Thursday, August 31, 2006

Purple Unicorn Sisters

Fiona started school yesterday and the only negative thing she said about it was that it was too short to do anything and she "hated that". School is only an hour a day this week with 3 separate groups of kids. Next week is 2 hours a day and the groups sort of blend together rather than stay separate. The last week is normal---3 hours and they're all together, all 17 of them (egads). She also said that there were a lot of tables and chairs but not a lot of things to play with. Hm. Well, we'll see.

What many of the parents seem to dislike (me included I must say) is that we are supposed to drive in the far entrance, circle around the back and pull up to the child's entrance to the school and wait. The teacher comes out, takes the child out of your car, and walks with them into the school. So there is this line of cars in the parking lot, idling. This is not so bad now, because we don't all come at the same time, but soon all of us (including the second classroom to our 15 families--15 rather than 17 because 2 families have siblings in the class) will come and go at the same time. Well, we'll see how it goes. It does mean Sophia can hang out in the car with me and stay warm in the winter, I guess. But it just seems rather ineffecient. Many people are short on time and have to get back to work. Of course they'd rather just get out and get their child and take them on to day care or whatever (most kids leave at noon, the older kids leave at 2?--although they have an aftercare program now).

I went to the consignment store the other day and I found a like new unicorn costume for Fiona. She loves it. She slept in it once, but she got too hot. I hope she doesn't decide she has to wear it to school. Then I looked through the costumes some more and there was a second one---in Sophia's size! They spent one afternoon flying around the house and now Sophia seems to be over it. We'll see. I took many pictures.

When Fiona pretends to be a unicorn, she is very, very quiet. She crawls over to me (with her head down so it looks like the unicorn head on top is the head) and waits until I see her and then I get to stroke her mane. She tells me in this little funny voice that Fiona is gone but she is here and Fiona will be back later---in sixty fourty days (or some big number). The amazing thing is, is that she is very, very quiet (unless Sophia is with her and then there is lots of shrieking laughter, and ultimately, crying because someone always falls down). I like the unicorn costumes.

Monday, August 28, 2006

School Countdown

Tomorrow is "Moving In Day" at Fiona's school and she will stay for about 20 minutes, putting her things away in her cubby and getting a look at her new classroom. She goes to the local Montessori school, which was new last year and they moved to a bigger space this year (thank goodness). She is very excited and keeps asking how many bedtimes (the spell check says this word should be beatings)away her first day of school is (that's Wednesday).

I made a nice rich gelatinous batch of chicken stock yesterday and I made chicken soup for lunch for the girls--carrots, celery, zucchini, vegetable alphabet pasta, and shredded chicken. They inhaled the soup. They were so taken with this soup that it was very, very quiet. It's rainy and cool lately, so maybe it was just what they needed.

Last Saturday we went to one of Fiona's friend's birthday party (I hope I did not make a possessive error there or I would have to smite myself) and had a great time. They had a pinata and everything. We've been to 3 parties now where the whole class is invited---I don't know what those of us with winter birthdays are supposed to do. Our house will not hold all those kids and siblings and parents--and there are MORE kids this year! Egads. One of Fiona's friends (with an April birthday) just invited Fiona and some neighbor friends, so I guess that is ok to do...I just hate to leave anyone out, especially because Fiona actually likes each of her classmates (so far). There is one child she has this weird love/hate relationship with, but he has a very similar personality to hers. He is a very sweet, smart kid but he can be rather boisterous, loud, energetic,, sound familiar? Anyway, she and this particular boy went frog hunting and he let her hold the frogs (which I was really impressed with). She held on to these frogs forever. I kept trying to convince her to let them go or give the boy a turn. She kept trying to kiss one of them (thankfully Sophia did not see this). She finally did hand them over and one of them was playing dead. We thought it was real for while but her friend told us that the frog was only playing dead. Whew. But from now on, less squeezing of the frogs!

After that we went to the Champlain Valley Fair! We met a friend there who has a son who is 6 and a son who is 18 months. Everyone loved riding the horses. Even the little ones got to ride, which thrilled Sophia to no end. I took Fiona in first and Sophia was inconsolable---so after that I thought it might be worth a try (I was worried it would be hard to keep her on) and it went brilliantly! Every time the horses stopped she signed "more". She had a huge fit when it was really time to stop, though. After a birthday party and a couple of hours of the fair (which is an hour away from us) they were both totally worn out (heh heh). I think Fiona would have liked to get to know the 6 year old better---I think they have similar personalities and suspect they would really get on well, but they live in upstate NY.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I Lost My Title

Fiona's been referring to us as "Rachael and Douglas" for a while now. This has happened before and it seems to come and go. I don't really mind but it does sound sort of odd to hear her say it.

If (I should say "when") Sophia starts imitating her, that will be double the fun.

I haven't really lost my title. If she's feeling tender or sleepy---then I am "Mommy".

Pluto is No Longer a Planet!

I suppose you've all heard this by now. It's all very exciting!

I don't have much else to say except last weekend we went to Bath, NH for the sole purpose of bacon: The Brick Store . Their smoked bacon is heavenly. We also got some of their smoked cheese and summer sausage and fudge. The fudge is a little too achingly sweet for me, but the cappuchino flavor was very nice.


Fiona loves to take her vitamins, even before they were dinosaurs. She also takes (sometimes) her fish oil capsules. She sometimes takes these "green" vitamins which amazes me because I think they taste awful.

We have these calcium chews for both the girls and they taste pretty good. Fiona wants so badly to like them, but she doesn't. I said to her: "They are supposed to taste like vanilla milkshake, you know" (as I am reading the bottle yet again). She said, "Too bad they don't".

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Versitility of Tang

Bacon and...Tang?


Bacon Snack Bars

Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 15 min
Makes: 12 servings, 1 bar each

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 pkg. (2.8 oz.) OSCAR MAYER Real Bacon Recipe Pieces
4 tsp. TANG Orange Flavor Drink Mix
3 cups POST HONEY BUNCHES OF OATS Cereal, any variety

MIX sugar and syrup in large saucepan. Bring just to boil on medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
ADD peanut butter; stir until well blended. Stir in bacon pieces and drink mix. Add cereal; mix well.
PRESS evenly into greased 8-inch square pan. Cool completely before cutting into 12 bars to serve.


Prepare as directed, using 1 pkg. (3 oz.) OSCAR MAYER Real Bacon Bits.

Jazz It Up
Prepare as directed; sprinkle with additional drink mix.

I'm trying to decide what's more horrific. I can almost see the bacon (for heaven's sake, is it so hard to cook bacon?) but...Tang? Why? Why would we want to "Jazz It Up" by sprinkling more Tang on top?

This got three stars, by the way. Someone supposedly actually made this.

I get that bacon is good with sweet things sometimes (coat bacon with brown sugar and cook at 500 until done) but TANG?

Maybe it's more horrific that someone actually thought something like: "I'd love to make a snack bar that is really unique. People sometimes eat them for breakfast, so a protein like peanut butter is a good idea. People also like to eat bacon for breakfast, so that will probably taste pretty good in there. Why not add some fake orange-y instant drink so it can be an all-in-one bar? I'm brillant!"

Thursday, August 17, 2006

She Won!

A few weeks ago, the library ran a poster contest for its 100th anniversary in September. There was a category for Fiona's age group, so she did a poster for fun. I forgot all about it until just now when they called and told us she won her category!

She said, "I bet it was the glitter that did it".

Here, Mommy

Sophia likes to practice using the potty (by this I mean the big one, no one uses the red plastic potty I got...). Right now this means taking off the diaper (wiping her up if needed), putting her on the toilet, her saying "all done!" and then she likes to wipe and throw it in the toilet. That is her favorite part. So today I do this and it's just a wet diaper. I am running around doing a million things and it's a moment before I can put her on the toilet (she always wants to get right up and then the toilet paper and flushing and turning off the light and saying "bye bye" to the toilet and bathroom is a bit of a production). I come in and she is standing there and handing something to me.

She hands me two pieces of bowel movement. I know what they are, but I take them anyway. Believe me, I was weeping inside. I am just glad she handed them to me (she likes to hand things to us when she's done with them). She could have done much worse. Soooo...after I washed my hands and her, she took a nice soapy warm bath.

And by the way, if you are ever faced with ballpoint ink on your antique couch, blotting rubbing alcohol on it takes it out very nicely.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

You've Got a Little...Um, Yeah...Right There...

Fiona is taking afternoon classes at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science---the same place where she (and I) got to hold a Madagascar Hissing Roach (which she did again today, actually). Monday they learned about worms and yesterday they learned about slugs and snails. It's great. It's right at Sophia's ideal nap time, so she has just been napping on the go. The problem is, Fiona is totally wiped out at the end of this class and Sophia is ready for action at the end of her class.

This morning we played with a couple of their friends and had a great time. We played on a playground (we had to do some searching) and then went back to their house. I unfortunately forgot the tube of sunblock was in my back pocket when we got in the car to go back to their place. I would not even have noticed except I picked up Sophia from her car seat and then put her down in the back of the station wagon to change her diaper and there was a vast amount of cream on her leg. I was perplexed and then noticed it was all over me and my shorts. So I took the excess cream and slathered Fiona and myself and Sophia. I think it was half the tube. It's also all over the seat. So. Don't sit on tubes of cream.

Her friend, Nick, was telling us all about this boy in their neighborhood who "isn't very nice" and nearly ran over himself and his sister Linnea on his bike. This boy was riding past us on the street while Nick was telling us this. Fiona responded (boy nowhere in sight thank goodness): "Don't worry, we'll just kill him later". I swear to you, this is a non-violent household and we restrict what they watch to avoid this sort of thing (well, and other things) but something must have slipped through.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

It's Official

Not that there was any question of not going, but I just bought four (gulp) plane tickets from Boston to Dallas. We are going to take the bus from New Hampshire into Boston (about 2 1/2 hours). Fiona will be very excited but I think Sophia is going to not be quite so thrilled. Well, we'll see! She'll be a different person in 2 months. I am glad to have this under our buckle, so to speak.

I am not even sure if I've mentioned this, but we are going to my youngest sister's wedding in October (hence the plane and bus tickets)! Ellen Aim and Corinthian are tying the knot (and currently buying a house) and are having quite the creative wedding. We are all going in costumes (no, I do not know what we are going as yet) and I am making her cake, with the help of the talented Triana. I think the food there will be all desserts and I am not sure if I am helping with that. I'd love to, but I guess it depends on the kids and timing and whatnot. I plan to search through recipes to find my favorites anyway. The cake will be chocolate buttercream with a red interior. I am planning to dye a nice spongecake for the red. The plan as of now is to have cascading chocolate dipped strawberries on the outside of the cake. The wedding invitation was very unique. I would love to post it here. It was goulish and creative and very cool. I didn't show it to the kids, though.

So we had the Home Visit from Fiona's new teacher (Fiona goes back to school on the 30th)(Yes, I edited the date! It's not the 23rd--I can't tell my up from my down.) and Fiona gave her a tour of her room and OUR room (didn't see that one coming, so yes, look, we don't make our beds and, yes, they are just mattresses on the floor---don't mind the books all over the floor and the baskets of cloth diapers). I think it went well, Fiona has met her before and likes her. She had the teacher (named Kristen) read her a dinosaur book--which was a cool book which came with very tiny pieces of dinosaur bones to put together--and apparently (I forgot about this) it is a quite graphic dinosaur book where they talk about this T.Rex mauling some Triceratops in great detail. Kristen asked her if this book didn't scare her---to which Fiona said no, of course. She comes up with all sorts of ghastly "meat-eater" type of dinosaur stories. At least she didn't ask Fiona what she had for dinner last night. She could very well have said "cow muscle with leeks". (Doug made this incredible "silky beef with leeks" dish that all four of us inhaled. We finished it off with leftover blueberry buttermilk lemon tart from his birthday).

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

We Just Have Time for a Quickie

It's so hot and humid today. It's that Armpit thing. Level 5. We all just took cold baths/showers. The refrigerator is sweating which is gross.

So the science museum summer camp thing is going well. It's quite a drive to do every day and of course they nap in the car and awake refreshed (if sticky, but at least we have car a/c now) while I feel like sleeping the afternoon away. Sophia loves being able to play at the exhibits on her time table instead of Fiona's and having all my attention. Fiona gets to do neat things in class and take walks outside. There is this awkward hour between 9 and 10---the dropoff hour and the time the museum actually opens for visitors. Yesterday we ended up just driving around and today we went to the Hanover Co-op.

Doug made these incredible spicy Hunan noodles. He's made them before but it's been a while (We neither of us have any energy at the end of the day, so he is heroic for making dinner. I think I would make...cereal).

I got Doug's birthday present (Aug 5) and it's so hard not to give it to him so he can enjoy it immediately.