I had a surprise day off today, probably the last in a while, so I decided to make the most of it and take Nicky out for an early morning snowy day walk. For some reason late February snow always surprises me but I think it happens here pretty frequently so idk why that is! It’s actually snowed like three times in the past week but today is the first “real” one.
Nicky staying cozy in his stroller with the weather shield on!
This week’s Thursday treat was cupcakes, at Gwen’s request. I used this recipe for white cake, but halved to make 12 cupcakes. I topped them with this cute Fairy Tale sprinkle mix from Sweetapolita and they were a big hit with all the kids.
This boy loves his apples.
this famous Skinnytaste bagels
Nicky’s fave lunch right now: peanut butter sandwiches cut into “coins”
it was my birthday this week
dolly slumber party
Spring is starting to happen outside, and inside I’m getting a little bee in my bonnet to do my version of spring cleaning, which mostly involves rearranging things. Right now I’m obsessed (OBSESSED) with turning my kitchen closet into a pantry, which means I’d have to move all the tools and brooms and cans of pant into what is currently my craft closet, and move all my craft supplies… where? What I really want to do is put proper storage in the hallway and have my craft supplies there. Unfortunately I can’t afford to buy a bunch of cabinetry at the moment but I also haven’t been doing much crafting so I might just put it all in some big Rubbermaid bins temporarily.
What else? I’m very keen to finish painting our bedroom, and to repaint the hallway which assaults my eyes daily with its grotesque yellow paint. I need to put up all the art I took down when I painted the living/dining room as well as some in the little kids’ room. Speaking of the little kids’ room, last weekend I finally mostly finished sorting out and organizing the toys, which had been in a messy jumble since we had the floors done (last spring…). I need to get some storage for under Gwen’s bed to sort out the last of it still but it’s already much better.
I’ve lost track of how many teeth Nicky has now. They keep popping through in batches, and he’s been miserable, but I think he’s very very close to being done? The four dreaded molars he’s been working on since he turned one (FOUR MONTHS AGO) have mostly popped out (at last check he had three) and in the meantime his canines have appeared as well. This means he’s started sleeping through the night again (occasionally) so Gwen is sleeping through the night in her own bed (occasionally). Of course nights like that (of which last night was one) mean we have mornings like I did today, when they both wake up much earlier than normal. Nicky hollered me out of bed at 6:15 and when I brought him out to the living room I found Gwen already there, watching Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron.
Tomorrow is another early morning, as I have the second of three spine injections at the pain clinic out in the suburbs at 7:10am. I’m definitely not looking forward to it but best to get it out of the way and have the rest of my (long) weekend free!
Today for post-Lego Club treat I made Sym and Gwen cinnamon buns. I love them but YIKES if they aren’t a lot of work (the buns, not the children…). I’ve used this recipe before but always refrigerated them unbaked overnight and finished them in the morning, so this was my first time making them straight through. Even with the 2 rises it basically ate up my entire afternoon. It was alllllll worth it though, because they really are the best.
the busiest body
I’ve been taking medication for my degenerative disc disease for a week now and it’s honestly amazing how much of a difference it’s made already. It’s such a relief to get up in the morning and be able to just… get up. Easily, and with (almost) no pain. It’s incredible! I have an appointment to see the pain management specialist on Saturday afternoon for an information session, after which I can get a steroid injection into the ol’spine right away if I choose (I probably will choose).
On Monday Gwen was off school, and I serendipitously had a surprise day off work. I absolutely relish these opportunities to spend a weekday just me & the kids; it’s no secret that my dream would be to trade my work-at-home-mom life for a stay-at-home-mom one, so any chance to pretend that’s the case is a treat. We didn’t do anything special, just ran a few errands before lunch and then had a lazy afternoon at home. Nicky napped, I made fresh pasta, and Gwen took a long-overdue bath. It was exactly the day I wanted.
Days like that used to make me feel sort of desperate and sad, like it doesn’t happen often so I would always know it was just a one off, but somehow it doesn’t feel like that anymore. I’m feeling satisfied and at peace with work, something that pretty much corresponds exactly with how many kids I’m looking after who scream all day (which right now is zero). So while I still dream of being able to quit my job and focus solely on my own kids, working feels a little less like work lately, and a lot more like fun ❤️
Gwen has Lego club after school on Thursdays, and since I can’t pick her up (I need to be home for the daycare kids’ pick ups) Symphony walks her up the hill. Sym goes to her dad’s on Thursdays so it’s not exactly convenient for her, and after such a long day Gwen is pretty tired and grumpy. Because I don’t have to go to the school it leaves me more time to do things around the house, and what better way to spend it than baking a treat for the girls when they get here? I’m hoping to make something every week but I’m notoriously flaky so we’ll see how it goes.
This week I made a peach sour cream coffee cake, adapted from this recipe. I just substituted the cup of raspberries with a cup of peaches cut into raspberry-sized pieces. I added 1 tbsp of whole milk to the batter because it was SO dry and thick I knew I wouldn’t be able to spread it out in the pan properly, and 3 drops of white food colouring to the icing because the vanilla made it a little too similar to the colour of the cake & almonds and I wanted some contrast!
I chose this cake because it is topped with sliced almonds I’m on a quest to use them in as many ways as possible. A few months ago I was at the grocery store and for some reason I needed sliced almonds. They happened to be on sale but some of them were marked incorrectly and it took three different store employees to figure out which almonds were what price. As a thank you to me for not being rude about it they insisted I take a large-size bag of almonds for free, so now I’ve got almost half a kilogram of them. I never made whatever it was I’d wanted them for in the first place, and now I’ve completely forgotten what it was, so every time I open the cupboard this unopened bag of sliced almonds was just sitting there taunting me. This cake only used 1/4 cup so any suggestions for sliced almond heavy recipes would be much appreciated!
Now that she has quit sucking her thumb (thanks to Dr Thumb) Gwen can have her fingernails painted. For her first manicure she chose this bright purpley-pink with pink and purple glitter. Sounds about right.
how many pictures like this can I post here before it’s considered illegal?
I’ve been complaining all over social media about how we are all sick with gross colds, but Nicky took it to a whole other level this week by getting croup. I didn’t have any experience with croup (neither of the girls ever had it) outside of Anne of Green Gables (I do know not to treat it with ipecac syrup though…) so I just thought it was one of those weird old timey diseases people don’t get anymore! Apparently not, and he’s been up the last few nights, wheezing and bark-coughing. Thankfully he actually has it quite mildly and seems to be on the mend already.
I closed the daycare on Wednesday (before I knew what he had) but according to regulations children with mild croup don’t need to be excluded from daycare, so while I’m technically open today and tomorrow, all my clients chose to not bring their kids. So my winter vacation is starting early and I guess every croup has a silver lining?
Anyway. Here are a few pics from our mini Mini Christmas last weekend. Everyone being sick kind of put a damper on our plans so we didn’t go out to do any activities (except for a dentist appointment for me & the girls, ugh what was I thinking when I scheduled that???) but we still had a nice time at home. On Friday night my sister came over and we built some Christmas Lego sets and watched Riverdale, and on Saturday we had a Chinese food feast, built more Legos (we’re honestly still not done O___o) and busted out the Christmas pajamas. Only the kids got new ones this year but they might just be the cutest ever.
Those poor palmiers, I very very diligently halved the recipe and then grabbed the wrong size of measuring cup and used twice as much sugar as they needed! They were (mostly still edible) but pretty well encased in carmelized sugar. I need a do-over on them.
Last week Gwen had her first-ever Pajama Day at school and honestly you’ve never seen a more excited kid. Also: they were allowed to bring stuffies and two of her friends brought toys Gwen gave them for their birthdays.
Pork chops with apples & onions are a favourite family dinner, but I need to talk about those peas. I threw them together at the last minute, cooking them in butter with lemon zest and smoked salt and they were delicious. Even picky eater Gwen admitted she liked them “a lil bit,” and Nicky couldn’t get enough.
I spent a few evenings sewing a couple of rag rugs together using this DIY to make a new pouf. The rugs were $13 each and I stuffed it with old duvets and pillows I was planning on getting rid of so in addition to being easy it was very affordable! Initially I wanted more neutral-coloured rugs but the ones I found were much more expensive and I decided to go with the thrifty option. The kids and pets certainly think it’s great.
I have been working hard to slowly but surely refresh our living space and HONESTLY I am so happy with how it’s all turning out. The living room/playroom switch has opened up so much more space for playing, and just makes so much more sense than they way it was before. The simple act of repainting the (new) living room and dining room all the same colour makes those areas seem so much bigger as well. We shortened Taylor’s desk which got rid of even more wasted space and clutter, and opened up the office into the living room. And other than our new couch (which was sorely needed) I think the only purchases have been paint and a few small decor items. Other than that, it’s all been rearranging.
This weekend I’m going to repaint the wall where Taylor’s desk used to be (there were a couple of shelves above that we took down that left a major amount of holes behind), and next I’m going to focus on the playroom. I want to finish repainting, move the blackout blinds to make more space for naptime, create new book storage (shelves? a bookcase? boxes?) and invest in a new play kitchen. I got rid of Ol’ Bluey when we had the floors redone but I need a new one. I just feel like it’s something kids really love! I’m like 99% decided on this one, although I loathe the pink and would paint over it/replace it. It has a lot of space for play and I like the shape a lot. I have it planned out in my mind how I’m going to install it in this weird, awkward corner while still leaving space behind it to store the folded minicribs when they aren’t in use, with a shelf above it that has a framed poster mounted on the front to store the minicrib mattresses. It’s hard to explain but I’m very confident that it will work. I’m just hoping that the kitchen drops in price a lil more before I pull the trigger on it.
Also this weekend we’re going to start putting the tree up! Long-time readers will know I like to have it up, bare, for a while to let the kids get used to it, so we won’t decorating until December 1st. A little Christmas has already started sneaking in though: the new mushroom ornament and the felt Santa (made from a kit by Gwen) are already brightening up the room with holiday cheer.
Last week was so hectic around here, I’m very much looking forward to taking it easy. We still have Gwen’s actual birthday dinner on Wednesday and I have an MRI scheduled for the same day (first thing in the morning before work, yikes) but other than that there’s nothing out of the ordinary on my schedule.
You know, I made sure to charge the battery for my camera so I could take proper pics of the kids in their costumes but the battery is still in the charger and all my Halloween pictures are on my phone.
Gwen chose to dress up this year as a Chocolate Chip Cookie Kitty Cat Princess and no lie, I killed it. Her costume turned out perfectly and at her request I also made a Chocolate Chip Cookie Kitty Cake Royalty costume for Nicky. She had a great time at her school Halloween party, and so much fun trick-or-treating! We went with her best friend Hugo, Hugo’s sister Frankie and their cousin Taiga, and also went to one building with her friend Danielle from school. She is still a little shy and requires a parent when going up to most houses and Taylor had Nicky in the stroller, so Sym handed out candy at our place so I could go with Gwen. After we’d gone around the block Taylor took the little kids home and put them to bed while I took over candy duties from Sym.
We decorated and tantset up our Halloween candy station at the front of the house this year and I honestly don’t even know how many kids came through. Hundreds, literally. We were giving out candy for around three to three and a half hours! We actually didn’t run out of candy but we had over 700 and there’s maybe 100 left? I think for next year I need to get some larger decorations and more spooky lights for my display.
Now that Halloween is over I need to REALLY get to work on Gwen’s birthday party plans. I have some half-formed ideas for her outer space-themed party but everything is still very nebulous (GET IT) and this party is… this Saturday. OOPS.