Tuesday, February 26, 2013


At dinner tonight at the cafeteria, I saw a young woman wearing a t-shirt from a crawfish boil party.  The t-shirt featured a cheerful crawfish reclining in a pot, as if in a jacuzzi.

Tuesday update

Here's some of what's happening:

  • D's been going to speech therapy for a few weeks and his stutter is clearing up.
  • Baby T can remain sitting quite a while if you place her in a sitting position.
  • Baby T has been turning her crib aquarium off and on.
  • D is hard at work on his Egypt report for history fair.
  • C is very fond of Baby T and was thanking me for her this evening.  

Monday, February 25, 2013

Great moments in parenting

I just saw homeopathic teething medication in the baby aisle at the grocery store.  Oh my goodness.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Instructable doughnuts

Here's the Instructables recipe my husband and C used for oven doughnuts.  They made apple doughnuts, chocolate chip doughnuts and Nutella-filled doughnuts.


Here's some of what's happening:

  • D and I went to church with Baby T (C was feeling poorly).  We had lunch at the cafeteria, along with apparently hundreds of choir kids.  On our return, we found that my husband and C had been making filled donuts.  We will see how that turns out.
  • D wants to know why the heart is on the left side.
  • D is good at playing peekaboo with Baby T.
  • I have been finding Baby T's musical aquarium on in the morning.  Everybody denies turning it on.  It seems that Baby T must be the person responsible.  Good job, Baby T!
  • My husband reports that Baby T is beginning to creep and rotate a bit.  She is getting better and better at sitting while somewhat supported.  She still can't flip over.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

15 pounds, 4 ounces

Here's some of what's happening:

  • The history fair approaches...
  • Baby T saw the pediatrician for her 4 month visit yesterday.  She is 24 and 3/4 inches long (60th percentile) and 15 pounds 4 ounces (75th percentile).  She has hit all of her developmental goals except rolling over.
  • Since Baby T has been managing to free her arms from the SwaddleMe by morning, we are attempting to have her sleep at night in a sleep sack.  She doesn't fall instantly asleep the way she does in the SwaddleMe, but there have been no serious complaints yet.  She has the Ocean Wonders Aquarium in her crib.  It plays music, bubbles and a soft blue light and has seaweed and the fishy undulate for 18 minutes.  
  • I talked to the pediatrician about feeding.  The order of introducing foods is much more relaxed than when C was an infant.  However, they would prefer no solids besides rice cereal before six months.  I plan to get out the high chair and start rice cereal at 5 or 5.5 months.   

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Here's some of what's happening:

  • My husband has been in Toronto for a conference and we expect him home very soon tonight after some weather delays and a very tight airport connection.
  • I've been home with the three kids for the past four days (since Thursday), feeling occasionally a bit like Custer at the Little Bighorn.  
  • We went to Mass at the student Catholic center this morning and there was a nice brunch afterward, cooked by the retreat staff.
  • Later in the day, we all went to Rise of the Guardians.  The filmmakers owe an awful lot to Terry Pratchett's Hogfather, in my humble opinion.  

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Horses and robots

Here's some of what has been happening:

  • C had her riding lesson at the ranch this afternoon.  Interestingly, it seems that D may be eligible for their summer horse camp, if there is a horse camp this summer.
  • C will be learning to canter soon!
  • C has been assigned a retired competitive dressage horse for the term!  (She's a Russian warm blood from Ukraine.) 
  • C has been sewing a menagerie of tiny felt animals for Baby T to enjoy (under supervision, of course).   
  • We grabbed a flying lunch at a deli after C's lesson and met some friends at the children's museum.  We did the robot exhibit, pioneer room, water room, magnetic/electrical room, etc.  Then we went to dinner all together at the cafeteria.  
  • D told me he had a very good day.  That's nice, as D often says gloomily of long-anticipated activities, "That wasn't as much fun as I expected."   

Friday, February 15, 2013


The soft pretzels turned out fine, even with the unnecessary addition of egg white to the bread machine.  The bread machine prepared the dough (90 minutes), C and D rolled the dough out into ropes and then formed them into small pretzels.  I let the pretzels sit and get puffy and simmered them briefly in hot water and baking soda.  C brushed the pretzels with egg white and then she coated 4 with sesame seeds and D coated 4 with salt (table salt, since we didn't have kosher salt) and we baked them.  I did several cinnamon sugar ones as well.  I didn't have butter, so I microwaved cream cheese, dipped the baked pretzels in the cream cheese and then rolled them in cinnamon sugar.

We ate a bunch of them and then froze the rest.

It seems to me that we should be able to make bagels without too much fuss--the technique is somewhat similar.  (I once made a batch of bagels in Russia, but I wasn't crazy about the results.)


Here's some of what's happening:

  • I am this close to shutting down comments, as the spam comments now outnumber legitimate comments (love you guys!) by something like 50 to 1.  I just deleted a spam comment where the fake commentor was commiserating and asking if I had a spam problem and what my thoughts were on the problem.  
  • The kids and I are attempting to make pretzels this afternoon from a bread machine recipe.  The bad news is that I didn't read the recipe carefully enough and wound up putting the egg whites into the machine, rather than using the egg whites on the pretzels before baking.  Oops.  We'll see how that turns out.   
  • Baby T is getting better and better at supported sitting. 
  • Baby T has become a zealous thumb sucker.  
  • The kids have a four day weekend.
  • C has been sewing tiny felt animals for Baby T.  (I have explained that Baby T should not be left alone with them, but it's OK to amuse her with them.) 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Betty Friedan and the internet

I started reading this article on The Feminine Mystique and had to stop and blog the following sentence:

Was the problem that had no name possibly the lack of Wi-Fi?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Preparing for Valentine's Day

Here's some of what's happening:

  • The kids have been working on their valentines.  C is doing origami valentines with a candy inside.
  • I love the new candy valentines where you get a mini-Twix, Snickers, or M & M and there's a "to" and a "from" blank on the candy wrapper itself.  This is a product I was waiting for!
  • That said, the execution needs work.  Some of the candy wrappers were so dark that the black Sharpie ink I used would have been almost invisible.  Also, a standard pen really doesn't write well on a mini-Snickers--it really does have to be a Sharpie.    
  • C loves holding Baby T and wanted to hear what her next developmental stages would be.  C is Baby T's biggest fan.  
  • Baby T was feeding very frequently last night.  She'll be 4 months old very soon, which is the generally accepted minimum for introducing solids.  I'd been planning to wait until 5 months to start solids (the pediatrician suggested 6), but if Baby T continues to be so hungry, we may start earlier.  The high chair awaits!
  • Baby T can sit for a few seconds unsupported, if we put her into the correct position.  Her upper body control is getting better and better.   
  • My husband has converted the Pack N Play from bassinet to playpen.
  • Baby T has grown out of a number of her 3-6 month outfits and is starting to wear a few 6-9 month items.    

Sunday, February 3, 2013


Here's some of what's happening:

  • I took all three kids to a new robotics exhibit.  C was annoyed by a show-off puzzle-solving robot (visitors were challenged to race against it).  Both kids waited patiently in line and got to operate a robotic arm that ran up and down a pole and grasped and manipulated bottles and balls.
  • We are scheming to figure out how to get the kids onto the college ropes course.  If it turns out to be the sort of thing they like, we may do a birthday party out there some day.  
  • We are trying to figure out our West Coast travel.  Our options are 1) C, Baby T and I go to Washington over spring break or 2) We piggyback on a conference in Victoria, BC in the early summer and some assortment of us goes to Canada.  It's starting to look like we'll be doing 2.  Pros:  a) better weather later in the year b) fun location.  Cons:  a) Baby T may have trouble sleeping on the road at that age b) we'll have just moved.
  • Baby T is about 14 pounds as of today.  
  • I opened a box of old baby clothes and laundered and put away some 12 month outfits for Baby T this afternoon.  It's always very exciting to crack open an old box of clothes to see what the 2006 me sent the 2013 me--it's a sort of short-term time capsule.  Also, I get a lot of enjoyment out of playing dress-up with Baby T.  
  • C was very affectionate with Baby T when she got to hold her in church this morning.
  • My husband took the kids rollerskating today.

Friday, February 1, 2013


Here's some of what's happening:

  • C was sick and out of school 3 days last week.  Then D missed Monday through Thursday this week,  spiking a 104 degree temperature.  He eventually got better.  He had to be in "self-care" for much of it, as Baby T shouldn't be exposed to any unnecessary germs.
  • Today was my first school day in a long time with no sick child at home.  I'm a bit hoarse and sniffly myself, though.  
  • A series of diaper explosions has convinced me that we need to stick to name brand diapers.
  • My husband and I organized our first board game club in a very long time today (I don't think we did it at all last year).  We did Jungle (AKA Dou Shou Qi  ("Game of Fighting Animals"), AKA animal chess).  I was largely occupied with dealing with an exploded diaper (note to self--carry more plastic bags in future) and feeding Baby T.  There was a total of 8 children, my husband and I, and two other moms.  The kids played Jungle, standard chess, and a Mario Brothers (!) version of chess.  The latter was very popular, by the way.  I had sent in a roster of children to the office, but we wound up with two no-shows and three walk-ons.