Friday, December 30, 2011

Crazy Friday night.

C7 is in bed with a million stuffed dogs. There she is in the corner with her head on the pink satin pillow. Actually, I quite like the way she's set up all the dogs then carefully climbed over them so as not to disturb them. They are all looking at Wanda, Calculator, and Swinda, at the foot of the bed under that teddy bear blanket and out of the photo. Actually, you can just catch Swinda's back paw there ...

C7 in bed

Q5 is asleep in the closet. You can see she is asleep on Big Elephant with her rainbow maker by her elbow. Her head is to the left.

Q5 in the closet

Closer shot ... she looks peaceful. It wasn't super peaceful getting to this point. She was weeping in the closet because it was "gloomy" but she she insisted she wasn't scared, she was brave.
Q5 in the closet 2

C42 is lightly snoring in Q's bed. Kindle closed.

C42 in Q5's bed

I am folding laundry and watching Narnia on TV. Me wearing a scarf and fleece over my sweater!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The third day of winter

Friday the 23rd it snowed. It was the third day of winter. Q5 had a song.

And then they made a snowman. Or not.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas day

By this time, Q5 was overtired, overstimulated, and overexcited. So, things weren't so good at times for her. But for the most part the kids were great.

The girls woke early, of course, although we kept them abed until 6:00 am. Just barely. But once it was 6:00 am they were downstairs like a shot and headed to those stockings.

Best things in the stockings were barrettes (on Wednesday, Q5 lost a barrette at school. The last day of school before break. Real sadness, concern, and crying ensued. Mostly, probably, from the stress of Christmas coming up and the anticipation of the trip. So we headed back to school to look in her classroom and the playground for the barrette. Actually, I had to force Q5 to go. She did not want to go. But she got in the car. When we got to the school I had to drag her into the school. No, drag is the wrong word, I had to physically pick her up to get her into the school. She was devestated at the loss of her barrette, because it was securing her hair in what she called her "Christmas hairstyle." So when we left the school having been unsuccessful in our search C7 said, "Q7, let's ask Santa to bring barrettes! Santa, please, please, please bring Q5 barrettes." Well. He did.) Maraschino cherries, Connectagons, and umbrellas.

Umbrella Maraschino Cherries 2

After stockings we waited until G35 and C1 were up, and although we didn't take photos of present opening, here are some in front of the tree dancing. Actually, these are really nice photos of C7. She's stopped making crazy faces all the time.

C7 with tree Q5 with tree With Tree

Later we went and had a great afternoon at M42's house. Q5 again had some difficulties (She was assuming the world wasn't being good to her. Mostly because we all forgot that she loved horses, and thought she loved kitties. Which she does. But the pendulum has swung horse-wise for the time being. But this was all due to tiredness, I think, she's back to normal now after two good nights of sleep, and the gifts she was crying over ... all interesting now!) but they all had a great time.

At M42's house:

The Cousins

Yeah, it is all out of focus. But they are still cute.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve photos

C7 and Q5 put food and drink out for Santa. A candy cane, m&ms, a cinnamon bun, cookies, a glass of whisky.

Santa's Wee Dram

Then C7 wrote a note to Santa.

Writing a Note to Santa

They also put out carrots for the reindeer. Yum yum!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Snow in Massachuetts

The day before Christmas Eve and it snowed a very little bit. C7, Q5, C42, and ME65 went out and played in it.

2011-11-23_8.21.15 2011-11-23_8.18.54 2011-11-23_8.41.35

While they were outside they wandered over to the eight holly trees between my parent's yard and the neighbors. Discussion ensued because seven of the trees had berries (female bushes) and one did not (male bush).

ME65: Do you think 1 male can take care of 7 females?
Q5: How can 1 male marry 7 females?
C42: Hem, haw ... Utah ... before being admitted to the Union ...
ME65: Um, er, eh ...
Q5: BWAHAHAHAHAH! Trees can't get married!!

Zing! She got them.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Drive to Massachusetts

Thursday we drove to Massachusetts. The weather was great, sun was out, really, there was essentially no traffic. With one or two exceptions, we travelled at speed the whole way up. My favorite exception was driving north on the NJ Turnpike. We saw a police car speed past us, lights flashing, but no sirens. We wondered what was ahead, and indeed, about 5 minutes later we hit a slow down. We were in slow traffic for maybe 5 or 10 minutes, at the end of which we saw that a cherry picker had bumped into a box van, smashing the doors in. No injuries, just amusing.

Most of the ride was calm and uneventful. C7 had a schedule she wanted Q5 to follow that involved playing games, reading books, and movies. All was fine, the schedule was not exactly followed, but they did watch a couple of movies. But because the sun was out ... they had to watch like this:


They didn't actually watch the screen much. C7 is WAY back into dogs, so when we stopped at a rest area we took a spin around the parking lot to pet all the dogs. Our favorite was a pair of Shitzu from Maryland headed to Connecticut. I think they liked us, too, because the owner's grandmother was named the same as C7.

Blah blah blah, long story short we had lunch at Katz's Deli in Woodbridge, Connecticut. LOVED it. Best place to stop. It was almost filled to capacity and cole slaw and pickles were excellent. It is just south of the Tunnel on the Merrit, if you are ever driving that way.

Made it to Massachusetts in time to head to the park to play for an hour, take out a few books at the Library (not called Ritter Memorial Library anymore?) and watch the crazy lights on the house next to the library.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Tea

The whole class!

Q5 has a big class. They had to add a classroom at the beginning of the year to accommodate all the children. I think it is very close to 100 children. It is hard to see Q5 in this picture because she is short, behind a child with very large hair, white, and in a sunbeam, so she gets washed out. But she is there.

Q5 Q5 and P6

They did a holiday tea Friday morning for parents. I have been sluggish all week at work except for Friday when I had two MUST ATTEND events. Bugger. But C42 went.

For your listening pleasure!
Little snowman:

Light the candle:

and Jingle Bells:

After all the holiday revelry the kids and parents went to the cafeteria for cookie, hot chocolate and a craft.

Q5 craft
Q5 craft complete

Friday, December 16, 2011

That lost tooth!

Q5 lost her tooth in school this morning! You can see her shark tooth coming in behind already!

Q5 missing tooth

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Iridescent clouds

The day before yesterday I was waiting for the girls outside of the elementary school and looked up at the clouds. One of them looked like an oil spill ... it had colors, mostly a bluish green, but some yellow and pink/red as well. Then I realized a whole bunch of them were like that. Cool!

I pointed it out to C7 and Q5 ... C7 told me it was iridescent clouds. Oh! She told me they usually form over mountains and in winter. Well, they were over the elementary school.

C7 then went around pointing them out to all the adults and kids hanging out with us.

When we got home we looked them up in her weather book. Yes, they usually form over mountains! and everything else she told us about them was correct, of course.

They looked like this:

Now I'm on the look out for sun dogs ...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Three stories about Q5

First story

In school, the kids were discussing what their parents did, and it was Q5's turn ...

Q5: "Daddy edits magazines for adults"
Teacher, the estimable Ms. M: "Can children read these magazines, too?"
Q5: "Nope, they are adult magazines. For adults only."

That had me laughing so hard I'd almost forgotten the other stories.

Ms. M. was talking to the children about Santa Claus, and what they like to do for him, what would they leave for Santa. Most of the children said Milk and Cookies! but Q5 demurred, saying that we leave wine and cookies. Ms. M agreed that Santa could probably use a nice glass of wine after all that work he does delivering toys, but C42 reminded her that Santa likes whiskey. I think a nice glass of wine will satisfy Santa, however.

Final story. Q5 looked at a neighbor, E3, who recently fell down and had to go to the hospital.

Q5: E3, you have two ants on your lip.
E3: They are stitches.

That sounds dull and boring, but hm, it was kinda funny at the time. Well, if you are bored go back and read about C42's line of work as an editor for adult magazines.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Just have to post these

Q5 "decorating"

Q5 decorating 1

Q5 decorating 2

Q5 decorating 3

Q5 decorating 4

Q5 decorating 5

Q5 decorating 6

Basically she spent a lot of time eating candy. But this should not come as much of a surprise. Remember this video? It is really long (12 minutes) b/c C42 taped it. But keep an eye on Q1! Every time the camera is on her ... she's reaching for candy or chewing. Check out from 5:50 to about 6:40 ... Q1 is sticking jellybeans in her mouth until she can no longer fit them in ... and they come back out again.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gingerbreading 2011, C7's house

C7 was also looking at gingerbread books, but she didn't want me to copy a picture from a book exactly, but she wanted a dog shelter.

I wasn't sure exactly what a dog shelter might look like, so I decided to make it like an old fashioned store with a false front. And we carved "Dog Shelter" in the gingerbread so everybody could tell it was a dog shelter. Notice the front door is like a dog house door, and the back door is for humans.

C7 also requested specific candies so she could make dogs out of them, but that never actually happened. I loved the way she did her yard, so I did some of the same on Q5's yard ... load on the candy!

Dog shelter undecorated

And starting from the upper left the decorated dog shelter:

The front with the words "dog shelter" (notice the door changed sides!), the right side of the shelter (I'm not sure what to say about this side), the back of the shelter (notice the Hawaiian trees), and finally, the left side of the shelter (with the great rainbow roof!),

C7 Dog shelter 1 C7 Dog shelter 2
C7 Dog shelter 3 C7 Dog shelter 4

And the view from above!

C7 Dog shelter

We had fun!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gingerbreading 2011, Q5's house

Well, we almost didn't get to gingerbreading, because our gingerbread was dry and crumbly, but once I made a new batch all went well. Easy to roll out, easy to cook. Tasty. Well, the dough was, I haven't had any cooked yet.

Q5 asked for a castle that she saw in a gingerbread making book. I'd seen this castle before -- but never made it. But I decided OK, we'd do it, figuring it didn't have a roof, it should be pretty easy.

Not so. Not so. Gingerbread houses NEED roofs to keep them together. The castle keep was a miniature little house, but the rest was a crenelated wall. Easy to put together, but easy to fall apart, too, which Q5 and I found out when we started to put candy on it. I ended up re-"gluing" with more frosting and then putting candy all around the inside and outside of the walls to help stabilize. And it worked really well.

Here is Q5's crenelated castle. She's taking this into school for her class to eat, which is why we LOADED it with candy.

Here it is undecorated:

Castle undecorated

Decorated [from upperleft, front (notice drawbridge with caramels on it), left (notice bombs in wall), back (you can see the back of the keep and the smiley face), right (tree made up of spearmint leaves!)]:

Q5 castle 1 Q5 castle 2

Q5 castle 3 Q5 castle 4

Actually, originally Q5 had asked me to write "Beware!" on the roof, but we forgot. When asked why, she said there was a cat inside who didn't like people.

And the view from above that shows it all:

Q5 castle

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Guess what is on the porch?

I wasn't sure we'd get one but we did! C42 and C7 picked it out at the Holiday Farmer's Market in Riversdale. Now it is on the porch getting hydrated before we bring it inside.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A date which will live in infamy.

Yes, we had a celebration (um, commemoration) dinner here for the lives lost at Pearl Harbour 70 years ago. C7's obsession seems to be abating a bit, thank goodness. But now she has 2 more months to go to think about Pearl Harbour until she can discharge it at the Talent Show in February/March.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


'Tis the season for cookies!

I made gingerbread dough for gingerbread houses the other day, but it is really really really crumbly. So instead we made cookies with it today. Very thick cookies. But C7 really wanted to make ship and airplane cookies to commemorate the attack on Pearl Harbor tomorrow. We didn't have ship cookie cutters, but we do have airplane cookie cutters, so that is where we started. But we moved onto stars and reindeer and bells.

Here are the photos!


C7 shaping the cookies

C7 placing cookies on tray

C7 removing cookie from tray

As it turns out I don't even like the cookies, I wonder what I did to the dough??

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I promised lights

And, as you can see it is no light extravaganza, but like I said, the kids did it and I think it is perfect.

So, here they are, the pictures of the lights.

Q5 and C7 lights 1 Q5 and C7 lights

And a little video, of course. Can't take out the camera without somebody saying VIDEO ME!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

4 park day

After lunch I offered the kids quiet time or the park, and they chose the park. There was a bit of negotiating over which park to go to, and how to get there, but in the end we decided to go to Bladensburg park, in (of all places) Bladensburg. I was hoping to see the newly opened boardwalk, but it wasn't to be. The kids played for a while at the park, and then headed for the gazebos.

Instead of going to the gazebo with them, I walked across the bridge, hoping to get the kids interested in going over the bridge and getting a mini walk in. Well, that worked, somehow, on my way back over the bridge they crossed over and so we all crossed over and we managed to convince them that we should take a little walk. I knew there was another park nearby, because back when we had Big Blue I'd sometimes take the kids there for a long walk.

In the end, it turned out to be about a 2 mile walk, round trip, but there was no complaining, and we hit 3 playgrounds. On the way to the first we met a wooly caterpillar. C7 proceeded to give it what Q5 called a "Thanksgiving Feast" and when C7 reminded here that we were done with Thanksgiving Q5 changed it to a "Christmas Feast"

Watching a Caterpillar Kids & Caterpillar

The girls wanted us to move the caterpillar, or at least stay and watch it, but we promised to check on it on the way back (which we did, and it was gone, but the feast of leaves and dried grass was still there) so they moved on.

The sun was bright so C7 took my hat. It think I need a new hat, because I'm not sure I am going to get that one back.

Celeste Greeting the Sun Stylish Celeste

Once at the playground both girls loved the zip line, and a kind of gopher hole play structure. Q5 enjoyed the merry go round quite a bit, but didn't like sharing. I sat down and C42 took my photo. Ok, he took it twice because once I saw the first I made him take it again. Yes, believe it or not this is the better one.


Then C42 took off over the hill and yelled back to us that there was another playground! Neat, I hadn't known this, so we set off for the new playground. We didn't stay there long, but C42 went over the next ridge and Q5 got a little anxious and worried that she couldn't see him, so she and I set out to find him. Which we easily did. She ran to get him while C7 swung on the swings, then we all walked back.

From Bladensburg park, the area we ended up at didn't look elevated, but the park area is on top of a hill, and it commanded a really really nice view. It was quiet except a faint drone from Kenilworth Ave, and the birds.

After a bit more playing we headed back, made one more stop at a locale neighborhood park, but it was a great disappointment. So back over the bridge and to Bladensburg park. It was a lovely afternoon.