Holiday Baking

At Flour & Child, we are baking up the best Pumpkin Pies and Apple Tarts you (well, I for now but soon to be you) have ever tasted. The options for Thanksgiving desserts are many. Please email me if you are interested in having pies, tarts, cupcakes, or cookies for your family's holiday. All baked goods are handmade with lots of love and the best ingredients.

We're getting alot of things started around here. Things that I should have maybe thought about beginning months ago. I do believe my little, eensy, teeny, weeny business will soon have some if not all of the following...an actual logo, an official online menu, a website, professional photos of the deliciousness itself, and maybe even some new and exciting packaging. I wish I could commit seventy hours per week to this little business of mine. I love it and all I think about is testing this recipe or tasting that one, noodling marketing schemes and advertising techniques. But, I wake up and realize I have a lovely, lovely family that I take care of and a job that must continue if said lovely families' needs need to be met. However slowly, in the short moments of quiet, it will all get done. I know it will and it will be(taste) great.

Three things:
1) F&C is running a special for Thanksgiving. With the order of two pies, you will receive 1/2 a dozen scone or muffins for the Morning After Breakfast when all you feel like doing is pouring a cup of coffee and gathering on the couch with ample blankets and delicious breakfast foods. Or, is that only me that feels like doing that? Something tells me my one year old (holy crap, he's one) will protest these activities.
2) If is a tasty & savory dinner you're after...my sister is getting into the business of personal cheffing and would be most happy to provide your sides for the Family Feast. She has done many successful weeknight dinners, cocktail parties, etc and has some delicious options to accompany your turkey. I will be happy to provide you with her information should you be interested.
3) And lastly, it is not too soon to start thinking about holiday baking. Are you too busy to bake? Do you not like to bake, but love to share/eat the finished product? Do you want to give your friends and family a handmade, memorable gift? PLACE YOUR ORDERS for the holidays (contact me for a copy of menu options). There will always be deliciousness. There will always be adorable packaging. We can always offer you the perfect gift for you neighbors, coworkers, a party host, friends, babysitters, family etc.

email me: flourandchild@gmail.com


this used to be my playground.

Alright, back to blogging. One of my best friends just* got married and it seems that I needed a honeymoon after the influx of activity. For the mama of two, the level of socialization (with adults) is at a bare minimum most of the time. There are a few lucky days every few months that Jason and I get to enjoy one another as adults, but mostly we are busy practicing our ABCs with our newly two year old and contorting our faces to make K.O.G. (King of the Grumps) smile. For the wedding, I was a bridesmaid, and also volunteered to make 600 buckeyes for her guests' favors. I wanted to contribute, enthusiastically, to her day and I wanted to make sure she had everything she wanted. So, we made buckeyes, set up tables, covered chairs, tied bows, had a spray tanning party (so worth it), had a wonderful rehearsal dinner AND took part in a beautiful wedding. After all this excitement, mama needed a rest. Dishes were in my sink for days following while the laundry and dust both stacked up. Yes, I got to all of it but it didn't happen until days after so its back to blogging. Lucky for you...I have lots of stories. I apologize if I fall asleep telling them.

In preparation for HER bachelorette party, I went down to Cincinnati and browsed the Urban Outfitters for something non-mom to wear. For every day work/mothering I wear some variation of this outfit.

flats, ankle jeans, striped tee...i know, SNORE.

I knew it wouldn't do. I was going out on the town with a slew of single girls and I might even have to break out the heels that have hidden in the back of the closet constantly being trumped by their more comfortable cousin, the flat. There are turquoise slingbacks, snakeskin peep toes, leopard stilettos, Kelly green wedges and many more that are sadly neglected and deemed inappropriate for my current lifestyle. Urban Outfitters and Anthropology have always been two of my go-to stores. Not too exclusive or expensive or snooty or trendy. "JUUUUUUUST right!" exclaimed Mama Red Riding Hood. I often used to ground myself from entering said stores for fear of spending rent money on black rompers. However, I haven't visited this store in a few years. Sure, I have bought the occasional bag from the website, but only if it could house diapers, wipes, sippy cups, and burp cloths. I was excited. There was money put aside for this fashion influenced venture and I was sure that I would leave the store holding a bag filled with ruffles and plaid.

So, I walk in the doors and stare at the room of splendor and wait for the clever shoe related repartee that the faux hawked, neon denim wearing employees and I usually have. I waited and nothing came. So, I snuck over to the short skirts and imagined my post-pregnancy legs donning a two inch inseam and turned away, abandoning the idea. Tight jeans and heels would be a good solution to this outfit dilemma but all the jeans were either hot pink or frayed from the crotch down. Alright, I thought, I'll have to go back to accessories and peruse the earrings and necklaces for something that will make a non-mom statement. Passing the cash register area, I smiled at the college-aged girl in the booty shorts with knee high boots and thought. The girl was probably twenty-two and beautiful and I instantly felt ninety-seven and completely out of place. I felt like shouting over to the girl that I was merely shopping for my teenage niece (who does not exist)or adorable high-school aged neighbors (who do exist, and are rather adorable). But, NOT for myself, heavens NO. No self-respecting mom would ever pay attention to trends or choose fashion over practicality. I was a fraud. I felt selfish that I had taken the afternoon off of being a mother to try to reconnect with my former self.

When I finally reached the accessory table I was having a full-on panic attack. I was a short five years older than the girl at checkout and I no longer belonged at a place I would have called home some years prior. This is a place that would make me forget the dreamy guy that dumped me, a place where I would pick up a peacock feather clutch and all would seem right in the world. What happened to that girl? I grabbed a pair of peace sign earrings and bolted for the cash register. It was like I didn't want to be spotted, I didn't want anyone to see the sweat on my brow or hear the rapid pants escaping my lips. If no one discovered my discomfort I could leave the store and never have to accept or acknowledge the transformation that has taken place. After nervously handing the girl my debit card and muttering some clumsy quip to kill the silence in which I was sure she could sense my weakness, I grabbed my pathetically tiny bag and ran.

Outside I could breath again. Inside my car I could relax again. No one caught me. I drove away and snapped this picture, that was supposed to be of my former playground...but turned out perfectly beautiful anyway.

There was alot of thinking that ensued. I know I make different choices now, I make better choices. Instead of ankle boots, I buy baby slings. I read actual books before falling asleep instead of 40 pages of pretty pictures. But, if the progression continues I will be thirty and shopping at Chico's and have nary a concept of Marc Jacobs or Zac Posen. I don't want to be that girl, or woman. Sure, the days of buying $160 pair of jeans on a whim have gone. But, alas, I feel myself conforming to what a mom "should" look like and I, my friends, am not a conformer. Its hard to resist, especially when the Official Uniform of moms in our neighborhood is khaki capri pants and a Lily Pulitzer wrap top (uck). How do I wear biker jackets and boyfriends jeans at a library story hour where pearls and cardigans reign supreme? I feel out of touch with my own style and have actually caught myself lusting, yes people, lusting, over a pair of classic fit khaki trousers from the GAP. I found myself thinking, "wow, those would be really comfortable!" Since when have any of my decisions been based on comfort or practicality? Where was that sensible side when I bought a one-size-too-small pair of patent leather platforms because they were OH SO FREAKING CUTE? And MOST importantly, what's next...granny panties with worn out elastic? Where did my individuality go, my desire to be a little different?

Well, for this particular bachelorette party I did find an outfit. It was cute. It was already in my closet. I was proud and I felt like myself, even though my post pregnancy love handles threatened to overflow the muffin top capacity of my H&M jeans. That's me in the white jeans, vest and (I think some sort of special introduction noise is needed) HEELS. They were tall too and oh-so-very uncomfortable. However, my feet quickly displaced the feeling of pain with that of familiarity and they were happy to be strutted upon.

Cute. Yes? You think so? I'm glad. Thank you. Aren't my friends lovely as well?

There are oh-so-many things that have changed. In my young twenties, I spent hours on iTunes, researching the best new band. Or browsing the Internet for my next concert tickets. Or, trying to uncover the city's coldest beer, cheapest shots, best dart board or largest number of Photo Hunt booths. I spent too many dollars of a student loan on boots instead of books. Now, I spend the evenings reading blogs(most of which are either parent or food related) and books, watching movies, picking up rattles and puzzle pieces or tackling the laundry. Its not an exciting life. But it is. Oh, yes it is. The moments I spend with the kids and my husband are overflowing with fulfillment, laughter and love...like the white foam spilling over the edge of a draft beer poured too quickly.

I've made a new commitment. Not one to the kids or to my husband, I made those long ago (and I will never waver). This commitment will be to myself.
I will not lose myself in motherhood.
It will not engulf me.
It will not consume me.
It will not drink me dry.
This is not to say my parenting will suffer from this new commitment. We women must realize that our children are an extension of us, they are not US. We were us before they were them. I want my children to know me, not a shell of my former self in an attempt to conform to The Mom Standard. My New Mom Standard states I will dress myself in a style that represents how I feel: young, passionate, and pretty. And, if studded ankle boots supersede Easy Spirit Loafers at the next story hour and I am forever banned from The Official Mom Society - my children will know me and to this mama, that is a much better thing.

*her wedding was at the end of June. Yes, its take me a while to push the Publish button.


Glazed Lemon Cookies

the batter comes together in a breeze.

Oh me, oh my lemon is one of my favorite flavors. Perhaps it tops the list. There have been a few close competitors that have stolen my heart for weeks or even years. Pistachio and I have had many steamy love affairs. Peanut butter has swept me off my feet. Bittersweet chocolate and I were sweet on each other for a few months. And, though the love continues, lemon is a constant. When dining, I am constantly in search of the perfect lemon dessert. In my personal baking endeavors, I am in search of the perfect lemon cookies. I thought I might have found it when I stumbled upon these puppies. Though I will continue my hunt for the perfect lemon cookie, these ranked high with me.

glazed and ready to be packed up. i did these and another variety for a wedding rehearsal dinner.

I tried these a while back and the cookie itself was far too cakey for my liking. However, my mom's friends enjoyed them and begged for the recipe. So, if you like a cakey cookie perhaps you want to go there. As for me, I like the results with this attempt much better. The cookie is light and crispy, almost like a sugar cookie. I would prefer a little more chew but perhaps for a light dessert accompanying a few fresh strawberries and fresh whipped cream, they would be ideal. I envision these as a great brunch dessert, after a delicious frittata and a green salad. The zest adds quite a punch to the cookie and the glaze, which is nice. These cookies look like an average iced treat but the lemon flavor will definitely surprise you. My daughter exclaimed as she took a bite, "Tart!" They also look beautiful with the zest very visible in the icing or glaze. The glaze takes quite a while to set so make them ahead of time if you plan to stack.

the finished product.

Hopefully, I will be sharing many more lemon sweets with you in the future...perhaps I will acquire a new love interest.

STAY TUNED: 600 buckeyes for a beautiful bride/best friend's wedding and the funny treats I made for her bachelorette party.


Prenatal Vitamins: Part Two

passed out on my huge post-pregnancy belly. i hope i never forget...

So, my baby girl and I were happy. We continued on this easy streak for almost six months at which time she began growing too quickly for my boobs to keep up. I tried to continue breastfeeding and supplementing with formula but it eventually led to the end of her total dependence on me. I was fine with it. I knew I had done what was best for my baby and she seemed to be growing and developing as babies should and I was happy to leave her with the bottle...even though the spit-up smells ten times nastier. Yep, I just gagged.

Of course, this whole time I was taking prenatal vitamins to compensate for what she was sucking out of my body (that phrasing sounded more graphic than I intended.) Anyway, my lovely girl was six months old when I found out that I was pregnant with her baby brother...again, another story for another time. Just to let you know though, it was an OH MY FUCKING GOD moment. Needless to say, I continued taking the prenatal vitamins and gave birth to a perfectly pink little baby boy in November of 2008. My son and I had a totally different experience while trying navigate the somewhat scary journey that is breastfeeding. He was a pro and it seemed in the nine months that I hadn't fed a child, my body had regressed to total novice in the sport of nursing. In the hospital, at the very very beginning, we were quite a team. He sucked and I supplied. Forget Supply and Demand theory, its the Suck and Supply theory that is important.

Towards the end of our hospital stay, my boobs began stinging when he latched on. I gritted my teeth and remained calm and thankful that we were doing it. Jason asked if I wanted him to get me the lactation specialist but I knew what they would tell me. "Breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt." "Try a different position." "You need to be using a nipple shield with those terribly flattened and atrocious nipples of yours." I didn't want to hear it. Unless you were me, inside my boob, feeling the pain that I was feeling...you had no idea what the fuck you were talking about. Did I mention I'm a little stubborn?

We went home. In the following days, the pain increased every time his little lips neared the boob-al area. The only thing that helped for those few months was my beloved and most hated pump. It was far less ferocious than my baby boy. I would pump as much as I could and we would store and use bottles to feed the hungry little man. When he woke up through the night, I would pump and Jason would make him a bottle of pumped breast milk. Thank you, sweetie. You helped out...a lot! After a few days of pumping, I would let him try again. It would start out pain free and the next feeding would sting a little and the one after that...Oh my ever loving shit. This sucks, you suck (my boobs, not my boy...well, he sucked too but in a more literal sense.) I remember doing the sideways feed in the middle of the night, which seems to be the easiest when you are slit-eyed and sleep deprived, and scissor kicking my legs and crying in pain with Jason sitting in bed next to me, useless, wondering what he could do. I slathered Lanolin and salty tears on my nipples while Beckett returned to my milk from the bottle. Discouraging, at best. Of course everyone had their advice. And by everyone I mean my mother. "You should go see your doctor. You probably have mastitis, like you did the last time. My friend told me that your baby shouldn't be sucking for longer than five minutes on each side. She said you're probably letting him suck on an empty breast. That's what is wrong. I met someone at the shop today. They said there is a breastfeeding specialist in our neighborhood. I've already placed the call for you. You know, if you feed him with the bottle too much he's never going to want to breastfeed, regardless of whether it hurts or not. Does it really hurt that bad?" Holy shit mom, I would have never had any of these problems had I only talked to you first, The Official Breastfeeding Guru. Remind me, the next time, and we can avoid this whole ordeal. Also, remind me to give you some boundaries of who the WHITNEY'S BOOBS conversation can and cannot happen with. Lord woman...keep it to a maximum of say, 13 of your closest Vera Bradley carrying buddies instead of 1300. Thank you.

Anyway, Baby Boy and I carried on and pushed through, pumping and crying and so on. I remembered the helpful and oh-so-encouraging advice that I got from my girl's breastfeeding days. Continue to nurse to six weeks, then decide. That advice is truly golden because all the breastfeeding kinks must just find a way to work themselves out by that totally random time frame. At six weeks I was pain free and breastfeeding while vacuuming and reading Vogue. I know you can't help but get a visual, let me tell you...it was H.O.T.

Well, now we are at six months of breastfeeding and again, my body can't even attempt to keep up. My little man is a Big Man and he is totally over the boob. He needs more so we are all happily moving on to formula and mushy avocado. I know he needs it and my body can't provide for him any longer but I'm having some major mixed emotions. As of right now, we are thinking that this baby is most definitely our last. I know, I know this might change but won't it be sad if I never again get to have a little one cradled in my arms, slowly falling asleep as he eats. Having to wake them up for just a few more sucks and then, nod of again. Seeing they're sleepy little eyes roll back and flutter before completely closing. Knowing, just knowing that someone is completely dependent on me for one moment in time.

Though it was a struggle, I've had that moment in time and I guess my children will grow to be dependent on me in other ways...but, never in that totally basic sense. I never thought I would, but I am having trouble turning my back on these days. Having the ability to breastfeed both of my children, provide them with nutrition and a strong immune system was most definitely a gift. Though I'm having trouble letting go, I am thankful for the time we had together. We played a great game. We made a great team...both of you. It was not without struggles but we made it and I did the best I could for you. I will never forget it.


Oatmeal Cookies with Apricot and Pistachio

I know my camera is shitty, please forgive.

Well, friends...first, I have a bit of mommy joy to share with you and then we'll move on to the recipe.

1) My baby got his first tooth. Lower right side of his little red gums there is a tiny bit of pearly white sticking through and it is adorable. One morning I woke up and both of my kids are out of infancy. One is well on her way into being a toddler (2 in July) and the other is 6 months old. When did this happen? If you broke into my house and stole my time, I would like it back if you feel like turning yourself in. I won't press charges...I'll just relax and press rewind.

2) Right now is my absolute favorite time. Not only because it is 8:34 am on a Sunday morning. But, because the little one got up early around 7:30 am and decided he was not really ready for the day, as he usually does. He had his morning eats and returned to the Land of Nod (sleep, not the store.) The little girl has decided she wants to sleep in on this lovely Sunday morning despite the fact that some P.O.S. is jack hammering the street in front of our house. So, what does that leave mommy with...coffee and quiet. Two of my favorite things. Oh, and Jason is still sleeping too which is FINE by me.

On to the COOKIES.

Cookies are one of m favorite things to bake. I adore them for many a reason. One being that they're convenient for packing in a picnic, taking on walk,or eating on the spot sans the burden of a plate and fork. My daughter loves them. She love to watch them rise and expand in the oven, changing shape and taking character. Cookies make excellent hostess gifts or gifts to people who have done you a favor. They make excellent holiday treats and the packaging options are endless. The Cookie is my friend. Especially when the little dough balls turn into to something as tasty as the ones below.

Not too long ago, I made these Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and though they were not at all what I expected I was completely enamored with their taste and texture. After spending many years being on the consuming end of baking only I had met many Oatmeal Raisin Cookies that I would not call back after a one night stand. Cold, I know! The dry, flavorless dough that would often break instead of crumble or tear left me wanting a large glass of milk instead of more. Where was the hearty flavor of oatmeal? I see the little flaky discs but failed to taste what they contributed to the cookie. After many years of disappointment, I just plainly decided that this cookie variety was not for me. That is until I met the Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie linked above. I vowed to no longer discriminate against baked goods that contain oatmeal and its a good thing I was so forgiving. Because, I found this winner on the oh-so-talented Orangette's website. If you notice that I often use her recipes its because I have never met one that I didn't like...especially of the baked variety. She is a genius in the department of bread, cookies, cakes and pies. Genius, I tell you!!!

So, these cookies flattened out on the parchment paper and there were spots that were almost transparent when you held them up to a window...not that I tried this, eh?!?! Hole-y or, just holy...because they're that good. The edges caramelize because of the high brown sugar content and the chew is clost to that of candy. The apricots are chewy and tangy, as apricots always are. And, the pistachios are not obvious but when you bite into a little bit of delightful crunch, you will not doubt be pleased. When you're mixing the cookies up the dough (almost batter) is very runny but keep going...you're haven't forgotten a whole cup of flour.

I think that's what makes them melt in the oven and spread out to form thin chewy discs of heaven. I used roasted, salted pistachios and reduced the salt just a tad and they were perfect. Make them - now - seriously - go get you butter out, throw in a load of laundry, let the butter soften slightly and get to work. You and your family will be happy you did. Happy baking lovelies.

P.S. Lots of love to those we've lost on this memorial day weekend.


prenatal vitamins: PART 1

I have spent the past three years on prenatal vitamins. I found out that I was pregnant with my first (holy shit, it still freaks me out that there is a first AND a second) in November of 2007. She was a surprise to my husband and me but that story will be a different post for a different day. She was born on July 30, 2007 and we fell in love with her instantly. That also could be a different post for a different day. I had a excessive laundry list of problems with breastfeeding but I had my mind set on it. I'm not sure what made me feel so strongly about wanting to breastfeed but it was something I was NOT willing to give up on. Maybe it was that my mother did it and look how fabulous her offspring are (ha). She didn't want to latch on when the nurses wrapped her up and lay her on my chest. I tried every position...football shmootball, nothing worked. Oh, it was discouraging. I thought your kids weren't supposed to reject you until they were teenagers and mine was rejecting me when she was mere moments old. I had the hospital nursery take her for one night and requested she not have a pacifier and not have a bottle. "Please just bring her to me when she gets hungry." They seemed to get it, but they didn't. She came back in the morning plugged up with a pacifier and having finished 3 bottles during the span of the overnight. UGH, I felt like I had take giant steps backwards. We tried nursing her every twenty minutes or so. The lactation specialist told me I had inverted nipples. I turned Jason as if to say, "You don't think there's anything wrong with my nipples, do you? You've been hiding the fact that my nipples were weirdly irregular and backwards since we met? You bastard." It turns out he didn't think there was anything wrong with them but my little girl had a different opinion. So, they gave me this odd contraption called a nipple shield. If you've never seen one it sort of looks like a clear plastic UFO with holes in the top. Its designed to be placed comfortably (yeah right) atop the nipple and suction it when the baby sucks through the holes. Jason would spend 20 minutes dipping the shield in cold water, turning it inside out and then suctioning it to my boob. It was like a love scene out of a Hugh Grant movie...flawless (my ass). Keep in mind the baby was cring this whole time, can you hear her? Can you see him? It was a disaster. It never stuck and Jason felt like an official Nipple Shield Failure of the highest degree.

After alot of practice and the discovery that all the technique of the water dipping etc was totally not necessary, we got the hang of it and Baby Girl got fed. I started to question my motivation though. She was sucking through this unnatural apparatus and that was one of the reason I had ruled out bottles in the beginning anyway. I thought nursing was supposed to be so natural and her we were not even skin to skin. Not to mention the inconvenience of it all. We would leave the house without the all important nipple shield and have to drive back to the house in order to feed my BREASTFEEDING daughter. So, now both reasons (doing what was natural and convenience) I has come to breastfeeding were gone. I thought my body was physically rejecting being a mother and I started to doubt my choices. "see, I wasn't cut out for this," I would complain to Jason. He always had something comforting to say but it never made me feel any more confident. He was the one changing diapers and doing little tickle games with our new baby. I mostly pouted in the corner scared I would break her. I knew I loved her but could I ever learn to take care of her and give her everything she needed? In the following weeks I cried as I fed her from my plastic covered cracked nipples. I cried and cried and cried. In all the books I read pre-baby there were wonderful photos of mothers cradling their babies to their breast, looking down at them with a peaceful, loving and pain-free smile. I wanted that picture. I didn't want the tears or the pain or her dissatisfied cries. I wanted, instead someone to be cradling me, telling me everything was going to be alright. The pain turned out to be mastitis and thrush. When I was diagnosed with these infections they told me the baby should be treated because she might have thrush as well, in her mouth. I cried some more. Now, I had given my brand new healthy baby girl a sickness. My sick body had made her well body, sick. We both took the antibiotics and I, someone who has never had an allergic reaction barring a rash I got from amoxil at age 6, was allergic to these antibiotics. They made my skin crawl and made me feel even more crazy than I think I was. Because now, I was wondering why my whole body itched and why I couldn't sleep or sit still. It was horrifying.

Needless to say I got off the antibiotics and received some of the most helpful advice when it come to breastfeeding. Finally, useful, helpful, real advice from a woman whom I respect and admire. She told me to just keep at it for six weeks. After six weeks she suggested that I reassess the situation and give it up if I was still in so much agony. It was PERFECT. I had a time frame. A time to which I could push myself towards but all the while knowing there would be relief if I made it there. I don't know why I didn't just give up at the beginning but I had this feeling that this was best for my daughter and that's what I strive for. After hours of Internet research and countless lactation specialist home visits and La Leche League advice it turns out that this woman's advice was all I needed to turn my attitude around. As we neared the six weeks mark, my daughter's jaws got stronger, her suction improved, my nipples slowly healed, and the pain subsided.

One day, I sat down in a chair with my baby, yanked down my shirt and she ferociously gulped and stopped and gulped and stopped with a perfect rhythm. Jason walked in and said, "well, we're at six weeks...should I go buy formula?" We still didn't look like the pictures in the nursing brochures but we were just perfect. And it only took six very short weeks.

What have your breastfeeding experiences been like? Good or Bad? Love or Hate? How long did you last?

This is her at about 11 months. And, though we had quit breastfeeding and she had fallen hard for avocados...I still think we made a great team!


i'm honing...

So, I've realized this blog is a little vague. And to me, vague is generally a bad thing. I mean I don't want it to be a stiflingly structured place to browse. Rather, I would like it to be a sweet little corner of the world where I can stow away my thoughts and ideas; plans and memories. Right now, it is none of these things. I started it in order to check items off an unwritten list...obviously a bad idea considering none of the items on said list have been completed.

Dear readers or lack there of, we have come to a crossroads. What to make out of this lovely blog place thingy??? I have been mega inspired by a place called www.girlsgonechild.net and I do so love how she has documented so many events as her children grow. But many other mommy bloggers have inspired me as well. Obviously, they are much more versed at this blogging thing because as you can see I can't make my spot in the blogosphere look cool if my life depended on it. WTF, indeed?? On the other end of the spectrum there is this site that I check on a bidaily basis. Then, I refer to this site on a (at least) weekly basis. They say that your 20s are for figuring out who you are and I clearly have not decided. But, there are two things I love more than (or at least almost as much as) mi esposo and they are my babies and the things that come out of my oven on an almost nightly basis. Baking and babies.

Here's what I envision:

Me: blogging on a nightly frequency. One night's musings will be about the confectional delight of the evening. The other night will be dedicated to some wild mommy news, of which there is plenty.

You: reading on a nightly frequency and posting clever little comments that keep me motivated and smiling.

Sound good? I'm glad we had this chat. We will now commence in this fashion.

Thank you and goodnight!

Now, for my first attempt at a picture....eeeeeeek! If it shows up: meet my little girl at 22 months. She had just finished dinner and had spaghetti all over her shirt. Shirts are totally overrated anyway..."playing" basketball in the alley, now that is important! (okay, so it ended up at the top...and i don't know how to move it. but, its up there...and she is freaking awesome!)

Have a lovely weekend.



My husband tells me I look pretty almost 5 of seven days of the week. I consider myself lucky. Not just because he compliments me but, because I'm almost convinced that, even though I haven't lost all the baby weight from No. 2, he genuinely means it. I also consider myself lucky, that I believe him to be one of the dreamiest men of all time. Sometimes I imagine myself being single again and dream up different scenarios in which we meet. At the grocery store, in a bar (which, incidentally is how we met), at a drive-in movie or a cocktail party. Even my single alter ego thinks he is irresistible. That's a very good sign, yes?

It is finally May. It is raining in the midwest right now, but it is still May. He will start to wear shorts, I love him in shorts (and sunglasses and a t-shirt). I love him (in anything).


sleep baby, sleep.

His dresser is still UNstriped and UNpainted. I told you I'm bad at this. But, let me tell you the things I have accomplished. I have spent much needed social time with friends and wine. I have baked...alot. Most of which, I should be posting pictures of so that you can see I am doing something with these days besides frittering them away and snacking on baby toes and baby rolls. I have set up college funds for my lovelies, which should have been the first thing on the list considering it has been on my mind ever since number one was in the womb, over two years ago. I have done a gajillion (I'm positive it is a number when referring to laundry in a family of four) loads of laundry. Jason and I cancelled our cable, which has been on the list for almost a year. I swear those cable companies...talk about frittering. They FRITTER away some serious cash from us poor American Idol addicted people. It feels good though. The family is reading more, interacting with nature, communicating more and going to bed earlier, all of which have to be healthy changes. We've kind of had to reprogram ourselves to not depend on the television for entertainment but I feel good about it and so does my bank account. We created a compost pile and have vowed to start composting all of our food waste. These things are important people...the dresser is so UNdone but so many many things are DONE.

And one more thing before I go...he slept through the night last night dear friends. It took him every bit of five months but he did it. He slept untill 6:30 a.m. The family is celebrating by watching a thunderstorm on the front porch. Spring is here and so is thunderstorm watching...one of mama's favorite pastimes. I hope my babes love it too. The rain falls and the babies sleep, it is a perfectly gray day. I just need to bake a cake...and maybe have a quick snack of baby toes.


such a grand idea.

As I was browsing the latest posts on my favorite blogs, I was lead to this genius blog http://rulesformyunbornson.tumblr.com/ and I instantly fell for the idea. How clever? While my husband and I still have a small amount of coolness left in our repetoire, we could compile a list of rules and advice to guide them long after we're uptight and so very UNcool.

I've heard there are websites that you can make your own books. Maybe we'll start the text now and publish them in a few years when we've exhausted all of our bits of wisdom. Must find these bookmaking websites and start my own rules. What are your thought of making one for each, the boy and the girl. I think it is a must. I can't tell my son to "always have bronzer at the ready. glowing skin is an easy fix for a gray day." But, you better believe that will make it on my list of advice to my lovely daughter. Oh, how I will laugh when she gets in to makeup - it will be a lovely experience helping her become a young lady.

Hopefully Jason is as into this as I am...we shall see.

peace and love,


i've thought and thought

I love the idea of this new blog. I love the idea of connecting with people through my words. I love even the faintest hope that I will someday inspire someone about something, in the same way that I have been inspired by a whole host of bloggers out there. There is but one problem. I wish I had more time to spend with you and to devote to the items on the list that is the subject of this blog. One can set goals of completing the soon-to-be beautiful striped dresser that will reside in my baby boy's room but until one has an unscheduled afternoon to complete these tasks, they will remain...unchecked on the list.

Oh list...how you inspire me. Oh list...how you frustrate me. Oh list...you have NOT defeated me.

The dresser will make its debut, same as its owner, fashionably late. Its not a trait to be proud of but it is one that myself and said dresser are TOTALLY guilty.

While the dresser sits untouched in a rather dark and dusty corner of my basement you will have to settle for another story. Okay, its not a true story - it is merely the happenings of the last few weeks. I am one of those girls that has not managed to make any incredible friends since high school. Stop rolling your eyes and keep the, "that's kinda pathetic." comments to yourself before you've heard me out. If you had my friends (there are three of them) you would not be on the prowl for any auxilliary friends either. They would be like the side salad at a totally average restaraunt. You force yourself to enjoy the limp greens but the relationship is anything but natural. The salad is inevitably resented, as would be the case with any additonal friends. They encompass everything I could ever want in a companion and are totally different and as a side note, are not necessarily friends with one another. There is but one problem. They have all chosen, I am sure in an effort to punish me, to live far far away. Well, in the past few weeks, I have had the privelage of sharing at least an afternoon with all three of them. It has been a good, almost blissful few weeks.

I spent hours talking all things wedding and bridal with my first friend and having skipped throwing a big wedding myself, it was a thoroughly satisfying experience. Although, I am content living vicariously through my blushing best friend bride. We pondered shoe color and hair style and flower choice, all of which she has made beautiful choices (with my assistance, obviously). We also talked life stuff. Her living situation, and upcoming commitment, my marriage and child dilemnas and joys. We drank a bottle of wine over sushi, and wondered where it had gone...where the time had gone...but, NOT where our bond had gone. We can go weeks without speaking, both of us in the throws of young adulthood (although with a house, husband, and two children I think we can skip the "young" part) and pick up almost exactly where we left off. She is my greatest friend, besides the other two. She exploits my girliness in all of its waxing, dying, and gossiping glory. She brought my daughter an Easter basket overflowing with girliness. There was lip gloss, bracelets, sunglasses, and a painting project. And for my son, whome she wouldn't dare ignore, there was a pair of mod dino footed jammies, too damn cute! The most exhilerating part of the evening came when she whispered, in a casual fashion, that she and her husband were moving back home. After this statement, and with me out of breath, she added that it would probably be within a year. I gasped and I think I choked on my Pinot Noir, but then I smiled. Because, as happy as my lovely husband and two kids make me - I am nothing without my friends.

More on the other two friends later...its raining outside and I want coffee and a good book. But alas, I must finish the work day...


fancy up the blog later

I am slowly learning how to make my blog look pretty, or at least NOT as if it were designed by someone from the cast of Office Space. Although the boring layout doesn't fit the mission or my personality...it will have to do for now. I will think up some alarmingly attractive color scheme and a catchy little layout in the very near future. However, I'm finding it of little import in comparison to the actual content of the blog which in my eyes, is the writing and of course THE LIST. So, onward we move. Pretty or not.

I think I have decided on my first project. To you, my friends, these projects may sound mundane. Maybe they are. But as soon as I can check them off the list, I can call them munDONE. Wow, I didn't think I had it in me but there it is. The backspace bar is yelling at me but I am ignoring its shrill calls. I promise to keep you entertained, one way or another. I'm a second child and it is my purpose in life. If I don't follow through with this promise and your forehead slinks ever closer to the keyboard and you find yourself checking for light leaks in your eyelids...I will immediately shut down. Like I told you in my first post - STICK WITH ME KID!!! I AM NOTHING IF NOT FUN!!! I even grant you permission to laugh at my failures.

Anyway...first project on new blog: refurbishing an old dresser. This dresser was my husband's (here to for known as Jason, really thats his name, no tricks here) when he was a child. My father-in-law recently offered it to me and I jumped, seeing as how my four month old son doesn't yet have one in his room. We (I, at 8 months pregnant) managed to finish the adorable tuquoise stripes on his walls but my poor boy has nothing hung on his walls and even less in the way of furniture. Don't worry dear reader, he does have a crib...I am not that neglectful. He has plenty in the kisses and love arenas but is very lacking in the furniture area - which, to a fourmonth old baby boy can be very distressing. Maybe thats why he's not yet sleeping through the night??

The dresser is begging to be totally made over. Its a basic enough shape that I could really have some fun with it. I'm thinking more stripes. It may sound a little busy but I think should the dresser get a treatment of vertical stripes against the horizontal turquoise stripes of the walls...we might really have something. Yellow. Yes, yellow. Yellow and turquoise...a very pleasing combination. My other thought was to paint it white with a giant yellow 'B' on the front but I'm not sure I could make it work with all the ins and outs of the drawers etc. Jason fondly recalls the clanging that the old metal pulls make when the wooden drawers are opened and closed, but shhhhh...I think I may replace them. We'll see. I'll show the before pics tomorrow and by weekend's end, we will have ourselves a new dresser. Or...my blog might ground me. Uhoh...better get working.


so, i guess we're off...and away.

If anyone's out there...

This is very typical.  I have finally figured out this whole Blog creation thingy and here my lovely computer is just about out of batteries.  It is fitting though, my readers.  It is a swell introduction to what you will experience on this blog.  At my parents' house, in the study that is littered with antiques and childhood memoribilia (my dad's youth league golf trophies, tin Lucky Strike cigarette boxes and political signs from elections long ago) there is a sign that reads, "I finally got it all together and then I forgot where I put it."  I know, its not poetic.  Its not even touching but I have always identified with it.  I have read that sign many times and thought, "that is the story of my life."  Oh, I try with the best of intentions to know where my keyes are when I'm planning on leaving the house but, I swear they sprout little tiny metal legs and prance off into the night.  I have implemented countless strategies for keeping track of important dates like birthdays and anniversaries but I can't seem to keep it straight.  I'm telling you - my life is a full on comedy.  The most comical part??  I have kids now.  Two of them.  They are super sweet and scrumptous but they don't deserve the disorganized, open-ended life full of pipe dreams and fairy tales.  Did I mention that I am a bit dramatic at times?

So, I am going to change that with the moment that I push that PUBLISH button.  I have accountability now.  I know most people don't need a blog, but it turns out that I might.  I have lists and lists of things that I want to accomplish.  There are things that I want to learn and places I want to go.  Some of these things are small and seemingly inconsequential but I have the kind of mind that obsesses over them if they are never executed.  I have wanted to learn French for years.  I need to do it.  I have wanted to teach myself to knit.  I have never done it.  I want to bake the perfect apricot tart.  I must get moving!!  There are big things and small and I will try to do them all.  Some days though there is an oversized portion of accomplishments that just appear in the everyday.  Like, say, getting a 19 month old and a 4 month old to bed at the same time. Or, perfecting a chocolate chip cookie recipe.   Aaaaahhh, the mini miracles.  You will hear about those too.

Here my friends you will find my successes as well as my failures.  Should I try knitting and never make it past the 16th stitch, I will share with you my experience...the good, the bad, and most certainly the ugly because I'm sure that will make for the best reading.  Stick with me though.  My life is bumpy, so fasten you seatbelts.  And the battery is......