Scenes from Saturday + Ikea Plates

Two parenting milestones this week. First, I spent a solid 90 minutes waiting in two separate lines in a leaky gym to register Ally for kindergarten. Since her fifth birthday she appears to have hit that growth spurt where kid’s grow faster than Japanese knotweed and I definitely won’t miss the day care bills, but hard to believe that she is almost old enough for school. 

Second, and obviously just as big, we took stock of our multicolored, plastic 36-piece IKEA kid’s dinnerware set clogging one kitchen cabinet and began to consider that maybe it was time to start at least considering replacing those with something age appropriate. 

Picked up on a whim almost nine years ago, they might be our best IKEA purchase ever. Quick and easy to clean and virtually indestructible, they are perfect for meals or as art project accessories. I have eaten more meals than I care to admit off the purple plate. 

I will be a little sad to see them go, but all good things must come to an end. And all little girls must eventually go to school.


We started the day the usual way, one on the couch with her furry buddy and one creating breakfast foods in the kitchen.


We added one new, very important skill to Cecilia’s breakfast arsenal this week: making coffee!


Waffles with topping bar and baked eggs were on the menu today. It was a kid-centric topping bar including, crushed cookies, brown sugar, sprinkles, chocolate chips, cheese and blueberries.


I snuck out for a run with the local running group. Five miles better than no miles. Knee felt mostly good. Lots of debris and people without power, but the big trees that caused the bus drama were cleared. Trails in the reservation were surprisingly open, as well.


Back at the ranch, breakfast dishes were cleaned (by Cecilia) and Allison made a card for her friend’s birthday party.


Any day the includes painting and cupcakes is a good day in Ally’s book.


While little sister was away, big sister held some sort of conference with all the dolls. It was a closed meeting and secret vote. I was asked to leave the room.


She later came upstairs and was keen to help me make the dip to take to friends later in the day. I was happy to have an assistant. Right now, while we spar over math facts, straightening her room and piano, working with me in the kitchen appears to be one of the few times she’ll listen and take my advice.


After lunch, Ally returned and Mom ducked out to get her hair cut. The girls disappeared into the basement. After a long, suspicious silence, I went to investigate. 

On their own, they discovered and started watching Zumba’s Just Desserts. It’s sort of an Australian Willy Wonka version of The Great British Baking show. 

A lot of their time is spent watching their tablets separately these days as they are interested in different shows, but this one they watch together. Who am I to argue. They were down in the basement making Zumba desserts with Play-Doh.


Later they came up and made a real dessert to also take over for the dinner party. This was a great one for the kid’s to make on their own. They just needed some help spreading the marshmallow. It tasted really good. Too good.


While the s’mores bars baked, I instituted some mandatory outside time. They were unhappy the scant amount of snow melted before lunch. It did not stop them from pulling and playing with the sleds however.


It was a little raw outside, so mandatory yard time didn’t last too long, but they weren’t let back in until their cheeks were appropriately rosy.

It was interesting to listen to Cecilia translate my instructions about knife skills to her sister. Like a high-stakes game of parental telephone. She did get most of it correct and my two line cooks managed to chop up the parsley and tomatoes into, if not a uniform cut, at least a usable cut.

A few more weeks of practice and I’ll be able to open a full service restaurant!


Under our new “no nagging” policy, Cecilia did manage to slip piano practice in just under the wire. She’s practicing all her pieces for her guild audition in May.


Then it was off to friends for dinner and more parlor games. No dominoes this time, but trivia. But not 80’s trivia. We learned our lesson about Jessica Lange last time. We did a lot  better with the 90’s version. 

We were also sorely undressed compared to our Jack, our sartorial host. [Note: campfire tablescape by William]


That’s it. Another Saturday night in the rearview mirror. You gotta savor them, it’s a limited supply.

Ally may be heading to kindergarten in the fall and she might be too big for Broadway stars to lift up, but she’s not too big for her Dad to carry her inside. That will happen soon enough. But not tonight.

At least I’ll always have my Ikea plates. We are never getting rid of those!