December 8, 2010

Sadie, On the Eve of Your Turning Four, You Are...

You are quick and funny and silly and smart as a whip.
You are enthusiastic and impatient and can argue until your opponent just wants to give up and give in.
You are beautiful, inside and out. Pretty is as pretty does. And, Bubba, you do pretty.
You are snuggly and soft and crass and loud and shy and stubborn as a mule.
You will push your brother to the ground to get past him but also spontaneously declare your love for him.
You ask what the people's signs who are asking for help on the street corners say, and want to give them all something.
You hate admitting you are sad, but will admit to needing a hug. You feel things so deeply.
You love to draw and sing and dance and every day I am amazed at what you can do.
You are honest, except when you're telling silly little-kid fibs, of course. But you're honest when it counts.
You are your own delightful, wonderful, awesome, kooka-banana, crackerdog, shining soul.

You are the best little girl in the world. Seriously, how'd I get so lucky?
Don't ever change.

December 4, 2010

Pancake Sunday

Inspired a couple of months ago by Jim's Pancakes I decided it would be fun to institute our own pancake day where we try to make fun pancakes.
After all, I make pancakes a good bit and Sadie is always asking for an S or a gingerbread person or something interesting.

So, armed with my favorite pancake recipe* and a bunch of squirt bottles we have been doing some sort of pancake on Sunday mornings.

*Old-Fashioned Pancakes

1.5 c. all-purpose flour
2.5 tsp. baking powder (original recipe calls for 3, you can go with 2 if you want them not as fluffy)
1 tsp. salt
1 TB. sugar
1.5 c. milk
1 egg
3 TB butter, melted
1tsp. vanilla

In large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in center and pour in remaining ingredients. Mix until mostly smooth. For squeezing out of bottle you must blend or food process or use a mixer to make pancake batter smooth. Otherwise some lumps are OK.
Heat griddle and cook pancakes.

Our first attempts involved fairies and blueberries.

Then the next week we moved on to cats and birds with crowns and hearts. And I found out that trying to color the pancake mix with strawberries makes grey pancakes.

Grey pancakes are not so delicious looking. So, much to my chagrin I used food coloring.

Now I'm no fan of food coloring, but I'm not so stringent about whether they do get some in their foods. But actually adding it to something that I make from scratch using healthy and mostly organic ingredients just seems...wrong, you know?

Halloween. Pumpkins, of course! The brown is cocoa powder, much to Sadie's delight. I have found a source for natural dyes and intend to buy those soon, since this is a tradition that seems to be sticking.

Today Sadie asked me, Mama, what day is today?
Saturday, I replied.
That means tomorrow is pancake day! she says.

We went fancy one Sunday and made strawberry-banana pancakes with fresh whipped cream. Sadie will eat anything if it has whipped cream on it.

See, here she's eaten the cream and strawberries off and is getting into the syrup.
Real maple syrup, friends.
We don't hold with any of that brown corn syrup that passes for pancake syrup these days.

And another Sunday we decided to do a Dutch Baby.**
This is like a pancake, French toast and souffle got together in a pan and made a delicious, crusty, powdered sugar-sprinkled baby.

And can you see the oven mitt on the pan handle above? I have to put that on because my brain absolutely refuses to believe that that handle is hot after cooking the whole pan in a 425 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.
Brain says, Pan not hot. Handle what we hold to cook on stove top, not get hot then. Just touch.
So Hand touches, and gets burnt. Every. single. time.

But it's worth a burn. Look at it, covered with pear sauce.

And the latest. Turkeys, and a cornucopia.

I'm getting better at this, I think.
On the menu for tomorrow, as per Sadie's request:
Birthday cake pancakes. With candles.


1/2 c. butter
6 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. flour

Put the butter in the pan and set it into a 425 degree oven, then mix batter quickly while butter melts. Put eggs in blender container and whirl at high speed for 1 minute. With motor running, gradually pour in milk, then slowly add flour; continue whirling for 30 seconds. I use my Kitchen Aid mixer with the whisk, you could totally use a hand mixer as well.

(With a rotary beater, beat eggs until light and lemon colored; gradually beat in milk, then flour.)

Remove pan from oven with the butter melted and pour batter into the hot melted butter. Return the pan to the oven and bake until puffy and well browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Mine always takes longer to puff up, like 30-40 minutes. But my stove sucks.

Serve at once with any fruit topping, i.e. canned pie filling, hot fruit, fresh fruit. Syrup or powdered sugar is good, too.

Tip: Have everyone waiting at the table when the Dutch Baby comes out of the oven, while it is puffed up.

December 2, 2010

If I Could Save Time In A Bottle

I would actually save a scent. The scent of my babies. Sadie had it, and Silas still does.

It's of new skin and baby sweat. It's sweet and spicy and buttery and breastmilky and so absolutely delicious and addictive that I find myself burying my nose in his neck and head countless times a day.
Time is running out, and I know that soon that smell will be gone for good.

There will be a time when my big, stinky teenagers will seem like they never could have been so small and sweet-smelling.
So I just want a bottle, a small one, with a tiny cork, that I can open and sniff 12 years from now.

But there's just no way to bottle it. So I'll have to get my fill while I can.

November 30, 2010

Done and Done

Well, I'd planned a long post full of pictures to finish out the month. But, fittingly, I am lying in bed next to my cranky youngest laboriously typing this with one finger on an ereader.
So forgive me for just leaving you with this post, I promise I'll be back soon. With pictures.

November 29, 2010

Gingerbread Town

I helped Sadie build a gingerbread town.

Doesn't it look like a fine place to live?

There's even a town pumpkin patch.

Well, we had to do something with the leftover Halloween candy!

November 28, 2010

IPOP and the Ballet

Today Sadie and I got to go to see some of the ballet dances from The Nutcracker, put on by some of the older girls in her dance school.
We were planning to go to have tea at a nearby tea shop, but it is closed on Sunday. Sadie, when asked where she would like to have lunch instead, said, I want to eat at the place with the pancake with the face on it!

IHOP? I said.

Yes, IPOP! Sadie said. I believe it's a cross between Ipod and IHOP.

So we went to IPOP and had some decorate a face pancakes and then to see the show.
It was a lovely day with my favorite little girl.

November 27, 2010

Some Stuff Y'all Should Know

Silas thinks a horse noise is just about the funniest thing in the world.
And Will swears he said Dada twice yesterday.

Sadie thinks farting is just about the funniest thing in the world. Or should I say sharting. When she cuts one she laughs like a maniac and yells, Mama and Dada, I sharted! Excuuuuse me!

I would advise against eating poorly wrapped butter from the fridge that your turkey is sitting in. Because turkey-flavored butter on cornbread is not delicious.
In fact, it's way beyond "not delicious." It's quite revolting.

November 26, 2010

I'm Boring

That what's Sadie says when she's bored.
So I'm sorry to make you all boring tonight, as I have nothing whatsoever to post except a sorry post where I post about nothing to post.
My apologies. I promise I'll make it up to you.

November 25, 2010

I am Thankful

For them.
And for y'all.
Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving.

November 24, 2010


Making art. The number one activity around here, much to my delight!

November 23, 2010

The Other Side of Thirty-Five

So far 36 has been pretty good. For my birthday today Will got the day off work due to icy roads.
And it barely snows here, so the half an inch of snow we got was still fun.
And enough to build an itty bitty snowman.

Thank goodness we had baby carrots for the nose!
We got to wear both layers of our new coats.

And realized it's hard to see out of our new hats.
Sy liked it. Until he slipped and landed face first and realized that snow is cold.

Then he insisted it was nap time.
And the rest of us got hot cocoa.

Sadie and I baked a cake. With the best icing ever.**
And then she decorated it.
Isn't it beautiful? Over on the left is Dada, on his way to work, carrying his bag.

But you knew that, right?

So a lovely day to turn 36, surrounded by my little folks. With a grass-fed steak dinner cooked by Dada, to boot.

**Buttercream-Milk Icing Recipe

1 cup milk
4 tbs flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla

Combine milk and flour in a saucepan over low heat to make a white sauce. Sometimes the flour can be lumpy- so I make a roux first with some extra butter and the flour, then add the milk to make a white sauce.
Set aside to cool. Beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add vanilla. Add white sauce, when cool, and beat until smooth. So flipping good!

November 21, 2010

Trouble With A Capital S

If you've ever been around a toddler for any length of time you may know that they are both the cutest and most bothersome little creatures that exist in this world.

Not only do they get into everything, they enjoy getting into everything.
It is what they do. That is why they exist.

Sometimes Silas stands and waits, with his hand poised over the dog's water bowl, just waiting to splash. Stands and stares at you until you look at him. And then he lowers the hand into the water, keeping his eyes on you all the while.
Just to see what you'll do.
Or, he'll stand on his little ride-on car. Yes, he balances on it. And if you aren't watching he'll say, Uh! Uh! Uh! until you turn around and see him.
These toddlers, man, they are totally messing with your mind.

(Sy spilling water on the table and then slamming his hand in it repeatedly so it splashes everywhere)
I try redirecting him. Which works. Until he finds the next thing 8 seconds later.

And a firm No? Well, that just startles him for a second.

(Sesame noodles and a pear slice on his head. He was putting them up there on purpose.)

And then he laughs uproariously. Then he does it again, just so he can hear you say it again in a firm voice. He thinks it's funny. The stinker!

(Sy standing in the pile of dirt I'm sweeping up. Every night after dinner he races around in the kitchen doing a jig in the pile of dirt, no matter how fast I move.)

Then he gives you a huge grin. So that very serious "No" face you have on?

(Feeding the dog his food. Or rather, letting the dog lick his food and then eating it himself.)

Yeah, that firm face starts to crack into a smile. Which really does nothing to help your cause.

("Washable" crayon on the door. Which is still there. Because, NO, it's not washable.)

But he's just so stinkin' adorable. You really can't help it.

(Sy likes to remove the dish towels from the drawer. He was working on this project while I was attempting to remove crayon from door- see above.)

You just have to give in. After all, you needed a new toothbrush anyway, really. So it's not a big deal that yours is gone. day...gone.
And last seen in the possession of the toddler.
Oh yeah, did I mention he likes to practice using the garbage can, too?


Besides being Sy's favorite word it is also what I uttered this morning when I realized that I didn't post yesterday. When I'm supposed to be posting every day for NaBloPoMo.

I just plumb forgot.
And this morning I was like, Oh! I broke my streak! And I'd promised!

And then I was like, Dude, it's not like you took a sacred vow. You forgot to post on your blog that 7 people read. You can try to post twice today if you are really going to agonize over it that much, weirdo.

And then I felt better. And, yes, I do refer to myself as dude.

And, apropos of nothing, here's my lovely lady building a prison for a doll. It did start off as a castle, but ended up as a prison.

November 19, 2010


We have been drawing pirate ships this past week. Sadie has gotten really proficient at drawing pirate ships with the requisite Jolly Roger flying from the mast.

Today as she was drawing we were talking about her ship and where it was going. I asked her what she thought one should do if a pirate ship were coming with its flags snapping in the wind.
She thought for a minute, half-smiled and said:


Sounds about right to me.

November 18, 2010


Had a whole post planned for today, but you'll have to wait for tomorrow.
Silas was up a lot last night with possible molars 3 & 4 bothering him.

Or possibly it's molars 1 & 2 still bothering him.
I wouldn't put it past them. They are now in their second month of cutting through the gums. And they are toying with us, sending out 2 little sharp pointy things but not the rest of the pointies on the other side of the tooth.
Yes, pointies I call 'em. No, it's not even a real word.

I didn't know teeth could do that. They should be ashamed of themselves!

Hmm, can you tell I probably shouldn't be writing a blog post tonight based on these ramblings?
Yeah, so, good night!

November 17, 2010

I Love You, You Big Pot of Popcorn!

Is what was said by Sadie today after we opened one of those giant Christmas popcorn tins.
With a hug.

November 16, 2010

Two Random and Completely Unrelated Things

Sadie eats her pizza crust first.
Mama, I just think the cheese part is better than the crunchy. So I eat the crunchy first!
Meanwhile, I take off some cheese, slice open the crust, stick it inside and eat that last. So who am I to argue?

Silas has a new (3rd) word.
Which is pronounced "Ghee." He wanders around and hands you things, all the while saying Ghee! Ghee!

Just thought you should know.

November 15, 2010

I Can't Take It.

I really can't. Look at him.

When did he turn into a little boy?

I want my baby back.

And look at this one.

That baby is long gone. But even though it's been said before, it's true.

They'll always be my babies. Forever.

November 14, 2010

Car Playmat

I have drooled over car playmats for a couple of years now and been wanting to make one.
But seeing as how I am proud if we all smell halfway decent and I've made dinner I haven't been able to sit down and get started on the one I wanted to make.

What's a playmat?
A portable cloth that is often made of felt and opens up to reveal a play world inside. Cars, farms, trains, outer space...anything your kid is into could be made into a playmat. And besides being the surface for play it can also hold the toys needed to play on it.

I think it's awesome to be able to carry a whole play world anywhere you go where the kids would be bored out of their minds: Planes, doctors' offices, dental conventions. You know how we frequent those.

So I finally got my arse in gear and made one.
There are all different kinds that I admire. Ones like this, this and this.

I like them all, but really wanted something that wasn't only flat. So I borrowed ideas and imagined new ones and I thunk and I thunk and came up with this:

We have gas and air, with hoses:

A mountain to drive through. Which I had snap on in case it needed to be removed. And I'm glad I did, because I should have made it out of something sturdier than cardboard and interfacing. First thing Brother did was mash it down. Of course.
It's still standing but maybe a couple of wires to help it keep its shape would have been good:

A construction site with real rock beads on fishing line that goes from one end of the pit to the other. That way they can be "bulldozed" around the work site:

A drive through car wash. This one made with wire, so it gets knocked down and bent out of whack and goes back into shape with just a few tugs:

Parking lot:

Isn't this the cutest fabric on the other side?:

And it closes for easy transport. Just throw in the cars, trucks and anything else you need and pull the string.

Silas likes it. He's still a little young for it still but really likes pushing the car through the mountain.
Sadie loves it.

But these days a simple request from me that she allow me to take a picture playing with the mat means she has to squeal and run away as fast as possible. So you'll have to imagine her joy.
We are working on a design for a fairy playmat for her at her request, after I assured her that, no, we didn't need two car mats. And, yes, we could share them both.
So I'll share that one with you soon, hopefully, as I am trying to keep my aforementioned behind in gear.

November 13, 2010

Natural Toys

Do tampons fit in that category? Wait! Before you answer, they're organic.

And the only toy I know of that can occupy two kids, without fighting, for the length of one hot shower.

November 12, 2010

It Could've Been Worse...

Much, much worse.
Sadie, while playing with her scissors, decided to cut a bit of hair.

Then she thought she should and come and tell me about it. She half knew it was not something that she should do, but was half proud that she had done it.
I cut my own hair! I'm a hair stylist!
Why does every 3 year old decide to give themselves a haircut?
I don't remember getting a Babycenter email update about this particular childhood milestone.

I laughed. These kids just kill me.
But then I thought if I found it too funny she would do it again. And, man, that might not leave her with just one tiny clump of bangs.
So we had a talk about how scissors go away for good unless she can restrain herself.

Then we took pictures for posterity. Then I had a good laugh. Out of her sight.