Sunday, May 3, 2015

Girls on the Run

Q9 has been participating in Girls on the Run this year. Our local group is called Sole Sisters, which I can never remember. So the Sole Sisters have been training since March for a 5K. Twice a week after school they ran or ran walked in the neighborhood or around the school grounds.

Blah blah blah. I couldn't run with them this year because of my feet (if you didn't know, and you probably don't, I have slightly frayed tendons, small bit of arthritis, small bunions, and a bit of inflammation. Nothing fixable, but somewhat painful. So ... I'm at about 1 year of not running right now, and still healing. I've got new orthotics and my Morton's Extensions are being made right now. Apparently they had to make the special because ... I have small feet??? I never heard that before) but I'm hoping I can next year if Q9 does it again.

Cut to race day. Pictures.

Q9 before the race started with her bestie H9 (right) and L9 (left) and J.E., H9's mom:

Almost done with the race. Q9's modus operandi was usually to sprint and walk, sprint and walk. But some of the time she ran hand-in-hand with H9.  So cute.


Finishing the race. Isn't this the best picture?? Holding hands, doing a great job!!!!

And ... we took the metro home. Not sure what this face was, but it is worth sharing.


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Fairie Festival 2015

We went to the Fairie Festival for the first time last year, but being that our kitchen was being remodeled and our home was in disarray, May and June really got the short shrift last year.

The fairie festival is something our friends J and M have done for the last 5 years with their daughter, S9 or 10. I'm going to stick with 9, because I think she was 9 at the festival. The festival itself is kind of like a renaissance festival except with fairies and it is always the first weekend in May, I believe, so it competes with a LOT of other things going on. But this is a fun thing to do.

Q9 got her face painted. C10 declined.

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Not sure why they love Twig the Fairie so much, but we had to have our picture taken with her. You'll notice both Q9 and S9 are also wearing wings:

While listening to music on a hill and eating lunch, kids realized you could RUN DOWN THE HILL. Kind of fun, actually. This picture of C10 is great. She remembered her cloak this year, which last year we did not bring.

And ... a video. I'm not sure if this is the one where they were jumping over me or not.
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There was a maze in a little stand of woods where you put color on your fingers and find something out about yourself depending upon which finger you colored in what order. This was them coloring their fingers at one of the stations, and then C10's hand behind a port-o-pottie. Sweet, right?
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Kid remembered this gentleman from last year, and his bonking of small fairies on the head with his giant mallet. He was kind of hysterical, actually. So Q9 & S9 were running around him to try to get him to chase them ... which he DID. He chased them across the festival, them screaming. But of course he couldn't catch them, because they are speedy little fairies and he was a giant fairie squisher (and I do mean giant. This man was big). But THEN, somehow, somebody realized THEY could chase HIM. And that hugs and love made him CRY.

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Two final photos. TCR45 wasn't feeling well, but well enough to put on C10's cloak. Awesoe picture. And C10 of course couldn't get enough of making fairie houses ... this year they made them by the stream. jAnd her she is IN the stream. And S9 and Q9 in line for something ... oh, in the maze in the woods!

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Baltimore Weekend - SUNDAY morning

SO, Sunday morning came and Q9 tried to watch more TV. But we both agreed that all the shows on were REEEEEEEALLY bad. So we headed out to Miss Shirley's for breakfast.

On the way there we ran into some giant musical instruments. They were really cool.

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And a merry-go-round ... Q9 went around this a lot ... and fell off a few times, too.

2015-04-26 Merry Go Round

You don't get merry-go-rounds on all the playgrounds anymore. You just don't. So this was tons of fun.
Eventually we had to keep walking, which included a walk on a sidewalk that contained a lot of homophones. Like this one.

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We did get there eventually, after wandering around a bit. The place was packed, but we had about a 1 minute wait, which was fantastic. When we left all the waiting room was filled to capacity and spilling outside.

2015-04-26 Q9 C45 Miss Shirley's

Breakfast was good. I had sweet potato fries and bacon. C45 had a veggie sandwich, the girls had wafles and pancakes. I got to eat their sides of scambled eggs. Terrific! When we were done we had thought we'd head out to the Farmer's Market in Baltimore, I'd heard it was an excellent farmer's market. C45 thought that Ft. McHenry sounded like a good idea, so that was on the table, too. But Q9 had been reading the Baltimore book of things to do in the hotel room and she wanted to go to Ripley's Believe It or Not!!!

So ... we did.

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I think it wasn't something that C45 & I would have CHOSEN to do, but it was fun. I'm going to post the pictures of some of the things the kids loved.

Q9 with a giant rotating penny made of pennies.
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C10 in the habitrail and with a wooden sculpture
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This is a wooden egg collection and a picture made out of words:
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I don't know if this is a dragon or the loch ness monster. Chessie of the Chesapeake Bay, maybe??
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The last thing before the end of the museum and the mirror maze began:
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And a video of it.

Then out of the mueum and into the mirror maze. You had to wear plastic gloves to keep from marking up the mirrors with your finger oils. We went through twice. And fun house mirrors which Q9 loved.

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Once we left we had a little time before we needed to leave for C10's piano recital. So we went to a store called "IT'S SUGAR" which contained giant versions of candy. So, giant peeps, giant boxes of nerds, giant rolls of giant sweet tarts .... that sort of thing. I swear we spent 45 minutes in there deciding what to buy. And Q9 wanted a picture of her with her pick-a-mix bag of candy. Here it is.

2015-04-26 Q9 Bag o Candy

Two final photos. C10 wanted a photo of the giant Barnes and Noble bookstore (we didn't go in) and Q9 wanted a photo with the lighthouse. Nice. I could accommodate BOTH of those wishes.

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Baltimore weekend - SATURDAY night

Undoubtedly you've heard of the protests and riots and general unrest that is happening in Baltimore by now. In fact, the girls' school system cancelled all school trips to Baltimore this week (yep. And Q9 was going to Port Discovery on Thursday. That isn't happening now.)

But Saturday we headed to Baltimore to go to a baseball game and spend the night at the Hilton Garden Inn, thanks to our good friend E. After 40 minutes of annoying behavior in the car, we finally got there! Yahoo! We had a little time to Q9 enjoyed the cable and spent her time watching Dog with a Blog until it was time to go for dinner at this interesting place called Family Meal on Pier 4. The food was good enough, and everybody was happy with their meals, although I don't think I'd go back again.

Headed out to the ball game. We headed down to the stadium passing a waterfall complex which completely enamoured the girls.

2015-04-25 Q9 at the fountain 2015-04-25 C10 and Q9 fountain

They ran  up and down the stairs and all over while C45 attempted to get us to head to the Camden Yards in a timely fashion.

We finally left the fountain and realized that protests were going on. They had completely brought traffic into the city to a halt. The cars were stuck.  The girls were interested, I said we could join the protest on the way home if they were still there. We decided to avoid the kerfuffle, however, as there were murmurrings going on Somebody and we took another route to the stadium, behind the main street. A wise choice, actually. That plus we saw this sculpture/bike rack? and had to make it ours:

2015-04-25 Q9 Bike

And while walking to the back entrance of the stadium we officially recanted my promise to join the protest as police in riot gear drew up and cops on horses in formation rode by.

But, we made it into the stadium. Dippin' Dots were had by C10 & Q9. They were more delicious than i remembered; I think the last time I had them they must of been freezer burnt. These tasted yummy. And they stuck on your tongue nicely.

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The girls froze during the game, which Red Sox lost to the O's, because neither of the had dressed properly. Oh, well. We agreed to leave at the 7th inning stretch, which was difficult for C45 at the time, since the Sox had just tied it up, but it turned out to be a good thing. Just after we left an announcement was made that after the game people were NOT to leave the stadium until the police let them out. Ah ... right. So, being locked in Camden Yards would have made me MORE nervous than being outside of Camden Yards.

We managed to skirt all violence on the way back to the hotel and got back safely, put everybody to bed, and started thinking about what to do Sunday.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Q9 ... birthday time!

Quickie post, Q9 had a birthday and she is Q8 no longer. She is taller, smarter, faster. Good going, girl!!!

She woke on the 15th to a pile of presents and a cupcake for breakfast.

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She had a party on the 18th, 3 girls spent the night, sleepover party, lots of jumping on the trampoline and running around outside, eating pizza and a very sloppy cake. There was a parade (Hyattsville day!) and fireworks (for her birthday, of course ... I mean, for Hyattsville day!). Good all around.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter 2015

Easter cuties in Massachusetts!

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Mardi Gras 2015

Guest Entry about Mardi Gras by Celeste

It was very noisy and also very warm in Louisiana. It was in the seventies on Saturday and it was 73 degrees on Monday when we left. At the parades, there were lots of stopping points when it got paused but the floats rarely had to stop where we were. 

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The first day that we were in New Orleans was Friday, and the fire alarm in the hotel went off twice. It was really scary! There were three parades on Friday: Hermes, something that I forget the name of, and Morpheus. My cousin Anna stayed awake for all three and it was 12:30 am when she went to bed! 

On Saturday for Iris and Tucks, we went to Ninoo's sister's house  and where we watched the parades was much closer to the beginning. So we caught more stuff and more stuff hit me [E44: everybody got hit in the head or eye or somewhere with beads at least once] But the best part about that was that when there were no barricades, so when the floats stopped near us, we could go stand near them and beg for stuff. And the people on the floats would just drop or hand you things if you were near enough to them. 

That night with Endymion there were these big creepy plastic costume-suit things that at least six people were wearing. And the faces of the big creepy plastic costume-suit things had creepy closed eyes and big fat creepy smiles and creepy outstretched arms. I went to sleep during that one, because I was tired and also I was getting sick of parades.

On Sunday we had beignets for breakfast and they had a whole lot of powdered sugar and were really yummy! I cannot keep my face clean with powdered sugar. After breakfast we just waited for the first parade. It was called Okeanos. During that one Daddy got sick and I went upstairs with him because I was sick of parades. The next one (but I was inside and writing on google docs for that one) was called Mid-city. After that one I came down for the next one, Thoth. After Thoth was Bacchus, but I was inside for that one again. Partly because I was sick of parades, partly because lots and lots of beads in one bag are really HEAVY!!!

We left on Monday and Quin was really sad because she is obsessed with Drunk on a Plane and Dirks Bentley would be in Orpheus that night (and it snowed at home that night so we had a snow day and could of left on Tuesday after all) and we wouldn't be there for Orpheus When we got back in the car after the plane and drove home, Quin found a banana peel that she had put in an empty white chocolate truffle bag on Thursday. It was frozen! There was frost on it and it was all brown, all over.

Guest entry by Quinlan

Yes. I am very sad about that. Now Celeste be quiet. Okay. Mardi Gras is french for Fat Tuesday.  I hate guest entrying. Also, I can't spell. Also Celeste, if you were sick of parades it would be you AND Father who would be sick. WHY DOES MOTHER MAKE US DO GUEST ENTRIES?!  I hate Mother! Fine. I will calm down. I caught too much. I had to stash the beads in my suitcase! 

Filling in some holes

We left Maryland Thursday afternoon, and arrived in New Orleans (after a few delays) that evening, and gracious Ninoo and Papa picked us up at the airport and drove us to Hammond for a night. 

The next day, midday, back down to New Orleans to our hotel, the Intercontinental, where the contingent of Hammond folks were staying. The parking lot was converted into viewing stands, and everybody brought their ladders and stepladder and folding chairs and set up outside. This is what it looks like empty. Little kids can sit safely atop of the ladders and catch the throws without being trampled.

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First parades we saw, as C10 said, were on Friday afternoon Hermes, Krewe D'Etat, and Morpheus. 

It took virtually no time at all for the girls to catch on, and start catching the beads. And then Q8 tried the ladder, which was a fun place to sit. An adult has to stand at the back at all times ... I  liked that job. You get a good view of what is going on.
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I only saw Hermes, then I took Q8 up to bed, C10 saw part of Krewe D'Etat, and C45 made it to the end of Krewe D'Etat. None of us saw Morpheus!

The next day (Saturday the 14th) we headed to the Garden District to watch the parades from there. This is more of what C45 remembers from his youth. The crowds were less crowded, there were no barriers between the floats and the spectators, it wasn't so crazed.

Both C45 and I spent a lot of time with Q8 on our shoulders. C45 even put C10 on his shoulders but I didn't even try that, that would be too much for me.

I'm sure this is Q8 telling C45 to GET CLOSER! or something like that.
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Saturday up in the Garden District was the Krewe of Iris and the Krewe of Tucks. Tucks threw my the trifecta of all things toilet ... the toilet paper, toilet plunger, and the toilet brush. With a little help from my friends I got them all! Huzzah! Yes, I was pleased with myself.  The light up wings on my head? from Hermes the day before ...

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That night back to St. Charles St. It was CROWDED. You can see.

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A8 is in the ladder seat with A42 on the ladder. The streets is packed. And to the left in the photo are the GPS locator trucks that signal the start of the parade ... it was about to start! But then we had to wait some more. But the parade--Endymion--was a good one. They were showering the crowd with beads and things.

The next day, Sunday. Parades started early, and we stayed on St. Charles St. We set up early and waited.

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Waiting ... actually, I think this one is during a parade, waiting for the float to float down the street:
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FINALLY, a PARADE! A FLOAT. I think this might have been Thoth:
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610 Stompers ... C10 and Q8 (um, and I) loved these guys.

In between parades there was a lull, and kids (and adults) often hopped the fence to make travel easier, or just to play with the footballs, frisbees, and balls that were being tossed from the floats. I loved this. It made it so casual:
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This is me and A8 on the ladder during Thoth, and then a float from the final final parade of the day, Bacchus. C45, C10, and Q8 all had already gone upstairs to the hotel room. C45 wasn't feeling well (and actually had missed most of the day), C10 was done with parades (see above) and Q8 just couldn't handle all the stuff, fearful of having to bring it all home ... or not be able to. SO I was left on the street with family and friends.
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One final photo. After the parades the trees, bare because it is February after all, get heavily decorated. I loved it!
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