Wednesday, July 31, 2013


When Peeper walked in looking like this (not shown: panties, socks and black sneakers), I naturally asked, "Who are you?"

She said, "I'm Goldilocks, in disguise."

Well, of course.

Later, she came in wearing a string of beads and a bracelet. She was "Papa Bear, dressed up like Mama Bear."

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ant Patrol

We've been having something of an ant issue in the kitchen lately, so Peeper decided to take matters into her own hands. I was in there doing my thing, when she came in and showed me this sign that she'd made.

No Ants

Later, she brought me red and white paper, scissors, glue and a white crayon. I cut out the octagon and glued it on, and she wrote STOP.

When I told her that she could write it herself, she said, "No, 'cause I just have to use a scribble for the S." Good to know that she realizes that.

I taped them both up in the kitchen, and she announced, "Now hear this, ants! Mama doesn't want you! All ants leave!"

Monday, July 29, 2013

An Invitation

"Mama, will you take off your bra and join me in the hose?"

Um, thank you, no, kiddo.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Nope, I Got Nuthin'

Shrike worked today, which is unusual for a Sunday, and evidently Peeper and I did nothing of note, because I have no photographic evidence that the day even existed.

Nothing to see here. Please move along.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Panda Pics: Fifty-Seven Months

Peeper was actually quite cooperative about the panda photos this month. The book she's reading is one of the ones we bought at the reenactment of the burning of our town. It's about a family living here during the war, on the eve of a huge battle nearby. When we got home, I realized that it was written by a women whom I know through the local Democratic party!


Peeper and I went with T and her girls this morning to see a free children's play at a different theater than usual. The owner of the elephant museum / candy store is associated with this theater, and each family got a coupon for a free quarter-pound of fudge at his place!

(Peeper chose grape nuts. WTF, kid?)

It didn't take her long to spot some new inhabitants of the gardens. There were actually about six of them.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Yep, Another One of These

I've been busting my ass to finish up some web design work (We launched the main site this evening, still have some clean-up to do, and three smaller associated sites.) so I've not had a lot of time for photo-taking.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fashion Forward Backward

Peeper put this little ensemble together - and on - all by herself today, and wore it to story time at the library.

Photo credit to Ms. J, the children's librarian, who posted them (with permission, of course) on Facebook, with the caption, "I need an outfit like this. I am completely serious."

Doesn't everyone?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Snug as a Bug

Snug is definitely the word for it. These jammies are size 2T, but are her favorites, so I retrieved them from the basement a few month ago, and have told her that she can keep wearing them, as long as they don't hurt, and when she gives up on them, we will put them in her "special box of things to keep forever."

Monday, July 22, 2013

Three Little Pigs STEM Activity

A while back, T (who was doing the MOMS Club calendar at the time) asked me to host some sort of a science activity for the kids. Of course, I agreed, but I had no idea what to do.

Pinterest to the rescue!

After pinning several messy ideas, I found this STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activity based on The Three Little Pigs. We have a winner!

I used the printables she suggested, Three Little Pigs at Graphics by Ruth, and laminated them all, so they'll last for Peeper to play with. I gave each kid (and a couple of adults) one, and had them help me to tell the story, by holding them up at the appropriate times, and by "filling in the blanks."

Then, I split them up into groups, and had them build houses out of (drinking) straws, (craft) sticks or (Lego) bricks. I gave the more stable materials to the younger kids, to cut down a bit on the frustration factor.

Then, the Big Bad Wolf showed up, and tried to blow them down. (Photo to come.) As one would expect, he was able to blow down both the straw and sticks, but not the brick.

I talked to the kids about why the brick is most stable, and asked what other things they could build houses from that might be stable. We steered them toward "logs" (Peeper was supposed to give that answer if no one else did, but she forgot.) and I told them they could experiment with the Lincoln Logs, and let us know if they wanted the Big Bad Wolf to give them a go.

Then, of course, we ate. I was rather proud of myself for the menu:

Strawstacks (chow mein haystacks), pretzel sticks with smoky bacon dip, sandwich "bricks," and Wolf brand chili-cheese dip. Plus some watermelon, just because we bought a watermelon on Saturday and need help eating it.

I thought of the straw/stick/bricks a while back, but the bacon dip was added when Peeper picked it out at the street fair on Saturday, after sample several flavors, and I came up with using Wolf brand chili at the grocery store last night.

While we were there, I picked up some ugly paper plates, but this morning, as I was looking for plastic cups, I came across the leftover plates, napkins and utensils from Peeper's first birthday party, and decided they looked like piggy-pink to me!

I found this adorable (and used with no permission at all) piggy graphic at about 2 am, and did a little photoshopping to make signs identifying the food.

And the juice boxes. We had three flavors, so I covered them in straw, stick and brick art, with the piggy identifying the flavor.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

We're hosting a MOMS Club activity tomorrow, so we spent most of today cleaning, grocery shopping and arguing about cleaning and grocery shopping. Big fun, you know.

After the grocery, we went out to dinner at Red Robin. While waiting for our food, Peeper played some games on the little computer thingy they have at the tables now.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Festival Day

Today was our town's big summer festival, which commemorates the burning of the town during the Civil War. Peeper and I spent much of the day at the street fair portion of the program, and then went back this evening for a reenactment of the burning.

We started out at the library's kid zone, where Peeper danced with a pig, and made a "fossil." We also picked up a ticket for the afternoon drawing. There were several prizes, including two Kindle Fires.

Then across the street to the Farmer's Market, where we picked up some peppers and potatoes and a watermelon, and had falafal for lunch.

That's all the photos I got, but we then walked the length of the fair to the theater to catch a ballet performance, and then back for the drawing. The very first ticket drawn was ours! Of course, I would have rather been one of the last two tickets, and gotten a Kindle Fire, but Peeper will enjoy the art materials, too.

When we came home, Peeper had a package waiting for her from AuntieKay - her very own sunbonnet, just like Laura and Mary!

We were going back downtown in the evening, for the reenactment of the burning, so I suggested that she wear her bonnet, so she could be a little girl in our town during the war.

She decided to go another route with her costume.

She got a temporary head-gear upgrade from an actual reenactor.

Right before things got started, around 9 pm. This is Memorial Fountain in the middle of the square, and the steeple is the church where Peeper went to Mother's Day Out.

After a potty break, we stayed across the street from the courthouse, where I got this photo of the fountain from the other side, with a beautiful full moon above. In the bottom left corner, you can see a building "burning." (It's done with fog and lights and sound effects. Very convincing.)

Peeper and the narrator of the pre-reenactment show. He played "a town leader" during the reenactment itself.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Keepin' Cool at the Pool

MOMS Club had a pool day scheduled for this afternoon, but yesterday and this morning, one by one, everyone but us cancelled. Oh well, Peeper and I know how to have fun on our own.

Next time we go swimming, I really need to dust off my actual camera, which is waterproof, and take it along, because my phone is, of course, hiding in the bag the whole time we're there, safe and dry, and the only photos I got were during a snack break.

We had a great time, of course. Peeper was just beside herself it all, and having a ball. There's not much better than that.

She was very excited that she can touch bottom in this pool now. She's just barely touching, so she went back and forth between wearing her float pack and "swimming" and going without it and walking. She practiced some of her swimming lesson skills, but wasn't interested in putting her face in the water a whole lot.

It was a great day to spend submerged in cold water, because this is what we saw when we got back out to the car. (That claims to be an outside temperature, but it does go down when you get the air going, so it's obviously measuring something that's got a greenhouse effect going on.)

If if you can't tell, that numeral in he ones place is not a one, it's a seven.

Afterward, we had an early dinner and some ice cream, then we got home just as a pretty impressive, and much-anticipated (see above, re unGodly heat) thunderstorm was blowing in. I'm glad we opted for a sandwich at Dunkin Donuts to go with our Baskin Robbins, and didn't go to the Mexican restaurant across the lot where we usually go, because if we'd waited on sit-down food, we would've been driving home when the worst of it, including hail, was going on!

I thought for a little while there that we might need to go in the basement, but it never got quite that bad, so we kept an eye on it, and now we can check out "storm watch" on our Summer Wish List. (Which actually exists only in my notebook. Next year, we'll probably have to make something craft to post on the wall, because it's likely that she'll be able to read it.)

After the storm settled down, we played for a good while, and did some experiments and practice-runs and planning and even a tiny bit of crafting in preparation for a MOMS Club activity that we're hosting on Monday. If I can remember to take photos, I'll post about it later. Some of the people who will be there read this, and I don't want to spoil any surprises.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sneaky Smoothie

After the tour this morning, Peeper and I grabbed some lunch and then ran some errands, which included dropping off some forms at the Montessori school that she'll be attending in the fall.

When I called this morning to make sure someone would be there, I asked if we could take a peek at her classroom, and as it turned out, one of her teachers was there, so we got to meet her. Actually, we already had met her, because she's the same one who did Peeper's visit as part of the application process.

She was just getting started on putting the room back together after having the floors spiffed up, so none of the cool stuff was out yet, just some shelves. And the bunny is at her house for the summer, so we didn't get to see him.

But she did get another visit with her, and got to see which room she'll be in, and now that we know it's the one she's already checked out, she'll probably have a better idea what to expect.

Our last errand was a stop at Staples to by some little metal brads, so we could replace the glued-on wheels of her Ingalls' covered wagon with bigger, stronger wheels that actually roll. All day, I kept her moving from task to task and in and out of the car by saying, "If we don't hurry, we won't have time after our other errands to stop at Staples and get brads. . . ."

But what about the smoothie?

When we got home, we were very hot and tired, so I suggested that we make a smoothie. She was down with that, but wanted just strawberry. (She had a strawberry smoothie from the coffee shop downtown last weekend.) I told her that was fine, but it would be really tart, so I'd strongly suggest adding banana to sweeten it up. "Okay, then, make it strawberry-banana."

I got out all the fruit from the freezer, because I wanted to make myself one with everything after I did hers, but then I got to thinking. . . .

I asked her if she wanted to help, and she did. After she put in the strawberry and bananas, I said, "Hey, I have a few blueberries, would you like to put those in, too?" "Okay!"

"What about these green grapes?" "Sure!"

"And the purple grapes?" "They actually look black . . . one more . . . two more.

And so on, until . . . .

When she tasted it, she said it was yummy, and I said "thank you," then as she ran off, I said, "And what do you say?"

"Thank you for letting me put all the fruits in!"

Baker Girl

We visited a bakery with MOMS Club this morning. Well, not so much a bakery as the visitor center of a factory that produces breads and rolls. It's a local, family-owned company that was started by a couple baking in their garage that had been converted to a kitchen and hauling goods to the farmer's market in this car. (Or one like it.)

We got to see the actual garage, which has been moved to their current location, and the original equipment. All the kids got cool baker's hats, and then they did a demonstration of yeast producing carbon dioxide.

When the woman asked, "Does anybody know what carbon dioxide is?" Peeper (who never volunteers answers without being coaxed) shouted out, "Spit!"

Maybe she needs to come sit in on a few more physiology tutorials.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Little House on the Prairie

Peeper and I have begun reading the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and she's loving it!

A few months ago, we checked out a book of stories about Laura and her dog Jack, that were compiled from several of the books, and she liked that but wasn't real into it. Shortly before our trip to Texas, though, Shrike and I were going through the box of "books that she's not ready for" to get out some that she is now ready for, and found a "special read-aloud edition" of Little House on the Prairie.

I started reading it to her, and she really got into it this time. She's asked lots of questions, made me re-read some of the scary parts repeatedly, and looks forward to the next installment each night.

We finished it up last night, and backtracked to Little House in the Big Woods, which was the first of the series, and finished it tonight.

I found the whole TV series on YouTube, and we watched the pilot, which was evidently a two-hour special (90 minutes with commercials removed) that basically covers the Little House on the Prairie book from start to fnish, and we watched that together.

I've watched the first couple of episodes after that, but they are set in the location of one of the later books, so she can't watch any of them until we've read that far. Then I will probably need to preview them and pick and choose, because it seems that there were some "very special episodes" that touched on topics that Laura herself certainly never discussed.

Meanwhile, I've been reading about the actual historical facts behind the books, and all the museums that have been established in the various towns featured in the books, and found actual photos of the real Ma and Pa Ingalls. Let's just say he was no Michael Landon, and she was no Karen Grassle.

(Confession: I just found out Karen Grassle's name. For some reason, I've always thought Ma Ingalls was played by Michael Learned. No, she was Mama Walton. I can see how I got confused, I suppose. I guess I should've know that they wouldn't have Ma and Pa played by people with the same name. It's bad enough that Mary and Laura were both Melissas. Can you imagine the confuse on the set?)
So, any-hoo. Peeper's diggin' the prairie life, so we're talking about doing some activities and projects to go along with some of the things we're learning about. As soon as I can get to a grocery store for some heavy whipping cream, we are totally making butter.

And today, we did this:

As you can tell, Peeper helped with "drawing lines to represent the boards that the wagon is made out of" and "drawing the spokes of the wagon wheels." She decided to go a little more festive with it, and declared it "The most decorateded wagon ever in the world."

Ma, Pa and Baby Carrie in the wagon. This photo was taken before we'd figured out who was going to play Mary and Laura. Those roles have now been cast (Dorothy as Laura and Lemon Chiffon as Mary) so I'll try to get some pictures of the whole clan tomorrow. We even have a little plastic bulldog to play Jack.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pirate Dance

J came over this evening, and for a while she was a princess and Peeper was a pirate. They each had a dance with Mr. Scarecrow.