Friday, December 28, 2012

December Round Up

Oh, it's been a little while since I've posted, hasn't it. (Statement, not a question.) Well, my beloved Min turned 8 years old today, and we celebrated by taking her to get her ears pierced. We also got her doll Emily's ears pierced ($14 at your local American Girl store).

We also celebrated by hosting a sleepover party, complete with a penguin cake (Min's request). Tell me those hand decorated Oreos look like penguins. Don't they? Sort of? Well, Margot was happy with them.

Of course, there have been other celebrations this month. For example, Min visited Santa. And following this visit, he brought her three coveted items on Christmas morning: a sewing kit, a digital camera, and personalized writing paper. Lucky girl!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween 2012!

What a fantastic Halloween! We found the 'good' block in our neighborhood for trick or treating this year. And by 'good,' I mean it had all of the following: pate, alcoholic beverages for the parents, a cotton candy machine for the kids, an Obama sighting (Malia, not Barack), and people who take their yard decorations very, very seriously.

Margot gathered candy with a pack of her friends and never lost steam. She really has grown up quite a bit. The weather was perfect: chilly but not freezing.

Here are some photos from the day:

Margot and Portia, in costume.

Margot and her cowgirl pal at the school parade.

(Seriously, cotton candy!?! Way to set the bar against the measly peanut M&M!)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

2012 Pumpkins

Behold, the 2012 Ruland pumpkins! Mine is the one in the middle. Margot's is on the right.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Zombie Apocalypse

Margot and her friend Leah, showing their vampire teeth at today's Fall Festival.

Tomorrow is our annual pumpkin carving contest...stay tuned!

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Last night we were fortunate enough to have tickets to see the Nationals play the Cardinals in game 5 of the division playoffs. Margot was generally excited to go to the game. She's not a baseball lover (let's face it, I'm the only baseball fan in the family) but she liked the idea of staying up late and eating treats at the stadium.

We arrived and everyone was in great spirits.

And the game was off to a great start! The Nats took an early lead and I felt confident we would be part of Washington baseball history.

And then that lead started disappearing. One run here. Two runs there. But then the Nats got an insurance run in the eighth inning. I was so sure that they'd win and I could show Margot how awesome baseball is when you're a winner. By the eighth inning, by the way, she was miserable. She was cold, and exhausted, and crabby. She wanted to go home. There was zero chance I was going to miss the end of the game. I told her about how exciting it would be to watch all the players pile onto each other when they won the game and moved onto the league playoffs. I told her how fun the Metro ride back would be - like a party! This was going to unite Washington! She'd be part of history!

And then they blew it. And I wanted to cry. And she was left wondering what all the fuss is about.

I hope I haven't ruined her chances to ever truly love baseball. There's always next year.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Mice Taters

If you know me, you know that crafts are not one of my interests. Margot, like many little girls, adores them. She'll happily cut pictures out of magazines, bead endless lengths of string for necklaces and bracelets, or paint ceramic figures. Not me.

But tonight when we struggled in the front door after work/school, Margot had an idea that we make a recipe from her cookbook: Mice Taters. My tired brain wanted to say no, but my heart (and mouth) said yes. So, together, we made these little guys as a side dish to pork chops, applesauce, and steamed broccoli. They're twice-baked potatoes with veggie faces. And guess what - it was actually fun!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Pumpkin Pickin'

Well, so these pumpkins were already picked and all we needed to do was select a few. The three of us picked out pumpkins for the carving contest that will take place at the end of the month. It was a lovely fall day and we were headed to West Virginia for an overnight with friends Leigh and Craig. It's definitely nicer to get pumpkins at a roadside stand in Western Maryland than at Home Depot.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Off the Block

Margot joined a swim team this fall and will continue until next summer. So far she loves it, and looks forward to the twice a week practices with her friend Lucille. I'm always impressed that the girls can swim laps for the better part of an hour and still have energy afterwards.

They are learning how to get into the pool from the starting block for an upcoming swim meet. This wasn't Margot's best start, but it gives you an idea.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Man of Extinction

Margot has a sharp wit, even at her young age. Example:

Tonight we ate dinner at a Thai restaurant next to my office. Margot noticed that across the street from the restaurant was a storefront that read "Gentlemen of Distinction" on the sign.

"What kind of store is it?" she inquired.

"A barbershop, for men," I explained. She sat quietly for a moment. She ate a piece of her taro custard dessert.

"What does distinction mean?" she asked.

"It means special, or one of a kind. Not like all of the others," I said in between bites of deliciously spicy lemongrass chicken.

"Like Michael Jackson?" she asked. "He was a man of distinction." (Sidenote: I don't know what her fasctination with Michael Jackson is, but it's been going on for years.)

"Yes, I suppose," I agreed. "But he's a dead man of distinction," I noted irreverently.

Her eyes lit up. "Then he's a man of EXtinction," she pointed out, so obviously pleased with herself.

Is this kid funny or what? I laughed and laughed at that one.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

First Day of Second Grade

Monday was the first day of second grade. This year, Margot eschewed wearing a new dress for the first day ("Too fancy," she muttered) so we went with something clean and nice but not necessarily 'fancy' like in pre-K, K, or first grade.

She is thrilled with her class and her teacher. She has had homework all three nights this week, which makes me happy with her teacher, too.

The consensus so far is that she looks much older these days. Do you agree?

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Margot loved Hawaii. She loved the flights, she loved the beach, she loved the hotel. She loved shave ice.  She had some firsts on the trip: first snorkeling experience, first Moco Loco (a local dish of a hamburger and gravy over rice), first flamingoes in a hotel, first infinity pool. I decided the undertow was too strong for surf lessons this time around, but she played around on Brodie's board for a bit.

Here are some of my favorite moments:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

May/June 2012

Later in May, we went to Greenport for the weekend. I love to see Margot in places I remember from my own childhood:

Then summer started for real, as evidenced by this sunburn:

Margot went to camp in July and played with friends. She spent the night at camp! That was a huge step for me to let her sleep somewhere either than in the neighborhood or with family. Here she is, all packed up and ready to go. She came back exhausted, but empowered.

We went to Lake Anna, West Virginia, and set off fireworks on the fourth of July. We ate ice cream and rode bikes. Summer flew by, and was capped off by a fantastic trip to Hawaii.

Catch up post - Part 1

Oh, it's been so long since I've posted. Life just got the better of me. This is the first in a series of catch-up posts and then I will try to revert to regular updates. So, to bring you up to speed:

Easter 2012 - The whole family came to visit! All of the Daileader cousins at once! It was a fantastic time. Here is Margot in her Easter finery:

After Easter, Margot had several performances in May. She played in a piano recital and sang in her Notebusters group on the same hectic Saturday! (She was supposed to dress in 50s style for the Notebusters performance, which explains why she wore a poodle skirt to the piano recital.)

First, playing the Can Can:

And later that day singing Let's Hear it for the Boy from Footloose with Ella and Iris.

Her artwork was chosen to hang in the Chancellor's office over the summer. This piece was called Sunset in Detroit. I believe it's a commentary on how the auto bailout was an effective economic decision, but I can't be certain. She's not offering interviews.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Don't Stop Believin'

Journey, performed this afternoon by Margot and her BFF Iris.

Father/Daughter Dance

A few weeks ago, Brodie escorted Margot to the father/daughter dance. I heard that she was a dancing machine. One parent went so far as to call her zany.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

More Piano Recital!

Here is another quip from Margot's first piano recital. This was actually the first song she played.

Piano Recital

Last weekend, Margot performed in her first piano recital. She bravely played two songs in front of about 100 people. I glowed with pride.

Catch Up Post 3 - Jackson WY

A few weeks ago, we took a quick trip West to Jackson, WY.

Catch Up Post 2 - Christmas, in photos

Friday, January 20, 2012

Catch Up Post 1 - Margot's birthday party

Margot's 7th birthday party was a bowling party. Lots of friends and cousins - it was a blast!

Of course, her actual birthday featured traditional cinnamon rolls and balloons. We all spent the day on the National Mall visiting museums.