Sunday, July 23, 2017

Birthday Week II

Here's some of what's happening:

  • We had a friend party for C last night.  We had half a dozen visitors (girls and one boy who is a sibling of a girl guest and a classmate of D).  
  • I had the presence of mind to suggest that a former classmate (that C sees rarely) come early to hang out.
  • We had chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream icing from the grocery store and my husband showed Galaxy Quest.  
  • One of the girl guests drove herself.  WHOA!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Birthday week

Here's some of what's happening:

  • C is enjoying her birthday week.  Among other things, she's gotten a new Kindle Fire (handy for her vast library of Star Trek comics--another b-day gift), a better pickup for her ukulele, a collection of P.G. Wodehouse's Uncle Fred stories, The Hobbit in Latin, etc.  We still need to have a party--it's going to be Galaxy Quest and cake for about half a dozen girls.
  • C is practicing Blue Skies, some Star Wars theme, and the theme from Star Trek's Deep Space Nine that she and her music teacher have been painstakingly working out during her lessons.  She wants to work on the Star Trek Voyager theme after that.
  • Baby T has been enjoying the Wii and Minecraft.  Right now, she's doing watercolors
  • D has been doing indoor rock climbing and reviewing his fencing, as he's signed up for a fencing camp.  
  • The big kids are also rewatching Avatar:  The Last Airbender.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

First ukulele lesson!

C has given Baby T her first five-minute ukulele lesson.  (I've told C that she can give Baby T as many as Baby T is interested in and I will pay $1 for each five-minute lesson.)

C says that Baby T's hands are a bit too small to wrap around to do chords.

Friday, July 7, 2017


Here's some of what's going on:

  • We are gearing up for a room switch between D and Baby T (to provide Baby T an accessible bathroom).  I took ALL THREE KIDS to Home Depot to the paint department and I had D choose some whites/creams.  Then I obtained four paint samples, four little sponge brushes, and a 2'X2' square of dry wall to test paint colors on.  (On this outing, we also got a Toys R Us gift card for a chum of D and went grocery shopping.)
  • When I have a quiet hour, I need to paint the samples and check them against the existing trim in Baby T's room, D's furniture and his bedding, as well as checking if the colors look weird in Baby T's room.  Then, and only then, I should run it past D.  (The reason he is the last stop on the list is that he's color blind.)
  • I have literally never done this before to this level of detail.  The only "renovation" work we did on our house when we bought it four years ago was having the big kids' rooms painted (a buttery cream for C and a robin's egg blue for D), and even so, we went straight off the paper paint chips--we didn't do live testing of the colors.  (We were in a big hurry, but it worked out OK.)  

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Summer PDO and swim class

Here's some of what's happening:

  • My husband and the two older kids just finished up their two weeks of class.  We were afflicted by a bug and my husband missed one day of class and C missed nearly an entire week.  So she wasn't able to do her programming class at all, and only one day of cooking class.  D, however, was able to do his cooking class (first ever for him) and is inspired.  He made some mini-cheesecakes (a very simple muffin cup recipe with a vanilla wafer at the bottom).  I'm lobbying for chocolate mini-cheesecakes some time.  D wants to do some more cooking projects.  Both kids got to do a sculpture class the first week and D got to do computer programming.
  • C has gotten a long reprieve from music practice because of illness, but got back to practice today and did a 30 minute lesson with D.  She's working on a Star Trek theme.  
  • Baby T is enjoying PDO.  It's a once-a-week summer program.  The drive is a bit longer than we're used to for PDO, but the schedule suits us.  
  • I also signed Baby T up for a two-week swim class that starts soon.  This will be her first swim class ever, and she's already started swimming a little, so this is very exciting!

Sunday, June 25, 2017


My husband has fulfilled a long-cherished dream of making racuchy (rah-tsoo-hee) just like grandma used to make.

Racuchy are a sort of Polish yeast (!) pancake.  They're cooked in oil and wind up looking like an extra-fat pancake, but with more heft and less sweetness.  The ones my husband made also contained a lot of diced apple (courtesy of the kids), with a dusting of powdered sugar on top.  My husband says that his grandma's version contained pork fat.

We had ours with raspberry jam, marmalade and maple syrup.  Husband thinks this is a barbarous idea, but it crossed my mind that bacon would be excellent on the side (apple smoked?).  Maybe ham?  I was also thinking sour cream.  As it turns out, my instincts for Slavic food combinations are sound--the Wikipedia article mentions people eating racuchy with sour cream or cream.  (This is probably a thinner version than the sour cream you get in the US.)

We eat nalesniki (nah-lesh-nee-kee) or Polish crepes pretty regularly, with a spiced sweet cheese filling (Baby T is passionate about the ricotta-based filling).  We haven't yet gotten around to it, but we are starting to think about doing savory fillings one of these days (maybe fried mushrooms?).  The big kids have been helping my husband a lot recently.

The big kids have been doing some classes the last two weeks.  They were signed up for the same schedule:  sculpture, game programming, and a cooking class.  D was able to take all of his courses.  This was D's first chance at taking the cooking class, with very gratifying results (he made us a set of mini-cheesecakes yesterday at home).  C, sadly, got just the sculpture class and then was sick for nearly all of the other two classes (4 days out of 5).

Baby T would love to take a cooking class.  

Saturday, June 17, 2017

D on Cheerios

D told Baby T:  You can just pretend that they're tiny donuts!