Sunday, 17 November 2013

Learning to Read


This week, Nevin and I were sitting in front of the fridge playing with magnets, when he turned to the letters and read a word.  No help from me.  Showing, with pride, his independence.

Colour me red and call me Elmo because I was tickled.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

A Movie and Westboro Date Night

Date night, as told in selfies.





Birthday Cake


Tuesday was Shawn's birthday.  He is a remarkable man celebrating an unremarkable age and, unfortunately, it did not take priority in my mind until it was too late.  I arrived on the day with absolutely nothing planned.  My mom watched the kids that day, but since I was at work, it afforded me no extra time, beyond stopping briefly at the grocery store on the way home for hamburger -- in a predominately vegetarian household, hamburger is noted.   But its not steak.  Its still just hamburger;  a small token to distract from the 88 cent pasta smothered in canned tomato sauce.  Truly, it was a woeful birthday feast.  When I showed up to pick up the kids, my mom handed me a homemade birthday cake, decorated by the children, and said, "wish Shawn a Happy Birthday for us!"  She saved me from trying to put birthday candles in left over Halloween candy.

After the cake -- chocolate with chocolate icing -- Nevin was nutso.  To keep him busy and maintain my annoy-o-meter in the green, I challenged him to run around the kitchen island 10 times while I did the dishes.  He stopped for a rest at 43.  He called it a day at 59.

All in all, it worked out.  I do not think it will go down in history as the best party he has ever had, but Scarlett, who can be shy, sang Happy Birthday for the first time, and he was beaming.  He said her jumble-worded, out of tune version of the song was the best he's ever heard - and you could tell he meant it.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Compost Cookies


I think my favourite Halloween tradition is making Compost Cookies.  We take a sampling of all the different things the kids have received and put them into a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I wish I could say this was my own invention, but it is not.  Momofuko invented Compost Cookies a number of years ago.  Their recipe is much more involved than mine, I'm sure it is much more delicious, and it has nothing to do the spoils of Trick-or-Treating.

Just to be clear: in our house, they are only Compost Cookies if there are some sort of pretzels, chips and graham crackers involved.  This year's version also included Butterfingers, M&M's, Wunderbars, Coffee Crisps, Skor Bars, and Chocolate Graham Goldfish.

Compost Cookies
(Adapted from

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs, room temp
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp hot water
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups chopped chocolate bars, M&M's, pretzels, graham crackers, plain chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream butter and sugars until smooth.  Beat in eggs and add vanilla.
3. Dissolve baking soda in hot water and add to batter, along with salt.  Mix in flour, one cup at a time.
4. Mix in compost ingredients, until just combined.  Add the chips last, so that they break apart into smaller pieces, but are not completely crushed.
5. Bake for about 12 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.

Flowers and tigers and dinosaurs, oh my!




Thursday, October 24, 2013.  6:03am.  Sasha's bed.

Sasha: Nevin, what would like to be for Halloween this year?

Nevin carefully considers the question.

Nevin: Well, my dinosaur costume is way too big for me, Mommy... sooo I think I should be a dinosaur for at least a couple more years.
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