Happy Easter, if You're Into That Kind of Thing

Posted on 3/31/2013 06:00:00 AM
In our continuing saga of non-traditional Easter egg dying crafts, we decided to go for something a low tech this year. (Can Easter egg dying be considered high tech?  Maybe we'll just say we dirtied fewer bowls.)

May I present:  Dyeless Easter Egg Dying

First, you boil some eggs.  While that's happening on the stove, take one of those little plastic pencil sharpeners and shave up as many crayons as you care to not have anymore.  Make little piles of colors with the shavings.

Then, take a boiled egg out of the hot water with tongs and dry it off with a towel.  Leave the rest of the eggs in the hot water for now, you'll be doing this one by one and they need to stay warm. While your dry egg is still very hot, sprinkle crayon shavings over it in whatever design you wish and watch the colored wax melt all over the egg. 

They're gonna be hot, and therefore difficult to touch if you need to steady them. Every time we touched them, melted crayon smeared around and melted onto our fingers like candle wax.  This is probably fine if you're a violinist/guitarist like me and have no feeling in your fingertips anymore, but if you're under ten and still have baby-skin covering your phalanges, it might hurt a bit.  It also mess with your design.  I finally put them in these little ramekins to keep them from rolling around.

The ramekins make it much easier to decorate the egg without touching it and to prevent the egg from rolling off the table and leaving a melted crayon trail across your floor. But they also make it harder to decorate the entire egg.  Once you turn it to do the other side, the wax will mush all around in the bowl and muddy up your awesome design.  I have not yet figured out a better procedure for this.  But then again, I'm not certain how much of a design you can actually create with this method. It's more of a Jackson Pollack effect.

You will, however, have to have some restraint when it comes to determining that your egg is complete, because if you put too much stuff on there, it starts to look like a crayon barfed all over your egg.  Also, those tips of the crayons that you couldn't fully cut down into shavings are too thick to actually melt.  Your mother may already know this, but you gotta give it a try anyway.

My thoughts: 

All Four Food Groups

Posted on 3/30/2013 07:34:00 AM In:
Progress from the Five Ketchup Sandwiches incident.

Caterpillar: "I made everyone dinner, momma."

"I see. You 'made' orange juice, yogurt, cheese slices, a cup of tomatoes and... what's that in the cups?"


"Did you melt the cheese yourself?"

"Melt the cheese? Why would I do that?"

"I see. Well, serving them in cups is certainly an interesting new presentation."

"Duh. I put them in cups so the cheese wouldn't fall out."

"Good thinking."

"I know."

My thoughts: 

It's the Moment of Truth

Posted on 3/29/2013 07:24:00 AM
Heaven help me, I cannot stop making Karate Kid movie references.  This isn't even karate. It's a Korean martial art called Tang Soo Do.  Perhaps I'll have to go back and watch Kung Fu one more time so I can allude to a second pop culture reference about a martial art that's not actually what she's doing.

We attended our first martial arts tournament last weekend and The Dormouse competed.  She needs to compete in at least one tournament in order to take her next belt test and this one fell on a convenient Saturday so we thought we'd get it over with.  But I think now the bug has bit her and we might be attending more that just the one that's required.  The Dormouse took fifth place in form and fourth place in fighting.  I tried to get a photo of her really excited face, but this being her first tournament, she never knew quite what to expect next and pretty much looked like a deer in headlights throughout the whole thing.   

This is gonna come off all mom-braggy and maybe it is, but I'm really proud of her and all she accomplishes. As a professional Jack of All Trades myself, I can relate to her desire to do as many different things as she does.  And, like me, the basics of so many things come pretty easily for her.  She picked up piano, violin, crafts, crochet, sewing, and now ice skating and mastered a basic level of competence handily.  But even I never had the guts to attempt something like this.  

But also like me, there's a point at which when things start to require real work and are no longer easy for her, she starts to lose interest. My concern as her parent is what to do then.  I don't need her to be the best at everything she does; that's never been my concern.  But I do want her to learn how to work for something. I want her to understand the value of practice and discipline and preparation.  I want her to try really, really hard for something and then to complete it and maybe not even win, but just feel good about herself because she did better than she ever thought she would.  This is going to be our challenge with this one: how to instill a sense of value into the things that come so easily for her. If any of you figure out how to do that, can you please let me know so I can maybe send her to live with you when she's a teenager?

Until then, here's a photo essay from a really fun day.

My thoughts: 

We Are the Children

Posted on 3/28/2013 02:32:00 PM In:
I showed The Dormouse the We Are the World video this morning because she's been learning the song in her school choir for their Tribute to Michael Jackson concert and I figured it was high time she realize that Michael Jackson wasn't the only person who sang that on that record.  She was full of shock and awe to learn that there were literally scores of people on that stage and the whole thing was actually Harry Belafonte's idea. She might have an awesome music teacher, but that music teacher probably didn't watch Live Aid on TV at her boyfriend's house in 1985 as a teenager, so I can probably still teach her a thing or two.

There are several things that made me happy about this short interaction:

1. Both The Dormouse and The Caterpillar loved the song. (I... actually... do not.  But it is a part of the soundtrack of my youth, so I'll take it.)

2. I successfully named every artist who had a cameo/solo line in that video, with the exception of Dionne Warwick, whose name had escaped me because I have always mixed her name up with Diana Ross' and once I actually said "Diana Ross" out loud, that name stuck in my brain, blocking the other one out, and all I could spit out was, "She hadalotta psychic friends."  The Dormouse had no frame of reference for this comment.

3. The Dormouse didn't know who many of the artists were by sight, but once I named them, she recognized about half.

4. The Dormouse did not know who Ray Charles was when his solo came up, but she listened to him sing for a couple of seconds and then successfully noted that Louis Armstrong was probably one of his influences.  Let me reiterate: My nine-year old daughter knows Louis Armstrong (born in 1901) better than Ray Charles (born in 1930).  If there were ever a question that she might not really be mine and was switched with another baby at the hospital, this would have set everyone's minds at ease.

Once the video ended, both girls went off to perform it to the stuffed animals in The Caterpillar's room and raise some imaginary money for charity while I went back to my work.  It was just a moment. But moments like this remind me that while I may not be an excellent mother with the ability to raise strong, confident and successful children who will contribute to society, at least they'll have a well-rounded music education.  

However, she had no idea who Huey Lewis was, so clearly there is much more to do.

My thoughts: 

I Did a Turn at County

Posted on 3/27/2013 10:11:00 PM
Perhaps I should not allow my kids to watch Pitch Perfect and then use bathtub crayons in the shower.

But then again, it could just say "Redrum" over and over so I guess I'll take this.

My thoughts: 

Outdoor Experiment

Posted on 3/25/2013 08:04:00 PM
Not pictured: four identical paw prints headed back the other direction and into the house.

Verdict: kitties, not so fond of the snow.

My thoughts: 

Spring Snowstorm

Posted on 3/25/2013 09:02:00 AM
Yes, yes, I know.  Everyone hates snow. blah blah blah Old Man Winter just won't die. blah blah blah School is delayed. blah blah blah It's supposed to be Spring break, not Winter break. blah blah blah Roads are terrible. blah blah blah  People don't know how to drive in the snow. blah blah blah 

But you can also stop for just a second and look around because,

Damn, Nature, you purdy.

My thoughts: 

Simple as Do Re Mi

Posted on 3/22/2013 05:00:00 PM In:
The ABC’s of Me:

A. Age: 45. And let me go so far as to not recommend it. It all goes to hell when you're 45.

B. Bed size: King. California King. Seriously treat yo'self to one o' these. This and separate bank accounts are the reason I've been married for over fifteen years.

C. Chore you dislike: This assumes there is a chore I like.

D. Dogs: Yes, love 'em. I just don't own enough land to own one.

E. Essential start to your day: Diet Coke. I know, you're all gonna give me crap about that, but hey, it's not Bloody Marys and Cigars. There are much worse things I could be doing to my body.

F. Favorite colors: I always tell my kids my favorite color is black. Because they can't accept the answer that I just don't care or that I love all colors equally and don't feel comfortable choosing one.

G. Gold or silver: Silver. I do not have a similar dilemma choosing between gold and silver.

H. Height: 5’5’’ (though I will probably tell you I'm 5'4" because at one point in my life a long time ago, I was 5'4" and I just can't seem to break the habit)

I. Instruments you play(ed): I have played them all. I continue to play: the violin, the piano, guitar, and steel drums, whenever I can get my hands on a set.

J. Job title: Whatever You Don't Want To Do? That's What I'm Supposed To Be Doing

K. Kids: Two, or three, or four, depending on how you keep score.

L. Live: Yes, I am.

M. Mom’s name: She hates it. I think it's cool. We agree to disagree.

N. Nicknames: All my nicknames which don't involve the word bitch are just shortened versions of my name. It doesn't really seem like a nickname if someone started saying your actual name and they just dosed off in the middle, so I'm just gonna say I don't have any.

O. Overnight hospital stays: More than ten? Just under? Either way, that's too many for one person.

P. Pet peeves: "Don't you hate it when you take some....."
"Red Devil Turpentine?"
"Yeah, and pour it in the open wound?"
"I hate when that happens."

Q. Quote from a movie: "Head. Pants. Now!"

R. Righty or lefty: As my grandfather used to say: Southpaw.

S. Siblings: Yes. One.

T. Time you wake up: Zero dark thirty.

U. Underwear: Yes. I. Am. A. Lady! (I filled out this entire meme just so I could write this answer this question. You're welcome, Monica.)

V. Vegetables you don’t like: Anything from a can.

W. What makes you run late: My children.

X. X-rays you’ve had: All of them. See: answer to A

Y. Yummy food you make: Chipa Guazu, which my husband refers to as "Salt Corn Pie."

Z. Zoo animal you like: We like the petting zoo section of the National Zoo where you get to touch the cows and the sheep. Though it pains me that my children think of cows and sheep as "zoo animals."

My thoughts: 

Nick Burns, Your Company's Computer Repair Cat

Posted on 3/18/2013 11:30:00 AM In:
Several months back, we set up the ability to connect the computer to the television and use it as the monitor.  It's kind of a cool idea but mostly a novelty.  The most use this setup gets is when I'm working at home and I set it on two-screen mode, pull up a streaming video on Netflix and toss it onto the TV screen while I actually do my work on my laptop monitor.  Not sure this was the intended purpose.  Or maybe it was.

The only time I really use the TV as a big computer monitor is when I'm doing certain kinds of graphic design work.  It's helpful to have a giant screen so I can blow it up and see the kerning closely or tell if the graphics and whatnot all lines up.  But even then, it's not all that helpful because Boy Cat just sits on the table below the television and tries to catch the cursor as I move the mouse.  And then I'm just yelling "MOVE!" every few minutes because a cat's head is in the way of my text block.

I finally gave up using the TV for this purpose but now he just crawls into my lap to chase the cursor on my laptop monitor. 

If only I could teach him to answer my email.

My thoughts: 


Posted on 3/15/2013 03:54:00 PM
This morning, I drove the kids to the bus stop and waited in the car for the bus to show.  I do this every day I go to the office, because once the bus does come, I'm all ready and in the car and then I can just keep driving on to work.  If I don't have myself ready by the time the bus shows, I'm tempted to watch TV for another hour or eight before work and then I miss the sweet, sweet D.C. traffic window where if you leave fifteen minutes earlier or fifteen minutes later, there would be an additional forty-five minutes added onto your commuting time.  Shut up; it's true.  I know it probably doesn't make sense to those of you who don't live here, but ask anyone who does and they'll nod their head in rabid agreement.  That's the worst thing everyone will tell you about living in the Washington area: the traffic.  Sometimes it takes me ten minutes to get to work; sometimes it takes me an hour and ten to go to the same place. It depends on the weather and the day of the week and accidents on the road and if school is in session and whether Jupiter is aligned with Mars.  It's all about planning.


The girls like to get out of the car and play around with their friends at the bus stop and I kind of cramp their style so I stay in the car.  But I don't dare leave before the bus gets there because there are some days when the bus just doesn't show.  I worry what would happen if I were gone in this situation.  I'm sure the school would eventually figure it out and send another bus but I'm also pretty confident that by the time that happened, The Shortlings would have wandered off and then they'd probably just meander around the neighborhood all day, setting fires and trying to sell trash they picked up on the street for Slurpee money, and next thing you know, the truancy officer is at my door, tapping his foot and demanding an explanation. 

Do they even HAVE truant officers anymore?


I was sitting in my car a few feet away from the bus stop when I happened to look up in the rear view mirror to see The Caterpillar running back up the street in my direction, red-faced and with giant, pooling tears streaming down her face.  I got out of the car, thinking basically that some older kid had hurt her and I needed to host a smack down meeting.  I grabbed her to check for injuries while she sobbed and sobbed. 

When I finally got her to calm down I said, "What's wrong?"

"I *sob* FORGOT *sob* TO WEAR *sob* GREEEEEEEN!"


Apparently there was a St. Patrick's Day celebration planned in the Kindergarten classroom today and her teacher had told them all to wear green today since St. Patrick's Day falls on a weekend this year. 

"How about you just tell them you're part Scottish and you're morally opposed to wearing green on St. Patrick's Day," I offered.

"*sob* WHAT?? *sob*"

"Actually, you're more Polish than any one thing anyway, you know, so you don't even HAVE to participate."

Sarcasm and facetiousness didn't seem to be helping, so I checked the clock - no time to go back home - my own wardrobe - I haven't worn anything green since 1972 - and then frantically glanced around the car, where I saw a flyer printed on a neon green piece of paper some kid had thrust in my face at dance class last night.  I rummaged through the glove box and located a Swiss Army Knife that had a set of tiny, tiny scissors in it and cut this shape out:

Then I found a Band-aid at the bottom of my purse from a first aid kit that had long ago fallen apart and used the adhesive from the Band-aid to stick the green heart to her shirt.

"There you go," I said, "problem solved," and looked up to see the bus lumbering down the street. 

And you know what?  The problem WAS solved.  She went off to board the bus happy as a clam, while I sat back down in the car and wondered how this possibly could have been so easy.

She's five.  This was the biggest tragedy she could imagine in her life.  

I'm well aware that someday soon, her problems aren't going to be so easily solved. She'll have her heart broken, get her ego bruised, have her friends disappoint her.  The tragedies of her life will eventually become real, adult tragedies where there won't be an easy solution - maybe there won't be even a solution at all.  I won't be able to change her mood so drastically with some trash on the floorboards of the car and a Band-aid.

But man, right now, while I can, it sure feels good to win one for a change.

My thoughts: 

Words of Wisdom from a 5 Year Old

Posted on 3/13/2013 10:56:00 PM
"At the bar, everybody always laughs because beer makes people laugh a lot."

In my defense, when I asked her how she knew this, she explained that when we go to her dance class, there's a bar in the complex and when we walk past it everyone is always laughing inside.  So nice marketing plan, tavern in the antique mall.

My thoughts: 

Proving My Pop Culture Creds

Posted on 3/11/2013 07:10:00 PM In:
Actual discussion held in the car this morning:

Caterpillar: "Sister, did you watch the Andrew Jackson cartoon today?"

Dormouse: "Huh?"

Caterpillar: "The Andrew Jackson cartoon.  At school. We watched it after the Pleleegiance."

Me: "You mean the Pledge of Allegiance?"

Caterpillar:  "No.  I mean The Pleleegiance."

Me: "Oooh. The Pleleegiance. Totally different thing."

Dormouse: "I don't know what you're talking about."

Caterpillar: "The. Andrew. Jackson. Cartoon."

Dormouse: "Just because you say it slower, doesn't mean it makes any more sense."

Exasperated Caterpillar: "THE ANDREW JACKSON CARTOON. You know: 'Ouch! That hurts! Yow! That's not fair, giving a guy a shot down there!'"

Dormouse:  "Oooooh I know what you're talking about!  You mean the Interjection cartoon."

Me: "Wait, what? You guys get to watch Schoolhouse Rock cartoons in class?"

Dormouse: "Yes, they're these cartoons that teach grammar and math and..."

Me: "Um excuse me. I know what Schoolhouse Rock is."

Dormouse: "Are you sure?"

Me: "Schoolhouse Rock was around long before you. And I watched them all on television every Saturday morning."

Dormouse: "Yes, but these probably aren't the same as when you were a kid. It goes like this: *sings* So when you're happy..."

Me: "Hurray!"

Dormouse: "or sad..."

Me: "Aw!"

Dormouse:  "or frightened..."

Me: "Eek!"

Dormouse: "or mad..."

Me: "Rats!"

Dormouse:  "or excited..."

Me: "Wow!"

Dormouse: "or glad..."

Me: "Hey! I can ride a bike!"

Dormouse:  "...an interjection starts a sentence right."

I honestly didn't even know I knew all the words to that song; they just spilled out of my mouth like the Alphabet Song or responses at a Catholic Mass.


...and also with you.

My thoughts: 

Snow Roll

Posted on 3/07/2013 07:35:00 AM
With twenty-four hours' distance and I'm still sitting in a house with heat, I feel confident in declaring yesterday's GIANT SNOWSTORM a bust. When we woke up, there was a light dusting of snow all over everything and some flakes even fell from the sky for a few hours in the early morning, but then it turned to rain and melted away everything that was there in the first place.  No snowmen, no sledding, no snow taffy, no snow forts, nothing.  The kids did go out for a few minutes around noon and throw slush at each other, but they weren't even outside long enough for my ears to recover from the constant noise of their bickering before one of them came in crying about how her hands were cold, apparently without the ability to self-correct and PUT ON SOME DAMN GLOVES if you're going to pick up handfuls of ice.

Throughout the day, I watched the thin sheet of ice on my windshield slide further and further down the front of my car.  Then about dinner time, we looked out the window and noticed that it wasn't actually melting off, but rather all rolling up at the bottom like a taquito.   And then I shook my fists at the sky and lamented that we all say this is a great country and everything, but I STILL CAN'T GET NACHOS DELIVERED TO MY HOUSE IN THIRTY MINUTES OR LESS SO WHAT'S THE POINT OF ALL THAT FREEDOM?

My thoughts: 


Posted on 3/06/2013 12:12:00 PM In:
Everything is closed today. The federal government? Closed. Local governments? Closed. Schools? Closed? My office? Closed.  They're all dead, Dave. All because of this:

Clearly.  Because we're Washingtonians.  We can't be expected to brave the cold, cruel winter and go out in THIS, are you crazy, man?!?

Actually, there are high winds expected later today, so I'll reserve my judgement about The Snowstorm That Wasn't until I get through the night with my electricity intact.

In the meantime, the schools are closed, but it's really just wet outside and there's no good snow to build a snowman or go sledding, so we're all just lying around on the floor in our pajamas, watching television.  So... just like any Saturday morning, pretty much.

About two hours in, I remembered that, oh yeah, school might be closed, but their stomachs are still open. Too bad you can't get a day off from feeding them breakfast.  

The house is chilly,  It's cold and wet outside.  Seems like a good morning for baking. 

Only one problem with that: I don't really like to bake.  

So I whipped out an old standby from my college years, early marriage, middle-thirties and taught the kids to make it.  It's so easy, a child could make it (which is good, because that's what I made my child do for her breakfast).

Here's what you need:

There are so few ingredients, I don't think a "cast of characters" photo is really warranted here, but I'm trying to be all Professional Blogger-y and stuff. 

Get some honey (any kind), nuts (your preference), and a tube of refrigerator biscuits (cheap). 

Chop up the nuts and sprinkle them in the bottom of a pie dish.  I like this weird casserole dish even better because it's a little smaller than a pie dish and keeps the biscuits slightly closer together as they cook.  Also because it's glass and the ability to see underneath is cool to me for some unknown reason.

Drizzle honey over the nuts.

How much? Half a cup? A cup? Idunno. Enough. Seriously, don't ask me that question because I have never measured anything for this recipe. I also do not know how many nuts to use. Usually the question becomes how many nuts do I have rather than how many nuts should I use and the answer is use all of them.  I basically watched a chef-type friend make this once in the middle 90s and just tried to mimic him in the kitchen by talking intelligently about food and gesticulating wildly.  He has an actual recipe and stuff, which is why I'm pretty sure his always come out better than mine, but I've never asked him for it because I am lazy and forgetful.  What I can tell you is this: use more honey than you think you need. But if you end up with biscuits that seem a little dry after baking, you can always pour more sugar on me pour more honey on biscuits if you want, so no harm, no foul.  

Pop open the canister of biscuits and arrange the dough slices.

I like them to almost be touching, but not too close.  This is because I usually buy those off-brands of biscuits and they don't puff up very much in the oven.  If you're using one of those fancy biscuits-in-a-can varieties that expand to three times their original size, you might want to use the actual pie dish and leave a little more space in between them.

Place in oven and follow the baking directions on the package.

Or don't. I have usually thrown the package out by the time I get to this step and cannot find the baking directions. So I guess wildly. This, I believe, was at around 450 degrees for ten minutes.

Just look for that old baking standby, "until golden brown" which is only slightly more helpful than "bake until done."

When they are done, and this is the part I wouldn't let the kids participate in, you have to flip the whole thing. And you have to do it while it's still hot so all the honey doesn't stick to the baking dish. So find yourself a serving dish and a couple of good oven mitts, place the dish over the top, hold the two tightly together, 

and flip.

The whole thing falls out like a pineapple upside down cake.

Just remember that there's bunch of hot, viscus honey in there, so you have to do it quickly and make sure you have a good grip on both dishes because if you don't, that hot, viscus honey will flow out and onto your arms and getting some scalding, sticky honey on your skin, especially when you are holding an even hotter dish that just came out of the oven with oven mitts and you can't just drop it on the floor because you haven't bothered to put shoes on yet and it'd probably land on your feet, is about as comfortable as wearing a napalm* body suit.**

Serve it pretty on a plate.

Or pull the pieces apart...

...because the monkeys will devour it immediately while staring longingly out the window and wishing for more snow.***

*this post brought to you by napalm
**and run-on sentences
***see that one on the left? She has her pajamas on inside out

My thoughts: 

Study of a Dancer

Posted on 3/04/2013 11:45:00 PM

For the past eight weeks, I have diligently brought The Caterpillar to dance class once a week. The Dormouse has fallen comfortably into several extra-curricular activities she likes to do and at which she excels.  Until recently, however, The Caterpillar, simply followed her around, trying to do what her sister does and pretty much hating it the whole time.  She gave karate a shot, but gave up when the class was aimed at a child with a longer attention span.  She wanted desperately to play the violin, so I rented her one, but that didn't really take either.  She liked getting it out of the case and putting it back in, but that was about it.  So when she started to get excited about dance, it was actually pretty cool.  We gave her dance lessons for Christmas and she started in January with our total support despite my overall cluelessness where such things as dance are concerned.

I would have to say that the very worst thing about these girls getting older and wanting to do their own activities is that you have to bring them to their activities. The bringing part I actually do not mind, but the part where you sit on the sidelines with the other parents who are also the bringers and on the sidelines... and then you have to deal with those parents on the sidelines by... talking to them and stuff?  Yeah, that part not so much.  Despite the fact that we all have the hardest job in the world and should totally understand and support each other if there are days when we're just not at our best, parents can be ridiculously judgmental of other parents.  And since I'm the kind of person who doesn't really like small talk, I tend to just stand quietly next to other parents listening to them while they are having their parent conversations, which are often about a whole other parent and how poor a job that parent is doing and I think to myself, "Wow, remind me never to try and be friends with YOU. Oh wait. I've already got that covered."

But despite my dislike of play date companions and karate Dads and Hockey Moms and piano recital attendees, we have dutifully brought both The Shortlings to their events multiple times each week. 

Greater love hath no mom than this, that she drive all over town for her girls.

The problem with The Caterpillar's dance class is they don't allow parents in the room to watch.  There's a lobby where the parents can wait and chat, but they close the door to the dance room and draw the curtains so I can't even look through the window and pretend I'm so entranced with the dancing that I didn't know there are other humans in the room.  So since I cannot watch her in class and since I do not enjoy sitting in the lobby talking to parents about which PTA mom is a not doing her fair share and why little Janie's mom knows so much more about how to run a fundraising program than that random leader and if you don't believe that, ask little Janie's mom, she'll tell you.... I tend to quietly wander off and explore the nearby antique district while The Caterpillar is in her class so I can get myself as far away from those parents as I possibly can.

All that is to explain why I don't really know a lot about what she's been doing in dance class.  So last week when it was parents' week, we got to attend the show AND bring our cameras.

Not ten minutes had elapsed when I realized, "Oh yeah... THAT'S why they don't want the parents in there."  The kids simply could not focus and most spent their time running back and forth to their moms to complain of sore feet (the dance instructor kept suggesting "maybe mom will give you a foot rub after class," which I thought was pretty devious on her part), others spent their time mugging for the cameras, while still others just curled up into a ball on the floor or put themselves into the shoe cubbies (mine was guilty of that one).  

Despite all that, I couldn't be happier with The Caterpillar's motivation for this new activity.  During the week, I'll catch her in the kitchen practicing the steps.  Or I'll look over my shoulder in the car and see that she's taken her shoes off and is making her shoes do the dance steps to the "Lemon Drop Stomp" song on her lap.  She's a bit younger than most of the other kids in her class - she should really be in the younger group, but our schedules weren't compatible - and she has a little bit of trouble with some of the coordination requirements, but she's keeping up nicely and doing her best. She seems to be reveling in having found her very own thing to do apart from what her sister is doing and whenever she goes to put on her tap shoes, she seems to grow three inches, two and a half of which is self-confidence.  

Plus, she reminds me of those Edgar Degas paintings whenever she dances around the room.

Obligatory photos.

My thoughts: 

The Inquisitor

Posted on 3/01/2013 06:18:00 AM In:
The Caterpillar has been featured a lot on this blog lately and there's one good reason for that: she's freakin' hilarious.  Half the time I think the funny things she says just fall out of her mouth because she's a kid, and the other half of the time, I know she's saying it on purpose because she has an awesome sense of humor.  Here's a great example, last Sunday we were sitting in church and the speaker at the pulpit said:

"We should not be like the boy who stuck his foot in the water and claimed he went swimming."

The Caterpillar looked up from her position on the bench and said: "The Dormouse is like the girl who stuck her foot in the toilet and claimed she had a bath."  Then went back to drawing on her pad of paper.

I don't know what she's going to end up doing in life, but I do know that I want to stick a tape recorder in her pocket every morning before she goes to work so I can listen to the conversations she has during the day because I think they would be hella entertaining.

Like everyone in our family, The Caterpillar talks a lot.  But apparently, what goes on inside her brain is even more active than her mouth. Here's a sample of the questions she has asked completely out of nowhere in the past month.  You'd think that many of them seem like they should be part of a larger conversation or in response to something else that was said, but you'd be wrong.

  1. Did they have baby food when Jesus was born?
  2. Is it legal to bring a purse to a wedding?
  3. Can I skip high school? I don't want to go to high school because all of the high school have bullies in them.
  4. I wish I had a coconut so I could drink stuff out of it.
  5. Daddy, why do your feet smell kind of clean?
  6. What number do cats have to be to be big enough?
  7. What is bigger our sun or another star? 
  8. If you go on a bird and fly on it and fly to the sun and touch it would it be hot? 
  9. What if you go on a moon?
  10. Do zombies have eyelashes? 
  11. Why do Koala Bears like to lie?
  12. If you go in Australia, do you have to go upside down?
  13. I drew a picture of President Obama for Presidents' Day, but he looks a lot like Conan O'Brien.  They're pretty much the same, right?.  
Now accepting volunteers to provide answers.

My thoughts: 

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Washington, D.C. Metro, United States
Married, 40ish mom of two (or three, or four, depending on how you keep score) who stepped through the lookinglass and now finds herself living in curiouser and curiouser lands of Marriage, Motherhood, and the Washington, D.C. Metro Area.

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