(Easter) Weekend Shenanigans

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Whew, what a great weekend! We enjoyed beautiful weather, got plenty of gardening done, and still had time left over to spend with friends on Sunday; it has become a tradition for us to visit our friends for their neighborhood Easter parade and egg hunt and this year did not disappoint. The boys (and I) were looking forward to it for weeks, and I was a little nervous that it was going to be cold, but viola! Beautiful warm weather, sunny skies, and all signs of illness gone from our house. Finally!DSC_0142DSC_0145DSC_0149DSC_0156DSC_0157DSC_0158DSC_0159DSC_0160DSC_0163

It was so healing to spend time together all day Saturday with no one under the weather. I am feeling so much better, gaining more energy every day and needing to rest a bit less every day. I’m getting there! The boys enjoyed an egg hunt in our back yard, played in the water, and helped with the veggie garden. Andrew added play sand to the sand box we dug out for them last year and Emil spent most of his afternoon playing and burying himself in the sand while singing sweetly to no one in particular. DSC_0034DSC_0027DSC_0036

A sweet package from Allison- made me laugh and feel so special. Thank you, sweet Allison!DSC_0005DSC_0117DSC_0133DSC_0170DSC_0098DSC_0101DSC_0171DSC_0172DSC_0176DSC_0179DSC_0184DSC_0191DSC_0197DSC_0202DSC_0207DSC_0209DSC_0212

It was a wonderful weekend. I hope yours was too!

Gone Girl Trailer

For all of you Gone Girl fans, the trailer just came out for the movie adaptation… will you see it? I always have mixed feelings about seeing the movie version of my favorite books; no matter how great the movie version is, it never seems to measure up to my mental images of the story as it moves forward. I guess that’s why I love reading so much?

It does look good, though, and I’ll probably see it anyway. Plenty of time to decide; the movie doesn’t come out until October 3rd.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Spring/Summer Color Palette

DSC_0012DSC_0009This spring, I’ve been very purposeful in my purchase of new clothing. I took a serious look at what I already had and decided to add pieces that were similar in color or tone and can be easily mixed and matched with pre-existing pieces. My color palette for this spring and summer? Cream and sand and a bit of brown…DSC_0011DSC_0004… along with blues and whites in various shades. Much of what is above was already in my closet. I added a couple of dresses: one tie-dyed white and blue long dress and one cream colored dolman-sleeve short dress. I also added a white shorts romper with buttons up the back that I think I’m going to live in this summer! DSC_0002I think having a color palette to fall back on over the next two months will make it so much easier to mix it up while keeping it simple. What colors or tones are you drawn to right now?

1000 Posts!

Lauren’s post today is her 1000th. When I saw she was near 1000 a few weeks ago, I started reading through the blog from the beginning. It is incredible to have this journal of our lives together over the past 6 years. In no particular order, here are some of my favorite posts (I tried to pick a top 10, but failed miserably…):

Birth Stories: Milo, Oliver, Emil

“Eye” Will Take No More

Hillbilly

Cut and Pasted

JUMP!

“Eye” Love You

Doo-Da!

Now for the A**-Wiping

Mustachio

Metamorphosis

Them’s Fightin’ Words…Er, Babbles

Empty Threats

Lost in Translation

Dirt

The Bite

That was a bad idea.

Creeps

Crawling (and Dancing) Back Out

Teamwork

Queen of Sneaky

Checking for Bad Guys

Oliver at Two Years, Two Months

Jewish

Fishy

Varmint Huntin’

Everything is a Penis

Rockin’ Out Yeah

A Bad Day

Creepy Things and Mean Things

Dear Dad,

Stitches

Hoppy Holidays

The Button

These Two

Under Water

Paris: The Latin Quarter & Le Marais

The Cabin, and a Bit About Friends (Part II)

A Slow Recovery

Oliver’s AM Words of Wisdom

Dress That Mama: Spring Whites

DSC_0106Lately shades of white have been really appealing to me. This spring I have invested in a few things to mix and match with what I already have to carry me through the summer. Everything so far is linen or cotton and breezy and light. It gets pretty hot here in St. Louis in the summer, so I know I’ll be reaching for lightweight skirts all through the summer. DSC_0102My thoughtful friend Ingrid (who has great style and great luck finding treasures) found this pair of Swedish Hasbeens in my size at a yard sale- lucky me! I think they will look great with all the white and light blue I’ve been stocking up on, and I appreciate a fun pop of color!

P.s.- Find Swedish Hasbeens clogs here!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

DSC_0001Even though we are nowhere near the pumpkin-fest that is fall, I decided to make pumpkin whoopie pies with maple-cream cheese filling after a search through our pantry lead me to put two-and-two together. I was itching to bake something; we had all the ingredients. An hour later: perfection in a cookie. I plan to make these again… and long before October rolls around!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 cups pureed pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine top 8 dry ingredients with a whisk. In a separate mixing bowl, cream together sugars and oil, then add eggs one at a time. Add pumpkin puree, then vanilla, and mix until smooth.

Gradually add spoonfuls of the dry mixture until incorporated. Drop cookie dough onto cookie sheets (use parchment paper or a silpat) in heaping spoonfuls, then press the middle down to make them nice and flat disks (otherwise they will puff up and be too dome-like for filling and stacking).

Bake 10 – 12 minutes, then allow to cool completely before transferring to wire rack.

Once the cookies are cool, make the frosting. Beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add maple syrup and vanilla and continue mixing. Carefully add the powdered sugar and whip together until incorporated.

Spread a heaping tablespoon of frosting onto the bottom of one cookie, match it up with a cookie about the same size, and gently squeeze together. Continue until all cookies are matched up, and eat the extras by dipping them into the leftover frosting, of course. And voila! Pumpkin Whoopie Pie magic! Enjoy!

P.s.- Recipe adapted slightly from this one

Weekend Shenanigans

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Spring! This weekend was full of the spring frenzy that accompanies warm weather. Though it rained on and off on Sunday, Saturday was a productive day. We managed an early morning out to breakfast and afterwards Andrew worked all day on replacing the garden fence that had been chewed through many times over by some hungry neighborhood rabbits over the past year. He replaced it with a stronger metal fencing this time that will surely hold up but did a number on him; he is all scratched up, poor guy! I joined in with some light yard work but was in tears (frustration, not pain) by the afternoon at how little I could do and how much I wanted and felt pulled to do. All the heavy pulling, lifting, heaving, dragging, etc. is still too much, but I managed to rake a lot of leaves out of the garden beds and shovel a bit of compost. Not much, but soon I will be there, doing the heavy lifting again. It’s infuriating, seriously! I miss being physical.

The good news? I am back to fightin’ weight thanks to that ice cream and all the good food our friends and neighbors have dropped off over the past month… Kim alone stocked us full of baked goods during that entire period! DSC_0016DSC_0019DSC_0041DSC_0045DSC_0055DSC_0062DSC_0085DSC_0090

Milo is proving to be quite the helper. He pulled staples out with pliers right alongside Andrew for a good part of the day on Saturday. It was great to have an extra pair of hands and he really enjoyed using real tools. DSC_0093Our garden will be coming along in no time- we are testing the soil, adding more compost and top soil, then building some raised beds for our carrots and beets. So ready to get those fresh veggies going again. Happy Monday!

Happy Friday (Really)!

DSC_0008On Wednesday we had our last crap-hurrah, the black sludge frosting on top of our poo-cake of a month. I opened my eyes to a migraine, the early morning sunlight displaced by the watery effect I get as a visual disturbance before the full-fledged migraine sets in. I hurried to race the clock, to take the prescription in time before it hit full force- a setting I haven’t seen in months, but know from experience has me on my hands and knees begging for its end, begging to be able to open my eyes and unplug my ears enough to live a normal day. I got it in time, spared and feeling lucky with the hangover effect that goes with the near miss of a medicated migraine.

Wanting desperately to see my dear friend Kim (who always makes me smile, always makes me feel better somehow), I packed up Emil in his car seat and we headed out early, driving toward the Museum of Transportation, a place we have yet to visit but I keep hearing great things about. Halfway there, Emil whined and made the tell-tale gurgling sound. I looked in my rear-view mirror just in time to see the vomit spew forth. The crap cake is frosted.

Car turned around, I reassured Emil, who kept crying, “I sticky, Mama! Need a wipe! Mamaaaaaaaa!” Absolutely covered in vomit and tears and a good 15 minute drive away from home, Emil made the saddest face I’ve ever seen. He really wanted to see his friend Hugo. After a mess of a dismount from his carseat, I stripped him down right there on the street in front of our house, sending him running to the house in (peed-in) underwear as I lugged his disgusting car seat up the steps and onto our front porch for further assessment and a good deep cleaning (later, later).

After a warm bath and some clean jammies, I put him to bed, cleaned the car seat, them climbed into my own bed, hands stinking of throw-up despite washing them twice. I pulled the pillow over my head and fell asleep.

And then, just as gloriously horrible as it all started, it was over. On Thursday morning, we all woke up refreshed and new. I opened every window that isn’t painted shut in our entire house and we let the cool spring air blow out all the candles on that piece of shit cake of a month. The air warmed up and as the day wore on, the house smelled of sweet fresh spring instead of stale sickness. We spent the entire day outside, save for an hour-long nap in the middle of the day. Everyone is on the mend. We are pulling through and grateful for it. We have big plans for our garden this weekend, and not one thing else. DSC_0012Yesterday, Oliver carried this poor little white-throated sparrow into the house, its limp body still warm and fluffy. No one knows the purpose for his demise, but we felt so sad that he would not fill our back yard with his beautiful tune- a sound we only hear in the earliest bits of spring before this particular bird flies back up to Canada for the summer. Yesterday, Emil and I buried him in the flower garden with some of our spring blooms and as I gently covered him with earth, Emil said, “Night night, bird.”

Good night sweet sparrow, and good riddance crappy month.

Montessori-Inspired

DSC_0007DSC_0008DSC_0011Lately we have backslid into too much screen time. We have all been sick and recovering from surgery and exhausted and just trying to make it through each day. Milo, Oliver, and Emil keep passing illnesses back and forth, and Milo has barely eaten anything since Saturday. Their little bodies fight hard and they are doing better every day, but man is it rough.

Yesterday I let Milo watch one little show on our iPad, then encouraged him to choose an activity he could do while lying down (poor kid just has no energy). He chose lacing cards, and I got a few shots of him before I joined him; I remember doing this as a little girl! One thing this whole fiasco has done is give us more time together. DSC_0019DSC_0026DSC_0030DSC_0032DSC_0035He snuggles up next to me and talks about all sorts of things, mostly facts about animals and stories from his days in school. Having his little feverish body close to mine reminds me of his infancy, when I used to nap with him in the afternoons in the big bed in the front bedroom of our rented Baltimore row house. It seems like yesterday, really.

The beauty of lacing is two-fold, I think. The task itself prepares for more complex sewing and is quite good for fine motor skills. But more than that, it is an activity much like coloring- I always get the most thoughtful chatter from my boys when they are engaged in a rote activity that keeps their hands busy. Ask them anything straight-on, and it’s a different story. But do something with them, and it’s marvelous how much they open up.

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Have a beautiful day.