Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cupcakes, Dinosaurs, Pink Chucks, and Arkansas

Since it's craft fair season, obviously I've been spending almost all my time this week working not on record bowls, T-shirt quilts, and melted crayon hearts, but on cupcakes, dinosaurs, pink Chucks, and Arkansas.

The girls and I have been way into , which I swear is, along with my other great favorite, , the only cookbook I have ever cooked from in which what I cook actually comes out even remotely similar to the photo in the book, and even remotely delicious (I'm a disastrous cook, with a near-manic tendency to make ill-advised substitutions and a certainty that all measurements are only approximate). So far we've made the chocolate mint cupcakes twice and Matt has made, of all things, the margarita cupcakes with them once. Margarita cupcakes? Awesome.

I've also been, during Sydney's precious afternoon naptimes, watching Dexter - The First Season on Netflix and making the girls a bunch of the felted wool cupcakes I found in . They stopped looking like cupcakes to me once I got deep into making them, the same as when you say a word over and over again it loses all meaning, but out of the three I've made so far, there's one that even I'll admit is just darn cute.

And then there are the dinosaurs--I promised the girls a dinosaur quilt this summer, and I am darn well going to deliver a dinosaur quilt, so for a couple of days I put the iron and the dishtowel in semi-permanent residence on the livingroom table (I got so used to intoning, every time I heard little feet thud by, "Don't touch the iron. The iron is hot," that I started even warning Matt as he went by. This is similar to, when I'm laying out a quilt on the livingroom floor, my intonations of "Don't step on the quilt. Walk around the quilt") and knocked out these sweet babies: I'm not a hundred percent happy with the frame conceit, and I doubt that I'll do another one just that way, but hey, it's dinosaurs. The more, the merrier.

The vegan cupcakes are ostensibly a rehearsal for the girls' big summer birthday bash next month, and one of the things I've been trying to do all month, only it keeps raining two out of three days, is take a photo of the girls in their matching candy pink Converse Chuck Taylors to put on the invitation. Finally, a break in the weather, and I managed to find matching socks for everyone, and I only once had to fiercely threaten Willow with not going to dance class if she didn't sit down for this picture for five minutes (I know, I know, but usually I am the kind of mother you don't want to call Social Services about), and I got this photo:

It's so cute it kind of makes me feel sick to my stomach a little. Of course, I cropped off the part where they're sitting with dirty faces cramming their mouths with Quorn nuggets and pineapple.

In upcoming news, today is Willow's last day of school for the summer--I blew her mind yesterday by informing her that when she comes back to school in August, she'll be a MIDDLE-GROUPER! (As opposed to the Youngest Group and the Kindergartners, the other kiddos in her class for those of you not in tune with Montessori lingo). So after school, and after dance class, and after stopping by a party for my friend Tim, who has just successfully defended his dissertation (I sigh, because I can no longer attain the academic single-mindedness it takes to get a PhD), we're all trekking down to Arkansas for the long Memorial Day weekend. Papa and my mother have been talking about taking the girls to McDonald's for their collective birthdays, and hopefully the city pool will be open, and I'm eager to look through my Mama's collection of old recipe books from the various elementary schools and churches she was involved in throughout her life, a collection that is both beloved to me and awesome in its ingredients and preparation methods (7up cake! Jello molds! Oleo!). Willow and Sydney are begging to take their new favorite toy, which Matt bought for them at Goodwill for five dollars on Sunday. That favorite toy is this:
Whew! What did you do this week?

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