Wednesday, February 28, 2007

What's cooking Wednesday: Saffron Risotto with Butternut Squash

Sounds a bit froofroo on first take, but seriously, I had everything in my kitchen that I needed for this recipe. I always have a bit of saffron on hand because who knows when you might want to whip up a paella, right? It actually lives in my "seldom used but critical to have" spice box.

This recipe was a first for me. I got Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook out of the library this week and decided to try this recipe. Her recipes are dead easy and she doesn't use fancy stuff. I really like that.... fits my life very well. Anyway, it is very rich but absolutely delicious. If you don't like saffron, don't make this recipe.

I would actually cut down on the amount of butter she uses because it makes it soooo rich and it isn't necessary. I also added a monster clove of garlic because it just needed it. What doesn't?

Saffron Risotto with Butternut Squash

1 butternut squash
2 tbsp olive oil
6 cups chicken stock
3 tbsp butter (she says to use 3/4 of a stick which to us Canadians doesn't mean much but I think one stick is half a cup.... anyway, it's too much. Use less - 3 tbsp would be about right)
2 ounces pancetta, diced (I can't do ounces either - again, it's a metric thing - I just put in a bunch because there is no such thing as too much pancetta)
2 diced onions
garlic - however much you like
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup white wine (she said 1/2 cup, but c'mon... the more the better in risotto)
1 tsp saffron threads
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 F. Peel and seed the squash and cut into small cubes. Put on a cookie sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat chicken stock in saucepan and let simmer at low heat. By the by, she says to use homemade. Hah! Campbells tetra pack did me just fine.

In heavy-bottomed pretty big pot, melt butter and saute the pancetta and onion on med-low for 10 minutes or until onion is translucent but not brown. Add rice and garlic and stir to coat with butter and until the rice toasts a little bit (not brown). Add wine and cook 2 minutes. Add 2 full ladles of stock, saffron, 1 tsp salt and some pepper. Stir and simmer until stock is absorbed. Continue to add stock and stir every few minutes to develop the starch and also so it doesn't burn. I'm not one to stand and stir my risotto continually. I have better things to do and also, it's damn hot over that pot. Stirring every few minutes is fine... just don't say that to a die-hard Italian risotto maker. I'm sure they would not agree. Also, stir in any damn direction you please. Okay, on with it. Continue adding stock until the rice is cooked through but still al dente. Should take about 20-30 minutes depending on how hot your burner is (I did it just above medium and this is about right. Took about 20 minutes). Take it off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and the Parmesan cheese. Mix, serve, hear the oohs and aahs.

The other side?

We may have broken through the nastiness barrier - at least for today anyway. For the first time in three or four days (it's all a blur now), Emily went to bed without a tantrum, without screaming at me, without me losing it. It's been a really rough few days and thus the lack of posts. I didn't even know what to say about it. But, today we talked about how she would behave before we went upstairs and she stuck to it. She was great. The old Emily.

I've mentioned lots of times before now how funny Emily is. Like most kids she doesn't realize she is funny when she is at her funniest (if that makes any sense at all). Today she had one of those moments.

She and I were playing in the basement and I could smell something foul. I assumed she had pooped in her underwear (yes, the battle continues... still no birthday cake). I asked her if she'd poop, she said no. I told her I had to check and of course, there was some poop. I said: "Emily, you did poop in your underwear!" She looked at me and said: "Dat's not good!" Okay, so it was a lot funnier with her inflections and little speech impediment. You'll just have to trust me. It was damn funny.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

That was nothing

A couple of months ago I proclaimed that Emily had become the spawn of Satan. That Emily had nothing, I repeat, NOTHING, on the current version.

Emily will be entirely herself one minute and within seconds and with virtually no warning, become, and I'm not joking at all, the child you always see on Nanny 911 screaming at her parents, screaming "no," running away, refusing to listen or do as she is told no matter how benign the request. Seriously, that is Emily right now.

We've been really, really lucky with Emily. She has, for the most part, been a very easy toddler. She listens quite well, she is fairly polite, she is really loving, she aims to please most of the time. She is funny, smart, cute, silly, fun.... all the good stuff and her bad stuff isn't nearly as bad as we've witnessed in other kids her age. Until two days ago or so.

John and I have spouted different theories on the change in her... developmental? diet? t.v. (too much)? disrupted routine the last two weeks due to visitors (we kind of agree this is most likely)? There's really no way to know for sure right now but I expect something will reveal itself in the next few days.

I'm pretty much at a loss on how to deal with it. I've pulled out all the regular tricks and then some. I've got to say... nothing has bothered me as much as being screamed at by my child. It really makes my blood boil. It is just so..... antisocial. I actually am starting to hesitate before we go anywhere wondering what might happen while we're out... how embarrassed I will be when/if she turns on me in the middle of Chapters.

I now know why they are called the Terrible Twos. I didn't really understand it until this past week. It is so clear now.

She's two and a half and I'm finding it this hard. I'm scared shitless of the teenage years. Narcotics maybe... for both of us?

On the other side of the page, Emily pooped in the toilet tonight, the first time in days. She's been saving it up for her naps or just not going at all. So, I heaped loads of praise on her and rewarded her with a new Barney video (how's that for cutting down on her t.v.... believe me I see the idiocy). And then there is Hope, who is sleeping like shit, but in every other way is pretty much excellent and perfect. To end on that happy note, here are some photos of Hope and I from yesterday when she wasn't napping. Bless Photo Booth:

Saturday, February 24, 2007

While He Was Out

After a few days of promises, here is the photo essay of the re-design (sort of) of our bedroom.

John had no idea that I was doing this. The idea started just with buying two new bedside lamps (John HATED the previous/current set - explanation on that further down - and has hated them since we started dating. I consistently remind him that my sorely missed dearly departed mother gave them to me and it rips into my soul when he is so heartless as to denigrate them in any way but so far it is no deterrent) and then I realized I had this great opportunity to redo the room - including much needed painting - when he decided to go to Toronto for three days during Reading Week. I enlisted my dad and Donna (who, by the by, is a professional house painter) to come and help... um, do it for me.

So, as much as it embarrasses me to do so (due to the tragic state of my housekeeping), here are photos of the "before":

At this point, let me draw your attention to some lovely elements of the previous room: in the first photo, notice how the previous owners chose to paint just slightly into the closet and stop. I've always thought that was a lovely touch. In photo 2, notice the lovely bedskirt that is hanging all shaggy off the bed and the duvet that is a double but trying to cover two people who are sleeping on a queen size bed. Yes, tug of wars ensue. In photo 3, notice the lovely bare yellow wall over our bed. I've never found the right thing to hang there that was in our current collection of stuff. The drape was made by me recently and was planned to coordinate with the room when it was redone.

Let's continue:

In these photos , please take note of the trim around the doors. What a lovely idea to paint the trim darker than the walls in a beautiful mustard yellow. Really easy to cover, too.

So, I decided on a dark red wall behind the bed. I still had existing paint from the main floor (BM's Abingdon Putty - kind of a grey green colour). I went to HomeSense and got some nice accent stuff and spent a good wad on a beautiful duvet cover, bed skirt and pillow shams at Beddingtons and got a new duvet too.

Donna arrived with all her great painting gear and tools, I threw my collection into the mix and we got going. Truth is that she did pretty much all of it with me popping in to help between doing kid stuff, cooking etc. Here are two in progress shots:

And now the big reveal, set up as Before and After:

Notice the nice WHITE baseboards. Oh yeah.

While you can't really tell from this photo, the duvet cover is soooo beautiful. I didn't get a close up so you'll just have to imagine.

Hanging behind the door are two new bathrobes for John and I from Land's End. Sweet.

Okay, wall is still bare. I'm planning on finding a really nice textile to hang behind it. I'm thinking Ten Thousand Villages will have something. Also notice that the whole impetus behind doing the rooms - new table lamps - has not been achieved. This is because IKEA sucks. I chose great lamps from IKEA, my dad bought them at the North York store because Ottawa was out of stock. When I opened the two lamps, one of the shades was shattered (clearly done before my dad bought it). I called IKEA and the lamp is now discontinued so I can't get a replacement so my dad is returning both lamps. Wah. The one lamp I assembled looked great. Now, I can't find anything as good for as cheap. IKEA screws me again.

I picked John up at the airport on Wednesday night and walked upstairs with him when he went to unpack. He knew there was a special Valentine's gift in our room for him but he was blown away when he walked in the room. He couldn't believe I planned it under his nose and that we got it (mostly) done before he got home. He's still talking about it several days on. I'm feeling pretty wicked.

The hunt for lamps continued today... but with no success so far. Ideas? Any good finds?

Well, almost time to retire to our new little paradise. I have about 45 minutes until Hope's next wake-up. More on that another time. For now, let's just revel in the nice-ness of our bedroom. Ah, there it is.

The whirlwind is over for now

My dad and Donna just pulled out of the driveway. It has been a frenzied few days, a frenzied couple of weeks actually. It started with the visit by John's mom for a week, then John left for 3 days for research in Toronto, then my dad and Donna arrived, then John got back and now my dad and Donna (and dog) are on their way home and normalcy, good or bad, will resume.

My dad and Donna accomplished a huge amount while they were here - the While You Were Out for starters (looks amazing but pictures won't be put up until the final touches are done - i.e. replacing stupid IKEA lamps that were original plan with something that isn't broken and discontinued. Grrr... Swedish for Common Crap), reinstalling the gate at the top of the stairs, putting more shelves in the top of three closets in the house. That's a lot. Meanwhile, there were kids to entertain and take care of, meals to cook, etc etc etc. It was great but now I'm ready for some downtime and to get back into the regular routine.

I think today will be a family day of tobogganing and hanging around. I'll try to finish up the room to satisfy the masses with some good photos. Maybe I'll shower too. Hmmm, that might be too ambitious for a Saturday. I must pace myself after all.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

What's cooking Wednesday: a whole bunch of oops!

Was yesterday Wednesday? Oh my... I only realized this morning that it was. I've been the in middle of a While You Were Out for John the last few days (post to come later) and between that, taking care of two kids solo, hosting my dad and his wife (who totally helped with the WYWO), taking pictures of dinner last night was furthest from my mind.

However, I did pull together a pretty good meal - Ratatouille with oven baked potato slices. Tasted good. Emily wouldn't try it. Typical lately.

Well, off to make some bread, possibly go skating (finally) on the canal and then later finish up the bedroom so I can take some "after" photos for the forthcoming post. Prepare to be wowed!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Baching it

John's away this week doing research in Toronto as it is Reading Week, and whooda thunk it... the guy actually reads! During Reading Week! When I signed up for this I figured I'd get every Reading Week in a tropical location... or at least Montreal. Sigh. That's what you get for marrying a professor (no, he wasn't my professor!) who takes it all for serious like.

So, this all means that since Sunday night I've been solo around here. It's been a bit hairy at times - last night getting them into bed was not a pretty picture. I lost it at one point, got it back and finally had time to myself at quarter to 9:00. Just in time for 24. Naptime today was just as interesting. Since I can only stand hearing one kid wail at a time, Hope won and was removed from her crib.

My dad and his wife are coming tonight so that will, at the very least, give me some adult conversation and some welcome relief that I need during the day, which is the tough part right now.

Emily misses her daddy (who she seems to think is living at the airport) but is also enjoying having half of our bed when she gets up at 5:30 in the morning... she crawls in with me and goes back to sleep. Kind of nice for me... otherwise I would be making breakfast at 5:30.

Well, time to get cleaning.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Bye-bye Omi

Omi left this morning. The house is back to normal. And that sucks.

I love our house and routine but, MAN, is it great to have Omi here to help. Emily and Hope, but especially Emily, will miss her a lot.

Until next time, Omi.... Prosit! Thanks so much!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Is this the face of a Pablum baby?

Okay, so that post title pales in comparison to my last, according to reports anyway, but not all of them can be big winners.


Yesterday Hope had her first taste of real food. If you consider rice cereal real food, that is. She seemed to like it. A lot more than Emily ever did, anyway. But then, Hope seems to like eating a lot more than Emily did. Evidence the fact that she is 17 pounds at 5 months old and Emily was 19 pounds at 12 months. Since John wasn't home for the big first taste, I captured it on film for him at his request, and now you get to enjoy it to.

For those of you who care about this kind of thing, I gave her organic brown rice cereal instead of the usual white rice tastes like sawdust but with less flavour kind of cereal and let me just say "mmmm." Definitely better than Pablum. (Can you tell I'm Canadian?) I recommend it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Omi's my bitch

When Omi is here, Emily is pretty much in charge of the itinerary and bosses poor Omi around to her heart's content. I'm exaggerating slightly, but only slightly. Rose is in fact the adult, but Emily follows her everywhere (I don't think Rose has peed in privacy since she arrived) and expects Omi to be at her beck and call.

Emily has been getting up at 5:30 recently. We've told her that she can't watch any t.v. when she gets up (her usual routine) because Omi is sleeping in the basement (we're so hospitable - we give Omi a cardboard box and tell her to watch out for the rats and spiders). She showed about 5 seconds of patience this morning when Omi wasn't in the dining room to greet her at 5:30. I did manage to stop her from storming the basement but she was doing everything she could think of to will Omi up the stairs:

What's cooking Wednesday: Scalloped Potatoes

Okay, so I've been more than a little delinquent the last few days with my posts. It's been busy around here, what with Omi visiting, Hope's ear infection, etc. But, I've managed to pull together a WCW post. Tonight, I made roast beef with scalloped potatoes on the side. I love scalloped potatoes, however retro. If you haven't had them in 15 years or so, it's time to reintroduce them to your repertoire.

Scalloped Potatoes
(recipe from Better Homes and Gardens old red and white checked book)

Melt 3 tbsp butter in a pot and add two tablespoons flour to create a roux. Add 1 1/2 tsp of salt and some pepper. When all combined and melted, add slowly 3 cups of milk to make a white sauce. Set aside.

Meanwhile, peel and slice (I use a food processor) six medium sized potatoes. Separately, slice two onions. In a greased casserole dish, layer in half of the sliced potatoes, one of the sliced onions, sprinkle with some grated cheddar, then pour on half of the white sauce. Top with remaining potatoes, remaining onions and more cheese then the rest of the sauce.

Bake in 350F oven, covered, for 1 hour. Remove lid and bake 30 minutes more. Delicious!

I also made some cupcakes today for Valentines and had Emily decorate them. They turned out great and Emily did a great job:

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Seems so much more do-able with an Omi

I was suspicious that the ear infection was what caused Hope to sleep through the night the three nights before her diagnosis. But, after night from hell on Saturday night, she slept through on Sunday and then again last night. Saturday may have been drug-induced, but last night was drug free, aside from the amoxicillin. Woot to Hope! What an amazing trooper.

Of course, naps are now down to about 45 minutes but I'm not going to worry about that since her nights are so good right now.

John's mom, Rose, is visiting us all week so I finally have a much needed break. Today I was able to take Emily to her preschool playgroup sans Hope who stayed at home with Omi. What a nice treat. I was able to fully concentrate on Emily and drink a coffee at the same time!

This afternoon, I pulled off a new bread recipe, a new batch of pastry and organized Emily's tea party for when she woke up. Rose did all the dishes I created and of course, was the key participant in the tea party itself.

Makes me really wish we lived closer to family for many selfish reasons.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Oh, What a Night

I've never had one like that before. From about 11:00 on, Hope was awake every 10 or 15 minutes. At 12:30, I finally decided to take her to the main floor and try having her in her car seat. She slept in her car seat, with me on the couch, for 15 minutes. Then, we moved to the basement. I pulled out the pull-out couch and she slept on and off beside me all night essentially breastfeeding most of the time.

I took Jen's advice and doubled her up on Tempra and Motrin and that helped get her asleep initially. I'm very tired, needless to say. You just don't sleep soundly when a baby is attached to you all night long.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Ear Infection

Three great nights were followed by a really nasty one last night. A trip to the doctor tonight revealed that wee Hope has an ear infection.

She barely napped today (or yesterday for that matter - now I know why), but has been down sleeping for about two hours. Hopefully it will go on for a while longer. Thank goodness for Motrin.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Another one of those days

It's been a while but I've had another one of those days. Those days where you wonder why you stopped taking the pill. I don't have them too often lately but it seems that when I do have one, it is a rip-roaring good one (by "good" I mean a horrible, awful, set-myself-on-fire-to-stop-the-pain kind of day).

Emily has a cold. She also woke up at 5:45 this morning. Couple these things and it is a recipe for a full-day meltdown. That I could deal with not too badly. But as a recipe for a perfect storm, add to that Hope being uber-fussy all day. She only napped about 30 minutes at a time, and not nearly often enough. She normally takes a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon. Also, when awake, she cried a lot. I'm not sure if it was lack of sleep or teething (she was covered in drool all day) or a combination of the two.

Finally, Hope is now asleep on our bed and has been for about 2 hours. She's still in her clothes, cloth diaper and who knows how long she'll be there. She'll be soaking and cranky when she wakes up, guaranteed. The whole Hope-day is weird considering she has slept through the night the last 3 nights. Babies. Can't live with 'em.... Pass the beernuts.

As for Emily, after meltdown after meltdown, she went to bed at 7:00. She'll definitely be up before 6:00 tomorrow. But for now, peace reigns. Just in time for me to sit back, close my eyes, and pretend I live somewhere else for a while.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

What's cooking Wednesday: Onion, Leek and Wild Mushroom Quiche

Since Beth's recipe of last week, I've had quiche on the brain, so that's what was cooking tonight. Specifically, onion, leek and wild mushroom with Emmenthal cheese.

I love quiche but I don't make it often enough. I should. I always have frozen pastry dough in the freezer. I love to make my own pastry. For those of you who find it daunting, grow some and try it. If you're afraid of failure or you think it's too hard, all the more reason to challenge yourself. You will have some failures. Learn to laugh at yourself and chalk it up to a learning experience. It isn't that hard... it just starts out that way because you don't know what you're doing yet. As you go along, it will get easier and easier.

I use the recipe on the back of the Tenderflake box. It makes enough for six single pie crusts. The beauty is that pastry dough freezes beautifully, so I make it all and freeze in single portions what I don't use. This way, I always have pastry ready to go. Just take it out to thaw the day before then pop it in the fridge until you're ready to use it.

Onion, Leek and Wild Mushroom Quiche with Emmenthal Cheese

Okay, so, no real recipe, just an explanation of what I did. I sauteed one chopped leek with one onion in about a tablespoon of butter until really soft. Then I added a combination of shitake, oyster and cremini mushrooms. I added salt and pepper and thyme. I would have added white wine if I'd had some.

I rolled out the crust and put it in the plate and pricked the bottom and brushed on some good mustard (I used a lemon dill seedy mustard). In a separate bowl, mix together 4 eggs and one cup of milk. Spread the mushroom mixture over the bottom of the crust. Pour on the egg mixture. Top with shredded Emmenthal cheese and push cheese down into the egg. Bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before eating. Wait for the kudos.

5 months

Hi Sweet Pea, my wee Hope. You are five months old today. Really, although it is cliche, it seems like just last week that you were born. My memories of your birth, my feelings about it, my total elation, joy, love, are still that fresh.

But here we are five months on. Last week you learned to roll over and you do it in the blink of an eye now as though it was some kind of Jedi move designed to confuse and surprise your enemies. I can see that you're going to be an early crawler. When you are on your tummy you curl your toes under and try and inch forward. Your physicality has also spilled over to the jolly jumper. After only two goes at it, you mastered it. Yesterday you really showed your skills. When I bent down to play with you, you looked at me like: Mummy, look what I'm doing! I'm so good at this!

You've really mastered feeding lately too, and sleeping it seems. Two nights ago you slept through the night, something Emily didn't do until she was 14 months old. I've got to say, I really appreciate you doing that so soon. Going to sleep is another story - you want the boob all the way. I don't mind too much really, it is a chance for us to have another quiet moment just the two of us and that just doesn't happen often enough.

Your personality continues to amaze me. You are silly, happy, you laugh easily and have smiles for everyone. I drag you to Emily's activities and you comply with very little fussing. You seem to love to watch everything going on around you. Being out of the house almost every morning though means your morning naps have turned into 15 minute cat naps. But, it doesn't seem to bother you.

Sometimes I feel bad that I drag you around so many places. As a result, we don't have a well established morning routine. For another baby, this might be a problem, but so far you take it in a stride. I try to assuage my guilt by telling myself that I'm exposing you to lots of new experiences. I hope you agree with me someday.

I already think about having to go back to work and I get choked up about it. I'm still thinking about ways to avoid that but haven't come up with the right answer yet. Please know that I will spend the rest of my maternity leave working on this. If I can't find an answer, know that I wanted to more than anything in the world.

Your not-so-little body gets cuter all the time. Your eyes are still a brilliant blue, your hair seems to be coming in blond although you have a big tuft of dark baby hair left at the nape of your neck and like a toupee on the top of your head. I love to smell your skin and hair.

You grab the sides of my face and peer into my eyes a lot now. I like to think that you are telling me that you love me and thanks for everything so far, Mummy. You are so much more than welcome, my sweet pea.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Happy World Nutella Day

When I saw this over at Bleeding Espresso, I had to add a post. She says that it has been started by two expats in Italy and I am fully on board.

I eat Nutella every morning. In typical North American style, I put it on my toast on top of my peanut butter. I'm sure Italians everywhere are cringing. I say, don't slag it until you've tried it. So, I don't have any interesting recipes to provide, just know that I am a proud consumer.

Newsflash: Hope has slept through the night

It is 7:30 a.m. and I haven't heard from Hope since 7:30 last night. Those of you mothers out there know that I've been in to check on her a couple of times since about 5:30 when I realized this, and that I really haven't slept since then. You breastfeeders out there also know that my boobs are killing me and my wet shirt is probably what woke me up at 5:30.

Yes, she has fully slept through the night.... out of the blue, with nothing specific done by me. It's sometimes the way, and it is really nice.

I'm not naive enough to think that it will continue, but it sure was a nice sleep last night.

Finally, she's stirring. Relief is coming my way.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The poop incentive program

Emily still isn't "hitting the mark" so to speak. Unless that mark is the inside of her underwear. If so, then she's bang on. So, I've decided to go for positive reinforcement instead.

A few days ago I told her she would get a special present that she could pick out if she went poop in the toilet three times but if she had even one accident, the clock gets set back to zero. She decided her special present will be a birthday cake with candles, we'll all wear hats and sing happy birthday to her. Her birthday is in August, by the way.

So far I haven't had to pull out any recipe books.


Today she pooped in the toilet. And it wasn't a run to the toilet because there is already poop in my underwear kind of moment. It was a full-on, real deal deposit. So, she's getting a special mini present (Curious George soap. CG is her current obsession) tonight before bathtime to spur her on to more great things.

Should I be baking a cake in the next week or so, there will be photos (of the cake, people) and songs and days named after Emily.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Empty nest

The night before last, Hope had one of her worst nights. Through the evening until 1:00 a.m., she was up every hour and, although I tried everything else, she would not go back to sleep for me without being fed (well, suckling anyway). Finally, at the end of my rope from fatigue, John took over. He took her to the basement, let her cry while he sang to her, and she slept until 5:30. He didn't sleep so well on the floor of course. Yesterday morning we decided it was time to move her into her own room.

Emily started waking up every hour right at the same age. It must be something about my kids. And when we moved Emily out, as sad as it was for us, she did sleep a little better (Emily was never a great sleeper until about 15 months old). So, I did a quick organize of Hope's room last night and put her to bed in the big crib. It was sad for me. Of course, she didn't seem to care at all. Nice for the ego.

She slept through the evening. She woke up at 11:00. Then she woke up at 1:00. I fed her both times. I wanted to see what would happen and also I was just too tired to try the crying and singing thing (I'd tried it at her nap time and she was unbelievably stubborn - after an hour and a half I finally fed her. She was asleep in 30 seconds. Clearly this is something that John may have to do since she seems to know quite well what is growing out of my chest.). After the 1:00 feed, that was it. I heard her blowing raspberries sometime in the middle of the night but she put herself back to sleep. I didn't hear from her until 8:30 this morning.

Sweet sleep. I've missed you.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Emily, the great hat burglar

This morning, before Hope's doctor appointment (nose is on the mend, by the way - or so says my doctor), we made a stop at Mountain Equipment Co-op. I've been in desperate need of a new hat since my friend, Meredith, lent me, eight years ago, the one she bought in Korea. I've been wearing it ever since. So, today I went to buy a new one. Kind of stupid time of year actually, because the selection is pretty picked over, but I just wanted a hat to keep me warm, that was fairly cheap and would get me through to next year when I have the foresight to buy one before the snow flies.

So, I was searching through what was left in the bins. Emily was doing the same, trying on every hat she put her hands on, dropping them on the floor, running off to look at (destroy) something else. Finally, I just grabbed a hat that fit, we paid, and went out to the parking lot. I loaded both kids in the car and was folding the stroller to put it in the trunk when I noticed two hats in the bottom of the stroller that Emily had obviously chucked in there. I, needless to say, had not paid for them. I paused for all of one second, got in the car and drove away.

Who is at fault here, really? The two and a half year old who doesn't fully understand the idea of paying for things, and who probably thought she was helping, or maybe she was just playing and about 1.5 seconds after putting them in there was into something else and had completely forgotten about those hats, and also, didn't really care? Or is it the 34-year old mother of two that was supposed to be watching said toddler while also trying to find a hat and stick a soother in a fussy baby's mouth? Well, really here is what the issue is:

(1) I'm a bit of a criminal
(2) I'm a bit lazy

I should have gone back in the store. But there was no damn way I was unloading both kids and walking back in. Not for hats that were on sale for $4.50. Karma has got me back though. Just look below:

Possibly the ugliest bounty anyone has ever made off with. They are only slightly worse than the one I actually paid for:

Folks, crime doesn't pay.