Saturday, June 28, 2008

Big Change

So, I made a drastic change in my appearance today. I've been thinking about it for almost a year, so I was ready. Me Before:
Me During.
Me After. What do you think?
I dragged Karyn with me to hold my hand through this drastic cut and she took amazing progress pictures throughout. And isn't her cut sassy?!
Julie did an AMAZING job with my cut. Thanks girlfriend!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Laura Reads

I am so impressed with my Laura that I have to post this ridiculously long video of her. We bought this book the day before and I had read it to her once before I recorded this. We have "Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late" so the premise was not unfamiliar to her, but I think the way she reads this RULES! You go my little smarty pants!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Successful Saturday

Before Laura's dance performance, we had a very successful Saturday. We got one of our final house projects completed. We painted the front door and sidelights black. It was a ton of work, but I think the end result is fabulous and really makes the house look better.
While Jason and I worked, we set up the sprinkler for the girls to play in. Laura loved the water and playing in the sprinkler.
Sara was not such a huge fan of the sprinkler, but she had a grand time getting dirty!

Homemade Bread from a DVD

My entire life, all my baking has been done from a box. But, recently, I learned how to make homemade bread. Yes, I bought a DVD to learn how. Pathetic, yes. Successful, also yes. I am now successfully making all kinds of bread-y things. (Thank you Karyn for turning me onto this system.) I've made loaves of white, wheat, and nine grain bread as well as breadsticks. Tonight I'll be trying pizza. Let's just say that I totally endorse the Pantry Secrets system for anyone wanting to save $$ and use their food storage. It's easy, fast, and turns out perfectly every time!
It feels great to be able to use my food storage and feel like I could do well in a real emergency. Laura is enjoying this as well. She is totally my little red hen helper. She helps grind the wheat and make the bread. Look at she and Lily helping me out!
It's great to have both my mom and Karyn into this system as well. Jason is being incredibly supportive and found us a smokin' deal on a new mixer. I can't wait for it to arrive. And thank you for the inspiration to work on things like this, Lisa! You rule, girl!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sara Update

This is kinda delayed, but I finally have the vital one-year stats on Sara from her appointment. It's official; she's huge (pc version: healthy)! She is 33.25 inches long (way above the 97th percentile), weighs 26lb 14oz (somewhat above the 97th percentile) and her head is 47.25 cm (95th percentile). Her personality is equally huge!
Sara is standing on her own for about 30 seconds at a time and is taking her first tentative steps - 2 at the most. If you look closely at this pic, you will notice that Dr. Sara (another favorite) is not holding onto anything.
She is an absolute MONKEY. She climbs on everything, gets stuck constantly, and terrifies me regularly!
Stairs are no longer taboo at the house. Sara's been climbing up them for a few weeks now, but the down movement just got mastered this week. I think I wore out the knees in a pair of jeans going up and down with her. Check out how hilarious she is and listen closely to hear her tell you which direction she is climbing.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ballerina Girl

Laura had her first formal dance performance tonight. She was a bunny in the ballet "Sleeping Beauty." She loved wearing a tutu, having her hair in a bun, and wearing bunny ears. Aren't she and Emma cute?!
We had two dress rehearsals earlier and most of my pictures are from that. But, here are some highlights of the bunny dance.

I bawled my eyes out (joined by my adorable parents) watching my little girl onstage and watching the rapture in her eyes as she watched the previous acts from my lap. Is she not the cutest little ballerina bunny ever?!
The performance itself was a bit of a bummer because somehow staging didn't work out as planned and a little girl from another class refused to hold Laura's hand as she was supposed to. (My little perfectionist had a rough time with that one.) Oh, and the performance took place significantly after her bedtime; she was yawning even before she went onstage. But, having both sets of her grandparents, her best budy Lily (thank you Karyn!), and her parents there cheering her on, as well as flowers and ice cream afterwards, seemed to make it great. Congratulations Laura!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Good Day

I finally am feeling well enough that I can do more than just function. So, today was a grand day at our house. It began with Laura's final dance class of the season. Her performance is this Saturday and she is super excited to be on the big stage in a real tutu. Today's surprise happened when her teacher recommended Laura not just advance one class, but that she advance two classes. What a smart, talented girly I have! Here are some pics of her dancing today.
Then we headed to the park and joined a bunch of my lady friends (Karyn, Deb, Natalie, etc.) and their kids for some playing in the sun. Laura adored playing outside with friends and Sara sampled the grass.
Then Andrea was stuck for a babysitter today so we had some more friends (her kids who are really easy nowadays) come over for the afternoon. It was a grand time watching the baby birds, crafting and general craziness. Check out all the crafts Laura has completed this week. We have a chain to count down to our Seattle trip, a colored puzzle, a scrapbook, and the flowers from today.
Then Laura and I read her book before I took off to Bunco. I actually won the grand prize at Bunco tonight and some time with the ladies is always wonderful.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Baby Birds

Guess what Laura and I found the other day?! We found that the nest under our deck now houses three hungry baby birds. It is so great that though we live in such a populated area, that my kids have plenty of room to run, explore the outdoors, and experience fun things like nests of baby birds.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Good Things

Every one of us have had a good thing lately. Here they are for each of us:

I made myself a knockoff Moby Wrap ie: Mommy Wrap. A very good thing. I've loved them for a while, but just couldn't justify the $40 expense. So, when my friend Deb learned how to make one, I stole her instructions and made one for myself. My knockoff cost me $11. (We had a good day trading ideas with binky straps and slings.) Sara loves it. I love it and the relief it gives to my back and the freedom it gives to my arms. And even Jason is a fan. (Yes, that is why there is so much fabric coming off the back when I wear it. Jason is not small.)

Jason's good thing is that our lawn is finally strong enough that he could mow it and get after the weeds. The house is really looking better. And isn't he cute mowing?!

Laura's good thing is that when we went to the cabin, she made an ENORMOUS tower of blocks. And even better, Sara didn't knock it down.

Sara's good thing (other than being comfy in the new Mommy Wrap) was that it has been warm again. Therefore, she was able to get ridiculously wet playing in the rocks and water at the cabin. Tasting both was an extra special experience. She really got into it! And, sometimes, you just gotta let kids be kids.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

First Birthday

Sara's birthday celebrations were limited due to my health. But we still had a grand ol' time. We opened the majority of her presents on her birthday morning with my parents. We chose to do it then because that's when she's happiest. Look how happy and absorbed she is with her presents.
We then had her UmMah's and UmPah's over for cake and singing Sunday night. I think the singing was her favorite part of her birthday celebrations. We sang to her incessantly for two days and she grinned every time we sang.
Though, she also thoroughly enjoyed her cake. She wore it. She grabbed it. She even blew out her own candle. Laura helped make the cake and also helped Sara wear it.
This is the first of many happy birthdays. Though I think in the future, we will not subject Sara to the adorable hat wearing. I sure wish she'd kept in on longer than 2 seconds because it's darling (another testament to Mel's awesome taste).

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Big 01

I can hardly believe my baby Sara is a year old. She is huge and I hardly remember life without her, but still, she is 1! Check out how much she's grown.

One Week

Six Months

One Year

I haven't been to the doctor yet, but here are most of her vital stats:
Height: Ridiculously Tall
Size: 18 or 24 month clothes
Teeth: Still only 2
Favorite Food: Maple and Brown Sugar Cream of Wheat
Crawling Speed: Very Fast
Preferred Mode of Transportation: Walking with Mommy's fingers, riding high in the van where she can look out the window
Words: The kid's a mimic and will try just about anything; some new ones are PooPoh (Purple), Baeba (baby), UmPah and UmMah (Grandma and Grandpa). In fact, just the other day she walked me to her empty bottle said "Baba" and then "Up Up". Yep, the kid gets what she wants.
Favorite Games: Attack! (Crawl very fast toward someone, collapse on them and cover them with oh so moist kisses), Boo! (Search for someone around a corner and say "Boo")
Passtimes: Exploration - the kid is always on the go and getting into something. Walking and climbing on furniture. Jumping on the couch, bed, legs, bellies and in her jumper. Talking on the phone - yep, it's already begun. Flirting with people everywhere we go.
Have I mentioned this kid is always on the go? "Get me outta here. I'm done with these pictures. Hope you got it in 4 shots, Mom."

Friday, June 06, 2008

While I Was Out

My favorite thing in the whole wide world to eat right now is Jason's amazing Butter Pecan Ice Cream. He made this for me while I was sooooo sick and now (even though I'm only sorta sick) I'm truly addicted! (His recipe is below)
Because we've been stuck inside, I've loved watching the kids and Jason play on the floor.
And isn't Sara cute playing when she's naked?! She had devoured a cookie and as much ended up on her as in her. She escaped while we tried to change her into clean clothes and this was the result.
My folks also got the girls a swing that we can use here on our deck, and also can transport it to the cabin when that swingset is in. The girls love it and I love that we don't have to go anywhere to use it.
Butter Pecan Ice Cream
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 cup pecan gems
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups cream (heavy or whipping)
1 1/2 cups milk

Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Brown pecans in melted butter while stirring continuously (there's a very fine line between brown and burned, trust me I know). Drain butter from pecans into separate bowl. Place pecans into freezer.

Beat eggs with whisk in yet another bowl until light and frothy (takes about 30 seconds). While beating the melted butter vigorously, slowly pour in about 1/2 of the eggs. Then while beating the eggs vigorously, pour the melted butter and egg mixture back in. Blend well.

While beating the egg/butter mixture, slowly whisk in the sugar (takes about 90 seconds) until you have a cake batter consistency. Add milk and cream and blend carefully as to not add any more air and whip the cream. Freeze to your ice cream makers specifications. Stir in pecans when frozen. Makes a generous quart. Great with caramel topping.