Sunday, August 27, 2017

Help in the kitchen

I don't know how much time you spend around babies (toddlers) but they are interested in Action. So when something is going on Chester does not want to miss out. If I am trying to cook something, for example, he wants to be held so he can see what is going on, thereby making it quite difficult for me to continue the action. Conundrum!

If I was a non-thrifty parent I'd buy him a learning tower. Or if I was more handy parent I'd DIY a makeshift learning tower.

But then I decided I'd just let him stand on a chair. And he didn't fall off, so there we go!

So I let Chester help cook dinner and he was very happy to get his hands in the food. His first task was to take tater tots out of a bag and place them on a baking pan. He put each and every one on the pan individually, and when I took the pan to put it in the oven he burst into tears. Apparently the tater tots were a new fun toy and I took them away!

We quickly moved onto Chester's second task of making the salad. I showed him how to rip the big pieces of lettuce into small pieces, and that task kept him occupied until it was time to eat. Win!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


About a month ago I had this great idea to just make my very own Swedish princess cake. So I ordered marzipan online and did just that. I ended up following Mary's recipe, because it seemed the same as many swedish recipes, while eliminating the chance that I would go wrong because of a translating error. Plus I like measuring ingredients by weight instead of volume.

I did not dye my marzipan green. Sometimes extra work for pure aesthetics​ is worth it, but not this time. I also did not make a rose for the top of the cake.

I did use blueberry jam (that I bought and did not make). I seem to remember that the cakes in Sweden with white marzipan were blueberry flavored. So I can almost justify my lack of green, but then can I call it a princesstårta? Probably not.

Anyhow. This cake turned out to be so delicious! While very time consuming, I am so glad I made it.   Plus, making the custard required six egg yolks, leaving me with six egg whites. How convenient :)

Friday, April 7, 2017

Language misunderstandings

Sometimes I get a little peek into the mind of my small language learner and I just have to laugh/admire the process.

First there was that time I said the word kitchen and Chester started making a chicken sound.

Then there was that time I fed Chester beef and he started buzzing like a bee.

Another day he was looking through one of his books and when he got to the picture of the ox he started doing the sign for fox.

He also pointed to his leg where he had just gotten a shot when we told him we were going to go shop.

And just yesterday I told him I had cleaned his cup and he knelt down and started brushing the cup on the floor, as if to clean.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


Here is an exchange I witnessed in February (C age 13 months).

Greg: Chester, can you bring me the shoe horn?

Chester looks around. Grabs shoe horn. Brings it to Greg.

Greg: Oh good, thank you!

Friday, February 3, 2017

A delight

Sometimes Chester just does stuff, and Greg and I will both be watching him, giving each other that look that says, "Are you seeing what this kid is up to now?" Usually Chester is so involved that he fails to notice us both watching him. Then eventually he stops and looks at us both smiling and silently laughing at him. After one such episode the other day, when he finally looked over at me I said, "Oh Chester, you are a delight!" Then he promptly threw his head back and pointed at the light.


(He was stuck there and I just had to take a photo before rescuing him.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Polish tradition

There is a photo in my baby book where I am standing at a table with an assortment of things spread in front of me. It is accompanied by a note written by my grandmother, explaining that it was a Polish tradition to have a baby choose from among a prayer book, rosary, thimble, wine glass, money, and bread on their first birthday. And the choice they make will predict their future. Prayer book means religious, priest. Rosary means religious, nun. Thimble means tailor, seamstress, sewer. Wine glass means wine maker, grape grower. Money means banker, wealthy. Bread means baker, wheat farmer.

My grandmother also noted that in Poland these were all honorable careers. Then she noted that my great uncle had his own version. Wine glass means drunkard; bread means fat & eating; money is to spend, not save; thimble means patching; and the book/beads were holy person, no fun!

On my first birthday, I chose, in this order:
1. Money
2. Prayer book
3. Thimble
4. Rosary
5. Bread
6. Wine glass


On Chester's first birthday, he chose, in this order:
1. Prayer book
2. Wine glass
3. Money
4. Rosary
5. Thimble
6. Bread

And then he ate the piece of bread.


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Chester's first year

Chester is already one! Hipp hipp hurrah! Here are monthly photos from his birth until his first birthday!