« November 2012 | Main | January 2013 »

December 25, 2012


We went and saw Santa.

The entire time we were in line, she did not want to talk to him. She began to cry when my husband was waiting with her. She was not happy to sit on his lap, and so my great husband stepped in to pose with her. I truly love this photo! Mainly because it's so "real" - the fear in her face, the death grip, my husband laughing as I was behind the camera...

Merry Christmas! 


December 24, 2012

Owl Birthday Party

It probably started when I found the tutorial to make the penguin cake and realized there was also a tutorial for an owl cake, therefore months in advance, I suggested to my daughter we have an owl birthday party and since she wasn't quite three yet, she was "game" and I was happy about that.

For months she would see an owl and say something about her "owl party." I showed her a photo of the cake and a few other owl things and she'd talk about her owl party when she turns three. We worked on folding her fingers so she could show off the number three on her hand and with practice we were successful. 

In the end, my December baby, you know, poor baby, being born a week before Christmas...sniff sniff...her birthday gets lost in the shuffle of the holiday season, she will have had three birthday "parties." 

The first was with my parents when they came for Christmas one weekend. We had owl cupcakes, we sang happy birthday and we blew out candles. This candle thing is all my daughter has been talking about. She even insisted we take some to school and we did. She asked me on the way to school where they were after I showed her the night before when we were packing up the car with her birthday stuff that the candles were "in this box." 

The second birthday was at her school - these are my favorite birthdays because I like her to celebrate with friends, and it's quite easy to deliver a cake and of course some candles and treat bags to 18 children. This birthday doesn't require gifts, which is fine with me because after opening about the third gift, she gets burnt out and doesn't want to open anymore.

The final party was at Grandpa's house. This was mixed with our Christmas, but we still had owl cupcakes and candles and sang. 

In the end she LOVED every minute of it. And when her "real" birthday arrived, she didn't even know that it was her special day because she had already had two celebrations and another on the way.



Everyone in her class got a treat bag filled with: paper, a pencil, tattoos, an owl song list, a fuzzy owl and a bag of white chocolate chex mix that I made (not pictured, and delicious). 






We took a craft to school so everyone could make an owl mask. Here is one of her classmates posing. 


The birthday girl! I love that her school lets her wear a crown!


 She even wore an owl shirt!


December 21, 2012

Ultrasound Photos - Model No. 2

Of the 20 photos I currently have of baby model no. 2, I find this be my favorite. I love the spine photos. Unfortunately I don't have any good photos of the side profile, which is what most people associate with ultrasound photos, especially those who struggle to even know what they are looking at.

I can tell you that this baby doesn't want to show his/her face because the tech was doing some serious "squishing" on my abdomen to get a "good profile photo" and wasn't able to do so. 

So here's my favorite, our second model child at 19 weeks. 


December 19, 2012

Things She Says

My first-born is 3 today and the things she says are HILARIOUS. Here are some recent quotes.

"Mom, I need earmuffins so my ears don't get cold."

R: "Can I hold the baby?"
Me: "What baby?"
R: "The one in  your belly?"
Me: "Sure, as soon as it comes out."
R: "Okay."

Dan: "Wanna come to the shop with me?"
R: "Where is the shop?"
Dan: "Well, it's in our garage."
R: "No the shop is at Grandpa Dave's."

Every morning when we pull out of the garage to go to work/school our Christmas lights are not on. She says, "Oh no, the rainbow lights are not glowing. That's okay, they will glow when we come back from school."

Me: "What should we name the baby?"
R: "Um....John."
Me: "What if it's a girl, then what should we name it?"
R: "John!"
For some reason she is obsessed with the name John!

She has a placemat that is a US map. We talk to her about where we live, where her cousins and family members live, where we went to the beach and of course where Mickey Mouse's Club House is located. Last week she said, "Where does Fresh Beat Band live?" 


December 13, 2012

The Big Reveal

Now that my Christmas cards have been sent, delivered, and received, it's no secret that I am having another baby. Of course, as my husband tells me says that I can't make anything simple, so the reveal that we were having another child couldn't be simply stated. And he was right. Most things I want to be special, and fun, so this was no different.

My family got cards in the mail that looked like this on the front: 


And the inside:


My friend, who is always bugging me about having more kids (she has four of her own), received three pieces of mail, each sent a day apart (thanks to my mom) and she was "onto" me right away, but I denied until she received all pieces. I tried to blow it off stating the fact that I don't scrapbook, there is no way I could have done this. This plan backfired just a tad because she posted the first two pieces on Facebook, and I freaked out a little bit. I honestly didn't think she was that Facebook savvy. Some of our mutual friends commented that they thought it was me, too.





Then there were Rachel's teachers. One teacher in particular had been bugging me to have another child since Rachel was just over a year old. She said Rachel is a "little mother" and needs a sibling. A few months before I found out I was pregnant, Rachel was babbling (most likely being "the teacher") and I overheard her say something about her sister. I caught her talking about a sister again and after asking my husband if he had said anything to her, I immediately knew who was to "blame." Ms. B. fessed up one day and told me she let Rachel "hold" one of the babies and told Rachel she needed a sister. Therefore, this reveal had to be special. I created cupcakes and sneaked them into the center at the end of the day, so they were there when Ms. B. arrived in the morning. Shortly after finding out, there were three teachers and 12+ toddlers in my office congratulating me.

I found these cute little sugar bees on Amazon and made a chocolate cupcake with a white creme filling and topped it with chocolate butter cream frosting. 


 And I made these little toppers: 


And finally, the Christmas Card reveal - which was really a test to see how many people actually read my card. It says: Dan, Kari, Rachel and Baby Perrine, arriving April 2013.



December 06, 2012

Charlie Returns after She Touches Him

Our elf, Charlie, returned this year on December 1st. I had been talking about him for a few days with my daughter, telling her he was coming. He arrived by toilet papering our Christmas tree and when she woke up and saw him, she said, "What's that?" It was pretty obvious she had forgotten that he appeared last year.

The next few days Charlie just moved about the house and my daughter was somewhat confused, she assumed he should "stay put" and when I asked where he was, she would constantly look at the two or three places he had been. It is cute when she does see him, she laughs hysterically at him.

This morning when Charlie returned, sitting on our kitchen island, a full size sheet of paper under him, he was covered with stickers and so was his paper. My daughter sat at the island to eat her cereal and laughed at Charlie. I told her he must have gotten into her stickers and played with them. Almost instantly she touched one of the stickers on Charlie's body and he fell over. She said, "oh no!" and when I turned to see what happened, I too said, "oh no." I (calmly) explained that we cannot touch Charlie or he will lose his magic, but I realized it was an accident and he should be okay. She explained that she wanted to "pat his sticker." The stickers are not fully stuck on Charlie for obvious reasons—someone has to pull them all off. My daughter seemed okay with this until a few minutes later she began to melt down and cry. She was terribly upset.


I thought to myself as I put it on the kitchen island that she might try to touch it, but I figured this was a good chance for her to remember the rules and learn about consequences. 

So I had a plan. Charlie stayed in the same place for a day, and then the following day we got a letter in the "mail."


Here is what it said: 

Dear Rachel,

Your mom told me that you touched Charlie on accident. That explains why Charlie didn’t come back to the North Pole last night to visit me. The only way he won’t return is if he loses his magic and the only way he can lose his magic is if you touch him.

Since you have been a good girl and you accidentally touched Charlie, I am sending some Magic Elf Dust. Sprinkle it on Charlie’s body and he will be able to return to the north pole.

Next time be very careful not to touch Charlie, and keep your hands to yourself.


I gave the dust and letter to my daughter and let her sprinkle it on Charlie. He disappeared that night and returned in a new location. The dust was actually confetti that we received in the mail with a card, and it worked much better than glitter, because it was so much easier to clean up.

I can't take FULL credit for all of this! I found the stationery online and you can download it here.
And I found the "magic dust" idea here.

December 04, 2012

Gingerbread Houses

It's such a fun time with my daughter! She's getting "into" crafty things and doing projects with me. Every year I try to do a "Christmas craft" which is usually an ornament, and this year I'll do the same, but I added gingerbread houses to the list.

I found some ideas on pinterest and online and armed with a few ingredients I went to work and one night after dinner we all decorated our houses. It was so much fun! 

While my daughter was napping I assembled the house and the bases. 

First I cut the graham crackers. Each house uses 4 full crackers. You cut two in half (for the two sides and two roof pieces) and you cut two on an angle creating the end of the house. I drew a diagram here so you can see how it cut them. I simply put them on a cutting board and used a bread knife to gently saw apart the crackers. Not one broke where they should not have. Set the scraps aside.

I then used the small boxes I had and cut them with a knife and covered them with foil. This served as the base of my houses.

i began to mix up the royal frosting. I used 1/4 of the recipe below and it was enough to put together and decorate all four houses. If I were to do this next time, I'd use 1/2 a recipe so I could put snow on the "ground" of the foil bases. I didn't because I really didn't want to whip up more frosting. Also, making 1/4 of the amount in my mixer was a tad challenging because of the small amount in the mixer. When the frosting is done, put it in a decorator bag with a tip. (Also see note about green tree frosting.)

Then I assembled the houses. Just pay attention to where you affix the pieces, my first house was a little lopsided, but the others were great. Just run a line of frosting along the edge of the pieces, affix them together and then run frosting on the bottom to affix it to the foil covered base. 


When I was done affixing the houses to the bases, I covered the tip of my frosting bag and saved my frosting for later. It worked fine for this project, it didn't harden and we had just enough as I said above. 

I felt like it worked best if one person handled the frosting and the other decorated. I put frosting on the houses for my daughter and husband and the two of them affixed the candy. I knew my daughter wouldn't be able to do it by herself, but my husband and I kept passing the bag back and forth, so next time I will just have a bag for him. If you were doing this with a group of kids, I'd recommend 1 adult per two kids, with the adult affixing frosting and the kids adding the candy.

For the ice cream cone trees, I had white frosting left over in my fridge that I colored green. I ended up using two cones per tree because it was just easier to affix it to the base when you weren't touching green frosting! It would be hard to frost after the cones were affixed to the base only because my bases were smaller and the trees were pretty close to the house.

And yes, my daughter "sampled" a lot of the treats. She asked repeatedly what things were. She tried a gumdrop eagerly, and then half way through eating it said she didn't like it and spit it out. She dove into the mini m&ms and had gummy apple rings, gummy bears and smarties. It was great having all of the candies organized in the muffin tin, making cleanup easy and all of the items accessible.






Shopping List

Graham Crackers
(1 box made these four houses and when I was finished cutting all the pieces, I had 1 entire package and two whole graham crackers left. Most boxes come with 3 packages inside. Hope this helps to guestimate how many boxes to purchase.)

I picked up most of these items at the bulk food store and used them for decorations. 
shredded wheat cereal
red hots
gummy bears
gummy apple circles
candy canes
mini m&ms
mint flavored pink, green and yellow chocolate chips
animal crackers (I picked out the cute bears)
sugar (ice cream) cones

Royal Icing Recipe (there are LOTS of these recipes online) 

3 Tablespoons Meringue Powder
1 pound (4 cups) powdered sugar
6 Tablespoons warm water

Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand mixer). You may need to add more water for softer icing, one Tablespoon at a time.

Make 3 cups

1 Tablespoon Meringue Powder
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
2-3 Tablespoons warm water

*Remember I had left-over icing in the fridge for the green trees.