Friday, February 17, 2012

Why is it so fun to make things heart-shaped?

Valentines is always fun. A day to see how much we can change the normal day-to-day, to things more pink, red, flowery, sweet, and heart-shaped. The kids still aren’t quite old enough to realize the significance of any special changes that the holiday inspired, but there were a few little surprises here and there anyway. 104

I made the kids some pink play dough on Monday, which was a coincidence, since I wasn’t even thinking about Valentines when I made it. They played with it for a LONG time. I love when that happens. I had to make Snowmen over and over for each of them. The joys if toddlers! I was surprised, though, when Ruby started adding her own details, like ears, with little tiny pieces of dough. You could just see how hard she was concentrating. 046051053

Elise also did some fine work.061

KC and I had plans to go out on Monday, rather than Tuesday. We were trading babysitting with the Ribeiras, and I’ll always choose the less crowded option. KC took me to a most delicious new Latin restaurant, Paladar in Annapolis. My husband knows me and my palate so well. And the food didn’t disappoint. We ate all we could, and were happy to wraps every last tasty bite up for later. I’m wishing I had more of those chorizo sausage corn fritters, and KC’s coconut chicken tacos right now. And the great ambiance as lovely.  We’ll definitely have to go there again sometime. A great night with my love.032035036037040030

I didn’t feel like doing anything too festive for breakfast, but I did cut up their day-old smoothie pancakes into little hearts. I think they liked that. 074079

Lili and I had plans to take the kids out to lunch, but their recent nap boycott (well, they do eventually fall asleep, but sometimes not for a couple hour or more during which time they make it sound like there is an earthquake of jumping, laughing and crying across the hall) has me more exhausted in the afternoon than rejuvenated, so we opted to stay home and decorate Valentine cards for daddy with Penny downstairs. We also tried to get the kids to play Just Dance with us. Alex was really getting a groove on, but soon enough they were all asking for Winnie the Pooh, or Wonder Pets. 002

They enjoyed a little bit of their heart-shaped hole-in-the-bread(something I thought of making years ago, and I think it just might have become a tradition), but they mostly enjoyed their ice cream in brightly colored cones.150144154157164

After the kids were finally down, I made us the same thing for dinner, since we really had celebrated the night before and didn’t care about having anything too fancy, but I did add a hollandaise sauce, roasted potatoes, and sausage to spruce it up a little. 172

The cake I made was more of an fun project for me, than anything else. I knew it was too much for us to eat, but I always enjoy and excuse to play in the kitchen, even if the cake will be staring at us from the freezer for weeks. I have wanted to try making this cake for a while now (I love that people think up this stuff so I don’t have to). And as adorable as the white cake/red heart combo is, I thought we should involve chocolate somehow for V-day (even though I am a lover of white cake—next time). And Ice cream. So I changed it up a little and made a dark chocolate cake, with a ganache filling, and a black cherry ice cream heart . (Her tutorial is excellent if you want to try it out yourself.) I let KC choose the ice cream flavor, but kept the rest a surprise.

I have also admired her simple, elegant rose d├ęcor, and since I had all the supplies handy, I went ahead and covered the cake in roses. It wasn’t perfect in the least, but it was a start. And I made exactly enough buttercream. Don’t you love when that happens?135127119

The ice cream didn’t freeze as hard as I would've hoped (a homemade ice cream would be perfect for this), but it had the desired effect, and made for a festive dessert. After it was topped with warm dark chocolate ganache and fresh whipped cream, of course.  I let myself eat a few more bites than usual, and it felt good.193182194

So another Valentine’s Day has come and gone. It was lovely, and delicious. I’m sure the kids will be more than excited to get into the festivities next year. I’m looking forward to it!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Some stuff lately

Just doing my regular picture sweep.

I got the kids some tub crayons, and they would beg to get in the tub just to use these. It was a sad day when they were gone, but I opted to wait a while to get more, because of all the whining they caused when it was time to get out of the bath. I was so impressed with Bennett's self-taught writing form.215218And there was much tasting of crayons, of course. 224226

I have been having a little fun with Ruby’s hair now that she has some to play with. She used to resist me even touching her head, but when I showed her how pretty she looked in the mirror, she was sold.046010

And once when I did it like this,034

it turned into this. (Does she remind anyone else of Red from Fraggle Rock?)IMG_4495IMG_4528IMG_4510

Bennett looking handsome after a trim.144

Ruby loves to accessorize when she feels like it. When it’s a hat, headband, or scarf that I want her to wear, she won’t have anything of it. 235

We had a Tangled phase around Christmas, and still listen to the soundtrack in the car a lot. It didn’t take long for them to memorize all the songs. 

Alex insisted he keep on the pink bib I put on him for lunch. I might have to be more gender conscious when I hand out bibs if they are going to keep them on all day while they sing songs about sewing dresses.

Ruby never has a lack or funny faces.   IMG_4822_thumb1IMG_4820_thumbIMG_4844_thumb1IMG_4845_thumb1

Lili likes to have pillow fights with the kids. IMG_4863_thumb1IMG_4865_thumb1

One of Alex’s favorite things to do is close doors. “Cose Doa . Gaaaank You.” It’s really nice when someone forgets to close a door to forbidden territory.070072

“Jumping couch” is a game we play most of the day. Ruby has challenged herself further than just jumping, which can be a little unnerving. We need to get this girl in gymnastics. In fact, we should get them all involved in something that can burn energy without destroying my home. I’ll get on that. 

Alex found a clever way to play with the cars. 012

Ruby is definitely my child with the most quirks. When she gets it in her mind to fill up the stroller, she doesn’t stop. And there is a lot of crying when something tumbles off. I have to help her balance/hang everything to avoid the outbursts. It’s great fun.092095097

We eventually brought out the easel that we got them for Christmas. Turns out they still aren’t quite ready for it. After it was knocked over a couple times from people crawling under it and running around it, it was put away for a later date. They had fun while it lasted. 112117118119

These two are still cuddle buddies.  They all enjoy hugging and kissing now and then, but A and R seem to be easiest to catch.018IMG_4481A bit too passionate, perhaps?IMG_4486

The teeth brushing is getting a lot easier these days. Phew! I thought getting that done everyday would kill me at one point. I’d end up sweaty and frustrated. Quite a different story now. Now I just have to figure out nail clipping.150

These two just coupled up to do a little dancing one day.

Reading continues to be a favorite pastime, and how I love to see them all enjoying some great books. 027040

But Bennett seems to be the biggest bookworm of the bunch. He can be found reading anytime, anywhere. IMG_4520IMG_4516IMG_4519IMG_4521IMG_4522IMG_4594IMG_4601IMG_4605IMG_4623

They also loved “reading” calendars for a while. I had to pull out some old ones to keep everyone happy. They like to name the people they recognize in the photo calendars.021

Captivated by the little bit of snow we’ve had this season.047049

They insist on staying in their warm towels for a little bit after bath time. They look like little caterpillars all lying there as they are most often watching Thomas, a new fave.055

You never know what they’ll beg me to put on them each day. Alex wouldn’t give up until I helped him put on Ruby's sweater and my scarf.IMG_4512

We love loungin’.IMG_4557IMG_4580

And, although the girls have developed a little rivalry between them (Ruby is VERY territorial her toys), we still love playing with cousin Penny every day.012018

Oh, how I love this boy’s laugh. It doesn’t take much to get him going when he’s in one of his moods (kind of like this day a couple years ago). Sometimes I record them laughing and use it as a ring tone.

Look closely. Do you see the fruity pebbles all over the floor. Yeah, that was a fun mess to clean up. Oh, and they were in every nook and cranny of the car too. Not getting that cereal again. 014

They can still all fit like this in the tub, and don’t act like this is at all crowded or uncomfortable , even when Penny joins in. These kids are so great at adapting. Better than I am. I feel like we have less space in this house by the minute!024

Poor Alex must’ve been feeling a bit claustrophobic. It’s hard to have so many girls holding onto you at once.

We’ll end on more tub art. This time it was colored corn syrup. Tub painting is great for so many reasons. A huge, blank canvas, kids are contained and happy for a long time, and clean up is a snap! 021Bennett didn’t love it when Ruby painted him.019And of course there was a lot of eating involved.028025026042 

Looks like we’re all caught up on the random daily happenings. I’m sure these posts will continue to occur, and the kids supply me with more and more silliness (and naughtiness, but we won’t dwell on that) everyday. How I love this crazy (please stop jumping around in your cribs for two hours during naptime!), exhausting (please stop fighting me during every poopy diaper change!), wonderful (please give me 10 more kisses!) life.