Growing Out On A Limb


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A Cake for Dawson

One of my great friends asked me to make a Thomas-themed birthday cake for her son’s second birthday earlier this week.  Now, I’m a mom of two young ones so my time is limited but I just couldn’t say no – Dawson is a sweet little boy, one of Oliver’s little friends, and I consider making this type of cake a hobby. 

I did know that I wouldn’t have time to shape Thomas out of fondant (like I did for Oliver’s cake), so I opted for a cardboard printout on the top and concentrated on making the rest of it simple but colorful and fun. 

The cake design process for me is a bit of cruising the internet, a bit of what I will have time for (at least at this point), and a lot of flexibility to modify the design as I go if I have to.  In this case, the batch of fondant I made was tearing (evident in the second pic below) and looking pretty awful on the bottom layer, so, after a mini panic attack, I decided to add the layer of blue fondant and used part of a cookie cutter to make the wavy design.  I just had to roll with it. 

My friend wanted lemon so we went with a white cake, a lemon curd for the filling, and a lemon buttercream.  The buttercream could have been lemonier (in my opinion), but the curd was so so so delicious and all of the parts worked really well together! 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAWSON! 


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Long weekend

Just a few pics from Victoria Day weekend… it was a busy one! 

It was also a rainy one overall but really nice on Sunday.  It’s a good thing because sunny days are good for…

Hanging out in the grass with aunties…

Stopping to smell the flowers…

Hanging out with Papas in the sunshine…

… and Nanas too! 

And for playing in the dirt!  Wait, I guess any day is good for that, isn’t it?? 


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From the high chair

One of the milestones around here recently is Emery’s move to the high chair.  I love this stage, watching Emery taste things for the first time.  Isn’t it hard to imagine how awesome a banana tastes when it’s your first bite?   

We use what is called baby-led weaning rather than the more traditional (in this part of the world anyway) method of spoon-feeding purees.  The basic premise is that you skip all the pureed stuff and go straight to soft foods that Emery can hang onto and manage himself, and he’ll naturally wean himself off the breast as he learns to eat and swallows more and more.  It worked really great with Oliver so there’s no reason not to pursue it with Emery. 

And so far, he is taking to it really well.  He goes crazy over the food and it’s really helped develop his grip and hand work.  He’s tried banana, apple, grapes, kiwi, watermelon, sweet potato, carrots, and even the foods we are eating, like pasta salad. 

If there is anything to complain about, it would be all the noise he makes!  He grunts and groans while waiting for food, in between bites, and during bites.  And loudly.  If Oliver happens to be in a mood it makes for a pretty noisy (and sometimes aggravating) mealtime. 


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Oatmeal (C)raisin Cookies

To my waistline’s chagrine, rainy days often mean making cookies.  Oliver is really interested in “helping” me cook lately so a quick batch of cookies is a good way to keep him occupied for 20 minutes or so. 

We had no chocolate chips in the pantry yesterday so we went with oatmeal raisin.  Then, halfway through making the recipe, I realized we didn’t have enough raisins either.  Sheesh!  So we used a combination of raisins and dried cranberries (and the reason the title is (c)raisin cookies).  They are delicious! 

The original recipe is here but I’ve modified it a bit based on the recipe reviews. 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (you could easily use cinnamon/cloves/nutmeg if this isn’t something in your pantry)

1/2 tsp salt

3 cups rolled oats

1 cup raisins

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. 

Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt).  Stir into sugar mixture. 

Stir in the oats and raisins/craisins. 

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets. 

Bake 10 to 12 minutes until light and golden.  They won’t look done but you don’t want to overbake these… use a spatula to check for a golden bottom.  Wait a couple of minutes before moving to a cooling rack.


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A rainy saturday…

If the forecast doesn’t change soon, I think we’ll lose our minds to stir craziness.  (Or mommy will at least – Oliver is still fairly easily distracted with blocks, cars, etc and Emery doesn’t care where we are, of course, because he’s happy as a clam as long as the boobs are handy). 

I am so glad to look ahead to a weekend day with nothing on the schedule but if it gets here and is full of rain and traps us inside, I am a little crazy by lunchtime.  It’s on those days that I wish we lived nearer to a city with some indoor options for play.  We do okay with keeping Oliver busy but sometimes I wonder if playing inside is enough to burn off his energy. 

Here are a few shots I took on this rainy day. 

Snuggling with my brother…

Big brother playing “tunnel”…

Little brother creeping closer to mommy.  This is the look of determination!  He is now pulling himself forward with his hands, a move that seemed to come overnight after he started lifting his head. 

And closer… almost there! 


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A little Emery…

 

Too cute not to share, these are a few shots I took a few days ago.  Emery was hanging out on our bed while I was doing the laundry.  The light from the window struck me as being just right. 

I love these pictures because they show Emery’s easy-going personality.  He is already old enough that as long as he’s fed, rested, and dry, he is happy to just hang out and explore. 


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More Mother’s Day Photos

Breakfast was homemade waffles.  Oh so yummy. 

Then we had a nature walk along the Shikatehawk river.  There was lots of water laying around but Oliver didn’t mind.

Emery enjoyed the walk too but he had to take a little nap partway through. 

 

These are a sure sign of spring and we were lucky enough to find a feed of fiddleheads for us and my parents. 

What a great day!