Month: September 2014 (page 1 of 2)

How to make cookies with Jack

Today Jack and I made those delicious, delicious cookies.  Jack has become such a helper in the kitchen.  He did almost every step himself!

First, melt the butter
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Measure sugars
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Blend together
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Stir in vanilla and pumpkin
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Carefully measure and level off flour
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Add spices and leavening
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Whisk!
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Enjoy whisking!
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Combine wet and dry and chocolate chips and ghost sprinkles, and finally finally lick the spoon.
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Chill and have mom bake while you nap.  Wake up to cookies!
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Yay Fall!

Advent complete

I’ve been working on this project off and on for two years now.  This year I was determined to finish well before December.  

When I finished the kit, on the right, I realized there was nothing to do with the objects once you pulled them out of the day pocket.  Oh no!  So I created the tree on the left to hang them on.  There were many times I didn’t think it would work out.  And it could use more sequins to match the pockets.  And I’m not happy with the quick hanging apparatus (not used in the pic).  But I’m going to cross this off my list and move on to the eleventy kajillion other projects I have swirling in my brain.

Playing apart and together

Sam and Jack are getting good at playing together.  Some games work better than others.  Here are some pics and clips from the past week.  I took a lot of pictures of them in their matching Eric Carle outfits because HOW CUTE ARE THEY???
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Inevitably, I would start the camera and they would crumple into arguments and fussing.  These are the better results of filming.  They were usually playing much more enthusiastically before I could get the camera out. 
Below, Sam is sitting on Jack’s picture of Betty and Richard on a beach.  Sam moved from chewing the chalk to scribbling!  And Jack colored on the back porch by himself later.
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I didn’t realize my new craft cart doubled as a metal drum set and a baby walker!
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Sam is such a good walker now.  He’s always on the move too.  I have to be so vigilante with him.  
This is (one reason) why he’s not allowed in the bathroom.
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Waiting for school to let out.
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I don’t know what he was doing on the patio.  But he was doing this for a long time before I took out the camera.  First he put the balls in the wagon, then pushed the wagon down a level, then took the balls out . . .

When I need to contain Sam for a little bit, this is a good activity.  I wish it would cool off more though.
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Play dough

Weeks ago the preschool sent out a play dough recipe in a newsletter saying that a sign-up sheet would follow, but it never came.  Yesterday I saw a sign on the door “We need playdough!”  Yesterday I was also sick.* I was crushed that I couldn’t fulfill the request immediately.  Today when I brought in three batches (enough for 12 kids) they were thrilled, which made me happy.  Seriously guys, I’m so mad that they won’t let me send in homemade treats for parties.  I get it, I know why they must require all food items to have a label.  But stillllll I wish I could baaaaaaake.  Homemade play dough?  You betcha!  I will make all the play dough you want.  Closest I can get to homemade cookies and cupcakes.  (I wish I had an excuse to make these.  The ingredients are patiently sitting in my pantry for when I cave.)

The recipe they provided was so easy.  The result was soft, pliable, and smelled good.  Much better than the usual “salt dough” recipe.  This is my new favorite.  I might have to make more for home use.  Here are their instructions.

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 Kool-Aid package
1⁄2 cup salt
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon oil
2 Teaspoons cream of tartar
I added a couple drops of food coloring to the yellow and blue to boost the color

Process:
1. Mix dry ingredients into a saucepan
2. Add water and oil
3. Cook until mixture forms a ball (about 1-2 minutes on medium heat)
4. Pour out on wax paper or board and knead (dumped on counter, kneaded until smooth, just a minute or so)
5. Store in air tight container

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*For real sick: sore throat, stuffy nose and sinuses, tender skin, achy joints, throbbing head, and zero patience.  It was not a good day.  I slept during both Sam naps and worked very hard at resting instead of cleaning.  I think it paid off because I feel much more functional today, even had a dance party with the boys. 

Since school started we have had continual sickness in the house, just like last year.  The pediatrician assures me that 1-3 viruses PER MONTH is totally normal for two kids with at least one of them in a school/day care environment.  Each illness takes at least a week to run it’s course, multiply by 4 people, and you can understand how we are constantly sick.  On the bright side, Jack can take better care of his nose this year, Sam sleeps much better than he did as a newborn infant, and I have resigned myself to constant sickness.  Can’t crush your hopes if you never get them up in the first place!

More videos of Sam

I can’t help recording all this early walking.  He’s improving so fast!  I love the early, awkward stage so I’m trying to capture it.

This is a long clip of him fussing around (he’s sick, it’s late afternoon).  Skip to 1:25 to see his mini-marathon.  What a streak!


Then a little later with a snack in hand.  How American!

Can you believe how fast he’s picking it up?  Like riding a bike I guess.  Unrelated topic: a video of the two boys enjoying Baby Groot.

Spoilers if you haven’t seen Guardians yet.  This is from the very end during credits. 

Sam on the Go

As mentioned, Sam loves to push his little car around.  He can sort of fix bumps, but still cries in anger when he hits a blockade.

After a couple weeks of this he has started to walk!  Just before he turned 1, I caught him taking little half-steps without assistance.  Then I thought I saw full steps.  On his birthday we had a couple two step sitings.  This video is the day after his birthday.


And today, a day later, He took about 4-5 steps right in front of us!

Pictures From Sam’s Party

We held a small party for Sam’s first birthday.  Small, but perfectly sized for a little baby. 
I’m pleased as punch he wore the crown for most of the time.  Typically he rips hats off immediately.
Sam's First Birthday
By random chance Jack had made a matching crown in preschool this week for their Friday Hat Day.  I’m glad he had something to wear that matched the birthday boy.  It’s really hard for it not to be your birthday.  Look on my flickr page for many sad-older-brother moments.  
I went with easy decorations.  I whipped up flag bunting from old fabric this week, got some flowers on clearance, and stuck to a small color palette.  There’s only a couple birthdays where the mom gets to choose the scheme, so I picked my favorite colors!
Sam's First Birthday
Traditional spaghetti.
Sam's First Birthday
Followed by favorite food – yogurt.
Sam's First Birthday
When the mess hit critical mass and Jack was prancing around the table I decided to move on to dessert.
Sam's First Birthday
Jack = ecstatic.  Sam = what’s going on?
Sam's First Birthday
Sam = What the…what do you want me to do with this?
Sam's First Birthday
Thank you Amanda, for knowing I would want a cake shot 😀
Sam's First Birthday
Ah ha!  Sam easily caught on to the idea.
Sam's First Birthday
Jem was super helpful with cleaning during the party.
Sam's First Birthday
A quick tub rinse and then we moved onto presents!
Sam's First Birthday
Sam's First Birthday
Again, it’s SO hard to be the non-birthday boy.
Sam's First Birthday
Sam's First Birthday
Balloons are the most bang for your buck at a party.  Kids of all ages go nuts for them!
Sam's First Birthday
Even with all the new presents, Sam loves to do laps with this hand-me-down car. 
Sam's First Birthday
Beautiful blue eyes.
Sam's First Birthday
Attempts at family portraits were awful as expected.  Here are the best results.  Many more takes are on my flickr site if you want to take one for yourself.  As derpy as they are, I’m glad to have updated pictures of all of us. 
Sam's First Birthday
Sam's First Birthday
Sam's First Birthday
Happy Birthday Sam!  Now the fun REALLY begins!

Happy First Birthday!

Lunches

Nothing special.  Just a glimpse of typical lunches as Maison Mason.

PS: still climbing.  After several attempts he decided he could not get into this upper cubby.

PPS: yes, that’s a new outfit.  Only serve a baby yogurt if you are willing to change and sponge bathe in the middle of the day.  I had already wiped him down twice mid meal on the top photos.

Sam the Mountain Goat

Sam is not showing signs of walking like I expected by now.  He cruises like a champ.  He goes from sitting to squatting to a stand, and back down, without using his hands.  But he still flops to the floor when I try to lead him around by the hand.  Call it independence, I guess.

However, one thing he can do is CLIMB.  Observe:

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His favorite place to hang out in the kitchen.  He has figured out how to get in and out all by himself. I think of it as a hobbit hole.

Below, I tucked this chair back in the table.  He immediately pulled it out and mounted up.

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Walking into the kitchen and seeing this below, I pulled out my camera, baffled that he managed to climb up on the step stool.  Did I even leave the stool at the counter?  Hmmm, maybe should move that knife. . .

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CRAP! YES!  GRAB THE KNIFE AND GRAB HIM BEFORE HE FALLS OFF! WHY ARE SO MANY GLASS OBJECTS NEARBY??
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For the record, I snapped this then lunged forward, catching him just as he stepped his left foot off the stool and into the air.  (Note the previously removed burner knobs.  That happened when we came back from preschool drop-off to the smell of burning rubber.  SOMEONE had turned on the burner when a hot pad was on top.  Jack denies it and I believe him.  That leaves one suspect.)

In summary, thank you Grandma Betty for the new baby gate.  Thank you very much indeed.

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