Friday, September 28, 2007

Like Rats On A Sinking Ship...Only The Rats Are Smarter

Oh my LANDS, we're in a world of hurt here! Everything everybody ever said about the perils and pitfalls of having two children is true. So true! They're cute and sweet and Niko's charming and Nina's smiling, and yet I gladly admit that I'm going bonkers. It's Luke's busy season at the site, so I've been single Mom-ing it for...well, pretty much the last month. Except for the week we ran screaming home to my parents, which was really a lot of fun. Luke leaves at five in the morning and gets home around nine at night, and he has to take the car.

Niko's developed this terrible new habit: he won't go to sleep unless somebody lies down with him. So when he wakes up alone in the middle of the night, he cries hysterically until either Luke or I hop into his Cookie bed with him. I asked Carly about this, and she said her son did it, too, and that it will eventually pass. "To everything there is a season," she said, and I am clinging to that with both hands. One crying child up at night I can handle, but two? Harsh! But even with all of the craziness, I lie there at night with Niko's skinny arms wrapped around me, staring at the plastic stars on his ceiling and I know that I will miss the time when he wanted me to come cuddle with him.

During the day I set up Central Command in my living room and bark out orders that go entirely unheeded, even by myself. Especially by myself. This wonderful house has become a sinking ship of stir-crazy madness, and all of the rats would have jumped of of it long ago. We're still hanging around, but I think it'll all level out somehow when Luke enters our lives again. He has that gift.

I'm still not feeling well, and the doctor prescribed a medication for the blood sugar. It's supposed to be a heavy hitter, and he warned me that it might make me pretty sick. "Even more sick than this?" I said, and we laughed the bitter, jaded laughter of professional and patient. And we were laughing so bitterly that it was hysterically funny, and then we were just laughing for real. Until I read the side effects, and the laughter stopped a bit. On my end. He's kind of a kook and will most likely be laughing long into the night. Having completely forgotten why.

I'm addicted to I must confess this. I plan to make a pixie hat today, for no other reason except that I can, and I WILL. That's an order from Central Command.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Finnish Cakes

Boys and Girls, today I am going to impart the wisdom that Sister Kaameriinaan taught me in Finland! When she invited Niko and I over for a day of baking and drinking Pepsi Light in order to keep us out of Luke's hair while he studied for his finals. I made this three weeks ago.
STEP ONE: (Picture 1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take three identical drinking glasses and fill the first one with six eggs. Next, fill the second glass with flour, up to the same level as the eggs. And fill the third glass with sugar, also to the same level as the eggs and flour. Got that? Three equal parts eggs, flour, and sugar.
You guys are geniuses! :)
STEP TWO: Now toss one teaspoon of baking powder in with the flour, and mix the eggs, flour, sugar, and baking powder in a bowl. If you're really doing this the Finnish way, you'd use your hands instead of a spoon, but whatever floats your boat.
STEP THREE: (Picture 2) Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. That is VERY important, otherwise this whole experiment is all for naught! Then pour the batter onto the baking sheet. Use a spatula and spread it so that it fills the entire sheet. Yeah, I didn't do that, and paid dearly, so heed my words, O children. Bake it for anywhere from 7 to 20 minutes, peeking in on it to make sure it doesn't burn. It'll cook quickly, because it's so thin.
STEP FOUR: (Also Picture 2) Hooray, it's cooked! Pull it out, let it cool for a bit, and then slather the entire top of the cake with something sweet. What, you ask? Who knows?! Hence the adventure! I used orange marmalade, because I'm nuts about the stuff, but you can use any type of jam, or chocolate syrup, whipped cream or crushed get the picture. Knock yourself out!
STEP FIVE: (Picture 3) Carefully (carefully carefully!) peel the cake off of the wax paper as you go, and roll it up into a tube. Make sure it's cool enough that the cake doesn't just fall apart, but not so cool that it becomes a permanent part of the wax paper.
STEP SIX: (Picture 4) Decorate! This is the fun part! I used whipped cream as frosting, but you can use real frosting, or anything else that you want! Frost it, don't frost it, use sprinkles or again, chocolate syrup or edible flowers...after the whipped cream, I grated some chocolate on top.
This cake is totally a freezer cake, so you can toss it in there and forget about it until you're ready to wow company. Or the spouse. Or the UPS man, bless his brown-shorts-covered soul. It's also pretty when you slice it, and that's very important. Because pretty things make the world go round.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Do You Hear What I Hear? Well, It Ain't Gonna Last.

What is this sound? It's so unusual...

Oh my lands, it's silence. Sweet, sweet silence!

*The hopping up and down and joyful screaming shatters said silence*

Niko was throwing up yesterday, and missed school, but today he is feeling much better and stepped carefully onto the bus like a champ. I was remembering how he used to throw up all of the time, several times a day, and what an anomaly that is for him now. I find this to be very grand.

I am doing much better, and even received the all-clear from the doctor to work out. I'm supposed to exercise 45-60 minutes six days a week, eventually, and it should keep my blood sugar under control. Which would be great! I did a little today, and after 15 minutes I was completely fatigued, but I'll get there. My friend turned me on to a great gym nearby that has (GASP!) free babysitting, and Luke and I have decided to sign up. It has kickboxing! And a fabulous track on the top floor! I feel like I'll be getting a piece of myself back! Luke's been running like a wild man, lately. "I'm going out, gonna run nine miles. Be back in a bit." He's training for a half marathon, and has been doing an absolutely fabulous job. Although I am wary about his taking to the streets of this city. "I am a fine specimen of a man," he assured me, saying that nobody would take him on. And even if they did, he could run away really fast.

Which is true, but unless he, like superman, is faster than a speeding bullet, I'm still concerned. So the gym will be wonderful for both of us!

Nina is getting more and more alert. I love to put her on the floor after a feeding and watch her kick her little legs and wave her tiny starfish hands in the air. Wave 'em like she just don't care. She's Niko's opposite in almost every way: He's tiny, she's huge. He ate out of an oral syringe FOREVER ("Hooray! Little three week old boy just ate 10 ml! That's so good!") and Nina's quaffing six ounces every three or four hours. He liked movement, she hates it, he didn't care so much about being held, she loves it. It really is a joy to embrace their differences. I love his courage and curiosity and affection, and her sweetness and snuggability and wonder. They're both absolutely perfect for us.

Though yesterday...not so much. Niko was sick, of course, and every time he'd scream, it would set off Nina. Luke sprained his ankle on his morning run, and although feeling much better, I'm not quite up to par. But we made dinner (guess what? I'm cooking. Yeah, take that, doubters!) and slunk to the couch and blearily watched...whatever it was that we soothe our unsoothable souls.

Oh yeah. I was reading Helter Skelter. No wonder I wasn't paying attention to the show.