Friday, April 30, 2010

Birthday girl

She turned one yesterday! It seems like it has gone by so fast, but honestly, sometimes it seems like all the kids' first years have blurred together. Does that make me a bad mom? I choose to think not. :)

I guess Betty wanted to get a jump on her birthday, so she woke up at 5:30 a.m. Only about, oh, 2.5 hours before she normally does. Eh. So, after a while when it became clear that she was not going to fall back asleep after I brought her into our bed, we got up and went to the grocery store, just the two of us.

We had a good time.

We didn't have a big party, just cake and balloons with a few friends I called up that morning and asked if they wanted to come over for cake. We'll celebrate again with my family in a few weeks when my mom gets back from her globetrotting adventures (Israel, France, Italy, Germany...lucky).

It was cute to see how much attention Betty got from her siblings. They were so excited it was her birthday!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Home again

We got the kids these cute little t-shirts in NYC. They were practically giving them away - eight for $10. Seriously.

This photo makes me afraid for the teen years.

Viv wasn't actually grumpy here - she was totally posing. I think she may have a career on the stage.

It's good to be home. These kids crack me up.

More NYC

So, I haven't been able to post photos of our last day in NYC until now for a variety of reason (bad internet connections, camera not in my possession, etc.) but here they are.

This is a shot of the bakery case at Crumbs, a popular bakery chain in New York. They certainly had a wide selection of cupcakes (with the calorie content posted by each one...yikes), and the two we sampled were very tasty, but...can I say this without sounding obnoxious? The kind I make at home are better. At least I will say that about the two chocolate cupcakes we tried.

Still...yummy. I'm bummed that we didn't make it to the other bakeries we wanted to get to (Magnolia and Billy's) but really. You can't do EVERYTHING in NYC.

I sort of like this shot of Curtis with the buildings in the background. Very city. It reminds me that New York has more people that Rumford. Just a few.

Super-duper yummy street food. I wish I could make chicken like this. I don't even know what's in it but I loved it.

We spent quite a while at the Museum of Modern Art, too. There was an exhibit there with some performance artist involving a lot of naked people doing strange stuff. For example: to get through one of the entrances to the exhibit you had to squeeze between a naked dude and a naked chick who were staring at each other, expressionless. Hmm. We passed on that. In fact, Mary and I opted out of the majority of that exhibit. Mary, who does not like most modern art, pronounced it "garbage." I felt that it was perhaps a case of the emperor's new clothes (literally - a lot of nekkid going on) and Curtis's take was that it was interesting in that it had the potential to spark conversation and debate.

This shot shouldn't be too controversial. Just me in front of a painting with good color.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Burgers, ribbons, a quasi-celebrity spotting

First off, isn't this a fine sight first thing in the morning? Parker off to work. How would you like it if this guy showed up at your door and said "Hi! My name is Parker and I'll be your mover today!"
We had another good day. Mani-pedis in the a.m with Mary (Curtis opted out and went exploring for a few hours - probably a good choice) then a little shopping at New York Cake and Bake (cake decorating/baking supply store - AWESOME). I can't believe Curtis missed THAT, too. I'm sure he was really bummed not to have hooked back up with us in time to enjoy that shop. There were so many cute cupcake papers and sanding sugars to pore over. And really, if you know Curtis at all, you know there is nothing that man loves better than a good selection of adorable cupcake papers.
We also had lunch at the Shake Shack which has become a New York institution. Verrrry good burgers, fries and shakes.

As we were finishing up, Eli Kirshtein, a contestant on Top Chef, Season 6 showed up and sat right behind Curtis. I liked Eli on the show, I thought he was a strong contender, so I whipped out the camera and "took a picture of Curtis."
Hm. I think Eli might have known I was really taking his picture. What do you think? (You can't see so much in a photo this small, but he's actually staring right into the camera.)
After burgers and fries we went to the Empire State building, where it was really windy, but cool to see the whole city. Thanks for the tickets, Henrik and Lara!
Then, Mary and Curtis indulged me in a visit to Tinsel Trading Co., purveyors of fine ribbons and trims, many of them vintage.
I would have spent a considerably longer time in this store but I wanted Curtis and Mary to still love me at the end of the day.

It's a lovely store.
Dinner was at Rachel and Ilan's place in Brooklyn. I forgot to take pictures of their adorable kids before they went to bed, but did get one of Rachel and I.

There's just something about a friend you've had since you were six years old or however old we were when we first met at Damariscotta Beach. I have about four girlfriends I know I will keep in touch with for the rest of my life and Rachel is one of them.
As it turns out, with all the fun stuff we did today, dinner at Rachel and Ilan's was by far the winner, for both Curtis and I.

Tomorrow, the MoMA and a cupcake tour of New York!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Martha's nice!

Or at least she seems so! That was the surprise of the Martha show - it appeared that she actually was pleased to see her audience and seemed to care if people were having a good time - even off camera! She also seemed to have a sense of humor and appeared to be pretty nice to the people she was working with. So, huh. Alright.

The above photo is of Martha answering questions from the audience after the show was over and the cameras had stopped rolling and she totally didn't have to stay there. I thought she was pretty cool about it.

I really had a great time at the Martha show. We got there just a little before 8:30 a.m., which is the time they had said to show up and the line was already really long!! Oh no!! It turns out it didn't really matter, in terms of getting a good seat, because we were seated in the front row - on the floor, where the special guests sit! Cool! We had gotten the tickets from Curtis's friend Aaron Caramanis, who is a set decorator on the show (and has also been on the show a bunch of times demonstrating projects with Martha and has won two Emmys!).

(Aaron and I. He was so gracious and friendly to me, a slightly crazed Marthaphile.)

We were seated right next to a lady from the Rit Dye company. Rit Dye was being used in one of the craft projects and they gave bottles out to the audience so that lady was on camera briefly. She was super friendly and chatty and really excited to be there. She's in the photo of Aaron and I.

So, even though our seats were really cool, the camera was never really swung our direction so we were never on TV. That was ok, though. It was really fun anyway.
One funny thing that happened - the warm-up guy, Joey Kola, was trying to get the audience excited before the show started and he made some joke about bribing the audience members who were clearly dragged their by their wives (you know, the guys who were looking around for the exits and not giddily clapping like all the bright-eyed ladies surrounding them) and he handed out a few dollar bills - and Curtis got one. Of course.

After the show we went back to Mary's apartment to drop off all the free stuff we got at the show. (Rit Dye! Wilton food coloring! Paint samples! A paint brush! It was the color show.)

After that we spent several great hours at the Met. Such a great museum - so much to see!

On the steps of the Met.

So many pictures to take...

Fresh flowers in the huge foyer. So pretty!

Mary checking out Byzantine jewelry.

Mary thinks modern art is ridiculous but we made her take a photo in front of the lipsticks, as selling that stuff at Bloomingdale's is how she pays the bills.

A trip to Zabar's was fun.

Ate some bread and brie on a park bench.

Then we did a little celebrity spotting - saw both Alan Alda (in a little Verizon store wearing a sort of weird old trench coat) and Liam Neeson (crossed the street - Broadway - at the same time - he was tall and thin).

Walked around a lot, got sandwiches at a deli, went back to Mary's apartment at 9:30 p.m. to eat the sandwiches, hung out, went to sleep.

Now we're about to embark on another day!

Monday, April 19, 2010


Here in NYC with Mary and Parker - hooray! Here's a shot of Mary out their apartment window with the Empire State Building in the background.

Tomorrow morning is the Martha Stewart show at 10 a.m. Watch for us! We'll be in the audience.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Getting ready

Next week, Curtis and I are taking a bit of a vacation ALONE. This is the first time we have spent more than a few hours alone since the kids were born (and by a few hours alone I mean after the kids have gone to bed we watch "Antiques Roadshow" together before I fall asleep) and we are LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!! We are going to NYC for three days (five days total including driving time). I am so totally ready for this vacation mentally, but unfortunately, not so much ready physically - I mean getting the house and all its contents organized and ready for the zillion people who are coming to watch the kids while we are away.

One thing I have managed to check off my "To Do" list is all the baking I wanted to have in the freezer to make things easier for the various babysitters. I have made muffins, banana bread, waffles, pancakes and cookies. That should take care of breakfasts and some snacks.

I LOVE this waffle recipe. Growing up my best friend's family would always have waffles after church on Sundays and I thought (still think) they were the best waffles I ever had. They are so light and crispy - yum. When Curtis and I got married, Marilyn (the mom) gave us a waffle iron and her recipe. I've tried other recipes but this is the BEST and the only one I use now.

(Marilyn wrote on the recipe card "Recipe comes from my 'Betty Crocker's Cook Book' that I won in 1955 as 'Miss Betty Crocker of Tomorrow.'")


Heat waffle iron and spray with Pam.

Mix together:
2 eggs
2 cups sour milk
1 tsp soda
2 cups flour (leave cup a little slack)
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp oil

Note: You can sour milk with 2 Tbsp vinegar + milk = 2 cups
Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, then mix. Marilyn says the batter should be thin but mine never really is. Maybe that's why my waffles are really good but hers are REALLY good.

(Funny note: Once when Kathryn was little Nain made waffles and Kathryn loved them and kept asking for more "awfuls." It cracked my mother up. Kathryn loves this story and asks me to tell it every time I make waffles.)

This is our favorite pancake recipe. I forgot to take pictures of the vast quantities I made, some of which we ate, the rest of which we froze (I always triple or quadruple the recipe so I have some for the freezer.)
(From Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook which Curtis bought for me our first year of marriage and which has served me well.)

1 cup flour (I always use King Arthur's White Whole Wheat flour for these and they are so great - not heavy at all)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons cooking oil
(I like to add a few shakes of cinnamon - just a bit - and a tablespoon or two of cornmeal.)
Mix wet and dry ingredients separately, then mix together.

This muffin recipe is from the Joy of Cooking and it's the one I always try to get my sister Mary to make when we are home visiting my parents. For some reason they always taste best to me when Mary makes them at home.

Blueberry muffins
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix together:
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder

Beat in a separate bowl:
2 eggs
add to the eggs:
1/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup milk

Combine the liquid and the dry ingredients with a few swift strokes. Fold in:
1 cup blueberries
(I always sprinkle a little sugar on top, too.)
Fill well greased muffin pans two-thirds full and bake 20-25 minutes.

So, anyway, at least they'll have carbs while we're gone!

Monday, April 12, 2010


I haven't posted a Mess Of The Week in a while and that's because...well, I've been pretty well keeping on top of things. Things get a little messy around here but nothing too blog-worthy. It's a good thing, I suppose, but it's also kind of a shame because I liked my MOTW idea.

Well, last night the kitchen was pretty well a shambles. You can't tell so much in this photo, but really, it was in pretty bad shape. If you could hear the tired, cranky children and my dry, irritating cough (I've been sick) it would add a lot to the general feel of this situation.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


We got this in the mail the other day - one of the bills we're still working on from when Kathryn had her cancer-thingy last year. (I feel weird saying "Kathryn had cancer" because it was relatively easily resolved and we have moved on. I know a few other families still dealing with their children's cancer that is a significantly bigger deal, but still, I guess it's true, Kathryn technically had cancer. A cancerous growth. Whatever.)

Anyway, getting stuff like this in the mail always stops me for a moment. It just doesn't seem right, seeing my child's name associated with cancer. When Curtis and I took her down to Portland last February (or March?) for her first appointment with the pediatric oncologist, we both looked at each other as we walked into the building marked "Maine Cancer Program" like "huh? what are we doing here?!"

Tomorrow it will be a year exactly since we went down to Boston to have more tissue and two lymph nodes (which were clear) removed. We are so grateful that all is well with Kathryn, no more melanoma. We are also so grateful for doctors, prayers, support, meals and love. Thanks, everybody.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter!

Since our own yard is still all full of asphalt chunks and piles of dirt, our neighbors across the street let us do the Easter egg hunt on their lawn this year. It was great to have it outside - many years we've held them inside because of cold weather and/or snow. This year it was WARM!
Vivian wore her Easter gloves that she got in her Easter basket from Grandma and Grandpa Rice. Kathryn's glove were somewhere in the depths of the dress-up basket back at the house.

The kids had so much fun running around and finding all the bright eggs. I had put notes in some of them, like "Mom and Dad love you!" and "Happy Easter!" It turns out they didn't care so much about my cute notes one way or the other. They just rolled with it. What do they know - they're 2, 3 and 4. There were some jelly beans and some chocolate, so, good enough, in their eyes.
Our friend Charlotte brought over a bunny cake, which the kids thought was fantastic. It went great with our Easter dinner, which we shared with my mom and dad, Katie, Evan and Jenni. It was a good day.