Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Party Zane (and Lorene)

A baby's first birthday is a very special time. So, with all of my family gathered together in one place we celebrated early.

With the forecast of a major blizzard coming our way, Lorene hurried up the party so much that we didn't have any birthday cakes.

I'm not usually very forehanded in the making of birthday cakes. And I'm sorry about that, because I would like to have time to admire my handiwork before the cake is demolished.

Since every 1-year old needs a birthday cake, I hurried up and made one for him.

Box mixes are always in my pantry. You never know when you're going to need a cake.

I thought Lorene could get along without one, she's a mom now, and everyone knows what mom's give up for their kids. Luckily she has some very nice aunties that bought her a Wal-mart cake.

Eighteen candles on the birthday cake.

One on this one.

Zane got the idea of unwrapping gifts quickly. What kid doesn't like to tear paper. Zane makes a habit of tearing up the newspaper. Usually before we read it. You can find us holding up several pieces to read the funnies. We don't much care about anything else.

Zane has taken to pulling a yo-yo around the house. Lynette decided Zane needed a pull toy for his birthday so we went on a toy hunt.

How perfect is this little phone! Zane has decided that phones make the best toys, and goes into my bedroom to my phone, takes it off the hook and says "hewwo". Sure keeps the phone calls down.

No birthday is complete without some cake.
Take a piece.

Smush the rest.

Shove it in.

Spread it around.
Yum, Yum

Sunday, December 20, 2009

One Eyed Potato Man

The One Eyed Potato Man is the only story Lorene really remembers from her very young childhood. She remembers Grandpa reading it to her when Lynette was a teeny tiny baby.

I have no idea what the story is about anymore and I didn't take the time to go to the library, check it out and read it to Zane just so we could know what the story is about so you don't have to go and do it yourself.

Anyway, trying to read a story to Zane is like trying to stuff an eel into a sock. And I bet it wouldn't matter whether the eel was alive or dead.

I thought about that book today as I was peeling potatoes to make soup for supper.

Zane wanted to help me. The kind of help that means yelling at the top of his lungs until I pick him up so he can see what I'm doing.

Of course, then I can't peel any potatoes.

The best way to entertain Zane is to have him next to me on a chair. The next best is to find him something to spread all over the kitchen floor that will entertain him for a very long time (about 5 min in mom time).

The potatoes seemed like a good idea. They fit in his hands, are easy to pick up and not as messy as the flour he dumped all over the floor earlier.

He can get them all by himself.

They fit in his hands.

They roll on the floor.

They are too big to swallow.
And when they roll under the stove...

They take a lot of time to get back out.
He even puts his toys away when he's done.

Well, he did with one potato anyway.

The soup was good too.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another Change for Zane Part 2

Zane is starting to try to repeat words after us, he can say boo, bye, ball, ummm, you get the idea!

So, Nathan said "Dumbledore" to him and Zane said it back.

He really did!

You don't believe me.

Well, I'll spell it out for you. "D...uh....orrr". Truly three syllables and the "D" sound. WOW, is he clever or what!
And then he said it again.

But he didn't want to sound too smart so when Nathan tired to show Grandpa, he wouldn't do it.

He just laughed instead.

Of course, our household is just besotted with Zane. Everything he does is cuter and cleverer and anything else ever done.

Don't you just love that about babies. Such little things are such an enjoyment. We enjoy each new laugh, each new word, each new behavior. It is amazing that he has learned how to go downstairs backward, and can get off the couch without just falling off. And he isn't even a year old!

(Well, most of the time) He dived off again last night.

We spend a great part of our evening playing and laughing at him. What better things are there to do?

Probably the dishes.

So, of course, he thinks he's the cats pajamas. And if we aren't laughing hard enough at him, then he opens his mouth WIDE and laughs. And if you can keep from laughing, then you're a better man that I am.


Zane can drink out of a cup!

He learned to drink out of a cup all by himself. Nobody helped him at all. Well, I guess I helped a little by leaving my cup of tea (cold, thank goodness) too close to the edge of the table.

I guess he would rather drink a little bit than the whole cupful.

Does tea work to scrub the kitchen floor?

What a monkey!

Gotta get that last drop!

Hmmm, this is a new way to drink, maybe it tastes better that way.

Another Change for Zane

Zane has made another leap forward in his learning,

Or turned a corner,

Or no matter what you call it, he is up to more tricks, he can reach farther and... and... I can't really describe what is happening around here, except,

LOOK OUT, he's on his way!

Pictures can't really show many of the changes as he is getting more in command of his mind, body and mouth. He seems more toddlerish these last few days. He is content to play by himself more.

By that I mean, he is really good at finding things to do with himself. He has rounds he likes to make, from the cupboard in the bathroom, the phone in my room, the cat in the guest room, to the cupboards in the kitchen, which are now tied shut since he found the flour.

Is he interested in the toy box? NO!!!

It is nice that he doesn't want me to hold him all the time, but it does make for more picking up after him.

He is happy playing as long as I'm not trying to get something done. When I'm trying to cook or clean in the kitchen he wants to be right there seeing what I'm doing. That means he wants to be picked up, and then I can't get anything done since I'm holding him. Sigh....

So, he's learned a new trick. If I ignore him when I'm standing by the counter, he squeezes himself in between me and the counter and pushes me back so I have room to pick him up!

What a kid!

Zane loves to "play" the piano. It makes lots of noise, but he doesn't bang and he likes to make sure he hits all the notes. I often give him playing time.

What I have just noticed is that now he likes to turn the pages as he plays.

He's got the mechanics of the thing down now.

To find out more check out the next post.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow Day at Our House

I love snow.

I love being able to watch it fall softly all day long and be glad I don't have to go out in it. I mean drive out it it.

I like to bundle up and go out and scoop fluffy snow as long as there is no wind. At least I used to. I didn't feel like it yesterday.

But, I was busy.

When I was a kid and we had snow days, Mom always made homemade doughnuts. She made a huge batch of dough and we helped roll and cut and fry and dip. At least I did. I don't remember what everyone else was doing.

It was a fun day because no school meant our Dad was home too. And that didn't happen very often. I love doughnuts, warm fresh ones and I ate until I was nearly sick.

Actually that 's what happens now, I could eat as much as I wanted when I was young.

How to Make Potato Doughnuts

Peel and chop potatoes.

Boil potatoes in a small saucepan.

Mash with a little salt.

Gather ingredients.

Put everything in the bread machine.

With the yeast. Sometimes I forget.

I made my dough in two batches since it is easier for the bread machine to knead than for me to do it.

Ready to rise in a warm place.

Ready to roll. Turn out the dough on a well floured surface before you roll. Sticking doughnuts does not improve doughnuts or the attitude.

When Jim rolls to a half inch thickness, it's a half inch thickness.

Mom always made bigger doughnuts using a can instead of a 2 1/4" or whatever doughnut cutter. I use a pineapple can and a film cannister for the holes.

Good luck finding a film cannister to use nowadays.

I think Mom used the hole cutter. I think I really do have one, someplace.

Doughnuts are a very long process. The first rising is 1 to 1/2 hours and after they are cut, another hour.

While the doughnuts are rising I get ready to fry them.

I don't like to clean so I cover my not so easily cleaned things on my counter.

And make the glaze.

Mom fried doughnuts in her big electric skillet and used solid shortening.

The holes are such a pain to fry, but they are the first to go. The kids love them.


I don't do ALL the holes first, we called them knobs at home, wonder why?

It takes a long time to fry a couple at a time when you have 4 dozen doughnuts plus the holes than were in them. But they turn out better when the oil stays pretty close to the same temperature and the more you put in, the temperature goes down and they take on more oil.

Perfectly brown.

I let the doughnuts cool just a little before I dip them into the glaze so they are thinly coated, but not too much.

Perfect doughnuts. One of the best batches I've ever made.

I didn't take any pictures of the ugly ones.

Actually we ate those first.

There weren't very many either.

Of course, other things were happening while I was making doughnuts. Scooping snow, and scooping snow, AND scooping snow was one of them.

Poor Zane wants to go outside SO badly.

We did get a lot of snow. By midafternoon it was this thick on the deck. It really WAS a snow day. We weren't kidding.

We did eat something besides doughnuts, too. This is supper, teriyaki kabobs. They were as good as they look.

We had doughnuts for lunch.