Friday, November 5, 2010

trucks and hats

I did manage to make a dump truck costume for my first born.  Three boxes, some crazy glue, a quart of semi-gloss, and a sharpie. He was definitely impressed for about five seconds. 

This was the first Halloween I bothered dressing anybody up.  Joseph was a baby for his first and second Halloween; last year I had three day old twins so we pretty much took a pass.
Violet's costume was an elf hat (pattern from Bend the Rules Sewing) and a play silk from Joseph's school.  I'm not totally clear what she was supposed to be (some sort of pixie or fairy, I suppose) but it was cute.
Poor Harry didn't even get a makeshift costume; he just got another elf hat and some grainy photographs.
The babies cooperated and kept their hats on for hours.  Halloween magic, I tell you.

Friday, October 29, 2010


They turned one. We made it. The past year has been incredible and I am so very glad it's over. I'm deciding to just own how much I disliked the experience of having twin babies; I realize that their babyhood is precious/fleeting/etc, but there's no getting around how much it sucked at first (like, for the first ten months) and how miserable we all were. I really like the babies (and the universe) a lot more now that they're beyond the constant crying, constant holding phase. Now we are in the goofy slapstick almost-toddlerhood phase: so much better. They have excellent little personalities that get lovelier every day. Onwards and upwards, my ridiculous babies.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

how to use facebook (to make everybody hate you)

If your status update involves any of the following, you've just alienated a bunch of people:

  • your brilliant and superior parenting skills (e.g., your three year old's reading ability, the fact that none of your kids eat any refined sugar, etc.)
  • how other parents are so pitiably stupid for parenting in a way different from your own
  • any reference whatsoever to vaccination: for, against, or otherwise
  • hysterical invective against circumcision, baby formula, or nighttime parenting choices
  • shit-stirring in general
The "hide" button is a magical thing and I use it freely.  I expect a certain amount of idiocy in any forum where people aren't interacting face-to-face.  But I just do not understand how people can survive a few years of parenthood without being deeply humbled by the inadequacy of whatever ideals they started out with.  I'm not even sure that the people who set me off on this little rant really do believe that my kids are forever scarred by my horrible parenting choices.  They're probably just looking for some validation from the little choir they're preaching to.  But it strikes me as antagonistic and (strangely) competitive and they should most definitely shut right up.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

feeding the freezer

When I'm baking I almost always double the recipe and freeze half.  Most baked goods freeze wonderfully.  Muffins, quick bread, yeast bread, pie, pie crust, cake, cookies, cookie dough, biscuit and cobbler dough, crumble topping.  Everything.  I've even had some luck freezing muffin and quick bread batter.

Having a freezer filled with relatively wholesome pies, muffins, etc. really helps in the snack department.  And the breakfast department.  I bake with whole grains, minimal sugar and heaps of fruit, so I don't worry about the kids (or me) eating too much/too often/whatever.  When I taste "normal" pie or cake made with white flour and sugar I'm overwhelmed by the sweetness, reaffirming my belief that my carrot cake is a perfectly reasonable breakfast.
These apple cakes are from Rustic Fruit DessertsI had some mealy apples that needed to be either baked or put in the compost pile.  One went in the freezer, one went in our bellies.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

pilgrim dress for silly baby

I've been shamefully lazy about NaBloWriMo.  I think I've missed three days.  Pathetic.  Last year I managed to post each day despite, you know, giving birth to twins via major abdominal surgery (okay, so I scheduled posts ahead of time--sue me).
I enjoy seeing small children in somber clothing.  Dignified, serious clothing makes their foot-eating, food-wearing antics even better.
This dress nearly wound up in the scrap bin due to a buttonhole mishap.  While opening up the buttonhole with a seam ripper, my hand slipped and tore a giant hole in the placket.   I managed to patch it; you can see the repair job on the top button hole here, but I've decided it's good enough.  I didn't cry, curse, throw crockery or yell at my kids.  I feel so mature.
This is not my first buttonhole disaster. Either the automatic buttonhole setting on my machine is at fault or this is just one of those things (like pie crust) that I'm just going to routinely screw up despite having decent theoretical knowledge of what needs to be done.
Other than that, I'm pleased with the dress.   I made it out of an old skirt I had sewn years ago, before the mysteries of fabric grain had been revealed to me.  Perhaps it's the fact that the fabric was essentially free that I was so patient with my buttonhole issue.  Hmmmm.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

melted crayon success

Joseph obsessively breaks his crayons into conveniently sized choking hazards that the babies can't get enough of. I was going to throw all those sad little pieces away and pretend they got lost but instead we melted them in some silicone muffin cups. 300 degrees for 5 minutes, that is all it takes. And my muffin cups are still pristine; I had heard that melting crayons can do horrible things to metal muffin cups, so I think silicone is the key to success. Joseph was transfixed throughout the process--he pretty much thinks I'm an alchemist. I have never been so impressive. I think you could probably get better results if you tried to color-coordinate the crayon scraps. Our color scheme here was entirely kid-directed, so you get what you get.

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

halloween help

I have no interest in halloween, not this year or any year.  My husband and oldest son do not feel the same way, unfortunately.  They both think inflatable pumpkin lawn decor is a great idea, and they both have been asking for months about Joseph's costume.  Joseph wants to dress up as an excavator or a front end loader, but either he doesn't quite grasp the concept of costumes or he is seriously misjudging my sewing abilities.
I suggested that he and the babies all wear their pointy hats (elf hats made from Bend the Rules Sewing; they take about two seconds to make and look awesome) and we can go as a family as gnomes. This suggestion was greeted with stony silence.

Anybody have any ideas for a quick costume that doesn't involve multiple trips to JoAnn's, fake fur, foam or engineering skills?  I'm pretty sure I'll just dress the babies as gnomes and call it a day, but Joseph needs something more exciting.