Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Burden of Parental Obligation

For a year, nay, two years, my kids have been begging to make a gingerbread house.

I'm not exactly sure who first put the idea into their wee little heads, but it was exasperated by the presence of a full-page picture of a glorious house of sweets in Betty Crocker's Cooky Book . For years the kids would page through this cookbook, ogling the treats, and upon coming to the Page of Revelation would plead to make the gingerbread house.

There are easy excuses to put it off. It is a seasonal project, and an involved one, so it's not something that can be launched upon a moment's notice. It is easy to say that maybe we can make it for Christmas, next Christmas, next Christmas, Christmas, NOT NOW. And besides, the project in the Cooky Book isn't an actual gingerbread house. It's a house of cardboard that is pasted with candy, frosting and cookies. Not exactly the edible confection that the kids are imagining.

But this year, Christmas is approaching and I find that I am out of excuses. Really, I am. They deserve to have at least one gingerbread house in their childhood and this is the year. Which leads me to my next point.

How do you make a gingerbread house? Eek. Everyone I've asked says BUY A KIT, but one quick perusal of Amazon (aka Mall of The New Century) tells me that this is not truly helpful advice. What, pray tell, is "a kit" supposed to contain? A mold? Cookie cutters? Actual gingerbread? A cardboard house to paste cookies or gingerbread onto? And where do I find a recipe for sheet-like gingerbread from which to make molded or cookie-cut house pieces? I am lost in the woods here. A woods with a gingerbread house in the deepest, darkest part. Help me find it? I'll bring the bread crumbs.

Monday, November 9, 2009

At The End Of Day

I've come to the end of another day.

It's been one of those days that are far too common when parenting small children. It's one of those days when the kids are finally in bed and while sitting on the couch my only remaining thought is, "Thank God urine is sterile."

Friday, November 6, 2009

You Should Have Seen The Other Guy

I can't believe it's taken me nearly five days to blog about this. Perhaps I needed a moment to relax before relating the details or maybe I've been busy at the gym, but we had some excitement Monday night. Lord, I am so tired of excitement!

I was getting ready to dish dinner Monday night. The kids were playing in the kitchen and Peter was helping to get things set up. I was turning with a plate in my hand as Thomas was walking by and Boom: Edge of Plate Meets Face. Right near the eye.

My plate was undamaged, but check out my baby.

Three stitches, right in a row. I'm starting to think Children's Hospital should pay ME for all the time I've spent there. It's like my job or something.

A friend of mine has a son who is the true Adventure Boy and has had stitches a number of times. She had told me how well Children's did on one set of his stitches, so we just drove right there. It was a long night, but they did a great job.

Thomas had a bit of a breakdown when the time came to actually DO the stitches, but once he resigned himself to it, he did wonderfully. I've been in an operating room or two myself and I know how overwhelming and out of control it feels to be surrounded by all those strange people. I didn't blame him a bit. It nearly broke my heart to have to do it, but once they started to stitch and he was obviously not in any discomfort (he would have certainly let us know), we both relaxed and it was quickly done.

I managed to go out and snap a picture before the stitches are taken out tomorrow. I'll be glad when that's over, too.

Monday, November 2, 2009


My parents had given us pumpkins to make into Jack o' Lanterns. I kept meaning to do it, but somehow it never happened. All week the kids were wound up with excitement and counting the days until Halloween. Is it tomorrow, Mommy? Finally on The Day we were counting the hours, nay, the minutes til Trick or Treat time and we needed something to do. Something for the hands. And so there was the pumpkin. The pumpkin which became. . .

I'll spare you the stripped-to-the-waist pumpkin scraping, face drawing, carving pictures. Even the ones where Henry is gamely eating raw pumpkin chunks. Though his is sooo cute!

Finally it was time. They were dressed in their costumes, the same costumes as last year, and we were ready to go.

Well, almost ready. After visiting two neighbors we had to go home for more outdoor gear. They added fleece jackets under their down vests and wooly hats. I'm not sure how many places in the world children need to have a costume that's compatible with snowsuits and scarves, but Minnesota is one of them.

We went around our block, knocking on doors, dodging dogs (Anna is quite afraid of dogs. Thomas was, too, at her age, so I imagine she'll get past it.), and collecting candy. Lots of candy. They filled their trick or treat bags just circling the block. I remembered last year when Anna exclaimed, "Mommy! Can you believe all these kind people?" It must seem like a magic night to a small child. You walk around your own neighborhood and people open their doors, declare you adorable, and give you candy. AMAZING. And it's not even your BIRTHDAY.

Today I gave up any pretense at rationing the candy. I caught Anna sitting down with her Halloween bag eating three suckers. At once. Ah, the joyful gluttony.

Ah, the stickiness. If you come to my house, be prepared to stay since it won't be easy to get unstuck from the chair.