Archive for May, 2012

Big sister to be

I just found one of Livie’s “lovies” in the crib–I thought Olivia would be a fantastic big sister, but I never guessed her generosity would reach this level. I hope that holds true once this new baby is born.

Balancing act

We’re trying to balance busy work and life schedules this week, but I do have some photos to share from Memorial Day weekend and a few other happy occasions. The posts may not be frequent, but I’ll do my best in the coming days!

When seven-year-olds Google

The most recent Internet search on the iPad: “Do cats fart?”

Last day of first grade!


I’m attending a conference in Vancouver this week, and while I am very much looking forward to returning home to see Bryan and the girls tomorrow, the trip has been fantastic. The weather is chilly and rainy, but Vancouver is absolutely gorgeous. Here are a few shots I took during a cruise last night.

Thirty-four weeks! (And, Mom, I was wearing flats in this photo…)

A hike up the hill

Every so often, Ava insists on walking to school by herself. It’s a short three blocks, and Bryan usually follows behind her, circling in and out of the neighborhood cul-de-sacs so he can keep an eye on her.

This morning, I offered to watch her make her way up the hill. I got a bit of a later start than Bryan would have liked, and he waited impatiently while watching her from the end of the driveway.

His “There’s a shady looking van–hurry up!” was met with my, “Good god, man, calm down. How do you sleep?”

I have to say, though, as I watched Ava navigate the one and only intersection (four cars seemed to come out of nowhere the moment her foot hit the street!), I felt an remarkable mix of fear and pride. She was extremely cautious, and obviously pleased with her independence.

By the way, there’s just four more days of first grade…

Olivia Fix

Monarch Watch

We spent Saturday at the campus Monarch Watch event—the girls had a great time holding caterpillars and butterflies and spending time outside on a gorgeous spring day.

Olivia politely requested a caterpillar that was more “crawly.” This one didn’t meet her expectations.

This was an improvement.




A middle child in the making

When Ava was four, she had just left a phase that made me think the term “terrible twos” was coined by someone yet to experience the shitstorm that comes with a child’s third year. Olivia, on the other hand, was a delightful three year old, though she’s more than making up for that reprieve now.

I think it would be unfair to ignore that our parenting style has changed quite a bit in the three years that passed between these two milestones. With Ava, no meant no. (This worked until she figured out that her father could be talked into most anything, and she’s become a master at negotiation since.)

With Oliva, we’re . . . different. We’re tired, and we’ve let our guard down. When requests (demands?) are made, we acquiesce with little conversation or debate. Certainly, sometimes, we pretend to put forth effort. We say, “Olivia, you outgrew those pajamas two years ago, and we refuse to pull them out of storage yet again. You’re done with them.”

And yet, in mere moments, the pajamas come out, and we find a simple compromise that makes an otherwise challenging preschooler downright gleeful.

With any luck, the only downside to our more relaxed approach is the negotiation experience Olivia will ultimately lack.



Lemon cupcakes

I made these lemon meringue cupcakes a couple of weeks ago, though I can’t claim to have followed the linked recipe exactly. I am completely unable to make any sort of white cake, so I doctored up a white cake mix with lemon juice and zest.

But I love the rest of this recipe because of the lemon curd (perhaps one of the most delicious things ever made from butter and lemons), the swirl of meringue (egg whites + air = magic), and the fact the process involves open flame.

What more could you ask for?