Monday, January 28, 2013

Up and About and Feeling Just Fine

After her overdramatic croup experience last weekend, Ellie has been doing well.  She's crawling around everywhere and occasionally taking forays into walking.  She climbs, as well.  At Leo's parents' house last night, we discovered that she knows how to climb stairs.  So things are doing well.


She was trying to go up the slide, while Margaret was coming down.  Because she likes to live dangerously.

Almost 3 Going to College

One of the things that I remember very clearly from my days of teaching at the university level is the ubiquity of Ugg boots and sweatpants as the midwinter uniform of the female college freshman in early morning classes.

And then the other day, I looked at Margaret coming down the stairs, and realized that she was a very, very precocious young woman.


But she's very cute, and for that one, brief moment, was wearing pants, so I didn't want to pick a fight over the boots.

We have, however, clearly passed the point where I can pick out her clothes for her.  I think we'll send her to a school that has a uniform policy.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Great Escape

Day 1081: The rules we impose on Margaret are beginning to irritate her, and she suspects that the gate on the yard is not, as she has previously believed, impregnable.

Her attempts to break through are noticed, though, so she moves to another area and mounts a sneak attack on the defenses.

Having failed in her solo efforts, Margaret calls a conference, and the two detainees discuss their escape plans.

Keeping Things Exciting

A plague has swept through our house, a plague of coughing, hacking, snotting, sneezing, not sleeping properly and going through industrial size boxes of kleenex as if they were candy.

See?  Ellie helped.

It is important to blow your ears.  It's actually very cute, though, because she has no idea of the mechanics of nose blowing, but she has a very good sense of the sound, so when she holds the kleenex up to her ear, she makes a "pppbbbbtttthhhh" sound with her mouth.

Anyway, to return to the original thread of my narrative.  We were all swimming in phlegm, and it was unpleasant.  And then Ellie, who thought, no doubt, that she was being too easy-going, woke up Sunday afternoon sounding like she had been sneaking out during her naps for the past 30 years and smoking a couple of packs of cigarettes each time.

And that's how we ended up spending Sunday afternoon in the ER.  They gave her a nasty dose of epinephrine, and then steroids, and it was all very traumatic.  So she snuggled down on my chest and went to sleep, since she had to stay there for two hours for observation.

Notice the tear on her cheek.  So sad.

And then, after she'd slept off her anger and irritation and what have you, she still had bunches of adrenalin coursing through her veins, so she was up and about and raring to go.  

The problem was, of course, that we were in a hospital, where God-knows-who had gotten God-knows -what on the floors, and so I didn't want her crawling around on them, and she certainly didn't want to sit quietly for an hour.

Luckily, she was willing to occupy her time by learning to walk.  She took her first steps in the ER.  On the 20th of January, which means that she took her first steps 1 day earlier than Margaret, adjusted for birthdate.

(Not that I keep track, mind you).

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Ellie loves my phone.

And honestly, why shouldn't she?  It's an awesome piece of equipment.

But she loves it to distraction, and wants it All.  The.  Time.

This can get a little annoying, because, of course, I love my phone and want it all the time.  It has books and pictures and a camera and the internet and -- let's not forget -- a phone.

So sometimes we have to deal with conflicting desires, and usually we resolve them without tears, though sometimes it's really hard for me.  Ellie can be pretty mean when she's trying to get the phone away from me.

One thing that I find worrying, however, is that she seems to be figuring it out as well.  She likes to look at pictures of herself, and she knows how to turn the lock screen on, which gives her a picture of herself.  And Margaret, but I just don't feel that that is as important to her somehow.  But last night she was playing with it, and when I downloaded pictures just now to give me fodder for this blogging extravaganza, I found several that I didn't take, but I think she did.

There's a way to reverse the camera function, so it shoots what one can see on the screen, and I think she did that, and then tapped the button that takes the pictures.

I'm worried.  Very worried.  But I guess that I won't panic too much until she actually starts editing her own short films.

With All the Proper Accoutrements

Margaret has gotten very particular about what she wears when she goes outside.  She wants her fleece vest and her coat and her hat and her mittens and her shoes.  And she wants her coat done up.  And her vest zipped, but not too much because then it is ouchy, Mommy, ouchy on my chin.  And her mittens on.  And so forth.

(Really?  You're getting that I find this obsession with outerwear somewhat annoying?  No, never).

Anyway, this was her on the way to preschool yesterday.

And now, looking at the picture again, I've recalled that I didn't mention the hood (oh, the hood!) that has to be pulled up over the hat to protect her sensitive neck from the cold's cruel bite.  Ugh.


I have never made this face at Margaret, nor is it a face that people outside my family make when they are told to make a funny face, but yesterday I told Margaret to make a silly face for the camera, and this is what she came up with.

This is, for those of you who don't spend a lot of time around my parents and siblings and nieces and nephews, the go-to silly face.  We are all a bit better at it, but Margaret's little, and she will grow into a properly simian grimace.  But apparently this monkey face has genetic coding.  Which makes sense, I suppose.  We're very in touch with our roots.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

All By Myself

Margaret is getting to be a rather independent person these days.  She is stubborn (strong-willed?) and wants things to be done the way she thinks they should be done.

One of the ways that this will has manifested itself lately is in the choice of adornment for her person.

Those of you who knew me when I was a small child can laugh at this.  But she has decided that unless someone offers her a pretty good reason why she ought to do differently, she is going to wear a dress every day.  She might -- might -- be willing to stretch a point and wear a skirt, but for the most part, she wants to be in a dress all the time.  She also has opinions as to sunglasses, shoes, coats, hats, mittens, scarves, etc.  It's an adventure.

But she's also getting way better at getting herself into and out of her own clothes, which is both a blessing and a curse.

Here she is wrestling with some shoes.

It was also cold and rainy and getting on for dark, so the sunglasses were not particularly necessary.  But, you know, so stylish.

Friday, January 11, 2013

So We've Reached That Stage

Ellie is very advanced.  Or I am lazier than I was two years ago.  See, it took Margaret until the middle of February to figure out how to create a whirlwind of mess.

Anyway, yesterday Ellie got into a box of something that could be taken out and scattered to the four winds.

And, when I looked at her and said "Ellie" in a slightly firm voice, she seemed to think that it was pretty fun.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The No-Nap Club

This is the name of the nightclub that my children would open if they were in the habit of a) opening nightclubs and b) able to stay up past 6 pm.

Anyway, I think that I have complained at great length about Margaret's refusal to nap, and the reign of terror that unleashes on the household.  We've stopped fighting it at this point, and we put her in her room for quiet time.  She goes to bed by 6:30 pretty much every night, and she's good.  Ish.  I mean, she's not terrible.  Mostly.  She'll grow out of it.

Ellie, however, has never been a problem.  She's been really great about going to bed when she's supposed to and sleeping and not fussing and putting herself to sleep and all has been wonderful.  And predictable.  And just grand.

But yesterday, the first day that Margaret went to a full day of preschool, young Miss Ellie decided to assert herself.  She took a morning nap.  But then she decided that she wasn't playing that game anymore.  And she refused her afternoon nap.


And honestly, she's the age to be giving up one of her naps.  But the first day?  Come on.

So while she was supposed to be having a nap, she partied.

This is not okay, Ellie.  But it means that she is just going to have to have one nap a day, and it will be in the afternoon, and so we will come home from getting Margaret from school, feed them, and put Margaret in for quiet time and Ellie down for her nap.  But I would have really liked a week where I had some mornings to myself, you know?


Growing up is annoying sometimes.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ideas Above Her Station

We went to the park this afternoon, because the sun was shining, and the temperature had crept up into the high 40s, which felt positively warm.

I bundled the children up, and off we went.  We had a minor disagreement when we got there, because I wouldn't let Margaret have her mittens.  She felt that this was an affront that needed to be wiped out in blood.  I felt that she shouldn't have them because she wanted to go clambering all over bars and things, and it's really hard to hold on to playground bars with knitted gloves.  She didn't see it my way, but we eventually reached the compromise solution that Ellie would wear mittens, and that would somehow make it all right that Margaret wasn't.

I don't ask how her little mind works.  I just take what I can get.

Anyway, we went down to the playground, and Margaret took off running.  Somewhat surprisingly, so did Ellie.

It's amazing how quickly they grow up, isn't it?

Anyway, Ellie seemed pretty pleased to be out exploring the world, if a little astonished by what she found there.

Margaret, ever keen to show off the monkey-like skills she has mastered while playing at the playground with her father,* showed me how she can walk all around the playground on top of the wall.

So, you know, there's that.  And then while Margaret was parading around, Ellie decided to start climbing as well.  Luckily for my peace of mind, there's only so much she can do in the climbing department, and it really only means that she can stand up.  But she did that, and she was very proud.

Margaret descended from the wall and decided to join Ellie.  It was very cute.  

But it didn't last, because Margaret needed to go and scale some large rock formations.  Because, you know, she's almost 3, and that's the sort of thing that she should be doing.

And that was fine.  She climbed up that and went down the slide and climbed up and went down the slide while I help Ellie.  And then Ellie started to squirm and thrash, so I put her down.

Then this happened.

Ellie is not big enough for that, so all of us went over to the swings.  Margaret was completely on board with Ellie not being allowed to climb, because Margaret does not approve of Ellie trying to do big kid things.

I swear they had a blast.  But Margaret wanted to go back to the slide, and I said she could.  And then this happened.

She just doesn't give up.

And for those of you who read these posts in order to nitpick my narration of the events, you can see Margaret in the background of the last picture, but that's because she is looking at her rock formation which she was climbing up to get to the structure that the slide launched from.  But she had just come down the slide, and that was why Ellie was climbing it.

Sheesh, everyone's a critic.

*I admit that I am a sissy, but it gives me the willies to watch her climbing about all over the place.  I agree that she needs to learn sometime, but it makes me cringe.