Saturday, September 28, 2013

Rainy days

If you don't live around here, you might not know that it rains a LOT in the Fall, Winter and Spring. A lot. My Jakob has started soccer, and that means we get to brave the cold and spend time outdoors, cheering him (and ourselves) on, in an attempt to convince him that he really does want to be there! We are three weeks in, and this morning was a great experience in deciding if we can tough it out for the season. We can! That is, if I remember to bring: a toque, gloves, proper raingear, an umbrella, hot chocolate, a change of clothes, and a blanket for the car! We were frozen this morning, and thank goodness Grandma was able to watch Ellie so that the little thing didn't freeze to death!
After practice, we were treated to an amazing homemade waffle breakfast, and Ellie and I went home to bake, while Jakob stayed and played at Grandma's.
I came home to discover that the dog had jumped the FENCE, and was hanging out at the neighbours'. Not exactly heartwarming, considering he destroys our house if he's left unattended, and he was doing really well in the yard for a couple hours at a time. Not entirely sure what to do about him, other than to keep him inside as much as possible...
Ellie's "Cold" Face
Ellie thinking she's funny, which she is
Phoenix staring out the window, not impressed by either Ellie or the rain
Jakob's on his way home, and we're going to finish one last recipe from my all day cooking marathon from yesterday (post to come). Movie night, and early to bed!

White Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Crust

Tomorrow is Bonne Fete a Liz day! My brother's girlfriend is celebrating her birthday, and I jumped on board the baking train. Liz likes cheesecake, so cheesecake it is. While looking online for ideas, I saw this:
on Pinterest. But no recipe, no instructions, no credits, nada. I liked the idea, and decided to come up with a recipe to approximate what I was seeing online.
{EDIT: I found the original recipe here!}

Voila,  White Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Crust and Red Berry Hearts :
2.5 cups Oreo Crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
Mix, and press into a springform pan.

Preheat oven to 325F. Wrap bottom of pan with a ring of tinfoil, place on a baking sheet, and pour a cup of water onto the sheet.

In a small pan bring a cup of water to boil, put a heatproof bowl over it, and melt 1 cup white chocolate and 1/2 cup half and half until smooth. Stir lots...

Meanwhile, in a mixer, beat:
3 packages cream cheese, I use full fat... I only get cheesecake every few months, it's worth it!
add 1/2 cup sugar
add 3 eggs, one at a time
add one tsp vanilla extract
add in the white chocolate being careful not to burn yourself!

Pour over the chocolate crust.

In another small saucepan heat 1 cup red berries (I had frozen raspberries and strawberries), 1/2 cup water, 2 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp corn starch.

Stir until thickened, and strain out the seeds. Pour into a squeeze bottle, and dot circles around the batter. Drag a toothpick through the dots to make hearts.

Carefully lift into oven, being careful not to spill anything or jiggle the cake too much. Bake for an hour, then turn off the oven and leave the cake in the oven for another hour. This is supposed to stop it from cracking, but as you can see it didn't work for me! LOL.

Remove from the oven, carefully open springform pan, and plate.


So there you have it; my take on the pretty Pinterest cake :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Welcoming Fall

This summer was easily greatest of my life.  Ellie was healthy and HOME,  Jakob was hilarious and energetic.  We made so many memories, it was so great.

We went to a mustache birthday party yesterday.  It was awesome! My SIL is soooo great at themed parties! Ellie fell in love with her mustache. Easily the funniest thing I've seen in ages. She kept it on for so long!

Jakob, on the other hand,  only kept his on long enough for a photo! 

Jakob is so busy with school during the week,  and now with soccer on Saturday mornings, we only really have Sundays together.

Today, we explored the new accessible playground in West Vancouver.  Absolutely stunning place! He was so interested in the hand powered water pump.

A little blustery, but a perfect fall day, complete with rainbow on our drive home. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Oh, what a fun!

I can't tell you how much I am enjoying "back-to-school" season. I love it!! I'm busier than I think I ever have been before, but I find it is completely manageable, because I have just cut out the time I used to spend doing nothing useful (like pinning things on Pinterest, and wasting my free time on FB). To be honest, it was time for an internet addiction intervention anyway!

Jakob is mid-way through the gradual entry process, and loving every minute of school. He is dying to get to full days, and recess, and lunch, and everything they do all day. He started soccer on the weekend, and I think it will be great for him to have something consistent to look forward to. There are a lot of boys he knows from preschool and playgroups in the league, so there will likely always be someone he knows at games.

I was so excited to discover that there is a Strong Start program for Ellie, in the same school! She's elated to go out the door in the morning, knowing she gets to go to school as well. I'm looking forward to Jakob reaching full days, so that Ellie can stay for the whole session. It's pretty fantastic having some place that offers a HUGE array of sensory activities, social stimulation and fun. I enjoy being able to socialize as well!

Our afternoons, when we don't have a play date planned, are comprised of walking the dog, and doing chores, and the kids having quiet time (like now!).  Jakob is so great at helping me around the house, he loves to dust, to wash the windows of all the little fingerprints, and he really rocks at helping fold sheets! We've been cooking a lot together, while Ellie watches, and that's pretty great too.

I can't believe he's so big and grown up. I found this photo of him yesterday, and gosh has the time ever flown!

Oops, Ellie's up from her nap, time to get back to reality!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ellie's New Look!

We FINALLY got Ellie's new bipap mask! I am so relieved to have something that will, hopefully, work!
If you don't remember, this is the mask that Ellie started with, waaaay back when she started bipap therapy.

This is the mask that we waited so long to get into, because it was supposed to alleviate all the issues we had with the first mask, but it's been an ongoing issue for months!

When she tried on the Pixi mask today, well... just look at her face! She loves it! 


Night one, so far so good! I put the mask on, and I kid you not,  she giggled herself to sleep!

It was so easy to put on, and she told me when she felt it was right :)
Out like a light!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

New Hobby!

I have been exceptionally lucky to have inherited some awesome pieces of furniture from my grandmothers and great-aunt. They all have great bones, but are a little outdated,  and/or completely impractical when you share a house with young children and a dog.

This chaise longue is my favourite reading and napping spot; it always has been! The poor thing is in desperate need of a new cover, it seems to attract stains out of the blue!
It's pretty, isn't it?
I fell in love with some upholstery fabric, and decided to take the plunge on a floral/bird print from Premier Prints.  It's called Birds of a feather,  and there are several coordinating fabrics that go with it, all in natural/village blue.

I cannot WAIT to get this thing done!

I'm waiting on some upholstery supplies to speed up the job, but until they arrive I have my work cut out getting it ready for covering! 

The skirt was made up of 16 pieces, all stapled through a tack strip with a million staples. SOOooo many staples, I am seriously considering getting a tetanus booster just in case!

It took me almost two hours to pull off the skirt and peel off the sides and back.
Lots of Staples...

I've been keeping track of my progress, and marking down the order in which I've disassembled it, so I know how to put it back together.
Peeling away the years

Hubs is going to have to move it downstairs,  so I'm not working out of our living space! As I get closer to the frame, the batting scares me more and more. It needs a) to be outside, and b) to be replaced! 

Also on the go, is the recovering of two mid-century teak chairs that I am super excited about.
These are going to be great!

They're going to be done in the Premier Prints Chevron fabric. Good choice,  I hope!  
Hopefully it all looks good, and not too busy...
Stay tuned for progress reports!

Fall Cooking

I mentioned that I'm going back to work, and if you could just see my calendar for September, I think you'd be exhausted just reading it. Haha, I wish I were kidding! It's definitely manageable, but one big thing that I need to do before full days of Kindergarten kick in, and my free time is spent earning a living, is batch cooking.

We have a pretty lame freezer set up at the new house. I have a small deep freezer in the garage, which we defrosted and organized shortly after moving in. In the kitchen, I have a side-by-side fridge/freezer combo, which is the bane of my existence.
Not my favourite...
 NOTHING fits on the fridge side, and half the freezer is occupied by a non-functioning ice maker/water dispenser. The freezer has mostly frozen berries, and applesauce in it at the moment, but I endeavor to fill it with meals before the week is up. On the stove right now is a huge batch of chili, and a batch of jambalaya.
The oven isn't my favourite either... the digi display is awful!
Chili for many!
The kids' favourite Jambalaya!
And, to go in at the end of the chili's cooking time, tomatoes from our neighbour!

Sent from Samsung Mobile

First Day of Kindergarten

Last night, Jakob was so excited to lay out his clothes in preparation for his first day of Kindergarten. I'm not going to lie, I was super emotional about the whole thing. He chatted, and chatted about all the friends he was going to make, about how his brain couldn't wait to learn French, and that he hoped I wouldn't miss him too much while he was away learning. Ah, he's a sweetheart for certain.

He says the funniest things, I should seriously start to carry a notebook with me. Yesterday's gem was "I have a voicebox, Mommy, did you know that?" I said I did know, to which he said "I didn't have one when I was a baby..." no? "No, I had a cry box! Aren't you glad I exchanged it?".

He went to bed like a big boy, in his own room, with the door closed a lights off. I went to bed (DH had Ellie downstairs waiting for the nurse), and looked through old photos of him as a baby. I can't believe that my little baby is going to school, BIG boy school!

This morning, we got up early, and all had breakfast together as a family. Jakob got himself dressed, and posed for the obligatory "back-to-school" photo.

Jakob as a baby

Jakob at One

Jakob at Two/First Day of Preschool Year 1

Jakob's first day of Preschool Year 2

Jakob's first day of Kindergarten

Honestly, this all feels like it has gone by in the blink of an eye. Next year, Ellie is going to start Preschool, and then life is really going to get busy. But, before I get too ahead of myself, I have to adjust to this new change, having my boy away all day, every weekday, and soccer on Saturdays. Should be a fantastic year!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

One SMALL Step 2013 Recap

Our walk this year was a way bigger success than I had anticipated, thanks to the army of friends and family that came out to support us, to volunteer, and put on a great event!
September 3, 2013 Total!
I was thrilled with the coverage we got through the media, and I have many ideas for next year!

Before I get ahead of myself, I'm going to take some time to adjust to having a kindergarterner (OMG!) and to going back to work. Busy, busy!

A few photos from our day:
We had two registration booths this year, pre-registered

...and new walkers. GREAT volunteers!

Face-painting and the Clown were popular!

Lots of puppies came out for the walk

The Lady of the Day :)

We had a huge silent auction, which raised over $1100

Not as big a turnout as last year, but still terrific!

Our PWS families
The warm out, Ellie was so into it

Warming up, thanks to our fitness volunteer Shauna!

And, she's off!

Couldn't have been a better day!