Sunday, January 29, 2012


Two years ago we went ice skating, and really, it wasn't the most successful of endeavors. I think we tried again last year and C6 had a fit over the Zamboni.

But we decided to go again. When we told C7 she blew her stack and went apoplectic, but we just said she had to go and enjoy herself and get hot chocolate, or go and not enjoy herself and be a pill and annoy the heck out of the rest of us and NOT get hot chocolate.

She wisely opted for door number 1 and came willingly. She even put on pants and mittens without a fuss.

We all unloaded from the car and who was there but .... the same girl and her mom we went skating with two years ago! Not to mention a whole host of other people we knew, including Q5's good friend K5 and C7's best friend M7.

SO ... they both had a great time, they both skated by themselves, slowly and carefully, but they enjoyed themselves.

C7 skates IMG_20120129_142125

K5 and Q5 drink hotchocolate Q5 skates

Q5 proudly told anybody who would listen that she went around the whole way without holding my hand and without falling. It's true. She did.

And the next day ... C7 was asking to go again. We'll go again next weekend.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Out the the museums with Ninoo!

Q5 watching the mammels movie:

Q5 and the ape

We hit the rocks and minerals and the hall of mammels of course but this is the first time since they've had a choice as to where to go that somebody chose the dinosaurs.

This is how much they liked the dinosaurs:

C7 and the dinosaurs

And this is how much I liked them.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

January excitement

This morning our smoke alarm/carbonmonoxide detector upstairs started beeping. So, C42 being out of town, I grabbed a chair, took it down, and changed the batteries. But THEN it yelled "CARBON MONOXIDE!" at me and continued to beep.

Admittedly, the beeps were not ferocious, or even very urgent, but the fact that the thing yelped "CARBON MONOXIDE!" at me made me think I'd better have it checked out.

By this time the girls were outside and would not come back in. I even brought their pancakes outside, and they were unable to eat them, they were worried.

C7 & Q5 outside

I called the fire department to have them come and just bring the carbon monoxide detector. We heard them driving through the neighborhood (no sirens, but we could tell from the deep rumble) and then ... they drove up Livingston Street instead of Longfellow.

I heard them stop at the comparable house on Livingston and waited for them to come around to us. They didn't. The phone rang, I picked it up and dropped it. The fire department didn't call back. What?? I thought they'd call back again. I gave them another 5 minutes, and then called them back again.

While waiting I asked a friend to come get them at 7:30 am (yes, she was still in PJs) just so they would stop freaking out.

As my friend and the girls walked away the fire department roared around the corner with a giant hook and ladder, lights flashing, ready to rescue us.

Hook and ladder

It turns out the sensor on the fire detector was bad, we didn't have carbon monoxide anywhere. New detectors all around.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Every time is snows down here we have to have a snow post. Just letting you know in case you hadn't realized.

I woke this morning around 4:30 to silence. Bright silence. I put on my glasses and looked out side to see a nice thin layer of snow. Turns out it was wet and slushy snow, but that was OK, it was very nice looking.

Snow on the rosemary Snow on chair

15 minutes later at 4:45 I heard from Q5, who yelled out for me. She'd woken up and looked outside her window to see if my car was still here (she thought it was a work/school day). It was, but much more importantly, it had snowed. I told her to go back to sleep.

15 minutes after that I heard C7 run out of her room to Q5's room yelling "You have to look outside! You are going to be so surprised!!" Well, we weren't but that's OK. They both started running around acting like they were going outside, but I got back up and told them to say in bed until 6:00. They didn't, but they did stay in their rooms.

At 6 they got up, dressed and out we went.

Girls in snow

We had a snowball fight (Well, C7 and I did, and I'm pleased to say her aim is getting MUCH better), cleaned off the cars, and walked around the block twice. The sun came up around quarter to seven, and by seven we were cold and tired and headed back inside for hot cocoa and oatmeal for breakfast.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ninoo is visiting!

C42 is away in sunny California, so we are here in cold Maryland with the sunny addition to our house of Ninoo, who is here to help. Ninoo brought some wonderful shells with holes in them. C7 and Q5 decided to make necklaces out of them.

Yes, Ninoo is looking at herself in the window!

Making the necklaces

And here are the creations. Q5's finger ended up over C7's photo. And Q5's necklace is on her head.

C7 necklace Q5 necklace on head

Sunday, January 15, 2012


These kids are amazing. C7 just was demanding math problems. We did word problems at dinner (Six dogs are chasing 20 hares. Two hawks get two of the hares. How many hares do each of the dogs have to chase?), then just straight addition and subtraction (she's working on what they call "regrouping" these days, but for us older people we call it "borrowing" ... she can do up into the thousands, although she prefers not to go so high). Now she's writing her doubles facts down on a piece of paper. For fun.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Today, winter

Tomorrow they predict the weather will be 50 degrees, but today, thankfully, it is cold and snowy. I need some winter. This global warming is depressing. Not because I like to be cold, but because the pretty soon we'll have no more polar bears to frighten and awe us.

But, environmental considerations aside, winter is also good because it affords an opportunity to eat snow. C7 and Q5 were outside after school while it flurried, but when we returned home the flakes turned large and fluffy and gorgeous. C7 immediately wanted to go outside and play, and put on her boots, hat, mittens, scarf, and coat (and buttoned it all the way!) and headed outside.

C7 in the snow

And mandatory eating of the snow. If you are quiet you can hear the snow. And the neighbor's car.


Bite the cookie

Bite the cookie by T Carter
Bite the cookie, a photo by T Carter on Flickr.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Cookie making

We had a great new year's eve party, great new year's day, and then one MORE day off and back to school for the girls, C42's at his new job, and I'm back to my cube, bemoaning the fact that I'm still in my cube, even though it was my choice to stay 80% time and accept the greater risk of not getting promoted (apparently, you need to work MORE, not at a more advanced level, to be recognized, but I supposed I knew that).

So. Anyway, that bit of gossipy non-news aside, Q5 decided to write a recipe for cookies today. I was perfectly fine with that, but encouraged her to go get a cookbook to look at some cookie recipes first. She pulled up a favorite of mine, The Joy of Cookies. My copy is getting rather rough looking but the cookies are still delicious.

But then she started to write down her recipe. I had to help guide her only three times The first instance was because she'd suggested 1 tbs. of butter to 3 cups of flour. I sent her back to the book, she revised up to 1/2 cup, and then we mutually decided 3/4 cup was perfect. The second time was when she wanted to put a cup of milk in her cookie dough. Might have been OK, but it wouldn't have been the dough she was seeking, so I suggested something less, and she decided 1 tbs. was just right. The third time was to ask if she wanted any baking powder or baking soda. She settled on 1 tsp. of baking soda, so we went with that.

Here is her recipe:

Q5's recipe

I asked her in what order the ingredients should be put together, and she said "the usual way" so we did that. We creamed the butter and sugar. Added the honey (I admit, we probably added about 2 oz of honey). Q5 cracked the eggs and we added them one by one, and beat well after each addition. The we put the dry ingredients together, and added those. Oh, yeah, she wanted an oz of cinnamon, I did suggest to her that some smaller measurement was better, like a tsp. or tbs. because an oz of cinnamon is almost a whole bottle of cinnamon. She scaled it back. You can see the recipe.

Then we added the milk and then the dry ingredients, mixed well, and refrigerated the dough.

Here is Q5 with her cookie dough.

Q5 with her dough

The dough tasted good! The honey cinnamon was a nice combination. We chilled the dough, then scooped out and rolled in sugar. You can see Q5 loved the sanding sugar!

Putting them on the tray

Then we baked at 350 for 7-10 minutes ... and they were out and cooling.


And then after dinner we all had one.

Bite the cookie Cookie eye