Thursday, May 31, 2012

First Swimming Lessons

A few weeks ago Abigail finished her first session of swimming lessons. She did great! She had no problems going under the water and completing what the teacher asked of her. Will she do it now with just us in a pool? Well she hasn't yet!!

I tried to sign her up for the next session but they were full and we were put on a waiting list. Haven't heard anything so I'm not hopeful that we'll get in. Hopefully we can find more soon because I don't want her to lose what she has learned!

So proud of my little girl for passing her first swimming lesson class!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Baby Boy Growing Up

Noah turned one at the beginning of this month. Andrew took Noah's official one-year pictures a few weeks later in our back yard. They turned out so good. I will just share a few with you!

In other Noah news, he had his doctor's check up earlier this month and is a very healthy baby boy. He is around 50% for all his measurements so that's great. He seems big to me but I suppose it is all relative. He is starting to be a little more consistent with sleeping through the night. He will sleep through the night several times a week (by that I mean not wake me up and since his bedtime is at 7 pm he will sleep from 7pm until around 7 am sometimes later). Otherwise he just gets me up once a night to nurse and that's fine with me!

I did notice today that he's starting to get his canine teeth. This boy is the earliest teether I've ever had. The girls didn't get those until 18 months old or older so I was surprised to find one on my 12 month boy.

He is such a joy. He is very physical and into climbing anything he can, walking everywhere, playing with balls and cars. He does love his sisters, sweet boy that he is. We were just playing in his room today when he heard their voices and he "talked" to them and headed towards the door to go find them.

My heart is so full with all these sweet babies. I'm making sure to savor every fleeting precious moment!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Noah's Birthday Cupcakes

For my babies' first birthdays I attempt to not include much, if any, sugar in their cakes. I've gotten a little more relaxed about this over the years so this frosting does have a little sugar in it but the cupcakes do not. I have used honey sweetened cream cheese frosting before and I'd probably do that again if I were to make these again. I chose not to do it this time because I didn't know how well I could decorate with the honey sweetened cream cheese frosting but I will experiment sometime!! These were yummy and easy to make!


Original link:

Maple Cupcakes

for the maple cupcakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, slightly softened,cut into chunks
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, at room temperature
2 cups pure maple syrup (I use grade B to bake with but any grade will suffice)
3 egg yolks
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
for the cream cheese maple frosting
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Whole toasted walnuts (optional)
Baked Note: Do not, I repeat, do not use imitation maple syrup in this recipe. Actually, avoid imitation maple syrup at all times. It is usually composed of corn syrup and food coloring and, sadly, contains very little, if any, real maple syrup. In short, it’s hard to think of a more disingenuous grocery store product.
make the maple cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening until ribbonlike. Turn the mixer to low and stream in the maple syrup. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is nearly uniform in color, about 3 minutes.
Add the egg yolks and egg, one at a time, and beat until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated. Stream in the milk. Stop the mixer, add the rest of the flour, then turn the mixer on until just combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and fold in the walnuts.
Fill the prepared cupcake pan about three-quarters full. Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Note: These cupcakes take longer to bake than traditional cupcakes due to the maple syrup.
Allow the cupcakes to cool for 15 minutes in the cupcake pan, then turn them out onto wire racks to cool completely.
make the cream cheese maple frosting
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter until it is completely smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined.
Add the sugar and the maple syrup and beat until smooth. Be careful not to overbeat the frosting or it will lose structure. (At this point, if you want to, you can tightly cover the frosting and refrigerate it for a day. Let it soften at room temperature before using.)
assemble the cupcakes
There are many ways to frost a cupcake. If you have a pastry bag, simply fit with the largest tip, fill the bag with frosting, and pipe enough to cover the cupcake in a big mound. If you do not have a pastry bag, use an ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to scoop the frosting and dispense it onto the top of the cupcake. You can also use an offset spatula to frost the cupcakes. Top with whole toasted walnuts.
Refrigerate any leftover cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Bring cupcakes to room temperature before serving.

Friday, May 25, 2012

9 years . . .


Happy Anniversary to Andrew. 9 years ago was our wonderful music filled day!

Thanks for choosing to love me each and every day, darling!!

To celebrate our plans include trying a place we've wanted to visit for quite some time, Terry's Turf Club (not fancy but should be yummy!), known for their burgers. Since the 9th anniversary is traditionally pottery, we are going to go to a pottery place after dinner and pick out some pieces of pottery to paint. Sounds like fun to me!!

Sadly, I can't find a lot of our digital pictures from that day. Andrew is going to look around and some of our backed up files tonight. I did find the wedding video today and I will make Andrew watch it even though he doesn't like to see himself cry. Abigail watched it with me today and said, "Deedo (her nickname for daddy) is crying because he doesn't want to marry you." Hahahahahahaha!!!

Picture of Jennie Schechter removed upon request. :(

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

This is what I wanted for Mother's Day. . . photos with my precious children!

I love them more than I can say!!

Happy Mother's Day to all!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Noah is 1

My baby boy is 1 year old (yesterday, actually). I simply cannot believe it!! Part of me never thought I would survive this year with 3 kids 3 and under but I did. It is getting easier, in a way, except Noah is so very physical. He is into everything, climbing things you think can't be climbed, and always pushing the limits! I'm so thankful for his precious life. I'm thankful that I took the advice of good friends and family and really took a lot of time to slow down this past year and just spend time enjoying my kids. I really feel like I did that and I am so glad . . . I'm just bummed that it didn't really seem to slow the year down any. Just flew by!

Dear Noah, I'm writing this to you on your first birthday. You are such a sweet precious little boy. Your daddy, sisters and I love you so much. You are one loved on little guy. You are so friendly and content most of the time. A true joy to be around. You have an adventurous spirit that will help you in life, especially with two older sisters! I can't wait to see what fun adventures you will bring to this next year of life!!

I love you!


Saturday, May 05, 2012

Birthday and week recap!

We had a pretty uneventful week. Just the usual kids activities, cleaning cooking, except . . . I turned 30! Andrew had a lovely night planned on Tuesday. He invited a bunch of my friends to a pottery place close by and we all painted a piece of pottery and chatted. It was so much fun. Andrew had bought and set up snacks there and paid some of the fees associated with doing the pottery. He also asked his sister to make cupcakes (ha!), which were very yummy! It was a very fun time and so sweet of him to plan that for me.

On Thursday, my actual birthday, he took me out to the Melting Pot for some delicious fondue. I love eating here because it isn't just a plate of food delivered to your table but a whole long process of eating slowly and having time to talk and connect, not something we do often. It took us two hours but it was worth ever single minute. A wonderful birthday memory for me.

Then today Andrew and I headed down to the Playhouse in the Park for Thunder Knocking on the Door, a rock-musical of sorts. It was a very good show and we had fun getting out again.

This week will be spent preparing for Noah's party on Friday. Can't believe he's almost a year. More on that later, I'm sure!!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Elsie's Song Mashup

Sorry you have to listen to my singing but I think it is funny how Elsie prefers her music, all mashed up! Enjoy!