7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 2)

------ 1 ------
I was giggling at the Texans and Okies on Twitter this week. They were all: "SNOW! It's snowing! I see snowflakes!"

And then they'd post pictures of brown backyards and kids running around in snowsuits with slightly solidified rain visible in the background. If you squinted. After pressing on your eyeballs for a few seconds. Or maybe they just took the pictures out-of-focus. Same difference.

Cracks me up. I lived in Southern California for almost a decade, so I say this lovingly, but if you live in a climate that allows you to feel your appendages in January, you don't know snow. And you couldn't handle it if you had it.

Case in point: Yesterday, I checked my favorite weather site. (Of course, I have one. Don't you?) It said two of my locations had weather alerts. The North Shore of Minnesota was under a winter weather advisory; an approaching storm was supposed to drop four to eight inches of snow that night, possibly falling as heavily as one inch every hour. Winds were going to gust to 40 mph, and temperatures were going to drop quickly behind the system.

The other alert was for the Bay Area of California (where my parents live). It said -- and I quote -- "Cool and showery weather starting this weekend."

An alert. For cool weather. And maybe rain. Starting in a few days.

Take cover now.

------ 2 ------
You know that scene in "Princess Bride," where the prince is declared only mostly dead?

I've decided this blog is mostly dead, at least for the month of December. I just want some time to work on other projects. It means my posting here is light, and my commenting has dwindled to nothing. Please know it's not personal, and I don't intend to fade to black. It's a temporary mostly deadness.

Anybody want a peanut?

------ 3 ------
Teyla is sleeping through the night. I repeat, TEYLA IS SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT.

I'm working on a dissertation on baby sleep, so I won't give away any secrets here. But this last Sunday, I cracked the code. And she started sleeping almost immediately.

Of course, I'm still waking up once or twice a night out of habit. But that's OK. I can see the end of the tunnel, and that's tremendously encouraging.

Now for naps. (I got Elizabeth Pantley's brand new book "The No-Cry Nap Solution" in the mail yesterday. Talk about perfect timing! Look for a review soon.)

------ 4 ------
I realized last week that I talked and Twittered and talked some more about my Thanksgiving menu -- but I never told you how things went.

In short -- Alton Brown is a genius. A mad, evil, funny genius. His turkey was amazing. It cooked so fast, it freaked me out a little. (I got one of those cool temperature gauges this year that allows you to monitor the internal temperature of the meat from outside the oven. It was unspeakably cool. I'm resisting the urge I have to use it on the kids while they sleep.)

Pioneer Woman's mashed potatoes are divine. The roasted vegetables were a great foil to ALL THE BUTTER in the mashed potatoes. The pumpkin chocolate cheesecake pie was really good, although the pumpkin layer was a little bland for me. Next year, I'm going to add my own mix of spices, instead of relying on the timid pumpkin pie spice.

And last week, I made the pumpkin sandwich cake (which was cut from my Thanksgiving line-up) for a MOPS Christmas brunch, and OH MY WORD. It was A HUGE HIT. (Sorry. I get excited about food.) Basically, it's a dense pumpkin cake layered with billowy cream cheese filling and topped with chocolate ganache. It would be perfect for Christmas.

(Just one note, that I feel compelled to add for any Google searchers who may end up here: When I made my cake, the layers turned out really thin. Like, REALLY thin. They were about 1/2-inch high. I wrote BHG about this, and a few days later, I got a reply from their wonderful Senior Food Editor. Through a process of elimination, he helped me figure out my problem: I used 9-inch cake pans instead of the 8-inch called for in the recipe. It doesn't sound like a big differece, but he said the 9-inch pans have 25% more capacity, resulting in much thinner cake layers. Word to the wise.)

------ 5 ------
I'm feeling very humbugish this December. (Maybe because I'm one of the Santa killers? That was my post over at 5 Minutes for Parenting this week.) I finally went and got a tree last Sunday -- by myself, since Corey was sick and in bed. (No pictures, since I'm saving them for Boo Mama's Christmas Tour of Homes.) Having it all twinkly and cheery in the living room window has helped my mood. So has Pandora's holiday music stations. I have either jazz holidays or peaceful holidays playing at any given moment lately.

------ 6 ------
I went to a cookie exchange this week. (Which is TOTALLY self-defeating for someone who likes to bake, by the way; I do NOT need your cookies in my house when I'll have 10 dozen of my own to contend with in a week.) Someone brought homemade marshmallows to the party.




I know what to make for the kids' teachers this year.

And here's where I must apologize for mocking Martha Stewart for YEARS for making her own marshmallows. I'm so sorry, Martha. I had no idea.

------ 7 ------
(Come close to your monitor. I need to whisper this last one.)

We're thinking of getting a dog for Christmas. The kids -- Natalie, in particular -- have wanted a pet for as long as I can remember.

Here's a picture of the puppy I love.

Upside? She's adorable. Downside? She's a puppy, and as such, must be trained.

Here's a picture of the one-year-old puppy I love.

Upside? She's trained and we know her temperament. Downside? She's already lost the puppy fuzz.

Thoughts? (Just don't bother telling me I'm crazy. I already know. Corey tells me all the time.)

(If you missed my first 7 Quick Takes, this is a new weekly carnival hosted by Jennifer at Conversion Diary. Awesome idea. Go check it out.)


  1. can't wait to read that book review. i'm sure i'll be in need of it soon.

  2. 1) I feel the same way when Northerners talk about it being "hot".

    7) If you go with the puppy, I highly recommend crate training. HIGHLY. It saved me from a nervous breakdown and our dog from a new home. Granted, she may have liked the new home better, but still.

  3. Congrats on sleeping through the night. That is AWESOME!! Sounds like things are busy right now. Hang in there!

  4. Okay, as a born and raised Bay Area girl, cool with showers is definitely cause for an ALERT! :) :)

    Cute puppy. I can barely do kids. I'm sure that I'd be a horrible dog owner....

  5. YAY for sleeping through the night!

    And...I can't wait to hear which dog you get :)

  6. ooh ooh, the SECOND puppy, you have enough on your plate!!! Or whatever, go for the puppy, you're a rock star, you could pull anything off. I know this because Teyla is sleeping. YAY you!

  7. I fostered rescue dogs for years and have a bunch of my own. Never ever have I heard a person regret going with the older dog over a puppy. The other way around... well, puppies are a LOT of work.

    I don't think you are crazy. Picking up spilled dog food kernels is a great way to distract toddlers. And dogs rarely tire of running in a circle, much like young children.... It gives my 2 year old countless hours of entertainment.

    AND AMEN on the heat in the North comment above. My sister in law is from Minnesota and she told me in all seriousness once that it "gets to almost 100 sometimes". Please. 100 degrees is for suckers.

  8. I guess you just want someone new to get up in the middle of the night for?

    Seriously, I would wait a year or two or three, when at least 2 of the kids are old enough to take a little responsibility. They'd get more out of it that way.

    Then again, that puppy is very cute. And fuzzy...

  9. Fun post! quick takes are a great way to catch up . . . I'm going to check it out :)

  10. Can I do "Quick Take Comments?"
    1.) I am SO EXCITED to see you guys. Like, IT'S DIFFICULT FOR ME TO TYPE IN ANYTHING BUT CAPS- EXCITED. (We miss you, if you didn't catch that).

    2.)I, too, have a favorite weather site. It's not freakish; it's a matter of survival in Minnesota. When it's 40 and sunny in the morning and a blizzard in the afternoon, I have to know how to dress. For the southerners: no lie.

    3.) "The Princess Bride" is quite possibly one of the most entertaining movies of all time...How can you beat that whole you-can't-fool-a-Sicilian sequence?

    4.) A puppy? I have got to quit finding out these major life changes over a blog. I have to know about this, mentally prepare. It will be like taking care of another kid...oh well, at least I have Josh to tag team with now. It comes with a downside though- I think I have permanently lost Connor's favor to him. :)

  11. 2) We watched P.B. last night. Paroxysms of giggles. What a great movie. I'm feeling mostly blog dead myself. Just a whole lot of life.

    3) Go Teyla! Go Kelly! Go return to life!

    7) Are you taking votes on this? Take the second puppy. He'll still be adorable and even more so because training is A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E. Puppy scent fades but pee/poop stains not so much. And I want one too. But Husband says not while we have cats. I told him I could fix that. Mwwaaa haa haa.

  12. Yeah, but you gals up there whine when it hits 85.

    Congrats on Teyla sleeping through the night. But if you're still waking up, I'm surprised you aren't blogging!!

    We're right there with you on the belated tree-ness. My broken foot has hampered things tremendously. The kids got the ornaments on last night.

  13. Oh, and now that Teyla is sleeping through the night, you're thinking about getting a PUPPY that will get you up?! Go for the 1-year-old.

  14. The snow comments had me cracking up too! Granted, I lived in Missouri most my life which isn't as far north as you are, but still, it takes a whole lot of snow to get excited.

    Question on the sleeping...did teething throw it all off for you? My girl's been faithfully sleeping through the night since about 3 months, but these past couple of weeks, that's gone out the window. I'm fearful we'll have to go through the "training" all over again. Honest to goodness, I'd take labor over sleep training any day!

  15. So excited for Teyla's sleep progress. Just in time for her first birthday. Way to go girl!

  16. I am loving Pandora's holiday stations too!

    My vote is for the one year old dog! Because you have had issues with little people sleeping thru the night, and puppies don't either! They whine and cry and it is cold outside! You don't want to be standing out there at 4 am for a potty break while Teyla is ASLEEP! WOO-HOO TEYLA!!!
    The only good thing about a puppy, the whole peeing in the house thing doesn't last forever. :) But I know YOU know that puppies are ALOT of work!

    What an awesome Christmas memory for the kids...can't wait to hear about it!

  17. Okay, this was such a fun post!!!

    Yes, we Texans get really excited about snow flurries. The stores always run out of bread. LOL

  18. Yes, the Texan/Okie snow pictures made me giggle, too, but I'm happy that they had fun. And oh YES, I have a favorite weather site, which I have been sternly instructed to check before I head outside each day. It's REAL winter weather!

  19. Oops! I left a comment in your email box instead of here first (couldn't find the little writing "comments" - as I am bery sleep deprived too). I wanted to P.S. that I am a santa killer too. Can't seem to "sell" santa but have a very loose-lipped chid so we don't talk him up.

  20. Don't be alarmed but I am experiencing cool and showery weather even now. I have 2...count them...2 layers of shirts on. Any moment now I'll be making hot chocolate. Sue

  21. One more downside on the 1-year-old canine: no more puppy breath. :-(

  22. I totally understand the needing to work on other projects this time of year! Fun post :)

  23. It snowed in Malibu this week. Does that count for weather? I'm sure there were people still surfing.

  24. 1 - Hee hee hee. Take cover. You're hilarious!

    2 - I need the dissertation on sleep ASAP please. YAWN.

    3 - Alton Brown. SWOON.

    4 - AHAAAAAA! YOU SAID "OH MY GRANNY!" I'm startin' a revolution!

    5 - (Hug) Merry Christmas to all of y'all if I don't get back here before then!

  25. LOVED quick take #1!

    We moved to North Dakota earlier this year, so we are experiencing our first REAL winter snow. We are from Oregon and we thought we knew snow before...HAHAHA!! Our friends at home keep saying "ooh ooh! We got a ton of snow!" and they too are posting pictures with just a dusting. They are also complaining about it being 20* outside! haha! We call that a heatwave! ;-) Despite the horrid windchill, I'm loving looking at all this beautiful white snow!

  26. 1. About the weather: I also live in the California bay area. The weather here is mostly fantastic, which is one reason it costs so much to live here. I live in San Jose, CA; what city are your parents in? Just curious. The problem with living somewhere where the weather is mostly fantastic is that the buildings and houses tend to be less insolated than they are in the more extreme climates...so weather patterns that seem like pish posh to you really are a bigger deal here. I do get upset about it when we have a heat wave in the summer, so everyone turns on air conditioners, which results in blackouts...there are places in the country where people need ac every day, and there are no power black outs there; why can't we be better prepared here?
    3.)Sleeping through the night, woo-hoo!!! That is golden. And waking up on your own is much different than being woken by an outside source, namely a small child. You can roll over and go back to sleep.
    7.) No question, go for the older dog, if you must get a dog at this time. they are a huge hassle, and a lot of work, and you're going to have to love it a whole lot for it to be worth getting one. Plus, dogs are expensive. Don't forget that.