Thursday, March 27, 2014

Screen Time

There's something wrong with this.

I'm not sure whether I feel like a good parent, because she desperately wants to read Winnie the Pooh, or a terrible parent because she's staring at a glowing screen while Leo tries to get her in pajamas.  It's a tough call to make.

Perchance to Dream

Margaret's bedtime routine has become smoother and better and less like a 3 hour wrestling match with a 6 foot long python.

So that's been nice.

And we've gotten used to it, which means that Tuesday night's experience was rather unexpected.

She just wouldn't go to sleep, and I was having an important phone call, so Leo was the one trying to convince her to stay in bed for the 30 seconds that it would take for her to fall asleep, tired as she was.

Finally, I got off the phone, and she was still doing a malevolent jack in the box impression, so he suggested sweetly that I might take a turn.

I told her that her bed was a boat and her floor was water, and she needed to keep from falling in the water.

10 minutes later, we had this:

Doesn't she look sweet?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2023-2030 Are Going To Be Hard

This post, for those of you following along at home, is not going to have pictures that are on point, but mere incidental illustrations.  The important part is the story of how Ellie has convinced me that the teenage years are going to be very, very hard.  We had already seen hints of this in May of 2012, when Margaret argued rings around me.

But then Ellie, this cute Ellie

argued with me.  And I think she may have won.

Anyway, here's what happened.  This morning, as I got her dressed, she declined to have pants.  I told her she needed pants, because there was snow on the ground.  She told me that Winnie the Pooh doesn't wear pants even when it is snowy.

I told her that Pooh was a bear, and bears had different social conventions and environmental constraints.

She looked at me like this

And then told me that I called her "Ellie-bear" as if that clinched it.

I won -- she's wearing pants -- but I feel that I've lost.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tough Stuff

Margaret, meanwhile, was spending her afternoon in the backyard tearing around like a mad thing, moving buckets of dirt from one place to another.

This was a very important operation, and had to be carried out at great speed, which was fine right up until she sprawled full-length out on the driveway.

"I'm fine," she insisted through her tears.  "I want you to take a picture for Daddy, and then I will go get more dirt."

If you look closely, you can see the grazing on the elbow.  Her knee was actually bleeding, but she hadn't noticed it -- and so wasn't upset about it -- and I wasn't about to tell her.  I took the picture, and she went back to high-speed dirt transfers.

Though when she changed for bed, she was a bit traumatized by her knee.  "I have an ouchie on my knee," she said accusingly, "and you didn't tell me."

Apparently I'm supposed to pick up the slack from her nervous system, when it can't be bothered to do its job.

Ring Around the Rosie

When your sister won't play with you, and your mother isn't doing it right because she doesn't feel like actually falling down with quite as much vigor as you would like, what's a girl to do?

Play with her bear, that's what.  Because Pooh Bear doesn't complain about what he's asked to do.  He just does it.  Particularly if you hold his paws.

And then, because you can, you put Pooh on your head.


Ellie uses this as a noun and a verb.  She will say "cheese" in order to create a smile for a picture, and she refers to the act of taking a picture as cheesing.

She won't, of course, eat cheese, unless it is melted and no one mentions that it is cheese, but instead refers to it by some foreign word like "pizza" or "quesadilla."

Anyway, this weekend I wanted to take a picture of her because she was being particularly cute, and she said cheese for me.

This first attempt is pretty terrifying.

 Luckily, she stopped trying to smile eventually.

Notice the hands in the pockets. Hands in the pockets are a big thing for Ellies.

Friday, March 21, 2014

How Many Kids

does it take to put on Margaret's shoes and socks?

We're not sure of the answer here -- we're working all out -- but I'm pretty sure that it is more children than we have.  At least if they're working at this level.

My Peter and His Book

Ellie has, far more than Margaret did, an attachment to stuffed animals that transcends bedtime.  Margaret had a list of animals that needed to be in her bed (or else), but Ellie prefers to keep her people about her at all times.

She's very attached to her cast of Winnie the Pooh characters, as she likes animals that attach to other things that she likes.

Yesterday, she found our stuffed Peter Rabbit and insisted on having Peter and his book with her to go to her grandmother's house.  I don't know what she did with him all day, but she kept him close when she got home.

We spent the afternoon in the yard, and she sat and read his book to him.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Summer (or at least Spring)

The weather has been getting slowly and steadily warmer.  It had a long way to go, but over the weekend, we had a day or two where short sleeves and what have you were in order.

So Bruce decided to wash his car, and asked the girls to help.

Or, more likely, the girls decided that they were helping without considering whether it would be exactly helpful.

The next day we got a light dusting of snow.  I wish it would just decide to be Spring and stop teasing me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Up a Tree

I was sick last week.  Horribly sick.  The sort of sick that involved lying in bed all one day and moaning whenever I swam back into consciousness.

Luckily, I have in-laws who rescue my children (or me, seen in some lights) from having to be looked after by a semi-ambulatory, drooling, sleepy wreck.

At some point during the day, my phone pinged and I got this picture.

I sort of thought it was a hallucinatory fever dream, but it appears not.

Green Stuff

Ellie gets a lot of mileage out of being a picky eater, if by mileage you mean beige carbohydrates.  Because the child has never met a beige carb that she doesn't adore.

Anyway, she's not quite so quick to put things on top of her beige carbs, but the other night, she tried guacamole.

She's suspicious, but she manages to choke it down eventually.


The soccer goal, despite requiring a completely impossible to remember or describe twist to pack it back up and put it away, is a big hit.

I'm not sure we're completely clear on the rules of soccer, exactly.

But one thing that Ellie has figured out -- how to take off her jersey to celebrate scoring a goal.*

Or it's a do-it-yourself Little Red Riding Hood costume.  I don't know.

*I'm positive that this is a thing.  There was some sort of scandal about it a few years ago.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Daylight Savings Time

This last week has been a brutal one.

First, Margaret's school decided to give her a wholly scheduled and sensible Spring Break (and why shouldn't they?) but they didn't coordinate with me because I didn't get a Spring Break at all, and so Margaret was out of school but I was in.

On top of that, there was daylight savings time, which had the admirable benefit of making the clock in the kitchen be the right time, but the unfortunate downfall of making things very, very hard in the mornings.

Luckily, Ellie is adaptable.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Her Life In Her Hands

Some people might say (previous posts notwithstanding) that I am overly careful about what I allow my children to do.

They might be right.

I fight a fairly constant battle between what my children want to do on playgrounds and what I feel comfortable with them doing on playgrounds.  On the same playground trip that Margaret reconnected with her lightsocket hair, Ellie decided that she could go down the tallest slide all by herself.

I'm really not certain that I'm ready for this degree of competence in an Ellie.

Luckily, these slides were built with litigation in mind, and it's very hard to pick up any steam at all on them, so that's nice for my motherly fears.


We went to the park this last weekend, because the weather was nice, and we prefer our children run ragged to bouncing off the walls.  One of the things that I find perpetually amusing is that Margaret's hair is very staticky, and stands on end at the slightest provocation.

And then when the static shocks her?  I giggle.

I posted one of these pictures on Facebook with a joke that I should just rub a dryer sheet on her head to get rid of the static, and one of my friends from high school said that that actually works, so I may have to try it, poor staticky baby person.

Sisterly Affection

One of the things that I am noticing more and more is how Margaret and Ellie are becoming pals.  They have had separate lives so far -- Margaret has been able to do so much more than Ellie -- and now those barriers are beginning to fall, and they are doing more and more of the same things.

This morning, as we walked into my school (Margaret's on Spring Break, so she gets to spend the time with Ellie and I at school; we know how to do a vacation), Margaret held Ellie's hand as they went up the stairs.  In retrospect, this was a foolish thing to do, since Margaret isn't really strong enough to hold Ellie up if she were to fall.  But it was adorable.

In a similar vein, I present you with this picture:

I'm pretty sure that this is terribly dangerous, but it was very sweet.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Unbouncing a Tigger

As you may have noticed by the last post, Margaret has been enjoying the warmer weather by tearing about like a mad thing and being outside as much as possible.

Sometimes, though, this means that she is very, very tired after a hard morning's play.

Just such a time was Saturday afternoon, when a very vigorous morning had unbounced both Margaret and Leo.