Friday, November 13, 2015


You hear this over and over again from parenting experts. And apparently from some very self aware kids.

Q9 said to me yesterday, "I like when you tell me what I can and can't do; I like to know I can't do everything."

That girl is very much in touch with what she needs to succeed. With the exception of the amount of sleep she needs. She sets limits on her alone time, her time spent with friends, her time doing organized activities, because she knows what is too much. If I exceed those limits ... she lets me know.

XO to Q. And for the rest of you, here is a photo of her making lemon mousse on Monday or Tuesdsay. Turned out delicious.

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Piano recital

C11's fall piano recital was Sunday, November 8. She was amazing. Best recital ever, for her. She was focused, made few or no mistakes. I credit TCR for sitting with her when she practices, because when I do that ... uhm, it goes differently. Less smoothly. More animosity on both sides.

But TCR helped her, made her do what her piano teacher asked her to do, and all without C11 killing me.

Here is her first piece (out of focus, but it is the music not the picture you want to hear). Called All through the night.

2015-11-08 - Celeste - All Through the Night (out of focus)

And here is the second (stand up, y'all!)

2015-11-08 - Celeste - The Star-Spangled Banner

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Dr. Teeth

Since C11 started getting her adult teeth in we knew with a high degree of certainty that she'd need braces. So for the last few years she's had a little checkup in the fall with the orthodontist, where he'd spend 5 minutes looking at her mouth and teeth and would say "not yet!" and tell us to schedule an appointment for next year, because we were waiting for all of her adult teeth to come in.

Until this year. By the end of 2014 all of C's baby teeth had fallen out and been replaced with adult teeth. Molars not all in yet, but that's normal. So this fall,  September something, we went, met the NEW orthodontist, and found out IT WAS TIME. We set up payment and appointments for the first steps to be taken that very day.

Poor C11. First things first. Palatal expander was the first item up. I remember having one, and having to turn the thing every morning or night or both and the pain. Ouchie.

So. After some dental spacers, molds, and a fitting ... the palatal expander went in on October 21. I had to do one turn every night (two turns of the key made the thing go around one time).

After a couple of days of giving C11 tylenol before doing the turns, TCR told C11 about the analgesic properties of dried pears. So, we gave it a try, and lo! it worked well enough! :) We phased that out earlier this week, too, so while it still hurt to get the turns every night, she was used to it by then.

And! Magic happened. She has a space between her front teeth. We measured it with household items every night ... paper, necklace, purse strap, spoon, small book ...

Until this morning, at our two week follow up visit with the orthodontist ... and he said she'd actually gone a little TOO far! (WOW!) and we got to stop.

Look at her smile! Look at that gap between her teeth! Palate expanded indeed.

2015-11-04 16.16.15

Monday, October 12, 2015

Columbus day weekend

In Maryland, we don't get Columbus Day off, although the federal govenment takes it as a holiday, thus a lot of parents have the day off without their children being home from school!

That's not what I'm writing about though, but I am pleased for all those federal workers who were able to have a child-free day. Cheers to you!

What I did want to mention was that M & M46 & K11 & A16 visited. K11 had requested that we go to the National Holocaust Museum. Big request. Easy to accomplish, especially since September through February tickets are not needed. So Saturday we headed downtown early-ish to get to the museum and in before lines.

.... But we were thwarted. The Million Man March 20th anniversary march was on. So, as we were nearing downtown the number of people, police, and filled parking spots increased. So we took a hard turn West and headed to the Zoo, at A16's request.

We spent a long time there. We never saw the panda bears or the panda baby, although we did try. We did see elephants, tigers, prairie dogs. We saw wolves, seals, and sea lions. The otters could not be found anywhere. C46, K11, C11, and Q9 went on the carousel. Dippin Dots were had.  Um. We hit a lot of gift shops, we don't usually do that, but A16 was looking for something for her sister. Eventually we were all tired and hungry, and we went home. I don't know why the picture of C46 is acting wacky. But if you click on it you can see him and his seahorse ride.

2015-10-10 16.15.442015-10-10 16.14.13
2015-10-10 16.14.02 2015-10-10 16.16.13

So, Sunday we tried again. National Holocaust Museum opens at 10, we got there shortly thereafter, and the line was virtually nonexistent, and we breezed in. After spending about 15 minutes using the bathroom and losing each other, we finally got into the permanent exhibit. Most of you have probably visited. The exhibit is powerful, sobering, and emotionally exhausting.

In between floors we met up in the hallway overlook and rested for a minute. It was really to wait for our group to catch up to each other, but it was a good moment to catch a breather.

2015-10-11 12.03.23

The girls were happy when we left.
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And then we got outside, and at least one of our group was a little hangry. T46 helped us navigate the food options and we headed toward the Smithsonian Castle, because it was also right next to the Freer Gallery, to which A16 had requested a visit. After we ate, K11, Q9, C11, M?? and I spent the hour doing nothing outside the castle while C, M46, and A16 went into the Freer to visit the Peacock Room and the Peacock Room Remix.

Let's just say that everybody was happy with their decision to do or not do what they did. K11 did my hair and undid hers (she had a French braid earlier).

2015-10-11 14.33.242015-10-11 14.34.28

After we all reunited we headed to the Sculpture Garden outside the Hirshorn. By now, Q11 was really cranky and wanted to go home, but let me take a photo of her and C11. I told them I'd take pictures and torture them until they pretended to like each other, so we actually got a picture fairly quickly.

2015-10-11 15.01.52

Then we offended Q9 even further by going through Air&Space; I mean, we were right there. We went through the space station, C46 & A16 touched the moon rock, and then we went to the commercial flight exhibit. Then we went home, had birthday cake (M46 & A16 turned into M47 and A17 on the 13th! Happy birthday both!!!!)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Visit to Pennsylvania

C11, Q9, and I went to Pennsylvania to visit J, M, and S9. Good times as always!

Walked in a stream:IMAG2102

Walked back:

Went entirely underwater, stripped down, and wore a towel home:

Q9 put on PJs, and for the rest of the day wandered around in these cute fox pjs.

After dinner we had ice cream, and they let me take some picture. Some of these are better than others!




Saturday, September 12, 2015

Stuck in a room

Ninoo & Papa visited and we all went to an Escape Room, The Escape Artist, the room was The Gallery Heist.

All performed well, and we escaped in 32 or so minutes. Not bad!


Friday, September 11, 2015

Safety Patrol Update

This week Q9 has been a little bit physically compromised. She has this dry, whooping, painful-sounding cough -- sometimes. And her stomach has been hurting. But no fever, nothing that would scream SICK! STAY HOME. Just kind of enough to want to stay home.

Except for the fact of safety patrol.

Twice this week now I've told Q9 she could stay home, but she didn't. Because, in part, of safety patrol. She was/is concerned about being dismissed from the patrol if she is sick. Because who will look after the kindergarteners?

So this morning I wasn't sure if she was going or not and I wrote to the teacher who supervises the program, and the teacher whose class Q9 works with.

I wrote this:

Hello, Mr. H and Ms. E,

Q9 loves being in safety patrol, thank you. She showed me your classroom, Ms. E, on back to school night.

Q9 may be staying home today because she is not feeling well, but she is rather worried about not being there for the kindergarteners, and also about possibly losing her spot in safety patrol.

I assured her that if she is sick she can't be expected to go in, but I figured I'd better check with you, Mr. H, on that. You may want to assure the kids that they are not going to be chucked out of safety patrol for missing a day of school?

Thanks again for everything,

E L (Q9's mother)

And got back this lovely note:

Hi Ms. L.

I'm so sorry to hear that shes not feeling well! Please tell Quinlan that she is an amazing safety patrol and we are so lucky to have her! Please reassure her that the kindergartners will be just fine today, though we will miss having her here we want her to get better so she can be healthy next week and every other week after that! :)

Thanks so much! 

Ms. E

Crisis averted!