Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Clippie Board

It takes a lot to control hair like this!

We had clips and bows and such out of control so I decided to do this easy project to get it all organized. I had a frame with broken glass and decided to use it. All I did was take the cardboard inside the frame and cover it with this piece of fabric (used good ol' duct tape to secure).

Then I secured the ribbons on (with duct tape) and put it back in the frame. The clippies fit right on the ribbons and we have an instant clippie organizer! Easy-peasy!
It's in the bathroom now, right next to the mirror so the girls can watch me fix their gorgeous locks!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter!

We had a great Easter.

We celebrated with a brunch with some friends in the morning (Dennis made omelets for everyone!) and then and then an Easter egg hunt with the neighborhood kids in the afternoon.

To explain what Easter means, Elyse told me in the morning, "Jesus got a boo-boo and on Easter it was all better!"

Here are a few shots from the hunt!

The kids all ready to go.


Maddy finds an egg!

Elyse finds some chocolate!

A family shot!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Peek-a-boo Cookies



Today was Easter. Just about every Lent, I decide to take a break from sweets. Heavens knows I love them and it give me an opportunity to put the breaks on my sugar consumption for awhile. But, with Easter comes the opportunity to indulge.

Luckily, my wonderful neighbor planned an Easter egg hunt, followed by a dessert smorgasbord!

I originally planned to bring a rum cake but no one in our house was too excited about it so I instead decided to incorporate my two favorite flavors-chocolate and peanut butter-into our contribution.

I couldn't find exactly what I wanted in recipes on the internet so I decided to combine too and concoct my own. It certainly was a hit!

They aren't the pretties cookies (I'll have to work on that) but boy are they yummy!

Here is the recipe:

Combine:
1/2 cup peanut butter with
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Set aside

Cream 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut oil with
1 cup sugar
Mix in 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla

Separately, combine
1 cup flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Add to coconut oil mixture

Form the peanut butter mixture into balls. Then, take the chocolate mixture and form around the peanut butter ball. (making for a peanut butter surprise in the middle). Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Bake on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 8 minutes.

Try not to eat them all at once!

A quick note:
Since we started investigating dairy alternatives for Madelyn, I discovered coconut oil. You can use it to replace butter in recipes. I love it! It adds a little bit of coconut flavor which some people might not like (sorry mom). I'm sure the recipe above would work with regular butter too.

On the second batch, I flattened the balls a bit before cooking so they didn't look so "weird" when they came out of the oven.

(un-flattened batch looking weird)



(flattened batch looking less odd)

(But I have to say, there are some benefits of weird looking cookies...I think people were afraid to try them, leaving more for me to bring home! Bwahaha!)

I dare you to eat just one!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Drawing, drawing!


Elyse says she is going to be an artist when she grows up and she is on her way!

In the past few months (when she feels like it) she has drawn pictures of people. Back when I worked at a preschool in college, we learned about developmental stages of kids' art and they showed us that just about every kid at this age draws people with their arms and legs coming right out of the head. Elyse has been doing exactly that until just about a week ago.

It's totally crazy to me that all kids draw arms and legs out of the head. Does it have to do with what they really notice on a person or just an inability to draw the whole body? Did Elyse start drawing the body because she started noticing it or is it just a copy of what we draw?

It fascinates me.

And here's a pic of the little sis, just because she's too cute to leave out. She's still at the scribble stage. :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Madelyn at one and a half!


Girls with birthdays just a week apart make it easy to keep things like this updated!

Today Madelyn turned one and a half! Yipee!

Madelyn is growing up fast and turning into a fun little girl.

She is still a cuddly, happy girl, now with an occasional fit thrown in. She knows what she wants and is usually pretty good at letting us know what it is.

The vocabulary is increasing fast. She can say just about anything she wants from food to toys to people. She has sneaked in a few two or three word phrases on occasion too, "Bye-bye bears" or "I see doggy." She can repeat back just about anything we say and her pronunciation is getting better.

She loves playing outside and a few times each day will say "outside" and then run to get her shoes. She then makes sure that everyone else has shoes too, going to Elyse's cubby and then my spot to make sure we put our shoes on. She is pretty into possessives too and will deliver shoes, clothes or drinks to the correct person when she finds them lying around. (Even when we have friends over she will bring the right shoes to the right person!)

Madelyn still loves to cuddle and freely gives out hugs and kisses to everyone in the family. She lays on us as we rock in the chair before she goes to bed at night (bliss!).

She loves books and on occasion we will find her sorting through a basket of books on her own, often reading the story to herself in her jibberish language. She insists on reading "Brown Bear" every night before bed.

She loves to color. She asks for help when she needs it. She dramatically shouts "all done" when finished with a meal. Mealtimes have become a bit of a struggle on occasion but Madelyn is still a great eater (loves her noodles).

This girl has a strong will and on occasion, will put up quite the fit. For example, she doesn't like holding my hand when crossing the street and will attempt to sit on her booty in the middle of the road. (I of course then have to drag her kicking and screaming!)

Madelyn and Elyse (knock on wood) get along great and Maddy is often looking out for her big sister. I give Maddy a cracker and she replies "Lee-see" meaning "Get one for Elyse too!" They hug and kiss on each other and have fun running away from me together. It is great to see.

She will mimic things we think are funny like a little "hot dog" skit Dennis likes to do. She laughs right along with him!

Madelyn loves going to "Mommy and Me" school. It's designed for Elyse's age group but she sits quietly with the group and sings the songs and pays attention. In fact, she does the motions and dances for a lot of the songs better than some of the three year olds (who just can't be bothered I guess).

She loves babies and will say, "I see baby" whenever we see one in a store. At a party yesterday, she played on the floor for awhile with the new one-year-old.

We love our Maddy-Moo!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Elyse at 3.5


Woo-hoo!

We have a 3 and a half year old in the house (and she won't let you forget it!)

I thought it would be the perfect time to update anyone who cares to be updated on our beautiful girl.

Elyse's favorite pastimes include playing with her friends and her sister, coloring and "stickering." She loves celebrating anyone's birthday, whether real or made up by Elyse. Just about everyday I hear, "It's so and so's birthday. I am going to make them a card." And then she folds, cuts, colors and fills the paper with stickers. She really likes to put the cards in an envelope and put a pretend stamp on them.

Along with these birthdays, she has become aware of months and days and can name the birthday month of the most important people in her life. She also looks forward to holidays and says, "I can't wait until Fourth of July/Mother's Day/Thanksgiving/Groundhog's day."

She loves books, still picks "Henry and Mudge" as some of the favorites. Some other favorites are Grace for President, Boo-hoo Bird, Pinkalicious, and her Highlights magazine.

Elyse wants to be an artist when she is a grown-up (and in fact looks forward to many things about being a grownup, including using grown-up scissors).

Her food palate is selective (i.e. picky) but will eat all her fruits, pasta, sandwiches, some meat and peas if encouraged to do so. Cupcakes and ice cream take no encouraging. She does like the smoothies I whip up lately with spinach hidden in them.

She loves Mommy and Me school and sings and dances with her friends. She looks forward to craft time and can answer the questions the teacher asks.

She is friendly with new people, especially if we give her some background. She is a little timid to try new things (like the long tunnel slide at the park) but usually loves it once we make her give it a try.

She loves Target and Panera and Legos (and Legoland!)

She sometimes has trouble sharing or not doing things "her" way.

Elyse is a great big sister to Madelyn. I can tell they actually like each other! She is patient when Madelyn wants to color with her (usually) and thinks Madelyn is hilarious when she responds to our questions in gibberish or throws her cup on the floor one billion times.

We LOVE our girl and can't remember life before our Leesy-Loo!

Picture idea here.