Monthly Archives: April 2014

Beer and Birthday Parties

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Our weekend, which was fun despite the less than stellar weather, included a beer festival and birthday celebrations for our 2 year old as well as her future prom date.

DSC06887Saturday we hit up Dark Lord Day at Three Floyds Brewery. Going to a beer festival while pregnant is not ideal but hey, someone had to drive and I was the prime candidate so off to Indiana we went early Saturday morning. Dark Lord Day is the one day of the year that Three Floyds Brewery sells its famous Russian Imperial Stout and more than 8,000 people showed up this year for the event. The gates opened up around 10:15am but people began lining up at 2am to be at the front of the line to get in. However, once in you have to stand in line again to buy your 4 pack of Dark Lord. It’s beer nerd heaven where male and female beer nerds from all around bring their favorite specialty brews to share with total strangers and eat their pretzel necklaces to try and soak up some of the alcohol they are consuming but basically by 1pm there are a lot of people slurring and stumblingMom and ela. It was much more entertaining last year when I could partake in the fun and the weather was nice but hey, that’s just part of being pregnant.

We got home from the festival around 5pm on Saturday and I immediately began cleaning and prepping for our 2 year old’s birthday party the next morning.

We were suppose to have a picnic in the park for her birthday with friends and family but the cold and rain ruined that so instead I cleaned by house and had everyone over. Nothing like a little motivation to clear the clutter! I was keeping everything simple this year because the party was going to be at the playground so we just did a bagel bar with cheese sticks and a fruit salad for lunch and donuts and cookies for dessert. I was partial to the flower sugar cookie bouquets. It’s the first time I made them and they were so simple and looked cute on the dessert table. No fancy cake or cupcakes this year but the kids and adults scarfed the desserts none-the-less so I’m counting it as a win. DSC06891 (2)

DSC06901My little 2 year old was all smiles throughout her party although I failed to capture any of her delight on camera and she even kindly thanked all her guests after opening their gifts with a slurred, “Dank Doo!”

I must say that it’s nice having all our birthdays over with until December and just a handful of big events to look forward to over the summer months!

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This little guy turned two as well and was a lot easier to photograph. We went to his house in the evening for his birthday dinner so it turned out to be a great day celebrating these two cute stinkers.

Was your weekend relaxing? Eventful? Whatever it was, I hope it was fun!

Cheers,

Coll

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!

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Two years ago today, on a wet and dreary day just like today this little lady gracefully entered the world and has been charming us with her smiles and spunk ever since. She is a great snuggler, a lover of milk, shoes and swings and she knows what she wants and is not afraid to let everyone know what that is. She has gone through a butt scootching phase, an angry little girl phase and an “I like that!” phase that has kept us amused over the past two years. I can’t wait to see what this year brings. Probably a lot of stubbornness.

Happy birthday sweet Eleanor!

Here are some pics from over the past two years…

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Easter Terror

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How was your Easter? Ours was family-filled in the morning and friend-filled in the afternoon/evening. The weather was an awesome 78 degrees with enough sunshine to ensure my ginger husband got a little burnt and enough wind for kite flying. All-in-all it was a great day but I’m left with just one question…

Why do Easter bunny costumes look so darn scary? Not sure what I’m talking about? Google “Easter Bunny Costume” and check out the images page or just click here and you’ll see what I mean.

Go ahead. I’ll wait…

Ok, are we all on the same page now?

Sure there may be one or two that you might call cute but basically the rest are just down right sinister looking with their obscenely large eyes and open mouths sporting big, I’m-going-to-eat-you teeth. I will confess that I do get a kick out of the pictures I see of hysterical children being forced to pose with these bunnies. The sheer terror on their faces is enough to get me giggling but I do feel bad for them.

For example, this was our situation on Sunday:

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My daughter wasn’t even out of the vehicle yet before she began screaming and crying and clinging to her siblings so there wasn’t an opportunity to even get her close to the bunny for a picture. It was awesome though and I’m probably a terrible parent to think so but hey, when you’re raising a bunch of little goons you get your kicks wherever you can!  My husband kindly took her straight into the Club while I video taped the affair for posterity sake and took some pics of my big kids and their big, we-love-the-sinister-Easter-bunny smiles.

Were you witness to any Easter bunny terror and what do you think about these costumes? I’d love to hear from ya.

I hope you got a few laughs on Easter, even if it wasn’t at the expense of a child who will someday be working out their rabbit fears in therapy.

Cheers!

Colleen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choo Choos, Cool Whip and Cookies, OH MY!

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Whenever my kindergartener is off of school for a day we try to pack in as many fun things as possible to take advantage of the time we have together. Yesterday was no exception and I am still exhausted this morning from facilitating one activity after another but that’s A-Okay with me. It was a great day.

The kids had been jonesing to ride the Metra train again and asked to take a ride to The Choo Choo. It’s a little burger joint right off the tracks that delivers your meal via train if you’re lucky enough to get a spot at the counter. Unfortunately we didn’t get such a seat this time but we enjoyed our visit none-the-less.

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The train was packed on the way  home but a nice fella gave up his seat so the four of us could pile in. I was very grateful not to have to stand with my minions. After our 2 1/2 hour, train themed adventure I whisked them off to the gym to find my sanity before heading home for soccer practice. After practice we dyed Easter eggs using the Cool Whip method just like last year.

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Our eggs from last year turned out a lot better but that might be because I forgot to soak the eggs in vinegar. Oops! Oh well, we got a few good ones anyways and the dying only took 10 minutes, if that. I’m counting it as a win.

After shoveling some lasagna down their gullets I set the kids up to decorate sugar cookies. I just couldn’t motivate myself to decorate them with royal icing so instead I slathered on some frosting that only took a few minutes to whip up and let them get after it. They are mighty tasty with the buttery, powdered sugar frosting and piles of sprinkles and now we have some treats for any weekend visitors, like the Easter Bunny!

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Today we’re off to have more fun. We have some birthday parties to attend both before and after the soccer games and I assume there will be the usual, random Saturday shenanigans that always round out our weekends. I wonder if I can sneak in a nap…

Wishing you all a wonderful, shenanigan-filled Spring weekend!

Cheers,

Colleen

 

Baby Names

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My daughter is home from school today and she has taken it upon herself to come up with a name for the baby.

Image credit, Disney

Image credit, Disney

Here’s her list so far:

*Christoph

*Sven

*Anna

*Elsa

*Olaf

I mean, the girl actually wants to name the baby after a happy snowman!

Someone’s head is stuck in the Frozen world. For weeks now it’s been a Frozen obsession over here with mini-plays being acted out and songs belted out theatrically. I know you other parents can relate. How long do you think this will last? I can’t say that it bothers me or anything since I like the movie and since I’m being thoroughly entertained on a daily basis so I’ll keep going along with it all but I refuse to name this baby after a character in the movie. My girl is just going to have to come up with something better. Back to the drawing boards, little lady!

 

Pronunciation Fail

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It’s late afternoon here and I’m doing some homework with my kindergartener.

Outside it’s snowing (ugh!)

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While inside my son is running around like a banshee proclaiming himself to be an “irhino” (pronounced eye-rhino).

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Any clue what that is? I bet not so I’ll just tell you because it is not a rhinoceros.

He’s being a hyena, of course!

Irhino…hyena…totally logical mispronunciation, right?

After repeatedly watching The Lion King last year his 3-year-old little brain couldn’t seem to wrap around the correct pronunciation of the word no matter how many times I corrected him and now that he is 4 I have decided to stop correcting him and just laugh.

Enjoy the rest off your day! It’s time for me and my irhino to make some dinner.

You Know it’s Spring…

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…When you wind up at Farm & Fleet on a chick-acquisition errand for a friend…

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…and wind up getting a few for  yourself as well! They’re just too cute as babies to pass up and we needed a few more anyways (yes, I realize they will grow up but for now I’ll dote on them!) I grabbed us a Salmon Favorelle and a Black Australop, because that’s what my friend was getting and I trust her chicken knowledge, to go with our Barred Rock and Araucana.

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Now, of course I finagled my friend into raising them for us with her own until they are old enough to be assimilated with the other two in our chicken tractor but for today, they are peeping away on my countertop, enjoying the sunshine.

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Just for the record, I had no clue just how loudly a chick could chirp until now. I must say, it’s impressive and a bit painful at moments but they seem to be happy and we’re happy to have them!

Happy Spring!

Coll

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Night Trivia

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Take a look at these little cups. Here’s your question:

What are these little babies best used for in the Bailey household?

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If you guessed “taking shots” you’re thinking too much like an adult but I do like where your head is at. Keep guessing…

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If you guessed “having a tea party” you need to start thinking more outside the box. Try again…

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If you guessed “drinking water out of the toilet while Mommy cleans up the kitchen” you must also have a toddler terrorizing your home because you’re dead nuts on it.

Thanks for playing!

Love,

Colleen Don’t-Know-When-I-Last-Cleaned-That-Toilet Bailey

 

 

Let’s Talk Chocolate Cake

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Since I just filled y’all in about pregnancy #4 in my last post I figure it’s only fitting we should now discuss chocolate cake. Who am I kidding though? Talking about, and eating, chocolate cake is fitting at any time in my life but we’ll get after it here and now.

I’ve had my eye on a chocolate cake recipe that I stumbled across over at melskitchencafe.com a few weeks back. Mel boasted of a moist cake using an unconventional ingredient with fluffy chocolate whipped cream frosting. I was sold, especially since I’m so over the standard birthday cake combo of yellow cake with buttercream frosting. I bookmarked the recipe and daydreamed about it until yesterday when I decided that with Spring break over and soccer beginning we needed a little extra sweetness in our life.

The cake baked up great and flat thanks to Wilton’s Bake Even Strips that I always put around my pans. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you can check them out here. Basically they help reduce the amount of cake you have to trim off after baking to achieve level layers for stacking.

As for the chocolate whipped cream frosting, that was pretty straightforward so naturally I screwed it up. Either I didn’t let the chocolate-cream mixture cool completely in the fridge prior to whipping or my mixer speed was set too high or most likely, both. Whatever the reason I ended up with a mess, far from the fluffy chocolaty goodness I was aiming for. Mind you, it was a delicious mess but a mess all the same and I had no time to start over. That’s when I improvised and added powdered sugar until the consistency recovered enough to slather on the cake but, make no mistake, I was pissed. I’m an emotional baker.

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After dinner I served up the cake and I was pretty impressed with the cake itself. It was moist and chocolaty and it passed the test of my chocoholic husband. He even said the cake as a whole would have been great if the frosting hadn’t sucked. Love that honesty! The kids and I didn’t mind the frosting so much but I can’t wait to make it slathered in something more fluffy.

Then things got fun and I asked them to guess the secret ingredient. My son said, “Sprinkles!”

Nope, but that’s a solid 4-year-old guess.

My daughter pondered and said, “Chocolate!”

Nope, wouldn’t be a secret ingredient since the whole cake consists of it.

So then I said, “Quinoa!”

(Did you just groan at me or cheer? I couldn’t tell.)

It’s a gluten-free, dairy-free cake made with cooked quinoa that gets blended in a blender with the milk, eggs and vanilla extract. The recipe is linked above and if you have any uncooked quinoa left over from the other recipes I’ve suggested this would be a delicious way to use it up. Just don’t screw up the frosting like I did! I promise to move off the quinoa bandwagon but I had to share this adventure with you.

Stay happy in the kitchen, friends.

Love, Your Sugar-Addicted Pregger