Monday, April 26, 2010


One of my greatest enthusiasms this week has been my mom's marmalade. She gave me a jar around Christmastime, which I devoured then with ardent relish. I have been craving it ever since, and it just so happened that she concocted what has now become a mainstay for breakfast in both of our houses: oat wheat bread smeared with yogurt cheese and her marmalade. In fact, I am eating some right now. My mom makes her own yogurt, too, and lately she has been letting it strain to become a thick tart cheese, almost like cream cheese. I do not yet make my own yogurt, but I have been taking plain yogurt and doing the same thing.

Mom's marmalade is perfection. I am almost through with the first of three jars. She gave me the recipe, I think with the hint that I should start making my own. I will definitely attempt this; however, I should note that I am not particularly skilled at making jams and jellies. As much as I love to cook and bake, and as much as I spend ample time in the kitchen, jams and jellies continue to perplex me. I never achieve quite the right consistency, in my mind. My poor husband has several jars of sweet pepper jelly in his office at the moment, from a batch that went awry. It tastes good, but it is more like a sauce. Anyway, the marmalade is worth the effort---so this time, I will focus on getting it right.

Another treat lately: hot milk with a dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg. I have been craving milk with Eric's pregnancy from the first moments. I've never been a big milk drinker, actually, until now. Hot milk is tasty with slabs of toast and marmalade...

We had a productive weekend in our house, though I am feeling a bit of a need to slow down today. Katie has been my little helper, and we love to celebrate time with Daddy when he is home on the weekends.

Each week, I have Katie help me to pick out our weekend breakfast menus: she loves to make breakfast for her daddy. She loves that we all eat it together, and she seems to enjoy the rituals of setting the table and then going into his office to tell him politely that it is ready (a week ago, she tried to be more efficient by hollering at him from the kitchen, but I told her that is not how we operate in this family---we aim to be polite). Katie likes eating what she has made, as well, so it is a good opportunity to try some new tastes here and there.

On Saturday we made a German apple pancake with a dollop of freshly whipped cream, Canadian bacon, and juicy canataloupe. On Sunday we chose: nutmeg cake muffins with a cinnamon crunch topping, scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, and icy cold tangerines. YUM!

We also cleaned several bins of my crafting supplies out of Eric's closet this weekend. (One whole side is completely done and there are a couple of heavier bins still on the other side). I reorganized the linen cabinet and condensed a bit, though a few items will need to be stored in the garage. We hung up all of his clothes so far...and he already has quite a few! I have bought him several items, and my mom as well. I also found many items among Katie's wardrobe that will legitimately work for a boy. He will still need some more onesies and relaxing clothes (when Katie was a newborn I was changing her all the time, anytime she spit up, and so we went through a few gowns and onesies a day). I love going in to look at his closet. I am eager also to change Katie's crib for the bed that is currently in there. I am so ready to see the nursery come together. My initial wallpaper sample was first put on backorder and then cancelled altogether as the paper was suspended (it was a beautiful Ralph Lauren shirtings plaid). So I found some other candidates, and I hope those samples will arrive this week. Once I choose the wallpaper, the decorating will commence.

I also managed to fit in three hours of study time at the library this weekend. (Bill watches Katie). I have been giving myself full-length 150 question practice tests during these study hours. It felt good to get one done.

We spent time tidying up the house, as well. Katie loves to help dust/polish---I give her her own rag. We also vacuumed (I wish I had time to vacuum daily, but I don't...however, I just hate messy floors), cleaned the downstairs bathroom, and put some items back into their proper places. I've been feeling like I let the house go the past two weeks and that it is a disaster, but Bill looks like at me like I am pretty crazy. Our house is actually clean and fairly straight, but sometimes it just starts getting to me. I love those fleeting feelings when everything has just been cleaned and the house smells of lemon and pine. It is just that one moment of true cleanliness, so transient but so good-feeling. These days, though, I rarely do the whole house all in one go. I am lucky to accomplish one room at a time!

Yesterday, Sunday, we tried to relax a bit more, but I am so much in the nesting mode right now. We did more organizing, planned our weekly menus for marketing this morning, and worked on our Mother's Day gifts for Amie and Nana. We're painting something... I am really pleased with the idea this year, actually!

We also fit in plenty of time for play and learning. Katie loves for us to role play the characters from Peter Pan everyday. We have been working, too, on our letters. I found some Kumon tracing cards for lowercase letters (they make some for uppercase as well) and for numbers. Katie uses a dry-erase pen to trace the lines, and she really likes it. We've also been playing verbal word games to capitalize on her love for Peter Pan. I will say something like, "Hook hates..." and fill in the blank with different "H" words. Or "Peter Pan prefers..." Or "Wendy wants..." We're working on our letter sounds and alliteration. She hasn't quite caught the hang of it yet.

So we all had a great, albeit very busy, weekend! This week is likewise full!