Thursday, August 27, 2009

Two pictures

I am going to make an effort to post more pictures. Here are two favorites from the last few weeks:

Elisabeth making mudpies down by the stream behind our house.

Charlotte after decorating her 2nd birthday cake.

Recent Funny Stories

Elisabeth likes to torment Charlotte from time to time -- assuming her proper role as older sister. Our dear little Charlotte is getting a pretty good vocabulary, but talking is absolutely not her strength. She gets understandably frustrated, then, when Elisabeth plays the "You can't do [X] unless you say the magic word" game.

A few days ago, Elisabeth told Charlotte that Charlotte couldn't sit next to her unless she said the magic word. The magic word on this day was.... "Achupichu-pichu-achu-pichu." Quite a mouthful for Miss Charlotte who immediately burst into tears and said "NO SAY achu-pichu-pichu-achu-pichu!!!"

And speaking of magic words... Elisabeth learned a little bit about having a big brother this week. She went to her friend's house, who has a brother a few years older. The brother had them blocked in the basement and wouldn't let the two girls come up, until they said the magic word. Elisabeth apparently got upset and maybe a little scared. She didn't know the magic word. The little boy's mom told me about the exchange when I picked Elisabeth up. She was apologetic and hoped that it wouldn't affect Elisabeth at all.

When we got into the car, I asked her about what happened. She didn't have much to say about it, just that she was frustrated and never wanted to have a big brother. All the while, Boy George's song "Do you really want to hurt me? Do you really want to make me cry?" was playing in the background. After a few minutes of it, Elisabeth said quietly from the back "he should listen to this song, Mommy."

And in the Mommy-as-chopped-liver department, these two gems:

First, every morning for years now Elisabeth gets to watch two tv shows in the morning - so about 40 minutes total. And every morning I sit in my recliner with her for 5-15 minutes. If for some reason I have to leave early to go to work, she gets teary eyed about not sitting together in the chair. Yesterday morning she said, "Mommy, remember when you said we were getting too big to sit together in your chair? Maybe you should move to the couch."

Then today, I got home a bit early from work and told Doug I would go play in the basement with the kiddos. Fully expecting this to be the best news they'd ever heard, Doug hollered down to the little beasts and said he had a surprise basement playmate for them. Elisabeth came tearing up the stairs - right by me - and kept asking "where where where?" We waited until she figured it out - to no avail. Doug said "It's Mommy..." and she said, "oh. well, ok."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fairfax County Summer Reading Program

One big achievement that we've had here is that Elisabeth completed her Fairfax County Summer Reading Program. She had to read 15 books, and in exchange for reading the books they gave her a book full of coupons that we won't use. Well, ok, I'll take her to McDonalds for a free ice cream - but if she thinks I'm taking her kayaking at the ripe old age of 4... she'll have to think again. Or ask the more willing parent.

Anyway, Elisabeth was (is!) such a rock star. She read all kinds of books, from pretty easy to some long and tough ones! The deal, at least in order for her to get the super special better-than-a-coupon-book prize was that she had to read the books to me, all by herself (with some help when she got stuck), and they had to be books that she hadn't read before. Her longest read was 48 pages (Captain Pepper's Pets), and had some pretty difficult words! I'm incredibly proud of her.

She was really cute taking her list of books to the library. The kid (probably 11 or so) who was manning the table was really nice to her. The kids get to pick out an animal cutout and write their name on it. So, Elisabeth wrote her (very long! what was I thinking?) name on the cutout - it had to wind around the side, and the kid took her to let her pick out a spot on the library wall to hang it. She chose a spot right in between a little boy named Jack and a girl named Abigail.

As her prize, I bought her 34 of the Magic Tree House books. We love reading these books, and I got a heck of a deal on ebay (new ones even!). She was pretty thrilled to open the package. She also got her very own library card. Does anyone want to start a pool on # of days until the library card goes missing??

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

8 more days!

Only 8 more work days as a full time working mommy. Not that I'm counting. I like my job, I really do. But I cannot tell you how excited I am to go to part time (at a new job). I feel like my well of hilarious kid stories has run dry. Not because my kids aren't hilarious, but because (1) I'm not around them enough to know the funny things that they do and (2) I'm too tired to remember what I did 5 minutes ago much less the funny things my kids did earlier in the day...

Charlotte has officially weaseled her way back into Costco outings. This past weekend, I needed to go to Costco because I needed another big vat of tzaziki sauce along with 500 Stonyfield yogurts. Now, usually, I'd leave Charlotte home with Doug. But, Doug had decided - on a whim - to dismantle our kitchen faucet to attempt to fix a broken gasket thing. And, let's just say it did not go so well. At the peak of his frustration, we had it so that pushing the faucet to the off position make the water run at about half speed. It was completely obvious that staying home and "helping" was not an option with two little people afoot. It was also obvious that leaving Charlotte home to fend for herself was not really the best plan either - since she thinks crayons on glass windows are the best thing ever. So I packed the girls up for a trip to the library, then lunch and shopping at Costco. Our last Costco journey with two girls ended in me swearing upside down and sideways that I was NEVER taking Charlotte back (she hit, bit, smacked, wiggled, and was generally dreadful in the cart). This time... she was a saint. A really cute, sweet saint.

I'm pretty sure it was the Coke that I let her drink at lunch. With the pizza and fries. She sat in that cart with Elisabeth and the only time she touched her was to "pat pat" and "hug Zizzy." And, no, I did not stick any prozac or alcohol in the Coke. So... she is not quite on the A list yet, but she's also not blacklisted from Costco trips. In the days after our trip, she keeps talking about going to "Caco."

As for Charlotte's talking - she is really cracking me up lately. She'll come up to you and say a huge number of recognizable words to relay a very simple thought. For example, this morning she came up to me and said: "book Ginny this do go eat there over go GINNY eat mine no eat Ginny table mine mine." She looks you right in the face (climbs up on chairs if necessary) and tells you all of this at a very frenetic pace with such a look of concern in her eyes. Obviously she was telling me that Ginny was chewing on one of her books. Trying to figure out what her 30 second speech boils down to is like a logic game. Charlotte has a great nature about her, too - when you guess wrong instead of getting frustrated she finds it hilariously funny. As I've mentioned, though, she finds everything hilariously funny. Especially timeouts. It is a blessing and a curse.

You'll all be happy to know that our kitchen faucet works just fine now. Even better than it worked before. And we didn't even have to pay a plumber. Doug did good (with the help of a wonderful neighbor)!

Monday, August 10, 2009

ahh, the twos.

Well, it is official, Charlotte is two. And two she is. She is, shall we say, savoring being two. Her biggest joy these days is saying "meeeeeee do it!!!!!!" Well, maybe not her biggest joy. It has to be at least tied with kicking her legs when she's not getting her way, crying like a drama queen when her sister looks at her funny or makes a move for anything that Charlotte at any point in the past or future might have wanted to touch, or smashing food over every square inch of her exposed skin.

Yes, we've arrived at the so called "terrible" twos. I beg to differ, though, unless the threes are called the terrible horrible no good very bad threes. At this point in her life, tantrums are still pretty funny. "Oh, you don't want to put this onesie on? How cute. You're going to kick and pitch a fit until you're red in the face? Well, hold on a minute and let me get the camera..."

She's at an age where she's starting to do some really funny stuff. For example, she got this gorgeous Madame Alexander doll from Gram for her birthday. She hugged it and then we asked her to sing "Rockabye Baby." She rocked that baby and sweetly sang "rockababy rockababy rockababy" as we videoed her and cooed over our sweet sweet birthday girl. Then she threw the baby down with some amount of force and sang "baby fall down." And hopped down from her perch and plodded off somewhere. That lullabye has always bugged me with trees breaking and babies falling to their demise...

Speaking of lyrics, here's a funny "mis"-lyric that Elisabeth sang today. She really wanted me to sing Bare Necessities with her from Jungle Book. So we did. Here's her version:
"Just for the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities,
Forget about your worries and your stripes."

I really need to start writing things down as soon as they happen. It turns out my brain only has a certain capacity and this full time job thing plus having two kids has overloaded it. Things pop into my brain and I think "ooh - I want to remember that." Then 3 minutes later - it is long long gone. Not a great skill for a lawyer...

OK, until my next brilliant thought...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Children's Books

Two thoughts on children's books:

First, did you ever know that some children's books have one line summaries on the copyright page? They're really hilarious - at least I find them funny. They sound like a lawyer summarizing stories about muffins and llamas. Reading them is my new favorite library activity...

Some favorites include:

Llama Llama Mad at Mama: A young llama wants to play but must go shopping with his mother instead, and so he gets angry and makes a mess at the store.

Bear Snores On: On a cold winter night many animals gather to party in the cave of a sleeping bear, who then awakes and protests that he has missed the food and the fun.

Goodnight Moon: Goodnight to each of the objects in the great green room: goodnight chairs, goodnight comb, goodnight air.

Skippyjon Jones: Skippyjon Jones is a Siamese cat with an overactive imagination who would rather be El Skippito, his Zorro-like alter ego.

Second, if Make Way for Ducklings' Mr. Mallard pulled his little "I want to go explore the rest of the river and leave you with our 8 babies" stunt in this household - he'd probably not have any tailfeathers, or an ability to have future children. And we certainly wouldn't be meeting him a week later all happy to see him. Luckily my girls have no real concept of gender roles since they have a stay at home daddy (for 4 more weeks!) who does the laundry... and bakes.