Monday, May 30, 2011

The solar system

Here is a little vingnette that I'm sure has happened in many a household, in some form or another.

C41: C6, what is your favorite planet?
C6: Uhm, Uranus.**
E40: [Silent snicker]
C41: Not Saturn?
C6: Why, what's wrong with Uranus?
E40: [Getting sillier, has to leave the room]
C41: Nothing, it is just that Saturn will be visible tonight.
C6: Why not Uranus?
E40: [Can't say anything, has to leave the house to laugh outside]
C6: What's so funny about Uranus?
E40: [Crying real tears on the front porch]

I'm laughing now. EVERYTHING is funny about Uranus!

** She likes Uranus because it rotates around the sun on a different axis (like it is a rolling ball) and its rings are oriented differently, too.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Nighttime in the green bedroom

I don't often post pictures of C6 sleeping, because although she is, of course, adorable, she doesn't sleep in the crazy ways Q5 does.

HOWEVER. Here are two that made me laugh.

First, from a few nights ago, C6 sleeping with a flag. She is snuggling a flag. Who snuggles a flag? A stuffie, a dog, a lover, yes. But a flag? I'm keeping this photo in case she is every accused of treason. Clearly, she is a patriot.

C6 Sleeping with Flag

And this, from Saturday night. she's surrounded herself with pillows and blankies to make herself a little dog bed or nest. C6 in a nest. A C6 nest.

C6 in a nest.

And, while I was in there I realized she's breathing better. The seasonal allergies are waning a bit. Yippee!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Guess who graduated from Pre-K?

I'm not one who wants to go to tons and tons of graduations ... pre-K? Really? But, OK, we went.

The ceremony was in a church, so we waited in pews before it all began.

Q5 Graduation Q5 and V5

There was musical entertainment. Finally ... she's been singing songs at home for a week or two and every time she catches me looking at her when she's singing she wants me to not look. This is not so good when I'm driving or walking.

Then all the kids walked across the stage, alter ... to get their "diplomas" ... you can hear C6 yelling out all sorts of names saying yay Q5! It is cute and sweet.

Q5 Pre-K Diploma in Hand

The night ended, of course, with treats in the church hall. Many many treat. Won't show you, but you know how laden down C6's plate was, I'm sure.

Congrats to Q5, ready for Kindergarten in the autumn (well, she doesn't actually feel ready, she's already expressed some concern that she doesn't know everything, but I think she'll do just fine)!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Field day

No photos this year, but C6 had field day. Hot, but not TOO hot. A nice breeze. Talking to her teacher yesterday I was told C6 was on a team with an extra person, so if she didn't participate it wasn't a big deal. Ug. C6 has a reputation for not participating in athletic things.

And in fact, C6 started off not trying at all. Of the first three stations, she tried at one. The egg and spoon she was interested in, and lined up first to participate. Never mind that she was slowest AND the first to break her egg, she at least was DOING it. However, during the sack race she put the sack on her head, twirled, and generally hung around on the field. During the soccer kick she went off toward a tree at a snail's pace, with not a care that she was supposed to be headed toward the cone. The teacher finally kicked the ball down with her and C6 just had to run. All the other kids in her line were yelling at her and then groaning, "WHAT is she DOING???" and "I KNEW we didn't want C6 on our team"

So, after that I told her if she didn't start trying I'd not come to field day again. I told her she didn't have to be good, or the best, she just had to put forth some effort. Or this was my last field day. And she'd have to join a soccer team.

That really did shape her up. She tried hard to roll the tire (badly, and with help from an aid, but she did it), she joined in with the football run (she came in last, and didn't run it out, but she did it), she participated in the balloon toss (the water balloon broke in her hands), and she did the balancing a foam ball on a tennis racket (very poorly, wandering around, putting the ball on her head and the racket on the ground, but at least she wasn't sitting out).

But she really did try with the tug-of-war. They lost their first bout, but their second (the battle for third place) both teams were evenly matched (despite the fact that C6's team had one extra child). And the marker in the middle went back and forth, back and forth. A child who hadn't been participating on C6's team ran up and joined. Back and forth. It must have taken 5 minutes, but when L6 fell down, our team took the initiative and yanked the rope over and won.

C6 was so proud to be part of a team. She said to me, "I was part of the team and helped us win!!"

That made it worth it. When she wants to join in, we are all so pleased.

(also, they learned some lessons from last year, and had extra monitors -- from 6th grade? -- who ran the games. Very helpful!)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

More sleep pictures

Q5 has been very trying lately, so I'm attempting to give her extra love. Snuggling her when she wants it, snuggling her to sleep, taking her out of school a bit early so she can have more time with me at home.

I don't know if it is working, exactly. She's having terrible tantrums that involve kicking (ow) and very disturbing comments by her (like: I wish I'd never been born) and she doesn't respond well to having things taken away. Instead, if you take something away (e.g. a library book) she then will get ALL the library books and say take them all. So, we haven't quite figured out how to motivate her to be good (and appreciate being alive). I'm attempting to do extra touch and holding with her, because she likes having all her senses engaged. Her tantrums and wish to be dead or never born don't last long, but ... Do 5 year olds usually say that???

Anyway, that's off track. She called down and asked for a snuggle to help her fall asleep tonight, so I said I'd be up in a minute. I really was up in just a minute, and I opened the door to this:


Can you see, she is not in her bed. Nor was she on the floor. I don't know if she'd fallen or purposely went behind, but she had pushed the bed away from the window and was sleeping half under the bed, half in a snuggle nest on the floor. And UNDER the clock.

Q5 on the floor

I managed to pull her up and put her back in bed, where she is now sleeping. Hopefully happily and happy to be with us.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Circuit boards

C41 brought home a Snap Circuits circuit board kit from RadioShack the other day ... Q5 was gung ho for trying it.

Q5 working on circuit board

She loved it. The first time she saw the flying saucer take off and fly through the air -- precious! She then got C6 downstairs to take part (C6 had politely declined to participate earlier), and this was the next experiment. They loved it.

I think Q5 and C41 spent an hour on the circuit board. We'll pull it out again soon, I think.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Liberty bell, liberty bell, liberty bell, liberty bell (repeat)

The most recent obsession for our more obsessive child is the liberty bell, and other things revolutionary. I don't know exactly how or why this started, perhaps with a Magic Treehouse book and/or research guide. No matter, it caught her fancy, and we've been all stars and stripes and liberty bell ever since.

So, this weekend was the first without swim lessons or anything else planned, so we decided to go to Philadelphia to visit the Liberty Bell.

Once there the first thing we did was visit the bell itself:

C6 Q5 and bell insanity The liberty bell back side
C6 Q5 first view of the bll C6 and the bell

Then what to do? After the long car ride the girls needed a little stretch time so they played in a nearby park, scraped in the gravel, walked on stairs and walls, and generally ran around until we were ready to go to the next exhibit. Mostly we were pretty goofy. You can see my attempting to keep their hands down in this series of photos (and out of noses, mouths, eyes ... )

E40 C6 Q5 I
E40 C6 Q5 II
E40 C6 Q5 III
E40 C6 Q5 IV
E40 C6 Q5 V

Next stop: Independence Hall

Independence Hall

Under construction, as you can see. Renovations. You have to go through security to get into the hall, and then take a formal tour, so while waiting we visited the side courthouses. By the doors, of coures, are boot scrapers. I asked the girls what they were, and this is the answer: "A chair"

On the boot scraper

And we had time to explore the grounds and play some hide and seek before the tour

Q5 playing hide and seek Q5 and C6 on Memorial Q5 throwing helicopters

After the tour (which was very good, and I'd recommend to visitors) we had lunch. C6 REALLY wanted to visit the gift shop (we got books) and Q5 REALLy wanted a carriage ride. We took one. They read their new books during the ride.

Reading in carriage ride Horse and carriage ride C6 and Q5 petting Bebe the horse

C6 had promised to stop repeating liberty bell, liberty bell, liberty bell, liberty bell over and over again once she saw the liberty bell, however, she verily and truly lied. Sigh.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

As the garden grows

Our garden is looking fantastic.

Garden Plots

From the front you can see onions and a weeeeeee bit of spinach in the 1st box, the beans (growing like CRAZY) and a bit of the snap peas in the 2nd box, tomatoes, basil, and parsley in the 3rd, asparagus and dill in the 4th, and what lookls like a completely empty box is our newest box with corn in it.


C41 built me a new box about 2 weekends ago. I think this was the easiest box to make, since it was on nearly level ground. The rest are on fairly steep slopes. We planted corn in the new box, for Q5. She REALLY wanted corn, and I was willing to give it a try again. We tried a few years ago, but the racoons ate the corn when the ears got to be about 2 inches long. This time we have a bed, C41 is going to put chicken wire around it, and the racoons (I HOPE!) won't get to eat it.

Please. Please. Please.

But, at the very least we'll have corn stalks for Halloween.

And in the meantime, our raspberries are looking great. Last year a neighbor offered up raspberry canes to the neighborhood, and we got about 6. That plus all the random shoots that just keep popping up, we seem to have a good crop coming up. C41 was very excited, since it looks like a fair number to him. What he forgets is that even if there is a fair number of raspberries C6, Q5, and I can eat them all before he gets home at night.


We also have some gourds and strawberries growing in the front yard. A lot of space in the asparagus bed that needs to be filled, as the roots we planted seem to be duds (although we have about 5 or so actual asparagus from the plants we planted) (which of course we aren't eating).

Thursday, May 19, 2011


C6 and the leaf doll C6 and the leaf doll II C6and the leaf doll III

C6 doesn't necessarily like to play with dolls, although she keeps thinking she does. Well, she does play with her Barbie dolls, making dresses for them out of tissues, scrap fabrics, ribbons, and anything else she can find. And she makes paper dolls and clothes. But I think the making is the fun part for her, not the playing with the doll. Q5 will take the clothes on and off of her doll and do stuff with the doll (sometimes) whereas I'm not sure that C6 does.

But making a doll ... fun.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Field trip in the rain

Last year was hot, hot, hot.

This year ... wet, wet, wet. (and instead of the front seat ... we got the BACK seat on the bus!) It looked as though the rain would hold off, but no, it did not. We all got quite wet, and the children didn't get to play for long on the play structures.

Q5 was most interested in the rainbow slide (I think because she saw it first) and the GIANT BOOT (also, coincidentally, a slide).

The shoe

But before we got to the 5 minutes of play, we had to do some animal stuff. Such as ...

Go on a hay ride (during which time my little enforcer Q5 told any and every child who attempted to stand up to "SIT DOWN" ... after a few of those I started to recognize myself, as I kept saying the same thing to the two boys in front of me ...)

Q5 on the Hay Ride

Feed the goats and sheep ... look at Q5's face with the goats! She just fed them and was laughing this awesome giggle and saying "I fed the goats from my hand!" ...

Q5just fed the goats! Q5 E5 feed teh sheep

Pat a bunny and a chicken and an emu and a duck, and look at turkeys behind chicken wire, a pregnant miniature cow (still large), pigs, and a donkey. She did enjoy all that, I think she enjoyed the emu the best, but I wasn't nearby, I was sheltering under an awning as it started to pour.

Q5 wet and patting the duck Q5 looking at the turkeys

I guess the rain wiped her out, because the bus ride home she fell asleep on my lap.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Last year we had ferns on the front porch. I liked the ferns, I was very happy with them, they didn't need to be watered often.

But I suggested to C41 that maybe petunias would work this year. I like petunias, but since we aren't particularly sunny, they've failed in the front in the past. But with the new sunny front (because of some trees felled a couple of summers ago) we really now are sunny enough for petunias. I think.

But what he came back from the store with are definitely not petunias. Pretty showy flowers, but not petunias!

Flowers on porch close up

C41 thinks we should hang them higher, but I like them really low so they partly block the view from the street. So we have them hanging from these extenders that C41 keeps trying to lose.

Flowers on porch

AND our rose bush is in full bloom. Some years the inchworms get the flowers before many of them they can bloom, but not this year.So is the other one, but it is red and hidden away. The pink one smells lovely. I am a fan of flowers that smell good ... lilacs, lily of the vally, clover, iris. Even dandelions smell good, did you know that? And while rose is not my favorite scent, I'll take an old-fashioned rose scent over a non-scented rose (or any flower) any day.

Rose bush

Monday, May 16, 2011

New sleep positions

Q5 trying out new ways to sleep.

Q5 asleep

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mother's day

Been too busy to do things in order.

On Mother's day the girls REALLy wanted to make be breakfast in bed. I thought I'd convinced them that we could go downstairs and all eat together, but they realized, no, they could eat in bed with me! So I tried again to suggest that I did NOT want breakfast in bed but they insisted that their teacher said some moms like it, and that THEY wanted to do it so I had to let them do it for me. So I backtracked and said, yes, please breakfast in bed for me, and me alone. But group breakfast in bed.

C6 started thinking about toast, and despite the fact that toast is in the top 10 of wonderful things to eat, I probably cringed thinking about the crumbs. So then she considered the breakfast foods she could make. Like pierogies and peas. Mmmm. So after some discussion they settled on a delicious breakfast of Cracklin Oat Bran, cut up apples with peanut butter and a glass of Diet Coke.

Not a bad meal.

Mother's day Breakfast in bed

Then Q5 ate the cereal, and C6 helped out substantially with the apples.

Q5 eats my breakfast in bed C6 eats my breakfastin bed

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tape head girls

No commentary necessary for this one. I think the instigator of this game was our very own Q5.

Tape girls

Tape girls II

Tape girls III

Tape girls IV

Tape girls V