Thursday, March 31, 2011

Baby dolls and Racer

My girls love to play baby dolls. They love changing their clothes. They love brushing their hair. They love naming them. They love being mommys to their babies. You may be wondering where Racer comes into play here. Racer is my brother. He's 11 years old. He is one of the sweetest kids I've ever met. When I go down to visit my parents, Racer comes running out, rain or shine, sometimes barefoot, sometimes without a coat, and he greets me at the car door, "can I help carry anything?" Both of my girls love him (Pike too for that matter,) but Jovie especially. When I ask if they want to go to the girls' house, Jovie chimes in "and Racer!" He has left such a good impression on her, that the little cabbage patch kid in the orange shirt on the left is his namesake. Even now, Jovie came up to the computer to look at the picture and she said, "oh, there's Racer!"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Under the weather

The past week has been a week that I hope to forget, soon. I have had sick kids, a sick husband, long days and even longer nights. And wouldn't you know it, I seem to be the caboose of the bug. On top of being sick, after a long night of basically no sleep, Pike woke me grinding his teeth! Yeah, his little body decided it was a swell time to cut his top teeth. This was the first bug that really had me worried for my child. Pear contracted the flu on Thursday night. She had a fever and aches which lead to a sore throat and cough. And with Pear, when she has a cough, a couple episodes of coughing so hard that she gags herself and throws-up are bound to happen. I began to get concerned when after 3 days she still had no appetite and she still didn't want to do anything but sleep. Jovie, on the other hand was back to normal after 48 hours. But here we are, this is day 6 for Pear and this is the first morning she's played. She is also slowly starting to eat more. And of course we made sure to keep her hydrated through it all! Praise God we are on the mend!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shabby Apple

I'm on a kick! I want to go shopping. I want to buy dresses. I want to dress up. I want to be feminine. But, I'm not made of money. I don't have time to shop. And honestly, it's not extremely realistic for me to wear dresses every day. With 3 kids in tow, well, it's just not practical. A Few of My Favorite Things is hosting a giveaway for a dress from Shabby Apple which is a new favorite place for me to window shop. Ahhh. Dresses!

Monday, March 21, 2011


If you know me well, you know I love to bake. It is a hobby and something I do to relax, to keep me busy, to enjoy and to share with others. Baking is one of those things that when you find a good recipe, whether it be for cake, bread or cookies, you stick with it. Why mess with a good thing? Lately I've been baking some bread and I'll be posting some of my favorite recipes. Today I'm sharing a rustic Italian loaf that has a hearty crumb and a robust flavor.

This recipe was adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking
Makes 2 large loaves

For the sponge:
1 package active dry yeast
3/4 cup dark beer
3 cups room temperature water
1 cup semolina flour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour
1 tbsp sea salt

About 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour for the work surface and pan

The night before you wish to enjoy this bread, prepare the sponge by mixing all ingredients until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand overnight at room temperature.

To make the dough, transfer the sponge to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the flours and salt. With dough hook, knead on low speed and add a little (I usually have to add about 3/4 cup) more flour as needed for the dough to come away from the sides of the bowl after a few minutes. (Note that this makes a wet dough so don't be surprised by it's softness.)

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise 1 1/2-2 hours.

Flour a cookie sheet with about 3/4 cup additional flour. Bounce dough in flour to make a nice big ball. Let rise for 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven at 400 degrees.

Gently cut dough in half down the middle to make to loaves. Carefully turn loaves onto their sides to have the ruff cut end facing up. Bake immediately for 35-45 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the breads sit in the oven for 10 more minutes to set the crust. Enjoy warm or cooled!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Someday, I hope to have nice artwork adorning my walls. I could fall asleep gazing at a print such as this classic Van Gough:
Or this modern, simple piece by Piet Mondrian:
Or even a moment caught by Norman Rockwell:

But for now, nothing could make me smile more than these:

In case you couldn't tell, from left to right: Me, Pear, Pike, Stephen and Jovie.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

If I could...

I would buy all of these things.

Pom Shift Dress from AnthropologieA complete cosmetic set from Laura Mercier

The Kapow! Boot from Modcloth

World Map from These Are Things

Berry Delight Tablecloth from House8810

The Lemonade at Lunch Dress from Modcloth

The Carly Chair from Crate and Barrel
Happy Birthday Towels From House8810

Clothbound Children's Classics from Anthropologie

But, what fun would it be to window shop if you could actually have everything at your fingertips? Yeah. It wouldn't be much fun at all...or would it? ;)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

a hair cut

I know. You probably thought I'd have pictures of my mangy hair turned into a stylish do but nope! I still have my old mangy hair. It's the platinum blond in this household that gets the attention today. I gave Pear kid-size scissors and some paper and told her she could cut shapes. I've worked with her before and taught her the proper way to hold scissors, I've watched her cut paper, I've left her alone before to cut paper. Last Thursday she had an urge to cut something other than paper-her hair! I was literally only out of her room for 2 minutes and in those 2 minutes she managed to lop off several chunks, each about 3 inches long. I walked in the room and she said, "look how short my hair is," to which my jaw dropped and I gasped and before I could even say a word her lips began to quiver and she cried, "I'm sorry mom! I'll never cut my hair again. Can we fix it?" No punishment needed. No anger let out. The poor thing was devastated by that momentary urge to cut her hair. Thankfully, it wasn't too bad. We went that evening to get her hair cut. The stylist managed to taper it around her face a bit so that it wasn't noticeable that a 4 year old had done the cutting. And of course, amongst the drama, Jovie wanted to get her hair cut so we treated her to her first haircut.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The way I am

I like this song.

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's dinner time!

I don't know what dinner time usually looks like in your home, but for us, it's, well, for lack of a better word, fun. Pike loves food, but we are currently avoiding all wheat as he seems to be intolerant/allergic. The girls like a variety of food but usually not when it's placed on their own plate. So, dinner time looks like this: We make the kids their watered-down version of our food (a little less colorful/less flavorful than ours) and give it to them. I feed Pike his mushier/gluten free version of our food. Then Stephen and I get to eat and feed all three kids off our plates like little birds. For example, last night, we made the girls their cheesy pasta rather than our onion basil pasta and we offered them steak but they turned it down. Stephen and I sat down with our gorgeous plates and of course, they started chirping for bites. Whoever sits by Jovie can usually hardly get a bite in edgewise! Either way, we are blessed. We are well fed and so are our kids. I am looking forward to getting to eat a meal with a little less chirping some day though.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My growing Dude

How did he go from this:

To this:
Who gave this sweet little boy of mine permission to grow so quickly? This kid is so much fun. I tell people that he's the dream baby that everybody hopes to have. He's sweet and cuddly, he's content and happy, he's funny, he's healthy, he naps okay, he sleeps alright, he truly is a dude! I am having so much fun watching the boy in him emerge. He's been 100% boy from day 1 and it is a breath of fresh air! I love my little girls in all their girliness but there is something refreshing about the simplicity of a boy. Here are some facts about Pike:
  • He is 9 months old.
  • Pike loves water, he loves to splash BIG.
  • He loves to wrestle and squirm when you change his diaper, and if you really pin him down, sometimes he'll laugh as if he's playing a game.
  • Pike explores every nook and cranny in this house. He climbs in cupboards and attempts to jump off the couch.
  • He's already gotten into the plant and pot of dirt several times.
  • He goes through spurts of loving to take naps and hating to take naps. I can't figure out if it's something I'm doing wrong (such as missing his tired cues) or him simply going through different growing phases. Either way, he's fallen asleep sitting up a few times.
  • He LOVES food. However, he seems to have a sensitivity towards it. He breaks out in a rash on his face and chest with different foods. It seems to mainly be wheat and peanuts. So, we are a little limited.
  • Pike has two little teeth on the bottom that came in right at 8 months old.
  • He gives me lots and lots of slobbery kisses all day long and gives daddy snuggles every morning.
  • He says "dadda" a lot more than he says "mama" but he wants his mommy more often than daddy.
  • Pike pulls himself to standing position any chance he gets.
  • He is fascinated by the refrigerator, freezer and the dishwasher. Any time they are opened, he makes a run straight for them. He would love to just sit and play in the refrigerator!
  • Pear and Jovie are his favorite entertainers. He loves to play with them in their room and misses them any time they are napping or away.
  • He loves to ride in the car....most of the time.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

cupcakes everywhere!

It's been said that you can't have a cupcake and not why not have them everywhere on your birthday? That's exactly what Pear did. She had a "Cupcake Birthday". Pear is now 4 years old and what a spunky little 4 year old she is.

I really am reliving girlhood through my daughters, and it is so much fun! These kids of mine give me an excuse to do almost everything I want to do without looking like a dork. I made little cupcake softies, cupcakes pops, I even made a cupcake bunting! I baked my friend's (thanks Kamille!) recipe for homemade funfetti cupcakes, a simple old fashioned chocolate cupcake recipe from Chockylit, and a variety of frostings to make a fun cupcake tower. I think all of the kids were in awe of this.Ever since Jovie received her ballerina outfit for her birthday Pear has been requesting that she receive one on her birthday. I try to not let them dictate their birthday gifts as sometimes they may get more, sometimes less and I don't want it to become an expectation but this was one thing that I had to fulfill because Jovie wears hers almost daily and I see the look on Pears face as she longs to have a ballerina outfit too. This was one of the first things Pear opened and I'm glad she did because she enjoyed wearing it ALL day!Pear in her new outfit.

Uncle Racer and Pike.

Jovie was so gracious all day, simply being happy for her big sister.

I think Pear likes her Elephant family. ;)

Pear received many custom designed cards from her little friends, Pear loved every one of them and has saved them.

Pear's adorable cousin (well, 2nd cousin actually), Amelia.

My birthday girl.

Craft time!

Gramps brought out the accordion as we sang Happy Birthday!

At 4 years old Pear can:
  • Read.
  • Write her name and most of the alphabet.
  • Draw very creative alien looking families.
  • Ride her bike with training wheels extremely cautiously with a worried look on her face.
  • Count to 20.

She likes to:
  • Play pretend, lately her name is usually Lilly or Leah.
  • Build towers with legos. She usually carries it down the hallway, oh so carefully and then it tips and crashes and I see a big pucker and then a little girl throwing herself on the ground because "it broke and I can never build it again!"
  • Antagonize her sister. Well, maybe she doesn't "like" to, but she sure does it a lot!
  • Jump- on the bed, over the couch, from the steps, from here to there.
  • Play baby dolls, usually she names them Millie or Peach.
  • Play computer games. (I try to limit this to 30 minutes per day and not allow it every day)
  • Bake- cookies, bread, pizza, anything really!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Potty Training Take II

I had been dreading the thought of potty training Jovie, ever since I started potty training Pear. Not only was the process of potty training Pear dreadful, it didn't end there. For months after that, she didn't want to go poo in the potty. So, yes, she'd go in her pants. It was dreadful. After much coaxing and training and even some spanks, she learned. Why would I want to go through that again?

One day about three weeks ago Jovie decided out of the blue that she wanted to go pee on the potty. So I sat her on the toilet and sure enough, she went! As fearful as I was of the week ahead I dove into training mode. It was a great week to do it because the girls were fighting a cold and so we were home-bound regardless. Jovie would say "haffa go poddy!" about every 15 minutes. This would entail me running into the bathroom with her, getting her on the potty and waiting sometimes 2 minutes, sometimes 30 minutes, to hear a little trickle after which she would look up at me with pride and smile. After two days of this with only 2 accidents and those being because she ran into the bathroom without me and was trying to turn on the light before getting on the potty, I decided I didn't have to be quite as glued to her. I showed her how to use the stools to get on the potty and to wash her hands. Then she was even more ecstatic to go potty because she got to wash her hands! She washed her hands so frequently that she had a rash all the way to her elbows (eczema). She was still going potty ever 15-30 minutes at this point but the way I looked at it was: better safe than sorry and she's wanting to do it. 3 weeks later, she's still only had the 2 accidents besides 1 accident in bed but that was because she had a cup of juice right before bed. she sleeps through the night, goes pee and poo in the potty and she does it all on her own!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A wedding to remember...

My sister got married. I'll rewind back to November when she got engaged. The following months were a whirlwind for everyone as there was a dress to be bought, celebrations to be planned and a wedding to be had. Tara flew home every couple of weeks it seemed. She and my mom were constantly busy shopping and planning and calling and figuring out the details. It was so much fun to be a part of. I enjoyed all of the time I got to tag along with my little buddy, Pike. But, it was also a hard time for me because I wasn't able to be a part of it all as much as I would have liked. Having three kids under 4 years old and a husband with a full time job (and a couple of side gigs to boot) doesn't leave a girl with a ton of free time. Stephen was very kind and encouraged me to go any chance I got but sometimes it just didn't work out. Okay, enough of me complaining. At least I have a sister (or 5!) that I get to enjoy and participate in such exciting times as getting married.

The wedding day was so much fun, and absolutely crazy! I don't know what the craziest part of my day was: Trying to follow Tara from the mall to the hotel? Trying to fix both my girls hair, feed Pike and get dressed within about a 10 minute time frame? Corralling the flower girls on the stage during the wedding? Getting in an argument with Stephen after the wedding because he had been dealing with a fussy baby through the entire ceremony and I wanted him to persevere and stay a little longer for pictures? Getting lost on the way to the reception sight? Or running through a torrential downpour to make a grand entrance at the reception. Those were all of the crazy moments. The fun moments far surpass. I thoroughly enjoyed getting make-up done at Nordstrom. Tara looked gorgeous and was beaming all day. I loved seeing Tara look at Brian as he surprised her and sang her a song. Walking into the reception and seeing it all decorated was great. The food was tasty. Even though I choked up while toasting Tara and Brian, I spoke from my heart and was sincere and loved that feeling. Dancing was a blast! I've never had so much fun dancing at a wedding. It was just a fun day.

Congratulations Tara and Brian! I love you both.

If you'd like to get a preview of their pictures, click here!