30 November 2006

my wallet is panting.

i've never considered myself overly materialistic. i mean, i like my stuff, but i don't really spend money on frivilous things or expensive "toys." but i DO love to give (and recieve) holiday gifts. who doesn't?

a good friend of mine who has 3, no 4 boys told me a few years back that she spends a ridiculous amount of money on gifts for the kids and that "one day" i'd see how it feels to have these little people to gift at the holidays. you
want to give them everything.

and she's right. i do.

there are so many things i want to get for bb. i get at least 3 catalogues a day and i look through them and get so excited when i see something that i know he'd just love. it's hard to hold back. then i look at the wallet--skinny. i am a part-time nanny and hubby is a teacher. we have a tiny house. we're not at all raking it
in. and still, i call on my wallet to find some money hiding in the corners that we didn't know about. and it responds with, "lady, are you crazy?" and i say, "look again!"

i have to say, though, that i am glad for my limitations because it is really important to me that my son doesn't have SO. MANY. TOYS. that i he can't focus on one thing. that he can't organize them all and "tidy up." that he can find his way into something, really into it where he can use his imagination. i also frown on a lot of plastic stuff. it always breaks. and do
n't get me started on toys that make music. or toys that sell disney characters. i hate it when i feel like bb is being used by marketing execs.

we decided we'd rather bb have LESS things and higher quality ones than lots of cheaper (in price and make) things in order to have more. and we love the wooden stuff. Melissa & Doug--love you! we got bb the M&D train set and when it arrived i was giddy.

in case you haven't been getting 100s of catalogues this season, i'm going to share the few (websites) that i think have the best stuff. maybe you'll see something you like for your little monkey.

one of my favorites is Nova Natural. they have all kinds of wooden toys, great books about the seasons, nature, gnomes and knitting. www.novanatural.com. check out this oh-so-cool castle set.

another great one is HearthSong. they've got great outdoor gear like igloo makers and snowman kits. also great art stuff. www.hearthsong.com. c
heck out this bulldozer and forklift. wooden! moving parts! toddler (boy) heaven!

and finally Magic Cabin. they have some really nice dolls. all e
thnicities included. the have some really cool puppets and dress-up clothes. and of course, the much-coveted Plan City! oh yes. www.magiccabin.com.

Enjoy and may your wallet come through for you.

27 November 2006

Monday Munch...ish

well, fellow peepers--i have a recipe today, but it's not for something to eat. it's for something to play with! PLAY DOUGH! yes, we all know we can make it ourselves, but some may not have the recipe at hand. i'm here to remedy that for you.

bb and i have had a lovely time playing with our dough. some quotes from today include:

"can i have a picnic with my worms and lady bug?"
"mommy, my lady bug can chase YOUR lady bug!!"
"can my lady bug
go to christmas now?"


1 cup salt
2 cups water

4 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tbs. oil (i use canola)
2 cups flour

assorted food coloring

1. bring water to a simmer in a medium pan. add salt to dissolve.
2. add cream of tartar, oil and flour.

3. cook over medium heat until mixture thickens to the consistency of play dough.
4. after it has cooled, knead in the colors of your choice.
5. store in airtight containers so it doesn't dry out!


p.s. is it me or is blogger totally getting it done lately posting pictures?

26 November 2006

much to be thankful for

i'm lucky to have a family who wants to share the joys of what we are all thankful for.
we had a lovely day. the turkey took a very long time to cook. it rained all day. we have a small house. but no one seemed to mind.
bb and hubby prepped the turkey.

there were candles, flowers and pumpkins.

the tables were set--mismatched, but set.

there was much pie consumption in the land.

and to top it all off--trivial pursuit. what more could one ask for in a holiday? i hope yours was all you hoped it would be.

16 November 2006

time: 1, me: 0

perspective is hard to maintain. my rantings of late have been about the hardships of parenting a 2 year old. and they are many. the power struggles. the "NO mommys." the impatience (on both our parts). they are all things we must navigate daily.

but sometimes when there is a quiet moment when no one is particularly upset or happy and we're not involved in any activity i look down at my growing-way-too-fast boy and time stops briefly between the two of us. i can see the whir of color and motion around us--sped-up time in my peripheral vision. but in the bubble of motionlessness it's just he and i. and i wonder so many things about him in that instance. what will he be like when he grows up? what will he study in college? what will he LOOK like? what will his first girlfriend (or boyfriend) look like? what will he think about? what will he teach me?

i try to imagine all this--all the answers. and then, when my few seconds are up, sped-up time around us seeps back in and swallows us up again. and i'm looking at my 2 year old and thinking, "i need to appreciate every moment with him just as he is right now, because i'll never get it back. and it'll be gone SO unkindly fast."

this whole thought process sure does make me think about the possibility of child #2. to get to do it all again would be so lovely in so many ways. it's true. but it's not enough. because i'll never get to do it again with bb. i only get one shot with him. and i'm already so saddened that i don't remember his infancy the way i want to. was it sleep deprivation? the shock and deer-in-the-headlightness of becoming a parent and being needed 24/7? i'm not sure. but if i do it again. i'm going to try to remain more present.

wish me luck.

13 November 2006

Monday Munch!

welcome to the MUNCH! so, it's every OTHER monday. . . what can i do. i try.

today's recipe is for super-easy-yummy pizza dough. i don't know about you, but i can't get my kid to eat a vegetable unless its UNDER the pizza cheese or wrapped in a quesadilla. and we love to knead dough, so this is perfect!


2 cups all-purpose flour (you can use all whole wheat or try adding some spelt flour, too!)

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 pkg. yeast

1 cup warm water

2 tbs. olive oil

1 tsp. kosher coarse salt

toasted wheat germ, flax seed, sesame seeds


1. In large bowl, combine 1 cup of the all-purpose flour, the yeast, and warm water. Mix intoo a sticky paste. Add olive oil, the other cup of all-purpose flour, the salt and just a 1/4 cup of the ww flour. Mix it together until it holds. It will be a bit tacky.

2. Dust the kneading surface with the rest of the ww flour and 2 tbs. of the wheat germ, flax, sesame combo (use all 3 or whichever ones you like). Knead! The dough will be sticky, but keep at it.

3. When the dough has picked up all the flour and seeds it can, set it aside. Wash the large bowl, rub the inside with olive oil and place the dough in it. Let it rise for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Make sure it’s in a warm place.

4. Use the entire dough ball for a 14” pizza or use ony 3/4 of it for a thin crust pizza.

NOTES: You can also use some of the dough for cheese sticks by kneading in some grated parme
san chesse. Divide into balls and roll them into sticks. Serve with warm tomato sauce. YUM! You can also refrigerate the dough for a few days.

as usual your print-able recipe is in the side bar! enjoy!

09 November 2006

large order of sanity and patience please!

my boy is now 2 years and 4 months old. for the whole of that time i have dreaded the "P" word. pre-school. couldn't even say the "K" word. until today. as of today i am officially EXCITED to send this kid to school next fall. yes, preschool teacher, you can have him for 2 or 3 days a week. it's all good. because i'm ready to take a permanent vacation somewhere very far away.

everyone is told about the "terrible twos." well, i have never been one who really bought that. i feel like every age can have it's "terrible" aspects. but lately. . .it's been RILLY RILLY hard. my once sweet, agreeable, easy-going boy has become Master of the Contrary. if i say up, he says down. if i say go, he says stay. and it's not just me. he bosses everyone around. his best friend who is 3 mos. older than him comes over everyday and that poor kid can't step right or left without being told he's doing it wrong.

i'm feeling like i'm at my limit. the worst is when he fits and flops on the ground over something i have no control over. "want oatmeal for brekfix!" "i'm sorry, we're all out of oatmeal. you want french toast today?" "oatmeal! oatmeal!" to say that i want to chuck him out the window is an understatement. or what is possibly worse is when he asks for oatmeal, i say "okay." i begin to cook it and he has a fit and flop session in the kitchen at my feet because he wants it NOW. well, i'm sorry, but i can't make things cook faster! i'm doing all i can here!

when did he become a little dictator? how long will it last? how can i survive it?

any tips?

08 November 2006

ordinary world.

it's taken me a day to process the events of monday night. i feel like a total geek for saying that, but it's true. seeing the boys play for the first time in YEARS was so totally awesome (to use the jargon of the day). there's no other way to say it at that sums it up, quite frankly.

it was awesome in 2 ways.

the first being that they rocked. completely. duran duran still sounds good. really good. better than ever? the show was totally UP. loud. raucous. fun! it was without pretense. while i have always appreciated their dramatic side, i really liked that there were no props or big themes or costumes or anything. it was just a good band playing good tunes. they appeared somewhat humble. not all like, "aren't we gods?" it was a light mood. it was more like, "let's dance. let's have fun. let's hear some old tunes that are still really good and fun to play. let's reminisce!" but not in a "we can't let go of the past" kind of way. more in a detached, "it's fun to remember these songs" way. this is how it felt to me, anyway. it's funny, i realized while watching that it felt sort of like being with old friends. i spent so much time. SO. MUCH. TIME. watching them as a teenager. i mean, MTV began when i was like, what 12? 13? forget it. i was all over it. and i watched a LOTTA duran. my best friend jen and i would tape them everytime they were on anything. i still have an old VHS with clip after clip of them on MTV and other shows--videos, interviews, concert clips, VeeJ'ing. it's absurd. but watching them on stage i realized that i know the way they look so well, they way they move. which is how i knew right away that that was NOT andy taylor playing guitar. MAJOR bummer.

the second was how much hubby and i needed a night out like that. this wasn't just a concert. we've been to a few of those in the past 2 years. this was all out dancing, jumping, whooping and hollering fun. it was as close as i'll get to being a teenager again and you know what? it was really, REALLY fun. i needed to cut loose. let my hair down, if you will. it was a needed release! stress be gone! and it got me out of my head. out of my routine in a big, all encompassing way. for 2 hours, i was totally there. i was nowhere else in my head or my body. i was focused on the fun.

the combination of these 2 things has left me feeling like i wish i could do it again. it's made the regular "grind" sorta hard to get back into. in the back of my mind i'm still jumping around to "Girls on Film" with hubby. we had the most fun. we talked about nothing important. we ate chocolate cake in the car. we just enjoyed being with each other.

a word about the crowd. the sad part--they were mostly 30-somethings who clearly hadn't left their 80s hair back in the 80s. and there weren't a lot of them. meaning it wasn't sold out or anything. but, it WAS a monday night. it worked out for us, though, cause we totally moved up to about the 12th row. fine by me! there were some kids there, too. by kids i mean teenagers who think it's all cool and retro to dress like boy george. but they were fun. they had a GREAT time and helped the more stodgy people loosen up.

the weirdest thing, though, the most striking sign of the times--when they played "Save a Prayer" people took out not lighters, but CELL PHONES! there was a sea of cell phone lights. that just seemed so wrong. so weird.

well, if you made it this far--thanks for listening to my rant. i'm guess i'm still sort of amazed that it was as fun as it was and that it affected me as much as it did. i "made" hubby buy me shirt. just cause i wanted a physical item to remember the night by.

i need more nights out like that.

06 November 2006

is anybody hungry?

no, no, it's not the Monday Munch i'm talking about.

it's my birthday! well, officially it's not until next week, however today hubby came home from work out of the blue with a box. a surprise. a birthday plan!!!

we're going to see duran duran tonight!!!!! heeeeee! he planned it all in secret. tickets, dinner, babysitter. and he even got me a vintage tee circa 1984. i'll either look cute or like the 30-something 80s lunatic that i am.

now, i know, seeing an 80s band in the year 2006 can be seen as sorta sad. but, hey, these guys are still making decent music (the newest album w/ all the original members is actually really fun). and as i've mentioned before i was pretty into then. ok, obsessed. as i was growing into adulthood i began to feel ashamed of this, but then i met hubby and it was only a matter of time before i had to let him in on it. i couldn't hide it forever. eventually he was going to see me without make-up. eventually i was going to pass gas and yes he was going to see my d2 music collection. so, i fessed up. now, when i met hubby he was all into Rush, Marillion, Police, and Yes. but he had a softer side. he grew up with a hippie mom. so, he also liked joni mitchell and old bluegrass and the Beatles. mixed bag. anything could happen. turns out when i shared my passion for the fab 5 he was all, "i like them too! i was always afraid to admit it! one day i'm going to write an essay (he never has) called, "Why Duran Duran is really a progressive rock band in a pretty boy disguise."

needless to say we were meant to be.

one year for christmas we each got each other the d2 singles box set. see what i'm saying?

now we're going to see the boys together for the first time... thankfully before any of the members kicked the bucket.

woot woot!

03 November 2006

knit wit!

have i mentioned i started knitting this summer? my mom handed me a kit and said,
"it's about time you learned." and so i have. and here are my first 2 projects.

the scarf is what came of the kit she gave me. i was so proud of it when i finished it. i wore it for like 2 weeks straight. hubby would say, "seriously? you're going to wear that in your jammies?" hell yes. did you not notice i MADE this??

i tend to be the kind of person who does things first and reads the di
rections later, so it's been a challenge making new things. i'm working on a scarf for bb and also a little flock-o-chickens. yes, this first one leaves much to be desired, but hey, it's my first bird. i'm pretty happy it resembles a chicken at all. i'm hoping these bad boys will be sticking out of everyone's stocking this year. . . if i can get a little better at it!
do you knit? got any easy patterns to share?