Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Tree Grows in Maryland

Doodle brought home a pine tree sapling almost three years ago in third grade. She carefully planted it and has tended to it ever since. This summer Little Pine Cone--yes it has a name--grew a lot and now is almost as tall as Doodle. Soon I will have to move LP away from the fence. I didn't worry too much about placement three years ago; I figured it would die quickly like those that her friends planted.
Note the leg muscles that Doodle has developed from her running program and soccer.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Doodle's Girl Scout troop went on a long-anticipated dogsledding excursion in Western Maryland last weekend and the rest of us tagged along. Doodle earned the mushing badge, Tootle got the mushing Brownie try-it, and we all had a blast. We headed out on Saturday afternoon and met up with everyone else at a hotel with an indoor pool. The dozen or so girls swam for hours and then played board games before crashing around 11. We spent 4 hours at the dog sled operation Sunday morning. In addition to getting to ride on an ATV pulled by a team of 10 dogs (it was warm so the owners used an ATV so they could give the dogs a little gas-powered help going uphill) and getting to lavish attention on 20 beautiful dogs, we learned a few things:

  • The most amazing thing about dogsledding is how loud and wired the dogs are right before they start a run and how eerily silent they are once they are underway and working together as a team.

  • The musher doesn't say "mush" as shown in movies and TV to get the dogs moving. He or she says "hike." We learned other commands like "on the run" which means that the dog shouldn't stop to urinate or defecate but should do it while moving.

  • There are dogsledding clubs in Maryland and Pennsylvania and sprint races in both states. We may need to check them out.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tale of Two Trixies

Tootle had her Halloween costume planned for several months and she couldn't wait to unveil it at the school Halloween parade and party on Friday. She had a vision of being Trixie the Halloween Fairy, the title character from one of her beloved Daisy Meadows fairy books, and we worked hard to put the look together, finding a dress on e*bay, ordering wings online, finding a wig and tights at a Halloween store, etc. In her initial excitement, Tootle told C, one of her BFFs and a fellow Daisy Meadows devotee, about her plans. C decided that it was such a fantastic idea that she would be Trixie too, but she didn't tell Tootle or let her mom know where she got the idea.

One day before the Halloween parade, Tootle found out from her kindergarten teacher, whom both Tootle and C still visit every day, that C was going to be Trixie as well. Tootle was a bit upset and told C that she was mad at her. C went home that night and told her mom that Tootle thought she was copying her. Her wonderful mom A listened to the story, confirmed that she was copying Tootle and suggested that she let everyone know that she got the great idea from Tootle and that they could have fun comparing how their costumes are alike and different. That same night, Tootle told me about her discovery. I encouraged her to be flattered rather than upset and also suggested that they compare and contrast. The next morning A and I compared notes and patted each other on the back for handling the situation well. Both Trixies had fun at the parade and class party and they even asked to have a play date together after school. Crisis averted.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Saturday, 5:50 a.m.: wake up to get everyone ready to leave the house in one hour for Doodle's 8 a.m. soccer game, being played on a beautiful artificial turf field 35 minutes from home. 7:30 a.m.: arrive at field. Tootle spots a rainbow, perhaps a sign of good things to come.
Doodle eventually won this battle.
Our goalies rocked and were instrumental in our 1-0 win.
1 p.m.: Tootle's game. Doodle asked to be the photographer for this game. She took the job very seriously, taking 347 pictures. (I only took 100 of Doodle's game.) She did a good job of capturing the joys and the crowding of 2nd grade soccer.
Tootle scored one goal in her team's 5-1 win. She left after half the game for a birthday party that was conveniently located across the street from the field. We stayed to cheer on the team while Tootle partied. Doodle continued to snap away, but most of her 347 pictures were taken in the 30 minutes that her sister played.

Can you imagine the cost if I had a film camera?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Goodbye Summer

Today we're in denial about the end of summer. We went to the pool (it closes for the season tomorrow)...
scored ice cream from the truck...
and did some landscaping that required finding a creative way to move dirt and two eager assistants.