Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Hard to believe my little princess is 3 months old already. We had a wonderful Christmas with the boys, even if Maggie slept through most of it. She has rolled over several times now so if she had more uninterrupted floor time my guess is she would be rolling all over the place. She and daddy both have survived my first night back at work so that is a relief to all of us. We'll be working on finding new routines with the new year with Grandma and Grandpa heading home tomorrow and mommy back at work full time. I'm really glad that Maggie did well her first nigth without me because it makes going back to work much less stressful.
Christmas shawl in time for Christmas and I think it came out nicely even if it wasn't that much of a surprise for her. The compromise of getting it done in time for Christmass meant that I had to knit it while she was around. I was hoping to keep the final result a bit of a secret so when I blocked it out I did it in the basement but then she went down there to do a load of laundry- dope! Oh well I think she likes it! I also made a Little Pearl Vest for a baby gift for a friend who is due in January. It came really pretty and I just have to find a button and block it. I think I might have to make on of these for Maggie but in a much bigger size! Since I got floated at work last night I was also able to finish a matching hat and I am going to try to eek out a pair of booties. Here's hoping I have enough yarn!
With all the goings on of Christmas I haven't had much time to read. I'm still reading The Catholic Home but somehow it has gotten misplaced under piles of Christmas gifts so I will have to find it back this week. I did pick up All Wound Up by Stephanie Pearl McPhee. I love that book and it is easy to pick up and read just a little bit at a time. It's a great mood lifter, especially if you are a knitter!
Hope to have some Christmas pictures to come in the next few days as we clean and organize and get everything put away. But in the meantime I will leave you with picture of James and Maggie sharing a little bot of Christmas joy, i.e. Maggie fending off James as he shoved one of his presents into her face trying to show it to her. Once he got it out of her face though he was so cute holding his lacing card in her lap showing her how it worked.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
My little princess is 12 weeks old today! I don't know why this feels like such a milestone for me but it does. It probably has something to do with the fact that at 12 weeks my maternity leave is over and I will be going back to work next week. That is going to be a change for sure. Somehow with the boys returning to work felt like a bigger challenge than actually bringing baby home. It'll be a little different this time since I am going back to work over the holidays (the joys of being a nurse) so Frank will be home much of the time and his parents are here visiting as well. The beginning of January will find us trying to learn our new routines. Maggie is doing awesome. She is really a lovely and content little girl. She rolled over last week one time but just the once so hopefully she isn't going to be too precocious. She keeps trying to pull herself up into a sitting position though so I don't imagine it will be long before she is sitting.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
|The first layer ready to be chilled|
|Melting the bittersweet chocolate and mixing in the cream|
|The second layer spread and ready to be chilled|
Adapted from Bon Appétit, December 1998
17 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
30 red-and-white-striped crushed hard peppermint candies (or a 4.2 oz jar peppermint crunch)
7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, > 60% cocoa, finely chopped
6 Tbsp. heavy cream or whipping cream (I like heavy cream better)
¾ tsp. peppermint extract
Turn a large baking sheet upside down, and cover it securely with aluminum foil. Measure out and mark a 9- by 12-inch rectangle on the foil.
Put the white chocolate in a metal (or other heatproof) bowl, and set it over a saucepan of barely simmering water. (Do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water.) Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and smooth; if you take its temperature with a candy thermometer, it should register 110°F. Remove the chocolate from the heat. Pour 2/3 cup of it onto the rectangle on the foil. Using an icing spatula, spread the chocolate to fill the rectangle. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of the crushed peppermints. Chill until set, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the bittersweet chocolate, cream, and peppermint extract in a heavy medium saucepan. Warm over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is just melted and smooth. Cool to barely lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Then remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator, and pour the bittersweet chocolate mixture over the white chocolate rectangle. Using an icing spatula – make sure you cleaned it after using it for the white chocolate, above! – spread the bittersweet chocolate in an even layer. Chill until very cold and firm, about 25 minutes.
Rewarm the remaining white chocolate over barely simmering water to 110°F. Working quickly, pour the white chocolate over the firm bittersweet layer, using your (again, clean) icing spatula to spread it to cover. Sprinkle with remaining crushed peppermints. If you used peppermint crunch then use all of the remaining crunch in the jar. Chill just until firm, about 20 minutes.
Carefully lift the foil from the baking sheet onto a large cutting board. Trim away any ragged edges of the rectangle. (These are yours to nibble at, a little prize for your efforts.) Cut the bark crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips. Using metal spatula, slip the bark off of the foil and onto the cutting board. Cut each strip crosswise into 3 sections, and then cut each section diagonally into 2 triangles. Or, alternatively, just cut each strip into smaller pieces of whatever size you like. That’s what I did.
Pack into an airtight container, with sheets of wax paper between layers of bark to prevent them from sticking to one another. Store in the refrigerator. Serve cold or, to emphasize the slight softness of the bittersweet layer, let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
Note: This bark will keep for up to 2 weeks, if not more. If you plan to pack it in a tin or baggie with other holiday sweets, be sure to wrap it separately in plastic wrap. Or maybe wax paper and then plastic wrap, so that it doesn’t sweat. If you left it naked, so to speak, to mix and mingle with other cookies or candies, everything might wind up tasting and smelling like peppermint. Also peppermints will melt if they sweat too much so keep that in mind.
Yield: about 36 pieces, or more, if you cut them smaller
|The final layer on and ready to be chilled|
|Ready to be gifted- yum!|
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
|Aren't they precious when they sleep!|
I'm still reading the Catholic Home. I've gotten through the section on advent which is good since it is applicable now. The boys have been enjoying putting figures in the nativity scene but they only seem to like putting animals in the barn! Right now I have skipped ahead to the section on Baptism since Maggie's Baptism is this upcoming Sunday. It will be so nice to welcome her into our Parish community.
Come yarn along with us at Ginny's place.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
So the boys and I started on our Christmas baking this week. Tonight we made sugar cookies (star cookies as Xander calls them). I wanted to get everything ready for them before we started so they took their shower first and then planned to help me. I figured rather than get a whole new set of clothes dirty we'd just have them wear their aprons for baking. Then they decided they needed to wear their chef's hats and my two naked chefs were born! Tonight we just made the cookies- we'll save the decorating for tomorrow once the cookies have cooled properly. Otherwise the boys try to decorate the cookies fresh out of the oven! So the plan is to decorate sugar cookies tomorrow and then we'll make peppermint bark (my favorite) and peanut butter blossoms (Frank's request). If I get really ambitious we might make some chocolate chip cookies or some other kind of goody. Then we'll pack everything up in boxes and deliver it to the boys' teachers and our neighbors. What are your favorite Christmas goodies?
Monday, December 10, 2012
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
|Xander loving on his sister|
I'm reading The Catholic Home as recommended by Ginny. We attended a lecture at Frank's parent's church when we were there about Strong Catholic Families/Strong Catholic Youth. This is something that Frank and I have talked a lot about recently. Being Catholic (or Christian) is more than attending Mass every Sunday and we want to model our faith for our children in a way that they can enjoy and engage in it rather than just being dragged to church every Sunday morning. So this advent season we are celebrating with a Jesse tree and the children each have their own advent calendars as well as a family calendar. It is really nice to sit around the table every night after dinner and listen to Frank read a story and then talk with the kids about the story. I like having these very short daily conversations with them. I'm a little behind because we haven't gotten the nativity out yet and we still have some (ok all) of our decorating to do but we are spending time as a family to do it and that it what is really important to us. I'd like to add in little celebrations throughout the year so we'll see what I learn from this book.
On the knitting front I continue to plug away at Maggie's blanket. It was supposed to be a coming home blanket and then it morphed into a Christmas blanket but at this point I am hoping I finish it before she goes to school and doesn't need a blankie anymore. I go through sections quickly and then I don't seem to be able to find time to work on it for long periods of time so it is coming alone slowly. It will be further delayed because my mother-in-law has requested a shawl for Christmas so as soon as I get the yarn (on it's way from Webs) I will start working on that. I also have this lovely sweater kit for Maggie that keeps calling my name so I may succumb to some knitting ADD. I decided pretty much not to knit any gifts for Christmas this year with the baby and all so I'm happy not to be feeling the crunch!
Come yarn along with us over at Ginny's place.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
I finished my Multnomah last week. I love how the pattern lends itself to the yarn and it looks very oceany to me. I wish the shawl were a bit bigger- although I guess I could have made it bigger if I had more yarn. I did add two extra feather and fan pattern repeats. It very nicely covers my shoulders but not much else. Also somehow it doesn't seem to want to stay wrapped around my neck to use like a scarf. Still it's a lovely little shawl.
I'm reading Burn by Linda Howard for fun. Linda Howard is one of my favorite fun reading authors. Her stories are always interesting, a little unique, and quick reads. We are also getting ready to celebrate the beginning of advent this year. Frank's mother is here visiting for the month so we'd thought we begin the traditon of the Jesse Tree with the boys. They are old enough to begin understanding and they enjoy stories. We'll probably combine reading from this book with The Usborne Little Book of Stories from the Old Testament because that book is more in story form as opposed to direct readings from the Bible.
Happy Advent (starting Sunday) and come yarn along with us over at Ginny's place.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Thursday, November 22, 2012
We celebrated Maggie's first Thanksgiving in Missouri with Frank's family. We so rarely get to go and spend some quality time out there because of work commitments here in NH. Since I am currently on maternity leave and Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving fell within consecutive weeks this year we were able to scrounge up 2 whole weeks of vacation time to go and visit the family. Additionally we managed to score plane tickets for all five of us for less than $1000 so off we went. First thing Thanksgiving morning we went to church and then headed to Troy, Missouri to the home of Frank's Aunt Dot who was hosting this year. Not many people realize but family holidays with Frank's family are a massive affair. He has 27 first cousins on his mother's side alone, plus aunts and uncles, cousins' spouses and cousins' children. Now not everyone was there of course but it was a pretty packed house. Maggie wasn't actually the youngest baby there- one of the cousins had a week old baby there who was so precious and tiny! Anyway we had a wonderful day with plenty of yummy food and more than enough company! Yeah for big families... The boys got a little (lot)wound up by the end of the day and pretty much attacked their cousin Sarah- who was a great sport about it all. They fell asleep on the way home thank goodness.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
|Maggie is eight weeks old!|
I've been working on my knitting although not as much as I thought I might since we are on vacation. Too much playing with my children to actually have time to knit but at least that is a good excuse I've gotten through a few rounds of feather and fan on my Multnomah and it is looking really nice. I carried it all the way to the center stitch though because I didn't like the way the pattern looked with the triangle at the bottom. I also finally had time to pick up a book and am reading some lovely easy reading by Nora Roberts!
Come yarn along with us over at Ginny's place.
|James gleefully throwing balls in the giant pit|
|Riding the train|
|Climbing the outside maze!|
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
|My precious little chub!|
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
|My oldest and my youngest enjoying a quiet moment together|
|Easy Knit mittens for James- he picked out his own colors!|
I haven't found much time for reading yet so we'll have to stick with knitting for now. I'm joining up again with Ginny at Small Things to share the knitting love though.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Ginny's yarn along. My work in project Wednesdays have taken on new meaning.... but I'm finally finding time to knit again. I started a Mulnomah in some gorgeous hand dyed sock yarn I got at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival last weekend. I'm liking the pattern so far and I think it will go well with the colorway I am working with. I'm having some trouble with dropping stitches (a lot) but that might have something to do with knitting while nursing and or while being clambered upon by raucous toddlers. I'm also not used to knitting with small needles so I should have a lot of practice by the time I am done with this shawl. I can't wait to get to the feather and fan section. I should be working on Christmas presents but I figured I'd make something for myself instead...
Friday, October 26, 2012
I was giving her a bath the other day and as I was bathing her her beautiful baby hair was just coming out in chunks. I'm so sad. I knew she would lose the baby hair but watching it just fall out in clumps was really depressing. I think babies with hair are so cute! I know it will grow back but still... When we were at my work for staff meeting we put her on the scale and she now weighs 10lbs 13oz so she is certainly doing well in that category. We seem to have found a slightly better groove in terms of sleep at night as she has been consistently sleeping for 3-4 hours. So all is well in baby land! It's going to be a busy couple of weeks and we seem to have lots of things planned for the next week or so and then in a few weeks we are off to MO for Thanksgiving. I found out that my first day back at work will be December 20th- just in time for Christmas, bummer!
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
|Mommy and Maggie|
Monday, October 15, 2012
Cooking dinner every night seems to be beyond me at this point (thanks goodness for friends/neighbors who have been bringing us food) but every few days I can manage the crockpot. I finally got on top of the never ending rounds of laundry and dishes. I'm truly amazed at how much laundry I can do and there is always more. Maggie's favorite trick seems to be spitting up on me the second I have changed into clean clothes. I never really used receiving blankets with the boys but I am using a lot with her because she also seems to like pausing in the middle of a feeding and letting the milk just run out of the side of her mouth until she is ready to start sucking again. I don't complain too much because I am just happy to have plenty of milk for her but she really is a messy eater. Nursing finally seems to be pain free. I don't remember being sore with Xander and with James I don't remember it taking this long to get better, but thankfully we seemed to have moved passed the toe-curling pain because pumping and bottle-feeding was really starting to sound like a good idea!
My goal is to update the blog with photos and updates at least once a week so I can have a week by week picture diary for Maggie like I did with the boys but we'll have to see how that goes... I still haven't done James' 3 yr well child update and his appointment was over a week ago! It's coming I promise...
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Maggie's sleeper is a Toasty Sleeper- Ravelry link here: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/walawton/toasty-sleeper A note on this pattern- it is very tiny so if you have bigger babies like I do I would encourage you to increase the stitch count a bit.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
|Maggie weighed 8 lbs 4oz and was 20.25 in long|
We stayed in Labor and Delivery until our recovery time was up and then moved out to our postpartum room. By then Maggie had fallen asleep so we all crashed. Frank got up to go to work in the morning and I took the best shower of my life, even in the tiny cramped hospital bathroom! My original plan had been to go home that day but in the end we decided to stay one night and take advantage of the room service and that way we wouldn't have to come back to do Maggie's PKU testing. She passed all her tests with flying colors and was nursing well so we brought her home the next day!
|Bringing Maggie home- September 27, 2012|