getting colder

the weather has officially shifted. we can no longer walk the streets of brooklyn unbundled without seriously regretting the decision. so, the coats and hats and gloves have come out of storage and onto the big and little bodies around here. a few days into the cold, eve began requesting a scarf. ruth soon joined in. after two weeks of being reminded (scolded?) by my daughters i got to work making the scarves, in the laziest ways possible. instructions below:

scarf #1: find abandoned, half-finished scarf wadded up in the bottom corner of yarn/knitting bag. stick needles in one last time to cast off properly. sew on largest button you have and fasten around daughter's neck. 


scarf #2. think back to when you made a scarf for your sister-in-law four christmases ago. recycle exact same idea. get a bunch of yarn, cut into strands at desired length. holding all strands together, sew back and forth at desired intervals with whatever color(s) of thread you have near your sewing machine. wrap around daughter's neck.

feel really good about yourself. you might have been lazy, but you've just made scarves two scarves in less than an hour. and that's something. 




"you are my favorite robot maker helper, dad. i super super 'cited you making robots with me, dad. you are my really favorite."

is there anything better than a three-year-old in a paper-bag-turned-robot-costume, talking in her best robot voice and walking her very stiffest robot walk with her dad first thing on a weekday morning? 


just before bed tonight, eve and ruth, clad in the newest robot costumes (cardboard boxes, we upgraded) ran at, smashed into and literally bounced off of each other over and over and over. robot war. everyone made it to bed unharmed, but now this song (which has been in my brain for well over a year now) is playing on a continuous loop. . . i think maybe i need to make a robot mix so we can have a robot dance party. with a couple more deliveries from UPS we'll have enough costumes for a little civilization. . . add some music, several little bodies and it will be total robotic chaos. could be great. 





last weekend

wow. two weeks have gone by quickly. between each of us taking turns being sick, chip taking a week off from work (yay!) and (what feels like) a billion school activities, we've been busy and distracted and having fun.

soon after the election eve began asking questions about the president-elect; does he know i voted for him? (in her pre-k class), can he come to our house? when can i see him? once she realized he would not be making a personal visit to brooklyn, she decided that we really needed to go see where he was going to live. a break from life sounded great so we happily gave in to her requests, packed up and drove down to d.c. this past weekend. 


eve's letter to her future president. mild frustration when she was told she wouldn't be able to deliver in person.

a stop outside philadelphia to see some great friends and revel in the last, and possibly most shockingly beautiful, bit of fall.  


cousins in d.c.. the girls fell in love. complete break down and several minutes of sobbing when we drove away. 


and of course, there was the white house. seen hundreds of feet away and through a fence, the girls weren't as taken by it as anticipated. eve just wanted to go inside, and ruth just wanted to run away. i think our next visit, which will involve a tour inside this "super big white place" will live up to all the hype. if not, i might be dealing with some seriously disillusioned patriots. 



this post is dedicated to my mother, who continually states her dismay (horror, even?) that she has not only managed to raise a "liberal" daughter but that that daughter is raising a liberal of her own. but really, my preference out of it, there is no way mr. obama could avoid becoming a hero to this girl- his picture is everywhere in our neighborhood and he has two little girls.


a great day

today ruthie turned three. 

today molly, my brand new and beautiful niece, lived her first full day of life.

today i couldn't stop smiling as i thought of the cheers, the honking and the shouting in the streets that kept me up all last night.

this was a really great day.  


happy halloween!

a full day already, and the fun has just begun. while the biggest bat plays at school, her bat sister colors spooky portraits (and sings a song to herself whose only lyrics are "poopy mommy". . . she really loves me), and the little bat baby rests up for the second round, which is set to begin in just over an hour.

hope your halloween is as full of as much sugar as ours! (yikes).  


update: a local kids shop was offering "professional polaroids" today. strait after school i took my bats in. i could not be happier. aren't these great? now i feel like i need a professional photographer to follow us around every day, preferably with a wagon-full of polaroid film.

after our very long and very festive day, the littles are in bed and i'm thinking the only right thing to do is to throw in the watcher in the woods. if you are not lucky enough to own the dvd, borrow it from someone (i can't be the only one that owns it. . ). the alternative endings are insane and so awesome. 




for the past eight years the saturday before halloween has meant one thing and one thing only: the park slope ward chili/pie cook off. four times i have entered my favorite key lime pie and four times i've walked away empty-handed. but not this year, this year it finally happened. i took in my pie and walked away from the evening and the church with this:


it's a little embarrassing and a lot ridiculous, but it feels really good to have this apron. clearly, winning is fun and feeds my carefully repressed competitiveness, but the best part is that now i can move on. i can let go of the crazy compulsion i felt to keep shoving this pie in the judges' faces year after year after year. it has gotten it's shout-out and now i am free to make a different pie, or no pie at all. maybe i can figure out a good chili recipe, or maybe not and instead spend all my energy in the always last-minute costume making of the day. (bats this year, and they're so cute).

i am kicking myself for not getting a picture of the pies before they were consumed. sitting among the twenty-two other entries, my pie was simple and lovely, but the pie that really needed documenting was an apple pie, the upper crust of which was decorated with a pie-crust silhouette of joseph smith. oh, i loved it. . .

even though i am picture-less know that this has always been a delicious and easy pie, and now it's a prize-winner. so, make it and be happy. 


Key Lime Pie

6 large egg yolks

6 tsp grated lime zest

whisk yolks and zest until greenish. then add:

1.5 can sweetened condensed milk

mix. then add:

3/4 c fresh lime juice, strained

mix and let stand at room temperature to thicken, usually just a few minutes. 

pour into 9" graham cracker crust (you can buy to make it easier on yourself, but homemade is always better)

bake at 325 for 15-18 minutes, until center is set.

cool completely and top with fresh, homemade whipped cream. garnish with lime zest or sugared, super thin lime slices. 



fall in new york means a lot of things to me, all of which are pure magic. but before they really begin to manifest themselves one thing needs to happen. applesauce. 

for the fourth year running i made my way over to a dear friend's brownstone and spent eight hours cutting, smashing, cranking, pouring and steaming. by the end of the day we had 72 quarts of applesauce to show for our tired, sweaty selves. my 20 precious quarts of gorgeous pink goodness will be rationed throughout the coming year until the magic begins all over again. 




the big green book

two facts: chip is really good at drawing and i am really not very good. 

over the years as i've lamented the fact that i cannot make a decent looking animal chip has told me that i should get Ed Emberley's Big Green Drawing Book. it helped him as a child, it could certainly help me. 

two weeks ago on a trip to the library the girls and i came home with the big green book. the Drawing Book of Faces followed a few days later. making a horse that actually resembles a horse (as opposed to a flinstones-esque dinosaur) has never been easier. for myself or eve, who has been able to follow the simple step-by-step instructions all on her own. 



in addition to the wonderfully clear and simple instructions, mr. emberley's sense of humor has us all chuckling (or roaring in doubled-over laughter if your name is eve and you are now fully immersed in the world of pre-k humor). i think it is about time we made these books a part of our collection, the vintage editions if possible. i'm not sure it gets better than that first cover. 


(i'm withholding my own drawings. while i was really pleased with myself, i think it is really much more widely impressive that a four-year-old can draw a unicorn made mostly of circles than her 29 year old mom. . .)




wedding attire

as of friday, chip's littlest -and youngest- sister is a married woman. mim was stunning, martin was handsome, the weather was perfect and everyone was beaming. 

the girls can't stop talking about it. 

ruthie: "remember mim's married dress? ya, dat was really really pretty. and white."  

eve: "i liked martin's flower. but i caught lots of flowers when mim threw them. so, bonus points for me."  

i can't stop thinking about the happiness of beginnings. . . sigh. . .

beyond moral support, making mim's hair pins and some minor altering of the wedding dress, my main responsibility was getting myself and my family dressed in fall colors. orange dress for me, plaid dresses for the girls plaid pants for charlie. . . i'm one scary step away from making all of us match all the time. . . chip could look pretty great in a homemade plaid suit. . .

throughout the entire day- from the manhattan temple to central park's sheep's meadow to soho's i tre merli- the plaid served us well. but the real beauty of these dresses is that at any moment they could have been turned inside out for a whole new look. ruthie's is reversible! eve's is reversible too but as the maiden attempt i kept it really calm and her reverse side is a little more hausfrau compared to ruth's party girl. i'm going to have a hard time just making a regular dress again. two for one! no self-respecting daughter of my mother's passes on a two-for-one deal. . .   

but, while the newlyweds are honeymooning in the tetons i'm taking a few more days to catch my breath and stay away from any new projects. i'm also going to try my very very hardest to forget all the "it seems like just yesterday miriam was eve's age" or "it will be here for you so much faster than you realize." comments. ugh. . .  i can hardly handle how big they are already. maybe i'll just have more photoshoots with ruthie because the attempts to photograph this charmingly unreasonable little girl drag on forever. 


++ first photo courtesy of joshua brown photography


eight years ago

we became a family of two. now we are a family of five.

chip, you were right. if we would have been able to see all of this when we were first together in college we would have been so excited. because even now, right in the middle of it, whenever i take a minute to really look around and see our life i am amazed. i love you. i love all that we can call ours. . . . . except for the mouse. i do not love that elusive mouse. 

here's to love, marriage, babies and the millions of things in between that have made up the substance of our life together.