Friday, December 23, 2011

Loopy

Kate and I just had a ridiculous conversation about the kitchen cabinets, which she kept pronouncing "tabinips." She was stuck like a broken record, going round and round repeating her opening phrase, "Mom, the tabinips...," then realizing she was still mispronouncing cabinets, getting frustrated and starting over from the beginning, only to helplessly say tabinips again. I'm sure it didn't help one bit that I could not keep myself from laughing. I was trying to stifle it, honestly! But of course that only made the urge to laugh even worse. She finally got angry enough at me and frustrated enough with herself that she just huffed off into the living room to watch Bob the Builder instead. I never did find out what was up with the cabinets.

Poor kid. It's tough to be misunderstood. I'll have to loan her my copy of Catcher in the Rye.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Dresses, The Conclusion

I keep forgetting to put up a photo of the dress Maggie chose for Christmas after she and Kate cold-heartedly rejected my first pick. I went back and bought a few other choices and let Maggie have her favorite from those. Here's the one she chose:



It's from Target so it's not too expensive. I like the color, but the fake Santa fur around the collar is not my favorite thing ever. So of course that fur is exactly why she liked it best! The skirt has little fabric roses all over it. Fussy!

Anyway, Kate immediately wanted one just like it and for once Maggie balked at the idea of them dressing identically. She may be growing out of the appeal of looking like your little sister's twin. I talked her into it though because I can't stand to try to find a dress that doesn't clash with this one, so Christmas twinkies it is! She'll have far more egregious things to hate me for in a few more years and will forget all about this, I'm sure.

I did also manage to find white tights and black Mary Janes for both of them and a dress for myself. Whew, I'm glad that's over. Oklahoma, here we come!

Katie Sez...

... Mommy Zookeeper, my cup of juice is on the floor.

Mommy Zookeeper??

Wait! Your cup of juice is on the floor? Does that mean that you set your cup on the floor or that it's spilled on the floor?

... Uh, (she holds her hand in the air palm up as though she's philosophizing) spiwwed.

Mommy Zookeeper indeed.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Maggie Sez...

... I like to eat my cinnamon roll upside down so I can taste it better because the icing is on the top of the cinnamon roll and my tongue is on the bottom of my mouth.

Genius!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Maggie Sez...

... Dad, all the hair is gone off the sides of your head.

(as he came in the door from getting a bad haircut.)

... It looks weird. Do you agree with me?


And Katie sez...

... Mom, can I have Doris the Exploris on my TV?

I'm afraid she really thinks the character is called Doris. WASPy Doris and her lemur sidekick Poots.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Misty Water Colored Memories...

I read somewhere once (where?? I often can't remember. It's so annoying!) that having children is like getting back the first four years of your life. In other words, you get to relive the part of your childhood that you can't remember. I love this sentiment, although I think as a parent you really get to relive all of your childhood, the remembered and the forgotten, the good and the bad.

Today for lunch we are having Campbell's chicken and stars soup, Ritz crackers and cheese, and orange slices. Oh how it takes me back!

I should turn on Sesame Street while we eat. Or play 80's music.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Watch Out, Here Comes the Grinch

I was recently given an offer I couldn't refuse by two of my sisters-in-law: they said they would bump the spending limit on my Christmas present up from $40 to $43** if I would update my blog before I see them both at Thanksgiving. Since I'll do almost anything for $3 worth of cash and/or prizes (not really), here goes...

I do have a little rant that I need to get off my chest, and Kate is spending the morning at the neighbors' having a playdate so this is perfect timing for actually being able to write. I've just spent my precious little free time scouring the stores for Christmas dresses that I hope will be pleasing to the eye of my four year old daughter. I'm feeling a bit like a disgruntled personal assistant to some tacky Hollywood starlet at the moment. Which one of those supermodels is always in the news for throwing a cell phone at her assistant?

Anyway, I don't usually even bother with fancy holiday clothes for the girls. I know lots of women who would die and go to heaven with TWO little girls to dress up every day, but it's just not my thing at all. They usually dress themselves like boys or homeless hobo ex-fairy princesses most days. You have to pick your battles, as they say, and toddler fashion is not the field I choose to die on. If you've ever seen them dressed up for some function, my mom or my mother-in-law probably bought those outfits, god bless them.

But this year we will be at the wedding of my cousin Brad just one week before Christmas, so it seemed like a really good year to go all out and buy them some precious little fancy Christmas dresses to twirl around in. So I went shopping. Before Thanksgiving, even. As soon as the Christmas dresses were out in the stores, I was there. Hold your applause. Almost all of the dresses, at cheap and expensive shops alike, were thin little numbers with no sleeves. We're talking about late December here. Even in Oklahoma, that can be a bitterly cold and dark time of year. Why would I want a sundress made out of flimsy silk like a negligee for my tiny daughters to wear at night in December? Oh, I can pay twice as much to buy the matching WOOL COAT that is supposed to go over it?? You can take that wool coat and stick it in your...

Sorry. Despair drove me into a frenzy of internet shopping that finally turned up this perfect little dress for sale at Dillard's, so I bought three of them (Kate is sort of in between sizes).



Cute, right? Traditional, festive. Girly without being foolish. Fancy enough for a wedding. Perfect. Well, we got the dresses in the mail yesterday, and full of excitement and holiday cheer, I unwrapped them and put them on the girls...

Kate burst into tears. No joke. Weeping. Maggie just said, her voice full of boredom and contempt, "Can I take this off now?"

Seriously. What to do? Do I give two preschoolers a lecture in gratitude and force them to wear the dresses anyway because... well, give me a break! No one said you have the right to be a fashionista in this house. Kids in Africa are starving and would have to wear this dress, second-hand, to school every day IN AUGUST! IN AFRICA! Or something like that.

No, I don't want to turn a holly, jolly Christmas into a death march of shame in black velvet and tulle petticoat. Sigh. So today I was out reassessing the Christmas dress market. To be honest we do already have a dress in Kate's size that once belonged to our niece Ana that will work just fine. Both girls have actually worn it for fun around the house although neither had any occasion to wear a fancy Christmas dress before this. It's red satin with green and cream polka dots and a green velvet shrug, and Kate seems to find it acceptable. I had just wanted to actually buy them something new and maybe matching/coordinating, but I'm over it now.

So I'm on the hunt for something that will pass Maggie's fierce scrutiny. I picked up a couple of options that were less than ideal to my point of view but at least not zebra striped or hot pink... which is why I did this shopping alone and did not take the Mags with me. She doesn't need to know what other monstrosities are for sale out there on the racks, lest we end up with one kid in a nice Christmas dress and the other in a hot pink, glitter-covered, puppy dog-emblazoned sweatshirt dress with purple ruffled leggings and silver sequined tennis shoes. At my cousin's wedding. In the family photographs which will live on in infamy until the end of time. Amen.

I'll let you know which dress Her Highness chooses.

And do you know what else? There are still tights and shoes to get, and I will give you all $5 each if there is no whining about either of those items (if I can actually find them in both of their sizes and don't have to order them online from some horribly expensive boutique). And hair bows - well, you can forget hair bows. Hair bows are dead to me. Are there really people in this world who ENJOY this stuff? How can that be? It's giving me an ulcer.

After this, all I am going to want for Christmas is to spend the entire day in nothing but footie pajamas. ...Oh, and I DID find some super cute cozy footie pjs for the girls for Christmas. That was fun, I have to admit.

**Does this count as "monetizing" my blog?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween

Yay! I got our Halloween pictures up before Thanksgiving! I'm so proud of myself.

Mid-October was kind of a blur for us because I caught some kind of awful cold/virus (probably from a preschool student who lives in our house who will remain nameless...) and was under the weather for almost three weeks. I still have a muscle in my neck/shoulder that is spasming as a result of all the coughing, and the pain runs up my neck into the base of my head and gives me headaches. Fun! Bring on the muscle relaxers!

Then, just as I was getting better, Maggie got pink eye and had to have gooey eye drops and stay home from school. We ditched a trip to NH at the last minute because of Maggie's eye and therefore didn't get to go to Mack's and pick apples and buy pumpkins. Our farm stand pumpkin selecting experience was second rate, but we still got to carve a jack o' lantern for the girls


Scoopin' Guts

Our town has trick or treating during daylight hours among the shop owners in town square a few days before Halloween. I do feel it's sad that so many kids in America today don't get to experience the kind of Halloween that I remember as a child - walking door to door collecting candy from the neighbors - but it is nice to have an earlier option for little kids that is still a lot of fun. AND we still have the other, more traditional kind of trick or treating too! So we just spread the holiday out into a long weekend, multi-event candy bonanza extravaganza!


Ready to hit the Square!

Maggie wore this costume last year, and Kate was a duck. This year Kate was determined that they would wear the exact same costumes, of course, because that is what you do on Halloween: you dress as a duck and your sister dresses as a monkey. I don't know what you do if you have a brother. That scenario isn't covered in the Rule Book.

But of course last year's costumes did not fit. The three of us talked over their options and all the costume possibilities I could think of, and they finally decided that they should BOTH be the monkey. Find us another identical costume to this one, Mom! Get crackin'! And because I am a Supermom, I did find another one in Maggie's size. (I got them both at Babies R Us. Luckily they aren't very creative with their costumes, as they had all the same ones from last year again. I'm still claiming that Supermom title, though.) Hopefully next year Maggie will be old enough to want to be something different from her little sister because I don't think Elizabeth should have to be a monkey for Halloween THREE years in a row!


Gotta have balloons!


Taking a break to eat some candy

In their defense, they are very warm costumes, which is a good thing since we got snow the day before Halloween and it was plenty cold on the Friday before when we were in the square. We really got lucky because Mike's parents in NH and friends of ours to the west of Boston got a foot of snow and had long power outages. A lot of towns had to postpone Halloween!

Maggie's school was actually in session on Monday so they forged ahead with the Halloween party. There were games and fake tattoos and face painting and spider hats and bobbing for apples and crafts and TONS of snacks. I had to put the snacks she couldn't even finish in her lunch box for later.

Pop quiz question!

Did Maggie eat her sandwich at lunch?

A. No
B. Of course not.
C. Are you kidding?
D. All of the above


Getting her face painted


Jack O' Lantern


Three-eyed Spider Hat (the legs were supposed to go down, but Mags liked them up - dead spider hat?)

That night, as soon as Mike got home from work and we could gobble down some dinner, we put the girls' costumes back on and headed out into the night, leaving our own candy bowl on the porch honor system style. We happened to run into both sets of our neighbors with kids starting off at the same time, so we went around the neighborhood together like a gang of hoodlums. If we'd remembered a six pack of beer for us parents, it would've been perfect.


Stylin'


Monkey Mags


Even Monkeys Gotta Wear Shoes


About two seconds later they were punching each other in their padded monkey bellies.


Quote: "My belly is full of bananas!"


Baby Elizabeth traded us this stuffed toy banana for the duck costume. Thanks, E!


Let's Go!

Our neighborhood had tons of houses with lights on and the streets were full of families with young kids. I'm not sure if we just finally went down the "right" streets this year or what, but it was kind of magical. All six of us parents talked about how great it was that our kids could have this kind of quintessential Halloween experience right here in our town, as urban and mildly sordid as it sometimes looks by daylight. But the fact is that there are more and more young families like ours moving in and the houses are close together on streets with sidewalks and you can get to know each other and trust that you can eat each other's candy without fear. We really had a marvelous time.


video
Two Little Monkeys Jumping On the Bed

Monday, October 17, 2011

Photo Dump

Playing Dress Up (in what Kate calls her "matching clothes")











Candlepin bowling at my arts council's fundraiser











Pony rides at Mike's company picnic













Sunday, September 25, 2011

New News

1. We seem to have successfully gotten rid of the paci. Kate gave her paci to Elizabeth to give to the Statue of Liberty a few weeks ago and hasn't asked for it lately (after a handful of weepy episodes in the days following). Looking good!

2. Maggie's still loving school. She drew a picture last Friday of her and Kate playing in a pile of leaves. Kate was SO excited that Maggie had included her in the picture and Maggie seemed proud of it, too. Sweet!

3. Kate's had two nights now of sleeping without a pull-up on and we haven't had to change the sheets yet. Fingers crossed!

4. We're currently in the middle of wrecking our downstairs bathroom. I scraped the wallpaper off a couple of weekends ago, only to find mildew behind it. So after I bleached and scrubbed the walls, Mike spackled the bajeezus out it (our house's construction is probably 75% spackle at this point), sanded half of that off, shop vac'd the destruction, primed with Killz twice, and is now up to the actual painting. We de-wallpapered and repainted our entire kitchen in about 2.5 days, but it's taking us a month to do the same to a tiny powder room. 3% less ugly!

5. Maggie is on week three of getting an allowance. We talked it over and she chose feeding the cats as her preferred nightly chore and we added putting away toys as our preferred chore. I made a chart for her to check off each task every day, and she hasn't missed a day yet. We have to remind her, of course, but that girl loves dollar bills, y'all. She has a little tin box in her undies drawer that now contains three one dollar bills, and they are her pride and joy. She's growing up!
6. I'll try to get some photos up soon of M&K riding ponies last weekend at Mike's company picnic. Adorable!

Monday, September 12, 2011

1st Day of School



First day of school and so far, so good! Maggie walked right in, left me in the dust to put all her stuff away, found a table with play dough set out and another girl already playing there, and it was all "Bye Mom! Don't let the door hit you on your way out!"

She didn't actually say that to me, by the way. She said goodbye, gave me a hug and a kiss, and went right back to her play dough without looking back. And that's just the way I like it.


Being a cheeseball this morning when Dad was trying to take her picture.


She picked out this outfit as her special new school clothes outfit.


So preppy!


With Miss Kate. Mike had to buy Kate that water bottle because she was upset that Mags got a new lunchbox and thermos. She also insisted that I fill it with water so she could take it with her on the drive to school this morning. Little sisters!


Goofs.


(Kate will NOT let me put a barrette in that hair. It's bonkers.)


4 years old... going on 14.


Looking pitiful and sad pre-pretzel

Poor Kate. She was SO EXCITED to go to school this morning. She also took off as soon as we walked in, and then I had to chase her down because she heard me say goodbye to Maggie and she knew she couldn't stay. She didn't throw a huge tantrum, but I did have to carry her out with her head on my shoulder crying pitifully. All the teachers made sad faces at us and said, "See you next year, Kate!" Afterwards, we went to our nearest Barnes and Noble to drown her sorrows in a big cheese pretzel and chocolate milk (and coffee for me - yay coffee! I need to figure out how to set our coffee pot to make coffee while I'm in the shower so I don't have to wait until mid-morning for my fix like I did today)! We then headed over to the children's section to kiss and hug all the stuffed animals and pick out a couple of new books about New York City. New York City and specifically the Statue of Liberty (a.k.a. The Green Lady in the Water) are Kate's current obsessions, so she was super happy on the car ride home. She admitted over lunch that Mommy and Kate Day wasn't so bad.



When we picked up Maggie after lunch, she was far more interested in the lollipop they had given her than in telling me anything about her day. She had a great time, she can't wait for Wednesday, she played with a girl named Aubrey (NOT Audrey) who had sparkly shoes, and she did arts and crafts. Her name is Maggie and she likes to go to New Hampshire.

Her look of disdain tells me that she can't figure out why we're making such a big deal out of all of this. She is too cool for school!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Preschool!

The open house for Maggie's new preschool class was on Wednesday morning. Mike stayed home with Kate while she and I ran over to meet her new teachers, check out the classrooms, and get all the info on where to go and what to do. She had a BLAST and I think it's going to be a great experience for her.




Coloring her apple to put on the classroom tree. (Sorry all these shots are so crappy - I didn't think to take a camera.)


Eating a snack


Coloring a picture with some other girls


Nothing is more fun than other people's toys! I had to practically drag her out of there when the open house was over. We were some of the last few kids there!

She will be in the Mon/Wed/Fri 4-hour class, which means she will take a lunch in her new lunchbox and I will pick her up after that. They have tried to divide the classes into mostly 3 year olds in the 3-hour class and mostly 4 year olds in Maggie's class, but the two classrooms are adjoining and they share a playground, a kitchen, an arts and crafts room and bathrooms. Also, they have decided to have the five teachers float around both rooms over the course of the morning so that all the kids get to know all the staff. I thought all the teachers seemed great, and all but one are early childhood certified - and that last one is a long-time aide and is currently in college working on her degree. Three of the teachers sent their own children to this program not so long ago!

So many people have asked me if I'm ready for this or whether I think Maggie is ready for preschool, and I never really worried about it because I'm certain that she is going to love school and I'm excited for her. What I have not thought too much about is Kate. Maggie and I had to run out the door Wednesday morning while Mike held Kate as she wept, clinging to her shoes, and called out, "Wait for me, Maggie! Wait for me for school!" I'm almost crying just typing it now! And then when we got home, she ran to get her shoes again and asked me if it was her turn to go to school now. I'm kind of dreading the possibility that Kate may be my kid in tears Monday morning as I peel her fingers off the door frame at Fidelity House and drag her away from Maggie's next big adventure.

*sigh*

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Trip to a Field

Yesterday, we took a trip that I've been meaning to do with the girls all summer. We went to Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, MA, which is a Mass Audubon Society property and a real working farm.


The Learning Garden


Chicken on the loose!


Display on field mice


Maggie loved the mice! She said she's going to have a mice farm when she grows up, like Mr. Brice.


Running to the pig barn


The biggest pig I have ever seen in my whole life! Kate was afraid of it!


Hayride


The Tack Room


Maggie's turn


Maggie says she really likes milking cows


Barn cat - we had to circle back around to pet this guys three times.


That goat is sticking his tongue out at us, Mom!


Picnic lunch


This was the only part of the trip that Kate admitted to liking (well, lunch and the ice cream push up pop I bought her at the gift shop before we went home). She spent the whole day saying Canwegohomecanwegohomecanwegohomenowcanwegohomecanwe? Maggie loved everything and wanted to live there forever. She actually told me in the car that she and Kate were the Country Mouse and the City Mouse. I really do wonder...