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.

Waiting:
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Waiting:
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Waiting:
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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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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Baking messes

These girls get together and make a mess. All the time. Today I told Q8 & C10 that they could do anything at all. Anything they wanted, provided they cleaned their rooms and brushed their teeth & hair. That done, they had free rein.

First, K8 came over. Then the cookie dough eating started. Every half hour they came down for a spoonful. They they all had popsicles. In between the cookie dough and popsicles they played video games on devices and computer, all on C10's bed. They put a shirt on the dog.

And this afternoon they decided to make cookies, Q8's special recipe to be specific. And then put it in the fridge to firm up before rolling in sugar. So THEN they took the rest of the chocolate chip cookie dough that C10 made yesterday and baked THOSE.

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Yup. It is a sticky mess here.

And it reminded me of the last time they wanted to make something ... sugar shapes. So nasty. But they had a great time doing this.

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There was sugar EVERYWHERE. They let them dry outside. And were going to put them on the mini-cheesecakes we made for New Year's Eve. But I tossed them all before that had to happen. 


Monday, January 19, 2015

MLK Day

Well, it had been a looooong time since I took the girls downtown to the museums in DC. So long in fact that I can't remember when it was. Months at the very least. Probably more like a year. So we had MLK day off and I thought we should go downtown. A request was made for the American Indian Museum, which was duly honored.

The girls spent a lot of time watching the little videos in the museum, but eventually we got through. And Q8 and her friend K8 were doing this outside the museum. Note C10 hanging out away from them. I couldn't get her to join into the Charlie's Angel's theme photo.

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We headed over to the Botanic Gardens, which I always really enjoy. C10 wanted her photo taken as every single opportunity, so we got some nice ones. Q8 & K8 liked to pose.

Love these photos of them all:

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K8 took a picture of us!

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Cardboard Robot

Nothing better than having cardboard boxes in the house. Don't bother buying anything folks. You don't need it. All you need is cardboard boxes. Thank you.

Friday, December 26, 2014

While in Massachusetts

This is what's left of the old Kid's Kingdom in Lunenburg, MA. That's Q8 and C45 on the back.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

DC to MA route with a wee little stop in CT

First, a haircut.

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But more importantly, over the Christmas holiday we drove to Massachusetts, via Connecticut. We left on the 23rd at 3:18 am ... very very early. And I swear for the first 4.5 states all there was was fighting, EXCEPT for through Delaware, were I was asleep, so if there was fighting I don't actually know.

We left early, hit virtually no traffic (except some crossing the GWB, but even that wasn't bad). So we made great time. By the time we reached mid-Connecticut we decided it was time for breakfast. Katz's Deli in Woodbridge, CT  doesn't do breakfast, so we zoomed on through the tunnel and I thought we should go to O'Rourke's Diner in Middletown, CT. It had been many many years since I'd been even to Middletown, much less O'Rourke's.

Totally worth diving out of our way.

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Q8 did NOT want her picture taken ...

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... but we eventually got her!

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While at the diner we met a family sitting by us. At the end of the meal he turned to us and asked if he knew us because I looked really familiar (me and my familiar face!!). Well, Wesleyan '92 ... he was Wesleyan "94. His name was Jesse somebody (darn my memory!) and we had Dan Wulf and Peter Clowney in common. But ... on we went to the bookstore where Q8 and I bought T-shirts and sweatshirts and bought C10 a notebook and pen.  

Then onto Massachusetts for the holiday.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Gingerbreading 2014

Let the annual gingerbreading begin! OK, we did begin way back when but then all the dough and cookies got eaten. (see November 22) I think that is a common occurrence in our household. I make dough/cookies ahead of time and then have to do it again because it has all been eaten up. You'd think I'd learn by now. But no.

So, anyway, I made the dough and the kids decided what kind of gingerbread structure they wanted. C10 wanted a wizard's tower and Q8 saw a partridge in a pear tree that we both liked.

C10 helped me cut shapes out.

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And Q8 helped put them together

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Until we got them all together. From left to right: A partridge in a pear tree, the Eiffel Tower, a cottage, a wizards tower, a tree and a rocket. I looooooooved that rocket. I designed that with Wallace & Gromit's A Grand Day Out in mind.

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Mostly, we had leftover Halloween candy with which to decorate the houses ... but of course we had to go buy some of those raspberries/black berries, and some smooth & melties and some minty m&ms .... all delicious and reeeeeallllly essential on a house.

We had M10 & A7 over to help decorate. Love M10's hat!!!! And here is the decorating chaos:

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