Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day! A step-by-step process of baking sugar cookies!

Valentine's Day holds a special place in my heart. Three years ago, Mike took me to the Austin Symphony on a fancy-smancy date! I had found out two days prior that I was pregnant and had kept it a secret for two days. Before we left for Austin, I gave him little onesies to share the good news with him. You can reminisce about it here.

Fast forward three years and we have a vibrant, busy little gal! So, this Valentine's Day we decided to make cookies for daddy. I had the cutest little helper in the world. Oh excuse me. Two little helpers if you count "beddy bear". We even had matching aprons! Yes, I have become one of "those" moms...but that's for another post.

Step 1: Mix all ingredients. Turn the mixer off and on and on low speed and on high speed and off and on and high speed. Make sure flour gets all over the floor. Check!
Step 2: Roll out the dough. Get more flour on the floor. Get flour on both of us. Sample some of the cookies. Check! Look mischievous? Yep, she's about to steal another bite.There was a LOT of clean-up to do after this baking extravaganza.
Step 3: Spread icing and sprinkles on the cookies. Get sprinkles all over the floor. Sample another bite. Spread a little icing. Eat a little icing. And repeat the entire process through a dozen cookies. Check!

And lounge like you are too-cool-for-school! Anyone ever need to lean back because their tummy is too full? Oh c'mon now. You know you've done it after eating at Chuy's or your grandmother's thanksgiving dinner or your mother-in-laws chicken enchiladas...oh wait, just me? oh well. Confession time!

Step 4: Sample again. "Mom, I need to sample." Check! So... Step 5: Eat an entire cookies. Check! Step 6: Sneak in another cookie while mom gets the plate out. Check!

Step 7: Go show daddy your cookies! And if you're under three years old, do not smile! Check!
Step 8: Keep trying to get your toddler to smile and quit staring at the plate full of cookies. If you have to, resort to showing your tonsils. Check!
Step 9: Sample another cookie. Check!
Step 10: Show everyone how cute you are with your matching aprons! Try to get your toddler to look at the camera and smile. Try to avoid her stares of "mom, what are you doing?" Check!
Step 11: Resort to putting up your 'spirit-fingers' to try get your toddler to smile. Check! Step 12: Show off your 29+week belly while your toddler finally smiles! Check!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

On another cooking note, my twin sista and I have started a cooking blog. You can check it out here! She has put most, uh hem...all, of the blogs together thus far. But i'll be quick to join into. Comment on her blog if you like it! I think it's fun but I may be biased!

Monday, February 7, 2011

My Super Bowl Date

Last year, we started a family tradition to watch the Super Bowl at home. Well, we had planned to go watch it with lots of friends but Bella got an ear infection so we stayed home. But we made a picnic on the floor and actually had a great time. I normally don't watch football because there are usually lots of other people around - and when that happens you just have to talk, right?!? But with Bella in bed and it only being Mike and I we were actually able to watch the game. And I liked it!

Fast forward to this year and we had the same tradition. Mike wasn't able to join us for the first little bit because one of our dear friends from our church in Milano passed away on Thursday and the viewing was tonight. That was certainly more important than the game anyways.

So, it was just us gals. Oh sorry little guy! And the little boy that is nice and cozy is his to-be-home for the next 3ish months. It was just us gals that were able to talk about the game. So, Bella and I got our traditional picnic attire out - complete with football game food. Carrots, cucumbers, cheese, avacodos and apples. (What? That's not what you had?)

Let me tell you. Watching the game with a two year old is an EXPERIENCE! It was hysterical. She would mimic everything I said over and over and over.

"Oh man!"


"Oh no!"

"Mommy, oh man!"

"Mommy, ouch!"

"Mommy, Whoa!"
"Mommy, oh no!"

The.Whole.Game! It really was actually pretty cute though. She came and sat in my lap and, while looking up at me, would say "Mommy! Ochown (read: Touchdown)" or "Mommy! Elmo?" or "Mommy! Ouch!". She actually sat down for a while in my lap and I was not moving. I'll take that cuddle time whenever it comes! Here's a cute pic of our little football player mimicing what she was seeing the players do on TV. (Because she mimics everything, we changed the station for all commercials.)

Here she is while saying "Ochdown!" She learned to throw her hands up by yours truly! Then she would usually follow it with lots of "woohoo!"
We then had a great time taking self portraits. I would tell her to come smile and she would "bonk" her head next to mine and laugh so hard when she would see the picture!

My sweet little football date!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

What we do when it's 16 degrees outside

It's FREEZING in Central Texas right now. And, i'm not complaining. I love the cold weather and the fact that it feels like winter time! (Remember, I would rather live in the mountains than the beach any day!) So, we've spent a lot of times inside. Early one morning this week Mike and I were up when the power went off at 5:30am. It didn't come back on until 7ish so Mike built a fire and lit lots of candles. Then we pow-wowwed in the living room to stay warm. I was a little dissapointed when the power came back on and I couldn't use the excuse of "my hair dryer and curling iron won't work" to prevent going into work. But the power kept going off and on at work so they sent us home at noon. Yeah, buddy!

While we've been couped up in the house (other than the once-a-day walk to get the mail and get some vitamin D outside-endorphins) we've done lots of inside playing and baking. Well, let me just show you a little of what we've done.

Bella has turned into the little helper. "I help?" she'll say. She likes to sit on the counter and help me cook or bake or clean up after dinner. Because cold weather needs to be accompanied with hot chocolate and cookies we decided to bake some this week. Ok, we may have baked them three times this week. But, as a disclaimer, we have given them away to people every time...uh hem, after we've tasted some of them.

She's a good little stirrer. Shortly after this next picture was taken we had a little "mishap" with the flour. It was "somehow" flung out of the bowl. Lots of it. That's ok though. These memories beat having to do a little clean up any day! She also helped put the dough on the baking sheet. But she got sneaky! I let her eat one tiny piece and told her we were going to wait until they were cooked to eat anymore. So, she would place a ball of dough on the sheet, pinch a little off (with her eye cocked towards me to see if I noticed), then say "uh oh" when some was "stuck" to her finger. She just had to eat that part too, right? I think she had an entire cookie just doing this. Where do they learn to be so mischevious?
The next morning Mike was getting ready to go to school. I had already packed his lunch and we were both getting ready for the day. "Where's Bella?" Mike went to go find her and found this. She loves cookies, people, and can find them anywhere! I think she ate them all out of his lunch box. And, it was 8am. Oh well. Breakfast of champions.
We also sing and smile and laugh. And we tickle. (It looks like I have a hold of her arm really tight! This was not a discipline time but a tickle time, I promise!)
We play with our ball. Sometimes we sit on it...And other times we throw it to whoever will catch it. Or won't catch it. Mike has been hit in the head a couple of times this week. Good thing it's soft!
We help daddy build a fire. This was right before bathtime. Otherwise, we typically don't let her run around the house with no pants on when it's 20 degrees outside. Ok, sometimes we do. Come on. You know you do too.
We are mischevious! She helped me open the mail this week and I received some samples of shampoo and conditioner. "Bella Grace, you know you're not allowed to open those." Here's the face that resulted! And this face.
And, this face.

I am very thankful this week for heat and warm food and the ability to pay for electricity. I know that we, as Americans, represent the priviledged in the world with these luxuries. So, I was reminded at how thankful I truly should be. I am also thankful for cold days and snow days and warm fires and snuggling with cookies and hot chocolate. Aww, winter! Thank you Lord! Stay warm everyone! And let me know if you want some cookies. We're getting pretty good at being a cookie-baking-team!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

27 month update

It seems like this month has brought LOTS of changes to sweet Bella. Hence, this will be a long update of what's been going on in the Smith household as of late.

1. She's GROWING so tall and I think every day I comment to Mike about how skinny her legs are getting. She's able to reach things I don't expect her to reach. For example, the water dispenser on the fridge. It squirted her and she cried and then laughed!

2. She likes her jack-in-the-box. She knows when it's about to pop out and will hold her hands to her chest like she's really scared. Then, she'll throw her head back and laugh! This keeps us busy right before bedtime for, oh about, 15 minutes. Over and over again. "again, mommy. again."

3. She LOVES to sing. And, sometimes this happens at 3am or 4am or both. And, blog friends, it's not "sing with your quiet voice". It's "make a joyful noise (read: LOUDLY) until the Lord" at 3am or 4 am or both. Notice her face in the next picture? Yep, she's serious!
Also, notice her pony tail. Hello preteen!
4. She likes to say "cheese" to anything that looks like a camera. My phone, a tupperware lid, a book...
5. She is still crazy about going outside. She could be having a full-out-tantrum and we'll mention the outside...instantly, it stops..."outide?"...and she goes for the door. It's COLD right now in Central Texas so we're bundling up to go get the mail. Her momma needs fresh air every day too, even if it is only to the mailbox.
6. She mimics everything we do. One of her favorite things to do is put on make-up and do her hair in the morning while i'm getting ready. I do have to say it's one of my favorite times too. She has her little step stool and will "pretend" to put on blush and powder and mascara. Most of the time i'll actually give her a little powder too. And, sometimes she'll get a hold of my bronzer. Yes, an orange-ready-for-the-beach toddler ensues.
I help. Blush, mommy?
7. Elmo still wins the day! Sesame Street is still in our daily routine. Here she is sitting in her baby doll's stroller with "Ber" and "Rny" (read: Bert and Ernie). (These were my childhood Bert and Ernie. Mom, are you crying yet?!) She is also a little nurturer to her baby doll. She hasn't had a baby doll yet so it was interesting to see how she responded to her. She loves playing with her "baby" and rocking her and feeding her and hugging her.
8. We had a crazy 70 degree day last Sunday so we were off to the park after her nap!

"Daddy, cmon. Cmon"

9. She is so busy these days that i'll take cuddle times whenever she'll give 'em! We were watching the Nightly News with Katie Couric and I was not moving to fix supper! As you can see, she is still enjoying her cheese.
10. She has started to play "pretend" alot. She'll pull out her animals to set the table for dinner or we'll hear her in her room talking away with them all. What an imagination!

11. She likes to make animal noises. Now, she’s added owls, elephants, tigers, bears (this one is adorable), giraffe (she sticks her neck out as far as she can),

12. She likes to put on her own shoes, over and over and over again.

13. “What’s that? hmm? Mommy? What’s that? Daddy? What’s that? Hmmmm?” is what we hear!

14. She is spending, uhhem, a little more time is time-out lately. We’ll tell her to come out when she’s happy. After a while of whining she’ll come back out and we’ll ask her if she’s happy. She’ll enthusiastically respond with “I happy”!

15. And, of course the giraffe pictures will round this post out! Little cutie-pie!
"I pretty" - yes, you are sweetie! Yes, you are.
Look at those curls!

Notice her sock over her tights? She likes to dress herself these days.