Wednesday, September 28, 2011


We live in a tiny condo but I hear "Mommy, where are you?" multiple times during the day. And yet, I can't sneak one chocolate chip without her noticing. Selective observation...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pearly Whites

As long as she can do it herself she's happy. Cover your ears, though, when I come at her with the toothbrush!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


She was unimpressed by my carefully doled out snack and took it upon herself to find some more. The Princess was more than happy to share.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Perfect Blueberry Muffin

We're obsessed with fresh blueberries in this house. I'm obsessed with having muffins for breakfast. Can you see where this is going?

I've been on a quest to find the perfect blueberry muffin. One that takes everything I keep regularly stocked and that doesn't involve tons of fat or a butter/cinnamon/sugar topping.  It's been a disappointment.

Until now!  I found it and I must share because I'm so so happy. I plan on making many many batches and maybe there will be enough to freeze.

Whole-Grain Blueberry Muffins
(found in the September 2011 issue of Real Simple)

1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/4 cup pecans (I used walnuts since I had them on hand)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon grated orange zest (I didn't add this cause I didn't have oranges in the house)
1/4 cup orange juice
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups fresh blueberries or 1 8-oz bag frozen blueberries (I just threw a lot in, no measuring!)

Heat oven to 375 F. Line or grease muffin tin.
In food processor process flour, oats, flaxseed meal, nuts, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until finely ground.
In a large bowl whisk together yogurt, sugar, butter, orange zest and juice, egg and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated (do not overmix). Fold in the blueberries.
Divide the batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 22 to 25 minutes.

Go forth and bake!  They're so good!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Birds Series: The Stalker

Those that know me know that I have an irrational fear and hatred of birds. (Actually, I think it's perfectly justified!)  "But Why?" you might ask. There are a number of traumatic experiences to point to and, in an attempt to bring some levity to your day, I'm going to chronicle as many of those moments as I can remember.  So...keep a look out for The Birds Series.

Sometimes birds prefer the sneak attack. I had just dropped my car off at the shop and had some time to kill. Since Target was across the giant wasteland of a parking lot I started walking, talking to Steve on my phone as I made my way to time-wasting paradise.

A suspicious bird caught my attention from the corner of my eye as I walked. He kept pace with me while eyeing me with beady yellow eyes. I have enough experience to not be fooled by the small size of a bird so I was getting a little nervous but holding it together admirably – I hadn’t even mentioned Stalker Bird to Steve. Stalker Bird finally recognized my fortitude and flew a couple of feet into a bush up ahead of me, giving me some relief.

All was fine until I walked by the bush, minding my own business and still on the phone with Steve. Like a black bullet Stalker Bird burst out of the bush, head butted my arm and then flew off to safety! I screamed, shrieked and promptly burst into hysterical, body-heaving sobs before heaving myself to the safety of a parking divider. It took me a couple minutes to realize that Steve was still on the phone trying to figure out if I was being kidnapped, attacked or just having a run-of-the-mill seizure.

I stood in the middle of the divider, still wailing with a torrent of tears cascading down my face, trying to assure Steve that, yes, I had been attacked but I was still alive and only slightly shaken. I did clarify that the attacker was a bird so that he could avert his own heart attack.

Eventually I calmed down enough to make it to the safety of Target and, when I got the call that the car was ready, I took an entirely different route back!

It only occurred to me later that during the entire time I was sobbing and shrieking in the parking lot not one person stopped as they drove by to see if I was ok!

Other postings in this series:
Birds, not just your feathered friends
The Birds Series: The Chase
The Birds Series: The Feeding
The Birds Series: The Castle

Friday, September 16, 2011

Soccer Proof

I've talked about playing but here's actual proof! Fall season has started and, although it felt like sweltering summer, it's so fun to be back out on the pitch!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It's not the baby that's giving me a backache

Sweetpea pulled my purse down from the stool today - I guess she's growing...I thought that was a safe area!  Since everything had fallen out I was forced to actually clean it out...

Here's what I found:
2 fabric bags - one is a "diaper bag" and I'm not even going to tell you what's in there. Let's just say I could supply two McGyvers... the other contains a bunch of other supplies, like a small pack of colored pencils. You know, for when that latent drawing gene finally kicks in!
1 wallet - but no cash!
1/2 box of Junior Mints - my favorite movie candy. Yes, I actually got out of the house for a non-kid function lately!
1 sweater - because it's important to have a sweater when there's a string of 90 degree days
2 bouncy balls
1 set of phone headphones that I've never EVER used
Floss - seriously, this is a GREAT toy when you're desperate!!  Oh yeah, you can use it to keep your teeth clean too.
1 barrette
1 old apple - don't know who I think I'm going to trick into eating it
2 acorns, 1 chunk of wood, 1 dried leaf, 1 rock (!??!) 
1 container of goldfish - Sweetpea's latest snack craze
1 pipecleaner fish - because the edible ones weren't enough...
1 pen (as opposed to the three tucked into one of the cloth bags)
A pile of paper - awesome. I must sort through each piece to figure out what's trash and what isn't...
1 completely filled notebook with random notes (there are at least two other hiding in the cloth bags. Now you see why I didn't open them up!)
1 piece of cardboard - a cardboard book found by The Princess and given to me for safe-keeping. Oh yeah, I kept it safe! Long after she'd completely forgotten about it!
Empty plastic bag - I know this may be practical but it just looks trashy!

The purse just confirms that there's not a lot of glamour in my life...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Clean Freak

Poor thing! She's so happy to have a clean floor she's kissing the vacuum!

Friday, September 9, 2011

48 Months


Today you turn 48 months old. That’s 4 years if you don’t want to do the math. I wouldn’t know the months if I hadn’t been counting them all this time.  Four years is a long, short time. By that I mean that sometimes I look at you and I can’t even remember you as a baby – you seem so fully formed and mature. And then I blink and am stunned to see you opening the baby gate by yourself or using words like actually and specifically in the correct context. How did that happen? I was just rocking you to sleep the other night. (You still say cute things though. Like “bump beds” instead of bunk-beds.  I’ve been corrected more than once!)

Right now, at this moment (and for the last few months) we’re in the midst of contradiction. It’s your age, I know. You’re stretching, pulling and working those boundaries. Finding out if you can trust me to hold firm and keep you safe. But, oh, it is testing my fortitude. I worry that I’m too lenient, I worry that I’m too harsh, I worry that you have turned from a happy child to one that is unhappy more often than not. I worry.

But, as I’m reminded by your dad and Mamo and Papa, you ARE happy. You’re brilliant and funny and precocious and intense. It’s the intensity that is exhilarating and frustrating and, I guess, we’re learning how to navigate it together. We butt heads, we engage in power struggles and lose our tempers (I’m sorry about that) and pout.


…we are SO in love. We hug each other fiercely and cuddle without reserve. I kiss your face and you snuggle into it and giggle. You tell me silly things and we laugh and spin crazy circles to the piano music you’ve specifically chosen. You are like a fairytale come to life; all heartache and whimsy and perfection and beauty and love.

You exhaust me and yet fill me with energy. I get excited about all of the things we are going to do together – crafts, library trips, baking and reading. And every night, once you’re safely in your bed, I sit down and I’m tired. Because ¼ of that excitement (and the fact that kids have to eat and WHY do kids have to eat?! If I didn’t have to feed you all the time it would be so much easier!) takes up all of my energy and I wonder how even a fraction of the ideas we have will ever get done. But then we start over the next day and have grand adventures once again.

Daddy just came downstairs and said “Our daughters really trust us. It’s so amazing.” It IS amazing and such a privilege. Thank you for that and we will continue to work on earning it.

We love you so much precious girl.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Party Planner (or lack thereof)

Sweetpea turned 1 a couple of weeks ago.

I've realized that I'm not a party planner.  I like the idea of parties and I've put effort into a couple but, when your own kids' birthdays sneak up on you EVERY YEAR I think that's a pretty good sign that party planning isn't your "gift".

Hmm, what will this bright, hot thing do to my sensitive skin?

I did manage a small celebration with family. You know what? It was all she needed. And I'm keep expectations low for the future, which is what I need!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Summer's End

September has arrived. Yay! Of course, they're forecasting 90 degree days in the next week but, for me, summer is officially over. I look at any temperatures over 70 as mere anomalies to be endured. There is relief on the way! Indian Summer? Never heard of such a thing. I'm pulling out my sweaters and planning outfits with boots.

We had our final summer hurrah at the lake (what those in Maine taught me to call a pond!) last weekend. If you have to survive summer heat, and I can't complain because we've really only had one week of summer heat this year, you should always do it next to a large body of water. Too bad our little blow-up pool on the deck doesn't count!