Friday, August 29, 2014

School Clothes

We have not bought our children school clothes.  Part of this is because it is still hot as Hades and no one can think of wearing any back to school wear when it is so hot.

Also, they don't care whether they have new clothes to spill paint on.  I will get them clothes when they need it.

Ellie, however, seems to be feeling a certain lack in her life, which she is trying to fill with her parents' clothes.

Some might argue that she needs pants, but apparently she feels that the shoes make the outfit.  Or the tie, just to mix it up.

Margaret is remaining tactfully silent on the issue.  I take this as a sign of great personal growth on the part of the Margaret.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Adventures in Birthday Parties

Weeks ago, before life became desperately busy, we went to a birthday party for Margaret's and Ellie's school friend who has lives down the street.  It was a 4-year-old birthday, just to put this in perspective.

Margaret was very excited, and chose to get her friend her own copy of The Hobbit and a small stuffed Smaug, just for fun.

I tried to convince her that we should get the golden dragon, but she held firm.  I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I just let it slide.

The party was one of those marvelous ones that I remember from my childhood, where a bunch of kids ran around in a circle in the yard.  There was water.  It was awesome.

But the biggest news was that Ellie -- who had previously eschewed all cupcakes -- ate one.  With icing.  It was THRILLING.

Meanwhile, Margaret, in the background, ate all the icing off of four cupcakes, which I didn't notice, because I was cheering Ellie on.  So there was a parenting failure, but the important takeaway is that Ellie ate icing.  This is a victory.  Leave me alone.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Ellie started school yesterday (well, her first short day to get her used to it before Margaret and the rest of the large people show up and rampage around like possessive elephants).

I couldn't go, because I was working.  It strikes me that this is one of the problems with the plan of me being a teacher.  It's great for the summers, but not as good for the days when we both have to go to school.  So I missed it,  I'm clearly not at all guilty about this, not even a little bit.  You can tell by the way that I'm not mentioning it.

Anyway, she trucked off with her bag of spare clothes, and Leo did an admirable job of photographing the top of her head, and her shoes, and her arms as she ran out of frame.

When I got home, I asked her how school was, and her response was "Mommy, I had the most amazing day!"

So I think that it went well.  She was excited to go back anyway, and has started referring to it possessively as "my school, Mommy," so I have high hopes.

Margaret, meanwhile, is being very adult about knowing everything about the school, and not needing this remedial education, so that's good.

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Hole in the Head

Ellie and Margaret have decided to try to learn how to play baseball.  Or rather, Ellie and Margaret had decided to learn how to play baseball, but I may have decided that they aren't mature and responsible enough for that.

And they were doing really well, but then Ellie walked into Margaret's backswing, and got hit somewhere between the temple and the eye.

She seemed fine.  Except when she came over and sat on my lap, she stopped breathing and her eyes rolled back and she went completely limp.

For a few seconds.  Then she was fine.  Kept talking about how she wanted to play soccer while I was on the phone with the nurse hotline.  But the nurse thought she should go to the hospital because she might have had a seizure or brain damage or some such minor inconvenience.

So we went.  And we sat.  And Ellie entertained doctors and nurses alike by telling them what their equipment was for and cooperating with her check up to an insane degree.  Say what you will about Doc McStuffins, but it made this trip so much easier.

Particularly because she watched it for all the time we were there.

Anyway, she is fine.  It turns out she just got so mad about being hit in the head that she forgot to breathe.

Ridiculous child.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Synchronized Rock Throwing

Obviously, when you spend a good bit of your time around large aquatic formations of indeterminate depth, throwing rocks into them will take up a great deal of your time.

We've been working a bit on form this trip, and although I haven't gotten everyone to where I would like, things are certainly looking better.

Last week, we went out to Lake Crescent (we've gone there more this trip than I have been ever before. It's odd, but I think that I am willing to do things that are slightly new.  See me growing as a person over here?).  I tried to get a synchronized picture of them all throwing, but only Leo listened.

Still, maybe next year.  And really, to get the good version of this shot, I should be standing in the water having them throw rocks at me, and I'm not willing to go that extra mile, so why should they?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Bedtime Reading

Ellie has developed this penchant for taking novels to bed with her and reading them aloud at great length while I am trying to get Margaret to sleep.  Last night it was Anne of Windy Poplars.  Tonight it was Frankenstein.  I'm not sure what to do with her, I'm really not.  And she tells these long and complex stories about the cover illustrations (or not, in the case of Frankenstein, because the story tonight was about a little baby and three bears and a circus and a small king named Lionel, and everyone having baths.  I admit that I haven't read Frankenstein for some years now, but that isn't the way I remember the plot).

She's also started to behave like a ham in pictures.  She's trying to get a smile, but she says "cheese" and screws up her face into this ridiculous mug.  She wrote Leo a letter today (she said it was an O, but I don't know that she a) knows what all the letters are like and b) quite understands what it means to write someone a letter), and told me to take a picture of it for him.

Anyway, she's a goof.  And a loud goof.  When we put the children in the same room, I did not anticipate that Ellie was going to be the troublemaker, which just goes to show that I shouldn't try to forecast what fool things my children are going to get up to.

Speaking of which, Ellie the amazing baby who can form pigmentation in her skin (this is a foreign concept to me, and I am in awe) has taken up sunbathing.

We went to the beach today with a friend of none from high school, who is also gifted with this magical ability to tan, and she taught Ellie to lie out on a towel in the sun, and allow the sun's rays to beat down on one's skin.

Margaret tried it for a while, but soon abandoned it for a large project involving buckets.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Irrational Demands

Since we left St. Louis, Ellie has decided that she is going to be two in nature, not just in name.  This has led to an increased insistence on what she wants, and doing it by herself, and stomping her feet when someone has the temerity to suggest that perhaps we might do it a different way.

She is, in her mind, in the driver's seat.

Or at least the navigator's seat.  We went out to hike on a short loop at Lake Crescent yesterday, and she discovered that there was a map.  She proceeded to tell us all the places that she could go, and how we were going to go and pet the deer that was pictured on the map. Attempts to explain how the map actually worked, and show her where we were and how the path was pictured were met with "No, I do it myself, okay?" and a charming closed-eyed grin.

Her refusal to eat anything is also becoming more and more two-ish.  Yesterday she grumped because she didn't get the right yogurt in the right receptacle with the right utensil at the moment that she wanted it.  

Actually, she's been doing that for years.  Well, year.  But now she does it with an arms-folded humphing noise, which makes it more dramatic.

Tonight, for those of you keeping score at home, was a doozy.  First, she demanded that I let her take this book with her to bed, where she proceeded to read it aloud for fifteen minutes at the top of her lungs.  Requests for her to pipe down a bit were met with the comment "But I'm just reading my book, Mommy.  It's a good book."

I personally wouldn't have started with Anne of Windy Poplars, but to each her own.

After she had tired of narrating the adventures of the girl on the cover, she began demanding The Wind in the Willows.  But she demanded that instead of reading it from my phone, which I can do in the dark, I read it from a paperback (which has no pictures, so it's not like it is ANY DIFFERENT AT ALL from my phone).

It was dark, so I declined.

She screamed.  Loudly.  Sadly.  Punctuated by ostentatious sniffling.

I went to give her a hug, and Margaret said wisely "I think that she misses her Daddy, and her feelings are all tangled up," which was an amount of psychological insight I wouldn't have expected of her.  Ellie help the book out to me sadly and said "Pwease wead this book?"

So I went and lay down on the other bed, and read my phone.  Tucked inside the cover of the paperback.  I think she suspected something, but she let it go.