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Lazy Day

KatyBeth and I have declared this a Lazy Day, to make up for the insanity that yesterday ended up being. Now, having read that, you might be imagining long lists of things getting accomplished. You'd be wrong. In fact, I only really got one thing done - making a bunch of these:

for a nephew's birthday. The boy's not-Arazyr uncle sometimes brings something like this to family dinners, for dessert, and, not surprisingly, the now-6-year-old really likes them. We had no idea what to get him, he's already got quite a lot of stuff, and shares a room with his older brother, plus, with me not working, we're having to watch the finances rather closely, so... a food gift seemed like a really good idea. I decided that the monster cookies didn't look too hard - just chocolate chip cookies with colored frosting, after all, so...

I managed to make a double batch of chocolate chip cookie dough, without too much difficulty. (Have to make some cookies to be around here, for us - I suspect that Arazyr secretly pouts, if I don't). I put KB down on a blanket in the middle of the kitchen floor, jammed the cabinet under the sink shut with a wooden spoon, and gave her a few toys, and a small potato I scrubbed a few days ago, and then ended up not using, and made the dough. KatyBeth did crawl over to inspect the flour canister, when I had it out, but was quite good for most of the time. I even managed to roll some dough in waxed paper, and put it in the refrigerator (so I could make some "slice" cookies, which I thought might come out in a more smoothly round shape), by the time she found the returnables. I managed to get an empty Mike's Hard Lemonade bottle away from her, as she was leaning toward it, mouth open. (That just looked fundamentally wrong, let me tell you.) So, anyway... I let the dough chill for about an hour, which just happened to coincide with the baby's nap, so I indulged in holding and cuddling her, while she slept.

After her nap, I ended up taking her back in the kitchen with me, put her down on the blanket, again, and started arranging cookie dough on cookie sheets. This time, however, she went pretty much straight for the returnables. I ended up having to banish her to the living room, fenced in with chairs, while I did all the rotating of the cookies through the oven (probably would have had to, anyway, because of the hot oven). That made her mad - she SCREAMED the entire time. I'd come out, to try to calm her down, in between rotation times, and I would only barely get her calmed down, or not quite get her calmed down, before I'd have to return to the kitchen, lest I end up with burnt cookies. So, screaming baby for 30+ minutes, almost solid. When the last of the cookies were out of the oven, I came back out, and I ended up needing to nurse her, to calm her down - nothing short of milk was working. She fell asleep, nursing, and again, I just cuddled her - I felt we both needed it, after the stress of half an hour or so of screaming.

When she woke up, she was much happier, but it was time to do the frosting part. She again started fussing if I tried to leave her in the living room, so I brought her back to the kitchen, and rearranged the returnables, to get as much as possible out of her reach. Predictably, she went back to the returnables corner again, but there was really no problem with her playing with a large plastic apple juice jug, so I set to making the frosting (I had originally thought I'd just get the tubes of the commercial stuff at the store, but they were about $4.50 - I figured it would be a lot cheaper to make it, myself), glancing over at her frequently, to make sure everything was still ok. I decided to do red frosting, as Arazyr said he thought red was the nephew's favorite monster cookie color. I went through EVERY drop of red food coloring I had (which was most of a bottle - a vanilla-sized bottle, not just one of those little drop bottles) to get a color that was more red than pink (I only colored about half the frosting batch). I dug out my decorating bag (a plastic one), and the tips. I ended up having to use a smaller decorating tip than I thought would be ideal, because I couldn't find a larger one, of the same shape (thought I had one, but...). And so, I set to "filling" the cookies. It is very hard to get all the frosting neatly in the bag, and keep it there - my hands were covered in red frosting, and my hands were dyed red, by the time I was done. I tried a few times to separate KB from the returnables, but she wasn't having it, she wasn't hurting anything, and Arazyr was due to get home any moment, and then we'd be heading off to his mom's house, for dinner. I had barely so much as brushed my hair, and I wanted to at least put on a bit of mascara before we went, so I wanted to get things done quickly. Scrubbing out the bag after the red frosting, so I could use the white for the eyes was a chore. I was in the middle of putting eyes on all the cookie sandwiches, when I heard a sound, and looked over to find that KatyBeth had managed to pull a flower pot on a nearby table down on top of her head. She had a cascade of very dry (fortunately) potting soil down half of her face, and had it all over most of the rest of her. I, of course, had to drop everything, and grab a damp, but not red-stained from monster cookies, paper towel to wipe the dirt out of her face, as she cried, and tried not to let her get much in her mouth (quite the challenge). I brushed the dirt from her clothes, then took her to the bathroom, and took out her little half-ponytail, and spent several minutes brushing the soil out of her hair. Once finished, I re-did her ponytail, then deposited her in the living room, and went to sweep up the mess. The cookies still sitting unfinished. I had just finished sweeping up, when Arazyr stepped through the door. I was hot from working in the kitchen all afternoon, harried from juggling baby and cookies, and frustrated from the mishap and resulting mess. Frankly, if Arazyr had asked me if I was "almost ready to go", as he frequently does, on family dinner nights, I think I might have spazzed out. He instead wisely asked if there was anything he could do to help. I sent him off to change KB's diaper, while I set to trying to finish the cookies. The inner frosting on a few of them had dried enough that the eyes kept falling off. I crammed them on the best I could, shoved them in a box, then made Arazyr wait another 10 minutes while I re-brushed my hair, put on a bit of makeup, and ran around gathering stuff to pack.

Finally, we managed to get out the door and on our way, and fortunately, arrived at Arazyr's mom's house without further incident. The evening was a pleasant enough little birthday party for the nephew in question, who seemed to enjoy all his presents. I ended up playing an odd game of mock-battle, unarmed, against a newly-6-year-old, and an almost-8-year-old, armed with 2 plastic birthday present swords. Good exercise, but it didn't make the day any less tiring. So it is, that today, I decided that the greatest of my ambitions is to get dinner made. Anything else is a bonus.

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