Friday, March 29, 2013

Photo Shoot

Even though we don't celebrate Easter in a religious context, I love the idea of the Easter holiday as a celebration of spring and new beginnings.  When Kiki was here a few weeks ago, we found these ridiculously cute suits at Target for the boys and figured this would be the perfect occasion for them.  We tried to get them to wear the suits when Kiki was here but we made the mistake of waiting until the night before she left, right before dinner.  Suffice it to say, it was a no-go.  Amy brought Reid and Camilla over first thing this morning (first thing with a newborn being 10:30 am), we bribed them with jelly bellies and tried again.  I love having my Fridays off.  I don't know if I could ever give up my Fridays off.

Anyway, Norah was more than happy to oblige and wore her own Easter finest.  

These two are hilarious together.  In the past few weeks (knock on wood) they have gone from having a knock down drag out every 30 seconds to actually playing with each other.  I hope it lasts.

Unfortunately the suits weren't a great fit.  Lou's was way too big all around and Reid's pants were far too long.  Reid's outfit also had a bow tie, but we figured we were already pushing it.  I still think they looked adorable.  When Norah saw Reid she said, "You are so handsome, I want to marry you.  But, I won't marry you because if you marry your cousin you go to jail.  I don't want to go to jail."  I have no idea who told her this.  My money is on Bubby.

This might be my new favorite picture of Lou.  I think he had just swiped a jelly belly from Reid.

Always a delight.

I like the American Gothic feel of this one.

Norah's hair is losing some of its intense curliness and is slowly morphing into just being really wavy.  Her hair is currently a nightmare.  It's a battle to comb and she hates having it washed so much that I have taken to doing it maybe once a week.  When do kids learn how to wash their own hair?  I hope it's at 4 years, 10 months old.  

Lou had just gotten busted for something.

Amy wanted to try and get some shots of Camilla for her birth announcements.  I think there were some decent ones.  She was a trooper.  Later when I was changing her diaper she peed all over my bed and shot poop across the room.  I still like her.

I am not sure what we did before the ipad.  It allowed us a full 20 minutes to actually pay attention to Camilla.

Amy wanted to get at least one good shot of Camilla and Reid together.  He made it about as easy as you would imagine a two year old would.  There might have been more jelly bellies involved.  And maybe a time out.

Camilla got a costume change and Norah demanded some photos of the two of them together.

She's a sweet bunny, for sure.

Happy spring!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Snips and Clips

A round up of the last couple of weeks:

Lou's favorite color by far is purple.  He demands the purple plate at dinner, points out the color any chance he gets, and goes nuts when I wear my purple shirt to work.  So, of course, Norah desperately wanted to get him a purple shirt for his birthday.  It was really sweet and we searched high and low (and online) but no one makes a solid purple shirt for a toddler boy.  And so we got him a "girl" shirt.  It has darts in the front and capped sleeves and he looks adorable in it.

Norah got to meet Camilla when she was still in the hospital, which was the highlight of her life.

 A few weeks ago, Norah woke up in the middle of the night in hysterics.  She said it was because she thought the baby would be born and no one would pay any attention to her.  Totally weird, especially given the fact that she's never had even a moment of discord about her own brother.  Maybe because this baby is a girl?  I don't know.  Whatever it was it passed quickly and ever since Camilla arrived it has only been a great big love fest.

Louie did not get to go to the hospital (for the protection of all in the hospital), so he got to meet Camilla the afternoon she got home.  He was really into her and laughed and wanted to hold her feet.  Then he had a melt down about not getting to play with Reid's brand new garbage truck and we had to leave 10 minutes after arriving.

Lou's car seat got flipped forward the week before his birthday.  He loves facing forward and it's really nice to have him that way.  It's so much easier to count the school buses that go by.

Having a newborn around sure makes you realize how gigantic your toddler really is.

Lou goes to time out every day at school.  Usually it's because he's pushed someone, sometimes it's for hitting.  He just can't seem to deal when another kid gets in his space or wants something he has or had anytime in the preceding 10 minutes.  It is developmentally normal and I have been assured he's not getting kicked out but it is still frustrating and disconcerting.  It's terrible to be the parent of the hitter.

Norah does a lot of mediating between these two.  She eats it up.

She is very into putting together outfits for school.

Camilla is such a cute baby and, so far, seems super mellow.  I am sure her parents might disagree at 3:00 am, but in my world she is just about perfect.

Norah is going through a growth spurt.  She is eating like she's never eaten before and has finally cracked the elusive 40 lb mark.  This past week she's had some weird stuff going on with her belly and urinary system, but I am hoping it's just because her body is just not used to seeing all that food.

Kiki was in town to meet Camilla.

Lou is obsessed with the old Michael Jackson song "Beat It." I really need to get a video of him dancing to it.

See?  True love.

Norah got this cowboy hat from GG a few years ago and right now it fits Lou perfectly.  Sometimes he naps with it on.

The weather is so nice right now.  Mid 70's with a great breeze.  Since daylight savings we have been playing outside every night after dinner, mostly in the front with the sand table.  Soon there will be no more sand table play because Lou either dumps the sand in the grass or flings it into the air by the fistful.  I refuse to buy more cancer-free sand until he knocks it off.

Perfect apple eating weather.  It won't last.  All this week it is supposed to be mid to high 80's.  Yuck.

Norah drew this picture of me and BVZ.  He's picking me a flower.  My favorite part is his hair.

Kids table at breakfast.

Norah could not go to school on Friday because of the aforementioned stomach and bladder problems.  We were home bound so we made popcorn and watched Wreck-it-Ralph.  Twice.

Norah's latest and greatest triumph is that she can finally pump her legs on the swing.  She needs no help in getting on, swinging, and getting off.  This is particularly remarkable given the fact that she is the kid who won't try anything.  She is going to be seventeen and still using training wheels.

Just seems like such a big kid here.

 A big kid with cherry red toenails.

I always figured the best part of having two kids would be their ability to entertain each other and that is finally starting to come into fruition.  This morning I was making something to take to a friend who just had a baby and they played ballet school/day care in my bathroom for an HOUR.

Then Lou came out and grabbed a hot cookie sheet with his bare hand.  Norah got him a bag of ice and then insisted he sit on her lap until he felt better.  What a gal.

This kid is too cute.  I love having a baby around that I don't have to feed and don't ever see at 3:00 am.  LOVE.

Gluten Free Goldfish Crackers

My kids love crackers.  I mean, I know most kids love crackers, but these kids LOVE crackers.  Especially Lou.  That dude would eat crackers all day long if I let him.  Sometimes I am tempted to let him.  He still kind of sucks in that general realm of 'eat healthy foods to keep yourself alive' category.

Anyway, gluten free crackers are problematic because 1) they are freaking expensive, and 2) most are made primarily with rice flour which has basically zero nutritional value (and there's that whole pesky problem of the rice crop in this country having a high arsenic content.  I mean, c'mon.).  I have been wanting to make my own for a while now, and while my intentions are good, I am busy.  And oh yes, really tired.

I had tucked away a recipe from forever ago for homemade goldfish crackers (because it was simple), but of course it was made with flour.  Then I found a little something that has changed the whole gluten free game:

Bob's Red Mill, All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour.  For the most part, you use it interchangeably with regular all purpose flour, and the measurements stay the same (ie, recipe calls for a cup of flour, use a cup of this stuff).  I have used it in cookies, cupcakes, and a few other things with great results.  It is made from garbanzo flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, sorghum flour and fava flour.  It's definitely more expensive than regular flour, but it has made life around here a lot easier.

So, goldfish cracker.  Throw the following in your food processor:

1 cup GF flour
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pulse all of that together until it looks like coarse sand.  Then pulse in tablespoons of cold water until you get to the right consistency (takes me about 2.5 teaspoons to get it right).  Then scrape out the dough, roll it into a nice ball, and wrap it in plastic wrap.  Chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

After chilling, roll it out on a cutting board.  Use the GF flour in the same way you would regular flour, to dust the cutting board and rolling pin (just take a deep breath and don't think about how much each pinch of that flour actually costs...)

We do not have a goldfish cookie cutter and I wanted to make them a little bigger than bite sized.  Again, the time factor.  So I let Norah pick out which small cutter she wanted to use and she picked the star.  

Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper and load it up.  The dough does not expand very much as it cooks so you can put them pretty close together.  Bake at 350 degrees for about eight minutes (but ovens vary, so just keep an eye on them).  

The ones that were cut a little thicker ended up being slightly chewier, which was the preferred consistency of both the kids and myself (I think I ate 17 of them).  They got two very enthusiastic thumbs up from everyone who tried them.  The next time we did hearts and I think we will do flowers next.

It is not exactly a healthy snack but it is a good alternative to keep in mind.