Category: at home

Home Sweet Home

I’m so out of the habit of writing, I couldn’t even think of something to write for the second post. I’m also distracted by the Braxton Hicks contractions I keep getting, which simultaneously is encouraging and reminds me that I am totally not prepared for this baby’s arrival. Unlike the arrival of Seth and Nora, where I was able to start prepping and nesting ahead of time, this baby is coming into a lot of chaos.

When this baby’s arrival became suspected (in April) and we also agreed for my mother to come live with us (June; which has been great) we realized that there would not be enough room for three adults, three children, and three animals. (Alas, now down to two.) So we started the process of building a new house and selling our first house.
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True Story

The last two nights I’ve been awake at 2:30 am, on the trail of the neighborhood’s Most Annoying Bird. I’m good with birds being all happy and singing, but I’m not good with that happening at 2:30 in the morning. I don’t know if this is a recent arrival with jet lag or what, but it needs to chill out.

The first night I woke up the dog and sicced her on the bird. She, being stupid and also tired, dutifully wagged her way out there and accomplished nothing. Full marks for being a good dog, though. Then I spotted a hula hoop and thought, “Now that’s a good projectile.” Toss, swish, flutter, and the bird shut up.

Last night the bird got crafty. It started singing its insane song at 2:30 again, and I growled out there with my hula hoop. Toss, swish, singing continues. And now it’s mocking me. Twice more I picked up the hula hoop and threw where I thought the noise was coming from.

I finally got silence, but I’m a little worried about what’s coming tonight.

Status … (See More)

Yesterday and today, per Facebook:

Erin: I need to go to Kohl’s and Target to finish Christmas shopping.
Will: I need to go to the post office and a few other places.
Erin: Well, we could split up the kids and each go …
Will: [nods] Okay. I’ll take Clive.

Yesterday, 8:13 a.m.

Ha, ha, funny ha. Clive, in case you’re new here, is one of our cats.

Seth was having a morning made mostly of Being Two, so he went with Will to hit the post office, the haircut place (for Will), and we’d meet for lunch. I’d take Nora and we’d do the shopping before the lunch. Yay! Except Nora slept until 11:30 and Seth needed to eat lunch around noon.

We did meet for lunch, Nora and I did parade through Target and Kohl’s with her bundled in the wrap on my hip or chest, and many people were delighted by her happy squealing and kicking. Any other Christmas shopping will be done on Amazon, because I’m done with being in shopping centers right now.

Apparently today is Naked Saturday for Seth. Any suggestion of clothes is met by “NOOooOOOO!” and running around the house.

Around 10 am today.

A friend commented, “Your house must be warmer than ours!” No, I’m just going to let the little goober run around until he’s cold and then he’ll put on his clothes! I don’t think he’ll get frostbite in Houston in December. When Seth did get dressed, it was in a miniature Dallas Stars jersey – number 21 for Guy Carbonneau. I still miss him.

Wrapped presents while watching “When We Left Earth” … absolutely fascinating! I was never a space geek (ironic), so a lot was new to me.

Probably around 3:30 or 4, just before the kids woke up.

The stars aligned and the children took naps at the same time. <Cue “Hallelujah Chorus.”> I put together a beef stew for dinner, watching the documentary on the laptop while in the kitchen. Then I hauled presents and wrapping gear into the living room and picked up the doc on the Wii. Netflix Streaming may be one of the best things to happen to us this year.

It really is fascinating to watch and think, “I know who these people are. I go to buildings named after them. I go to THAT building. We ask that guy to come speak at certain events.”  My generation in America couldn’t help growing up with NASA … it was just part of the common experience. I’d never really looked into the history of manned spaceflight, though, and this is really eye-opening. For some reason it’s also more meaningful than if I’d watched it when I first started working there.

And now … time to get a little girl back to sleep, then to sleep myself. I mixed up some white chocolate popcorn tonight for Seth and Nora’s Sunday School teachers, and I’m tempted to go eat it all myself.

Sweet Tooth Factory, right here.

We’ve been busy little people around here, thus the lack of actual updates!

I’ve been stretching out my maternity leave (unpaid Family Medical Leave) by working 20+ hours a week and taking the unpaid leave the rest of the time. While it’s good to have the time with Nora and at least some sort of a paycheck, it does make things a little harried trying to balance what needs to be done at work and at home. Then there’s the stuff I want to do, too … most of the time that gets shunted aside in favor of sitting on my butt on the couch, relaxing with Will while we watch something on Netflix.

One thing I wanted to be sure and do was thank you gifts for Seth’s preschool teachers. I absolutely love them. My mom was a preschool teacher for a while, and I know from her that they love the little gifts from their kids. (Except really, they probably don’t need another candle or coffee mug. But they’ll love every one they get.) I wanted to add gift cards but that just wasn’t in the budget this year – see the aforementioned half-paycheck since this summer. So we baked and melted.

Christmas Tree Cookies
Christmas Tree Cookies

I had seen kits for making cookie Christmas trees out of star-shaped cookies, but I already have three sizes of star cookie cutters. We used this Sugar Cookie recipe from Cooking Light, and it was pretty good. I actually ran out of sugar and had to substitute agave nectar for part of the sugar, so who knows what that did to them. They were still yummy!

We made the frosting in the recipe, put it in a piping bag, and then Will lowered the cookies into the can while I drizzled frosting over each cookie. The frosting did help glue the layers to each other – three of each size cookie, alternating points – but we had a couple of anxious moments when we thought one tree was going to slide into the side of the paintcan container. (Which came from Hobby Lobby and are food-safe, btw.)

Hot Chocolate on a Stick
Hot Chocolate on a Stick

The other, chocolate-y things are Hot Chocolate on a Stick. I’ll warn you about this: reading the very precise directions on tempering chocolate got me stressed out beyond belief. It turns out it wasn’t that bad, and you just suck it up and add some oil or shortening (my mother’s recommendation) if your chocolate gets ugly. Ta da. We used Semi-sweet chocolate and then dipped them in melted white chocolate bits. We put some in candy molds (the shaped ones) and the rest in a mini-muffin tin. I actually liked the muffin tin ones best! And don’t get all “fancy” like I did and think you can pipe in white chocolate first so you can skip the second round of melting and dipping after the chocolate cools. You don’t see the wrecked second batch where the two chocolates separated from each other when I took them out of the molds. Whatever!

The chocolates are delicious, and as I shared on Facebook, make great mochas if you stir them into your coffee with a little milk. We’ll definitely be making these again! Actually, we might be making them tonight to give to some more people …

And yes, Seth helped me with the cookies. That was an adventure in itself, but he does love to cook with us. It’s worth the mess. 🙂

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