Thursday, November 30, 2006

Being Buddies

Someone around here is pretty fond of her little sister these days.
The other night we were reading and out of the blue Jooge said, "I think I like my sister after all." I've witnessed her taking Avery into her room sweetly by the hand, declaring, "You're my sister, Bubie." I have heard her say, "Oh, Bub, you have to go potty? I will help you." It reminds me of when my brothers and I were were young and we were getting along, we would ask each other, "Wanna be buddies?"
Avery's response has been fun to watch. Whereas before she was dodging (or burried in!) bodyslams, now she is beginning to relax. The way she says, "Hi, sis," is without fear. Interestingly, when I ask Avery her name, she says, "Julia." There is more peaceful playing together. There is sharing. I glimpse gentle touches. I see them inching close, forming connections, and finding the reasons we wanted them to have siblings in the first place.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Another Cookie Recipe

I have produced a child whose sweet tooth, like my own, is so super it has its own cape.

Back when I was teaching, our school cafeteria ladies would make the best cookies! They were unlike anything I'd ever tasted, fudgy and studded with chocolate chips and dates. Whenever they would make them I would be so excited. One day I was able to wrangle the recipe from Karen, the HEAD cook, who took a lot of pleasure in making cookies that I had piled on my desk at the end of the day after a lot of lunchroom bribes.

The other day I made some of these cookies. They were sitting on the counter cooling and Julia REALLY wanted one, so badly that I watched as she began to stack things near the counter so she could climb up and access them. I believe her actual quote was, "I'm gonna stand on 100 things to get the cookies." She climbed. She hummed. It was hilarious. She was rewarded with HALF a cookie which caused her to run rabid like Phillip the hyper hypo. As I had just eaten a few myself, we ran amok crazily, together.

And now, the recipe:
1 cup butter
1/4 cups shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 quart flour (Yeah, I know, but remember, it started as a mammoth school recipe!)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 cup dates
1 cup chocolate chips
Bake at 325 for 12 minutes and ENJOY the heck out of them!

Good Times in a Big Teracotta Pot

The growing girls: Avery (currently19 mos.) and Julia (currently 3 years 5 mos.)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Goodwill Hunting

Friday morning I woke up from a dream where I'd found some choice items at Goodwill. Guess what WE did that morning? Here's my haul:
Package of IKEA magazine holders still in the package. (Here they are assembled). .99

HUGE bulletin board (which I'd been totally looking for for awhile) which I am going to decoupage with cool printed tissue paper. $2.99

Pair of blue shoes that look just like some I had when I was a kid. $2.49

A bunch of Christmas fabric that I am going to make into some fabric buntings like these. $6.00

A bag of cotton stuffed Christmas Ornaments like the ones we had when I was a kid. $1!

A Ravensburger number game. .99

A Folkmanis Princess puppet. $1.99

A new red fabric photo box Target price tag still on the box $2.99

A mug for Julia to drink her berry tea in .49

A good trip to the thrift store? Priceless.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Say Cheese!

Avery does this every time the camera comes out and she hears the word, "Cheese." For hilarity's sake I had to post it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Do I hear $40, Can I get $50?

Tonight was the auction for Jooge's school. We shelled out a little cashola on stuff like a Saturday cooking class taught by a preschool friend and mom, a photo calendar, four ballet classes at a local "DANCE CONSERVATORY" (said with jaw raised and tight), and this cool big magnetic white board with each of her classmates photos made into little magnetic models and stuck to it. SAWEET!

I'd never been to an auction before but it was quite the adventure. The silent auction was fun. I bid $44 on THE BEST, THE CUTEST hand-knit poncho/skirt combo that looked like Hannah Andersson herself had popped it on the table,and it went for $45 and then I bid $20 on a $50 Gymboree gift certificate that went for $21. (Am I cursed with being timid? Uh, yeah)! One of the coolest offerings was having the teacher come to your kid's house and read them a bedtime story with a message from her inscribed inside. It went for $250!

I was pretty p.o.ed because the doll I made was shoved in a celophane wrapped collection of crap toys. THE NERVE. I understand the logic behind grouping like things together but with homemade stuff it should either ALL be homemade or the homemade stuff should be solo. My husband was ranting about it in line with two women who luckily didn't turn out to be responsible. It was sweet and loyal. Thanks, hon.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Happy To You

One year ago on a chilly November day, my blog burst forth amidst sparks and fireworks. Writing somewhat regularly has served a very important purpose, namely becoming one of many creative endeavors I have pursued to make my life more balanced.

In the spirit of moving towards year two of the blog, I have a few GOALS. As most do in the second year, I'd like this blog to get accustomed to sitting on the potty, to walking, talking, using eating untensils, you know, stuff like that. It would be nice to wean it of its bottle, to get it to start brushing its teeth, to maybe get it to say please and thank you.

But seriously, I've been wanting to redesign the blog a bit, which I know nothing about but which may mean switching to a new site. I've been pretty happy with Blogger but Typepad seems to be calling my name. I would like to include links and have a section about favorite books, music, etc. Expect big blog makeovers in other words.

I would like to write more often and more openly. I'd like to let posts fly into cyberspace without being perfect. I would like to gain a larger audience. I have even considered launching a more minor but equally thrilling "sister blog" about..........Wouldn't you like to know? Stay tuned for this possibility. I mean I gave birth to two children, why not two blogs?

I have lofty ideas, I know, but that's what birthdays are for, looking forward, lighting candles, singing amidst the candle's glow.

To anyone who comes back regularly for more, thanks for reading! Avery is now taking this out with her rendition of "Happy Birthday" which she sings, "Happy to you...."

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Twirl Girl

You know how dresses and skirts, to a kid, are only really worth something if they twirl? This gem found on sale at Baby Gap last weekend? Truly priceless.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Li'l Red

I crafted this little dolly for our school auction next week. It was so hard to give her up today.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Walking Beside Princesses

In your class,
12 are girls,
and 8 came dressed
as princesses.
my little Monarch Butterfly,
you weren't one of them.

Let the courage
to be who you are
start now,
walking brave,
wings unfurled,
next to the princesses.

-for Julia my beautiful butterfly, Love, Mommy