Maeve and Lilly

Christmas Train

December 28th, 2009

I think it was Thanksgiving weekend that we decided to take the train to New York for Christmas. This was the first time since 2004 that we’d make the trek to see Nanny and Grampy for the holiday and the girls were jazzed. In an effort to minimize the amount of luggage schlepped back and forth to NY, Santa shipped a bunch of stuff by way of Amazon.

We also opened some of the larger/more-fragile presents on Tuesday night, the day before we left. The girls were especially excited about their Ugg-knock-off boots. Also of note was the ream of copy paper that Maeve got (this in an effort to keep paper from disappearing from Momma’s office due to Maeve’s art addiction).

Wednesday (12/23) at 2pm, we drove to the Park’n'Ride and waited in the freezing sleet for the Van Galder bus to Chicago. The decision to leave the driving to someone else was a good one. While we relaxed in the back of the double-decker bus, the traffic crawled along the icy Interstate passed car after car in the ditch. Four hours later we were delivered to the front door of Union Station.

After checking our bags and grabbing a bite to eat, we boarded (senior citizens and families traveling with small children first, thank you very much) the Lakeside Express at 9pm. We were just in coach so we put the girls’ seats back, covered them with a pink Hello Kitty blanket and told them it was bedtime. They were a bit concerned that the lights were still on and annoyed that the old Indian gentlemen in front of them was on his phone the entire night. (“Haylo? Yays, I em on deh trayn.”) I think they fell asleep sometime after 10 and woke up around 4:30. I managed to get them back to sleep for a few hours. We rolled into Rochester at 9:30 (15 minutes early!) and saw Nanny and Grampy waiting for us.

Christmas Eve was a blur of making rice pudding, eating Pontillo’s pizza, and a party at cousin Liz’s house. Maeve soundly trounced Uncle Jimmy in a drawing contest before we headed home. Christmas morning dawned with an obscene number of presents under the tree. Despite the quantities, the girls managed to get through them in record time. Prize possessions now include Lilly’s Guitar Hero for DS and Maeve’s music sequencer/sampler. We spent the rest of the day in front of the fire waiting for word about the arduous journey of Uncle Joe and his family from Oklahoma. The girls went to bed disappointed that their cousins Adrianna and Alexis would not be here when they woke up.

Two days later, the crew from Oklahoma made it. The girls cooed and fussed over 15-month Adrianna and giggled awestruck around 16-year-old Alexis. On Monday, the day of our departure, it finally started snowing and the girls were able to get outside with Uncle Joe for some frolicking. The afternoon was spent packing and preparing for our 11pm train.

Of Kings and Queens

December 20th, 2009

Maeve delivered this extremely insightful comment as we drove around a parking lot: “In the olden days, there were kings and queens. Now we have lawyers.”

Photos: Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving

December 20th, 2009

Maeve and the Lizard Just in time for the deluge of Christmas photos, I got the rest of the photographic documentation for Fall up for your viewing enjoyment. Take a look.

Throw the Horns

December 17th, 2009

Maeve crawled into my lap when I was watching a live DVD of Isis. After about two minutes, she asked “is this a rocking-out band? …because they have tattoos.” Then later, “I like this music, especially the squeaky parts.”

Teen Speak

December 6th, 2009

Maeve is a trip. Not only does she seem to be reading well above her grade-level, she tosses off sayings with the nonchalance of a teenager. Over the past few months, these little gems have tumbled out of her:

  • That’s how I roll.
  • Come on, peeps.
  • Come on lady. Do the math.
  • What were ya thinkin’?
  • Ya think?
  • WhatEVER.
  • Let’s get a move on.
  • Tryin’ to play a game here.

Thanksgiving and the Coming of Christmas

November 28th, 2009

We spent a quiet Thanksgiving at home. The girls enthusiastically pitched in with the shopping and the preparation. Pies, cornbread, mashed potatoes, and cranberries all were group efforts. Though both Maeve and Lilly promised they would  try the Tofurky this year, only Lilly actually did. She liked OK, but was a bit off put by the sweetness of the orange-juice/brown-sugar marinade I had used. We spent the rest of the day lounging in a stupor in front of our first fire of the season.

Friday we headed north to pick up our Christmas tree at Smoky Hollow Farms. Part of the attraction there is always the wagon rides pulled by intimidatingly gigantic and beautiful Belgian Draft Horses. The other part is the complimentary hot cider and hot chocolate in the restored barn. Back home we dragged out all the Christmas paraphernalia from the basement and got the tree up, the stockings hung, the Christmas music playing, and the electric candles in the porch windows. We decorated the tree, Rockwellian style, in front of the fire while listening to the Nutcracker and Low.

The Horror of Halloween

October 31st, 2009

We left costume prep until the last minute again this year. There was not quite as much wailing and gnashing of teeth as I expected. We were writing in the studio, so to speak — trying to figure what the costumes were going to be based on what we could find in the picked over racks at the Halloween Express Superstore (TM, I’m sure). We grabbed some fake blood and some fangs and swung over to JoAnne’s Fabrics for a piece of sparkly spiderweb material and called it good.

Lilly (and her friend Sonja, naturally) were vampires. Maeve described herself as “a dead ballerina trick-or-treating.” (I remember it being “a dead zombie cheerleader” but there appears to be some revisionism going on by others in the household.) Wednesday morning I applied blood to Lilly’s fangs and created an oozing scar on Maeve’s forehead for the big Halloween parade at school. Maeve’s scar was apparently so realistic that when she looked in the mirror she claimed she was feeling a little dizzy because it was “so freaky.”

We spun around the neighborhood Friday night, but the chill in the air (hovering just above freezing) exerted more influence over the length of our outing than the allure of more candy. As usual, the girls sorted through their haul and donated a shocking amount of candy to the Great Pumpkin (the legendary spirit that leaves a few dollars in exchange for extra candy to be distributed to less-fortunate children). Maeve was particularly magnanimous, ruthlessly discarding 75% of her take.

A Theory About Purple Cars

October 4th, 2009

We pulled into a parking lot this morning and Maeve observed: “That car is damaged.” Not long after that she asked, “Do purple cars get damaged more?” I dismissed this theory until we all started to notice an uncanny number of purple vehicles that had sustained damage. hmmm…

Back In The Jig

September 27th, 2009

We had the first Irish Dance Performance of the new season today at the Monroe Street Festival. It was a beautiful day and it was nice to see the girls dance in wigs and dresses. I hadn’t seen them perform in quite some time and was quite impressed with their fluidity and confidence.

Anarctica Is Cold

September 26th, 2009

Lilly: When I grow up and have enough money from working for National Geographic, I’m going to visit every continent.
Maeve: Like Europe?
Lilly: Europe, Antarctica…
Maeve: Antarctica?!? What would you wear?
Lilly: I don’t know. A coat…
Maeve: Come ON! Antarctica is colder than winter.