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Monday, March 21, 2011

This Weekend in Pictures

Even though the birthday party and Oliver's baptism were the big events this weekend, there were plenty of other things to do, too.

In the Band
Form a band with your sibling.

Rock-a-bye
Rock in the rocking chair by yourself...

Cousins
... or with your cousin.

Playing with his birthday game
Have a blast playing with your belated birthday present.

Reading to Grandma in the tent
Read your Batman story to Grandma in Owen's tent

Cousins in the tub
Take a bath with your cousin

With our Godson Oliver
Celebrate your Godson's dedication

Grandpa Dave with his grandkids
Try to hold on to all your grandkids

Playing on Uncle Brian's iPad
Finger paint without ever getting your fingers dirty thanks to Uncle Brian's iPad.

Navigator Ian
Navigate the way home (with an Illinois map).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Cakes (yes, plural)

For Annaliese's cake, I knew I wanted polka dots. But after eating Ian's fondant, I knew I did not want fondant on her cake. The fondant was so fun and easy to make, but the taste was nasty. So a search through the web and this cake became my inspiration. It was sprinkles massed together in circles. I could handle doing that.

Fast forward a few days, and one of the blogs I regularly read had a post on homemade sprinkles. After reading up, I realized I needed to try it, and so the process began.

Sprinkles in process

Homemade sprinkles

As for the cake, I wavered back and forth between going out and buying a large sheet cake pan, or making two 9x13 cakes that I was going to butt together. I went with the latter, but the cakes came out so high and rounded in the center that when I leveled them, they seemed so short. My solution was to turn it into a two-tiered cake. Having the flu put me behind, and so I ended up having to do box cake mix. After frosting those, I will never make them again; they are soooo crumbly! During a late-night of no sleep, I feared I wouldn't have enough cake, so the morning before we left, I made some yellow cake in a round pan.

Chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting

Yellow cake with chocolate frosting

Annaliese needed her own little smash cake and it, along with the rest of the cakes, turned out exactly as I envisioned (I love it when that happens).

The birthday girl's cake

She was not a happy girl for reasons I don't want to admit here on the blog, so she did not dig in to the cake until later. But once she did, mmmmm, she loved it.

Not a happy girl

Eating her cake

The cake damage

That was yummy cake


I have now made 5 different frostings between both Ian and Annaliese's birthday: butter cream, fondant, glaze (turned into sprinkles), cream cheese, and store bought. From this smorgasbord of taste-testing, I have learned that I definitely prefer cream cheese frosting. And from now on, only homemade cake for me.

Annaliese's Birthday Bash

We had Annaliese's big 1st birthday party back in Elkader today with lots of family and friends. We had a great time visiting with our family and friends we don't get to see very often. Annaliese was pretty low-key and clingy; she went back on antibiotics on Wednesday and has a cold for two weeks, so she's still not quite herself.

The food was delicious. We had BBQ beef sandwiches, turkey dressing sandwiches, baked beans, potatoes, chips, veggie tray, fruit tray, and applesauce. Oh, and there was dessert of course.

Oh, and my goodness, the presents. She got spoiled. So many cute clothes for the summer, baby dolls to love, books to read, a chair to sit in, a water table to play in, a wagon to ride in, and money to put in the bank. Thanks to all for her gifts.

Birthday Chair

Let the presents begin

Smiles for Baby

With her new book

Squish Ball

A new skirt

Helping Mommy write

The kids all went for a ride in the wagon Annaliese got. Ian loved it and Grandpa Dave made many a lap around the room pulling Ian. Ian would sometimes pull Owen or Annaliese in it as well. During one extended trip, Owen fell asleep.

Cutest Cargo

Owen falls asleep

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

He's not a "little" guy

First Sandbox Play of the Season

I often alternate nicknames for Ian, going between Big Guy and Little Man. But one thing I never say is Little Guy. He has never been little, and his 4-year check-up on Wednesday continued to prove that he was big. His weight was 44 pounds (89 percentile) and his height was 42.25 (93 percentile). Not exactly off the charts like he was in the early months of life, but I definitely think he got his daddy's genes and not mine. The nurse was asking us developmental questions in the beginning, and more often than not, Ian answered them even though they were directed towards us. She didn't even need to have us answer the question, "Can he speak sentences of six words or greater?" because he was doing that the whole time. As the doctor was checking him out, she said she had no concerns. That he looked perfect. It was so nice to go to a doctor's appointment and have it be good news instead of those we'd been going to for Annaliese. Ian didn't get away without getting a shot, during which he only said, "Owie!" Annaliese had to get shots, too, as she couldn't have them at her check-up right before her surgery. She cried a bit, but not for an extended period or really loud. To reward them for doing such a great job, we drove across the street to Village Inn, where we took advantage of Free Pie Wednesday.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

These are a Few of Her Favorite Things

Annaliese is a very curious, independent little girl. She repeatedly likes to open the island cabinets and dig out the pots and pans.
I got it open
What's in here?
Fun in the Kitchen

When not in the kitchen opening up cabinets, she loves to open the door to the entertainment center. I used to pack stuff away in there, but she keeps getting taller and is able to reach it all.
In the entertainment center

She has also taken away control of the spoon from us. We still scoop the food on for her, but she does everything else. The first few times she'd flip the spoon over in her mouth, but now she's a pro at it.
Feeding herself
I love food!

This isn't one of her favorite things, but I've finally had time to do a bit sewing, which is one of my favorite things. Here's a peek at my latest project, which, like nearly every project I do, wasn't done by the deadline. When am I going to learn to start sooner?
Peed at Walter's Baptism Gift

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Perfect Patient

From all accounts, Annaliese was a perfect patient today during her surgery to get tubes in her ears. We left home bright and early at 7. I'm usually just crawling out of bed at that time, but not today. After quickly dropping Ian off at preschool, we headed to Children's Hospital. Shortly after, we met Sue our nurse and changed Annaliese into her hospital sleeper (she was too small for their gowns).
Showing Daddy by hospital duds

They gave us the run down of how things would go that day, and then we headed to the play room to kill time. There were two other boys in there, both older than her, and they seemed to flock to us when we got in there. They followed Annaliese wherever she went. She spent her time between the drums and the keyboard, which makes the percussionist in me hopeful for the future.
Spending time in the play room

Sue called us back to the room and administered Annaliese some dopamine to help ease the fear of separation. She said it could knock her out or make her giggly. Instead, it made her very chatty and lovey. She liked to pretend her pop bead was a phone, putting it up to her ear an saying, "Hello" followed by lots more babble we don't understand yet. As Dr. Edmunds came in to get her for surgery, Annaliese gave her a kiss. If this is any indication as to what may happen when she has alcohol in her system, then we'll really need to watch out with how easily she shares kisses.
"Hello!"
Pretending to be on the phone

About forty minutes later, she was back in our room. Dr. Edmunds said she was a very good baby. Never cried at all. Was giving lots of kisses to of all them back in surgery. Even the surgical nurse who came in later talked about what a sweetheart and snuggler she was. She also returned with a bear she got to keep.
Annaliese arrives back in our room

The biggest thing we had to deal with after the surgery was her hunger. She hadn't eaten since supper the night before (16 hours ago) and so was very hungry. The little bit of diluted juice they gave her wasn't enough to tide her over, but they were fearful of nausea if they gave her too much. Eventually her crying won out and she got more to drink and animal crackers to eat.
First food in 16 hours
The dot was to indicate Dr. Edmunds had come in and checked her out before the surgery. There was a bit of drainage from her ear; some fluid was blending in with the ear drum and they couldn't see it until they were in there.

We had to wait awhile to leave, as they had to continually get her blood pressure and heart rate before they'd discharge us. I really just wanted to get her home and snuggle with her.
Getting her blood pressure and heartrate taken

When we got home, though, she wasn't in a snugly mood. You really wouldn't even had known she had surgery today the way she was playing and crawling around. She even stood for a bit without holding on to anything, which is a new occurrence (our theory is she was a bit behind in this skill because all the ear problems were throwing off her equilibrium). Before we had left the hospital, the nurses gave her a birthday balloon and she found a way to get tangled up in it.
Birthday balloon from the nurses

And tonight, following a 4.5 hour nap, she was nothing but a happy girl all night long. She loved the toast, grapes, and ham balls she got for her birthday supper, and ended the night crawling around the living room getting into everything Ian was trying to keep away from her.
Can you tell I had surgery today?

So all-in-all, not a great way to spend one's birthday, but hopefully it will make this following year even more enjoyable for her than her first year, or hopefully at least a lot healthier.