Saturday, January 31, 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

My little g bum

Here is our little Jovie sporting her gdiaper. I really like using these. They aren't necessarily cheaper than disposable diapers but they are better for Jovie and better for the environment.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Three months ago today...

Two major events occurred:
1. Jovie was born at 6lb 9oz at 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon.
2. I drank a 32 oz chocolate peanut butter milkshake.

These past three months have been a mixture of emotions and events. There have been times I've cried, wondering what I got myself into. There have been moments I've rejoiced at the joy my girls bring me. There have been days that I hit the pillow at 7:30 in the evening only to wake in the morning as tired as I was when I went to bed. I have overcome many obstacles, such as going to the grocery store, in the rain and cold, with a newborn who hates a carseat and a toddler who loves to help me shop. And cooking dinner with a baby in the sling and a toddler at the counter "helping". I have grown a lot over the past months.

Jovie is such a delight. She has such a sweet voice and LOVES to talk. It is so much fun to watch her grow and develop. I am excited to see more of her unique and wonderful personality come out! It's crazy that she's already 1/4 of the way to being a 1 year old.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Not quite a June Cleaver day...

Have you ever woke up feeling great, thinking that today everything is going work out just right? Thinking that the kids are going to be angels and that you are going to be the perfect mother and housewife? Well today was one of those days. I woke ready for a wonderful day. In fact, as I was getting up, carrying Pear into the kitchen for her breakfast at 6:30am, I said to her, "we're going to have a good day today." We proceeded to the kitchen. I gave Pear her muffin and milk, made Stephen's latte and got his muffins together so that he could take his breakfast to go and then sat down to eat my own.

So far so good. My day was on to a good start! I had a bright idea. "Today is an excellent day to potty train Pear." I showed her the new Gerber training panties I recently purchased and told her she could where them. I emphasized how soft they were and that she could be a big girl like Taffi and Libbi (her aunts) and go pee-pee on the potty. "Kay!" she said with excitement. Throughout the morning I set her on the potty a couple of different times for about 15 minutes each time. We read books, talked and waited. Nothing came. Oh well. Jovie went down for a nap. This meant time for me to squeeze in a shower. I put Pear in the tub and took my shower. Upon getting Pear out of the tub, I put her on the potty to try to go. Of course, still nothing. We put the panties back on. Within about 2 minutes of getting her dressed I hear her say "big peeps!" I run in to see that she went "peeps" on the ground. "That's okay," I say. "We'll try again next time. But she didn't want to try again next time. She wanted a diaper on. I again emphasized how great the panties are but she refused. She wanted a diaper and she didn't want to go "peeps" on the potty.

Jovie woke up, and I moved on to my next task: making dinner. Yes, it was only 10:00 am at this point. I got a pot roast in the oven. Played with the girls some more, fed Pear her lunch, made Stephen lunch, put Jovie down for her next nap, put Pear down for her nap and had a few moments of sanity. I made myself a salted caramel hot chocolate and sat down to read The Shaping of Things to Come. When the girls awoke, we ventured out to the park nearby. Yes it was cold but it was gorgeous outside. While there, Jovie decided that she needed to spit up almost everything she had previously eaten and then have a disastrous bowel movement. It was then time to go home to clean her up.

We got home, I cleaned Jovie up and then I went in to check on the roast. Ugh! All of the liquid had evaporated! It wasn't completely ruined but was definitely on the dryer side. I continued on with the rest of dinner preparations. Pear helped me make biscuits and she washed the potatoes. Dinner was ready for Stephen when he came home but let me tell you, this wasn't a June Cleaver housewife with dinner just perfect on the table!

I spent much of my day cleaning but my house still looks as though a tornado overtook it. I have done 3 loads in the dishwasher and I still have a couple of pots to wash. I have a couch full of laundry to fold. The list goes on and on and on!

Oh well! This is life, right? It's not necessarily a bad day. But, it certainly isn't the day I pictured when I woke up this morning. The life of a mother and housewife is difficult at times but somehow, I managed to make a couple of sweet girls smile and laugh. I even had Stephen laughing over my frustration with my pot roast this evening. Seeing the ones I love so much happy makes it all so worth it. And now, thinking of it, I am excited for tomorrow, even if it is repetition of today! God has blessed me and I AM blessed! I truly love my job.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I have lived in Washington all of my life. I have always thoroughly enjoyed shopping downtown Seattle. I enjoy such shops as JCrew, Banana Republic, Anthropologie, Gap, Old Navy and of course, no shopping trip is complete without a jot into Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack. For so many years, I thought this was what made up downtown Seattle. Until I discovered that there are also so many fun boutiques, gift shops, furniture shops, etc. if you walk closer to the waterfront on 1st and 2nd Avenue.

This last year I discovered Ballard. Now, it is a different type of shopping. Your big stores are not in Ballard. But, if you are looking for that special something that you have no idea what it is, and if you are looking for a little more of a quaint area to shop in than the vast downtown, go to Ballard. The other wonderful thing about it is that Cafe Besalu's delicious pastries are just up the street from the shopping.

If you are interested in seeing the different boutiques, restaurants, bookshops and more in Ballard, click here.

I love Seattle!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A visit to the Napier home

I decided to trek down to visit my mother and siblings this morning with the girls. It is actually quite a relaxing drive if I time it right and both of the girls sleep in the car for the 40 minute trip, which was the case this morning. I went to Starbucks, got my Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate and was on my way. We arrived and Pear awoke with exclamation, happy to be at "the girls'" house. The kids were doing school upon our arrival. They stopped long enough to greet us and then continued on, so as to finish in time to enjoy the outdoors on this sunshiny day! During lunch break, I joined Piper, Racer and Aspen in a game of Monopoly. Much to my dismay, we ended the game early as it was taking too long and there was more school yet to be done before the kids could go outside. I still think I would have won! Pear, Taffi and Libbi enjoyed each others company while playing with "Pet Shops", reading books and playing outside. Jovie cried, napped, played and talked while visiting. Here are some pictures of our day:

Mom quizzing Piper on her spelling words

Racer looking up for a picture inbetween problem solving

Jovie taking a cat-nap on the couch

The girls playing in the schoolroom

Hutton helping Racer with a problem

Aspen using a ruler to solve a problem

Pretty in Blue

Jovie finally fits into the adorable hat Great Grandma Memee purchased for her at the Puyallup fair this last year. I think it is one of the cutest hats I've ever seen. Thank you Memee!
This hat was handcrafted by Sherri Grubbs of Small Fries in Elma, WA. You can see some of her products here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Shopping tips:

I checked out a fun book from the library, InStyle instant style, which has a lot of fun tips and pointers for finding clothes that work for you, organizing your closet and shopping. Here are a few quick pointers on shopping.

1. Shop for the here and now.
"Never shop thinking, I'll lose a little and it will fit," says Tracey Ross of the Tracey Ross Boutique in Los Angeles. "Buy for the moment you're in."
2. Test drive. Squat and sit in pants. Swing arms front and back when trying on a jacket. Arch your back slightly to judge a fitted blouse. And stroll in shoes on a hard surface and carpet.
3. Know your price. When you find a miracle worker, like the work pants that make you look two inches taller, buy at full price. As for the sale rack: it's not a bargain if you won't wear it.
4. Don't give in. Ask yourself five key questions about the item you're trying on, recommends New York stylist Dayna Spitz: Do I love it? Do I feel great in it? Does it fit me well? Does it flatter me? Do I have at least two things to wear with it?

Monday, January 12, 2009

About a year ago...

It was a rainy day. Pear was mobile, crawling, and into everything! I managed to squeeze in a shower while she was napping. I then moved onto doing my household chores with Pear crawling alongside me, pulling things out of the cupboard as I put things in. I did the dishes, swept the floors and then took the garbage out. Now, taking the garbage out meant that I had to go outside and close the door, leaving Pear in. So, I explained to Pear, "Mommy is going to take the garbage out, you keep playing and I'll be right back! Okay? I'll be right back." I made sure the door wasn't locked and took the garbage out. Upon returning, I opened the door saying, "Boo! Here I am. I came right back!" Pear burst into laughter. I came in, closed the door and said, "That was pretty funny, huh?" I had a great idea, I went back outside to play peek-a-boo again. Only this time, I couldn't get the door open. What happened between the 5 seconds that I came inside to the time I went back out? I locked the door of course! Who doesn't lock the door the moment they come in the house?! (Note to reader: growing up in the little town of Montesano, we never locked the doors. We sometimes left the house with our front door wide open. The garage door remained open almost all of the time. I never carried a house key until I got married and found out that the majority of people lock doors and my husband never wanted me to leave the door unlocked. I forced myself into the habit of locking doors.) So, here I was outside on my front porch on a freezing cold day, in the pouring rain with a towel on my head and wearing shorts, a T-shirt and flip-flops. No key, no phone and no idea what to do. I quickly thought I better check on Pear and make sure she was okay. So I turned the recycle bins over and peeked through the window. I saw she was playing, content on the floor. Great! This is when I had the bright idea to knock on the window and say "peek-a-boo" as to make it into a game that I was stuck outside and she was in. Not a great idea. After doing this a couple of times, my 10 month old got the idea that for some reason I wasn't coming inside the house. She didn't like the idea and began crying. I then figured I must think of another plan. I'll go use the neighbors phone and get Stephen to come unlock the door. I ran to the neighbors house- shorts, T-shirt, flip-flops, wet head, in the rain and in the cold! I explained the situation in about 10 seconds, called Stephen, ran out of their door with a "thank you!" and stood on the recycle bin watching Pear play while waiting for Stephen to come unlock the door. He arrived within 15 minutes. He speedily unlocked the door and we all lived happily ever after!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Comparing Pear and Jovie

For those of you who think Jovie looks just like Pear, and for those of you who think Jovie looks nothing like Pear, here are pictures of Pear around 12 weeks. Jovie is now 10 weeks.





Pear and Jovie

These girls are sure getting big! Pear is talking more and more. She is now using complete sentences. Jovie is talking a lot as well but not in complete sentences yet. Actually, we are still working on words with her.

Jovie is sleeping better. She still isn't "a sleeper." But at least she does give me a 5 hour stretch at night. She is growing like a weed and at 2 months is about the size Pear was at 5 months!

All three of us are tired of the rain. It makes getting out of the house almost impossible. To go to the grocery store on a day like today requires me to stand out in the rain and unbuckle Pear, carry her over to Jovie's side of the car, detach the carseat, grab my purse and run with the carseat in one hand, my purse and Pear in the other. All of this so that I can get a few necessities and repeat the process going back out to the car! Yuck. I am drenched to the core by the time I get home.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Pain au chocolat

If you've been to France and tasted the authentic chocolate croissant known as pain au chocolate, there is no possible way you can eat and be satisfied with the croissant from Starbucks, the local grocery store and most definitely not the store bought Pillsbury dough which attempts to trick you into thinking it's homemade. A true french pastry is delicate, delicious and a work of art. It isn't overly sweet, bland or heavy. It is light, flaky, rich in flavor and a delight to eat! Oh, to sit at a cafe and sip on a cafe au lait and eat a pain au chocolate.

The delightful experience of relaxing and eating a pastry described above doesn't happen every day in my home. I have however made it my goal to learn the art of making croissants and I believe I have come close. I don't know if I can ever beat out such bakeries as Cafe Besalu in Ballard, Seattle or the street cafe in Paris but, I will tell you that this pastry can be done at home with a little thought, practice and patience.

I started practicing the art of making authentic french pastries over two years ago. The product has gradually gotten better and I am beginning to master it. I started using this recipe adapted from Jacques Torres. I have made a few minor changes and the result I came out with this last week is this:
I purchase bittersweet chocolate batons from to fill my croissants. I much prefer these over chopping chocolate to put in the croissants. I use a little over 3 sticks of butter in my dough and the process of making my dough takes 3 days.

A picture of Jovie

I haven't had much time to write or take pictures lately. I have been too busy playing games, baking and cooking yummy food. This picture was passed on to me. It was taken on Christmas Eve. This is Jovie and Grandma Therese.