Tuesday, March 30, 2010

One Last Wiff

My baby is getting older. She's already kinda crawling in her own way, okay it's more like rolling. She stood up on her own today. I looked up and she had pulled herself up on one of her toys. And those darn teeth are making their way slowly out of her gums. Pretty soon she'll be talking and walking, and wrestling with Cookie.

But, there still lingers that baby smell. It's almost gone, I can feel it slowly melting away. So whenever I get a chance, I inhale her smell. There is nothing like that baby smell or that soft feel of a baby head. I catch myself rubbing her sweet little noggin, knowing that one day, without warning, that smooth baby soft down on her head will completely be gone. I rub it so often, that when we were out the other day at a cafe, another patron thought she accidentally bumped Jelly Bean while going to her table....I had to sheepishly admit, that no, there was no bumpage (I don't think that is really a word, but I'm using it anyways), I just rub it because that soft tuft will be gone soon enough.

I think once those teeth are in, I have to throw in the towel and admit that there are no more babies for us. Sometimes being a parent is bitter sweet. You look forward to all those firsts: crawling, walking, talking, riding a bike, etc. But at the same time, as each milestone is celebrated, there is a little sadness as to what had been . Memories of sweet baby kisses, where slobber and drool was cute and sweet, instead of gross and disgusting is what you have left of that time that goes too quick.

I can't wait to see what my children become, but sometimes I just want to stop time and get one last wiff.

Friday, March 26, 2010


As some of your might remember, I have blogged about the difficulty of finding friends here in Colorado when we first moved. While I consider my fellow playgroup moms my friends, I can not say they have become "bosom friends" as Anne of Green Gables would say. We all have a great connection, a great time together, and provide a certain therapy that is necessary in maintaining our sanity.

Finding that one person or couple persons to hang out with changes when one has kids. Before you were just looking for someone you individually could be friends with. With kids, you start looking for a person you like, their kids you and your kids like, and a partner, your partner likes. To find the perfect trifecta is not easy.

Last year a new mom came to playgroup with her two kiddos. Right away we seemed to connect and the kids seemed to play well together. Later, by chance our husbands met while we enjoyed a family bike ride to the park. He was there with the kids, and a connection was made. For whatever reason our families made good friends. Maybe it was that her hubby liked to ride bikes, run, exercise, and be an active outdoors guy like my hubby. Or maybe it was that our kids love each other. Kinda like cousins or brothers and sisters. At the playground the three can team up and be a force to reckon with. Or that as a couple she was more like hubby and he was more like me, so maybe we were attracted to them like we are attracted to each other.

I was optimistic that this couple was here to stay. So were they. They had been looking to buy a home for over a year.....but the economy and new loan rules made it difficult. Then two weeks ago they dropped a little bomb to stir up my world...and maybe theirs, too. They were moving back to Florida. Family issues really, but I get the vaguest feeling that they have struggled with the decision. That really they want to stay here, but family obligations have pushed them to make the move back. Of course I understand, of course I wish the best for them, but for myself, and for my Cookie, I am a little bereft. Finding them was tough. And they were good for hubby, who has a hard time making the effort to make friends. He is also very choosy as to whom he lets into his circle of friends.

I will miss my friends and I will miss the holiday dinners and the kids playing together. I wish them the best. And maybe someday, we will find another couple whom we can call friends.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Vanilla Cookies

One of the traditions my Mom used to do with us kids was to make roll out cookies for each holiday. I've never been a huge fan of her recipe, but I loved making them as a kid. She had a collection of cookie cutters for every holiday and some just for fun. Last time we visited, I exclaimed some dismay at my sister taking the Christmas ones and a book of fun activities for kids. Mom, being ever the diplomat, gave me the rest of the cookie cutters, boxing them up and shipping them to me.

Since I moved out of my parent's house, some ten years ago, I have been trying to find the perfect home made cut out cookie recipe. My brother once had a girlfriend who used to make these killer sugar cookies. When I asked for the recipe, I was surprised and delighted to find out they were from the Betty Crocker bag of Sugar Cookies. But, since having kids, I wanted to make them from scratch, not a bag. I take pride in the fact that I take the time to show my kids how to bake and cook from scratch, not just a box. I also wanted a recipe that did not have to be refrigerated, as when I want to bake, I want to do it all at once, not wait an hour or more. Maybe this is why I have not made a lot of breads, no patience for rise.

Imagine my surprise when I came across some yummy homemade cookies from my Hungarian friend. I asked for the recipe, and she obliged. Of course she had to translate the recipe from her Hungarian cookbook into English. And then I had to measure the ingredients in grams and then convert to cups for later use. But, the recipe turned out great and I am sharing it. The original recipe called for Vanilla Sugar, but I did not have any, so I substituted with real vanilla extract and I did not notice a difference in taste. These cookies are buttery, a little soft, but still have that great sugar cookie crunch and flake.

Vanilla Cut Out Cookies

2 3/4 Cups All purpose flour
2 1/2 Sticks of Butter (or 1 1/4 cups)
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
4 Egg Yolks (reserve whites to baste cookies)

Mix all ingredients together until forms a dough. Roll with flour and cut out with favorite cookie cutters. Baste with egg whites, sprinkle with sugar or sprinkles if desired. Bake 350F until golden brown.

The batch I made, I did not sprinkle with sugar or sprinkles (although maybe we should have used sprinkles, but I wanted to taste them without first). You could also frost them if desired...but that might be sugar overload.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


It is weird what some people find comfort in. For me it is food. When I am down I turn to chocolate and ice cream. When I am angry I turn to chips and dip. When I am plain worn out for some reason I want a rum and coke or a nice cheesecake. Others find comfort in books or exercise (if only).

My sweet little Cookie finds comfort in her clothes. I am not sure if this is going to be a bad or a good thing. I am comforted in the fact that she doesn't turn to food when emotionally down. Instead she wears her favorite shirt or dress. The day can be positively ruined if the shirt she wants to wear is dirty. Of course there was the infamous "Orangie" dress that was worn virtually every day for almost a year, until it started to come apart and was quite literally too small for her growing body to squeeze into. She now has four shirts in rotation that she will wear, nothing else. It makes me question why I even bothered to buy winter clothing for her, when she will only wear a shirt with a Sesame Street character on it. She won't even allow us to zip up a jacket for fear of covering her shirt.

I wish I could find solace in clothes. I wish I could experience the pure joy of finding an outfit that looked fabulous on me. I sometimes wish it could be as easy as Cookie finds it to love certain clothes. Of course, like any new parent, I had all these ideas about raising my kid. I definitely was not going to buy anything with a character on it. I caved. Only because I did not buy the first pieces. Two were hand me downs and one was a gift from her great grandma. But, slowly we caved. First it was the Big Bird shirt bought at Sea World, it was the thing she chose to get. Then it was the Cookie Monster shirt exchanged at Old Navy from a too small Christmas gift for her. And lastly it was the "C is for Charlotte" Abby Cadabby shirt I purchased so I could actually get Cookie to cooperate during pictures. Now I am trapped in merchandise hell.