Winter…Argh!

Is it spring yet?! I am so over winter. Between a constant string of illnesses and 850 ft (slight exaggeration) of snow, I am beyond ready for the warmer weather. We’re all fighting what I can only hope is our last cold of the season. I can’t wait to go grocery shopping and come back with just food…instead of the plethora of germs to accompany my broccoli.

The poor kids are going stir-crazy. We’ve only been outside to play a handful of times because of how nasty it’s been. Last week, we got out more than we have all winter. Stupid Canada.

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This was Piggle’s first winter being able to tobaggan. As much as he loves it, I’m starting to understand why adults made excuses not to go when I was a kid. Dragging his arse up a steep hill in thigh-high snow is less than enjoyable.

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Sometimes he does the work, but usually, it ends like this:

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I’ll be so glad when we can go outside without spending an hour getting dressed for the weather. That’s probably the worst part about winter. I fucking hate mittens. Seriously. Could it be anymore impossible to get a toddler’s thumb in the damn hole?! We’ve tried everything—including singing some bizarre mitten-putting-on song, but nothing works unless Piggle wants it to—which is rare.

Then of course there’s the one screaming kid who is boiling to death inside of a snowsuit because the other is refusing to get dressed. Argh! I need to move to the Bahamas.

Because the weather has been shit and/or I am not expending the insane amount of patience and energy required in getting them in their gear and/or we’ve been sick, we’ve needed to come up with fun indoor activities to keep us from losing it completely. 

Piggle is a fan of repetition,  so his day generally consists of cooking pretend food, baking real food (which my thighs have taken the brunt of), coloring, and puzzles.

Holy shit. Puzzles. This kid must be a genius. He’s 2, and he can throw together a 48 piece puzzle in under 5 minutes (2 hours if the tv is on). I kid you not. Maybe he has them memorized, but it’s still incredible to see!  I’m glad it’s something constructive that occupies him. Could be way worse!

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We set up a ball pit, too! The kids played in it every day for hours on end…but I got really tired of finding those stupid balls everywhere, so it’s gone away until next winter—and even then, it’ll be my last resort!

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I started some DIYing to keep myself occupied during nap times. I am addicted now! Aside from the odd thing here and there, I refuse to buy anything new. I go to different thrift stores at least once a week. I’d like to think it’s a healthy, creative addiction, but my wallet and the obscene amount of gaudy picture frames littering my house might disagree.

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My house is still a desperate work in progress, but not much can really be done until we rip up my no-longer-white carpets. That should be happening in the next month or two. Yay for no more stains!

Piggle has helped out with a few of my decorating projects, and he seems to really enjoy it. Putting screws in holes can occupy him for hours!! He put all of the hardware back on the dresser above— I tightened it of course, but he’s really got a knack for it! He even figured out the drill before I did (and yes, I’m embarrassed by that).

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Sequel hasn’t done anything ultra-spectacular. Just the normal baby stuffs. She’s almost crawling and eats her weight in food at every meal.

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The child is a behemoth. Again, I say: preemie, who?!

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Unlike Piggle, Sequel is a huge fan of messes, and she’s really good at making them. I found applesauce on my front door the other day. She was on a different floor of the house and still managed to get it down there. I repeat. She’s mastered messes.

The other day, I decided to give her a chance to hone her talent away from the dinner table.

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It started out with a few tablespoons of flour, and as you can see, I tried to contain the disaster as much as possible…but I gave up.

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I was worried about her eating the flour and it gluing her mouth shut (hey! It’s a legitimate fear…you should see what it did to my floor!)

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But she only took one bite, realized it was gross, and proceeded to demolish my kitchen.

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I’ve never seen anyone so excited by a bowl of flour!

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She kept at it for an hour and a half while i made dinner and chatted with her.

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If it wasn’t such a pain to clean up, I’d probably let her do it every day!

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The baby de-flouring was a blast, too!

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Of course, Piggle wanted in on that action! In fact, he hasn’t had a bath anywhere but the sink since. He begs me for it. I can’t imagine it’s comfortable, but he loves it!

As much fun as we’ve been able to have inside, though, I am more than ready for it to be over! That said, I’m sure wrangling two kids at the park will be an adventure and a half! I’m a bit terrified, to be honest.

And with that, I leave you with wishes for warm weather all around!  Hopefully we’ll all be enjoying some much needed sunshine soon!

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Martha-Meets-Betty

Wow, time has flown! I didn’t realize it had been so long since my last post! Things have been hectic around here. Holidays with young children are a fucking gong show. Between travelling to and from family get togethers and not napping, my two were complete write offs by boxing day!

Despite the chaos of overtired babies and the obscene amount of ingested sugar, we made it through! I even got a kickass gift out of it!

I’ve wanted a stand mixer for as long as I can remember. I love to bake, but I’m terribly lazy, so holding a hand mixer just seemed like a chore. Plus, when Piggle came along and started helping out in the kitchen, I realized how much easier (and far less messy) a fancy mixer would make things.

Husband surprised me with one on Christmas day. I was thrilled, and I’ve used it every single day since.

After the Great Sugar Crash of 2013, as I like to call it, I decided it was time to get Piggle’s eating habits back on track. What better way to do so than by whipping up some homemade deliciousness! 

I threw together enough kale-and-broccoli-packed quiche to feed an army, blueberry flax muffins, guacamole, and some breads. Today, I even attempted bagels…and my fucking god, are they ever good! Every bagel I’ve ever eaten up to this point was a lie! These are the real deal, and I’m having an incredibly difficult time saving enough for Piggle and Sequel to munch on!!!

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They may not look pretty, but they are mind-shatteringly delicious!

Super easy to make, and Piggle even helped pour all of the ingredients in—-WITHOUT showering my kitchen in the usual pre-stand mixer flour explosion!

I tweaked the recipe from Cats and Casseroles, and when I break my scale tomorrow morning, you can bet I’ll be blaming her!

Bageliciousness

1 c warm water (110 degrees)
2 1/4 tsp (1 .25oz pkg) active dry yeast
2 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 quarts water (for boiling)
1 tbsp sugar
1 egg white

1. In a the bowl for your stand mixer, dissolve yeast and sugar in the water. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, until your yeast becomes foamy.

2. Add in the flour and salt. With the dough hook of a stand mixer, mix on the lowest speed until the dough comes together and cleans the sides of the bowl. If needed, add more flour a tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed a little and let the machine kneed the dough for about 2 minutes.

3. Place dough ball in a large, greased bowl. Let dough rise in a warm environment until it doubles, about an hour.

4. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut into six equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and pinch the edges of the rope closed to form a circle. To seal the pinch, slip the bagel over your fingers and roll it around a bit, pinch side down. Let newly formed bagels rise again for about an hour (I just cover them with a towel and leave them on my counter top for this step).

5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large stockpot, bring water to a boil. Add sugar. Drop a bagel into the boiling water. Boil for 30 seconds, turn over, and boil for another 30 seconds. Place on paper towels to drain. Repeat this step with remaining bagels.

6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle cornmeal over the paper. Place bagels on the baking sheet. Brush with the egg white. If desired, sprinkle on poppy seeds or kosher salt.

7. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until bagels turn a golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and store in an air-tight container.

See? Easy-peasy!

Even if you don’t have a stand mixer, you can probably whip these together fairly easily…the kneading will be a pain in the ass, but at least you’ll work off some of the calories you’ll consume when you scarf back the whole batch!

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This may or may not have been my third bagel in under an hour…

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And even Sequel agrees that they’re delicious!  Just look at that “these-are-no-fucking-joke” face!!!!

Husband keeps calling me Martha-Meets-Betty…I guess it’s true because I plan to make butter next…don’t you judge me!

Holiday Crafts for Preschoolers

Boy, oh boy, have we been busy lately! I seem to have caught a crafting bug— I blame Pinterest. I went on looking for a pancake recipe, and four hours later, I emerged with a plethora of Christmas-y crafts for Piggle and I to do!

I think the most popular one floating around is the salt-dough ornaments. For those of you not aware of them, they’re the easiest thing in the world. You cannot fuck these up!

All you need is:

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