Wednesday, March 31, 2010

So I realized that I don't always feel that way about naptime. There are definitely days where regardless of her not sleeping, I'm happy to do whatever I have already planned. And that's how I usually feel. Just had to add that....

But on to the main reason for this post -- talking!

I was noticing yesterday that Becca's first words tell a story. :) It's very clear what's impacted her thus far in her little life. I think if I were to remember the rest of the girls first words, it'd be fun to see how their stories are different (I do have it written down somewhere...just not going to remember on my own this morning).

Here are the words she knows how to say, and in order from first words to most recent:
Momma
Dadda
Yes
Cheese
Autumn
Sisters
All done
Kitty

She's also taken to shaking her head "no", which is, of course, very cute. This morning she was nursing and I asked her if she wanted to say good morning to daddy, who had just come into the room. She shook her head no as she continued to nurse. Such a cutie! (And head shakes are always better than the verbal 'no'...which must not be too far down the road...)

Becca is also walking. She started a week or two before her birthday and can now walk across the living room! A week ago she still preferred crawling. So much faster. This past week she's decided she prefers walking and really wants to figure this thing out. My baby is getting too big! (And we won't even talk about that oldest baby who keeps getting closer and closer to needing a training bra. Eeeek!)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'm thrilled that Becca has enough hair for pigtails. Sunday was day two of pigtails for Becca. She's not too keen on the whole process yet and pulls them out at times. All three of her sisters only had enough hair at age 1 for ONE pigtail on top. By the time they were 18 months, we could do two piggy-tails. This is "post-nap" hair so it's a little messy.


Getting ready to take the cat to the vet. Wait, did I say cat? I mean, child!


Getting ready to take the baby to the library. Wait!
Did I say baby? That can't be right.
These pictures were not staged.
They are the product of Esther's handiwork.
And Louis didn't even meow.
Silly.


Talk about bedhead hair!!

As promised, the chocolate cake we had for Becca's birthday! This is from Taste of Home's cookbook Quick Fixes with Mixes.

Chocolate Bundt Cake
Jeanine Gould-Kostka

1 pkg (18 1/4 oz) chocolate cake mix (I used a devil's cake mix)
1 pkg (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding mix (that's the bigger one)
3 Tbsp baking cocoa
1 3/4 cups milk
2 eggs
2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
Confectioner's sugar

In a large mixing bowl, combine cake and pudding mixes, cocoa, milk and eggs. Beat on low speed until moistened. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour into a greased and floured 10-inch fluted tube pan (don't know why they don't just say "bundt pan"...). Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioner's sugar if desired. Yield: 12-15 servings.

This is really rich and because of that, ice cream is a must! We had cookies and creme ice cream with ours.

And here's another recipe we've had three times in the last four days. I tried to google the ingredients to find an "official" recipe, but couldn't. This is a YUMMY salad that was served to our Stake Relief Society women on Saturday.

Chicken Strawberry Feta Salad (that's what I'm calling it, anyway)

cooked and cubed chicken (with spices like pepper, if you like)
strawberries, quartered
feta cheese
sliced red onion
lettuce, green leaf, romaine, whatever you prefer
candied pecans (basically, if you have pecans, an egg white, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and salt, you can make these)
Strawberry Vinaigrette (recipe below)

Mix it all together and ENJOY!

Strawberry Vinaigrette
(this makes enough for two salads as a main dish, so adjust to fit your needs)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil (or canola, if you must!)
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp strawberry freezer jam (I've never tried it with store-bought, regular jam, so let me know how it goes if you do)
1 tsp salt

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sleep, CHILD!

The last couple of days Becca does NOT want to nap. I've realized I don't really mind for her sake if she doesn't nap. Terrible huh? But she's not super whiny (although clingy...) and she has to go to bed at night anyway.

I've realized I mind for my sake. She sits and stands there in her crib, NOT sleeping. Talking. Singing. Laughing. Screaming. Not sleeping. And I can't relax out here and feel like it's a break for me until she's SLEEPING.

Anyone else feel that way?

My baby is ONE YEAR OLD. Crazy. Just crazy I tell ya.
There is so much truth to that saying:
The days crawl along as the years fly by.

St. Patrick's Day, one year ago.


I went for YUMMY and not FANCY or CUTESY with the cake. Glad I did! This recipe's a keeper.


Just barely getting her fingers into it.


LOVE this girl.

Holding a present the girls "wrapped". We mysteriously ended up with a few extra presents. They looked strangely familiar...I think I may have done that as a kid too. :)


Giving kisses to her new xylophone.


She was so happy. See the smile?


A little better shot of the smile. She returned to the xylophone between each present. She couldn't get enough of it!


Each wishing it was their birthday.


And naturally, at this age,

EVERYTHING


GOES


IN


THE


MOUTH!

Thank goodness for spring break! We started our break with a family day.

First we drove to Long Beach to drop off the cats for surgeries, then while there we visited the RMS Queen Mary. Very cool. Someday we'll actually go inside and have a look around, but last week we just had a look from the outside. We were especially excited to see it with the girls as it has a place in our family history. Eric's grandpa was transported as a POW on the RMS Queen Mary. It's amazing to think that we can see the ship today that he was on then.

The RMS Queen Mary herself. The ship is now a hotel!


Checking out a carnival ship.


I have no idea what they're doing here but it looks so cute. It looks planned.

After that we drove into LA where we had a picnic and checked out the La Brea Tar Pits followed by a driving tour of Hollywood Blvd, Rodeo Drive, and the Los Angeles Temple.

Dire Wolf Bones


Reconstruction of a dire wolf. They've found over 1600 dire wolves in the tar pits!


Some turtles and fish in an atrium in the middle of the museum. We saw turtles stacked and lined up like this in Wakulla Springs in Florida too! It seems to be one of their favorite ways to relax.


A flower in the atrium. I think I might just ask Eric to get this one printed for framing. He's got such a good eye.


Sisters

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The other day I was laughing at life, thinking about how funny so many of my day-to-day moments are. How unique our family is. And for some reason, I kept thinking of that old 90's song, "This is How We Do It".....I don't think I ever realized how much that song was about what it was about until I saw the video as I was searching for it just now. So naive. Don't worry, the link is actually only to a recording of the song without the music video.

So, completely unrelated to the topic of THAT song, here are some pictures of how we do things around here. (And I'm sorry in advance for taking these with my phone. It's time to pull out the nice camera and leave it somewhere handy.)

The impromptu "armrest shoes". This was take #1. One genie slipper and one armrest shoe. See that toe poking out?


Attempt #2. Much better.


And look, at first glance, they just look like a pair of slippers.


Our linen closet, remodeled. I texted this to Eric today and he asked if it was a shrine to the cats. Ha!! I wouldn't be surprised. But I think this time, it's a reading corner. In my linen closet. With clean linens. And a bathroom mat. (This makes me smile while being simultaneously MADDENING. The amount of laundry we go through from "adventures" of this sort which are followed by "but she brought the water..." -- I can't even count!)


Look who cut her own hair. Last time she let Heidi do it. I guess she decided she'd rather do it on her own.

I know I sound very blase about this.
I am now.
I wasn't then.
I made her wear a hat to the library.
It wasn't a sunny day.

I do keep the scissors out of her reach.
Until her sisters find them and hide them.
What's a mom to do?


Other side of "self" haircut.


Damage Control 1


Damage Control 2


Damage Control 3



One of my kitchen buddies. If she's awake and I'm working in the kitchen, she's playing at my feet or strapped to my back. Our Ergo has paid for itself MANY times over. I love it and use it EVERY day. See the gate in the background? And the laundry basket? Neither of my gates is long enough for that space. There's another gate on the other side of the kitchen. This is our cooking, washing dishes 'barricade'. It works. Necessity is the mother of invention.


All clean!
See what she's doing with her right hand? She's tickling herself! This is what she does when I say, "I'm gonna get you!!"


Do you see the cat eyes peeking out of the bottom of our stroller?
Esther spent a morning pushing him around the house.
He got in there himself.
He chose to stay.
He is crazy.
We love him.


Walking home from the library. I don't think our stroller was meant to hold 60 books. (20 in each bag and 20 under the stroller. We just couldn't restrain ourselves!! It's the library!!

We squeaked all the way home.

Monday, March 1, 2010

This morning as I met with our charter school educational specialist, in our house, the girls...well, they were typical kids...I think?

Esther cut her hair. It looks awful. I can't even take a picture because I already can't look at her without smiling. If I take a picture she'll know for sure that it's really funny. I'm trying so hard to keep it serious....

I made mixed berry pancake syrup on Saturday. Heidi & Esther poured it into ice cube trays and were preparing to freeze it.

I need to go see if I can salvage my sanity. Wish me luck!