Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween 2006

Today was a perfect day for Halloween! It reached 70 degrees today, so it was warm enough for the kids to wear their costumes without a coat and hat. (There's nothing worse than being forced to wear a coat and hat with your Halloween costume!)

Margot, Portia and I took a walk around the neighborhood just before dusk and Margot excitedly identified all of the pumpkins ('punkies'). Then we sat on the front steps and waited for the kids to arrive. Min was delighted to drop one KitKat into each child's bucket and crow, "TrickTreat!"

We read books in-between groups of children ("Five Little Pumpkins," "Corduroy," and "Goodnight Moon" which, by the way, is her absolute favorite book right now.) I know it sounds hokey, but it was a really nice night.

En Francais, s'il vous plait

"What's that?" "What's that?" "What's that?"

If you spend a day (or an hour) with Margot, you know that she's forever asking the names of things. She'll go on a spree, pointing to the minute details of something and asking "What's that?"

For example:
Margot: "What's that?"
Me: "That's a telephone wire."
Margot (a moment later): "What's that?"
Me: "That? That's, uh, a crack in the sidewalk."
Margot (three seconds later): "What's that?"
Me: "That's the sign that says 'two hour parking'."

You get the idea.

One million "What's that?"s a day can really get to you after a while. (Although, I'm sure I will long to hear "What's that?" when Margot reaches the "Why?" stage.) I've been trying to teach her something new to say as a replacement for "What's that?" (and squeeze a French lesson in at the same time): Qu'est ce que c'est?

She doesn't get it yet. But she does blow me kisses whenever I correct her "What's that?" with a "Qu'est ce que c'est?"

I guess what she hears is 'kiss que c'est.'

Coffee Nation

When I stereotype little girls, I imagine them sitting in dainty dresses with ruffled socks and patent leather shoes around a table set for tea.

Margot, of course, eschews these stereotypes.

The past few mornings Margot demanded I fill her little cup with 'foffee.' The 'foffee' cup comes on our morning walk with Portia (she likes to pretend to sip from it while Portia sniffs around the treewells on our block), and she asks for a refill later in the afternoon (for that late afternoon slump). She offers 'foffee' to me, to Portia, and to her animals and babies.

It won't be long now until she can say 'organic,' 'shade grown,' and 'fair trade' without prompting.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween Prelude

On Friday, Min attended the Wharton Kids Club Halloween party. Part of the fun included trick-or-treating throughout the MBA offices (which I found delightful, seeing as it was climate-controlled and I didn't have any irrational fears about someone tampering with the candy).

Hmmm...Skittles? Snickers? Brodie kept guiding her hand toward the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

Although she didn't get to keep her candy and I only let her sample a few bites of a KitKat, Margot thoroughly enjoyed herself as a pink-clad fairy.

Editor's note: On the first draft of this message I forgot to note that the only way to get Margot to wear her costume was a promise that she could carry a brand-new purse (her trick-or-treat bag, shown above). Margot is closing in on me with the number of 'active' bags she carries!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Swings and Slides

It's hard to believe that one week ago it was 80 degrees (Farenheit, of course) and we were running around in short sleeves.

Autumn has arrived in Philadelphia, I think today's high reached 51 or so. Margot is learning how to navigate the playground in a winter coat and hat; she refused to wear mittens (can you blame her? It would probably slow her down.)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

An Apple a Day...

Yesterday Margot and I went with some friends to a local 'pumpkin patch' (which was really more like a pumpkin circus, with a petting zoo, hayride, bale-of-hay maze, playground, farmers' market, etc.)

Margot showed weak interest in the pumpkins, but was very interested in her new favorite produce: apples. "Ap-ple" is the new "Cooo-kie" in Margot's world. She asks for them all day long. Lucky for her, this farm boasted a million varieties of apple.

This morning she reminded me of how awesome yesterday was with the following:
"Margot. Apple. Hay-wide."

Things did get a little dicey on the hayride when her friend Joseph showed a little too much interest in her apple.

Flashback: October 2005

Here was the Min about one year ago.

Punkie (not broken)

"Mom, you get can me this one to make up for the pumpkin you broke."

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Min picks up phrases these days like bees pick up pollen - they just stick to her as she buzzes through life. One of her favorites is "Come on, Porsche" (combined with clapping her hands or slapping her thigh). I, of course, say this fifty times a day and so Margot is just imitating me (the sincerest form of flattery, right?)

She's also learned to say, "Enough," which I also probably say fifty times a day to her and Portia both (such as, "You've had enough cookies" or "Portia, enough!" when she begs at the table).

Well, it appears that Margot has inherited (or is mimicking?) my impatience. We went to Mass this morning and Min was mostly amused with the intermittent standing, sitting and singing. She remained quiet for the first 20 minutes or so. But about five minutes into the priest's homily her tiny voice rang across the silent church. "e-NUFF."

"Shhhh...." I said, hoping others would think it was just baby babble. But there was no stopping her.

"e-NUFF. e-NUFF." She managed to get a few more out before I magically produced Alternate Piggy (aka Babi) from my purse, distracting her to silence once again. Luckily it was a short homily (I hope that doesn't mean the priest took it personally).

Monday, October 09, 2006

Accessory Queen

What? We're going out?

Hang on, let me get my purse.

Okay, let's go!

Requisite Marinara Photo

Mmm....penne with red sauce...

Friday, October 06, 2006

Observations by Margot, Part I

Tonight Brodie, Margot and I drove across town in the chilly rain to meet a friend for dinner. (Who? You want to know who we were meeting? Well, ok, it was Mike M.)

We stopped at a red light and frantic shouting came from the backseat.

"Car! Bow-bow. Car! Bow-bow. BOW-BOW!" Margot insisted.

I looked to the left, and there was a taxi next to us, its 'bow-bow' lit on top to indicate passengers within, kind of like this.

Apparently 'bow-bow' means more than just hair ribbon (see Wordsmithing if you are confused.)

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Margot's vocabulary is exploding these days! Everyday she's adding new words to her repetoire, which is good for me because it means our conversations can go beyond:

Margot: "Mama! More cookies!"
Me: "How about some apples?"


Margot: "Mama. Punkie. Broken. Mama! BROKEN!"
Me: "Yes, Margot. I'm sorry. I broke the pumpkin by accident."

(Margot has a tiny pumpkin that had a little stem until I dropped it two days ago and the stem broke off. She has not yet forgiven me for this. I also prefer a pumpkin with a little stem, but it's not like the pumpkin itself was smashed!)

Other words of hers that I want to remember forever:

"Wampum" = Water (I think there's something primal about her calling water wampum)
"ROW-ies" = Flowers
"Chi-CKEN"= Chicken nuggets, heavy emphasis on the 'ken.'
"Buddha" = Buddha (See previous post)
"Eh-oh" = Elmo
"Bow-bow" = Any hair ribbon, bow, or barrette

And, possibly my very favorite: "Pizza" (said very very fast and always with a huge smile. Think "Pi-zzah!")

The comedy behind her pronunciation probably doesn't translate well to the written word. I wish I could upload little soundbites for each one so I could always remember them.

Oh, other recent vocabulary accomplishments:
A proper name for Portia (Porsche - which, coincidentally is how I pronouce the name of the car.)
A proper name for herself (Margot - clear as day!)
Her first color recognition: Yellow

Participation component of this post:
Since she basically picks up whatever words I feed to her, I'm taking suggestions for interesting and/or comical words to slip into day-to-day conversation. (Nouns work best but some adjectives are ok too).

Tiny Dancer

Yesterday Min played dress up at the Azaela Garden behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Azaelas aren't in bloom, but she looked like a fairy regardless.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Walking on Sunshine

Today was a good day in Margot's world. We shopped at the grocery store and she sampled all the offerings. We looked for ballet slippers for her Halloween costume. She napped long and hard. She went down the slide a few dozen times at the park. She danced on our table on the roof deck beneath a beautiful blue sky and the occasional helicopter (very exciting to her). The temperature was perfect, the humidity was low. All days should be like today!