February 27th, 2008

Steampunk Nayad #1

Domestic bliss in progress, and a bonus recipe

I feel hopeful today. Lately Felix has not been napping early enough in the day for me to get things done the way I could just last month, so today begins Operation Wear Out the Baby. This will involve changes in his routine and more exercise for both of us.

This morning, during our routine of dropping Zane off at school, I had Felix walk the whole way in and out instead of carrying him to speed things along, the way I usually do. Then, when we got back home, I took him for a walk outside. The time out in the sunshine probably helped with my mood, too. Now that we're inside, I have the baby gate set up so that he can go up and down one set of stairs if he wants to, but he can't get into parts of the house that aren't safe for him. He's perfectly capable on the stairs, and I hope that having access to more of the house will keep him from being bored.

The goal: a sleeping toddler by noon! And no, certain-people-on-my-flist-and-you-know-who-you-are, I'm not gonna give the baby alcohol!

And now for the recipe for the best bread machine white bread EVAR:

1.5 C buttermilk
4 t canola oil
0.5 t vanilla extract
3 C unbleached all-purpose flour
3 T powdered sugar
2 t salt
2 t active dry yeast

Put the ingredients into the bread machine in that order, and set it to make a large (1.5 lb.) loaf. You could add parmesan cheese and/or herbs 'n' spices to make it more flavorful, if that's your thing.
ariel beaming

2008 Books #12: Portable Childhoods, by Ellen Klages

I'm almost tempted to purposely read a bad book one of these days, so y'all won't think I love everything I read, but this book did not serve that purpose. The stories in this collection capture the feelings of growing up, and intergenerational tension, while balancing between beauty and danger, magic and reality. Many of them also explore gender roles, sexual preferences, and the way we're taught to behave "properly," according to the society and family in which we're raised. A few of the selections were less story, more clever idea, and those had their merits, but the ones I really loved (the majority of the stories) were the ones that made me want to hug the characters:

- "Basement Magic"
- "The Green Glass Sea" (which made me even more eager to read the whole novel of the same name, and luckily I happen to have it already)
- "Triangle"
- "Flying Over Water"
- "Time Gypsy"
- "Travel Agency"
- "A Taste of Summer"
- "Guys Day Out"
- "Portable Childhoods" (extra-special love for this sweet mother-daughter story!)
- "In the House of the Seven Librarians"

I wish I could send this book back through time to the eleven-year-old me, so that she could pass it on to be re-read by the me of each following year. I think it would have helped me through my awkward phase.

Yay for Klages!