Friday, September 30, 2011

Lemon Pound Cake

My generous neighbor recently traveled to California, and upon her return gifted me with several home grown Meyer lemons. After some consideration, I made Lemon Pound Cake. The lemons (I also used twice the amount of juice and zest) really made a difference. I also baked it in loaf pans for ease, and it came out moist and lemony and delicious. I would have taken a picture, but we ate it all up. Yum.

In other news, my sister and niece arrive here from down south tomorrow afternoon. We are really looking forward to a (somewhat) relaxing visit! I figure the ratio of kids to adults is better at 4:2 than 3:1 any day. I can't wait.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Laundry & Challah

I know that this likely is the most boring post in this history of ever, but here it is. Laundry. This is one thing I just seem to totally suck at. I mean, I do it. All the time. But all of the kids' clothes seem to be covered in stains two weeks after I buy them, and my whites get dingy and colors fade and it never seems to smell that good. Gah. Bryce has a sensitive skin issue, so I don't like buying anything scented. Plus I figure babies and kids don't need lavender fresh mountain breeze artificial smells on them either. So I usually end up buying organic, awesome free and clear stuff, but honestly, it doesn't work that well. And it's expensive.

I've been meaning to try making my own laundry detergent forever, and always thought it would be a pain in the neck. But? It actually is embarrassingly easy. There are a million recipes out there on the web, but they're all pretty similar. I made a small batch this first time, but I'll probably make a huge tub soon. I used:

1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1 bar Fels Naptha laundry soap, grated

I found all this stuff at the grocery store. You can really use lots of different kinds of soap too, I think I'll use Ivory next time. Upon inspection of old detergent bottles, these things seem to be the basic ingredients in commercial laundry soap, along with a few other mystery items. You mix it together and use a heaping tablespoon per wash. Super, super cheap. And so far, so good. My clothes smell fresh from the dryer, and although I haven't had any epic diaper blow-outs or grass stains yet, it seems to be working well.

I made this batch plain to try it out. But the best part for me is that you can add a few drops of essential oil to the mix to get a fragrance. I am guessing that this will be okay for Bryce and the kids, and then I will actually get good smelling laundry for the first time in years. So, for me, it's really not about being green or saving money (although that is a bonus), but just getting what I want instead of a lot of what I don't.

Also! I made bread this weekend. It had been a long time. I used this recipe for Challah as I am always trying to use more eggs these days, and it turned out delicious. I need to work on my braiding technique, but this link has some very nice instructions for the six stranded braid. Really, really awesome toast.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Not Enough Arms

When I was pregnant with Cedar, I knew that having three kids was going to be harder than having just two. I knew that Bryce and I would be outnumbered, and that I was not going to get much time to spend alone with anyone. Someone always has to come first. Which means someone else is coming last. This week I have found it very difficult to find the right balance, and I feel like Porter is really getting the short end of the stick. Parenting guilt is high.

Porter had his last soccer game of the season on Saturday, and his team was having a party at the local pizza joint afterwards. But Bryce is out of town, and by the time the game was over, it was nap time, the girls were losing it, I forgot the Ergo, and I just didn't see how we could do it without 1500 major meltdowns. So I told him I thought the party was just for coaches, and we went home. Then on Tuesday he had his first martial arts class, something he was excited about. I really wanted to stay and watch, but Molly peed her pants while sitting on one of their super clean no shoes allowed mats, then threw a tantrum when I tried to remove her, so we had to sit in the car. Porter had a great time, but I missed it. Then on Thursday we had back to school night (again, no Bryce), and I was so distracted by Molly running off into giant crowds that it was hard to focus on everything Porter wanted to show me. And that day he told me that he "felt left out of our family." Awesome.

I know he just needs a little more attention. And that he's tired and grumpy from being in school. And that it's extra hard when Bryce isn't here to share any of this evening stuff. But still. I feel so bad for him. He really just wants to hang out with me, but it's always a poopy diaper or a two year old tantrum that comes before drinking hot chocolate and talking about Legos.

So today when I picked him up from school I left the girls in the car (happy and amused at the time), and spent a few minutes talking to his teacher and letting him show me a few things in his classroom. It was nice. And then we got out to the car, and Cedar was red faced and screaming with big, fat tears rolling down her face. And Molly had started in with the sympathy crying. And they all cried the whole way home. Sigh.

A friend of mine who has three kids herself (slightly older than mine) told me it only gets worse. That I will feel really guilty about short changing the middle one later on. So I suppose this is all just life. Good moments and bad. And that the gift of siblings will make up for it all in the end. And that Porter won't end up in therapy just because we didn't eat pizza one day when he was five. At least I sure hope so.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Breakfast of Champions

Roasted peppers stuffed with fresh eggs, cheese and tomatoes.

Also, my kids ate frozen waffles.
But at least I was happy.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

One Season Down

Today was Porter's last soccer game of the season. It was a beautiful fall day, full of blue sky and energy. Porter had a great coach, and a lot of nice kids on his team. This was our first foray into team sports, and we all had fun figuring things out (note to self: juice boxes seem mandatory as part of the post game snack). But I have to say I'm pretty relieved that it's all over. Chasing Molly around the soccer field twice a week was getting stale, and it's hard for me to even watch Porter while making sure she doesn't run into traffic or make an appearance in the game (sorry about that today). I also can't exactly tell how Porter feels about the whole experience. He gladly attended all events, seemed to have fun out there, and even asked to play again next year. But he also didn't seem that into it, you know? He doesn't really have an aggressive bone in his body, and tends to be the kid doing cartwheels while the ball rolls right past him. He told me one day that it was really fun when you got to kick the ball, but that he hardly ever got to do it. And it's true. It is certainly not surprising, given who his parents are, that team sports (or sports in general) may not exactly be Porter's forte. But it is also true that he is five years old. And the verdict is probably still out on his athletic ability. So, I am one season down in my career as a soccer mom. We'll see how many more I last.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


We had a fun and busy weekend here with Grandma Allison!  The kids got spoiled by all the attention and stickers, and we managed to get outside a little despite the less than stellar weather. 

We also finally said goodbye to Big White.  She was a nice chicken, but far, far too large for her own good.  In fact, it really was amazing just how big that chicken was.  We had friends over on Saturday and roasted her up.  Then the next day we had chicken pot pie, and the next day chicken soup.  Both with enough leftovers for lunches.  For everyone.  That is five meals from one chicken.  That's a lot of meat.  It made us think harder about raising meat birds, but that will have to wait until next year.  We are also suspecting that the Little One, the bantam, may be a rooster.  So he may not have a flock of his own for long.