April 29, 2011

April 26, 2011

Peter Cotton(Candy)Tail

I didn't take a lot of pictures at Easter. Let's just say that pictures taken in the dark at 7am are not usually the best. And by 7:02 the baskets were dismantled and the faces covered in chocolate.
But I did get some later in the day, as you can see from Sadie's face paint being almost completely worn away due to excessive chocolate eating and face-rubbing.
Yes, the Easter Bunny brought the usual candy, and some much-wanted face paints.
But not only that, she left a cotton candy machine.
Yes, she. The E.B. is a lady around these parts.

It was a big hit. Getting candy is one thing. Making it yourself is like magic.
And what's that Jesus once said?:
Give a kid some candy and she's wired for a day. Teach her how to make candy and she's wired for a lifetime.
Okay, maybe it was Confucius or someone.

The point is, making candy is fun and gets kids so excited they give each other big kisses.
And I'm all about the big kisses.

April 21, 2011

Man of Few Words

Silas has a few words now:
Dye (bye)
Unh-uh (no)
Uh-huh (yes)

There aren't many and they are used sparingly, because, hey, why use different words when you can use one, universal, all-purpose word?
That would be his most favorite word: ah-ba or ah-bah, sometimes also known as hah-ba.

Ah-ba can mean look or give me.
Paired with the sign for more it means more.
It can mean, Change my poop diaper, lady. Although Eh! is also used in that instance as well.
It can be happy, like so: Aaah-ba!
It can be angry and staccato-fast: Ah-ba!Ah-ba!Ah-ba!
It can morph into crying: Aah-ba, Ahahaha-ha-ha-baa...
And he loves to whine it: Ah-ba-a-a, ah-ba-a-a
A question: Ah-ba?
It is a call and response, too. Say Aah-baah to him and he says it back with glee.
It can also be hollered at the top of your lungs while sitting in a shopping cart in a store because you like the echo sound that your voice makes: AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH-BAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH-BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!

Yeah, that one draws a bit of attention our way.

Even though more words would help at the whole verbal communication thing, we are getting good at sussing out the meaning of the Ah-bas. And he does communicate, even if it is in his own words. Or word.
Except that shopping cart one. That one is just bananas.

April 18, 2011

A Mother's Prayer For Her Daughter

I loved this when I saw it earlier today. It was written by Tina Fey.
Funny, but absolutely true.

A Mother's Prayer For Her Daughter
First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen.Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long,
For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.


April 17, 2011

The Age of Self-Portraits

Sadie is really into drawing pictures of people. And fairies, although those are people too, I suppose. With wings.
And often she draws herself. Here she is, wearing her striped tights.

Sadie and Mama. I really like my dress in this picture.
And, finally, she gave me red hair. Because my hair is currently auburn-ish. Up until this picture she has been completely convinced that I have black hair, no matter what I said or even when I held my hair in my hands and said For the love of all that's holy, just look at it!

Sadie and Dada. Dada is also wearing a dress, I think.

Note the "I love you" on our pictures. It made my heart melt.

And here is Silas's picture.

I think I'm in this one too.

April 14, 2011

Fairy Face

Sadie got her face painted this weekend with a fancy fairy face. I don't think I have ever seen a person look in the mirror as much as she did in the hours before we had to wash it off for bed.

She is thrilled by the idea that we can do it at home, too. And keeps bugging me about it. I told her I have it on good authority that the Easter Bunny often brings face paints to the deserving.

April 12, 2011

Let Them Bake Cake

I won't say I'm lazy. After all, I have been making my own yogurt recently. Although it is possibly the laziest way you can make yogurt. In a crockpot.

Okay, okay, I am pretty lazy. But my theory is that it's not a character deficiency if you want to sit around and read books. That's called book learnin'. So there.
But I try not to be lazy when it comes to cooking. I try to make things from scratch because they taste better, are cheaper and, well, because it makes me happy.

But I have always been lazy when it comes to cake mix. After all, the box is cheap, easy and tastes yummy. I have baked many a yellow cake from scratch that wasn't as good as boxed cake mix. So imagine my chagrin when I promised Sadie we would bake a cake and pulled a box out of the pantry only to find that every brand I have has artificial coloring in it.
Isn't yellow cake just supposed to be yellow naturally? I've never had to add yellow 5 & 6 to a recipe. And devil's food- of course it requires red 40 and yellow 6 to be brown? What?

So the boxes will be going to the food pantry.
And I found a recipe that's a keeper. While it does require measuring and such it does not make you separate eggs or give up your firstborn child.*
And both Sadie and Silas love to measure ingredients and stir. So it's not all bad, even for a lazy gal like me.

But one thing I love about boxed cake mix is the fact that my kitchen doesn't look like this when I'm done. Does yours look like this when you cook?

Oh. Well, me neither. Just ignore that picture.

And look at what the stinkers did while I cleaned up the mess. They sat around eating strawberries. Can you believe it?

I wish I could blame the mess on them. But, sadly, it looks like that whether I have help or not.

Our delicious, beautiful cake was even better than a box mix. Denser and buttery.

And the icing was PINK. Colored naturally. And delicious.

So there, Duncan Hines.

My notes in bold.

Best Yellow Layer Cake

Yield: Two 9-inch round, 2-inch tall cake layers, and, in theory, 22 to 24 cupcakes, two 8-inch squares or a 9×13 single-layer cake (I have yet to audition the cupcakes, shame on me) I made a bundt cake.

4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (not self-rising) I used a substitution of 2 TBS cornstarch with AP flour added to make a cup. I imagine with actual cake flour it would be really fluffy. Plus, I didn't sift. I'm lazy, remember?

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, well-shaken- I subbed milk with 1 TB lemon juice per cup- can use vinegar too.

Preheat oven to 350°F.I used butter and flour spray, but I also recommend making a crazy concoction of 1/3 flour, 1/3 oil and 1/3 shortening and storing this in your fridge. Whip out whenever baking and brush/rub into pan. Lasts forever and works like a charm.

Sift (haha- this is assuming you aren't lazy) together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then add vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.

Spread batter evenly in cake pan, bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan.Turn onto rack, cool and do whatever you want to it.

Bundt cake took about 50 minutes. Popped right out of the pan. I am eating a slice right now. It is gooood.

April 10, 2011

Back Steps

Nothing much happens on the back steps.
Sometimes you get sent there to sit when you need a break from being crazy.

And sometimes you just sit there because it's nice and shady.

And sometimes you get company while you're just hanging out.

And sometimes you get a little bit of love, too.

That's about as exciting as it gets.
But, hey, what more do you need?

April 6, 2011


Sitting on the couch.

Sitting on the back step wiggling our feet.

April 2, 2011

Why Will they Never Look at the Camera at the Same Time?

It's a mystery for the ages.
But I do love this one: