Monday, December 31, 2012

Status report: Chloë, 3 years 5 months, and Maia, 20 months

And so on the last day of the year I bring you the last monthly update of the year. The girls know that we're having a party tonight, but not why; and though they're big, big girls, they're not big enough yet to stay up for midnight.

"Aw, Mom."
Chloë is going through a whiny, defiant stage. Have I mentioned this before? It's still true. "No fair!" she was yelling at intervals all morning. (Eric blames me. I'm afraid this time he's correct. It's from the "Bedtime for Frances" miniseries I found on Netflix.) "I didn't want you to zip it all the way," she complains when we help too much. "You don't both need to tell me," she says when Eric and both holler "Yes!" when she's called out "I can flush, right?"

Vis a vis the potty, she's almost entirely independent now. We've been checking her wiping (visually), but she's been doing well, so I told her last night that if she felt dry, she could just pull up her underwear and proceed to flushing and washing. I expected her to call me anyway, but she didn't. Next step is to get her off the potty seat. I keep mentioning it and forgetting to do it.

Maia's been doing some sitting on the potty, occasionally, but I think it's mainly so that she can read her potty books. She does enjoy the attention, though, and especially being on Chloë's seat. And Chloë's always very helpful in telling me "Maia wants to sit on my potty seat," and putting the seat on and moving the stool so I really have no choice.

Chloë showed the probably typical but unbecoming "Are there more presents for me?" attitude during Christmas, but other than that they were both delightful during the holidays. They enjoyed their toys, helped clean up without much grumbling, helped enthusiastically with baking. Chloë's fairly good at measuring out dry ingredients, and is eager to say "I can do that!" whenever I introduce a new step. She wants to learn about cracking eggs, but I'm not ready for that yet. Maia likes to stand on the chair with Chloë and dip her fingers into things. Chloë got an easel for Christmas, and when Eric started to put it together, she clamored to help. "I don't think there's much you can do," he told her, "but we'll see." But, in fact, she helped gather and hold things, keep track of the "L," hold pieces in place, and screw on the wing nuts. She also did her first screw-driving helping to change batteries in her moon and stars. We'll have her fixing the roof in no time.

She's still keenly interested in the alphabet and counting. She's getting better at the teens and can work her way up to one hundred if you prompt her a few times. She also knows two plus two is four, though I'm not sure she could do two plus three. 

Maia is talking, talking, always talking. A lot of it is mimicking, especially anything Chloë says; but she comes up with her own sentences too. Like "Mama eating pizza too" and "Mitten falling down!" and "Daddy sleeping, tiptoe, shhh," and, heart-meltingly, "Happy see you Mama." She's starting to take more interest in her wardrobe, and whenever I help her on with something she particularly likes, she wants to go show Daddy.

She's now our adventurous eater; Chloë doesn't like anything remotely "spicy" (occasionally including basil and oregano, though not cinnamon) and has recently declared she didn't like tomatoes, though she then ate about a third of a pound of them at Memaw's with her cousins, so she's clearly not being totally truthful there.  But Maia likes my spicy cheese (pepperjack) and the cheese-onion tart at Christmas and my potato omelets and, in general, anything her sister and father won't touch. She's not keen on bacon or sausage (though Chloë adores them both), but she liked the ham at Christmas and in general is eager to try anything on Eric's plate, or mine, that she doesn't have. Or that she does have. She also likes to eat with my fork.

However, Chloë still loves her mermaid food, seaweed and seaweed soup and rice. Maia too. Mom made them soup when they were here (she makes it better than I do) and they both literally slurped it up.

Maia is so funny these days. Dad invented a game wherein he's sitting on the couch, and she's trapped between his legs, and the only way to get out is to tickle his toes. She loved this game, and of course played it with me when he was gone. Then the other night she played the "Mama tunnel" game (crawling between my legs, particularly when I'm standing right against a counter). I trapped her and said "What do you do to get free?" and after a few seconds' thought she tickled my feet.

Also, she continues to like playing with her blankets:

The girls are really engaging with each other these days. They have actual conversations sometimes ("Maia, do you want to play sleepover?" "Yeah!" "Okay, let's go to my room." "Wait, Toë." "Oh, you need your babies? I'll help carry them." "Thank you Toë.") I came down the other day to find they'd dragged Maia's little couch to the entryway and were kneeling backward on it, talking animatedly about fish. Turned out they were on a boat. They're considerate of each other most of the time, responding to each other's wants and upsets. They're such sweet girls.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas from the Overlords

Christmas with the Overlords was busy but fun. They went and saw Santa (while I was home sick):

...after which Chloë told me solemnly, "If Santa Tom comes to our house in the dark, he will be surprised."

We baked cookies:

I'd suggested that we make gingerbread men and put gumdrop buttons on them, but it was Chloë's idea to make one for each person coming to Christmas dinner, with a letter to designate whose was whose (there were a lot of Ms: Maia, Mimi, Mama, Memaw, and Matt) and red-hot eyes, nose, tie, I think. She did the red-hots and piped some of the icing for the bow ties, and was very proud of herself. So was I.

And, of course, we opened lots of presents:

(Notice the pure joy on Maia's sweet face on seeing that they both have their own packets of what they've been calling "minties," mint M&Ms.)

(I made the sweater. Mom sewed on the buttons.)

The girls got a good haul: dolls, necklaces, sweater for Maia and mittens for Chloë, stuffed animals, books, baking stuff and a space puzzle for Chloë, a dump truck for Maia. Chloë also got a training laptop from Mom (which I helped pick out) that we upgraded tonight to a LeapPad, because the laptop we chose turned out to have some issues.

Then family came over for dinner and more presents, and the girls got into their Christmas dresses, which Chloë in particular professed to love. They liked Eric's yams and the green beans, and the apple pie, and their cousin Raegan two-fisted cookies when I made the mistake of putting the plate too low. It was a good Christmas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


We were discussing something, I forget what, right after I got home from work today while Chloë ate from her bag of "blue chewy fruit snacks" (blue referring to the color of the package; they're the Welch's, and she accepts no substitutes). Eric said something about the annoyingness or cuteness, I forget which, of something Chloë had said, and quoted it.

"Maia?" Chloë asked brightly.

"No, you. Maia doesn't talk in sentences."

"Snack too, please," Maia said.


There are few things more pathetic, or more annoying, than hearing a three-year-old scream at her Duplos, "That's not what I wanted!"

Chloë does this a lot these days. "Stay out of my face, hair!" she says at night. "Don't fall, blocks!" she says when making a tower. Then of course there's the arguments with Eric and me. "I'm not going to put on a show for you," Eric will say, and her angry response is, "Yes you are!"

Which is not to say she's angry all the time. But when she is, she gets very vocal about it.

And Maia, faithful follower of her sister, is starting to pitch fits of her own. These usually take the form of repetitive howling of "Nooooo!" no matter what we say to her, running away, and knocking things over. She's hard to calm down when she gets this way. A few months ago I would have said categorically that she's much more temperamental than her sister, but now that Chloë is producing fireworks of her own on a regular basis I can't be so positive. One thing's for sure, though; we always know where we stand with them.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I need a little angel sitting on my shoulder

We just finished up a visit from Grandpa and Halmoni--Halmoni longer than Grandpa, since Grandpa was actually here (or rather, in Dayton) to work. We managed to get Halmoni sick (not the flu), but otherwise I think they had a good visit. We definitely did. The girls enjoyed playing with them, and Eric and I enjoyed having the extra help and adult conversation. And, uh, the clean kitchen. (Especially since I'm involved in a Christmas Cookie Throwdown at work and am making eighteen dozen cookies to sell for charity.)

While they were here we went for our Christmas tree, and decorated it a few days later. The girls had a great time putting up ornaments:

Chloë was inexplicably averse to having her picture taken in front of the tree. The best we could do was a sneak attack where I suddenly turned around while holding her for ornaments, Eric and Maia closed in, and Dad took the picture quick:

After that she squawked and protested, and I subsided. There are other pictures she's being agreeable in.

Now Grandpa and Halmoni are gone, but our tree remains. We did cutout cookies tonight, because Chloë wanted to, and decorated them with sprinkles and red hots and Maia's fingerprints. There's a bunch of wrapping Chloë wants to help me with. The shopping for them is done (though the crafting isn't), and once we take care of our usual Christmas candy and cookies we should be in for a pretty restful holiday. At least, as restful as we can get around here.

On an only-vaguely-related note, we were reading from the Dora omnibus tonight when Maia said, "Piggie - drink." She pointed to a pig who was, indeed, holding a drink. Then she hefted her sippy of milk and continued, "Maia, too." She's mimicking everything we say these days, and showing an almost frightening comprehension and attempts at communication. This girl is going to be trouble.

Monday, December 3, 2012

But eighteen years is a pretty good run.

I just had my first significant loss as a result of having children (I mean, other than uninterrupted sleep,  free time, disposable income, and sanity). Chloë dropped my Christmas ornament from 1994--a small real snow globe--on her tiger "piano" and broke it. "It didn't break the first time," she said, "but it did the second time." I asked her why she dropped it twice, but didn't get an answer. She did alert me to the incident by saying "Mama, I'm very sorry," and repeating it until I told her it was okay.

She was upset that it had happened, and more upset that in the course of cleaning up the glass and sparkles I accidentally sucked up one of Maia's socks into the vacuum. I told her I was a little sad the globe was broken, but it wasn't a big deal, and neither were the socks. It really isn't a big deal, but it was my 1994 Christmas ornament and I remember going to get it. We've lost other property to her or Maia, but this is the first thing I can think of that was irreplaceable.