Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And then she was four...

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear Mi-in
Happy birthday to you

Margot's fourth birthday passed quietly, marked by cake and a special sleepover with her cousin Riley. The sleepover was her request, and in lieu of a more formal birthday party. I was thrilled at her decision to forego a huge party with her classmates and extended friends/cousins because, in the interest of fairness, we are at the 'invite all of the class or none of the class' stage of childhood. Margot, fresh from a classmate's birthday party two weeks prior, decided for the latter.

(NB - the reason I think she decided to skip the class-wide birthday party was because her classmate's party featured a clown that terrified Min. She spent the entire party upstairs, with me, while the clown entertained everyone else downstairs.)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Happy Thanksgiving all! We celebrated Thanksgiving out in Sherwood, which has been our tradition for the past few years. We had another gorgeous day, although considerably chillier than last year. Also following tradition, we took the boat out for its last ride of the season before retiring it for the winter. Fortunately, Brodie and I did not have the same scare as last year , but we did run out of gas about 250 feet from shore.

Margot loved riding in the boat and even had a chance to steer on her own, since there weren't any other boats out on the water.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kids in DC are so PC

On the way home from preschool this evening, I stopped for a red light on Wisconsin Avenue. Margot looked out her window and saw an advertisement for the Washington Redskins.

"Look, mommy!" she said. "A Native American!"

I couldn't help but laugh, much to her dismay.

(I think she's getting ready for a political career.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

She Knows Me So Well

Outside of Margot's classroom, her teacher (Miss Stephanie) records and posts the kids' responses to questions she's asked.

For example, this week they are reviewing the Thanksgiving story in class. Outside of the class, a signboard says: "What We Know About Thanksgiving" (before reading the Thanksgiving story). There were 5-6 kids who responded "nothing." (That was their quote.) Margot's quote read: "My mom really likes cranberry sauce." I laughed out loud when I read that, particularly because it's true.

I was laughing so hard about her "knowledge of Thanksgiving before reviewing the Thanksgiving story" that I forgot to review her "post-Thanksgiving story lesson" quote. I'll look tomorrow.

On a related note, there's a bulletin board in Min's class that says what each child is thankful for this year. Margot's says she's "thankful for my heart." Very sweet. I'm not sure what she means exactly, but at least she didn't say she was thankful for Disney princesses or something along those lines.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 2008

Happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's the End of the World as We Know It...

After a long and lazy summer vacation (yes, I'm aware it's almost November) Margot will be heading back to school, five days a week, starting tomorrow morning. She's done a few 'drop in' days at her new preschool, and has warmed up to her teachers (Miss Stephanie and Miss Heather) and a few new girlfriends. She also adores the school sandbox.

In honor of her last day of this extended vacation, she wore her pajamas until 10:30am and watched four PBS programs this morning. Early to bed, early to rise will start tomorrow - it's going to be quite a shock to her system!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I call this sequence "Autumn Glee"

This is the first autumn I've actually had to rake leaves. When we lived on the Hill, a good sweeping would suffice. In Philadelphia, we didn't have any yardwork at all. Lucky for Brodie, I've inheritated my parents' love of yardwork and planting; this is probably because my first real memory is sitting in a highchair in the backyard on Long Island while my mother raked leaves around me.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Harvest Time

Last Friday, we met up with Margot's dear friend from Philadelphia (Billy), his mom and his little brother for a visit to the pumpkin patch. The sheer gaudiness and commercialism of the patch was not evident to Billy and Margot; in fact, I think it made them enjoy the patch all the more. (The term "pumpkin patch" is being used loosely in this post. In fact, the 'patch' was a pile of brambles with a few moldy pumpkins strewn amongst the vines. The pumpkin that Margot chose from the patch, which showed no signs of mold last Friday upon selection, is quickly decaying on our front steps and I doubt it will last until Halloween.)

Happy Autumn everyone!

Cousin Connection

Margot visited the National Zoo with three of her cousins a few weeks back. Margot adores all of her cousins, but seems to have an extra-special relationship with Riley, who is just one year older and fills a bit of an older sister role for Min.

I came upon them laughing hysterically and snapped a few photos. Then I asked what was so funny.

"Can you imagine," they gasped between guffaws, "if there was a cactus on someone's back?"

The punch-line was over my head, but I am glad they have each other and share a sense a humor.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Garage Band

One bonus of our new house (for Brodie, that is) is that he set up his drums in the basement. Hence, Margot's music lessons have started with some before-dinner tap-tap-tapping (I'm sure the neighbors are thrilled). It's a bit of a double-edged sword for me - on one hand, I can get a bit of time to myself when they play drums but, on the other hand, the dishes (and my head) rattle.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Raw eggs? Nevermind them.

There is nothing better than licking brownie batter off of a spatula. Just ask Margot.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This Post's for You, Great-Grandpa!

Margot, Brodie and I had a lovely visit with Margot's great-grandpa on Sunday afternoon. And the first thing he said to me was, "Why haven't you been updating your blog? I miss it."

And that is what spurred me to get my act together, download some photos, and start writing my snippets again.

This post goes out to you, Great-Grandpa! Margot had a terrific time visiting you, as you can see from these photos!

Maybe she meant I looked like Tina Fey

On Monday morning I had a job interview and so dressed in my conservative blue suit. I also pulled my hair back and wore my dark-rimmed glasses (I do believe that the general public has a tendency to think people in glasses are 1. smarter and 2. professional. I figured it wasn't going to hurt me to arrive prepared with psychological warfare.)

As I put on my lipstick, Margot watched me from the bathroom doorway.

"Well, how do I look?" I asked her.

She studied me for a moment. "Handsome," she answered.

'Handsome' is what she calls her daddy when he's dressed for work. Essentially, I was wearing the same outfit he wears, only with heels.

"Well, thank you," I relied.

She paused a moment. "Actually, you look like Sarah Palin."

Did my three-year-old just tell me I look like Sarah Palin?

Political commentary aside, this is clearly a sign that she needs to participate in more age-appropriate activities.

More Summer of '08

Through these, you're just about all caught up. It was a summer of after-dinner lacrosse, ballet on the front lawn, and beaches. Perfection.

Summer of 2008

The house renovations, coupled with teaching classes online and not having Margot in any kind of preschool program this summer, prevented me from making any blog postings. But I am going to try to post at least weekly through the rest of the year. To bring you up to date, here is Margot's summer, in photos:

Monday, July 28, 2008

P-O-T-S means Stop

I know I am so overdue for an update. I am hearing this from many angles. Renovating this house is really taking a toll on us. I will post new photos soon.

Meanwhile, here's a tidbit that I want to record for myself. A few days ago, Margot and I were driving through the neighborhood when I slowed and stopped at a stop sign. Out of nowhere, Margot reads, "P-O-T-S. Stop! I can read!"

'Oh my goodness,' I thought. 'She's dyslexic.'

But then I convinced myself that she needs to be taught to read from left to right, that's all. And so I've been working on that and she's adjusted fairly quickly.

Now I'm forced to make a full stop at every stop sign so that Min can spell ('read') the word.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Report Card

Ok, so Margot didn't receive an actual report card today but I did have a parent-teacher conference with her pre-school teacher. I attended alone because poor Brodie is up to his eyes in drywall and painting down at the new house in DC.

There isn't too much to report. Margot received 'checkmarks' in all the objectives, which means she is meeting everything that is expected of her (i.e., sharing, holding prolonged conversations with adults, taking pride in her work, pedaling a bike, switches tasks without difficulty, etc.).

Off the record, Mr. Brian noted that she is "very independent," "choosy when it comes to her friends," and "sets the rules for the games in class." Her favorite classroom activity is dramatic play, during which she assigns roles and costumes to the other kids and creates elaborate plots which the other kids generally adhere to (according to her teacher). Some might view this as 'bossy' but I prefer to think of it as 'confident.' Mr. Brian also noted that if someone doesn't want to play by her rules, Margot just sticks to her agenda and plays by herself.

The apple sure doesn't fall far from the tree in her case! Either tree.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Weekend Wrap-up

Too tired for words, but here are some photos of Margot's annual trip to Chincoteague, VA.

I'll sum the weekend quickly: Arrival, feeding the ponies, cousins, swimming, learning to float unassisted in the pool, more cousin-time, bbq, ice-cream, walking on the beach, (bedtime), back to the beach, sand, ocean, lunch, nap, equestrian training, pool, out-to-dinner, ice-cream, (bedtime), ponies, more cousin-time, observation deck, beach again, lunch, long drive home.


Slightly more civilized than last year:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Thanks, NPR

Some fun things I've gotten a chance to explain in the past few days that Margot picked up from "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered":

"Soldiers" (and, along with that, the army and what it means to defend a country)
"Killing Spree"

Monday, May 19, 2008

Pomp and Circumstance

And rain. A lot of it.

Graduations can try one's patience even on the best of days. Long speeches, waiting for your loved one's name to be called amidst a sea of names you don't recognize, balancing family and friends, etc.

Add to that a cold, unrelenting downpour, an open-air stadium, and a "Rain or Shine" graduation policy and you have yourself one rough day.

Now that we're dry and comfortable again, though, we can focus on Brodie's achievement - congratulations to him!

This photo was taken moments before the rain started:

Margot and Teal passing time (also pre-downpour while the graduates assembled):

The drenched but happy family:

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Home Sweet (New) Home

We signed the paperwork and transferred the funds for our new home on Friday!

It was a rainy day, and Margot had a chance to exercise her rain boots at the bottom of the driveway.

Indiana Jones and the "Wake Up Song"

The nearing of the premiere of the new Indiana Jones movie has the airways a-buzz with the theme song. Upon hearing this song on a local radio station, Margot exclaimed, "That's our wake-up music! That's what my teachers play at school to wake us up from naptime!"

Margot's teachers are totally cool. They also play the theme from "Mission: Impossible" during clean-up time. (I truly appreciate their humor.)

At any rate, Margot and Brodie have found a new common link - a love of Indiana Jones. They watched Temple of Doom together tonight. Was this the best movie for a three-year-old to watch? Probably not, but the quality time they spent together overrules any possible frights the movie might cause.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Logic 101

Margot's astute observations are teaching me how the items in our daily lives are misrepresented. How would I function if I couldn't read? Well, I'd probably function as Margot does.

For instance, yesterday Margot asked for a squirt of Pam Cooking Spray in her mouth because she thought it was whipped cream. Why did she think it was whipped cream? Well, because there is a picture of a bundt cake on the front of the can, of course.

Last week, the new bedding that I ordered for Margot arrived. I had showed her the picture of the bedding on the Internet and she agreed that pink and green dragonflies would be pretty in her new room. But when the bedding finally arrived, she pouted.

"Where's the bookshelf?" she asked. "And the little pillow?"

"What bookshelf?" I said. "I ordered a comforter, Margot, not a bookshelf."

"But there was a bookshelf in the picture," she pointed out. "And a little pillow. And a doll on the bookshelf..." she continued.

See, the bedding was staged in the online photo. I explained we only bought the bedding, but Min thought it very misleading that the sellers would show those other items in the advertisement if they weren't included in the price.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Keep on Rockin' in the Free World

Yesterday Brodie and his impromptu band played a block party in the neighborhood. Margot was the number one groupie - she danced for the whole set.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Truth be Told

Setting: Parking garage beneath our building.
Characters: Me, Margot, man unloading packages from his car.

Scene opens.

Margot (loudly): "That man looks like XXX" (XXX is probably not a reader of this site, but is definitely known by readers of this site.)

Me: "Yes, I suppose he does look a little like XXX."

Margot: "They have the same hair. You know, the kind when you don't have any hair up here." (Indicates the top of her head.)

Man unloading car looks up.

I fumble to find keys and get us quickly to the elevator bank.

Scene ends.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My new all-time favorite photo

Much Needed Update

Has it really been a month since I've written anything here?

Margot is great. We're great. Just busy trying to settle the details of our imminent move to Washington, DC (where will we live? where will I work? where will Margot go to school? what kind of bedding can I buy for Margot on Ebay? You get the picture.)

But we've had some changes, too. For one, Margot has a new haircut which was dubbed 'trendy' by our next-door neighbor. You decide:

She also has an imaginary friend who often joins us for dinner and sleepovers. One evening a few weeks ago, Margot opened the front door of our apartment and announced a new friend had come over. "Mara" (sounds suspiciously like "Kara," Min's good friend from school who lives one floor up from us) is Min's newest playmate and they play intricate dress-up games and sometimes picnic. She's clean and quiet, so I don't mind when she comes over.

I will do better...I will do better...don't leave me, visitors! More posts to come.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Coldest Egg Hunt Ever

This afternoon Margot went to the Wharton Kids Club Spring party. Our time in Philadelphia is rapidly coming to a close and I this was probably the last Kids Club event we'll attend.

The party included an egg hunt in anticipation of Easter. Despite Brodie's urging for Margot to "get all the eggs you can" she only turned up one egg. It was freezing out, and she wasn't really interested in finding eggs. Mostly she just wanted me to find her coat and put it on her. (An alternate title for this post could be "An Egg in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush.")

Here is her 'golden' find (stuffed with SweetTarts, which she immediately ate):

After she got her coat on, she was happy to pose for a photo with her friend Kara.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Just for fun, I looked up Margot's name on the list of the 1000 most popular baby names this decade to see where she scored.

Her name wasn't on there. No Margot or Margo or Margaux. I find this a little hard to believe, since I know a Margo and another Margot who were both born within the past three years. Maybe they were the only three this decade?

Brodie and Claudia fared slightly better, scoring at #635 and #264, respectively (that's this decade, not our birth decade).

So Margot wasn't on the list, but America (for a girl) scored at #488, with 4105 people naming their daughters after Mr. Vespucci. And Sincere (for a boy) scored at #714, with 1828 babies named.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

One of the funnier things she's ever said...

Characters: Margot, me, TJ (an old friend from college who was roommate to both me and Brodie at different times in Baltimore), Clover the Bear (aptly named because of the clovers/shamrocks all over her body).

Setting: Getting into a rental car in Denver, CO. 9:30 pm. Temperature: about 45 degrees.

TJ, pointing to Clover: "Margot, look at all those shamrocks on your bear."

Margot: "These are clovers, not shamrocks."

TJ: "Do you know what a shamrock is?"

Margot: "Yes. Shamrocks are kind of like punk rock."

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Winter Olympics 2018

Hello from Vail, Colorado!

Margot took her first ski lesson yesterday. She did well, despite a little nervousness. I watched from the sidelines while she came down the bunny hill (with the assistance of a noodle). But she persevered, and every time she came down she went right back up the conveyer belt lift to try again. After the lessons, I assured the Min that I was so proud of her for her bravery and she beamed with delight. For the rest of the day, she crowed to everyone that she skied; however, after I read her a story for bed ("Madeline"), she asked me, "Mommy, why did I go to ski school today?"

"So you can ski with Daddy when you get bigger," I replied.

"Oh. Okay."

Today she's taking the day off, but there's some snowshoeing in our future this afternoon.

One Ski On:

Up the Conveyer Belt Lift:

Coming Downhill (Min's in green):

Apres Ski:

Friday, February 22, 2008

Depeche Mode

A day doesn't pass that Margot doesn't play dress-up in her princess clothes. The storyline alternates from day to day - sometimes she is headed to a wedding, occasionally she is going to a birthday party, and some days she's simply going to the grocery store. (Grocery store trips don't include her ball gown, but do usually include high heels.)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Breath of Spring

Today is one of those days when 52 degrees feels almost warm and offers a promise of Spring. Margot and I went to the park after lunch, and I was astounded that we were the only people there. The daffodils have started sprouting beneath the trees; unfortunately, tomorrow it's supposed to be freezing (literally) again.