Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Jeremiah Reported The Following Conversation:

Kate: Sarah, do you think you'd like to take big-girl gymnastics like me when you're done with swimming lessons?

Sarah: Yeah!

Kate: OK, well, we'll see.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Oh soy oh soy!

It will probably not come as a big surprise that it isn't all that easy to get Kate & Sarah to eat their vegetables. Most recently, I've discovered that forcing them to choke down a vegetable-based appetizer while I prepare their mostly veggie-free dinner is the ticket. Kate likes baby carrots, raw and plain. Sarah likes both hummus and pesto, we've discovered, but although she dips her carrots in them, she is really only using the carrot as a spoon. I'd tried in the past to serve them edamame the way we enjoy it - sauteed in olive oil, out of the shell, with salt and sesame seeds. No go.

Then one day, as I pondered the veggie situation in the store I had a thought. I thought maybe, just maybe, the girls would enjoy eating edamame a la sushi restaurant appetizer - steamed in their shells and liberally sprinkled with kosher salt. To my delight - we have a winner!

Of course, little girls who finish off their vegetables (and plate of pasta that followed) get to eat the pinkalicious cupcakes they helped make!*

*Sadly, they only each got one cupcake. We had a few after dinner that night, I admit, but it was Lola, angry with us for not bringing her to brunch with us, who finished off the lot of them. Bad dog!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Kind of Disturbing

Kate has decided that since she's a big girl now, what with being in Pre-K and all, she should have a bra. Aunt Jo Jo got her one, asking her "Kate, do you know what 'indulgent' means?" Some weeks back Aunt Jo Jo asked Kate if she's spoiled, to which Kate replied "Yes. Spoiled is fabulous." Anyway, Kate's been wearing the thing all over the place, it's creepy, yet somehow amusing.

Moving on. Both Kate and Sarah like to chew on ice. Hopefully this is not a sign that they're anemic. Yesterday Kate had pulled a stool up to the freezer and was pushing the lever in the door to get lots and lots and lots of ice. It was spilling out of her cup and all over the floor. "Let's pick all that up" I said "otherwise the floor is going to end up all wet." As I was saying it, it occurred to me that Kate might not know why leaving ice on the floor would cause it to become wet. "Do you know what ice is?" I asked her. She just blinked at me. "Ice, " I explained, picking a piece up in my hand and showing it to her "is water that's been frozen solid. Frozen means it's really really really cold. When ice starts to warm up, it turns back into water..." to make my point I'd been gripping the ice hard in my hand, I opened up my hand to show her. "See? My hand is all wet now, that's because the ice warmed up, or melted, in it." She gave a succinct nod and a "huh!" Then she climbed off her stool and took cup of ice out on the porch where she and Sarah were having dinner.

I went about doing what I'd been doing and a minute later when I walked past the door to the porch I heard Kate saying "Sarah, ice is water that's been frozen. That means it's cold..." Sweet little teacher. I guess she really is a big girl now.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lunch break blogging - Kate and Sarah, A Message To You

Katherine Louise Drueke, age 4, is now officially a student of Pre-K. This seems impossible since I could swear she was only just born but there you are. What was this a few minutes ago:

Is now this (for roughly a millisecond):

I was not warned, I am certain of it, that once you have children time speeds to such a shocking rate that you are essentially hurtling toward your own, unavoidable death. Still, it is what it is and I found myself standing in Target with all the other nearly dead parents, buying school supplies. I'm OK with that because buying school supplies has never lost an ounce of its luster for me. I love school supplies. So much so, that one of the first things I noticed and adored about Jeremiah was that he naturally smells like a freshly opened packet of notebook filler paper (college ruled, specifically). No lie. It's so hot! But that's not really what I wanted to talk about here. No, I wanted to list a few things for the girls.

My little darlings, now that school is upon us (not really for you, Sarah, because you're still a baby, right? Ah, but it won't always be, next week you'll be in college.) there are a few key items that you will have to learn, some of which may not be easy to learn. By this I mean, you probably won't master the tough ones in a single school year, so I want to list them here so you can carry them around with you for as long as it takes. Some of them could take well into your 20s. Here we go:

Things you should learn, a list from yer mama:

1. How to button and/or zip your own jacket
2. How to write your own full name
3. How to take constructive criticism
4. How to take a compliment
5. Nobody likes a narc
6. How to give constructive criticism
7. How to play to your strengths
8. The pledge of allegiance (do they still teach that in school?)
9. How to respect others without being a doormat
10. Make a budget, pay yourself first (thanks, Dad)
11. Balance your checkbook
12. How to choose your battles
13. How to climb a tree
14. How to shop for and cook at least 3 meals that cost under $5 (adjust for inflation) and take fewer than 30 minutes to prepare.
15. How to figure a tip in your head
16. At least one alternate route
17. How to state your case
18. Not to eat glue
19. How to be a real friend
19b. How to identify a real friend
20. How to properly fold a note
21. How to type (evidently, this is now called "keyboarding", a term that would have made the class much more popular back in the 80s, when I was taking it)
22. How to adjust for inflation
23. How to deal with a teacher that doesn't like you
24. How to deal with a teacher you don't like
25. Not to throw parties at your parents' house when they're out of town

Stay tuned, I'll probably add some more things to this list. Maybe some of these slackass lurkers who are always here and never commenting will add a few for you, who knows. In closing, good luck in Pre-K, Kate, knock `em dead!

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Someone, I think it was her friend Alex but I can't recall because I've temporarily misplaced my list which is why the thank-you notes are so late, got Sarah Pinkalicious for her birthday.Sarah has been slow to warm to the vast library she acquired this birthday, but Kate loves this book. For the uninitiated, the story is about a little girl who bakes pink cupcakes with her mother on a rainy day. She proceeds to eat so many of said cupcakes that she actually turns pink. Her parents panic. She is delighted. When her mother rushes her to the doctor, the doctor tells her she has an acute case of Pinkititis and the only cure is to give up all pink food for a week and instead eat green foods. The message of course, being that she's going to have to give up sweets and instead consume only vegetables for a whole week.

The little girl pretends to eat her dinner of veggies that night but the pink cupcake monkey on her back has her back in the kitchen for a midnight snack of pink, defying her doctor and her parents. The next morning, she wakes up red. Horrified, she parks herself in front of the fridge and eats every green thing she can find in there, which causes her to return to her natural hue.

Kate has insisted on hearing the book at least once a day. I've been telling her that this weekend, if she'd like and if she's very good, we can make pinkalicious cupcakes. Last night as I closed the book I asked Kate if we should make pink cupcakes this weekend. "No, " she replied "we should not make pink cupcakes." I was taken aback. Also, I was slightly disappointed, having already mentally planned how we would go about reconstructing the pink cupcakes from the book. "No," Kate reiterated, "we should make green cupcakes."

Friday, August 08, 2008

If You're Going to Make Muffins, You Have to Break a Couple Eggs

I need a better step ladder because now that Sarah's a big 2-year-old, I officially have 2 able kitchen assistants. They are (for the time-being) both much shorter than I and cannot reach the work space without aid, but the one step ladder just isn't cutting it on the 2-kid front.

I also need a silent blender, because now I cannot make them smoothies without at least one of them insisting she help. If they hear the blender from another room, there are invariably tears to follow. I love having their help, but it's putting a real damper on the Getting-Things-Done-In-A-Timely-Fashion front.

We made muffins the other evening. Sarah has mastered feeding the dog; the whole dumping a quantity of matter from one container into another skill, so she gets to dump pre-measured ingredients into the bowl. She is also fairly adept at turning the stand mixer on and off. Kate, who is a Big Girl, likes to crack the eggs. It's something she's still perfecting and so I stay close by to talk her through it.

"OK" I told her "hold it in the palm of your hand, firmly, like this..." I placed the egg in her hand and wrapped her fingers around it, guiding her toward the edge of the bowl. Alton Brown insists that breaking your eggs on the edge of the bowl always results in the shell shattering and small pieces ending up in the goods. I've tried his recommended approach of cracking them on the table instead, but find it really doesn't work for me. So, to the edge of the bowl with Kate's egg we went. "Now smack that egg on the edge there, and make a big crack!" I encouraged, sounding like an engaged sports commentator. She gave it her all and the egg cracked sloppily. I was there to neatly separate the sides and dump it all in the bowl.

"I'll do it!" Kate insisted, resenting my help. She picked up the second egg, expertly grasping it in her palm, and smashed it on the edge of the bowl like I showed her. Her aim was true and the egg cracked perfectly down the middle. I nodded appreciatively "that's very good, Kate! Now, remember, you don't want to get any shell in the..." at that point she threw the entire egg in the bowl, shell and all. "...bowl". We both peered over the side of the bowl at the egg, oozing out among the other ingredients. Kate grinned proudly.

"I think you might have gotten a little bit of shell in there on that one" I said, not taking my eyes off the egg. "No I didn't" Kate calmly responded, also staring directly at the egg. "You don't think so?" I asked, feeling like one of the Law & Order lawyers when a witness says something completely different on the stand from what they said at the deposition. "Nope, looks good. Let's stir!" We are both silent for a second. Then I said "OK. Sarah gets to do the stirring, so you climb down and let her up here." During the transition, I quickly removed as much egg as I could see and hoped for the best. This is what I mean when I say things are taking awhile.

And, you see, this is why I haven't had time to blog all week. Every thing I do takes twice as long as it used to and Kate keeps wanting to sleep on the bed in the office. So, when they finally bed down and I might ordinarily have a chance to post here - I can't because I'd wake Kate up. I'm trying to keep you updated on these kids, I really am. But if you're missing news, just assume we're slowly...oh so slowly, breaking a banana into small pieces and putting them into a blender to make smoothies.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Margie's Visit

In honor of Sarah's birthday, Grammy Margie schlepped down from Williamsburg, VA with a truckload of gifts for the 2-year-old (and a few items for the 4-year-old to keep the peace). On the 25th, the day before Sarah's birthday*, Margie took Kate & Sarah to the children's museum downtown while Jeremiah and I went to work. I think it's pretty clear who got the better end of that deal, but once you've had kids no one takes you to the museums anymore.

When I posted the photos of Sarah's party, Jeremiah noted that we'd managed not to get any of Grammy Margie. This, I'm pretty sure, is because she'd shied away from the tattoo station in the kitchen and couldn't be found by the beer coolers. You see, in most cases, we were not the ones taking the pictures. There were only about 11 kids there but there were probably 25 adults on hand and the place was kind of rowdy. I'm pleasantly surprised the camera emerged unscathed.

The party was scheduled from 4-6PM. I thought this made such wonderful sense. We'd have munchies, feed everyone an early dinner and then all the kids could go home, unwind and get into bed at a decent hour. When you're talking about a 2-hour party, people do not arrive fashionably late, but the coals were taking forever to heat up and our dog and burger making machine (Jeremiah) couldn't spring into action until the grill was suitably hot. So, things were delayed. No one cared. I'd made hummus and salsa and we had lots of fruits and veggies and chips and whatever to hold us over. Once the meat was served up, everyone crammed their dinner in as fast as they could in order to get to the cupcake part of the evening. The whole thing wound down around 7:30. The house was amusingly trashed. Balloons everywhere, wrapping paper, a huge pile of gifts that Sarah had not yet been convinced to open, food, the little clear pieces of plastic that covered each tattoo clinging with static to any available surface (I'm still finding those)...

At that point Margie, Jeremiah, Steve, Joy and I all sat around the kitchen table, polishing off a couple bottles of wine and chatting. Kate & Sarah passed out hard, pretty much right on cue. The next morning, still tattooed (except for Kate, whose battle with eczema has escalated to full-blown war, more on this later), we oozed over to Parish (Yum, so very yum. The link has music, be warned) for brunch. HERE, we managed to get pictures of Grammy Margie. Here's what you do at Parish, when you're waiting for the main restaurant to open: eat (my kinda place!)Upstairs in the restaurant (which, if you live near-by, you really should try; the food is wonderful. I have developed a habit of stopping into the market on my way to work for a latte and croissant. I often take a different route to work to be able to avoid doing this. I'm going to put this out here, though: their croissants are the best in the city. There. I said it.) where was I? Oh yeah, up in the restaurant there's a life-size statue of a man and woman in the buff. I was walking a restless Sarah around and she pointed to the art and said, loudly, "she has boobs!" I said "yes, she's a statue" as audibly as possible so that none of the other guests would think my 2-year-old was commenting on her rack.

So anyway. It's a week later. Margie's gone home (Kate keeps asking why she went so far away) and the party guests have long since moved on. The house is still kind of trashed. We really need a maid.

*The 25th is Grampy Provost's birthday. By the time that date rolled around 2 years ago, Sarah was 2 days past her due date. Grampy Provost decided this meant she was planning to be born on his birthday. When she held off another day, he informed me he was writing her out of the will. I was upset about it, too, but mostly because I desperately wanted that kid out of me.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Dental Plan

I totally stole this. I did it even before Epiphany could tag me. Innocently perusing the blogs of the AM, as I am wont to do, I found it in her comments section and ran with it. It came from Mimi, who credits the places from which it was previously stolen. Memes are born to be stolen, after all. So here's what we do - go to Google and enter into the search your first name and "needs" after it. Now I know what Lisa needs (it's shocking how they seem to know...). There were over 35 million results, but, like Mimi, I think I'll keep it down to 15.

1. Lisa needs braces. (This one comes up a time or million.)
2. Lisa needs a nap. (I know, right???)
3. Lisa needs a new home now! (Oh dear...)
4. (This one really alarmed me) LISA NEEDS TO BLOG OR I WILL HIT HER WITH A STICK.
5. Lisa needs help (this one comes up a lot...)
6. Lisa needs to read Jon's article again, a little more carefully. (I wasn't aware Jon wrote an article, so I can see why it might be thought that I wasn't reading it for comprehension.)
7. Lisa needs to get a life (hey!)
8. Lisa needs to get away from family
9. Lisa needs to assert herself (about how badly she needs to get away from family?)
10. Lisa needs a tree. (OK, that's amazing. I'm headed out at lunch to Pike's to buy a friend a tree.)
11. Lisa needs to find a lone trampoline in a corner that will take her to the Buddha.
12. Lisa needs to be in LA or Nashville.
13. Lisa needs to be found and brought home safely. (Try LA or Nashville)
14. Lisa needs to feel a little special tonight (Just tonight?)
15. Lisa needs to establish her own look (I think Joy posted this, I have a sneaking suspicion she's nominated me for What Not to Wear.)

Now, since I so rudely stole this before I could even be tagged, I shall commence to taggin'. Please let us know what you need Sybil (hasn't posted in, like, a month) and all the Worst Mamas (I bet you guys all share #8 with Lisa...) and Chris & Sonya (because Christmas is coming.)