Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cake, Cake, Cake

So, I LOVE cake, and I love making cakes, so I decided to take a cake decorating class.
It's been really fun, and I've gotten to eat alot of cake. :)

It was a month long class... two hours every Tuesday. I made three practice cakes, so they are not big, pretty cakes, just enough to practice designs, etc.

The first cake we learned how to do pattern transfers. My cake was really smooth, so my teacher decided to make an example of me. She tranferred a rainbow pattern on my cake... not what I would have chosen, but it turned out pretty well.

and it was yummy!

The second week we learned how to make roses...

So, I've always more of a cake person, and less of an icing person, but since I started this class, and got a fantastic buttercream icing recipe... definintely an icing person now!

Now to my final cake... I was really excited, because I had a really simple and cute idea. The minute I started icing my cake, I realized that my icing was too thin, but decided to not worry about it too much. Well, I've become such a perfectionist about my smooth icing and it wasn't going well. I was getting frustrated and I ended up with way too much icing, so I had to start again. Thats one time iced.

I ice it again, and because the icing was thin, and I used hot water on my spatula to smooth the icing, my cake was really wet, so I positioned it under the box fan I have in my room, so it would set faster. Thats two times iced. I go into my room later, and apparently, this was the day that my fan decided to break, and the fan was resting on top of my cake.

I was about to throw in the towel and not go to class, but decided to ice it one more time. I did, put it in my cake container, and put it up on the counter. Thats THREE times iced.

I take another shower, because I'm covered in icing, and when I come back out into the living room, Jackson is in the kitchen and said, "no, mom, you go away." I knew that couldn't be a good sign. I walked into the kitchen, and my cake container is open and on the floor with a fork stuck in it with big bites taken out, and ...

Caroline literally on top of the cake and up to her elbows in icing. I truly was not meant to make my cake. I laughed, and did what I had to do...

A girl after my mom's heart. :)

...I got a fork, sat down on the kitchen floor, and ate cake! I had to laugh, or else I would cry.

I called my friend Royale, who is taking the class with me, and told her I didn't have a cake, and she told me she had an extra cake she had iced that she would bring for me.
I showed my teacher these pictures, and she wants me to bring one in for her to put on the wall in her classroom.
Needless to say, it didn't turn out exactly how I wanted, but all things considered, atleast I got to go to class and decorate a cake.

My great-grandma, who I never met, made cakes for a living. Taking this class has made me think alot about her. And I know it sounds silly, but it has made me feel closer to her as well. I never knew her, but I feel like now I understand a little more about her.

I had so much fun doing this, and can't wait for course 2

As Good as New

It's back! $605 later...

It's just money, right?! :)

So Let's Pretend It's Last Friday...

... Because that's the day my baby girl turned...

Eight Months Old!!! Seriously?! Eight Months Old?!

This little girl is seriously the sweetest baby ever. She just makes me smile, probably because there is rarely a time when she's not smiling.

So much has happened in the last month... she has gotten three more teeth, she is crawling all over the place, and she is pulling up on things and standing. I can't believe how "big" she is getting and all that she is doing.
This is her new "I don't know" pose. She does it all the time.

She loves Jackson more than anything. I think it is so sweet.

Serioulsy, she smiles all the time!

We love this precious girl!

I did get a video of her crawling... I'm sure I enjoy it more then you will, but humor me. :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

We had a really nice Easter weekend...

It stared on Thursday when Jackson went and spent the night with his Nanay. Then I met mom and Jackson on Friday and she took us to get some summer clothes for Jackson. Mom came back and spent the rest of the weekend with us, and on today, David and Leda came over and we all went to church together.

After church we went back to David and Leda's apartment. They live across the street from the Arboretum -- a beautiful park, and we had a picnic and actually got some cute pictures of the kids...

Happy Easter, everyone!!!

Three Years and & 7 Months

On Thursday, Jackson and Caroline went to the Doctor for their "well-visits" to see how they are deveoping and progressing at their ages.

Jackson got to stand on a big boy scale...
He was 37 lbs. and 38 3/4 inches tall

So, he has gotten taller, but has literally only gained like 2 pounds in the last year or more.

He also did an eye test, and he did really well. Just like an adult, we stood so many feet back from the chart, and it had different shapes on the lines.
On the 20/30 line, the shapes were, from left to right, a circle, star, half moon, and a circle without a center.

He said they were a "earth shape", "star" "moon" and "letter 'o' "

On the 20/20 line it was a smaller circle, square, moon and star

He said they were, " a nickel", "square", "moon" and "another star".

Thats my boy... 20/20 vision in both eyes. He was such a big boy!

Then he had to get a shot... no fun!

Miss Caroline is still my little peanut.

She was a whopping 16 lbs. and 25 3/4 inches long... 11 lbs. lighter than Jackson was at 7 months.

Her head grew another centimeter, so it continues to grow consistently.

She was put on Cingulair for seasonal allergies. She is sitting up (which she hates to do) but would rather stand up or crawl. She also had to get three shots in her chubby litttle legs. Mean tricks us moms play on our babies.


I've taken my car to the same body-shop for as long as I've had a car, and for as long I've been taking my car there, the shop dog, Caden has been there.

This week, I finally took my car in to get an estimate on the damage.Well, Caden LOVED Caroline, and Caroline LOVED him. He would lick her and she would laugh and laugh. She would grab onto him and just couldn't get enough.

The ladies in the shop also loved Caroline and took turns holing her while we were there. Before we went I stopped and got Jackson a happy meal so he would sit and be good while we had to be there. Caden swiped one of his chicken nuggets, and I'm thinking we might to go there for every meal. I have never seen Jackson eat so much or eat so fast, because he didn't want to the doggy stealing his food.

I can't wait for Caroline to see him again next week when I take the car in to get fixed.

More from Georgia

In looking at previous blog posts, Shannon and I realized that Caroline and Maya have a matching dress, so on the day we left Georgia we decided to have a photo shoot. Jackson wouldn't look at the camera, but was otherwise cooperative. We thought it would be nice to get some pictures for our grandparents, Barn and Marma, of their three great-grandchildren.

I told you that Caroline couldn't get enough of Miss Maya.

This one was my favorite of the two girls.

Now, on a different note all together... I think that any good mom has atleast one time when she is scared that she might have killed her baby. Just kidding, but seriously... on Saturday night, while in Georgia, I overdosed Caroline on Benedryl. The pollen in Georgia was AWFUL, and they have two cats, which my kids have never been around, and their allergies were really bad, and they were miserable. Carolione especially couldn't breathe and hadn't slept well the night before. To try to clear her up, and to help her sleep, because lets admit that we've all tried to drug our kids before to help them sleep :), I gave her some benedryl. I'm not quite sure what I was thinking, but instead of giving her the 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon dose she is supposed to have, I gave her 1 1/2 teaspoons, the typical dose for a 12 year old. Yeah, I know, great mom.

When I realized what I had done, I satrted freaking out, because I was worried about it just knocking her out. My aunt Kimmy called her friend who is an ER nurse and she said it was serious enough that poison control would have had us bring her in, but we needed to get her out of bed and keep her up for the half-life of the medicine (it lasts for 4 hours, so we had to keep her up for 2). We gave her lots of water, and did whatever we could to keep her awake. She was so good and so sweet.

At one point, my mom had a little cone of ice cream, and Caroline wanted in. I always get a cone of yogurt when we go to Chick-fil-A, so she must see them enought that she knows what to do. She started grunting and begging. It fit right in her hand, so we gave it to her and let her have a few bites...

Gotta love that face!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Kissing Cousins

We went down to Atlanta this past weekend to meet our new cousin, Maya.

Shannon and Maya were there from Oregon so we could go down and meet them.

When we first got there, I got my hands on Maya and brought her over to where Caitlin was holding Caroline. Caroline was so excited her whole little body started shaking. She couldn't wait to get her hands on Maya.

First she went for the eyes...

Then she went in for the kiss...

Anytime Maya was around, Caroline was up rolling around, inch-worming, and scooting her little heart out to get to her. Maya even tried out Caroline's Bumbo. See, even a little 10-week old baby can sit up in it.

Then, we got a picture of all the second cousins taking a bath together. It was short-lived... I had Caroline in the Bumbo (which floats), and Jackson was so loud and so lovey around Maya that she was not so happy when he was around. She is definitely not used to having a big brother around.

Jackson had the best time of all. Ever since we have home he has asked if we can go to Kimmy's house. He fell in love with Caitlin and keeps telling me he wants to go see her and "baby sister Maya" which he says "day-dee sister Yaya" and play with "Cabby" (Gabby the cat).

Thank you Regans for a great vacation... now I need another vacation! :)

Because I'm anal like that...

Look over to my side-bar...

I changed the little "age-ticker" thing on Jackson since he had his birthday, and now it shrunk his picture. See how it looks different from the other two?

What do I do?

Just leave it alone, don't worry about it? Thats what Cameron said, but it's gonna bug me every time I look at it!

Happy Birthday to you!

This year we decided to have Jackson's birthday party at "Chick-en-a-yay"... his favorite place. I'm so glad we did because it rained ALL DAY LONG! We had a great time.

We are so lucky to have such wonderful family and friends who came to spend a specail day with us. The kids had a fun time playing, and all of us adults had fun talking and passing around babies. This is the first time that Jackson was more excited about the presents and the birthday cake than he was about playing and eating his lunch. He's getting older. He was very lucky to have his friends and cousinns there to "help" him open his presents.

Sorry for the lack of pictures... I should have assigned someone to take pictures... I get too side-tracked.

Jackson enjoying his cupcake!

Part of our little (actually big) group. Its always big and loud when the Howards are involved.

I didn't get a picture of my cute cake... but can you kind of get an idea?! It was a tiered cupcake cake.

I was a mean mom, and requested no "Thomas" toys. They make him a little (alot) out of control. So instead, her got alot of Thomas books, Thomas stickers, a Thomas kite, and Thomas pajamas.
Once he opened his books, he sat at the table the whole rest of the time we were there so he could read his books. He could not be bothered with anything else.

Thank you everyone who came and made this a special day for my sweet boy!

My dad and Dianne decided to come up from Florida for Jackson's birthday... it was a fun surprise. They came over to our house after the party and spent the rest of the day with us.

I was able to get this adorable video of Caroline.

Isn't that hilarious?!

It seems like only Yesterday...

that I brought my baby Jackson home from the hospital...

And now he's THREE!!!

Sometimes it seems as if he has been around forever, while at others, I can't even believe he's been around for 3 years.

I was looking back at some pictures of when I was pregnant with him, and that girl I was could have never imagined how much the little person she was carrying around inside of her would change her life. I was not fully prepared (I don't think anyone is) for the way my life would change. Having a baby is HARD. I don't think anyone ever tells you that, and even if they did, we don't care or pay attention because we just see the happiness that we think of when we see babies. I would never go back to life before him. He truly changed my life for good!

I often called Jackson by "practice" baby. I had no idea what I was doing, and we figured it all out together. I couldn't have gotten a better baby to practice on. He was so good, and so sweet, and SOOOOO cute. I got compliments everywhere we went. Cameron worked ALOT back then, and Jackson was my little buddy. We did everything together. That was the thing I missed the most when Caroline came along.

He has done so much in his short life. He's been so many places and has had so many fun experiences. He is my world traveler. Not really, but thats what I call him. He has been up and down the east coast, to Georgia, Florida, Philadelphia, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire. He'll experience Maine this summer... it is an experience. He has been San Francisco, and Salt Lake City. He has been so good and had so much fun through it all. I think of all the things he has done in these three short years... the sitting up, the crawling, the walking, the running, the talking, the shapes and colors, the animal sounds, the potty-training... all before he was 3.

He is so lucky to have so many people around him who love him. And he is truly loved. His grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends. He has no strangers. He is loved by people at church. From the moment we first went to church, I walk in with him and walk out with him, but don't often have him during those three hours. For his friend Dawn at church, who I think loves him more than I do. All who know him feel of his sweet spirit... not only is he loved, but he truly loves those around him. He always asks about his friends and their moms (my friends). He asks about his "Nanay", his "Grindad" and "Diamme and the Doggies", his "Papa's and Greema's" (he has two sets) and his aunts, uncles and cousins.

He is the best baby boy I could have hoped for. Even after three years, I sometimes find it hard to believe that my Father in Heaven trusted me and loved me enough to have this special for my very own. How blessed I feel. He is such a good son, and such a good big brother. Even as we have entered the "terrible threes" (I'm convinced there is no such thing as the terrible-twos) I am thankful for him every day.

I look forward to the next three years, and the three after that, and the three after that. I look even more forward the fact that he will still be mine long after we pass from the earth. How grateful I am for the knowledge I have of eternal familes, and how grateful I am to be apart of one.

Thank you, my Jackson, for being my sweet boy. I'm so lucky!!!