2016 total: $9901.02
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Monday
Jan162017

Tonight Will Be Better, Right?

My social media accounts are basically a running tally of all of the times Mila has defeated me and SHE WINS. OMG SHE WINS.

Last night was a rough night, to say the least.

The thing with toddlers is that they're confusing. Sometimes if you let them stay up late, they wake up earlier the next day. Other times if you let them stay up late, they rip your face off. You never know what might happen. So on Saturday when Mila was up about half an hour later than usual, I expected chaos the next day.

Always expect chaos. It's safer that way.

"Chaos" manifested itself in Mila sleeping until 9:30 on Sunday morning. Which, sorry! I know it's not fair that my 2 year-old sometimes sleeps late! To be fair, other times she wakes up at the OMG early hour of 7:00! Okay, okay ... Mila doesn't do mornings. 7:00 really is her version of "super early," so 9:30 isn't really that crazy. (Remember, I paid my dues with Alexis. She often was up for the day before 6:00.)

But, thee who wakes up at 9:30 and needs to go to bed at 8:30 probably shouldn't take a nap. I said those words out loud, and yet when I ran a few errands, I was met with the news that Mila had fallen asleep just after 4:00.

DANGER. DANGER. TODDLER NAPPING IN THE LATE AFTERNOON. DANGER.

I replied to the news by saying it would be a good idea to punch her in the face until she woke up, but apparently that sounds like a joke? It wasn't meant to be a joke. I may not have meant it literally (kinda because punching her might knock her out and that would count as sleep), but I did mean the "wake her up" part.

People don't listen to me. Mila didn't wake up until after 6:00.

You don't have to have seen my crazed tweets to know what happened when I tried to get Mila to go to bed a mere 2 1/2 hours later. I sat upstairs with that kid and quietly waited for her to settle down and go to sleep for well over an hour. There reached a point where it was pretty obvious that while the snuggling was fantastic, it wasn't going to result in sleep. I really needed to get some work done, so I decided it was time for a compromise.

I let Mila go downstairs with me. I've done it before when she couldn't fall asleep. I let her lay next to me on the couch and she falls asleep thanks to the joy of boredom. I'm really not interesting when I'm on the couch, you know?

I turned on the Steelers game because I couldn't think of anything that could possibly be more boring for a 2 year-old. I figured I'd review a few documents while she grew bored of guys hitting each other.

Soooooooooo ... that didn't work out so well. The kid was legitimately watching the game and then she went from laying down and watching the game to running around the living room and watching the game. That escalated to driving her little car around, chasing a cat, and throwing a confetti party with the baby wipes. Did you know that a toddler can rip up over 1000 baby wipes in under 10 seconds? It's very impressive.

12:40. Mila finally fell asleep at 12:40. Or at least I think she did because I know I was asleep at 12:40. For all I know, she may have tossed a few million baby wipes all around the entire neighborhood. I mean, it did seem cleaner than usual this morning.

Sunday
Jan152017

Great-Grandma's Apfelkuchen

Like pretty much everyone, I don't have to look far down the family tree to find someone who came across the ocean on a boat and then stood in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty as their last name was shortened and "Americanized." It was my paternal great-grandparents who were told "Philipovich" was too long. As they adopted a much shorter and much blander variation of the name, they left behind all that they know of their Russian past.

While they fled Russia, my paternal great-grandmother was actually German. The story of how she immigrated from one homeland to the next and then on to the United States is lost, but there is one thing that remains.

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Mostly.

I mean, I think I've got it right.

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I was 14 when I stayed with my grandmother for a summer. She wrote down the recipe that came from her mom for me. Somehow I managed to find the yellowed notebook that held her words. I couldn't quite make out every line of it, though, so there was a bit of guessing. Still, if this isn't exactly the Apfelkuchen ("Apple Cake") recipe she gave me, it's awfully close.

And it's fantastic. It reminds me of Starbuck's Cinnamon Coffee Cake, but with apples thrown in to make it all of the better.

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Great-Grandma's Apfelkuchen (German Apple Cake)

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Pink Lady (or other baking) apples, cored and sliced


Topping
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, cold
1 teaspoon almond extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13" pan.

2. Throw the butter and granulated sugar into a bowl and use your mixer to combine them until fluffy. Add the eggs and mix some more.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

4. Combine the butter mixture and flour mixture, mixing well. Add the cream and mix some more. The cake batter will be thick. Don't sweat it.

5. Spread the cake batter in the pan you prepared. Again, it's going to be thick, but I swear it should be. Top with the apple slices.

6. Time to make the topping. Whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, and cinnamon.  Cube the cold butter and then use your hands to mush it into the flour until it's delightfully lumpy. Add the almond extract and stir it all up.

7. Spread the topping over top of the apples.

8. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes before cutting.

Saturday
Jan142017

I'm Supposed to Say No to THIS

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