Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010!

As you may have noticed I haven't been in the mood to blog for a while. Maybe it's been the weather, or feeling like I'm in a rut, or just being really busy.  I'm not sure what has kept me a way from the blog.  I can tell you I've spent way more time reading other people's blogs than I probably should.  But now it's New Year's Eve, I'm spending a quiet night at home with my two favorite people, and I've been reflecting on the year and how lucky I really am.  Sometimes I can get too caught up in wanting things to be better, or easier, to enjoy the way things are right now.  Tonight I looked through pictures from the past two months and it was a great reminder of how lucky I am today.

Here is a quick photo recap of everything you've missed.

Flora still spends a lot of time being goofy.  I think David may be tickling her in this photo.

The week before Thanksgiving we had a few people over and made tamales.  Flora had a great time squishing the masa between her fingers.

The day after Thanksgiving we went to a tree farm to cut down our tree.  It was an exciting day for Flora.  There was snow on the ground and she got to pet a horse and goat.  We forgot her gloves so her hands got too cold and she kept asking us to warm them up.

She also got to make her first Christmas ornament at the tree farm.  It involved a pine cone and a lot of glitter.

When we got home it was time to decorate the tree.  Flora loved it and continued to redecorate the tree until we took it down the day after Christmas.  She seemed to think that the ornaments got lonely when not together so she would cluster several together on one branch.  We got the tree for her, so even though it was not the most attractive way to decorate a tree we left it the way she wanted it.  She also put most of the play food from her kitchen in the branches of the tree because all of the animal ornaments kept getting hungry.

My aunt Kathleen bought her a leotard, tutu, fairy wings, and a wand (not pictured).  Flora thinks the whole outfit is pretty amazing and likes to fly around the house in it. 

Flora learned that Dada is really fun because while Mommy will tell you not to draw on your face with marker Dada will actually draw on your face for you.  

I didn't mind because let's admit it, she makes a darn cute cat. 

On Christmas Eve we went Peacock Lane in SE Portland.  It's a street that has been going all out with Christmas lights since 1929.  It was a cold, wet, and windy night but it's only two blocks and Flora loved the lights.  She even got to see Santa one last time. 

She started to get a little chilly near the end of the walk.

When we got home from the lights it was time for Flora to open one present.  It was, of course, new jammies.

She put her jammies on and it was time to put out cookies for Santa.  She also left carrots for the reindeer.

Though she has been excited for Christmas morning for weeks, and by pretty excited I mean she's been singing Christmas songs non-stop for weeks, when the day finally came she was a little confused.  Or, perhaps she was just groggy.

But then she found her easel and her whole mood changed.  This girl is artistic and she loves to paint.

Then it was time to try out her new Pillow Pet, also known as the "Pink Present" she asked Santa to bring.

But then it was time to head back to the easel.  That's kinda how the whole morning went.

I made cinnamon rolls, from scratch, for Christmas breakfast.  Flora loved hers and asked for another.  We said no and scrambled her an egg.  It may have been Christmas but that doesn't mean she gets to eat cinnamon rolls all morning.


More food for her kitchen.

Cutting her food in her new tent.

Snuggles in her new tent.

We went to my aunt's house for Christmas dinner.  Flora wore her pretty dress.

We were trying to get ready to go but as usual, Flora wanted to do her own thing and that did not involve getting in the car.  In the end we did make it out the door and we had a great time with my family.

We've been taking it pretty easy since Christmas, spending a lot of time at home because Flora doesn't like the cold and complains after being out for more than a few minutes and schools are on break for the holiday which means that the children's museum is too crowded for me.  We'll head back to the museum next week but I have learned that if you take your kid to Ikea at 9am before they open it's not crowded and there are almost no employees on the floor so you can let your kid run around and get some exercise on a cold wet day when you're out of ideas.   Mostly we've been at home painting, gluing and flying around the house.

Happy new year to all of you!

How did you ring in the New Year?

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Cookies for Santa

I've been terrible about blogging lately but I wanted to share the recipe we are using for Santa's cookies.  I promise to give a Flora update after Christmas.

This is the first year that Flora has been excited about Santa so this is the first year that cookies have been important.   This year our "cookies" are actually Peanut Butter Blondies.  Why?  I hear Santa likes them.  

Peanut Butter Blondies adapted from here.

Wet Ingredients

1c Earth Balance
1 1/3c  Granulated Fructose
2 Eggs
1t Vanilla Extract
1 16oz Jar of Chunky Peanut Butter

Dry Ingredients

2c Non-enriched Organic White Flour
1t Baking Powder (Rumford brand is both aluminium and potato free)

1/2c Carob Chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 9x13" pan with parchment paper.

2. In medium size bowl combine wet ingredients with a fork.  It's hard work but mix them until the consistency is even.  (You can use a mixer but the blondies will have a consistency more similar to cake.  Using a fork to combine the ingredients will give them more of a brownie texture, which I prefer.)  

3. In separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.   

4. Stir dry ingredients into peanut butter mixture.  Then fold in carob chips. 

5.  Bake at 325 for 25-30 min, or until the top of the blondies look dry.  Knife may not come out clean so don't use that as a gauge. 


What are you leaving out for Santa this year?  

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