Posts Tagged 'celebrations'

thanksgiving: a much overdue post

dear world,

we hosted thanksgiving dinner this year at our new house. my whole family came in for the week. both my sisters who live out of state and my grandma came down and we were joined my my mom, my uncle and his lady friend. all in all, including kids, we had 12 people!

M cooked the largest turkey we’ve ever had and as the night went on, the turkey got bigger and bigger to hear him tell the tale. it turned out beautifully!


i cooked just about everything else and i have to say i’m the most proud of the cranberry sauce. growing up, we ate the cranberry sauce that came out of the can with the little rings around it, sliced into a lovely glass serving dish. for the past couple of years, we made homemade cranberry sauce which was chunky and my family eyed it with distrust. this is not what we’re used to eating. this year, i made the ultimate compromise. homemade jellied cranberry sauce. folks ate it up.

food and wine’s cranberry sauce

i finally made something that looked like the picture.

my version

my version

then, M started to make stock with the turkey carcass, but fell asleep putting V to bed. so at the end of the night, i finished my evening quietly.

feeling thankful,



thanksgiving menu

dear world,

i rarely have time for one post, let alone two, but here we are.

this year, we are hosting thanksgiving dinner at our house. and we’ll have 12 people including the kids. yikes! it’s going to be a little nuts, but here we go. this year, i’m pretty excited about our menu. M is responsible for the turkey and gravy and i an responsible for everything else. our meal will have:

  • turkey and gravy (obviously)
  • homemade stuffing
  • mashed potatoes whipped with roasted parsnips
  • roasted brussels sprout with either shallots and balsamic vinegar or maple syrup and brown sugar (i can’t decide!)
  • roasted sweet potatoes
  • jellied cranberry sauce
  • green salad

we’ll also have 2 pre-meal options so folks can munch while we’re cooking: pears with goat cheese and arugula wrapped with proscuitto and an old-fashioned cheese ball (like we had at my grandma’s parties all those years ago.)

and pies. lots of pies. i’m making a vegan pumpkin pie and apple pie and my family is bringing even more desserts.

i cannot wait. happy thanksgiving!


potty training: not my first rodeo

dear world,

N is ready to pee on the potty. i remember before i had children and felt faintly embarrassed by discussions of potty training, peeing, pooping and all the ins and outs of making this type of transition. let’s just say i’ve moved beyond that.

sunday, we started. N would have sat on her potty for 8 hours if we let her. the novelty of having something she could do on her own and something that she really doesn’t have to share must have felt pretty good. today, i sent her to school in training pants. she only had 2 accidents! amazing.

(i should note that i packed a giant bag of extra training pants and back-up clothes for just in case which i proceeded to forget on the porch. that added about 15 minutes to my morning: drop off N, pick up clothes, drop off V, go back and drop off clothes.)

we’re rewarding with big smiles. we’re rewarding with m&m’s. we’re reading potty books together. it’s pretty much all we’re talking about right now. however, it’s working. our two favorite potty books have been a hit with both girls:

a potty for me, by karen katz

once upon a potty, by alona frankel

has anything in particular worked for you? V didn’t get rolling until at least 2 1/2. N is ready much earlier because she wants to be just like her big sister. everyone got cheers for peeing on the potty this morning.

almost done with diapers,


moving day

dear world,

we moved on monday. seriously. we put all of our stuff in boxes and paid people to pick them up, put them on a truck and unload them into a new home. (this is the first time we’ve used a moving company and it is possibly the best money i’ve ever spent.)

and now, we come home to our new home everyday. it’s kind of weird.

the kids have been amazing. V and N both love their new rooms and the house was built in 1941 so it makes a circle downstairs. they can run and run around and around. i have found and unpacked most of the necessities for daily living, but the biggest challenge is that the kitchen is about 1/3 the size of our old kitchen.

if we didn’t cook, it wouldn’t matter. but we do. we have two contractors scheduled to give us estimates on building new cabinetry to store all of our necessary stuff. like the mixer. like the stock pot. like the 6 boxes just hanging out waiting for a place to live that isn’t the basement.

it’s actually pretty lovely to be in this new home. i’m super pleased. i also really hope we don’t have to move again for 20 years.

falling into our forever house,


nervous laughter

dear world,

whenever V is being very bad or feeling very nervous or unsure or just sassy, she busts out in this high pitched, uncontrolled nervous laughter.

we are moving tomorrow and tonight is out last night in this house. last night, she fought bedtime for 2 hours including nervous laughter as well as much jumping on the bed among other poor bedtime choices. i can’t decide if she’s actually nervous and unsettled about the changes or if she’s making a choice to be naughty.

either one is perfectly plausible and equally abrasive. i’m unsettled. i didn’t sleep well last night and woke up realizing all the stuff we hadn’t packed to bring with us for our bagel blanket picnic this morning (including toilet paper!). i know it must be hard for a little person to sort through all this chaos, but as a grown up person who’s sorting through the same chaos, nervous laughter as the cherry on the sundae isn’t really helping.

feeling uneasy,


ps- i should say that i love our new house and can’t wait to get to know our new neighborhood. it’s the transition that’s a bitch.

V is 5

dear world,

V is 5. starting this past monday, we did a little birthday surprise for her everyday after school leading up to the big day on friday. nothing big, but a little something to make the week special. monday, i got her a little potted hibiscus, tuesday she got to eat wendy’s for dinner, wednesday i used duct tape to cover a gatorade bottle and make it into a watering can for her flowers, thursday we went and bought summer sandals and friday we did a pre-school something special.

we registered V for kindergarten. and she was articulate and social and smart and sweet. exactly the little girl i imagine her to be when i’m not around. she showed off the best version of her lovely 5 year old self. she felt so proud to be starting kindergarten in the fall. and i am proud of her.

saturday we held a birthday party at the playground and about 15 friends came and celebrated with her. they mostly banged around on the play equipement and then it was time for cake. mind you, we held the party at 10am so cake at 11am may be a little out of the ordinary, but here we are. we gathered up the kids, sat them around the picnic table and that’s when i realized i forgot the birthday candle.

V was such a good sport. we all sang happy birthday and she literally blew out a pretend candle. they had cake and off they went. at least i only forgot the candle and not the actual cake or something obvious.

loving my little (big) girl,


happy birthday mom!

dear world,

today is my birthday. we went out for a lovely brunch, made the obligatory trip to target for diapers, wipes, etc., and then i went out for a massage this afternoon. not too shabby. all day, V kept wishing me happy birthday and then helpfully reminding me that her birthday is next. it was kind of sweet the first 30 times. after that, it got a little old.

my best moment today, though, happened right after dinner. yesterday, V and her friend helped me bake cupcakes and today, we made frosting and i put the icing on the cupcakes and V put on the sprinkles. then, we just as we finished eating, M brought in our cupcakes. he lit the (single) candle and he and V sang happy birthday to me. the candle mesmerized N. M sang with gusto and V belted it out with the biggest smile on her face, looking at me the whole time.

feeling loved,