Friday, October 2, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday, #33

1. Last week, I set out some butter to make sugar cookies with a cute little pumpkin cookie cutter I wanted to use. I was way into the Spirit of Fall, and Mia was really excited to make pumpkin shaped cookies. Only, I kept running out of daylight. The butter would sit on the counter - softening - until bedtime when it'd go back in the fridge until morning when we'd begin the process all over again.

I set out the butter for 4 days in a row before finally getting the cookies made on Saturday morning. My plan was to make the orange frosting later that afternoon, so I set out more butter to soften for that purpose. You can guess what happened, right? I ran out of time. Other things caught my attention (blogs, books, sleep, the usual), and I didn't get around to it. I kept telling Justin not to eat the cookies - they needed orange frosting! - so he and the girls split one and left the rest. I set out butter again the next day. And the next. And the next. By the third day, I gave up. The willpower of my cookie fiends had run out days ago. There were only 2 cookies left, and they weren't worth making a whole batch of frosting for.

It has come to my attention that I'm a lazy, no good, procrastinating baker.

But this week...THIS WEEK...I'll try again. With a fresh batch of cookies that WILL be frosted if I have to fight off the cookie-fiends with my orange-tinted hands. Maybe it'll all be completed on the same day even. What a concept.

2.  Mia has been playing around a lot with rhyming lately. She just pops off with word combinations whenever the urge hits her, and usually they're pretty good. But then other times, she'll make up fake words just to get a quick rhyme out of the way. (Advise me: should I correct her, or just smile at her imagination?) A few days ago at dinner, she came up with some doozies.

"Dinner rhymes with pinner, mom!"
"Me and we!"
"Playground and a-ground!"
"Grass and a$#!"
"Shirt and turt!"

Justin and I each nearly snorted our forks down our throats in response to her most, um, vulgar rhyme. It sounded so precious coming out of her mouth, and she really had no idea that one of her pretend words was a real one. A really dirty one, at that. As far as I know, she's never heard that word in her life.

Before long, she thought mommy and daddy were laughing at her monstrous wit, so she continued with more unintelligible rhyming words - giggling over each one. Lauren joined in with shrieks and goofiness of her own. It was a good time all around.

3. We are so mature.

4. We've gotten into the habit lately of taking family walks after dinner several nights a week. They're just short trips around a few blocks, but it's been a good time for unwinding before bedtime. And I am a huge fan of unwinding before bedtime.

Last night, Mia brought me a bouquet from our neighbor's yard, and insisted I put it in a glass of water.

I, of course, obliged. Isn't it lovely?

5. On our walks, Lauren has become more and more challenging to corral along with us. It is SO clear that she's 18 months old now - wanting to explore every leaf and acorn and crack in the road. She refuses to let us hold her hand, so keeping her moving in a forward direction is an exercise in madness.

I want to let her wander and discover and touch every beautiful, natural thing that catches her eye, but...I also want to keep up with Mia and Justin who are far ahead, rounding the corner of the block while we are still comparing the merits of wet dead leaves versus dry. Then, when I give up on trying to patiently keep her both out of the middle of the street and away from the drainage ditches, I call out to Justin: "SWITCH!" He's got it easy; he just tosses her up on his shoulders for a high ride and off they go. But then, I've got it easy too, because Mia's a dream to take a walk with and we carry on, discussing the neighborhood as we go.
At least until Lauren starts bucking off of Justin's shoulders and whining about not being allowed to explore the neighbor's trash cans. At which point we start to question our decision to walk in the first place.

How is it that I can so quickly have forgotten what it's like to have a toddler this age?

6. Oh, but how 'bout this: Lauren can now sing her ABC's. She's a handful and a genius.

7. Mia drew a picture of our family this week. Only recently has she begun doing things like this, drawing anything other than random shapes which are supposed to look like the things she's imagining. I find it nothing short of fascinating and amazing.

I always looked at other kids' drawings like, 'Wow. That's...uh...that's really nice. I think hair is supposed to be brown, though, not purple.' In other words, I wasn't impressed. But now I've seen the error of my ways. It is simply astounding that this child - who I've watched learn to hold her head up, roll over, master the pincer grasp...walk, run, play...laugh, speak, sing - has grown up enough to draw a picture of her family.

But I get it if you only see a mass of scribbled lines below.

The biggest head with legs descending straight from the chin is Daddy. The circles on his cheeks are his stubble, or 'sticker face' as Mia calls it. I love how his arms are an umbrella over all of us. Mia and I are on either side of him, and Lauren is the tiny one in the corner with a perfect curly-cue on top of her head, if you can tell.

Isn't it just the most precious drawing you've ever seen?! I can totally see you all nodding your heads in sincere agreement. You're a smart bunch'a blog readers.

Since you're so smart, visit Conversion Diary and check out more Quick Takes to start your weekend off right. Tell 'em Heavenly sent you, and have a wonderful weekend!


  1. I can so relate to your week of daily butter-softening. I also love to bake and manage to procrastinate every time I get the notion!

    Mia's drawing is great - I love to see how little ones express themselves artistically! It's amazing what they think to include (like your husband's stubble).

  2. 2. Just smile at her imagination. She clearly has an ear for rhymes and is enjoying playing with them. Like Fezzik the Giant in Princess Bride: enjoy and just go along for the ride. ; )

    7. Love the drawing! It looks just like the ones my son used to do at that age and now he is a great artist.

  3. I love the grass rhyme. :)

    You know, butter will be fine if it sits out overnight. I keep a stick out for a couple of days at a time because I hate trying to spread cold butter. (Of course, it's already so stinking cold here that it's hard even left at room temperature, but that's neither here nor there.) Just leave it out overnight, and if you don't live in the frozen tundra, you'll have soft butter for baking the next day. Or the next. It will stay good, I promise.

  4. A lovely bouquet and a great family drawing! Before I had kids, I didn't understand what a great leap it was to making drawings that even sort of look like something. When they really begin to resemble people, with arms, legs, eyes and what not, it is a huge deal!

  5. So funny...she's a handful AND a genius :)

  6. I always love reading your Quick Takes :) Mia's rhyming cracks me up -- I don't think I would've been able to hold in the gigles at the "grass" one either :)

    And if you hadn't told me the drawing was of your family, I might've thought it was of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head and crew :)

  7. I love reading your blog for many many reasons and one of them is comparing and contrasting Lauren's adventures with Elisabeth's.

    We too are fascinated with acorns and must pick up and examine every one. Leaves she can take or leave.
    She too has in the last two weeks started singing her ABC's!

    Too funny!

  8. I can SO relate to those toddler walks! Penelope sits down in every muddy puddle, picks up every snail, and then points at Katherine (whose always WAY ahead) turns and runs as fast as she can the other way. It's a challenge, to say the least.

    I love Mia's drawing, her rhymes and her leaf arrangement. She's got talent! I think it's funny the way kids her age draw people as heads with arms and legs, but without bodies. I wonder why they do that? And it's sweet that she gave you all such big happy smiles!

    As for the butter, can you soften it in the microwave or is that bad for it somehow? Sometimes I'll set a stick of butter on top of the stove while the oven preheats so it will soften faster. (But the cookies sound yummy with or without the frosting!)

  9. Aw, I LOVE that family picture! So sweet!

    And my Eli has got the same thing going on when we try to walk with him. He's. all. over. the. place!!! And now I'm not pregnant so I'm back on the tag-team to keep him in our posse :)

  10. Hah! The rhyme cracked me up!

  11. I just love your family. I hope when I have kids we take walks around the neighborhood together!

  12. Fencing Bear - Thanks for your advice and the Fezzik reminder. So funny :)

    Beck - I *thought* butter could be left out, and I did leave it one night but then I worried that it would...idk...turn sour or something? I'll try leaving it out next time to save myself the hassle.

    Amy - YES! Potato heads are exactly the impression I got there too.

    Joy - So we both have genius daughters! It's good to know we can talk to each other about these things ;)

    Emily - I've heard that melting the butter isn't good for cookies. Other things, yes, but cookies, no. But I don't know why. And I do the same thing with preheating the oven sometimes - I thought I was vewy vewy intelligent for doing so...that must mean that you are too :)

    Lenae - 'Posse' Hehe.

    Chelsea - As per your own QT's this week - JUST MAKE IT HAPPEN.

  13. Why that picture looks just like you guys! Mia is both a rhyming genius and an artistic genius!

    And trust me, the dinner table is the best place in the world. We always ate dinner together when the girls were growing up and that is where we had the best, and often times funniest (or most immature) discussions.

  14. I think the drawing is adorable! Just think, it could be worse. It could be like when the kid on Everybody Loves Raymond drew his family. And your daughters are super cute :)

  15. I don't have anything in particular to add -- but I love reading what you write.

    Your daughters sound enchanting, and the fall bouquet that she found for you is so sweet.

    Hope you have a great weekend!

  16. Oh man, I almost always stick my butter in the microwave to soften! I went to the almighty web to find out if you're right that it's bad for cookies. I read both that it's fine and bad, of course.

    Anyway, here's a page I found with a tip for softening using a rolling pin:
    I like any excuse to use a rolling pin!

  17. Mia's drawing is adorable. We're not at that stage yet, all Bella does is scribbles that she says are things so I'm very impressed.

    I leave my butter dish out on the counter all the time. So much easier to spread that way. Although on a few of the hottest days in summer it has melted into a pool, I've never had a problem with it going bad. And I've had a stick out for more than a week at a time. Course we live in New England so have pretty mild temps most of the time. But overnight for softening purposes or even a couple of days with procrastination shouldn't be a issue. And maybe if it's soft first thing in the morning it won't be so hard to get to it.

  18. So funny! I get bouquets that look like that alllll the time!! And the ryme is to funny - they do say some crazy things :).

  19. Aww, love the rhymes! Hee, hee. Bella does the same thing. The big kids are both into knock, knock jokes now, though. They crack up at themselves over the silliest things!

    And I LOVE the pic! Sooo sweet! :) The first family drawings are so, so special...

  20. Okay, not to talk this butter issue to death, but: why don't you just put it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it, but not melt it. You know, like with ice cream that's frozen really solid? Am I the only one who does that?

    And now I promise to (maybe) stop talking about butter for awhile! Although I do want to see pictures of these cookies!

  21. Jill - Times like these that I wish I'd been a fan of that show. What did he draw?!

    Fumbling - I'm so glad you like it! What a sweet compliment :)

    TMC - Hmm...rolling pins, eh? Checking this out soon.

    Emily - It's ok to talk it to death, because That Married Couple wants me to BEAT it to death as well :) I've used the microwave before, but I can never seem to *just* soften it. And assuming I get the durn things made soon, pics will be forthcoming.

  22. Your kids sound adorable and very smart to boot! Love the rhymes and that picture? Picasso couldn't have done better. :-)

  23. I walk my oldest daughter to kindergarten and then back home every day. The school is directly behind our house--all we have to do is go around the corner and we're at the school yard. If I were walking it with just me and Beth, I would leave 3-5 minutes before class started.

    However, because I'm also walking with my 3 year old and my 16-month-old, I leave 10-15 minutes early every time. It takes THAT long to walk anywhere with a 16-month-old!

  24. Honestly, I sooo enjoy your quick takes! The one I most relate to is the butter-softening. I wanted to make whoopie pies for my boys and would optimistically set the recipe on my counter every day, to remind myself to bake when I got a free minute, which of course, never happened, as I was always too tired or too busy or too distracted. I finally made the whoopie pies last week. Two months after I bought all the ingredients. They were so good!

    The drawing---precious!!! LOVE little one's artwork!

  25. That picture is amazing! My 4 1/2 year old son still hasn't drawn anything that I could recognize. Considering your cookie/frosting escapade, I can see why you don't want me to tell your husband about what you might be able to accomplish if you reigned in your computer use. But I just had a one-day productivity burst, not something sustainable.


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?