Wednesday, February 29, 2012

a visit from "buddy."

i think owen is a happy kid. he certainly isn't afraid to let us know when he's not happy about a situation, but in return, he holds nothing back when he enjoys himself. he does it too its fullest potential. you have to admire a child's ability to have no other care in the world besides this wonderful moment that they are in.

one of his favorite things to do is to JUMP. and he has become quite good at his new skill. a bed, a crack in the sidewalk, a step: he sees all of these things as an opportunity to jump on, over, and down from - he sees life through a jumping lens.

one thing that made this past weekend so special was a visit from grandma. grandma who became "buddy" to owen all weekend, and boy did she live up to her name. grandma is the best playmate - "buddy SIT." "buddy TUM(come)." "buddy wwwatcha(watch), buddy." buddy did it all. she played choo choos and tars(cars) all day long. we sure do like having grandma around!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

best winter ever.

i love being able to take a walk to the park in the middle of february, strip off our coats, and watch my niece and owen play to their little hearts content for a solid 2 hours.

Friday, February 17, 2012

you're my main "squeeze" valentine!

i took my own spin on a pinterest valentine that caught my interest. since the weekend before valentine's day offered nothing in the way of silicone heart baking molds, i had to get creative. a lightbulb went off in my head which reminded me of a silicone ice cube tray i had gotten as a wedding shower gift 5 years ago. (can't believe we'll celebrate our 5th anniversary this summer!) 

but my lemon/lime shaped molds left me stumped for a valentines theme... that is, UNTIL my husband cleverly came up with "main squeeze." DONE.


so here's the down low.

supplies i used:

bits of yellow and green (or any colors you fancy) crayons
silicone baking mold
alphabet stamps & ink
lemon/lime cutouts
scrapbook paper

i started by peeling paper from a couple dozen green and yellow crayons. some i pulled from owen's collection, but the rest i got from buying a party favor 8-pack of crayons for $2 from target so i could have several green and yellows. then i chop, chop, chopped.

then dropped them into the molds. you'll want to make sure it overflows a bit. as they melt and condense into all of the air spaces, you'll want to be sure your mold will be full. now you bake them in a 230ยบ for 15 minutes. let 'em cool completely, and they'll pop right out!

next up, you gather your other supplies and start crafting! I used a light-grey scrapbook paper (on sale for .19/sheet!) cut in half both ways to make little square cards.  then, i found a lemon-shaped clipart image to trace then cut out little green and yellow fruits to arrange on the cards to add a bit more color. and since i'm not crazy about my handwriting, and owen is still a few years away from writing on his own - i opted for alphabet stamps to display our message.

here's the finished product. i was happy to be one less contributor of a candy valentine for toddlers. well, aside from the pink-sugared snicker doodles i sent in for his classroom party. ;-) happy valentine's day!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

happy birthday, kirkwood!

happy birthday, boy. may this year bring you lots of tail wagging. and lots of maturity. ;-)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

black bottom cupcakes.

This is one of my favorite, and fallback recipes. i pulled the original recipe from allrecipes but have found in the [several] times i've made them that by increasing the cupcake measurements by a bit, i come out with a better ratio of cream cheese:cupcake - and for me, making a perfect batch of 24 cupcakes.



  • filling:
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

  • 1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line muffin tins with paper cups or lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, egg, 1/3 cup sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt until light and fluffy. Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, 1 1/4 cup sugar, cocoa, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center and add the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Stir together until well blended. Fill muffin tins 1/3 full with the batter and top with a dollop of the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

i have also found that they taste much better when you have a helper. while i'm gathering ingredients, ella lines my cupcake pans; a job i don't mind passing on.

she has her own motivations for assisting.

the end product is quite divine. a heavenly combination of chocolate and cream cheese - two loves in my life. serve one of these puppies up with a class of milk, and call it a day. i've even convinced myself they qualify as a breakfast "muffin" because of their cream cheese filling. feel guilty not, my friends.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

a 20 month old's vocabulary.

moona: movie
mot: milk
wease: please
teenkee: thank you
doe-doe: kirkwood
murr: more
basey: basement
shoo shoo: hoosiers
lalala: water
appidol: apple

he has a vocabulary of greater the 10 words, but these are a few that i don't want to forget.

he often repeats words that we say, usually the last word of each sentence as we are talking to him. you never know what words are going to stick, and what spin he'll put on the pronunciation.

with his expanding vocabulary, though, it sure is fun to have little bitty conversations with him. when picking owen up after work, we often have a conversation that goes like this.

me: alright, buddy, are you ready to go home?
owen: home!
me: yep! and we're going to have dinner.
owen: di-nyrrh!
me: mhmm! what would you like to eat?
owen: eat!


owen: mommay?
me: yes, owen?
owen: blah blah blah choo choo?
me: you wanna play choo choo?
owen: uh-huuuhh! basey!
(the train table is in the basement.)


i don't know when it happened, but "mo mo" has become "elmo," and that makes me a little sad. buddy, you're just getting so big.