Tuesday, July 31, 2012

happy birthday to me

nine and twenty.

my twenties are almost over, people.
there is no turning back.

some highlights from the past ten years of wild and crazy escapades include: emily getting married, graduating from college, having two paying jobs, birthing (and, you know, "taking care of") three children, living in three states (and eight houses), dyeing her hair over a dozen times, and comsuing more than one hundred and fifty gallons of ice cream.

a decade done right, i'd say.

here's hoping i manage to eat at least that much ice cream in my thirties.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

the fairest of them all

baby caleb and his dad gettin' their skin tones on:

Friday, July 27, 2012

got smoothie?

check out that stache!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

i scream, you scream

we had a great time this morning hanging out with anna and baby dant at the volunteer park wading pool in seattle.

that is, we had a great time *until* some lady stole our toy ice cream scoop (see danton's left hand) thinking it was her toy ice cream scoop, even though i said it was my toy ice cream scoop. there was no way to prove who was right, and fearing a knock-down-drag-out match (rife with hair-pulling) in front of my children, i let her win, cursing how i didn't think to sharpie these suckers before we brought them out to a den of thieves.

summer, who hates to lose anything, went home in tears.

but, anyway, it was super fun until then :)

for the birds

our resident animal lover:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

scrabble is for lovers

so bryan and i have recently entered a long-distance relationship of sorts.

at least that's how it feels since he's been traveling more, going to work earlier, coming home later, and going to bed almost as soon as he gets home. we probably spend one childless hour a day together (if we're lucky and baby caleb is merciful): doing chores and getting ready for bed.

but it turns out there are only so many ways one can liven up teeth cleaning and chores doing (see the end of this post for tips on special late night chores "attire"), and now it's time for something more:


one morning this week, when bryan woke up at the crack of dawn, he found this little game board set up on the dining room table, along with my first play.

we've been taking turns and, of course, keeping score since then.

bryan usually plays his word in the wee hours of the morning, and i play mine after he's gone to bed at night.

it's just a few extra minutes a day to say, "hey, good lookin', i love you, i miss you, i'm thinking about you, and we'll be together forever again soon."

and also, "ha HA! i just totally triple word scored all over your puny behind!"

yes, scrabble is definitely for lovers.

kiss and tell

looks like someone's been busy lovin on 
my lubbers' kissable, squishable cheeks.

any guesses who?

Monday, July 23, 2012

baby love

welp, it's official: the good baby days are gone.

long, long gone.

(but, hey, they were totally rockin' while they lasted.)

basically, caleb has come to the full realization of how awesome i am (it was really only a matter of time), and he never, ever, ever wants to be apart from me.


which is simultaneously the most exasperating and a little bit my favorite part of motherhood.

in other news, we keep trying to persuade him that sitting in his bumbo is a good idea.

he remains unconvinced but periodically humors us for a few minutes while we give it the good ol' college try.

here he is pictured with his far off, thinking of more ways to spend more time with mommy look.

the little stinker cutie-pie.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

workin at the car wash

she did it!

yes, the rumors are true: little afton did earn her strawberry shortcake house.

project potty training: complete!!

well, sort of anyway.

i like to divide potty training into three separate (but obviously related) parts: number one, number two, and through the night.

we're done and done on number one, we ebb and flow (literally) on through the night, and number two could use quite a bit more, uh, finesse, but overall, i'd grade afton as a solid "good enough."

so what changed?

well, most children have some difficulty with some aspect of going potty (and if your kids don't, then, i hate you, i hate you, i hate you), be it bladder control, laziness, stubbornness, fear, or any number of little inexplicable toddler behaviors.

turns out that afton was afraid of the potty.

so step one for us was to put her in underwear and then have her come to me when she needed to go potty, and i would change her into her diaper. that process morphed into her sitting on the potty while in her diaper. and then just "lining" her potty with the diaper until finally, glory be!, she could actually go in the potty. followed by the gold standard of potty training: going potty in a public restroom. took about a week or so total.

gummy bears and jelly beans for all!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

danton says

you think i'm going to get on that thing?

with them?!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


this past saturday saw the wheelers at harvold's berry farm in carnation, stuffing their faces and picking bucketfuls of ripe, red, juicy raspberries. 

here's how the little worker bees went down: 

summer: worked hard, picked much more than anyone thought she would, and made friends chatting away with a little girl picking berries in the row next to us.  

afton: skeptically picked a handful of berries then plopped herself down in the dirt and played quietly and happily by herself in that fantastic imagination of hers until it was time to go.  

caleb: made up excuses as to how he was a "baby" and couldn't help us and then fell peacefully asleep.

bryan: pick, pick, eat. pick, pick, eat. pick, pick eat. pick, pick, eat, eat, eat, eat, eat.

emily: a regular berry picking machine, she could have plucked ripe berries from their bushes all the live long day. 

all up, we walked away with full bellies, dirty faces, new friends, and twenty and a half pounds of berries.

we were quite pleased and very proud of ourselves until we got all the berries home and realized we hadn't a clue what we were going to do with twenty and a half pounds of raspberries. 

raspberry crisis mode ensued and only ended on tuesday after bryan and i stayed up all night turning what berries we didn't eat, freeze, or blend into twenty-eight cups of raspberry jam.

side note: raspberry jamming is something one should do completely naked or just plan on throwing the clothes you're wearing away. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

a fruity treat that's fun to eat

there were quite a few strawberries left over from afton's birthday festivities (note to self: eight pounds of berries is waaaay  too many for four preschoolers).

luckily, i recently acquired a set of popsicle molds and a fantastic gourmet pops recipe book that were itching to be useful.

so the other day, the strawberries, molds, recipe book and i got together (with the girlies, of course) to make a little magic: strawberry cheesecake popsicles.

best. popsicles. ever.

and because i get a lot of hate mail for not posting the recipes i use, i took the time to email the author and get permission to post this one. it's that good. enjoy:

from Perfect Pops: The 50 Best Classic and Cool Treats by Charity Ferriera
posted with permission

2 c. strawberries, hulled
1/2 c. sour cream
1/4 c. sugar
2 t. fresh lemon juice
1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 c. cup coarse graham cracker crumbs

puree strawberries. strain through fine-mesh sieve. discard solids. whisk in sour cream, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. stir in crumbs. spoon into molds. garnish with sliced strawberry wheels and graham cracker crumbs if desired. freeze at least six hours and up to one week.

ps - i'm pretty sure what this blog needs is more pictures of me eating stuff. am i right, or am i right?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

all smiles

"wait a second...i'm naked in the bathtub and you're taking pictures?!?"


Friday, July 13, 2012

parlez-vous francais?

so one of my goals this summer is to learn how to french braid.

i'm almost twenty-nine years old, and by golly, french braiding is something every respectable girl should know how to do before she turns thirty.

pictured here at the right is my very first (completed) attempt.

summer, like a little girls, wants to grow her hair out long, long (thanks a lot, tangled). but long hair, awesome as it may be, is not without its drawbacks: namely, somehow being kept out of her face (and syrup and dirt and car doors, et cetera).

however, when it comes to styling hair, i am a complete and utter dud.

for starters, i have short, SHORT hair and no sisters, so i began motherhood with a huge hair-doing handicap. (random young family factoid: each of emily's three brothers has at one time or another grown his hair out longer than hers. how's that for the ultimate gene pool shaft?)

nonetheless, i've been able to muddle along in the wide world of hair styling for nearly five years now using what little i know about pony tail holders and by adding giant, flashy hair accessories to distract folks from my poor coiffing abilities. but summer is getting older, with hair getting longer, and me and my pony-Os just aren't cutting it anymore. plus, they're breaking off her little hairs, which drives me batty.

enter: youtube.
my brush and comb and i thank our lucky stars for youtube.

anyway, i'm a bit behind on my goal, seeing as how it's july 13th and this is my first attempt, but i didn't suck at french braiding as much as i thought i would (though, obviously, no one would pay me for my handiwork), so, crossing fingers, i think there's hope for me and my girls yet!

to track my progress, i'm committing to styling summer's hair in a french braid for her first day of preschool come the beginning of september. we'll see if by then i've managed to make any improvements.

amelie out.

fun with friends

gotta be putting that sno cone machine to good use:


baby lubs has this major (but oh-so-cute) little bald spot on the back of his head.

and i'm talking completely bald: soft, smooth, and pretty doggone hairless.

so, from the front, he's looking more and more like a little baby, but from the back, he's still rockin' the old man.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

fruit filled fun

and now, for the final party round up.

invitations included little handmade strawberry clippies that we were delighted all the girls donned for the festivities:

for party activities, we read the little mouse, the red ripe strawberry, and the big hungry bear by don and audrey wood, danced to strawberry jams while playing musical berry baskets using hula hoops, and beaded necklaces (the sleeper hit of the party, lasting an unheard of forty minutes!):

for lunch, we enjoyed an elegant spread of strawberry lemonade, strawberry and chocolate tea sandwiches, cucumber and carrot medley, corn puffettes, and fresh strawberries:

dessert was -- what else? -- strawberry shortcake, of course! but served up kebab style to keep things interesting.

and last but not least, as party guests were waiting for their moms to arrive, they donned their aprons and went strawberry picking (aka searching for strawberry candies hidden in the backyard), another big hit:

favorite favors

probably one of my favorite projects for afton's birthday was making 
these (reversible!) strawberry aprons for each of the girls to take home:

tutorial here.