Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pictures and updates

WELL, the wedding went great...sorry to just NOW be posting! The cake turned out really well (see it at I learned that I (1) really respect cake people (2) will NEVER make a career out of decorating cakes and being a mommy at the same time (3) *sigh* am willing to admit that I am still--at the ripe old age of almost 30--in desperate need of my momma's help. Whew...that last one was a hard one :-) But let's just say the cake would have probably gotten done--but I would have been a basket case in the process. Can you imagine setting up the cakes--at the venue--with a nursing baby who SHOULD be sleeping but rather decides to fill up a diaper and want to nurse--all while I am covered in cream cheese icing and coconut and facing a strict deadline to be back at the church and dressed as a bridesmaid for pictures. Aye Aye Aye! Thank goodness for family (aunt Sharon--if you are reading this--I am FOREVER grateful to you for coming to Graylyn and helping).So as you can imagine--once the wedding was over, I was greeted with a nice little stomach virus which I then shared with my sweet momma! What a payment for her help, huh?

Thankfully--we are all back to normal now! And through it all and by God's grace, my girls stayed happy...healthy...and as rested as they could be. God is so good. I can't tell you how worried I was about them over the wedding weekend and with this virus. I know--I should know better than to worry, but I think that's part of my job description as a mommy!

SO some updates...

Addie Bells...
Sweet little Addie Bells. Amazing how different a second baby is. I haven't worried about schedules or nursing times or anything with her. Its been the most laid back experience of my life and WOW...she has found her own little schedule and it is both predictable and perfect! My favorite part of the schedule--her 7:30 or 8am wake up call to snuggle and be held. It happens almost without fail! She kind of cries out--I go pick her up...and she snuggles right next to my neck in the living room and dozes off for another 10-15 minutes before looking up at me and smiling the sweetest little toothless smile in the world. And guys...that girl has started cooing like a crazy woman. She "talks" almost all morning--and is starting to experiment with the
volume of her cooing--which is absolutely adorable! She has even started giggling at me. She's holding her head up like a champ, rolling over and is swatting at things--which means I now
have to put down the coffee cup when I'm nursing. Strangly, she's accomplished all this "stuff" without me "working" with her--agh how I worked and worked and worked with Layla to meet her little milestones. Thank goodness Adalei is a self-driven overachiever :-)

She loves her big sister--who probably get the award for being the recipient of most of the "giggles" and only a few of the cries. Layla likes to sneak in and take Adalei's socks off because Layla doesn't like to sleep in socks. Layla also likes to cover Adalei up but sometimes startles her by tucking her in just a little too tight.

Layla An...

She's growing up too fast...her sentences are changing...her little mind is working over time--thus the 50 BILLION questions before going to bed, ranging from "Did God make my pjs?" to "Why don't we wear shoes to bed?". All are very important questions that need thoughtful answers--believe me, I tried to make quick half-hearted answers and that didn't work.

Layla is BEGGING me to teach her to read. So, we are finishing up working our way through letter recognition and letter sounds. She's actually doing pretty good with it--given that her attention span is pretty short. She's also shown in interest in learning what time it is and what that means--so we are getting her a clock and working on telling time. AND she's got a repertoire of 4 memory verses in her little noggin--thanks to her daddy. He is the BEST at pulling out the perfect memory verses at the perfect time. My personal favorite just happens to be "Honor your father and mother" or as Layla says, "Honger your fager and muger" . here are some pictures of Adalei that dad sent me. He's letting me borrow his fancy smancy camera so I can get back to snapping expect more (and less perfect) pictures coming your way. I've missed annoying Layla with my picture taking :-)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Messy Chef

Okay--as update on Project Wedding cake.

My sweet and very giving mom and dad insisted on getting Layla yesterday and playing with her all day so that I could stay focused on my cakes. They must know that I (a) never--okay rarely--ask for help and (b) don't take help unless someone insists and I know they are helping because the want to help (not out of obligation). So it was perfect for mom and dad to INSIST on and be excited about playing with Layla all day yesterday.

SO I took Layla to mom and dad's yesterday morning at around 9am and Adalei and I hit the local Wal-Mart for eggs, butter, flour, sugar--all that good stuff. Adalei was such a trooper during her first Wal-Mart experience. I think she liked all the lights and color because she just looked around without a peep. So we grabbed everything from the list and off we went.

By 11:30, my first batch of layers were in the oven (and I was out the door for a run while they cooked)--the 6 inch and 10 inch and the batter and pan for the 12 inch was prepared. Lauren and Augie wanted a three tiered coconut cake for the center and two, two tiered funfetti cakes for the side. The coconut cakes really turned out great. I used a recipe from a European cake baking book that I have had for a while--so I had to convert all the European measurements to American standard measurements--FUN FUN FUN. That could have spelled disaster for me. You see, I consider myself a pretty good cook--definitely not a chef. Chefs are precise--I like to improvise. Chefs have great technique--I do not (you should see me chop an onion--its laughable). So as you can imagine--the idea of having to be both precise and use great technique had me really worried. Cakes are funny that way...a little too much of any ingredient and its a flop.

BUT---guys...I am so proud to say...all the layers turned out perfectly! And they taste amazing. My camera is broken, but I'm going to try and borrow my dad's so that I can take pictures of all the layers before I fill and ice them. I wish I would have had a camera yesterday because my clothes, my hair and my kitchen were COVERED in flour. But I'm sure it'll be much more interesting when I whip out the powdered sugar on Friday :-)

SO yay...Project Wedding cake is off to a great start. And, Layla had a great day with her Nana, poppy and Bradyn at the Children's Museum. In fact, to show you how much fun those two have's a picture that dad took the other day when they had Layla and Bradyn over to play (of course Layla had to were her princess dress ups and glitter shoes for a hike in the woods...I mean really, what 3 year old girl wouldn't?). I hope they are always close--and I hope they always make each other laugh like they do.

FINALLY, pictures of Adalei are coming...I promise. I have lots of video, but because our camera is broken, I'm having to get pictures from my dad. I've ordered the batter charger for the camera and hoping it will fix the problem. We'll see! So bear with me...I hope to have some new pictures up soon.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Addie Bell to Wedding Bells

WOW how I have neglected this poor little blog. Things have been so busy around here...but nothing seems quite blog-able...or maybe I just have mommy brain right now and my focus has been shifted from "what can I blog about this week" to "how can such a little thing produce so much POOP".

So I should probably do some little updates...

Adalei (and as Neil is calling her "Addie Bell) is doing great. She's had a couple of yucky evenings where she cried pretty hard and only wanted mommy for about an hour or so. On these nights, Neil so nicely (yet timing was slightly off) reminded me that these little (BIG) cries are a blessing from God. True, for sure...but that doesn't mean they are pleasant. However, the past few nights have been a breeze...especially since I started giving her a tiny bit of acidolpilous. She's been going to sleep around 8 or 9 and sleeping like a champ. She's smiling at me now which is AMAZING--and sometimes it's coupled with a faint little giggle. The first time I got a big ol' toothless smile, my eyes filled up with tears. I love that she knows me...knows my smell, my voice, my face--and Neil swears she knows my footsteps.

She is a great little sleeper--YAY--for the most part. She falls asleep on her own and is still sleeping for 4 and 5 hour stretches at night. She generally wakes up happy and is very easy to satisfy. She makes it easy for me to think about having more babies :-)

Layla...sweet little Layla. What can I say--Neil and I have been blessed with one of the sweetest spirited girls in the world. I cannot say enough how amazing that little girl has been through such a dramatic change in her little family dynamic. And fortunately--now that all my post-pregnancy hormones have regulated and my sleep schedule has gotten better, I am FINALLY back to being the same ol' mommy that she was used to--pre pregnancy. THAT has made a world of least it seems to have.

I'm back to running regularly again. I started running again after about a week and a half--still feeling sore and tired at the end of a run. My core muscles suffered the worst from pregnancy, but they seemed to have bounced back with a little help from some exercises. I've had a couple of weeks of really enjoyable and great runs. It has been so nice to have one area where things are little constant...a time of day where I can focus, recharge and spend some time in prayer. Soon, dad and I will start our training regimen for the Marine Corps Marathon in the fall and a half marathon in the spring. I can't wait to tackle some hills and the track--I've been craving a run that leaves me completely depleted. What a great feeling! And I have a new partner (I hope) sweet Carmen (who just welcomed baby Noah last week) is going to train with us...YIPEE! I treasure my time with her and am SO excited that it's going to be on the increase.

Neil's sister is GETTING MARRIED this coming weekend! We are so excited to see the family growing and the guy that stole her heart is the sweetest and most amazing match for her. I can't wait to write a post after the wedding and include some pictures :-) Layla is going to be a flower girl--which has her VERY excited because flower girl = fancy--and you know how that girl loves being fancy. And I--yours truly--am making the wedding cake. heard it right here folks...I am making a WEDDING CAKE. I'll update mid week with pictures and hopefully a very positive post about all my progress :-) See, I'm off to a great start...thinking positive and getting started early--like tomorrow I am making the layers.

SO I have a busy and exciting week ahead...and am thanking God for blessing us with a very easy baby and a sweet little almost three year old so that I can fulfill my promise to make the best wedding cake ever! Pictures and updates to come...PROMISE.