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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Corner Lover's Rejoice

This is the most fabulous brownie pan if you are a corner lover! It's designed to make every brownie an edge piece!!!!

On the rare occasion there isn't any ice cream in my house, I have dessert back-ups on hand. So when I opened the pantry and saw my coveted edge pan, I could already smell the brownies baking. The kids helped mix (i.e. eat) the batter and in no time the smell was permeating my kitchen.

When the oven timer went off and I peered at our delicious treat, I was baffled at how fluffy the brownies were. I didn't recall the pan affecting the consistency of the brownies last time I used it. I pulled the box of mix out of the garbage to confirm my suspicion....I had just baked chocolate cake! A very odd shaped chocolate cake.

Now with the idea of no dessert in sight again, I ventured to the grocery store. I picked up some chocolate pudding, Cool Whip and Nestle Crunch bars and turned my mistake into my second favorite dessert...trifle.

I also grabbed a box of REAL brownie mix for attempt #2 at my amazing edge pan!

Monday, February 22, 2010


Whoever invented kids chapstick obviously didn't have kids. I can understand the allure of different flavors and character packaging but tinted...seriously!!!

It didn't take Camryn long to master the art of make-up application. She came running out of her room to show me, yelling: "pretty, pretty!"

I don't even know where she discovered this chapstick but I do have to admit, she looked adorable! I was just glad the brand new carpet was spared!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Winter Festival

Today was a gorgeous day. Sunny, blue skies and temps in the high 40's. A perfect day for a winter festival.

Igloos and ice carvings for the kids to play in

It was a whole family affair. Nana and Pop showed up

And so did Becca and Matt
Horse drawn sleigh ride

My little snow bunny

Friday, February 19, 2010

Little Thieves

John empties out his pocket change every night into a jar and it adds up surprisingly fast. We usually roll the coins to use for spending money on our vacations. But my sticking fingered children beat me to it.

While John and I were busy with the demo of our bedroom, the kids helped themselves to our stash. I should have known something was up because they were being too quiet. Dylan came running in to get us, he wanted to show us how heavy his piggy bank suddenly was.

They managed to transfer almost every coin from our jar into his piggy bank. Not even one more coin would fit in the slot and Dylan could hardly lift it. He was so proud of his efforts:

"See...it's full! Now we can go back to Disney!"

I think I need to re-vamp my "saving up for something special" strategy! Or better yet, have Dylan teach me his!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Brownie Points

My birthday falls the day after Valentine's Day much to my husband's dismay. He chooses not to participate in the Hallmark holiday and his crazy work schedule limits our birthday celebrations mainly to breakfast. So typically mid-February comes and goes without much fuss!

Not this year! My amazing husband out did himself! On Valentine's Day I was instructed not to eat dinner with the kids and make sure they were in bed by the time he got home. Being the wife of a chef may not be so bad after all..this is what I was served:

Homemade Sweet Potato Gnocchi tossed in a Maple Cinnamon Sage Brown Butter

Hand-crafted Fried Ice Cream

And the food kept on coming. When I finally rolled out of bed at 8:30 on my birthday, my family and this were waiting for me downstairs!

This is a year for the books. I always tell my husband the best gifts are homemade...especially when it's food!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A father's son

I'm not quite sure when it happened...but my son is no longer a mama's boy...he has graduated to a father's son! All he wants to do is be with his father. I'm thrilled to sit back and witness their relationship evolve. I can see the yearning for his attention and the elation when he receives it. He wants to help his dad do everything, from mowing the lawn and building the addition to plain old rough housing and going to work to make pizza!

John couldn't be happier! He remembers the days when only mommy could do things and now it's his turn. He is taking pride in teaching him all of his hobbies. The patience he portrays while letting Dylan do things on his own is incredible. Dylan hangs on every instruction and struggles until he gets it right.

They already go on "boys only" outings and build "no girls allowed" forts. His interests are becoming less child-like and much more stereotypical "boy" activities. He is finding a camaraderie in his father that can never be equaled and one that will last a lifetime.

Watching the bond grow between them is truly amazing. Dylan embodies the cliche: "I want to be like my dad when I grow up." And what mom wouldn't be proud of that!

Friday, February 12, 2010


Apparently my daughter is not satisfied with my upkeep of her finger and toenails. So she took matters into her own hands...

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Day...in pictures

Mommy are you awake?

Dylan making his valentines for school

2 down...10 to go....

Valentine's Day snack for school

Zingo, Guess Who, BusyTown, repeat....

Dylan and I snuck outside while Camryn napped....Perfect snowman snow today!!!

Honestly what is better than liquid chocolate to warm you up

It's not a snow day without a little baking

or a little Mario Kart

Camryn's masterpiece


Tubby Time

A little pre-bedtime game of Simon Says


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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Gas Guzzler

I left the house early this morning to grab breakfast with a few girlfriends. With all the construction going on I wasn't able to park in my garage for a few months, so I was really excited that on this extremely frigid morning my car was indeed snug in it's spot in the newly cleared out space. So I got in, placed my tea in the cup holder, heated my seat and turned off the kids' music. As I was backing out I realized my husband's car blocking me in. Apparently, he wasn't used to me parking in the garage yet either. Annoyed that I needed to leave the warmth of my own vehicle, I hopped out and quickly moved his out of my way. And off I went.

2 hours later, I returned and couldn't get my car back in the garage because of the way I had careless positioned his car. So I left mine in the driveway next to his and ran inside to see my family.

4 hours later, my husband left for work. He immediately came back in the house.

"Brooke, did you move my car?"

This question confused me because I didn't really see what the big deal would be, except maybe if I had locked his keys in the car. But no he has keyless entry, so I nonchalantly anwsered,

"Yeah, why?"

"Because you left it running....for 6 hours....and now I'm out of gas"

Stunned at my own flightiness, I replied:

"Wow...6 hours and it's already out of gas...what a gas guzzler!"

Friday, February 5, 2010

Kindergarten Stress

I have never been more stressed about anything in my life. Send him or hold him? If only his birthday wasn't so late in the year I wouldn't even have to make this decision.

There are pros and cons to both sides of the spectrum and I honestly can't say I'm swaying more to one side or the other. I heard giving them an extra year to grow and learn in pre-school is not going to hurt him. But sending him when he's not ready could. But holding him when he is ready could leave him bored in pre-school which could lead to behavioral problems.

Our town is full day kindergarten and just seems to have evolved leaps and bounds since I was in kindergarten. The kids will leave kindergarten knowing how to read 43 site words, right 3 sentences and know some math problems. What ever happened to good old finger painting?

I know Dylan is smart and I have all the confidence in the world in him. I just hate the fact that the decision lies on my shoulders. If he struggles with school later on down the road, I know I'll find myself wondering if I sent him too soon. But in the same breath, I don't want to inhibit his opportunity to progress in his learning. I truly just want to do what's best for him and am looking to his pre-school teachers for some guidance.

All I can say is thank God for Camryn's April birthday!