Monday, August 30, 2010


She's a writer! She's been asking how to spell lots of things lately and is somewhat obsessed with the idea that some words contain a silent "e" which she calls a Sneaky E. I wonder if she'll start reading a little bit soon.

Also, notice the left handedness. She was also cutting paper with the scissors in her left hand the other day. I probably should get her some lefty scissors.

Maggie Sez...

... I'm gonna open up a huge, huge, big, giant can of nakey time!

Pardon me?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I Give Up

Any illusions that I had of being in control of style decisions around here are gone now...

They are terribly cute, though.

Also, thank goodness Costco is so cheap - if I'd had to pay full price for these skirts, I probably would've had a seizure.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Still Catching Up

.... but, I wanted to share these photos from our weekend with Amy and Little E which actually took place a couple of weeks back. Before Amy left to drive home, we tried to get a photo of all three girls together on the couch. This is the best one we got, in my opinion, despite Maggie's goofy expression:

"The best one?!" you say? How can that be the best picture?! Well, here are all the rest of the pics we got. Do you see one that is any less ridiculous than the one I picked?! Ah, photographing children is fun. Good thing these three are all so cute to begin with!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What I Did On My Summer Vacation, Part 4

Day Six: Indianapolis

It's taking me twice as long to write all this stuff as it did to actually take the vacation. Oh well, isn't that just the normal physics of time and space in the universe? It also take four times longer to plan a vacation than it takes to go on one. Just like it takes three times longer to prepare a meal than it takes to eat it. This is why I always hated having to take physics in school. If you are going to drop a water balloon out of an airplane at whatever feet up traveling at x speed and falling at some kind of velocity, you should at least get to enjoy the splat for an equal amount of time as it took you to set up such an improbable scenario. Stupid physics.

Anywho, our last day in Indy was mostly a mellow affair.

Maggie "taught" Grandma the Great how to play dominoes.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Grandma has actually played dominoes before, but don't tell Mags.

Maggie Jane, Domino Queen

Hanging Out

That thing Maggie has in her hand is the knife to her wooden cookie baking play set, otherwise these are a couple of darling photos. No Grandmas were injured in the taking of these photos!

Last Day of Swimming - Mags and Katie were pros at this point, floating around without us holding them.

Another Fowler family swim pic - with the girls free range floating!

So Pleased With Herself

Maggie actually tried to swim around but Kate preferred to just float wherever the current took her.


The real drama of the day took place at dinner time. We spent the week trying to be laid back about the girls' schedule and routines, but this is very hard for us because we are not laid back about much of anything when it comes to the girls. We're sorry, but that's just who we are. We'd had a low key day and there were plans afoot to have dinner out at a cafeteria style restaurant in a nearby town. That sounded doable, especially since dinner out the night before had gone very well, so we tried to set aside our controlling instincts and roll with it. The girls' usual dinner time passed by and we let it go knowing that they had been a little behind their normal schedule all day and had both had long, late naps. We gave them a few snacks. Then it took a bit longer of a car ride than we expected to get to the restaurant. The girls were getting antsy, but I figured since it was a cafeteria, we'd be sitting down with plates of food in no time. We tried to be relaxed. Then we got there and the line was out the door because by then it was right in the middle of dinner rush and this place was apparently super popular. Oh, boy. We should have said no right then. But the line seemed to be moving quickly and we were with a big group and we don't see my family very often and and and... I should have said no. We should have grabbed the girls some McD's and headed home. I should have said no, but I didn't. Then I realized that I had a couple of toys for the girls, but not the collection of things I normally would take with us to dinner out because I had assumed we'd waltz in and sit down to food immediately or at least be waiting at a table, not standing in a line, so we all tried our best to entertain the girls with car keys and cell phones and songs. I should have said we'd see them later back at the house and got the heck out of there. Ugh. Finally we sat down to our delicious dinner, but by then both kids were in a state. Maggie insisted on eating her chocolate cake first before her chicken and Kate had already been snacking on half my dinner before we even got to the table. We wolfed our food down and my dad and I chased Kate around the dining room so that at least she wouldn't start screaming again. Then I heard Maggie's shrieks from across the room. I missed the whole incident, but I was told that everyone started passing around their dessert to have a bite of everything and Aunt Sandy had playfully begged Maggie for a bite of her enormous slice of cake. Maggie finally begrudgingly relented. But then, when Uncle Everett took an innocent bite of her cake, she threw a huge tantrum yelling about how "that man with Aunt Sandy" (!!) had stolen a bite of her cake! Mike and I had to gather up our embarrassing progeny, borrow the keys to the house, and get the heck out of there. I should've said no right from the start. In hindsight, I can see that clearly. Well, now we have another kooky family story to tell when Maggie gets to be a teenager (she was still talking about that cake for days afterwards). And I learned my lesson about pushing the envelope too far.

Day Seven: Indianapolis to Buffalo, 509 miles, 8 hours and 42 minutes (10 with stops)

Snoozing in the car using Bearby as a pillow

I can't even remember what happened on the drive at this point (Sorry!), except that there was a lot of a video about animal cartoons that my mom and dad gave the girls, a lot of corn fields, and a lot of Ohio. We ate at Steak 'n Shake - it's a really good thing we don't have any of those in MA because I would be forced to eat there all the time. It was surprisingly good for fast food. We just managed to avoid storms all along the way. And then we stayed overnight in a hotel in Buffalo, NY. Buffalo never fails to depress. There must be a nice part of it - maybe closer to the lakefront? - but we've never seen it.

Day Eight: Buffalo to Boston, 463 miles, 8 hours (actually 8 hours with stops - yeah for the NY & MA turnpikes!)

I-90 through NY state is a turnpike all the way across from Buffalo to Albany. Turnpikes are boring as all get out, but the one in NY is very convenient. They have nice rest stops which are quite close together and there are great signs along the route telling you when the next stop will be and what they have there. Easy peasy. We made great time and zipped into MA earlier than we expected.

The most memorable part of our last day on the road came as we drove through the hills of the Berkshires. We had been harassing Maggie all day about her potty status and she'd grown snarky with us, howling in protest every time we inquired about whether or not she needed to stop for a bathroom break. The second we were farthest from a rest stop, on a stretch of mountainside highway with no shoulders and close guard rails, Maggie started freaking out about having to use the potty. You're not surprised are you? I spotted a turn out that the highway department uses for utility trucks and Mike flew off the highway and skidded to a stop in the gravel. Mags popped her first squat - and peed on my shoes for the second time on this trip. You're not surprised are you? She herself was perfectly clean and dry and spent the rest of the drive informing us that she "pee pee'd on the roadside!" She was quite proud of herself, I think.

We hit some traffic outside of Worcester, which seems to be where we always hit some traffic, so we weren't too shocked. Soon, we were passing through increasingly familiar parts of our beloved Boston, crossing over the great Charles River, and then pulling up next to our big turquoise house. As I usually do when we pull into our driveway, I called out to Maggie, "Who lives here?" and she cheered back, "It's Maggie and Kate's house!"

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What I Did On My Summer Vacation, Part 3

Day Five: Indianapolis

Thursday of our trip was a big day of fun for the girls. Besides swimming, we also went downtown to The Children's Museum of Indianapolis and then out to dinner at a restaurant. They had a blast!

Nana and Papa Time

My parents brought the girls a bunch of little toys and things to play with. Kate chased that little soccer ball around for hours. And don't try to play the Memory game with Maggie - she'll slaughter you.

Herding Cats, er, Girls

We went swimming all three days that we were at Everett and Sandy's. The girls loved the pool so much and it was plenty hot. This photo was taken mid-morning and the water was 80-something degrees already.

The family that swims together... what? Gets wet and sunburned?

Sharing a Pool Floaty

In the Dinosaurs Exhibit at the Children's Museum

Kate loved the trains! They had a real, full-sized locomotive and caboose. You could walk through the caboose and I think the girls went through it twice each. They also had a big train set with all the trains running. Katie sez... "choo choo!"

Future Engineer (this was a little toy train engine)

Driving Lessons

They have a whole refurbished old carousel inside the museum. We actually went to this same museum a few times back when I was a kid, and they have always had this carousel. I remember riding it when I was small!

Kate and Nana on the Carousel

Kate loved the carousel music. Even after we got off the ride, my dad held her while she watched it go around and bopped her head along with the music!

They had three playhouses in one room of the museum. One was an old house that Eli Lilly (of Lilly Pharmaceuticals of Indianapolis) made for his daughter decades ago. Then there was a little tree house and this ice cream shop. We could hardly drag Kate out of this little play shop!

An old original coin operated horse - just a nickel!

Stacking chairs with Nana

This was part of a display of fun house mirrors. It was the cutest little tea party display. You can see where the table is cut in half - the stuffed bears are on the other side of a wall of glass with a mirrored wall behind them. It gives the illusion that the kids are having a tea party with bears, but there's only a small part of the room that they can manipulate, so it's like being in a perfect little diorama. Maggie and Kate LOVED it.

I think they want one of these for their play room at home.

Don't actually eat the toast! This is probably where she licked up the germs that caused the terrible head cold that she and Maggie and Mike had by the time we got home from the trip.

Hall of Mirrors

This is one of two huge and intricately decorated doll houses they have had on display since I was a kid.

Photo Op in an Indy Car

Fishin' With Papa at the Water Table

Kate's Turn

Sand Table

The sand in this table was so soft and fine. It was like playing in a huge pile of table salt.

Kate had to stand on this stool to play with this doll house!

Little Buckaroos! My grandma gave the girls this pink poodle and bunny rabbit. They love them and pretending to ride them in this picture. At this point, I think they were getting a little punchy after a long day!