Friday, December 31, 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tradewind Tiaras

I found this wonderful blog and she has a super easy tutorial on making these gorgeous flowers - you could use them on anything - headband, hairbow, napkin ring, purse! Anything!
Click here!
Tradewind Tiaras Blog

New Viking Mixer

I've outgrown my Kitchenaid mixer - it takes two batches to make cakes and two batches to make all the frosting I need to decorate. Brendan got me this amazing Viking mixer for Christmas. It doesn't look a lot bigger in the picture - but the bowl is WAY bigger. Two nights ago I made a 2 tier cake and it didn't even come close to filling the bowl! This makes my life so much easier!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Aoife is a master of imitation these days. She sees Emmy and Aidan drawing quite a bit and getting lots of positive reinforcement for it. Today she found a box of colored pencils in the art cupboard and a piece of paper from an envelope package and started to draw. I thought the fact that she was lying on her stomach and drawing was hysterical - she looked so serious! I'm not quite sure why she decided to do that - their little art table is just across the room. I think that she was trying to hide. She is banned from crayons for the time being because she takes great big bites when I'm not watching and swallows the wax! I know it's not toxic but it ruins the crayons and it's gross to watch. I think she thought I might take the pencils away. As long as she's not chewing on them and she's drawing on the paper she's fine.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had as wonderful a day as we did. Everything was perfect - that being said, we did really miss our extended families. The kids had a great time. I think it was the first year that we didn't have to stop in the middle so someone could go take a nap! They all made it through all the gifts and played all day. Emmy was the only one who slept at nap time so they were all really ready for bed tonight! Thank you so much to everyone who sent gifts - the kids loved everything and it truly was a special day!

Emmy finding her kitchen with gifts stashed inside:Aoife riding on her giraffe and opening presents - she's very good at unwrapping for a 20 month old!Aidan enjoying the day!The aftermath...Christmas dinner - I know it looks like a lot of stuffing in the middle of the table but we wanted LOTS of leftovers!! When Emmy saw this picture she said that the camera caught her face - what a funny way to put it!Red Velvet cake - we'd never had it before and it's a big deal around here. Since it's red for Christmas I decided to give it a try - it was really yummy!

Christmas Eve 2010

On Christmas Eve the kids open a few presents before Santa visits. Pillow Pets and Stetsons were the hits of the evening. Thanks to Aunt Siobhan for Emmy's pillow pet!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Big Girl Bed

Well - 4 days ago I posted how we were going to wait to put Aoife in the big girl bed. Today the bed rail arrived and Brendan put it on the bottom bunk. Aoife climbed right up and refused to get down - we tried the nap in the bed and that didn't work. She kept getting down out of bed, walking around, grabbing a book and climbing back into bed. She wanted to go to sleep but there was just too much to do! I put her in the crib and she went right to sleep. We tried the bed again at bedtime tonight and it was a success!! I heard Emmy tell Aoife to get back in bed once and then all was silent. She went to sleep - amazing!! I didn't think Christmas Eve was the best time to try it but it seems to have worked out just fine!


Last night we went bowling and Emmy discovered this method - it was really working for her - especially with the bumpers up!

Emmy prior to discovering her trademarked methodWe spent most of the time trying to make sure Aoife didn't follow the ballAidan trying soooo hard!

More Christmas Cookies!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gymnastics FAIL

Last month I signed Aoife up for gymnastics in the same time slot as Emmy's ballet class so that Aoife would have something to do for that 45 minutes other than sit with me in the waiting room. The class is right across the hall from Emmy's class and is a mommy and me type gymnastics class. Since the age range was 18-36 months, I thought that the class would be focused on having fun, running around and lots of bouncing. I was very wrong. It is an instructional class where the kids sit on the ground, watch the demonstration, and take their turn doing whatever it is. There is a lot of focus on hand position and toe pointing.

Aoife is a lot like Aidan in the area of physical movement. She likes to be moving, climbing, running or banging something pretty much all the time. This does not lend itself well to paying attention and/or following directions.

We had been to one class prior to today and missed the one last week because of the snow. The first class wasn't great but I chalked it up to a new routine. Aoife wouldn't run ON THE LINE or wait her turn or stay in the circle while they did 10 minutes of stretching. I thought that today might be better and I walked in excited to have fun. There was a different teacher today - and she was teaching 2 year olds how to do cart wheels. Maybe we should just stick to rolling over? Anywho - the teacher kept making mean comments about Aoife's lack of attention and skill and praising the other little girl in the class - there were only 2 of them in class today. The other little girl was 2 1/2 and smaller - WAY smaller than Aoife (who is 19 months). I don't know if the teacher thought that Aoife was older or if she was just annoyed that I couldn't make her follow directions. At first I kind of brushed off the teacher's nasty comments - I was frustrated that Aoife wouldn't follow directions too. After a while the comments started to include me and I just got fed up, picked Aoife and our bags up and walked out of the gym. She didn't even acknowledge that we had left! Imagine that! We had to wait for Emmy to finish her class so Aoife played in the waiting room and she didn't seem upset at all to have left class. We saw the teacher as we were leaving and she didn't say a word. Definitely made me feel that I made the right decision to walk out.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Girls' Bedroom

Aoife and Emmy have been sharing a bedroom since we moved into the house in July. It's been working out great. They go to sleep at night with no problems and in the afternoon Emmy naps in the guestroom while Aoife naps in her crib. I think that they would sleep a little later in the morning if they were separated but we all get up early for school anyway so it's not really a big deal.
Aoife is still in her crib but we wanted to get bunk beds so they would be used to them when the time comes. We moved Emmy into a bed at 20 months and Aoife is at the same age now. There's really no reason to move her at this point but she is showing interest in the bed - she loves to climb up into it and lie down with her head on the pillow. She says "night-night" and pretends to go to sleep. Hopefully it will be an easy transition. The other 2 transitioned very easily and the anticipation on my part is always worse than the reality. Let's hope it's the same with Aoife!
Aoife in her future bed. Emmy sleeps on the top bunk.Aoife sitting and looking at books in their reading corner.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dress Up Cake

Here's today's cake! A Dress Up cake for a little girl's 3rd birthday - her brother got the dinosaur cake a few weeks ago. This cake is a 9 inch tier - vanilla cake filled and iced with vanilla buttercream. The dots are fondant - rolled thinly and cut with 3 sizes of round cutters. If you want to adhere fondant to buttercream - or fondant for that matter - just brush the back of the shape lightly with water and stick it on!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Santa's Helper

Aoife found Emmy's Santa hat this afternoon and was really interested in wearing it - until I got the camera out. Please forgive the poor image quality - they were just too cute not to post!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Emmy's Christmas Caroling

Aoife and I went to Emmy's class today to see their Christmas caroling. I don't know WHAT I was thinking not bringing the video camera so you'll have to let the still images speak for themselves! They wore reindeer antlers made of hand cutouts and they all had their noses painted red. They were all supposed to wear red shirts but that didn't happen. They sang "Jingle Bells" while shaking bells - see below - and they also sang "We Wish You a Merry Christmas". It was super cute and they were all really proud of themselves!Emmy with her BFFs Charlee and Hadley

Don't Buy a Christmas Tree at Lowes!

Our enormous, nine foot, real Christmas tree is no more. On Monday night as I was sweeping up, opening packages that had arrived in the mail and putting the presents under the tree, I noticed a lot of brown dots on the tree skirt and on the floor around the tree. At first, in the dark under the tree, it looked like dirt - which was weird. I looked closer and - OH MY GOD - those are all BUGS - EVERYWHERE! There were bugs on the underside of almost every branch of the tree. The question now was how fast can I get this thing undecorated, lights off and OUT OF MY HOUSE? By myself of course - at 11 pm. Let me tell you - it didn't take me much more than 20 minutes. And who knew that I was strong enough to lift a 9 foot tree out of the tree stand and carry it out of my house and into the woods? After that the cleanup followed and I was so itchy from thinking about all those bugs all over me after I carried the tree that I had to take a long shower before bed.
The next morning Emmy, Aoife and I went back to Lowes, where we had bought the tree. I was armed with photographic evidence of the bugs although I didn't need it. I told them that my tree was infested with bugs and they needed to refund me the cost of the tree and give me a discount on a fake one. They complied - no questions asked.
Here is our new fake tree. I got the biggest one they had left but it's still only 7 feet tall. The kids think it's tiny but Aidan thinks it looks better than our first tree.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Yesterday we got about 1/2 -1 inch of snow. It was really cold and continues to be in the teens but they canceled school today and tomorrow we have a 2 hour delay! The kids are going stir crazy but at least Aidan will be out of the house for a few hours tomorrow! We took advantage of everyone being here to get the Christmas picture of the kids. I took 127 shots and this is the ONLY one where everyone is looking at the camera and no one is crying. You think it'd be easier than that - all I can say is thank goodness for the tripod - there is no way I could have hand held it! Now all I need is a remote shutter trigger - that would have made things even easier!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Putting up the Tree

We got the tree up last weekend before Brendan left - which was good since it was his only weekend home in December. I'm going to have to get the tree by myself next year so I really enjoyed having a strong man around to carry it in! The kids had a great time decorating. It was probably the most successful tree decorating that we have had so far. They were all interested in putting the decorations on the tree and Aidan and Emmy lasted the whole time. We also pulled out all of the other Christmas decorations which meant, of course, that there were big plastic tubs in the middle of the living room for about 4 days. The favorite item is the Little People Nativity Set. Baby Jesus goes missing about every other day and we have to go on a hunt. Aoife has put him in some very interesting places including the refrigerator and the dog crates.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Aoife and Bryna's Baptism

While we were up in Massachusetts we Baptized Aoife and her cousin Bryna in a joint ceremony. Brendan and I are Bryna's godparents and we were so happy that we could have the ceremony together. I definitely now know why infant baptism is such a good idea - Aoife was NOT going to be held and sat down on the ground in front of the baptismal font and played with Brendan's iPhone the entire time - until her head was needed for the actual Baptism.
Here's the only picture of the entire ceremony that turned out - it was dark and my flash wasn't set right. :(Aoife, Bryna, parents, and grandparents With the other kids:Aoife in her gown - it belongs to Brendan's mother's family and was first used in 1919!Nora and EmmyMe and AoifeEmmy and her cousin Mary:Me and Brendan with Aoife - the phone was the only thing keeping her from screaming her head offAoife with us and Nora and DanMe and Brendan with Bryna, Amanda and Justin