Archive | May, 2011

First baseball game

17 May

Yesterday, Clara experienced her first baseball game in Busch Stadium. I say “first” because if Joel has his way, she will see many many many more of them there.

Clara was more interested in eating hat brims, watching planes and moths fly overhead, trying to steal people’s nachos or beers, and flirting with the boys sitting beside me than watching the baseball game. But really, who can blame her?

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We’ve Surely Got Trouble…

14 May

…Right here in river city…

(name that musical!)

I learned the hard way a couple days ago that when a baby gets quiet, it’s probably because she’s getting into trouble.

I’d fed Clara dinner the other night, rice cereal with bananas.  She didn’t eat all of it, so there was a nice half a bowl or so left over.  I stuck it in the cup holder on her high chair tray, turned her chair around so she could see Joel, and gave her a few cheerios to play with while I worked on something else.  For a few minutes she was making noise and talking to Joel, and then it got really quiet.

You don’t really notice it at first.  And then all of a sudden it hits you – the little creature that is constantly making one noise or another is suddenly silent.

This cannot be good.

Joel noticed it first, and turned around to see Clara, who had managed to reach the bowl of cereal on the tray, pulled it toward her, and dumped it all over the tray and her lap.  She then proceeded to play in it, and rub it all over her face and splash in it on the tray.

When I saw it, I could hardly keep myself from laughing.

We just picked her up and dropped her in the bath – clothes, diaper, and all.  Doesn’t she look so innocent?  Little angel…

And all that was well and good until I realized she had a dirty diaper. So, the tub got drained, cleaned,  and another bath.


And so it begins… I’m sure this is just the first of many mischievous acts… Stay tuned.

Strawberry Fields Forever

10 May

While we were home, escaping the exam stress, my mom and I took Clara strawberry picking for the first time!  This has been a tradition for me, my mom, and my sister for as long as I can remember.  Strawberries, Peaches, Blueberries, and anything else we could go pick ourselves.  I love it!  There’s just something about picking fruit yourself, eating a strawberry while you’re out in the field… so much sweeter!

Well, after we’d picked all we could pick, we decided to let Clara pick and try her first strawberry.  This was so cute and hilarious to me!

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I think she likes strawberries! Smart girl.

Oh Banjo!

9 May

My family has always been full of musicians.  My grandpa and all his siblings are all so incredibly musically talented.  Piano, guitar, banjo, fiddle, autoharp, dulcimer, vocals… pretty much anything you can think of, they can play it.

When I was in high school, PopPop gave me one of his guitars and I sorta kind learned how to play it.  I know a bunch of chords, but could never really put them all together well enough to actually play a recognizable song.  He gave my sister a fiddle, and she did much better – participating in orchestra from middle school on.  He had so many instruments, and kept them all in beautiful condition.

Well, when my mom cleaned out his house after he passed away, she brought back all of his instruments.  I think there were several guitars, a banjo, some fiddles, and various other instruments.  When I was home last week, we decided to change the strings on the guitars and try to change the banjo strings as well.  Guitars I was confident about – I’ve done that before, but the banjo was a little intimidating.  We actually never did get those changed, but Clara wasn’t intimidated by the banjo at all.

Do we have a budding musician in our midst??

Favorite Recipes: Dark Chocolate, Lime, and Sea Salt Brownies

6 May

Oh man.

If you are a lover of dark chocolate, these are your brownies!

If you are a lover of margaritas, these are your brownies!

If you are a lover of brownies, these are your brownies!

Have I made myself clear?

They are rich, dark, and heavenly!  And the lime and salt add just enough interest to break up all that dark chocolate.  Not that you really have to… Because I love dark chocolate and can’t get enough… but still.

If you want to down the dark-chocolate-quotient, you could go with a semi-sweet chip instead of the unsweetened chocolate in the final steps.  It’s really up to you.  Play around!  And Enjoy!

Extra-Dark Brownies with Sea Salt & Lime
(via The Kitchn)
16 2-inch square brownies

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped coarsely
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lime, juiced and zested
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Preheat oven to 325°F and line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving the paper extra-long and hanging over two sides.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and bittersweet chocolate over medium-low heat. Stir until smooth.

Remove pan from the heat and add the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, eggs, vanilla and kosher salt. Mix until combined. Then add lime juice and zest, as well as the finely chopped unsweetened chocolate. Stir to combine and pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle the sea salt on the top.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a tester comes out moist. It will not be perfectly clean, but it shouldn’t be sticky either. Allow pan to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before removing brownies from pan. To remove the brownies, run a knife around the sides of the pan to help release the brownies, then lift out the parchment paper. Place the brownies on the paper back on the wire rack. Cool completely and cut into 2 inch squares.

Finishing Touches

5 May

I just ordered my rug.  Finally.  I did it.

So now all that’s left is to find a last few things to put on the walls and the living room will be done.

I really want to do something like this:

via That's Happy

It’ll be different photos, of course.  I need to start working on taking those photos.  Probably shades of blue instead of yellow.  But I love the concept, and that’s what inspiration is about, right?

I found the perfect frames.  Square, with mat, white, good price point… The only downside?  They’re only available from Ikea.  In store.  No online sales for these perfect frames.

So what’s the problem?  Well, I live about 3 hours from the nearest Ikea in Charlotte.  Sad day.

I haven’t found anything else that I like as well as these, and I don’t imagine I will.  So I guess I’ll have to make a road trip to Charlotte soon.  Too bad I didn’t find this before so that I could have done it the last time I was there for a shoot.

Think I can talk Joel into a small detour on the way to St. Louis?  Hmmm….

Making Progress

1 May

We’re almost there.  The end of the first year of law school.  No more 1L.  Joel’s had 2 exams so far, 3 more to go.  Torts is tomorrow – by the way, I always want to put an e on the end of that and make it like the cake.  Tortes are so much more fun than Torts.  I’m just saying.

I think that Joel will be really really glad when this semester is over.  And so will I.  We will have about a week of break before craziness starts again.  But I will be thankful for that week.  It’ll be a fun week, too.  In that week is Mother’s Day, my birthday (29, eek!), and hopefully lots of fun family time and activities for the three of us.

But for now, Joel is studying away, and Clara and I are at my parents.  They are just loving the time they’re getting to spend with her, and I think she’s really enjoying it, too.  We have lots planned – framing my grandmother’s veil, picking strawberries, cooking, changing guitar strings – in the next few days.   We’ve started planning out the landscaping for my yard, and I’m already overwhelmed.  There’s just so much to do, and I don’t know when it’s going to get done.  But I’ll just start with a little bit at a time.  Right now, we just have the landscaping that the builder put in, plus one little sad looking flower bed I made in the front yard that desperately needs to be expanded so it doesn’t look so dorky.

I have a bunch of new photos and videos to share from our time here, but I have to get them all downloaded first.  For now, I’ll leave you with these… from her 7-month birthday shoot.

This is the very serious (very tired) 7 month old baby girl.  She is turning blonde.

Finally!  A good shot of those two teeth!

I was in Target the day after Easter, and still did not manage to get any Cadbury Eggs!  I mean is it really spring if you don’t eat at least one cadbury egg?  But I did find these adorable little headbands for fifty CENTS!  They make me laugh!

The two extremes of the bottom lip… Pouty or non-existent.  Ridiculous.

This one says “I will eat you!” and then “I will take over the world!”

Another fifty cent headband… I love the progression here.

If you’ve been around for a while, you probably remember Clara’s 2 month picture with this bear…we’re making progress in more ways than one.  I think they might be friends now.

So, here we are… almost done with the first year of law school, with a 7 month old girl who is learning to use a sippy cup, feeding herself puffs, and almost crawling, and about to turn a year older.  Crazy.