Friday, January 29, 2010

Bad Manners

This week we bought Maggie and Kate a $6000 roof for their birthdays and they don't even have the decency to be grateful. In fact, they act as if they don't really understand what's going on at all. They could at least say thank you. Tsk, kids today.

PS - Today's Lesson Learned: dry rub comprised of salt and spices + dry, cracked wintertime dishpan hands = yowee zowee!

Monday, January 25, 2010


We never ever go to the movies these days, so we haven't seen Crazy Heart, but we hear it's great. And who doesn't love Jeff Bridges (The Dude!), Robert Duvall, and Maggie Gyllenhaal? We also heard that the sound track was incredible as well and were pleasantly surprised to see that it heavily features Ryan Bingham. His song "The Weary Kind" won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song. We have his album Mescalito and have listened to it quite a lot. Mike's actually probably a bigger fan than I am, but I do really love his gravelly voice. I think now that he's working with the likes of T-Bone, the quality of the songs will be polished up just that last little bit that I felt was lacking. The soundtrack itself does look awesome (Buck Owens! The Louvin Brothers! Lightnin' Hopkins! Waylon Jennings! Townes Van Zandt!... plus Colin Farrell? Interesting. And Robert Duvall and Jeff Bridges sing), so it's definitely on our To Get list. Enjoy!

PS - Here's a sponge to mop up your drool. He is pretty easy on the eyes.

Next week I promise to put something up that isn't so country-ish for those of you who are holding your ears and howling right now! :)

Maggie Sez...

... My arms are charming!

(said while trying on all my bracelets at once)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Maggie Sez...

... Gram, you turned on the (oven) light! You're a genius!

... I need three things (holding up three fingers): I need to go to the potty, I need my hair fluffed, and I need to wipe my nose because I've been crying and crying. [Said to Mike's mom after she went upstairs to check on a crying Maggie who was supposed to be in bed asleep.]

... Holy bujeezus, this grape is enormous!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Photo Phriday

I just realized I never showed you a picture of the chicken I roasted on Kate's birthday. I've never roasted a whole chicken before, so I was very proud of myself. We recently joined a meat share with our friends Max and Carrie who live here in Medford. Once a month, we split 15 lbs. of meat from a local small farm. It supports local farmers and I'm convinced that organically grown meat is healthier for us than industrially produced meat (check out The Omnivore's Dilemma). The quality of the meat is awesome, but I do get odd cuts that I have to come up with a recipe for, hence the whole roasted chicken. This month, it's pork shoulder - and you know how much I LOVE pork! Anybody got a good recipe for pork shoulder???

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Story About the Baby

My friend Max sent me a link to this blog and it's hilarious! I must warn you that it is extremely dry, piquant even, so if you are easily offended or a tad sanctimonious about children, I wouldn't read it if I were you. There are no fuzzy bunnies and very few sparkling rainbows and a definite lack of silver unicorns. I laughed until I cried in a few places.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Smiley Faces

My parents sent the girls a set of wooden fruit that you can cut with a little play knife and they love it. Maggie keeps making funny smiley faces out of the fruit. She's says, "watch out! It's very hot! I just took it out of the oven!" Kate likes to be a typical little sister and steal the nose and eat it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Mike and I have been fans of a band called Old Crow Medicine Show for a while now. They play kind of old timey country/bluegrass jug band music. I know what you're thinking... What?! Stay with me here people. They are awesome. So awesome that Gillian Welch (you know her if you've seen Oh, Brother Where Art Thou? or have ever heard of T-Bone Burnett) and her musical partner David Rawlings have toured with them, produced their albums, been in their videos, endorsed them in every way, etc. Now Dave, who usually plays back up to Gillian and other artists but who is an amazing guitar player, has started his own band the Dave Rawlings Machine. Who did he get to be The Machine? Old Crow Medicine Show, that's who. Wicked Awesome! Here's my current favorite song on his album Friend of a Friend; it's called Ruby. This is kind of a poor video because it isn't really a music video (they don't have one), it's just an in-store performance. But for a song recorded on someone's digital camera in a music store, it an awesome performance. Not many bands these days could sound so good in such odd conditions.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bad Parenting 101?

We got some more snow last night so Mike was out today shoveling the driveway. Maggie went out with him for a little while to goof around in the snow, and when passing by the kitchen window, I peeked out to check on them and saw this:

Mike decided to endanger the life of our first born by piling up a heap of snow and sticking her slide on top of it. She loved it. Kate and I stepped out on the deck to watch her take a few runs down her own personal double black diamond and she was cackling with glee, skidding across the backyard on her bum. Except for the one time that Mike actually attempted to get a video, of course. This is not child abuse, just dumb luck. Please don't turn this in to the police as evidence. Thank you.

In our defense, you can hear her laughing if you listen carefully.

Friday, January 8, 2010

So Long, It's Been Good to Know Ya

As of today, Kate is officially off formula forever. Yippee for saving that extra $25 a week!! Mike somehow managed to cut himself on the very last can of formula on the very last day before it was empty... Don't worry, it's minor, but seems like some kind of bad karma. He must have harmed some formula in a past life!

I'm also starting to pack up the bottles and bottle paraphernalia because I'm hoping to wean her off onto a sippy cup asap. She likes them and does better with them than Maggie did at this age, but she mostly likes to let the milk run out of her mouth onto her shirt instead of swallow it. Why?? She doesn't do that with her bottles. It cracks her up though. I guess once she gets good and thirsty, she'll stop.

I'm feeling very fortunate that Amy B. is having a baby soon because as I move through these milestones with Kate, it's helping me to feel excited and relieved instead of sad. Kate's my last baby and perhaps I should feel wistful and reluctant to let go of these baby days and baby things, but as I pack up the girls' stuff, I feel like I'm gathering it in preperation for the next baby instead of just tossing it out. It just isn't MY baby specifically. But I know these little things are not gone from my life forever and that helps me a great deal. I feel like I get to just appreciate how big she's getting and enjoy the greater freedom and independence this next year will bring instead of clinging to something lost.

Not that you have to save all this junk and use it forever, Amy!! Just toss it out when I'm not looking, OK?! Thanks.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Kate's Birthday

Here are some photos of the small family celebration we had for Kate last night. I don't really think mega 1st birthday parties are worth it, so we just had cupcakes and opened presents. Gram and Grandpa are coming for dinner and more cupcakes on Sunday, so we'll bring out some balloons and festive plates and napkins for that, but all in all still fairly low key. That's what you get when you have Thanksgiving, Christmas, and 3 birthdays within 3 months of one another (and you're too young to remember any of it)!! I think she had a good time.

Maggie sang Happy Birthday and blew out her candle for her. Then they split one chocolate and one vanilla cupcake so they could have some of each.

Look at all that frosting! Neither of them really ate much of the cake!

Not all that messy.

Maggie also graciously opened all of the presents for Kate. There was a little bit of "why are all these presents just for her" drama. Luckily, a late Christmas present from Nana and Papa arrived yesterday afternoon, so Maggie was able to have one of the gifts for herself.

After all those new toys, all Kate really wanted to do was climb on her favorite chairs and fall off on her head. C'est la vie.

As always, there are more pictures on Snapfish. Oh, and by the way, that ugly blob on her shirt in those photos is the remains of an M & M. I should've changed her shirt, but we had our hands full trying to keep Maggie from ripping through all the presents before Kate could even see them!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Kate Is One Year Old!!!

Happy Birthday, Baby Kate!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Nice and Safe

We've taken (and shared) quite a few photos of Kate with various things perched on her head. She genuinely seems to like it, and it only adds to the hilarity that her noggin is so delightfully round like a pumpkin. If you can stand a few more Buckethead videos, come right this way...

It's especially nice how you can hear us in the background encouraging her to put the bucket on her head. We're supportive parents. Here are some killer dance moves:

And here's a photo of Maggie getting in on the act:

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Previously, I stated that Kate's birthday is this Thursday. That is incorrect. It isn't that I do not know the date of my youngest child's birth. It is that I am confused about what day of the week that falls on this year. Kate's birthday is January 6th, every year, and this year that date falls on Wednesday. Please adjust your celebrations so that they occur on the appropriate day.

Thank you and my sincere apologies.


Auntie Amy Brandt has already collected her Eagle Eye Award prize of getting to hear Maggie perform her famous rendition of DECK! the Halls on speakerphone. Congratulations!!

For Your Entertainment

After my post about Maggie singing Deck the Halls, and just because this video is so darned funny that Mike and I keep watching it over and over and cracking up each time, here's a bonus feature of Maggie and Kate's comedy act:

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Kate Puh-Tate

Kate has officially started to walk this past week. She's up on her feet zooming drunkenly around the house, terrorizing the cats, wrecking Maggie's carefully organized play, bonking herself on the head and laughing manically. She's currently got a pretty good shiner on her left cheekbone/outer eye. Being the good Dad that he is and responsible about recording major milestones even for the second-born, Mike worked hard to get this video of her movin' and shakin'. And since it's Two For the Price of One Day here at the blog, here's a video of Maggie from her first birthday - in honor of Kate's upcoming first birthday on Thursday and her new motility - walking around dragging her balloons.