Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A New Version of An Old Hit

Julia is not ridiculous.

Now I have "Maca ONE Maca TWO Maca THREE Macarena!" in my head on loop.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Wishful Thinking

The Christmas Kazoo continues in the Rowe household.  This morning, Madeleine got mad at Julia for singing along to Madeleine's Kazoo rendition of "We Three Kings." The fight ended with Julia storming into her room and shutting the door, while Madeleine sat at the dining room table forlornly blowing into her kazoo.

MADELEINE: Ugh!  I *can't* play it anymore!!  Julia messed me up and now I can't do it!  She was singing a TOTALLY DIFFERENT PART and now I can't remember how it goes!!

That's really rough.  How can one even get into the Christmas spirit when unable to play carols on the kazoo?!?

Madeleine's true Christmas wishes were dashed a second time today.  As Ethan and I were stringing lights on our outside bushes, Madeleine came out with an urgent question.

MADELEINE; Uh, Daddy?  Where's Mommy?
ME: (from behind a bush) I'm right here.
MADELEINE:. Oh!  Mommy?  How can I make a fairy come to our house?
ME: Uhhh...well...that would be kinda hard to do, because fairies aren't real.
MADELEINE: But I really, really want a fairy to come to our house!  Please?
ETHAN: Madeleine.  Are fairies real?
ETHAN: Then how do you expect to get one to come to our house?
MADELEINE: But I really WANT them to be real!!  So Mommy?  How CAN I get a fairy to come to our house?

This poor kid.  What a rotten day of crushed hopes.  No way to make fairies real to visit our house, no "We Three Kings" on the kazoo...seriously, what is even the point of hope if one cannot have those two hugely important wishes granted!??  Man, so far this Christmas season is a BUST.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Christmas Kazoo

Isn't this just *exactly* how you want to relax and enjoy some holiday music this Christmas season?  Complete with background Galloping Girl knocking ornaments off the tree:

Happy Holiday Season!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Style

Madeleine is rocking some serious Thanksgiving style today.

Decorative chocolate stains around the mouth:

And a pony tail hair extension attached to some unbrushed bed head:

There is so much to be thankful for, but this kooky kid is definitely up at the top of the list!  Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Madeleine has been busy coloring in her "Enchanted Fairies" coloring book over the past few days.  Apparently, she is not just coloring the Fairies, but naming each fairy as well.




Madeleine also decided to draw creepy ghoulush heads on the blank sides of each fairy picture:

Nothing fits better with beautiful enchanted fairies than floating ghoul heads, right?

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Birthday Pool Party

Julia had her birthday party yesterday at the Boston Sports Club pool.  Among the guests were several friends from various swim teams, including both our summer team and the YMCA team.  I guess when you're out for a leisurely swim with your swim team friends, it's totally normal to just butterfly your way on down the pool:

In addition to free swim, the group got to play a few rounds of "Fishy, Fishy, Cross my Ocean," as well as take turns jumping into the deep end.  Since they couldn't dive, Julia was limited to a series of graceful leaps into the water, such as this one:

After the swim time, we headed into the party room for pizza and cupcakes, and I tried to get a picture of Julia's candle-lit cupcakes with a "1" and an "0" in them, but alas, just as I snapped the picture, she leaned her head forward and her bushy mane blocked my view.  Epic fail on my part at capturing the birthday girl blowing out her candles:

Julia had a great time celebrating with her friends, and is now the proud owner of the COOLEST, MOST STYLIN' BIRTHDAY PAJAMAS EVER:

She is totally turning 10 in style.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Amaricin Girl

The latest American Girl catalog came in the mail yesterday, which means it's time for the kids to make their own American Girl catalogs.  Rather than picking out things from the real catalog that they want to add to their Christmas list, the girls instead seem to get creative with their own doll ideas every time a new catalog comes.  You may remember Julia's hand-made American Girls with Disabilities catalog from last month, or various other dolls the girls have drawn over the years.  Today Madeleine embarked on a brand new American Girl doll idea: a pet orca!

Amaracin Girl Fall Catalog!

This catalog features "Girl of the year!" Adara and her gray orca buddy.  I always thought orcas were black and white, but apparently not THIS particular orca.  I decided to ask Madeleine about this.

ME: Can you tell me about this orca?
MADELEINE: It's a DOLPHIN I'm pretending it is.
ME: Oh.  How come you wrote "Orca" on here?
MADELEINE: I'm *pretending* it's a dolphin that Adara named "Orca."
ME: What made you want to make that?
MADELEINE: Because I love dolphins.
ME: Can you tell me more about Adara and her dolphin?
MADELEINE: Yeah.  Soooo...Adara reeeeeally wants to sign up for a dolphin riding team.
ME: Where does Adara live?
MADELEINE: In the OLDEN days!  She lives in Atlanta because her dolphin riding team is in the Atlantic Ocean, but they built this thing...this wall...so they could only go to the shallowest parts, and the medium parts.  'Cause they didn't want it to be so deep that you would just go on and on and on and just be like, "Oh My God!" and then, like, DROWN.
ME: Does the Adara doll come with a dolphin?

Okay.  Well now I understand why "Orca" is gray.  Also, I wonder how Adara gets to the Atlantic Ocean if she lives in Atlanta.  That's not particularly near the coast, after all.  Furthermore, if she lives in Atlanta in the olden days, I would think she was more involved in helping run her family's slave plantation than in dolphin riding.  But I guess in the world of American Girls, anything is possible.

Madeleine is already acting out her own dolphin riding fantasy around the house.  I guess, in this case, though, she's using a stuffed orca that she's PRETENDING is a dolphin that she's PRETENDING she named "Orca":

Adara and Orca, the dolphin.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Pretend Play at the Piano

Madeleine is deeply involved in a pretend play game with a necklace and a headband.  And a few Shopkins thrown in for good measure.  She is even making her own soundtrack by whistling in between action events.

Now that the headband and necklace have delivered the Shopkins safely to their destination (the piano), the Shopkins are struggling to cross the troll bridge (also the piano.)

SHOPKIN 1: We can DO this.
SHOPKIN 2: Waaaaait!  Waaaaaait!  I'm coming!
SHOPKIN 1: I thought you didn't wanna come.  How come you're doing that?
SHOPKIN 2: Because I thought we could do it after.  I just need to get across!
SHOPKIN 1: We just have to get a rope.  So I can rescue you if you get CAPTURED BY THE TROOOOOLLLL!  He looks pretty weird.
SHOPKIN 2: Okay, I'll cross.  (hopping from piano key to piano key, making random cat-on-a-piano music as it goes)
SHOPKIN 1: How did you DO that??
SHOPKIN 2: Come on.  Lead the way.  Uh...are you SURE you can do this?
SHOPKIN 1: Positive.  Come on.

Whistling resumes as the Shopkins line up at one end of the piano.

SHOPKIN 1: This is how the board ends.  I thought I could never get over the troll bridge.  But - I can!
SHOPKIN 2: Uh oh!  He's coming!
TOILET SHOPKIN: Oh no!  Flush me!
SHOPKIN 1: I've got a straaange feeling.
SHOPKIN 2: No strange feelings.  We've gotta MOVE!  Don't make any noises, okay? You're not supposed to.
SHOPKIN 1: If you come out alive from the troll bridge, then you get a badge.  But...we probably will get captured.  Trolls HATE Shopkins.  My mother always said: "Trolls and Shopkins CAN'T be together."
SHOPKIN 2: Come on.  Let's go.

Uh-oh.  The Shopkins just got captured.  We have to leave for a swim meet momentarily.  Will this game resolve or will the Shopkins be troll meat??

The Shopkin is dangling from the piano, awaiting rescue.  And it's time to go.  This game is *literally* ending on a cliff-hanger!  Gasp!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Craft Fair Success

The elementary school craft fair took place this weekend, and Julia sold all four of the picture books she made!  Madeleine, who for some reason was desperate to own "The Unstopable Friendship," was Julia's first customer.  As we walked home from the craft fair, Madeleine exclaimed excitedly, "I can't WAIT to get home and read 'The Unstoppable Friendship!". Sure enough, upon our return, Madeleine curled up with her new book, announcing, "That book was really good, Julia!" when she had finished.

Madeleine was so inspired by Julia's book that she decided to write her own friendship book.  As you can see, she is not copying Julia AT ALL:

Julia's book, "The Unstopable Friendship." Two friends holding hands atop the Earth.

Madeleine's book: "Friends Forever." Two girls holding hands atop a heart.

Julia's book is about a friendship that is sustained despite one friend moving from the East Coast all the way to San Francisco.

Madeleine's book is not the same at all.

MADELEINE: So, Mommy?  Jane and Sunset live in Mexico, but Sunset is moving to the other side of the Earth.  But...what country is on the other side of the Earth from Mexico?
ME: Uh, how about Japan?
MADELEINE: Okay!  But...wait.  Do they speak with, like, an ACCENT or in a different language in Japan?
ME: They speak Japanese.
MADELEINE: Oh, shoot.  I don't know how to say words in Japanese.
ME: How about Australia instead?  They speak English there.
MADELEINE: Okay!  That's perfect!  Because Mommy?  I only know how to speak in English and a LITTLE bit of Spanish.

Glad she got that settled.
I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that Jane and Sunset manage to keep their friendship going despite being separated, but that's just a wild hunch.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Laser Tag Party

This evening, we went to our buddy Nate's birthday party at a laser tag joint.  Julia and I have played laser tag before, but it was a first for Ethan and Madeleine.  As we sat in the preparation room getting instructions for the game, Madeleine equated our two team game to our two-party political system.

LASER TAG ATTENDANT: So there will be two teams.  The red team and the blue team.
MADELEINE: Mommy!  Red and blue!  That's just like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton!

Thanks to a snafu, Ethan, Julia and I all got put on the blue team, and Madeleine was stuck on red.  Of course, Madeleine cried about this, so I had to leave the preparation room and sweet-talk the front desk attendant into putting Madeleine on the blue team.  The Democrats were reunited once again.  Stronger together.  (Except the red team won.  Just like Trump.  They're going to make laser tag great again.)

We got to play four rounds of laser tag.  I ditched Madeleine after the first round because she cried the whole time and was therefore seriously hampering my attempts to be a high-scoring winner.  Apparently Ethan was better company, because when I ran into her during a later round, she exclaimed happily, "Mommy!  This is actually getting FUN!"

After the fourth round, the kids got pizza and cake, and then had time to play in the arcade.  Madeleine traded in all her hard earned tickets to get this premium prize:

She named it Melon.  It was totally worth 30 tickets.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Discussing Presidential Duty

The kids and I discuss the election:

JULIA: Ugh, why oh why you did Donald Trump get elected?
ME: Well, hopefully if he does a really bad job, he won't be re-elected in four years.
MADELEINE: (with mild alarm) Wait.  Did he already sign up to try out for President again next time??
ME: Oh, well, no, not yet.  Who knows what will happen in four years.
MADELEINE: Mommy?  If you're the President, are you ALLOWED to decide, like, you don't LIKE it and you don't wanna do it anymore?
JULIA: Yeah, can the President quit?  Or can he only be impeached?
ME: Well, a president can resign, which means deciding to leave office.
MADELEINE: Oh, good.  Then I hope that's what Donald Trump decided to do.

Me too, kids.  Me too.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

School Craft Fair

The girls' elementary school has an upcoming Craft Fair, and while professional artists and craftsmen will be the main vendors, child artists are allowed to contribute.  Julia has jumped gung-ho into creating picture books to sell at the fair, and she has already completed a pile of books:

These books cover a range of topics; there's "Cathryn's Story: A Story about Dyslexia," there is an unusual friendship between "Owla and Penguina," there's the anguish of best friends being pulled apart into a long distance relationship in "The Unstoppable Friendship," and a seasonal heart-warmer, "The Thanksgiving Wish."  Julia has lovingly illustrated each page of these books as well as written each story, and even bought plastic slip covers from CVS to protect her hard work.  She even made a price tag, although she accidentally added one too many zeroes, announcing "$3000 for each book."  I talked her down to $1.00 per book, figuring most of the kids buying crafts from other kids would be on a pretty tight budget.

Madeleine has decided to add her own picture books to the fair.  As you can see, her standards are a bit different from Julia's:

Five pink dots's on a puppy!

This. looks. AWESOME.

Keep up the great work, girls!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Witches and Wizards

Madeleine has been reading "The Worst Witch" with me and "Harry Potter" with Ethan, and her imagination has gone into overdrive.  Behold the melded world she has created:

"Wiche's Shool Wizerd's Shool throo all the year's then Hogwart's!"

This title apparently does not have an acceptable short form, as Madeleine insists on referring to the title in full.

MADELEINE: Julia, when you're done with your homework, do you wanna play Witch's School Wizard's School Through All the Years Than Hogwarts??
JULIA: Uh, I don't really want to, Madeleine.

Thankfully, Madeleine found a more willing playmate when Ethan got home from work.

MADELEINE: Daddy!  Do you wanna play a game of a book I made up??  It's called Witch's School Wizard's School Through All the Years Than Hogwarts??  Julia didn't want to.
ETHAN: Uh...sure.

It was a wild romp through Hogwarts with some of Harry's friends and some characters from The Worst Witch.  I think all the wild action and adventure got Ethan nice and ready to start the bedtime routine without delay.  Luckily, we still have brooms lying in random places all around the house from Madeleine playing Witch's School Wizard's School Through All the Years Than Hogwarts all by herself in any spare moment she gets.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Madeleine's Puppet Show

Madeleine's spontaneous finger puppet show.

MADELEINE: I'm gonna put on a puppet show! 
(holding up her pinky finger) One finger went like this. 
(holding up her ring finger) This finger was his fliss - uh - This finger was his friend! 
(holding up her middle finger) This finger hated them. 
(holding up her pointer finger) This finger luh-huh-huvved them! 
(holding up her thumb) This finger made them all love each other!  Even though THIS finger (indicating her middle finger) hated them! 
(Putting her palms together) This finger made it TEN!  Neeeew friends!


MADELEINE: Mommy, did you like my dopey puppet show?
ME: It wasn't dopey, honey.  I liked how they all became friends.
MADELEINE: I *wanted* to do a dopey puppet show.  I wanted to do a dopey preschool puppet show!

Okay, well she kind of has a point there.  Speaking as a preschool teacher.  I could totally see that as preschool finger play.  I will refrain from commenting on whether or not preschool finger plays tend to be dopey.