Showing posts from November, 2010

Library Tours

Coventry: nice selection of toys, difficult to keep an eye on the kids, locked but nearby bathrooms, password protected wifi, an annoying two year old who kept stealing toy trains from other kids. Oh, wait I guess I brought that annoying two year old.

The Holiday Spirit

I was talking to our pastor yesterday and trying to schedule a playdate for our 9 year old boys when I said something to the effect of 'after the holidays.'  I've become so politically correctified that I didn't say Christmas to one of the few people who would not be offended.  Humbug.

We are getting new carpet on Wednesday (Merry Christmas, Allan!) so we didn't decorate this weekend but Alex has added LEGO icicles and a Salvation Army bell ringer to his LEGO city.  Red ringer, white collection bucket complete with silver coins.  And he made a skating pond and attached the teeth from a ferocious beast set onto the feet of several minifigs and they really look like ice skates.

David shocked me a few weeks ago by not knowing why we celebrate Christmas so I've been working extra hard on him and he's resisting by answering, "to get presents!" and then reluctantly admitting, "because God was born."  He's doing it on purpose and I know tha…


My grandma Phyllis makes the most wonderful buns.  She has been making them since her kids were young and over the years she's perfected the recipe to the point that there is no recipe, she doesn't measure anything.  My mom and I decided we'd like to learn to make them so my mom recorded the recipe yesterday and then they had to leave abruptly  so I did what I could.  My buns look a little funny as I need to perfect the shaping but they taste great.  I can't wait to try to mix them myself.  And my boys are all bread lovers so I should be ready to try again soon.

Buns scald 1 quart of whole milk mix 2 packages yeast with 1 tsp sugar and 1/2 cup warm water add milk, yeast mixture, 4 eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, 4 tsp salt, 1/2 cup vegetable oil and blend well add 4 cups all-purpose flour and mix with a hand mixer add 5 more cups of flour and mix by hand, add another 2 1/2 cups if needed cover and let rise punch down cover and let rise punch down cover and let rise then shape into buns and …

Sad Day

Grandpa Pete died this morning. I had to send my mom and grandma home early and unfortunately can't make the funeral myself.

Thanksgiving Feast

Yesterday David's preschool put on a Thanksgiving play followed by a muffin feast.  He was very nonplussed by the whole thing.

Simple Thanksgiving Menu

Roast turkey
Mashed potatoes & gravy
Cornbread stuffing
Cranberry sauce
Spanish green beans
Pumpkin pie

Angel Cookies

½ cup white sugar ½ cup brown sugar 1 scant cup shortening 1 egg 1 tsp cream of tartar 2 cups flour 1 tsp vanilla ¾ tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda
*Roll into balls then water then smoosh down with a water glass dipped in sugar.Bake at 350˚ until lightly browned.


From Us:
Alex: LEGO sets: 10212, 8129, 10211, Hess toy truck,Six Flags season pass

David: LEGO sets: 7748, 8961, 5985, 8089, 7573, Hess truck.Six Flags season pass, a bumblebee pillow pet

Thomas: DUPLO set 5659, DUPLO Thomas, Hess truck, Play kitchen with pots & pans and play food, Thomas wooden Annie.

To Share: 4 foot long light-up LEGO display case with two pre-built Star Wars ships that somebody rescued from the trash at work

From Others:
Alex: LEGO advent calender, PJ's, 2010 uncirculated coin set, stocking stuffers from Santa, athletic pants.
David: LEGO advent calendar, PJ's, 2010 uncirculated coin set, stocking stuffers from Santa, Transformers activity book.
Thomas: Dog pillow pet, PJ's, 2010 uncirculated coin set, stocking stuffers from Santa, Thomas activity book.

To Share: Star Wars Original Trilogy on DVD

Allan & I: new family room carpet and new tires for the Accord.


My mom and I took a road trip to a really neat kitchen store.  It was a restaurant supply/gourmet kitchen store in Wallingford, CT.  My favorite find came from the restaurant supply section: this men's bathroom sign. I'm going to ask Allan to mount it on the door of the boys' bathroom.

I'm All Ears


Mr. Big Stuff

Alex is enjoying a sneak peak of the new Harry Potter movie this evening courtesy of Allan's employer.  To say he was excited would be an understatement.

B1G1 Bucks

Originally uploaded by jsslotter I'd love to treat you to a holiday bev, Goosie. November 18-21 2-5pm of course. You buy the plane ticket I'll buy the coffee.

Library Tour

Thomas, David and I are doing a Tolland county library tour.  We've been to Ellington and Somers and today I think we'll hit Rockville.   There are thirteen so we should be done by the end of January.

The best libraries have a big children's area with toys, books that can be scattered about and a comfy spot preferably near the magazine rack for an adult to park it.  Wi-fi and coffee-even better.

Ellington: tons of toys, comfy spot, coffee
Somers: some toys, comfy spot, wi-fi, children's size toilet nearby

Terrible Twos

With two weeks until his second birthday Thomas is really making the most out of the terrible twos.  He throws himself on the floor if he doesn't get his way and often hits his head on things in the process.   He's not a fan of the car or the shopping cart and I often get kicked trying to fasten him into either one.  Yet he won't hold my hand and walk along at the store so it's cart or nothing.

Thank goodness he's napping again.  And it's a good thing God makes two year olds cute.

David Passes Out Napkins

Originally uploaded by jsslotter Notice how neatly he put the remainders away.

Frostbite 5K

Originally uploaded by jsslotter Alex ran his first 5K race today. It was his idea, he started running late last summer and has been continuing at school. His time was 28:53 which beats my best time by several minutes. Allan was just a few seconds behind him and that really made Alex's day.

Hess Trucks

Originally uploaded by jsslotter I had to drive to Springfield to get the annual Hess gasoline toy trucks so I could get them in the mail in time for my nephew Gage's birthday.

David wanted to know why I bought six and I had to think fast and told him one was for Gage, Jameson, Austin (all true) and one was for Bruce, Jason and Mike (my older cousins-like I said I had to think fast) and he accepted it. I hid the remaining three trucks with the Christmas stuff and made a mental note to buy them while David is in kindergarten next year.

David-kindergarten next year!
I need a drink.

Two Dollars

Thomas hasn't napped since Monday and it's really starting to bug me. The house needed to be vacuumed really really badly and Thomas leg shackles me anytime I am standing up unless he's watching TV and he can't watch TV with the noise of the vacuum so I got a grand idea and streamed a Thomas the Tank Engine on the iPad and paid Alex $2 to snuggle with Thomas. David offered his services for free, ha ha. After an hour I had the house vacuumed, mopped and a plan for dinner and they're still up in David's room. I wonder who'll be the first to fall asleep.

And David doesn't wear shirts, shoes or socks at home.  When Alex was his age he also refused pants so he'd walk around in just his underwear and pretend to be Mowgli from the Jungle Book.  My mom sewed him a loincloth which I'm saving just in case Thomas decides not to wear pants when he's four.


I use my phone for just about everything. I can't use it for making lists. Yes, it would be nice to have something I won't lose, and yes there is probably an app that'll let me electronically cross things off my list but I love my paper lists too much. Especially my monthly magnetic grocery lists. Except in January, June, and August because I lost those ones.


I found a birthdays index card that my mom had made me a very long time ago and I found it very interesting to compare the way both sets of my grandparents had five kids but did it in two very different ways. Look at the age gaps between the kids. My parents were the ones born in Jan 53, their birth order also gives me some perspective into their personalities. My dad didn't know his sister born in '48 because she died at age five.

My dad's parents 6/19/13 & 12/4/12
son 8/29/36
dtr 11/2/38
dtr 9/19/48
son 1/31/53
dtr 3/24/55

My mom's parents 11/9/24 & 2/17/27
son 10/10/50
dtr 1/24/53
dtr 7/8/55
dtr 6/25/57
son 8/4/60

Ow, Charlie!

It is with a heavy heart that I had to delete my 'Charlie Bit Me' app due to repeat crashes. Now I'm forced to listen to my boys' terrible British accents as they reenact the video. I think we are responsible for at least 1,000 views over the years. Allan had never seen it and I dared him to watch without cracking a smile and I won.


We celebrated Allan's birthday this weekend. I've posted the recipes here for his favorites-Chicken and Crackers and Aunt Elda's chocolate cake. Here is David frosting the cake and pictures of the final dish.


Allan and I both wanted an iPad so we decided if we combine both our birthdays and Christmas gifts to each other we could get the entry level machine. And since I recently got a Target Red Debit card I get 5% off all purchases at Target so we bought it.

And we love it!

Allan really wanted it to read books and magazines and blogs at night. I prefer 'real' books but I would love something that I can use in the living room while the boys play afoot so I'm giving him custody when he's not at work and I have custody during the weekdays.

My favorite thing so far is streaming Netflix. I can start a movie on the iPad, pick it up from where I left off on my iPhone and later watch the end on the Wii on our TV downstairs. Here is a list of recommended documentaries from a blog that I read. We've seen 'Spirit of the Marathon' which was very cool, we watched it the weekend before my half marathon. I refuse to watch Food, Inc. because I'd rather be an ostrich…

Clearance Costumes

One of my favorite parts of early November. That and leftover candy.
Our model is sporting "Boba Fett" priced at just $10 at Target, originally $40. The helmet bothers his head so I'm doubly glad I didn't spend much.


How many posts about laundry can one blog have? Since it's a big part of what I do, at least one more.

I have three options. I used to try to do a load or two a day, plucking a certain color family from the hampers until I had the right amount. Advantages to this method:
It never gets overwhelming and I can prioritize on the fly. Disadvantages: I'm putting away clean piles everyday and I can always find a reason to only do one load per day. Sheets never get done this way unless somebody has an accident.

When Thomas was born, my mom sold me on her method: twice a week sort and wash everything. Advantages: designating one extra day as sheets and towels day and I have four laundry free days a week. Also, there are never any missing socks (friendless as Allan calls them) because everything in the hamper gets washed. Disadvantages: I hate laundry days with a passion. And we usually have only one load of reds and three loads of darks per week and this is hard to divide by t…

Honey, I'm Home

Allan's on his way home. Time to freshen my face, tidy up the children and set my troubles aside so I can focus on his day. #sarcasm


I told Allan I want a mop for Christmas and he laughed and told me just to buy it, that mops are not for Christmas. So I did! It's the Rubbermaid Reveal mop and it squirts your own solution and you wash and reuse the pad. So far I love it.

I made the first solution from their website:

Cleaning Solution 1 (works well on hardwood floors)
2 tablespoons ammonia
½ cup white vinegar
½ teaspoon of baby shampoo
Fill the rest with hot water.

Cleaning Solution 2 (perfect for glazed tiles, vinyl, soft tile, cement, brick, and laminate)
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2-3 drops liquid soap
Fill the rest with hot water.

Cleaning Solution 3 (great for unglazed tiles, marble, stone, and slate)
2 tablespoons baking soda
2-3 drops liquid soap
Fill the rest with hot water.

Cleaning Solution 4 (also works well on hardwood floors)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Fill the rest with hot water.