Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mommy and Penelope Plead Insanity

Penelope's having a rough weekend. First she hit her face on my camera, then bruised her chest on Dad's laptop, and then last night, she somehow did something with that small pumpkin we let her get at Sweet Berry Farm that made blood appear in her mouth and on her lips. I was worried she'd knocked her teeth out. Derrick, the more logical parent, pointed out that they can't be knocked out if we can still see them in her mouth, but I thought they might be secretly knocked out, like really loose and then she'd swallow them in the night and wake up with no teeth (because that happens often). Then right before I read her bedtime stories, she did an unexpected nose-dive off the bed and hit either the table or a safety rail. She has a huge goose egg on her head.

Yesterday evening, I yelled at her, and then I felt so guilty. We were sitting in the cuddle chair, and I leaned to kiss the top of her head, and suddenly, she suddenly jolted up, causing my bottom teeth to knock into my lip. There's now a small bump on the inside of my lower lip, just above the enormous bump from a previous Penelope collision several weeks ago. "Penelope!" I yelled! But then I felt bad, because really, she was just trying to wiggle her feet and be "cozy." So I kissed the top of her head again without thinking, and then she did the exact same thing again.

"GET OUT OF MY LAP!" I yelled hysterically.
Penelope, who probably didn't realize what was happening, seemed rather surprised by this crazed outburst. But she shrugged it off pretty quickly. Grayson, on the other hand, seemed kind of alarmed. He and Derrick were sitting on the couch, and neither of them really knew what was happening, either.

I didn't actually make her get out of my lap. In fact, the whole thing got smoothed over almost immediately. We started playing the mad game. She handed me her stuffed turtle, saying, "Mahmahmad!"

Mommy: Why are you mad, turtle?
"Turtle" (voiced by Mommy): Well, I'm mad because Penelope keeps head butting me!
Mommy: Penelope, did you head butt the turtle?
Penelope: (shaking her head no) No!

Then she suddenly reared back and started head butting the turtle in the belly millions of times, laughing wildly, while the turtle screamed, "OWWWWW!"

Mommy: Penelope, why did you head butt the turtle?
Penelope: (making a crazy face) Kazy!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


We are watching Ghostbusters now. At first, Penelope and I were watching her new favorite cartoon about Minnie making apple pie for Daisy. But now she is enthralled watching the eggs cooking themselves on the counter. That never happens at Grandma's house!

Monster House

We just got back from picking Grayson up in Marble Falls, and now the Halloween movie marathon has begun. Grayson's first pick Monster House just started, and so far, Penelope is loving it. She yelled, "Leaf!" And then as the little girl was riding the tricycle, she reached out to her the whole time, transfixed. It was so cute. Now she's very concerned about the little girl.

When the old man broke the girl's tricycle, she turned to us in outrage. Finally, she decided, "Mean!"

Grayson is so funny. We were singing in the car, and Derrick and I were making up this Sound of Music parody for The Hills Have Eyes, and I was screaming in this horrible voice, "AaaaahaaaahaaaahaahhhhhHHHHHH!" Grayson was like, "You're not a good singer, Sarah! Just kidding."

I said, "Actually, I don't have a very good voice."

"I know," cracked Grayson, with perfect timing. "I just heard you."

Derrick had to work this morning because of quarter end, so Grandpa picked us up and took us back to their house, where Grandma had made a delicious breakfast. After breakfast, I stabbed myself in the ear, then Penelope smashed her face on my camera, and then she fell off the loveseat onto Dad's laptop. Amazingly, we both are still alive.

Ahh, Monster House, another nominee that was better than Happy Feet.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Little Miss Mary Janes

Often heard around our house...

Mommy: What's your middle name?
Penelope: Jane!
Mommy: What's my middle name?
Penelope: Jane!
Mommy: What's Daddy's middle name?
Penelope: Jane!


Penelope chose Cars to watch for the fist time yesterday, though it wasn't one of the choices I offered. (I'm not a huge fan, though I certainly did like it much better than Academy Award Winner Happy Feet, which I thought was the least deserving of the three nominees that year.) But anyway, Penelope found Cars in the cabinet and correctly guessed the title, so I let her watch it. I thought since next summer Cars 2 is coming out (and by then, she will likely be old enough to go see it), watching Cars would be a good idea.

She watched practically the whole thing, just riveted (which is amazing because I find it long and boring in places, but, then again, she hasn't seen Doc Hollywood). Anyway, I don't know why I'm bashing Cars so much. We're watching it again right now.

I wanted to watch Sleeping Beauty today, and she didn't seem to mind, but then from the moment Malificent showed up, she started yelling to watch Cars. I tried to pretend like I didn't hear her. She got the vuvuzela.

You can't really ignore someone yelling, "CARS" into a vuvuzela right into your ear for long. She was also drowning out Briar Rose's song in the woods. Sleeping Beauty is my favorite Disney movie, and I particularly liked that part, but the Vuvuzelephant car enthusiast didn't seem to care that she was drowning out the music of Tchaikovsky. (The spell check thinks his name is Lobotomy.) She did like the part with the animals, but she would periodically get nervous and worry about the "bad witch."

Then when the fairies (who I called "good witches" to make sure she wears her Halloween costume on Sunday night) were getting the surprise party ready, she yelled, "Fraid!" and threw her arm over her eyes.

"Why are you fraid now?" I asked. "They're having a party!"

"Oh no!" yelped Penelope. "Cake broken!"

She was very "fraid" of course during the part with the "mean bad witch" and the "dragon." It is pretty hard to keep a straight face and tell someone not to be afraid of a witch named Maleficent who can turn herself into a giant dragon and says things like, "Now shall you deal with me, O prince, and all the powers of Hell!" Perhaps "fraid" is the right way to be in such a situation.

Even at the end, she was "fraid."

"Don't worry!" I told her. "The bad witch is gone now."

Penelope was not at all convinced by that. "Come back," she said suspiciously. Who knows, she probably did in the direct-to-video gem, Sleeping Beauty 2.

(Uh oh! Derrick and I just realized we forgot to set out meat to grill hamburgers tonight. "Shit!" I yelled without thinking. Penelope is now repeating it seemingly infinitely. I'm trying just to ignore her in hopes that she'll stop more quickly, but she seems to know she's funny.)

Just a minute ago, she picked up the old cell phone I gave her this morning and made constant gibberish singing noises into it until I asked, "Who are you talking to?" Penelope jumped, said hastily, "Bye bye," and then snapped the phone shut and hid it behind her back in a most suspicious manner. I wonder who she was talking to!

I gave her the phone this morning to pacify her after I took back my "earring." (She was lamenting, "Sad. Ear broken" when she saw she didn't have the hole necessary to wear it.) She was really funny. She had no idea I'd given her an old phone on purpose. After pushing buttons gleefully for a second, she looked up at me and declared, "Broken, Mommy! Need battee."

She's so entertaining. Aunt Merry sent her One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish socks. Normally she screams to have her socks taken off right after her shoes, but she's insisted on wearing these since we put them on yesterday afternoon and even brought me the book to read today (for the first time in a while).

She's so verbal! Derrick just now tickled her face with a fuzzy tennis ball cat toy. She exclaimed, "Fuzzy!" with giggles, and when I turned to see what was happening, she noticed and explained to me, flexing her fingers near her cheek, "Face tickles."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Green Car! Fast! Wow!"



"When Mr. Bixbie came home for lunch, the first thing he noticed was that the house was gone. Luckily, one of the neighbors was able to tell him which way it went." --from There's No Such Thing as a Dragon by Jack Kent

Penelope is so funny today. The cover of her Farmer Jones book got all mangled under the chair. I unbent it, but there's still a wrinkled spot, which she noticed.

"Dirty," she said suspiciously.

"No, Best Friend," I told her. "It's just wrinkled. We can still read Farmer Jones. It just got wrinkled." I explained how the chair had squished the book (which has happened to other books before), and finally she accepted this and said gravely, "Wrinkled."

Half an hour or so later, she suddenly cried, "Oh my!!!" in that high squeaky way of hers.

"What's wrong, Penelope?" I asked her.

She was holding both palms up to her face and flexing her fingers in horror. "Wrinkled hands!" she yelped in alarm. It was so cute I had to give her millions of spontaneous kisses (which also happens often).

Of course, while we were reading, she did something equally amusing, though less cute. She kept giggling and giggling, and I finally asked, "What's so funny?"

"Tickle winki," she said.

I then realized that she had her arm stuck all the way down the front of her diaper.

"Are you tickling your winki?" I asked her, knowingly.

Penelope laughed in response.

"Oh, but what if you get pee pee on your hands?" I said.

Penelope got this shocked look on her face, like, Oh my gosh, I never thought of that! She yanked her arm out immediately, and yelped urgently, "Wipe! Wipe!" She didn't relax until I'd wiped her hand. Crazy child!

Besides The Animals of Farmer Jones and Mickey Mouse: A Picnic in the Woods (which is probably her favorite book right now), we also read There's No Such Thing as a Dragon twice. That was one of my favorites as a child, and Penelope warmed up to it for the first time last night. We've read it before this, but her reception was always kind of lukewarm until now.

Such a great book! I always thought it was so good (which one might glean from reading the all caps, orange marker message GOOD BOOK written on the inside of the back cover).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Orange Bowl

Penelope was a scream today when we went to Walmart with Grandma to pick up a few groceries. While Mom went back to pick up some salsa, Penelope and I remained in the produce section, admiring the pumpkins.

Suddenly, however, she declared, "Orangey!" reaching out to the bin of oranges. "Want! Hold."

I let her hold one, and she tried to eat it, so I put it back in the bin. She got hysterical. Just then, Grandma showed up and informed us that Penelope could have an orange if she wanted it.

She held onto it the whole way home in the car. Then, when we got out, she took it into the family room (with the hard wood floor), and yelled, "Hedge apple!" Then then started bowling with it. I took a little video of it. She was very amusing.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Twins

A Walk in the Park

Below: Penelope was smiling on the bridge, and then just before I snapped the picture, Grandma said she thought she heard a troll down there. Penelope turned suddenly and made the face pictured here.

Below: Penelope had fun sitting on the rock at first, but ultimately she had a huge screaming meltdown because I'd forgotten her shoes in the front seat of the car, which she understood but did not accept. She kept saying, "Walk! Oh no! Shoes! Daddy! Work." It was like she understood but still couldn't overpower her impulse to walk. She got hysterical, so Grandma had to put her back in the stroller. Then she wailed, "Hold you!" at me down a whole stretch of trail. I finally did take her out and hold her, but immediately, she tried to break free and walk. She was not happy.Below: Leaves
Below: I got behind taking this picture of myself. Grandma called for me to hurry, and then Penelope tried to turn around in the stroller and called to me very noisily, over and over again.
Below: Duck Playing Charades (with the other ducks on the bank) (according to my mom)

Penelope's Vuvuzela

Monday, October 25, 2010

One More

Mommy and the Witchy


We went to Target earlier this evening to get Penelope a witch costume, but they were pretty picked through, particularly the toddler costumes. Penelope picked out one that was a cow suit (oddly enough, modeled by a little boy). She really wanted it, and wanted to hold it, and kept saying, "Moo!"

"Do you want the cow costume?" I asked incredulously.

"Do!" she replied emphatically, but it looks so hot, we didn't think she would really wear it. We finally found a purple fairy for a small child. To us, it looked smaller than many toddler costumes. We reasoned that a long skirt on a five or six year old would be a short skirt on Penelope. (If it were any smaller, we'd have to use a shrink ray to get her into it--although it's a little big across the collar bone.) I thought the purple fairy was the cutest. That way, she could wear her purple hat from Lindsay and carry the lavender wand (also from Lindsay) and the leopard broom. Grandma gave her the broom Saturday, and she has been sweeping with it ever since. Sadly, she snapped the wand in half on the car on the way home, so we're going to try to super glue it.

I let Penelope stand on the bathroom counter and look in the mirror to model the costume. At first she didn't want to put it on, but once she saw herself in the mirror, she loved it and sobbed hysterically when I made her get down and take it off.

Uncle Leroy

We found out today that Derrick's Uncle Leroy (one of the readers at our wedding), has a tumor on his kidney the size of a grapefruit. He goes in tomorrow for surgery and could use prayers.

'Mazing Things

Yesterday afternoon, Derrick went to get lunch from McDonald's (which always gives me reflux, but I'm addicted to Monopoly). While he was gone, Penelope pointed to the wall and said, "Triangle!"

I highly doubted it since there's nothing on that wall. But when I looked, the sun shining through the corner of the window had painted a light triangle on the wall.

I showed Derrick when he got home. "Look Daddy! Penelope found a triangle on the wall. She just yelled, 'Triangle!' Isn't that amazing?"

"'Mazing!" echoed Penelope in excitement--very cute considering that I found her amazing, while she found it amazing that a triangle of light had appeared from nowhere on our wall.

Holiday Time!

Penelope and I are having a pretty awesome day--although she was like a hibernating bear this morning. I finally had to carry her downstairs asleep. Earlier, we watched The Sword in the Stone while we colored pictures and made turkeys with our hands. Her "gobble gobble" is steadily improving. At one point, she threw our crackers and cheese on the floor and tried to sit on the table. I got mad, and Penelope started to make pathetic "hoo" noises (actual "hoo"s like she used to make when she was little).

"What's wrong, Penelope?" I asked her.

"Sad," Penelope answered.

"Why are you sad?" I asked her.

"Mommy mean," she answered.

Then we took a bath. She's a funny girl. Before the bath, I asked her, "What do you want to wear after you get out of the bath tub?"

"Naked!" answered Penelope with a smile.

In the bath tub, she made "punkin soup." Shockingly, this soup contained no pumpkins. Instead, the ingredients were (according to the chef) "chicken," "eggs," and "pee pee." Somehow, the idea of soup made of chicken and eggs being served to ducks is disturbing on many levels already, even if you don't consider the "pee pee" element and the misleading name.

After her bath, she refused to put on her clothes for a really long time. Finally, I got her dressed, and then she ran away toward Grayson's room. But then she stopped at the door and started whimpering.

"Are you going in Bubby's room?" I asked her.

"No," she answered. "Fraid!"

"Why are you afraid of Bubby's room?" I asked.

"Haunted," replied Penelope.

"Oh, Bubby's room is not haunted," I told her.

"Ghosy," insisted Penelope, pointing to the shadow of the blinds on the carpet.

"That is not a ghosy," I said. "That's nothing. There's nothing to be afraid of."

"Fraid!" wailed Penelope.

"What are you afraid of?" I asked her.

"Nothing!" she cried, pointing at the "nothing" I had identified for her.

(Last night as I was going up the stairs, I heard Derrick teaching her the word "shadow" and Penelope repeating it, almost perfectly. Then I entered the bedroom. Derrick turned to Penelope and said, "Tell Mommy what that is on the wall," and Penelope turned to me, pointed to the shadow and said, "Ghosy!" Derrick was frustrated. "No," he said, "what did Daddy tell you it was?" "Ghosy," lied Penelope, to his added exasperation.)

While I was rummaging through the bookcase in Grayson's room, I said to her, "Thanksgiving is coming soon. Do you know what Thanksgiving is?"

"Yeah," Penelope answered nonchalantly.

I was surprised at this news. "You do?" I said. "What is it?"

Smugly, Penelope answered, "Ween!" She knocked on a book and said, "Tick teat. Candy. Punkin. Fankew." Her grin was very smug for someone who had completely the wrong answer, but she's a confident girl.

Anyway, I dragged her downstairs, and we read some Jack Prelutzsky Thanksgiving poems, and then some poems from a book I found called The Rooster Crows. I've got a great idea for our super cool Halloween party this weekend. (It would be cooler if Derrick didn't have to work part of the time. But we should still be able to get Grayson on Saturday night.)

I think Derrick and I should read some of the scary story books I found and then tell them to Grayson. He's always averse to being read to, but for some reason, he loves to tell stories. On the way to Waco weekend before last, we had a story telling contest in the car, and he always loves it when I make up zany stories off the top of my head or tell him more focused ones I steal from classic literature.

I'm very excited about the Halloween party. We're going to Mom's house to trick-or-treat. (I'm upset that Pittsburgh has played at noon every game this year, and now suddenly is playing the night game on Halloween, the one game I wanted to skip. But that's life, I guess.) I've found all kinds of spooky stuff to watch. I like the idea of driving to some remote abandoned place and telling scary stories in the dark in the car, but that's probably too scary for some of our celebrants (like me. I'd probably have a panic attack and freak out and have to be taken to the hospital or something).

More Park Adventures

Fun in the Park

Posing for Grandma (so she can see the hedge apple)

Toys for Lindsay!

Fabulous Weekend!

We had a fantastic weekend, kicked off on Friday morning when Aunt Merry sent a huge package of clothes for Penelope and Star Wars Legos and cool shirts for Grayson which I'm excited to give to him. Penelope's favorite shirt said "I love kitties." I'm really frustrated by the limitations of this keyboard. It was green and long sleeved and said I followed by a glittery pink heart and a picture of a kitty cat face. Penelope was immediately in love with this shirt. She yelled, "Beat beat! Beat beat!" (It's so funny that she knows what hearts say, but she doesn't know why.) Then she said, "Meow! Meow! Kitty! Pet!" She started to pet the kitty, and made an adorable little face at me, commenting, "Cute!" She then draped it over her shoulders like a cape and declared, "Running," as she began running through the room yelling, "Cute! Cute! Cute!"

Then that evening we were in for another treat. My friend Lindsay came to visit us. Penelope was extremely excited about this because I made sure that she was, even though I am quite sure she had no idea what I was talking about. Lindsay, however, is a smart one and came armed with presents for each day that she saw Penelope. She stayed in the only hotel in Hutto. We didn't even know it was there, but conveniently, it was less than ten minutes from our house. Friday night, we picked her up and then Derrick went to pick up Freebirds for dinner while I gave her a tour, and we played with Penelope. That night, Lindsay brought her a princess wand, some chocolate pumpkins, and a giraffe puppet. I think it was Saturday morning that she brought the purple duckie who is currently getting in my face and insisting that he is "mad mad mad." She also brought her a purple witch hat with bats, a bracelet and necklace, bubbles, and a South African hummy thing you use to annoy people at soccer games. She possibly also brought her more stuff that may be slipping my mind at the moment.

Not surprisingly, Penelope adored Lindsay and warmed up to her immediately and started showing off as much as possible. She has been big on turning around in circles all weekend.

Saturday afternoon, we all went to the duck pond by Grandma's house. For the first time, I let Penelope out of the stroller during the walk. She walked practically the whole way by herself, part of the way, pushing a stroller full of hedge apples. That girl has an amazing amount of energy! Then we dropped Penelope at Grandma and Grandpa's and headed over to Chola for the most delicious dinner ever. After that, we went back to Mom's house and watched part of Harry Potter while we ate her delicious cake and cookies. Penelope hadn't napped, but she fell asleep in the car on the way home, so after dropping off Lindsay at her car, Derrick and I drove around for a while to let her have a little sleep. She woke up about forty minutes later by pointing out the window and yelling joyfully, "Moon! Happy!"

Then Sunday morning, Lindsay came by to say good-bye and we chatted happily for quite a while and tried to figure out how to use the South African thing. I was writing when she came over, and so I forgot to do last minute Fantasy Football changes. As a result, I left the formerly injured Darren McFadden on the bench on one team, where he scored over forty useless points.

Yesterday Penelope refused to nap, so we expected her to go to bed early, but she wouldn't go to bed until midnight. Then, this morning, I couldn't get her to wake up.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fun Times

We've had a good morning and are gearing up for excitement. Penelope's in a zany mood today. Grandma came over this morning to help clean the kitchen (more accurately to help by cleaning the kitchen), and Penelope has been pretty much a non-stop goofball.

Right now, someone is climbing up my shoulders. I know because she's grabbing my back, giggling, and saying, "Climb! Climb! Shoulders!"

I have a lot more to write about, but the shoulder scaler is trying to push me off the couch.