Don't worry, the only thing on Martha's calendar today is promoting a book

Guys! It's December! IT'S DECEMBER TODAY, RIGHT NOW. Do you know what that means? It means that the only cooking I have done for the past several days is to make this ridiculous brickle:

Uh, twice.

It also means I made some (minimal, so very minimal) overtures toward capturing a Christmas card photo of my children. One of my children was overly....dancy:

And the other was, as always, overly four:

This is the only "Please just stand in front of the tree" frame I got her in at all.

It's possible that she's just not ready to let go of the last holiday. Maybe because I haven't told her that we can make brickle for Christmas, too.



Good stuff

Let's get some earnest gratitude out of the way: I am thankful, as always, for a family who absolutely kills it with the food every year. Special shout out to my cousin-in-law Mindy, who brought this particular heap of autumnal delight:

I mean, she made her own apple molasses, guys. I'm sorry Mindy didn't marry into your family.

And this year I am really, super, mega, partly-just-in-comparison-to-barely-four-but-that-doesn't-diminish-the-intensity-of-it thankful for the age of six. The age of six is even better than Cider Cheesecake Pie and you know I wouldn't lie to you about something like that.

Anyway, I hope everyone else has at least a couple of equally good things going and that no one looked into the wrong end of their fowl.


I'm taking this horse by the reins

I'm on vacation! As evidenced by this here fancy waffle and the conspicuous absence of small humans trying to prevent me from eating it:

I'm actually on a business trip, for business, but it seemed reasonable to stop for waffles en route to buying 200 pounds of soy wax. Anyway, feels pretty vacation-y to me! So today I want to briefly discuss two random, non-Martha, non-children things.

First up: has everyone read this very long and very interesting article about selfies? Do it! I know it says "57 minutes to read" at the top and that is going to make you think "Oh boy that is a very long time to spend reading about selfies," but I personally felt it was worthwhile. Here is my "I'm glad I spent an hour reading about selfies" selfie:

Look forward to seeing my face more, because of feminism and mortality and such. Read the article!

Second: a New Year's Resolution update! I intended to purchase and listen to one newly released album every month of 2015. This plan was going gangbusters until August, at which point it was August and I lost all motivation to do anything, even enjoyable music-related things. So I skipped August. And then I skipped September. But then October came and I got BACK ON THE MUSIC TRAIN. Here is the error I made: the particular music train I boarded was HAMILTON and now I have lost interest in any and all other music. So I have skipped November and will probably skip December and by skip I mean "listen to Hamilton on repeat at every available opportunity and probably rap the Lafayette part from 'Guns and Ships' at you at some point in our conversation if I have had enough coffee."




Mind the gap

GUYS. Guys. You guys. Do you remember how thoroughly phoned-in Martha's Halloween issue was and how we all just accepted that even magnificently deranged lifestyle gurus eventually get old and tired and lose their step and that's just the way of things, oh well? 


More magnificently deranged than ever before.

She was just saving up for this spectacular Sugar Snow Queen work of art, and I mean "work of art" literally, this is a PAINTING and there's a whole section about the CREATION of it and I've been kind of down for a while guys but I don't know, I'm feeling a lot better about life now.

It also helps that I had Thanksgiving lunch at Anna's school this week, which I enjoy unabashedly.

And I don't mean I enjoy it because spending time with her in the middle of her day is worth enduring some spork-and-styrofoam indignities, I mean I straight up love that cafeteria gravy

Plus, ONE of us got through our four-year-old well-check at the pediatrician without actually setting the building on fire with our mind or causing anyone in the medical profession to walk out on their chosen career in disgust, but it was a very close call.

Sometimes I just have to focus her attention on a nonhuman target.

And another one of us lost a much-anticipated body part. It is an exciting and confusing circle, this life.


Chicken soup for the bilious soul

Our household is currently somewhere in the gray zone short of actually sick but somewhat beyond entirely healthy and functional. I personally suspect that our humours are out of balance. Either way, chicken soup seemed like the best course of action.

That, and the leeches I put in everyone's chairs.

Anyway, I think it's working! Look how much Ivy smiled at Chuck E. Cheese this weekend!

I mean, it's been a while, so I might be misremembering, but "not yelling" = "smiling," right?


She's asking the tough questions

Lately I've been favoring a category of dinner that Anna refers to as "healthy mush on bread."

Chickpea Wraps with Celery, Dill, and Mustard

Lentil and Eggplant Chili Mole with sourdough toast. 

Here's the twist, though: Anna likes healthy mush on bread. So when I Hannigan her with a "We're not having hot mush today /pause/ we're having cold mush" the general response to both is a shruggy "okay."

After all, she needs to keep up her strength long enough to finish annotating all of her baby pictures.

Is it, though?

Ivy does not like healthy mush on bread. Or just mush. Or just bread. Or me. Or anything.

Your sister was once just like you and I know you will be an enjoyable goofball someday and if Anna didn't break me you won't either although your efforts are certainly more extensive at this point


"Fourness" -> "Sourness" I see what you did there autocorrect

I thought it would be grown-up-ly of me to shove a few vegetables into our menu in between Halloween candy and Christmas cookies, so I've been consulting Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Appetite for Reduction and it has reminded me how much I enjoy really going to town on a bowl of legumes.

There isn't even candy at the bottom of this Smoky Split Pea Soup and I still loved it.

The children even ate some parts of this Pasta e Fagioli with Spinach.

Mostly the beige parts.

Of course, we had to make room amid all this responsibility for the sublime decadence of a four-year-old-designed birthday cake.

Even Anna thinks it might be a bit much.

For the most part we are just recovering from birthday festivities. Embracing our fourness.

Maybe we will embrace it tomorrow.


I told you I don't cook anymore

Hey, look who turned four!

And how!

I took her to the doctor, but the diagnosis was "Four."

Nothing they can do.

Seriously guys, Ivy has been on a full rage rampage lately. A real ramprage. Anna knows what I'm talking about.

And this is a child who ended the breakfast table story she was telling this morning with, I absolutely swear this is true, "And they never found the body."

So...SSFMLA, anyone? I know it's hard to tell, but I promise I went totally ham with this yellow eyeliner Regan picked out for me.

Turns out my skin is exactly "pale yellow eyeliner"-colored!

But I for one did a truly, truly fantastic job with her cosmetics selection. If you look closely, you will see that the bright blue/seafoam sparkle concoction on her eyes makes her look like she used one of those "put makeup on your face" apps, but IN REAL LIFE.

Maybe I haven't done a great job with my youngest child, but at least I will always have this.  #soproud

Here's a benefit of having other people at an SSMLA dinner: significantly more food on the table. Well, maybe not significantly more. Actually, maybe not even more food. Maybe just more justification for the absurd amount of food? At any rate, thanks for the cover Natalie and Sara and Maryann!

This one involved a squeezy tube. It was intense.

Anyway, I'm still full 14 hours later. Success.