Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Arielle at 6 months

Some baby girl is...

...a half a year old already & 17 pounds, 12 ounces & 28 inches long!

...has the most kissable chubby cheeks

... still has barely any hair and what there is of it looks kind of reddish

...can roll over both ways, but still "gets stuck" on her belly in the crib
...has started solids; cereal, sweet potatoes and banana so far

...takes 2 good naps a day always smiling and happy, unless she's hungry, then watch out
...can sit up unassisted for periods of time before she falls over vocalizing dada, baba and shrieking like nobody's business

...tries to grab anything and everything within reach and some beyond inconsistent but has started only waking up once at night

...seems to have no interst in attempting to crawl yet

...melts my heart on a daily basis

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Natey at 35 Months

Hi my precious boy! This is the last month that you will be 2. I am beside myself trying to wrap my mind around how fast the last 3 years of our lives have gone by. You keep me laughing...and yelling just about every day. I will work on the yelling, you keep up the hilarity.

When someone asks you how old you are you say, "I'm 2, 3 in June". You even told someone in the store the exact date! I didn't think you remembered that, but you are such a sponge that it didn't surprise me.

Some of the random, but funny things you've said lately are:

"I want to play in the back yard, this year."

"This song makes me funny!" (We assumed you meant makes you laugh.)

"See, I told you!"

"This is YOUR favorite!" (When a song comes on that he thinks I like.)

"I frowed the ball at the kitty, but I didn't....but I did." (With a little smirk on his face)

"I was mad, but not too mad."

Mommy: "Do you want a splash party for your birthday?" Natey: "Yeah, a Splash Gordan Party!" (Flash Gordon maybe??)

You still love super heroes, but we don't let you watch the cartoons any more. You can't quite seperate play fighting from real fighting. You have calmed down a lot in that way since the shows have ceased.

You think Mickey Mouse's full name is "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse".

You still take a 2-3 hour nap...during the week at daycare. I'm lucky if you manage to sleep over an hour when we're home. 

Any time I ask you where you want to go on vacation, you say "Candida" (Canada).

Every morning when you wake up (lately that has been at or before 6am, ugh), you demand a juice box. You never get one, so I'm wondering when you'll stop asking.

You make the funniest faces I have ever seen. Some times you'll be in trouble but I can't help but laugh at you anyway.

You are in a major defiant phase right now. You tell me no at every turn. Amazingly, you'll stay in time out now, but you ask me every 6 seconds if it's time to get up yet.

You are the most loving brother, but still haven't learned how to be gentle enough with Arielle. The other day you fell and landed right on her head. You cried so hard, you'd think it was YOU that got hurt. I think it was your first taste of real empathy.

You're adventerous and aren't afraid of much. Even when you fall down, you rarely cry.

You have the entire book, "Nightmare in My Closet" memorized and "read" it to me as we turn the pages.

We measured you the other day and you are a whopping 39" tall. I'm interested to see how much you weigh at next month's visit.

I don't want to rush you, as I see the last bit of my baby turning into a full blown boy, but if you could just learn how to put on your own Crocs and figure out that your ears really ARE for listening I'd appreciate it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"Surf" Pops!

Ok, they're cake pops, not surf pops, but that's what Natey chooses to call them. He wants them for his birthday, only request, no sprinkles. What kid doesn't want sprinkles?? Mine, apparently. I'd like to say they were easy to make, but I'd be lying. Like I said before, the getting them to naked cake pop stage was pretty simple, although time consuming. It was the dipping that wasn't as easy as I'd hoped!

I had been checking these babies out on Bakerella for a while and I got the gist of how to make them and then ran with it. Here's a quick run down of how I made them.

Boxed cake mix (or if you are so inclined make a cake from scratch...I was not inclined!)
Cream cheese frosting (I did make this from scratch, recipe below)
Lolipop sticks
Candy Melts
Food coloring
Styrofoam block wrapped in cling wrap (used for drying the pops)

I got the last 4 items in my list from Michael's Craft store.

I made a big batch, so I baked 2 cakes. I baked one chocolate cake and one funfetti cake. One batch of cream cheese frosting was enough for both cakes.

Bake cake(s) and completely cool on a rack. If the cake is warm, it won't work as well.
While cake is cooling you can make your frosting!

Cream Cheese frosting:
1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
3 cups of confectioners sugar
6 tbs melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

Put cream cheese, butter and vanilla into bowl (I use a kitchen aid mixer) and mix on low to combine.  Slowly add confectioners sugar 1/2 cup at a time, and mix on medium until you have creamy frosting. Taste it...several make sure it is delicious! If it is too thick, you can add a 1/2 tbs to 1 tbs of milk, but I found it to be the perfect consistency.

When the cake is completely cooled, break it into chunks and toss it in your food processor. Pulse 5-10 times. You want the resulting cake to be crumbly, but not too fine. Put the cake crumbles into a large mixing bowl and add the frosting, a scoop at a time, molding it together with your hands after each scoop. You want to be able to just form the cake into balls that stay together, but if you put too much frosting in it will be too moist (sorry LZ!) and mushy.

After you've combined the cake and frosting, form the cake into balls. I think I made mine too big (they were about an 1 1/2 inches in diameter), next time I'll make them a tad smaller. Place them on a plate or tray (whatever will fit in your freezer) lined with wax paper and put them in the freezer for ~20 minutes. Wrap plastic wrap around your styrofoam block. Take cake balls out of the freezer and stick the lolipop sticks in the bottom. lay them back down on the tray and put them back in the freezer while you melt your candy.

I chose to do a bunch of colors for the candy coating, so I just put the candy melts in the microwave in coffee cups and then added the coloring. Next time I think I will do fewer colors and use a double boiler (if you don't have one, you can just put a metal bowl over a saute pan of boiling water). I think the candy will keep a better consistency this way.

Melt the candy and then remove the pops from the freezer, a few at a time, and dip them in the candy. You have to dip and swirl so they ball is completely covered. If you are going the sprinkles route, immediately sprinkle them before they start to harden. Stick them into the styrofoam to dry and you're all set!!

See...easy peasy right? Phew!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Feed me!

This baby is ready for solids.  Some of you may be wondering what took so long.  I believe that the closer to 6 months you are, the better when it comes to solids. It's just my opinion, and I don't impose it on anyone else. In fact, I was hard pressed to even convince my husband of this, but with both kiddos I managed to hold out to about 5 1/2 months before they were demanding more sustinance than what my body could provide them! Truth be told, she was ready before we went on our trip, but I didn't want to hassle with bringing extra stuff to California. She had her first taste of cereal on Cinco de Mayo! While the rest of us ate wonderfully spiced tacos, she got to eat boring 'ole rice cereal. It was her first time in the high chair and, as you can see, the anticipation was killing her.

At first, she wasn't too sure about this creamy, bland goop I was giving her but she started gobbling it down like a champ!

After only a week, I have already had to thicken it and almost double the amount she's eating. We'll be starting veggies here in a couple of weeks. I can't wait! I have decided to make all of her food, something I wished I had done with Natey. Hopefully she's as good an eater as her brother. If the rolls on her chubby little thighs are any indication, I think we'll be ok!

Monday, May 10, 2010

No use crying over spoiled milk

Unless that milk is 12 ounces of breast milk taken out of the fridge and left on the counter for way too long. Yes, this was the situation in my kitchen on Saturday evening. I went to grab some milk to mix with baby girl's cereal (yes we started solids on Cinco de Mayo, pics to come) and couldn't find the little cooler that should have been sitting on the middle shelf, plain as day. I glanced to the counter and, there it sat, for how long I had no idea. I opened the cooler and felt the bottles hoping it was a recent occurence, but they were completely room temperature. DH probably took it out when he was looking for something behind it, but he has "no recollection" of that happening. I, on the other hand, appreciate the value of said liquid gold and know I wouldn't have left it out.

Who was responsible was neither here nor there, what was done was done. I had to check it out to see if I could still use it. I smelled it, but couldn't really tell if it was bad. What's a mom to do at this point? Ok, here's the part where I lose like 10 followers who are too grossed out to read this blog again, but what was I supposed to do? I made the ultimate sacrifice...I tasted it. It was bad. I had to throw it out.

If this had happened with Nate, I probably would have cried, yelled at Aaron and made a huge production out of the fact that it took me 90 minutes of uncomfortable pumping to get that milk. I did none of those things. I simply sighed as I poured it down the drain and got frozen milk out to send to daycare today. Maybe I'm growing up or giving up; I'm not really sure which one.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Over the hills and through the airport... Grandmother's house we go! The baby and I went on a little adventure this weekend. I flew with her from Rhode Island to Sacramento, CA to go visit my grandma. It was baby girl's first time on a plane, and she was a champ! I'll save my general complaining about other passengers on the planes for Friday's letter's of Intent. It would just muck up an otherwise happy post!  
My grandma, Norma, is my mama's mama. Ever since my mom passed away, she has taken on an even larger role in my life. We have always been been very close, but our bond grew deeper as we leaned on each other. Since she lives all the way ont he other side of the country, we don't get to see her very often. She has seen Natey only 2 times and this was her first time meeting little miss Arielle. It made my heart so happy to hand this little girl to her great grandma. To say they loved each other would be an under statement! Arielle belly laughed at the first words out of grandma's mouth.
 My mom never got to meet her grand children, so it was very important for me to make sure my grandma did. She's 83, and despite her ongoing health problems, is as sharp as a tack! She's an amazingly optimistinc woman, and has played a large part in making me the woman I am today.
Arielle couldn't get enough of her great grandma, and neither can I.
I can only hope that my kids get many, many more years with her so they can know, love and appreciate her like I do.