Saturday, July 30, 2016

C goes electric

My husband has set C up with a piezzo buzzer and some software on his laptop that allows her to play her acoustic ukulele as if it were electric.  The software is called Guitar Rig 5 and they have all kinds of musical effects to experiment with.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


C hasn't had a ukulele lesson, so she was asking me what to practice--a dangerous question.

I leafed through her Beatles for ukulele book and found "Yesterday."  This is her second day of practicing it, and it is starting to sound pretty good.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

He's back!

My husband is back after a business trip to the far north.  He left the day after C's birthday, so I just wasn't thinking past the birthday.  Some discoveries:

  • I'd better have a plan for any future summer business trips, because the kids' disparate sizes and interests, the awful heat outside, etc., having 5 days of nothing planned is a mistake.  We needed more exercise and intellectual life for the kids, more of a schedule.  (I hadn't run into this before, because normally when my husband is on the road, we have school or it's not so hot.)
  • C did work for a friend hanging pictures and D and Baby T had some water play there, too.  (Baby T's diaper was MASSIVE by the end of it.)
  • I think Baby T didn't do too badly, but she had parents' day out.  She did so much Play Doh, so much paper snipping and so much painting.
  • Also, just running house things by myself and managing Baby T consumes a lot of my bandwidth.
  • C is able to use the elliptical machine--she did that at least once.  D has been trying our recumbent bike.
  • C also did six days in a row of ukulele practice and a little playing today.  C normally does 4-6 practices a week, but six in a row is very unusual.  
  • So, now that I write this stuff out, a lot of stuff happened, but it didn't really fill the days up.
  • Also, there was a lot of Star Trek watching.  

Free market failure

Whyyyyy isn't there a Finding Nemo or Finding Dory Play Doh set?

Passive voice

Baby T has been complaining that her different colors of Play Doh "got mixed up" so I need to order her new Play Doh.

C and I have been pointing out to Baby T that she mixed them up.

I expect I'll buy her some more eventually, especially once she gets the Fun Factory press from my prize shelf.

Saturday, July 23, 2016


The ukulele cookie cutter and the ukulele tea towel that I ordered arrived.  The cookie cutter is your basic cookie cutter.  The tea towel is huge and so charming (the title is "Ukulele Convention") that it has crossed my mind that it would be really cute to hang.  But mine is living in my kitchen drawer...

Friday, July 22, 2016

Inside Out

Baby T just drew a picture of Disgust, the character from Inside Out (basically, some lines).  She had me add a "D."

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Here's some of what's happening:

  • C is 14 as of this week!  So big!
  • We had a skate/laser tag party for her and invited all the girls from her (small) class.  There were a lot of people traveling but we invited some younger siblings and wound up with a party of (I think) 13 children, including our 3.
  • C got quite a haul of Barnes & Noble cards.  I'm going to take her to the store real soon...
  • We got her a manual for a Klingon war ship (she was so excited!), one of those little Star Wars cartoon books depicting the characters as kids, a cake decorating book (which was the subject of some angst), an MP3 player (which turned out to get really hot when plugged into the computer--so we're getting a more expensive one), and what turned out to be a badly done knockoff Deep Space 9 t-shirt.  Grandma and grandpa got her nice scissors and a large swim torpedo for the pool.  I also got her sushi from the grocery store on her actual b-day and a My Little Pony mylar balloon.  My husband also baked and frosted a minty version of the Hershey's two-layer cake recipe with mini York patties in between the layers.   
  • My husband will transfer some of her on-CD songs to the new MP3 player when we get it.  We are also going to give C $20 in credit to buy songs.
  • C also finished reading War and Peace.
  • She has also been enjoying Pokemon Go.
  • Baby T drew a spider!  She has been enjoying water colors a lot!
  • No camp this week.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Play Doh cupcakes

I got Baby T a little Easy Bake 6-cavity cupcake tin for her to make Play Doh cupcakes in.

It is a big success.

I have never had a child who was as into Play Doh play as Baby T is, but I am keeping her well-supplied with good Play Doh.  We have some pink sparkly stuff coming real soon...

Sabrer-toothed whale

Baby T just demanded that D draw her a saber-toothed whale.

That's apparently one of D's artistic specialties.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

In deep

After consulting with C, I just ordered a ukulele cookie cutter and ukulele tea towel from Ukulele Magazine.

C really wants to participate in the magazine's Cookie-lele cookie baking contest.

Thursday, July 14, 2016


The rest of the family is back from their big British Columbia trip.

My husband and I were sifting through a wardrobe this afternoon and I discovered a treasure trove of old watercolors.  I've just given Baby T some paper towels to paint on, and have cruelly refused to do her painting for her.  She's doing great.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


Baby T was just trotting around the living room on her stick horse while watching The Grand Old Duke of York on a Mommy and Me video.


Baby T has explained to me that she only likes two of the songs she hears on the radio.  With a little investigation, I was able to find out what they are:


Baby T just made an excellent letter 'E' with LEGO.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Gotta watch Baby T

I just found three Netflix envelopes tidily arranged near the front door.  Baby T had packed up one of them with an unwanted (by her) Netflix movie and another with an unwanted (by her) movie from our personal library.

Baby T's shopping list

Baby T and I went grocery shopping yesterday.  What made this trip unusual was that Baby T came up with a shopping list for herself.  Here's what she wanted us to get:

--goldfish crackers
--glue sticks

We got everything on her list.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Summer reading

C is really getting into War and Peace.

Zoo/Preschool KonMari

Here's some stuff I forgot to mention:

  • At the zoo, Baby T spent a long, long time in the playground and water play area.
  • Baby T was excited by the tropical fish area with Dory!!!!! and Nemo!!!!!  The zoo has very showy large blue tangs and clownfish in the aquarium--Petco's clownfish are much smaller.
  • Baby T has been doing a preschool version of KonMari with me.  What started this was Baby T herself emptying her room of all of its books and at least 3/4 of the toys, creating a huge heap out in the hall.  A week or two later we sifted her playroom and bedroom together but we still have a box or two in the living room to do (I persuaded her to take back much of the stuff in the heap in the hall, once she thought about it item by item).  The playroom is a big mess, largely due to Baby T's newfound love of Play Doh (she now owns at least a hundred separate items in the Play Doh center), but I've talked to her about just about everything in the room, and what's there obviously "sparks joy" so, it's staying.  I do have a large laundry basket full of rejected items, though.  Large noisy Little People play sets were especially hard hit in the purge, as were unloved stuffed animals and an old LEGO musical toy where you plug in different plugs and tap out tunes.      
  • When we were working, I was offering her three options:  bedroom, playroom or give away.  
  • While writing this, I took a peek in the discard basket, which agitated Baby T.  She said something like, "We're giving that away!!!!" 

We fed the giraffe

Baby T and I both got a turn feeding the giraffe at the zoo today for the first time!

There was a group of zoo campers doing it, and as they had some leftover lettuce (?) they let non-campers feed the giraffe, too.  Initially, Baby T wanted me to feed the giraffe, which I did (while holding her).  Then after we'd walked away, she decided she wanted to, too, and fortunately it was still possible.  Baby T handed it to the giraffe but dropped the lettuce during the handover, as when the giraffe was corkscrewing its tongue round the lettuce (and that's totally what they do--their tongues are amazing), the tongue touched her.  But she made the pass successfully on the second try.

Baby T was very pleased with her bravery.  As we were walking away, she said "I'm bigger!"

Sunday, July 10, 2016


Baby T located the tropical fish cookie cutter and cut out a fish outline.  She brought it to me and said, "This is Dory!"

I don't think either of the older kids was ever so passionate about Play Doh as Baby T has been the last couple weeks.  Part of that is probably the timing.  I kind of jumped the gun with C, as I started her on Play Doh cookie cutter play when she was probably not even 2, but Baby T is a solid 3.5 and she has watched a LOT of Play Doh videos online.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The futility of blue and yellow play doh

At Baby T's request, I got out some new play doh from the closet.  It was two cans--one dark blue and one bright yellow.  So, this was perfect for making Dory.

We went downstairs and Baby T started working on her play doh.  I looked over in a bit and found that she had already started blending the blue and the yellow.  I had a few words with Baby T and mixed it into a consistent turquoise for her.  She then asked me to turn it into a different color.  I told her that green was all I could do.  I also told her that there aren't any more cans of new play doh left.

I think I'll let sink in for a bit.

But I am planning to eventually get her sparkly play doh.  She is playing a lot with her play doh--probably literally hours a day.

Cookie cutters

I've been having a look at the plastic cookie cutters that I gave Baby T to use with play doh.  It's been several years since I've used them, and they're absolutely charming, especially the animal ones.

We've got a camel, whale, butterfly, teddy bear, sea horse, tropical fish, a couple dinosaurs--it's really cute.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Small pedants

Baby T hates it when I say, "Let's roll!"

She says, "We're not cars."

Gingerbread cookies?

Baby T has been working incessantly with her play doh and the big box of cookie cutters that I recently pulled out for her.

I'm thinking that we've to do gingerbread cookies this Advent.  It will be a pain to wash up the cookie cutters for the project, but on the other hand, I think it will blow Baby T's mind that you can cut out shapes, bake them and EAT them.

(And ice them, too!  But I think that just cutting out, baking and eating will be mind-blowing enough for this year.)

Thursday, July 7, 2016


I just discovered that the snipping noise coming from the other end of the kitchen was Baby T starting to attack our new mail with real scissors.

D's watering instructions

D is gone for a trip and he left me some instructions for taking care of his little container garden outside. Here's what he wrote (in cursive).

Plant Care

Water plants every other day or so if soil is dry.  Thin the carrots which are one inch or more tall to two inch spacing.  Feel free to nibble mint. 


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

All things ukulele

I just the following in my Amazon cart:

  • a guitar cookie cutter that can be plausibly treated as a ukulele cookie cutter
  • a very cute low-key realistic ukulele Christmas tree ornament (previously I'd only seen over-the-top Hawaiian ones)
I'm somewhat inclined to also get some mixed instrument cookie cutters (as C is going to be in an ensemble), but I can wait.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Must be more discreet

I was attempting to discreetly help myself to a piece from a dark-chocolate-and-nougat Toblerone bar from a top shelf in the pantry when I heard a little voice behind me say, "That looks tasty!!!"

Saturday, July 2, 2016

4th of July recipe

Here's what I'm planning to take to a 4th of July cookout:

  • 4 pounds of strawberries (got to wash them up and cut them)
  • 3 pints blueberries (they were well under $1 a pint)
  • 2 large cans of whipped cream
It will be very festive!


We now own more Minecraft shirts than any household ought to--as of my order this morning, we're going to have one for Baby T, three for C and three for D in a total of four different designs.

I can stop any time.

Friday, July 1, 2016

The futility of white play doh

Minutes ago, we got a package with two cans of white Play Doh.  Baby T needs the white to make Nemo--she previously got an assortment of good colors for undersea animals (teal/turquoise, Nemo orange, yellow, etc).  I prudently set aside one can for later.

Within moments, Baby T had mashed the white Play Doh together with several different colors.  In fact, she just made a white lizard with a waffle texture and then an inner layer of a different color sandwiched inside two white layers.


I think I won't be ordering more Play Doh for a while, and certainly not white Play Doh.