Thursday, September 24, 2009

a mom's numerical reflection

Number of children I took to Target this morning: 3.
Highest number of kids in time-out in Target at the same time: 2.
My parents came over for our Thursday date (weekly). We all played and hung out until Robert couldn't take anymore and coughed until it made him sick.
Days Robert has had the flu: 4
Highest fever: 103'
Number of people who took him to the pediatrician: 2 (Papaw and me).
Amount of Tami-flu available (even with a prescription): 0
Dosage of acetominophen for 7 year old: 2 (tsp.)
Number of times that Esther slowed down and got really quiet today: 0

Time to leave the house for the Irving Berlin revue: 6:30pm
Number of girls we brought with us to childcare: 2.
Amount of tickets my parents bought for the evening's event: 4
Amount of tickets used: 1.
Memorable musical moments spent reflecting on Berlin's amazing career and talent: infinite
Amount of talent in the room tonight: infinite.
My gratitude for the extraordinary in the midst of the tough stuff of life: growing quickly.
Score of the football game my son and husband are watching right now: 3 to 16.
good night.
Hopeful amount of hours of sleep I will get tonight: 8.

Monday, September 21, 2009

record rain brings magical mushrooms

Fascinated by these fungi that have sprouted in our backyard due to heavy rain, I tried to capture the beauty of these mushrooms in photos. Anybody know any of these varieties? Big Daddy's late aunt Alice was a mushroom lover. I wish I could consult her now . .
Look at the dirt between these. They must have come up so fast that they brought dirt with them!

Smurfs anyone?
I love the rim on this one:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Robert is 7!!

Robert's birthday watch- straight from Rhode Island! He loved it.He models it. On Saturday morning Rob treated us to Chik-fil-a. YUM!

CC loved her biscuit. All day long we wondered if our planned outing to Turner Field for Robert's b-day celebration would be rained out. It was not!!CC had some good love time with Papaw.Granny made awesome baseball cupcakes and bat, ball and bases snack mix (not pictured). Yes, it is awesome to be Martha Stewart's daughter.Mama and CC.
As the evening got later, CC curls up with Granny. And Karla.
The beautiful Kosar family who joined us at Turner Field.
Robert and the Browns.

Thank you to the Burlingtons (of the northeast), the Haynes, the Kosars, the Hagues, the Daniels, and the Browns who all made Robert's 7th birthday pretty awesome. :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Here's to better hair!!

Esther, CC and I were far overdue for a good haircut.

As you can see, my hair was lifeless and dull. Add that to the fact that I am officially a minivan-driving soccer mom who is featured in a Kroger commercial and boom- I was feeling downright dowdy. One trip to B.Lee Salon and voila- the Burlington ladies are back on track.After lunch, Granny and Esther enjoyed some cardgames.
We also had tea.
Mama is back.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Robert's soccer debut

Robert began team soccer today.
He was happy to put on his gear: Out on the field: In action:
While Robert practiced, Esther gathered up the players' siblings and started her own soccer practice. And now, I give you, Coach Esther Burlington:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

potty talk quotes and more

"Well, mom, aliens have alien goop that comes out of them. Alien poop is red and it smells like cherries!"-Esther.
"Yum!"- Robert
"No Robert- you can't eat it because all people in the whole earth are allergic to it. Aliens have blood that is grey. Well, grey and blue and it smells disgusting like DI-A-REE-UH!!"

"Mom, God follows us everywhere in the moon right? And the moon goes everywhere with you no matter what car you are driving in."- Esther
"Well, Esther, God is everywhere."-me
"Oh, so God is in toilets. . . and even in the pipes?"(giggles)- Esther

"That's what it looks like in my head. I can see it in my head. Boy, I wish I could get inside of my head and look at it!"- Robert

"Gum! Down! Uh-oh! Crackee! Gum!! Ball! Mama! Gum! Gum! Gum! Daddeee!"- CC

Monday, September 7, 2009

Journey to Maine-the final entry (post #200!!!)

Our final stop was at the home of the Revs. Patti and Dickie Downing in Wilmington, Delaware. What a handsome couple! Patti took us on a tour of her two parishes: Trinity Church (below)and the super duper historic Old Swedes' church. A museum is housed at the latter along with the oldest pulpit in the United States! Does that make Patti the most amazing preacher in the United States? Probably. Robert and Esther get a close up view of the pulpit.The sign explaining the pulpit's history. Old Swede's cemetery and museum.
Old Swedes bell tower.
The coolest thing that day was when Patti let the kids ring the bell. Here Robert is ringing inside while we watch outside:
Actually, the best thing that day was the FABULOUS lamb kebabs that Dickie grilled for dinner that night. Sadly, I have no picture of that. Thank you Dickie and Patti for hosting the Burlington family in your beautiful home. We love you!
Though many claimed that we must be crazy, we drove the WHOLE WAY from Wilmington to Atlanta the next day totalling about 14 hours. The kids were AWESOME on the drive, we didn't run into much traffic and thanks to Granny and Papaw's van, the video time was plentiful. Which brings me to one final thank you.
Mom and dad- THANK YOU for lending us your super awesome whipped up Honda Odyssey with the DVD and GPS hook-up. It made our trip very smooth and pleasant. I still don't know why you didn't leave our van unlocked in a parking lot with the keys in the ignition while we were gone. Oh yeah- you were to busy detailing it and removing stains that even the guys at Cactus Carwash claimed wouldn't come out. THANK YOU for cleaning up my old Sienna. She was proud to see us at the end of our journey.
With no more posts to write about our vacation, I think I have to face facts. Summer is over. No more vacation for now. Good thing it's Labor Day!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Levain Bakery- I salute you!

Throwdown with Bobby Flay is a Burlington family favorite tv show. Bobby travels around the country to challenge cooks who are the best at what they do. On the chocolate chip cookie Throwdown he visits Levain bakery in Manhatten. Check it out yourself here: challenges them to a throwdown and loses the competition. Ever since watching this episode I felt the need to make some of their cookies myself. They don't publish their recipes but copycats abound. I chose a recipe and went for it.
The resulting cookies were huge, perfectly textured and yummy. Next time I will change the recipe slightly by adding a little more salt or perhaps some ground coffee. The kids helped me make them!Robert is sooooo very happy with the enormity of the cookie. CC too.

Want to try the recipe? (from

Levain Bakery Copycat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies (**Yield- 1 dozen cookies)

2 sticks ‘cold and cubed’ unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar – not packed too hard. Just spoon it in the cup(s) and press down lightly when full, sweeping off any extra that runs over.
2 eggs
3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups AP flour – Spoon and Sweep method. (feel the dough, it should be moist, kind of like cold cookie dough in a tube.. but not super sticky, so you can portion the cookies with your hands)
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
3/4-1 teaspoon baking powder ( I don’t fill the tsp fully, hence the 3/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups good quality semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (I usually use half semisweet and half milk chocolate AND, a little birdy told me they use Guittard) 1 cup walnuts (Toast the nuts for more flavor, if desired and/or use any kind of nut you like. I love macadamias in these)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle, cream together butter and sugars until well blended and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time.. and beat until well incorporated.
2. Add flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and mix until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chunks and nuts.
3. Transfer dough to clean work surface and gently mix dough by hand to ensure even distribution of ingredients. Divide into 12 equal portions, **about 4 oz each..
4. Place each on sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake in the preheated oven 16-23 minutes depending on how gooey and raw’ish you like the middles (I bake mine at 375 for 18-20 minutes, as I prefer a less raw interior), until very lightly browned, taking care not to overbake. Let cool on rack and store what you don’t immediately eat, in an airtight container. To freshen them after a few days (if they last that long), give them a quick nuke in the microwave for 5-10 seconds.

A Letter hunt

CC, Esther and I met up with our friends Beth, Paul and Jack Frilingos and Erin, Baikal and Rybolt Miller last Wednesday. Beth suggested that we all go for a "Letter hunt." We brought our cameras and snacks to Piedmont Park to do just that.
Zs proved elusive until we noticed some on Rybolt's shirt. I found this W. :)
A tree 'v'.
Paul discovered 'U' on his own shirt.
Esther found this 'N' and took many of the following photos upon discovering letters all around.

Snack time. Major kudos to Erin who brought enough snacks for an army and which mostly ended up feeding my army.
Paul, Esther, Rybolt and Baikal on a two-sided swing.
An F.

Beth and Paul investigate a sign for letters.
Esther's 'C'.
Beth brought some great alphabet-themed books which she read to an attentive audience.

Clever Baikal finds an 'x' in the bathroom.
Aha- an 'r'!
Thanks Beth, Erin and chitlins for a fun and educational morning!