Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Turkey Day Trip

We went to Colorado to visit my brother's family for Thanksgiving, and boy did we have fun!
I'm pretty sure Abby wanted to stay in Colorado forever.
We had tons of fun just hanging out with the family,
but we also enjoyed visiting the Denver Children's Museum and the Garden of the Gods.

Thanksgiving dinner was absolutely delicious--I'm determined to brine my next turkey, because of how moist and tasty theirs was. Thanks again, Glenn and Julie. We love you!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Spinnaroni Penne

This is a blend of a dish from my Australia The Beautiful Cookbook (which I love for the vagary of its adjective) and a sauce from Our Best Bites. It's yummy and gooey and crispy on top, AND it has spinach which practically makes it a health food. Except that the spinach is . . . well, you'll see. My favorite thing about this meal is this: as we were eating, I mentioned that I was going to blog about the recipe, and asked, "What should we call this dish?" Abby responded, "The Little Mouse!"

Spinnaroni Penne
or, The Little Mouse

2 C low-fat milk
1/3 C (3 oz) low fat cream cheese
Okay, before we go any further, I have to confess: this is called "Guiltless Alfredo Sauce," but in my copy the less is crossed out and a y substituted, because I use whole milk and regular cream cheese. It's delicious. Don't judge me [hi Heidi!])
2 T flour
1 t salt
1 T butter
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 C grated Parmesan cheese

Toss milk, cream cheese, flour, and salt in a blender and process until smooth.
In a non-stick saucepan, melt better on medium-high heat and add garlic. Saute for 30 seconds, add milk mixture. Stir constantly until it simmers, about 3 to 4 minutes. Keep stirring until it thickens considerably, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir in cheese, and cover immediately. Let stand 10 minutes or more before serving.

5 oz pepperoni, cut into julienne (this is the stick, not the pre-sliced)
1 bunch carefully rinsed or pre-washed bag spinach, coarsely chopped
1/2 lb penne
1 1/3 C panko (or you can use regular breadcrumbs and saute them in butter for 3 minutes)

Make sauce. Preheat oven to 350 F and butter a 2 qt baking dish.
In a frying pan over medium heat, saute the pepperoni until nicely browned, about 7 minutes. Remove to paper towels with a slotted spoon. Saute spinach in pepperoni drippings until wilted, about 5 minutes. Combine drained pepperoni and wilted spinach.
Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain well.
Fold 3/4 of sauce into penne. Layer half the penne into buttered baking dish and top with spinach mixture. Scatter remaining penne evenly over the top and spoon on remaining sauce. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top.
Bake in oven until hot and bubbling, 20-25 minutes. Serve immediately.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sock It To Ya

These are my socks that I knitted myself, with some hand-painted yarn that I got for my birthday. I love that they don't match.





The pattern is called "Labyrinth" and the yarn named "Indian Corn," so I got a big chuckle out of the fact that I called this project "Maze." Y'know, like maze the puzzle and maize? HAHA! Ha. It was funnier in my mind.
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Good news: I used up my weekly allotment of DUMB in one fell swoop today by emptying a cup of peppercorns into the dishwasher. All my actions for the rest of this week should be characterized by extreme forethought and intelligence.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Regulate, Formalize, Educate

I've displayed Abby's spectacular dancing on this blog before. While she already has a great style of her own, I thought it would be good to introduce her to a little more formal type of dancing, so we enrolled her in a ballet class. It's been a great source of exercise and very therapeutic: I belly laughed so much the first class that my gut was sore the next couple of days. Watching a bunch of 3-year-olds galumph, stumble, and blank-stare their way through a 45-minute class definitely raises my spirits.

And actually, if watching your child try to master the arabesque and plie appeals to you, it's your lucky vague time period: Studio K Dance Academy has openings available for 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10 year old kids. You can find the details in that link to their blog. We've only been twice so far, but I think it's a great value and lots of fun. They mention on the blog that it is a very low pressure studio, which I can vouch for as far as Abby's class goes. We'd love to see you there!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Feeling Corny

Abby and Evie are both happily following in their father's footsteps by devouring corn at every opportunity. We thought it was really cute that Evie could hold her own corn. And she may have done a better job of clearing off the cob than Abby did.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Right on Target

A few minutes ago, I finished a stressful shopping trip to Target with the girls. I turned from tussling the girls into the car to see an SUV with SERENITY printed on the back window, and experienced my first adult brush with hysterical laughter.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


This is why I believe heaven will smell like lime and toasted coconut.

Happy Tails to You

I think family trends are quite amusing. My sister just blogged about her daughter saying Mommy (in a sentence), and my brother-in-law just posted about his daughter's pony tails. So I'm just trying to keep up with the Gotbergs and Browns.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mom Mom bo-bomb

Evie said "Mom" for the first time today. I was SOOO excited. For weeks I've been saying "No, I'm Mommy" when she grabs me and reaches out her arms to be picked up, crying "Daadaa!" Looks like it's finally sinking in.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


A natural disaster hit our condo!

But don't worry. We survived.

Actually, the Sunday before last, our bishop spoke about emergency preparation, and at the end of his presentation, declared a preparedness practice: we were not to shop for the next three days, not put gas in the car, and try to use as little electricity as possible. I imagine it was a little more exciting for some of our ward members, but we always do our grocery shopping for the week on Friday or Saturday anyway. The only thing we didn't have enough of was: TOILET PAPER. It was kind of funny, because Sunday morning I mentioned to Regis that I would absolutely positively have to be sure and go to the store on Monday, because we only had THREE rolls left. So of course . . . no shopping for you! My sweet visiting teacher called Monday and asked if there was anything I needed, and very kindly brought us a few more rolls. As it turned out, we would have made it to Wednesday afternoon on our own (is that too much information?) but it was nice to have that security. :)

So now we've gotten really focussed on our food storage and 72-hour kit. Having kids reeeeally increases the amount of stuff you need, even in an emergency. But we're having a good time pricing cans of freeze dried fruit and canned bacon (I'm told it's quite tasty!). Now we just need to figure out where to put it.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


My second child has just weaned herself, just like the first child did. I'm delighted this time. I had a really hard time when Abby decided she was done--I felt rejected. Evie is about the same age as Abby was, but I think it's easier this time because she'd already cut way back on the amount and number of times she was nursing. Now if I could just get her to drink cow milk . . .

Monday, August 23, 2010

Does This Husband Make Me Look Fat?

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Abby's Party

We had a great time at Abby's birthday party at the park. The kids loved the egg hunt, throwing bean bags at the cow, and playing "Sheepie Sheepie, Go to Grass." The adults' favorite part was, of course, our magnificent cake. Not everything went quite the way I planned it (the pavilion was taken over entirely by a family reunion or something, and it was too windy for some of our games), but I think everyone had fun. Abby did, anyway, and that was the whole point.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Breaking News

Stay tuned for a report on Abby's birthday party. I anticipate great things.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dancin' dancin' dancin'

And you just know that in her head she looks exactly like Beyonce.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Goals and a Caveat

One of my goals for this year is to improve my posture, so next time you see me, remind me to stand up straight.

My other goal is to punch people who nag me.

Just so you know.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bits and Pieces

I've been spending scads of money lately, mostly because I have a child who is turning three and good grief, you can't expect me to dress a three-year-old in clothes that are 2T! Oh, the humanity!

Evie's becoming a real person: she understands what I mean when I say things like "sit down," even if she doesn't choose to obey. I took the girls to the library the other day, and while Abby sat and battered the public computer's keyboard, I tried to pick out some books for myself. I had to take frequent breaks to chase Evie down the aisles in a quietly noisy way, because hearing me behind her made her squeal and giggle and speed up. It was hugely fun in a guilty way.

I have this constant nagging feeling that I'm being left behind. Any time a day of the week is mentioned, I kind of freeze and think "I know I have something that day. WHAT is going on that day?" Generally speaking, the real answer is nothing, but that doesn't stop me from having a stress attack about it.

And you know how I mentioned my new haircut a few posts back? I just realized that I got it cut nearly the exact same length when Abby was the age Evie is now.

Sometimes I have to step back and remember that one's cell phone is for one's own convenience, not the convenience of others. This applies to myself and to those I'm trying to reach.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sign of the Times

Coordinating nicely with my last post, I found my first grey hair yesterday. Yaaaaay.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Brought to you by the letter C

Today Crystal met one of the heartbreaks of parenthood: when your child is the uninvited one. Ouch, ouch, ouch. I'm hurt on her behalf and terribly glad she doesn't understand. Is that justification for letting her watch movies all day and eat cookies for lunch?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Welcome to the Zoo

Don't go to the zoo on Memorial Day.
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Friday, May 21, 2010

Ahhh, deep.

Bad news, like a ripe strawberry, does not age well.

How nice! Except it isn't.

Both my children woke up at 9:30 this morning. You might think you're envious, but you're not, and here's why: they also kept me awake until 2:30am with whining and snotting and general feelings of ill health. And the crustiness on Evie's face this morning was unspeakable, which is why this is a blog and not a podcast.

Today is not very promising.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Regis and I are sushi masters. Except that we don't use raw fish. And we didn't realize we were only supposed to use half the nori sheet. So, we made some huge California rolls. And they tasted good.

Chop chop

I got my hair cut yesterday. I thought it was pretty drastic, but no one else has noticed without me telling them, so I guess it's not as different as I thought. But look how curly!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

I KNOW you know. I know. I get the concept.

It snowed on May 1st. Blah blah, I hate spring in the Rocky Mountains, blah blah blah. Consider yourself whined to.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ah, Spring

I think it may have finally stopped snowing. (It snowed last week. LAST WEEK.)

These are some of the results of my attempt to take cute pictures of the girls in their matching shirts that Auntie Brook gave them. I have lots of mom friends who have photography businesses. They stay my friends because, wisely, they do not fear competition from me.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Evie has two favorite games.

One is called "Try and pull up on everything." This is played just like it sounds.

The other is called "Mommy puts things in a box and Evie takes or dumps them out." It's very complex, and I don't have room to describe the rules here. But be assured, it does not matter what box is involved, or what the contents are. Evangeline is very versatile in her amusements.

And despite the fact that the nearest volcano is 150 miles away, not to mention extinct, the floor is still lava.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Evie Takes a Stand

Last night, Evangeline pulled herself up on Abby's wagon 'o blocks. She stood there for perhaps ten minutes and was absolutely delighted with herself.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Some Hatchings Hurt

I remember throwing a fit when I was a child, for some reason I can't recall, when my mother was helping me write in my journal and committed the heinous sin of writing the date on the page. I have no way of knowing why that was so upsetting, but I know I screamed and cried and scrubbed out the ink with an eraser before I was done. (I'm anticipating with delight similar episodes with my own children. Poor Mom.)

I'm feeling appallingly mediocre tonight. It seems like I can't do anything really well. (Please don't compliment me; this isn't a fishing trip.) I tried to explain this to Regis, and jumped down his throat when he tried to make me feel better, so I get to add "wife" to that list too. Earlier we talked about why so many great painters, writers, etc. were depressed, and I theorized that content people rarely try to change things. I'm hoping that this means my brain is gearing up to do something great. Like come up with the magic answer for potty training, perhaps.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunny Side Up

The highlight of my day was when I went into the girls' room this morning. We shut their door to block noise (from both sides) and Abby hasn't yet mastered opening it, so when I hear either child in the morning, I go in. Today Abby greeted me at the door, saying, "Evie's awake and she's singing to me!" Sure enough, Evie was happily cooing away. What a nice way to start the day.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Don't Nominate Me

I really won't be winning Mom of the Year in 2010.

Last week, I walked a couple of steps out the door in order to clean out our vacuum filter. Abby, who like many toddlers loves routine, shut the door behind me and locked it. Not just the knob lock, the deadbolt. She has obviously picked up on our family's incessant door-locking. I stared through the window at Evangeline lying on the floor, and hollered, "ABBY! OPEN THE DOOR!" Her response was, of course, "Why?"
"Because if you don't, I'm going to spank your bottom!" (Yes, I know that wouldn't work. I was a little frantic.)
She did eventually get the deadbolt unlocked, with help from a stool and despite her mother's raucous wrath and muttered imprecations. I was still really mad when I finally got in, and she got a lecture (but not a spanking). It's hard to explain to a two and a half year old child why she shouldn't lock the door when Mommy leaves.

Later that day, I was emptying our paper shredder, which Abby loves to help with. I got all the shreds into a plastic bag, and as she grabbed it, told Abby to "go put it by the front door." She took off down the hallway to our bedroom instead. Frustrated, I yelled that she had three seconds to put the bag by the front door, or (there's a theme here) I would swat her bottom.
"One! . . . Two! . . ."
Abby cheerfully yelled back, "Three!"
Obviously, that method is not effective. I stomped down the hall and administered the swat. She cried. I started to explain why I was angry, when a little voice in the back of my head pondered, "Does she know where the front door is?" Guess what? She didn't. We played a fun game of Run to the Door (Where's Abby's door? Where's the closet door?), and now she knows.

This is the main reason I'm not winning. If I've talked to you lately, I've probably moaned and groaned about how Evangeline doesn't sleep through the night and is generally a grouch. Every night, she would wake up at least once and scream for at least an hour before going back to sleep. This did not make for a happy Mommy. Talking to a friend a few days ago, she mentioned that her son gets cold in their 68 degree apartment at night, so she puts socks and a onesie on under his pajamas. Our apartment is kept colder than that. I decided to dress Evie warmer that evening. When Regis got home, however, I learned another important lesson. Evangeline screamed and screamed and would not be comforted, so Regis decided to try and feed her. She ate about twice what we normally feed her at night before she finally stopped yelling. That night, she slept like an angel. The next day, I consciously tried to feed her more than I usually do, and guess what? She was an angel baby ALL DAY. So no, it wasn't just that she was teething, although she does now have two sharp ones. Evangeline was grouchy and sleepless because she was tired of living on a mere subsistence diet. Guess how that makes me feel? In a word: STUPID.

Don't go outside without your keys. Make sure she knows what you're talking about before you punish her. And maybe try feeding the baby once in a while.

Motherhood is meant to make me humble, I guess.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Production Floor

Let's start determining productivity by how messy the house is. That way my day has already been amazingly successful.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I love you. Now let go.

Evangeline is in a very frustrating stage. She's driving me absolutely bonkers. She has this misconception that she is my only child, as well as the only thing I have to pay attention to all day.

So here's me, bumbling along, trying to get Abby potty trained, the house clean, my calling done, the dishes put away, and all my other little ducks in a row. I carry Evangeline around, tucked in one arm, until I run out of things I can do with only one hand. Then I attempt to set her down, on a comfy blanket, with lots of diverting toys.


Me: "Look, Evie, what I'm doing isn't really thrilling for you, and I need both hands to-"


Me: "Oh, for heaven's sake!"

Abby: "Oh, fow 'eaven sake!"

Abby's stage is a bit less frustrating. She likes to repeat what I say, and to ask why. And she at least sleeps through the night.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


This is Evangeline with her cousin Alice, in their Christmas outfits. We love Alice. Her eyes always make her look like she's fascinated by you, which is of course very flattering. Yet another example of someone we love who we wish lived closer. :)
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Once there was a snowcave, snowcave, snowcave . . .

After Abby and Evangeline each had some turns on the sled, we repurposed it as a snow shovel and built ourselves a lovely snowcave. It was probably the most fun I've had in the snow as an adult. I guess it's not all bad. :)


This is my friend Miriam, and I think she should write a book about herself because I would love to read it. In fact, I would love to pre-order that sucker right now. She used to be my neighbor, and if it weren't for the increasingly evident fact that we're outgrowing this apartment, I would try to convince her to move back.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

. . . Gimme an "N"! What does it spell? Extortion!

Dear Grandpa,

Abby really needs a cheerleading outfit.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Compliments to the Chef

This morning I was delighted to hear Abby, unprompted, remark, "Yummy french toast, Mommy. Thank you, Mommy!" I'm pretty sure that means we're doing something right.

Even if that something is just the way I cook the toast.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

You Can't Always Get What You Want

My new assignment in church is to "edit" the newsletter for the Relief Society, the women's organization. The RS president encouraged me to "put [my] personality into it."

Bless their hearts. I think they will be glad that I didn't.