Wednesday, December 31, 2008


If you've been to our house you know that there are bits of tissue around all of the time. Not because we blow and leave dirty tissues about (although, there is some of that, too), but because C4, and Q2 to a lesser extent, like to play with tissues.

C4 takes the tissues and dresses her little people dogs. This involves ripping the tissues and generally leaving a mess around. And invariably I throw the clothes out.

So C39 suggested that C4 use scissors and real paper to make clothes for the dogs. DING DING! Lightbulb moment!!

She spent 40+ minutes fashioning clothes for the dogs. And again this morning. Here are a few, not her best work, but an eclectic bunch of veils, ponchos, and whatevers!:

Dog clothes

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Skip Christmas

Because Santa was good to us, things are good.

And today was one of those days. Wait. 24 hours.

6:00 PM (last night) Dryer noisy.
6:10 PM Dryer finished cycle, and I go down to get clothes.
6:11 PM I find out that there were not sneakers in the load. The dryer had fallen apart. But the clothes were dry.
6:12 PM I send C39 down to look at it. Fewer obscenities than I anticipated.
8:30 PM Dryer together again. **
5:30 AM (this morning) Q2 spits up in bed (mostly snot, I think). Seems to have a low fever of around 100-101.
9:00 AM Washing machine overflows big time ... the water flowed all the way into the bathroom and even a bit on the carpet in the finished area of the lower level.
10:OO AM Q2 vomits 10 (silver dollar sized) pancakes, soymilk, and maple syrup. All over me. And a wee bit on the couch. She begs for a shower and won't let me in.
10:15 AM While I am showering, C4 eats half a tube of toothpaste.
10:20 AM Poison control says just watch out for diahrea, but she'll be OK.
10:21 AM C4 laughs maniacally in our faces and says "It was all worth it, all worth it, suckahs!!! BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!"
10:21 AM Just kidding, but C4 does look self satisfied and not scared at the prospect of pooping.
10:30 AM to 1 PM Q2 rests on me on the chair.
Noon Neighbor comes by to drop off 2 fans and a dehumidifier.
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM Q2 rests on C39 on the chair. Complains of abdomen pain on the right side. Insists it is only there, nowhere else.
3:00 PM call doctor.
3:30 PM call doctor again! Why didn't he call back??
3:40 PM doctor finally calls back and it is decided she probably doesn't have appendicitis, but why not go get her checked out at the hospital anyway.
3:45 PM C39 takes Q2 to the hospital.
4:00 C4 and I take a walk to the park to play Zippity Sticks (Pat. Pending).
5:00 C4 & I walk home and go to Franklins for dinner. I finally asked for a rare burger, and LO! the best burger I've ever had there. I think they undercooked it for effect, but dang, it was exactly what I wanted!!
6:30 C4 & I get home, C39 & Q2 get home minutes later. C4 takes a 40 minute bath. Q2 takes a 2 minute bath and fell asleep before I put her on the bed.
8:15 PM Q2 making waking noises. And so the cycle begins.

I'm exhaused, headachy, bodyachy, sorethroaty, stuffy, coughy ... I think I need nyquil. Except then I won't be able to wake up in the middle of the night when Q2 needs help.

And the bathroom/basement guestroom need serious help before our visitors arrive tomorrow afternoon. I'm sorry. I'm just so sorry.

**for those of you how have alledged that my husband is not handy ... I beg to differ. You know who you are, ME62.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

The real first where C4 has "gotten" it. Santa Clause, the reindeer, giving and receiving gifts. She got it somewhat last year, but not quite. Just like Q2 gets it somewhat this year, but not quite.

But 4 seems to be a good age, one where belief is firm, there is no doubt that Santa exists. Which boggles my mind, because in only a couple of years will she begin to doubt and realize that Santa may not exist!

I know better, but children do have silly ideas.

In the meantime, anyway, the girls are enjoying Christmas. I took them to buy gifts for each other this afternoon, and they really were thinking of each other. C4 bought Q2 a bunny (a lovely bunny! She wanted to get her the mumma bunny and the baby bunny, but that was out of our budget. We got the baby.) and Q2 picked a (what else?) dog for C4.

They got home and painted bags for their gifts for each other:

Making Bags C


Making bags Q

We played at the park, we played inside, we had quiet time ... all until got dark, when it officially became Christmas Eve for C4. We went to Watkins Park, where at 5:00 the festival of lights began.


Really nice! My photos were fuzzy and not so good, and the video featured a little too much of the orange road cones and lights out of focus, so check out the previous link if you are interested. They loved it. Hey, I loved it!

We got home, opened one gift (poor C4, she opened one from a school friend, but it was a ... toy car. Her faced showed it all, but she was polite and said nothing, just put it back in the back and chose another gift!), set out food for Santa (cookies, milk, a wee dram of whiskey), and then put out food for the reindeer (sparkles and carrots).

Reindeer Food

Why C4's teachers thought that putting sparkles out for the reindeer to eat was a good idea I don't know. After the children were in bed C39 went out and vacuumed up the sparkles. If reindeer ate sparkles they'd choke. Then C39 chewed up the carrots (and had a cookie & whiskey chaser).

Just waiting til morning, now!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

... fur isn't all it is cracked up to be

The girls and I had a crazy busy day, and we didn't leave the house once. We got up, did the usual morning stuff, and a friend called and I begged her to come over with her daughter to keep us entertained. She said yes, after her daughter finished her activity. G. often takes a long time to get out of the house with the gatrillions of stuff she is obliged to carry around with her, so we decided to start making cookies.

This time, of course, G. was at our house in 30 minutes.

I was so not expecting that. But G's daughter, C5, jumped in and helped us. We rolled and cut and rolled and cut. C5 fussed at Q2 for blowing raspberries and for eating too much dough C5 fussed at C4 for not covering her mouth well enough when coughing. She was right, of course. But thanks for pointing out my parenting flaws, C5!!

The cookies were cooked all cut and thrown the oven, and the girls played nicely until it was time to decorate. They decorated, then they went to play nicely again until we realized it was 1:00 and, gee, maybe they needed lunch. They ate a bit, and went to play nicely again. This was just a love fest, they had a great time. G. ran some errands and while she was gone the girls came down to finish lunch and eat some cookies. Then they played a bit more. Until 2:58 when our 3:00 playdate arrived!

Right on time, I. and her three boys arrived. By then my girls were abit more cranky, but still things went smoothly. They were good. C4 opened a package from my mom (a dalmation "fur" coat) and Q2 opened her "you didn't get a gift so here is a gift" gift (a doll with purple hair). The boys came and went, all was fine.

Dinner, video, and daddy came home. As we were sending the girls up for their baths, C39 said "WHAT!? Are you Cruella DeVil?? You have a dalmation fur coat???"

And as he said this C4's face just dropped like a lead weight. She had hung the coat up on her coat hook, and although she'd not tried it on, she'd accepted it as hers and a good item of clothing. It was hers. But her face wobbled as she digested the fact that she had a dalmation fur coat.


C39 sometimes doesn't think before he speaks to our sensitive child.

We reassured her that the coat was fake fur and it wasn't a dalmation fur coat and that daddy was teasing her. C4 garbled up something about the coat for Q2 when she was 4 years old, and how she didn't want daddy to tease her.

So, if she ever puts that coat on, now, I'll be amazed.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Today was the day. Gingerbread house making. We had extra houses, so C4 & Q2 decorated houses before the adult decorations began.

Q2 working on her house

C4 working on her house

But, actually, there was a lot of frosting and candy being eaten. Q2 doesn't speak much in this video, but if you listen you can hear C39 & C4 in the background, talking about going to the Museum of American History, and Q2 & I only engage in minimal chat.

After their hands were washed, C39 took them away, and the adult gingerbreading began.

In the past, I've made all the gingerbread, put together the houses and put them on cardboard and in a box for my friends to make.

This year I broke with tradition (having just made a 19 mini houses for C4's classroom to decorate) and said "bring your own!"

Which could explain the attrition rate. 6 RSVP'd yes, and 2 made it! L. said yes, but ended up in Massachusetts this weekend to help her sister. C. said yes but got a stomach bug. I. said yes, but her youngest son was vomiting and she couldn't come. J. said yes but backed out saying she didn't have time to make herself a house (and I offered her 2 of the extras from C4's classroom, even!). So, I had two guests, E & G. And me of course.

We did pretty damn good. E's house, the first she'd ever made, was gorgous:

Elizabeth's first ever house!

G's cookies were hysterical. Take a look at the gingerbread man covered in smarties at the top. And the one covered in candy cigarettes. And one covered in mini jujubes. And there is one with Necco Wafers for a hula skirt (not pictured). These were fantastic.

Geraldine's Cookies

I made a carousel. My gingerbread was made with blackstrap molasses, which is why it is very very dark. A nice color for the gingerbread, but not as tasty. I enjoyed making this a lot! I should have decorated the inside before putting up the candycane poles & reindeer "horses," but I didn't, so it is hard to see the reindeer. They are incredibly cute, and the cutter came in the mail 2 minutes (REALLY) after I started questioning how I was going to make tiny horses for the carousel. Thank you dad!! Problem solved, and the carousel has 8 tiny reindeer now!!

My slightly lopsided Carousel

Ice storm

There is a nice slick of ice outside that is now all melting in big fat drips. It is sunny and drippy at the same time.

On another note, we've lost our heat this morning. So, it is chilly. We've got a space heater going, and the furnace guy is coming before noon. I hope. Since it is the gingerbread house party day.

Lucky our kids like to be cold.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Last full day in LA

Friday night, December 12

We spent the day just ... doing nothing. Watching the snow melt, playing inside, reading.

Ninoo & C4.

Love this

Do they look tired to you? Look at those lovely chubbly thighs!

Papa reads

Then later, C39 and I got to go to the Symphony for the annual Christmas show from the Louisiana Symphony ... it was lovely. We were limited in our clothing options, since the power was out we only had dirty clothes. But nevertheless, I enjoyed it immensely. We thought that Q2 would have enjoyed it as well, she'd have been enraptured, I think. C4, however, would not have been excited about the symphony. Maybe the treats at intermission, though.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Their second favorite day

Because it SNOWED. Just over 7 inches in Hammond. Which I needn't tell you is a lot. Especially for Southern Louisiana. Heavy wet snow which knocked out the power by 7 am. And kept it out for about 60 hours. They went out in the snow and got wet.

More Snow in Louisiana

And we had no clean or dry clothes for them. We found some less dirty stuff for them to wear, just to keep them from being nakie.

C4 LOVED the snow!

Getting Heavy

Q2 was less sure. We got her a hat to keep the snow out of her eyes, but she still was tentative.

Q2 needed a hat

We're Cold! I plopped myself in the middle to get warm!!
5 girls on a couch

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Their favorite day

Wednesday morning we drove into New Orleans, visited with G'ma and went on our way.

To the Louisiana Children's Museum! They loved loved loved it. Didn't want to leave ... but eventually we had to go home, so we did. Enjoy the pictures & videos!

This was C4's favorite favorite bit of the museum. Probably of the whole trip.

And Q2 really enjoyed these bubbles. You can't see it here, but she was being photographed by a student taking "tourism" photos for a class. This bubble thing was COOL!

Giant Bubble

They also did some building:

Building a rainbow

Building a bridge

There was much much more to the museum, and it was very fun. I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Warmest of warm days in Louisiana

Monday and Tuesday were just lovely, lovely day in Louisiana. Warm, perfect.

Before the parks on Monday we spent a good deal of time just outside with Skipper dog.

C4 loves dogs. She loves to be jumped on. She loves to be licked.

Skipper begins to lick

Skipper gets the lick

Lick finale

And Q2 loves to sing to dogs:

Q2 Toes

And they both like to pretend to be dogs:

3 dogs

And, just for fun:

And after Tickfaw we had Christmas. Finally. C4 had been trolling around the tree pulling gifts out with her name and Q2's name on them.

I know this is fuzzy, but she was so darn happy!


Q2 likes to dress up ... wings, a tiara, and high heels.

Dress up

On Tuesday we walked to the library in the morning, then spent the afternoon just hanging around with the neighbors and the dog.

Parks and Christmas

Monday, December 8

We got up early. Early. Much much much too early. By 5 am we let the girls go down to play with Ninoo & Papa. And C39 & I went back to bed.

Eventually we got out of the house, and drove to Tickfaw State Park. C4 had the idea that she didn't want to go. Crying ensued, on and off. We were able to distract her, mostly. Then Q2 fell asleep halfway there, as C4 noted "She conked out!" Yes, she had.

We got there, C4 actually was on the edge of sleep, she was 75% asleep. So we drove in and turned around, but at some point she fell over in her seat and woke herself up. She was happy to be going, not wanting to go to Tickfaw State Park, she wanted to go to Clarke Park (in town). She continued to say she'd nap in the car, but we turned around and did go in for real. C4 continued to make a fuss, but we took her in anyway, and managed to get her to stop crying about it by telling her that sometimes we do things for her, and sometimes she does things for us. And she was going to do this for us. Then we'd all go to Clarke Park for her. That actually worked.

She wasn't keen on going in, but she did. I told her I'd cary her the whole way, but after about 2 minutes she got down to check things out. She spent huge amount of time on a matching video game, and was excited to see turtles, because Q2 (who was still sleeping in the car, inccidentally) likes turtles. She loved the tornado maker, but did not like the dried and preserved alligators.

Finally, I went back outside and woke up Q2 (and Ninoo), and we went for a walk on the boardwalks. Well, one of the boardwalks that wasn't ruined by Gustav earlier this year. C4 was not thrilled about walking the boardwalk, but once we got to the end and started throwing sticks, they both came around.

Here we are throwing sticks:

At Tickfaw State Park

And then. Finally for C4, we went to Clarke Park. Where we spent an hour? 90 minutes? I don't know, but they enjoyed every second of it.

At Clarke Park

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The flight down

Sunday, December 7

Early early in the morning C39 and I got up, packed the rest of our stuff, packed the car, and woke the girls and bundled them into the car. Off to Louisiana for our slightly early Louisiana Christmas.

It snowed Saturday night, and it was snowing early Sunday morning when we arrived at the airport, so the girls were so excited. Finally it was WINTER to them!

We got on the plane, the girls were mostly wide awake. I was less wide awake. Ok, I was reeeeealllly tired:

Do we look tired

Mostly the girls kept busy during the flight eating, working, playing.

Working on the plane

Louisiana was lovely and not as cold as Maryland. We didn't have a plan for doing anything there, no parties, no visits (except with C39's grandmother, G'ma, who is a must-see), no plans. just time for the girls to be with their grandparents (and us, too).

We stopped to visit G'ma on the way home from the airport, then hung out at home all day. Eating, drinking, playing. At night we drove visited the Holiday Lights at Zemurray Park, driving around the lake twice, and took a ride on the mini train through the lights, chilly chilly chilly, and then home to put the girls to bed.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Q2 knows what's going on, but sometimes forgets not to let on:

Scene: at dinner, at restaurant.

E38: [smelling something] Was that the waitress?
E38: Q2, let's go to the potty.
Q2: No, I don't have to go potty.
E38: Yeah, I think you do.
Q2: No, I not fart.

Oops, foiled again.

The differences between C39 and me

Besides the obvious. To be fair, I didn't freak out. But the look on my face apparently said it all.

Scenario: Kids making joyful noises in the basement playroom. C39 & I are in the kitchen.

C39: Come here. Come here! You've got to see this. Isn't this cool? She's getting so brave.
E38: What? [Looks down the stairs, sees C4 jumping down last 5 steps to the basement] We've got to move those hazards! [Refering to a large marble pastry stone and large pizza stone].

Has this happened before?

Q2 is high touch in getting her to sleep. We sit in her room, out of sight, until she falls asleep. Anywhere from 2 seconds to 20 minutes.

So when we left her with my parents in Cape Cod this fall, I suggested one of them lie down with her to help her fall asleep.

So, my dad did did that. He and Q2 lay down on the double bed and promptly fell asleep. At least my dad did. And Q2 climbed right over him and walked out into the hall to find my mom.

Last night, Q2 woke up at some ungodly hour, and C39 went into her room at her request, and sat in her chair to encourage her fall back asleep.

C39 promptly fell asleep. And sometime later Q2 climbed right out of bed and came in search of me. Sweet.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Yesterday, when I asked C4 who was the line leader in school, she whipped around and told me (T4). I could see her kind of .... shining. She knew what the next question would be. And the one after that. Who was the snack helper? (Z3). And who fed the fish?? C4! She was so pround to tell me that; not because she was the fish feeder (although that is fun) but because she knew what was coming!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

She stumbled on "Wrapping"

But I can't fault that. Here is C4 reading "Olive the Other Reindeer" to Quinlan. Not the whole thing! Just the first page. But after I stopped the camera she said "I can read it! I really can!"

So I think she finally feels she "gets" it!

Monday, December 1, 2008


Normal behavior for our 4-year-old: Standing still and falling ... Or walking and falling ... Or sitting on a chair and falling off. I'm assuming most of it is genetic, but really.