September 28, 2010

Apple of My Eye

It is apple season. This time of year I am all about the apple and wallow in my love for them. There are so many different things you can make with apples and they compliment many other foods. They are even perfect all by them selves plucked off the branch and shined on your shirt, ready to take a big bite out of. The phrase “apple of my eye” goes way back to Old English and is in several pieces of literature from back in the day. One of my favorite pieces that uses the phrase was by Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” written in 1600. In ancient Greece the apple was to be sacred to Aphrodite, and to throw an apple at someone was to symbolically declare one’s love; and to catch it was to symbolically show one’s acceptan

Johnny Appleseed Day
Johnny Appleseed was a real guy named John Chapman and was among the American settlers who were in the movement west in North America. As he traveled west, he planted apple trees along the way, and sold trees to settlers. As he continued his journey the legend of Johnny Appleseed grew. He was born on September 26, 1774, which is where the date for Johnny Appleseed Day came about as September 26th. Of course I was not going to pass up this holiday with out cooking up some apples.

Apple Bread
I made a loaf of apple bread using the recipe by Tessa Kiros from her cook book “Apples for Jam”. Tessa writes: “I love the name apple bread—it carries me off in my fantasy to some very green hills with chunky plates and bowls of fresh cream, with rosy cheeked children skipping about here and there.” This bread turned out wonderfully, and I will make it again and again. It was a big hit and you can see from the photo that is all we have left of the loaf.

Apple Sauce
This is my second time making home-made applesauce. The first time I made it for Chloe when she had no teeth but was ready for solid foods. I used the recipe from Simple Recipes website. You can find the recipe HERE. My whole house smelt heavenly while this was simmering on the stove. A great thing about the recipe is you can freeze portions of it. Back when Chloe was younger I froze portions of the applesauce in ice cube trays and would pull out cubes to thaw for her as needed.

Apple Stem Game
Do you have any memories of playing games with Apples when you were a kid. Something us girls did while we were kids was when you were going to eat an apple you would turn the stem and every turn you would say the letters of the alphabet, and whatever letter you landed on when the stem broke off was the initial of the guy you were going to marry. Of course you would work hard on getting it to land on the initial of the guy you were in love with at the time. To this day I still do this game when I am about to eat an apple and coincidently it always lands on C for my husband Chris. LOL

This photo and the one above were taken from a small apple orchard down the road from us. Their trees are over flowing with apples right now.

I could not end this with out a photo of the Apple of my Eye; Chloe. Feel free to share any of your favorite apple recipes or memories.

September 18, 2010

Life Kicking My Butt

Life has been kicking our butts. There is so much going on with trying to sell our house, building our new house, our dental office, & the remainder of our herd of alpacas we moved to a farm up North to be sold. Chris and my life together has always been a roller coaster ride of change and I think that is how we like it. But the thing that is different this time around is we have a child. A child is a whole new adventure in itself. Most of the changes we are making in our lives are because we have a child and are planning our future with her as a family. The problem is it takes time to get from old life A to new life B. Lets just say life is busy just having a toddler, and throwing in all of these other factors life is crazy. So Chris and I had to regroup and figure out how to make this process more doable with out killing each other.

We decided to change up Chloe’s schedule which we started last week. Now she goes to day care part time on Monday, Wednesday, & Friday. Since our dental office is closed on Monday this gives both Chris and I a day to do whatever. It is kind of like a day to reboot and to relax in order to face the next week. Last week was the test run and let me tell you it was a big improvement. I could not have asked for a better week.

Last Monday I decided to take the day for myself and let Chris do whatever on his own. He chose to sit in front of the computer all day playing games and was happy as a kid in a candy store. I started the day with grocery shopping. I know what your thinking but it has to be done. Then I headed up the Mountain to a nearby town to try and find a gift for a family member’s up coming birthday. Have you ever gone out shopping for a gift for someone and find something you just have to have for yourself. I stood at the jewelry counter staring at these earrings and I knew I was in trouble. My rule is I can only buy something if I absolutely love it, and would not be able to find it cheaper somewhere else. Of course I tortured the sales lady by having her take them out of the cabinet while I tried them on and stood there looking at them for a good 15 minutes. I was thinking would it be ok to send a birthday card telling the recipient Happy Birthday, I picked a little something out for myself, thank you. Fortunately I get an allowance twice a month that is for my use no questions asked. I usually just spend it on stuff for Chloe or magazines. These earrings definitely seemed worthy of digging into my stash of coin. So I bought them, and I am so happy I did. I know If I had not I would have been searching for similar ones for the rest of my life. I am loving the lady bug drop earrings that kind of remind me of the Queen of hearts from Alice and Wonderland.

I decided to go to the movies that afternoon. I chose to see the romantic comedy Going the Distance with Drew Barrymore. This movie was so much fun. It was laugh out load funny. This is one I will definitely watch again when it comes out on DVD. After the movie I picked up Chloe and both Chris and I were all over her like she had been gone a week. So a big thumbs up to the new schedule and we will see how it goes next week.

September 14, 2010

The Girl Can Walk

Chloe finally started walking on her own. One evening last week I was on the phone with my mother and Chloe got up and walked about 9 steps towards me. It was sooo cool. She did it a couple more times that evening. She has been walking a little bit here and there each day since and building up her confidence. I am so excited for her and for us.

This is a video of Chloe with her favorite toy at the moment. It is a stuffed cat she calls KittyCat. Her favorite thing to do with KittyCat is to lye him down and cover him up with a blanket and she will say “Night Night”. She will do this over and over again. Otherwise she will just drag him around the house and he will participate in anything she is doing.

September 12, 2010

Tantrums, Park, Home, & Sanity

Chloe looks all sweet and innocent here but don’t fall for the cutie pie act. At 17 months she has started to throw tantrums. I thought this was not supposed to happen until 2 years old, you know the terrible 2’s. From what I have read it is best to take charge now and let her know that it is not acceptable behavior. This sounds pretty impossible considering how young she is and the language barrier at the moment. After reading all I could find, we decided to set up a play pen in an out of the way corner to kind of use as a time out. Her tantrums usually occur when there is something she wants but can not have due to safety issue, and also when you end an activity that she wants to continue. If she is out of control and does not look like she is coming back to normal any time soon, I will pick her up and place her in the time out playpen and tell her I will be back when she calms down. I then walk out of the room and stand outside the room listening. If she calms down I will go in and get her. Otherwise I pop my head in after a minute or two and ask if she is ready to come out yet. This usually prompts her to let go or forget what she was so upset about. So far I have only had to do it maybe 4 times in a week period. I am open to any advice and feel free to share any methods you have used and seems to work.

Children’s Park
On a happier note we found a children’s park that has a baby swing. The only one we were aware of before that had baby swings was the local zoo and you had to pay admission just to get in and use the park area. Chloe loves some swing time. The park also has a huge jungle gym area with lots of buildings different size slides and things to climb around. Chloe is still a little small to be climbing around but should be big enough this autumn. Here are some photos at the park.

New House
The new home is coming along. I thought I would share some indoor features I am excited about. This is a photo of the loft. It is a large upstairs area we plan to use as part family room and part Chloe play room. I am excited to have a place for Chloe’s toys and still have plenty of room for a space adults can chill out too.

This little window is going to be above the kitchen sink and over looks the back yard. I have always spent a good amount of time in the kitchen and at the sink but since having a baby I clock serious hours in front of the sink. Having a window above the kitchen sink is probably one of the top five things I must have in my house.

This little area is up stairs beside the staircase. It is going to have a half wall so there will be plenty of natural light. This area was kind of a surprise, we did not notice it when we just looked at the drawn out floor plan. We decided it would be cool to make it into a little reading nook for Chloe. We are thinking to put a child book case and possibly a few bean bags. This will be great for accommodating Chloe’s ever growing stash of books.

Granny Stripe
I am progressing on my Granny Stripe afghan. I have completed 28 stripes which is 56 rows. I am so glad I started this, and I should name it my Sanity Blanket. It is something that is keeping me grounded and relaxes me. Chloe is currently going down to one nap a day instead of two. This is kind of like when Chloe decided she did not want her pacifier any more and just quit it cold turkey. My husband and I were not ready to get rid of it but she was clearly not having it any more. I think I would hold onto the second nap until she started kindergarten if I could. I did not realize how much I depended on her morning nap until she decided she did not need it anymore. I am not sure if it is harder on the kid or the parents when they go thru these transitional periods.

A Shout out to my Father, Happy Birthday Dad! You have been in my thoughts today. Chloe sends her Grandpa lots of hugs and kisses. I wish you many more years of happy days.

September 9, 2010

Ottoman Make-Over

This is the ottoman I bought out of desperation while very pregnant. I really needed it to put my feet up in the evenings. I found it in the clearance section of a local furniture store. I loved the size and shape and that it had a drawer. I hated the fact that it was all black and did not match anything but the electronics in the room. So I covered it up and it worked perfectly getting me thru the long uncomfortable pregnancy.

I eventually moved it into Chloe’s room and covered it with a blanket that matched her décor. I usually have her diaper changing basket on it, and both Chris and I sit on it while she plays in her room. I decided to go ahead and fix it up for her room in our new house.

Here is the new look. I took the seat off and painted the base an off white color. Then I covered the seat with a striped fabric in cream, pink, and green. This was my first time using a staple gun, I love that thing. I am looking around the house trying to find more things I can use it on. I am happy with the result and it will look even better in her new room once we move because the wall color will be a bigger contrast than what she has now. I can check this project off my list of things to get done before the move.

September 1, 2010

Wednesday Matinee

I know how the family likes to see Chloe in action. Here is a look at her latest dance move.

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