Thursday, February 27, 2014

Kitty Cat

The cat seems to have decided that he likes Ellie, which is odd, because he doesn't really seem to care much for the children, since they run around erratically and claim our attention, both of which things he thinks belong firmly under his job description.

But he's warming up to Ellie.

I think it's because one of the joys of her life is to feed the kitty, and we don't put a lot of restrictions on that activity, so her generous impulses are allowed to be realized, much to Puck's benefit.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Monkey Style

Ellie has developed a fascination with monkeys.  She adds this to her completely outrageous fascination with owls, which shows no signs of ebbing, and her love of all characters Winnie-the-Pooh.  (Wol is a PARTICULAR favorite, though referring to him as Wol gets some bizarre looks from her, and occasional shouts of "Owl!  That is Owl!  MOOOOOOOOMMMMMMYYYYYYYY!  That is OWL.")

She likes to read books about monkeys, sing songs about monkeys, insist that gorillas are monkeys (she has rewritten the text of Goodnight, Gorilla, and I am not comfortable with this development, not at all), wear clothes with monkeys, and above all, eat bananas like a monkey.

When she asks for a 'mana, she requests it "monkey style," and then proceeds to cram it in her gob as quickly as she possibly can.

Also, these pictures make her look more like me than I thought she did, which makes you wonder a little.  Apparently I look like Ellie+simian behavior.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


This is something that Ellie says with glee relatively frequently, as she likes to take her own sleeper off and parade around the living room on the weekends wearing nothing but her diaper.

And when she's done parading (which you can only do for so long before you start to feel a little cold and a little silly), she settles down in a sunbeam to draw things.

If you're wondering, she was drawing the sun.  And doing a decent job of it, too.  So that's good.  Nothing like getting a firm grasp of representational art early on, eh?

John Had Great Big Waterproof Boots On*

One of the things that I have noticed about the second child is that we worry less about making sure that she has proper attire.  With Margaret, we were buying everything for the first time, so we made sure that it was the right thing and fit her,

With Ellie, we just stick her in what we have lying around.

Poor kid.

But we'll buy her her own college education with the money that we're spending, so that's something.

Anyway, for some reason we didn't get Margaret rubber boots when she was that age, so Ellie got some for her birthday, all her very own.

And she thinks they are great.

Even when she's in the doctor's office and feeling crummy.

* The poem referenced in the title of this post refers to a poem by (who else?) A.A. Milne.  It seems to sum up Ellie's feelings about her rain gear rather aptly.

John had
Great Big
Boots on;
John had a
Great Big
John had a
Great Big
Mackintosh --
And that
(Said John)

Fishy! Horsey! Fishy

Pat came to visit last week, and as is traditional, we dragged him to the zoo to look at our children.  Or the animals.  Or the animals looking at our children.  Or something.

Of course, it was eleventy-billion below zero* and so visiting the outdoor parts of the zoo was less attractive than in might be in May.  Possibly.  Because sometimes it's eleventy-billion above zero as well.  Anyway, we went to the Children's Zoo, which has the good sense to be indoors, at least some of it.

And they have fish to ride on, which Ellie found very attractive.

As did Margaret, although she seems to be concentrating on something else.

And then they ran off together to see new and exciting things.

Like Uncle Pat showing them how to use knives.  What a useful thing for him to teach them.  I'm pretty sure that it's true that Uncles are worse than no supervision at all.

*I may have made this number up.  But on the bright side, in honor of Pat, I've made it up in celsius, which means that it's not as cold as you think.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Great 'Normous Slides

We went to the semi-local elementary school this weekend so the girls could ride their bicycles, and that lasted for approximately 20 seconds before they saw the playground equipment and made a break for it.

Ellie didn't exactly leave her bicycle behind, though.

And even when we got her bike away from her, she still kept her helmet on.

Eventually, though, she stripped the protective gear off, although she kept a firm grip on Daddy's hand.

Until he dropped her.

A Future in Politics

Margaret, at the park over the weekend, seems to have figured out exactly the sort of issue that will catch the public imagination, and managed to take a reasonable and sensible position on it that is sure to garner widespread support.

She tried to get a rally started on the playground, but was a little handicapped by the fact that there were no children besides Ellie there, and sadly, Ellie's interest in political involvement is limited.

What she was yelling animatedly, though, was "Cake for people who want cake and pie for people who want pie."

Perhaps we should get her a book about Marie Antoinette.

Or perhaps not.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Another Cinderellie Post

I don't actually force my daughter to clean up after me.  I want to get that clear.  In fact, some of her cleaning efforts -- for example the one detailed in this post -- end up making a far greater mess than there was before she began to help.

She likes to help, though.  She has, since before she could walk, been willing and excited to go and throw things in the trash.  Anything, really, but specifically things she has been asked to put there.  And I have previously noted her vacuuming skills.  And then the other day, she insisted on "doing dishes, Mommy, in the sink by myself.  Ellie do it.  Ellie POUR."

And so she did.

She began by examining the apparatus very, very carefully.

Then she painstakingly filled a cup full of water

and from a height and angle higher and more oblique than wisdom would dictate, she tried to pour the water from her cup into a cup sitting in the sink.

In fairness to her, it could have made more mess.  Somehow.  She dribbled down the front of her shirt (only to be expected), on the counter (clearly indicated), and on the floor (probability was high).  I got down on the floor to mop up after her, but made the rookie mistake of forgetting to take her cup away from her and turn the water off, so while I was down mopping, she poured an entire cupful of water on my head and neck and the floor.

So not, on the surface, very helpful.

Except, of course, that my floor got cleaner where I had mopped it.  So there's something in it.


My daughters have this habit of dressing themselves like Hollywood actresses that have had a little work done.

I'm not sure where they picked this up.  I don't go around in sunglasses and large sunhats looking mysterious.

At least Margaret also knows how to kick back and relax, as if she were lounging around on the side of the pool that we don't have and are never getting because I would be a nervous wreck like you wouldn't believe if there were a pool in our backyard.


Ellie has been sick.  She started running a fever Wednesday afternoon, and still had it yesterday morning, so I couldn't go to work today.  She was more or less fine today, although a little droopy and draggy.  Yesterday afternoon, Margaret's nose was behaving like a faucet, and Ellie was still under the weather.  So they had movie time.

Sometimes, a good dose of Winnie-the-Pooh is just what the doctor ordered.  Or rather, what the doctor would have ordered if she didn't think that children should have limited screen time.

The important thing to notice about this photo, however, is that they're not so sick that they can't INSIST (piercingly) that they need to have a blanket that matches their entertainment.  It's not possible, you understand, to watch Winnie-the-Pooh if you don't have your Winnie-the-Pooh blanket.

A Castle of Her Own

I have almost caught up to the present (well, the more recent past) in this, my blogging endeavor, but I wanted to retrace my steps briefly to Margaret and Ellie's birthday party.  We went to a play gym/science-inflected play place, and they frolicked.  

One of the things that they had at this place was a number of exceptionally large Legos-type bricks, and for the weeks leading up to the party, Margaret was announcing her intention to build a great big castle out of them.

Luckily, her ambition exceeds her abilities, so we did not have to explain how her castle didn't belong to her.

Still, she -- with the help of her minions -- constructed a quite passable tower.

And then convinced her father that she needed to perch on top of it.

I disapprove of this sort of thing.  It will give her ideas.  Climbing ideas.  And she doesn't need climbing ideas.