Sunday, February 28, 2016

Hike on the C&O

Sunday morning we woke up and told the girls we were headed out for bagels and a hike.

You'd think that we'd suggested we were going to go dumpster diving wearing only flip flops. But we went anyway after a LOT of screaming, moaning, threats.

And they enjoyed it. C11 took pictures, and Q9 provided commentary. There were a number of signs telling hikers to stay away from the water, it was dangerous, you are likely to die if you fall in  (all true). SO ... we gave a little reminder of how to stay afloat if they did somehow manage to fall into the current -- keep your feet up, head up, keep your feet pointing downstream, try to paddle to the side and get out of the water. I think the following is one of C's stitched together photos ...


Q9 then became quite concerned that we all stay away from the water. kind of like what happened back in at Christmas 2010, when she was 4 and we walked along Lake Pontchartrain in Mandeville. No crying and pleading, but enough concern that TCR dubbed her Captain Cautious! Which she thought was a great moniker and I think I want to make the T-shirt.

When we got to a slow part of the river (a small island creating an area of dead water) Q9 said "The water looks so calm, but it's actually a murder scene" ... love it.

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Regular hike-y stuff. Q9 posing, C11 climbing over rocks while TCR tries to coax Lucy that she CAN go that way. Lucy did NOT want to cross that little stream. Luckily, we did not have to carry her over. She jumped an landed on her belly, but she did it.

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Lucy feeling a little more confident.


And the girls, back on the C&O canal, on the way back. Love this picture.


Despite all the drama it took to get there, and the fact that the hike was super short, we had a nice time.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Black History Month

In HES the 4th grades do an interesting Black History Month project where they pick a person,  do  poster, write a script in the first person, and stand on a crate and talk about them. When you press the button on their hand.

Here is the opening from Q9's this year. I'm afraid the whole speech was quite long, so I only did the first few seconds.

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Monday, February 15, 2016

Long weekend

Children have a long weekend (Washington's birthday/President's day) and Massachusetts has February vacaction. So M47 was going to come down with K11 for a visit. But whatever happened, I am not really even sure if it was just that the idea of the drive down and back over a weekend was overwhelming, or it was competing activities, or what, it doesn't really matter, we decided to meet in the middle.

Jersey City, New Jersey. Yep, that's were we went.  Jersey City.

+1, right?

But the point wasn't where we were, but who we were with. And we were with K11 and M47, which was perfect.

The afternoon we got there the girls went swimming. That was all. That was why we picked this particular hotel; it had a swimming pool. So, swimming. And then we went out to dinner. It was chilly, I mean CHILLY (like 1 degree and windy chilly) so we were looking for a place nearby. Like, very nearby. We picked somewhere about 350 feet (yes, feet) away from the hotel, but partway there we decided 350 feet was too far to walk and we went into Bertucci's or something. The food was rather bad. But, this:

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So it was fine. They were ready to walk home before we were, so we let them go back without us. M47 was a little concerned that they wouldn't find the hotel, but I was all like, eh, no problem, C11 has a good sense of direction. When we DID return to the hotel we asked if they had any problems (remember, the hotel is about 150 feet from where we ate dinner) getting back, and they said no, but C11 said she might have gotten lost if K11 hadn't been there.  My confidence was misplaced, apparently.

The girls stayed up in their hotel room for a bit while M47 & I hung out downstairs. I didn't  realize at the time that my hair was doing this:

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We eventually called the girls and they came down for a hot chocolate and some silliness (I know the photo is rotten, but it is the sentiment I want to share):

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K11 & C11 were doing a lot of Sloooooow-Mo videos, as well, but I want M47 to send me one to put up; there is one with me, C11, & K11 in it, which might be worth laughing over.

Next morning we had breakfast. Yum. Nothing special, but tasty. And this was where we sat.
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I loved the look of this set up, with the swath of grass in the middle of the table. Except when you get up close you realized the grass is not grass, it is plastic, and THAT is the funny smell you smell. So, Courtyard by Marriot, Jersey City, we were very happy with your hotel, the staff, the service. But that fake grass smelled like musty moldy yuck. Just to let you know.

We went to the Titanic exhibit at the Liberty Science Center. Which was also having Star Wars exhibit, 4 days only, right now. So it was PACKED. We had considered going Saturday afternoon, but when C11 and I drove by on the way to the hotel ... the tolls at the exit were backed up, it was so busy. So. No. But going at exactly 9 am on Sunday morning was perfect.

We got to see R2D2 and a storm trooper.

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And then the Titanic exhibit, which we could not take any photos of.

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And the girls climbing the climbing wall:

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Thursday, February 4, 2016


Did you know C11 got her braces? At least the top ones.

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The whole procedure was easy, but uncomfortable, of course. That lip spreader! The blue glue!  C11 was stuffing her mouth with tissues whenever she had a chance (which gives ME the heebie jeebies to think of having a dry tissue in my mouth, but ugggg, she did it!). And C11 had comments to say and nerves along the way. The orthodontist and the assistant were very very good with her, they were laughing at her histrionics, but did empathize when I pointed out that they didn't have to live with that 24-7. Still, great orthodontist and practice to put up with that!