“Hello?….”

 

“… I’d like to make an appointment for a haircut, please… PRONTO!”

Advertisements

Proud Mama

Being an artist, I have always tried to instill creativity in my kids. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t really know how one does that, other than exposure to different things, and maybe asking some thought-provoking questions about what they observe. I try to remain open as much as possible to their desire to make a mess for the sake of creating, but often, my efforts have fallen short.

Up until now, Max’s interest in drawing has been limited to a few scribbles on a page, completed in about 4.2 seconds, and then on to something else. He likes to write his name, which I’m thrilled about, and every time I would pick him up from preschool last year he would have at least one scribble drawing with his very well written name on top. I would always open up his backpack to see what he made that day, excited to see if he’d had any breakthroughs, but with genuine overall interest.  Always scribbles.

Sometimes I would catch one of the other kids showing their mom what they drew, and actually feel a little envious.  I know… it’s ridiculous.  I remember one little girl drew her whole family, complete with arms, legs, hands… the whole shebang. It was then that I finally decided his talents must just lie elsewhere. And I accepted that.

Then, almost out of the blue, about 2-3 weeks ago, an explosion happened in this house.  A creative explosion.  It involved chalk.  And crayons.  And markers.  All of a sudden, it all must’ve clicked for my little budding artist, because he’s been a madman with the sidewalk chalk, etc. ever since.  More than anything, I love to hear about his thought process.  “Mom, I’m going to draw you at the hobspittal having the baby”.  A few minutes later, he shows me his representation of a building with a face looking out one of the windows. 

“Is that me?”  I said. 

“No”. 

“Is it the baby?”

“No”.

“Well, who is it?”

“It’s me looking out the window, telling daddy it’s getting dark out”.

Priceless!

Here are some of his earlier works, in his self-portrait period: 

  

 

Yes, he may be wearing a skirt and a belly shirt in this one, but check out those manly shoulders (or boobs?)

 

 

Next, the Max train (I had to photograph it upside down & flip it, since it was too close to the house):

 

 

Two more to complete our sidewalk chalk series:

Crocodile

Crocodile

 

Uni-brow Octopus

Uni-brow Octopus

 

 

And finally, my favorite to date- He’s big. He’s fierce.  He’s vegetarian.  Behold… the ginormous tree-eating monster:

 

 

 

I couldn’t be more proud! (Sniff, sniff)

 

Sick of cupcakes yet?

Hey, thanks to my purchasers of the cupcake pin cushions!  I hope to get some more listed by the end of this week- you guys rock!  Ok, so, I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed, but I am noticing a definite trend here….  This is part of what I sent to  Joanna, one of my Pay It Forward recipients:

 

In addition to a few things for her, I made two apron sets, one for each of her girls.  Please ignore all of the wrinkles!  I didn’t exactly follow any instructions to make the apron, but there is a tutorial posted on Block A Day if you’d like to give it a try (I simplified a bit).  It’s fully reversible, and, not that I have pictures of the backside, but it sort of has a Holiday flava…

I had fun making all of the baked goods (you can kind of see the backside in this pic- again, ignore those wrinkles!):

They’re all Wyatt-approved (and luckily still drool-free).  I wouldn’t let him near the ones with the tiny beads, though.  I may make a few sets for the shop, since the kidlets seem to like them as play food, and in this age of lead-painted toys,  sometimes handmade is better…

Anyway, for some more linky-love, I just have to share this tutorial I found from Bakerella.  It’s for cupcake pops!  Apparently, Nickelodeon has a website: giveback.parentsconnect.com. For every back-to-school tip or recipe you give, they’ll make a donation to Feed the Children’s Kid’s School Basics Program. You can leave tips through September 25th. And if you do leave a tip, be sure to say so in the comments on this postat Bakerella, because you could win some goodies!  I haven’t left a tip yet, but I’m planning on it.

Photo courtesy of Bakerella

Photo courtesy of Bakerella

Her cupcakes are true works of art, but the pops were even featured on a Martha Stewart segment (you can watch it here— take a peek if you want to hear Martha use the word “terd-like”- funny!) I am SO making these for Max’s birthday this year!

Sweet Shop

Since I got a few inquiries about the cupcake pincushions, I decided to add a few to the shop.  I’m working on more, and hope to have more of a variety by the end of this week.  These will be available today:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get ’em while they’re hot 🙂

Get ’em to eat their veggies

 

First of all, thanks to everyone for all the baby love!  I’m still digesting the fact that I’m going to be mom to 3 boys, but I think that everything happens for a reason.  It’s funny, the old woman that we bought this house from had 3 boys, so it’s kind of like continuing the legacy.  Poor little Max had his heart set on a baby sister, but he’s already starting to come around.  Wyatt seems excited, too, but I think the jury will still be out until we have actual baby-in-hand.

So I was doing some hormonal baking the other day.  I say hormonal because basically, if it had chocolate in it, I was going to make it.  I think chocolate covered hot dogs would’ve sounded good at the time.  Anyway, whenever I need to make something for dinner, etc. and I have a particular ingredient that I would like to use (or if I’m just looking for ideas in general), one of my favorite sites to go to is allrecipes.com.  I like this site because you can search by ingredient, and, like other similar websites, all of the recipes are rated by people who’ve already tried them.  I also like it when reviewers share what they changed about the recipes, or recommendations for what they would do differently if they made it again. 

So I went on the other day in search of something for dinner, an on the home page was a recipe for chocolate zucchini bread.  Now, I like my veggies & all, but normally this would not make me take pause. I guess the promise of a double dose of chocolate and the five star rating from 277 reviewers is what made my hormonal ass stop in its tracks.  Could it really be that good?

Max has always been a good veggie eater.  He definitely has his dislikes, but I’m happy with what he’ll put in his mouth.  Wyatt, on the other hand, will either flat out refuse it, or he’ll secretly hide his veggies next to him in the booster seat so that by the time we realize what he’s been up to, he’s already free.  He basically likes tomatoes and cucumbers.  That’s it.  I’ve resorted to cooking a pot of veggies & pureeing them in spaghetti sauce just to sneak them in.  (Side note: of course, Wyatt likes red sauce, and Max does not, so this trick only works for half of the little people in this house).  I know a lot of parents aren’t big fans of getting sneaky about it, but I’ve tried the “just putting it in front of them repeatedly” trick, & I still do, but so far it hasn’t worked.

Wyatt also likes soup (Max does not- BIG SURPRISE!)  so the other week I tried this really yummy, fast & easy zucchini soup recipe hoping he would be all over it.  He wasn’t.  The grown ups ate it, but I did have a good amount of zucchini left over (gotta love Produce Junction) so this bread was worth a shot.  Let me tell you–decadent is not the word.  If you are having a chocolate attack, this bread is for you.  I made it for the kids, but I think Bill & I ended up eating most of it.  And the zucchini?  No sign of it– you would never know it was in there. 

Because of the state of my hormones, and a previous bout of extremely dry muffins, I took one reviewer’s advice and added a cup of lite sour cream to the recipe, along with 3 extra tablespoons of cocoa to the dry mix.  I also increased the chocolate chips to one cup, and sprinkled some on top as well.  Finally, since fat content was so obviously an issue (chocolate chips are fat-free, did you know that? REALLY!), I replaced half of the oil with applesauce. 

I also learned that if you throw your chocolate chips into the dry mix (instead of at the very end, like most recipes), it prevents them from all sinking to the bottom. It worked!

So, without further ado, I give you….

 

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate until melted. Stir occasionally until chocolate is smooth.
  2. In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil, grated zucchini, vanilla and chocolate; beat well. Stir in the flour baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean.

 

** In addition to the changes noted above, I also used cocoa and shortening instead of baking squares ( 3T cocoa + 1T shortening = 1 chocolate baking square).

It’s Official

Today was our halfway-point Ultrasound.  If you’re interested, you can find out what we’re having by clicking here.

For the Calorie-Conscious

I finished these last night:

All of the fun, but none of the calories!  These pincushions were made using this tutorial, by Schmaltzy Craftsy.  Check out here site, her things are amazing!  I put my own spin on them with the cupcake theme.  They are made from old soda bottle caps & are only about 2″ tall.  I like the fact that these could also be used as play food for a child (or an adult, if you’re like me!).  My blanket stitch still needs some work, but I’m not hating the hand sewing as much as I used to.  I think I just may have to make several dozen more!

I also finished this baby quilt top last night:

It took me way longer to decide on the fabrics than it did to sew it all together.  It’s only about 2 months late… and still not finished!

While I was putting together this post, I noticed things in the other room got really quiet, which, anyone knows with kids, is almost never a good thing.  I entered the kitchen to this:

Wyatt on the window sill.  Notice the big ol’ pincushion full of very sharp pins?  This little guy never ceases to keep me on my toes!  Now, would you please excuse my while I go pull him out of the toilet?