about a dream: December 2010

Friday, December 31, 2010

happy new year!

just a quick post because it's a busy day. i told the girls about new year's resolutions, and here are theirs:

nina: cuddling with mom
maggie: NANEY!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

christmas was great

and now we're hunkered down for a blizzard!!

but first, christmas! it was fantastic. nina woke up just before seven and whispered "chrrrrissmas? chrissstmass... CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!" and then ran downstairs to see if santa brought her the snow boots she wanted. he did! she ran back upstairs with them to show us, a huge smile on her face. maggie followed her back downstairs and in spite of her posturing, was thrilled to see that santa had brought her a belle dress. nina checked in the fridge to see if gingy, the cookie man she'd made for santa, was gone. and he was! santa must have eaten him when he was dropping off the presents. good thing santa thought to check in the fridge because we forgot to set gingy out before bed!!

after opening presents at our house, we went next door and had breakfast and did presents there. erik, isabelle, and chester were there, plus oma! she unexpectedly came up from NY to be here for christmas. now she's stuck! her flight out was cancelled today, so she probably won't go until tuesday night.

after presents at the parents' house, we took the girls and their new sleds out sledding at the high school. it was fun, the sleds were super! isabelle's mom and aunt were staying at the flagship, so they came out too, then we all headed back to mom and dad's for some christmas feast.

then came a rousing game of balderdash! nina and i won, in spite of her preference for voting for the first answer choice read. well, that was better than last time, when she always voted for us. hm, maybe she didn't get that we were supposed to vote for the answer we thought was actually correct, not just the one we thought was best. finally, the gilchrists came by for dessert, and we didn't get home until 10. what a busy holiday!!

well, i'm exhausted, i can barely type tonight! nick and i took the girls to see the new disney movie, "tangled," this afternoon. it was really good! it was computer animated, which i wasn't expecting, i thought the princess movies would stick with regular cartoon animation. but i liked it.

if we still have electricity in the morning i'll update!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

take that, santa

i put this on facebook, but it needs to be on the blog for posterity.

ok, so we all know that margarete is her own woman. well, i was hoping that i could leverage the santa thing for some better behavior (it always worked with nina). so, margarete was not listening as usual (i don't even remember what she was doing. licking the window? trashing the house? tormenting nina?). it doesn't matter. i told her to stop doing what she was doing and listen to mommy, or else santa wouldn't bring her any presents. she looked at me. 'that's ok,' she said. 'i saw a good belle dress at the red store (target). i can get that one.'
then nina said she didn't have any money, and maggie said she's just take some from their toy cash register.

man that kid's got attitude! what kind of 2 year old says screw santa, i can get what i want. i think she must take after mom. :-)

she's really figuring out how to push nina's buttons too. lately it's copying whatever nina says. such a classic move, and there's a reason it's a classic i'm finding out. still, nina adores her little sister. and maggie adores nina. they're both so happy to have each other all day now that nina's home on vacation.

tomorrow is christmas eve!! hopefully i will find a few minutes to update. the girls are overwhelmed with excitement of course. well, minus the typical santa excitement on maggie's end of course.

oh christmas tree oh christmas tree

nick's source of anxiety!

see how that rhymes? it's my alternate lyrics to "oh christmas tree." nick is very stressed by the way the needles are falling from it. if anyone touches the tree he freaks out! oh, it's a long chrismas season at the halter house.

the girls posed for some adorable photos under the tree the other day. they'd make great christmas cards, but we already sent our cards out (already! haha. i was aiming to get them out earlier this year, oh well.)

we got some great snow this morning! we've made 2 fantastic snow men and are working on a snow fort. that, and just waiting impatiently for christmas!

hopefully i will write more tonight!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

oh and on thursday

i took maggie swimming at the Y. she swam with 3 bubbles all by herself for over half an hour! she didn't want to get out of the pool but mommy was getting cold, otherwise i'm sure she could have stayed in all day. she did such a great job though! she motored those adorable little legs and paddled with her arms and swam the entire length of the pool and back again. it's a big pool! she was so happy and having so much fun. unfortunately, they close the pool on jan 1 to begin construction on the new pool. we can use nearby Y pools while ours is closed for free, but i'm not too keen on trekking 20 minutes for it. we'll see. if she really wants to go back, how could i say no?

went to the portland children's museum yesterday

nina has been many times, and maggie went as a baby, but it has been so long that it was entirely new to both of them. they had a great time! they've added a balls and ramps room where the gift shop used to be, and i think that was maggie's favorite. nina liked the fake cow (maggie was her name!) and the fire truck (it has a fire pole inside, and sliding down the fire pole is her favorite playground activity). we stayed for about 2.5 hours and the girls had a blast.

afterwards we stopped by the target in topsham to get a few last minute gifts and stocking stuffers. i think we're set for christmas! there is much wrapping to do, and nina desperately wants to bake some christmas cookies, but there's time for that.

i just finished vacuuming while nick has the girls over at mom and dad's, feeding the fish and watching some wonder pets. then it's off to the track and grocery store. such busy lives we lead!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Field trip to the animal shelter yesterday

maggie, mom, and i chaperoned. i wasn't going to, but on tuesday night nina asked if i would come, so i told her i'd call the school in the morning and see if they still needed chaperones. and to my surprise, they did! usually maggie would have dance class on wednesday mornings, but she refuses to go any more (she was so happy there, and one week i spent the entire time outside of the dance room and she didn't mind at all. so the next week i thought, 'great, i'll go to the grocery store!' and it backfired. maggie got really upset and never wanted to go back. i tried reassuring her i would stay with her, and even dancing with her, but no luck. i messed up and there are no second chances with margarete). so, anyway, with no dance to worry about, we were free to go. and maggie loves animals so much that i thought she'd be thrilled.

nope. she did NOT want to go. she cried, protested, and insisted she wear her footies instead of the real clothes she was already wearing. finally she calmed down and we were off.

nina was so excited to see us, and they both LOVED the shelter! there were 2 connected rooms full of cats that 30 kindergarteners could pet and play with to their hearts content. maggie had so much fun! she had a great big grin on her face and occasionally squealed with delight. it was a snowy, messy, cold morning, but i was glad we'd trucked out there (it's in edgecomb, about 20 minutes away).

then, when the kids got on the bus to go back to school, maggie wanted to go with them. poor kid! but she was still happy in when we got in the car. and then she melted down again. "remember, i TOLD you i didn't want to go to the animal shelter!" she said again and again. i didn't even try telling her that she had fun there, because that would just have made things worse. so for the whole ride home, maggie cried. there is just no winning with that child!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

no post last night

because her royal highness, queen margarete, did not deign to go to bed until 10:30. she slept in late yesterday morning and then took a long, late nap, so we saw that one coming. fortunately, she just likes to read read read in the evening, so nick's protestations notwithstanding, she's a very easy child in the evenings.

but the big news is that we got nina's report card yesterday! ALL check pluses, which means "consistently" (as opposed to "sometimes" or "seldom"). displays a positive attitude--check plus! accepts/assumes responsibilites--check plus! respects authority--check plus! there's more but you get the drift. here is what mrs. mellor wrote in the comments section: nina is an enthusiastic student. she is a joy to have in class. she is a great role model for her classmates.

the report on her reading level is actually unclear, it says benchmark 6 under the space for the june entry, and nina's december is a 3. which would be fine, except that i know she started the year where they expect kids to be in june, so it doesn't really make sense. oh well, i could ask, but it doesn't really matter. though, it does seem like the report card is used for both K and 1st grade (because at the top it says "descriptors listed below represent skills that students work on developing throughout first grade). so, it would make sense that kids are expected to be at a 3 at the end of K, and a 6 at the end of first. though i suspect she's already reading at better than an entering 1st grade level. but maybe not! what's first grade level reading? when i was a kid, did we even read yet in first grade? well, doesn't matter!

the report cards from her music teacher, art teacher, and gym teacher are similarily wonderful. all check pluses, with notes about what a joy she is. 2 very proud parents at home!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

nina wants to be... artist!

last week it was a police officer. months before that, it was a doctor. but today, it's an artist. she told me this just before going to bed, so i didn't get to ask her if there's any kind of artist i particular she's thinking of (like, painter vs. sculptor or whatnot), but if she still wants to be an artist tomorrow, i'll try to find out what medium lights her fire these days.

yesterday, maggie was wearing her sleeping beauty dress (well, she was wearing it today too. it's the it item of clothing this week. hey, at least it's not footies!). she was modeling it for us, and said it "glitters like the night sky." what the heck! i did see the phrase "night sky" in a book, and she has the barbie and the fashion fairy tale book with the flairies glimmer, shimmmer, and shyne, but no one has put that phrase together for her, as far as i can tell. quite the little poet! even if she did hear the entire phrase somewhere, it obviously stuck with her, and she was still able to use it appropriately, which is still quite the accomplishment for a 2.5 year old.

an artist and a poet. hm, i'd better get a job!

(nick says, "bennington college, here we come!") (nick says bennington is very expensive, the most expensive in the US. i didn't know this)

Friday, December 10, 2010

nina is reading a book to maggie.

i feel like we've hit a major milestone. nina, reading to maggie. i'm off the hook!!!!

maggie loves when people read to her. she can sit with a stack of books and listen to stories for hours. and ever since maggie got so into books (when? i can't even remember. very early, only a few months old but i can't say exactly), anyway ever since whenever that was, i have dreamed of the day that one child could read to the other, and i could do nothing! hooray! dear sweet nina, taking over for mommy! she helps maggie with the potty too. if she could just take over putting her to sleep, i'd be totally free!

today mom and i took the girls to an indoor play place in brunswick. it was COLD today, 3 degrees farenheit when we woke up, so we let nina play hookey, and we all went to visit great grandma and get some indoor play. just too cold to be outdoors today! unfortunately, i had forgotten that the kids were going to get their first report cards today. what kind of mother lets her kid play hookey on report card day!! ooooh well, now we can be excited for monday.

still it was too much indoor time today, and the girls aren't all that tired. hence the reading time, which is already over, maggie is pretending to be chester. nina's still reading though, with nick's help. which she's needing a lot of now, it's a dr. seuss book with a bunch of made up words.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

dear maggie,

it is not cool for you to wake up at 7:30 am, not nap, and then not fall asleep until 9:00 pm. children are not allowed to require less sleep than their mothers, no matter how much sleep their mothers require. i hope that you read this one day and thank me for my sacrifice.

that child! she spent half of today running around naked pretending to be chester. i managed to convince her for a while that chester has fur, so she should wear this furry vest we have and some brown velor pants. it worked for a while. mom left while she was still dressed and said she was going to tell herself that maggie would wear the outfit all day, even though she knew full well that maggie'd be naked again in no time. and she was. she stamped her foot and said "no! chester has skin!!" amazingly, she stays warm. i think it's all that running around.

nina is much more reasonable (unless she gets overtired, in which case she just cries. but even then, it's just crying, she doesn't sit there stamping her foot and insisting on something ridiculous). she's becoming such a good reader! she was reading one of her barbie early readers over the phone to erik, it was very cute. mrs. mellor is still sending her home with books, and she just tears through them. i'm so happy for her! i can't wait until she's able to read all of the great children's books that i loved as a kid.

not much else to report. i'm still sick. i'll go to bed soon, it's just nice to stay up for a few minutes after the kids are asleep and just veg out.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

poor me, i am still sick

the girls seem better though. maggie ended up getting the cold, but her sinuses drain well, so nothing stagnates in there. nina and i suffer from mucous stagnation.

did i mention in the last post that maggie wore pants?! she wore them again on monday. today she wore the sleeping beauty dress with tights. good enough for me! she got a lot of compliments too, at the school when we picked up nina and at the grocery store. people kept telling her they liked her tutu (she was wearing her jacket over the dress, so it did look like a tutu. and she'd frown and say "no, it's my sempa beauty dress". for some reason she still says "sempa" instead of "sleeping."

well, i'm going to bed now, i was going to put up some more photos tonight but i didn't put maggie down until 9:30, so perhaps tomorrow.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

i'm siiiiiiiick

"i want this to be our tree," she said

"or this would be a good tree."

"how about this could be our christmas tree?"

"i'm going to grandma's!! don't follow me!!"

finally, nick and nina carrying the tree home.

poor me, i'm sick. it's just a head cold. poor nina too, who is also sick, and coughing in her sleep. she's ok during the day, but at night the mucous just builds and builds. i probably should have given her benadryl before bed. i hope she doesn't throw up. :-(

even though i was sick, nick and the girls and i went out and cut down a christmas tree today! i am attempting to download photos as i type. wait, upload photos? i think both, really. i am downloading them from my camera as i upload them to my laptop. so far it seems to be working, so i'll leave some space for them and continue on while i wait for the upload/download process to complete.

so, we got the tree. it really looks good. it comes from our own property! so, it's a little more sparse than a tree lot tree would be, but really it's got a fantastic shape and great fullness for a homegrown tree. wait till you see it!

it took us a while to get it up because it's not very big, and the stem is really thin, and it was bent until we cut the bent part off, but after about 4 hours it was up! wooot! the girls had a great time putting up ornaments. "this is fun!" said maggie. or something like that... decorating the tree is fun? i'm having fun? well, you get the drift. we were decorating the tree and she was having fun.

OH big news! she wore regular clothes today!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it's been since before halloween. that's right. she's only worn footie pajamas, day and nice, for a month and a half. and today she wore pants! nick did it. i've tried before and she's melted into a sobbing heap on the ground at the mere suggestion of pants, but today it worked. she looked so cute!

yesterday we took the girls to see the nutcracker ballet in portland. they loved it! they are familiar with the score because we have barbie and the nutcracker at home, and they've watched it a few times. we also watched the nutcracker scenes from fantasia the other day, and they liked that too. they were totally entranced, even maggie, which was not a given since she didn't nap. and yes, she wore footies to the ballet. good thing she's little enough that people just chuckle.

what else? hm... oh here are 2 funny funnies, one from each kid.

maggie, to oma: i want the pony "pizza dough" for christmas, but i'll accept any pony. (she made up pizza dough, there is no my little pony with that name)

nina, while peeling her hard-boiled egg: "oh, i have to peel away the dura." (she was at that membrane under the shell. i had to look it up, but technically only the membrane around the brain and spine is called the dura mater, dura for short. i don't know where she learned this, her anatomy books i guess!)
funny girls!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

tryin' to upload some videos!

cross your fingers that it works!

well, i've tried uploading the toothbrushing video, and it has failed. sorry! so here's a bit about our day:

today nina played hookey from school. on wednesday night she had a bit of a sore throat, so i was on low alert for sickness. pretty much every other kid in her class is sick right now, so it's not unlikely. then this morning, nina was just too out to wake up at 6:30, so nick decided to let her sleep, thinking she might really need the rest if she was that impossible to wake up. then we all got out of bed at 7:30 and no one felt like driving her in. haha. ok that, and we're going to see the nutcracker on saturday, and we don't want her to be sick for it! so we figured that in case she's fighting something off, we'd let her rest. i think it was a good idea, she has a runny nose and needed to rest on the couch for about an hour today. plus it was fun!

we took the wagon and 2 5-gallon buckets up to our neighbor's farm. i call it a farm because she has 2 horses. one's a miniature horse, and maggie once called it mary-linda's "horse dog." haha!
why did we take 2 5-gallon buckets you're asking? for manure of course! best thing for a garden! i put it in the compost pile so it could decompose for a few months, then i'll add that lovely rich compost to the garden soil, and dammit i'll get a good harvest next year! those 2 new garden beds are gonna need a LOT of work (very sandy soil), but i'm hopeful...

we also fed the horses some apples, which the girls love. then, as we were leaving, maggie said "goodbye!! thank you for the poop!"

haha! too funny.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

to steal a title from last week, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

that's me being tired. i didn't get to bed until after 11:00 last nigh because as soon as i tried to fall asleep, one of the kids would wake up. they know! they can sense the instant i drift off into wonderful dreamland, and they wake up. then they wake me up! oh dear children, if you ever care to read you old mom's blog when you're older, please appreciate all the sleep i lost by taking care of you at night. especially you maggie, miss i still prefer to wake mommy up 15 times a night to nurse. go show your appreciation by baking mom some brownies, and then cleaning up the kitchen.

speaking of cleaning the kitchen, the girls were painting the box their new bedroom chandelier came in (i'd promise a picture, but you know by now that it'd be an empty promise anyway, so i'll just drop the pretense). they were painting in the kitchen while i was cookin' up some noodles to go with our beef stew, and maggie decided to go and paint the fridge. thank goodness nina pays attention because i sure as heck didn't notice. yesterday our little dear came up to me and said:
"mama, can i paint on the wall?"
"no maggie," i said. "paint on paper only."
"ok mama," she said, and walked away.
then she came back with a big smile on her face.
"mama, i painted on the wall!!"

it was like, she wanted to double check that she wasn't supposed to do it before she did it anyway. painting on the wall is only fun if it's not allowed i guess.

nina never did that!!

tonight before bed nina sang us some christmas carols. i recorded them on the other computer. if i try to stay awake tonight to watch law and order, i'll upload them to youtube and then come back and post a link.