2017 total: $3532.73


"Simmer Down" Also Sounded Bad

Every once in a while I catch something that makes me want to do better. For example, Mila's parrot tendencies really do have me being more cautious of my words. The very first time I heard her say, "Knock it off" to her dolls, I was all in on knocking that off. The words have been removed from my vocabulary and replaced with the much more productive, "Deep breaths."

That probably sounds ridiculous, but it's true. "Knock it off" is my "that's enough whining and crying just shoooosh." I probably shouldn't invalidate Mila's feelings just because MAN, CAN THAT GIRL WHINE, so what I should be doing is helping her find a way to regain her composure.

"Deep breaths." It totally works for her. When she's all wound up and about to explode, it helps her focus on calming down while also acknowledging that it's okay that she's upset. Or something.

ANYWAY. I say it a lot. That's the back story to what is to come.

This past weekend, Alexis ended up all sorts of wound up about something or other. I don't really remember what it was, but it was the most important thing in her world at the time. She was flying off the handle and both Mila and I just kept looking at her. Staring. Not sure how to help.

Except, Mila did know how to help.

"DEEP BREATHS, SISSY," she advised.

I'm going to need to teach her some other phrases that might entertain me as much as THAT did.

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Christmas Crazy is chugging right along. If you'd like to be a part of this whole "bring joy to a kid who needs it" thing, you've still got time. Cash is good. Items from the wishlist are good. It's all good.


(Preschooler Friendly) Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

While I'm not sure that Facebook has many redeeming qualities, it does occasionally lead to a connection with a relative you haven't seen in decades. That can lead to getting a family recipe book that includes recipes from your grandmother, and that's pretty cool. My grandmother passed away when I was maybe 7, so I don't remember these cookies, but I'll take everyone's word on the topic.

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When decorating cookies made using a recipe that has been passed on through the generations, it's best to let the preschooler be in charge. You get bonus points that way. I decided this particular recipe was a good match for preschooler decorations because they're super easy. Carefully executed cut-out sugar cookies are fun, but the urge to keep them "perfect" is high with me. I'm not sure that I could let Mila dump half a container of sprinkles on them. I'd probably start twitching.

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We'll know for sure in a week or two, though. I have no doubt that the resident preschooler will want to help when we make the cut-out sugar cookies. She's addicted to sprinkles, in case you didn't notice.

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(Preschooler Friendly) Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 - 4 teaspoons milk


1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a few cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to make the cream cheese and butter all sorts of creamy together. Add the sugar and mix well then add the eggs and vanilla. Mix, mix, mix.

4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix until combined.

5. Toss the cookie dough in the fridge for at least 20 minutes so that it won't be so sticky.

6. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball then flatten it on the cookie sheet. Keep doing that until you run out of space. These cookies will approximately double in width, so keep them about 2 inches apart.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Their done when the bottoms are lightly browned. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 2-4 minutes then move to a cooling rack.

8. Make the frosting. In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter and vanilla together then gradually add the powdered sugar. Add the milk one teaspon at a time until the frosting is smooth.

9. Spread frosting over cooled cookies and then decorate with sprinkles as you see fit. In Mila's case, she'll be adding sprinkles for the next eight years. So.

At least she's happy!


All Aglow

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