Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah

Dear Mom and Dad,

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The kids are beautiful.

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Wish you were here.

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Love xoxo,


Better Living Through Denial

Shae's graduation is tomorrow. Let's go on pretending that it isn't happening for another 24 hours, shall we?


You might have noticed that bubbles are kind of a thing with my people. Here is Makayla continuing the old family tradition.


Of course Shae got in on the action, but nowadays you have to be REALLY FAST to catch it on camera.


Speaking of action: it's almost time for the Olympics, and it looks like somebody is ready to start training for the 2024 Games.


And speaking of the Olympics, if Competitive Pinwheel Hoarding is introduced as an event, I think we might have our first Gold Medalist right here.


Although she'll have some tough competition.


Including My Anonymously Photobombing Mother back there in the blurry distance. (Hi, Mom! Bring an extra Xanax tomorrow, would you?)


After the Thing Which Shall Launch A Million Used Tissues, we're going out to lunch, and then to the movies (Brave, hooray!), and then very early in the morning on Saturday, we're off to the foreign climes of the upper Midwest for our vacation with Joey and Jacob and the world's first McDonald's restaurant.


Let's see what kind of cuteness shenanigans we can up to while we're away, shall we? (I highly suspect bubbles will be involved.)


I Scream! You Scream! We All Scream For Ice Cream (That I Made Weeks Ago And Which Now Is Gone)!

While we're waiting for my kid to turn into a goddamned grownup even though I am not ready for such a ridiculous thing to happen because COME ON SHE IS ONLY A BABY WAIT WHERE DID MY BABY GO WHO IS THIS EXTREMELY TALL TALKATIVE BOSSY PERSON SLEEPING IN HER BED WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY BAAAAAAAAABY YOU FIEND, let's talk about ice cream.


A while back, I got this incredibly inspired idea that I have approximately 80 bajillion dollars worth of Kitchen-Aid appliances and accessories in my kitchen that I haven't used in maybe a hundred years, so let's bust everything out and do something with them. I guess you could say I went on a Wheaton-esque "get excited and make things" kick for about twenty minutes.


I decided to make ice cream because it was very hot at the time. The heat has broken some in the meantime, but at that particular point it was too damned hot to even write about it. Hell, it was almost too hot to EAT it. But we took all our ingredients and spread them out on the stove so I could take a picture of them, and then we got to work.


We could not reach a consensus on what kind of ice cream to make. I've made ice cream before, in those practically prehistoric Days Before Children, but this was my first attempt with a very militant chocoholic in the house. Which could have been dicey, because I don't like chocolate ice cream (I know, it's un-American, WHATEVER, I'm already a socialist so hush). The compromise recipe was for cherry chocolate chip, which we made using 2 cups heavy cream, 2 cups half-and-half, 3/4 cup sugar (divided -- most of it in the ice cream, 2-3 tablespoons for the cherries), 1 tablespoon of my 15-year old Mexican vanilla (not I am not joking, my vanilla is THAT OLD), 2 dashes kosher salt, 3/4 cup fresh sweet cherries, and 1/3 cup mini semisweet chips.


At this point I will tell you what we did wrong. One, we should have used all cream -- either all heavy cream, or a combination of heavy and light cream. The final texture using the half-and-half was a bit too grainy. We might have been okay if we did a custard-style ice cream, but I didn't want to do that much work, and my eggs are always a bit dodgy. Also, we did not cut up the cherries into small enough pieces, nor did we let them "marinate" long enough. Probably we should have prepared the cherries the day before, let them soak up all the sugar, and then mashed the snot out of them.


We left our ice cream bowl in the freezer for 24 hours. We might want to let it go longer than that next time, but it was mostly okay. Our ingredients were not cold enough when we put them in the bowl; if you follow this recipe, I recommend putting everything in the freezer for at least an hour before adding it to the ice cream bowl. Let the mixer do the work for about half an hour or so (according to directions), and add the cherries and the chocolate chips for the last 10-15 minutes.


Also: you will need to freeze your ice cream before you can eat it. We let ours sit overnight before we ate it. So, basically, we started the process on Sunday (bowl in freezer), made the ice cream on Monday, poured it into covered containers and let it "ripen," and then finally ate it on Tuesday. Was it worth the wait?


Mostly. Like I said, our ice cream had an "off" texture, and because the cherries were not cut small enough some of them were basically solid chunks of frozen fruit when we finally ate it, plus since we didn't let them "marinate" long enough we got random bites of cherry that were more tart than others, but overall, the flavor was quite good. I really liked it. I'd definitely make it again, making a few small tweaks to the recipe and process. Although it was not all chocolate, the chocolate chips satisfied the animal urges of the not-so-little one.


T Minus 10

It's not like I've been off doing anything important for the last two weeks, like having a baby or anything like some overachievers I know (hi sis!), but here's the thing: I've been in full High Avoidance Mode lately. Because here's why -- in 10 days, Shae will be graduating from preschool. GRADUATING. She started preschool pretty quietly, without much ado, but her graduation is going to be a Big Damn Deal, complete with cap and gown and grandparents in attendance and the whole nine yards. And then after that, KINDERGARTEN.


Quick: let's distract ourselves, shall we? Because I get all choked up just thinking about it, and I just can't right now.


The waterpark -- excuse me, sprayground --  down the street is open already, but it's been so hot lately that it's been insanely crowded, plus all the big kids are out of school already, and I just can't deal with that mess, so we did what any civilized person would do and got out the hose. (PS THAT LITTLE GIRL IS LESS THAN THREE MONTHS AWAY FROM BEING IN KINDERGARTEN Y'ALL WHAT DID I DO WITH MY INHALER?)


If only we had water pressure. Oh, the things we would do to this house, if only we had $248 million.


Still, we can always manage to have a good time. That's the nice thing about being 5 years old, I suppose: easily entertained.


Hey, how did that picture sneak in there?


And that one?


But -- and here's the good news -- the day after graduation we're going out to visit my sister and brother-in-law and Joey and the new baby and take lots and lots of pictures and I will be able to pretend, just for a little while, that I live in a house full of wee ones who are going to stay little forever and never get old.