Friday, November 28, 2008

My Kid is Awesome and We Should Never Have Gone to that Parade

Aleks getting ready for the parade downtown. He really likes those goggles for some reason. He looks like Number One Geek and I love it. It's soooo cute. His pants actually fit him, but sliding down the stairs made them rise up, which looks even geekier and cute. His custom-designed Chuck Taylors are too big though. They fit snug though.

Then we went to the parade, which he hated. I don't wanna talk about it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Aleksander Tries Kiwi Fruit for the First Time

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bubble Faces

Aleks was quite insistent on having me take a photo of him with bubbles on his face. He used them to paint his face white so he could be a zombie. Note the raised arms and scary mouth, hungry for brains.

A day earlier, he'd decorated Bastian's face so he had white hair and giant bushy eyebrows, like some ancient elf.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Brownie's for a Magical Childhood

In order to give my children a perfect, magical childhood, like Soulemama or similar, I bought some organic brownie mix (though usually we make them from scratch, I figured this was easier for a quick chocolate fix) to eat while watching Wall-E. With much pushing and shoving on the chair over who got to do what, we finally got them in the oven. Then they asked a thousand times when they would be done. Cooling took just as much time.

The mix came with a star cut-out to put star shapes on top. Our stars were impressionistic. The brownies were delicious, however, and disappeared by lunch the next day.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Self-representation in Lego

The kids worked together to make this hilarious little Lego guy - a version of themselves or Mama or Papa at the dining table with the laptop. I love the smallness and the attention to detail. And the skeleton face.
Bastian and I saw this picture when doing a search about World Toilet Day (November 19th).
So while they were playing with their "guys," one of his needed to go potty. So they built one of their own:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bubble Wrap Song

Just as I was harassing the kids for getting into my purse, Bastian claims the bubble wrap that held the moxabustion sticks they were wondering about. I say, "yeah! take the bubble wrap!" He runs off with it and sings... So hysterical.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sick Days Tea Party

Since Aleks is near comatose and Bastian is on the way to having about as much phlegm as his brother, I needed to get some echinacea in these kids without trekking them out to the grocery for those gummy bear things. My kids don't really drink tea, but I got them to try it with lots of honey and the baby tea set. I also got a secondary tiny tea pot out because I just have those laying around. See that little pink thing there? I got that at the thrift store recently. It was so vintagey and cute, even though I had no idea what we would use it for. Jon objected to the purchase as he thought it was useless, but we have since discovered the perfect purpose. VoilĂ . Soggy tea bag holder.
Bastian did the pouring.
He thought Throat Comfort tea was quite tasty. It's particularly sweet but does comfort your throat quite well.
Aleks preferred the tea in the yellow cup to the tea in the blue cup, but I'm unsure which is which.
He has spent most of the day doing this, however:
He also took another long nap. I hope this doesn't mean more one a.m. shenanigans.

One a.m. Bathtime

When Aleks fell asleep at dinner time due to being sick, I assumed he'd just be in and out of it for the rest of the night, since he seemed so lethargic. He remained rather lethargic, but woke up and stayed up. At 1 a.m., he'd thought he'd take a bubble bath.
By 2, he was still having trouble sleeping and Bastian had woken up feeling miserable and thus screaming. Needless to say, no one got much sleep. Least of all Papa.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Apple Muffintops

While Aleks took a long nap due to a nasty cold, Bastian and I made apple muffins for friends who are in need of food and love and good thoughts at the moment. The last of the City Fresh apples were getting a bit mealy, so there was nothing for it but to bake them. I made a test batch the other day for our mother's group where we were throwing a modified and shortened Mother Blessing for our friend (and my doula client). Everyone loved them.

Bastian helped cut up the apples, as there were lots to cut.

I used a recipe from Joy of Cooking (my default), plus a half teaspoon of cinnamon. For Bastian and I's batch, we multiplied the whole recipe by 3 and added some oats and a splash of maple syrup to make sure there was enough moisture to cook the oats well. I could have added more oats, I think, but we ran out. I'll try that next time for sure.
This is our tippled recipe for 3 dozen apple-oat muffins:

Preheat oven to 400°.
Mix together:
5 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (we used the last couple of cups of our whole wheat plus unbleached all-purposed white)
2-1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
6 teaspoons double-acting aluminum-free baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (could be more like 2 full or even 2-1/2 teaspoons though)
whole rolled oats - I think we used about a cup or 2, but you could do probably 3 or more and add liquid accordingly

Beat in separate bowl:
6 eggs (from Grandma & Grandpa's chickens - their rooster, Godfather, died on Sunday - rest in peace Godfather, we ate your the ovum of your hens, which I'm sure you fertilized first)

Add to the eggs:
6 to 12 tablespoons melted butter (we used 8)
2-1/4 cup milk
splash maple syrup - about a tablespoon or 2

Combine the liquid and the dry ingredients with a few swift strokes. Add fruit of choice. Fill well-greased muffin pans two-thirds full and bake 20 to 25 minutes.

Greasing the muffin tins really made me want to get those silicone muffin cups. They would be awesome, I think. Plus that way I wouldn't feel as bad about my muffin tins being non-stick and I could actually use the aluminum hand-me-down tins from my Grandmother.

Aleks' First Sleepover

While Aleks and Bastian both just stayed at Grandma and Grandpa's house last weekend alone without us, neither boy has really ever stayed the night at a friend's house without us. Aleks went to stay at Jonas' house on Friday. I'm not entirely certain it counts as Jon and I stuck around long after the boys were asleep (including Bastian who was coming home with us!), but he did it. Totally without us.

He was all set too. He packed his backpack (which he was confused about when I referred to it as a "bookbag" - he didn't know what that meant!), dressed himself, and asked us every few minutes how soon we were going over. He donned his jack-o-lantern Obama button, which I'd placed over the "Thomas and Friends" on his hand-me-down backpack (not bookbag).

I was worried about him being afraid during the night, but he refused to take any precautions. I was telling him that he could go sleep in the mommy's bed if he got scared, or that maybe he should take a pillow from home that smelled like him and us, and he was all, "I won't get scared mom. I'll just share Jonas' pillow. It's fine. We did it at camp!" He's all "duh, mom!" about it. lordisa. I guess I'm glad he's so freaking fearless.

He certainly didn't get much sleep. He fell asleep last, around one a.m. and woke up with Jonas and Lavinia at "the crack of dawn." I'm not sure what precise time "crack of dawn" refers to as Anna stayed up til the wee hours of the morning with Jon and I watching Jon's history of Rock n' Roll YouTube lesson, so anytime in the a.m. would have felt too early, necessitating such a description. Aleks therefor fell asleep on the ride back home...
I had big plans to take the whole family to the Join the Impact Protest of Proposition 8, but the weather was miserable. By miserable, I mean near-freezing horizontal rain flooding in from the lake on huge gusts of wind that turned many, many umbrellas inside out. Instead, Jon and Bastian dropped me off downtown while they went off to reclaim Aleks.
The only negative of me standing there alone was that my sign didn't make much sense.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fall Fun

Jon and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary over the weekend while Bastian and Aleks had their very first overnight at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Aleks had actually stayed once before while we went to a wedding with Baby Bastian in tow, but we had never had a night away from the both of them. It was the first time as parents that we were alone, without kids, together. It was not at all weird for anyone.

Everyone had a great time - Jon and I at a schmancy hotel eating super expensive and delicious food, and the kids at "the farm" (as Jon calls it though it's not quite five acres), playing Scrabble Jr. with Grandma Cat, Grandpa Jim, Papa Logan, and Aunt Natty.

We stayed in a hotel our friend Chris works at on Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati. Cincy isn't exactly the romantic destination I'd imagine, but we got a deal and it's close (and the grandparents are on the way, handy for the depositing of small children).



There were champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries awaiting us in our room. This is way fancier than I am accustomed to.



We also briefly visited Kentucky, looking to see a movie (and finding there were none worth seeing) and instead enjoying some Irish beer in the mid-afternoon without feeling at all guilty. The real luxury of the whole trip was the absence of pressure to do all the things we must normally do: dishes and laundry and the wiping of noses and tables and bottoms...



When we came back on Sunday to collect the kidlets, we spent some time in the big yard raking leaves into nice big piles for jumping.


Aleks deep in the pile.
Aleks deeper in the pile.
Aleks gone! Showered by an avalanche of leaves!


The video is the best...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Autumnal Garlands

I got this random idea to make a garland out of the gorgeous leaves all over our driveway. Aleks went out to collect the leaves.
Then we used my mound of cream acrylic yarn that I inherited to thread the leaves on.
We hung the strand on the porch.
It really highlights Aleks' Obama sign, which is still up. The nice thing about this project is that aside from the yarn - which can always be reused in a craft project depending on the condition - the whole thing is biodegradable and will likely just fall apart.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Day

Waiting for mama to come home to go vote.


On the way...



Bastian playing with an apple he found on the walk, underneath the polling booth.
Afterwards, we played at the Big Park. The day was gorgeous. As it's rained and snowed and sleeted every other election day we have lived here, we took it as a sign.

We stayed up late watching election results. The boys crashed out before the news called it. It has been rare that I have had the opportunity to feel proud of Americans. Having Barack Obama in the White House means that when we tell our children that anyone can be anything they strive to be, we can mean it.