Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Breaks in the Clouds

Today brought sunshine and warmth back into our lives, and we celebrated with, or should I say the girls tolerated, a photo shoot under her neighbor's magnificant magnolia tree. After a few days of coddling, Tootle has recovered from her virus. Doodle came home triumphant today with scores of 100 on all her major projects that were turned in last week.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

No Good, Horrible, Rotten Week

I hope the new week is a big improvement over the one that just ended. Nothing terrible happened but a lot of little things added up. And it wasn't all bad:

Friday was the end of the marking period. Doodle's language arts/social studies teacher seems to have woken up about a week ago and realized that she needed a number of ongoing projects to end so she could have something to grade. The result was a phenomenal amount of homework all week, including the front page of a newspaper about themselves that Doodle slaved over last weekend (her lead story was about getting an autograph at the Mets vs. Nationals game; she even staged a photo of the autographed ball, carefully positioning a blue and orange background). Most of the week was taken over by the completion of a poetry anthology with 14 poems, reading homework (her reading group just finished Number the Stars, a great book), and a social studies assignment about the Declaration of Independence. I expect Doodle will ace the poetry assignment; her teacher thinks she should be a poet. Fortunately I won't be seeing this teacher anytime soon; if I did, I probably would feel compelled to suggest that she be more organized so everything isn't due at the same time. Plus, Doodle had two days of standardized testing last week. Only 1 more week until a well-earned spring break.

On Thursday I spent many hours trying to secure White House Easter Egg Roll tickets online. I failed even though I was able to select a time and number of tickets at least four times; each time I got booted from the system when I entered a verification code. Very frustrating. I took Doodle to the egg roll in 2001 (pre 9-11), and I really want Tootle to have this experience. I'm haunted by an image of an adult Tootle looking at our many photo albums and wondering why there are no photos of her at the White House event. Doodle and I had planned to camp out to make sure that we got tickets this year (last year our household was down with the flu and the year before I discovered that arriving by 1 a.m. wasn't early enough) but someone had the perhaps better on paper than in reality idea of making tickets available online.

I spent Thursday evening caulking the bathtub after having water land on my head in the kitchen on Wednesday evening as Doodle took a shower. I raced up the steps to get Doodle to turn off the shower and managed to scare her a bit. During the hours I spent caulking, I realized how old the tile is looking, so I may be redoing a bathroom fairly soon.

I celebrated my 47th birthday. Doodle made me a card to which she affixed a Dove chocolate. The text read: "We're solid like chocolate." That's my girl. Tootle made me a card with plain and 3-D shapes, something that she has been studying in math class. I guess she thinks I need a refresher course.

Doodle went camping with her Girl Scout troop this weekend. I couldn't believe the amount of gear for one night away. She had a great time. While Doodle was away, Tootle and I cleaned out our den/playroom. Tootle is a terrific helper and very willingly crawled under the daybed so we could discover what we had hidden there (she found our Whac a Mole and Pretty, Pretty Princess games). This morning she woke up with a sore throat, which I suspected was post-nasal drip from exposure to dust. However, when she began to feel feverish this afternoon, my theory was blown away. Sigh. We may be going to the doctor in the morning since strep throat seems to be making the rounds.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Field Trip

Tootle and the Hope Diamond
An exhibit on dirt and digging

I recently had the pleasure of accompanying Tootle and her fellow first graders on a field trip to the Natural History Museum. The three kids that I escorted through the museum weren't very interested in the dinosaurs but they loved the gems as well as animal skeletons and fossils of any type (a dinosaur egg and fossilized alligator poop that they could touch were extremely popular).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Girl on the Run

Doodle met up with friends in the park after dinner for a run. The girls are participating in the Girls on the Run program, which encourages tween girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running. The program will end with a 5K run later this spring so Doodle and friends are getting serious about training. One of Doodle's GOTR coaches is the wife of her soccer coach so now she's being coached by both adults in this active/fitness-minded family. Tootle and I hung out on the playground while Doodle ran laps. I probably should dust off my running shoes and join the runners.

UPDATE: Today's Washington Post has an article about the program; Doodle's school is not among those mentioned in the article. Also, the rain ended in time for Tootle to have soccer practice. Her cleats were incredibly mud caked, but she was happy.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Spring is almost here, and we can't wait. Tonight Tootle and I hung out at the playground while Doodle had a 1.5 hour soccer practice. Tomorrow night Tootle has her first soccer practice of the season. She has been counting down the days for almost a week, but she may need to keep on counting. The forecast calls for afternoon rain.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Robo Math

Meet Lego, the robot dog that Tootle created for a math project. Her class had to make a robot using various plane and three dimensional shapes. When Tootle indicated that she wanted to make a dog, on a lark I googled "robot dog craft" and found a tin can Martha Stewart project. We used the Martha project as a model but didn't drill nearly as many holes or use all the nuts and bolts that she called for (although the eyes are hex nuts filled with sparkly little pom poms). We also used the Martha-suggested extension spring for a tail but couldn't find caster wheels small enough to use for the legs/feet. Tootle decided to make the legs out of Legos, which eventually led to naming the robot in honor of the building blocks. The collar is a Tinker Toy and both the ears and tongue are made of pipe cleaners and felt.

One Season Ends, Another Begins

Doodle's soccer team played in their final indoor game on Sunday and practice begins for the spring season this Sunday. I can't wait for the spring season to begin so I can find out if the girls' new found goal making ability will translate to the outdoor field and so I can try out my new zoom lens. In the fall season, the team scored 5 games in 8 games; they also only allowed 5 goals. In the indoor season, they scored 44 goals in 7 games, finishing second with a record of 5-2. (I'm too lazy to look up how many goals were scored against them, but it wasn't too many.) They lost to the same team twice: a team of girls who were a year older and much, much larger. My friend/the coach's wife has asked me to shoot the spring games so that we can present each girl with a photo of herself and of the team at the end of the season. Some of those photos may be showing up here if they turn out well.

Tootle's team probably won't start practicing for a few more weeks. Once the schedules are released, I'll get to create my Excel chart of their games so I can see how many conflict. I hope we have better luck this season; I missed more than half of Tootle's games in the fall. I love the determination of Doodle's team and the joy of Tootle and her teammates. Tootle's Marshmallows celebrate every goal with hugs and high fives. They often score 10-plus goals in a game, but each is cause for celebration.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Poem

Doodle wrote a poem in school on Friday that made both her teacher's and my days. Her teacher wasn't feeling well and couldn't get a doctor's appointment until Monday, but this poem put a smile on her face. It had a similar effect on me.

Car Wash

Scratch, scratch,
Swish, swoosh
I'm soon clean,

Scrub, scrub,
Wash, wash,
Soon I'll be seen,

Rub, rub,
Squeak, squeak,
As the tires roll,

The glory shows,
shiny as a button,
I don't look dull,

I'm on the road,
Moving smoothly,
Rolling along,

The radio is on,
to a song

Friday, March 6, 2009


Doodle came home from school today and spent two hours on the computer having what I would term an IM party with four or five of her friends. I'm just a bit too old to understand the attraction of IM. What could they possibly talk about for so long? OMG, I sound like my mom when I would spend hours on the phone in middle school.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day

Six inches of the white stuff on a Sunday night/ Monday morning means no school or work...

Or at least not that kind of work. Doodle works to save her pine tree, planted 2 years ago, from the weight of the snow while Tootle shovels...and shovels

Sledding with big friends and small

And finally enjoying hot chocolate with a few marshmallows. I love rosy cheeks.