HaHa! I got my blog back!

So I lost the password sheet for WordPress and everything else.  Sleep deprivation and general business put this on the back burner for months.  Today my bonny boy brought up this site somehow and I seized the opportunity to change the password and get the blog back.

He’s 2+, he’s talking, we are in the very exciting days of potty training, and skipping an event to do it.  He just picked yesterday to start and has done very well today.  Both poop and pee in the potty with only a few messes.  Naked Boy is happy.

We now have THREE toddler potties in the house.  Four if you count the insert seat.  One is pink & purple with flowers and lives upstairs in our bedroom (yes, still co-sleeping, uurgh).  One is a white Bjorn and one is a Micky Mouse toilet that cheers when you flush it, though he lost the flusher on the 2nd day.  He was refusing to use the Bjorn for a while, then declared the MM to be too small.  But just having it in the room he is in is enough to remind him to either run for the Bjorn or actually use the MM.  He has used the flower potty upstairs for months, but won’t let us bring it downstairs during the day “No no Mamma, it goes UPstairs!”

I really hope this is the real deal, and that he is true to form in his “all things early” development.  I wouldn’t mind changing diapers for a while longer, but if he’s interested in the potty I will 100% support him.    The diaper brand we use, which is Dollar General doesn’t have latex or hemp (allergic to both), and that’s it for disposables, and he is fast outgrowing the largest size. It would be 100% cloth after he’s out of that, which I’m OK with, but I’m not the only one changing diapers.


Feeding A Toddler

Oh boy, oh boy!
So… it’s time to feed the boy.
He is very busy.
He has all this lovely space in his little cheekies to stuff food that he has yet to chew.
The High Chair is for BABIES not BOYS.
He wants olives on everything.

I had a hard time adjusting to the toddler diet.  My beautiful baby who ate and ate and ate and ate nice, nutritious, gloppy (easy) food disappeared one day and was replaced by a beautiful toddler who was on a grab & go mission where a sit-down meal was no longer on the menu.

He scarcely ate a thing.  I panicked.  I begged for help & got a few decent handouts that emphasized dairy (that he can’t eat), but since we’ve established that Milk Is EVIL and orange juice is eviler, I’ve been adjusting my recipes and almond milk works just fine.  He loves it too.  “Aaaaahhhhmon Mik.  Mmmmmmmm!”

I had to learn to put less on the plate, accept leftovers and just hope that he gets enough nutrition within the variety of foods presented to him.  And put out a bowl of snacks (cut up grapes, animal crackers, generic Cheerios, apple slices).

So, without further ado, I give you some before & after photos of my son’s lunches.  (More to come)

Meat and veggies

Here we have marinated venison, caramelized onions, black beans, steamed-to-death peas & carrots and toasty o’s.
As you can see, he really went to town on the peas & carrots, demolished the o’s, the beans are GONE and the rest is pushed into a mash of “I’m not eating that.”  Please note that I discovered steak sauce after this picture was taken & meat gets eaten now with lots of “mmmmmm” sounds.

tuna sandwich and veggies

Tuna fish sandwich, mushroom slices, apple jello (we use Knox gelatin and juice… I’m looking forward to trying the layered jello with almond milk – pretty sure it will work).  Green beans and tomato slices.
As you can see, most things got 1/2 eaten.

Please note that this is a 10″ dinner plate, I’m loosely covering the center with food in a single layer or very small pile and not all of this stayed on the plate.  I put some stuff back for the picture when he was done.  Now, at 15 months he doesn’t really drop that much off the plate, and yes, he eats off of the good china.  It took a couple of weeks to teach him not to bang the plates, but he doesn’t now. Do not expect your food art to survive first contact.

For some official guidelines, noodlesoup.com recommends the following for a day:
Breastmilk – on demand (3-4x daily <– OMG I want THAT kid!  Mine still nurses a bazillion times!  Boobs are funny BTW, just ask him)
3 oz of grains
1/2 slice of bread (1/2 oz)
1/2 c. dry cereal (1/2 oz)
1/2 c. cooked cereal (1/2 oz)
1/2 c. pasta (1 oz)
5 whole wheat crackers or saltines (1 oz)
1 cup of cooked veggies
1 cup of fruit
2 cups of milk/dairy (this will never happen in my house, they suggest orange juice with calcium, which also won’t happen because it gives him the runs and the burning butt… almond milk it is).
2 oz of meat/beans
2 T lean meat  (1 oz)
1/2 egg (1/2 oz)
1/4 c. cooked dry beans (1 oz)
1 T Peanut butter (1 oz. )  (nut butter in JR’s case)

If all of that is mind-boggling, a 1 yr old should hover around 900 calories per day.  But talk to their doctor just to be sure.

One thing my bonny boy does not do is hold his own cup.  Let me just tell you right now, DO NOT listen when the doc says “don’t let your baby hold their own bottle.”  Because you’ll be holding that blasted thing every time your toddler wants a drink.  I’m not even sure where to go with this.  The kid was breastfed so bottles were scarce around here, he drinks fine out of a glass or a sippy cup, just don’t ask him to hold it himself, he’s clueless.  I’m thinking maybe a bath time instruction session might help… not that I want him drinking bath water…

I try for a good mix of grains, protein, fruits & veggies.  What gets eaten, gets eaten… what doesn’t either gets fed to the dog, the cat or tossed.   I hope this helps someone out with “what do I feed my toddler?”

Dr. Seuss Foods

cook book on a hook

A Dr. Seuss Cook Book on a Hook

Here is a list of all the foods mentioned in the Dr. Seuss books that we have.
Please note, we don’t have all of the Dr. Seuss books.


  • Donughts
  • jam
  • tea
  • lollipop
  • soda pop

The Nose Book

  • pie
  • chicken a la king
  • hot cocoa
  • roast turkey
  • pickles
  • eggs & bacon
  • strawberries on cereal
  • grapes
  • hot dogs
  • oranges
  • soup
  • salad

The Grinch Stole Christmas and Meets Max

  • Who-pudding
  • Rare Who Roast Beast
  • Popcorn
  • plums
  • Who-hash
  • slop
  • milk
  • turkey
  • apples
  • grapes
  • oranges
  • fish (cod)
  • pineapple

I Can Read With My Eyes Shut

  • pickle
  • fish
  • ice cubes
  • doughnuts

The Ear Book

  • popcorn

The Tooth Book

  • pumpkins (jack-o-lanterns)
  • sandwiches
  • hot dogs
  • roast leg of lamb
  • peanuts
  • pizza
  • Spam
  • huckleberry jam
  • soda in a glass bottle
  • cake
  • pie
  • ice cream
  • cupcakes
  • frosted doughnuts
  • carrot sticks

The Cat In The Hat (and Comes Back)

  • cake
  • tea

In a People House

  • bananas
  • bottles of juice/soda
  • coffee
  • doughnuts
  • peanuts
  • popcorn
  • salt & pepper
  • bread & butter
  • baked beans
  • tea

Hop On Pop

  • sandwiches with crusts cut off
  • apples
  • sausages
  • bananas
  • water/milk

Fox in Socks

  • noodles

Green Eggs and Ham

  • green eggs
  • green ham

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

  • Hot dogs on a stick
  • canned food
  • pink ink drank by a Yink
  • milk
  • fish

500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins

  • cranberries

The Lorax

  • fresh butterfly milk
  • truffula fruit

And that is all I have.  If that isn’t enough to feed a party, I’m not sure what is.

PS. don't let them drink six sodas or they'll be sick, sick, sick!

PS. don’t let them drink six sodas or they’ll be sick, sick, sick!

A Very Seussian 1st Birthday

My son’s 1st Birthday Party went off like a bang, or possibly a Moo!  I’m not sure, but much fun was had by all, including the 1 yr. old. Here is the cake with the recipe, so as not to cross-post too much: http://artbeautyandwell-orderedchaos.blogspot.com/2014/10/mr-brown-can-moo-cake-and-1st-birthday.html  It’s a milk-free, palm/coconut-free cake.  That was a feat, lemme tell you. For those of you who don’t want to hop on that link, here are a few snapshots of the final cake. IMG_2266a IMG_2254a IMG_2264a I made silly hats, we had fun food, played a couple silly games and otherwise enjoyed each other’s company. There were 2 other children here, which was a good number.  I read somewhere that the child’s age +1 is how many friends they should have at their party until they hit school age, and that worked out very well.  That they were his cousins is fine. Here are the totally costumie hats.  (I don’t do “costumes” but in this case, quick & dirty was the name of the game.  I even used hot glue).

Birthday Hat (8)

The Grinch hat. It’s a beaten up old Santa hat. I didn’t make it, but it didn’t make it to the party either – my kid stole it & hid it the day before.

Birthday Hat

No idea. It was stuck in my memory, but I have no clue where it came from. I just know it’s a Seuss & I’m looking.

Birthday Hat (1)

Generic black top hat of Seussian design with a “The Places You’ll Go” road hot glued down it.

Birthday Hat (2)

The Quick Queen of Quincy crown from “ABC” I shamelessly recycled my old Queen of Hearts cardboard crown for this, but never redid the paint job (black lines v. hearts). Time… had no time… No one wore this, which made me a bit sad.

Birthday Hat (3)

“Do you like my hat?” from Go Dog Go. My mother-in-law rocked this thing.

Birthday Hat (4)

One of the “500 Hats of Barthemolew Cubbins” without a feather… Time… no time…

Birthday Hat (5)

Aunt Annie’s Alligator A… a… A… from “ABC” Again, no feather.

Birthday Hat (6)

Another of the 500 hats sans feather.

Birthday Hat (7)

Here’s another IDK. It didn’t turn out as I had planned, but I have a vague notion that it was on a lady in a polkadot dress. My mother looked stunning in it, and she doesn’t do hats.

They are all made from the felt that my husband’s grandmother had when she passed away, and I figured that I’d use her fabric for family projects.  A bit sentimental and I never claimed to be otherwise.


Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? With a farm book & the kids.

The games included reading sound books around the room, called “Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?”  Everyone did really well until Grammy P. got the kids a little too involved in the farm book & attention spans wandered.  Much to-do was made about sheep (Scotland was voting that day).  JR loved that game.  LOTS of people reading to him.

The next game was “The Cat In The Hat Can Stack” wherein we all tried stacking various (non-breakable) items out in the yard until they fell.  The game was a hit with the kids & 3 or 4 adults, but the rest just enjoyed taking pictures and socializing.


Everyone looks so intent on their stacking games they forgot to have fun, but trust me, there was a lot of laughing.

Food that actually made it to the party was Build-your own Sandwiches (ham, turkey, roast beef, with various cheeses and 2 types of buns, tomatoes & various condiments). Green deviled eggs, using parsley v. food coloring. Soda Pop & juice & water Various candies dried fruit in the form of raisins, crazins and apricots The Mr. Brown cake The favors were baggies of candy with mustaches and whistles and stickers.  We had blowers and noisemakers too, though they were only a hit with the half-pints. Since we now have a lot of new Seuss books, I’m going to compile the actual hats & food & games in different posts because (not that we’ll do this again), I had a heck of a time finding anything like it online and the actual Dr. Seuss site was less than helpful for my son’s age set.  Not surprising as he’s way too young to enjoy the bulk of the books. It was a good party & he had a blast.

There’s a Birthday Galloping Up On Us

The plan is a Dr. Seuss themed party.  We’ll see if I can pull it off.

We’ll have Seussian Snacks, a few silly games, the Mr. Brown Can Moo cake and gifts.

“Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can YOU?” a reading & sounds game where everyone reads a story with their best sound effects.
“The Cat in the Hat Balancing Act” wherein we stack & hold as many (non-breakable) things as possible.
I’ll have to think of one other.

green deviled eggs and ham (bacon crumbles)
One Fish, 2 Fish, Sweedish Fish (the multicolor ones)
Rare Whoo Roast Beast (Build your own sandwiches)
Layered Jello (fruit juice Knox gelatin – remember, no milk?)
Soda & Juice with various Seuss names
Mr. Brown Can Moo cake (orange cake with vanilla frosting)
Finding the cake recipe has been a real trick and we’ll see if it works or not soon.  I need a dense cake because I’m making a stacked topsy-turvy (2 layers).  The issue is that cow’s milk causes issues… no fun being sick on your b-day, so I had to find milk substitutes.  OK, great, except they are all coconut and Dad & I are allergic to that.  I finally have it sorted out, just hoping it will work.

Substitutions made, I may skip the fondant depending on how the buttercream turns out.  Healthy?  No.  But it’s a birthday cake, and one we can all eat without breaking out in hives, running to the bathroom or wheezing for hours.

A Better White Scratch Cake


  • 5 c cake flour
  • 3 1/3 c sugar
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 c milk (almond, soy milk, orange juice)
  • 1 1/3 c shortening
  • 16oz sour cream*
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 10 egg whites (or 10oz carton egg whites) or 5 whole eggs.
  • (optional) other flavors – chocolate, pumpkin, spice, etc.

    ** Soy-based yogurt can be used in place of sour cream for those looking to eliminate animal-based products from the recipe. Another option is to mix in a blender or food processor, one 10.5 oz package of crumbled tofu with 4 tsp. of lemon juice, 2 tsp. of apple cider vinegar and 1/2 tsp. of salt. Blend this yogurt mixture until smooth and substitute sour cream, cup for cup, as called for in the recipe.


  1. Preheat oven. Prepare your pans as you normally would.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together into mixer bowl.
  3. Add everything but egg whites and mix just until combined. Beat on high for 2 minutes, turn down mixer and add egg whites, return to high and beat for another 2 minutes.
  4. Pour into pans and bake.
  5. This recipe makes 10 cups of batter, but can be halved or doubled (if your mixer can handle it).


For the banana buttercream:

  • 1 ripe banana, mashed (not overripe!)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar


Rolled Buttercream Fondant

Recipe by Kelley

“Great rolled fondant recipe for cakes or cookies. Tastes like buttercream frosting.”


  • Original recipe makes 3 pounds
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar


  1. In a large bowl, stir together the shortening and corn syrup. Mix in the salt and vanilla flavoring, then gradually mix in the confectioners’ sugar until it is a stiff dough. If you are using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment. Otherwise, knead by hand. If the dough is sticky, knead in more confectioners’ sugar until it is smooth. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
  2. To use, roll out on a clean surface that has been dusted with confectioners’ sugar until it is 1/8 inch thick or thinner if you can. Drape over frosted and chilled cakes and smooth the sides down, or cut into strips to make bows and other decorations.


Best White Icing Ever

Recipe by Meghan Rey

“This icing recipe is #1! It’s quick and easy to make, bright white for cake decorating, and you can easily change it’s consistency! This is the most important icing recipe you’ll ever have. It’s so basic, it makes the hassle of cake decorating so much easier! If you wish, use half shortening and half unsalted butter.”

Original recipe makes 4 to 5 cups

  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon clear imitation vanilla extract


  1. In a large bowl, combine sugar, shortening, water and vanilla. Beat on low speed to combine, then beat on medium speed for a full five minutes. It won’t look like Icing at first, but keep the mixer going for a full five minutes, and then you’re done!
  2. Note: If you’re not using this for decorating, but just for icing the cake, thin the icing by adding 3 tbs. of corn syrup, or water to the icing.


For the figurines I’ll be using marzipan from this recipe:
My favorite recipe wont’ do for this cake, and I can’t find the one with marshmallows that looked like it would be awesome, but I think this will work fine.

Basic Marzipan
By Elizabeth LaBau,
A great all-purpose marzipan recipe for dipping in chocolate, using in recipes, or forming figurines. Using this as a base, you can color, flavor, or form marzipan into many different candies or decorations. If you’re simply looking to eat the marzipan, cutting it into squares is the easiest way to serve it.


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 4 cups ground almonds (or almond meal)
  • 2 egg whites
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


  1. Prepare a workspace by sprinkling powdered sugar over a marble slab, wooden cutting board, or large baking sheet. Fill your sink or a large bowl with cold water.
  2. Place the sugar and 2/3 cup water in a large heavy saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Add the cream of tartar and turn up the heat. Bring to a boil and cover, boiling, for 3 minutes.
  4. Uncover and boil until the temperature reaches soft-ball stage, 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.
  5. Place the bottom of the saucepan in the cold water you’ve prepared, stirring the sugar mixture constantly until it becomes thick and creamy.
  6. Stir in the ground almonds and the egg whites, the place back over low heat and stir for 2 minutes more until the mixture is thick.
  7. Spoon the marzipan onto your prepared work surface, and turn it with a metal spatula until it cools down enough to touch.
  8. Coat your hands in powdered sugar and begin to knead the marzipan, working it until it is smooth and pliant.

9. Your marzipan can now be used immediately or stored by wrapping it in plastic wrap and keeping it in an airtight container.

A Preoccupation with Poop

I’ve come to the unavoidable conclusion that parents of infants have a serious preoccupation with poop.  Good poop, bad poop, is there poop, no poop yet, Yup! There’s a Poop!  Ooh, wow, what a poop.  Hold still so I can get rid of your poop!

And then there’s the BAD poop.
We just had a bout of Bad Poop.  Oh lordie.
It’s been 3 weeks of BRATY diet, except my kid gets a tummy ache on rice (BATY) and the runs on dairy (now the BAT diet)… so I had to get really creative.  And sometimes I’d slip up and give him a P-food and BAM!  Right back to liquid squirts or the kind of poo that sticks to everything including the diaper (not fun when cloth diapering). 

So, anyway, I think it’s been 48 hours of Solid (har har) poo now.  This is a happy day!  I even dared to feed him some “P”ears and there hasn’t been an explosion yet.  We’ll see.

So yeah.  Poop.  At some point I’ll be able to stop thinking about my son’s bowl movements, though I can’t actually fathom when that will be.  Surely before he’s 20, right?  RIGHT?

A Really Good Day

at the zoo

He spent a lot of time with this Tamarin, who is missing an eye.

A couple weeks ago the Kiddo had a Really Good Day.  Not that every day isn’t wonderful, but this day was full of wonder, fun & new experiences that he thoroughly enjoyed.   We went to the zoo and then we went to Grammy & Papa’s and swam in the pool.  Let me tell you, this kid is a water baby.

We’re Going to the Zoo:
We’re going to the zoo
We’re going to the zoo!
We’ll look at some animals
And they might look at you!

There are Monkey at the zoo
There are monkeys at the zoo
They might swing around
And toss some poo at you!  
(before anyone gets upset the orangutang baby did toss poo)

There are turtles at the zoo
There are turtles at the zoo
They might crawl around
And eat some salad too!

There are rhinos at the zoo
There are rhinos at the zoo
They might snuff and snort
And roll in the mud.

There are elephants at the zoo
There are elephants at the zoo
They might eat some hay
And trumpet hello to you!

There are goats at the zoo
There are goats at the zoo
They might take a nap
Or say Naaaaa! to you!

There are polar bears at the zoo
There are polar bears at the zoo
They might swim around
In their pool.

Anyway, the song can go on like that depending on what animals the kid saw, what they did, etc.  Feel free to be silly, my kid though it was hilarious. To the best of my knowledge I came up with the words, but if I’ve accidentally co-opted something, please forgive the Mommy Brain.


baby in the pool

Water Baby

After that we went to my in-laws house and it was hot enough that they all decided to go in the pool.  He went too.  He had a blast.  The only issue we’ll have after this is keeping him OUT of the pool when the Big Kids are making it inhospitable for little guys.   

Temporary Bone Loss Makes a Stronger Mama

On a totally different note, I have a bit of bone loss from pregnancy & nursing. This is totally normal, and some recent studies have alleviated my worries about it being a permanent or bad thing. Not that I’d stop nursing him, but it’s comforting none the less.
Here is a link to the synopsis of the study:

Much less boring & technical than the study itself, which I think is paid-only reading, and I’m cheap, so…

Replacing The “But” in Parenting with “And”

I hear and read a lot of this statement:
“I love my kids but —“
This got me thinking about how language and thinking are so closely related. Parenting is a tough business and while many (most?) of us will try it for 20 yrs or so, we have a linguistic system that makes any complaint or realistic observation seem like we wish our kids would go Poof! This is not so, and I propose a change in wording and therefore a change in thought.

If I said “I love my son but it takes a lot time to feed him!” that makes it sound like “If I’d never had him I would have so much more time to do something other than feed the little bum.” While that is technically true, it’s not sentimentally true.
If I said “I love my son and it takes a lot of time to feed him!” I’ve just conveyed the enormous amount of time that goes into nursing & mealtimes for my darling boy without wishing he’d never been born.

So there it is.

“I love my son, and this MommyLapNap thing has GOT to end.” Not only is he getting too big for it, there’s stuff I need to be doing while he sleeps… like shower, eat, prepare his next meal, wash clothes, clean up, go pee, etc. Instead I’m sitting here making a blog post about conjunctions.

I actually did get him to lay down on the play mat for about 10 minutes of an alone-nap. Then the microwave beeped & that ended. I should have resisted the allure of hot coffee.

Ooh camera!

I love my son and he can make one heck of a mess!


Gratuitous cat picture

Thing 2 in all her infant cat glory.


Hard Money Cake, 1877

Hard Money Cake

Yellow cake:
4 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp corn starch
1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
1 tsp lemon
1 tsp vanilla
8 egg yolks
1 c. sour milk

White cake:
4 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp corn starch
2 c. sugar.
1 c. butter
8 egg whites
1 c. sour milk
1 tsp almond extract or peach juice

Preheat oven to 350F
Grease & flour (4) 8” round pans & (1) 9×13” pan, parchment paper optional.
In 2 medium bowls, mix flour, baking soda & corn starch for both cakes. Set aside.
In 2 large bowls, cream sugar & butter. Add vanilla & lemon juice to yellow cake. Add almond extract OR peach juice to white cake.
In 3 smaller bowls, separate yolks from whites using the 3rd bowl to hold the shells. Beat each till mixed.
Beat eggs into respective creamed sugar.
Alternate flour mixture & milk, stir until combined.
Spoon into pans alternately, no more than ½ full.
Bake at 350 until done, 45min – 1+hrs.


Gold Part.–Yolks of eight eggs, scant cup butter, two of sugar, four of flour, one of sour milk, tea-spoon soda, table-spoon corn starch; flavor with lemon and vanilla.

Silver Part.–Two cups sugar, one of butter, four (scant) of flour, one of sour milk, tea-spoon soda, table-spoon corn starch, whites of eight eggs; flavor with almond or peach. Put in pan, alternately, one spoonful of gold and one of silver.–Miss Emma Fisher.

Buckeye Cookery, 1877


***  This makes a lot of cake.  I highly recommend cutting the recipe in 1/2.  You’ll still need a lot of bowls, but half should be good for a nice size cake vs. Godzilla Cake.  Also, it won’t take a dozen eggs.

My mother says it tastes like her grandmother’s cake.
Here is the frosting I made for it.  Be careful not to cook the sugar even 3 seconds longer than you should.

Boiled frosting:
3 lg. Eggwhites
1 c. granulated sugar
4 tbsp hot water
½ lb blanched almond paste (optional)
Beat egg yolks to a stiff froth*.
Moisten sugar with hot water then boil briskly for five minutes or until it “ropes” from the end of the spoon.
Turn sugar onto beaten eggs & stir until cold.
(Optional) Add ½ lb blanched almond paste
Will frost tops of 2 lg. Cakes.

*Then beat them more.

Whites of three eggs beaten to a stiff froth, one large cup granulated sugar moistened with four table-spoons hot water; boil sugar briskly for five minutes or until it “ropes” from the end of the spoon, turn while hot upon the beaten eggs, and stir until cold.
If preferred, add half pound sweet almonds blanched and pounded to a paste, and it will be perfectly delicious. This amount will frost the top of two large cakes.–Mrs. A. S. C.
Buckeye cookery 1877