Monday, April 30, 2012


1. Finally got everything planted for the spring. Our little garden is full of tomatoes, lemons, zucchini, crook-neck squash, strawberries, parsley, chives, and basil. We also planted a few giant sunflowers for good measure.

2. I made a new batch of the salted caramel chocolate chip bars with much greater success. The key was cold butter and a much longer baking time than stated in the recipe. We've eaten the whole pan. The whole pan. In 2 days. We have a problem with sweets in this house.

3. We are walking that fine line between naps and no naps around here. On the days Anderson wakes up at the crack of dawn I can usually get him to lay down in our bed for a "rest" (because he refuses to take a "nap". Ha!)

4. Work is crazy. Always. I'm not sure why I make the effort to clear my desk at the end of each day as it looks this way within five minutes of my walking in the door every morning.

5. We took Elsie and Anderson for ice cream for the first time and they got to sit on the Beef Palace cows. One of the few things that hasn't changed since I was little.

6. Anderson is obsessed with his bike. We take it wherever we go. Sometimes he is so excited to ride I cannot even get him to put his pants on. That's passion.

7. Anderson may have the absolute cutest buns on a bike seat but Baby Beck's feet just kill me. I love them. These shoes are just about too small and I will miss them. They have served both boys well.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


These days I have little patience left and the little bit that exists is thin, at best. When I had Anderson I was amazed at the amount of patience I had, with what I could endure with a smile on my face. Days would pass without the slightest bit of annoyance swelling inside me. Enter Baby Beck. I noticed it immediately. From the moment I brought him home I was edgier, with a fuse about the length of a birthday candle. He has never been a difficult baby, it's just that where I seemed to be able to keep my emotions in check when there was only one little human running around, it became much more difficult to maintain balance now that there were two.

I suppose like everyone, I have good days and bad. Today having been particularly bad. Which isn't really fair to say as the day went fairly smoothly with only one major Anderson melt-down before napping; but this afternoon brought me to the brink. With a one year old who napped all of about 30 minutes, dinner on the stove, and a 3 year old freaking out at the as soon as the "it's almost time to go" song on Yo Gabba Gabba began, it was like the perfect storm.

These moments come and I try to talk myself down. I count, I try look at it from the outside in, I breath deeply, but when the whining won't stop and the tv is blaring and dinner is about to burn (and the phone is ringing, seriously?) I just lose it. I become grouchy, loud, and more than likely, scary-faced. I just want a moment. Just. One. Moment. to gather my composure, to sit and decompress. But there is no moment. Not even a possibility of one. Because to take that moment would mean to let dinner burn. To ignore my baby who might actually be whining for a reason. To risk taking that moment for granted and using it to run away. Not really. But maybe?

And so I turn into a not nice mommy. The kind who is snappy and sighing and trying her hardest to not say all of the naughty words that are filling her head. And I feel terrible for it. I apologize profusely for raising my voice and try to cover up my mood as best I can. But when nobody is in the room I just may release. I may even throw a letter magnet across the room which just may knock over the little bug catcher in which resides resided a half-dead rather large spider. Where he is now, I do not have the energy to care.

It's not everyday. I need to remind myself of this. But it is nearly every day like today. Days where, by 6:00 I have already grocery shopped, made cookie bars, walked to and back from my parents' with the kids for breakfast and handled a fairly epic meltdown along the way, done 2 loads of laundry, made a homemade shower cleaner and scrubbed the gross shower, planted plants, assembled, wrapped, and delivered a birthday gift, gone to the park, ridden bikes around the neighborhood, played choo choos and construction site, made dinner from scratch, cleaned the kitchen about 47 times, and bathed and put 2 kids to bed all while Gabe is at work. These are the days that make me feel defeated. That make me feel I have not one bit of myself left to give.

And then, Baby Beck throws himself into me to snuggle and Anderson grabs my leg and says, "Mommy, I love you" and the day melts away. At least a large part of it, anyway.

There are so many moms that do ten times what I do in a day with way more children and wear a smile the entire time. And I am glad for them. Truly in awe. But I cannot pretend that my life is not at times overwhelming. That though it may not seem like much to manage it has me questioning my choices and decisions every day.

I love my kids and my life beyond words. But sometimes they both drive me crazy. Seriously crazy.  Thank goodness I made those cookie bars.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


3 years ago I asked that Natalie take our family photos each year as my birthday gift and it may have just been the best idea I ever had. Surely I got the better end of that bargain. Having your best friend photograph your family as it grows is something special. She sees what no one else can and captures us just how we are. The pictures are real and genuine and reflect who we are at the time (bad hair, gummy smile and all). That's why I love them. Oh, and the Geronimo balloon? Get out! I seriously have the most talented friends in the world.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Coffee Cake

Every year I give up sweets for Lent and every year I break the fast on Easter morning with my mom's coffee cake. Which, in fact, is a recipe from her mom. This year was no exception, but when I was asked to bring a birthday cake for a morning celebration at work I decided it was my turn to make the single best coffee cake you'll ever taste. That's an official title. I declare it to be so.

There is something I love about following recipes hand-written from my mom and grandma. My grandma passed away years ago, but there is something I find so comforting in leafing through the giant cardboard box of recipes penned in her own hand. Every time I see the word "oleo" in her penmanship (which is remarkably similar to my mom's and, at times, my own) I miss her just a little bit more.

Grandma Day's Coffee Cake
This makes a double recipe. To half it, cut the ingredient quantities in half and bake in an 8x8 or 9x9 pan and vary baking time accordingly, checking after about 30 minutes.

for the cake:
1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk
3 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt

for the topping:
2 cups pecans, chopped
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups brown sugar
2-4 teaspoons cinnamon, depending on how cinnamon-y you like it

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and generously butter a 10.5x15.5 pan. (I have not made this in a 9x13, though I am sure it would be fine.)

Cream butter, sugar and eggs in a mixer and add milk. Incorporate flour, baking powder and salt, mixing until well combined. Set aside.

For topping, mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined.

Pour half of the cake batter into the pan, spreading with a rubber spatula as necessary (it will be thick). Sprinkle about half the topping in an even layer. Pour remaining batter on top and be careful to spread out as well as possible. This is hard to do because of the topping. It will seem as if there is not enough, but it will spread as it bakes, so just cover it as well as possible.  Cover with the remaining topping mixture and bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Good Day

Today has been a pretty great day. To know me is to understand how truly rare such a positive description is. Not because we typically have bad days (those are rare, actually), but just because I am not an overly positive person. Happiness is not the norm in my range of emotions, but that's a story for another day.

There was nothing spectacular that happened today, nothing to celebrate. It was just a really nice blend of being productive, an absence of meltdowns, and enjoying each others' company.

We slept in, went out for breakfast, worked in the yard and cleaned out the car, visited the grandparents, bought Anderson's bunk bed (practically for a song!), had frozen yogurt, got 2 boys to sleep by 6, ordered Thai food and began to watch Downton Abbey (finally!). A day well spent. The best days are always those left unplanned aren't they?

There are no photos because, well, I am enjoying my evening too much to upload them. Maybe tomorrow.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Anderson, you may just be the only kid on the planet who goes into hysterics because you "neeeeed" to eat lettuce. I have the video to prove it. Though I cannot show it to you here as my technological capabilities are not so advanced as to be able to upload it.

The incident went something like this: We went to the "farm park", aka Golden View, to feed the animals and play on the playground. I packed a bag of produce that was most definitely past its prime. We started to feed the bunnies and you decided you wanted to eat the lettuce. You decided you neeeeded said lettuce and began to throw a fit. Never to be one to deny my boy his veggies I tore away the outer leaves and let you pick at the core. Gross. But you were content. Chewing on your lettuce core you were happy.

Until there were no more leaves acceptable for human consumption. At which point you began to scream. Loudly. "Leeeettuuuuuce!!!!!!!!!! Lettuce, lettuce, lettuce! I want lettuce right NOW!" Oh my word. I offered goldfish, candy, water, anything I had and you refused. I would have given you chocolate covered chocolate bars if they would have made you happy. But you just kept screaming for lettuce. And kept trying to steal the bag of rotten vegetables. Wouldn't you know the animals weren't very hungry that day and there was not a trash can in sight?

I decided it was time to get out. As nice families watched, I followed my screaming child to the car. "Leeeettuuuuuuce!!!!!" I'm not sure if they were embarrassed for me because you were screaming or if they were secretly jealous that my kid was so obsessed with his leafy greens. Either way, we high tailed it out of there with the promise of some nice fresh lettuce when we got home.

On the way home we stopped at Grandma and Grandpa's for something and you asked demanded that I get some lettuce while you and Baby Beck waited in the car. By the time I came back out to the car you were asleep. But not so asleep you couldn't do this:
That's right. You ate the lettuce in your sleep. You absolutely did not want to wake up, but you just couldn't resist that cold crisp Romaine.

I don't think I will ever understand how the mind of a 3 year old works.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


We are learning to play hop-scotch over here. Good times.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spring Break

Spring break brought thunderstorms and rain, lots of family and friend time and a few sleepless nights with a sick 3 year old in our bed.

We played choo choos every morning. I am always "Lady".
I shamelessly planted the boys in front of the tv with their breakfast so I could enjoy mine alone.
We did a lot of snuggling in bed
 We ate home grown spinach.
And made potato cheese soup.
The Easter Bunny brought Anderson a bug catcher and magnifying glass. We have had a little spider living in there for a week now and Anderson has magnified just about everything in the house. 
Anderson and Baby Beck got into the wipes and "cleaned" everything from the coffee table to the french doors to the mirrors. Clearly they needed more supervision while I was making dinner.
I made salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars that did not cook all the way through and ended up as a pizookie. Happy accident.
We spent a lot of time with Alphie

and drawing with sidewalk chalk in the front yard.
We went to the park
 and rode bikes
 and enjoyed the sunshine when it decided to come out.
 I had a much needed girly day with Jihan
and ate entirely too much.
 We even managed to squeeze in a date night.

Vacations never seem long enough, but all in all in was a good one. Counting the days til summer. (46?)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I can totally justify the outrageous cost of my brand new, super-amazing, not to mention beautiful vacuum cleaner with how much fun Baby Beck has every time I use it. Which, luckily for him, is at least once a day.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Anderson, you're a Daddy's boy. It's been hard, without a doubt, to always come in second, to be the one pushed away, to be the "mean one". When you wake up in the middle of the night you tell me, "No, Mommy! I want my daddy!". In the morning when I want to play trains with you again you tell me you want Daddy to play with you. Nobody can do anything as well as Daddy. You love him more than anything on this Earth. It is something special, the two of you. I don't try to compete. I just sit back and soak up the love the two of you have for one another. And occassionally I bribe you with treats. I'm sure that one day it will be my turn.