Thursday, October 28, 2010


I know I'm ruining the surprise of their Halloween costumes by continuing to post photos of them half completed, but they're just so cute, I can't help it. Also, the kids have been wearing them a lot, so all of our pictures recently have some version of the costumes in them.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


One completed bat mask (you try to get him to stand still!)

and Robin's costume still on the way. We're going for Adam West Batman, not comic book Batman & Robin, in case you were all wondering...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


After our orchard adventure, we decided to turn our delicious apples into apple pie. I've been trying to get the kids more involved in cooking, mostly because it keeps them from destroying the house and because they love it. In this case, they helped by taking bites out of the apples as I peeled and cored them.

Apple pie is simple to make and usually delicious. This was no exception. Here's my apple pie recipe:

8-10 small to medium apples
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 - 3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

Peel, core, and slice applies to 1/4" thick. (Apples should equal about 7 cups).
In a large pot, heat butter until sizzling. Reduce to low and add apples. Cover & cook, stirring, for 5-7 minutes.
Add sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
Cook at a rapid boil for about 3 minutes.
Spread on a baking sheet and cool to room temperature.

Bake in a double pie dough at 425 for 35 - 45 minutes. I've always followed this method of making dough, and so long as you always deny how much butter you're using, it usually works perfectly. Be sure to cool the pie completely after baking. If you're like me, you fail and cut into it after an hour, and then ruin the filling from becoming completely set. It still tastes great, but it doesn't look as neat. There! Apple pie!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Last weekend, Nikki and Andy took us and the kids to Deardorf Orchard in Waconia, MN. It was the last day of their season, and we had a wonderful time. Gus (Batman) met the barn cat and loved him.

You wouldn't know this unless you spend a lot of time at our house, but Gus loves to have long discussions with our cats. I think he appreciates that they will sit silently and listen to him talk, unlike anyone else in the family. This cat was no exception. Gus gave him the lowdown on his Halloween costume, and talked to him all the way up the drive.

There were other animals, too. Nova met a sheep. That's good, because she just learned to say "baa!"

There was a very tall llama.

And a goat with floppy ears.

Gus checked out the horse pasture, but the horse was too far away to hold up his end of the conversation.

There was also two beautiful black labs. Irene won't sit still for petting by Gus and Nova, so this dog was a real change for them. Look at Nova's face in this photo: pure joy.

She gave this dog 8 million hugs, and he just sat down for it all. What a sweetheart.

Before we left for the day, we were pulled by the tractor around the orchard to see where the apples and the grapes are grown.

The kids liked the tractor ride a lot.

Thanks for such a fun day, Andy & Nikki!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Having only seen Sesame Street a handful of times, Gus calls this guy "Bernie", which never fails to make me giggle.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Thursday, October 21, 2010


Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Tuesday, October 19, 2010


A friend of a friend moved into the Let it Be house, where the Replacements took their famous record cover photo. Another friend arranged a photo shoot, and invited us.

What do you think? Not half bad, eh?


Monday, October 18, 2010


Kayla came over for dinner last week, and spent time with Gus reading before bed. We try to always make guests read the most difficult Dr. Seuss books, and this time I think they were struggling through "Oh Say Can you Say".

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Thanks to a customer at the shop, we recently got some new custom-made record shelves. That means we rearranged the living room, which Nova really enjoyed.

Seriously! Where did the baby go? She looks so big!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


A couple of visits to the thrift store and a few hours of sewing (plus one lucky find of some bat-gloves) and we've not only got a costume for Halloween, but one the little guy can wear to Fall-Con today! Now I've got to get to work on the sidekick costume, so they can be the dynamic duo: Batman & Robin!

Friday, October 15, 2010


Andrea babysat the kids last week, and brought us homemade raspberry jam. Gus loved it!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Everyone knows that Gus looks a lot like Dave. Even people who have only met Dave once and then subsequently met Gus months later have been known to remark on the amazing resemblance. Need a refresher?

I was a little jealous, maybe, but more and more it can't be denied - Nova is my own little doppelganger.

It's not just my imagination, right? Come on.... someone else has to see it too!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Oh Mousie, Shmousie, how you've grown!

Nova recently hit 15 months, and she's changed so much. Since she decided to finally stand up and start walking at the beginning of August, Nova moved out of the baby world and into the realm of the toddler. It's odd, but I've heard both Dave and say "our two toddlers" in the last week or so. It never occurred to me that we'd have two toddlers, but here they are!

Nova's ability to communicate and understand has been the most profound recent change. She went from making what Dave and I called "the Frankenstein sound" and grunting and pointing at what she wants to using words and signs for everything she needs. We didn't try too hard to get Gus to learn signs, but it's been different and easier with Nova. She signs more, all-done, book, milk, hungry, eat, and others that I can't think of off hand. The number of words she knows increases every day - but her favorites remain hat, papa, momma, money (she loves playing with coins), puppy, juice, and shoes.

She can follow simple instructions (go get your shoes, let's go in the kitchen) and will answer questions with a nod or a shake of the head (do you want to go upstairs and go to bed? are you hungry?) It's fun to notice the change in how we talk to her too - she was carrying around the crust of bread from her breakfast the other day, and without looking up I asked her to eat it or go put it in the garbage. Moments later, I heard the cupboard close, and she came back empty handed. I was surprised that she understood me, but mostly I got a kick out of the fact that she did what I asked!

Nova loves cleaning up, putting things in boxes, and throwing things away. When I was sewing last week, she gathered up as much of the fabric as she could hold, and put it in the garbage for me. Trying on hats is one of her favorite games, and she loves playing dress up with her brother's clothes on laundry day.

She still adores Gus and mimics his every move. In a recent bout of two-year-oldness, Gus was telling me "No" and pointing his finger at me with the other hand on his hip. She studied him carefully, then did the exact same thing - she doesn't have the word for No yet (thankfully!) but she's got the movement down pat. She misses him while he's napping and if we don't keep a watchful eye, she'll sneak up the stairs and into his room to wake him up.

She waves bye-bye and gives hugs and kisses. She's gentle with the pets and will show her tummy to anyone who asks. She carries the phone around and says "Hi! Hi! Hi!" She hates being told no, and will bury her face in a pillow and pretend to cry (oh the drama - lord help us all!) It's impossible to imagine that she was born when Gus was this age. I think of him as so grown up when she was born, but when I look at her I still see just a wee baby!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


This photo of Gus is by far the best photo of the day, and one of the best photos I've ever taken of him. He was so delighted to be sitting with this gorilla statue, what a big grin. I can't believe how big my little guy is getting!

Monday, October 11, 2010


The puma was very busy the day we visited the zoo. The kids were captivated.

It would jump up to the above part, then back down and pace back and forth, stopping to drink from the pond.

It was pretty neat.