Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

Magenta and Blue

How much fun is it when you discover a good friend is wearing a costume that compliments yours? Lauren dressed as Blue, and her friend Christina dressed as Magenta - both of Blue's Clues fame, pictured above before school this afternoon.
Mommy with Tiger Cub

Lindsay dressed up as a tiger for Lauren's Halloween party at school. It was a good time - we made frames out of popsicle sticks, decorated cookies, and played games such as pin the nose on the jack-o-lantern, boney bowling, and Halloween Twister.

Cinderella and Blue play pin the nose on the jack-o-lantern

Two Princesses in a bowling competition

Blue and someone's little brother playing Twister

Monday, October 30, 2006

The girls

Wearing their sister t-shirts: one big and one little

Friday, October 27, 2006


Alec saw that It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was on tonight, so all four of us climbed into our bed (since it was technically the girls' bedtime) to watch it. It was funnier than I remember, probably because at this point, it's very dated. Lauren thought it was OK. Lindsay was more interested in staring at Daddy and having her bedtime snack.

I haven't done the side-by-side comparison view in some time. I realize they are looking a little less alike these days.

Lauren at 5 months, March 2003

Lindsay at 5 months, October 2006

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Making of a hero

While we ate dinner this evening, Lauren recited "Five Little Pumpkins" as Lindsay looks on admiringly. Note the black cat plate and pumpkin bib - Hallowe'en is upon us Chez Stoll. Lindsay was in the middle of eating squash when Lauren began her performance. Lauren was struck silly by Lindsay's amusement with the end of her poem.

We made pumpkins and bats as our art project, and decorated them with stickers sent by G. We also received a spooky I Spy book in the mail from G today. We enjoyed that at storytime with Daddy.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Learning puppy

I'm not sure who likes singing, game-playing Learning Puppy more. Lindsay's too little to make him work except by accident, so it's kind of fun to have an older sibling who can make things work.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Seamus, the very pissed off cat

I'm just about at the end of my rope with the cat.

Alec's travel schedule picked up toward the end of my pregnancy with Lindsay, and became weekly once she was about 2 weeks old. None of us likes that he travels several days a week, but Seamus has taken it the hardest.

He was occasionally peeing on the floor right after I had Lindsay. It seemed to happen when the litterbox needed to be changed. Lindsay got a bit bigger, and I was able to take care of changing it more often. But it seemed that every time I would change the box, he would immediately pee on the floor.

It is happening on a daily basis even though I change the box once every few days. Today, I have gone into the bathroom to find the floor wet 3 times.

Alec keeps pointing out that I haven't caught him doing it.

When Alec went away on Monday, the cat went down to the basement. He didn't come up the entire time Alec was gone, even though the door was open. He wet the floor at the foot of the basement stairs...but the floor in the bathroom remained dry.

What to do about the cat? I am considering moving him down into the basement and setting up a litterbox and food down there for him. He may or may not actually use the box. I'm not all that thrilled at the basement stinking of cat urine all the time.

I've really grown to dislike him, and I feel horrible about that. He was our adored pet.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Watching television together

You'd almost think they like hanging out together. We're watching Little Bear. This was after a long walk in the gorgeous Indian Summer weather. We have been relishing these last warm days before the days get frosty and short.

We painted the "not pumpkins" today. They look like miniature pumpkins, but they're actually a gourd. I painted a face on mine, and Lauren painted polka dots. Lindsay watched and knocked each of her toys off the table one at a time.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The girls

Lauren and Lindsay, October 2006

Hello, my friend...or Overheard in the PM Pre-K line

"Hello, my friend Natalie!"

"Hi, Lauren."

"Mom, this is my friend Natalie. Natalie, this is my mom. You can call her Mrs Stoll."

"Hi, Natalie." I said, cheerfully.

"Hi, Mrs Stoll." Natalie says, standing in front of Lindsay in her snugli. "Hi, baby!"

"My dad calls my mom Heather. But I get to call her Mommy."

"Heather," Natalie says dreamily, "is a pretty name."

"Thank you, Natalie. You have a pretty name also."

Monday, October 16, 2006

The reading project

Lauren is learning to write her letters. She can, in fact, now write her own name. Some of her letters are reversed, and she usually can't write it on one line...but pretty neat stuff.

Today, Lauren's teacher sent home a book. Every week, on Mondays, she will send a book that we must return on Thursdays in order to get a new one.

The note accompanying the book said "Please make sure to discuss the cover, title, and author with your child. Also, let your child turn the pages". So I lay the book in my lap, and said, "Tell me what we have to talk about on the cover..."

"Well," she said, thoughtfully, sitting beside me. "Tell me who the authors and illustrators are."

I did.

"Okay. Now you have to read the title."

I did.

"As we read the book, you're supposed to point out the exclaimation points. And then, ask me what happens next..."

Wow. This reading thing is tricky.

Our reading time ended tonight with The Cat in the Hat. This book was written and illustrated by Dr Seuss. She grinned. Oh, how we adore procedure...

Friday, October 13, 2006


Ok, the matching dresses are pretty cute...and this picture is a good example of why it's fun to have girls. Don't you love the dress over jeans look? Lindsay helping big sis with her shoes. Ten dollars says this picture is blown up at Lauren's wedding...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Mama and Lin

Here we are, about to head out and get Lauren at the bus stop. I guess she does kind of look like me these days.

And, yeah, I know they wear a lot of Hallowe'en stuff. What fun is October if you can't wear spooky pajamas? Even if you are too young to know what they are...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Lauren riding Snowball

Lauren, October 2006

Lauren had a pony ride on Sunday when we visited Giamarese Farm. We've been there several times over the past 3 years for the autumnal hayrides, pumpkin picking, and great farmstand.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Voracious little eater

Alec feeding Lindsay, October 2006

"I want to do it myself!"

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Lessons in Spanish

Today, we went to Target to buy Lindsay a Bumbo seat, simply because Cecily from Wasted Birth Control has one for Tori. It's a great little chair, and perfect for our cereal experiment today.

There's a Starbucks inside the Target on Route 529 in Piscataway, and we always stop for a little treat afterwards. I ordered a grande iced coffee with a shot of hazelnut syrup, and Lauren chose a vanilla milk for herself.

"A grande coffee?" Lauren asked. "Is that what you ordered?"


"That makes sense." Lauren said. "You are grande and I am pequeño."

"Right! Good job speaking Spanish."

"Oh, I know, Mom."

The cereal experiment was great fun during dinner. Lauren and I had chicken stirfry with fresh veggies and ramen in a lemon zest ginger soy sauce, and Lindsay had a scant teaspoon of single grain barley cereal in about an ounce of milk. She ate voraciously, at times trying to take the spoon out of my hand and do it herself...and at the end she was looking for more.

The girls

Lauren and Lindsay, October 2006

Friday, October 06, 2006

This post brought to you by Auntie Helen

When I was a kid, we used to look forward to Auntie Helen's visits. Helen is actually my great aunt, my grandmother's sister. She would stay with Gramma Jean for some weeks in the summer, and then head back home to New York City.

She taught us to play Gin Rummy, her Viceroy cigarette dangled from her lips as she spoke. She was one of the few adults who would indulge us for hours playing games with us in Gramma's pool. She wore a white bathing cap strapped under her chin not to spoil her always very blonde hair.

There was a game we'd play in the pool, she'd bounce us on a knee and sort of sing/howl:
Ponygirl ponygirl
Wontcha be my ponygirl
Giddyup whoa, don't say no
Come and ride with me
Giddyup giddyup giddyup whoa!
Come be my ponygirl
A quick Google search reveals these aren't actually the lyrics, but that's what she sang.

Every night, the girls and I get into the bath together. I started the tradition when my pregnant belly prohibited my leaning over our large porcelain tub. Now, Lindsay gets bathed first, then Lauren. When it's time for me to take Lin out, we sing the Ponygirl song to her. We sing very out of tune. She giggles and splashes.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Morning announcements

"Mommy, this is called zydeco music," she said, pointing at the Sesame Street gang decked out in their cowboy hats.

"Sure is."

"Do we like that?"

"Sure, zydeco music is kind of fun. Daddy likes the accordion."

I am happily feeling refreshed this morning after Lindsay ate every 20 minutes from 8:30 until 10:30 PM, and which point she fell asleep. I snuck upstairs at 11, figuring I ought to catch a couple hours of sleep before the next session. Miraculously, it didn't happen until six blessed thirty. Lauren padded in with Turtle and Elephant (all of the stuffies from her babyhood have utilitarian names). When I lifted her bangs to examine her forehead, they still look like mosquito bites, so I'm going to assume that's what they are.

Every day the past 2 weeks has been "wear a color" day at school as the kids are learning about primary colors and how they blend to create other colors. Thanks to Lars, Lauren is the only girl who had appropriately colored clothes on orange day (Tuesday) and black day (today). She announced yesterday that Ms Murphy helped her write her name because she knows how to spell it L-A-U-R-E-N. She was pleased to graduate from "making her own L".