Sunday, October 22, 2017

small group halloween party

On Thursday night we went to our small group Halloween celebration. The weather was gorgeous and we managed to take all three kids!

First up, how cute are Ginny in her flamingo costume and Etta in her peacock costume?!
 There was a ball pit. I don't think Etta enjoyed it for one minute.
 My big 3-year-old:
 And my big 5-year-old:
 Best I could get of the three of them:
 And Suzi snapped this one of the kids with me:
It was a lot of fun and I was glad to get Etta in her peacock costume since it'll probably be too cold for her to wear it on Halloween.

Saturday, October 21, 2017


To my sweet, spunky, biggest girl:

Three years ago today you joined our family. Your first year you were pretty serious and skeptical about the outside, but for the past two years we've seen that skepticism grow into fearlessness and joy.

You are so smart, silly and stubborn. Unlike your big brother, we cannot easily bribe you to do something if you do not want to do it. This is both reassuring and frustrating for us.

You greatly prefer dresses over pants. To you, "getting dressed" means putting on a necklace, underwear, and socks. You love make-up and nail polish and jewelry. Never to fit into a category, though, you also love getting dirty, playing with bugs, wrestling with your brother, and doing scary things.

You are so tender to your baby sister and Pip. You love to cuddle with me and usually cry when I leave to go anywhere without you. You absolutely cannot wait to start preschool next year. You thrive in the limelight and love making others laugh.

You have the sweetest heart--I can't tell you how many times Elden has wanted to do something that you didn't, but then you see him upset and you decide that you want him to be happy so you agree to do it with a smile.

My sweet Edith, this world is infinitely better with you in it. Our world is infinitely better with you in it. We love you so.

Happy third birthday.

Mom and Dad

Friday, October 20, 2017

DIY barbie cake tutorial - wine recommended

So for Edith's third birthday, she requested one of those birthday cakes with the dolls where the cake is the skirt. You know the type. I went online to our favorite bakery to price it out and was met with a $100 price tag. The cakes were gorgeous but there is no way I could justify spending that amount of money on them.

I started looking up tutorials about how to do this yourself and through my sleuthing found this cake pan that does the hard part--shaping the cake--for you. I managed to snag an open box one for $7. Edith picked out a Tiana doll - I can't remember where we got it but I believe it was also about $7. Then I proceeded to put off the inevitable.

She wanted the cake for when we would have her friends come over (Friday night). Being the good blogger I am (/sarcasm), I documented the ordeal for the blog. On Wednesday night I baked the cake.
I first used one cake mix but realized it would not be enough after consulting my friend, Amanda--all things cake expert. I quickly ran out to the store for more mix. After about an hour and fifteen minutes of baking, this is what I was left with:
Please note the "heating core" at the center of the cake is some grade A bull$#&%. The cake was still a little gooey in the center but that's okay because I wasn't using the freaky-doll-with-a-knitting-needle-for-a-lower-body that came with the cake pan and would therefore need to cut out the center of the cake to insert the doll anyway.

On Thursday night I needed to do the frosting. Here's the thing: I am an engineer. I went to engineering school. I had reasons for not going to art school, one of which being that I am not talented at artsy stuff and, generally speaking, attempting to do artsy stuff and the inevitable rage that accompanies such projects for me is no fun for me and even less fun for those around me. Ask all my family members. They will have stories for you.

I digress.

I knew I might need to take the edge off of this project. My lifesaver of a friend, Jen, had brought me a bottle of sweet wine earlier in the day. She was like an angel sent from the heavens. I decided to document the process on my Insta stories because why not?

At this point Jon was eating carrots and hovering. I did not appreciate his loud crunching or his silent judgment.
Once the doll was smoothish, we decided to add some sprinkles. I couldn't figure out how to adequately cover her torso because of the angle of everything. I did what any reasonable person would do and threw sprinkles at it. Jon was not expecting this and about died from laughing. He hadn't drank an ounce but had you been there you wouldn't have believed it.

Lessons Learned:
1. Zoloft is a hell of a drug. While I think I am out of the postpartum depression aspect, my therapist is pretty sure it was caused by untreated anxiety. Jon originally recommended I just smooth the frosting on instead of trying to make it detailed because "you are going to hate how it turns out and be really upset." Turns out Zoloft makes me very laissez-faire. It's borderline unsettling. Every time Jon made a comment about being worried regarding my mental state the only response I had was, "it's just a labor of love, babe."
2. If you've known me for any period of time you know I have misophonia. I've realized that my desire to shank someone for loud eating grows exponentially with my stress level. Almost shanked Jon during his carrot-eating stunt.
3. I am oddly territorial about decorating cakes. The first few times Jon came close like he was going to contribute I warned him to step off. Apparently it has to be my idea for you to Jon my decorating endeavors.
4. I'm pretty sure I will only ever do art projects while drinking from now on.
5. If you were wondering whether it was all worth it, the answer is a resounding yes:
Elden has since told me for his next birthday, he wants a cake like this but a mermaid instead of a princess. Lord, help us.

five on friday

{1} This fleece. I haven't bought a new winter coat in a few years. The one I own has an outer waterproof shell and a fleece zip up. Since I wear the fleece year round, it was pretty beat up and thinning in a lot of places. I knew I'd likely need a new fleece to keep myself warm this winter so I went ahead and bought this one after reading the reviews. For $25 it was totally worth it! It is really soft, really warm, and I love that it has a hood!

{2} Tomorrow is Edith's third birthday. It's my parent's tradition to take the birthday kiddo to the store to pick out their own gift and get some one-on-one time together. We all thought Edith would take her time analyzing everything before she decided, but naturally she is like her brother and made her choices within one minute. My mom said she kept looking at Ariel and saying, "she's so beautiful!" The best part? As soon as she got home, she was like "but I didn't get a necklace!" Luckily Granny and GrA are going to rectify that situation tomorrow!

{3} The bathroom makeover is trucking along. After painting the vanity we decided we did not like the white counter next to it. We're at a bit of a loss trying to figure out what color to do instead, so if you have any suggestions we're all ears! In the meantime I'm going to switch my focus to painting the walls and trim.

{4} The other day I was drinking a bottle of sparkling apple cider from Aldi when a little someone spotted me. Generally speaking, if Etta sees you eating or drinking anything she will immediately approach you in an attempt to get in on the action. I hurriedly finished the remainder and let her play with the bottle. I think she got a taste - she was very excited.

{5} This is so not a favorite, but a warning. Every time we've had a baby in the house, we would put our hands all over the exterior of the oven when it was on to make sure it wasn't too hot to touch. It never was, so I didn't think anything of Etta playing by it earlier this week while I was making dinner. Well, she was touching it and started screaming. After investigating, we realized that on the underside of the door (where the warming drawer is) if you put your hand upwards there is actually an opening into the door that was burning hot. She burned three of her fingers :( We never would have thought to try to put our hands up and into the door, so I wanted to make others aware to avoid the same fate. Thankfully it could have been so much worse, but it still sucks that she got hurt.

{6} Last night we decorated Edith's birthday cake. Full tutorial can be found here. #nailedit

Linking up with KatieDeanneAprilAndreaNarci and Erika!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

etta (48 weeks old)

At 11 months old, Etta has two teeth fully through and several more about to erupt. She is taking more steps independently every day and her sense of stranger danger seems to be dissipating. Etta still loves eating but has been taking more of her bottle this week than she normally does. Etta rode in a grocery cart that had a steering wheel for the first time and cracked up the entire time. She also seems to be slightly less needy (re: demanding) during the day which is a wonderful change of pace. We love this little girl so much and are so grateful she's ours!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

apple picking

Over the weekend we went apple picking at Pick n Save Orchard in Medina, OH, with both of our parents. It ended up being an absolutely gorgeous day and a really fun time!
One thing we didn't expect was the fact that they had chickens and a horse! You could buy chicken feed for a quarter and oh my goodness, definitely the highlight for all three kids!
I'm pretty sure we are going to go back on Saturday just to feed the chickens and see Joel, the horse, again!