This afternoon the oldest and I made lemonade from scratch which we've never done before. We used this recipe to get the job done:
1 3/4 c sugar
8 c water
1 1/2 c lemon juice
Of course we only had three lemons so I ended up squinting into the distance while trying to divide fractions in my head.
After using the hand juicer we got out the vintage Juice O Mat to get the rest of the juice.
What else is new? Well the week before last our stove finally went kaput. I been in the habit of using the oven lock as a safety feature so the kids couldn't get the door open. Because ovens can be damn hot and because I personally once worked with a woman whose child died when they climbed on an open oven door in an effort to reach a cookie and the stove fell on them. So every time the oven was on it got locked as well as most regular times. Then the lock started sticking but turning the stove off and unplugging it was usually enough to re-set it to get the latch back open. Until the day when I made meatloaf for dinner, put it under the broiler to finish and threw the lock. It stuck. And was still stuck 24 hours later when we got out the tools and took the top off of the stove and pried the door open to rescue my mom's Dru casserole dish. We really can't complain, the stove came with the house and didn't owe use anything. But we had to go directly out and buy a new one that week. Which is nice in a lot of ways but seems to take 3x as long to heat anything. Yes, the anti-tip feature was installed too.
It came packaged inside the best toy either of the kids have ever seem. Both kids (and both cats) are in love with the box. It's large enough that both kids and I can fit into it along with Bee and read books.
Christmas baking has been thought about but hasn't started. The fruit for the fruitcake has been soaking in brandy for three weeks now. It won't hurt anything and might actually make a better cake.
The oldest has been busy making this garland chain for the tree out of pipe cleaners. The youngest has stripped all of the ornaments of the tree as high as he can reach. So the tree is heavily decorated at the top and nearly naked for the final two feet. It's charming, really.
Cards have been sent out and gifts mostly bought. Husband and I haven't bought anything for each other and would be fine doing without (see: stove story above). Last year we picked one $20 gift each and he got me a yoga bag that I still use twice a week and love. This year neither of us want for anything. But it seems like he and I should have something under the tree to keep up the Santa story. Initially I didn't even want to do "Santa" because it just seemed like commercialism with a weird "the big man is watching you" overtone plus flat out lying to kids but then I realized that my kids get excited over things like new socks and I lie to the oldest regularly anyway.
Yesterday I told the oldest that this is where one of the cats had made a snow angel in the driveway. 90% true.
I have also tried to convince him that snowflakes are frozen penguin toots that have come down from the North Pole. 100% b.s.
And so on. God knows what he tells people at pre-school.
Who's mature around here? Certainly not me at 40. My wonderful husband organized a birthday party for me last weekend and it was great. A big thank you to everyone who traveled to see us and make it a special day. I had so much fun. Really, thank you so much.
So tonight the oldest and I are going to make egg noodle pasta for dinner with meatballs and garlic bread. We will cook them with the new, expensive-for-us stove and then probably pop popcorn and watch a Christmas movie. I will keep the immaturity to a minimum. The husband and I will discuss gifts. Tomorrow the oldest has a Christmas program at his pre-school. Last year "Santa" made a surprise visit at the end so it will be interesting to see his reaction. Life does get more fun every year.
It's been a doozy of a past week, nothing terrible just busy. It was sort of a crapstorm of sickness and failed appliances (we have a new stove!). Ugh. It's easier to just post all of these lovely flower photos I found on my phone today. Because winter is coming and come January I won't believe there was this much color in the world.
I also realized that I never posted the photos from a dear friends (beautiful!) wedding, our last family camping trip (fun! also epic disaster!) and some snapshots from my moms recipe box.
It's fun to compose stuff like this thinking I might paint someday. Still in the "hope to shower" stage of motherhood.
Because nothing says "Happy 40th Birthday, we love you" quite like a taxidermy skunk.
I am absolutely thrilled.
Little guy needs a name.
Best gift ever.
I was also surprised with this sweet Robert Parker print that I very much wanted when I saw it.
We're still a house of sick people here. The oldest is feeling a bit better but the baby is absolutely miserable with coughing and sneezing and runny nose. I woke up this morning and had totally lost my voice overnight. But it's been a very good day. I'm going to bundle up and go lay in the hammock soon and later on we're going out to get groceries for dinner: lobster, fresh oysters and white wine.
Edit: here is the lobster which I promptly and humanely dispached as soon as we got home:
Both of the kiddos are sick right now with croup. The littlest one came down with it first and is on a prescription and now the oldest has developed the barking cough and wheezing as well. He went to bed at 5 tonight, poor guy. He'll be going to the doctor as soon as I can get him in tomorrow.
Obviously he didn't go to pre-school today so we did some makeshift lessons of our own using the Bananagrams game. And because he missed out on the special "lunch box day" we had one here. I made little bento box lunches for the littles and I. We spread a blanket on the living room floor and had an indoor picnic.
Because cold air is apparently doctor-recommended for croup, and because he was stir crazy, the oldest and I spent some time outside in the snow pulling around he sled, each of us pretending to be Max the dog that pulled the Grinch's sleigh.
I've been starting to decorate for Christmas. We are hosting family here this year and the kids are all excited. So I want it to look nice like Christmas exploded in every corner of the house. We'll get a tree this weekend.
Here's the top of the pantry.
A stack of winter reading. Who am I kidding? I will only read Holidays on Ice and The Shining.
Elf village is in full swing. Antique pine cone elves and paperboard houses are decorating the bookshelves and all of the windowsills.
Bee looked on with boredom.
And objected to our attempts to decorate her. Because: dignity and all that.
But this is how I found her this evening after both kids were in bed:
I have no idea what's going on here. Possibly playing with a bath toy. She's such a goof.
In other news the dishwasher got fixed. The heating coil at the bottom was snapped in two. It looked like it had been cut. My husband ordered the part and we called our wonderful family repair guy at about 3:30 today. By 5:30 he had not only come over after his day job but had installed the part and fixed the dishwasher. Very worrisome is that he said he's never seen a heating coil snap like that and wondered if it was related to a power surge. I do remember that around the time the dishwasher stopped working we did have a big wind storm and lost power for less than a minute. Whether or not the dishwasher was running the drying cycle at the time I could not tell you but it seems a good possibility. So now there's wiring to worry about but at least clean dishes! And wow, not having to hand wash three loads a day is a Christmas miracle.