An Open Letter to the Woman* Who Makes Her Own Homemade Sprinkles

Photography from

Photography from “A View From Great Island”

Dear Dreamy Lady Who Makes Her Own Homemade Sprinkles:

First, let me start of by saying that I am not judging you and your decision to make homemade sprinkles. I love crafty, homemaker-y, DIYish projects from making my own pasta from scratch to becoming a convert of the homemade laundry detergent, but it has never once occurred to me to make my own homemade sprinkles.

Until today.

I woke up bright and too early and turned on my phone to get my first Pinterest fix of the day. And there you were. Mocking me. “How to Make Homemade Sprinkles.” Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked. This was the ultimate click-bait. How the fuck could I not click? I had to see who you were, mysterious Homemaker of the Year.

The first paragraph is spot on:

“This is one of those projects you might just want to keep to yourself.  At the very least you’ll probably get a quite a few quizzical looks, and some of your friends will actually wonder if all your cylinders are firing.”

At least you have acknowledged that this is one of those things that is going to cause a line of questioning that may or may not end in “How much wine have you had today, ma’am?”

But as I read on, the mockery that was bubbling up in me started to melt away. Nay, transform. The mockery became curiosity. By the end of the post, I was overwhelmed with desire.

Desire to know what life is like once you make you own homemade sprinkles. What do you feel when you can walk into your kitchen and know that behind one of those cupboard doors, are the sprinkles you took hours to craft by hand in a pretty glass jar because after you spend a fraction of your life making fucking sprinkles, you sure as shit aren’t going to be storing them in a tomato-sauce stained disposable plastic container with a dishwasher-warped lid. That sprinkly shit is going to be placed delicately a perfectly sized mason jar, perhaps with a bow around it (burlap, probably)? How does that feel to know they sit there in the kitchen, just waiting for you to use them at the right moment… a tea party for new neighbors? A baby shower you throw for your college roommate? Cupcakes for the church bake sale?

What is the feeling like when your husband gets home at the end of the day and asks what you did today? I spent seven hours creating the perfect consistency and color of sprinkle batter and then painstakingly piped it onto waxed paper to harden overnight so I can chop it up tomorrow. “Oh, not much. Just knocked out some things around the house that I’ve been meaning to get to” you say instead. But in your heart, you know. You know exactly what you did today.

What is life like after you have made your own homemade sprinkles? Do you suddenly feel like you can conquer anything that comes your way? Because I sure as shit think you probably can. Train for a marathon after a ten-year brief hiatus from fitness? Sure! Potty-train twins while having a newborn? Bring it, bitches. Knit an ironic and adorable moose-head for your wall? Absofuckinglutely.

You made homemade fucking sprinkles. You can do anything.

Is this how it feels? A sense of empowerment? A secret you silently carry around because you’re smart enough to know how pretentious and sanctimonious it would come off if you happened to mention at your toddlers weekly playdate that you have started to make your own sprinkles? A knowledge that you seriously can do anything with the right amount of patience and counter-space?

I bet that’s how it feels. And, Woman who Makes Her Own Sprinkles, please, again know that I’m not judging. I am in fact envious. I want to feel that way too. I want to feel that all-powerful. You ARE super woman.

Love and Adoration,

Stephanie

*I’m sure there are men out there who have or will make their own sprinkles–sprinkles are obviously equal-opportunity. But in my minds eye, all I can see is a tall-ish, lean-ish, perfectly coiffed and Boden-bedecked woman, who doesn’t pee when she laughs and always finds time for a pedicure.

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Love is Love Reflected

One of my favorite things about having a video baby monitor is catching my kids doing things when they think nobody is watching. Today, my three year old Millie did something that just melted my heart.

She just woke up and was still in bed, just chilling. I watched her get one of those stripey hospital baby blankets that everyone has and carefully spread the blanket across her bed. She then grabbed her baby doll, rested it on the blanket and proceeded to swaddle the doll with more care and tenderness than some adults. After the baby was swaddled, she picked it up and just sat on the bed, cradling the doll and rocking her side to side.

Sometimes, the care she shows to others–even dolls–just amazes me.

Trust me. This is her swaddling her baby and it's a-damn-dorable.

Trust me. This is her swaddling her baby and it’s a-damn-dorable.

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Third Floor Thoughts

One of the biggest features we loved about this house is the finished attic—one big room, with three separate zones and a bathroom with a shower. It has your typical “finished attic” features including sloping ceilings, only three windows (one on each gable at the front and back of the house, and one on the side dormer), no central air or heat, and “weekend warrior” workmanship… if you know what I mean.

I believe the previous owners used this entire floor as a master suite–the sconce lighting over where a bed might be and a small shelf sticking out of the wall with a cable jack directly opposite the sconces clue me in to that. We thought about using it the same, but with little babies in the house, I just wanted to be on the same floor as them. Plus we figured out a way to get a master walk-in closet into what we now use as the master, so that made that decision easy for us!

Currently, we use the space for two distinct functions. The smaller area near the front of the house, which is just big enough to comfortably fit a queen sized bed, serves as a guest room. The larger space near the back of the house is now our playroom. This has worked, really, really well for us. One big room=two rooms! Woot!

But the third floor has bothered me. When we first moved it, I used it as an office, but it was just not very inspiring and I hated every moment I spent up there during the day. I know it needs a redesign–not remodel so much as a few cans of paint and a little funkiness.

As you can see in these pictures, taken in August as high noon, the room doesn’t receive much light. The sun directly shines on all three windows, but something about the room just takes whatever sunlight comes in and sucks it up until it isn’t very sunny anymore. Perhaps it’s the current color of all the walls, which I affectionately refer to as “Creamy Nicotine.” I’m sure the dog-hair-laden, rippling puke-brown carpet doesn’t help the cause either.

So I’m on a mission. I’m FINALLY going to this. Change your space, change your attitude right?

A crappy iPhone photo of the guest space looking from the playroom area.

A crappy iPhone photo of the guest space looking from the playroom area.

Another crappy iPhone photo from the little hall that connects the guest room to the playroom. This is the sunlight that comes in during the day.

Another crappy iPhone photo from the little hall that connects the guest room to the playroom. This is the sunlight that comes in during the day.

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On Potty Training

Last Sunday, my almost-three-year-old Millie declared that she didn’t want to wear diapers anymore.

Yes, it has been time for potty training for awhile. I honestly think she was ready back in the summer of 2014 when she was about to be two, but we had a new baby set to come any minute and the doctor, my neighbor, everyone you meet says to not try potty training right before a huge life change like a new sibling. So diaper-wearing continued.

And… well, I wasn’t ready for potty training. As I do with many big changes in Millie’s life, I was overthinking the fuck out of it and how it would change our lives. No longer could we just go to a random park that didn’t have a potty and play for hours. Once we started the training, our lives would forever be beholden to her bladder and bowels. What about that wonderful pumpkin farm we love to go to every fall? They only have Portable potties and there is no way in HELL this public-bathroom-anxious-germaphobe was going to let her touch-everything toddler in a portable potty.

That’s why I love me some diapers.

But when Millie declared she was done with them, I had to embrace it, even though I hadn’t done any reading about how to do it and was not prepared with any information or gear or candy (for her) or wine (for me). We headed to Target to get cute new underpants (Elsa-themed, of course. Is there anywhere that isn’t covered in Elsa in our household right now? No.)

Monday morning she helped me throw away all the size 5 diapers (except for that giant unopened box I had… I told her I threw those away, but I put them in the Baby Gear Storage Closet for when Poppy chunks her way up to that size) and we never looked back.

I’m not going to go into the ins and outs of how we did it (I skimmed the Three Day Potty Training guide and loosely followed that), but there were some accidents, a whole lot of reward M&M’s, many minutes sitting in a bathroom singing songs and reading books and some nighttime pull-ups.

But what I will share with you is this surprising thing that nobody tells you about potty training your firstborn:

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Baby Poppy’s Big Secret

Baby Poppy has a secret.

How could this face be frustrating? I’ll tell you how…

Yes. That sweet face has a big bad dark secret.

SHE CAN’T STOP EATING EVERY SINGLE OBJECT SHE SEES.

Okay, so it’s not really a secret, but it is one of the most frustrating things about this cute baby. She’s almost ten months old right now, so I know this is the prime time in her life and I know that babies learn about the world around them with their mouths. Blah blah blah, I know all that… but seriously. This kid needs to stop eating everything.*

I cannot put her down and turn my head for even a moment, so heaven forbid that my preschooler needs something. If I do avert my eyes from Poppy’s direction for even a second, I will most definitely find her in the process of eating dirt, dust, crumbs, toys, pebbles, twigs, sand… I sweep and vacuum daily, most of my day is now devoted to floor-cleanliness and she STILL manages to find something that I may have missed. A no-shoes policy in the house doesn’t help… crap from the outer world still seems to find its way into the house.

We headed in the stroller to a local park about a mile away recently. Upon arrival, I went to get her out of the stroller to find her chewing earnestly like a cow chewing the cud. For the six hundreth time that day, I shoved my finger into her mouth to fish out whatever the hell was in there (I certainly hadn’t given her anything) and I pulled out a twig, which must’ve fallen into the stroller during the walk.

Her beloved chew-toy twig.

*You know what the kid WON’T eat? Food.

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