Thursday, September 2, 2010

A new home

literally and figuratively.

We finally made the jump from big city living down to the small town simple life. And I've created a new blog to chronicle the changes, from becoming a stay-at-home mom to updating our new-to-us 50s ranch house.

http://lifeinamericana.wordpress.com/

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

An open letter of apology to my parents

I love my kids. I love them to pieces, but that doesn't mean they don't try my patience and my sanity on a daily basis.

Especially the kidlet. I think her personality is a little too similar to mine. She is strong-willed, stubborn, independent and silly.

See, goofy, goofy girl.

She can go from this:
to this:
in about .03 seconds flat.

(Oh the stink eye. I remember that well. In fact, I think we have many pictures of me giving the stink eye when I'm about the kidlet's age.)

This kid, she's going to give me gray hair, I just know it.

Today, she sat on the steps in our house for five minutes putting on shoes so we could leave to go to daycare. The "conversation" went something like this (and I put conversation in quotes, because there's only so much conversing you do with a 21-month-old who can't verbalize what she's thinking).

Me: Kidlet, do you want to go outside?
Kidlet: Yeah.
Me: Then we need to put on socks and shoes.
Kidlet: No.
Me; Kidlet, do you want to go outside?
Kidlet: (while attempting to put her shoes on - backwards on the wrong foot) Yeah.... (looks up at me with the shoe half on) I did it!!!
Me: Yes you did. Now let's get socks on.
Kidlet: No.


Wash, rinse, repeat. I finally got her socks and shoes on and we went on our merry way, but not without much protest, tears and "NO. I DO IT!" from her.

I'm sorry mom. I finally understand all those times you threatened to make me walk home or said if I kept pouting, my face would get stuck that way.

She's a joy and a delight, but, phew! I fear for the teenage years.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The best chocolate chip cookies in the world

Is there anything better than a homemade chocolate chip cookie, fresh out of the oven? I don't think so.

Unfortunately, not all chocolate chip cookie recipes are created equal. Some make cookies that are too crispy. Some end up too chewy. Some don't have nearly enough chocolate chips in them (a tragedy!)

However, I think I finally found the chocolate chip cookie recipe I can count on.

It's another adapted recipe from the ever useful small town church cookbook.

And it makes the perfect cookie:
Perfect golden brown, loaded with chocolate chips and pecans (optional, of course) and just the right combination of crunchy/chewy. I made these yesterday for our 4th of July supper, and they're almost all gone. I have definitely eaten my fair share today, maybe more.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie in the World
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
3 1/2 c. flour
2 t. soda
1 t. salt
1 package chocolate chip (I prefer milk chocolate)
1 c. chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together butter and sugars until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla. In separate bowl, stir together flour, soda and salt. Add to butter mixture until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if desired). Drop by spoonful on to baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes, or until just lightly golden brown.

I love that the recipe is basic. It just uses the good stuff: butter, sugar, eggs, flour, soda, salt, etc... There's no oil or crisco or anything (not that those don't make good chocolate chip cookies). The hub *might* say that the chocolate chip to dough ratio is a tad high, but you'll never hear me complain that there's too much chocolate in anything. You can reduce the amount of chocolate chips to 1 cup, though, to cut back on that.

I would go have another one, but I've already had six or seven (or eight, I quit keeping track a while ago) today.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Curly Girly

The kidlet was blessed with beautiful, curly, bright red hair.


Even if it has grown into a rather unsightly curly mullet at the present.


Unfortunately, she was also blessed (saddled?) with a mother who has pin-straight, fine, boring mousy brown hair and hasn't the faintest idea how to deal with a Little Orphan Annie-esque mop.

These adorable ringlets are murder to try and comb out. Thankfully, I have some internet friends who either have curly hair themselves, or have daughters with curly hair, who have given me tips. Tips like I don't have to wash it every time she takes a bath. And combing is essential, especially right before bedtime, lest it turn into a complete birds nest during the night (it usually does). And if it has turned into a complete birds nest, a little spray conditioner, water and scrunching will bring the curls back to shape (and if that doesn't work, the humid summer air will!)

I know in 10 years she'll whine and complain and wish she was born with anything but gorgeous, bright red, curly hair (and if it's anything like the hub's, extremely thick as well) but for now, I'm going to enjoy it - even if it is torture for us both to comb it out.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Worth 1000 words

and smiles and laughs.

Man, I love my kids. As much as they make me want to pull my hair out sometimes, I love them.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hot fun in the summer sun

It definitely feels like summer here - temps were in the 90s yesterday. I told the kiddo that we might be able to get his little pool out once the kidlet went down for her nap.

He was very excited!


"Relaxing"

He liked to duck his head under water and let it run down his face. Goofy kid.

He also had to show me how high he could jump.

Saying goodbye as daddy left to run some errands.

Prune Hands!

This kid is 100% goofy.

But he can be normal if he wants.

The kiddo had a great time splashing. I think if the pool would have been a little bigger, I would have joined him!

I'm getting better at taking my photos in manual mode. There are still quite a few that are either just under- or over-exposed or where the focus is off, but it's getting better.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Flowers, flowers everywhere

My MIL has a lovely garden on their farm. It's mostly all classic perennials: iris, daisies, coneflowers, a few peonies and some recently planted poppies.

The irises were all in bloom when we went to visit over Memorial Day and it was so pretty! Irises are my favorite flower and I loved walking around and taking pictures of all the different kinds she has.


Some close-ups:







Aren't they pretty? I think the red, deep purple (almost black) and two-tone brown/yellow are my favorites. I'm hoping that once we finally move to where we'll spend the next 30-40 years that she'll be ready to split them and we can plant some in our garden.