Monday, June 28, 2010

Sweet kittens

Here is a video I took of Addilyn before we left for our trip. I am so sad to say none of the 6 kittens made it. They all ended up with uper respoatory infections and died. Eliana was sad but I am glad they didn't die while we had them. We have had lots of interesting conversations since then. Raksha, the mama, is back with us for the time being. Rest in peace, little kittens. I am sorry your life was so short and painful.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Ryan

My sweet nephew turned 3 today. I can't believe how big he is. I made his birthday cake for him. He is really into animals right now and that was the theme of the party. Turned out ok, but it would have been nice to have a couple more hours to work on it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Forgive the lack of posts this week, I am chillin' in California with Matt and Annabelle. It has been so nice.

Our flight out was a little early on Tuesday morning. We didn't leave the house as promptly as we would have liked, hit traffic and had to hike out to the commuter terminal. By the time we got there it was 10 minutes until the flight took off. The flight attendant was shutting the door as we walked up. I told her we were on the flight and she said that the flight was closed. She wouldn't let us on. So we watched as the shut the door on the airplane, finished loading the bags, and pulled away the gate thinggy. Matt was livid. We ended up getting on the next plane, which was bigger and we got upgraded!

Yesterday Matt had to work. Annabelle enjoyed a quiet day at the hotel. I never get the time to just lay on the floor and play with the baby. What did I do when I only had one kid?! I read my book and took a nap. When Matt got back we went out to Willow Street pizza. They have gluten free pizza and pasta. It was soo yummy.

Today we are headed to San Fransisco. We have our sights set on a gluten free bagel place for brunch and Woodhouse Fish Company for a late lunch or dinner. Yes, we plan trips around the food we are going to eat. Oh yeah, we are going to hit up Gehridelli too.

Tomorrow we are going to Santa Cruz boardwalk. It will be fun to show Baby Belle the ocean for the first time.

The weather has been awesome and so has the time with Matt. My father is taking care of the big girls, who I am sure are havin a great time. I will up date with some photos when I get home.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Story time with Eliana

Eliana so wants to know how to read. This is a clip of her "reading" a Sandra Boyton to her sister. Yes, Addilyn is naked, but that shouldn't really suprise anyone.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sister love

Elie is at Vacation Bible School every morning this week. She is bummed that Addilyn can't come yet. Here is the parting hug.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


There is a fine line between bravery and sheer stupidity, a line I think I may have crossed more times than I like to admit. Lets just look at this week, for example:

-I am sick of fighting Addilyn about her binky. She is always bringing it down stairs and throwing a fit when I take it away. So, while she was otherwise occupied I took the scissors to her binkys. Brave or stupid? I placed them back in her bed. At nap time she grabbed a bink and immediately took it back out of her mouth. "mama, binkys broken!". I told her she was such a big girl and she had such big teeth they must have broken her binkys. She totally bought it."Buy new ones". I wondered if she would take a nap that day. She was squirly in her bed for almost an hour but finally fell asleep. Bed time was the same. We will see if it lasts. What a great plan, lets risk Addilyn not sleeping while Matt is out of town!

- My friend Georgia who runs the animal rescue called me on Sunday night. She asked if she could pick up our current three kittens (Oscar, Octavia, and Othello) so she could get them fixed and ready for adoption this weekend. I was sad to see them go but happy to give them a chance a new life. Then she dropped the bomb: she had a mama cat and 6 one day old kittens who needed a temporary home, would I take them? Sure, why not, after all I am already caring for 3 children and 2 dogs, what is a couple more? Stupid or brave?

Turns out mama is not all that thrilled with being a mama. Not that I can blame her, sometimes I get sick of caring for one baby, let alone six. She is also not healthy, despite the fact the shelter said she was. She is sneezing, her eyes are watering, her nose is running, she has a fever and feels awful. Great. So now I have one sick mama and 6 helpless babies. Yesterday I took them to the vet. Mama isn't eating or drinking. I wanted to foster animals because I love them and i love all the opportunities to teach that come from caring for animals. I was hoping not to have to teach the "sometimes babies die" lesson. Pray for out kittens, they are so sweet. We have 3 black, 2 orange and one tri-color. Like I wasn't doing enough just managing life, now to my to-do list I can add force feeding liquids to a mama cat and weighing babies every day to make sure they are growing. This may be on the "stupid" side. But could you say no to these guys?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Busy Weekend

It coulden't be avoided. Well, I guess it could have, but it would have required death and I wasn't quite ready to go to that extreme. On Friday, I turned 30. Oy. It even LOOKS old. My husband and some of my sweet friends helped to soften the blow by having a party to celebrate. Later that night, Kari and I went out and enjoyed a night on the town. I wore completely impractical shoes and stayed out way too late and loved every minuite of it.

Saturday morning my sister was sweet enough to take the girls for a few hours so I could relax and recover. Matt and I enjoyed a quiet morning drinking coffee and watching the rain fall.

That afternoon we went over to my friend Sarah's new house. It is lovely and I can't wait to see it finished. I am so glad she left the East coast to come back to Colorado!

Sunday morning we considered going to church, decided it was too much work and enjoyed another morning drinking coffee together on the couch. We got supplies ready and did some prep work for making sushi with some friends for the evening. I am not really that big of sushi fan, but must say dinner was very good.

The weekend was over and I was not exactly rested. Matt packed his bags and headed to NYC for the week so it is just the girls and I holding down the fort. Maybe next weekend we can just do nothing. HA! that will never happen.

Friday, June 11, 2010


"So I Married an Ax Murderer"

Stuart Mackenzie: Look at the size of that boy's heed.
Tony Giardino: Shhh!
Stuart Mackenzie: I'm not kidding, it's like an orange on a toothpick.
Tony Giardino: Shhh, you're going to give the boy a complex.
Stuart Mackenzie: Well, that's a huge noggin. That's a virtual planetoid.
Tony Giardino: Shh!
Stuart Mackenzie: Has it's own weather system.
Tony Giardino: Sh, sh, shh.
Stuart Mackenzie: HEAD! MOVE!

Ok, so I got the quote a little wrong. That is what I get for trying to quote a movie I haven't seen in YEARS. But the idea was still the same.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Name that Crocker- 6 months

I took Annabelle to the doctor for her well baby visit. She is 13 lbs 11 oz which puts her about the 10%. She is 28.5 inches, the nurse measured her twice because that puts her in the 97%. She also has head that measures in the 90 something percent. Long and skinny "like an olive on a toothpick!" (extra credit if you can name that movie quote!)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

In Love- Skillet Chocolate Cake

I am in love and it isn't with just my husband (though I do love him). My new love is dark, sturdy and good for everything. Cleaning up after him is a breeze. Sigh. Isn't cast iron grand? What, you don't have a love affair with your cast iron skillet? What's wrong with you, are you just that cold hearted?!

Last evening after a delicious dinner of fish and chips (cooked in my skillet) I was participating in one of my favorite pass times; reading recipes. There is some irony in this considering that for the life of me I am unable to follow a recipe without altering it to make it "better", but I digress. I came across this wonderful looking cake that was not only chocolate but it was also...wait for it...cooked in a CAST IRON SKILLET! I was beyond excited, yes folks, that is all that really takes to get me going theses day.

I wanted to try out this creation then and there, but couldn't. It was over 95 degrees yesterday and our house was already hot. Our air conditioning is being finicky. It wasn't really baking weather. So I ripped out the recipe for a better day, practicing the virtue that is patients that I poses so very little of.

This morning when I awoke it was overcast. It was cool. We had all the window in the house open to enjoy the breeze. I had to heat up the oven anyway to bake a loaf of much needed bread, so I decided it was perfect skillet chocolate cake weather. Who cares that most people don't eat cake at 9 in the morning?

I whipped up the cake in about 10 minutes and it only took that long because I had my ever-present kitchen assistant, Addilyn. Why that child refuses to go downstairs and watch a half hour of television is beyond me, but she was in the kitchen with me none the less.

The cake made the whole house smell of birthdays and happiness. Eliana was upstairs in no time flat, despite her favorite Muppet's on t.v. We let the cake cool enough that we wouldn't burn anything important, dolloped frosting on top and had our cake and ate it too. The girls were impressed and I tried to just tell myself that I am the coolest mom ever for serving cake for a morning snack.

I have made some alterations to the original recipe, no shocker there, but the original might be very good, too. I don't know, I haven't ever followed that recipe. I had to alter it to make it gluten free, I had some buttermilk that needed to be used, and the original didn't have enough chocolate in it. I also decreased the sugar and replaced some of the oil with applesauce to make the whole thing a bit healthier. The result is a moist chocolaty cake, reminiscent of a Texas sheet cake. If you prefer cloud fluffy super sweet cake, this isn't for you. If you are not in possession of a cast iron skillet, shame on you! But you can use an 8 X 8 pan, well greased.

Gather what you will need for this recipe: a fork, a small bowl, measuring cups and a 10 inch (mine is 12) cast iron skillet. If your skillet is bigger, like mine, decrease cooking time by about 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 350. This will take you about 10 minutes to throw together if your moving slow or have a 2 year old under foot. Here are your ingredients:

1 1/2 c. flour (if your gf use 1 c. brn rice flour, 1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill flour mix, and 1 tsp. xanthan gum)
1/4 c. coco powder
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. oil
1/4 c. applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. buttermilk (or use sour milk made from normal milk with a splash of vinegar or lemon juice)

This comes together so easily. Toss all the dry ingredients into your skillet and stir until well combined with your fork. Let 2 year old stir. Sweep up all the flour 2 year old spills and convince her it is more fun to wash the dishes than make the cake. Make 2 wells in your dry ingredients and put oil in one, applesauce in one and vanilla in the last. Pour milk over the top. Stir it up until well mixed and toss into the hot oven. Fend off children looking for cake for about 25 minutes as it cooks. Pull cake out of oven and send obnoxious children outside until it cools. Make frosting by combining

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 T. coco powder
3 T soft butter
2 T. strong brewed coffee left from breakfast

Stir up the frosting with the licked/washed off fork you used to stir the cake. When no longer warm to the touch, frost it. Lick the frosting bowl and fork before the children come back inside and ask to do it. Wipe frosting off of forehead and call children inside to partake of the best. morning. snack. ever!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pool Time

"Hey, look at me! It's my first time in the pool!"

"Ugh...who's ideas was it to leave me in here with the 2 year old?"

"Dude, get off my towel. Your all up in my grill."
"Favorite part of swimming? The snack bar!"

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Summer Eats

Summer is awesome. We spend hours outside biking, hiking, playing in the sand, swinging, gardening and all the other great things that summer brings. In the heat of the day we make like our neighbors to the (far) south and enjoy a siesta. As the evening comes and cools the heat of the day our yard is mostly in the shade and the children are well rested and ready to play. Which is a problem. Trying to convince 2 squirly kids to sit nicely and eat healthy food when they rather be running/digging/swinging/ridding is like trying to get (one of my) babies to sleep though he night...impossible.

So I gave up. No, I didn't give up feeding them, though with the chicken legs those girls sport I could see why you might think that. I gave up making them sit for dinner. I simply place a plate of healthy choices in snack size bites out on the kids pic-nic table and let them eat it as they please while trying not to be icked-out by the amount of sand I know they probable ingest. They eat more food, whine less and Matt and I enjoy a nice meal together.

They don't get to do this for every meal or even every dinner but when the sun is shining and the cool breeze is blowing it seems like such a waste of energy to be the dinner police. Energy that is much better spent running/digging/swinging/ridding.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bye Bye Kittens

I am proud to say we successfully fostered 2 kittens. By successfully I mean we didn't kill the kittens, mame them in any way or keep them. All of the above would be considered a failure. The kittens left our home fat, happy and ready to make someone a wonderful pet. Pixi and Payton were our first attempt at fostering and it was such a blast. The girls loved having them and the kittens loved (or tolerated well) our girls. I would often find Eliana reading or watching television with a kitten asleep in her arms.

This was an educational experience for all. The girls had to learn that kittens are not for curling despite how well the little balls of fur slide across the hard wood floors and that you may not throw them on the couch even though it is fun to watch them bounce. Addilyn had to be reminded that tails and handles are not one in the same and that no one really likes to be picked up by the head. The kittens had to learn that it is a bad idea to play in the dishwasher or the freezer and that it isn't ok to sit on the babies head when she is trying to nurse. I learned that cheap cat litter is worthless. Matt learned that he actually likes cats...when they are kittens and he doesn't have to keep them.

So, despite all the nay-sayers who said we would end up the proud owners of these cats, we did not. The will be missed, but not for long, as we will be getting 3 more kittens on Saturday.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Walk in the Park

Most days I love being a mom. My life consists of play dough, parks, an occasional trip to the zoo and lots of sticky kisses. I get to giggle and roll in the grass, poke rolly-pollies, splash in puddles and see the world I take for granted through the eyes of a child. Seasons are qualified by weather you can go sledding, roll in leaves, by ice cream from the truck or look for worms in puddles.

Motherhood has it's down side, too, and it isn't what you would think. It isn't exactly a good time wiping butts and boogery noses, but you become accustomed to it. Being the nurse to a sick child is a lot of work and often a lot of laundry, but I don't really mind. I hate to see my children take a digger and come up bleeding, but those can be fixed with band-aids and kisses. What I never expected the down side of motherhood to be was the pain.

I am not talking pain of child birth, though that isn't a pic-nic. I am speaking of the pain you see your child in that is pain you can't kiss away. When other children are mean, as they sometimes can be, and your kid get the brunt of it. When your little one gets left out and can't understand why. I hate that and I can't fix it. We have conversations about kindness, practice what to say when others are mean and do our best to find nice friends but it still happens.

I know that in the long run these are little injury's are not life or heart threatening and they will prepare my girls to deal with bigger hurts in the future. That is the down-side to motherhood. The bigger pain I know my children will have to deal with in the future. I know pain isn't all bad, character and growth are developed through disappointments. Relationships have pain involved and yet we were created for relationship.

At least that is the pep-talk I give myself while cuddling a little girl who's feelings were hurt by some snot-nosed bully girls at the park. My children are well loved, secure and able to shake off minor wounds of the heart. I, on the other hand, want to go snatch that little brat bald-headed.