Friday, November 30, 2007
When he left for school he looked like perfectly normal third grader. I saw him at school from 2:00 to 3:00 for an in school event (vegetable derby races) and again he had nothing funky going on with his hair. Apparently it happened on the way home, he spent the entire bus ride rubbing his head and giving a good friend static electricity shocks.
All that's one way to get punk look.
It'll be interesting when I try to comb it out. I tried pushing it down it just springs up again.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
The spacers for the bands for the expansion bar drove him batty for a week. He was relieved when they came out for the actual bands. The expansion bar, so far, has not been a big deal and he has been very cooperative with the daily adjustment.
Tuesday was a very big day. He had four, yes four, permanent teeth pulled. There is just not enough room for all his teeth and it was determined by the orthodontic team that the premolars had to go. This news did not shock me in the least, I too had the same four teeth pulled and my lower jaw is still overcrowded. I pretty much assumed that the child I refer to as my clone would need the same thing done.
Anyway I picked him up earlier from school and brought him over to his regular dentist. I had dropped off the referral and x-rays last week and they were all set to pull his teeth. Jake was remarkably calm and willing walked to the far reaches of the office. They had me sign a few forms and then shooed me out to the waiting room. An hour later a hygienist poked her head out and announced he was all set and he was really good through out the whole procedure. Jake then ambled on out, his face a wee bit puffy from a combination of the pulling and all the gauze pack inside.
His only complaint was the numbness of his face and the resultant drooling.
That was it. He never said anything about pain. Mind you the complaints about the numbness were overly dramatic and never ending, but there is a bit of a dramatic streak in him.
I let him loll about on the sofa, watching tv until dinner. Mercifully the complaints died down once normal feeling returned and I'm sure the rice pudding he got after dinner helped. I thought he wouldn't want to go to school, but the next morning he was game. He had carefully done his homework before bed and was ready to go Wednesday morning. I was a bit shocked, but hey if he is willing to go to school than off to school he goes.
Man he can be one tough kid.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Anyway, Rebecca made this card yesterday. Max had brought home a "hand" turkey that he had made in class. Rebecca was a bit jealous because her class did not make "hand" turkeys. Right then and there she decided to rectify the situation.
The front's piece is a bit plain, but it was all hand lettered by her. She at first was going to have me spell out the whole thing, but I offered to write it down so she could copy it over. I love how she just moves down the page as she runs out of room with no regard to what she is writing.
The center of the card is where she really shined. The turkey came out great. I love the little decorative flourishes with the leaves. I think what she was writing was "See turkey and hat" with the and understood. See is one of her sight words and I think she was very pleased to be able to include it in her card.
The back of the card is also something not to be missed. It features a very uprigt almost cheerful seeming pumpkin nestled in a bed of leaves.
I know I'm horribly biased, but this girl can really draw.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
He had been rapidly failing this past week. I actually made an appointment for last Friday, but he perked up over Thanksgiving and enjoyed some pumpkin pie. I was happy to cancel the next day, but in the back of my mind I knew it would be soon. He was just over 15 years old and had a good long run.
Yesterday he completely refused to eat and I was only able to get him to drink by squirting water into his mouth with a 5 ml syringe. As the day progressed he grew weaker and weaker and could no longer walk by day's end. It was time to release him.
I called the vet clinic this morning in tears and they arranged for me to head over at 11:00. I spent the morning fussing over Crunch, even feeding him a few syringe fulls of yogurt. I sat outside with him in the bright sunshine, his frail body warmly wrapped in a soft towel. When it was time to go I gently placed him on the front seat, still wrapped in his towel. For his last ride he rode next to me and was not banished to the crate in the back. My right hand rested on him during the whole ride.
At the clinic they were very kind. They brought me tissues when I first arrived and left a box for me in the examining room. The vet was so gentle as he slipped the needle in. With a final sigh I felt Crunch completely relax and then he was gone, his spirit slipped free of his failing body.
He was such a strong dog and such a sweet boy, everybody was Crunch's friend. He was my first show dog and was a natural in the ring. He loved showing and I'm so glad I brought him out for my club's specialty. He wasn't entered, but he had a grand time being at the show. He also was a true hunting dog and woe to any small animal that dared set foot into his backyard. He was a truly versatile dachshund and had earned his Versatility Certificate from the Dachshund Club of America despite my novice handling.
When he grew older, with graying muzzle and paws, he was still an outrageously fit dog. He could still move like a champ right up until last Spring. He was an amazing dog and I'm so lucky to have been with him all these years.
I miss my big red boy.
Monday, November 26, 2007
He carefully arranged his friends around the edge of his pillow and declared it cool. He wanted me to take a picture of him all nestled in bed right then, but I refused. It was late, the camera was in the car, the flash would wash things out and I didn't feel like schlepping downstairs to dig it up and drag it upstairs to satisfy the whim of a six year old. Albeit a very cute and articulate six year old. So I put him off with the promise of taking a picture in the morning.
So of course at the crack of dawn I was awakened by a little voice asking me to take a picture.
I blearily told Max not now, but he was insistent. I had to threaten him with a time out before he would leave me alone.
A few hours later I took the promised picture and it was an indeed a very cute photo.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Like last year I made a tart and a pie for Thanksgiving which we happily consumed along with Meryl's delicious chocolate course. You can actually see the chocolate sponge nestled in its box at the top of the picture.
The tart is mostly gone now and the kids have made serious inroads on the pumpkin pie. Once they are all gone I have to satisfy myself with the few remaining truffles we have.
At least I have my stuffing.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Along with the pan came a tiny little card bearing a recipe for "Great Pumpkin Cake." It's chock full of errors, but the overall idea seemed good. My biggest complaint though, is the name. It really should be called Pumpkin Spice Cake since the cake itself has no pumpkin in it and is really more of a spice cake. Anyway here is the corrected recipe.
Pumpkin Spice CakeThe resulting cake was quite tasty. Next I'll probably skip the food coloring. I liked the shade of orange I came with, but Larry thought is was a bit lurid. It will be just fine with a plain white frosting/glaze. Hopefully I'll have better luck with getting the glaze to neatly run down the sides of the cake.
For the cake:
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
Zest of one orange
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup sour cream
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour the cake molds. In a medium bowl sift together the first seven ingredients (flour through salt), set aside. In a large bowl cream the butter, sugar and orange zest together until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix until combined. Add flour mixture alternately with milk until just blended. Stir in sour cream. Pour batter into the two molds. Bake 35-40 minutes, until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool ten minutes in the pan before inverting onto a cooling rack to coo completely.
2 cups powdered sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tbs light corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 drops yellow food coloring
1 drop red food coloring
2-4 tbs milk
In a small bowl combine all the ingredients together *except* for the milk. The milk is to thin the frosting after approximately 1/2 cup is used as filling between the halves of the cake. Leave about 1/2 inch rim around the outside. Then placed the two halves together thus forming a pumpkin. Then slowly add the milk to the frosting/glaze to thin it the consistency of thick cream. Spoon the remaining glaze over the top of the pumpkin.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
And for those that want to know, here is today's menu:
Stuffing (with and without sausage)
Party Potatoes (With and Without Garlic)
Chocolate Course courtesy of Aunt Meryl
For dessert (all homemade!) we have a choice of
Beverages are an assortment of beers, wine, cider and what have you.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Nate is an old hand at it, but this was Max's very first recital. Max had been looking forward to it for the past couple of weeks. He and his sister had been attending piano recitals all their lives. This was Max's big moment to be just like his big brothers.
I heard murmurs of "how cute" behind me as he walked up to the piano. He was the very first one up. It wasn't a perfect performance, but he did recover and solider on. I liked that he didn't get all deer in headlights. He knew the piece very well, however he is not quite used to playing it as a duet. Next time will be even better.
Nate was full of confidence and it showed. It was the best I ever heard him play the two pieces. At home he rushes through and can be quite sloppy, but not at the recital.
They both did an excellent job.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Yes I know they grossly overfilled the fryer and yes I know you can dunk the bird ahead of time to gauge the oil, but the whole thing bothers me. Especially how tippy they are. I just know at some point I'd get hot oil dumped all over my driveway.
Anyway I particularly like in the video how the firefighters are all suited up. Nomex suits are the *must have* accessory for Thanksgiving.
I'm much happier with roasting.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Admittedly it's just a bunch of plastic army men with one of them supporting the big number 9 candle. Nate wanted an army cake and that is what I came up with. He and all his friends were utterly delighted. Nate wanted them afterwards, but I said "No, they're mine, all mine."
With three boys in the family I figure there will be at least one more army themed cake. I had bought them just for the cake and even splurged by paying an extra $1.50 at the drug store over the buck at tour local Dollar Tree. I thought that maybe the slightly higher quality plastic would be a little less lethal (yay made in China!). I carefully washed then in hot soapy water water and gave them all a good rinse. So far there have been no ill affects.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
It's called a baby pineapple and is from South Africa. I picked it up and my nose was rewarded with the sweet smell of ripe pineapple. I put it in the cart figuring at the very least the kids would love its diminutive size.
I briefly considered bringing home the Buddha's Hand, but it was a bit pricey for something to buy on a whim. I have no idea what it was or what to do with the little oddity. As for the inedible, well you know that I wouldn't waste money on that.
Anyway I brought the pineapple home and I was right.
Jake was very excited and even agreed to pose with the fruit. He looks so happy with that tiny little pineapple. Another nice thing about the picture with Jake is that you really get to see how tiny the pineapple is in real life.
When the rest of the crew got home they all marveled at the petite pineapple. It smelt wonderful and we were eager to cut into it and see if it was as good as the full size version. Then Jake got a very good idea.
As I was photographing it I commented that it looked more like Spongebob's house than a full size pineapple does. Its golden hue was just right as were its proportions. Jake suggested that we try to recreate the Bikini Bottom domicile with paper cutouts.
After a bit of searching we found a decent picture and printed it out with a little seat of the pants resizing.
I think the end result is quite good. I pretty much nailed the size for the cut outs on the first try. Max was upset at first when I started taping everything on, he thought I was spoiling the fruit. I had to explain to him that we never eat the outer rind. The the part we actually eat is still safely tucked inside the fruit. This mollified him and in the end he agreed that the overall effect was pretty good and it had been a worthwhile thing to do, because sometime ya just gotta do it.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Cat is a fun little fire cracker of a girl with two big brothers. Her father was to drop her off for Max and Rebecca's party, but instead he remained at our house along with Abbey's brothers. The boys are roughly Jake and Nate's ages and they all meshed well and had a great time.
Anyway, at the end of season party on Saturday Abbey presented Larry with this drawing.
It is a picture of her just about to a shoot a goal. As I recall the second figure in the picture is Rebecca looking on. It is an utterly charming picture and Larry was very touched by the gift. I think it meant much more to him than the official thank you card he received at the party. He knows that it required a fair amount of effort on her part to make the drawing, to remember to bring it to the party and to actually present it to him.
Seeing how my husband felt I declared it to be the upcoming Artist of the Week.
So hey, it's not always about my family.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Saturday was our first party. It was for Max and Rebecca's team and was held a little Italian joint. I whipped up a cake and decorated it with the team's name and the players' aliases.
Aliases for 5 to 6 year olds?
When the team was selecting its name Larry settled on "The Animals" and each child would be called by their chosen animal name. So Max became penguin, Rebecca was pony and so on. Anyway it was fun and most of the cake disappeared. I was able to save one slice so that Nate could get the traditional slice of cake for breakfast on his birthday on Sunday.
Sunday was Nate's birthday and that took up the afternoon, thankfully I was able to make dinner and saved us from going out again. It was a good thing too, since Rebecca fell asleep before dinner and didn't wake up until much later. Chasing boys around all afternoon is tiring work don't cha know.
Monday we had Nate's party and another Pizza/place Italian joint. We have been there before and we like the pizza, but this time it wasn't so great. I don't know if it was the acoustics of the room itself or the fact that it was a very rowdy bunch of 8 to 9 year olds, but it was loud. Painfully loud for Larry. The kitchen was overwhelmed and it took forever for our food to come out. It was a late night for us.
Tonight was our last soccer party and we are very ready for it to end. Max was not happy when I told him it was time to leave for the party. He made it very clear that he did not want to go. We were back at the first Italian place and they were not quite ready for us. The group that had the room before us was taking their own sweet time in leaving, but in the end they finally cleared out. It was quieter than the last party, but still loud. Max cheered up immensely when he saw his (and Rebecca's) good friend was there. Aubrey is the younger sibling of one of Jake's teammates and we have known him for quite sometime. He was on Max and Rebecca's first soccer team and they have been friends since. Anyway, it was a fun night and I only had to ride herd on the team a little bit. I have become friends with a few of the mothers and I'll miss them until next season.
But... I'm glad the soccer season is over.
All that is left is a swanky "Flat Stanley" gallery exhibition over at Nate's school on Thursday. At least we'll have a day to recover before this last party.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Here is the original proclamation:
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Whereas it has long been our customs to commemorate November 11, the anniversary of the ending of World War I, by paying tribute to the heroes of that tragic struggle and by rededicating ourselves to the cause of peace; and Whereas in the intervening years, the United States has been involved in two other great military conflicts, which have added millions of veterans living and dead to the honor rolls of this Nation; and
Whereas the Congress passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926 (44 Stat. 1982), calling for the observance of November 11 with appropriate ceremonies, and later provided in an act approved May 13, 1938 (52 Stat. 351) , that the eleventh of November should be a legal holiday and should be known as Armistice Day; and
Whereas, in order to expand the significance of that commemoration and in order that a grateful Nation might pay appropriate homage to the veterans of all its wars who have contributed so much to the preservation of this Nation, the Congress, by an act approved June 1, 1954 (68 Stat. 168), changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day:
Now, Therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America , do hereby call upon all of our citizens to observe Thursday, November 11, 1954 , as Veterans Day. On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.
I also direct the appropriate officials of the Government to arrange for the display of the flag of the United States on all public buildings on Veterans Day.
In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose.
Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and cause the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington this eighth day of October in the Year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and seventy-ninth.
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Today he got to invite a whole mess of his friends over for his birthday party. It was quite a crowd and they filled our backyard with noise, laughter and non-stop activity.
The bouncy tent was, as always, a big hit. They also loved playing in the Little Tykes castle and the tree fort. But the big events were the pinata and the pumpkin toss.
Y'all know about pinatas, a candy filled object that you get to whack at. What boy could resist?
The pumpkin toss, the other hand, was something I dreamed up the other day. A lot of boys were coming over and I wanted to come up with some sort of game. Something a little different that they would enjoy. At the same time I was thinking about when I would chuck the pumpkins into the woods. I like to clear them out before Nate's birthday. Normally they get very slimy after about a week, but this year they were holding up very well. Then it hit me, I could have each kid pick out a pumpkin, schlep it into the woods and then toss it. Meryl thought it was great and Nate's face lit up when I suggested it to him.
So here is a video of the great pumpkin toss:
Good thing I carved so many pumpkins, I had just enough.It was a big success and of course it was followed by the pumpkin stomp.
All the kids had a great time and as a bonus I don't have to deal with the pumpkins this year. It really was a sort of Tom Sawyer moment for me, a whole slew of kids begging to dispose of my pumpkins.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Jake and Nate had two big projects due this week. Nate's Flat Stanley scrapbook was due today and Jake's Bill of Rights poster is due tomorrow.
I had a fun filled day squiring Jake to and from the orthodontist. Today we learned about their treatment plan which was pretty much what I predicted. Four teeth need to be pulled, he'll get an expansion bar and then braces. They tried to get the bands on for the bar today, but surprise, surprise his teeth are too tightly packed together. So he got spacers and we'll try again next week. The funniest moment was when we asked if we could get the plaster cast after he was done. The student/Doctor (we're going to the dental school up in Richmond) was floored. Obviously they had never prepared him for that question. After a bit of hemming and hawing he admitted he wasn't sure if we could, apparently they keep then on file.
Anyway I'm tired and I'm going to bed. AOTW will be back next week.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Nate's teacher said pretty much what I expected. Nate is a fun kid to have in class and is much smarter than his grades show. His problem is that he rushes through things and never goes back to check his work. As a result he does a lot of silly mistakes that he would catch if he would just slow down.
With Kindergarten there was not much to report. As Larry views it, kindergarten is puppy socialization. The real hard core learning doesn't happen until first grade. Interestingly both Max and Rebecca got the same exact score in the reading assessment test. Then there were the funny observations about our children from the teachers.
According to Max's teacher he sometimes seems more like twenty than six. He is an extremely polite and articulate child that is very responsible about his needs. He reminds his teacher about his enzymes and dutifully keeps me informed about when I need to bring in something.
Rebecca's teacher, Mrs. S, had the best observation of them all. Larry and she got on the subject of Rebecca having three older brothers. Larry feels that they will protect her as she grows up. Mrs. S noted that her older brother was indeed protective of her, but her younger wasn't. But that was alright , because she knew how to put him in his place. Mrs. S noticed that Rebecca was fully capable of handling boys. At one point she saw little Miss Rebecca had a bigger boy in a headlock out on the playground.
I thought that was hilarious. Though I was a teensy bit mortified that my daughter was beating up on a boy. Then again, he had to have done something to provoke such a reaction from her.
Monday, November 05, 2007
The noise I made was sufficient to spook two of the deer, but the one was greedy enough to keep on munching on my pumpkin. I was able to shoot the first picture through the window flanking the door. Rebecca then came in to see what was up and she too saw the deer.
I moved to another window to get a better angle when I heard a door slam in the background. The noise caused the deer to briefly lift its head, but soon it was back to chowing down on my pumpkin. Then suddenly the deer startled and looked up the pathway to the driveway.
And I was right.
Here is what is left of my poor little pumpkin. It was the ghost, but alas the ghost has been chewed away. I haven't seen the deer since Saturday, but the pumpkin has been getting progressively smaller and moving closer to the edge of the lawn.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Friday night we got to dine with her and her out of town guests. Actually it was just me and the kids since the early hour, 5:00, precluded Larry joining us for dinner. Instead he joined us at the Synagogue for Friday night services.
As we ate the skies darkened ominously and Meryl pointedly asked if I went to the dump. I had indeed, but it was gorgeous out the the forecast was just for wind, Noel was just going to rip up the coast.. It never did rain, but it sure did look dicey for a bit. The good part was after the front passed Rebecca perked up. She is very weather sensitive and I can always tell that a storm front is approaching when she droops and complains of a headache. The boys, on the other hand, were their cheerful selves.
Saturday we had to slip in a little soccer before morning services. I was able to just make it in time for Meryl's big moment. She sounded great even though she was not entirely happy with it, but it was over. All that was left was the kiddish luncheon and dinner.
We all had a great time at the dinner. The kids got to run around and at one point the boys got to show off their dance moves.
Max is so cute on the end with his green hat and white shirt. It was another late night and I was very thankful for the time change slipping us another hour of sleep.
In fact the whole weekend was so much fun that Max announced he wanted to has his next birthday at the same place Aunt Meryl did. Meryl you throw a darn good party and Mazel Tov!
Friday, November 02, 2007
She is also a bit of a butter thief. Occasionally I'll find little dimples in the butter we have in the butter dish. They are in fact finger prints and are the handiwork of little Miss Rebecca, from the times she can't resist and helps herself to a little taste.
I wasn't sure if the tears were from getting caught, having something go wrong or losing all that butter. It was probably a complex mixture of all three since nothing is simple with Rebecca.
Tonight we dined with Aunt Meryl and Rebecca was happily eating a little bread with some butter. And yes, that is butter on her lips.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
All four came back with a fairly respectable haul and got to enjoy three pieces of candy before heading off to bed. I, on the other hand had a very quiet night.
Just two groups stopped by for a total of four kids. The first two were brothers dressed as spider man and an adorable little dragon. The dragon (just barely two by my guess) was having a hard time with he whole candy thing. He insisted on clutching his treats and didn't understand that if he put the treats in his bag he could have more than one piece. I ended up stuffing a generous handful into his bag.
The other half of our crowd, brother and sister, had actually been sent over by my husband. The oldest, dressed in black robes, is a friend of Jake's and his little sister was dressed as a cute little devil in red. They had met up with my crew and my husband they had to stop by our house. Their mom was seriously impressed by the pumpkins and said "Now I know what you are doing with your spare time now that all the kids are in school."
Oh and if your interested, if you click on the pumpkin here it will lead you to the Flickr set of all of our pumpkins in their lit glory.