Friday, October 31, 2008

First trick or treating

As we all know, C4 is "not fond of dressing up." But she's finally realized that Halloween is a candy fest if you trick or treat. So, she came up with a costume for her and Q2 that was acceptable to both of them.

Q2 was a dog, and C4 was her owner. And C4 suggested that Q2 wear the beagle bath towel (she did) and be attached to C4 with the purple leash (she was). So the costume cost exactly ... $0.


Also ... we had 78 trick or treaters ... then we ran out of candy.


Inspired by D's incredible cookies, we made these:


By having these two:

cookie cooking

Do this:


First field trip

If you don't count swimming this summer which I don't because it definitely didn't involve going to a field.

Yesterday we did go to a field. A field of PUMPKINS!

Picking pumpkins

Monday, October 27, 2008


As of today, C4 is in speech therapy only 1x/week! Hurrah!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Maybe she doesn't like older men?

Heard of the Great Zucchini? Child entertainer in the DC area. And, apparently, creature whose name strikes fear in my child's heart, soul, and mind. When we first mentioned his name, yesterday, C4 realized that suddenly cake and presents weren't such an interesting option. She didn't want to go to her second cousin's birthday party.

Of course, we went anyway. All went fine until suddenly somebody mentioned that THE GREAT ZUCCHINI WAS HERE! And C4 froze, her face squinched up, and she started to cry and demand that we go home.

Instead, we went upstairs to get away from the offending entertainer. C4 cried for at least 10 minutes telling me she wanted to leave, she wanted to leave after the Great Zucchini was gone, then we'd go downstairs and leave after he was gone.
She couldn't exactly tell me what she didn't like about the big green vegetable man.

Except that she didn't like his age. I'm not sure what she really meant by that. But I guess I'll take her at face value.

We stayed upstairs and read books. Like, Sam and Gus (she read about 95% of it) and book about a square pumpkin who saved all the round pumpkins from rolling off and sired a whole bunch of different shaped and colored pumpkins. An interesting read.

Then we had cake. And C4 had thirds on frosting. And I ate the mocha & chocolate filling.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Just cute photos

Q2 was a little grouchy

C4 is out of focus, and the fence is infocus, but whatever.
At the park

I think they looks extremely cute on the fence toghether.

Q2 & C4

Love me, love my family

If anybody knows me well, you'll know I love a good flatulence joke. This isn't a joke, but we are in the genre:

6:30 AM. Q2 has climbed into bed with us. We hear a little ... um, er, poot.

E38: What does a polite girl say?
Q2: I didn't do it!
C39: (snicker)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The farm

This past weekend we went to the dairy. We've gone before.

The hay ride

hay ride

Q2 & C4 both petted and fed the animals

Q2 & calf


C4 wiping her hands

Q2 found a car to ride in the barn

in the barn

So, same old, same old.

But this time we went onto "HAY MOUNTAIN" and down the slide a number of times. C4 loved this ... she went up and down the chute a million times:

Down the chute II

And I managed to get Q2 to go up ...
To the chute!

and down!

Down the chute

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

News from the front

C4's speech therapy is going so well, she is using her Ws a LOT and Rs a little on her own ... we'll be down to 1x/week after next week, I think. So, that is very good news!

Also. This has not been mentioned in the past, I think, but while C4 & Q2 were on Cape Cod with my parents, my mom burnt some quesadilla chips in the oven. And the smoke alarm went off. And it FREAKED C4 OUT! Big time. She ran to hide in her bedroom under the covers while the alarm was on ... and did NOT want to come out (so cliché).

Anyway, since then, we've had a few "toast alarms" when toast gets burnt and we all trek outside. And that has been fine. But recently her ... paranoia has been growing. Whenever the microwave beeps to indicate something is done, the stove beep to indicate 1) times up or 2) the oven has reached whatever degrees, or any other beeping incident on the stove, C4 yells "GET IT! It's READY. GET IT!!! GO GO GO GO GET IT!" and she starts to cry. Real crying. And today she indicated to me that she doesn't like me to leave pots and pans on the stove even if the stove isn't on.

Anyway, when I was cooking yesterday I'd taken something off the stove, turned the stove off, but let the timer run out. So I was over in the dining room when the timer beeped ... and C4 insisted I go back and cook. Even though I assured her that NOTHING WAS COOKING.

So, she's been a bit touchy about that lately. So I thought I'd give her a heads up when school fire drills were coming up. Just a little, hey, this is going to happen, it isn't a big deal.

But, of course, it was.

OK, so I got the day wrong. It isn't tomorrow, it is next week. But as soon as I mentioned it this morning C4, who adores school, said she didn't want to go, she had a tummy ache, she was tired. I had to put her shoes and socks on for her and carry her to the car. And then carry her into school. And she kept explaining to me that her tummy still hurt.

We decided that she'd explain to the teachers what her concerns were, and that they'd understand and take care of her. So C4 told her teachers about the incident on Cape Cod (and I elaborated) and we assured her nobody would leave her there, she would be taken care of. She decided it was OK to leave me and that was the end of it.

But I assume next week she will remember and we'll go through this again.

Note to self: Don't try to "prep" C4 on issues of fire safety.

While waiting for anything interesting to happen

Let me show you what our friend's son has taught my daughters:

Thank you Hugh Crazy Q


I took a bunch of pictures of the girl's bedhead yesterday. Only to find out the disk wasn't in the camera.

So, another day!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Did I forget to share this?

Last week C4 got up very early one morning. Much too early. Before 5 am early.

So, by the time school rolled around, I guess she was tired, because about 15 minutes after I got to work I got call from Mrs. M telling us that C4 had fallen asleep about 10 minutes after getting to school. She had just put her head down on the table (in the green play-dough?) and fell asleep. C4 woke when they touched her, but they were a little worried about her, even though she didn't seem to have a fever.

I assuaged their fears, since I myself would have enjoyed to put MY head down on MY desk and fallen asleep at that point.

C4 later just told me she was taking a break. Yeah. I know. Sometimes I just rest my eyes during a long car trip.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Turns out a 90 minute movie was juuuuuuuust right.

C4 learned how to say Chihuahua with the correct W sound, instead of yah sound ... and we'd promised to bring her to Beverly Hills Chihuahua when she could say it. And she can. She'd doing great. Saying water instead of yah-ter, where instead of yearh, winter instead of yinter. And so forth.

So, the movie was cute. Not spectacular, but nice for kids and not hideous for adults. Probably it would have been better for kids a bit older than ours; C4 had some moments when she was scared (when Chloé fell down a deep hole --or when Chloé jumped off a train-- I believe C4 jumped a foot into C39's arms). And Q2 was a bit leary of the whole experience at first -- the dark, the huge screen, the noise! But she watched about 3/5 of the movie before getting antsy, then another 1/5 before we had to leave. So, pretty good. I won't be taking Q2 back to the movies anytime soon, but C4 ... should be able to handle a G-rated movie!

Friday, October 17, 2008

New Nicknames

For a long time I have been called mumma dog by C4. She calls C39 daddy dog.

Q2 has started calling me Perdita. And C39 Pongo. And C4 Roly or Freckles. And herself ... Lucky.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Guilty as charged

You say you'll never do it ... But you do.

My best friend from high school, K., used to babysit for my brother occssionally. And he really disliked her. I don't know why, exactly. But he had this thing against her. Until she brought him a chocolate bar. One tiny little chocolate bar. And they've been friends ever since.

So. Q2 was having a hard time transitioning to nursery school. Not a big deal, but not liking the idea of going to school, getting clingy when we get there, and then crying when I dropped her off. Part of the problem is that she only goes Thursday & Friday mornings, so the transition is d-r-a-w-n o-u-t.

Friday I decided to try it. Bribery. I offered her a chocolate if she wouldn't cry when she left me. That perked her right up. And there were no tears. A bit of pouty, but whenever I mentioned chocolate ... she smiled, perked up, and was ready to go.

That's it. I'm guilty of bribery.

Monday, October 13, 2008


For the longest longest longest time, C4 has insisted that she "is not fond of dressing up."

This covers wearing masks, hats, dress up clothes, and halloween costumes. Even dogs. Even just dog ears and dog tails. Even just dog paws. Even black dog spots on a white outfit. Anything. Because she isn't fond of dressing up. But I guess the last few months of getting pictures of dogs on her face changed her mind.

This morning C4 & Q2 found the face paint and somehow I suggested that Q2 get a full face picture. She chose a lion:


And C4 ... after getting 2 small dogs, saw the lion and I suggested she could have a ... golden retriever on her face. The whole face. And she went for it:

Golden Retreiver

Maybe not the best of dog faces, but she loved it.

The last visit of the weekend

D, R, and R6 came over. We decided rather than just hang out we'd take them down to the Mall. It took 2 cars, but we got them to the Mall. After a few parking issues, Me, C4, Q2, D, and R6 got dropped off at the Museum of Natural History and the Sant Ocean Hall. We stayec there for maybe 20 minutes?30 minutes? then to the Mammal Hall, that they love, and eventually into the short film about Morgey's Family Reunion. They LOOOVE that movie. Probably just because it is a movie.

They stopped to see a model of Morgey:
With Morgey

and we went out, petted some dogs, and had a snack before riding the carousel:

I love this photo of D:


And I tried to take a family photo of them:
The Harper-Mangels

Then onto the National Museum of the American Indian. We passed the fountain/pools wher the ducks were not swimming. Q2 wanted to go in, but I told her we couldn't because it was for the ducks. But she noted that they had flown away so we could go in.
C and the fountain

A the museum we didn't find much on D's tribes, but we did find a display case of dogs, in front of which C4 had to get her photo taken:
C and the dogs

By now we were all tired and D & I took the kids to buy ice cream and we sent the guys to get the cars, which were almost a mile away. On the ride home Q2 fell asleep within about 30 seconds of getting in the car.

Big day.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Another weekend post

Also this weekend ... Aunt C. was visiting. She had a conference to go to in Takoma Park, so she was staying with us to save some money. Fine by us, C4 & Q2 loooooooove her. We didn't see enough of her, but every morning and evening the kids got to see and kiss and color with her. So that was fun.

Saturday was another festival of the building arts at the National Building Museum. Another fun fun fun day!

Q2 was a little grumpy at first, and definitely didn't like the blacksmithing outside. So we breezed by that and went inside, where we split up.

Q2 didn't want her yellow hard hat; she wanted a blue one. She cried at the wood chipping. She cried at the stone carving. She didn't want to wear safety glasses so she could hammer nails. She didn't want to create a nuts & bolts sculpture. But we got to spackling ... and we had found our activity.


I only dragged her away from that activity after somebody came by and said there would be dancing outside. People and machines. Called "Pas de Dirt" by the Liz Lerman Dance Exhange, and set to the music from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. So we went out, got good lawn seats and watched the dancing. It made me laugh. It made me cry. I was glad when it was over.

We'd hooked back up with C4 & C39 at this point, and found that C4 had gotten a permit and made a great townhouse:

Celeste's Townhouse

Q2 saw that and decided the city needed a fountain:

Quinn's Fountain

We made some "colorforms" stained glass windows, colored some pictures, and pounded some big big wood:

Hammerin' Quinn 2

Then we dragged them away kicking and screaming back to the car and home for lunch and quiet time. That the same as always: not quiet.

So I took them to the park where we met BatQ2:


Another day, another carousel

Athought Thursday I had to work (and it was very very productive!), Friday we were able to spend with E. We met at Air & Space (always fun). And it was a "4 girl day" which is fun, too. We had a snack first:

At Air & Space

Poor, E, though, we barely had time to look here, look there, run here, run there and then we were out of there. I hope she enjoys kids, because we certainly didn't get to look at anything for long. We did go through the space station (in which somebody ahead of had ... uh, er, flatulated ... so it was kind of stuffy in there) and through the moon section (sat with strangers, scootched over so they were squished, then watched the movies for 10 seconds, squirmed up a storm, then left), went to the airplane section and went through the nose of the plane (and held the gate for the remaining visitors, and tried to go through backwards).

It was busy, so it was very good there were two of us. I charged E with taking one child, and me the other. Which worked out well. Although we got separted once or twice texting internationally is very easy, and we found each other.

We left, had a snack, and chased pigeons:

Chasing pigeons

Then we decided to go to the carousel. Walking there we stopped to take pictures of E with the capitol and the Washington monument. The pictures turned out not so good, but the kids are having a great time playing in the gravel path:

At the capitol

While digging Q2 must have realized that she wanted to ride on a bunny. But the carousel on the National Mall does not have a bunny to ride on. So we decided to ride on a horse named bunny. Which we found! Here is Q2 riding on her:

Q2 on the carousel

And here is me and both girls ... sort of me. Me looking old and slightly odd.

on the carousel

After the carousel we dragged, and I mean dragged, the children through Natural History just to get to the other side. We walked through the incredible new Sant Ocean Hall. We just breezed through the opening exhibit, but WOW. It was great. I'm looking forward to going back on a Monday or something when it isn't busy.

We dragged through the US Naval Memorial, which I really like, and hopped on the Metro. We left E and let her go to the train station alone because Q & C NEEDED to go home and have quiet time after all that.

And so did I.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Here's the photo

Outside of Pizzeria Paradiso! Yum.

Q, E & C

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The'll go home with anybody

We had dinner with an old friend, E, tonight. I haven't seen E for 15 years at least .... she looks exactly as I remember her! Clearly she's aged better than I!

We had dinner at Pizza Paridiso in DC, near Dupont Circle. Eating at Franklin's so often I'd forgotten what delicious wood-fired pizza tasted like. It was sooooooo good!

Anyway, after dinner there were hugs and kisses and cuddles to go around. Except to the men, which was fine. Both girls were slightly reluctant to bestow their love on the guys. But, again, as parents, C39 and I are fine with that.

But somebody asked Q2 if she wanted to go home to Ireland with E & D (E's husband) while Q2 was in D's arms. Q2 had a quizzical look, but didn't fuss, just stretched her arms out for me.

But once in the car, Q2 started to cry. She wanted to go home with E.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The word is up. Up.

Q2 sometimes likes to go visit C4's room. This is understandable, as she wanted to go pet the dogs.

But, of course, her action upset C4 greatly. Not exactly sure how much of a kerfuffle there was, but C4 put her rightious anger to good use. She made a sign (all by herself! No help on spelling or words!) for her door to keep Q2 out. It read thusly:

Q2, in yours

That would work beautifully if Q2 could read. Really, it would.

Monday, October 6, 2008

You might have been wondering

Have you been wondering? I'm sure you have. People have been asking. Over and over. Mostly, "What did she say?"

So ... C4 has started speech therapy. Apparently she was unintelligible. Well, not completely. 25% intelligible (in an unknown context) !!

This speech issue has been problematic for C4 and her particular favorite subject (dogs). For two weeks C4 was saying Tchi-yow-yah ... and I couldn't understand that she was saying chihuahua. So, that is a main focus, to get those sounds. She started with F & V last week, and today she got S & Z homework. I'm hoping we'll go for the W's soon.

The therapist thinks C4 is doing great, and has no physical problems, or hearing problems ... Let me brag and say the therapist thinks C4 is very intelligent, and because things come so easy to her when it takes work ... she balks.

So, we are biting our lips to say our Fs & Vs, closing our teeth to say our Ss and Zs. We get practice sheets to do 2-3 times a day and I can already hear C4 improving with her F words.

We've told C4 when she can say Chihuahua we can go see Beverly Hills Chihuahua ... So, best of luck to us!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Farmer's market

Yeah, boring, blah blah blah. But they are holding hand and hugging spontaneously! Usually it is scratching and biting spontaneously! And I can never get a camera fast enough for that.

Holding hands

They got balloon poodles (one teal, one pink), bounced in the bouncy castle (I kicked out the big kids, but Q2 still only did 4 bounces before leaving saying that the bounces were too big), ate pickles on sticks, petted a 4-year-old poodle, ran around the park/graveyard, listened to music, and bought cookies.


And here is C4 with her favorite "Pointer" shirt on at the park/graveyard
in the park

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Now, just where have we been?

It was a lovely vacation. Much much too short! Actually, no, it was perfect, but surrounded by whole days of driving on either end, which is difficult.

But, here's the scoop.

Tuesday, C39 had to go to work to get stuff done before we left. The girls & I packed the car and made food and did stuff. Vacuuming. Dishes. Laundry. Cutting up paper into millions of little pieces. Vacuuming again. Packing up toys and blankies for the car. Unpacking and playing with toys and blankies. Spilling oatmeal, peas, blueberries & honey on the floor. Washing the floor. Spilling soy milk on the floor. Washing the floor again. Getting excited about eating lunch in the car. And so forth.

But, by 1:00 C39 was home, we threw the children into the car and took off. We made good time, actually, and were in South Yarmouth by 8:30, I think.

I am definitely a September beach fan. Being on Cape Cod made me want to live on Cape Cod. It was gorgeous. And not busy (although I know it is during the summer). And just wonderful. The girls loved the beach.

Here's C4 at Race Beach in P-Town
Looking Up

And here is Q2 at the same beach.

After two days there, C39 & I left with a little bit of trepidation for the wedding in Vermont. We left C4 & Q2 with my parents on Cape Code (left them for the first time ever). But I got over it pretty quickly ... Vermont was amazing, gorgeous, incredible and I remembered why I liked the mountains better than the beach, and I switched back to wanting to live in Vermont and the mountains.

We visited Queeche Gorge ... nice little hike there ... C39 took this photo with the telephoto or somethingorother lens. Quechee Gorge
The "swish" of it makes it especially interesting to me since after we left to visit a farm but before we came back through on our way back, somebody decided to committ sucide at the Gorge. Apparently this happens 2-3 times a year. Usually locals, this was a man from CT. It was disturbing to drive through, see the ambulance and police cars parked there, small groups of officials looking over the edge, and sad groups of people standing around. I'm very glad we weren't there, because even having been so close you wonder if you could have helped the person and kept them from jumping. But imagine if you were right there and he'd climbed over while you were just 20 feet away and unable to do anything? Much worse.

We visited a load of covered bridges, the Morrill House in Strafford, VT. Our tour guide loved the place, obviously, and was fantastic. I would highly recommend that anybody who likes old houses & history visit if they have the opportunity. We didn't have time to visit the grounds, and both C39 and I were disappointed about that, but the wedding beckoned, and we had to get back to our B&B to get dressed.

J & A's wedding was beautiful. The food was fantastic. The music was great. And I got to meet some of the people I've been hearing about for years and years. And see some again that I haven't seen for a long time. So that was really nice.

We drove back down on Sunday, met my parents and our children in CT at a D'Angelo's in Cromwell. I recommend their classic veggie pocket. Best fast food ever.

And then we drove home. Whew.