Sunday, December 12, 2010

A little Christmas decorating

This post is a leeeetle belated - my apologies. I started this post back at the front end of December, put it away, and now it's February! Isn't it unfortunate how the holidays, designed to give people family time and relaxation, usually end up having the opposite effect and sending us into a tailspin of busy-ness and tiredness? I end up doing a whole bunch of things that I think need to get done while neglecting the things that should be enjoyed. Just an observation.

A little post-script here: I see the post before this one was at Halloween-time...yup, it's been a while. I'm trying to keep up, honest.

At any rate. About Thanksgiving-time one usually starts thinking about getting the tree up, so it was off to the tree nursery we went. This year we invested in what is called a "noble fir" - a very beautiful and well-proportioned tree, but with weak branches that tend to bend when laden with heavy ornaments (note to self: look for something else next year). We got out the boxes of Christmas decorations and the girls had a blast digging through all the boxes for stuff they hadn't seen for a year. Moosie helped himself to some homemade dough ornaments (mmm...salty) and sat on the floor to watch.

For your viewing pleasure:

Mary surveys her work.

Julia, playing with the plastic Fisher-Price nativity we finally broke down and bought this year, after the little ceramic Mary on our good one got her hand broken off for the fifth (sixth? seventh?) time!

Said Mary is huddling in fear somewhere in here. What's that you say? Snow? What's that stuff?

My wife extends her campaign to torture our long-suffering Simon.

Moosie can't get enough of that box! mean, dough ornaments.

Trying out my artistic talents here...

The finished tree.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

First snow

...and Miss J insists she needs to be out in it. In boots and snowpants.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chaos ensues

This week my crazy wife decided to take advantage of some of the post-Halloween sales. Clearance crap, I have found, is kind of like a fight brewing in a bar: I'm drawn to it, because I want to see what's going on, yet in truth I want nothing to do with it (and I definitely don't want it in my house). While we did score some sweet Halloween decorations and costumes for next year on the cheap, Sarah grabbed a couple things that I generally try to avoid at all costs.

The first was some new dress-up clothes for the girls. Now, as a rule I hate dress-up clothes. When they're pulled out if the box I invariably spend the morning playing "Can you put this on me?" and mending the bumped heads brought on by the tiny, plastic, lethal high-heeled shoes the girls like to wear. (Clomp-clomp-clomp-clomp-THUD. "Waaaahhhhhh!") But whatever. If a new dress or two will occupy them for a morning, fine. I'm all for it.

The other thing to hit our cart was a haunted-house style gingerbread house kit, complete with assorted small candies and frosting packets to decorate it. Those things make me shudder, for two reasons. Number one: by the time you actually purchase the thing, get it home, unwrap it, build it, and eat it, the cookies are so ancient that they resemble concrete slabs (which I suppose is appropriate, since they're being used for building materials and all). The second reason is the potential for mess-making. Or more correctly stated,
Two preschoolers + gooey frosting + thousands of tiny sprinkles = one enormous mess that I have to clean up.

I made Sarah supervise the building activity as my revenge.

Multiple plates of tiny mess-making particles, or as some people call them, decorations.

And here we go!

First taste of frosting. It's all downhill from here, folks. Avert your eyes.

Luke, oblivious to the impending carnage, plays with the toy of the day (TotD): cookie cutters!

I can't watch!

Mary surveys her creation...

...and revels in the deliciousness of black frosting.

The amazing duck-billed cat Sarah made of fondant.

Epilogue: Luke watching Papa weep as the mess is made.

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's Halloween again

As has become our tradition, Grandma Beth came to visit over the Halloween weekend. This generally means lots of homemade bread and soup, getting things done in the yard, and trick-or-treating. There are LOTS of leaves down on our street (I think everyone is waiting until they're all done to rake) so the girls had some fun with those too. It was an interesting Halloween, getting to know a whole new neighborhood and wondering what the weather was going to do. Turns out trick-or-treating felt a lot like good old St Cloud - cool enough to need jackets but not so much that we wished we'd stayed home.
I'm short on clever things to say this time around, so we'll let the photos speak for themselves. I went a little overboard this time...

It's carving time.

Mary does not like to get dirty.

Unless it involves eating, of course.

Along with the neighbor kids, we had quite the hodgepodge of costumes.

Moosie was a vampire, complete with bloody drool.

This one cracks me up.

And they're off!

And of course there was time for the inevitable sink-bath from Grandma.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Coconut cake!!

There are so many things I have learned since becoming a stay-at-home dad in June. One of the hardest lessons for me has been that, no matter how much I want to or no matter how hard I try, I am not going to be a perfect homemaker. There are a few things that I am just not going to be able to master. Cleaning I can do, and do well. But grocery shopping? No intuition whatsoever. I am a fair hand at parenting. Cooking, however, is something that is better left in more capable hands (AKA Sarah, who is the most amazing cook in the world; she can make a three-course meal with a toothpick and some ketchup).
Time and work constraints being what they are, my family is unfortunately subjected quite often to my (lack of) cooking skills. Once in a great while I will hit the nail on the head and pull off a tasty dessert or yesterday. When I found the most amazing cake recipe EVER. Coincidentally one of Sarah's friends from residency came for dinner so it was an opportune time for me to test it out.
Needless to say I had three small "helpers" for the execution of this endeavor. Photos of the project are below, and a link to the recipe is here. Try it - it's incredible.

The lovely Miss Mary...

...Luke, squealer extraordinaire...

...and Julia, the comic relief.


Taking a break from the action to play "house" under the hall bench.

One of the most important side effects of making a coconut cake, besides the 35,000 calories, is having some extra delicious toasted coconut to snack on later.

Of course, no cake is complete without beaters to lick off afterward!

And P.S.: I would have posted a photo of the finished product, but, uh, we ate it already.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Mary would like everyone to see just how silly she can be when she is hungry.

("I stand on my head!")
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, October 16, 2010

First Haircut!

Last weekend, while we were in church, some well-meaning lady came over to us and said, "what a beautiful family you have!!! Three daughters! They are beautiful. And you must have so much pink at home!"

"Thank you. We do have a lot of pink at home. But our youngest is a boy."

"Oh! Sorry, I assumed he was a girl with all of that beautiful blonde hair."


It's time. From the minute I first saw Luke when they held him up over the sterile blue drape during my c-section, I have loved his hair. I never thought I'd have a blue-eyed blonde kiddo. Julia and Mary had hair at birth, but they got dark mohawk-style hair that started to look like male-pattern baldness by three months and were completely bald by six months. Luke's mop just grew to epic proportions, kind of like the rest of him. So his Mama just didn't want to cut his hair. I won't let Mike grow his over his ears, but I had a beautiful son with.....I hate to admit it....but.........a Mullet. Long and flowing in the back. And only in the back. And after that comment, I knew it was time. And just yesterday, a coupon from Great Clips arrived. So today's mission was set in stone. Operation Haircut commenced.

Before the 'do. Isn't he just so cute? Mullet and all?

Profile view.

Mullet Baby to the REscue!

Our stylist said that six months is the youngest client she's ever had. Her co-workers agreed. Luke is now the reigning champion in the category of "Youngest Baby to Need a Haircut" at the Ypsilanti Great Clips.

Here is Handsome, trying to snack on his apron. Mmmmm.....hairs

By the end, he was getting a little impatient. Luckily, Mama had a tootsie roll in her purse to share.

Finished product! Isn't he so handsome!!!!