Sunday, September 27, 2015

Marsden Tract

Marsden Tract

This weekend was the first Cub Scouts camping trip of the Fall.  The whole pack camped out at Marsden Tract, along the Billy Goat Trail between the C&O Canal and the Potomac River.  Owen and the other new Webelos got to go with the older Webelos down to the river in the morning to see the secret Webelos spot, a secret den along the Potomac, that looked like it would be the perfect place to hide from the passing Ring Wraith.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Rock On

Nora got her own personal rock-climbing harness for Christmas this year, but we hadn't had a chance to use it. We'd planned to inaugurate it over Memorial Day weekend, but then she broke her arm. Nora bailed on a second trip due to the heat and requisite hiking. We were finally set to go over Labor Day, but things started looking grim when she slammed her thumb in the door at the doctors office. However, after some cauterizing and an x-ray, she eventually got the all clear.

We'd asked Andrew & Luke, Owen & Allen's regular climbing buddies to join us, as well as Owen's friend Leo, who'd been out of town for Owen's party, and his family, to join us at Carderock. Leo, was pretty nervous, but finally tried it after Owen lured him with a promise a Captain Rex helmet. Jonah did a little better and Micah managed to out-climb both his sons, though they were a bit too distracted to bear witness to his accomplishment.

Owen kissed the 'biener on his first climb and made it almost to the top of the second, but the real story of the day was Nora, who stopped a bit early in her climbing (she totally could have made it farther up), but bouldered like a champion and proclaimed that she would totally be up for another outing. Assuming she's in one piece.
(To see all the pics, click here.)

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Party a Go-Go

Nora's sixth birthday was not without incident. After having cupcakes with her new classmates, we headed off to the traditional birthday physical where after waiting a half hour to see her doctor, Nora opened the exam room door to peak out and then promptly slammed the door on her thumb. There were a lot of tears. There was a surprising absence of immediate medical care (there is also likely a physician change in our future). And there was one very ugly looking thumb nail.

The next morning Allen took Nora back to Kaiser for a trephination to relieve the pressure (or as Nora explained to her classmates, "They set my fingernail on fire and then blood squirted everywhere!") and took an x-ray to determine if her thumb was broken. The film was inconclusive, so they put her in a splint and scheduled an appointment with an orthopedist, warning us that she may need to be in a cast to immobilize said thumb.

To be honest, this is how our luck has been going lately, so I fully expected Nora to celebrate her sixth without opposable thumbs and possibly requiring me to spoon feed her cake. Imagine my delight when the call came at 5 pm Friday night that she was in the clear.

And so, on Saturday afternoon, eight little girls (and most of their parents) came to our house to play games with Mr. Justin from Labrynith (though the majority mostly played dress-up in Nora's room and tried to terrorize Owen), eat cupcakes that were way too rich, and then run around on the playground. It was kind of a perfect way to end our birthday season and most importantly, no one got hurt.

(To see all the birthday pictures, click here.)

Tuesday, September 01, 2015


OBX 2015
To be honest, I've been known to underestimate Nora. Sometimes, when I see her collapse into a heap of giggles while wearing a superhero mask, princess crown and the arm covers of her booster seat as slippers, I forget what a strong and fierce little girl she is. But this year Nora broke her arm and still managed to camp in a cast and dance in a sling. She went parasailing despite having pneumonia. Nora faced down bullies who questioned her right to wear disney princess attire. She skied a blue (well, part of one). She swam with her head in the water. She even ate calamari.

All of which is to say that Nora is sweet and silly and smart and funny and artistic and inquisitive and creative, as well as tough and very, very brave and we love her so, so much. Happy birthday, baby girl, now go and conquer the world!

  1. Not everyone lives in fear that their face will freeze that way.
  2. Fungus is not an acceptable food group.
  3. The sun will come out, tomorrow.
  4. Roald Dahl books should be thoroughly vetted before being included in ones bedtime routine.
  5. Sure, sticks and stones may break your bones, but bicycles are the unsung menace.
  6. "Do you even know me at all???"
  7. 67P is a lot easier to say than Churyumov–Gerasimenko.
  8. Some days you just have to channel your inner leopard princess of bling.
  9. Never forget the cuckoo blah blahs of cuckooness.
  10. And in the words of Nora herself, "Be happy. Be you."