Tag: <span>kids and science</span>


Philadelphia is glorious at night time. The street lights twinkle, the skyline is lit up in the most glorious way, and the summertime air feels magical. I knew all of this, of course, but somehow, seem to have forgotten while mired in the minutiae of every day family life. For the first time since becoming parents, Evan and I had our house all to ourselves; The girls went to my parents house for a sleepover and we enjoyed a rare night out.

The sun had set, the street lights shining bright, and while walking down Race street right past Franklin Square we noticed that there was an outdoor screening of an old movie. Everything about that moment was quintessentially Philly, utterly charming, and more than ever before, it felt like home.

Meanwhile my parents played hosts not to just Sophia and Eliza but to my nephew Alex. There was gardening, water games, the playground, books, crafts, a little bit of baking, and chocolate custards at a local establishment. The sleepover, which I had a few trepidations about, was a stellar success and the girls are excited about the next time they’ll have a chance to stay over again.



After a quick jaunt to visit with Evan’s family, we spent the remainder of Sunday enjoying each other’s company and being mad scientists. Sophia has shown a keen interest in science and so she and I worked through a few chemistry and physics experiments. We learned that oil and water are afraid of each other and that heat makes air molecules dance so much they fill balloons with air without any other assistance.


And before the sleepover and the science experiments, there was dance class… and I simply cannot resist this posting this picture.


What long weekend? We spent ours cooking, cleaning, packing, packing, unpacking, packing, unpacking, and … packing. We saw family and stayed mostly indoors trying to cope with the frigid temperatures.

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This picture reinforces that there is no need for cupboards full of toys to keep children entertained. All or most of what they require is in their heads and their curiosity provides the best entertainment of all. We have downsized our toys by 75% and couldn’t be happier.

It snowed again on President’s Day and we decided to turn a dreary, snowy afternoon into an impromptu science lesson. While no longer frigid, it was still cold and so we brought the snow inside and observed its properties under a variety of conditions. We touched it, scrunched it, melted it, and even licked it.
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The girls spent Saturday at my parents’ house. Sophia also spent time crafting with my sister and Eliza got a special visit from Alex that afternoon. I truly believe that just like a PhD or Esquire, aunt, uncle, are titles and must similarly be earned and maintained to be relevant and applicable.


Lastly, but most deliciously, I am trying out weekend meal-prep for the workweek. We made raisin and turkish apricot kugel, cauliflower and walnut salad with a lemon and parsley dressing, seared lime shrimp tacos, pico de gallo, guacamole, shrimp cocktail, beef stew, and chocolate brownie cookies. It was quite a lot of work to accomplish but we’re reaping the rewards of that labor all week long.

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I remember loving snow days. As a teenager, I would have the house to myself and all the time in the world to lounge, read and … and sleep. As an adult BS (before Sophia), I would spend the day working from home also in my pajamas and round out the evening with a super comforting dinner and drinks. As a mom, snow day means juggling two kids and work without our nanny. It means getting up super early to work, working through their nap and then, working some more when they go to bed. There were pajamas and TV but only for Sophia. We let ourselves go, and permitted Sophia to watch two cartoons. The first was My Neighbor Totoro and the second was Ratatouille.

We couldn’t just plop both kids in front of the TV all day and so there was plenty of other activities going on. We structured the day to include self-play, science, crafts and reading. Sophia played with Laser Pegs and learned the basics of circuits.

Eliza helped take the circuits apart :). We also learned about plants and how they come from seeds. Since I best learn through application, we planted an avocado seed in a container hoping it sprouts. Sophia checks our little seed every hour or so looking for the “leaves”.




The delicious avocado that housed the seed in our science lesson became a part of our mostly healthy and most definitely delicious lunch. This is broccoli, bean and avocado salad with miso-yogurt dressing and topped with pumpkin and sesame seeds. That was served with a french onion grilled cheese. Mmmmm…. so good.


And since it is likely that you’re already hungry after looking at the picture above, I may as well share a few more dishes from this week’s food roundup. Here we have Saba no misoni which is Mackarel stewed in miso served atop japanese sushi rice and topped with seaweed. This dish is a favorite at our house especially for Sophia. Salty and sweet and topped with crunchy seaweed makes every bite oh so very satisfying.mackrelAnd lastly, you can never have enough roast chicken though the usual method of tossing a bird in the oven can get a bit boring. We tried Jamie Oliver’s roast chicken in milk and were very happy with the results. It was perhaps the most tender and moist roasted chicken I’ve had and as a bonus, our house was perfumed by garlic and cinnamon while it baked.


The weekend is upon us and with it the promise of warmer weather (seriously, though I also am a skeptic at this point), more delicious meals, more playing, more science learning and just … more.

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