Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone


Merry Christmas Everyone, originally uploaded by apkoski.

Anna the Angel was procured at our new Goodwill down the street. She was an easy kit, but it still took me about a week to put together. Good thing for deadlines.

We are heading off to Colorado Friday, weather willing. We'll be out of cell phone and internet range, so see you when we get back!
Merry Christmas!

~ A

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Birth Day


7/12ths, originally uploaded by apkoski.

6:33 am Wake up to cooing baby. Ache all over. Trouble breathing. Birthday cold.

7:30 Take a nap while baby naps.

8:00 Read final pages of book club book + tea & oatmeal.

8:45 Opened birthday presents. Thank you!

9:00 Have Coconut Dream Bar.

9:05 Have Coconut Dream Bar.

9:15 Take Shower.

12:00 Change from brown lounge pants into blue lounge pants.

12:15 Have grilled ham & cheese on Baby Pumpernickel + Orange.

12:20 Watch Paul Shovel walk.

12:30 Exhaust list of baby activities. Decide to talk like pirates. Look up pirate names and talk like pirates. My name is something-crotch; Adelaide's pirate name is flowy & pretty.

12:45 Discover leftover window markers from H2C and draw pictures on oven. Consider writing "Help!" on kitchen window but reconsider after cleaning duties are weighed.

1:10 Feed baby and let her fall asleep on me for the first time in many many months.

1:12 Take half dose of Dayquil & Coconut Dream Bar

1:30 Much better.

2:10 Nap.

3:10 Shovel out driveway gate. Consider shoveling alley but change my mind and go inside for a hot chocolate.

3:40 Can only find Mocha hot coco mix but try to gag down anyway, unsuccessfully. Have Coconut dream bar instead.

6:30 Bath time + bed time for baby. Happy 7/12ths, Love!

7:00 Kick back hard cider & birthday dinner.

7:30 Kick back Tylenol Sinus half dose + Tylenol.

8:30 Enjoy Chocolate Mud Pudding with whipped topping.

9:00 Pump + dump

9:30 Made it to 33. Bedtime.


~ Inspired by Lola & Marci

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Are We There Yet?


Window, originally uploaded by apkoski.

Today is Day 8 of the 08 Snow Event, or Arctic Blast, or whatever phrase your local news station has dubbed. Without watching more "continuous special coverage," I'd say that yesterday we got about 8 inches of blowing snow, with a bit of freezing rain on top (enough so that you can almost walk on it if you are a kid). I suppose some reflecting is warranted, given the magnitude of the event, and since it'll be over in a couple days...
Or not. What did I want to write about? My head is fuzzy with congestion and ache. This cold.
One thing I keep reading on Blogs is about how much they got done over the past few days. First I get all jealous and snotty because 'I never get anything done anymore!'. But then upon reflecting (damn, I am), I realized that we've accomplished quite a bit. We made 4 holiday confections (candied citrus peel, cranberry bliss bars, peppermint bark, and coconut dream bars), processed & sent off Christmas cards (for a couple of you, remember that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery), vacuumed, finished Christmas shopping, mailed packages, and finished making some tiny pants and a tiny hat, to be modeled soon.

Miss Adelaide is holding up just barely. We saw tooth number 2 poking up this morning accompanied by a tirade of screams. We are doing our best to keep her entertained without opening the presents early!

Is one more snow day enough for me to read the last 200 pages of my book club book?

-A

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Recipe you Don't want to Try


bunny it's cold outside, originally uploaded by apkoski.

Curmudgeons

4/6 Days Snow, packed tightly into small house
1 Pan Cranberry Bliss Bars
1 Ziplock Baggie Peppermint Bark
1 Ziplock Baggie Candied Orange & Grapefruit peel
1 Teething Baby
Substitute: eating sweets for exercise

Mix all ingredients and let fester. Sprinkle in beginnings of a cold, flu, or whatever this crap is.
Makes: pants tight, head ache, family cranky.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Done and DONE

Wrap & package presents. DONE
Make Peppermint Bark. DONE

Today is a snow day. Yahoo! We can no longer see the grass, several accidents are reported, the Western Cullinary Institute Food Safety class is canceled, chains are required on all highways...! Of course, we need to get to the store for more children's Tylenol (baby has one tooth and another is about to break through!). Whiskey instead?


Peppermint bark was a partial success. After experimenting with various ways to make candy cane bits, Paul suggested grinding them in the nut grinder. Hand cranked nut grinders make a 'perfect' size peppermint piece, unlike the coffee grinder, mortar & pestle, and mallet & ziplock techniques. Unfortuately the tines are no match for a Splenda Candy Cane; three broke off into the pile of bits.
Also, if you look over the left shoulder of the candy cane bits you'll see that the dark chocolate (semi-sweet morsels) did not melt. Instead they turned into a big pile of poo, as Paul put it. Anyone know why?

Alas, below lies the finished product: beautiful yummy white chocolate peppermint bark, noteably not stuck to the wax paper lining. Thanks for the recipe Mimi!
Ok, on to Candied Citrus Peels.

-A

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Verdict


bang-bang, originally uploaded by apkoski.

Thank you for your feedback on baking and topping peppermint bark! I'll save those naked pictures for another day...


Tonight is peppermint bark-making night. Yesterday at the grocery store I got confused on the peppermint bark topper, starlight mints. I was looking for the wrong stuff - Brachs (mint) stars, which I'm pretty sure don't exist anyway. I think I'm going to start with a layer of semisweet chocolate (melted Nestle chips), and then add the white chocolate layer ('melted Callebaut), and then the mints, pressed into the chocolate. Candy canes will be used for bits. I know, exciting.

-A

-- And by the way, I only mentioned the naked pictures because it seemed like Paul was the only one reading this self- & offspring-gratuitous site. And I knew he'd appreciate them! ;)


Friday, December 12, 2008

Learning Independent Play.... sort of

Check out Adelaide's new exersaucer! We almost bought one new and then found the exact one we wanted on Craigslist. Score!!

Anyway, we've needed to work on independent play for a little while now but couldn't because we had nowhere suitable to put her without a crash/tipping over incident. We're at the "I'm just around the corner" stage now. Yay. Anyway, here's day 1 of the experience. Notice she's not really playing but watching me.



Now, one real important question: What type of peppermint should I use to embellish my Martha Stewart Peppermint Bark (because a sprinkling of pounded up starlight mints just isn't enough)? Candy Canes, Brachs discs, other? And isn't anyone else out there baking for Christmas?? Comment, People, or I'm gonna start posting naked pictures!! (that's a threat)

- A

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Recipe Swap


My holiday baking season started this weekend and I couldn't be more excited! We're already done with pumpkin and on to chocolate. White chocolate, to be more specific. I've decided that white chocolate is much more elegant and seasonally appropriate than its deliciously evil siblings, milk and dark chocolate. It's pure, the good guy, the virgin chocolate, yet still an oxymoron: "white" chocolate? Lemme just go feed my white chocolate Labrador while I sip on some white chocolate cocoa. Oh, I guess that stuff does exist.
I digress. Anyway, in the coming weeks I will be using white chocolate to make pistachio-cranberry bark, and cranberry bliss bars. Aside from Ghiradelli peppermint bark, cranberry bliss bars are my favorite treat right now. They were recently made popular by Starbucks, who now sells a cranberry bliss bar "value pack" for $13.95 at the register (rather than getting one for $2.35). Whatever. Just know that they are To. Die. For. Here is the unofficial recipe, and pictures will follow, if I remember before they're all gone.
I would love to know what you're baking for the harlidays! Please leave your list in the comments, and recipe links if you got 'em.

-A

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Out Come the Lights


Out Come the Lights, originally uploaded by apkoski.

This week we celebrated Thanksgiving, Adelaide's one-half birthday, and decorating the tree (well, the reliable Dr. Seuss palm plant). We are far from able to child proof all our decor, tree lights included. Is it okay if she sucks on the cord between the lights, but not the lights?

The baby got really excited when we plugged them in -- but the camera wouldn't focus. We got these:














Now we just have to fit in finding and mailing gifts, writing the Christmas letter, making our favorite treats, and have some fun in the mean time.

Happy December 1!

-A

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy .5

Happy one-half Birthday today, baby Adelaide! Learning about Elvish name translations via the Chicken, I found out her name (the derivative, Adele) is Arwen (like of Middle Earth). Despite the JRR Tolken reference, Paul & I love the name!! Maybe we can sneak it in as a nickname somehow.

Miss A's special day was capped off with a enjoyable afternoon. Adelaide tasted Avocado and decided Bananas are still tops, just behind mamas milk. Then we took a walk to Woodstock Village, satisfied our future late night popcorn needs with a 1 pound bag of kernels from Safeway, and then visited the grand opening of Plue, "a neighborhood children's store."


















I had arranged to sell some of my sewn goods through them so it was fun to see them on display (top shelf). Adelaide was impressed to silence by all the people and colorful sights in the store.



















-A

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Musical Girl

Adelaide likes to play! (nuff said. My space bar is malfunctioning. Perhaps because there'ssome spit up in there...)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Whoa!


Appropriately, originally uploaded by apkoski.

Adelaide has been working on her sitting skills, and much to her chagrin, is not always successful. The key is balance, as it is with everything. If you eat spaghetti with bechamel sauce one day, work out a little harder and eat a bit less the next. If you're having a really busy week, you should inject a couple extra intentional breaks into it. If you lean back and lose your balance, throw your arms and legs out to keep from tipping over. You get the idea. Homeostasis.

Why is it then, that everything tends to happen in great big chunks of stuff?

"Ok, after 4 years of the same haircut, change it to ttttthis one, nnnnow. I found it in a magazine about an hour ago."

"Why, yes, a 5 pm interview fits into my schedule."

"Oh, my tire's flat? Of course I can change it myself! Rain & the screaming baby in the back seat just make it more of a fun challenge."

"Sure I can sew all that for you in 2 weeks. What, do you think I sleep?"


Piled on top of the normal stuff:
"Oh, that's just a little (8") puddle of spit-up (at the Post Office counter). I can tell it's making you uncomfortable so I'll clean it up before I pay you."

"I know you want a kiss Paul, but between the cat's daily facials and Adeaide's chin sucking, I don't think I can fit you in."

"Yeah, what is for dinner?"

We are back to normal again.
-A

Monday, November 10, 2008

Rice; no Roni

Adelaide received her first "solid" meal, rice cereal, this weekend! At the same time, her vocalization skills have improved immensely. Coincidence? I think not.
Yes folks (particularly fellow airline passengers on our upcoming Christmas flight), she now squeals, screeches, and screams. It began on Saturday... the same day we fed her rice cereal for the first time. Who knows what verbiage she'll possess by December. Apparently rice cereal is like Wheaties - or sugar - for babies.



EEEEEeeeeeeee!

-A

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Signs that the world is beginning and ending.

Simultaneously.

I mean, you know how after you do something really big like run a big race or go on a big shopping spree or a super-fun vacation, and then afterward for a couple days you're like all, "Blah, man. The election's over, & now I feel all blah." Maybe I had too much hard cider? Or maybe I've been talking to too many nanny applicants, like this one who emailed yesterday.


HI


I'VE GOT 10+ YEARS EXP. WITH 6MO.-12 YEARS OLD----I'M A RETURNING PSU STUDENT GRADUATING NEXT YEAR
I HAVE GREAT VOLUNTEER EXP. UNDER MY BELT WITH ELEM SCHOOLS AND AFTER SCHOOL PROG (ELMONICA AND PETER BOSCO B4 IT WAS TORN DOWN) I HAVE ALSO VOLUNTEERED WITH HOMELESS AND DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED INDIVIDUALS...THE LAST BABY I TOOK CARE OF WAS 7MO. OVER THE SUMMER BUT THE FAMILY MOVED BACK TO NORFOLK VA.

I HAVE MY OWN TRANSPORTATION SERVICE (I DON'T DRIVE DUE TO VISION) WITH 24HR NOTICE

I HAVE SOLID REFS. I'VE ALSO HAD CBC DONE LAST YEAR BECUZ OF VOLUNTEERING

RATES: 1-2 DAYS A WEEK $10 HR
3-5 DAYS A WEEK $40 A DAY (AVERAGES APROX $6.67 FOR 6HRS.)

CASH ONLY DUE TO SCHOOL FUNDING
THANKS NO EXCEPTIONS

ONLY CALL IF SERIOUS 503 XXX XXXX

Are YOU Serious!? I don't even know where to begin.

-A

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Happy November!

Here we are. We're here! We are busy but well...

Birth Ed. class reunion brunch last Sunday



Making fall pants.



















Celebrating Halloween!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ran Like H E double-hockey sticks

Hooray for all the silly people who want to run a half marathon! Getting up before dawn on Sunday is so much easier when you know there is beer and hot wings awaiting you at the finish line (at 9-ish am).






Start line on Broadway (me in black, lower left)














My second-biggest fan (Paul out-weighs her...)



















Me & my banana, halfway.















Finish line - a blur!!!











Run Like Hell Half

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Swinging Out


Swinging, originally uploaded by apkoski.

Where did we leave off last time? Oh yeah, the gluttony post.
Since then everybody around here has been enjoying fall like gangbusters. With the exception of winter here, every season seems to make it's presence known in some pleasing way. With fall, its the cool mornings and smell of decaying leaves that gets me... and football... and early sunsets... sweaters and fleece.

And making grown-up cider.











And lots of apples.












Until the rain stays we'll spend more time outside taking walks, picking flowers (& not, ahem, eating them), and plenty of time swinging.



When the rain decides to stay I'll finally finish organizing.











And go Christmas shopping!

-A



Thursday, October 09, 2008

I'm Not Feeling the Economic Downturn

Really.
But my list is getting longer lately.


I love these inside out bowls from Anthro, one in every color.

and this necklace


and if I knew how to knit, this

and this cup from Three potato Four

- A

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Random Notes

Running Errands
Our jogger has just enough storage space to fit in a nice collection of groceries and other non-necessities, as shown here: 3 oranges, 2 small oatmeals, twin sheet, pillow form, water bottle, diaper/wipes... you get the idea. Knowing that I'm more of a utility person than a fru-fru girl, it makes total functional sense for me to get my run in and do errands in one swoop. It's not about the fuel, it's about the car seat time, and time in general!

The Latest of our Greatest
The camera loses again. Adelaide loves that thing. Here she is taking infatuation with the strap.


And more baby cuteness, in her corruption Phase 1 outfit. THANKS Aunt Marci! Sooooo cute. :)

Politics
I know the post says "7 Days Ago," but if you haven't seen The Great Schlep (video contains profanity) yet, well, then tell me so I don't feel so out of it.

-A

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's Friday and I ain't got no plans pie

Fold in sweetened cream cheese, whipped heavy cream, and strawberries, raspberries, & blueberries. Graham cracker crust. No bake, because there are better things to do today.

Like picking


Signs of Summer's End, originally uploaded by apkoski.


And enjoying early fall's blue skies


Finding new inspiration and soup recipes

Testing out new toys



Planting fall veggies, training for the Run Like Hell, thinking about anniversary plans, getting in the last few summer salads, scrounging for time to sew, having fun at boot camp, thinking of a new hairdo.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Smiles

No Internet Tuesday went off without a hitch. Wednesday morning I was up before 6 in a cold sweat and injected myself with a big dose of the world wide web. Phew!

So without web-related distractions I was able to get through a few photos that have been hovering in my 'unprocessed' folder for quite a while.

Like these pictures Paul's mom took at our baby shower in May!
(eeeeek! Does this dress make my pooch look big?)

And these from our Sunday trip to the park:

We are all about getting outside lately, ever since around June, hmmm....
We'll do anything out there too, like lay around naming cloud shapes, hit the flowers, and take walks around the block, to the park, down the alley, in the front yard, the back yard, to the store, to the Library. You get the idea. What I'm trying to say is that we have an outdoor baby. She absolutely loves to be outside. If ever she's fussy, which by the way hardly ever happens, we just take her outside. It's like a 'mute' button. Smiles.

-A

Sunday, September 14, 2008

We had no internet last Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning due to technical difficulties. For nearly 12 hours I couldn't look up how long to can tomato sauce, what GU 63 means, and how much a bumbo seat cost. But since then we're back in touch, so I've been able to check Ike's storm track, download an infant growth chart, and check my Facebook, of course.

I'm no internet junkie, but it felt a little freeing to not be able to run to the computer for every question that comes up. I've been doing it ever since my Bro showed me Alta Vista during one of my trips home from college. At my first job as a Fitness Technician at SSC, my 'advice' to all the middle-aged not yet internet savvy civil servants involved the internet. Looking for a home gym? Check on EBay! What's your BMI? Calculate it at CDC.gov! Tough-to-answer exercise question? Go Ask Alice!

So.... I have decided to remove the internet from my life on one day per week. I'm thinking Tuesdays. Yeah, no-internet Tuesdays! (Yes, no-technology Tuesdays sounds pretty good too, but Biggest Loser is on Tuesdays.) Not ironically, I was unable to find a "giving up the internet contract, but plenty of abstinence contracts that I will attempt to appropriately modify. Until then, you can keep check by looking at my google connection status and checking for me on your Blog stat counter!

OK, enough of that, here's some baby A photo updates:

Playing in the Bumbo


Where'd the hair go?, originally uploaded by apkoski.


Practicing with the bottle: