Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cinderella Cake with G

I love baking. That is pretty obvious. I also enjoy letting G help me bake. We've grown together, in our method. I've never really shied away from letting her measure, dump, stir, mix, and occasionally make a mess. There have been a few times when I've gotten frustrated with her, due to time constraints, expensive ingredients, or sensitive nature (yeast, specifically) but generally, we have a grand time. She has her own apron, hat, mitt, etc. I imagine she'll be a big baker when she is older too. Her favorite thing to do, aside from TASTE, is mix. The other day, though, I learned she does NOT like the hand mixer. It is too loud for her. She much prefers the Kitchen Aid stand mixer....classy expensive taste :-)

From "Kitchen Fun - a cookbook for Children" by Bell & Smith (1932)
G has her own little cook book, and anytime I get my recipes out, she wants to have her own book down too. It's quite adorbs. We haven't ever made anything out of it, though there are plenty of fun recipes in it.

Then over the weekend (Memorial Day, specifically) I decided it was high time she got to actually make something from her cook book. We picked out just the perfect thing. Cinderella Cake with Jam Frosting!

I have no clue why it's called Cinderella Cake, but I'm guessing it's because it's pretty plain, but still yummy. Like Cinderella was really plain, but still caught the Prince's eye? Idk.
I let G do everything, with some help, aside from cracking the eggs. And, she didn't want to hold the mixer (see above). But we used the Kitchen Aid for the frosting, and she's great at turning that on and off, and helping to tap-tap-tap the sides.
mixing in the vanilla by hand, with tear stained cheeks from hating the hand mixer

After I put J to bed, we finished the frosting and all sat down to enjoy our Cinderella Cake :-) It was a lovely end to our lovely weekend.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Another Paint Project - the Powder Room

I really didn't mind the color of the powder room...but it needed another coat of paint because there was primer (or the previous color white?) showing through. It was pretty annoying. I mean, you had to look at it a while to see it...but once you knew it was there--super annoying.

the paint oopsies
So while the kids and I were away, one of my husband's jobs was to put a second coat on it (and paint behind the toilet, because the previous owners had left it white...dumb.). Well... Apparently, there were two similar colors out in the garage (at least the previous owners left us all the paint ever used in the house). Once the paint dried, it was VERY obvious he had chosen the wrong shade of green-blue. Poor guy. So since it was a multi-color disaster, I just decided to go purple :-)

FINALLY! A purple room!! Haha... If you've read my previous paint posts, or know me, you know I've wanted SOMETHING purple around here...and my sweet husband agreed to let the smallest room in the house be purple. Conveniently, it's next to the green kitchen that has wine color accents, so I turned the powder room into a wine color with green accents. Pretty spectacular, actually.

We went cheaper this time, using Lowe's paint instead of SW. The color is Valspar Satin Finish 4001-4B Classical Violet.

the powder room now... I want to paint the vanity white now

the powder room when we looked at the house

Monday, May 27, 2013

Catch up, briefly

I know you've all been on the edge of your seats, wondering when my next blog post would go up.... but May has been BUSY!

We went on a middle of the month grandparent-visiting-graduation-celebrating trip that was certainly fun, but definitely glad it's over and we are settled back home. My husband was with us for half of it, so that was nice, and then he came home, worked, and got some to-do-list items check off his list during the evening hours.
We've also had countless play dates and many meals with friends...with more coming up. I love having a social life again....much improved from our homebound winter & fairly lonely California days.

Here's a catch-all bullet list to catch everyone up to speed. In no particular order.

G is now talking well enough to almost everyone can understand almost everything she says. What a blessing/curse that is...haha.
My favorite, but least favorite, thing she says now is, "No! Don't like that!" Cracks me up, but frustrates me too. She says it in reference to activities, food, etc..
J has very briefly sat up independently, but he can't always do it and it's never for very long...but it's progressing!
G's potty training is great...ish. She doesn't have pee accidents, and lately has had more poop successes than accidents, so that's good. Her issue is getting her to sit on the potty and relax long enough to get the poop out... TMI, sorry. She's wet the bed a few times this past week, but had been on a perfect streak for a while..last night was a dry bed night, so here's to hoping we move forward again.
On our trip, she did awesome with potting. It's kind of funny, though, that she wouldn't use her little potty in the back of the car--but if I took it into the gas station bathroom, she'd go right away. She is very aware of social cues. Cracks me up. She didn't have any accidents the whole time, pee wise, but had several poop ones. Bummer.
I don't want to re-hash the driving with two small kids shenanigans, but at some point, you just have to block out the screaming and whining and drive (so long as you know there's nothing you can do for them regarding eating/diaper/potty/etc...). There were times when it was nice--and they both slept ;-)--but then there were others where J was crying and G thought it'd be funny to whine too....seriously, I think it was just funny to her. I ate a lot of pretzels. Like a whole bag. Ha.
We've been doing a lot of house projects lately. Painting trim, minor improvements like a new fan & a new shower head, painting the powder room (separate post to come soon), landscaping projects... Fun times being a homeowner :-)
I've been doing great with running and am 90% sure I'm running the KC half marathon in October. My training plan starts this week.
G took May off of gymnastics because we've been so busy, but she got to go to open gym this week & did great. Her beam walk is pretty awesome. She also always asks to flip over the bar. Somersault is 90% there sometimes, other times its a flop-over.
Park dates have been super fun, and it's a great poop-training motivator, and the weather has been great, so we've been outside a lot....especially doing side-walk chalk. She loves that...and I kinda do too, Can't wait until J is big enough to join in the fun,
Speaking of big...he's growing so much! He was 16 pounds, 5.5 ounces as of last Thursday when we got 2 shots. He turns the big six months in about 3 weeks....crazy how time flies!
G & J continue to get along awesome. She is such a sweet heart, and the other day she brought her Elmo over to J and laid it by him. She said, "Chare, Emmo!" (Share Elmo) She shows him books, gives him hugs and kisses, and brings him toys. He is trying SO hard to keep up with her....wants to crawl SO bad. He's semi-mobile, in that he has rolled around and around to get somewhere a few times, and can crawl in a circle, or inch worm a TINY bit (mostly in his crib...how he ends up in the rails EVERY NIGHT, I have no idea).
He's sleeping pretty shotty.... like every 2-4 hours at night, and short naps, 2-3 times a day.... he just does not want to miss anything. ugh. If this is my plight, I'll bare it...willingly, because in the big scheme of things, it's not that bad.
My husband and I got an awesome date night this weekend, thanks to our normal babysitter's best friend. We went to a winery/restaurant and splurged a little, seeing as how we hadn't been out like that in...oh....ages. We each got a flight of wine (equal to about glasses), and we got two awesome entrees to split. It was delicious and so fun. On the way home, by husband asked if I had "that song we danced to at our wedding..." Uh, duh. I popped the CD in and we had a sing along on the way home. It was so fun. You definitely need nights like those to keep your marriage strong through these kid-years. I'm thankful I have a true partner in him & appreciate all he does for us.
Speaking of how awesome my husband is...for Mother's Day, I got a spa/salon gift card. So far I've gotten a glorious pedicure. There's enough for a hair cut and manicure left.... Yes, I am a lucky lady.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Life happens + photos

Life has been going super fast lately. I don't even know where to begin. How about where we left off.... Potty.

G has been "pee" potty trained for about 2 weeks now... Poop is another story. A few have gotten intentionally in the potty... Others are accidents. Just riding that out until she figures it out. She understands the concept. But has yet to consistently act on it. She's definitely "nap" trained but nights are about 80%. We check on her when we get up with J, and sometimes she'll want to get up and go, other times she wants to sleep--and sometimes she ends up peeing later in her bed which is a bummer. She gets really excited when she keeps a dry bed all night, and she knows she is supposed to. I'm really really proud of her for working through this whole potty thing. She's even used the potty away from home several times. She tells us when she has to go, although I have to ask sometimes too.

Then there's that baby. Man he is a handsome devil. And by devil I mean, sweet but mischievous already. He's not the best sleeper, sooo that's crappy, but he's hitting all the milestones & generally happy, so I can't be too disgruntled. He has pushed up on to his hands (with elbows off the ground)! 5/6 for that one. 
5/8 for the first time he sat in his high chair--though he was propped up with some towels since he isn't quite sitting independently yet. He just loves watching everything & got to where he demanded to be held during meals so he could see... So we broke out the high chair. He is really interested in food. I figure if we make it to June without starting solids, we'll be lucky. I'm in no rush but he is always pulling our plates toward him + he is a CHUNK, so I'm sure he'd gobble some oatmeal up. He doesn't have any teeth yet, but I can see the outlines of several. It might just be because he's a second child, and despite his genetic abnormality, he seems farther along than G was in several ways. But in others, not so much. Just different kids...
So currently J goes to bed around 7:45 pm, wakes up about 4-4.5 hours later (yah, fuuuun), eats, wakes up about 4 hours later, eats, wakes up about 2 hours later...unless he's having an up every hour night like he did almost all last week and weekend. He naps 3 times a day, but only for 40 minutes each time.
I've done substantial sleep training for his age to reach these totals....so yah, he's just a crappy sleeper & I don't know why. Intelligence mixed with crappy breathing, my guess.

Speaking of intelligence. That big sister sure is genius. She's figured out her new jigsaw puzzles! She needs some guidance and support from us occasionally, but is doing them on her own. Letters are old news and we're kind of half way working on reading. Not crazy like, just some skills. A few sight words here and there, sounds and modeling sounding out words, and then my favorite...having her help us read books. That's basically memorization & recall but it's a step. So we'll read a book & then pause to see if she can say the next word. She usually can--as long as its a verb or noun. Prepositions and pronouns, not so much, sometimes she gets modifiers.

Friends are her favorite thing, and we've been having lots of play dates to make up for the home bound winter. She adores play dates. She's great at sharing & loves giggling/running around with kids her age. She's interested to know their names & letters, and talks about them for hours before/after we seen them. She prays for them at nap and bed time & that's simply darling.

Something that's come in handy lately is her ability to wait / understand a sequence of events. She's been able to follow directions for a year or so, and multi step directions since last summer...now that's turned into listening to me when I tell her that we will do Z after we do Y, but we have to do X first. For instance, if she is being whiney or something I can tell her that we will go to the park after nap time but she has to stop whining. 85% of the time that works, the rest of the time she keeps whining but knows nap time has to happen & then we'll go to the park. OR if I want to get her excited for something, I'll usually tell her what we're doing the next day & so she'll be happy knowing something fun is coming up. I remember the days when she'd want that right now, and sometimes she does, but she's learned some patience & I'm thrilled.

Church has been going well. Behavior is staying consistent & J is doing well too. Sitting up front & by the music is a life saver.

G is a great big sister, and we have a grand time playing together. She gets proud of J just like I do & she wants him to sit on her lap and lay on her tummy. She makes sure he's included and I've honestly not seen an ounce of jealousy. That's pretty spectacular. So thankful there!

I've been doing fine... Running is going well. Getting ready for a big trip....gonna wear me out but family should be happy. Still haven't heard when my genetic test will be but it should be soon. I've been doing a lot of baking & friend making. 

Photo bombs;