Saturday, December 29, 2007
French Toast Casserole
1 loaf French bread, sliced, or 1 loaf sliced white bread
8 large eggs
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture for several seconds until it is soaking. Arrange bread in a buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish, overlapping the slices.
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine all praline ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well with a fork. Spread over bread. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake 45-60 minutes, or until puffy and lightly golden.
*Note: this recipe feeds a small army. I halve it for our family of 4, and it works out pretty well. When halving it, use an 8x8 or 9x9 pan.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Claire's first Christmas, and first candy canes.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
This year I am that person. Everyone got plain cards from us: our family photo in front of an A-10 (that could have been any plane, since we are practically huddled under the wing), along with Christmas wishes and our names already printed on the card. No extra note. No letter. Not even a quick hand-printed wish of a prosperous new year. Even my grandmothers got this simple card. How sad. And how much easier it was. Also, everyone (except perhaps those in Poland and Brazil) should receive their card by Christmas. So: sorry for the generic feeling of our holiday greeting. But thank you for your understanding. I'll try harder next year.
Friday, December 21, 2007
It has now been one month since we got sick the first time. At least one of us (and usually 3 of us) has been ill throughout these past 4 weeks, and there is still some lingering illness in everyone. The girls are on antibiotics for ear infections, and seem to be getting better, so hopefully, HOPEFULLY this is the end of it.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
- finding lint/Christmas tree needles/cat hair/food crumbs on the floor and eating them
- playing with the glue bug traps scattered around the house
- playing with the garbage bins
- wiggling away from me during diaper changes (I totally did not remember this starting so early with Kate)
- signing to tell me she is all done, and often sign-yelling for milk
- boogy-ing to all music
- pulling all the toys out of the toybox and throwing them behind her
- dropping/throwing food off her highchair tray
- pulling needles off the Christmas tree
- eating shoes (she prefers flip-flops, but doesn't discriminate against tennis shoes or loafers)
- playing in Starbuck's water dish
- playing peek-a-boo, as the 'peeker'
- singing the Backyardigans theme song
- looking at Christmas lights
- going to the big red ball store (Target)
- exclaiming 'Holly Jolly, Mommy!'
- petting Starbuck gently (I thought this would never happen)
- trying to pick up Starbuck or Claire
- removing the bookmarks from my books
- having tea parties with her Little People
- being chased
- going down slides
- begging for sweets
- drinking V8 out of a big girl cup
- picking out her own clothes
- going to 'Old Mc'Donald's' for a Happy Meal and 'fetch fies!'
Friday, December 14, 2007
- If I like it, it's mine.
- If it's in my hand, it's mine.
- If I can take it away from you, it's mine.
- If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
- If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
- If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
- If it looks just like mine, it's mine.
- If I saw it first, it's mine.
- If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
- If it's broken, it's yours. (No, the pieces are probably still mine.)
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
- re-wrap gifts?
- glue ornaments back together?
- holler at the girls to "stop touching the tree already!"?
- pry McLaren's pudgy little fingers off the pretty noble tree?
I decorated the Christmas tree last night, alone (how sad is that?), while watching When Harry Met Sally, drinking hot chocolate and eating peppermint patties. Tim will be home soon, but I got impatient. I love decorating the tree each year. Unwrapping each ornament is like Christmas morning, as I have usually forgotten what ornaments we own over the preceding 12 months. We have family heirlooms (one of which Kate broke this morning), trinkets from places we've lived and visited, and creations I made when I was little, all decorating our tree. I read The Night Before Christmas to Kate again last night, and explained that I was going to hang the stockings by the chimney with care, and she was delighted to see them on the mantel this morning. Of course, I noticed that we need a new stocking for Claire, as this is her first Christmas.
Not much will fit into that tiny boot!
The Catalinas covered in snow. Beautiful.
Kate's silhouette from Saturday's Christmas tree expedition.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I probably should have titled this post "the one where everyone was sick, again", because we are. Still. Sick. We have been sick, at least one of us, since the day after Thanksgiving. For the Love of God, make it stop. Even Tim got some sort of flu, and he's in Vegas.
On the upside, the girls are sleeping in much later than normal (Kate slept until 10:15am the other morning, then took a 3 hour nap that afternoon), for the most part. Claire is now waking up at 5:30am, though, coughing and demanding a meal. Me, I have no appetite, and I have not weighed this little since high school. Now, if I was only hungry for Christmas cookies. Of course, I'd need enough energy to make them first.
I have not sent out Christmas cards, because we are still waiting for our photos. Bad choice, but hopefully they will be worth it. The Christmas tree has lights on it, but no ornaments, and the rest of the house is a disaster that will likely take months to recover from. But I no longer feel flu-like, just cold-like, so that's a good thing. Also, it has been raining for the past several days, and now there is snow on Mt Lemmon. It's beautiful, and it feels more like winter.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
- a girl could have so many baths in one night, and still not smell quite right?
- I could wonder if I was going to run out of toddler sheets before morning?
- doing laundry at 2am was in my future when I sat down for a glass of wine at 9pm?
- we would have to skip the children's squadron Christmas party with Santa arriving on an A-10, due to Kate having the stomach flu?
- she would make a miraculous recovery, allowing us to attend the adult's squadron Christmas party last night?
- it would take us an hour to drive to that Christmas party due to a parade downtown, and then we'd have to park a mile away from the festivities?
- it would feel like we were Christmas tree shopping in Seattle yesterday, with wind, driving rain, and 42* on the thermometer?
- my Polar Express pictures would still be in that room with the sleeping (go to sleep, please, Claire!) baby?
- Kate would still be sleeping at 9:15am?
Friday, December 07, 2007
Saturday, December 01, 2007
"No, go Beavers!"
(*gleefully*) "Go Ducks!"
Today is Civil War, the game between the Oregon State Beavers (Tim's alma mater) and the Oregon Ducks (the evil green and yellow team of the Pac-10; also, Tim's father's alma mater). Currently the score is tied, although the refs made a terrible call last quarter that denied the Beavers a touchdown.
Kate usually gets to watch Dora after her nap, but on Saturdays during football season, we start the day with them so that we get the TV in the afternoon. College football: it takes precedence over most things in this house. Anyway, Kate is sitting in the living room with her sister and her father, eating graham crackers and cheering on the...Ducks. Tim at one point explained that the Beavers were playing the Ducks today, and Kate thought it would be nice to root on the losing team. It's very endearing.
Also, Claire has a horrible cold, and has lost most of her voice like I have. It is the most pathetic thing I think I have ever heard: a hoarse baby crying. So, so sad.
I got Kate an advent calendar this year, and we will open the first door tonight. I'm doing the chocolate version, in case you are interested.
What I am wondering is this: do you do advent calendars? If so, what traditions are you starting with your kids? I think I had a few advent calendars growing up, but I don't recall any sort of meaning behind them. Please share your ideas!