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Month: March 2015

all growed up

all growed up

You know, Elsa has been kind of a wild child. She’s been a climber and a jumper and a mess-maker. She’s been a talker, but not necessarily a clear talker. She’s been someone to run away when called and to try to hide when the chaos is about to be discovered.

But, my friends, no more. This girl is golden. (Most of the time.) She’s a helper. She likes to help. She’ll find a way, despite my protests/hope that she’ll go away and leave me alone.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the kitchen, where she’ll sit on the counter and grab the chopped vegetables out from under my knife to put them in the pot/on the pan. (Again, despite my protests.) She’ll scoop flour (and then steal some for a taste-test), she’ll get out the muffin pans and fill them up with muffin liners. She’s well on her way to taking over the dinner-making duties.

And I say that with complete confidence because on Friday she made herself a jam sandwich. From start to finish. She pulled the jam out of the fridge, got the bread out of the bag, chose a blue plastic knife and went to work. She even remembered the part where she needed to banish me from the project, as I have done to her so many times. :)

The result was a jam sandwich, just the way she likes it: with nothing but jam on it.

Side note, she also dressed herself. In case you couldn’t tell.

My work here is practically done.

parent teacher conferences

parent teacher conferences

This time we learned that, based on his handwriting, Oliver might be a doctor when he grows up.

He is still going through a monochrome phase. Mostly yellow, sometimes peach.

He gets pulled out in the hall to do math. This is a good thing, we are told.

He is good at decoding, but scared of connecting. (In literature, not in life.)

It is possible that he sometimes gets a little tired/lazy during science work.

Simon, on the other hand (or possibly on the same hand), always reads during choice time. This is heartbreaking to his teacher who would love to see him play with the other kids more.

He works really hard, and also really long. Maybe too long, sometimes. No surprise there.

He tries so so so so so so hard to be good and is sometimes sad when he doesn’t get any recognition for it. (Amen, little man.)

Maybe sometimes he could push himself a tiny tiny bit more. Well, maybe not could. Maybe should. Because he obviously can.

His teacher wishes she could have 28 of him in her class.

Even if it was a coldish and rainy day, and even if we were out on the bike in it, it was obvious that the only thing to do for such wonderful little men was get a couple of cones from the ice cream truck to share.

So we did.

domestic goddess in training

domestic goddess in training

I know you all think that I have this “homemaker” thing wired, but you are wrong because even if I can make a tasty meal and keep a passably clean house, part of being a homemaker is creating things that are pleasing to the eye, correct? And with approximately 10 years of homemakery under my belt, I thought it was about time I got serious about such things.

The past two Mondays I spent a few hours at the New York Cake Academy learning how to make cakes look pretty. I feel fairly competent in the baking aspect of cakery, but the decorating aspect . . . not so much. What I learned from the endeavor is that 1. I have shaky hands and 2. I can possibly make cakes look pretty, with a little more practice. Behold, the results of my labors:

I also decided that it is high time I made good on my pledge to make some quilts for my kids. Like, real quilts. For real beds. I spent a long time looking at quilts, pondering patterns and color schemes, wanting to make each quilt something special and meaningful for the child, something that reflects them and their interests and is full of things they like. And then I realized that it was probably more important to just make the darn quilt, so I picked a pattern that I liked and that seemed fairly simple without looking too much like a beginner’s quilt. And then I spent a couple of hours at a fabric store trying to figure out how to proceed there. (I had Elsa with me and she was not terribly helpful.)

Thankfully, Micah’s work was only a few blocks away so when he had a minute (or an hour) he came over and rescued me from all the decision making. Within 30 minutes or so we had all the fabric picked and paid for.

I’ve been working semi-diligently ever since to cut and sew the blocks. It is beginning to come together and if all goes well I will have the top done in a month or so (no promises).

So now that I’ve earned my cake decorating badge and I’m working on my quilting badge, what other skills do I need to master before I can officially become a domestic goddess? 

pi day perfection

pi day perfection

I was only going to make 4 pies. That was the plan: 2 sweet, 2 savory. But things never goes as planned, and on Saturday afternoon when our friends began to arrive to celebrate circles and their diametric ratios, there were already 5 pies on the table. See, things never turn out as planned. 

Unfortunately, I did not count how many additional pies showed up. I do know we had lime pie, potato pie, pickle pie, two chocolate cream pies, potato-tomato-kale quiche, deep dish apple, peanut butter, cherry, and pretty much all of my favorite things, baked into pies.

That part went exactly as planned. 



 

But somehow, an hour after the advertised ending time had passed we still had a crowd gathered in our kitchen. So, not exactly according to plan. 

I’ll take it anyway. 

Oh, and we ended up with less than 5 pies left in our fridge, once all the eating and exchanging and abandoning was finished. So that feels like a win, too. 

piano men

piano men

As I write this, Simon is sitting at our e-piano, playing with scales and plunking out simple tunes. He should be in bed, of course, but Micah and I are having such a good time listening to him play that we’re letting it slide.

He’s been taking lessons for almost two months now and while he is clearly a beginner, he has really jumped in and is pushing his knowledge every week. He totally owned “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and all its variations from week 1 and he hasn’t let up.

He has even inspired Oliver to give it a go. Mr. Squish is not yet taking formal lessons, but our piano teacher has graciously tried to include him the past couple of lessons so that we can get a feel for whether or not he is ready to sit and play. And Oliver’s enthusiasm for even the littlest things is something to behold. Learning to bow was such a trip that after he did it for the first time, he collapsed and rolled on the floor in excitement. Playing the right hand of the first line of “I Am Like A Star” a week later produced that same reaction. He obviously has some capacity for learning to play, but I’m not sure he or I or our teacher would be able to handle that kind of performance every single time.

Then again, maybe we would. Because who doesn’t love a good performance?