Apple Pie, just because.

Apple pie is my favorite dessert.  I felt like a slice yesterday, so I made a pie.

Some other people were interested, too.

And while I’m not winning any pretty pie awards anytime soon,

That didn’t stop it from getting gobbled right up.

Purple Mitts

Made the girl little mitts like her brother. These were even simpler–just knit a garter stitch rectangle and then sew it up into a tube, leaving a hole for the thumb.

Here she is, wearing her new mitts and sucking down vanilla extract like a pro.  Awesome.

Close up:

Xmas Half Pint X-games

Our new (as of last year) Christmas day tradition is to go skiing.  Last year poor little girl had to sit in daycare while the rest of us had fun, but this year she is old enough to start skiing! I was a little apprehensive but she has such a little go-getter personality that I thought she would be just fine.

I prepped both kids by showing them kids ski videos on youtube.  Some of those kids are a-mazing, like this one little girl who’s been skiing since she was 16 months old and competed in slalom races at the age of 6.

We dropped both kids off at ski school–don’t they look perfectly ready for the mountain?












Eric, Sapana and I took off to enjoy the mountain for the day.  Even though there hasn’t been a ton of snow, there were still some great runs to be had and it was probably one of my most fun days on a mountain, ever. I kept waiting for my phone to ring, telling me that the girl was cold/tired/hungry/bored and I needed to come pick her up.

It never did! She LOVES skiing! As soon as I picked her up at the end of the day, she asked me, “We come back ’keeing tomorrow?” with a big, big smile on her face. I asked if she’d take one last run to show me how she did. She got very excited, and pointing to the magic carpet told me, “Mommy, dat wug moooves!” (“Mommy, that rug moves!” for those of you that don’t speak her language.) Up she went, and here she is rocking it down the mountain:

Not to shortchange the boy, he had a great day also:

Here’s hoping you all also had a fun holiday this year, filled with family, laughter, and good food! 🙂


Pierogies! As you might remember from last year’s post (and the year before) on the same topic, we make these half-moon delights each holiday season to devour on Christmas Eve, continuing a tradition from Eric’s grandmother. This year, the girl really got into it, starting by trying to eat all the sour cream that goes into the dough with her bare hands.

Don’t worry, germophobes! We made her wash her hands after that. And then the rolling:

and the stuffing

aaaand 10 dozen (yes, that’s right) pierogies, ready for boiling and sauteeing and gobbling up!

Of course, it was all a little too much for one of our helpers, and while the rest of us stuffed she snuck away and we found her here:

We’ll wake her up when the eating begins.

Grand Lake vacation

Since this seems to be blog catch up day, I’m going to post about our summer vacation about a month later.

In August, we all found ourselves with a long weekend off and thought, let’s get out of here! Now, others might just take off and find a campground.  I prefer to come home to a stove and a hot shower and something between me and the bears besides a sheet of nylon. All the cabins I looked for were booked, but I was able to find a VRBO condo in Grand Lake that looked nice.

We had such a great time.  The first day we drove up leisurely, stopping on the way in Granby, maybe? I can’t remember–one of those tiny mountain towns. There was a great road side stop with a playground and a kids’ fishing lake. We stopped for a break and a little fishing. Did we catch anything? Uh, no.

The condo was nice and backed up to a nice open space where the kids could run around and be free. We went to check out Grand Lake and later that evening we walked across the road where there was a lake and tried again for fish, and again didn’t catch anything.

The next day we went back to Grand Lake and  rented a family kayak from these guys:  I was a little worried about how the girl would do with this, but it was fantastic! We were one of the first few people out on the lake, before all the annoying motorboats, so we had a peaceful kayak around the lake.  The highlight was seeing an osprey nest up close, and then seeing one fish and grab one out of the water!

After that we just hung out on the “beach” for a while, which was just fine with the girl.

Later that day we went for a short hike and more fishing.  It was so, so beautiful at this little lake.  I never tired of seeing the osprey flying overhead and skimming the water, hunting for fish.

I even tried my hand at fishing.

Again, we didn’t catch anything, but had a great time all the same.

Our last day, we took the long way back home and drove through Rocky Mountain National Park. We happened upon a ranger guided hike for kids! We had to wade through some tall tall grass, and at the end he had the kids draw pictures of animals that had adapted to their environment.

Then it was time to head home, but not before one last stop for fishing.

And…HE CAUGHT SOMETHING. A FISH. A real live floppy fish was on the end of the line.  We were so surprised we didn’t really know what to do with ourselves! While reeling the little guy in (it was maybe 6 or 8 inches long when we saw it) it wriggled its way off the hook and swam away. It was so exciting! I sort of get the whole fishing thing now, even if you do have to deal with a dead animal at the end of it all if you’re successful.

We loved it and will definitely head back.  It’s not that far away and one of the nice things is that all the out of state tourists go to one of the big mountain towns, so it’s largely Colorado families out there and it’s a nice low-key environment. Without any bears.

Hair Salon

The other day, at work, my phone rang. It was the girl’s school calling.

The first thought that ran through my head was hoping that everything was okay–I mean, they usually only call for emergencies.  My second thought was that I hoped it wasn’t some stupid trumped up emergency requiring an immediate pickup, only to find out that she was entirely fine, such as the nonexistent “fever” after playing outside, or the “vomiting” after someone drank too much milk at once.

My daughter’s teacher answered when I picked up. “Okay,” she began, “first of all, the girl is fine, you don’t have to pick her up or anything.”

Glad we got that out of the way.  She continued: “So, something happened that I just thought you should know about. The girl and a friend were playing hair salon with scissors, and each managed to get one good cut in before the teacher saw them and stopped it.”

“Oh,” I said, glad that that was all.  I mean, I don’t really care about that.  I know that something like that happens in an instant and doesn’t mean that they were being neglected. “How bad does it look?”

“Wellll,” her teacher said, “It’s not too bad, really.  There’s just a little hole missing over her left ear.” I thanked her for calling and went about my day.

When I got home that night, I asked the girl about it. You could, by the way, see where the cut had happened but you had to be looking for it.

“So,” I began. “I hear you were playing hair salon with your friend today.”

“Yah! I Weesa!” She said, excitedly. Lisa is the name of the woman who cuts my hair.

“Oh, you were Lisa? Who were you playing with?” I asked.


“Lucy? Did you cut Lucy’s hair, too?” I asked.

She nodded, a big big smile on her face.

“And how did Lucy’s hair look after  you cut it?” I asked.

With that, the girl puffed up her chest, got a big, proud smile on her face, and said on an exhale, “Byooful, Mommy. Woosey’s hair wooked byooful.”


The Girl, According to Herself

Age: I little.

Eye color: Brown

Hair color: Golden

Likes: Fwimming at the pool, weading Knuffle Bunny, widing pink bike, ‘tay home day (“stay home day”)

Dislikes: I not wan’ go ’chool.

Favorite food: butter.

When I grow up: I wan’ be doctor. PURPLE doctor.

Favorite phrases: “Dat’s okay!” “I so mad at you!” “Brudddeeeerrr!” (Brother) and most importantly, “I do it myself!”

Emotions, illustrated:

Nail-Biting Gardening

Sunday and Saturday were beautiful. 80-90 degrees, sunny, perfect for frolicking outside, and just the sort of weather to lull a gardener into a false sense of security.

Needless to say, I was fooled.

We got a bit more ambitious with the garden this year–tearing out the front patch between the sidewalk and the street to make way for squash, watermelon, and chard.

Breaking up the plot of dandelions and dead grass was tough, backbreaking work that I watched while sitting on the porch drinking margaritas. Eric borrowed a pickaxe from a neighbor and swung it through the heavy clay soil for about 2 days. Even so, much of it is still hard as rock and I’m hoping that it’ll get better just by planting. Using an online calculator, I learned that I’d have to purchase 16 bags of compost to till in 3″ into that area. I settled for 4 and mixed it in. We left a patch of ground cover along the road and in between the two plots to maintain access for people to get out of their cars.

Saturday, I bought all my starts from the same person as last year.

Sunday, I couldn’t wait any longer. I planted, even though the snooty woman at Echter’s told me to wait.

A few years ago, I was talking about Colorado gardening with a friend, I can’t remember who. They said something along the lines of, “You know, I’m not really a ‘walls of water’ gardener.” Ever since then, I figured it was really really uncool to be a “walls of water gardener” and never gave them a second thought. Then last year I went to a different friend’s house, someone I think of as pretty cool, and she had walls of water up. I reconsidered my self-image and bought walls of water to protect my little seedlings this year.

Planted this year: 2 types of corn, rainbow chard, 2 types of pole beans, 3 types of cucumbers, 4 types of tomato, 1 tomatillo plant, 2 types of eggplant, 3 types of peppers, basil, oregano, dill, rosemary, onions, lettuce, peas, carrots, radishes, butternut squash, watermelon, thyme, lemongrass, chives, and beets.

The next day, it rained. And rained and rained and got down to about 32 degrees.

I was scared for my little plantlings. I texted Eric from work and told him to cover the cucumbers and squash.

Two days of cold and rain later, everything is fine!! I’m sort of ridiculously happy about that.

One of the cucumbers got a little crispy, but I think will make it:

And the tomato and tomatillo plants were snug in their homes:

The spinach that overwintered is probably ready to pick, with the new seeds doing okay.

The cilantro has grown into little trees, and the last of the radishes are ready to harvest:

The first of the pea blossoms are here!

The lettuce and onions are doing well, too:

And we even had a blessing from the garden butterfly/fairy:

Looking forward to watching everything (and everyone) grow this year!

(And as a last note, here’s a comparison where things were last year. So many more green plants this year, and so much deader grass. I don’t think it’s going to make it–I see some sort of gravel/flagstone in the future. I know, I know you all told me so.)


The girl is 3! Unbelievable, really. I mean, look at this squashed up thing:

I love love love that little girl, but she was not a cute newborn. Sorry, sweetheart, if you’re reading this a few years later.

We threw a party for her, of course. I know she won’t entirely remember it but why shouldn’t she get to feel special for a day?

For the party, I got bags and wrote the kids’ names on them and had fabric markers at the party for them to decorate. Honestly, this didn’t work very well since once there as more than 2 children they all started running around like crazies. But it was a cute idea, no?

I made the paper circle garland in the pic above, using a 2 1/2″ craft circle punch, cardstock and some twine. I love it! We haven’t actually been able to make ourselves take it down yet, we like it so.

I’ve really been trying to avoid all the waste that often goes into these parties. From the paper or plastic goody bags (replaced by the canvas ones described above) to the junky plastic toys that are handed out at them, there’s just so much that ends up in the trash it’s appalling. For party favors, I cribbed one of the ideas I crowdsourced on facebook–painting terracotta planter pots with chalkboard paint, giving out chalk, dirt pellets and seeds.

I let my kids have at them before the party, and they loved them! I hope all the other kids had as much fun with them.

and for my fancy little girl, a Fancy Nancy cake!

So very cute. I ordered it from a local bakery to whom I gave minimal instructions and it was just lovely.

As for the party itself, I was of course running around and not very focused on getting pictures–I left that to the grandparents.

In a rather random twist of present-ing fate, my parents bought the girl an umbrella in China for her birthday. My mother-in-law sent a box with a raincoat and rainboots. All of this was completely unplanned, yet happened to be the exact same set. The girl could NOT have been more thrilled.

Happy Birthday, little girl.  May you always feel as beautiful as you do in your pink rain gear, whiskers painted on your face.