A Watched Sorbet Never Softens

Sometimes I swear I feel like an alien in my own house.

I pulled out a rock-hard tub of raspberry sorbet tonight after dinner, and told Ellie to go play for a few minutes while it softened up. She promptly perched herself directly in front of it at the counter, and said “Mom I’m just gonna watch it.”

Adam was in the living room with Jamie, and I laughed as I called out to him, “Hey Babe? Will you tell your daughter that a watched pot never boils?”

Adam: A what never what?

Me: A watched pot never boils.

Adam: A washed what?

Me: A watched pot never boils!

Adam: A washtot?

Me: ADAM! A WATCHED POT NEVER BOILS!!

Adam: Yeah I’ve never heard that. What’s that?

Ellie: I’m not watching a pot, MOM, I’m watching the ice cream!

Me: *siiiiiiiigh*

 

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10 Radio-Popular Songs for SuperToddlers (plus some bonus suggestions)

My two girls are absolutely obsessed with music. Like, ALL MUSIC. Any time music comes on, they want to dance and sing at the top of their lungs. Now, I don’t think I’m alone in my frustration with all of the profanity, lewd content and general gross-ness of most music on the radio today, so I’ve been doing a little homework. I swear, every time I find a song with a great beat that the kids seem to LOVE, up pops a curse word, or a line that makes my eyes bug out. I recently read somewhere that Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” was a song that’s got a “great message for girls”…. uh, yeeeeaaahhh… after hearing the lines “We know that sh*t ain’t real“, “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night“, and “Tell them skinny bitches that“… mmm NOPE. I mean, yes, overall that’s probably a good message for teen girls (basically that being skinny isn’t everything and you should be proud of your body), but the presentation lacks the G-rating I’m needing for my babes right now.

So… here are 10 radio-popular songs that I feel comfortable allowing my nearly-2-and-4-year-olds to listen to (links are to tunes on Spotify):

1.  Shake it Off – Taylor Swift – Oh holy hell, is this song catchy. We have probably broken the record for most-times-played-in-a-row on this one. The second the car engine starts on the way to drop Ellie off at school every day, Jamie is shouting at me from the backseat: “SHAKE! SHAKE! LISTEN SHAKE! SHAKE!” (Also, a GREAT message in this one. Shake it off, get back up, do it your own way.)

2. Happy – Pharrell Williams – Pretty sure every kid (okay every person) in the world starts wiggling when this song comes on. How can you not?? I can barely listen to this song in the car because I want to jump out of my seat and start dancing.

3. ROAR – Katy Perry – Catchy beat, zero profanity, and a great message for kids. A good one for them to scream at top volume.

4. Good Feeling – Flo Rida – Upbeat, happy, clean (surprisingly so, considering the artist).

5. We Found Love – Rihanna – Probably the cleanest song Rihanna has released. Unfortunately the video is NOT clean, so if you play music on YouTube for you kids, this may not be a good choice. On the radio or a Spotify playlist, however, this is a great dance tune with no profanity.

6. Good Time – Owl City & Carly Rae Jepson – Oh man… there was a good 8-12 month period in which this was the ONLY song Ellie would allow me to play. SO catchy (major ear worm, this one), and fun. I used to sing different words to the tune all the time – “Woke up with Ell-ie’s feet on my head… What’s up with that girl sneakin’ in my bed?” … still makes her giggle.

7. Steal My Kisses – Ben Harper – Love this one. Probably leaning toward the adult side, but I just chase and kiss and tickle my kiddos when this song is on and they think it’s hilarious.

8. Break Free – Ariana Grande – Yeah, it’s about a failed relationship, but it’s also about independence and it’s clean, catchy and fun to dance to.

9. Stronger – Kelly Clarkson – Super positive, and major girl-power lyrics. Another one the kids’ll want to scream-sing.

10. Cups – Pitch Perfect (Anna Kendrick) – Besides the mention of whiskey, this one is really fun. I actually taught myself how to do that whole cups rhythm with Disney princess cups, so I use it to sing the girls stuff like the Alphabet Song and many others… but they still love it when this one comes on the radio. And then they want to bang on cups LIKE RIGHT NOW.

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Here’s a few bonus songs as well – ones my kiddos ask for on a regular basis (daily), either to listen to in the car via Spotify or for me to sing to them in the evenings. I didn’t include them in the above list because most of them are not necessarily radio-popular, but boy do my girls love these:

1. September – Earth, Wind & Fire – That chorus a fuuuuuuun one. I love listening to Ellie belt it out.

2. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – Julie Andrews – Because it’s super fun to try and say. Not sure I can even say it. But I do remember that when I was a kid I loved telling people that this “word” has 34 letters in it! (Side note – I also loved telling people that the longest REAL word in the world is antidisestablishmentarianism… at 28 letters. And I could spell it. BOOM.)

3. Heavenly – Harry Connick, Jr. – I often push HCJ on my girls. I’m pretty much in love with him as an artist, and I would have NO problems if Ellie & Jamie grew up loving him as well. This is a super-cute song about the sun and the moon falling love.

4. Be OK – Ingrid Michaelson – Although it seems to be about not-so-happy things, it’s got a happy and upbeat way about it. Ellie loves singing this one – there aren’t many words so it’s easy for her to get into.

5. WitchDoctor – David Seville & The Chipmunks – Jamie is SO into this song right now. “DOCTOR! DOCTOR!” She sings it while running around our living room a lot as well. “ooh eee ooh ah ah, ting tang, walla walla bing bang!”

6. Splish Splash – Bobby Darrin – Who doesn’t like a bath song? :)

7. Lollipop – The Chordettes -  Dead lord MAKE SURE you click on the Chordettes song with this title. Trust me.

8. What Does the Fox Say – Ylvis – No explanation needed. A ridiculous hit that makes absolutely no sense, yet all children go bananas whenever this song is played.

9. Real in Rio – Jamie Fox, Jessie Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway (from the Rio Soundtrack) – Jamie went through a 4-month phase where Rio was the only movie we were allowed to watch, and this song was the only one that would make her happy. I even had to turn it into a lullaby for her so I could sing it softly while putting her to sleep. (Actually… Ellie did that first. I copied her because it toooootally worked to calm Jamie down at bedtime.)

10. You Make Me Happy – Cathy Heller – SUCH a sweet song. I love it as a lullaby, and the girls like to sing along.

11. Wake Me Up Before You Go Go – Wham! – Fun for all ages. You’re made of stone if you don’t like JitterBug. :)

12. ANYTHING FROM FROZEN – Because, Disney wins everything.

 

12 Things I Don’t Like to Hear While Showering

Sometimes I try to shower while the kids are playing in Ellie’s room. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Here are twelve things I definitely do not like to hear while trying to take that shower (and I especially do not like to hear them all during the SAME shower):

1. “Mom?” (I know, I know, but it’s always the start of bigger and badder…)

2. “Jamie just ate a booger.”

3. “Mommy! Jamie threw my pony in the toilet!”

4.”Here Mom… can you wash this pony that Jamie threw in the toilet?” (while throwing sopping wet pony into the shower)

5. “Mama! Poopy!”

6. “Hi. Jamie bath too. Want in.”

7. “Mom? Can you open this?” (hands me a popsicle)

8. “MOM! Jamie took her diaper off!”

9. “Mama. I peed.”

10. “JAMIE PEED ON MY BED!!”

11. “MOOOOOOOOOM! Jamie just poured bubble bath in the toilet!”

12. “Mom are you done yet? It’s crazy out here.”

Yes dear. *sigh* It IS crazy out there.

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Super Alaskan Fireweed Jelly

(Originally posted on July 24, 2011 – thought we could all use a refresher since it’s that time of year again and the fireweed is out in all its glory!)

Because I was feeling all “superhomemakerey” this weekend, I decided to try out a recipe for jelly that I found while browsing through one of the blogs I keep in my RSS reader… I’ve never canned, jarred or anything of the sort before, so I was pleased that this recipe looked super easy! Please check out Maija over on Finnskimo – she has all sorts of cool Alaskan recipes and stories. The recipe below is straight from her blog and it turned out beautifully. :)

My superdad graciously offered to gather a large bag full of beautiful fireweed blossoms for me off of the riverbank near his cabin on the Little Su River.

 

ALASKAN FIREWEED JELLY

8 C Fireweed Blossoms
1/4 C fresh squeezed Lemon or Lime juice
4 1/2 C Water
2 pk Powdered Pectin (Like Sure-Jell)
5 C Sugar

Pick Blossoms off the stem, separate leaves, and wash blossoms. Add to a pot, add citrus juice and water (we find that Lime works best), Boil for 10 full minutes, stirring occasionally. The color will slowly fade from the blossoms, that’s what you want! Strain the “juice” into pot (the juice is what you’ll use to make the jelly) and add pectin. Bring to full boil, and add sugar one cup at a time, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute after all sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat, place into clean jelly jars. Let sit overnight on a cooling rack. You’ll hear the lids “pop” and seal throughout the night. If there are any that don’t seal, simply store in refrigerator. Enjoy!

 

Here are a few photos from the process – this jelly turned out AWESOME! Such a yummy flavor, and a surreal color – like a fluorescent purple, almost! My sister-in-law, Amanda and I had a great time making this. We ALSO made two loaves of my Grandpa Bill’s Beer Bread so that we’d have something to try the jelly on… we ate a half a loaf and a half a jar of jelly by the time she went home!

I promise, he doesn’t.

Ellie is very into contest games right now – as in, everything is a race. Everything. And everyone is always playing, even if they don’t know it.

“I finished my dinner first, I win!!”

“I made it to the car first, I’m the winner!”

“Aw, Jamie beat me to the bathtub!”

“I got my shoes on the fastest!”

All of this seems so fun and innocent, until I overhear her talking to the nanny last week while we’re apparently doing something race-worthy,

“My Daddy beats my Mommy every day.”

Errrrrrrr… yikes. I feel like I need to just shadow her for the next 5 years so I can clarify everything that comes out of her mouth.

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Relax, there’s totally an explanation…

10 minutes with my 1-year-old

Sometimes, a ten minute conversation with my one-year-old will cover as many as 97 topics.

Other times, it’ll go like this:

(While visiting a friend who has turtles in a little plastic pool in the backyard)

Me: Jamie, do you see the turtles?

Jamie: Turtle.

Me: Yeah! There are six turtles.

Jamie: Turtle.

Me: Do you see them eating?

Jamie: Turtle. Corn. OH! CORN!

Me: Yep, they’re eating corn on the cob.

Jamie: CORN!

Me: Corn is yummy, huh?

Jamie: CORN. TURLES EAT CORN. CORN.

Me: Yep. Okay, neat.

Jamie: Corn. Look! Corn. Turtle. Corn.

Me: Yes. Corn.

Jamie: Mama! CORN!

Me: I see. Corn.

Jamie: CORN. Turtle. CORN. Look! Corn!

And you guys? I walked away about 5 minutes in, but Jamie stood there at that pool and pointed at the corn and turtles for TEN WHOLE MINUTES, and every time someone even walked near her she pulled them into her scintillating conversation. “CORN!”

I’m still chuckling. Who knew corn was so exciting?

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I do have a good explanation…

My girls are in love with the little mini beanie babies that come with the McDonald’s happy meals right now (yes, I bought them a happy meal, calm down). Ellie got a pink elephant and promptly named him “Boo”.

At the closing party for the BlogHer14 conference I just attended in San Jose, CA, McDonald’s happened to be the sponsor – so guess what Mama brought home for the girls? You got it… beanie babies galore. (And I didn’t even have to consume a million happy meals to score all of the goodies!)

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SO, because we really don’t have a need for 19 extra mini elephants… we decided to bring a bag-o-beanies to a friend’s bbq this week and share with the other kiddos we know. Ellie was SO excited to show everyone the swag… so to the first adult she saw when we arrived, she shouted,

“HEY! WE BROUGHT A TON OF BOOS FOR EVERYONE!”

Which, while still appropriate for our group of friends… probably not the best thing for my 3-year-old to be shouting.