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Archive for February, 2010

Snow Day!

It has been snowing all day.  A day for Penelope to double as a baby and spend the morning in the stroller.  Maggie and Bella building a snowman all afternoon.  Hunkering down and enjoying Chocolate Crinkles.  I love days like this.

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They are dropping like flies everywhere we look.  It makes me want to barricade the doors, crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head until spring.   Every post I read, every friend I phone has the stomach bug.

I am fine with colds and what not but when things start flying that’s when I really have a hard time.  My poor husband makes the worst noises when he is sick so I lock him into quarantine and only go anywhere near the door to leave food, water and medicine and to make sure he hasn’t fallen and hit his head.  The past few years I have convinced him of the value of hand gel and antibacterial wipes and the man has been faithful about using them.  Subsequently he has avoided quarantine and gets to mingle with the rest of us. 

The boys are supposed to be going skiing tomorrow.  The thought of them on a tiny bus with other possibly infected teenagers makes me cringe.  I am sure they won’t mind me hosing them down in the front yard when they come home and then covering them in Lysol before they breach the threshold. 

So while I wait for spring I will just enjoy Penelope.  She is all snuggled in her red sweater and not afraid of stomach bugs or for that matter teenagers.  She just needs food, water and some snuggles and her life is complete.  Penelope, could live without the red sweater, but Bella and I force it on her for our own pleasure to keep her warm.  There is just nothing cuter than a small dog in clothing to entertain us.  Watching Bella wrangle her into that thing is hysterical and quite the workout. 

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It’s Snowing!

In Vermont that is usually not  a cause for excitement but this year we have had so little.  I think there was some confusion and our snow order arrived south instead of here.

A winter in Vermont without snow is long, boring and cold for no reason.  A hike in the woods is less fun without snow shoes, there are snowmen to make and subsequently destroy, no snowball fights, snow forts ( for snowball fight protection) and certainly no opportunities to tackle a teenager into a snow bank -probably the only time I can ever manage to one up the giant boys!  And no sledding.  My industrious children did try to sled down a hill that a very thin layer of snow like material and although hilarious the sleds did not fare well at all. 

In the past I would pray for snow on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  We don’t travel so I didn’t mind.  Snow with little ones is challenging and less fun.  The occasional romp with the sled around the neighborhood with a cherub looking baby swaddled in winter clothing with nothing but nose, cheeks and eyes showing was about all I could muster.  Now the kids like being outside and we have had some wonderful times wandering around the Homestead with out snowshoes.  Husband even got us cross-country skis but they sit in the shed waiting to be used. 

So today I will enjoy the occasional flutter of snow and hope for more than a dusting.  A few inches is really all I need to make me happy.  I am an easy person to please like that.

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My young men are sad.  So far this year they have been told that they are too nice, not assertive enough and that they make girls feel awkward.  The problem is that my sons have been raised to be chivalrous.  They hold doors open, offer their coats, pull out chairs, clean their own place settings, defend those that are smaller or weaker.  All around just nice guys.  They learned it from their dad.

This all being said by kids are being ostracized because of their kindness.  They are being bullied by girls!  These gals want them to be mean, to not be so nice but to be jerks.  This is exact wording.  My kids are confused and it goes against their very nature to be that way. So they continue being nice and are continuing to be shunned. 

I feel awful for them but not for their future wives.  I feel more pity for these young girls who don’t have enough confidence to know that they deserve to be treated with respect.  They might end up in abusive relationships and mistreated by the men in their lives when they don’t hold higher standards.

  How can I complain about men and bad behavior when I am not willing to raise my sons differently then the norm?  How can we blame guys for being jerks when they are expected to be that way?  Every television show depicts the male lead as a bumbling fool who is disrespectful and disregards the feelings of those around him.  It really shows just how far we have fallen as a society.  Do we really need to degrade men to build up women? 

At the end of the day I will continue to raise my boys to be good men.  There will be a gal out there who will appreciate the efforts.  In the meantime I will have to help them navigate these years as best I can.

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Paczki Photos

Yesterday I posted about Paczki.  I hope these photos show just how delicious they turned out.  They were so simple to make.  I mixed the dough in the bread machine.

After the bread machine I cut the dough into 8 pieces and rolled them into balls.  They set out for 2-2 1/2 hours to rest and rise a bit more.

The recipe called for frying the dough for 3 minutes on each side.  I found after 1 1/2 minutes that they were turning this deep, golden brown.  I decided to flip them at this point and I am glad I did.  I think they would have burned for sure.

Some of them are darker than others because I was testing the cooking time.  The first batch were the darkest but thankfully not burned.  (more…)

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Inside Out

Our days and nights have become inside out.  The kids stay awake until the wee hours of the morning and sleep the best parts of the actual day away.  It has become a pattern, a habit and it makes life harder.

The dilemma is that I don’t really know how to switch it right now.  I have two teens in need of sleep, and two pre-teens in the beginnings of a growth spurt.  Sleep is a necessity.  To top it off our community has become a perpetual petri dish with every bacteria known to man.  I exaggerate but going around is a stomach bug, cough with fever, strep throat and all kinds of illness in between.  Plenty of rest, a proper diet, hand washing and pushing fluids is our usual course to keeping a healthy immune system.  I fear forcing an appropriate sleeping schedule will result in one or all of the above illnesses. 

So what to do in the meantime.  We are homeschooling so as long as work is getting done then who really cares that they didn’t start at 7am.  The housework is getting neglected.  The important stuff like dishes and laundry are happening but the dust has started to pile and the dust bunnies are forming a revolt.  Household projects like the boy’s room makeover are going slowly and I am sad to say the dreaded pile is still in the living room.  It is smaller but it is still there! 

I guess I won’t stress and worry too much.  To everything there is a season and right now they need to grow.  There will be plenty of time for early alarms and deadlines but right now I think that they just need to rest and grow and develop their minds and bodies.  In the meantime I will work on slowly adjusting a schedule for  us to right side out  our days and nights.

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Make a Joyful Noise

They run in circles, screaming.  They get your best pots and pans and a wooden spoon and bang it until your head feels like it will literally pop off of your head.  They turn everything into a drum.  Then you buy them real instruments and they strum and squeak and twang…

Then one day the noise becomes a song.

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