Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas tree

Molly talked me into setting up our Christmas tree today. 

According to the date on the box, this tree is now 10 years old. I got it on Black Friday in 2002 on impulse to decorate our old apartment. It has become a tradition to unwrap the box and assemble it, matching the letters to the right levels, jiggling the little metal hooks into the trunk, opening out the bendable branches. It's really horrible --not exactly a walk through a snowy tree farm to cut our own -- yet a tradition nonetheless.

This is the first year Molly has been able to help me jiggle in the metal hooks to put the branches on. Just like in the olden days, right? She was also able to help with the lights. Voila!

Kate missed the fun because she was napping. That's OK. Kate makes her own fun.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


This year we are thankful to not have to travel for the holidays. Jim and I figured out that we have driven to Rochester for Thanksgiving every year since we were in high school. What a relief to be home.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Birthday happiness

What a lovely day it has been! My birthday morning started early, as usual, cuddling Kate in the dark on the couch just after 5 a.m. The treat today was that she fell back asleep and we dozed together until 6:45!!! Nobody in this house ever sleeps that late.

The double treat there is that Kate woke up in a fabulous mood. She led my by the finger into the kitchen where Jim was making us all oatmeal and Molly gave me a big hug, dressed in full ballerina costume. I think she was more excited about my birthday today than anybody. She gave me a card she had just made in the wee hours of the morning while everybody else was asleep. She even chose my favorite color for the paper and sounded out all the words herself. :)

We drove over to my mom's to clean the bunny cage, as per our Thursday routine, and we all were treated to quite an array of special birthday nibbles.

I negotiated a few minutes alone to drive to storage where I dug out some things I've been missing, including my kitchen aprons. Finally found those, yay!!! (simple pleasures, right?)

Back at my mom's house, I dug around in her attic and found a treasure trove of our old toys, many of which may find their way under our Christmas tree this year (the legos, at least). I brought home three huge boxes of Barbie stuff to sort, too. I don't think the girls are old enough for that stuff yet but I'm so excited to get out all the little drawers of clothes and see what's in there. The stuff appears to be all packed up just the way I left it when I was a little kid!

In yet another birthday treat, Kate stayed awake on the drive home so I was able to put her down for a real nap in her bed. That meant I got a real nap, too. I must have been sleeping pretty deeply because when I dozed off Molly was banging around in the living room on the giant Big piano while simultaneously cranking the Sound of Music sound track. And when I woke up it was only because she was fishing around under the covers trying to find my fingernails and filing them with a nail file she had found on my dresser. It wasn't until I woke up a bit that I realized she had put a barrette in my hair. :)

After nap I pulled out the cake recipe I've been looking forward to trying for weeks. It involved melting 4 bars of chocolate and a stick and a half of butter, whisking egg whites into stiff peaks and other fun stuff like that. So much fun!!! The cookbook, "Bistro Cooking" by Patricia Wells, has captured my imagination with her little introductions and the mood she sets of small family restaurant cooking around France. The chocolate cake I made had this quote next to it:

"Life is so brief that we should not glance either too far backwards or forwards ... therefore study how to fix our happiness in our glass and in our plate." --Grimod de la Reyniere

The fact that the cake cracked and crumbled as it came out of the pan made it no less delicious.

Make a wish!

Bedtime for the girls was calm and easy. Now I'm off to do some knitting and play with my Barbies sort some boxes. :) I couldn't ask for a better day.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Slow days

Our exciting season of birthdays and holidays begins this week -- my birthday then Thanksgiving then Jim's birthday then Molly's birthday then Christmas. Molly is giddy. She makes new plans for her birthday party daily. We were going to have a formal ball, now she wants an art party (where everybody does art, or something?). She has also requested I knit her a birthday sweater and I'm having a terrible time finding yarn to meet her specs. We colored a picture of it so I'd get it just right -- bright pink, bright orange, red sleeves, purplish-pink back .... It's going to be an act of love. :)

We've had some instruments out lately. Molly's into the guitar .. in the sense that she likes to strum it and sing songs she makes up. She gets furious if you try to show her anything about how to play for real on any instrument. :) That's fine. I like her songs best anyway.

Kate is all chatty now. It's hard to bring her into the bedroom at night (where Molly's just falling asleep) because she talks and talks. "Light? Dark. Dark. Milk. Nap. Rock. Blankie. Sock." I've even heard her a few times in the night saying "Molly?" and I hold my breath to hear if she's going to wake up her sister.

She's also into pretending now, mostly pretending to be a cat. Out of nowhere she'll flop down on hands and knees and crawl around saying, "meow." She has a sudden new capacity to focus on toys occasionally, too. The other night at dinner we looked over and noticed her sitting at the little table with a plate of wooden food, pretending to cut it with a fork and knife. And she likes to run around pretending to fly -- flapping her arms and saying "fly, fly."

We've had some lovely walks around the neighborhood and a few really warm days that were nice for playing outside.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


We are officially no longer homeowners. Hooray!!!! The closing took place Thursday, deed was registered Friday morning, check is in the mail. It's all very surreal. We spent so much energy not getting our hopes up  that it's hard to stop worrying about the house and mentally let the whole thing go. What a relief!!!!!

We opened a ceremonial bottle of champagne after the kids went to bed last night -- champagne we got when we bought the house to save for the day we paid off the mortgage. Probably it was a bad idea to leave the bottle as one of the last things to unpack from the car in the heat of summer. Good thing there was a little Halloween candy to chase it down after the ceremonial emptying down the drain. :)

Speaking of candy, Molly's done with her entire candy stash. We let her go at it Halloween night and all of the next day. She shared a bunch of it with the rest of us, but I cringe to think how much she must have eaten herself. I think today both kids are finally coming down off the candy hangovers. Bedtime was easy for once.

Our other happy news Friday was that Kate is gaining weight and officially back to a normal doctor visit schedule. They printed the growth chart for us because the line is so dramatic. At 15 months she was 3rd percentile for weight. Now at 19 months she's 29th! They told us to keep doing what we're doing. More candy for breakfast, I guess. :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Trick or Treat

Scenes from last night...