Sunday, December 29, 2013

Be yourself

C and I were at Justice (the tween girl clothing store) a couple of days ago and spotted a pj top that says something like "Be yourself, but if you can be a unicorn, be a unicorn."

I really like that.  The graphic design was terrible, though.

Bike for me!

We're getting a bike for me so that I can ride with the big kids on campus!  (We had to get rid of my old bike when we moved to the duplex and didn't have a garage anymore.)

Friday, December 27, 2013


Here's some of what's happening:

  • Everybody has finished their antibiotics.  Yay!
  • I got C a Minecraft t-shirt on sale yesterday and she is thinking about sewing a stuffed creeper.  (The instructions are pretty funny, even to a non-aficionado like me.)  
  • D is very pleased with his big cardboard castle, I hear.
  • I think we are all stocked with enough dinner provisions to get us to Jan. 1, although I hesitate to say that.  During these long breaks when the cafeterias are closed, the struggle for survival (i.e. dinner) looms foremost in our minds.  (Imagine that said in a Werner Herzog voice.) 
  • I've done the new elliptical machine two times so far:  Christmas Day (25 minutes) and yesterday (30 minutes).  In the past, I've done a lot of walking and treadmilling, but my podiatrist is encouraging me to explore modes of activity that will be easier on my feet.  The elliptical was one of his recommendations.  It's HARD, but it is very efficient.  
  • I've finally started watching Parenthood,which all the cool kids started doing years ago.      

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve, as always, is very busy.  Today, we did last-minute grocery shopping, wrapped presents, decorated the tree and made a holiday dinner.  The big kids did the bulk of the tree decorating and as we've done the last few years, the big kids helped wrap gifts for other people.  My husband made a cheesecake (a sort of Eastern European-ish version made with ricotta and a shortbread crust) and grilled salmon on our George Foreman grill.  We also had sweet potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower, baby carrots and grape tomatoes.  The salmon cooks lightning fast on the grill and is OK.  (The grill is a bear to clean up, though.)

We opened presents and Baby T carried around the farm animal dishes she got from grandma.  I'm a little confused as to who gave us what and what was intended for whom, as everything comes from Amazon and there weren't a lot of gift notes, but I have some guesses.  We gave C a new bicycle and D got a Star Wars origami set from somebody as well as a cardboard castle play house.  I had gotten Baby T a lovely little red corduroy party dress from Old Navy and she toddled around in it while we opened gifts.  We also have a new red table cloth and matching napkins, which is very bright and Christmasy.

After gifts, we had cheesecake topped with cherry pie filling.  The recipe has a lot of eggs in it, and so with one thing and another, it actually tastes a lot like yellow cake or bread pudding.  It is very good, but it isn't what we think of as "cheesecake."  Baby T had some, and she was licking the crumbs off her fingers.    

So tired!

OK visitors

We just had a visit from some friends of the blog this Sunday and Monday.  It's a family with six kids ages 11 on down to an infant and currently living in OK.  We played at home, had dinner at Panera's, came back home and made cookie houses.

Cookie houses are a Christmas tradition in our family.  We did one several years ago, based on a recipe in an old-time kids' cookbook (gifted, coincidentally by that very same family years ago), and C decided from that point that that was our Christmas tradition.  We have done cookie houses every year since, occasionally with visiting kids.  This year's cookie houses were constructed with chocolate-flavored wafer cookies (always a good brick substitute) stuck together with cream cheese frosting (store-bought).  We also had Fig Newtons (excellent roof tiles), Oreos, green-frosted sugar cookie trees for landscaping, animal crackers and spicy gum drops (good for chimneys).  D built a cookie castle.  One of our visitors built something reminiscent of Falling Water and a consortium of bigger girls cooperated on a larger building, but struggled with the engineering problem of how to put a roof on it.

In the morning, we met our friends at the children's museum and did the bulk of the exhibits.  Then we had lunch (good, but terribly served) at a Thai restaurant downtown, saw a historic bridge downtown and didn't fall into the river.

Have a good trip!    

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Baby T's doings

I forgot to mention what Baby T is up to:

  • Baby T has been enjoying her stacking cups.
  • She loves Are You My Mother?
  • We believe that she yanks at her diaper when it's time for a change.
  • Looking at her old photos from the past year, it's obvious that as a toddler, she's lost a lot of her old infant pudge.
  • Baby T has been enjoying sitting on and riding C's huge stuffed horse.

Hello, strangers!

Sorry for disappearing.  Here's some of what's happening:

  • I went on antibiotics Wednesday, my husband went on antibiotics Friday, we pulled C from her play Friday night, C saw the doctor Saturday, and by Monday both she and Baby T were on antibiotics, too.  C tested positive for strep and Baby T didn't, but they are both on antibiotics, just in case.  This is C's last week of school, and it looks like she is going to miss 3 days out of 4.5.  All of us who are on antibiotics are presumably safe now.  D is the only one who hasn't gotten sick, though, and I wonder when that shoe is going to drop.
  • My husband did our photobook all by himself!  He sorted through about 3,000 photographs from this year to do the book.  A disproportionate number of them were of one small individual.
  • Campus is starting to close down.
  • We're on track to do a very, very basic Christmas.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


After a number of months of sitting in big lumps under Baby T's gums, her molars are finally starting to emerge.  The past couple days, I've been feeling little points poking through her gums.  This is good news, as her teething may be over soon (at least for the moment), but the bad news is that brushing her teeth is going to be more of a chore.  She's lately gotten very bite-y when I try to clean her teeth with the little rubber toothbrush that you wear on your finger.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Water Park

We just bought four (FOUR!) season passes to our local water park for next summer.  We'll get probably 8 buddy passes for friends, plus various coupons.  Yay!  It will be tricky running around with Baby T at the park, but we are also plotting to do a date or two at the water park, minus our adorable children.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cell phone?

My husband notes that Baby T was walking around holding a LEGO pressed to her ear in a manner very reminiscent of a cell phone user.  We're not totally sure (she's not "talking" into it) but if that is what she's doing, it's so cute!

Poor Baby T has a cold right now.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


We are just finishing up Thanksgiving break.  Here are some notes:

  • We had store-cooked turkey breast, cornbread stuffing from box mix, totally homemade cranberry sauce (very easy--boil water and sugar and add cranberries), microwaved sweet potatoes, probably some other veggie and a store pecan tart.  It was great and lasted us two meals.  Baby T slept through Thanksgiving dinner, but enjoyed all of the less sweet and less messy items.  She's eaten a lot of our break dinners right along side us.  
  • The fridge stopped working Thanksgiving morning, but turned on when we followed our home sellers parting advice to turn it off and on.  We were this close to buying a new fridge on Black Friday, but will wait until the next event.
  • D, Baby T and I met some friends at the zoo and I got sent home with a box of homemade meatballs.  Yum!
  • We had crepes, cheese filling, cherry pie filling and fresh strawberries on Saturday.  Yum!
  • Baby T has had a little temperature and a runny nose.  Poor Baby T!
  • Without planning to, we wound up doing the Black Friday thing.  It was OK--no trampling at all, and a reasonable selection.  We got D his long-awaited bike and C had a little spree in the flannel section at Joann's.  I don't know what she's going to do with it, but she's got a very pretty pink satin along with a matching pink zebra stripe.   
  • C snookered me into revealing her Christmas gift from us (a bicycle).  Apparently, hollow core doors aren't quite thick enough to prevent an inquisitive 6th grader on the other side from hearing me attempting to whisper the news to an elderly relative on the phone.    
  • The reason why we're finding ourselves buying two bikes is that 1) both kids have outgrown theirs and 2) the two old bikes spent a year out on a balcony and are in poor shape.  
  • I am plotting various social events.

Good news/Bad news

Good news:  Baby T can drink from a normal cup!

Bad news:  She was drinking her soapy bath water from a stacking bath cup.

Time to declutter!

I was just prowling the Dallas Craigslist and came across an ad for a 48-piece set of Blue Willow for $250.  "Bought new in 1967 but has never been used."  46 years, people!