Friday, September 30, 2011

New Truck

video
Happiness.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

It's a Mystery


Whoooo could have been in the trash? Whooo could it have been?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Chat During Quiet Time

Iain, talking to himself:

Which treasure island are you going to?
We're going to the big one where all the treasure is.
It's behind the street.
And behind this big yellow thing.

Hmmm...I think this is one of those moments when Charles says, "That's your kid."

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Give it a minute.



Beautiful. Check 3:55, when he does the routine backward.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday Morning

UP, up, up this morning so we could race over to Liberty Park for a run/walk on behalf of the Cornelia de Lange Foundation.

We took a lap around the park (and were lapped by my students, running along at three times our pace), then played in the smaller playground. Finally, Grandma suggested a snack at Tulie.

Cafe au lait? Blueberry muffin? Steamed milk with vanilla for The Pasha? Yes, please.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Nightmares

No nap.

Epic fit at 530.

By 550, asleep at the foot of the Big Bed.

2am, here I come!!

Gah.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Gardener's Little Helper

I grew a cucumber. And nearly lost it.

How?

Iain and I spent a happy half hour outside, planting neglected grasses, watering (him), and harvesting a few tomatoes plus one ripe cuke.

At some point, Iain was wandering around the backyard with that cucumber, exclaiming that it would be good to eat. This is pure BS, of course, since he only eats fruit, dairy, and carbs. But I encourage admiration for vegetables.

That was an hour ago. Just now, I thought "Where's that cucumber?" Not in the yard. Not in his tool bag. Not hidden in the grill.

So I asked him. "I put it in the watering can so it could have a bath."

Oh, of course. And there it was, wet.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tragedy in the Land of Nod

Hubris. It'll get you every time.

Last night Iain fell asleep while we were walking him to the park. So we walked home. He crawled into bed (715) and we enjoyed our quiet evening.

Until, of course, about 230 am. At that point, he appeared and demanded Water! A Kleenex! Potty! His motorcycle! Snuggles!

This went on until 330. Then, at 430, he climbed into the Big Bed and elbowed his way into a spot. At 6 my alarm rang.

Woe. Woe is me.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Miracle Occurs: Child Sleeps

We've been fighting with Iain for months. The subject of our woe: bedtime.

Like every other kid in the history of mankind, Iain does not agree it's time for bed. Ever. Midnight? Too early!

When he was a baby (like, really a baby) we read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. It worked. At five months, Iain slept through the night and went down easy. In my arrogance, I read through the toddler sections (I couldn't imagine we'd ever get there), then gave the book away. Oops.

But when Charles said, "Maybe we should move up his bedtime," I remembered a critical passage. Weissbluth says that sometimes when parents complain that a toddler won't go to sleep he advises they move the bedtime up. That is: put that kid to bed earlier. Aha!

We also agreed, recently, to a campaign to abandon the board book. I recall listening to The Lord of the Rings around 5 or 6. If we're to achieve that level of listening, we need to start NOW. So I purged Iain's board books yesterday and last night Charles embarked on a read-a-palooza.

He started at about 715 with The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. By the 453rd hat (or so), Iain was asleep. ASLEEP! At 725!! And aside from a not very important episode of crawling into our bed to kick us (at 430am), he stayed asleep all night.

So tonight I put Day Two of Charles' plan into action.
  • 645 - bathtime
  • 700 - 3 Dr. Seuss stories (long ones)
  • 715 - Beatrix Potter ("The Tale of Tom Kitten," which is all about the riveting subject of getting your clothes dirty)
  • 725 - sleep. Seriously. Blissful, zonked-out, land of nod sleep.
I hardly know what to do with myself.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Did I Mention the Puff Pastry?

Browsing teh interwebs two weeks ago, Charles ran into these. They are puff pastry turnovers filled with Nutella and marshmallows. Yes.

Here's the recipe: get some puff pastry. Cut it into pieces. Put in a very small amount (we used Iain's baby spoons) of Nutella and 2 or 3 mini marshmallows. Fold over, seal, bake at 350 for 20 minutes or so. Melt into a puddle of delirious goo. Repeat.

Amazing.

In other news, today we signed Iain up for his first ski lessons. For five weeks next spring (when he's nearly 4), he'll spend the day learning to ski with a bunch of other small people. Our neighbor, George, runs the program and he told us all about their activities (playing on a firetruck! Meet the avalanche rescue dogs! etc.). So here's to Iain becoming a little snowhound like his parents.

We got season passes, too. Because...mmmm....snow....

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Bear Lake Raspberries

For the last few weeks of August, one stand at the Farmer's Market sold Bear Lake Raspberries. It was the picture of hilarious abundance: tons and tons of berries, obviously the product of a season in which all the berries ripened like a thunderclap.

They're gone now. But while they lasted? Fantastic. Mother made jam. I made raspberry ice cream. Iain doesn't care - he likes it all.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Spoonbread

I love corn. Corn pudding, corn on the cob, cornbread...it's all good. Charles even took me to the Spoonbread Festival when we first moved to Kentucky. That was a tad disappointing, but only because I'd imagined vast tubs of delicious spoonbread everywhere. Alas, no.

But now I can make my own! It turns out that my paternal grandmother's recipe is amazing, and I've got it because my dad kept a newspaper article for...50 years? That's him on the right, below:

Check out that perfect 50s family. The recipe, printed for the edification of the paper's readers, turns out to be easy, quick, and consistent. You can't ask for more than that.

7 ingredients, not counting hot water! And none of the ingredients is rare. All are probably sitting in your pantry or fridge right now.
Ingredients:
2 cups of boiling water
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoons sugar
1 Tablespoon butter
2 cups of milk (I used 2%)
2 eggs (whisked in a bowl)
2 teaspoons of baking powder

Directions:
  • Preheat to 400. Grease a baking dish (I use the Corningware casserole you see in the photo) generously.
  • Pour boiling water over the cornmeal and stir with a whisk to prevent lumps.
  • Add the salt, sugar, butter, and milk, keep stirring (this is like 30 seconds - fast!). Add the eggs.
  • Add the baking powder, stir it in, then pour the batter into the greased casserole.
  • Bake for about an hour, or until brown on top. It will look like a souffle (but not so tall) and will deflate a little as it sits. Mine tends to take 50 minutes, but my oven's a bit wonky. When it's golden, pull it out - trust your instincts.
That's it! And it's really delicious - savory and full of corn flavor. Like the best polenta, but so much easier.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

New Doors!

We replaced the basement door with a new glass door. It's amazing to have so much light downstairs during the day - but I keep walking past and thinking "Oh no! The door's open!"

On the landing, we replaced a mostly-solid door (it had a small fan light) with a three-quarter light. So now we can see into the yard and sunlight floods the stairway all afternoon.

So nice. If we can get the brick repointed and the front porch light replaced (in other words: put in an actual light fixture instead of a bare bulb), we'll have accomplished all our summer goals for the house. Whew!