Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Streaker in the making

Being naked is only natural; Liesl knows this and wishes to partake, thankyouverymuch. I found her in her crib this morning only 1/4 dressed. Thank goodness the diaper was still intact! After Tom and I had a laugh, I got some pictures of the little nudist.

We've also had an awful lot of dancing these days....Liesl has more rhythm than her mother. Then again, any inanimate object you see has more rhythm than her mother, so that's not saying much. Still, dancing and the radio are big fun in our house for everyone.

The next streaker for the U 0f M games
(we have to give U of M football a little bit more class than they're used to)

Dancin' to the 80's, interrupted by commentary on the camera :-)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ducks, donuts, and dirt

Today, Liesl and I went to the Parmenter Cider Mill with the Farmington Area Mom's Club. Up until now, Tom and I usually visited the Franklin Cider Mill every autumn, which is very near our house, but one look at Parmenter made me realize it is much more kid-friendly. For one thing, there is a large play area for very small children such as Liesl's age, full of equipment for climbing and sliding for toddlers. The cider itself is cold-process pasteurized, and while the cider mill obviously is near a river (with the requisite huge flock of ducks that is always present at every cider mill), it is far enough away from the play area that you don't have to worry about kidlets falling into the river.
Liesl had her first taste of cider and LOVED it! Truthfully more of it made it onto her clothes than in her mouth, but heck, that's why we own a washing machine. And she did have the better half of a donut, which was also very tasty. (Along with her own donut, Mommy, um, "helped" Liesl with the other half of her donut. We wouldn't want it to go to waste, would we?) The hungry, tame, Pavlov-donut-educated ducks were also a huge smash (see video below) and playing on tons of equipment with scads of other little kids was a huge success. We will definitely visit Parmenter (and the ducks) again this season.

<-- An evil plan is surely forming here....

Tormenting the Ducks at Parmenter Cider Mill

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Thank God they've outlawed whaling

We took a few pics of Liesl and myself dressed up for church. Liesl looks like a Scottish Pillsbury Dough boy (girl) in this dress...it is one of our favorites (and I got it at a Mom 2 Mom sale for 5 bucks! What a steal!) Liesl is often pointing to my belly. It is very sweet. I feel compelled to respond every time with, "Yes, there really is a baby in there. No, Mommy hasn't been hitting Krispy Kreme recently." Anyway, here are pregnancy pics at 32 weeks. (Crikey...it's getting close!) Someone please tell me why my Yahoo avatar is way cuter than I am. (And why the little girl in the stroller is so much better behaved than you-know-who.) I wouldn't DREAM of wearing pink like that--pregnant or not. And someone give me a diplomatic way to tell the assistant at my midwife's office that when I step on the scale, she needn't move the slider into the 200-pound position immediately. I've taken to pointedly moving it back to the 150-pound position without a word, and they take it from there (sometimes with a stiff attitude, but they deserve it.) Whale or not, I'm not quite there, and really have no intention of GETTING there, thankyouverymuch.

Before church last Sunday, we spent a cozy half-hour in our jammies in the family room. It was cool, so we lit our fireplace for the first time this season, and somebody is taking after her mother's habit of sitting at the fireplace and reading. And yes, we are VERY careful about her being around the fireplace--we don't take our eyes off her. She sat next to it and spoke the word "Hot...hot...hot..." about 5,000 times.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

"We don't eat toast with a spoon"

That was my refrain for most of lunchtime today. Liesl has been practicing her "big people" eating skills by using "big people" spoons. I have stopped getting the toddler spoons out for most foods, as they're useless and clearly uninteresting. Liesl's newest sign is "spoon," so she'll sign it over and over and then point to the silverware drawer. @@

Unfortunately the concept of no spoons with finger foods hasn't sunk in. See for yourself.

On another food note, I caught an advertisement for a new show on the Food Network called "The Next Iron Chef." So which chef is leaving???? It better not be Cat Cora...if so, I'm going to pull out a rare but noisy feminism card. After all, Liesl is soon to be Chef Cora's apprentice. (But no pressure or anything.) I don't call her "Iron Chef Liesl Rose" for nothin'.

(Yeah, I gave up...toast is impossible to eat with a spoon. That Mom of mine, she is right...occasionally. Don't tell her, though, it'll go to her head.)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Green Thumbs & Green Buns

Our gardens really took off this year. We tried an experiment with our corn and planted 1/2 of the crop 2 weeks later than the first 1/2. I'm not sure if the weather played a part in it or what, but for some reason the 2nd crop produced very short ears compared to the very satisfactory 1st crop. It is possible, too, that we planted everything way too late--I didn't get the first batch in the ground until late June. However, we have feasted on corn on the cob plenty of times this summer as well as zucchini, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and eggplant. And we did scale back...we only have 96 pepper plants this year. (For those of you who like our salsa...get your pantries ready, PLEASE.)

As for the "green buns" part of this post, we've officially switched to cloth diapers. A bit late in the day for that, putting a 20 month-old in cloth, but every little bit helps not only the environment, but our budget as well. I've been wanting to do it for months, but every time I research cloth diapering on the Internet, I get a migraine. (Type "cloth diapers" into your Google search and you'll see what I mean. These are NOT your mother's cloth diapers!) I finally bit the bullet and ordered them. We have 1 dozen bumGenius 2.0 one-size diapers for Liesl, as well as a few wetbags and a few dozen cloth diaper wipes. I purchased everything from an online diaper store called Abby's Lane. The owner, Stephanie, has a super-fast shipping rate, ships for free on orders over $50, and answers any questions you have very quickly. I love her! So far, so good! It's really easy to wash and care for these diapers, and the "ew, gross, poop" factor isn't a problem at all--there's just as much poop to deal with in a cloth diaper as there is a disposable. (Poop is poop, it really doesn't care what you put it in...I didn't realize that until I had used these diapers for a few days.) I wish we'd have done this months ago, but these diapers will be ready for when Squidgie is large enough to wear them. (These diapers are, unbelievably, one-size-fits-all, and are adjustable for babies from 8-35 pounds. Yes, really...and I was skeptical, too!) Squidgie will probably be wearing cloth prefolds with covers for the first few weeks/months of his/her life, and then be ready to move into these larger diapers.

On one more "green" note: My humblest sympathy to my dear University of Michigan friends after these last two weekends in football. You all must be feeling quite awful. I am so sorry for your losses....really....(it is so hard to keep a straight face while I say this....)

The 2007 Gardens

Raspberries at the right foreground

Corn, squash, eggplant, cucumber, and cutting flowers in the middle

Pepper & tomato garden in the left background

Closeup of the front pepper & tomato garden--the black row cover that Tom painstakingly put down to squelch the weeds really did the trick this year.

My prized Chianti sunflowers, with a little pollination help going on :-) (Thanks, Mr. Bee)

More cloth didie pics

These are some random shots from our "cloth didie photo shoot" today. Liesl is so proud of her cloth diapers...but she also felt the need to cover up a bit. With Daddy's shorts. (That's what I get for not putting the laundry away before she got up from her nap.)

Take a guess as to who wears the pants in this house....

Dude, we're stylin' now....

Why no, Mommy hasn't made the bed or put the laundry away yet. Thanks for pointing that out, Liesl. Now Grammie can chastise me. Thanks a TON.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

So many of my friends and fellow bloggers are posting pictures of their recipes, I thought I'd join the fray. Today for breakfast I finally made a recipe I've been wanting to try for months, but it required some advance planning and a semi-free weekend (those have been few and far between this summer.) Steph's is one of my favorite recipe sites for classic recipes and food. I've made many of her soups, breads, and dressings. Check it out if you have a moment: Steph's Country Kitchen Goodness

This picture has about 1/3 of the pancakes, my husband and daughter beat my camera to them. They were a real hit. The next time I make them, I'll double the recipe and freeze the leftovers; I've always had great luck with tossing frozen pancakes straight from the freezer into the toaster oven and having them come out crisp and hot. They make a great quick breakfast for Liesl and I on busy days. Up until now, I've been making the wholemeal World-Class Pancake recipe from Marleeta Basey's book Flour Power, but my husband informs me these are a bit nicer. (He doesn't know that I didn't use any white flour....I snuck in 100% home-ground, whole wheat flour, milled from hard white spring wheat. But hey, what he doesn't know won't kill him...quite the contrary, actually.)

Oatmeal Pancakes
Note: You must start the batter the night before serving.

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups buttermilk, plus a bit more
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. sugar
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
Nonstick cooking spray

1. Partially prepare the batter the night before. In a small bowl, combine the oatmeal and 2 cups of the buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
2. The next morning, sift together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside (do this the night before to save time in the morning).
3. In a large mixer bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the butter and blend, then add the oatmeal mixture. Quickly blend in the flour mixture. The batter will be very thick, so you might need to add 2 to 4 more tablespoons of buttermilk, but not more than that.
4. Coat griddle with nonstick cooking spray and heat to 350°. Drop a large spoonful of batter on hot griddle and pat down a bit. The pancakes will be about 3/4 inch thick, and will puff up when turned over. Serve with warmed maple syrup. Yield: 16 pancakes.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Some random summer photos

What happened to the stuffed animals??? The aliens did it....I swear.....

A critique of Alton Brown's Stovetop Mac & Cheese recipe
(I daresay it's a favorable review) 8-17-07

Fresh corn OFF the cob from Mommy & Daddy's garden

Your toes could use some water, Mom

Revenge is SWEET 8-29-07

New definition of "Baby Shower" 8-29-07

Signing "sleep" after a long afternoon in the kiddie pool
(If you think she actually naps on that couch, think again...she's just mimicking
myself and her dad.) 8-29-07

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Marshmallow Fly & Fry

Tonight our city hosted the annual Marshmallow Fly & Fry (see, I'm not making this up). Our property tax dollars at work--the marshmallows, toasting sticks and drinks are free; fixings for S'mores and hot dogs were also available. It was actually pretty fun and despite my worries about mobs of toddlers and preschoolers hyped up on sugar and wielding long sticks around a huge fire, it was very festive--lots of families and kids having a good time. Liesl was no exception. She had her first taste of toasted marshmallows (courtesy of Daddy, as Mommy didn't like to get too close to the fire in her current bloated condition) and got to play with lots of other kids. We also hung out with Lina and Ethan, our neighbors and friends--Ethan is the same age as Liesl and they really like each other. At 6:30, the Founder Festival Queen went up in the ladder of one of our fire trucks and threw 1,000 marshmallows into the crowd; which could later be turned in for bags of treats. (We declined the treat bag--Liesl didn't know any better, and frankly she'd had 4 marshmallows...that was plenty of sugar for one week, thankyouverymuch.) Nothing like a beauty queen being hoisted 200 feet in the air to throw confections on the taxpayers and their offspring to make you realize you live in a very strange world, indeed. Despite the sugar and excitement, Liesl passed out cold as soon as she hit the mattress this evening. It is an event we will put on our calendar every year.

First taste! (Charred though it was...she loved it)

Ethan's (and his mom Lina's) first taste of toasted marshmallows as well

Running out to collect the marshmallows being thrown....

....One came back laughing, the other a bit fretful

Since we haven't had enough white goo spread on us today, let's embellish that blouse
with some homemade yogurt.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Babes in Torgland

I'm very tired with the pregnancy, but my friend yelled at me to get off my duff and out of the house for once (I seem to recall saying the same thing, oh, 8 months ago or so.) So we went to visit Julie and 9 month-old baby Tyler last Friday. Tyler has been crawling--Army style--for a while now, and I haven't really seen him (or Julie) in months. Liesl was enthralled, she loves him to death. This is good news...we're going to have a Tyler (or Tyler-ette) of our own in no time at all. It's good to know she loves spending time with babies.

If he's waiting for crumbs to drop, it's gonna
be a while.

No, no, you do it THIS way.

Too cute, even for NASCAR