Saturday, March 5, 2016

Addendum to after a week of snow

C11 took some really nice photos that she wanted to share. These were snow week photos.

Inside the neighbor's igloo


this is how much snow we got

2016-01-24 (1)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Hike on the C&O

Sunday morning we woke up and told the girls we were headed out for bagels and a hike.

You'd think that we'd suggested we were going to go dumpster diving wearing only flip flops. But we went anyway after a LOT of screaming, moaning, threats.

And they enjoyed it. C11 took pictures, and Q9 provided commentary. There were a number of signs telling hikers to stay away from the water, it was dangerous, you are likely to die if you fall in  (all true). SO ... we gave a little reminder of how to stay afloat if they did somehow manage to fall into the current -- keep your feet up, head up, keep your feet pointing downstream, try to paddle to the side and get out of the water. I think the following is one of C's stitched together photos ...


Q9 then became quite concerned that we all stay away from the water. kind of like what happened back in at Christmas 2010, when she was 4 and we walked along Lake Pontchartrain in Mandeville. No crying and pleading, but enough concern that TCR dubbed her Captain Cautious! Which she thought was a great moniker and I think I want to make the T-shirt.

When we got to a slow part of the river (a small island creating an area of dead water) Q9 said "The water looks so calm, but it's actually a murder scene" ... love it.

2016-02-28 09.06.53

Regular hike-y stuff. Q9 posing, C11 climbing over rocks while TCR tries to coax Lucy that she CAN go that way. Lucy did NOT want to cross that little stream. Luckily, we did not have to carry her over. She jumped an landed on her belly, but she did it.

IMAG2487 IMAG2488

Lucy feeling a little more confident.


And the girls, back on the C&O canal, on the way back. Love this picture.


Despite all the drama it took to get there, and the fact that the hike was super short, we had a nice time.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Black History Month

In HES the 4th grades do an interesting Black History Month project where they pick a person,  do  poster, write a script in the first person, and stand on a crate and talk about them. When you press the button on their hand.

Here is the opening from Q9's this year. I'm afraid the whole speech was quite long, so I only did the first few seconds.

2016-02-24 14.13.39

Monday, February 15, 2016

Long weekend

Children have a long weekend (Washington's birthday/President's day) and Massachusetts has February vacaction. So M47 was going to come down with K11 for a visit. But whatever happened, I am not really even sure if it was just that the idea of the drive down and back over a weekend was overwhelming, or it was competing activities, or what, it doesn't really matter, we decided to meet in the middle.

Jersey City, New Jersey. Yep, that's were we went.  Jersey City.

+1, right?

But the point wasn't where we were, but who we were with. And we were with K11 and M47, which was perfect.

The afternoon we got there the girls went swimming. That was all. That was why we picked this particular hotel; it had a swimming pool. So, swimming. And then we went out to dinner. It was chilly, I mean CHILLY (like 1 degree and windy chilly) so we were looking for a place nearby. Like, very nearby. We picked somewhere about 350 feet (yes, feet) away from the hotel, but partway there we decided 350 feet was too far to walk and we went into Bertucci's or something. The food was rather bad. But, this:

2016-02-13 16.51.00

So it was fine. They were ready to walk home before we were, so we let them go back without us. M47 was a little concerned that they wouldn't find the hotel, but I was all like, eh, no problem, C11 has a good sense of direction. When we DID return to the hotel we asked if they had any problems (remember, the hotel is about 150 feet from where we ate dinner) getting back, and they said no, but C11 said she might have gotten lost if K11 hadn't been there.  My confidence was misplaced, apparently.

The girls stayed up in their hotel room for a bit while M47 & I hung out downstairs. I didn't  realize at the time that my hair was doing this:

2016-02-13 20.14.14

We eventually called the girls and they came down for a hot chocolate and some silliness (I know the photo is rotten, but it is the sentiment I want to share):

2016-02-13 20.09.00

K11 & C11 were doing a lot of Sloooooow-Mo videos, as well, but I want M47 to send me one to put up; there is one with me, C11, & K11 in it, which might be worth laughing over.

Next morning we had breakfast. Yum. Nothing special, but tasty. And this was where we sat.
2016-02-14 08.08.59

I loved the look of this set up, with the swath of grass in the middle of the table. Except when you get up close you realized the grass is not grass, it is plastic, and THAT is the funny smell you smell. So, Courtyard by Marriot, Jersey City, we were very happy with your hotel, the staff, the service. But that fake grass smelled like musty moldy yuck. Just to let you know.

We went to the Titanic exhibit at the Liberty Science Center. Which was also having Star Wars exhibit, 4 days only, right now. So it was PACKED. We had considered going Saturday afternoon, but when C11 and I drove by on the way to the hotel ... the tolls at the exit were backed up, it was so busy. So. No. But going at exactly 9 am on Sunday morning was perfect.

We got to see R2D2 and a storm trooper.

100_1521 (1)

And then the Titanic exhibit, which we could not take any photos of.

2016-02-14 10.07.07

And the girls climbing the climbing wall:

2016-02-14 15.05.16 2016-02-14 10.04.37

Thursday, February 4, 2016


Did you know C11 got her braces? At least the top ones.

2016-02-04 16.40.48

The whole procedure was easy, but uncomfortable, of course. That lip spreader! The blue glue!  C11 was stuffing her mouth with tissues whenever she had a chance (which gives ME the heebie jeebies to think of having a dry tissue in my mouth, but ugggg, she did it!). And C11 had comments to say and nerves along the way. The orthodontist and the assistant were very very good with her, they were laughing at her histrionics, but did empathize when I pointed out that they didn't have to live with that 24-7. Still, great orthodontist and practice to put up with that!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

After a week of snow

You may have heard that last week the DC area got the biggest dump of snow in one go in about 78 years. Or was it 125 years? I don't know, it was a LOT.  About 27 inches in H'ville. And YES. I KNOW. We could have handled this better, according to Minnesota and lots of other places that deal with snow on a regular basis.

But let me say that we have a highly dense population (lots of cars park on the street), sidewalks, little snow infrastructure. I think we did OK. We just don't have the plows or the place to put the snow. When there is only 3 feet between the street and the sidewalk (TOPS. Many places it is zero feet) and there are cars parked on the streets everywhere (because that is where you park!) we did OK. Yes, I would have liked the kids to have gotten back to school on Wednesday. But, really, we did ok. My office was closed through Tuesday, open Wednesday, back to a delayed opening on Thursday, because I guess the early commute on Wednesday was a bear. Normal on Friday. And kids back in school ... please god ... Monday.

So, that all aside, we had different kids over on different days when I telecommuted, and other parents went to work. One of the days S9 and Q9 made cupcakes with the goal of donating them to the children's hospital. I told the I was NOT driving to the children's hospital to donate them, but S9's mom could if she wanted to. She declined. I'm guessing there was no parking, anyway, just piles of snow. So I suggested the fire department, the police department, and DPW.

We hit all those places. Most of the firefighters were out, but the guy who answered the door said thank you, accepted the cupcakes and come back later so you can look at the firetrucks if you want (sweet!), the police station was busy, but they accepted the treats. But in the end, we were too late in the day, and DPW was closed. Oh well, you guys who have been working the hardest missed out on some lovely cupcakes. Next time.

2016-01-29 16.13.12

Monday, January 18, 2016

Martin Luther King Day trip to Massachusetts

This was a quickie trip. Very quickie. I think Q and I were at K and T's house for under 48 hours. We got there around lunchtime Saturday, and left after breakfast on Monday to take T to work.

So, I asked both girls if they wanted to go with me to see K, T, and J10. Q9 said yes, and that was that. C11 said, no, then changed to yes, then switched back to no. Then when she heard we'd be watching a football game while there ... she realized she'd made the right decision.

So. Q9 and I drove up Saturday morning. It was cold, but no traffic. We got there, they had lunch -- including a roasted chicken! which C11 has identified as my favorite food -- for us. Then we went bowling.

This was Q9's first time Candlepin bowling. We all were pretty bad! But fun fun fun!

2016-01-16 14.18.00

And later we watched the Patriots beat some other team. Not sure who they were now, I've forgotten, but they had white pants on which we all agreed was a fashion faux pas for the team.

Sunday we decided to go to the Connecticut Science Museum. This was a GREAT museum. But don't go see the 3-D robots movie. It was ... dull enough to allow me to have a 20 minute nap.

But lots of it was great. We did THIS stuff:

Use air to move a beach ball into a basket
2016-01-17 11.03.05

Hit a dummy's head with a mallet (the dummy was wearing those helmets that J10 and Q9 are wearing!). This is J10's favorite thing at the museum.
2016-01-17 11.30.10 (1)

Moved objects with our mind (my favorite thing!)
2016-01-17 11.40.33 (1)

Went in a hurricane tunnel. The wind went up to 80 MPH:
2016-01-17 13.20.06

Played in rubber pellets. Q9 even stuck her head in. Pellets stuck in her hair. Ew.
2016-01-17 14.57.12

And ate frozen yogurt:
2016-01-17 13.11.51

All good.