about a dream: May 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sometimes I feel like I live in a sitcom

Today I was doing kitchen stuff in the kitchen while Maggie was eating her lunch.

"Fock," I heard her say.
Let it go, I thought to myself. That worthless parenting book says she's just doing it for attention. "Fock," she continued. "Fooooock."
"Maggie," I said, giving up on the ignoring tack, "that's not a nice word to say."
"It's not the F-word," she said. "Or the H-word. It's fock. I just made it up."
"Well you little punk," I said. Just kidding, I didn't call her a little punk. I said, "Well, coincidentally, it sounds like the F-word."
"Well, coincidentally," she responded, "it's not."

There are no parenting books that address situations like this. She made a little motion with her hand too, to emphasize that last point, the one where you put all 5 fingertips together and hold your hand next to your face. What a little crack-up she is!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Maggie!

4 today, I just don't believe it!
Maggie and I baked the cake this morning; it's a yellow Jell-o pound cake. Nina helped us frost it just before we ate it (it's cool whip on top. I don't think I've ever bought that before, but WOW does Maggie love it!). She opened her presents from Vanessa and co. (she loves them, thank you!), and demanded over the phone that Uncle Erik tell her if he had sent any. Kids! Where's the gratitude these days?
Maggie had requested a special birthday dinner of broccoli, macaroni, and tater tots. I made the first two, and gave her leftover french fries to fill the tater tots void. She was happy with that. Here's her and Nina enjoying the special meal:
We did Maggie's "friends" party at Chuck E Cheese. It was a hit! Here are a few pics of that adventure:
It was a great party! We had pizza, beverages, and cake, the kids got a bunch of tokens to play all the games, and we had a special Chuck E show and meet and greet. So much easier than having a party here! Since then, Nick and Anne have gotten sick, so that's why I haven't updated on the birthday madness sooner. It seems to be passing pretty quickly though, and no sign of me or the girls getting it (knock on wood!!). I'm thinking it might be the same bug that the girls and I had in January/February, because us being immune is surely the only way we'd be able to avoid catching it. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Breaking news!

Nina has an actual wiggly tooth! It's her front, bottom left tooth. It could be a matter of days until it's out! What a milestone!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How do you say no to this face?

That's her puppy face. She uses it when she wants to melt through our defenses. It works!
And here are the lego kittens and GigantiCats. Maggie made the kittens, I made the GigantiCats. And named them. Sometimes I think I get a little too involved in her play...
The legos are cute, but today was a rough day. Maggie got a very small blister--excuse me, "hole"--on her foot during our hike, and took pretty much the rest of the day to get over it. Well, strike that. I'm still waiting for her to get over it. Oh well, the beginning of the week was great.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It's tough getting old

Nina wasn't feeling well after school today. She had a headache, and she was really tired. I gave her some ibuprofen which eventually helped with the headache portion, but she still felt under the weather at dinner time.

Dad wasn't home yet when we started eating, and Nina asked if was going to come today.

"I don't know," I said.
"He probably shouldn't," she said. "I wouldn't want him to catch my cold. Because at his age, if he gets it..." her voice trailed off, and she slouched down in her chair, eyes closed and tongue sticking out.

Yup, poor grandpa. 62 is just one head cold away from the great farmhouse in the sky. I cracked up!

She was on a roll today too, because earlier in the afternoon Nick and I asked for her opinion on a birthday matter for Maggie. You see, Vanessa's present arrived in the mail today, and Nick wanted to let Maggie open it right away. I said she should wait until her birthday. She wasn't begging to open it (using her puppy dog face. I got a photo of that today, I'll put it up tomorrow), and I like doing family presents and a cake on the actual birthday. Call me old fashioned. So I asked Nina what she thought and she said, "I see the two of you don't agree on this. How about she opens it on Saturday at Chuck E Cheese? That's in the middle."

Family arbitration! She's such a little lawyer!

Monday, May 21, 2012

And another photo from last week

I was drying laundry and had a sheet stretched over the kids' balcony (this was last week), and it just made the perfect tent. Behold!
Maggie played in it with her Barbie house and ponies (it's really a pony house more than a Barbie house), and then she asked if she could sleep out there. Hoping against hope that she would take a nap (she didn't), I made her a little bed. She loved it though! And when Nina got home from school, the two of them played in it until dinner time. What fun! We love that balcony!


I did Nina's hair in a french braid for her ballet recital. It looked so great!
All that practice with my Barbies as a kid really paid off.
Then, much to my surprise, Maggie let me do one for her too!
You can tell that's actually her because she's in her lobster pajamas. I took a picture right away to record it for posterity. And, true to form, Maggie decided she hated it within minutes, freaked out, and made me take it out. Who could see that coming. Right. Anyway, there it is. Maybe one day she'll let me do it again, and then leave it in. A mother can dream!

Friday, May 18, 2012

A little bedtime reading

Here are the girls, reading a bit before bedtime:
It was so cute and quiet in there!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Checkups yesterday

Nina had her 7 year checkup (a bit early, but I wanted to do it here an not in Austria) and Maggie had her 4 year. They're pictures of health, of course! Nina has cracked the 4 foot mark and now stands 48.5 inches tall. Maggie is 39.5 inches, which puts them at the 75th and 50th percentiles respectively.

The girls had a great time. Who knew the doctor's office could be so much fun? While we were waiting, the girls were checking each other's reflexes with the rubber reflex hammer. All good! They're practically ready to be pediatricians.

When it was Maggie's turn, the doctor pointed to her right arm and said, "Is this your right arm or your left?" and Maggie responded, "That's my right arm!" A few minutes later, he pointed to her left side and asked the same question. "Of course that's my left side!" Maggie exclaimed. He was impressed, but still wasn't certain that she'd guessed correctly twice, so when he was checking her ears he asked again, and again (totally convinced at this point that the man is a complete moron) she sighed, "That's my right ear."

The doctor was really impressed and said he has plenty of 6 year olds that don't know their right from their left. He took it up a notch, too. When he was examining Nina he pointed to her left arm and asked if that was Nina's right or left. She answered correctly! Identifying your own left and right is one thing, but getting it right on someone else's body requires understanding that facing someone mirror images them, and that your right side corresponds to their left. However, Maggie has really exceptional spatial reasoning skills, so it's totally obvious to her.

Nina cracked me up when she held up her left hand and said, "This is my write hand, because it's the one I write with!" Ha ha! Funny kid!

That was yesterday. They both have little head colds, though Nina is 90% over hers. Maggie is still snotty and sneezy, but she's better than yesterday. Looks like I've largely dodged it this time, though I have been soooo, so tired. Probably that's as much getting up at night with them as it is fighting it off though. Well, the sun finally came out today and the forecast is beautiful, so I'm sure the sunshine will kill the last of this bug.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Poor little Nina was home sick today.

I see you laughing at me Aunt Marilyn! But she was sneezing, and sniffling, and had these pathetic circles under her eyes. I couldn't send her to school like that! But don't worry, I called the office and told them she was sick, sparing BRES retribution from the government via the No Child Left Behind act. So, I think it's all good.

The runny-nosed little dear spent the morning lying on the couch and blowing her nose. I had been hoping it was allergies all weekend, since she seemed fine during the day (aside from the sneezing), and only really felt bad at night. So I just gave her benadryl and she slept well. But she was coughing and sneezing (and snoring! so cute!) all night last night, so I had a feeling today would be like this. Oh well, she improved a lot in the early afternoon and ate a great dinner, so it seems like she's past the worst of it. No fever either, which is remarkable with Nina. Who knows, maybe it was just allergies. I should probably get her some children's Claritin and see if she responds to it.

Yesterday was Mother's Day and it was wonderful! The girls made me 3 cards, and Nina gave me a bunch of small purple pansies planted in an empty milk carton. I love the gifts they make at school! There was also a (laminated!) set of handprints. Adorable. The card she made reads, "I would never have a mother better than you!" Isn't that so cute?!! It also says "I love you!" and "Happy Mother's Day!" Maggie also made me a card which reads, "dear mommy." Writing words still takes a lot of effort for her.

We went to church in the morning and had a lovely brunch there. Then we pretty much just played out in the lovely sunshine! Mom and dad had their hammock up and the girls were playing in it for hours. At one point Maggie wanted Nina to do "crazy hammock" with her, but Nina said, "No way! That hammock wants to kill me!" I guess her butt had fallen through the ropes at one point, but she got over it and got back on. That's my girl!

Friday, May 11, 2012

I really have to limit Maggie's TV more

Or I don't know, maybe it's not that she watches too much TV. She usually watches 2 cartoons in the morning (generally My Little Pony or Strawberry Shortcake, sometimes this weird British Cartoon called Puppy in my Pocket, which isn't really about puppies in people's pockets), and then sometimes in the afternoon she'll watch an episode of iCarly with Nina.

I say this because I was watching Strawberry Shortcake with her this morning, and a commercial for grout whitener came on. Maggie was excited for me, because she knows how much I battle to keep our kitchen grout white (white kitchen grout, can you tell the previous owner was a bachelor?! It was gleaming white when we moved in. Now... I don't want talk about it). Anyway, Maggie very excitedly told me "It cleans and whitens your grout!" I said, "Oooh, I want that!" and Maggie said, "Wait until you see how many colors it comes in!" She was seriously excited too. And, it comes in 5 colors, in case you are curious. Maggie asked me if i wanted the terra cotta. I had to laugh! Terra cotta, in my kitchen!

Later, she was pooping, and I was keeping her company by standing just outside the door. She announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, hold your noses! I'm pooping!" and I just cracked up. Her latest bathroom gag is to pee, get 3 or 4 squares of toilet paper, and then walk through the house looking for me in order to ascertain that she has the proper amount of toilet paper. By the time she finds me there's pee dripping on her leg, and the rest of her has air-dried. I think she does it just to annoy Nick.

Unfortunately, our little princess had 2 falls today. :-( It was the worstest day ever, and her life is ruined. If an overly-dramatic teen Maggie ever tells me or Nick that we've ruined her life, I'll say, "HA! Joke's on you! We ruined your life on May 11, 2012, so it was already ruined and you should be used to it by now! And I have PROOF!" Yup, that'll end any problems right there.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

No more opera!

Wow did my plans backfire, as always.

I thought I was doing a good thing by exposing the kids to opera early on. They love Carmen; they always sing along in the car. And they love The Phantom of the Opera. They can sing "Angel of Music" and "All I Ask of You" all day long. They do! But I wasn't expecting to have to play Ponies Reverses Angry Birds--Opera Version for hours and hours with Maggie.

But I do. And it's my own fault.

It must be hysterical from Nick's perspective. Though, I guess not, since he puts in his headphones and ignores us. It can't be Maggie's singing he's escaping from, because she sounds too adorable. It must be mine. How rude! Anyway, today the Angry Birds, Belle, Ariel, and Prince Charming were evil and kidnapped some of the ponies. The ponies kept escaping (Elmo and the naked troll were the bumbling guards, and they kept losing their prisoners. That was all me, I'm hysterical). Then Prince Charming put on his magic sash and got some ponies back. He even ended up flying through the air, suspended by that cord that's still tied to the upstairs balcony. It was really quite the performance. And, true to opera form, all of the dialogue was sung. It actually gets really tiring to sing opera for an hour and a half. And the constant creativity demanded of me (I mean, I can't just keep singing the same melodies) is exhausting. My throat is sore right now, and I'm not sure if it's because I'm getting sick, or because Prince Charming sings in a really loud, deep voice.

I'll try to get some of it on video. I'll have to see if there's an editing program on this computer, otherwise I'll have a bunch of clips that won't really flow well into a story. Well, I'll see what I can do. No promises.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A rainy May day

But what a fun day! The girls were in fantastic moods and were just a ton of fun. Ok, Nina is always in a fantastic mood. But Maggie was too, and that made everything easier. It started after the triplets came over to play for a while. She was oohing and aahing over them (and kept referring to each of them as "it." As in, "Oooh, look, it's playing with the dollhouse!" It was funny.)

Then, after we picked up Nina, the girls played ponies for it seemed like hours. Then they were taking turns standing on the overturned puppet theater (their "stage") and singing songs from The Phantom of the Opera. The first time Maggie stood up on the stage she was feeling shy and said to herself, "Be brave! Be brave!" It was too cute! I wanted to get out the camera to take a video, but I was snuggled up on the armchair with Nina, and I didn't feel like disturbing the moment. Both girls' singing is just wonderful! I'll take a video eventually, they're just too cute.

That was pretty much our day. We did some more singing after dinner, then had dessert and before bed snacks so that Nina can make it through the night without getting hungry, and then it was a little reading (I read their parasites book aloud to them. I've read that book a dozen times now, and Nina's read it herself another dozen times. Ask us anything about parasites!), then it was lights out. Maggie fell right asleep, but Nina didn't, so I told her a story from when she was a baby and she told me about the fairytale her teacher read in class. It was a version of the tailor versus the giants, and I remembered how we used to have a Mickey Mouse version of that on VHS when we were kids. Remember Vanessa and Erik? Mickey swats the seven flies with one swatter in one blow, and the story gets misheard and they think he killed seven giants? I told Nina I'd see if Mom and Dad still have it. We had some great cartoons on that tape!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Nina's dance

Here it is, finally! They danced to "Anything Can Happen," which I guess is from the Broadway version of Mary Poppins. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Dance recital!!!

Wow, that was the cutest dance recital ever. They both did such good jobs. Nina was so graceful and poised. Maggie was adorable and did such a great job wearing her dance clothes and doing the dances. Here, take a look!
The girl with Nina and Maggie in the first pic is their new friend Bronwen.
It takes me a half an hour to upload each 3 minute dance clip, but here's the first. It's Maggie's ballet class doing "Fast and Slow." Enjoy!!
Another one done! This is Maggie's tap/ballet class performing "Open Your Heart" in the cutest costumes ever.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Be careful what you(r kids) wish for

Haha! I'm amused at my clever title! And the parentheses in the middle of a word! Priceless!!
Whew, OK, I feel better now. On with my story...
Today when we went to pick Nina up at school, Maggie stopped amidst a field of dandelions. "Ohh!" she said, "I'm going to make a wish!"
We got Nina, came back down, and the two of them started blowing on them and wishing. Cute, right? Wrong! Do you know what they were wishing for? A PUPPY!
I told them, "No! New family rule: no wishing for puppies!" and Maggie smiled at me, blew on a dandelion, and said, "I wish for a pony!"
"I take it back!" I told her. "Wish for a puppy!"
Kids: 1, Me: 0. What's new?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A cute photo from April...

I don't remember exactly which day this picture was taken, but it was obviously after a long day! The girls had been watching TV, and I heard Maggie coughing. I went in to check and she was conked out! Nina is such a sweet big sister, she loves to get the chance to cuddle Maggie whenever she can. I love these girls!!