Tuesday, March 30, 2010

iPhone Photos and an Exhaustive List of My Morning...

I am so excited as I sit here with Mr. Owl, preparing for my day.  Allison is coming today!  We are about to head down to Oakland to pick her up from the airport.  The morning has started off well, first things being first, I was awoken by the rain and wind.  I was then able to take a shower (which can be rare) ate some breakfast and read my Bible-- by myself

But the thing that I am most excited about, besides seeing Allison, is the fact that Elliott and I decided to make a big surprise for her.

Sshhh... Don't tell her, but we decided to throw her a birthday party!  I think she will be extremely surprised since her birthday has long since passed.  February 5th to be exact!  It should be fun!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Beach Day!

Its been so nice out lately, that we decided it was high time to hit the sand. The kids and I worked real hard to hang our hammock. They wanted to relax in it as soon as it was hung, but I'm a slave driver and I insisted we plant a garden first.

After all, I could tell it was going to rain and I wanted the flowers to get a good drink.

But pretty soon, the sun came back out and we had a lovely afternoon...

That is, until night closed in and the stars came out. Even still, we stayed and played a bit before packing up our things and heading in for a snack.

For more sidewalk chalk inspiration check out some of Color Me Katie's fun ideas and this one from Lovely Design.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


It seems my son has decided to join the army...

Not only that, but he will be a spy!  I totally support this decision as I have ALWAYS wanted to be a spy, myself.  "Go, my son, and may God be with you.  Whatever you do...DON'T GET CAUGHT."

"Hi Elliot I Just got $11 hows that For the trip. How much do you think it would cost to go to AFGHANistan I think It would cost $800 something.
I think we will be there till 3/1/2011 I KNOW It is a long time till you see your mom and dad but you are Now a COVeRt AGENt a covert agent is a
SPY be Aware that spying is illegal and if we caught you get killed I get killed and Jethro gets killed and they will let caiden go dead or alive you are
a hero to your contry."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring. Spring?

I was gonna post and tell you how beautiful the weather has become.  I was gonna say that it looks like creation has decided that its time for spring.  I was gonna show you some evidence of that...  And I guess I still can, but I would be lying if I said that I still believe it with all my heart.  The last two days have been frigid.  But creation is holding fast to its claim that it is time.  White and pink blossoms have been bursting forth everywhere in Sonoma County.  Flowers are popping up with sleepy little heads.  Just gotta get that sun a little closer and we'll be all set for summer.  Happy day!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Leech

Having kids always reminds me of the year I asked for a "Puppy Surprise" for Christmas. I was a bit too old and a bit too tomboyish to be asking for the pink plush puppy with the velcro tummy that held a surprise amount of puppies inside. But the whole idea of not knowing whether you would get boys or girls or 2 or 3 or 6 held some kind of draw for me.

Getting pregnant is kind of the same thing. You never know what you're gonna get. A boy? A girl? One of each? And then after they're born its an assortment of other surprises: what will they look like? will they have blue eyes or brown eyes? what is their personality type?

I keep telling Dave that Caiden is like a "Puppy Surprise." Tonight she was doing all sorts of weird tricks with her tongue: taco tongue, scrunching it up into a weird wavy contortion, twisting it around. And I just kept thinking, "Where did I get this little tiny cute girl who can fold up her tongue in such weird ways?"

When Elliott was little, he always wanted to get down and be moving and exploring. Caiden, on the other hand, is like a little leech. And lately, her leeching tendencies have gone off the charts. Suddenly she sucks herself to you whenever someone is around, if someone new walks into the room, even if its only Daddy. If someone she doesn't know is there she will hide her face and freak out if she can't be touching Mommy or Daddy. At home, if one of us won't hold her, she'll dissolve into tears and and crumple up into a little ball and not look at us. If we tell her not to do something, she'll dissolve into tears, scrunch up her face and hide her eyes in her little tiny hands and nothing can pry them off. "Hold chu?" and "Uppy!" have become her two favorite words and tears have become her favorite liquid. And really, any one who knows me realizes that I have no one but myself to blame. I've cried buckets and buckets worth of tears in my day and falling on the floor in a fit of tears was my specialty growing up. Hiding my face when I'm upset is a trademark. Can these things be genetic?

I still love you, little pink puppy. Best surprise ever!

Photo credit: David Escalante. Check out David's new Analog Digital photo blog, updated daily

Friday, March 5, 2010

Urban Outing

Elliott has a llama on his head, his shirt is inside out, Caiden drew on her rainboots with a Sharpie, and its doubtful if either one of them have on matching socks... I'm pretty sure these minor details won't leave permanent emotional scars.  Happy weekend!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Kitchen Mishap

Usually on crynfiction, you might find my victories, a clever anecdote (actually, I just like saying that word), cute stories, successful recipes, etc., ect., mostly good things, so I thought I ought to throw a few of my disasters and mishaps into the mix just to keep things fresh and to insure that we're all on the same page about the fact that I am not in any way, nor is my life in any way, nor are my skills in any way perfect.  Just in case.  Plus, I have a funny story to tell.

This isn't the funny story... This is just a picture of Caiden eating blue sprinkles.  I added it for visual interest.  Absolutely no bearing on the conversation at hand...

So, you know I really like to bake, yes?  Well, the other day I thought I would make some blueberry muffins for the kids, but some muffins that were kind of "healthy" and not overly sugary and "empty."  Now, when I want advice on a healthy version of a baked good, I usually visit Heidi's blog, 101 Cookbooks.  She has great recipes and a lot of experience with that sort of thing.  So I thought I would riff off of her Maple Huckleberry Coffee Cake Recipe... except I didn't have huckleberries, or maple syrup, or fine grain sea salt, or rosemary, or buttermilk, or enough whole wheat pastry flour, or (and I didn't know this at the time) butter, or lemon zest!  I know what you are thinking.  You're thinking its already a disaster and why didn't I know this from the start.  Well, sassyfrass, I thought I knew what I was doing, but apparently I did not.  I definitely did not!  I most likely should have used the handy dandy book, Ratio, to look up the ratio for muffins, and then play around with it that way, but I was too lazy and a little bit of a smarty pants. (That is a great...dare I say, revolutionary book for the home cook, by the way)

Not that you would ever need a recipe for disaster, but this is what I did with Heidi's wonderful recipe... Just in case you want to know.  I substituted whole wheat flour for part of the pastry flour, and yogurt instead of the butter in the batter, yogurt instead of buttermilk and honey instead of maple syrup, omitted the zest, thyme instead of thyme and rosemary (which didn't seem like a good idea even if I had the ingredients), regular salt instead of sea salt, and finally, blueberries in lieu of huckleberries. And I made it into muffins instead of a loaf/cake.  This all seemed like it would work fine, at the time... But then to top it all off, when I went to make the crumble part, I found that I didn't have any butter for that so I threw in a few tablespoons of peanut butter.  I know!  Disgusting.  Trust me, it smelled even worse that it sounds. 

The muffins baked and came out tasting worse than they smelled.  And they weren't even just disgusting, but adding insult upon injury, they almost tasted... tasted... dare I tell you?  They almost tasted rancid.  I'm not kidding, I threw the entire batch into the garbage.

This was a new kitchen low.  But, thankfully, it wasn't too devastating.  Mostly, it was just funny how completely terrible they turned out.  The level of awfulness was so high, that it could only be funny.  And I immediately thought of you.  I knew I had to tell you. I just wish you could have experienced how truly awful and inedible these babies were. I am not being modest here.

Now, after shattering any ideas you may have previously had of "Corynne, kitchen goddess," I feel like I should leave you with something good to think about.

Best cookie recipe of ALL TIME.  The trick seems to be a number of things, but a huge factor being to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance to allow all the ingredients to really meld together.  I'm not kidding.  This recipe is killer.  I'm usually impatient, so I'll bake a few the first night and then put the rest in the fridge for a day or two and wait for the real goodness to emerge.

Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Ever

Good luck with the rest of your week!  Only two more days...

P.S.  Apparently you have to sign up at nytimes.com to view the recipe.  Its free, but I know its a hassle.  Trust me, though, this recipe is worth it.  Happy baking!

Monday, March 1, 2010


Gasp!  There's something I forgot to tell you!  Elliott had a birthday and turned five in January!

Seems like as soon as this happened, he matured overnight.  He's started getting really interested in drawing and building with little tiny legos.  All of a sudden, he is content to entertain himself with either of these two activities for long periods of time.  Shocking!

I asked him what it felt like to be five and this was his reply:

"...Fun. Because you get to do things you couldn't do, like dangerous things. And fun things that you like to do."

Although he protests getting bigger because he doesn't want to outgrow his Peter Pan costume, I think five fits him just right.

The other day, as I was buckling him into his carseat, he looked at me and said, "Mom, you have purple on your eyes."

I was wearing some pink hued eyeshadow that day and hadn't really been sure about how I liked it, so I said, "Oh, yeah, I have eyeshadow on... Does it look weird?"

He gasped, "NO, Mom!  I don't think you're weird! I love you."

So cute.  So sweet.  That's my boy...  He's sensitive, but he's got a wild side, too...  So glad you came into my life five years ago, sweet boy.

Let me leave you with this little mantra that one of Elliott's little 2 year old buddies likes to chant about him, "Elli-utt-tut. Toot, toot! Elli-utt.tut. toot, toot!..."