Monday, February 27, 2012

17 Months

Isabella was 17 months on the 23rd! It has been a busy month of travel and playing with friends. Two new things she started saying this month are 'Bless you' and 'Michael'.  Her hair is growing longer and is often a curly, matted mess. Generally she is happy and sleeps well.
 17 Month Picture
 On her 17 month birthday we had errands to run, but ended with playing at the park at our library.

At the zoo last Wednesday with Ava. They held hands in the car and walking around at the zoo.  
 Swimming at a hotel this weekend. 

It has been such a gift watching the world unfold through my little girl's eyes, as she gains more awareness and knowledge about the things around her. I am loving the new words she says, the more she understands of what I say, and reading books, saying prayers, and exploring parks together.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The streets of philadelphia

Friday our friend Michelle was flying in for the rest of the weekend. She was flying in to the Philly airport so we left earlier in the morning to go to Philly. We went to the Reading Market.
 It is an awesome market with fresh flowers, fish, vegetables, honey, food stands, bakeries, and more.
We shared a delicious crepe and the kids had pizza.
We shared some ice cream from Bassets "America's oldest ice cream company".  You can see Isabella's chocolate ice cream beard in this picture. Afterward we headed to the airport to pick up Michelle.
Later we headed to check out the rivals in Philly cheesesteaks: Geno's
vs. Pat's King of Steaks
My vote goes to Pat's!
Then we were off to see some history. We visited Independence hall, in which both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were drafted and signed.
Emily wrangled the kids so Michelle and I could hear the tour.
And we stopped by the liberty bell.
Walking the streets of Philadelphia....
 We had a fun day seeing some of the sights of Philadelphia before driving back to NJ. Isabella traveled well and got to add a new state to her list of travels.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February Project: Making sandwich bread

Emily and I usually cook when we are together and she has been making her own sandwich bread for the past few months. I had chosen "make sandwich bread" for my February DIY project for this year, and so it was perfect to do while on my trip.
The dough is first made into to separate parts. The mixture in this bowl is called the biga.
2 C bread flour, 1 C warm water, 1/2 t of instant or rapid rise yeast.
This mixture is called the soaker. 3 C whole wheat flour, 1/2 C wheat germ, 2 C milk. Both of these mixtures rise/sit overnight.
The next day you add these ingredients to a bowl with both of the mixtures: 1/4 C honey, 3 t salt, 2 t rapid rise yeast, 8 T butter. 
Mix together with the dough hook attachment.
Needing the bread
Flattening and shaping to roll the dough into loaves.
Dough rolled and ready to bake.
Aaaaand Boom. Done. Fresh bread.
 I must say, there is nothing quite like fresh, warm, homemade bread out of the oven topped with nutella! The bread was delicious. The recipe is for whole wheat bread from a Cook's Illustrated magazine. I loved the bread, liked knowing what all was in it, and that it was preservative free. The recipe was a bit involved with starting the night before, and you need about a 5 hour stretch that you will be home the next day to complete the steps. I didn't include all of the steps in this post. But all in all, I thought it was worth it, and hope to try it on my own next week.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Isabella and I headed out on our first solo flying adventure last Wednesday. Michael was going to be out of town for a work trip, so we went to New Jersey to visit my best friend Emily.
 Little did we know, there was a ton of fog at the airport, and no planes were landing. So I entertained my very active 16 month old, during a time when she would usually be napping, for FOUR hours!! I let her have free reign over the airport, but most often she wanted to run into the men's restroom and the smoking lounge. (The only two places that were off limits...of course!)
She was entertained for quite some time with these balloons that were left over from valentine's day and left on the floor. Because our plane was so delayed we were going to miss our connection to get to our destination. I was put on a different plane that was going to get me in 5 hours later and require us to be on a plane for much longer. I called Emily to update her and she told me to ask about flying into a different airport. So we changed planes again and I now had a direct flight to Baltimore.
Isabella played for the first 45 minutes of the flight, she was sooo overtired. I knew if I could just get her still she would crash. And she did. We had a great flight. I was proud of my traveling girl.
Emily picked us up and I was so happy to see her! We went to check out some of the sights in Baltimore and out for crabcakes and seafood before heading back to her place. Although, she has her own kids, she is so sweet with my baby girl. 
Walking along the harbor
Checking out the boats
We met in graduate school and have been great friends ever since. We have been through a lot of difficult things together. Emily is the kind of person that makes you want to be a better person and friend. She is the most encouraging person I know and always says the right thing. She has prayed over me so many times in the last year when I was exhausted from sleepless nights or Isabella being sick and I was having one of those "I-don't-know-how-much-longer-I-can-do-this" moments.

After dinner we headed back on the 2.5 hour drive back to Emily's house. Isabella ended up getting sick and we had to stop three times to change her clothes and clean vomit out of her car seat. :( She was sick again in the night, but back to normal the next day. It was a day full of things that happened that were just out of my control. And while the day was frustrating in some ways we were taken care of and blessed by many people. I have more to post later. On our trip we visited Baltimore, MD, Philadelphia, PA, and several places in New Jersey.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day

Here are some scenes from our 2012 Valentine's celebrations:

 Heart shaped waffles & pink and white straws in milk (or caramel frappes) for breakfast. Next year I will make the waffles and milk pink.

Chocolate chip sandwich cookies for Michael to take to work.

 A Valentine craft Isabella made at Heather's yesterday. I love it!

Balloons for Isabella
So, I saw these adorable heart shaped balloons on this blog I read, so I ordered some for Iz for Valentines day. I took them to get them blown up, and realized how tiny they were. The lady at the store said, "Um, these will not float". The other guy working there said if she put two on a ribbon they would float, but they didn't. I told her it really didn't matter, they were for my little girl and she wouldn't care if they were floating or not. Telling her they were for my little girl seemed to make it a challenge for her. She said, "They are for your little girl?! Well, I'm going to make these balloons float for her". I reiterated that she really wouldn't care. But she kept working at it and eventually had four of the heart balloons tied together and they still wouldn't float, which discouraged her. So she got a large balloon and tied it all together and was very pleased. I got out my wallet to pay, and she told me not to worry about it that it was on her. Why am I telling this long story? I was just really touched by her determination and kindness. She spent extra time in her day trying to do something that she thought would make someone else happy, got it done, and wouldn't let me pay for it. Although I'm sure it was just a few dollars, it was really nice. Being caught off guard by the kindness and generosity of stranger made my day and made me want to do something kind. And how much better would our world be if we all went around doing kind things for each other?! (Stepping off my soap box). Just now as I'm typing this I got a text from my sister that she left a surprise on my front porch! Kindness people- it makes a difference! :)

Valentines Isabella and I sent out to our family.

My sweet owl card- hoo la la!

My valentine girl

We had breakfast at home together this morning and then a busy day. Isabella hung with me running around doing several errands for us getting ready to go out of town and some other last minute things. Michael brought home dinner from one of my favorite places 501 Cafe. Its been a good day. I am so grateful for the family I have to love and that love me! Happy Valentines Day! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

 We headed out to Fort Worth Saturday to an OC roadshow Michael had. Isabella had her first ride in her big girl car seat. She is still rear facing for now, but it sits up higher than her infant seat so she can see a bit more. {Thanks Mimi!}
 The road show was at a families' house we have stayed with before. I really look up to Krista, she is a great mother and baker and really funny. She knows how to throw a party!

Her dessert table that she spent hours baking for. 

 She changes out the candy in these jars seasonally. We were there last in the fall, and Isabella wasn't walking and couldn't really see them and didn't really know what candy was. She has been a little spoiled since then, as soon as we walked in the kitchen she started pointing, signing please, and enthusiastically saying PLEEEZE PLEEZE! She loves sweets.

 Isabella got dressed in her OC gear and ran wildly around in a house with 100 people with no fear, making friends with everyone.
She did well on the 3.5 hour car rides, which I'm hoping she will follow suit for our 3 hour plane ride this week. In the first picture in her car seat, she looks so much like a little girl, and I love in this one when she's asleep, I still see my baby.

 We got some snow last night! Not enough to cancel our day or anything, but still exciting. Michael's work did start 2 hours late, so it was nice to have him home longer. When it snows I feel we must have cinnamon rolls for breakfast, so we had the last of the pioneer woman cinnamon rolls I had in the freezer.
Watching Daddy clear off his car.

 I'm grateful for a quiet morning. Today I've got a meeting with our accountant, clients to see, errands to run for our family valentines celebration tomorrow, phone calls to return...but I'm not going to stress. ;) Isabella and I leave Wednesday morning for a trip to New Jersey, so at some point I need to think about packing. Happy Monday! Have a great one!

(I loved this post today! I am only a mother of one so far, and I would like to say Amen! Most parents I know are trying their best, but parenting can be hard. I've picked my screaming child off the floor in barnes and noble and carried her out, wrestled her in restaurants, and I can't imagine wrangling 4 children, in public, on my own. I'm also trying to train my child up well and sometimes there are just those moments in public when its really tough! I'm hoping to be surrounded by gracious people on planes this week, and that my child does well!)

Friday, February 10, 2012

A little bit of our friday

Snuggling in bed this morning before getting started on our day. This was our "Have a great day Daddy" picture that we I text to him. 
Playing with Milo
Ready for date night 

Key lime pie with fresh pineapple, strawberries, and kiwi
 I'm glad we really enjoyed the warmer days over the past few weeks, because it is FREEZING now! I'm off to finish packing for a quick trip to Dallas tomorrow for Michael's work, time to get ready for a whirlwind weekend!