Monday, October 27, 2008

Turn your head for one second...

and you find your kid here:

Doug heard Charlotte playing nicely on the floor. And then he turned around and found out that the floor was really the kitchen table. And now that she knows she can do it, we're having a hard time keeping her off of the table. Note the second child factor at play in this picture. Instead of moving her, or at a minimum making her sit down, he takes a picture.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Nice Chinese Grandmother at Costco

I took Elisabeth to Costco on Saturday. We had a great trip as far as samples go. They bring out the good stuff on Saturdays. So by the time we got to the little deli/cafe thing, we weren't starving. We decided to split a piece of pizza, some fries, and a Coke.

As we sat there with pizza grease dripping off of our chins, a very nice Chinese lady sat down at our table (they are big long tables) with her daughter. I don't think that either of them spoke English, but I know that the grandmother didn't. She was so sweet, she kept waving at Elisabeth and smiling and making faces.

Elisabeth said "Hi" multiple times, but there was no reaction - clearly the woman didn't even understand "hi." So I explained to her that the woman spoke Chinese, and I asked her if she knew how to say hello in Chinese. She said that she did not, so I asked her if she had ever seen the Nick Jr show with the little girl named Kai-lan. Apparently she has watched the show because she immediately said, loudly, "Ni hao!!!" The woman looked surprised and said "Ni hao, ni hao!" a few times, while waving.

We finished up our healthy lunch and "cleared the table." Elisabeth whispered to me, "mommy, how do you say goodbye in Chinese?" I told her that I didn't know, we'd have to come home and find out on the internet. She seemed satisfied with that answer.

As we walked out, she stopped in front of the woman and said - very loudly - "ADIOS! ADIOS!!!" So at least now we know that the Chinese word for goodbye is not adios...

The Big Bad Wolf

I haven't posted much this week! Hopefully I can make up for that this week... I've got some stories stored up.

Today I finally finished Elisabeth's Halloween costume. When she said she wanted to be the Big Bad Wolf, I thought "Great! Not a girly princess - I'll take it!" Then I set out to find a Big Bad Wolf costume and quickly realized that they don't really make them. Sure there are a few, but they are tragically horrible, or made for adults. Somewhere along the line, I decided that fake fur and a sewing machine sounded like a great idea. My mom would be in town to help get me started, it was a plan. A very bad plan.

But many hours and dollars later, I have finished the costume. And I'm proud to say that I did all of it myself, except for the zipper which my mom swiftly declared me incapable of attempting. I have fake fur in my hair. On my clothes. In my mouth. All over my house. At least it blends in well with Maggie's fur.

All of the effort was worth it though, because she looks unbearably cute. The finished costume for Halloween night will have some clothes. Apparently the Big Bad Wolf typically wears clothes, so I need to find a pair of pants that I can cut a tail hole into.

Here are some pictures. And here's to Cinderella for next year. (oh, Charlotte is fittingly going as a skunk because she is a little stinker)

Costume, complete with rawr-ing pose:

The Big Bad Wolf scowl:

Wolf Frolic

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Doug's birthday, crepes, and a bruised ego

Thursday was Doug's birthday. Elisabeth was very excited to give him her gift, which was a plate painted at one of those paint your own pottery places. I took the girls a few weeks ago, on a Saturday morning under the guise of going to the library. Now, when you're in a phase where the almost daily lesson is "lying is bad, tell the truth," teaching your kid to lie to Daddy and tell him that we did really go to the library when we didn't is hard and possibly ill advised. So I told her to tell Daddy that we didn't go to the library, but we couldn't tell him where we went because it was a surprise. That worked quite well, and he didn't pursue it. She would have folded like a piece of paper if he had asked, I don't think the CIA is in her future.

While we were at the pottery store, I held Charlotte while watching Elisabeth paint. Anyone who has ever tried to hold Charlotte knows that she is a wiggly thing who does NOT like to be held for extended periods of time. And putting her down on the floor, in a room full of not inexpensive pottery, is almost quite literally like putting a bull in a china shop. So I held her. I thought to myself, "hey - she can probably hold a paint brush and contribute to the present..." And indeed she can hold a paint brush. She can also suck all of the paint off of the paint brush while you're oohing and aaahing over Elisabeth's handiwork. She looks quite nice with a robin's egg blue colored mouth. They assured me that the paint is non-toxic, but I'm pretty sure this gets on my application for Mother of the Year.

Every year for Doug's birthday, we have a crepe fest. Doug eats crepes with peach and strawberry filling until he's literally ill. On average, I make about 20 crepes. That used to mean 5ish for me, 11ish for Doug, 2ish for Maggie and some leftovers for snacks. This year's crepe fest totals:

Doug: 5.
Me: none.
Maggie: none.
Elisabeth and Charlotte: 15???

It was so very disappointing that Doug didn't get to eat himself sick, and, well, I didn't get to eat at all. So we decided to have Crepe Fest, the Sequel tonight. I tripled the batch, which should mean about 30 crepes. Everyone is stuffed and we have 3 left over. We didn't keep a count, although Doug claims that he's met his match in Elisabeth.

Just after I finished making the crepes, I decided that eating them while wearing my favorite cashmere sweater was ill-advised. So I grabbed my new t-shirt that I got at a barbeque yesterday and said, "I'll just change here and hope no one comes to the door." This piqued Elisabeth's interest. "Why don't you want anyone to come to the door, Mommy?" And I said, "Because I'm changing shirts." And Doug chimed in, "if they came to the door while Mommy was changing clothes, they'd see her without her shirt on." Without missing a beat, Elisabeth said, "And they'd run away???"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pictures galore.

Many pictures from the last few months... sorry to do them all at once, but better late than never right??

First, this beautiful piece of artwork. It is supposed to be Elisabeth. Her preschool teachers had her draw it and they hung it up on the wall. Check out the snout and the sideburns. Fabulous.

Here is the Big Bad Wolf costume in progress... complete with Big Bad Wolf scary pose.

Charlotte with her favorite little chair:

she sits on it...

Elisabeth loves my boots.

Elisabeth wearing an MIT sweatshirt:

Elisabeth and Sam at the Cox Farm Fall Festival. It is really too bad they couldn't have more fun.

Doug and Elisabeth on the big potato sack slide

Charlotte with one of her favorite foods:

This past weekend, we went to Doug's mom's house in western New York, south of Rochester. We hit peak leaf season, and it was gorgeous!!! Here are a few pictures from that visit.

Elisabeth and cousins help Gram fish the goldfish out of their summer home and transport them to their warmer winter digs.

Elisabeth, behind the wheel. No humans or creatures were injured during this photoshoot (that we know of).

Elisabeth, red boots, and leaves:

Elisabeth on a bale of hay:

The morning walk:

Oddest thing yet I've found in Charlotte's mouth

and the award goes to.... a half chewed ladybug. Protein, I guess.

We think that Miss Charlotte, who says virtually no recognizable words, can secretly talk. She just doesn't want us to know. In the middle of the night the other night, while we were at Doug's mom's house, Charlotte started to cry. And cry. And cry some more. Then she settled down and started to play in her crib (at 3am). Elisabeth made the mistake of rolling over, and the air mattress she was sleeping on was visible to Miss Charlotte. Charlotte said, clear as day, "Elisabeth, hiyiyiyiyiyiyi!" Then, the next morning, she went back to using the word "DAAAAA" for everything - said at the highest decibel level she can reach.


The rules of pre-bath volleyball:

First to 21 wins. I serve. Elisabeth gets 1 point for hitting it at all. 2 points for hitting it in my general direction. 3 points for hitting it directly back to me. The only way I can score points is if I manage to hit her rear end with the ball during one of her celebratory somersaults. That earns me one point. Needless to say, I'm 0-2.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

the blushing bride...

Tonight, during our playtime before bath, I was left to fend of the beasts all on my own as Doug went out to play soccer. For some reason, the girls decided to take it easy on me and were satisfied with playing with my shoes. Charlotte has become fascinated by shoes in the past week or so - she particularly enjoys wearing any shoes that are mine. So I got out a few pairs of shoes and she enjoyed putting them on and attempting to walk. This left my hands free to deal with Elisabeth, who was wearing some of my highest heels. Here is what she said:

E: It is my wedding night, Mommy! Get up and dance with me!
Me: Your wedding? That's so nice, what are you wearing?
E: My wedding dress. Its soooo beautiful.
Me: What color is it?
E (looking at me like I am a moron because she is clearly wearing a blue shirt): uh, blue?
Me: Oh, a blue wedding dress. How gorgeous.
E: Yes, I know. It is my wedding, I am the bride. I am beautiful. Let's dance!
Me: Ok ok.
E: Ok, now that the wedding is over, I need to go to the hospital and get my baby out.
Me: right after your wedding? Like right now?
E: Yes! Right now! Time for the new baby to come!
Me: That explains the blue dress.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Little People and addresses

I love listening in on Elisabeth's time playing with her Little People. She has such interesting games that she likes to play. I took her to work with me a few weeks ago. We walked by the jail, and I pointed it out to her. I should think about these things before doing them. She was really concerned about people going to jail. Did they ever get out? How did they get out? Why did they go to jail? Are they bad? Do they die in there? Well they die in there if they never get out, right? You just said some people don't get out.

So, on Saturday, after a fun filled super secret event that I'll have to blog about on Oct. 16, Elisabeth sat on the floor playing with her Little People. All 583 of them. She took a long piece of string and put it in a very straight line on the floor. She lined those people right up. And then one by one, they all went to jail. Until Charlotte wanted one. That one got a pardon. But she took each one of them and told them they were bad and were off to jail. Now, you might remember that we have a very special Little People set- the Nativity Set. With characters like Mary and Joseph. Who both- you guessed it - went to jail. As did Noah. And the angel. And all of the shephards. Baby Jesus did not go to jail, though. This is because Baby Jesus may well be lost, again. He turns up every so often, but I'm not sure he's currently locatable.

Today was fire safety awareness day at gym class. How this ties into gym class, we're not sure, but they taught them to stop, drop, and roll - so I guess rolling is gym related. Anyway, they taught the kids to call 9-1-1 and even made them practice calling using a fake phone. Elisabeth tells us that she got Miss Congeniality because her message was the nicest. I thought it might be a good idea to quiz her on our address at dinner. So I asked her if she knew our address. She replied "1123" (numbers changed to protect the innocent). I asked her our road, and she knew that too. Then, I said, "now if someone asks you your address, you can tell them!" Again, I should think before I speak. I immediately qualified that statement with, 'if teachers, policemen, or firemen ask you for your address, you can tell them. But don't tell strangers." Of course she asked why she shouldn't tell strangers our address, to which Doug replied "we don't want them to come and bother us." And so she said, "ooooh ok. If a stranger asks for my address, I am going to tell them 1124!" That will throw them off...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

in which Erica plots the demise of a preschooler... and not my own.

After preschool today, Elisabeth asked Doug, "Daddy, is Santa Claus real? Or do you and mommy put the toys in the stocking?" He responded with "What do you think?" And then, mercifully, the UPS man came and she was immediately distracted by the new box in the house. (quite literally saved by the bell).

I'm crushed! I love being Santa!! I'm glad we haven't had to either lie to her or fess up to her just yet - but where is she getting this information???? Obviously it is one of the little kids in her class. Most likely one with an older sibling. A mean, mean older sibling. And I plan to find out which one. And tell them that there is in fact a Santa, but he just doesn't come to their house because they're bad, bad kids. I have an email to the other parents drafted in my head, but I am going to employ the smart strategy of sitting on it for 24 hrs and then toning it down.

Oh another note, I am impressed that Doug had the presence of mind to answer her question with a question. I'm pretty sure I would have stammered uncomfortably and then lied to her. I'm going to be fabulous with those talks about boys...

Elisabeth has been into singing lately. She makes up all sorts of songs. Here is a recent one that she was singing in her room before bed - I love seeing how her mind works things out.

(sung to the tune of something that sounds a bit like our new favorite song in this house - "When You Wish Upon a Star")

When Mommy and Daddy are talking, and I want to talk, I have to waaaaaait.
But when Daddy and me are talking, and Mommy wants to talk, she has to waaaaaaait.
And if Mommy and me are talking, and Daddy wants to talk, he has to waaaaaaaait.
And if Me and Charlotte are talking, and Mommy or Daddy want to talk, they have to..... Mommy? Do you and Daddy have to wait if Charlotte and I are talking?

Little Miss Charlotte (formerly known as Cranky Pants, but overnight has become Happiest Child Ever) is an accomplished climber. Today, she climbed into her high chair 100% unassisted. And yesterday Doug looked up and saw a 13 month old's head pop up over the back of the couch. So, life around here just got a bit more dangerous. She is also almost doing somersaults all on her own. She is so close. She can't talk, but we're thinking of putting her on the Chinese Olympic gymnastic team for 2012.

Phillies Fever has hit this household hard. This evening, Shane Victorino - perhaps the favored Phillie in this house, certainly Elisabeth's favorite Phillie, hit a grand slam home run off of arguably the league's best pitcher. Elisabeth was in the tub. But when she got to see it on re-play (thank you Tivo Gods!), she jumped around and had a "celebration" as she calls it. We've been working on her touchdown dance as well. The Phils are 2-0 in this series. One more win and we get to go to the NLCS. Excitement is running high.

Finally, there haven't been any crazy people at the courthouse this week. Unless you count Heather, and I don't think she counts because I couldn't get the deputies to take her down. It has been relatively quiet. Of course, Fridays bring out the biggest crazies, so I withhold final comment until tomorrow evening.