Tuesday, November 29, 2011


This evening I was reading a story to my darlings as they were perched on my lap. The eldest was trying to get comfortable on one leg, complaining that it was too soft, while the baby, on my other leg, was pushing the open book with her feet and covering the words as I was trying to read them. Then the other one grabbed the baby's legs, and was moving around again trying to get comfortable on mama's 'soft and squishy' leg. I can't imagine life any other way - squishy mama bathing them, reading to them and putting them to bed (with skinny dad).
How frazzled I feel. I'm a frumpy Grump and tired. And soft in the middle. But I enjoy every tired moment reading to my two peanuts. Mom-hood is such a wonderful thing.
Hey Hey, We're the Monkeys!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Shrinking My Sweaters

Well, you can guess from the title, that there's a story here. I don't have a lot of sweaters, and the few I have I wear with pride. This story is about two sweaters, both gifts from Paul and both from Anthropologie. It was about 2 days ago when Paul held up my favorite blue hooded sweater and looked at me. He had a serious look but when I grinned and said "on no", he smiled and shrugged his shoulders.
From size M women's to size 4 toddler's...
You see, wool doesn't dry without shrinking. My daughter said, "mama, it's like a shrinky dink. Right mama?" We had just finished an art project consisting of shrinky dinks, and so she was now a pro.
Well, yes, I guess it was. My favorite wool sweater now fits my 4 year old. So, I told her, she got a brand new sweater. But I said it with a somber voice. Suddenly, my emotional little girl just started crying because she was sad for me. She was consoling me in between sobs, but I began to really console her and tell her not to be sad for me.
After all, it happened two years ago, too! Paul felt so bad, he bought me another one. So now I need to find another blue one!
Now we have twin sweaters, my eldest daughter and I!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Silhouette Art

Silhouette art is such a creative and delicate form of art, and it harkens to my childhood. In fact, I wonder where the framed silhouettes of my siblings are that used to be on a wall at my parents.

Karl Johnson is a 3rd generation silhouette artist. I was watching him cutting with his entire arm (and shoulders) a silhouette of my child faster than I could cut out a basic paper heart (not kidding). http://www.mygreenlake.com/2011/11/silhouette-artist-karl-johnson/
 The results are stunning... Can you tell these are my children?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Monkey Business

Monkey 2
I had an absolutely hilarious moment I thought I'd write about. Although one part of it is sort of embarrassing, it's pretty funny.

Here goes the TMI: My morning ritual begins with Monkey 1 pattering into our room between 6 and 7, and either Paul or I getting Monkey 2 in her room. Meanwhile, I get followed into the bathroom by one dog and two kids. Our sliding door is always open and I can watch Lily when she's stumbling along. Usually I play peek a boo and she comes toward me with a big smile. This time I was taking a little longer and kept peeking around the doorway, but I realized she wasn't right outside. She was at my night table but now walking, no running toward me with my large full glass of water in her little pudgy hand. Her little fingers barely held on to the rim and she was so proud of herself as she was trying to run, teetering and smiling at me. I was up and off the toilet so fast, racing toward her in what felt like slow motion, and just barely got to the glass before it spilled all over the floor. She just smiled somemore and was off looking to grab the next thing.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Autumn Comfort Food

One of my previous entries was about staples. Well, actually it was about a restaurant called Staple and Fancy. This entry is about staple and homely. There is nothing like pairing pumpkin with an old homely staple in our house. Staple that is, since children entered the picture. Homely that is, since I make it that way. Mac n Cheese and pumpkin, please? Glenna sent me a fail-safe recipe. I altered it ever-so-slightly based on what I could find in the fridge and cupboard. It was a hit! By the way, Paul still added more flavor to it after he got home. That's what he does... Sorry folks, I didn't add bacon, which Paul considers a spice. But I bet foraged mushrooms such as Chanterelles would have been fabulous. Paul bought an entire box from a friend who works at Whole Foods. Here's a tip: Don't try to pair it with a German Gew├╝rtztraminer which was all that was open in the fridge. In fact, don't ever buy a Gew├╝rtztraminer! Torsten's theory is that Germans export it so they don't have to drink it. (I agree!)

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
·       2 cups dried elbow macaroni (8 ounces) I used rigatoni.
·       2 Tbsp. butter
·       2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
·       1/2 tsp. salt
·       1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
·       1 cup whipping cream I used half & half·       1 cup whole milk I used skim milk
·       4 oz. Fontina cheese, shredded (1 cup) I used Quattro Frommagio
·       1 15-oz. can pumpkin
·       1 Tbsp. snipped fresh sage or 1/2 tsp. dried leaf sage, crushed I used Herbes de Provence
·       1/2 cup soft bread crumbs I used Panko·       1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
·       1/3 cup chopped walnuts I omitted these (Lily is still too young)
·       1 Tbsp. olive oil
·       Sage leaves (optional) I didn't have sage!

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta in a large pot following package directions. Drain cooked pasta, then return to pot.
2. For cheese sauce, in a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Add whipping cream and milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in cheese, pumpkin, and sage until cheese is melted. Stir cheese sauce into pasta to coat. Transfer macaroni and cheese to an ungreased 2-quart rectangular baking dish.
3. In a small bowl combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, walnuts, and oil; sprinkle over pasta. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until bubbly and top is golden. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. If desired, sprinkle with sage leaves.