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.


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


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.


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.

Two Little Monkeys Jumping On the Bed