Tuesday, June 19, 2007


I didn't actually expect this day to come for a LONG, LONG time, but it's come and gone. A three-year-old, my three-year-old, knew something I did not. Ever heard of an okapi? No? Me neither.

We are looking through a book on giraffes. Despite my best efforts to find library books that are fictional, pithy, and full of lively, fun words and pictures, my child is hooked on encyclopaedic works. We picked out ten books at the library last week. Seven are ideal bedtime books, sweet picture books, funny stories, etc. What does she like to read best? Which books does she cart around with her EVERYWHERE? Which books do I fear I will have to replace due to damages incurred by over-loving? The three books on animals. One is on Zebras, one on Elephants, and one on Giraffes.

We arrived home from the library and she was boldly flipping through the animal books making up a story to go with each picture. Thank goodness, since I wasn't interested in reading the four or five paragraphs per page. She was flipping through the giraffe book, creatively called Giraffes, and came to a picture of a weird looking zebra. She annouces to us, "And that's an okapi." We looked at her quizzically and read the teensy print under the picture. Sure enough, it was an okapi. You learn something new everyday, just not usually from a three-year-old!

The okapi is the closest living relative of the giraffe, hence the reason it was in the giraffe book.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Very Carousel Birthday

Elena Catherine Gill turned three yesterday. She's a bit obsessive in personality, as are all toddlers I think. Her current obsession is carousel horsies, carousels, reading carousel books, and riding carousels she makes out of pillows. For her birthday, we took her to the Bushnell Carousel in Hartford. She LOVED every minute. Here is an indication of how much she loved it:

And some photos:

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Smell of Colors

This is a bit of an odd post. I'm not sure if I am weird, or normal and other people just don't talk about this stuff like I do. Maybe you can tell me. I am walking for miles everyday to get in shape. Walking is my time to think. Sometimes I go over things that bother me and work them through, but sometimes I have weird breakthrough ideas. Yesterday, I had one such breakthrough thought.

I stepped outside into the road that is arched by trees, vines and ivys. Growing alongside the road are wildflowers and thick banks of weeds. The moment I stepped onto the lane, I could smell the smell of GREEN. I closed my eyes and sniffed. Yes, that was the exact smell of green. Later in my walk, I came to an area that had a funny smell. It smells a bit like urine actually...the smell of YELLOW. At another point, I smelled the acrid odor of old skunk...the smell of BLACK and WHITE.

I started imagining what other smells immediately link in the brain to colors. Here is what I came up with...

The smell of water-soaked hands after swimming in the lake all day. The smell of clean, cool skin, BLUE.

The smell of a warm oven with gingerbread cookies baking, BROWN.

The smell of crushed raspberries or a tomato warmed to pungency by the sun, fresh from the garden, RED.

The overwhelming smell of grape chewing gum, in all its fakeness, immediately connotes PURPLE.

What smells make you think of a color?

Or, am I just plain weird?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Our Neighbors Won the Lottery

You know what that means? We will NEVER EVER win the lottery. What are the chances of hearing, two people on the same street in Connecticut won the Lotto? Well, probably not very good. Good thing I don't play very often.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Just a Little Video...

I call it I wuv spots:

Grab the Lambie and Pass the Cookie

This weekend, we went to Saratoga for a day trip, just the kids and I. It's about two-and-a-half hours each way. The ride up was a bit of a challenge with Liam squawking and screeching and moaning and bitching. In fact, Elena finds it hilarious when I try to keep myself from blowing up at him by singing, "Mr. Scream, Mr. Scream, doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo." (sung to the tune of the Mr. Clean commercial jingles). So, the ride up was dicey with SOMEONE screaming the whole way and, therefore, SOMEONE else only getting a thirty-seven minute nap.

I spent a lot of time pulling my rotator cuff trying to contort to pick up Lambie (Liam's blankey) and handing him food, toys and binkies. At one point, I begged Elena to share her animal crackers with Liam. It reminded me of the Sistine Chapel fresco of God and Adam where their fingers are just barely touching. This provided enough of a challenge to please both players of the "Pass the Cookie" game. I was thanking God I had put a really big, absorbent bib on Liam for the trip. FYI: animal crackers reduce to crumbs and paste really quickly.

It was yesterday, on a shorter road trip of only a half hour or so, that Elena invented the game we are calling "Pass the Lambie." Liam tosses his Lambie overboard and Elena immediately snatches it up. She tosses it over to him and he grabs it. They lock in a minute or two of tug-o-war and I am treated to paroxysms of laughter...until it all turns bad, as all sibling games seem to when one sibling tires of the game before the other. This one ends with Elena peeved that Lambie is continually being jettisoned onto HER library books. "Mommy!!!!!! Liam keeps throwing his Lambie on my book!!!!!!!!" Sigh...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Almost Three and Drawing REALLY Well!

Or at least her mother thinks so! What do you think of this picture of: A mommy zebwa and her baby zebwa with wots and wots of gwass to eat!

Here she is drawing on April 22nd (or thereabouts). These are pictures of Elena, Liam and Dadddy:

And just a reminder...these were her faces drawn on June 7th of last year.

So exciting that she might enjoy art like her mommy...

Friday, June 01, 2007

Annoying Conversational Ping Pong

Elena attempts to engage me in mindless games of conversational ping pong about 345 times a day. The conversations have become so predictable that I can just look at her with a glower and she will spout out the next line. Here is one example:

"Mommy, Mommy, MOMMY?"

"Yes, Elena?"

"Mommy, Mommy, What you doing?"

"Doing the dishes."

"'Cause why?"

"'Cause they are dirty and I need to do them."

"'Cause why?"

"BECAUSE, people have to do dishes to keep them from piling all up. I have to load them into the dishwasher."

"'Cause why?"

At this point, I shoot her the glower and she often says, "'Cause that's how God made us?"

HAHAHAHAHA! I've got her trained now, if she says, "'Cause why?" I just stare at her and she comes up with an answer of her own.

One of my favorite repetitive conversations involves her reading me a book. She starts out telling me the title, which is always "About __________." She has a book with a horse on the cover she got out of the library this week. The story sounds like this:

Elena: "About horses at day and night. (page flip) About horses at night with stars.(page flip) About ponies and horses. (page flip)" The story continues along those lines with her describing each page as she sees it. It's really very endearing.

Last night, she read me a book about cows with spots, horses with manes, and pigs with curly tails. She read the book almost word for word, but added in her own embellishments (in parentheses below).

Who has spots?
A COW has spots! (Elena adds, "course" as in "of course")
Who has a mane?
A HORSE has a mane! ("'course")

I love that she is interacting with books. I will have to get a video of her reading. It's really quite cute!