Monday, February 28, 2011

Call me Job

I cut my finger.

I was making croutons.

You can buy bread here that's made by hand, from Utah-grown wheat. No lie. And you can buy it in the regular grocery. And it's very, very good.

So I had about half a loaf and no plans to eat it. Obvy: croutons.

[You cut them into big dice. You throw them into a plastic bag, then drizzle in olive oil, zip shut and toss around a bit. Spread them on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with kosher salt and garlic powder and bake in a hot oven (425?) for 8 or 10 minutes, shaking halfway through. Yum!)

But my serrated knife wanted to take a bite. Out of me.

And now I can point my left forefinger and know it's clad in a beautiful, thick, taupe band-aid. Joy.

It throbs.

Hence the wee dram I had.

More? Maybe.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ah, Sunday

A week or so ago, Iain decided he wanted to take a late night walk. In the snow. With Daddy.

Remember his utter, total, complete refusal to wear his snow boots? We figured this was our out. "OK, you can go for a walk in the snow, but you have to put on your boots and coat and hat and mittens." "Ok!"


So he piled on the gear (over his jammies - it was 8:15!) and out they went. All the way down the block, to the corner and back. When they walked back up the steps Iain had a pile of snow on his head and shoulders.

It was magical.

Not so magical? Today's temper tantrum. But it was only a sign of fatigue. He's currently sacked out on the Big Bed, snoring away like his favorite steam train.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Building a Castle

Iain had no school Monday. Or Tuesday. We had to entertain him for 4 whole days. It was a challenge. So in addition to the soccer/bowling we built a castle.

It had turrets. And arches. And arches on top of arches. We like arches.

Iain decided to populate his castle. Who are the inhabitants? Oh...

Sharks, whales, walruses, seals, and dolphins. I guess it's an underwater castle.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fizzy Water Bowling Championship, 2011

I have no life. Proof: I spent the last 2 months collecting my empty fizzy water bottles so Iain and I could bowl.

First you have to get the dog out of the way, though. He and Juno (not pictured due to age and infirmity) were fascinated by the whole setup.

Then, you carefully place the ball and prepare to kick. It's ok to wear socks because you're only kicking the ball about 8 feet. Also, in any house with dogs it's best to wear socks. Ahem.

Success! Iain wins the Fizzy Water Bowling Championship of the World! (or, at least, of eastern Salt Lake City!).

[He loved this. But he's not so good at setting the pins up, so he got to do all the kicking and I acted as his servant. As usual.]

Monday, February 21, 2011

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

When Iain doesn't want to watch a movie, he likes to yell, "It's Bruined!"

Uh, ruined. Unless he means that it's covered in blue and gold, is hilly, and likes to play in the Rose Bowl.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


1. Snowboarders are nuts.

2. What if snow movies had better photography?

Check it out.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

"Quiet" Time

Iain at school, apparently being crowned King of Mardi Gras. Or something.

An hour ago:

"How's quiet time going?"
"Wonderful! I'm reading."
"Oh. Did you poop?"
"Would you like a clean diaper?"
[Very Firmly] "No."

Just now, audible in the dining room: "I LIKE BUNNIES!!!"

As a friend wrote to me last month, "Toddlers. They are the masters of the random."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Headlamp Madness

Last week a crazy windstorm knocked out our power for an hour or so. It was dinnertime, and just-got-home-from-school time, so we had to make do.

Iain was totally fascinated by the idea that we couldn't turn on the lights. He kept saying, "Hey! Turn on the lights!" and we'd say, "We can't" and he'd look at us as if to say, "Whaaa?"

I needed to cook dinner. We have a gas cooktop, so as long as we used a lighter, we could still make supper. Charles fetched a headlamp for me to use, and when Iain saw it: magic. He had to have one of his own.

Imagine the fun. He ran around watching the only light in the house flash in front of him. The idea of having a "torch" on his head was delightful, I guess.

And then the lights came back on. Game over. Boo.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


We mentioned how tall he is, right? February 5, 39.5 inches.

From our house, you can be at Alta in 40 minutes. Door to door, skis on, slide down the slope toward the lift.

And, if you're me, fall flat on your butt. I've done this both times we've skied Alta, so I think it qualifies as a tradition.

Anyway, today I visited Iain for lunch (they made Stone Soup so I had to go up and sample it), then headed back to school, then home for my lunch, then into our gear, then back out to ski.

It was a funny day. For one thing, a small person (5 years old, 30 lbs) body checked me. Twice. The first time I recovered. Charles said, "That kid nearly ran you over!"

The second time he ran me over.

But it was fine. No harm, no foul. And as his father pointed out, he hardly weighs anything.

So that was fun.

After four (free!)* runs, we stripped off all that gear (boots, skis, poles, helmets, gloves, jackets, goggles...) into the trunk. I had just popped my baseball cap on my sweaty head when Charles looked at his left hand and gasped.

Uh, oh. No ring.

No ring in gloves, no ring in trunk, no ring in boots, in goggles, in helmet, on ground, in snow. No ring anywhere. He talked to Lost and Found, he filed a missing item report, he was pretty upset.

And then we took one last look at our parking space. There it was. A passing stranger gave us a high-five when we snatched it up and exclaimed "Wedding Ring!!!"

*After 3 Free at Alta!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Snow, Beautiful Snow! (and 57 degrees!)

I love me some ski resort. And on a sunny day? Perfection.

So we took Iain up to Snowbird on Saturday. My students were ski racing, and we wanted to watch. Plus, one of my students gave me a cowbell to ring as the others came down the hill.

Apparently, in ski racing, having someone ring a cowbell is very, very embarrassing. So you can see why she wanted me to do it.

Iain wasn't 100% keen on standing around in the snow for 3 hours, but he liked having his snack outside, and he liked the fire pit, and he liked it when the girls flirted with him. Did he flirt back? No. But I figure he's got time to figure that out.

So we gave him the bell and held him up to see as the racers shot down the mountain. His bell-ringing skills are still developing. But he liked it, and my students liked that he was there.

This is the view as you head down the canyon toward the city. Seriously. Yep. No, really.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

French Toast! And Stats

On Wednesday, we made an enormous supper for our friends Kate and Molly. We served French toast (made with challah), scrambled eggs, roasted hashbrowns, a huge fruit plate (strawberries, grapes, kiwi and dates), and - of course - BACON. Mmmmm...bacon.

Anyway, the recipe came from Orangette. If you haven't already, you might check out her blog. It updates only occasionally, but always thoughtfully. And her book, A Homemade Life, is the source of this recipe. It was her father's.

In other news, Iain had his first checkup with the new pediatrician yesterday. At 2 years and 10 months, he's 34.8 lbs. and 39.5 inches high. Folk legend says that one's adult height is twice the height at 3 years old. So if Iain makes that next half inch, he'll be 40 inches at 3. That's 80 inches at maturity. Or...6'8" tall.

Time for some stunting, I think.

Recipe for Burg's French Toast (Burg was Molly Wizenberg's father, and he is lovingly described in her book).

3 large eggs
1 cup of whole milk (we used 2%)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
A pinch of freshly-ground nutmeg

Canola oil

6-8 slices of day-old bread, cut on the diagonal, about 3/4 inch thick (We used challah and would certainly use brioche. She recommends French bread, too.)

Maple syrup or powdered sugar (Or both! If you're decadent like we are.)

Mix up the first 5 ingredients with a whisk. Pour into a flattish pan (I used my 9x13 Pyrex baking dish).

Heat a large skillet (we used our cast iron skillet and it was great) over medium high heat. Add enough oil to completely coat the bottom (as in: pour it and don't touch the pan. If there's enough oil for it to spread to the edge, that's enough. Do not tip the pan to make it reach - not enough). Heat until the oil is pretty hot - you test this by flicking a little of the milk mixture into the pan. If it sizzles, it's right.

Soak two or 3 slices (depending on your pan size and bread size - ours were modest sized slices) into the milk mixture. Soak 30 seconds to one minute, then flip and soak the other side the same. They'll feel heavy. And BTW, if your bread isn't very stale, you can slice and leave it out for an hour or two and it will get stale enough.

Lift the slices into the hot oil with tongs. Fry 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown (and they get sort of firm on the outside). Turn them over and fry another 1-2 minutes. Lift out and place on something where they can drain (I used my cake rack over a dish towel).

Once set up, this was fast, easy, and reallytrulydelicious. It was also my first time making French toast, so there was plenty of room for disaster. But no. Success on the first try.

Thanks, Orangette.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Intrepid Adventurer Dr. X!

Psst! Dad. DAD! Look what's up here! Me!

I'm climbing the mountain. And I have only one oxygen tank left to reach the summit. The snow's blowing and my companions have given up. They lie, gasping, along the trail below me.

Haha! Triumph! Watch as I sprint toward the finish - and to glory! The first toddler ever to reach the peak of Mt. Imagination, I dedicate this achievement to my favorite Backyardigan, Tyrone.

Time for snack.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


Oh, hai. I like to slide.

Hellooooo! Are you down there, Daddy? Ok, I'm coming down, ready or not.

Whee! Whazam!

Zing! Pow!

That was awesome! Let's do it again. And again. AND AGAIN!!!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Never a Dull Moment

Yesterday, it was gorgeous, sunny, and warm enough for a trip to the park. More park pictures to come. But for now: let's just say that the weather changed.

When I left to fetch Iain from school, the cold rain I'd seen from my window was just beginning to change into snow. Then the wind started blowing. By the time I reached him, the thick, gloppy snow clumps clogged my windshield wipers and slipped under my boots. Great.

Thanks to his Dad, Iain had a rain jacket. It was perfect for repelling the nasty, blowing wind. But it couldn't keep the icy snow out of his eyes, and the wind could not be avoided. I finally had to pick him up and run for the Jeep. Once there, we found that the gusts made it nearly impossible to open the doors - ultimately Iain was yelling for me to get the car open while I slithered around trying to wedge myself into the door.

I plopped him into his carseat and we both sat there for a minute, soaked and chilled and a bit gobsmacked. Then my glasses fogged.

In the end, our trip down the hill wasn't so bad. Four-wheel drive helped.

Then the phone rang. Charles: the power's out. Me: Oh. Charles: you won't be able to get the garage open. Me: Oh.

Iain thought the whole thing was fun. He kept saying, "Turn on the lights!" At one point he even moved a chair against the wall so he could climb up and flick the switch. No dice, little dude. He ate supper by candle light, and learned the joy of running around in the dark with a headlamp on his (enormous!) noggin.

Just as Charles began to light a bowl of floating candles for a romantic dinner (boiled potstickers and miso soup) the electricity returned. Now we can resume our normal evening of watching videos, playing with our computers, and tickling Iain.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Am I the Monkey You Seek?

Brando - is this your heart's desire? Yes, he's sitting on the cooktop. What? The vent keeps his monkey butt cool. Anyway, drop us a line.

Expanding Your Vocabulary for Fun and Profit

Iain's finally getting his heart's desire: an episode of The Backyardigans.

Which one?

"Ummm...I just can't besides!"

Friday, February 04, 2011

Carousel Madness

Our last trip to the zoo (last weekend) was the first trip without the BOB. Totally ambulatory, that's us. So to celebrate, Mom and Dad rode the carousel with The Pasha.

The Dad helped stabilize things, so Iain wouldn't freak out when the ride started (as he has done before).

His trusty steed. Note the praying mantis behind the bear. We rode the bear. Someone deeply, deeply odd might want to ride that huge, horrifying insect, but...not me. Ever.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

This Morning

Iain, coming down the stairs to his classroom: "I think it's time for cake!"
Mommy: "Honey, you can't have cake every day. But this afternoon you'll be making banana bread with the extended-day group."
[Enter classroom. They are having snack.]

Teacher: "Hi, Iain! Would you like some cake? It's Chinese New Year and we have cake in celebration!"
Mommy: "Oh."

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Marathon, mile 10

Tonight I am at school. It's the second day of what promises to be quite an end to the week. Yesterday, we had a nice, long faculty meeting. Tonight it's an Open House for prospective parents (I'm talking about witches! Because, hey - witches!). Tomorrow: parent/teacher conferences. Friday brings more of the same.

I like all those things. But I guess I didn't imagine what it would be like to do them all back to back. Whew!

Did I mention that I made a lemon cake and a dozen cupcakes last night? Yeah.