Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Baby Girl loves cats

Baby Girl was in the tub and she said (apropos of nothing), "Clicker training is easier for cats."

She also really wants to replicate the video with two cats dinging bells to get treats.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

T's budget

T has saved $6 or $7 now.

Yesterday, she was saying, "Mama, I can have budgets. What should I do with my money?"

Thursday, July 5, 2018

4th of July

We had a fantastic fireworks show that we watched from some college green space.

My husband did a dry ice ice cream project with the kids. The last time we did this was before we lived in our current house, so 6+ years ago. We were a bit put off by the fizzy flavor at the time. Also, it overflowed like a science fair volcano.

This time, my husband used a Ben and Jerry's recipe book and did two different flavors: a creamy orange ice cream and a chocolate Reese's pieces ice cream. He also only did the dry ice step with half of each flavor, which prevented the overflow.

Some conclusions:

As expected, the creamy orange ice cream was fine with a little fizz (it's like orange soda pop). We let it rest a bit in the freezer before eating, as we did not want to accidentally ingest frozen CO2. As the dry ice fizzes out, it gets less carbonated tasting and more creamy tasting.

We let the chocolate Reese's pieces ice cream sit until after lunch the next day. Everybody loved it. It had very good flavor and texture. It was ever so slightly fizzy tasting, but the chocolate was the dominant note.

We are thinking about doing this as birthday party entertainment for an upcoming birthday, and our thinking is that fruit or soda flavors will work well if the idea is to eat same night (because people are used to a little fizz with those flavors), but that it's best to wait longer for a lot of other flavors. I'd like to try strawberry.

We also had dry ice shenanigans/experiments (READ ONLINE SAFETY WARNINGS--there can be some unexpected issues with the expansion of CO2 gas).

The supplies cost a lot, but as I noted, Ben and Jerry's is $4 per pint, and there was a lot of entertainment. We are thinking of inviting a family of little girls to join us for CO2 hijinks for T's birthday in the fall.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Rocks and shells

I just brokered a deal between C and T and D and T whereby the big kids got $2.25 each from T and T got a nice little stash of geodes, amethyst, quartz crystal, amber, pyrite, shells, shark teeth, etc.

I got the idea from visiting the children's museum and seeing T's interest in the gift shop rock table.

Husband's thought is that we can repair the rock tumbler, order some tumbling rocks and grit, and do a rock tumbling project with T. T is at exactly the right age for enjoying this.

I also, come to think of it, have a rocks and minerals book that she would enjoy.

Thursday, June 14, 2018


I've been thinking of getting T a nice xylophone (i.e. not Fisher Price). I was at the music store for C's lesson earlier in the week and impulsed a nice 25-key child's xylophone, after having a store employee check it out for me. I've got it set up in T's room now.

I've asked C to work a little with T on the xylophone (for the usual financial consideration--$2 per 15 minutes). C has never had a xylophone lesson (!) but it's a fun little instrument, and I can hear her picking out a Star Trek theme right now.

I'll probably also have C teach T a little ukulele later in the summer when C has less going on.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


Here's some of what's happning:

  • The girls and I went to WA and saw the family, especially their 3-year-old cousin.
  • Since we've come back, everybody but me and T has been doing camp. T and I have been shuttling siblings back and forth. (We have had a reasonably humane schedule, though--I kept things pretty simple.)
  • T achieved a longed for goal. She acquired three large bouncy balls from a bouncy ball vending machine at Old Navy.
  • Some friends are expecting a third child. T (herself a third child) told me that this means that thy will have a "perfect" family.
  • T did 22 pages of the Kumon kindergarten logic workbook of her own accord, and got only two items wrong.
  • I showed T a couple videos on how vending machines work. 
  • We went to the gym yesterday and the kids did racquetball and bouldering.
  • C's teacher is teaching a little bit (he has had dire health issues the last half year and is on a transplant list), so C is back doing ukulele lessons--she had taken the spring off from lessons but went to a bunch of local ukulele meetings.
  • C is working through a book of Star Wars theme music. She has just started working on the Imperial March (Darth Vader's theme).
  • Although there is no LOTR sheet music for ukulele, I have just discovered that there is a lot of piano sheet music. We may need C to work on adapting that with her teacher, but it does exist. (C and her teacher have already done a lot of adaptations for Star Trek.)

Friday, May 25, 2018


As per a promise of several months ago, I brought a 12 pack of Hatchimals to school on the last day (today) and handed them out to T's class. I made the kids promise not to open them until they got parental permission (cause messy) and then scooted off with T.

Both upper school and lower school got out at exactly the same time today (12 noon) and the carpool lines were epic.