Sunday, January 30, 2011

why am i blogging?

i'm not sure exactly.

i have a two month old who doesn't turn in for the night until midnight so i have some free time on my hands.

i want a way to remember what i do with my girls now that i get to be a stay at home mama.  i still don't have a scrapbook or baby book in place for abby (2 1/2) so i think this is my best bet for documenting firsts, seconds, and the little things that make up the ebb and flow of our day.

i am a TERRIBLE corresponder but really really really want to work on that this year.  i want fam and friends near and far to know what we're doing with our days.

i want to be intentional about finding beauty and joy in the routines that can sometimes seem mundane.  

eleanor ann beginning to grin.  not too hard for this mama to find joy or beauty in that!  

all aboard the rainbow express

here's a peek into our little world of pretend play.  abby's imagination is literally all we need around here for an exciting day to unfold - a few toys and a couple of chairs led to a train ride on the rainbow express.  and let's not forget the rainbow tickets, passengers, and their snacks.  i'm pretty sure not an activity goes by where we are not all well fed with abby's snacks.  it is a must.  
rainbow tickets in the making

all friends aboard...try not to focus on the naked baby who was left on the curb :)

much of the fun is deciding who will sit where, what color bowl they get and of course what ticket they will receive

so our days usually starts with some planning on both of our ends.  i talk about some things i want to get done and abby chooses a few things she would like to do.  rainbow train came out of her LOVE for moving chairs around (i must admit it drives me crazy but i go with it because it is about the only exercise she gets in the middle of pittsburgh winter).  the former teacher in me lets abby lead the idea and the play and then i try to think of ways to incorporate different areas of development into the pretend play.  to encourage fine motor development she is coloring her tickets and cutting them out (with a little help from mama).  gross motor skills occur when she is moving those chairs around and jumping off the chairs.  speech and language development/social skills occur throughout, but we role play what the conductor would say to the passengers and what the passengers say back...and using those pleases and thank yous.  we practice counting chairs and naming the different color bowls to work on cognitive skills.  adaptive skills are enhanced as abby pours her o's into each bowl.  

something major this mama is leaning from her girl:  she doesn't need a lot of toys to fill her day, learn, and make her happy.  she needs to use her beautiful imagination and for a sustained period of time have uninterrupted/focused interaction from her mama.  this leads to a happy girl and a happy mama.

Friday, January 28, 2011

bag of tricks

much to josh's chagrin, i'm working on a few knitting projects at once.  meaning… his project will not get done as fast.  this was supposed to be part of his christmas present, but i overbooked myself and abby's mittens and caring for a newborn were put on the front burner.  

this little number is from last minute knitted gifts - a regular go to  for me.  it will replace the scarf below, which i made when we were first married.  cannot stand to look at it anymore!  

but here is what i am really excited about - a surprise for a dear friend.  cannot wait to finish and give the gift…and then post some "after" pictures.  

a (sur)prise in the door

we have an amazing friend that abby has named tiny.  tiny has an ongoing tradition with abby to leave little treats in our doorway before she goes to work.  it all started two months ago when eleanor was born.  tiny left us the most gorgeous chocolate peppermint cake (one of my most favored cakes) on the most gorgeous cake plate in our doorway.  abby and my mom discovered the gift while getting the mail.    the next day abby said with eyes as big as saucers, "let's go see if tiny left a cake today!!!"  abby loves to check for cakes daily and pretty often there is a little "prize" (two year old talk for surprise) in the door.  whether you are two or twenty eight, how fun is that?!!?  you are the best tiny!  

thankfully abby picked the snowman because i had my eye the s'more cupcake.  give it up for oakmont bakery.

yes, we had candles again this friday night and we even sang happy birthday.

everyone needs a friend like tiny...and not just because she leaves sugar in our doorway.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

purple velvet

what does any mama in her right mind say when her two year old asks to make a cake at 5 p.m. and dinner has not yet hit the oven?  no - absolutely not.  but i tend to thrive on a jam packed schedule and little bit of chaos so i wholeheartedly agreed we needed a cake for a friday night celebration.  and not just any cake.  red velvet.  and not from a box, but the cooksillustrated recipe that takes every bowl in the house because the two year old wants the white icing (cream cheese!) and red cake we made for a friend's birthday 4 months ago.  the slight problem was realized after the sugar and butter were mixed and the eggs were cracked.  no going back.  we do not have one drop of red food coloring in the house.  daddy is no where to be found and it is -4 degrees outside so even this chaos loving mama is not bundling up a toddler and a 2 month old to go to the giant eagle a stone's throw away from our house.  well, the two year old takes after her daddy and is a problem solver so after looking through our food coloring choices she exclaims with the biggest smile, "i know mama...purple cake!"  genius.  and so here you have our process of making purple velvet cake.  perhaps a new tradition?!

perhaps the best part of making cake - licking the beater!  
so here it is prior to baking - pretty purple right?  just wait for the end result...

oh the excitement!  and we throw in a little science talking about the changes that occur while in the oven.  

candles - is it someone's birthday?  nope.  we (and i mean abby) just have an obsession with lighting candles.  there will be more posts about that later.    

the purple velvet in all its glory.  do not tell abby that it looks slate gray, ok?  
what a fun way to end the week.  abby helped every step of the way.  eleanor hung out in her sling.  daddy came home to a great surprise.  dinner was made and eaten.  cake was devoured.  all in a good day's work.