Saturday, May 25, 2013

Not . . . Tired . . . At . . . All . . .

Ellie has been bouncing back and forth on the idea of a morning nap.  If she is in the car for more than 10 minutes between 9 and 10, she has one.  If we specifically take her up and put her in her crib between 9 and 10, she'll have one.  But then she doesn't take as good an afternoon nap, and I kind of like my 3 hours of semi-break, so we've been trying to have her not take a morning nap.

She sometimes (particularly when she's had one of those mornings where she gets up at 4:30 because she's getting molars and they are coming in SLOWLY and PAINFULLY) gets a little draggy at those times.

Not that she's going to stop coloring, mind you.  That is important business and she's not going to let a little bit of tiredness get in the way.

Well, maybe for a minute.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Catch Up

Ellie took advantage of Margaret's absence at school to do some work to catch up.

She's very serious about her writing.

Can't Take My Eyes Off Her for a Second

Those of you who have been reading this blog for the past 16 months may have noticed that the person who tends to be pushing the boundaries has a name which starts with M.

Well, that may be changing.  I noted, last week, that Ellie was standing on chairs in a clear attempt to let me know that she could do what she wanted, and was going to laugh in the face of discipline.

Yesterday, I went to the bathroom.  I know, it was a rookie mistake.  But sometimes, the call of the bladder is insistent, and I feel that it would be deleterious to the message that we're sending Margaret vis-a-vis potty training -- that big girls use the potty -- if I were to pee my pants in the middle of the playroom.

So anyway, I went to the bathroom.  Briefly.  And this is what was going on when I got back.

So she learned to get up on the chair by herself, and then promptly parlayed that into sitting on top of the table.

Somebody's going to give her sister a run for her money.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Ellie has learned to stand up in chairs.

Actually, I lie.  Ellie has learned how to stand up in chairs, but she has also learned that Mommy doesn't like her to stand up in chairs.  Her response to this knowledge is not, as sensible people might imagine, to abate her chair standing, but rather to increase it, and couple it with grinning at said Mommy so that Mommy is completely certain that Ellie knows not to stand in the chair.

And it is so ridiculously cute.  And dangerous.  But cute.  Curses.

But I Was Helping, Mommy

So this was sweet.

No one was hurt.  I stopped taking pictures in a hurry, though, and rushed to Ellie's aid.  This next picture speaks to the speed at which I abandoned my picture-taking enterprise.

I feel that I should stress that Margaret was entirely motivated by a desire to teach Ellie road safety.  They were both running ahead of me, and Margaret said "There are cars up there, Ellie.  You have to hold my hand."

This suggests that she listens to me, and even understands what I'm saying, but willfully ignores it.  I'm not sure that this makes me happy, not at all.

Oliver Twist

Somehow, this reenactment of Charles Dickens' famous novel lacks punch.

It might be the cheeks.  Or the remnants of food still on her tray.  But she's not really nailing the starving waif look.

We'll see about getting her enrolled in some classes.

Just Like Daddy

All right, this is cute.  Margaret has a little polo shirt dress (because, you know, I am the sort of person that buys polo shirt dresses for my daughter because they are adorable).

And she went up with Leo one night when he got home from work, and he put his tie on her.  She thought she was about 10 feet tall.

Though she was a little nervous about people making her go to work.

It's something to worry about, all right.

On the Case

Margaret is looking for the missing blog posts.  I think that she has been hired by my mother.

She has, obviously, been very effective, since here is a blog post, and she is looking out of it.

Her fascination with the magnifying glass (and investigating things) has been relatively well-contained. One slightly odd thing about it is that she has started asking for neat whiskey far more often than I am comfortable with,* hasn't shaved in weeks, keeps referring to me as "that broad," and has started wearing a fedora.

I think that it could be worse.  It could be the violin, cocaine, Mrs. Hudson, and a deerstalker.

*For a 3-year-old, by the way, one request would be more than I am comfortable with.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Keep Your Sister Closest

I'm not sure what's going on in this picture, but I'm a little bit worried about it.

I'm sure they'll be the best of friends.

All By Myself

Ellie is growing up.

You can tell by the way that she is becoming more and more independent and insistent on things being done her way, right now, without any delay, woman, because people are getting slack and shiftless around here and need to be kept in line.

I think she feels that we need constant supervision.

But she doesn't think that she needs supervision at all.  She thinks that she's perfectly competent to do all sorts of things, like put on her socks all by herself.

Or feed herself yogurt.

She's getting so big.  I mean, she's not really competent to do either of the things that she's trying, but that doesn't stop her from demanding that she be able to do them.

The Education of Margaret

Margaret has been going to her preschool for the last few months, and she completely adores it.  She has so much fun, and she talks about it all the time, and when we went to the school picnic, she hugged her teachers with a great deal of gusto.*

There's only one thing that worries me: I think that they're teaching her how to lie.

Because unless happiness for Margaret manifests itself in running around screaming and refusing to continue to do the thing that makes her happy, this is a dirty, dirty lie.

Still, it's a nice drawing of a person in bed.

*I'm pretty sure that you can't have a minimal amount of gusto, but I don't care and I'm leaving the sentence as it is.

Full Employment

The weather is getting warmer, and so we're really pulling out all the stops on the child labor.

They're not very good at it, but they're awfully cheap.


In the bath a few weeks ago, when Margaret was at school and so Ellie was enjoying the pleasures of solo bathing, I tried out a new hairstyle.

We decided we liked it, and so adopted it for everyday wear.

Margaret wanted to join the fun, and so took matters into her own hands.

On the bright side, she's all dressed and ready to rob a bank.  So that's good.


We've been trying very hard to help Margaret understand her heritage, you know, the one that requires her to be a baseball prodigy, but so far she's been being rather resistant.  I mean, she likes the equipment, and she likes the idea of playing baseball, but so far she's been a bit uncoachable.

For example, she is not pleased with the suggestion that one might play baseball with either a glove, or a bat, but never both at the same time.

We lost that argument.  And she tried, but one of the reasons that people don't play with both a glove and a bat is that it's really hard.

So she went and played hide and go seek instead.

She may be missing a few of the finer points of that game as well.  Oh well.  She'll learn, I suppose.  Or she won't, and that probably won't greatly affect the world.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Latina est gaudium -- et utilis

For those of you who don't have a classical education, that post title means "Latin is fun, and useful."  It is the title for the last section of each chapter in the widely used Latin grammar textbook written by Frederic Wheelock.

Ellie decided to illustrate this for me the other day, holding my Latin book carefully on her lap, and preparing to annotate it in crayon.

See?  Latin is fun.

And useful.

Saturday Mornings

Yes, yes I'm late.

Because this week has been really busy.  Last weekend, I studied like a mad fiend so I could learn all the educational theory that most people learn while getting a degree in education.  And then on Monday, I took a test.  And then I felt like a piece of sodden laundry for the next few days.  And here it is, Friday again, and I'm getting back to the blog.

(Also, for reasons that don't bear going into, I am at school, but none of my students are, so I have hours and hours and hours to blog.  Well, and grade papers.  And perhaps write a final exam or two.  But mostly blog).

Anyway, last weekend, Leo was very helpful in my quest to sit in one place and read books and articles online and rock back and forth muttering streams of words like "Vygotsky, zone of proximal development, Bruner, scaffolding, Piaget, constructivism and four stages, rinse, repeat."  Some husbands would have been worried by this behavior, but Leo studied for the bar exam, and so has a lot of patience for completely weird studying techniques.

He took Margaret and Ellie to the park (in the pouring rain, but still), and he fed and watered and napped them.  And most importantly, he snuggled them.  (All right, maybe not most importantly, but I was rather pointedly not there for the other things, so I don't have a picture.  But I do have one of the snuggling.

Well, two of the snuggling.  Ellie also likes spending quality time with Daddy's phone.