Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Playing Grownup

Mr. Einstein gave me a set of pearls as a wedding gift 11 1/2 years ago.

I rarely wear them, since there are few places out here fancy enough for pearls; but lately, I've been making a conscious effort to wear them more.

Every time I do, I feel like I'm playing at being a grownup.

And it's a fun game.

Monday, January 30, 2012


On Sundays, usually, we have pizza for dinner.

Homemade pizza.

I let each of the kids "make" their own mini-pizzas, and they are very, very predictable.

E wants only cheese and sausage. 
 C wants everything--pepperoni (turkey), sausage, mushrooms, olives, onions, peppers, etc.  
M's choices vary; it used to be cheese and pepperoni, but this week is was cheese and mushrooms.

Go figure.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lunchtime Inspiration

I so easily get stuck in lunchtime ruts, serving the same thing over and over again.

The other day, though, I had an inspiration.  I introduced two of my kids to my favorite lunch:  apples with peanut butter and granola.


Of course, I served it to them differently.  Let's face it:  apple halves smeared with peanut butter then dipped in granola is rather messy for adults.; I shudder to think what my kids would have looked like afterwards.

It was a hit.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

So, So Proud

At the risk of jinxing everything, I declare this little man fully potty trained.


It took three tries, a bag of mini marshmallows, and several pairs of sacrificed underwear, but it is finished.

And he is so, so proud!

As are we.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Ramona Moment

In a very Ramona moment, C wanted to make a really big picture with her daddy.

So, they did.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Shirley Temple

Big sister wanted curly hair, so little sister wanted curly hair.

Unfortunately, big sister's curls didn't last the day.

Fortunately, little sister's did.

  Through school, through rest time, and even through the night.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Cheese

As promised, here is the cheese.

I abhor the cheese.

Every time he sees the camera, he cheeses.




It's nearly impossible to get a photo of him from the front without the cheese.  I can, but he has to be sufficiently distracted, completely absorbed, or taken by surprise.

I mean, don't get me wrong, the cheese is cute.  That widdle thumb and those tiny dimples get me every time.  But still.  It's cheesy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

An Evening of Kung Fu and Nachos

We're generally a little behind the times when it comes to seeing "new" movies.  We're rather frugal (read:  cheap), and movie viewing in a theater just isn't usually in the budget.

So, we rely on Netflix (streaming only) and the library to catch us up.

Most Sundays we spend the evening eating dinner in the living room and watching a movie.

This Sunday it was Kung Fu Panda 2 and nachos.

As you can see, the kids were riveted.

Riveted, that is, until one of them realized I had the camera out.  Fortunately I took the photo before the cheese came out.
   (I can't believe I don't have a picture of the cheese!  I'll have to rectify that...)

Sunday, January 22, 2012


When I came out of the bathroom from showering the other morning, this is what greeted me:

I knew one of them was there because I put him there.  The other one was a complete surprise.

And even though I know she's totally faking it, it's still sweet.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Getting It

Along with making granola, I've recently begun to make yogurt.

My mom makes it a lot, but I never liked it when I was younger.  It was plain and "lumpy" compared to store bought.

Now, however, I get it.

It's still plain and lumpy, but it's also thick and creamy.

And customizable.

My kids like it with vanilla extract and powdered sugar.  I like it with honey and granola.

I also like that I know exactly what's gone into it and that I made it.

I get it.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Hero

He is my superhero.  My protector.

He rescues me from monsters and bad cars.

  With his cape and monster tractor he chases them away and tells me I'm safe.

And after the monsters are gone and the bad cars vanquished, he looks up at me, holds his arms up high, and says, "Mommy, I want you."

Then it's my turn to be the hero.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I've been making my own granola for awhile now.

I normally use this recipe (I tweak it every time), but yesterday I used this one.

The jury is still out.  It has potential, but needs to be tweaked.  I like the ingredients in it, but it may need light molasses instead of the dark molasses I prefer.

That and my oven cooks hot, so I didn't adjust enough.  I'll give it another try, though.  Next week.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day On

Monday was supposed to be a day off, but ended up being a day on.

C had a dentist appointment, so I took both girls along to make an afternoon of it.

We went to the dentist, went out to lunch, and went to go paint our own pottery.

I told you she is obsessed.

And then we headed back to the dentist.

C had a cavity.  Another one.

It's such an embarrassing moment as a mom!  We take care of her teeth, she rarely gets sweets, and even more rarely gets soda.

Apparently, it just happens.


Then, it was home for 45 minutes before heading out again for an extra-long dance session for E.  Then, home again to finish making a late-for-us dinner.

Oh, and the things that didn't get done?  Baths, Cosby Show, etc. are now scheduled for tonight.

Fortunately, day on is now day over.


Monday, January 16, 2012


I love baking bread.

It was one of the many things that intimidated me, as far as cooking, when I first got married.

Over the years, I have slowly gotten past my intimidations, and have been baking my own bread for dinner quite often, now, for a couple of years.

I have 4-5 go-to recipes, depending on what else is for dinner, and this one is pretty close to making that list.

Homemade White Bread
from Cooking Light via My Recipes


  • package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups warm fat-free milk (100° to 110°)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine, melted
  • 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Cooking spray

  1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm milk in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in butter. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 4 1/4 cups flour and salt to yeast mixture; stir until blended. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).
  2. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. Punch dough down; let rest 5 minutes. Roll into a 14 x 7-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Roll up rectangle tightly, starting with a short edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam and ends to seal. Place roll, seam side down, in a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°.
  4. Uncover dough. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until loaf is browned on the bottom and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove loaf from pan, and cool on a wire rack.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I was craving chocolate BAD this week.

So, I whipped this up.

Chocolate almond bark-covered pretzels.


And so easy.

Melt almond bark in the microwave, add pretzels, mix up, spread out, let cool.

Again, yum.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

In the Middle

I love this girl.  She's my favorite middle child.

She's also a little bit weird at times.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Because I Was Told To

M loves it when I get out my camera.  In fact, he gets rather demanding.

He insisted I take some pictures of his "favorite" toys--"favorite" actually meaning "those within close proximity to him."

His John Deere tractor, minus a few key parts.

His Melissa and Doug steam roller.

Louis, the alligator. (Name that reference.)

The helicopter from his train set.  He used to call them hawcapooters (phonetic spelling).

And, once again, Finn McMissile.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I Spy

Talking about obsessions, this boy is all about all things Cars.

All things.

And Finn McMissile is his favorite.  

He goes everywhere with us: grocery shopping, car rides, walks.  
These two are pretty much inseparable.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Girl and Her Pig

This girl is obsessed with pigs.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012


M got this ginormous monstrosity of a train set for Christmas from his grandparents.

It reminds me of the island of Sodor:  it's a completely self-contained table with city folk, a construction site, a river, a tunnel, etc.

M plays with it daily.  Sometimes for hours on end.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Eegl Hant

This is what E made for Mr. Einstein for Christmas:

Yes, I know the spelling is atrocious.

BUT, she planned it, sewed it, and wrote it all by herself.

And it will always be treasured.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

All Boy

This little man is all boy.
(And "little" is a relative term: 90th percentile height.  Good grief!)

He loves trucks and trains and boats and construction vehicles and Cars.

We found a series on Netflix called All About (insert boats, helicopters, farm, etc.), and, obviously, it is his favorite series.

His absolute favorite in the whole cheesy series is All About Monster Trucks, as evidenced by his face.  He gets just a wee bit excited about watching it.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Going Green

We don't own many houseplants.

Well, many that have survived.

Between the cats and the kids, most of the reachable plants ended up shredded (and regurgitated) or picked bare.

We're good with cacti and actually had a hanging fern for a number of years, but the fern is no more.  So, off we went to wander around the store and home we came with a few new plants.  This one is in our bedroom:

It's a beauty, no?  I love having plants in the house.

Friday, January 6, 2012

What This Is

"What is this, mommy?
"It doesn't dig very good holes."
"What is this, mommy?
"Is it a sword to protect you?"
"What is this, mommy?
"Does it spin?"
"What is this, mommy?"
What it is is simply a boy having fun being a boy.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


During the last day of break, E was bored.  Bored.  Bo-red.  So, I relented and let her play on the iPad.

Know what game she chose?

Monopoly.  My almost-8 year old was playing Monopoly.

Almost-8.  Gah!   How did that happen?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Back to Normal

After two weeks off (split-week break, Wednesday to Wednesday), today will finally be looking more like this:

and less like this:

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view.