Friday, January 20, 2012

Snow Days

The more it snows ~~
tiddely pom,
The more it goes ~~
tiddely pom,
The more it goes ~~
tiddely pom
On snowing ~~

And nobody knows~~
tiddely pom ,
How cold my toes ~~
tiddely pom,
Are growing.

-A.A. Milne

It's been snowing off and on in Seattle since Saturday. This is a rare and wondrous event in our area, and hills, temps, urban tree canopy, and little plowing make for a city-wide snow holiday when it snows this much for this long. Schools have been closed since Tuesday. Ice storms had Sea-Tac airport grounded yesterday, trees falling, and hundreds of thousands of people without power. It's a big deal around here.

This morning a warm front and rain are slowly melting our deep freeze, but we've been holed up at our house all week and it's been so much fun.

Tuesday afternoon, Matt, the eminent bread-maker in our family, made a Peter Reinhart recipe for cinnamon rolls. He's become so attached to "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day," that he nearly lost faith, but he pulled through in the end.

We were all glad he did--especially Avonlea, who woke up on Wednesday morning and promptly took over my plate of cinnamon roll, declaring: "Avi's!" I think she mostly liked the frosting.

Matt's a brave Minnesota-bred boy, and he took Avonlea down the hill to Nonny and Bob's (Avo's names for them these days) for some play time while I beavered away on my manuscript revisions.

It's been so lovely to have been together in a snowy parentheses for the past five days. I can't help but think of Narnia and the Hundred Acre Wood when the snow casts a spell over our world for a little while. Sometimes cancelling everything in what my friend Jonna called a "forced sabbath," is such a gift. And now, when spring finally comes, I'll feel like we've really had a winter.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Avonlea's Second Birthday

On December 31, New Year's Eve, our sweet Avonlea turned two-years-old. This tired mama was recovering from a cold, a bit burnt out from holiday doings (see previous post), and overall uninclined to coordinate a big toddler-friendly activity in the middle of winter. And so, with an evite to family and a couple of Avonlea's playmates, I decided: breakfast. I can do breakfast.

And breakfast is really all I would have done if it weren't for the fabulous effort put forth by my new sister-in-law Mari to gussy our place up a bit. Both of us inspired by this pancake fete for a little girl's birthday, Mari went to work on our apartment, and I went to work in the kitchen.

We had Matt's favorite Jamie Oliver potatoes, bacon, and scrambled eggs...

and a pancake bar with three batters to choose from: whole grain, buttermilk, and red velvet. Plus blueberries and chocolate chips to drop in on the griddle.

Toppings included chopped hazelnuts, whipped cream, berry compote, butter, pure maple syrup, marmalade, and a lemon marscapone topping especially for the red velvet pancakes.

My wonderful sister Jessica showed up early, vacuumed my house, and steady rocked that griddle all morning, God bless her.

It's a good thing that I had Mari and Jessi's help, too, because family + a couple of friends = almost 30 people at a our place. Did I mention we have a tiny apartment? In the end, though, it felt cozy, not crowded.

And not because we put all the kids in Avonlea's crib, I promise.
Sweet Lilly here.

And Wesley, who later put "the moves" on Avonlea. Not that kind. Think WWF. I have a video, but can't figure out how to make iPhoto vids compatible with blogger. I could probably make that claim for nearly every post I do. (This is a cry for help. Anyone who knows how, feel free to chime in on the comments.)

The "Roddy" girls: Matt's brother's GF Melissa (in town from Minny), Mari, Heather, and Matt's cousin Lindsay

Avo's birthday "cake."
The sequence below is Avonlea blowing out her birthday candles. She LOVED everyone singing to her.

It's hard to believe that it's already been a year since Avonlea turned one and had chocolate for the first time!

Phew! We all survived, and I think Avonlea felt pretty special. Onto 2012 and having a two-year-old in the family!