Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I was in the middle of fixing supper this evening when Baby Bear started wailing, Speaceboy had a tantrum and I had a hissy fit. So I had to stop and calm down, then deal with the kids. I decided enough was enough and put the big boy in front of Blues Clues (thank you netflix!). After nursing the baby I set him back in the highchair in the doorway of the kitchen and I started cooking again. About 5 minutes into things I realized that Baby Bear was too quiet. I looked over and this is what I saw:

Yes. He's asleep. I laughed so hard because I had been using the food processor about 10 inches from his head. Not even my laughter, or me squeezing by him to get the camera woke him up. He stayed that way for about 20 minutes, until, just as I was finishing the labor intensive part of supper, Spaceboy came in and cried "BOO!" and laughed hysterically while the baby wailed pitifully. I shoo'd the mean big brother away and finished the meal (mostly stirring at this point) holding the baby.

So, in other words, it was a typical day. Both of those boys are long since in bed, thanks be. Dear Husband is working on homework, and I'm toodling on the internet instead of folding the 6 loads of laundry that I washed and dried today. This is my living room.

I took down most of the holiday decorations, the tree was where that big wicker toy basket is. That blue thing is the bird cage, which I had to move away from the drafty balcony door. Since my last photo we've scored two much-needed dumpster treasures: a second lamp, which was Dear Husband's find, and a comfortable chair for my sewing table. I'm really going to miss that dumpster when we move.

I rearranged the living area so that Baby Bear (who is trying to walk) could have a space of his own. He loves it, and I now have a safe place for him when I'm out of the room.

I guess I'd better stop procrastinating now and make space for my laundry. Repeat after me: I do not complain about my blessings. I remind myself that I am blessed with an abundance of clothing. Clean clothing. And a washer and dryer in my apartment. A washer and dryer right next to the bedrooms, so that I don't have to haul laundry very far. I choose to think of things in positive ways! I am thankful!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Menu

My living room today

Sorry to neglect you, dear blog. Not that I'm worried about anyone reading you, if you're like most blogs out there then you are merely an ignored representative of the collective narcissism of my generation. Still, it's a good exercise for me. If I'm not careful my life quickly distills into non-stop nose-wiping, cooking, cleaning, laundry and nursing. And that life is a little too grim for me. So to break up the monotony and as a semi-intellectual exercise I will try to keep writing.

I'm hosting our usual Thanksgiving supper with my in-laws and any single folks we can rope in. Here's the menu. Keep in mind I'm doing it from scratch, no cream of mystery soups, scary canned fried vegetables, no box stuffing and DEFINITELY no packet of gravy powder.

For the pre-supper nosh I'll have a relish tray and homemade pate with crackers

Brined and Roasted Turkey with bread stuffing
Giblet Gravy
Candied Yams
Corn Pudding
Green Bean Casserole
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Cranberry sauce

My mother-in-law is bringing her three specialties, spinach salad, sweet potato casserole and Dutch apple cake. Brother-in-law's girlfriend is bringing pumpkin pie and some other kind of pie.

Would it be completely over the top for me to make a mincemeat pie as well?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November pushed October out of the way before I realized what was going on

I have no idea what happened to the last two weeks. It's Thursday, November 3rd. Spaceboy's 3rd birthday is the 16th and I have been caught completely off guard. I have some vague ideas about baking a cake and having guests over, and then the next week baking a turkey for our Thanksgiving meal with the in-laws and their entourage (I think this year is including two friends of the family, one girlfriend, and two girlfriend's sisters in addition to the family). Last year at this time I was already making lists and taking notes, even buying some ingredients. This year I'm just trying to not get snowed under while scaling Laundry Mountain.

Here's a picture of my living room, because I think some of you got a kick out of what it looked like before. Not a whole lot has changed, although I did organize my sewing table.

I had a post planned, it was going to be about delicious soups that are almost as easy as opening a can, but ten times as delicious. Then I noticed the date and got all flustered. Maybe I'll try again later. Until then, here's a teaser.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Buy Stock in Sprinkles ASAP

No, this isn't a Christmas post. But I only had red and green sanding sugar, because the last time I tried decorating cookies with Jack was over ten months ago. I was planning on making pretty autumnal orange and red icing, but Spaceboy saw the sprinkles when I was digging out the food coloring, and my fate was sealed. Sprinkles it just had to be. We'll save icing for another day, perhaps when we're out of sprinkles. Judging by today's sprinkle quota, that day might be tomorrow.

Yesterday I was caught in torrential downpour (apparently September and October are now Monsoon Season in Virginia) and my second pair of hands (the Ergo) was soaked. I'm beginning to understand why some of my friends have so many carriers. Baby Bear decided he was having a Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day. So I put a new (to me) carry to the test with my Storchenwiege wrap. I promised we would make cookies today, so make cookies we must.

While Baby Bear fussed and bounced around up there I was able to start the bread machine and begin making cookies with Spaceboy. 

By the time we got to this point, Baby Bear succumbed to his fatigue and I was able to transfer him to the crib.

I feel the need to provide photographic evidence that I really did indeed move him from my back to the crib without him waking up. I can't quite believe it myself, especially since I am very new to back wrapping. After I put the baby down I came back in to discover Spaceboy had gone a little too far with the sprinkles (see first photo of this post). I felt a bit like a paleontologist unearthing raw cookie bones with a pastry brush. Thank you Silpat for an easy cleanup!

Everything was going so nauseatingly perfect until the boy decided to treat every cookie like his own personal artwork and had a minor meltdown when mama dared eat one of his masterpieces. Sigh. No photographic evidence of that. Sorry.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Feed the Birds

Yesterday evening while we were taking a walk as a family we came across a great cache of freshly fallen, uncrunched, perfect pine cones. After a simple stick "sword" fight escalated and ended with pine cone grenades, we loaded up the stroller with the spoils of war and went home.  I love pine cones and I've been looking forward to using them in the preschool time I'm doing with Spaceboy (my almost 3 year old). We don't get much wildlife here in urban sprawlville, mainly just squirrels, birds, rats and mosquitoes the size of turkeys. So our first item on the pine cone docket was bird feeders. I liked this one. So that's what we did today.

Right around the time we were smashing the peanut butter birdseed mixture onto the pine cones, the boy decided it was critical to FINISH RIGHT NOW AND WASH HIS HANDS. Little neurotic. We're still working on dealing with squishy, gooey stuff on our hands. We don't like that much yet. But he's much, much better than he was this spring. I think the stickiness of the peanut butter was just too much to handle.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Let's be honest

I just want to make one thing clear before I kick this whole blog thing off. The above photo is what I can see right now when I turn around in my desk chair. The baby is napping and I'm listening to 'The Mamas & The Papas' Pandora station and the sound of that snowglobe which is driving me dotty but keeping my not-quite-three year old happy.

I have a few things to say, and a few things to show you. I enjoy creating things (that's my sewing area over there behind the excersaucer) and I know I have a few friends (ok one or two friends and my mom) who have been urging me to start blogging again. I had started a blog two years ago but lost the motivation when my grandmother died. I am going to give this another try, maybe even a better try. I am going to be honest this time. I won't be vacuuming for you or pretending that I ever put away the cloth diapers. They live in that basket, my family lives in this house and I can live with that. I hope seeing my imperfect housekeeping skills inspires you to ignore the toys on the floor and paint a coconut tree with your kids.