Seeing TS3



I started the day off by heading to see Toy Story 3 with Mike, Liza, Maeryn and Liza's friend Niya. I have to say, if you're going to see a Pixar film, seeing it with a theatre of under-10 year olds is the best way to see it. There were giggles in places I wasn't expecting them and squeals of delight in all the places I was.

At the scary part (yeah, the part where even I was a little stunned at it), I looked over to see Liza and her friend huddled together, eyes wide staring at the screen, comforting each other as the scene progressed. "This is the part your dad told us about!" I heard her friend tell Liza. Maeryn herself was curled under Mike's arm for protection.


I had my arms around me.

After the movie, I had the distinct joy of heading into the bathroom with three girls, two of them chatting away across stalls. Maeryn and I bonded after each of us took care of our own business, when she showed me her ring.

Look at it.

Isn't it gorgeous?


All that said, I enjoyed the movie. It was fun, and didn't have any moment where I rolled my eyes or looked at my watch. Well, except for the moment when my watch alarm went off at 11:11.

And the parts where both Jonathan and Michael cried at? Suckers. You both warned me enough that I made it through tissue-free.

She's worn them all week


I thought for sure I had written about the pink boots when I bought them for Liza years ago. Mike, Liza and I were at a target, and looking for some shoes for Liza. I don't recall what kind Mike was looking for, but at some point either Liza or I found the pink boots and, although I hate pink, I LOVED the idea of the pink boots. Liza wanted them, too, but, well, they weren't what Mike was looking for, so "No."

But, well, I loved the pink boots, so I asked if I could buy them for her. Mike looked at me funny, but said yes, I could. So I did. Liza worn them non stop for a week.

Apparently, now that they've been handed down to Maeryn, SHE'S been wearing them non-stop. Gee, I love those pink boots. Sometimes (only VERY briefly), I wish I were 4 years old again so that I could wear tiny pink boots.

Best $20 i spent that year.


Par-tay at the Gulls


After visiting Mark and Megan and Mirabelle and Meter, Kris and I journeyed up to Mike and Kate's house. Kate's company Christmas party was last night, and the two of them were looking for someone to sit the girls. My thoughts about sitting Liza and Maeryn usually run along the lines of "What? Play with the girls? Yes? When? Can I come over now?"

So, Kris dropped me off and left, as Liza, Maeryn and I played with a snap-together circuit set that I had bought Liza for Christmas either last year or the year before. To say that I purchase Christmas gifts a few years too old for young people is an understatement, because I nearly ALWAYS do it. Sure, a digital microscope is perfect for a four year old! What four year old wouldn't love to look at slides of insects on his computer?

Yeah. So, Liza didn't really understand electrical circuits. At least Mike was trying to teach her.

After a fabulous dinner of hot dogs and mac and cheese (mmmmmmmm, hot dogs for vegetarians, the best! I bribed Maeryn to eat my hot dog), we were allowed to watch an episode of Land Before Time (whoo!). Also known as "time for Kitt to work on her computer." I tell you, that's always fun time!


When bedtime rolled around, Maeryn was supposed to go to Mike and Kate's bed, with Liza heading to her own bed. The girls, however, had a better idea, and decided that jumping up and down on the air mattress made up for me was the best place for going to bed, not the two separate rooms. We played around for a while, with the two of them having problems going to bed until I rubbed their backs for a good twenty minutes.

They slept for a couple hours before I decided to go to bed. I really should have gone to bed when the two of them did. By the time I went to the bed, Liza was near the middle of the bed, with Maeryn bent over hogging the other half of the bed. I had no space on the bed. I nudged Maeryn a little bit, hoping not to wake her, and managed to wake her only a little in claiming my 10" of sleeping space.

Mike and Kate arrived home as I was drifting off. As near as I can tell, they wandered into the kids' bedroom, didn't find them, wandered into their own bedroom, and didn't find them there either. They're smart, though, and figured out we were having a slumber party in the pink room.


And the battle begins!


Last night, after we finished the lights installation, we were greeted by a knock on the front door. When I opened the door, two of my favorite people tumbled into the living room, giggling and calling "Kiiii-itttt!" followed quickly by another favorite person.

Mike, Liza, and Maeryn were on their way some, but stopped by to drop off the truck and some other items, including a pile of books. I handed Mike back two of the three books in the Old Man's War series, having devoured them rather quickly. I received a slew of Percy Jackson and Grimm Sister books in return.

While Mike and I were chatting, Liza and Maeryn wandered around the room looking for something to entertain themselves, with Kris hovering somewhere close. At one point, Liza picked up my foam rollers and asked, what are these for?

Kris picked up the other foam roller and the foam roller sword fight began.


After a few swings, Maeryn tackled Kris to save Liza. She managed to wrestle the foam roller out of his hands, and started swinging it in his direction. She was successful in her subsequent beatings of Kris with the roller, until Liza took a swing and accidently hit Maeryn. That changed Kris' fortune, as the two girls entered a fierce battle for supremacy.

Not to be outdone, Kris retaliated with the Big Red Ball™ move, conquering one of his foes.


There are some peple who are slow to anger but fierce when provoked. When Kris had captured of of his girls, Mike, one of these slow to anger types, couldn't resist any longer. He came in with pillows flying, and balls bouncing off heads, including the basketball which had until this point been a quiet observer of the war raging around it.


The hilarity of the battle scene soon became overwhelming for me. I doubled over with laughter, my stomach cramping so hard it hurt. The battle continued until, well, someone poked her eye out with a stategically thrown pillow, and we all had to calm down while the medic checked out the injury.

After a few moments, said medic asked, "Are we done yet?" To which the injured party said yes and stopped crying. We were all subdued enough that the war was clearly over.

I can only hope the forces battle again some time soon.

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Marshmallow wars


Mike stopped by tonight with the girls. He was in the area on errands, just had dinner with the girls and wanted to pick up seasons two and three of the Wire. Apparently, Mike hates me and Kris, because he loves the show. Too addicting. Chalk another victim up to Jason's DVD recommendation prowess: I originally purchased the first set after he recommended it in some post. Kris was hooked, as were Heidi and John and anyone else we lent the DVDs to.

Too bad I never really enjoyed the show. I watched enough, however, to know the characters and some of the references (especially the episode where like 20 minutes of dialog consists of one word, and that word begins with f). I might some day actually want to watch them. Until then, eh.

Kris and I were eating dinner when they showed up, but Liza was not to be stopped. She bounced around for a little bit, before asking me, in a quiet, unassuming, deceptively shy way, did I know where the marshmallow guns were?

Oh, boy, did I know where the marshmallow guns were!

I pulled them out, as Kris tucked the dogs into their crates. Liza and I spent a few minutes loading each of the two guns full of marshmallows before the firing frenzy began.

Liza and Mike/Maeryn shot the first round, with marshmallows flying everywhere. "Yeah, the dogs are going to love this," Kris commented. They'll be looking for those for a few days, to be sure.

After the first round was done, Liza picked up a bunch of the marshmallows to refill her launcher. Mike too that opportunity to fire marshmallows at me. He had to shoot a number of times before we were able to time the shot with the camera. Note Mike's evil red eye:

I did manage to capture a shot from Liza a few moments later, without trying:

Though, I later discovered I had caught a near hit very early in the first round:

When we were done, and the dogs has managed to clean up the "mess," Mike asked how six kids with marshmallow launchers would do over Christmas. I said we had four, and it was totally awesome. The best idea is to plant marshmallow ammo all around the field, so that you don't have to travel far to reload.

Here's hoping they capture some video of the event.

Cookie dough parade


If cookie dough is always this fabulous, I needs me some cookie dough. Stat!

Breakfast in the woods


Kris and I dashed up to Mike and Kate's for breakfast this morning (where dash means "show up 40 minutes late"). Of course, I forgot my camera in the car when Kris and I went in. Kris hasn't been up to the house very much, so when he walked in, Liza was quite surprised. She looked up at him, put one hand on a hip, and announced, "I usually see just Kitt here."

Kris managed not to laugh.

Katie and Alex were up at the house, too. He and Maeryn played well together, though spending time with Liza means Maeryn behaves older than any other kid her age.

I managed to make pumpkin waffles again, this time with nutmeg instead of cinnamon, in deference to Mike. They were still tasty. I swear, that waffle iron (thanks Bharat and Jen!) is getting more use than any other appliance I own.

Except maybe the dish washer.


It's stuck.


Mike has been telling me that Maeryn can speak, that she has a vocabulary of seven words. Having never hear an coherent word spoken from her lips, I didn't believe him. Sure, I've heard cooing and screeches that Mike can distinguish as "thank you" and "bye bye," but any normal human would be hopeless trying to communicate with Maeryn.

Today he needed help taking asphalt that had been ripped up from his back yard, to the dump. I'm not sure what it was with the previous owners of houses along this street, but paving over the back yard seemed to be a common theme.

Since Maeryn was still in town (Liza being at camp, and Kate being at the UPA's Board of Directors annual strategic planning meeting), Mike needed a babysitter during his dump run. He brought her over, we chatted, then he left. As he was stepping away, I had approximately nine seconds to distract her enough that she didn't realize the last person in her family had left, and although he was coming back, she had only my shoulders to cling to.

So, distract I did!

Realizing we had no toys for her to munch on, I tossed her into the air a few times (she's heavy - that kid is dense!), then wandered over to her house to find toys to distract her. We spent much of the time in the play room with various toys and books. She was willing to be distracted, being a Baby Klingon only momentarily.

At one point, she was playing with a My Little Pony, and dropped it. It landed between my leg and the arm of the futon we were sitting on. Maeryn reached down, grabbed it, and pulled up. The pony didn't budge, so she looked up at me and said, "It's stuck," sounding like, "Ist studt," in an unbelievably adorable little girl's voice.

I looked at her, and realized I was dumbstruck that not only had she spoken her first words to me, but it was in the form of a complete sentence. I screached in enjoyment and praised her. When Mike arrived home, it was his turn not to believe me when I told him the story.

Of course, the true test would be for something else she wants to become stuck, and have her announce that, too, is stuck. Haven't tried the experiment yet. Having too much fun tossing her into the air and listening to her giggle. I have to do that a lot now, before she becomes too heavy for me to lift.

Oh, she does that all the time


Kris was working late tonight, so I wandered over to Mike's for pizza. We watched a tivo'd version of Hustle that he had, ate pizza and lounged around with Mike and Maeryn. During most of the show, Maeryn was holding onto the edge of the couch and walking back and forth along it, demonstrating she knew how to walk, she just chose not to demonstrate such talents to the giants known as not-Mom.

At one point, she was at the end of the couch where Mike's feet were. She reached up, grabbed his foot, and shoved one of his big toes into her mouth.

I exclaimed, "Ewwww! She has your toe in her mouth!"

Mike looked down, and casually commented, "Yeah, she does that someti... YEH-OWWWWWW!"

Uh huh. She does that sometimes, eh? Does she always chomp down, too?