Inspired by SouleMama.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Lately “snippet form” has been how we live and how I want to examine life. With three people whose ages added together STILL don’t equal 20, the day is just that: a bunch of snippets strung along like pony beads on elastic cording. I never know what I will be doing in five minutes, even if I’m doing something that should take 30, because… you just never know, as the great Oswald said. :) (For the record, as I’m sitting to finally hit ‘publish’ after proofing this post, it took me 4 hours of snippets here and there to just put together this mess!)
Cole and I had fun making Easter baskets with Dot Paints. He’s still not really very into organized crafts, though. He loves puzzles and his interactive books, though. Every morning when we drop off Carter at preschool, Cole and I sit at the table at “Carter’s school” and work a puzzle or two together. I feel like we should hustle out the door and let Carter have ‘his’ school to himself, but hopefully it’ll help Cole when it’s time for me to leave him there two mornings a week next fall. We’ll see!
Speaking of “Carter’s school,” they had an egg hunt on Friday, and Cole and I helped set up, then I got to watch the kids tear around searching for loot. Carter has eagle eyes, and found so many that he was given the ‘extra special job’ of re-hiding some so that the pokier kids had a chance.
He had as much fun rehiding eggs as anything. It was all part of the game to him.
Cole mostly blends in with the preK class because he’s so tall. It’ll be funny to see him with kids his age next year, he’s so much bigger than most 3 year olds.
Look who got a waffle maker! I made a double batch of whole grain batter so I could freeze the extras for breakfast during the week – this batter is light and fluffy because it has whipped egg whites folded in, and that is not weekday morning cooking in this house. Bunny can’t abide by a cold breakfast—cereal is a dessert or snack to her—but she is not so spoiled that I am spending an hour on breakfast on the average school morning. The recipe I used is in an old, out of print cookbook, and I adapted it to be partly whole grain anyway, so here:
Whole Wheat Waffles (1 batch)
2 eggs, separated
2 cups buttermilk (or, 2T vinegar with enough milk to make 2 cups)
1 c all purpose flour
1 c whole wheat flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 c butter or ‘buttery spread’, melted (or oil)
Heat waffle iron. In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and buttermilk, then add flour through salt and mix until smooth, then stir in butter. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and fold that into the batter. Bake in waffle iron according to instructions (different irons use more or less batter, time).
The kids loved the waffles, and a double batch made enough to freeze for probably 3 breakfasts. I toasted some today and, you can HAVE my Eggo, man. These rock.
I saw a tip a few weeks ago suggesting muffin tins for coloring eggs and we tried it out this weekend. Every year before I’ve used every cup and mug in the house and had a huge hassle with cleanup. I’m fully converted to this technique. Full-on, fully. :)
Watching eggs take on color… not as bad as watching paint dry, but still a little boring. Cole wandered off after 2 eggs (see: inattention to crafts, above).
I made most of the colors this year with food coloring and vinegar, and we all agreed the colors were a lot richer than the little tablets.
Our Easter morning tradition—aside from nibbling on chocolate bunny ears—is cocoa with a Peep on it. This year it was chocolate overload. Hopefully “EB” will bring the more colorful kind next year, as it was just a bit too much. I think, by the time it was cocoa time, the kids had consumed as much chocolate as the average Swiss citizen does annually, so maybe they were just ‘over’ the flavor. I tend to just let ‘em at it with regard to Easter goodies, to “get it over with”, and, go at it they did! I am sick of chocolate just from watching them ingest all that. Blech (and I love me some chocolate, too).
Easter dinner was dessert-free as a result. I had thought about making a lemon cream or meringue pie, but it seemed like too much by the end of the day. So, we had a feast of ham, fauxtatoes, greens, corn on the cob, artichoke hearts, deviled eggs, and a really yummy salad. It sounds like a lot, but really, I put the ham in the oven at 275 for a long time, and the rest was minimal work… okay, the eggs were time-consuming, but I made them so much earlier in the day that it didn’t feel like part of the work for dinner. :)
This little dude is in our thoughts as he undergoes a sleep study tonight to try to determine… why he doesn’t EVER sleep, among other things. Fingers crossed that an answer comes quickly, because I know he—and his MAMA!—need to sleep more than an hour here and there.
Hope you had a great weekend, and are having a great week, too.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Last weekend Bunny and I went to Camporee with our area’s Brownies. It was our third mother-daughter camping trip, and at this point, gathering our supplies came quickly. The only toughie was that our lanterns always seem to go missing because they’re too much fun to leave alone the rest of the year when we’re not camping. I’m certain half the hidden corners of our home have lanterns stashed away, because the number we can put hands on at any given point varies widely—except for the verboten emergency ones kept on a shelf in the garage.
We arrived Friday, checked in, set up, and headed to the mess hall to make our placemats. Since Bunny has not only camped here with me, but also gone to overnight camp at this GS camp, she felt very at home.
Her placemat this year was of a horse stable by the pond, with a palm tree where a sock monkey lives. She loves horses and sock monkeys, what can I say?
Our school’s troops—all three of ‘em—were assigned to Flicker campsite this time. It is right near the electrified bathroom, a good thing according to Bunny. It did make it easier to navigate at night, having a beacon. I kind of think the “Johnny Bathrooms” are cute, but they’re SO dark at night…
I’m on the lighter side of camping packing, so we set up quickly. I have to admit, the people who need to haul wagons full of stuff to camp out for 2 nights (with meals provided at the mess hall, even!) crack me up. Paul and I camped for over a month one summer, all over the summer, and even then we didn’t have as much stuff as some people brought with them for less than 48 hours. Diff’rent strokes, I guess. The important thing is, even the moms who make my eyes widen a little at their fussiness and general un-roughing-it-ness, DID take their girls out to the woods. :) It’s not a competition. We all love our girls.
I’m not going to say I got the best night’s sleep of my life on Friday, but it was not because I was uncomfortable. The cots are not bad, and, again, a lot more comfy than the ground, which I have slept on PLENTY. However, someone I know, whose name rhymes with funny, drank too much water and cocoa before bed and asked me to take her to the bathroom a couple of times. Oh well! At least it was pretty close, and it wasn’t the worst night’s sleep I ever had, either.
The next morning, the woods were gorgeous.
After breakfast, there was a sing-along, which, to Bunny, is just about the worst thing ever. I suggested a few times we go and see how it was, but she wanted to explore a little. She didn’t have to twist my arm too hard to get me to say yes.
Later in the day, Bun and her pal, Frieda, caught lizards and frogs here.
Bunny and a few of her buddies made this ‘fort’ in the woods near our tents… and she wanted to add to it. Impressive, no? ;)
We had four structured activities during the day, the first being a hike to Fern Canyon, which we’d done the prior year, too. Legend has it that fairies live here, and the girls always make and add to fairy houses. Bunny showed me where she’d built hers the summer before.
Later we did a different hike, practiced making emergency shelters, made leaf rubbings… but the girls were obsessed with these blue-bellied lizards.
All during Saturday and Sunday morning voices would all out, “Banana Slug!” and all the kids within earshot would scurry over to say ewww and yuck! I kept thinking they’d get used to the things, and eventually pass one without comment, but NOPE. Every. Single. Time.
Ew! That one is so skinny and long!
And on, and on, and on. Later in the day, it progressed to… kissing the slugs. Yep, just like true NorCal girls, most of them kissed slugs, egging each other on, and then daring each other to kiss them for as long as they could stand. I kissed it for 25 seconds! (Yuck.) These slugs have probably never been so happy to see people leave as they were when we packed up to go. You know, as much as slugs can be happy… :)
Saturday after dinner was skits, and this year Bunny agreed to participate! She was the ‘arms’ in that skit where two people stand so that the one in back’s arms appear to belong to the kid in front, and those crrr-azy arms just can’t behave while the person goes about washing their face, brushing their teeth, and, eating a snack. They brought down the house – it really is as funny as I recall from my camp days, when I also got to be the naughty arms messing up someone else’s face.
Bunny can become pretty anxious when many eyes are on her, so this was a major accomplishment for her, and I was relieved to see her proud of and happy with it.
After, yours truly made a nice fire, and everyone gathered ‘round to relax and watch the girls consume their weight in marshmallows and s’mores. I don’t pack so lightly that there’s not room for some s’mores makings.
The girls had a blast running around with their flashlights into the edge of the woods, playing their own games, and generally enjoying that outside after dark after normal bedtime fun that kids need from time to time.
The next morning, we broke camp early and had our own little tradition – breakfast in Santa Cruz at Cafe Brasil. I think Bunny was over loud mess halls and camp food, and we love ‘lady meals’ alone. It was a great way to end our mother daughter time before heading back to ‘the brothers’ and the everyday.
It’s so nice to get to spend this time with my Bunny as she grows and changes. Next year she’ll be a junior scout, and a full decade old. How’s that for crazy?!?
Friday, April 15, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Bunny-ball season has opened ‘round these here parts. Oddly, the ball has grown, upping the difficulty.
One Friday Paul grabbed a couple of beers from beer-thirty at work and brought them home to share one with me. We had 90 degree temps that day, so it was a Hoppy Ending to the day, indeed. How funny is that label, anyway?
Earlier that same day, the boys and I went early to surprise Bunny at Girls on the Run practice. They got bored of bothering her, and hit the playground a little, but mostly partook of the water fountain. It is a known fact water from a fountain is the sweetest, most refreshing you can find.
Cole tried his best to fill his camel hump, he guzzled so much, while Carter cooled off all over.
They played just a bit more after big sis was done, then we went home to get in the pool. I even got in – to my waist. I remember playing in the pool in the spring while it was being filled with well water from a hose and loving it, but my blood is too thin now. Brrr!
Young kids are such eager helpers. While their older sister is growing into pre-tween induced immunity to helpfulness, the boys insist on helping—whether I want it or not. It’s a challenge some days to include them. Misting the flowers and sweeping with kid-sized brooms keeps ‘em happy and feeling like they’re contributing while we parents wield loppers and the scary pruning shears.
There is nothing like a large box. Instead of the millions of toys they have, Santa really should just hang out by the loading dock at an appliance store and bring my kids big boxes. The kids have been playing with this one for a week, and it’s almost ready to be cut up for the recycling cart. They’ve been dragging every cushion and pillow they can find in to make a Napping House, where naps never seem to happen. It’s been making me crazy—the mess of half the house being pulled apart, the quarrels over whose house it is or isn’t… but to each kid’s life, a big box must come every once in a while.
Colored bubbles are really pretty and crazy-messy.
At least they’re washable.
“Bunny, don’t let your mom buy those again,” said Paul. ‘Cause he knows it was totally my idea to buy three bottles on a whim. I am a sucker for these kinds of things. :)
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Sure, we had light frost here the past two nights, but, the true harbinger of “warm weather time” has arrived!
Strawberry Lady came yesterday! I grabbed a half flat of some huge, juicy berries, and the kids immediately tucked into them.
Cole demolished a pint in no time flat, and half of them are Ghandi in under 24 hours.
(Yeah, as you can see, another sign of warm weather is upon us here, too. Cole, au naturel.)