Saturday, December 19, 2009

What to Do in a Blizzard ...

We knew it was going to be a snowy day today, but the predicted snow totals kept increasing over the course of the day yesterday. This morning, we woke to a nice 5" or so, with more coming down, and, according to ... a blizzard warning.

Fortunately for us, Celeste is a huge fan of the Little House on the Prairie series and was able to tell us exactly what we should do when there's a blizzard: "Wrap up in blankets and read the Bible."

Instead, I've made a pot of red beans, Evelin's made some bread, and we've mounted an expedition across town to a 5-year-old's birthday party where there was much craziness followed by a long trod back home through the snow. (It was also the first time I've gotten to use my snowshoes since the 2003 President's Day snowstorm when I struggled my way to the zoo only to find out that behavior watches don't go on when the zoo is closed and the city snowed under ...)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Of Nosh and Gnomes

After an extended series of midmorning snacks by the girls — apples and peanut butter, olive bread with butter, and I'm not really sure what else — Evelin made the comment that with all that noshing they'd probably wouldn't want lunch.

A little time passes, then Celeste pipes up: "Is nosh spelled with an n or a g?"

I told her it was with an "n", explaining that it came from Yiddish, which lead to a bit of investigation to figure out that it would be written נָאשׁ, if we were using the Hebrew alphabet.

I also made a mistake in telling her that the word came to English via German, which was completely wrong. It actually comes from New Latin gnomus via French. Probably it was coined from the Greek γηνωμη ("earth-dweller"), but γνωσις ("knowledge") is also suggested.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

She's no Lelaina Pierce

Tonight, when Celeste started to wipe some Coritzone-10 on the Poäng in Quinn's room (Quinn had a patch of eczema on her knee and Celeste wanted to feel the cream), I said: "Thanks for wiping your hand on the chair."

Without missing a beat, Celeste said: "You're being ironic."

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Porch

Many of the houses in our neighborhood have front porches. Some are well used, others underused. There are a few with couches on them, and one, up the street from us, used to have a piano on it. For the past few years, our porch has been more eyesore than retreat. We've needed to repair some of the boards and repaint, and it's been a parking place for kids' toys and our stroller collection.

Earlier this summer, I finally gave up on the illusion that I was ever going to manage the repairs myself. Between a lack of time, a lack of tools and a bit of trepidation about how I'd prop up the roof to repair/replace the columns, I got a bid from a guy who did a good job fixing a neighbor's porch.

Weather delays and a gradual creep in how extensively we wanted things done meant it about two and a half weeks before the carpentry was done. The painting was done by another chap (a friend of the carpenter who gave us a fairly low price and an assurance that it would be done quickly) over the next weekend.

On Saturday, I touched up the paint on the metal work and rehung the transmitter for the weather station (we're still deciding whether or not we to change the house numbers and whether or not to move the flag pole). We also rehung the swing.

About two years ago, the swing was banished to beneath the porch because we needed a place for the jogging stroller and the big double stroller — our old between-the-wars house has no garage, or driveway for that matter, nor a shed. Now the double stroller is slated for Craigslist or the thrift store and the jogging stroller has been given an accessible-but-not-so-visible home beneath the porch, and the swing is back in its rightful place.

It needs a coat of paint (Evelin is thinking purple), but even in its shabby-chic state, we're all enjoying its presence. Tonight, as I pulled up in front of the house, there were the girls, swinging away ...

The PorchThe PorchThe Porch


Sunday, September 06, 2009

I Blame The Princess Bride

After dinner, as Quinn was running around outside, she ran over to the imaginary pet store to get a cocker spaniel. However, she was only calling it a "cocker" (which is the name of one of Celeste's toy dogs, a cocker spaniel).

I said something about a "cocker spaniel" and she corrected me, "No, daddy. Cockers are dogs. Spaniels are people."

It took me a few moments, but then I asked her if she thought I was talking about "Spaniards." Turns out that's what it was ... although while she agrees Spaniards are people, she doesn't quite buy that spaniels are dogs ...

Friday, September 04, 2009

Lordy, Lordy, Look Who's Five!

Birthday Cereal
Originally uploaded by T Carter
She's not getting a candle on every bit of food, but for a five-year-old's first meal of the day ... why not!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

An Editor's Child

This morning Celeste noted that "ex-cit-ed" had three syllables, which meant two hyphens ... and I quote, "Hyphens. I love those guys."

Monday, August 31, 2009

One Day Down

The first coherent words out of Celeste's mouth when I woke her this morning: "The weekend isn't long enough."

She is in the habit of staying up later than she should reading each night; we can go in and shut her light off and tell her to go to sleep, but unless we're watching under her door for the light to click back on she often will turn it back on to read for a little longer. This is great (despite Junie B. Jones books being favorite reading matter), but it does mean she has trouble with the necessary 6:30 a.m. wake up time.

After a few tears about having to get up so early and protestations about not wanting to go to school, she cheered up when I suggested she go see where Quinn was sleeping.

Shift back a few hours: Quinn was up for a while in the middle of the night after a bad dream. When Evelin went to check on her, she found Quinn under the Poäng chair in her room … hiding from the wolf that was trying to bite her. It took a while (and a few more wake ups), but eventually she went back to sleep in her bed, or so we thought. After waking Celeste, I went to check on Quinn and there she was, back under the chair.

Celeste, seeing Quinn in that position, started cracking up and her mood improved dramatically from there.

Breakfast and dressing everyone managed to go well, and we were on the way to school at close to the proper time, and we made it to school just as Celeste's class was headed in from the playground. Next, Quinn was dropped off with a friend for babysitting (nursery school doesn't start until 1 September) and then it was off to work.

The three big differences in going to work at 8:00 a.m. versus 5:00 a.m.:
  1. Where did all these cars come from?
  2. Hey, that's my parking place
  3. There's no easing in to the morning's problems

Another Lifechange ...

Five years ago on Friday, Celeste was born, kicking off a lot of changes in every aspect of our lives.

On the work front, Celeste meant Evelin cut back from full-time to half-time, part telecommute, part in the office; and I shifted around my hours so that I was able to be home two afternoons a week to cover Evelin's in-office hours. At first, I worked standard 9-hour days (with an hour for lunch), I just shifted the start time on Tuesday and Thursday to 3:30 a.m. That worked out pretty well, especially since it synchronized my hours twice a week with my colleagues in Europe. We probably didn't take full advantage of that, but it did make a few calls easier to schedule.

Eighteen months later, after Quinn was born, I adjusted my schedule again to have a more consistent wake-up time. The shifting of the alarm back and forth between 2:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. was wearing on me. Instead, I began working three long days and two short days — at my desk by 6:00 a.m. every day, but leaving Tuesday and Thursday at noon.

Today, that all comes to an end, as well as my time as a part-time stay-at-home father.

Evelin's been approved to go back to work full-time (well, 80% time) and after a lot of looking at schedules and childcare options, we're trying a new schedule. She's the one who will now be at her desk for 6 a.m., and I will get the girls up, dressed, fed and to school.

For me it means a return to a fairly standard 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. job. (We'll see the exact in-office hours once I see what traffic is like at that time of day … it's been a long time since I've had to commute in the thick of rush hour.)

When we broke all the changes down for the girls, I was kind of hoping for them to be more upset; Celeste at first didn't seem to realize that this meant I wouldn't be around two afternoons a week the way I always have been, but she seems okay with it. Quinn just nodded through it all.

I'm a bit bummed, but this will be good, and it definitely makes it easier for Evelin especially since the school is moving its administrative offices in a fortnight or so and it would have make her schedule really, really tight on days that she had to pick them up from school.

So, again, life has changed. I can't claim to be a SAHD (albeit a part-time one) anymore, but I'll have breakfast with the girls every day, so that's a plus!

And now I need to go rouse some sleepyheads ...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Channeling Beavis

Quinn and I were in the car. NPR is on the radio. The commentator or presenter says something about "member of Congress." Then I hear from the back seat: "Ha ha ha. He said 'member.'"

Friday, August 28, 2009

What Every 5-Year-Old Wants

This morning, I picked up one of Celeste's birthday presents -- her very own SmarTrip card. A while ago, we'd checked, and kids 4 and younger get to ride on Metrorail (and Metrobus) for free with a paying adult, but 5-year-olds have to pay the adult fare.

She's been talking about being old enough for her own SmarTrip card ever since ...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Doing Something Right

This morning, Quinn asked if she could have candy for breakfast. I told her no, but reminded her that she'd been promised a post-breakfast dessert last night if she went to bed without crying.

I asked if she wanted oatmeal or cereal or an egg and Quinn replied ... "Broccoli!" ... and she ended up with a broccoli-cheese omelet for breakfast.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Jokes and the 4 (almost 5) year old

Celeste needed me to sit with her a little bit before she fell asleep tonight. While we were talking about various things, the subject of humor and jokes came up.

Celeste told me about her favorite way to play knock-knock jokes. "You say 'knock-knock.' Then I say 'Nothing!'"

I decided to reach back in my memory to my old first-grade joke book and asked her, "What's red and goes up and down?"

Celeste wasn't sure, but she giggled at the answer: "A tomato in an elevator." She also wanted to know if it got stepped on and was squishy.

I then tried, "What's black and white and red all over?"

She thought long and hard before asking me for the answer, "A newspaper," and then we talked about the differences and similarities between r-e-d and r-e-a-d.

Then Celeste said she had a joke, "Why do kitties stay away from poodles in the rain?"

I tried to think of an answer and finally said something about fizzy hair.

Celeste just smiled and got all zen about it, "There is no answer."

Then she cracked up laughing.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Is Tyce Diorio a Hobbit?

Guilty pleasure confession: I like So You Think You Can Dance. Get over it.

I've thought it for a while, but apparently I didn't say it to Evelin until last night, but choreographer and sometimes judge Tyce Diorio looks like a hobbit to me. (Hobbit or not, the man choreographs some of the best routines on the show, and always makes very insightful comments when he's sitting in as a judge.) Evelin said she didn't see it last night; but tonight she said she couldn't stop thinking it.

You decide:

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Radiohead Fan?

I need to see which CDs Quinn has nicked from my collection for her room.

This afternoon, during "quiet time," she came downstairs. Evelin was napping on the couch; I was flipping back and forth between folding laundry and checking Facebook. At first she complained about an "owie" on her foot; I gave it a kiss and told her quiet time wasn't over yet. She then tried to argue that she needed to snuggle, which I acquiesced to for a little while, then ordered her back to her room.

I went back to the laundry and she climbed into a chair, saying "You can't get me." Evelin asked Quinn if Daddy needed to take her back to her room. She repeated, "No, you can't get me."

So I got her; she attempted evasive maneuvers, but I was quick enough to catch her.

As I'm carrying her up the stairs, she starts moaning, "Oh no! The computer was wrong."

Where does she get this stuff?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

They Grow Up So Fast ...

Actual complaint brought to me by three-year-old Quinlan this afternoon:

"Daddy! Celeste is ALWAYS doing her e-mail when I want to do something on the computer. That's selfish!"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Duckpin Fever

Back on a cold winter day, I decided bowling might be a fun afternoon for Celeste and Quinn. One of our local lanes is a duckpin outfit (duckpins being a native Maryland variant* of traditional bowling), which I thought would be good for the girls given that the balls are smaller — about the size of a softball and easier to manage with little hands &mdash and the pins shorter and squatter.

That first trip to the bowling alley was deemed a success even though the girls only threw a few balls each. The second trip was similarly short. The third trip quickly became a disaster when Celeste tripped the foul line buzzer on her second ball and the resulting noise led her to shut down for the rest of the time there. They turned off the buzzer (it is typically on only for league matches) for us, but Celeste refused to roll another ball. I don’t think we bowled a full game between the three of us on any of those occasions.

Last week, when I picked the girls up from nursery school, Celeste talked about wanting to go bowling, but I didn't think we'd have enough time to go and make it to the farmer's market (despite past history), so I begged off until this week. It turned out to be the right call.

Originally, I was figuring we'd all go to the pool this afternoon, but given today's unstable weather an indoor activity seemed to be the best bet. We talked about the College Park Aviation Museum, but once bowling was on the table, the girls were only interested in duckpins.

After getting shoes, the bumpers in place and assurances that the foul-line buzzer was off, Quinn was up first. I pointed out another kid about her age bowling and she watched her roll the ball, walked to the line, and managed to roll the ball too softly. It made it about 90 percent of the way down the lane and then started to roll back toward us. I stopped about two-thirds down the lane and just stayed there, until we asked the attendant to go get the ball. I don't know if it was embarrassment or what, but after that Quinn didn't want another turn bowling.

Celeste, however, was more than game. She kept rolling ball after ball, not always hitting pins, but making it down the lane almost every roll. Twice, however, she did manage to get the ball to the pins, but it ended up dropping into the gutter just beyond the bumper and then starting to roll back toward us. I tried to roll a ball or two down the gutter to clear the lane, but the physics seemed to work against me. We had to ask the attendant to walk down the lane again.

As Celeste and I bowled a few frames, Quinn was happy just pressing the reset and deadwood buttons — and the dry hands air button ... she loved the dry hands air button — but I kept asking her to help me. Eventually, Quinn moved from helping me line up my shots to helping push my hand to roll the ball to, eventually, getting a ball and rolling it herself.

About the time Quinn got excited about bowling again, Celeste got interested in the pencil and the scoring sheet. I hadn't bothered keeping score; I figure at this point just getting them interested in the basics of rolling the ball down the lane and hitting pins was way more important than scoring. She writes big, so it was difficult getting her to mark each roll's pins small and then the total for the frame large, but Celeste gave it a go as Quinn and I bowled a few frames. What was really exciting was that Celeste very quickly got the hang of adding three numbers together (in duckpin bowling you get three rolls per frame, instead of the two rolls you get with tenpin).

I had to help walk her through the first one: "Quinn knocked down six, so write a small six here. Then she knocked down one, so a small one here. Then put a one in then next box. What's 6 +1 +1?" "Seven. Eight!" (Sidenote: Quinn actually was doing pretty well; I think she had a five-roll streak where she got down at least one pin on each roll.) Celeste also was good about recording and adding zeroes. "Daddy! You missed all the pins, that's zero for you!"

All in all, I think we were there for a least an hour and a half and we threw a number of balls equivalent to a few games, so I made sure to sign up the girls for the Kids Bowl Free summer promotion (two free games per day for each kid ... not a bad deal even if shoe rental isn't included).

After bowling we ran over to Bladensburg Waterfront Park to see how high the river was running given all the rain ... and I promptly locked my keys in the car. While waiting for Evelin to rescue us, we threw a few sticks in the very high water and saw a few great blue herons (Ardea herodias), mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), and other birds.

*There is a question as to whether or not duckpin bowling originated in Baltimore, Maryland, or Lowell, Massachusetts; however, since Massachusetts already has candlepin bowling I'm going to be a Maryland chauvinist on this one ...

Monday, May 18, 2009

It Is a Nice Song ...

About 10 minutes after I put her to bed tonight — read the books, talked about her day, played rock-a-bye baby pony, turned on her CD — Quinn ran out of her room to call after me: "Daddy, Daddy! This song is so beautiful! Come listen with me!"

Naturally, I had to go hear what track got that response: Fabienne DelSol "I'm Gonna Catch Me A Rat."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Girls With Irises

Sisters With Irises Quinn With Irises

The irises were in bloom this afternoon at Calvert Memorial Park, near our Thursday farmers market ...

Friday, May 01, 2009

Word Problems

Scene I: The Park — Thursday afternoon, I took the girls to the park for some running around time and scooter practice. I brought along my skateboard to roll around with them while Celeste used her scooter and Quinn her Skuut, but they both were more interested in lying on their stomachs and pushing themselves around on my board.

After a bit of that, however, we went about the normal sort of play. Celeste was on the small play structure that she used to call the pet store and told me that she had 110 very cute, tiny Pomeranian puppies. She gave me two, and Quinn took three. She was offering some to a little girl who was playing with us when she paused to ask how many puppies she still had.

"Well, you gave me two and Quinn took three, so how many is that?"
"Uhm, five!"
"Right, and you started with 110, so if you've given away five how many are left?"

Questionable Parenting

Scene II: The Dairy — Sunday, as mentioned in an earlier entry, we went to South Mountain Creamery for their spring family farm festival.

One of the attractions were a bunch of ride-on tractors and scooter cars for the kids. Celeste and Quinn were scooting around in the barn having fun, when a kid who was probably about six or so zipped over on a ride-on tractor and started bumping Quinn from behind. She looked surprised for a moment, and then worried, and then moved away and he sought out another victim.

A little bit later, I saw him scooting toward Quinn and interposed myself between them. He circled around me and tried to ram her again, but I kept stepping in the way. After the third or fourth attempt, he was watching me and not Quinn, who all of the sudden zipped forward in her scooter car and started ramming him from the side.

I probably should have intervened, but the look of surprise on the boy's face was priceless. His mother intervened pretty quickly, and me not stopping her may well be questionable parenting, but I have to admit I was a bit proud of her for standing up for herself like that.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Alternative Napkins

Not to make it sound like I'm picking on Celeste here or anything, but she has a really bad habit of running her fingers through her hair. Not that that's a bad thing in and of itself, just she does it when she really needs a napkin instead.

Everyday last week, she came home from nursery school with Cyndi Lauper-esque streaks of vivid color in her hair. Not such a big deal. During dinner, we try to catch her and stop her before it happens, but if there's something messy on her hand, it's going to end up becoming a hair-care product.

Thankfully, she's gotten a lot more tolerant of having her hair washed.

Today, we went to South Mountain Creamery for their spring family farm festival. It's the third such event we've been to there (on top of just stopping by to feed the calves two or three times), and we all enjoy it: the hay ride, the surrey ride, seeing the cows get milked, feeding the calves, baby chicks, the hay slide, the fresh ice cream, etc.

Now how does going to the farm coincide with Celeste's napkin habits? Well, while we were in the calf barn, Celeste grabbed a handful of the dry food out of one of the calf's buckets and held it up to calf so she could lick it out of her hand. The calf was happy to oblige and Celeste was having a great time. And then, her hand went up and through her hair — cow spit, grain bits and all. Another couple who were watching their son watch Celeste feed the calf made quite a sound as I'm saying "Celeste, no!" and watching the hand approach her head in what seemed to be slow motion. And then she grabbed another handful, fed it to calf, and did it all again.

Lather – Rinse – Repeat

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Worms Go In, the Worms Go Out

The girls were chalking on the sidewalk this morning, while I was pulling some weeds in the front yard when a few earthworms* and two grubs (Cyclocephala ?) came up with the clump of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea). After squishing the grubs, I picked up a worm and took it over to the girls.

Celeste ran up on to the porch, which isn't really a surprise. Her first instinct is to move away quickly from most animals and other things that aren't dogs. Quinlan, however, overcame her sister-induced fear and came over to take a look.

She got a bit giggly about the dirt that was all over the worm, and how it was twisting and then moving along my hand. Celeste eventually came over to look, but Quinn was the only one who would touch it. It took a little while, but she finally let me put the worm in her hand.

Quinn and the Worm 1Quinn and the Worm 2

We put the worm back in the soil and a few minutes later, Quinn was back looking for it and wanting to hold it again. (She also was convinced the first worm had been a boy and this time she wanted to see a girl worm; I passed on trying to explain hermaphrodism to her.) After the third time holding a worm, I suggested to her that the worms probably wanted to get back to digging in the yard ... and it was time to go in for a snack.

*I'm not putting a scientific name for earthworm here because I have no idea what family of Lumbricina the individual worms in question were, much less their species. In googling around to see which species were common to suburban Maryland, however, I found out that the vast majority of earthworms in North America are non-native invasives. I had no idea. One fairly recent study of worms in the Baltimore–Washington suburbs found that most of them were non-native; another study found that only three of the 12 species present were native.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Comedy Stylings

Quinn and Celeste both have pretty good senses of humor, but they haven't really reached the joke-telling stage of childhood yet. Except, this afternoon, Celeste came up with one that I think is pretty good, all things considered.

The girls often discuss what sort of dog they are at the moment, and Quinn was in the midst of running through a list of what color Labrador retriever she was.

Quinn: "I'm a black lab, no a white lab, no a brown lab ..."
Celeste: "chocolate lab!"
Quinn: "..., no a yellow lab, no a green lab, no a teal lab, no an orange lab, no a purple lab, ..."
Celeste: "No, no, no! You're a lavender retriever!"

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What was I doing?

Note the time: 11:15 a.m. on March 21st. Celeste just had her first senior moment.

I have had plenty of times when I strode into another room full of purpose only to realize that I had no idea what I had intended to do.

At this moment, the girls were both playing with Play-Doh and running around while Evelin and I both did a little work. Celeste ran upstairs, I heard her door open, and then "Now, why did I come up here?"

Eventually she figured it out though ... she wanted to get a book for me to read.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Who's There?

So after work, I headed to meet Evelin and the girls for the first iteration of Family Fun Night at Rhode Island Reds. We were the first ones there, and the girls had eaten before going, so Evelin had coffee, I had an Anchor Porter and the girls had a nice applely dessert.

While we were sitting around and talking, Quinn burst out with her comedy stylings.

Quinn: "Knock knock! Who dere?"
Me: "Who's there?"
Quinn: "Uhm, strawberry!"
Me: "Strawberry Who?"
Quinn: "Hahahahahahaha [pause] Can I come in?"

Evelin later told me that K---, Quinn and Celeste's cousin who was visiting earlier in the week was doing the classic banana, banana, banana, orange knock-knock routine, which is probably why Quinn picked a strawberry for the setup to her punch line.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Using Her Invisible Friends Against Her

Quinn doesn't quite have invisible friends, but she does have lots of invisible animals — cats named Milo (after the co-lead in Milo and Otis, dogs, rabbits, the occasional pony, etc. She will run after them, catch them, pet them, cuddle them, and want you to do the same. If she forgets one in the car or outside or something, she can get quite distressed.

However, they have, upon occasion, proved to be helpful to have around.

Over the past few nights, when she's gotten a little distressed/distracted at bedtime, I've been able to pet Coll the collie and Point the pointer as they curl up in bed with her and convince her that they need her to stay still in bed because her dogs want her to make the bed warm. The coup de grace usually involves finding Milo sitting on the end of the bed, waiting for Quinn to settle down so that she can go to sleep.

Some nights it's worked better than others, but it's nice to know the invisible animals can be helpful ...

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Setting an Example

Upon occasion, I get quite frustrated with myself and say unkind, self-abusive things. (Self-abusive in the "You idiot" or "I'm a frickin' moron" sense, not the other, clinical sense of self-abuse — I'm sorry, but some readers make such clarification necessary.) Anyway, Celeste was feeling ill this morning and had a bit of a regurgitative moment, so Evelin set her up in her bed for a while to recuperate. To keep tabs on her while downstairs with Quinn, Evelin set up an old baby monitor in Celeste's room.

Flash forward to the evening. Evelin's in Quinn's room getting her to sleep, I'm downstairs (having been dismissed by Quinn) going through some work e-mail and I realize Celeste is coming through loud and clear on the monitor.

She's playing one of the games on her Vtech Kidizoom digital camera. [ASIDE: By the way, that was one of the best present's she's ever gotten ... not only has she had lots of fun with the extra features, like games, she's enjoyed taking pictures, albeit very low resolution ones, and there have been some interesting bits of accidental art.] However, things weren't always going the way she'd've liked and I could hear the occasional complaint of "Oh, that's not right" mixed with lots of "Stupid!"s ... which makes me think I need to be more careful what sort of verbal responses I have to my own missteps.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Animal Sounds

Celeste, as she will readily tell anyone and everyone within ear shot likes "puppies and that's all!" Quinn, however, is a much more equal opportunity animal aficionado. "I like puppies and bunnies and elephants and baa-baas [sheep] and turtles and ponies and kitties that don't scratch and ... and ... and ..."

Thus Quinn's animal noise extravaganza the other day shouldn't have been a surprise: "Meow-woof! Meow-woof! I'm a mixed up kitty!"

Friday, January 23, 2009

Misheard Poetry

So Celeste and I are reading A Room With a Zoo before she goes to bed. Tonight we got to a chapter break and I notice the next chapter is 19 pages long.

I suggest that it might be too long of a chapter to read right now (we'd already read about 10 pages ... and she likes to interrupt, ask questions, start reading at a different point on the page than where I'm reading, et cetera).

Celeste asks, "Is it as long as a hound's bark?", which I thought was a pretty neat simile. It turns out she'd actually said "hound's back," which is nice, but not as poetic of a phrase.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"In the unlikely event of a water landing"

On the last few flights Celeste has taken, she has spent a goodly portion of the time in the air reading over the aircraft safety card. Back in March, when we flew to Louisiana for a wedding, she kept wanting Evelin to turn the pictures of people sliding out of the plane and putting on lifejackets into stories. On our pre-Christmas visit in December, Celeste just pored over the card for at least half the flight.

Evelin and I were talking about U.S. Airways Flight 1549 and Celeste started asking questions. "Were those people wearing their lifejackets?" Evelin said that most of them were, but she saw some people on TV who didn't wear them. "Oh, did they use their seats?"

I'm impressed she remembered that you can use your seat cushion as a flotation device …