Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Double Chocolate Peanut Oatmeal Cake Mix Cookies

Cadence and I needed a fun activity during Piper's mid-day nap yesterday, so we made cookies.  Cadence likes to help stir.  These were easy and super yummy.  They're moist and chewy and not too sweet.  My friend Kat makes awesome cake mix cookies, and I had a cake mix on hand, so we went from there.  I added chocolate chips, oatmeal, and peanuts...

You know you want to make some, so here's what you need:

1 box Devil's Food cake mix
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup lightly salted roasted peanuts, chopped sorta fine in the food processor

Mix above ingredients together.  If batter is too thick, add a few tsps of water (that's what I had to do).  Drop by rounded teaspoon (I use my ice cream scoop) onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.  Let cool on pan for a minute, then cool on wire racks. 

This makes a ton of cookies - I filled 3 cookie sheets - we'll try not to eat them all in the next 2 days!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Piper is 4 weeks old...

Oh my goodness, this month has flown by.  Of course, I'm exhausted, but we're happy and things are going okay.  Cadence is still usually a good helper, just sad that I can't always play with her.  Piper is becoming much more alert and, well, more calm about things.  She seems to be getting used to us.
To celebrate her 4 weeks, I made her wear handknits.  This headband with a little flower...

and these little slippers (made following this pattern), which did not fit her long, skinny feet entirely well. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Piper Update

Piper has a great big sister. Though Cadence is clearly getting less of our attention - her most frequent phrase now is probably some variation on "will you play with me?" - she is definitely not blaming Piper and is very happy to  help with bathing or diaper changes or play time.

Piper is three weeks old now.  She likes to try to hold her head up.  She likes to watch Cadence.  She's still wearing newborn clothes and we only moved up to size 1 diapers because we have a gazillion of them and we ran out of the newborn ones.  She seems to have two particularly fussy times - somewhere around 5-6 pm and 2-4 am.  Not particularly convenient.  We introduced a pacifier at 2 weeks and she's a fan.  She took her first bottle on Sunday like a champ (we wanted to introduce it before she got to old to get used to one), but I am so relieved to be able to pump just when I want to, not out of necessity like with Cadie when I was working full-time. 

I'm on my own with the girls today after 3+ weeks of grandmother help, and so far we are doing fine. I didn't get to take a nap, but I did get laundry folded and put away. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


My Grandma went to heaven on Monday.  Her passing is so very different from when Grandpa was killed in 2005.  She died peacefully and we were prepared. My dad and my aunt were with her, holding her hands.  She had lived a long, wonderful life, and, as my dad said, she had "no regrets".  I think it's amazing to have no regrets, and I hope that when I am in my nineties I can say that too.  When I think about Grandma, I think she had 3 special qualities that enabled her to have such a great life.

She was adventurous, and, I think, brave.  She and my Grandpa were world travellers, but they also truly lived all over the world.  She grew up in New York City, a little priveleged.  (She used to say that during the Great Depression, her father told her mother to start shopping at a cheaper department store.  Her mother discovered that she could buy more things for less money, so Grandma got even more clothes!)  They lived in Hawaii, England, and Indonesia during Grandpa's military career.  To live in Indonesia for 3 years while raising kids is pretty gutsy.  Though they loved their routines, I don't think my grandparents hesitated to try a new adventure, whether it be a trip to someplace new, building a mountain cabin, or managing an orange grove.

She was smart.  No one in my family was terribly impressed that I got a graduate degree, because 3 out of 4 of my grandparents had one!  The way Grandma told it, she got her master's degree while Grandpa was flying planes in the Pacific during WWII, partly because she didn't have anything better to do.  That says something about her, that she would choose to go to school during that hard time when he was away.  She read voraciously, and loved games and crossword puzzles.  She used to say something about not having a decent game of Scrabble without a score of at least 300.  I don't think I've ever broken 175.  A few months ago, my aunt accused Grandma of not being truthful about her health, and Grandma wouldn't admit to lying, but she did say she might prevaricate a little.  If you weren't sure what that word meant either, click it for the definition.  She was also smart (and very frugal) with her money.  Because of that, she was able to give to others, especially me - providing funds I used to help buy my first car, go to college debt-free, and buy our first home.

She was faithful.  Like I said earlier, Grandma liked her routines and rituals.  Part of that was her relationship with God, and the time she spent in prayer and bible study.  Whenever I spoke with her she told me she was praying for me, and I know she was.  She used to speak fondly of her college years because she got to go to chapel every day.  (I don't know about you, but when I think of college, even my experience at a Christian college, I don't think of chapel as a huge highlight.)  The decades she spent seeking our Father are inspiring to me.  She was also a faithful wife to my Grandpa, pleased to be his companion and friend, teasing him, cooking for him, challenging him in card games.

I won't be able to go to the funeral on Friday, being that it's in Florida and we've got a new baby here.  I'm sad about that, but I'm going to do my best to honor Grandma by being like her in whatever ways I can, and by teaching my girls to learn from her life: choosing to be adventurous, smart, and faithful.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

More crafting for Piper

I appliqued this flower on the little kimono top before Piper came.  Then I made the little headband (using this tutorial) from an old t-shirt and sewed two yo-yos from the same fabric as the flower.  Topped off with a button.  Fancy baby girl!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Cadence entertains Piper

Helping with a diaper change

Demonstrating how toys work

Piper was incredibly interested


Reading a book, which Cadence's calls something like "All God's Animals are Family on the Farm"

Singing Nursery Rhymes - we're building early literacy here people