Friday, May 31, 2013

The Maternity Party is Over

Well, the party's over and back to work I go. For me, it marks an end of an era. You see, Julia is my last baby,which makes this my very last maternity leave. I know they won't remember this time in their lives, but I will always cherish these memories.

I recorded this little video of Julia the night before I went back to work. I just wanted to remember how she was right at this moment.

YouTube Video

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"Mommy, I Do It"

Lately my 2 year old daughter's favorite phrase is, "Mommy, I do it." And boy, does she want to do everything.  For Memorial  Day, I offered to bring dessert to a barbecue. So since I happened to have all of the ingredients for Dump Cake and the instructions are so easy, a two year old could do it, I decided to let Cora make her first dessert.  Here's how she made it...

You need:
  • 1 can (21 Oz.) Cherry Pie Filling
  • 1 can (15 Oz.) Crushed Pineapple
  • 1 box (about 18 Oz.) Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Pecans (optional)
  • 1 stick Margarine
  • 1/2 stick Butter

Preheat the oven at 350. 
While that's heating up, dump your can of cherries in a 9 x 13 pan.

Next, dump your can of crushed pineapple in the pan.  You don't need to drain it. Just dump the whole thing in.

Now mix until all of the fruit and juices are combined in fruit harmony.  

Now it's time for the cake mix. If you opted to add the pecans, dump the pecans in your cake mix.  Then dump the cake mix on top of the fruit. Spread it evenly throughout your pan. Do not mix it in with the fruit. You should have a layer of fruit and a layer of cake mix.

Cut up the margarine and butter into slices. Then distribute the pats of butter and margarine on top of the cake mix.

Of course, after Cora added the butter, I went in rearranged the butter, so it was more evenly distributed.  And of course every time I had to assist her, she said, "No mommy. I do it!" 

Now your Dump Cale is ready for the oven. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour.

Don't worry, I didn't really let her put the pan in the oven.  She was happy just to have oven mitts.

While ours baked, we cleaned up, had tummy time with Julia, checked in on our cake's progress, and sang songs.  

Once it was ready, I took it out of the oven and prepped it to take to the barbecue.  Unfortunately we were having a crisis at the time (I'll explain in a minute) and I forgot to take a picture of the fresh-out-of-the-oven cake.  Here it is after we got into it. Seriously delicious! It's kind of like a fruit crisp. My husband loves it with a scoop of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.  By the time we left, the entire cake was gone.

Okay back to my crisis.. Right as we were getting to leave, Cora decided to grab a smoky eyeshadow compact when I wasn't looking. She plopped herself right in the middle of my bed pillows (a favorite spot of hers), and decided to apply it herself.  I can just hear her saying, "Mommy, i do it!"  I have a white comforter and 2 white pillows. She and my bed were a mess when I found her!

We were so late, but at least her dessert was a hit!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sunday Funday: Exploring Houston

From time to time, Will and I jump in the car and explore our large city. We try to find attractions that cost little to no money because... 1) It's a challenge. 2) It fits the budget.  3) You can really find strange and unusual places off the beaten path.  So after being cooped up for a few days, due to a cold, it was a good time to stretch our legs and explore. 

On this trip, we hit 3 spots.  Our first stop was The Beer Can House.  Admission is $2. $5 for a guided tour. Since we got there 10 minutes before closing, we just walked up and snapped a few pictures.

This house was 18 years in the making and is covered with approximately  50,000 beer cans and bottles.  The owner is a retired upholster from Southern Pacific Railroad and one day he just decided to cover his house with aluminum cans. 

Our second stop was The Art Car Museum.  Every year, Houston has an Art Car parade and since I miss it every year, I figured this was the next best thing. Admission is free.

Here are the cars we saw. We weren't able to stay long because Cora was a little scared of these strange and eclectic cars.

Our last (and my favorite) stop was at The Blue Trees.

Artist, Konstantin Dimopoulos, was commissioned to recreate his outdoor living project to generate awareness to the many trees Houston lost to the 2011 drought and the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.  The trees were painted with biologically-safe, water-based ultramarine mineral pigments. When I accidentally  brushed up against the trees, the blue paint came off very easily and the texture resembled chalk. There's no telling how long these trees will stay blue, but for now, they do make a very striking statement.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, May 24, 2013

All About Julia

Last year I told my husband that I really wanted to do something BIG for my 40th birthday in 2013. Well low and behold, I sure did do something BIG! I had my beautiful baby girl one week shy of my 40th birthday. It was the best gift I could have received.

The pregnancy started out a lot like my previous one... Tired the first trimester. No morning sickness, just queasiness that would pass after 15 seconds or so and serious fruit cravings. Even though I didn't want to say anything to my husband, I had a feeling this baby was another girl. At 5 months along, I found out my hunch was right.

We immediately decide to name her after my mother-in-law. Cora is named after my mom, and it just seemed right that we honored both of our moms.

Julia Annaliese came into this world one month earlier than planned due to extreme hypertension. I wasn't expecting to deliver that day, in fact I told my boss I was coming in late after my morning doctor's appointment. Unfortunately my blood pressure shot up to dangerous levels and my doctor decided we had to have her that day. Despite the emotional and chaotic start, I was very blessed to have an easy labor and delivery. In fact, I didn't even push. My doctor was prepping for the delivery. He didn't want me to push just yet. He had me just take deep breaths and next thing you know, Julia was born.

I think for Cora, it was love at first sight. She has been a wonderful big sister. I think she will always look out for her baby sister.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Where Do I Begin...

I can't believe it's been almost a year since I last blogged. I've often thought about writing a post, but being a mommy to a busy toddler and now a newborn (yes, i had another baby) takes up a lot of blogging time. Then there is Facebook. Why write a blog post when I can just update my status and attach a picture in mere seconds?

Well I've come to realize that I miss blogging. I love having a little space on the web that journals my life. I love looking back on previous posts and remembering all of my happy little moments. And even if no one is reading this, my daughters eventually will. I'm glad they will have stories of our lives that I wrote. They will read about how their mom and dad got married twice, details and pictures of our weddings, how I felt and looked during my pregnancy, how i carefully plan their birthday parties, how much I love life and want to teach them how to love theirs. Yes, I think I'll keep blogging...

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