Monday, April 30, 2012

The (apparently) Fat, Ugly Truth

Grace has a new obsession with the PBS program Super Why. She really likes Super Why...a lot! In fact, Super Why might be her first crush. And what's not to love?

He's smart...he can read. He likes to solve problems and he can fly. What else could a girl ask for right?

Super Why comes on at 9 am on weekdays so I decided to get all the running around done early this morning so we could be home in time for Grace's date with Super Why.

So at 8 am, the three of us were showered, dressed, faces on and at the grocery store doing the shopping for the week. Minding our own business. Grace was asking on repeat, "Can Super Why come to my house?" and Charlotte was rocking out to an overhead 80's song when out of the clear, blue sky....

"Is your next one going to be a boy?"

I looked around to see who was being asked this question.

Mind is 8 am. I am the ONLY person at the grocery store. So the question was being asked of ME!!!

I just laughed and said, "I don't know!" and high tailed it out of the pasta aisle. (No more carbs. No more carbs. No more carbs.)

After paying and getting out to the car, I took a moment to evaluate what just happened.

I guess you could take the question two ways.

The first (nice?) way one could interpret the question is that the person asking the question noted the fact that I had two daughters with me. Perhaps she assumed that because I had two girls, the youngest getting to the age where one starts considering when, where, why, how to have another child, that I would, of course, have another child in the hopes of a boy.

The other way to take it, which is the way I took it, is you look pregnant and you already have two girls so you must be hoping this is a boy.


So not the way I was planning on starting my day. My week...

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Chocolate Pick Me Up

 Court has had a rough week and has been a bit under the weather. To keep his mind off of things (and to satisfy my never ending chocolate cravings) I made him this cake. He requested it a couple of weeks ago but my personal private sewing lessons have taken priority. 

Sorry Court!

I think this is the first time EVER that I've made a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting...I usually stick with white buttercream but Grace talked me into it. 

And while the recipe said for it to bake 30-35 minutes, I pulled it out after being in the oven 22 minutes and it is still a bit too dry for my liking. Nothing makes me angrier than dry cake!
But there is no way I'm throwing this baby least not yet!

As for the recipe, I would share it but 1) I don't think I'll make it again, 2) you aren't missing anything special (there are better chocolate cake recipes in the world) and 3) I am too lazy to type it all out. After a quick search at the BH&G website, they don't have the recipe online. It's only in the red and white BH&G cookbook circa 1996. See? It's not even on their website. 
How good could it be? 
Wish I had known that BEFORE I spent three hours making it!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pony Post

Remember how I mentioned Grace had her picture in the newspaper?
I finally got a hold of a copy - thanks to April! 

It doesn't look like she's having fun....but she did! I swear!

And TOMS make good cowboy boots right?!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

More Than We "Binky'd For"

Remember how Grace and I made a deal? An even trade. Binky for ah a "pink Arial" doll.

Grace easily gave up her binky with no issues. Bed time carried on just like normal. No whining. No crying. No begging for the binky.

I was impressed and at the same time kicking myself. Why hadn't I pushed this deal before?

So we went to get the "pink Arial doll". A deal is a deal after all. 
The whole family drove to Target and scanned the aisles. We tempted Grace with many other items. Dolls, princesses with carriages, legos...but she held strong.

After our adventure at Target, we grabbed dinner and I snapped a few pictures of a very happy, binky-free Grace.

Since "Pink Arial" has been acquired bed time has been horrendous. Crying and crying and more crying. Guess who wants her binky? 
She has been up to 9 or 10 o'clock the last few nights. Crying and crying.
We haven't given in yet and given her the binky but I am considering demonstrating that in hard times a thumb can be just as effective as a binky. I haven't gotten that desperate...yet.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sunny School Day

To celebrate summer being around the corner, I found some fun ice cream cone fabric at the store. 
It came in pink and turquoise so over the weekend I "whipped" up some skirts for the girls.

I use the term "whipped" VERY sarcastically!

It took me two attempts to make Grace's wearable...although the hems are still embarrassing. 
Regardless, it was made with lots of love!

It was such a beautiful day today she wore her new outfit made by mom

and we took some pictures out in the yard!

Can't wait to get them both dressed up in their first outfits made by mom!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Horsing Around

It was beautiful here this past weekend! It was record-setting temperatures that soared clear into the 90's!!
We took full advantage and tried to get outdoors as much as possible.

On Saturday, we went to a local farm that opened up to celebrate spring. The orchards were in full bloom and the ponies were hitched up and ready for rid in'. Yee haw!
Rumor on the street is that Grace's picture is one of the local papers riding good ole Windy here.
I have yet to track it down.

Then we made a few bird feeders. 
Grace enjoyed lining up the cheerios while Charlotte was super helpful and ate our leftover supplies.

It's been fun watching the birds from our dining room table as we eat dinner.

While our pool is officially opened, it is still chemically imbalanced and extremely cold so we opted for the sand box and water table as our outdoor entertainment for the weekend.
I am faaaaar from bathing suit ready! UGH! 

Cooler temps along with thunderstorms are headed our way. As a farmer's wife I'm not supposed to enjoy  thunder and lightning storms but I do! Shhhh, that'll be our little secret!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Signs of Spring

Charlotte's tree started blooming over the weekend. It is gorgeous...

up close.

From far away, it still has some filling out to do!

In other news, we planted our garden...

using very "high-tech-tools" to mark our crops.

This is the earliest we've every gotten the garden planted...we learned our lesson last year. 
We hope to have zucchinis, squash, pumpkins, carrots and green onions.
Fingers crossed!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Baby, Baby

One of the favorite toys of the girls right now is a water baby. They received this from their favorite-est babysitter, Shelly and it literally goes everywhere with us! 

She joins us for dinner

and LOVES peas!

She even joins us on car rides!

Grace LOVES to tell me what a good Mommy she is and her favorite book for several months was a Little Mommy. Sure it is a bit dated about female roles in society today but no matter how you cut it, a mom is a mom is a mom. And it is amazing how innate that instinct is watching Grace and Charlotte cuddle and love their baby. 

In other news, I brokered a deal with Grace that she could get a "pink Arial doll" if she stopped using her binky! So far, so good! If she gets through tonight, we are off to the toy store (AKA Target) for her to choose any toy of her choosing as a reward!
I've pulled this bargain with her before but it has never worked. I made the "mistake" of running near the toy section at Target last week and she spotted a "pink Arial doll" from a mile away. After telling her we were not getting any toys and listening to her white ALL THROUGH the store, we negotiated the deal currently on the table. Maybe it wasn't so much of Grace holding up her end of the deal...but me!

Sometimes it is just so darn to say no. You want to give them every opportunity. Every chance. Every thing!!

I will report back soon with what she picks out!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sew What's New?

I just can't seem to sit still these days. There is always something I want to try or create or photograph...having problems with the latter at the moment.

From time to time I scan other blogs and notice the beautiful photography. I would love to be able to replicate that skill level...some day. As I am working solely with my iPhone these days (and a budget), I decided to make a light box. 

As lighting is what makes or breaks a photograph (as is a functioning camera..ha!) I thought this little bugger might improve my least the ones of objects that can fit in the light box!

Light boxes sell for $100 or more depending on your level of technology. Mine was well under that!

I followed this tutorial and this is how mine turned out!

It was easy peasy!

So the proof is in the pudding. Do you see any improvement in my photography skills?
BE HONEST! But remember they were all taken with an iPhone.

So about the toy boat in the picture....

are you wondering why I am taking a 1000 pictures of it??

Well, it is the first thing I've ever made on a sewing machine! Literally, I had never touched one till last week and after a quick tutorial from MIL I decided to make a toy boat.
Why? I have no idea. I just came across this blog with this tutorial and thought it was so cute! How hard could it be?

Well it took three attempts. The first attempt actually turned out ok. I held it up and asked Grace what it was and she said, "A boat!" So that's good. 

I wasn't completely happy with it so I decided to make another one.

Some how I got all fouled up and made it inside out!

So after my third attempt I finally have my first completed sewing project!


It's definitely not as cute as the one I replicated but it is holding strong.
Do you think it is good enough to give as a gift? I can't decide. It is definitely not perfect!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Seattle Showers

My dearest friend, Aimee, gave birth to a 9 pound baby boy, Henry, 
and we just had to celebrate his arrival!!

About a month or so ago, we hosted a Seattle Shower in honor of the newest addition!

The Seattle space needle.

Lunch is served!

The dessert table.

We decided on "shower" theme as our friends live in Seattle and we wanted to "shower" them with lots of love and attention!

Cloud poms, blue macaroon puddles, and streaks of sun light (cake pops) peaking out from behind the was a true Seattle celebration!

Check out the cupcakes! They were delicious and inspired by a pin on Pinterst! I had a bakery in Seattle make them as I would be traveling and didn't want to risk a cupcake disaster. The frosting was super puffy like clouds but inside - they looked like rain. Puddles on the bottom and rain sprinkles throughout.

Charlotte enjoyed the cupcakes!

I even found "shower" wrapping paper!

And the parting gift...a little bag of sunshine!

I sure hope our friends and baby Henry enjoyed the celebration!
We certainly had fun meeting precious Henry!
 He's a keeper for sure!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mexico 2012

Two weeks ago we were invited to join my parents and siblings in Mexico for our first family vacation in almost five years! And it was marvelous! Simply marvelous!

This is the view from our hotel restaurant. We could literally eat our meals with our feet in the sand...and eat with our feet in the sand we did!! 

Unfortunately, my camera is dead so I relied on my brother and sister to capture our precious memories...especially since this was Grace and Charlotte's first time out of the United States. 

Lots of people ask me about my stroller...

It was awesome on the cobble stone streets and narrow sidewalks. It is the UppaBaby Vista with the jump seat attachment. 

Out at a dinner - the girls were troopers - a BIG thank you to the iPad! It has saved many-a-meal...especially when loaded with The Sound of Music!

With every family trip there is always some form of drama. Some sort of problem that has the possibility of destroying a vacation.
Enter The Black Gecko.

On a particularly long and hot outing I told Grace she could pick out a little special outing if she could just hang in there for a bit longer. We went to three different junk stores that all contained virtually the same thing and FINALLY she chose a gecko. A black, ceramic gecko.
An interesting choice but it was $5 and it made her happy. It saved the day!

Unfortunately, ceramic geckos aren't the sturdiest toy for a constantly jumping three year old. Against all warning of being careful that gecko, it was dropped and it broke. Small panic because the gecko hadn't left her side in 48 hours but when we told her we'd get a new one in the morning, that seemed to calm her nerves.

Fast forward to the next day. We miraculously found super glue. But you know how super glueing ceramic geckos can be....shotty at best?
So I decided to retrace my footsteps and find another black gecko just to be on the safe side.
My mom, dad and I went into almost every junk store within in a mile's distance from our hotel...which is A LOT! This little main street is LINED with them!
They had pink geckos and white geckos but no black geckos.
Are you kidding me?
Did Grace really choose the hardest to find item in all of Mexico?!
Apparently so!
Finally, like a McDonald's rising out of no where when all you have had to eat is weird foreign food (this has happened to me for reals and it is the BEST feeling ever!) we found the store that holds the monopoly on black geckos.
Can I get a hallelujah? 
[On a side note, Grandpa treated the first black gecko in the gecko emergency room and guess what? He had a full recovery. So yes, we are now the owners of two black geckos!)

Brave Grace waited patiently in line to have her picture taken with two large macaws. Our favorite picture of Grace only features one parrot but you get the idea of how big and colorful the birds! She loved it!

On our very last night, we got all fancied up 

and went out to a spectacular dinner at Punta Bonita. 

We call this the Robot Family picture. I tried and tried to get the red eye out with a bunch of photo editing but to no avail. Robot Family it is!

The girls were good as gold at our very long dinner so as a reward they earned a brownie...

covered in M&Ms!!!

It was an awesome trip! Warm and relaxing!
Muchas gracias a mis padres!

SIDE NOTE: Grace juuuuust came up to me with no idea what I was writing about and with no prompt and said...."I want to go back to Mexico!" 

Me too little too!