about a dream: December 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

nina's old enough now to be embarrassed when i tell funny stories about her

but, as she doesn't read the blog (yet!), i'll continue to tell them here.

today after we went swimming at the Y, she was talking about drew, one of her classmates.

"he's half indian and half human," she told me.

"well, he's 100% human," i corrected.

"yeah," she said. "he's 100% human and just a tiny bit indian."

haha! i of course explained that indians are humans too. actually, the problem was that she didn't know how to describe the other half of drew. i told her she could say either white or Caucasian. maybe we should discuss race a little more around here!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

fun with christmas presents!

here are nina, maggie, and grandma, reading the alice in wonder land pop-up book that vanessa got the girls. wow, this pop up book is incredible! not like the pop-ups from when i was a kid. maggie got one on dinosaurs, too. she's not allowed anywhere near them unsupervised!

here are the girls and erik all cuddled under one snuggie. aww!

while they were in there, maggie said "i'm going to pee in my pants!" just what erik wanted to hear!! it was ok though, she scrambled off to the bathroom and made it in time.

the girls love the ATV. nina loved it right away, maggie didn't get on until today. but once she did, she loved it too! she let nina drive her from grandma's house, down to the path to our house, back to grandma's house "the long way" (that's via the driveways), then around grandma's house on the lawn. they did the big loop twice!


here they are, pictures from christmas 2011!

merry christmas me and erik!

nina opening presents under the tree

nina again

this would make a good mug shot for nick

maggie and grandma. doesn't maggie look so big?!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

a very merry christmas, 2011

what a fantastic day! it started with nina sitting up in bed and whispering, "it's christmas!" at 6:41 am. i heard her thunder down the stairs, then gasps and squeals of excitement. she'd wrapped a present for santa and left it under the tree, and was very excited to see that he'd opened it and left a thank you note for her. what a sweetie she is! then she went through her stocking, and then maggie woke up, came downstairs, and went through her stocking. the clear glue, gum, and skittles were huge hits. maggie ate half of her skittles and chewed up all of her gum before 9. we were cutting gum out of her hair before 8!

erik, isabelle, mom and dad came over to watch the girls open the presents from us, and then we opened the adults gifts that were under our tree. after a brief stint at church, we continued the present-opening merriment at grandma and grandpa's. isabelle's mom and aunt joined us there too. they're very, very nice and very fun to have around.

toy hits were princess celestia, nina's baby doll, the remote controlled pony car, the mining hats, operation, the pop-up books, the ATV--pretty much everything! the kids just love toys! maggie hasn't ridden on the ATV yet, but nina loves it, and i can't wait to see her drive it at twilight with her mining cap on!!

then there was lots of food, lots of playing, more food, more playing, and general merriment. maggie conked out at 8:30 and nina is planning to spend the night at mom and dad's. she's even wearing her new pjs!

as for me, i'm wiped out, so i'll be holding down the fort at our place while maggie sleeps. merry christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

nina's camera

last year, erik and isabelle got nina a digital camera for christmas. she loves it, and it's often been a great source of entertainment for the girls. a few evenings ago, they entertained themselves for half an hour while i was cooking dinner. here are some of the results:

nina was taking pictures of maggie jumping off the couch. she got some really great ones!

by the end, maggie was pooped.

funny kids!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

nina's school christmas concert was this morning.

so cute! she went just for the concert--last night was a little difficult (coughing, runny nose, and general malaise woke her up a few times), so we let her sleep in in the morning. and boy did she, she didn't wake up until 8! that's crazy late for nina. usually she's up at 6:30, school day or not. she's mostly better though, fortunately this is just a weak little bug. maggie stopped coughing at night a few nights ago too, and her nose is running less, so she's well past the worst of it.

the christmas concert was adorable. it was just grades K, 1, and 2, and nina's class sang "he's too fat for the chimney" and "all i want for xmas is my 2 front teeth." then all the grades together sang jolly old st. nicholas and frosty the snowman, and THEN all of us had a deck the halls and we wish you a merry xmas sing along.

while nina's concert was going on, maggie had dance class. so i had a hectic morning, getting nina to school and then running maggie down to the Y, then back to the school to see some of the performance, then back to the Y to get maggie, then oops, forgot something at the school, so back up the the school, then back down to the Y. and i wonder why i'm so pooped in the evenings!

i did manage to catch the part of dance class where maggie ran off and yelled over her shoulder to her classmates, "hey, let's make trouble!" and then began to climb on the tae kwan do equipment. that kid! what am i going to do with her?!

and now, christmas vacation has begun! we are so excited around here that we can't stand it! i'm not sure how i'm going to keep the girls busy for the next 2 days. tomorrow is supposed to be in the mid-40s, so maybe a long hike in the woods, and perhaps a swim at the Y on friday. funny how the shortest days of the year feel like the longest!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

what a big day (for a tuesday)

wow we had a big day today! first, nina's class went to see happy feet 2 for a field trip. what a treat! they walked over to the movie theater too, even though it was freezing and windy outside. well, it wasn't crazy cold, either high 20s or low 30s, but the wind was biting. tough maine kids!

then maggie and i met her at the school for lunch. first we returned some books to the school library, and since the kids were late getting back from the field trip, we sat in the lobby and read one of our new books while we waited. they were so late though that they missed their time slot in the cafeteria, so we all ate lunch down in nina's classroom. that was a fun change of pace.

then we stayed while nina's teacher read a story. this month, she's wrapped all of the books she's reading during class, and each day a different kid gets to unwrap the book. and today, she let maggie do it! isn't that so sweet? she's the sweetest teacher. she also let maggie open the advent calender for today and eat the chocolate. maggie was in heaven.

the story was fun too. it was long, and i was very impressed by maggie's ability to sit and pay attention. she did a better job with that than half of the first graders. one boy was wiggling around in front of us during the story, and out of the blue maggie smacked him on the leg. it didn't hurt him or anything, he thought it was kind of funny i think (he got this shocked look on his face and immediately told his friends that she'd hit him). i told maggie to not hit, but i didn't want to make a fuss or anything. later, i asked her why she hit the boy, and she said, "he was annoying me."
fair enough, he was being annoying. but i am a bit worried about how this bodes for her school experience.

well, busy day continued. maggie had had a little bug, and nina was a bit sniffly over night and this morning. during the story i noticed that she was fading out, and so i decided to take her home. she was feeling a tiny bit warm too. i'm sure that walk in the frigid cold didn't help any.

so, we came home, and nina and maggie both rested on the couches, ate chicken noodle soup and drank tea, and read stories for about 2 hours. then they felt better, made some cookies, and were pretty much their usual selves for the rest of the day. they're both coughing a bit in their sleep right now, and both have slightly runny noses, but knock on wood, this bug doesn't seem too bad.

but what a busy day!

Monday, December 19, 2011

warm winter pajamas for everyone!

i made these adorable, warm fleece pjs for the girls. aren't they adorable?!

i initially made maggie a warm set of pjs because she's still in her shorts and t-shirt pjs phase. i was sick of fighting with her to put on a sweater, or a poncho, or her robe, because she was always taking it off. and she won't wear long sleeves or long pants; whenever she does put them on, she freaks out and strips them off eventually, even in the middle of the night. so as a compromise, i decided to make her a longish short sleeve (they're about down to her elbow) and longish shorts (they're just below the knee) warm fleece pjs. did i mention they're warm fleece? heheeh. so yeah, a compromise. or bending over backwards to accommodate her fixation, whatever.

but they're so awesome that nina wanted a pair too. hers turned out even cuter than maggie's i think!

and now the three of us have matching slippers too. it's that just the cutest?

quick cute story: the other night nina took a little while to fall asleep, maybe 15 or 20 minutes. after tossing and turning for a while, she turned to me and asked, "is the night almost over?" haha! it sure does feel like forever when you're having trouble falling asleep!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

yet more zany maggie

wow this kid is full of pip lately!

on thursday (or was it friday) maggie told me that my butt looked like a hippo's. i said something like, "did you just say my butt looks as big as a hippo's?" and she replied, "yes. your bit is as big as a hippo's."
wow, thanks maggie! if i wasn't fully aware of the fact that i am, in reality, quite slender, i might be offended. but to be honest, i was crawling around on the floor (cleaning up dust) in my grey shorts, so it probably did look pretty big to her!

then on friday (this time i'm sure it was friday) we were at the thrift store, and maggie grabbed her butt and announced, "i have to go poop! it's coming out!" "ok," i said. "let's ask if they have a bathroom here that you can use." so maggie turned to the nearest elderly lady and said, "do you have a bathroom here?" the woman laughed and told maggie she didn't know, as she didn't work there.

i led maggie to a woman who does work there and she asked again (still holding onto her butt.) "do you have a bathroom here?!!" the woman said yes and pointed to where it was (the sign said no public restrooms, but very few people will refuse if maggie asks herself). then maggie said "is it a matic flush? i don't like a matic flush!" (that's automatic flush, but the way she says it is too cute). the woman laughed and said no, it was just a regular flush. whew! because she really doesn't like those automatic flushers!

finally, we had some fun today at hannaford. maggie likes to play "disappear/reappear" there. that involves her telling me she's going to disappear, running away, and then come running back saying "reappear!" so when she ran off, i wasn't too worried. she always comes back! except this time, she didn't. so i positioned myself at the fish counter so that i could see across one end of all the aisles, plus into the produce section, and i figured i'd see her run around eventually. but i didn't. so i went looking, walking along the meat end of the store and looking down all of the aisles. i still didn't see her and was deciding about what i should do next when i suddenly spotted her lying down on one of the shelves in the soda aisle! i just barely caught sight of her, she was in her purple snowsuit and blended in really well with the boxes of soda cans.

that kid!! she does this all of the time at home--hide quietly and not come even when she's called. i've tried telling her about always answering when she's called, but she just doesn't care. i'm really lucky i spotted her, we were probably about 5 minutes away from putting hannaford on lockdown. sheesh.

in funner news, we got some unexpected snow today! we took the girls sledding on the high school football field, i couldn't believe that we were the only ones there! there was only about an inch, but it was a nice damp (not soggy, just good packing) snow, so it pressed down (into the very green grass) to make a nice slick but not too fast slide. perfect for the kids! nina must have gone up and down a few dozen times. the girl has endless energy!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


that maggie!

when there's something she's looking for that she can't find, she has taken to saying "it's nowhere to be found!"

and a few days ago, she was upset that we didn't have something (i can't remember what. jell-o?), and she said, "oh man, we don't have any! arrgh! bummer!"

oh man and bummer! she's too funny!

Monday, December 12, 2011

it's getting closer to christmas!!

the girls are very excited. presents are arriving and being shipped out on a daily basis, and the girls are finishing up the presents they're making. maggie really wants to make some cakes, pies, or cookies. or pudding. and definitely some jell-0, so i'm sure we'll be doing some cooking this week. fun times! i don't even mind that it's sunny and in the 40s, i can still totally get into the christmas spirit.

there's a terrible stomach bug going through town right now. mom has just a touch of it, but i know some kids that threw up for 24 hours straight with it. cross your fingers that we don't catch it!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

and, some pictures of nina

can you believe we forgot to bring the camera to nina's dance recital? we'll get copies of pics from friends, but until then, here are some recent adorable photos of the world's most beautiful 6 year old. enjoy!

also, here's a photo of nina's favorite hairstyle. she explained to me what she wanted, and then had me take a picture to make sure i did it right. who needs a mirror when you've got a digital camera? it's like the movie clueless!

it's a good thing she had me take the photo, turned out i'd gotten it wrong the first time anyway...

nina had a dance recital today

the opera house is hosting the gingerbread festival, wherein they display gingerbread houses made my the local folks. they're incredible! i always dream about making one with the girls, but something tells me we'd have a disaster... maybe when maggie's a bit bigger. though she is a great help when it comes to cooking. witness:

note that the "two pigtails and a pony tail" look is completely maggie's idea.

anyway, i digress. nina's recital was adorable! she didn't quite have the routine down 100%, and i think she got a little nervous up there on the stage, because she didn't do it as well as she had been at practice. but she's now the little one up there--aside from her friend nora who's also 6, the rest of the dancers are 8 to 14 years old. and nina's the only one who dances just once a week, the rest take class at least twice a week. so all things considered, she did wonderfully. we can't wait for the spring recital!!

OH WAIT, i forgot! we made something even better than a gingerbread house. a marshmallow nativity!!!!

there are mary and joseph, with baby jesus in the manger, plus a sheep and an angel. truly a work of confectionery christmas art.

2 quick maggie funnies

the first was about a week ago. maggie was just playing by herself when she looked at me and said, "papa's a real lady killer."

i'm not even making that up, she really said it.

the other was today, while we were watching a nature show about madagascaran lemurs. apparently there was a giant, 200-lb lemur that became extinct about 300 years ago. "why did it become extinct?" she asked. "Why and how?"

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

oops, i promised to write about saturday, and i never did

i was just looking at my posts this months, and i realized that i promised to tell about our big day on saturday, but never did. alas! well, fear not, because i still probably remember most of the day, and i even have pictures, already on the computer and ready to upload, to go with it!

here it is, in chronological order: i tutor on saturday mornings, so nick took maggie to swim lessons and nina to Y arts practice while i did that. then, my parents took me into town, and i met up with nick and maggie at the historical society for some fantastic snacks. then we walked down to the public landing to watch the Y arts sing a few of their carols before santa arrived by boat. such fun!

(kids singing)

after santa arrived, we took a ride on a horse-drawn (or to be precise, horses drawn) wagon to the opera house to check out the festival of trees. there was one tree that was put together by the library group, and the girls had actually glittered pinecones for that one. fun fun fun. THEN we drove back into town (because we were getting a little tired by this point, and the car was right there anyway), got some snacks at the library, sat on santa's lap, and headed off to the church for the live nativity. the girls were angels in it!!

nina did a great job. maggie was too tired, and either picked glitter off of their friend ariel's wings or laid down on the steps of the altar for a rest. so, she didn't last very long.
coming soon to a christmas card near you! (not really, i thought it was too dark)

but our day wasn't over yet!! after the live nativity, at cookies at hot cocoa in the parish hall, we watched the lighted boat parade from the church lawn, and THEN went out to dinner at china by the sea. no wonder i was too tired to write about it all! i'm tired just typing about it!

another busy week

today nina's Y arts group performed their christmas concert at the Y. they were fantastic! i will try to upload some video tonight, but it is kind of late and i'm tired, so we'll see. channel 7, the local programming channel, was there recording, so maybe they'll have it available on their website. i don't know if they do that... they didn't 2 years ago when i checked to see if nina's dance recital was there, but maybe now they do. well, i will surely let you know.

it was quite the big day for us though. first maggie had dance from 9:30 - 10:30. then she and i went to have lunch with nina. usually when we do lunch, we stay for recess, and we did today. however, today it was raining, so for the first time ever we got to do indoor recess, which meant watching frosty the snowman. quite the treat! well, not for maggie, she thought it was sad and never wants to see it again.

THEN we went home for a bit, then picked up nina at the top of dover rd ("the pick up spot"), then had a snack and played candy land, then headed back out to take nina to dance rehearsal at the opera house, then we grabbed some pizza at the bbay house of pizza, then it was off to the Y for nina's hour-long rehearsal before the hour-long show. maggie was exhausted by the end of it, but she was a real trooper. she had kind of a difficult morning, with lots of tears, but she really bounced back and was very happy in the afternoon. she cracked me up at the house of pizza--there was a little boy there with his mom, and maggie was sure that she was older than him. when she decided to get up and go ask him, i crossed my fingers, because it looked to me like a close call. fortunately, he was just 3. maggie informed him that she is three and a half. this kid was as outgoing as maggie, so there was a lot of back and forth while we waited for our pizzas. but at one point, maggie marched up to the boy and his mom, hands on hips, and announced "i'm always up to something!"

oh, how i laughed. it's true though!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

i'm sure we'll all laugh about this some day...

so, here goes.

i took the girls to church this morning. usually it's just me and the girls, and that was the case today too. maggie was in quite the mood, just being very energetic and silly, and nina was pretty restless too. but since we were up in the old choir loft in the back of the downstairs chapel, i wasn't too worried. we can kind of hide up there and people don't notice so much.

well, maggie was down on the ground and i was trying to listen to the second reading, when i noticed that she'd crawled under the pew and was heading down those few stairs to the back of the church. i quickly went around (of course, not under the pew!) and when i got to the back of the church, maggie was standing at the top of the center aisle. i gave her my sternest look and motioned for her to come back. she braced herself, then took off full bore down the aisle. everyone in the church was was quietly seated, listening to the second reading. i had of course just a split second to decide what to do, and so i ran after her. when she didn't turn left towards the stairs to leave the church i broke into full sprint. i was terrified that she was going to run up onto the altar.

i nabbed her just a few pews before the altar. i'm sure everyone was staring at us, but i was too embarrassed to look up, so i just dashed to the entry doors with her. fortunately during the scolding, the girls' friend mckenna came in with her mom. mckenna always comes to church with lots of toys, so i just let the girls play with her. they're always very quiet when they play. if she hadn't come in then though, i would have had to take the girls and leave.

ugh. either nick needs to start coming to church with me, or else i'm going to start leaving maggie home. it's just not worth it.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

we had such a big day that i'm too tired to blog about it.


but i will share one little gem from about a week ago that i forgot to mention here. the girls were in the car with me, and we were driving somewhere. the girls were playing or who knows what when nina said, "maggie, don't lick your boots--they're made in china!"

haha! it's funny because it's true!

Friday, December 2, 2011

maggie was in such a good mood today!

i know i often blog about maggie's attitude (maggitude!!), but today she was such a doll. ok mostly. but i'll tell about the cutest parts first.

she is so social and outgoing. today at the playground, she befriended a little girl, just about 6 months younger than maggie. she was so cute and so outgoing, asking the girl what her name is, how old she was, and if she wanted to play. where nina has always been more shy and happy to play by herself, maggie always befriends the kids at the playground and gets everyone playing together. it's really adorable.

then, at big al's, so was so excited by the asile upon asile of worthless treasures that she kept running off (in tights but no shoes. i hadn't realized she'd kicked them off in the car and had carried her in without them. oops!). but she had the biggest smile on her face, and her earnest joy brought a smile to everyone there. one man even game mom $2 and said 'please buy that cute little girl whatever she wants!'. a happy maggie makes everyone happy.

she was tired on the way to brunswick though (we went to brunswick. it's fun to have 4 generations of brancato women eating lunch!). mom and i were talking and she was sleepy, so she shouted from her carseat in the back, "rule number one, no talking!!" in her grumpy voice. good thing she's even cute when she's grumpy.

tomorrow is a big day, nina's Y arts group sings before santa's arrival at the town dock! we will try to get a video of it for you!