Friday, July 29, 2011

Annika's cold

We teach our children to share. Unfortunately, they don't exclude their germs from that lesson. It never fails that when someone brings a cold home, everyone else winds up with it. Share and share alike, we always say! (OK, we never say that....)

When I picked up Annika from school yesterday, I noticed her nose was stuffed up. I pointed it out to her and she agreed that she was congested. I then said, "It looks like you have Conor's cold, huh?" To that she replied, "No. I have my own cold. Conor still has his cold."

Nothing like a three-year-old to put you in your place.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Buca's Evening

Last night, Eric worked late, so I picked up both kids. So far, so good. When we got home, however, our usually overly-excited dog who greets us at the door was replaced by a dog who was obviously not feeling well. Buca was subdued and started shaking when he went outside and then laid down basically in a ball. He wasn't shaking like our old dog Cooper used to do when he had his seizures; instead, Buca was shaking like he was really cold. I called Eric to let him know what was going on and to make sure he came straight home after finishing up at work. I called the vet, who suggested we just keep an eye on Buca because his shaking could be a sign of anxiety and not a physical ailment. OK. Watch the dog. I can do that.

Annika's empathetic colors showed like you wouldn't believe last night. She was very concerned about Buca. She sat next to him and repeatedly told him what a good boy he is. She also yelled to me every time he moved a hair. "MOM!!! BUCA'S SHAKING AGAIN!!!" was her mantra. I had to then demonstrate the difference between his shaking and him moving because of his increased panting. (I'm sure Candid Camera would have enjoyed that one!)

At first, I thought Buca was past his shaking, but alas, I was wrong. (See, Eric? I can admit when I'm wrong!!!) Buca started shaking again (not as severely as previously) and cried when he stood, walked, or tried to lay down. I knew we needed to trek to the vet. So, I got the kids and Buca in the van and off we went.

Fortunately, we didn't have to wait too long before Buca could be examined. The vet agreed with me that he was favoring his hind right leg, and suggested we keep an eye on him and keep him quiet. If he continued to have issues, she'd put him on an anti-inflammatory.

He did OK during the night, but not great. So, we're now going to start the meds to see if that helps. Fingers (and paws) crossed!!

July Daring Bakers Challenge Revealed

This was my third Daring Kitchen challenge and I keep waiting for the perverbial ax to fall. I have yet to have a disaster with the challenges (knock on wood). This month's challenge was to make a strawberry frasier. Not only does this cake look pretty, it tastes amazing!! (Eric said it was his favorite cake I've ever made ... and that's saying something considering it doesn't have frosting on it and frosting is the real reason he eats cake!)

The cake is a chiffon cake that is split, drowned in simple syrup, and filled with pastry cream and strawberries. One key is the strawberries must show along the outer edge of the cake. In order to have the strawberries exposed along the edge, I lined the springform pan sides with Saran Wrap (which proved to be the hardest part of the challenge) and then placed the strawberries and held them in place with the pastry cream. When I make the cake in the future, I think I'll wrap the pan with parchment paper instead of Saran. After allowing the cake to set for a few hours in the fridge, I removed the springform side and was thrilled to see the cake kept its form ... and looked mighty pretty.

Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers' host and she challenges us to make Fresh Frasiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the beautiful cookbook Tartine.

Ta da!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Annika's Owie

Last night, I came home and was greeted by Annika announcing that she had gotten an owie at school that day. Apparently, her classmate crashed into her and caused Annika to land on her elbow (scraping it) and the back of her head (bonking it pretty hard). I told Annika that I was very sorry she got hurt and wanted to know where it happened - on the playground, inside the classroom, etc. When I asked where she got hurt, she replied, "Under my Bandaid!"

That's what I get for asking questions that have obvious answers!! :)


Monday, July 25, 2011

Conor's Animal Sounds

Conor is our little book worm. His favorite books are ones that he can respond to. For example, he really enjoys "Barnyard Dance" by Sandra Boynton because he likes to clap his hands and stomp his feet when the book commands him to do so. He also likes books that have animals so he can practice his animal sounds. I can listen to him practice his animal sounds all day long. I adore our smart boy's sweet little voice!

Swimming Lessons: Week 3

Week 3 of swim lessons was a hit... mostly because Annika got a new pair of goggles and loved being able to see while underwater. Like in the weeks past, she was the first to volunteer for just about every activity and had an absolute blast while in the pool.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Conor's 15-month appointment

Yesterday, I took Conor to the doctor for his 15-month well-baby exam. He is doing great and growing like a champ. He currently weighs 25 pounds, 2.1 ounces. He's right around the 50th percentile for weight and is right around the 75th percentile for height. I learned, though, that taking him to the doctor at the end of the day isn't the best scenario. Being tired from the day's activities makes getting through the appointment much more difficult. He had no desire to lay down to get measured, was ticked off on the scale, and wouldn't sit on the exam table so his pediatrician could feel his belly or listen to his heart and lungs (we did those things with me holding him instead). He got two vaccines (DTaP and HepA), which didn't go over well with him, but he recovered from the trauma after a few snuggles and some extra loves from Mama (whew!).

Conor impressed his doctor with his vocabulary. At this stage, kids should know at least 3-6 words. He blows that number out of the water. His knowledge of animal sounds and animal names alone is beyond double (if not triple) that number. (Such a smart boy!!)

During our wait between being triaged by the nurse and waiting for the doctor, Conor had a great time hanging out in then exam room wearing only his diaper and us reading "Barnyard Dance" by Sandra Boynton. That's his favorite book and never fails to make him laugh and dance around a bit.

Next stop ... 18 month check up. All aboard!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Corn on the Cob

Little did I know when I decided to make corn on the cob last night that it would turn into a photo opportunity. Conor's first 1/2 ear of corn was neatly cut off of the cob by Eric; Conor happily ate it, but noticed that everyone else was eating corn directly off of the cob. On a whim, I decided to give him his next serving of corn still on the cob. That boy knew exactly what to do! I snapped a few pictures for the sake of entertainment, which is when Annika asked me to take her picture, too. (SHOCKING considering she usually hates me taking her picture!) Who knew corn on the cob would be such a photo opportunity??

Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!

Nom! Nom! Nom!

Happy girl!

Conor knows to say "Cheese!!" when having his picture taken.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Swim lessons - week 2

Last week's successful swim lesson was no fluke. Annika had another great lesson yesterday and built upon the skills she learned last week. This week, they added jumping into the pool and floating on a big foam disc while kicking. Annika is a natural in the water and I even heard one of her teachers say, "Wow - the kids in my other class can't do that. You're ahead of them!" A parent always loves to hear that their kids are doing well! :)

After getting out of the pool, our sweet little girl couldn't stop shivering and I couldn't ignore the blue hue to her lips. So, being the Seattle mama that I am, we went straight from the pool to Starbucks, so she could get a cup of hot chocolate... and a little snack. The girl was in Heaven! :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Rice Nose

I don't know if you can see it, but Conor has a grain of rice stuck to his nose ... and he doesn't even notice that it's there. Everything else in the world is more interesting than the rice on his nose. He is such a crack up!

I love his little boy more than words can describe ... rice nose and all!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Baby Shower Cakes

The daughter-in-law of a family friend is expecting their first baby next month. Her shower is on Saturday and I was asked to make some treats for the event. Because of timing and distance, a cake was out of the question, so I made onesie and baby bottle cookies instead.

Thank you to my two willing assistants, Eric and Drew. I couldn't have gotten them done in such a timely manner without you!

Ta Da!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Another First for Our Kids

Yesterday, the 7-11 stores gave away free Slurpees to commemorate their "birthday" (July 11 = 7/11 = 7-11 ... get it??) Due to Eric needing to stop for a few things on his way home, I picked up both kids and decided to take them to the 7-11 by our house and treat them to a Slurpee.

Prior to yesterday, neither of our kids had ever had a Slurpee, so this was an experiment in whether they would even like them. When I picked up Annika from her school, I told her that we were going to get a treat on our way home. When she asked what it was, I said, "We're going to get Surpees!" She got VERY excited and replied, "WHOA!!! A Slurpee??? WOW!!!! What's a Slurpee?" The best description I could come up with was a "frozen yumm drink." That's all she needed .... she was hooked on the idea.

7-11 was PACKED. Who knew free Slurpees would be such a draw? I got both kids a drink and let them try a sip to see if they'd like them. I was a fool for thinking there was a chance they wouldn't like them. A fool, I tell ya!

In order to keep the interior of the van from turning sticky and Smurf blue, I confiscated the Slurpees until we got home. That didn't go over well with Conor (see below). He was HEARTBROKEN that I took the cup. Only when we got home and he was strapped into his high chair , wearing a bib, and happily scarfing down his drink did the tears subside.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Big Boy Hair

On Saturday, we said goodbye to Conor's long, shaggy hair and swapped it out for his first big boy hair do.

He was sporting a cross between a shag and a mullet ... neither of which were what wanted for his overall appearance. So, Jan (aka our hair goddess) went to town on Conor's hair. Mind you, he's one and has no idea how to sit still. He sat (I use that term loosely) on my lap, bounced on my lap, and jumped on my lap while Jan transformed our baby into a little boy.

In a matter on minutes, Conor seemed to age considerably. Still our sweet little boy ... just not quite as curly and shaggy.



Sunday, July 10, 2011

Swim Lessons

Today, Annika had her first big girl swim lesson. She took swim lessons when she was about 6 months old, but all she really got out of them was exposure to being in the pool and really cold.

I found it really funny that she was much more afraid of the pre-lesson shower (she had never seen a wall of showers before) than she was of participating in the class. She (no shocker) was completely at ease in the pool. She was the first to volunteer for the class activities and had no qualms about sticking her face in the water, trying to float, and kicking her feet. To say our kids love water is an understatement and Annika proved that (once again) today ... as did Conor who was quite miffed that he couldn't get in the pool with Annika, so did his best to stay happy stomping in the puddles in the walkway around the pool.

Practicing "Rocket Arms"

Our little swimmer

Floating like a starfish

Practicing floating on her back

Conor amusing himself with the puddles

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fun at Carkeek

We had GORGEOUS weather over the 4th of July weekend... which is unheard of in Seattle. Normally, summer starts on July 5th around here. Us natives didn't quite know what to do with ourselves, but quickly realized we'd better shed our many layers of extra clothing and get outside before the rain returned.

To take advantage of the warm temps and sunshine, I packed up the kids and we headed to Carkeek Park/Beach for some summertime fun. Carkeek is our go-to beach during the summer; it is close, usually not overrun with people, and offers a gorgeous view. We had a blast! The kids loved exploring on the beach, digging in the sand, throwing rocks into the water, and playing with their beach toys. We had an added bonus of getting to watch a few people who were wind surfing. They had these big kites that they used to pull themselves along on specialized surf boards.

Annika taking on the wind

Fun in the sand

Wind surfer

Annika jumping from a piece of driftwood

Sand, sand, sand!

Conor checking out the driftwood

Annika decided to redecorate the beach a bit by moving the driftwood around.

Conor working on his sandcastle

Our beach-lovin' babies!

Conor using a stick to dig in the sand

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Growing Up

Intellectually, I know our kids are getting older each and every day. Every once in a while, though, it hits me that they're not only getting older but are also growing up. No, they aren't off to college in a matter of moments (thank goodness!!!), but every once in a while, it really hits me that they are headed in that direction ... one day (insert the sounds of sobbing here).

One of these little reminders happened a couple of days ago. Annika successfully cut her own pancake and required no help from Eric or me. To the outside observer, it might seem to be a "no big deal" event. For us, though, it was a great achievement for our little girl, who now likes to proclaim "I can cut my food by myself ... all ... day ... long."

Working on the knife/fork balancing act

Sweet success!!

Back for another bite!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tell me the continents!

About a week ago, Annika brought this song home from preschool. It has quickly become one of our favorites just because of how cute she sounds when singing it. Yes, we're biased, but really ... who wouldn't find this to be one of the cutest things ever??

"Don't forget In-stralllll-ia!"