Friday, January 28, 2011

Monkey See, Monkey Do!

It's as if this saying were created just to describe our two girls!

ANYTHING Elizabeth does, Ashley wants to do! But it goes the other way sometimes too! Like yesterday, for example. I got out the pack 'n play for Ashley to use in the den during naptime so I could get into her room and accomplish some things, and--right away--E wanted to hop in there with her.

It wasn't long before Elizabeth had invented a little trick that she started calling, "Wee! Look at ME!"...and Ashley wanted in on the action as well! Precious!

I know the sibling stuff isn't always going to be smooth sailing. But I love that they play so well together. And I love that Ashley wants to be just like her sister. And, I love that Elizabeth doesn't seem to mind having a little copycat around...most of the time!

So proud of my little monkeys and their tender kindness toward each other!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Snow Day

Well, we are finally getting a really good snowstorm!
Daddy came home from work at about 3:00 today (Government's orders!) and the snow really started coming down around 4:00. After dinner, he had convinced both girls--with great enthusiasm, I might add--to get bundled up and venture out into the wet snow with him to make a snowman!

I should explain that, though she was born in California, once she understood that the snow wouldn't hurt her--and once we got her bundled up and she actually experienced the FUN of playing in the snow, Elizabeth has always been fairly eager to get out in it! So getting her fired up about this snow adventure was no big deal for her!

However...not only does Ashley, our native Michigander, throw an absolute fit when she has to put on a jacket (which is pretty much EVERY DAY from November through February!), she has made it very clear that she is terrified of the snow. She doesn't want to hear about it, step on it, walk through it, touch it...or really even LOOK at it! "No snow! No snow!!!!"

So, the fact that Ashley was willingly (and even joyfully!) participating in the bundle-up process as Daddy talked up the fun of building a snowman--is HUGE!

Here they are...all decked out and ready to go!
So far, so good, right?
Well...maybe not so much!

Okay, before you go talking about how cruel we were to do that to her...please bear in mind that she was out there for the sum total of maybe 48 seconds!

And this picture was taken about 33 seconds after I let her back inside! So all is right with the world!
Maybe she'll have a change of heart, right?

Instead, she was more than content to let Daddy and Elizabeth brave the snow alone while we watched from our primo position inside, behind the glass door!

Daddy found that the consistency of the snow was ideal for snowman building!
I should add that, as Daddy placed the coal and sticks onto the snowman to create a face, Ashley kept shouting "Froggy, Mommy! I see Froggy!" LOL But once Daddy added the hat and scarf, the little guy definitely took on a distinctively SNOWMAN persona!
And here is Elizabeth, proudly posing with the snowman that she made with Daddy! Good times...good times!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Monkey Forest

In keeping with the "monkey theme" this week...I thought I would share this story of one of Elizabeth's recent monkey-inspired creations.

But first, a little background, if you will: As you may or may not know, we live about two blocks from the intersection of I-66 and 495 (aka just inside "The Beltway"). This particular intersection is experiencing a LOT of around-the-clock construction due to the addition of a HOT LANE, which includes the reconfiguring of bridges and entrance/exit ramps and such. Before this construction really got underway, VDOT was kind enough to erect a new sound barrier wall between our neighborhood and the aforementioned freeways. Naturally, all this activity has not gone unnoticed by Elizabeth.

The main road leading out of our neighborhood is parallel to the freeway...with the wall now on one side of the road and a mass of land and trees on the other. Not surprisingly, Elizabeth has nicknamed this wooded area "the monkey forest"! And, almost as soon as the work on the wall began, she would usually remark that they were "building that wall to keep the monkeys from getting out onto the freeway so they won't hurt themselves". Amusing interpretation. But sure...we'll go with that! ;-)

So the other day, Elizabeth is playing with a set of blocks on the living room floor. And when she announces that she's going to build a "monkey wall"...I admit I didn't take much notice of it at first because, well...EVERYTHING is monkeys these days! So, I go about doing whatever it is I was doing...and eventually I leave the room to change Ashley's diaper...and when we return to the living room, I see THIS:

I couldn't help but laugh out loud--and at the same time, marvel at her cleverness! She didn't have to explain any of it to me (because we have had so many conversations about what the monkeys would do if they accidentally got up on the monkey wall, etc.) and I immediately knew what she had created. But, in case you are not seeing it, I will relay her explanation just so you know what her creative mind was thinking.

First, there is the freeway...and next to that there stands the monkey wall, which, of course, is designed to keep the monkeys from getting out onto the freeway. But...just in case the monkeys DO happen to get up on the wall and they don't know how to get down without landing on the freeway, Elizabeth built slides for the monkeys so that they could slide down off the wall and get back into their Monkey Forest! Voila!...the Monkeys are saved!

There you have it! She added the monkeys from her Five Little Monkeys playset to complete the picture!

Thanks for letting me share just a glimpse of what it's like to be the Mommy to my funny little monkey!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Monkey Line

Well...this post is just going to seem bizarre if you are not familiar with Elizabeth and her very fierce love of monkeys. And not just ANY monkeys...but her specific love of a special little monkey called MO!

The complicated thing about MO is that there is not just ONE Mo...but seven (yes, SEVEN) "identical" Mo monkeys...and a couple others that are technically NOT Mo monkeys at all, but have, for some inexplicable reason, still managed to make the cut--so to speak!

Of these monkeys, Elizabeth definitely has her favorites. And, in the past few years, she has developed special names of distinction for each of these monkeys. Not only that, but she has made it very clear that each one has a special place in the "Monkey Line".

And they are as follows (from left to right):

1. Sucky Mo (b/c she sucks on him---oh sorry...did I say "him"?...I meant HER! Yes, E has recently decided that "Sucky Mo" is a GIRL monkey! "Mommy...Did you not KNOW?!")
2. Dottie Mo (b/c she has a dot for a nose...and E will tell you "this was the FIRST Mo that Grandpa gave me...but the second Mo in the Monkey Line"....Oooookay!)
3. No-Mouth Mo (duh--self explanatory!)
4. Taggy Mo (b/c this Mo used to have a Ty tag attached to his ear--as they all did at one time, but this one kept his tag for quite a while before we removed it)
5. Grammy Mo (as you can see, it is not quite like the others, but since it was a gift from Grammy, it was long ago given a place of honor among the favored Mos)
6. Monchichi (a gift from Santa and a recent addition to the Monkey Line).

The other Mos in the background are still "important"...but, alas, they are not part of the Monkey Line. "Why?"--you ask? Welllllll....It's because they are "too fluffy-bodied" to be in the Monkey Line.

[crickets chirping]

Yeah...I know...

So, why am I writing such a seemingly nonsensical blog post...and more importantly, why are you still reading it? Well...I suppose the answer to the former is that I find E's little qwerks to be both fascinating and endearing, and I wanted to have a record of how meticulous she was about categorizing and ordering her cherished loveys. And, the latter...well...maybe you wanted a little insight into what makes E's funny little brain work?!...and now you have it! :-)

DC Date Night!

Just because it's a rare occurrence, I wanted to document our DATE NIGHT and report that, thankfully, this one was free of kidney stones! HOORAY!

We decided to take advantage of D.C. Restaurant Week and we booked a table for 4 at Cafe Bonaparte in Georgetown! Then, we invited another couple that Michelle met through MOPS and preschool to join us! CarriAnne and Daryl were wonderful company and we really had a great time together! We were even seated at a fabulous window-table at the front of the restaurant! Primo!

Unfortunately, our babysitter was on a tight time schedule and we had to book it out of there by 9pm (which required us to have our waitress box up our dessert to-go!) in order to relieve her of her supervisory duties! Next time, we'll be sure to plan for a more leisurely outing!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Elizabeth is a READER!

I'm not sure when it happened exactly, since E has known her letter sounds (and could tell us what letter ANY word begins with) for at least a year. But slowly she has become more curious about how letters form words and how to sound out whole words--instead of just the beginning sound.

Enter Lakeshore's Sight-Word Readers and Word Family Readers! About three years ago, I was sent several boxes of these readers to "rework" as part of an assignment (yeah...they didn't want to pay additional money for more art--don't ask!), so I had a few of her favorites in E's bookshelf. She took one out the other day and started sounding out the words--on her own!

Well, that's all the encouragement I needed. I found all the boxes and brought them into her room. Most of the books focus on a few words at a time, using rebus pictures in place of more difficult words. But she LOVES them! And the repetition makes her such a confident little reader. You should see her face after she's read a page! She beams from ear to ear! And after she has read a WHOLE book, she jumps up and down and says, "Are you so proud of me that I can read?!?!" LOVE IT!

And yes...I am SO PROUD!