Friday, March 19, 2010

The "First Birthday" Bash

In the weeks before her birthday, Ansley really seemed to grow up in preparation for turning one. She is trying to talk, and says "Hi" to everyone in person, or as soon as she hears the phone ring. She can gently (sort of) turn pages of a book, and her sense of humor and personality are really coming out. It's so fun to watch her grow.

She was hesitant about the whole cake thing, and needed some coaxing...

She finally felt it was safe to try for herself. And once she got past the sickeningly sweet and gooey cream cheese frosting, she really enjoyed the (healthier) carrot cake. I guess she doesn't take after her mom who adores sickeningly sweet frosting. Good for her.

She dug in and managed to make a bit of a mess with the cake, but Ans was way more excited to play with the balloons afterwards.

....we came up with a few token gifts. I made her the bold, flower headband.

Tessa helped make a Mod Podge & paper covered rattle of sorts (that was a hit), and Tom came back from his little trip to UT with some cougar-gear.

I put together this felt dot-garland, and Tessa and Tyler made the curly-cue, hanging it felt like a party, albeit a simple one.

Gotta love birthdays, especially the first ones.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Yea for Green!

If you are looking for a way to "go green" this St. Patrick's Day, you should try a green smoothie. They are the best.

I stole the idea (and this picture) from my friend's blog last year...thanks, JM!! And we make these ALL the time.

These are her instructions:
1. Put around 1 cup cold water and 3/4 cup orange juice in your blender.
2. Add one carrot and three big handfuls of dark green leafy vegetables: spinach, kale, collard greens.
3. Blend.
4. Add a fresh or frozen banana and a few handfuls of frozen berries.
5. Add a dash of cinnamon, 1/4 cup wheat germ, and some flax seeds (optional, I don't always add these)
6. Blend all together and drink up!

Everyone loves these in my house, even one particular child that thinks he doesn't like spinach (my smoothie "green" of choice) at the moment. Aren't blenders wonderful? It is much easier to down the quantities of veg you need in a day, when they are pureed in a glass. Mixing them with OJ & berries doesn't hurt either.

I must have gone too heavy on the blueberries in this batch below...their potent color begins to overpower the green. Do you like Eden's smoothie-stache?

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Full circle

On Friday nights I make pizza and we all watch a movie together. It's a fun tradition. Last Friday Tom was out of town, but we went on without him. My three big kids were settled in watching their show of choice, while I finished patting the pizza dough into the pans. That's a job I cannot do one-handed, so I brought a fussy Ansley in to those same big kids who are big enough to tend their baby sis. Even Eden is capable of lugging and tending Ans when she wants to.

But as is typical, all three were glued to the screen and their feeble attempts to entertain and distract Ansley were in vain. Soon she crawled back to me and was clinging to my knees. What is wrong with this picture?, I wondered.

Then I had a flashback...back to twenty-some years ago. I could see myself, with my sisters, sitting in front of a TV as we watched Wheel of Fortune, or The Cosby Show, or some other riveting progam.

My mom would call from the kitchen, "can someone watch the baby?" When no one responded, the baby would be brought to us TV-watchers...but again, babies can tell when they are second-priority to a television screen. Soon my baby brother would find his way back to his mama, the only truly loyal caretaker; one who would actually stop what she was doing to pay attention to him.

I guess I can't be too hard on my own children for this one. I remember what it was like.

And what really made this particular occurrence feel like deja vu, was the fact that my kids were watching something I could have been watching back in my childhood...old episodes of The Brady Bunch on DVD! Some things never change--like how captivated kids are by quality television programs.

But it's not like this is an isolated event at our house. It happens frequently, and I remember the same thing happening when Eden was a baby, too.

Here she is at 14 months assuming the position--"Mom, everyone else is ignoring me. So don't just stand there cooking in your Denver Broncos apron...hold me!"

Seriously though, these little incidents are good for me. I need to remember that kids are just kids. I can't expect them to be perfect. Apparently I was selfish and inconsiderate on occasion as a kid (still happens:)...and it's reasonable to assume they will be as well, from time to time.

But even still, sometimes I expect my kids to be above such traits. I want them to be better than me! And often times, they are. That's what I've got to remember. They are great little people; and they definitely take their turn baby-sitting. I cannot complain.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Happy Birthday, dear Ansley

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What she's into...

...besides eating...

Climbing stairs

Unloading silverware

Clapping and waving, even while she is holding silverware. Very dangerous, I know--don't turn me in!

Standing and trying to balance, as she prepares to walk one day

She is also crazy about her sisters and brother. The first thing she does when I get her out of her crib, is look around me, in search of them. She sure tries to say their names, too. "E-duh" is the most recognizable one.

I had to include this classic in the matching Christmas jammies.

Ansley leads a simple life, but she seems happy with it!