Saturday, August 25, 2012

Upcycled cashmere dress

I had all these cashmere sweaters waiting for a project, and I've been thinking sweater dress, but never could find a good pattern or tutorial for what I wanted. But finally, I just let C7 pick out three colors and we made a dress.

I need to still fix the collar and sleeves, and in retrospect I should have added little triangles on the bottom so it twirled better. Maybe I still can. But for now ...

C7 new dress

Yes, it is August, and yes, she did wear it for the rest of the day after I (mostly) finished it. She was so pleased with it. I'm going to gather the sleeves, as seen in this cute dress. That way when arms grow the sweater can grow. But I'm not sure how to fix the collar at this point. it had been a turtleneck and C7 hates turtlenecks.I'll figure SOMEthing out. 

It is warm and cuddly and no restricting parts anywhere. Just her kind of dress. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

First day of school 2012

Love the first day of school!!

First day of first and third grades

The days leading up to Monday Q6 was saying that she hated school, etc. etc. But she was just nervous, because when I picked the girls up from school on Monday afternoon she told me she loved everything about first grade. She even loved Mrs. E more than she loved MiniMamma.

The next day she took that back, of course. Because she loves MiniMamma A LOT.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Birthday party

C7  had a pool party for her (upcoming) birthday. Cool! It was amorphous and squishy, which was a challenge for me. The centerpiece of the party was the "decorate your own cupcake" extravaganza, which included lots of cupcakes, tons of frosting, and a bushel of sprinkles.

Table view 3

M8, C7, and E6 decorating cupcakes

Cupcake eating. And eating. And eating!
C7 with another cupcake C7 smile C7 eating a cupcake

If you've been to any of our parties -- or seen them online -- you'll recognize the rainbow candy sticks and the dog pops. So, I'm recycling ideas. But I think they are good ideas.
Candy sticks 1 C7 and candy sticks dog pops

and for the adults? Delicious blue cake. This was the same recipe as the rainbow cake, but all blue for C7. And only 3 layers.  Plus, it was filled with lemon curd and raspberry jam. Tasted GREAT.

Blue cake

Oh, and all those sprinkles? Ended up in Q's hair. On purpose.

Q6 with sprinkles in hair smile Q6 with cupcake

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Perseid Bust

With the Perseid Meteor Shower around the corner we decided to take the girls to the only dark sky in Maryland for camping and (hopefully) a celestial show. Oh, there isn't any dark sky in Maryland, so we had to go to West Virginia.

Originally we thought we'd go camping, but C43 found a place with cabins on Monongahela National Forest. So he called up, got us in for one night, and we drove up. On the way up we called in to get the code so we could get through the gate and into the Middle Mountain Cabins.

Middle Mountain Cabins sign with girls 1

Except that the National Forest Service is closed on weekends. So, despite getting a code (that didn't work) from the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center, we couldn't get through the gate to the campsite. So we parked the car in front of the gate, and walked down the lane to the cabins. You can just see the gate blocking the car here.

Middle Mountain Cabins sign

And this is the main cabin (there were two others) and the fun water pump. 

The main cabin and pump

We couldn't get the lock on the door open, but we pulled a screen off a window and the window was unlocked ... so in I went. C43 & I had both thought about bringing the tent just in case, but neither of us did. I physically took the tent OUT of the car. Not the brightest thing I've ever done.

I didn't take a picture, but there was also a vault toilet. That is a fancy name for an outhouse. Nobody actually LIKES outhouses, but C7 was physically scared of that thing, thinking she could fall down it. Luckily there was a railing next to the seat so she could hang on while using the toilet. 

Instead of going for a hike, we bummed around the camp, hoping a forest ranger would come by and let us in, and because the girls were having fun. There was a little pond and path right by the house to explore.

In the ferns Q6 crossing the bridge
The pond, the cabin, and my reflection

We saw wildflowers and wild mushrooms!
Native plant 2 Native plant 1

Mushroom Toadstool

We found sticks on which to roast marshmallows so we could make s'mores.

Finding smores sticks

One of the draws to this place was the gas stove in the cabin and the pre-cut wood outside, and the ready made fire pit. Cooking was going to be easy. Despite the fact that the wood was already chopped, it needed a little more chopping to get some kindling. C43 chopped, and we watched.

Chopping wood

We got the fire going and made dinner  (Hot dogs! Baked beans! Mac n' cheese!) and finally it was time for s'mores. C43 had initially bought Jet-Puffed JUMBO marshmallows, but although my inner sweet tooth craved those monster-mallows I'd luckily been at a backyard fire where somebody had brought them to roast ... and know what? They are too big. The inside doesn't melt when the outside is at toasty perfection. So sad. So C43 went back to the store and got regular sized marshmallows before we left. Phew. C7 had a ton of s'mores. I like a deconstructed s'mores, myself, so I ate the marshmallows and chocolate,  Q6 had a s'more, and lots of marshmallows. C43 is beyond s'mores.

After we were sick with s'mores we sat around the fire and we read The Hobbit to the girls. Q6 took  a turn reading, too, although C7 didn't like that at all. Q6 saw the first shooting star of the night (it must have been a stray!)


Eventually it got dark, and we decided to go to bed and wake up later (around 1:00) to see the meteor shower. Q6 and C32 were planning on spending the night on the porch, and C7 decided she would too. See the screen window behind them?

Porch and Window screen

 Eventually C7 thought she was too cold and came inside and slept on the bunk beds, while C43 and Q6 stayed outside. Until a mouse ran over C43's arm. Ick! So C47 slid Q6 in through the window, and climbed in after her, and headed over our bed. But we both had a hard time sleeping (um, mostly C43) thinking that in the middle of the night a forest ranger was going to come by and bang on the door and demand we get out, even though we had actually reserved the space. This was good, in some respects, because along came midnight and nibble nibble the mice headed to the table and the granola bar box. C43 got up, waved the mouse away and hung the food up on the hooks above our heads. The forest service had warned us that we needed to protect our food from bears and mice!

At that point C43 was a lost cause, sleeping wise. So he climbed out the window to see how the sky was. Clouds had rolled in, and fog. Bugger. But he sat by the remains of the fire and read for a while until the night sounds creeped him out too much and he came back to the porch and then inside. I think he slept 2-3 hours tops that night.

The girls were disappointed that we'd missed the Perseids. Me, too. We had breakfast (The girls had cereal, C43 a granola bar, but I roasted another hot dog!) and then packed up and drove off to take a little mini hike at Spruce Knob.

When we were packing I told both girls to bring long pants (jeans) and a warm sweater. How that was interpreted was not the best, and C7 didn't bring long pants at all, and her sweater was a 3/4 sleeve shrug. Q6 brought footie pjs and a bathrobe. So, the girls (and I) were cold at Spruce Knob, so they were wearing blankies and bathrobes, and I had my fleece and C43's sweatshirt.

Q6 and C7

Spruce Knob is the highest point in West Virginia. The view from up there was fantastic.


The view  Another view

And we took lots of photos up there of us up there

Highest Pt in WV E & C

E and the girls

3 girls 

After coming down from the mountain we stopped at Seneca Rocks Discovery Center, which included a stop to "pet" the fox behind the glass.

E & Q6 Petting the fox

So, in short, no shooting stars but we had fun anyway.

Friday, August 10, 2012

New items to wear

C43 bought some things today, including sleeping bags for both girls. Apparently they make good garments.  This is how C7 dresses up. You won't catch her in actual dress-up clothes, but find her a blankie or a rag and she's all over it. Here she has two skirts, a sleeping bag, and a stuff sack.


And Q5 was wearing  petticoat made of a silky top and the remainder a sheer material, pulled up to her armpits. I had to delete the photo because it was inappropriate and could be appropriated by rude people. But here is the two of them together. C7 still has her bonnet-a-stuff-sack on, but you can see her over skirt is held on by a scarf. And the stuff sack looks like a shower cap.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

This week in Q5's mouth

A few days ago Q5 had a loose tooth (look at the Crazy Eyes post and you'll see the wiggler sticking out a little bit further than the other front tooth).  It had been loose for ages. AGES. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. Slowly, slowly it got a wee bit looser until she hit it on the windowsill. It bled and bled lightly for an hour, and was hanging on by a thread. It hung on until time for bed (at least 7:00, Q6 tells me) and then Q6 wiggled it on her way upstairs, and on the penultimate stair -- Q6 pulled it out. That was Sunday.


Next to that was another wiggler. Barely loose. I figured we had weeks to go since it wasn't very wiggly. BUT, while at a friend's house today ... Q6 had a rope in her mouth, the rope got yanked, and the tooth came out, just like that.

All I want for Christmas

As you can see by the photos her tooth is already pushing in  where the one fell out this morning!