Sunday, July 31, 2011


Can you even believe how big and cute this girl is getting? I cannot. I still refer to her as a baby even though she has been a toddler for quite some time.

Here's what Lily's M.O has been lately:

  • making this cheesy smile when you catch her eye
  • being a TERRIBLE pest to her brother whose patience is growing slim
  • asking if everything is "hot"...don't blame you sister, everything is HOT in St. Louis right now
  • chin-ups on anything she can hang on
  • all things that involve lots of motion and/or with final result being on top of something
  • sitting on our heads when we're lying down and then bouncing
  • kisses...mainly to men
  • eating meat, no veggies, little fruit, sometimes bread
  • hiding something behind her back and running when you catch her with a forbidden object
  • new words..."hat" is the most recent addition
  • swinging at the playground "wee? wee?"
  • trying to run faster than her little legs will allow resulting in lots of spills
  • playing momma to her baby
  • putting a purse on her arm and saying "bye-bye"
  • playing with stickers
  • she loves when you scare her or chase her...I have the rug burns on my knees to go along
Oh Lily, you are such a character. I love you to pieces even though you put my toothbrush in the toilet and sucked the water off of it a couple of nights ago. You keep us on our toes (more like on foot, running), lest anyone think about getting lazy around here.

Grateful for...

#49 watching Lily's facial expressions as she put stickers all over my face

#50 a trip to Target and a pool with just Lily

#51 early bedtimes and ice cream out with my husband

#52 not knowing and not having a plan...two things I despise which is why I'm experiencing them

#53 a weekend with no plans

Friday, July 29, 2011

Dinner Relief

My mom and I have been talking about how nice it is to have two cooks in the household. We each get a break from cooking some nights, my parents get carry out less, we sous chef for each other and have someone to share dish duty.

I love that I'm learning more about cooking from my mom and she loves that I try new recipes (mainly because she's such a good cook that she hasn't really needed to try new things).

I did a Linda style dinner the other night when they were out of town. My mom frequently takes leftover roasted potatoes (which we have a lot) and creates a stack up involving an over easy/medium egg. We had leftover potatoes and seasoned steak from this recipe, so I put them together with the egg and chopped fresh tomatoes and mozzarella cheese

Delicious and fast! I love that something as easy as potatoes and an egg can be the base of yummy dinner.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Book Bags: A New Favorite

We've been exploring the new library digs on a weekly basis and joined the kids summer reading club. Lily is still on my short list of people on probation from the library, so I leave her at home...sorry girl, I gave you two tries and that last stint of trying to escape through the automatic doors to the parking lot did me in.

I had seen book bags (book with storytelling on CD) at our old library, but had always kind of thought, "I read the books to my kids so I don't really need a CD." I just didn't really get it.

I'm sorry book bag, I entirely misunderstood you and your coolness. I formally and publicly apologize for my snarkiness.

Weston loves the autonomy of being able to do it all by himself. He loads the CD, turns to the title page and listens for the directions. And he actually does a pretty good job of staying on cue with the page turns. Some of the storytellers are better than others, but they're probably all better than me and sometimes it has music and appropriate noises to the story also. And then my job, instead of reading*, is to keep Lily from pressing stop or eject on the CD player warranting multiple "do-overs" before the story is over. Oh. That. Girl.

(*Note: We do still read books together all the time...we just get a couple of CD's a week. Lest, Westie read this ten years from now and I think I cut him off from stories at age 3)

A little behind in my heart and here:

#43 authenticity of a friendship despite distance

#44 champagne on my birthday

#45 fun mornings...making up for afternoons that are difficult

#46 husband who graciously watches kiddos

#47 a birthday lunch treat by a friend

#48 cooking with mom

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Swim Lessons Week 1: Success

On our way to Weston's first day of swim class I thought, "This is either going to be awesome or a disaster and the likelihood of an in between is slim." Hip, hip, hooray that it was awesome!

Weston loves it. There are only 3 kids in his class so they get a lot of swim time. In fact, the first day he got a private lesson the first 25 minutes because kiddo 2 wouldn't get in the pool and kiddo 3 was really late. When we came back for the second day, he was skipping on the way into the Y from the parking lot telling me how he was going to wear his "googles" and go under water.

I sit on the bench and watch, giving thumbs up and smiles as needed...only the start of many big kid things he's going to be up to this next year. Like wearing underwear, right? Please?

Friday, July 8, 2011

On Cake

I've been pretty into baking cakes. Cakes, cupcakes, some with fillings, different flavors of frostings...always from scratch. I love making cakes from the raw ingredients because somehow then it's really yours. A creation. And since I'm not really crafty or creative otherwise, this is a nice (and tasty) outlet for me. Don't get me wrong, I've had plenty of disasters and I am in no way a cake decorator. It's always slightly lopsided and never perfectly frosted, but I don't care. It's the process, not the product that makes me the happiest.

I've been reading this book series and one of the characters in the book is renown for her orange marmalade cake and is a very funny little lady. Her thoughts on cake made me laugh and resonated with my soul...

"It was hard, very hard, when people couldn't - and, in today's world wouldn't - eat cake. When she was coming up, families lived from cake to cake. A cake was a special event, it meant something. Now a homemade, baked from scratch cake meant next to nothing. For one thing, most young people had never experienced such a thing. All they'd ever known was bought from a store and tasted like hamster shavings, or had been emptied from a box into a bowl, stirred with low fat milk, and shoved into an oven that nearly blew a fuse from being turned on in the first place. Such a cake could never be your cake, no way, it would be Betty Crocker's or Duncan Hines's cake, and the difference between yours and theirs was vast and unforgivable.

And look how people acted these days at the mere sight of a piece of cake. Cake? Get it out of here! I'm on a diet! I don't want it in the house! Worse yet was the inevitable declaration: I never eat cake!

Never touch cake. Pathetic! The world was increasingly filled with such people, not to mention the crowd that ate cake in secret, stuffing it in their faces when nobody was looking, and claiming to nourish themselves on a diet of boiled eggs and dry toast. She knew who they were."

Now, this is NOT some judgement on box and store bought cakes. You gotta do what you gotta do when you're supposed to arrive somewhere in 30 minutes with cupcakes. Or if you just plain don't enjoy baking. I get it.

Here is the one I made today for my husband to celebrate six years of wedded bliss (it's been bliss, right Kurt?!) Three layer yellow cake, coffee frosting with chocolate chips. If I make it again, I would definitely do it with chocolate cake, but that's what I've made the last few times so I wanted to change my tune.

I know what's for breakfast tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy 4th Grammy and Grampy Style

We took a trip up to see Grammy and Grampy for the holiday weekend. As usual, they spoiled us with lots of love, fun and yummy food. Lily became immediate B.F.F's with their dog Ellie. She followed her everywhere saying "Hi!" and let Ellie lick her hands while she too stuck her tongue out like she was licking. Sadly for Lily this momma has no desire for a family dog. Except I do like the part where they eat everything off the floor after dinner. We'll see.

We went swimming and the kids did great in the water which was super encouraging after our first pool encounter this summer. Swim lessons here we come!

They have the best seats in the neighborhood for watching a nearby country club's fireworks, so all we had to do was plop a lawn chair in the driveway amongst their neighbors and friends and enjoy a great show.

Here Lily is enjoying some time with Grandpa Dominic. They played a game of chase the ball...he would hit it with his cane and she would go get it and throw it back. Maybe we don't need a dog...

Trip to the farmer's market...

Bike riding with Grampy...


Considering no one slept on the 6 hour ride there, on the way back home this...

plus this...


Thanks Grammy and Grampy!

Grateful for...

#40 having read this book

#41 excitement over butterflies

#42 when things don't go as bad as I expect reminding me to be more positive