it's not brocin down and it has waye more than to windows.  And even though it smells of dead mowsis.  Bravo to Madeleine Rowe for her poem embracing an all-inclusive appreciation of howsis!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Dinner and Drawings

A typical dinner time conversation:

JULIA: Mommy, Mommy!  I made up a song!  Wanna hear it?  (beginning a faux rap) I turned into a canteloupe last night when I ate an antelope. 
ME: Wow.  That's great.
JULIA: (thoughtful) Uh...maybe I should've done "I turned into an ANTELOPE last night when I ate a CANTELOUPE."

I can see she really thought her song through before she began singing it to me.

And here is some typical Madeleine craft work.  You might worry that kindergarten is turning her atypical artistic streak straight, but luckily, she still has her own unique Madeleine style.  Here are just a few of the crafts I found on our dining room table today:

It's a donut and a turkey.  I *think* this is what it says (in non-kindergarten spelling): "Arnie meets Twisty.  'Hi I'm Arnie,' "Hi Arnie I'm Twisty." 

Because it's a totally logical idea to have a talking donut and turkey that are the same size, just chilling and chatting together, right?

While Madeleine might make her numbers correctly at school nowadays, you can rest assured that she still makes a lot of them backwards at home, and she still has not mastered the art of starting small enough with her letters so as to fit her entire name across one line.

And then we have the brown sun.  Because...why not??

Sunday, November 8, 2015


Even though it has been unseasonably warm over the past week, the girls apparently have winter on their minds.  While I am living in the now and refusing to even think of the coming colder months, Julia and Madeleine decided to get crafty this morning by decorating cut-out mittens.  Both girls decided to make me a pair of paper mittens, with words of encouragement to help me through my worst days of Seasonal Affective Disorder, come winter weather.

Julia delightedly presented me with the following mittens:

JULIA: (with joyous pride) So Mommy, I thought, when you're feeling glum about winter, you can just look down at the sun on these mittens!

Madeleine's mittens contained an encouraging message:

"SUMR KUMS Soon Wintrs Gunu pas."

Wow.  Thanks, girls!  I'm certain that during the bleak, cold, snowy days of winter, these mittens will give me just the boost I need to keep my spirits up!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Mouse Update

Here's an update on the mice situation in our house:

When I last posted, here is where we left things with the mouse discovered in our basement: as you may remember, Ethan came face to face with the invader.  With nothing nearby but a toilet plunger to try and trap the critter, he wound up bonking it twice before it scuttled off behind the washing machine, never to be seen again.

However, never to be seen again certainly does not mean never to be SMELLED again.  Clearly, the creature scampered into the little hole underneath the dryer vent and died in the wall, because within a few days we all started noticing an ungodly scent in the downstairs bathroom.  A few days after that, the scent became gag-inducing.  In fact, the only member of the Rowe household who will even use that bathroom at the moment is Ethan, who does not have the super-keen sense of smell that we Rowe ladies have.

Interestingly, though, I am the only one avoiding the bathroom because of the smell.  While the kids loathe the smell as well, their main reason for boycotting the bathroom is their terror of the dead mouse.  Because apparently dead mice can come back to life and inflict some major zombie-style mouse vengeance or something.  Julia has woken me up on multiple occasions in the middle of the night, terrified that a mouse is going to crawl into her bed and on her face.  Several days ago, the household was awoken to the sound of Julia screaming my name from her bed at 5am. 

What, you might wonder, was worth waking the whole household over at that hour?  Oh, just the dead mouse she saw in her bed.  Except the dead mouse was actually this:

Rarity.  The most glamorous and fashionable of all My Little Ponies, and the pony least likely to ever be equated with a dead mouse. 

Anyway, the last two nights have been pretty quiet, so hopefully Julia is getting over her fear.  On the other hand, during a play-date today at our house, she and her friend gave her room a total makeover, and I'm sure this won't be an impetus on her falling asleep AT ALL:

Yeah.  In the dark those streamers won't look like mouse tails dangling from the ceiling or anything. 

All I can hope now is that the smell will finally clear out of our bathroom and that the mice will live in fear forever more of the toilet-plunger man, and will halt any further attempts to enter our house.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Acrostic Poems

Julia is a big fan of acrostic poems, and frequently comes home from school with a page full of her own acrostics. 

Yesterday's really took the cake.  Here are some of my favorites:

Most busy day
A day
Yucky or yummy snack & lunch?

First of all, I applaud her for digging deep and coming up with such well-thought out descriptions of Monday as "normal," "desk," and "a day."  Secondly, does she really have to wonder whether I packed her a yucky or yummy snack??  Does she open her backpack and think, "I wonder if Mom packed me Goldfish or fried worms today?"

Normal to be chilly
Odd with how many birthdays there are
Velvet cupcakes for my bday party
My birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Brings Thanksgiving & fall leaves
Rapters & other birds are away

I agree, Julia.  November is excellent and extraordinary, because it is the month in which YOU were born!

Snooze & sleep in
Always bagels are bought (for my family)
Temple or church
Usuly not busy
Really great!
Different from other days
A happy Halloween
Yummy goodies!

I sure wish Julia would snooze & sleep in on Saturdays.  Instead she's up at the same crack of dawn that awakens her on weekdays.  Also, I'm glad she clarified that the bagels are bought for our family.  Otherwise I would have thought they're only for her.  And apparently Saturday is not a day on which Julia needs to wonder whether her food will be yucky or yummy.  That's only on Mondays.  On Saturdays, the goodies are always yummy!

Always is obsessed with something
Engaged in shows

I am beginning to think that "excellent" and "extraordinary" are simply Julia's go-to adjectives whenever a word has multiple "e"s in it.  Let's test this theory by looking at one last acrostic she made:

Really, really good

Yup.  Theory proven.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Oxi Day at Church

Today after church, the Greek school put on a presentation for Oxi Day, followed by a festive luncheon.  Our Sundays are seriously jam-packed; church, then 2.5 hours of swim team, then a 2-hour rehearsal for Ethan and I.  Therefore, I hadn't bothered to buy tickets for the luncheon and figured we'd just leave right after Sunday School and eat at home.  I broke the news to the girls on the drive to church.

ME: So girls?  There's a luncheon after church today, but we're not going, because I didn't buy tickets.
JULIA: (in alarm) Why not?!?
ME: Well, because it costs money, and we have swim team, and I figured you wouldn't want to stay for the whole thing.
JULIA: But what about coffee hour?!??
ME: There is no coffee hour.  The luncheon is happening instead.
JULIA: But why can't we go???
ME: Well, I didn't think you'd like it very much.
JULIA: But coffee hour is one of my favorite parts of going to church!!
ME: Yeah, but this is not going to be desserts and stuff.  It might be food you don't like.
JULIA: Like what?
ME: Like, there might be lamb.
JULIA: But what else?
ME: I don't really know.  I didn't read the menu because I didn't buy tickets.
JULIA: Awww!  But I look FORWARD to coffee hour every week!

Since it seemed to matter so much to Julia, I went and bought the darn tickets so that we could attend the luncheon.  Turns out the girls were divided in their desire to go.  After Sunday School, I announced that we were heading upstairs to attend the lunch after all.

MADELEINE: But  Mamaaa!   What if we have to eat things like DEAD SHEEP?
ME: Uh...
JULIA: (scathingly)  Madeleine, there's not gonna be a dead sheep up there.
MADELEINE: But Mama said they might have DEAD SHEEP!

There was no dead sheep, luckily.  However, there was also no food.  That is, until we sat through the whole hour+ long Greek School presentation, complete with recitation of poetry (in Greek), singing of patriotic songs (in Greek), recounting of history (in Greek), and Greek dancing.

Before the readings began, though, we were treated to a parade of Greek school children waving Greek flags and then standing still up on stage as swelling orchestral Greek music played from a boom box.

MADELEINE: (loudly) Is this the presentation Mama?  That's all they do?  Just STAND there?  Just WAVE flags?  They're not even DOING anything, they're just STANDING there.  This is BORING.

Needless to say, we didn't even make it until the actual lunch part.  Instead, I wound up taking three doggy-bags full of food in the car so the kids could eat on our drive home.  Getting food into their bellies much improved the moods of both girls, and the misery of the long, hungry wait was forgotten. 

Next time I'm going to trust my instincts and skip buying the tickets after all.