Monday, August 31, 2009

Birthday party

We had a dog tea party ... although I admit, it was heavy on the tea, and very light on the dog.

Before the party

Whoo hooo!

The plan was to make chcolate cupcakes, because that is what C4 wanted for her 5th birthday. Except then she wanted vanilla. And I wanted to make a teapot cake like the one I saw in Southern Living 10 months ago. Of course, I was running out of time and I had this fondant leftover from the pretty flowers I made and I draped it over. It looked like a ghost! And then I smoothed it so it was only soso wrinkled and it was good enough.

Teapot cake ad hats

The girls made flowered hats

Q in hat C making her hat

Stung beads

Beading with hat on

had some free play ... and then we had our tea party. First sandwhiches and fruit, then the cake and we sang happy birthday.

Tea party Cake 2

After they'd had enough cake and icecream it was onto my token dog item: the piñata!

C with the pinata

Some parental ripping helped it along, because as you can see, it would have taken the girls about 2 hour to get that thing down.


Great party. Very civilized. The girls went home with new hats, new necklaces, a teacup and some loot from the piñata (mostly hair accessories). All happy.

Friday, August 28, 2009


M5 came over after school today, and on the way home (I was driving her) she told me that C4 was her best friend in school, but at our house, Q3 was her best friend.

The reason? C4 won't play with her.

I fear this is going to be a common occurance in our household, and it is kind of breaking my heart for C4.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Old dog, old tricks

Yesterday C4 and her classmates were asked to draw a face yesterday in class, and she refused and scribbled hers instead. Yikes. I guess they should have said it was a dog.

So this morning C4's teacher this morning asked me if C4 was still 4. Yes ... why? And she showed me the face. And told me that she tested C4 yesterday, and C4 has mastered the kindergarten curriculum, but she has some maturing/socialization issues to work on.

I guess I knew that. Although, to be fair, I told the teacher that I think the being stubborn about not doing what she doesn't want to do is one of C4's personality traits (flaws?) that isn't going to change if she is 4 or 8 or 24 or 82.

The teacher told me she was sorry, I had a lot of trouble ahead of me.

*** UPDATED ***

Her teacher and I talked this afternoon, and really it is about C4 not wanting to do anything she thinks isn't cool or whatever. And that she needs a challenge. And that Mrs. B will be working on it as the class settles in. And Mrs. B thought she'd do great in Montessori, where she does self-directed learning. But, she didn't want to lose C4 from class, either. I suppose if they don't want to lose her they'll have to work to keep her engaged and interested.

And C4 today said to the teacher she was done with school, she needed a vacation. Phew. I agree, it has been a long week.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Q visits her school

We decided to visit her school to get her used to the idea that she will be going to school somewhere without C4.

She didn't want to go. When we got there she didn't remember it. She asked me if I'd hold her hand the whole time (sure! Not that I had to).

We checked out the classroom, which included (in addition to children) 4 turtles, a bunch of fish, and one guinea pig. The hallway had a bunny named Panini. Sweet.

Then it was free play outside ... and out she went with everybody and she stayed for a good hour. Really. Just on the horses, the merry go round, and (especially) in the sandbox.

Ahhhh. We had to go, but we stayed for snack and left after that with a yummy taste of soymilk and goldfish crackers in our mouth. Delish.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Garden Extravaganza

I just love the growing garden.

Scarlet Runner beans

Tiny cuke

Raspberries to come

Squash blossom

Monday, August 24, 2009

First day of school

So, what you've been waiting for.

C4 has been waiting for school for so long. She was ecstatic to start the school day. Happy to put on her uniform. Excited to eat at school (she brought oatmeal with blueberries to school, ate that there, and THEN ate the school breakfast, too). Ready to go.

C4 & Q3

We drove up to my friend's house to walk together. We made it there safely, despite the ginormous backpacks the girls were wearing. Really, they are dwarfed by their empty bookbags. C4 is being dragged down by her lunch.

Looking at the school

I like this photo. C4 is overwhelmingly happy. Q3 is looking at the two older girls with elementary school desire. C6, on the other hand is looking mighty unhappy. That is the biggest smile she could make for the camera.

Ready to go in!

C4 got in line to go to class, and eventually the whole class (and the parents) trouped in. I was immediately forgotten (see photo series) until C4 couldn't find some of her school supplies.

She's gone Finding a seat Getting ready to start the day

So ... photos taken, I left. And returned at 1:55 pm (OK, OK, I was much earlier than that! But it was a result of Q3 & I taking the levee home and stopping for 15 minutes to watch construction) to pick C4 up.

I attempted to get some information from her about her day. What I learned:

1) There are 13 girls and 9 boys in her class
2) One girl (Stephanie) was absent
3) They had frosted flakes for breakfast (So glad she had the oatmeal first!)
4) They did not use their pencils today.
5) They did not use their scissors today.
6) They did not write in their books today.
7) C4 almost cried when she was told she had to leave her school supplies at school.
8) In order to make sure her first day remained good, the teacher let her bring them home.
9) C4 told me "This kindergarten is a good one! [pause] Because--and here is the good part--4-and-1112ths-year-olds get to go in it"
10) They played copy cat (and her thing was a jump spin)
11) The lunchroom is NOT on the roof

I'm sure I'll learn more ... eventually. I'm looking forward to talking to my friend about M5's first day at school to see how it compared to C4s!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Kind of like the last hurrah before summer ends and fall begins.

T4 (soon to be T5) had his birthday party this weekend. Monsster Truck Bouncy Castle! Cake! Piñata! What more could we ask? T4 & C4 getting along? Here they are ... it is hard to believe they are realy only 1 day apart ...

C4 & T4

And then today we had a playdate with M5 ... our final playdate before Kindergarten starts! M5 & C4 are in the same class. They had a snacky outside and enjoyed being smiling for the camera:

C4 M5 Q3

Then this evening we had our monthly babysitting co-op.

Finally, the kids are knocked out and asleep in preparation for the FIRST DAY OF K!

I'm excited.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Good clean fun

Since I bought the Swiffer Wet Jet (with the brilliant idea that my kitchen floor might get washed) Q3 has begged me every day to "do the wet jet!" Success!

Listen to the Szzzzt! of the spray. And Q3 whining for a turn:

Well ... at least their feet get clean.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

If I can't be the princess I guess I'm the evil StepMother?

Q3 has been into dogs, horses, kitties, turtles, bunnies, bears, etc. But ... she's finally become interested in something new. Something we knew was coming for a long time, but had managed to avoid because her older sister was not interested.

Yes. The dreaded princesses (and a little dressing up).

Q3 is having us call her Snow White (because she has hair as black as ebony???). She likes to drink from her new (hand-me-down from a friend trying to get rid of it) princess cup. She talks about The Princess Bride and Wesley. We have to read the princess compendium to her at bedtime (a hand-me-down from our little mother's helper).

After having a girl with such a cool obsession as dogs the princess obsession is kids of ... commonplace?

I suppose it will be unicorns and rainbows next!

Q3 earrings

(see the lovely earrings made of tape and beads? All the rage)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Quick, stop the presses

Every night we go up and check and see how cute they are sleeping. And we've been "clicking" them regularly ... I haven't even posted half of them.

But tonight ... You've got to see this.

sleepy ...

Yes. She has squished herself into an infant/doll cradle. Happy sleeping!

A New Park

Tuesday we were headed out to a park on Sligo Creek ... but when we arrived it was surrounded by a chainlink fence and had heavy equipment hanging around.

Figuring that park was out of commission, we kept driving and found another by the old Montgomery Blair High School.

I think they liked a lot about this little park, but one of the best things was the hill and rocks. Good to sit on, good to jump off.



What I like best about the videos is the commentary going on the background. Especially this one.

And anybody who knows C4 will know that her physical prowess here is just an incredible advance over the last 2 years. Yay!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Almost rather tactful for a 3 year old.

After all that cake, I needed a little exercise. So, instead of taking the car to the pool as the girls requested, I insisted on the stroller so we could walk and get my exercise. The girls protested, but I asked if they'd rather I get fat and unfit, or I get my exercise.

The stroller it was.

So. Once at the pool we were in and swimming and an enormous, ginormous, overweight woman headed for the stairs.

Q3 started talking. To make her long story short ...

Q3: Um, um, um, Mumma, mumma, that woman, that woman, that woman in the blue bathing suit ...
E39 [sensing the direction this is headed, tries to head it off]: Yes, isn't that a nice blue?
Q3: No, mumma, no, that woman didn't get her exercise, did she?

Sunday, August 16, 2009


So, I was making cake. I've been planning on making myself a birthday cake, and I hit upon this one in Alice Medrich's book Bittersweet (which is the most amazing cookbook, ever!)

Anyway, I hit upon the Strawberry Celebration Cake

Alice Medrich's Strawberry Celebration Cake

Me and Cake

Messy but delicious

Yuuuuummmmmm. It was started with a génoise , with a rum/simple syrup soaking syrup, a Mascarpone cheese/whipped cream filling with Strawberries (I should have packed it with strawberries), with a chocolate belt around the outside and topped with chocolate ruffles.

I am so full.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

At Riversdale Mansion

C40 could tell you more. I didn't go, I was making cake.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Old Maryland Farm

C40 and C4 and Q3 spent all day friday at Watkins Regional Park. On the train, the carousel, at the farm, playing putt-putt.

I wasn't there, so this is how I experienced it, too.

Q3 just sitting

On the carousel

C4 on the carousel

Q3 on the tiger

At the farm ... the is crazy, C4 touching the horse ...

C4 touches the horse

... and both of them being butted by a sheep. C4 apparently had no problems about it. She giggled like she does when she is butted by a dog.
C & Q and the sheet

Putt-Putt ... wow. Wish i'd been there

and the Carousel videos have this dreamlike quality to them.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

At this very moment ...

... Q3 is reading to her doll.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I know what she meant, but ... ew.

At about 2:07 this afternoon:

Me: Oh, I'm a little thirsty. I need some water.
C4: Sometimes I drink spit.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

8:31 pm do you know where your children are?

C4 is upstairs laughing like a maniac. I can only assume she's reading something funny. Or, something not particularly funny, but hysterical to a 4 and 11/12 year old.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Nats game

Around my birthday C40, my dad, and I went to a Nats game. It was absolutely devestatingly painful to watch. The Nationals played ... well, frankly, like a team that didn't want to be there.

Today, C40, C4, Q3, and I went to a game. The seats were GREAT. I think the best I've ever had, between home and first (above the hometeam dugout) and close in (not ridiculously close in, but very nice, thank you). And the Nats were playing ... spectacularly! Maybe it was the 7 game winning streak (and ... now 8!), but they were hustling and getting ... runs.

The fans, however, were melting. It was hot. Look at C4's face (red)

E39 & C4 melting at the game

And Q3's curls (humidity plumped)

C40 & Q3 melting at the game

We lasted 4-5 innings before we thought the girls were going to get heatstroke (and that with lemonade, water, and sno-cones). Plus, neither could sit on the seats because they were too hot. So, the were on OUR laps, making us hotter, too. I was sitting on the programs. Every time I got up with C4 for a shade break ... I brought some damp paper along stuck on my thighs. Attractive.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Role reversal

Lately our new campaign has been to get the children to turn their lights off when they come downstairs. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.

If I go upstairs and the lights are on I'll call them up (mostly C, since she can reach her light) to shut them off. Usually she runs up with an "OH! I'll go do that" and shuts the light off.

This morning, however she didn't.

I called down to tell her.

E39: C4, the light that I turned off for you earlier is on again. Can you come up and turn it off, please?
C4: No!
E39 & C40: No?? Why not?
C4: That's how I punish you!

Friday, August 7, 2009


Thursday, since the day started off rainy, we went duckpin bowling. Fun, fun, fun. Oh, my, yes. I think it is best described in pictures.

Our first whole string Q3 did not want to participate. Here is what she did the whole first string. Maybe I should have fed her before we went?

Q3 popcorn

C4 had a fantabulous time. She rolled the ball down the ally and flung her arms up after each roll in such a joyous way.

C4 bowling

Even when she was sitting down bowling.

C4 bowling from the grounds

She enjoyed scoring, of course.
C4 scoring

The ball rolled about 1-mile an hour, and sometimes didn't make it all the way down (um, for both of them we sometimes had more than one ball in the ally, and usually two or three in the gutter), but she did pretty well. Almost as well as I did. Which, I have to admit, isn't much of a feat, since I tend to be a dismal bowler. Well, obvioulsy, if a 4 year old gave me a run for my money.

And when Q finally decided to bowl, C4 wanted me to take her photo:

Finally, after the first string, Q was ready to play.

She loved picking up the balls.
Q3 with balls
And rolling the balls.

She first got a lot of help from Ninoo & Papa, but then she did it on her own. The funniest bit was when she and Ninoo would yell "Go baby, go!" at the ball.

And then jump in Ninoo's arms. Awww.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I've been working on this for WEEEEEEEEEEKS! Over a month. Almost two months, really.

I bought the fabric and then changed which ones I used where. So, I had to buy more. I had to rip a seam or two. Or three. I added ruffles on the pockets (sewing improvisiation!). I made some mistakes. I was within inches of running out of brown thread. I was within yards of running out of pink. But, finally, I have successfully finished it.

The picture is a bit goofy, but it shows the apron.

The apron is done

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


We visited my office the other day and Miss M. gave C4 a new hat. But one hat isn't good enough. No. She likes to wear three at a time to look really pretty.

C4 and the three hats

C4 and the three hats

(yes, I do really think she is gorgeous)

Monday, August 3, 2009

3 down, 1 to go

About 2-3 weeks ago, C40 stepped on a stinging insect (yellow jacket?) at the pool.

About 1.5 weeks ago, I stepped on a stinging insect at the pool. I just got the stinger out.

About 10 hours ago, Q3 stepped on a stinging insect at the pool. I got the stinger out within a minute, but she's been walking on her heel ever since.

Oh, and C4 wanted to make sure you see her dancing in the background.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

series Q3

Every night has been another amusing sleep position for Q3. Here are the latest.

Q3 with her giant horse in the chair
Q & horse

Finally ... asleep in the bed ... with a few books open and in her tightly clamped fist ... I had to pry those books away.
Q asleep with books

We got balloons and she had to sleep with them ... her hand is tightly holding the balloons even in her sleep.
C3 and balloons

And this evening in her chair.
C3 and a new position