February 24, 2009

Just for a second...

I just had a flash of wishing that Lydia was five so we could play with this Calafant cardboard treehouse. But I got over it. That will come fo' real, sooner than I want. Still cool though. Maybe I'll get one for myself at Moolka.com.

All pieces are made from pre-cut and pre-punched sturdy white cardboard and can be put together without glue and scissors. You can decorate it with watercolor or acrylic paint and then play. It's a craft and a toy! Plus, when it's finished it life cycle it's 100% recyclable! What a great time to be a kid!

February 23, 2009

Arriving Red Line

I took Lydia to the Dr.'s office this morning for her second flu shot of the season. She took it like a champ. She cried for no more than a minute.

She's back to school and I'm on the train to work. It's going to be
hellish week I'm sure.

The photo shows my Red Line train coming into the station.

February 22, 2009

Blini bound

On our way to church and blini. Lydia is looking smashing in her hounstooth! Learn more about blini are important to Slavic peoples at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/blintz

February 21, 2009

Lydia the Destroyer

Feared by many a book.

Before I could stop her Lydia tore out a page from her lift-the-flap story book. She seemed so proud of herself. I told her that was a no-no. She looked at me and seemed to understand what I was saying. She turned the page, her understanding of two seconds before had faded and she was about to rip another page out of her book. I took her book away, to read another day.

Oh well, ├že la vie!

Lydia the Reader

This morning Lydia and I were hanging out in the living room. She was on a mission, bring books in from her room and making a pile on the couch. I'm sitting there and Lydia begins to read one of her books, flipping through the pages.

February 20, 2009

Blow Off Tube

We were concerned that the kraeusen head was going to blow the airlock off the
carboy. So last night we put in a blow off tube into the carboy neck
and placed the other end in a pot of water. We weighed the tube down
in the pot by strapping it to a marble pestle. It's been bubbling every
second since last night, 20 hours so far.

Kraeusen Overflow

This is our Fat Tyre home brew five days into the first fermentation. Check out the biggest and thickest kraeusen that I have seen to date. Kraeusen is the ‘rocky’ or ‘cauliflower’ heads of foam that appear on the surface of the wort during the first days of fermentation. When they reach their peak, between the fourth and the seventh day, they are called high kraeusen. And boy do we have high kraeusen!

February 15, 2009

Tasty Dinner

We're at breakfast this morning with Grandma, Jen, Lydia and Dima. We
ordered off the kids menu fir Lydia. Here she is feeding herself
blueberry pancakes. She is now stained purple on face and hands. Cute.

February 11, 2009

Reading Upright

Today as I dressed for work, I noticed something different in the way Lydia Violet was reading her books. Usually she picks up a book, opens it up, flips through the pages, with no regard to the fact that it may be upside down.

Today was different and to be sure it wasn't a fluke, she did it several times. She picked up her book upside down, opened it, looked at it for a moment and then turned around so that it was reading correctly.

It could have been part of a new game she plays with the books. But, I tend to think that it was evolution.


"Sent from my eye fone!"

February 9, 2009

Sunday Fun

Lydia has taken to drawing. The minute she gets a chance she'll sit down with paper and some crayons and markers and carefully scrawl a composition that, though often hard to discern the subject matter, is often perfectly balanced and pleasing colorwise.

What we've found though, is that regular crayons are too weak to hold up under the pressure of her enthusiastic grip. I found this post on Hop Skip Jump last week and decided to give it a try on Sunday. What fun! The resulting crayon biscuits are perfect for grasping. Even Papa had fun with them.

The muffin tins in the photos are mini-sized, though I guess with more crayons you could do this in a medium-sized pan. Each mini cup holds about two crayons. In some of the biscuits I added an additional piece of white crayon to mix up the colors a bit.

My first batch I put in the oven at 260˚. The 10 minutes suggested by Hop Skip Jump wasn't quite enough, so I let it go to 14 minutes. This was a bit too long. The crayons became too molten and the colors separated. On the second batch I tried at 270˚ for 10 minutes. That was just perfect.

Cool at room temperature and then chill in the freezer to make it easy to get the biscuits out of the pan.

I've got another box of crayons ready to go. I'll definitely do this again. The hardest part was getting the paper off. Seriously. We've got the drawings to prove it!

February 4, 2009

Bath Time

So many toys, so many suds, so little time.

February 2, 2009

Good girl, bad girl

This what the world gets when Papa dresses Lydia for school. Some may
say "it doesn't go," but I beg to differ. Both pieces have pink in
them and Jolly Jill looks good with flowers.

February 1, 2009

What I've Been Up To...

I had the opportunity to work on a great freelance project, designing www.ejordanphotography.com for London-based photographer, Elizabeth Jordan. She is the sister of a friend and took some amazing images on a trip to Rwanda with Women for Women International last year. She'll be having a show in London in May and needed a Web presence. Fun project. Beautiful photos. Check it out.