Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rainy Labor Day

Pretty in pink and ready to play in the rain (Don't worry, she received a pair of rain boots for her birthday. Next time we play in the rain, she'll be more properly dressed.)

Allie washed her hands before going to play in the rain...because she LOVES washing her hands

Sisters and rainy day playmates

Twirling with the umbrella...what a princess does in the rain, right?

Giggles...nothing is more fun than getting soaked!

Allie had a rough few days involving several falls and leaving her forehead with some lovely bruises.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

First Days of School

It's hard to believe that August is here and school has started. Caitlyn is in the 3's Class at her preschool now, and she is loving her new teacher, Ms. Denise. She is becoming so much more independent as she now gets out of the car with excitement and walks down the sidewalk with confidence. It's really hard to believe she will be four years old next month!
Ready for Preschool Orientation

Allie is 19 months old now and learning new things every day. This is such a fun age and stage (my personal favorite), and I love to watch her vocabulary and skills grow. She is just as verbal as Caitlyn was at this age, and she will do anything to get a laugh. She loves to swing, play hide and seek, swim, and watch movies (well, the first five minutes, anyway). While Caitlyn is in preschool, Allie gets to stay home with me - lucky her! I'm enjoying having some one-on-one time with her and getting to know her without anyone else vying for my attention.

Such a ham!

Sweet Sisters

First Day of School

 Caitlyn has been asking for a while now to take ballet classes, and we have found a class that is just right for her. She is beyond excited...the class doesn't start until the end of August, and she asks me every day how many more weeks until it starts. We bought her required outfit, and she wants to wear it every day. I'll be sure to post more pictures once she gets started. 
Excited ballerina
 I noticed that Allie is not wearing shoes in any of the pictures above. That seems about right.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer Highlights

Here's a quick view of our summer in pictures:

My wonderful grandparents came to visit in May. They helped us replace all the interior doors in our house! (And when I say "helped us," I mean that they did most of the work while we learned a lot.)

I got to help out with Southwood's VBS again this year...Pandamania!

We did lots of swimming, in our kiddie pool in the backyard and at community pools that our friends graciously invited us to. This picture just cracks me up.

The girls played "Princesses" a lot, too. Allie is learning to tolerate Caitlyn dressing her up.

We read lots of books and laughed a lot, too. These two sisters really love each other!

Allie's hair is long enough to put up in pigtails now. Pretty cute, right?

Will and I celebrated our 7th anniversary this year. We are so thankful for all the ways God has blessed us and our family.

We got to take a much-needed vacation to NYC while the girls stayed with my parents. We had a wonderful time - the highlights were seeing Wicked on Broadway and biking through Central Park.

We got to spend some time with the Creedle family to celebrate Great-Granddad's 90th birthday and Great Grandmom and Granddad's 60th wedding anniversary. Pretty special!

We also went to Lake Martin with the entire Spink family, but somehow I managed not to get any good pictures...

Summer 2011 was wonderful! The Lord has blessed us with wonderful friends and families, and we are thankful to have spent time with many of them in the last few months. We look forward to what the next year holds!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Story of the Little Pink Cast

It was Presidents' Day.  Caitlyn had the day off from preschool, and the weather was unseasonably warm.  I thought perhaps we would call some friends and go to the park to play late morning.  After cleaning up the kitchen and picking up the toys downstairs, I headed up the stairs with Allie to get her dressed for the day.

And that's when it happened.  I tripped on the next to last step and flung myself and Allie down. My first thought was a relieved, "Thank goodness she didn't hit her head!" She had a scratch on her face - I think it was from my own hand grazing her cheek as I tried to break our fall.  She was crying pretty hard and seemed to be in pain.  I put ice on her cheek, gave her some ibuprofen, and tried to calm her down, but she was inconsolable (and I was pretty torn up myself).

That's when I stripped off her pajamas to check for any signs of bruising or bleeding.  Everything looked fine except her right foot.  It was red and quite warm, but not swollen.  She wouldn't let me touch it, even to put ice on it.  As she began to calm down I noticed she wouldn't put weight on that foot or even crawl on that leg.  And I knew something must have been broken (cue second round of tears for mom).

Shortly after it happened Allie fell asleep in my arms. She hasn't done that since she was tiny.    

Fast forward several hours and doctor's appointments (and tears) later, and it was confirmed.  She had two small fractures in her ankle and a bright pink cast from her toes up to her mid-thigh.  She was surprisingly brave through most of the day, but she stayed snuggled close as we went to each appointment (which is unlike her).  We had a follow-up appointment after a week, and the x-rays showed another crack in her tibia closer to her knee (just when I thought the tears were behind us).  Thankfully, her original cast was protecting it just fine and it was aligned correctly and healing appropriately.

An exhausted Allie is sporting her newest pink accessory.

She is handling life with a cast really well.  The first few days were hard.  She had trouble sleeping and didn't use the leg much.  But over time, she adjusted to the extra weight and is now crawling with ease and even pulling up and "cruising" around the furniture.  We have been so blessed by all the family and friends who have called, prayed, visited, brought us meals and flowers and balloons, and offered words of encouragement.  We are doing so much better and hope that the cast will come off in just a couple of weeks.

One of Daddy's socks keeps her toes warm (and protects the floors).
After a few days she was already able to pull up and put weight on the cast.  She'll do whatever it takes to "share" some goldfish with her big sister.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stirring things up: Double Chocolate Brownies with Caramel Frosting

I've also found more time lately for cooking and baking, just in time for the holidays.  I love trying new recipes, and when I discover a good one, I always want to share.

Below is a recipe I made recently to share with some friends.  They were some of the best brownies I've ever eaten. The recipe came from The All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook (you can almost never go wrong with Southern Living, right?).  It's one of my favorite has great pictures and helpful tips for people like me who need lots of help.

Double Chocolate Brownies with Caramel Frosting

2 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
2 (1-ounce) squares semisweet baking chocolate
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans, divided
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
Caramel Frosting

Melt chocolate squares in microwave or double boiler, stirring occasionally until smooth.

Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.  Add melted chocolate, beating just until blended.

Add flour and salt, beating at low speed just until blended.  Stir in vanilla, 1/2 cup pecans, and 1/2 cup chocolate chips.  Spread batter into a greased and floured 13x9-inch pan.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pecans and 1/4 cup chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Spread evenly with Caramel Frosting.

Caramel Frosting

3/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
12 large marshmallows
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat.  Stir in sugar and remaining ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 234 degrees (soft ball stage).

Remove from heat.  Beat at high speed 5 to 7 minutes or until frosting thickens and begins to lose its gloss.  Frost brownies immediately.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Getting back on track (I hope)

Here we go again...

I am finding that life is getting a little easier these days now that Allie is almost a year old, and I occasionally have some free time. I'm hoping to catch back up with blogging again, if for no other reason that to update our families and share pictures.

Since I'm not good at keeping a scrapbook or even photo albums for my children to look back on, this is somehow my record of their early years. Therefore, I need to catch up from the last year or so. (I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I can't leave huge gaps in the would drive me crazy).

So, over the next few weeks, I hope to catch up on pictures and happenings from 2010 in hopes that I can start fresh in 2011 and stay current. That is, until life gets busy enough that this gets pushed to the back burner once again. (I'm not an optimist...)

So, here goes...