Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Kolache Test Kitchen

Funny thing came up at work the other day--no one here in California knows what kolaches are! I went on a mission calling all the local bakeries, but apparently none of them know what kolaches are, either. The closest I got was a Swedish baker who told me to describe what I want and he'll make it for me. Close, but certainly not the same!

After realizing how daunting it was going to be to make kolaches two nights in a row (remember, I'd need to do a test batch before I brought any in so I could do a trial run), I decided to try making the dough in a bread machine.

Unfortunately I don't have a bread machine, but my friend was kind enough to lend me hers. And, the first batch was a....SUCCESS!! (kindof)

The sausage kolaches turned out delicious, but the fruit kolaches needed a little more sweetness. I think I'll add more sugar to the recipe next time. I cut the sugar down to begin with to make them a *little* healthier.

Pictures to follow once Abel brings the camera back...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

We *heart* Gunner

Gunner's been part of our family for a few days now and we can now say with some degree of certainty that he's a perfect fit. He sits intently while Bella "reads" him books and the only time he barks is when he wants attention. He has an expert "sit" and is nothing but sweetness. He even follows Bella to the potty where he sits and cries for her to pick him up (if you've seen how she holds him, you'd be convinced the dog isn't very smart).

Both this morning and this afternoon Gunner went to the door (and immediately started to squat) to go potty. I ran and, fortunately, got there in time to take him out. I know he still has a looooong way to go, but it's nice to see he's catching on. Bella likes to take books out there to read while we wait for him.

We're still working on how to play together. For now, we play chase and he rolls around on his back. We're making progress on playing tug-of-war. We can't wait until he's old enough to teach him tricks and more games.

Monday, March 23, 2009


It's been a while since you've seen Isabella Ballerina. Enjoy.

Bella's New Roommate

The newest addition to our family is a beautiful handsome weimaraner pup. He hasn't quite been named yet, but we're thinking of Gunner--because he's gun-metal gray and he'll grow up to be very fast. Abel still wants to see more of his personality to ensure "Gunner" is a good fit for him, but he certainly seems like a Gunner...

We're having him sleep with Bella in the hopes that they will form a strong bond in the coming months before Noah is born. We know the adjustment will be difficult for her because she is so energetic and needy loving, but we're hoping that Gunner will help keep her occupied.

Bella is learning some important lessons with Gunner--especially with sharing. Gunner has a handful of toys so she's learning not to take his toys away from him. She's also learning that when we pick up Gunner, we wrap our arms around his tummy, not his neck. Gunner doesn't seem to mind. He just likes the attention.

Maybe it's the pregnancy, but I think it's amazing to see our family really unfold. With the addition of Gunner and Noah (in August), and buying a house, it feels like we're finally at the place in life that we've been aiming for.

Welcome little Gunner!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Wish List

Add these cute alphabet cards to my nursery wish list. Imagine a series of these framed. Or maybe just "NOAH". I'm still deciding which set I like better.

This one is called Animal Parade and has a nice vintage-ish feel. Simple.

I think I'm liking this set a little more. It's called All Around the Land and has a sweeter feel. It's not quite as boy-ish as the other set, but it is filled with blue, so I think it's ok.

Easter Dress?

So this is what I have in mind for Isabella for Easter. I want to do maternity pictures, so I thought she would be so adorable in this for pictures as well. (You know, all the kissing the belly shots and stuff. It'll be sweet!) I just need to get the fabric (which, by the way, is like $8/yard for the chiffon!). I'm guessing this should take me a day or so to do, but it's soo cute! It's not quite a traditional Easter dress, but it's just so irresistable. I just need to determine what to do for a top...

This top is kinda cute, but may be a little cool.

Almost a little plain or something. I'll have to keep looking.

Preparations and Organization

So I found this wonderfully fun fabric to go with the space fabric. Part of me wonders if it needs something simply pieced with a lot of white on the other side, but I just loved this fabric so much that I don't really care! :o) They both have the same retro-feel. It'll be really cute when it's done.

This fabric is for baskets for Noah's room. To keep his diapers and wipes and later, his toys. The left and bottom fabric are for the outside (it'll be patchwork) and the stripes fabric is the lining. The linen fabric is for the bottom. (And no, these fabrics weren't actually designed to go together, though they all match so perfectly! I actually started with the lining fabric and built it from there.)

This is for Bella's Baskets. The left and bottom fabric are for the outside--patchwork again. The bunny toille is the lining and the linen is the bottom.

In case you can't picture it, this is what the baskets will look like.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Parenting is Not for the Weak at Heart

...Or Stomach.

After a full day of shopping (I needed a dress for a meeting next week), I decided to reward Bella with a trip to the tot lot--the little kids playground in our complex. It's rare that we go because I prefer to walk there and its a 15 minute walk. Since Bella has to go potty ever hour, we have to watch the time very closely to ensure she doesn't play longer than a half hour, otherwise we end up in a predicament walking home.

Bella had played for about 10 minutes when she announces she needs to go poo-poo. I tell her to come quickly so we can go home when I notice her walk is slow and her legs are sprawled. We're too late. Since I have nothing to change her with, we head home--she walks/runs and I push the stroller.

We're almost home when I notice that the neighbor's dog had an accident on the sidewalk and wasn't cleaned up. This is a minor annoyance since we were constantly accused of not cleaning up after Elvis. A few steps later, I notice another accident. Then I see Bella's shoe which has poo on the side and suddenly realize the poo is FALLING OUT!! AHHH!! YUCK!!

Straight to the bathtub she went! Unfortunately Abel was traveling today, so he wasn't there to assist, but all seasoned moms know that the worst parenting tasks always fall to mom. All seasoned moms also know how to remain calm in the worst scenarios and also how to the humor in a bad situation. To all moms out there, your afternoon couldn't have been worse than mine! Anyway, I need to go outside with a doggy bag--to clean up after my kid!

Lemonade Stand

I'd been wanting to make Bella a village of house pillows for her room, so today I made the first one. It still needs the stuffing, but Bella is asleep in my bed and I don't want to wake her. There's a little pocket in the lemonade stand so that a clothes pin doll can man the booth. The next houses I make will certainly be more colorful! (The color of this picture came out a little dark--the house is more of a medium gray color, not a navy blue.) I wasn't thrilled with how "rough" it came out, but when the whole village is put together (all a little rough), then it'll be cute.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cute Outfits In Need of Baby

Are you getting sick of hearing about baby Noah yet? There's still 21 weeks before he's even here!!

I told Abel I was pregnant by giving him two gifts. This one was from me...

And Bella picked this one out (not surprisingly, since she loves puppies so much).

A girl from work bought me these last three outfits because she wanted to be the first person from work to get me something (she did the same for Bella). This is the back of the outfit--I just HAD to show you the tiger on the bum.

I'm going to have to buy (or make) Bella a coordinating "Big Sister" shirt. Too cute!

Buying fabric has always been a weakness

I purchased this fabric to make curtains for Bella's bed/playhouse (whenever it's finished). Since the playhouse will have a little kitchen, then this will make the perfect curtains and perhaps even a little tablecloth.

I bought these two fabrics when I first found out I was pregnant. I just knew I was having a boy and even though I had no clue what I'd do with these, I snatched them up. The dark blue "Atomic Space Cadet" fabric will be great for the backing of a quilt. The lighter blue alien one will make cute pants/shorts (well...maybe 10 pairs of shorts/pants since I have several yards of it!)--I just may embroider a onsie to match.

Imagine Abel's surprise when I brought these boy fabrics home. It went something like this: "What did you get that for?" "For the baby," I said. "Shouldn't we wait until we find out what we're having before you start stocking up?" Abel's so practical.

Baby Names and Nursery Ideas

We both agree that the baby's name will be Noah, which I think is perfect. Noah means "peacemaker" which is exactly what he'll need to be with his hotheaded redheaded sister.

The middle name is a little tougher. I originally really liked "Jacob", but Abel's not a fan. As an alternative, I've become attached to "Gabriel" and Abel isn't opposed (which is a step up). I like the ties between Gabriel being the angel who told Mary she was pregnant with baby Jesus and Isabella being born on Christmas. "Gabriel" means "Man of God" or "God's able-bodied one".

Any other ideas?

I've been trying to figure out a nursery theme and the more pictures I look at, the more I like just a simple, vintage nursery. Filled with old-timey toys and blocks--I especially like the bedding set with the ABCs/animals (of course I would, it's by Pottery Barn!). It'll be something I'll piece together over the next few months with a lot of trips to Good Will and the local thrift stores...maybe even some ebaying.

And isn't it only natural that baby Noah would be surrounded by animals? :o)

Here are some ideas I was thinking of. I like that it's not to theme-ish and is something that'll grow from infant to toddler.

Your thoughts?

And the saga continues...

I was hoping we'd start this weekend with some news on the house (followed by some thrifting and garage saleing), however, the old offer on the house has come back to haunt us. Countrywide has attempted to reach the people who submitted the prior offer (back in early December) and has given them until the end of this week to respond. So far, they haven't heard back from them and we hope they never do! :o)

Countrywide has postponed the foreclosure sale to April 15th to allow time for the property to close--which is a great sign! It sounds like they are prepared to move forward with our offer. I was hoping to move-in by Easter so we could do an Easter Egg hunt in the house, but we'll see!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Any day now...

Still no word on whether the bank accepted our offer on the house. We've been told by the buyer's agent that Countrywide promised an answer by Friday. If they don't accept it, the house is going to foreclosure sale on the 19th--they are postponing the sale just long enough to evaluate our offer. We're certainly counting down the days. This baby (and Bella, too) needs a home!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's a BOY!!

I was RIGHT! I knew we were having a boy. I was so certain, when the ultrasound tech initially told us she couldn't tell, it didn't bother me (too much). But we were able to get some good pictures...and it's definitely a boy!

The baby is just over 18 weeks, so we are almost half way. My due date is August 8th and the baby is measuring right on time--based on the baby's measurements, he is due on August 7th.

It's much easier to see the ultrasound photos when someone is sitting there explaining them to you, so I'll try to walk you through them as best as I can.

This is the baby's spine. He's nice and limber now--kind of like the spine of a lizard. You can see how he can curl up so easily! Can you see his legs straight out pushing against my tummy?

Here the baby is facing away from the photo. The head is on the left and body on the right. You can see he has his right arm on his face.

This is a nice profile shot. You can see his mouth is open and his hand is on its way in. Who do you think he looks like? Any guesses on hair color?

Here you can see the head on the right. The baby is curled up and you are looking down on top of the head, with the legs on the left.

High five from the little baby. He spent a lot of time sucking his thumb and with his hands on his face (which is why we didn't get a very good frontal photo of the face), but here you can clearly see the hand. And yes, he has 10 fingers and 10 toes.

Here's the money shot. It's a boy!

Abel was much more interested in the heart rate than anything else. So I posted this one especially for him. The heart rate was 144 beats per minute--within the normal range.

Here's a picture of the feet. It's a little hard to tell because he was so active and wouldn't leave his feet in one spot. The feet are upside down in the photo.