Step 1: Before taking on any project, the baby must be happy. Especially Anna Clare, who's favorite pass time is screaming!
Step 2: Get out my Martha Stewart-Cooking School book.
Step 3: Take a time out. I've already made a slight fumble. Tessa thought, "should we make cookies?" meant she was going to eat a cookie--as in right now. Oppies. Get Tessa a snack to make her stop screaming.
Step 4: Make sure the "creaming" process results in very fluffy dough. Martha promises this is where most cookies fail. I am a good cook, and I love to bake and decorate cakes, but I have yet to master the cookie...so we have been making a lot of cookies. I think (my husband tells me) I am getting close.
Step 5: Give miss Tessa a taste. You can't make cookies with your daughter and not let her taste! This, to me, is a simple thing that makes me so thankful for the ability to stay home with my girls.
Step 6: Chill that dough. Martha says if you melt your butter a bit too much, you must chill the dough so the cookies don't fall flat in the oven. But, I don't get the dough in the fridge fast enough for Tessa...who sneaks in and becomes friendly with a pepper before I can get the door closed.
Step 7: Take a time out to change diapers and feed the baby. I try to sneak in a few minutes of work e-mail during this break.
Step 8: Ohh, in my attempt to sneak some work in, I don't notice Tessa "over-loving" the baby.
Step 9: Make Tessa tell the baby (and Jesus) she is sorry and instruct her to give kissies and hugs.
Step 10: Decide the only way to proceed is to wait until Tessa is sleeping. The concept of "making" is too much for her, she can only focus on the "cookies" part of the project.
Step 11: Get cookies into balls, on the sheet and into the oven as fast as possible--both girls are sleeping at the same time!
Step 12: Let Tessa be the taste-tester with her very own cookie!
Project start time: 12:45 pm
End time: 5:35 pm
Total time: Just under 5 hours. Not too bad!