21 December, 2008
We are celebrating in Mexico this year. No presents, no stockings, no baking, and no turkey dinner. But sand, sun, fishing, and infinite days spent in the water. We'll see you in the New Year.
19 December, 2008
Originating in Hubby's family (thanks Susan) the Christmas Tree Bun is a sweet bread dough, formed into this cute tree. Drizzled with icing and rainbow sprinkles it serves as a carrier for the all important honey butter. Mimosas, sausage, and bacon on the side.
On the now rare occasions where the A clan gets together for Christmas morning, er... noon hour, we have to sit through the gift-opening to get to the Tree Bun. After the kids have torn through their gifts and we adults opened our present from Susan we have to wait for Susan to finish opening all the presents her friends and family send her. We aren't very patient with her, to be honest, as she stops her opening to chat and watch the kids. Yes, they are cute and the excitement is contagious, but we need her to finish in order to eat. And eat is what we want to do.
When Hubby and I spent our first Christmas alone in the new city - five years ago! - the only thing he asked for was Christmas Tree Bun. We sat in our dining room, devouring bread with honey butter and downing mimosas. I think people got a few tipsy phone calls that morning. Ah, the days before kids. The tradition carries on, minus all the champagne.
I would share the recipe, but I don't think I am allowed - until my daughters are married off and then, only to their partners. But pick your favourite soft or sweet bread recipe and form it into buns to rise. Bake together and enjoy.
This year we are off to Mexico for two weeks, with my family. While I can make no promises regarding rainbow sprinkles I do intend to bake on Christmas morning, 30 degree C weather be damned!
Have a Merry Christmas to all who celebrate. We'll see you in a few weeks.
16 December, 2008
My apologies for the crappy photo. We were in a rush to get this out for mailing.
12 December, 2008
Mornings in our house are lazy affairs, what with me on mat leave and Hubby self-employed and not a morning person. The Monster wakes up, steals a few snuggles, aggravates her sister and sits down with a handful of raisins and Zaboomafoo while I nurse Little Miss Sunshine. Once the little one is fed I make myself some tea and try to convince the Monster to eat some breakfast. Like her Dad, she isn't much for eating early in the day.
Well, one day last week she made the particularly unique request for pickles for breakfast.
We had a jar sitting on the counter, waiting for Hubby to open. When my parents make pickles and my dad does up the jars with his beefy construction worker hands a special gravity is enabled, one that holds the lids on with particular force. Of course, old lids don't help and being the frugal Ukrainian that he is, he won't replace the jars. Opening his jars is a two person, hot water, wooden spoon, and damp cloth job.
So that morning Hubby and I tried struggled. We rinsed, we banged, we grunted, we braced ourselves and turned. Nothing was working. Hubby finally felt some movement so tried that extra bit harder. I could hear the crack in the other room. The lid came off - with the top of the jar. Definitely time to replace the jars, Dad.
After the Monster got over the shock of the noise and the short-lived drama of thinking she wasn't going to get any pickles, we opened one of the jars that my mom and I made while our playhouse was being built. The Monster got her breakfast of three little pickles, and a bit of cheese too. Off to daycare a happy little Ukrainian. Well, half Ukrainian with garlic breath.
09 December, 2008
For all you with thirty-something suburban white rap fans as partners, this one is for you. Hubby grew up on De La Soul, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Eric B. and Rakim, and Methodman. For all these folks there is actually a kids show for you. We are addicted to it in this house. Please welcome DJ Lance and Yo Gabba Gabba into your house.
Sure, it is pretty much as irritating as any other show geared towards toddlers, at least when you are forced to watch it as much as they are allowed to watch TV or DVDs. It is not nearly as painful, however, as purple dinosaurs or creepy costumed grown men with fake hair. But it is quite catchy and oddly entertaining, what with the beatboxing with Biz Markie, celebrity guests who dance, and funky monsters with weird names like Fufa.
Hubby and I were never ones for pretending that airplanes or choo-choos were making their way to the baby's mouth when she ate. Open up or don't eat. You don't want to eat? No worries. But as The Monster asserts some independence and, at the same time, is getting a bit lazy about eating, we've glommed on to one thing to help us through dinner.
Normal dinnertime in our house generally involves Hubby and I trying to have a conversation over The Monster's singing, or rousing bouts of all of us roaring like lions or comparing owies and eye colour. The Monster hasn't been eating much lately so we resorted to a bit of a guilt trip a la Yo Gabba Gabba. Did you know there is a party in your tummy? And the beans want to be there, so do the pierogies, and the roast beef. Seriously, all we have to do is remind her about the party and she eats more. And when she is done she repeats all the attendees to her party. Heck, days later she is still telling us who came.
She had a bit of a gastro problem the past few days and yesterday she asked why she was sick. I told her it was because a funny bug went to the party in her tummy and made her sick. A perfect explanation. And then she asked to peel a banana and send it to the party, complete with the action of lifting-up her shirt and pointing at her belly button. Let the Party begin.
Check out the official version of the song here.
I had this grand idea to make a special travel colouring book for the Monster for our upcoming Christmas vacation. Something new for the plane ride and something to keep markers contained.
It started with an idea, a pattern drafted, and some delicious fabrics. Somewhere between my brain and the sewing machine something went screwy. It looks great, but the markers fall out, it is too big for the chosen book, and it doesn't close tight enough to keep everything contained. Laying open and flat it is handy, but that's about it.
It's worth another shot, but not this week. We leave on Sunday and I have way too much to do. I think we'll just be putting the markers in a ziploc and the paper in the little backpack I bought her.
06 December, 2008
As you can see, I bought a wide variety of fabrics. Oh, and this isn't all of them. I saved some special ones from the photo because they are to be made into a quilt for new baby for someone who reads here. Generally, it was simply stash enhancement. A few pieces were for one quilt I have brewing in the back of my head.
Not much quilty activity lately. Just getting the binding sewn down on this baby quilt. I'm trying to finish off a travel colouring case for The Monster. We have a 4 hour flight next weekend and I'm hoping this new treat will carry us for a bit longer than 5 minutes. Oh, and I started some Christmas baking.
Best get back to my budget spreadsheet. The girls are both sleeping, the dogs are finally outside for a spell, and Hubby is buying lumber to make some stairs. And I'm working on a spreadsheet. Fun times.
05 December, 2008
4 candy canes
1. Prepare a rimmed cookie sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
02 December, 2008
You just can't get mad though. She is taking such interest in quilting. When she wakes up from her nap she comes straight to me at the machine, pulls up the chair next to me, and grabs hold of the quilt to help. Of course, it doesn't really help when you are trying to actually quilt and she's pulling in the opposite direction.
Is she too young to teach how to sew?
Poor Hubby. It's bad enough that he has one girl in the house with this expensive habit. Of course, this is also the girl that loves to go to the basement and look in the holes and watch Daddy bang things.
Oh, an actual quilt update. This was us playing around with the layout for the latest baby quilt. I went with a completely different layout. I thought this was far too busy. I'll post it as soon as the baby is born - my friend reads the blog sometimes so I don't want her to see it here first.
01 December, 2008
Dammit. Dammit. Dammit.
This was the cookie sheet and Silpat Hubby bought me to avoid buying me a new oven. I was sick of burning cookies on my old cookie sheets and I blamed the oven. So he bought me these instead. I have to say that it really helped. I still wish I had a new oven, but I settled for buying two new cookie sheets and Silpats last week. Just in time for christmas baking.