Whatever!

What to muse about today?

December 5, 2014 ~ Say Cheese!

Say Cheese!

Today, I finally used one of the more awesome Christmas presents I’ve ever received and made cheese. Yes, cheese.  Fresh Mozzarella, even!  I’m not sure why I hadn’t tried before.  Maybe it was because I had one or both girls whenever I was mostly awake, or the fact that the package came with rubber gloves.  I don’t really know.  And I’m kicking myself about it.

The cheese was fantastic.

Small curd

And not very difficult to do, maybe an hour for the first batch.  And yes, I said first batch, because, oh yes, there will be more.  I’m sure that when I make the Mozzarella again it will only take about half the time. I will need to get a better thermometer – a digital one, that goes below 100°F.

It seemed crazy to start with one full gallon of milk, but that was the recipe. After adding in the citric acid and heating it up, small curds formed. Once the rennet and calcium chloride were added it changed pretty quickly to much larger curds with clear whey.

Curds and Whey

Straining the whey and getting the curds quickly into a separate bowl was a bit tricky, but eventually I got them all separated. I was amazed at how little cheese curd there was.  Almost all the volume of the gallon was whey.

A quick run through the microwave and it was ready to mix and form into balls.

Warm mozzarella. Omnomnom

I tried some when it was still warm and gooey.  Oh.  It was lovely. Yum.  I haven’t had mozzarella like that before.  Stu also got to try some still warm and thought it was very good.

 

I decided to make just three balls from the batch, I didn’t have much time before needing to go get Ashlin.  They got nice and shiny as they cooled and I dropped them into the brine just before I left.

Ashlin didn’t believe me when I told her I made cheese while she was in school.  I let her try some after it was brined and she approved.  She may have been impressed I actually made cheese.  (It’s not marshmallow fluff or cookies!  LOL!)  She was sad she didn’t get to help though.  I told her that she could help next batch.

Balls brining

We may be making home-made pizza tomorrow.

I have two thirds of it in the fridge, in brine, and the last third is wrapped in plastic in the freezer.  It may not last the weekend.

 

PS.  The cheese making kit came from Standing Stone Farms, and their recipe is similar to this one.

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December 3, 2014 ~ A Better Day

Better

Better

Today was a better day. Finally.  I think it’s been at least a month since we’ve had 13/14.  We celebrated by taking her out to the dinner of her choice – she chose McDonald’s for the toy and the play place.

I know I don’t write much about Teagan’s troubles in kindergarten.  It makes me uncomfortable to complain about the issues we’ve been having.  What we’ve tried, what worked – if only for a little bit.  Most of what we try doesn’t have much success.  It’s frustrating.  I don’t like failing, failing her.

I know eventually we’ll get it all figured out, but in the meantime, we celebrated our good day.  Our little victory.

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December 2, 2014 ~ Kiss the Boys

IMG_0240Sigh.

Teagan is still having issues at school.  This is only part of yesterday’s behavior report.

Her day is divided into 14 periods and she is responsible for keeping track of her behavior.  This is in addition to the traffic light the rest of the class is on.  Her scale is a bit different than the others though – she needs two bad behaviors in a row to move from green to yellow to red.  She also resets back to green at least once during the day.

We get one of these sheets home every day, usually with at least three issues, most are because she was noisy, or couldn’t focus or follow directions.  The  notation that bothers us the most, and there’s at least one a day, is when she can’t keep her hands to herself.  Thankfully, she’s not always hitting her classmates.

Yesterday, there were five times that her behavior warranted the teacher detailing her actions. I suppose it’s not as bad as it could be, though the day only had 13 sections, she did have eight stickers for good behavior.

It was also the first time we had seen that she was chasing the boys, trying to kiss them.

Today, we read that she pulled her pants down during music class.  She said she needed to go to the bathroom.  In music?  Really?

Sigh.

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November 26, 2014 ~ Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?

IMG_7149.JPG Snow! We made it. The drive was so pretty. We had no real issues, no worries. Once we got here, there were a few flashbacks from our trip to PA from a few years ago when we couldn’t make it up a hill, thanks to the snow. I need to get new tires on the Jetta. Maybe some studded snows… I wonder if they are legal in CT… Hum…. Anyway…. we’re here and all in one piece.

Hope everyone has an awesome Thanksgiving!

5 Comments »

November 24, 2014 ~ Broken Drill

Driving home from pre-school Ashlin told me she had a secret.  A secret she’d tell me at home, and then tell dada, and then Teagan and then mama.  Ok.  You can totally tell me your secret twice.  She admitted that it really wasn’t a secret, she just wanted to say it was, she just wanted to have a secret.  Silly girl.

Once we were home, she told us about her secret – that they had a Broken Drill – or something along those lines – in case of an emergency – at school today.  She said that all the kids in class as well as the teacher and the para go and sit crisscross applesauce in the bathroom and be quiet.  According to her, it was kinda fun, because her teacher let them watch Bubble Guppies on her phone.  Ashlin and her sister don’t get to watch that show often at home.  When I asked how long the drill was, she told me it was 40 minutes.  That seemed a bit long for a drill, when I asked if she got to see all the show, she said no, just a little bit.

We were still talking about this when Teagan got home.  Teagan had a fire drill today, even with the rain.  She told me that for fire drills they go outside, for work drills they sit on the carpet. But for broken drills they go in to a closet.  The kindergartners don’t get to sit, they kneel.  There are just too many kindergartners to sit in the closet or hide in the bathroom.

So sad that both my three-year-old and five-year-old know how to hide in place.  Crazy that both of them were so blasé about the whole thing, but they don’t know how the world has changed.  What they’ve lost.  Well, what we’ve lost, they don’t really know.  To them, normal is hiding in a closet or a bathroom watching Bubble Guppies on a phone.

I wish the world wasn’t this way.  That they can be the silly little girls they are.

 

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November 17, 2014 ~ Nine Years

IMG_0048.JPGNine years ago my life changed. At the time I had no idea how much. It literally changed completely. And is so much more than I could ever have imagined.

Thank you for humoring me and believing in us.

We finally got the timing right.

Love you

8 Comments »

November 14, 2014 ~ Teagan Draws

Castle

Yes. We are still here. I’m still here. Same old, same old: super busy, not enough time, sick, can’t keep my eyes open, oh so tired.

Anyway.

I figured I’d share an amazing picture that Teagan drew along with a memory I wish I had been there first hand. I’m going to set it up and let Stu’s words finish.

We were on the way back from the doctor and I went to get Ashlin, Stu took her to CVS to get the antibiotics for her ear. They wandered through, waited in line for the medication and were at the register, ready to pay.

There’s a woman behind the checkout and a guy stacking candy in front.
Teagan starts playing with the electronic card swiping thingy.
“Dada… can I pay the tickets?”
“I don’t know, can you pay the tickets?”
“I don’t know.”
“Did you bring any money?”
“No.”
“Then how are you going to pay?”
Teagan picks up the signing pen..
“I can draw a picture of a cat!”
Both CVS staff start laughing…
“I don’t think pictures of cats are legal tender.”
“What?”
“I don’t think you can pay with a picture of a cat.”
Candy stacking man is laughing pretty hard now
“To draw it I have to put a U and then an M on top. Then I draw the eyes and nose. Those are circles. Then I give it a hairy face. It’s difficult.”
“I know it’s difficult to draw, but I still don’t think they’re going to let you pay with cats.”
“Ok dada. Can I have my candy now?”

I love how this girl thinks, when she slows down enough to share with us.

6 Comments »

September 18, 2014 ~ Fuzz!

Morning Joy

Waiting for Teagan’s bus this morning was lovely.  I had a full cup of coffee, Ashlin was in sandals and her jamamas.  Teagan was happy, going like a pinball from one thing to another – a bug, a leaf, a dandelion puff. The sun was smiling down, warming the day.

A friend said that Teagan looked like she was walking on sunshine, filled with joy.  This morning she was.  There wasn’t any apprehension about going to school, or what may happen there.  There was only joy with being able to run around, to watch the grasshopper jump and startle her sister, to make snow angels on the driveway, though she told me yesterdays were better.

Kindergarten has been rough for Teagan.  But we’re getting there, getting it all figured out, trying to get her the help she needs to help herself.

Today was a good day – she stayed green for the entire day.  No yellow or red behavior.  Green.  The teacher had sent me a mail letting me know.  Teagan basically flew off the bus and up the driveway to tell me herself.  The look on her face was one of the best things I’ve ever seen.  She was so proud that she didn’t have any troubles today.  She had to immediately let Stu know, and promptly got a huge bear hug from him.

Fuzz!

We went inside and gave her her reward – the promised “fuzz.” She’s been waiting for a green/no issue day so she can load the Jessie dispenser full of Pez.  Today, she earned it.  And then promptly shared with her sister.

I really love this kid.

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September 11, 2014 ~ Legwarmers

Ashlin is on the brink of outgrowing her pink leg warmers I made last year, so I’m making a new set. These may be a bit too long though.

I think they should be pretty well matched. I hope they will be!

IMG_9144.JPG

First one!

IMG_9148.JPG

Close!

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September 10, 2014 ~ Homework!

Tonight Ashlin worked on her first homework project – a cut-out representation of herself. She drew eyes, nose, sides of her nose and mouth. She colored in hair and shoes (I think they’re her pink Chucks).  She wrote her name – with no help. There’s a cup in her hand because she loves milk.  There’s a sticker of Sophia the First (one of her favorite shoes) and a bird, because they’re pretty.

Stu said that she’s not done yet, she wants to put some pictures of her family on as well.

This one totally rocks.

IMG_9129.JPG

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