Monday, June 30, 2008

My baby's growing up, sniff, sniff

My five year old lost her first tooth today. I can't believe how big she's getting! It was a little earlier than I think it would have naturally been, due to some loosening in an unfortunate jumping out of a tree incident earlier in the year (ah, 4 year olds...). But it's gone, and it looks as though the permanent tooth is growing right in. And she starts kindergarten in the fall. She's starting to read, and she wants to write things all the time (in her own sometimes hard to decipher version of English), and she's become such a good swimmer. And she's just so big and brave now - she went right off to half day camp without a backward look, and she wants to play with any kid her age that she finds, stranger or not. It's all so amazing to me.

And yet to me, it doesn't seem that long ago that she looked like this:
It's hard to believe.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Zucchini Part II

The zucchini pictured below weren't even the biggest of the crazy zucchini growing in our garden. So, I've been baking a lot of zucchini bread. As mentioned below, I was doing some experimenting to make it a little more healthy. I think I've got a pretty good recipe now - it's still not super fab for you, probably, but it isn't too bad.

And in the last batch, I learned you can add food processed carrots and spinach to zucchini bread, and no one will notice! A good lesson. The previous batch I learned that even if you accidentally substitute Chinese 5 spice powder for cinnamon, your children will still eat it. But if you're me, you won't think it smells very good. :)

So, in case anyone is interested, here's the current recipe:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup sugar
1/2 blended banana
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup blended/food processed carrots and spinach in whatever proportion you want (I was guessing with this - I think you could add a little more if you wanted to, but it might be more noticeable)
1 cup chopped walnuts (I love it with these, but my kids won't eat it, so mostly I leave them out)

1. Grease and flour two 8x4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
3. Beat eggs, oil, applesauce, vanilla, sugar and banana together in a large bowl. Add the flour mixture and beat well. Stir in the zucchini, other vegetables, and nuts until well mixed. Pour into the pans.
4. Bake 50-55 minutes, until tester in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool.
5. Enjoy!

Note: I had to edit this recipe a bit. Although the original version tasted fine, it got really gross after a couple of days. I just tried a new version tonight, and I think it's better.


For the past couple of years, ever since we moved into this house, we've had trouble with water leaking behind the tiles in our shower. We kept recaulking it, but it finally got so bad that water leaked down into the kitchen below. Uh-oh. So, we decided that we needed to repair or replace the tiles. But once Ies looked behind the tiles and underneath the flooring, we realized that repairing wasn't going to be an option. This was going to be a complete renovation of the bathroom.

So, we started the renovations this weekend. He and I spent Saturday tearing everything out of the bathroom, down to the studs on one wall, and including about half of the floor. The process mostly went pretty smoothly, aside from when Ies had to cut a small hole in our hallway in order to access the pipes to get the bathtub out. Grr, stupid speed demon crappy 1980's builders....

So this is what a bathroom looks like without anything in it:
Today, Ies put down the floor, so there's no rotten wood anymore. Yay! And we worked out stripping off the ugly wallpaper that "decorated" the bathroom and our bedroom. Sadly, it was NOT the wallpaper that comes off in big strips. I think removing the wallpaper is going to take the same amount of time as removing everything else did! We're going to have to hire someone to do it in our bedroom - the amount of time it would take us is just depressing. So, that's not quite done - maybe tomorrow.

However, we did do a fantastic thing, which is pick out a lovely, comfy looking, deep soaking tub. So I'll be able to take long baths with a book and some lush bath bombs - my favorite! :) I'm really looking forward to that - the old tub was insanely uncomfortable, so it's been a while since that's been fun.

And the process of doing this is kick-starting us into finally doing some more decorating of the rest of the house, which is also A Good Thing. So, more pictures will come eventually, once the putting back together part starts.

Monday, June 16, 2008


I used to love baking. Breads, cookies, rolls, whatever - I just enjoyed it. I've fallen mostly out of the habit lately (except for my random need to make cookies in the winter when it's cold and rainy out). Maybe it's just as well for my waistline. But, my lovely husband is growing a crop of enormous zucchini in our backyard garden - take a look:

That's one whole and one half - HALF! - next to my TIVO remote. They're crazy. And there are more coming. So, today the girls and I baked some zucchini bread. I have this great recipe I got off of years ago (found here: I left the walnuts out of one loaf, since the kids don't like chunks in their breads, and it was a huge hit. M said "It's a good thing it doesn't have zucchini in it". I think maybe she missed the point.... ;) So, I think I'm going to try to alter the recipe so that it's a wee bit healthier, but still tasty, and then bake a whole lot more zucchini bread to use up some of our crop. Good thing it freezes!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dolly Clothes

So, for her 5th birthday, my older daughter decided she wanted an "American doll". Well, actually, she wanted the Target version. Anyway, we got her the dolly, and I thought that Emily Samantha (as she's now named) needed some additional clothes. Happily, I had some fabric leftover from some earlier projects, so Emily can match my daughter with a ballerina dress and some lovely pajamas:

Sorry, I don't have any shots of the PJs.

I'm loving the doll clothes, though. They're super quick and easy. I have a Simplicity pattern that I based them off of, and then I can just zip them through the serger. And the finishing can be as lazy as you want, because they're only going to be worn by a doll. I think Emily's going to end up with a lot more clothes after I get through some other projects!

Welcome to the Blogosphere!

Actually, I hate the word blogosphere. It's completely goofy. But, hey, I'm finally giving in and starting a blog, so I guess I'm now a part of it. (First Facebook, now a blog - I'm busily joining the collective...)

Anyway, welcome to my ramblings about my crafts, my kids, and my life in general!