Archive for the ‘domestic bliss’ Category

I don’t know why I ever bother making New Years resolutions, right in the thick of the darkest and bleakest days of winter, but I do. My resolutions are invariably of the same genre: get organized with a sprinkling of getting in shape. I always give them a good college try too. But you must remember that my college days were spent gorging on pizza, shopping for makeup, and indulging in all-night cram sessions for whatever it was I studied. By mid-February I cannot remember what the color green looks like, let alone which closet I was going to create a haven of clutter-freeness from. Thank heavens for March 4.

When I was a kid we would always spend a few seconds marching about and often make a dessert in honor of the pun. Now that I look grownup it has become a day of re-commitment, of marching forth, often accompanied by dessert, usually cake. March 4 is the day for knowing that whatever storms may roll in, the worst ones are over. There may be snowy gray clouds today, but odds are tomorrow will be sunny and slushy. We shed a couple blankets from the beds. We clean a closet we had forgotten we were supposed to, just because. March 4 reminds me what green looks like, I can smell the approaching sun.

I always make a few goals for the coming Spring on this day. What am I Marching Forth to do this year? I am going to exercise every weekday for three months! Who’s with me?? <crickets chirping>


For those who only come here for photos of the Baby:

This little face got foody, this little face came clean.

I should write nursery rhymes for a living. And yes, she is saying “quack quack!” quack

Notice that her security item that day was a toothpaste lid. Blankies are highly overrated.


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Okay, I’ve had my little blog break. NaBloPoMo was naturally followed by NoBloPoMo. I was meaning to blog over the holidays (har) so just think of this as my way of prolonging the holiday spirit.

We had a joyous and rambunctious Christmas. That is, after we got the Christmas card photo shoot over with. My patient nature and fine photography skills, combined with my compliant and docile brood, make this a well loved holiday tradition. At first we attempted a Christmas tree tableau, complete with stylish basket of junk in the background.

um, no

Take one. We took forteen bazillion more. That “tortured boredom” expression on Pi’s face was in every single shot until I finally made clear that she was to look happy in the next one or die.

did she smile?

So much for my threats. Isp and Ood couldn’t help but watch Pi to see if she would smile, though. Oh well, that light was bad anyway.

Plan B: the five pointed star. I quickly swept a portion of kitchen floor…


Pi cleverly found something to do with her mouth, since smiling was still out of the question. Tood deserves a medal for forcing a smile while The Baby screeches in his ear and pulls his hair, doesn’t he?

I believe I only took four shots in this pose, and lo! We had our winner! You can just imagine me towering above and whooping like a gleeful lunatic to get that Baby to crack a smile.

good 'nuf!


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What have I been up to for the past week now that I don’t have to blog anymore? Sleep. I’m trying to keep diurnal hours now, and regular sleep has added a modicum of sanity to my daily, uh, day. Also, I’ve been doing other sensational mother stuff that would be too fabulous to blog about, ‘cuz everybody would get so jealous. Well, if you must know…

I cleaned out one of my cupboards. I really love spending a couple hours on a job only to find it looks pretty much the same as it did to begin with. Can you tell which is before and which is after?

nice and chaoticnice and neat

I helped you cheat by putting them in order. You will just have to trust me that it is now more organized and clean. But it was all worthwhile because in the far recesses of an upper shelf rested a yam, not from a few weeks ago but from a year and a few weeks ago! And it wasn’t moldy, no, it was full of life! Beautifully alive! Here on the freshly scrubbed shelf, I captured its elegance:

Then I tossed it.

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I feel…


For the first time in many weeks, I think I’ll turn in before midnight.

As soon as I change the laundry, start the dishwasher, clear and wipe the counters and table, sweep the kitchen, look at the homeschool agenda, lay out the kids clothes for tomorrow, make sure everybody is tucked in, and turn down the heat–

Oh, here my spouse just brought me the baby. She needs her boogers sucked out, her diaper changed, to be nursed back to sleep.

I didn’t really want to go to bed anyway.

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Yes, the laundry room was a disaster. I knew it and I was going to get to it one of these days. Just not yet. There are more important things to do, you know, like eating gummy worms and browsing blogs. And let’s not forget actual laundry. Besides, the door could still close, so it wasn’t too bad yet (snort.)


Then this afternoon I stumbled in to cat barf! Gag! It was either clean the wretched hole or burn down that portion of my home.

cat barf

And it wasTackle it Tuesday.”


La! I even took the extra slats off the blinds. Somebody give me a sticker on my forehead.

What is a blog for, if not to parade your slovenliness?

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I asked Isp what he wanted for his birthday dinner. He started to automatically quip, “Pizz–” but stopped short and revised hiself, “Yams! We never, never have yams. Why don’t we ever have yams?”

“Are you saying you want yams for your birthday dinner?”

His face brightened. “Yes!” He ran off giggling.

birthday yams

Who am I to argue with a kid who knows what he likes? We had pizza, yams, broccoli (shut up, Isp loves broccoli too) and dirt cake.

dirt cake

The dirt cake is crunched up oreos, gummy worms, and lolly pop “flowers” on top of a frosted chocolate cake. A from-scratch chocolate cake that we love and dream about and wake up drooling on our pillows for. That cake. This is what you do:

Chocolate Cake
Stir together:

  • 2 C. sugar
  • 1¾ C. flour
  • ¾ C. cocoa
  • ½ Tbsp. baking soda
  • ½ Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C. milk
  • ½ C. vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

Beat with a mixer for two minutes. Then stir in:

  • 1 C. boiling water

You could be microwaving that water while you beat the cake so it will be boiling at the end of the two minutes. Your batter will be so thin, you’ll think you ruined the cake, but relax, it is going to be superb. Pour into greased pans and bake at 350°F. for 35-40 minutes for a 9″x13″ pan, or 30-35 minutes for two 9″ round pans. Voila. Best chocolate cake in the world.
Just in case you are feeling sorry for poor Isp and his yams, yesterday we also went for some birthday fun at the airplane museum.


I love that Isp.

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lights out

The power was out on our side of town when we got home last night at about quarter to seven. The street lamps were off, homes were dark, everything hushed. Clambering from the car, the kids were awe-struck with the sky, dazzeling with stars. “Fun! The power’s out!” they chirped.

We were fortunate that I had a roast in the crock pot that was well cooked and still very warm. We rounded up our flashlights and found that many were broken or needed batteries we didn’t have. (Our “emergency preparedness” flashlights purchased last year were all broken.) But some shone, including a small camping lantern and a head lamp each for my spouse and I. We rounded up our candles. There were a couple votive candles, and several scented ones. Lovely. Our kitchen was soon smelling like a cheap perfume factory. Apparantly, those decorative candles were not made for optimum light output, but we were able to at least illuminate the table. And we were lucky to have several that were not scented so we could cut back on those that were. Whew! Olfactory overload.I lit the gas stove with a match and cooked some gravy, instant potatoes, and a can of beans to go with our meat.

The kids were ecstatic, making flashlight treks to the bathroom, eating dinner by candlelight. What I noticed was the quiet. No lights, no whoosh of dishwasher, rumble of ice maker, hum of furnace, computer fan. No little LEDs blipping in various corners. Just the soft, unfiltered sounds of family, children giggling and helping each other, our motions through an evening routine. It was actually nice.

I also noticed my lack of preparedness. I really have no excuse. I know better and have done better in the past, but at the moment our emergency supplies have fallen into disarray. And this was just to deal with a few hours without power. What if there had been no water or gas? What if we had needed to evacuate? This weeks goal: update and reorganize our emergency supplies. I want our next power outage (or whatever) to also be remembered as “fun.”


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