Saturday, February 26, 2011

Go, Dog. Go!

Reading stories is part of our bedtime routine. Usually, Gracie picks out 3 books for us to read to her each night. Sometimes she wants us to help her choose the books and after I make a suggestion she usually says, "no, not that one". Humph! She also tries to pick out more than 3 books depending on how successful she is at stalling bedtime. Little stinker.

Gracie does really well during story time. She sits still and listens and asks questions. For the past several months when I read a story to her I'll pause and she'll fill in the blanks with the correct word or phrase. So cute! To our amazement, just the other night, she said SHE wanted to read "Go, Dog. Go!" to us and SHE DID! Our little smarty pants has memorized the story and actually "read" it to us. We could not have been more proud of her!!! It's obvious that she loves books and I think she's on her way to becoming a great reader!

Here's a video of her "reading" - the book is "Go, Dog. Go!". The 1st time she read it to us the other night she was very focused and serious about reading the story. However, in this video, she knew I was filming her and she was definitely being a little silly. Todd says it's not her best read but it's still really cute!

Thank you Ashlee for giving her this book - I will forever cherish it as the 1st book she read out loud.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Clemyjontri Park

With a sneak preview of spring weather last Friday we ventured out to our favorite park - along with almost everyone else in Northern Virginia. We had so much fun on Friday, despite the crowd, that we wanted to go back over the weekend so Todd could enjoy it with us. We all had a blast!

1st Swing

1st Slide

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy Napper!

When Delaney wakes up in the morning or from a nap she either cries or "talks" but always keeps her eyes on the door waiting for us to come get her. When we make eye contact with her she flashes the biggest smile and just squeals with excitement. This is one of my most favorite moments during the day. I look forward to seeing those big blue eyes sparkle, seeing that gummy smile, and hearing that sweet squeal each and every time. Oh, how I love this girl.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Let's Face It...

She's just too cute!

The chewing on her fingers face.

The squealy face.

The Popeye face.

The kiss those cheeks face.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Airing our Dirty Laundry

So contrary to what Todd believes -
there is NO such thing as The Laundry Fairy,
unless he wants me to start wearing wings.

So I ask you, is having your child sort the laundry -
child labor or a learning opportunity???

I vote that it's a learning opportunity. At least for now.

Gracie loves to sort. I mean, she REALLY loves to sort.
She sorts anything that can be sorted.
M&Ms, crayons, candles, diapers, coins, etc.

So when our closet floor was
overflowing with laundry.
I asked my expert sorter to help me.
Gracie was thrilled...she loved sorting the color piles.
And I, of course, loved her help.
Now...if I could just teach her to fold.

Here's a video of us keeping it real.
Life isn't always smiling faces, cute stories,
and a kept house.
We have our share of dirty laundry too!

*This video is kinda boring but kinda cute*
I also want to have it for later when Gracie tells me
she doesn't know how to separate her laundry.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ohuh! I give up.

This little silly goose really cracks me up. Just after she rolled over for the first time, she started to drop her head down when I would put her on her belly as if it was just too hard for her to even try to roll over. I couldn't stop laughing and she would keep doing it. I'm so glad I got a few seconds of video of her dropping her head down because she hasn't been doing it anymore. Now she just rolls right on over...I guess she's an expert roller now and doesn't feel so overwhelmed! I'm so proud of her for accomplishing and mastering this milestone but sad to see that my baby is growing up too quickly!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I think Todd was a little disappointed when I initially posted this video and didn't give him props or credit on the blog for taking this cute video of Gracie making Delaney laugh!

So...Todd - I love that you caught this adorable interaction of our girls laughing! Thank you for being a such a great Daddy!!!
I love you!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

To nap or not to nap?

Nap time has definitely been an issue, or non-issue depending on how you look at it, around here for the last few months. I think Gracie still needs a nap but she doesn't agree; or should I say...pretty much insists that she does not want a nap. I echo my friend Katie's statement; in that, I wish someone would insist that I nap and offer me the uninterrupted time to take one a day.

Most days Gracie really is fine without one and goes to bed easily between 7 -8 pm. Then other days she just crashes usually because we've had a busy day or if she's exhausted from not napping several days in a row. The late naps, around 3:30 or 4 pm, are tough for me because that then means she's awake until 9:30 or 10 pm. On those particular days she definitely needed a nap (I just wish earlier in the day) and I don't have the heart to keep her awake or to make her wake up...I know how much I need and enjoy my sleep when I'm that tired. The plus side for days with late naps and late bedtimes means she gets to play with Todd after he gets home from work...and they both love that time together!

Now if I would have posted this awhile back, I would have asked for suggestions on how to get your toddler and preschool children to continue napping. I can't lie, I am envious of those of you with children who are blessed with the gift of napping and all night sleep. However, I've changed my perspective and, thus my approach. I'm resolving to accept that this is just who Gracie is when it comes to not napping, who Delaney is when it comes to not sleeping through the night, who I am, and that this is just how our daily life works. And quite honestly...we're happy! I always want the best for my children and family but that also means that I'm assuming that everyone else is doing it better and that their grass is greener. I am reminding myself daily that what I am doing IS what's best for us and that our life, our situation, our circumstances are OURs not someone else's. What might work for y'all may or, more than likely, may not work for me/us.

Yep, I guess I needed to write all that, not that you necessarily needed to read it, but this blog is mine. I, of course, use it to share pics and stories of our family but I also use it to journal our life - a sort of therapy for myself! Enough said...on to the pics - probably the real reason most of you check in on us.

Crashed one afternoon.

After a nap.
She's a great napper and is getting to be a better
nighttime sleeper with longer stretches between feeds!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sassy's Back

It seems like it wasn't that long ago that Gracie was jumping in this thing and now baby sister is in it!

I put the sassy seat jumper in our bathroom doorway a few weeks ago (yep, still behind on posting our pics). Delaney seems to like least for a few minutes or just long enough for me to put on my make-up.

She's getting so big!

(almost 5 months old in these pics above)

Gracie at exactly 4 months old.

Playing with Flour & Chicken Marsala Recipe

While I was making Chicken Marsala (see recipe below) one night for dinner - it's one of our favorites and usually a weekly meal - I let Gracie play with a cake pan full of flour. She had a blast making designs in the flour with her fingers. Next time, when I'm not busy cooking dinner, I'll use a cookie sheet and sit down with her to teach her how to write letters, make shapes, and numbers. It's such a fun way to play and learn. After each design you can shake the sheet, like an etchasketch, to start over.

Chicken Marsala - Recipe from Craig James (Todd's friend)


  • 2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ - 1 cup flour (depending on #s of chicken)
  • Salt and Pepper (1/2 – 1 tsp each)
  • ¼ - ½ cup Olive Oil
  • 1-2 shallots
  • 1 large or 2 small onions
  • 1 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1-2 Tbsp. butter
  • ¼ - ½ bottle Marsala Cooking Wine


1. Pound out chicken breasts until thin, season with salt and pepper

2. Dredge chicken in flour until coated

3. Saut̩ chicken in olive oil Рmake sure pan is hot and cook until golden brown on each side.

4. Chicken does not have to be cooked all the way through – hold chicken on a plate

5. Reduce heat to medium – add shallots and onions. Add more touch of olive oil if needed. Cook until onions are translucent on the edges.

6. Add mushrooms and butter, cover for 5 minutes (stir occasionally) until mushrooms begin to weep.

7. Deglaze pan with marsala wine. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen the fond.

8. Add chicken breasts and any juice from the plate.

9. Add more marsala wine to just slightly cover the chicken breasts.

10. Cover and cook 3-5 minutes.

11. Remove cover, increase heat to high and reduce wine down until sauce forms.

12. Season accordingly.

13.Serve by itself or over rice, egg noodles, or angel hair pasta.

We love this recipe and hope you will too.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Frog Hat

I went to my 1st Boutique Warehouse Sale a few weeks ago. My friend and neighbor, Rachel, invited me to go with her and we both had no idea what to expect. The sale was held at the George Washington Masonic Temple from 9-4. We stopped for breakfast at Starbucks - have you tried their egg sandwiches...if not, you should - they're so good!!! But that's where we made a the time we got to the temple - at 9:10 - there was already a LONG line to get in...who knew? Not us! SO we waited an hour to shop but had a great time chatting in line and wondering what we would find inside!

We found a few good deals. I got a Simpatico #42 Reed Diffuser for half off. It smells so clean and fresh...I love it and want to get another one for our upstairs! I wish you could come smell my house! I also got a handknit fuscha shrug (this pic) and an adorable frog hat (see the cuteness below).

Rachel and I decided we'd definitely go back next time - we'll just have to get our Starbucks a little earlier and definitely to go.

Delaney modeling the frog hat!


Our Valentine's Day was filled with lots of love and we hope yours was too!

The girls and I did a little shopping - I got them adorable matching shirts and jeggings!

Gracie picked out her own Valentine's gift at Target - a Little People Barn. I guess I'll have to keep saving Candyland and Chutes & Ladders for another occasion - it's always good to have a few "surprises" tucked away somewhere, right?

Delaney got a pink fleece vest from REI and new bottle - I'm still trying to find "the one". BUT,drumroll please...dare I say, we may be having a "sleeping through the night" breakthrough - I'll post about it tomorrow if tonight goes like the last 2 nights...fingers crossed because this mama likes her sleep!

We got Todd a wireless garage opening keypad; if you didn't know, he's a gadget guy. Gracie - with her Daddy's help - picked out and colored Valentine's Day cards for me and Delaney all by herself - so sweet! She also got me a big bag of Reese's Peanut Butter favorite, she (or he) knows me so well!!! Todd ordered us a new double stroller. We can't wait for it to arrive next week!

Always remember to tell the ones you love that you LOVE THEM!!!