Monday, September 29, 2008

Mumble goes "Night Night"

I went to a pre-natal Yoga class last night, so Ben & Veronica were home together. We set up her big girl bed on Saturday and thought that she could try it out on Sunday afternoon for her nap. Needless to say, it didn't go so well. However, one great thing is how she reenacted everything we did with her on her good friend Mumble.

She took Mumble upstairs and walked to her room to lay Mumble in her bed and said, "Night Night Mumble." She would walk down the hall to our room and then go back to get Mumble and repeat the process. As she walked down the hall she would begin saying, "Night Night Mumble." And what do you think come the morning? Veronica standing up in her crib immediately asking for her friend Mumble who was put under the blankets by Papa the night before.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dance Dance Revolution

Our child has mad dancing skills!


It's amazing how quickly "isms" can transfer to something new within a blink of an eye in the life of a toddler. Here are some current Veronica-isms that we have enjoyed.

Veronica CD: Tonight after dinner she thought it would be good fun to dance with daddy to the Happy Birthday song on her Veronica CD. However, she would try to tell us something about the song and continue to say, "No, No!" Finally, I realized she was trying to tell us that she only wanted to listen to the first 22 seconds where she could really get her jig on

Massage & Lotion: About a month & a half ago I massaged her feet. She enjoyed it so I told Ben that she likes it when her feet are massaged with lotion. Well, it seems as though she's much like her mama, b/c she'll continue to say "more" to daddy for massage. When daddy says, "would you like more lotion on your feet?" She exclaims, "YEEEahhh!"

(**sidenote: as she was watching the video of herself getting more lotion and she heard me asking her if she wanted lotion she would say, "Yeah" as she watched.)

Cooking: I'm beginning to think that she might be a culinary seeker like mama, b/c she's always present while I'm making dinner and is quite persistent in seeing how everything comes together. Plus, she knows that when you cook, you also must taste the food to ensure it is just right.

Cheese: Today as I was taking her picture she said, "Cheese!" I don't remember ever telling her that, but she did and smiled for the camera. What a smart girl.

Curls: This will probably be a Veronica-ism her whole life, but I thought I would post some pictures of her. I was brushing out her hair while it was wet the other day & I was astonished at how long her hair really is, but the curls disguise so much of it. The back curls will not stay straight at all, but simply curl straight up.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Adventures

I've realized lately that I haven't been having as much fun with Veronica as I did with the children I worked with at Hillcrest Kids. This isn't due to Veronica not being fun, quite the contrary. She's more fun. The problem was me and my lack of providing creativity & fun. So, I pulled out the preschool/weeschool/toddler ideas that I loved then and thought, "why am I not doing this with my daughter?"

Today we had a blast and I realized how easy it is for a toddler to entertain themselves. For instance, washing your hands has never been so easy & they do a very thorough job.

Notice the wet spots on the clothing!

Here is what one's face looks like when water splashes into the mouth & eyes. One of my favorite Veronica faces.

She noticed me taking pictures of her and I noticed "wet head."
It's also amazing how much water a child can produce outside of the sink. It makes the story of Jesus turning the loaves of bread and small fish into an abundance more of a reality.

I asked Veronica if she would like to finger paint. She immediately said, "No!" But she only said that because she likes saying no and had no idea of what I was even asking her. I prepped her in her paint gear (trainer pants & shirt cover). Then, she sat and watched as I squeezed some finger paint into an empty egg carton. I put the paper up on the window (upright painting and drawing is best for young children b/c it helps with their motor skills & muscle development). She didn't know what to think of the paint & paper, so I dipped my finger in to show her. She followed by delicately dipping her right index finger into the yellow and smearing it on the paper. She soon understood the definition of finger painting.

Here she is cleaning up her hands. I had to take a behind picture with those cute little paint marks on her tush.

Veronica is washing her hands with a bit of paint on her lips. Take notice of her eyes in this picture compared to the following...

because this is what her face looks like when she's sitting on the potty relaxing the potty muscles. Sure enough as I was taking the photo I thought, "wait, that face is too familiar."
As I walked to the other side she had already said, "Uh Oh," now realizing that she was standing in a rather large puddle.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Giant Ginger Cookie Recipe

Well the poll of favorite cookies in the Fall came out with Chocolate Chip as the winner. Although I really enjoy chocolate chip cookies (Ben's favorite), I would say that there is a particular Ginger Cookie that wins me over.

Ya see, Ben and I were staying at a Bed & Breakfast in Sumas, Washington while attending a marriage conference in the area. One of the specialties of this B&B was their homemade Ginger Cookies. The interesting part about it is that I never enjoyed Ginger cookies (probably b/c I never tasted a good one), due to the strong flavor & they were usually Gingersnaps (crisp not chewy). When we arrived in the evening to go to sleep there were four Ginger Cookies awaiting us. I thought, "oh how nice of them, but I probably won't enjoy them--but I'll take a bite, just in case."

I'm sure glad I did, b/c I raved about these cookies to Ben while describing every spice and flavor that came out. I think I was in pure shock that a Ginger Cookie could actually taste good. That was in February of 2006. Well, in the 7-8 months following I would occasionally mention to Ben how I wanted to go to Sumas to eat a Ginger Cookie. This craving came on even stronger once I was in my second trimester with Veronica. I decided I needed to email the B&B and get the recipe (I explained how much I loved them and how I was pregnant--hoping the pregnancy card would give me sympathy, in case they didn't give out recipes). The owner was so gracious to give it to me that I only find it appropriate to share it with you if you so desire to eat some yummy Ginger Cookies in the Fall.

Also, if you make them and then freeze them they turn out just as well--maybe a bit smaller, but plumper actually.

Giant Ginger Cookies

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups shortening (I know I'm not a big fan of using shortening--but these cookies are worth the sacrifice--use butter flavored)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
3/4 cup coarse sugar or granulated (I've tried both and I personally prefer the granulated, b/c there's less crunch from the sugar. If you like that crunch that comes from raw sugar or turbinado sugar--use it instead of the granulated)

1. In a medium mixing bowl stir together dry ingredients (flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt) and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds to soften. Gradually add the 2 cups granulated sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and molasses. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour mixture.

3. Shape dough into 2-in balls using 1/4 cup dough (you can use a small ice cream scoop designated for cookies). Roll balls in the 3/4 cup sugar. Place about 2 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet (invest in parchment paper).

4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-14 minutes (if frozen 14 minutes is fine--just check for doneness) or until cookies are light brown and puffed. (Do not overbake or cookies will not be chewy.) Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Makes 25- 4-in cookies.

Let me know if you make them and how they turn out!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

eye update

As many of you know, Veronica had to go through an MRI when she was 14 months old to check on the growth in her eye. We found out then that it was merely a dermoid, which stays put in growth and is pretty much harmless.

Well, we went back to the ophthamologist in July and the doctor recommended we see a pediatric specialist in Mt. Vernon, b/c it seemed like her eye was possibly turning and not having full range in her left eye. We went today and it was a good experience. Dr. Cadera said that her eyes are very healthy, she actually has a really good range (not as good if the dermoid wasn't there), and her eyes are looking straight. He said that it might appear that her eye is curving in, while in reality it's because her bridge is wider at her age. Most babies & toddlers have a wider bridge and it lessens as they get bigger and their face grows. Plus, Veronica does have Mexican heritage, which people of this origin can have a wider bridge.

He also said that he doesn't think surgery (removal of the dermoid) would be necessary or helpful, unless her eyesight gets worse in years to come by not being straight. He said that he tries to avoid surgery, b/c the dermoid is less visible than the scar that would be left behind after surgery. We'll be going back in two months to have a check-up to ensure that her eyes continue to stay straight. Thank you for prayers over this!


Ben had a client appreciation dinner back in August and here are some photos of Veronica before she was taken home. She was a little unsure of the camera, which is why she didn't smile for any of them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Preparing for vacation or winter?

As I was getting the family ready for our vacation by setting out the suitcase, who do you think was climbing inside it? No it wasn't Ben, but that would probably be a more funny picture. It was little. Here she is trying to figure out the buckles inside.

She ended up pulling in her little phone & book as well.

I gave her a couple more books to read, where she sat for well over 40 minutes as I started the packing process.

After she was done with the book reading in the luggage--she thought I might be having too much fun hanging up clothes in her room. She came on in and I asked her if she wanted to try on her snowsuit. She decided it wasn't a bad idea. Then, she walked over to her drawers and pulled out her hat, gloves, and scarf to put on. What a smartie--she knows the necessary accessories with the different clothing items.

Such a sweet close-up of my little girl. I really love how soft children's skin is at this stage in their life.

Here is her drawer, which she loves to be able to pull her shoes, hats, and other belongings out to try on.
She loves her books and what better way to read than in comfy clothing and gloves. Of course, she couldn't turn the pages with her gloves on.

It took some convincing to get out of her winter gear so she wouldn't get overheated and go down for a nap.

Oregon Coast

We set off last Wednesday to Seattle for Ben's work conference, where we stayed at the Hyatt downtown. Let me just say it's truly hard to go to a 4-star & below hotel after staying there with the great service and the BIG bathtub (really the bathtub was my favorite). While daddy had seminars he had to attend half of Wednesday, all day Thursday & Friday, we were able to spend some time with my good friend Hilary. I was also able to go shopping a bit for myself, which is a rarity.

On Wednesday & Thursday night I was able to join Ben for dinner while Auntie Amber stayed with Veronica. The two highlights of Wednesday dinner were the crab cake appetizers (one of my favorites) and the dessert platter. It was really a platter of all these wonderful yummy delights. I chose chocolate covered strawberries and creme brulee (how could I go wrong?).

On Friday morning G&G Scellick drove over to pick up schmoopy pants to head to Astoria, Or, where we would meet up later in the day. This was probably my favorite part of the vacation. Although I love my daughter and started missing her after she left, I was thankful to have some free non-mommy time. I was able to have quality time with Hilary (you mothers know what I'm talking about--a conversation w/o interruptions) and a peaceful, relaxing drive to Astoria with my husband. We were able to have a conversation without entertaining our 20 month old and it was a leisurely drive at that.

We stayed in Astoria at Grandma Scellick's sister's house until Tuesday. Auntie Amber, Uncle Bob (Amber's boyfriend), and cousin Kali (dog) came for the weekend as well.

This is a typical shot of Grandpa, because he is always prepared to take a picture of someone (most likely Veronica).

This was the lawn chair Cherie (Grandma) bought for me the prego lady, but I got stuck and Ben deemed it necessary to have it in picture format.

Our second day was spent in Seaside, Oregon. It turned out to be a wonderful day overall, b/c it was perfect weather (low 80s), warm sand, swing set on the beach, ocean, and fun shops. I think Veronica liked it the most, next to Grandma. She loves being on swings (she had Grandpa pushing her for at least 20 minutes) and the only thing to get her to come off was the expectation of entering the water and chasing after birds. Even though the water is no where near refreshing (her teeth were chattering), she continued to say, "more."

Here are the brave souls, or should I say soul (i.e. daddy), entering the cold Pacific.

A favorite past time is to kick her feet as much as possible...meaning..."let's see how soaking wet I can get my pants."

We went to Cannon Beach on Saturday, which turned out to be a bit chilly; however, this never stops a determined toddler.

I'm guessing she's pointing out one of the following: dogs, birds, water, or all of them.

As the sea wind sweeps her untamed curls into even more of a frenzy.

Auntie Amber & little awaiting the beloved wave--oh it was cold. (note: mommy went in this day, but I was taking all the pictures so there is no evidence with my camera).

If you were as close as Amber you would hear, "WHOA, WHOA, WHOA...EUUU!"

I'm lighting fast waves you can't catch me, as she taunts them with the sticking out of her tongue.

She's had enough waterplay for one day, or maybe we told her she's had enough, b/c mommy couldn't feel her feet anymore. Her attire can be found from any local beach bum. Hurry b/c they're selling like hotcakes.

At the house in Astoria. Veronica has managed to capture the relatives hearts again. Unfortunately, daddy is not able to capture her heart here.

So if you can't beat 'em, join 'em with your own frump face.

We were out on the deck when someone asked where Veronica was and we turned to see that she found her own little seat inside.

When we were driving back from Cannon Beach Veronica fell asleep in the car. However, once we put her down for her nap she wasn't really showing signs of tiredness. In fact, she was simply talking to herself for a good 30 minutes. I was tired, so I went to take a nap and I couldn't help but think of her falling asleep after she had pulled her pants off or something ridiculous. Well...when Ben came downstairs with the little monkey, here is what she did to her shirt.

Auntie Amber reading her a book. I really like this picture as Veronica looks very relaxed with her leg resting on Auntie. Can it get any better?

Kali the dog. It took Veronica about a day to get really comfortable around Kali, but once she did she was all over her. She laughed and laughed at Kali, said night night to her when she rested, pet her, and even pointed out Kali's eyes (this part I told her we don't touch dog's in the eyes or anyone for that matter).

Veronica was eating some goldfish crackers and she pulled one out to give to Kali. What do you know, Kali enjoyed it. So, Amber gave Veronica a snack to feed to Kali, which made Veronica SO happy.

Sunday evening at Seaside, Oregon. Ben and I were able to spend a night away (courtesy of G&G) and this was our sunset. We had a fabulous time together and treasure these moments always, b/c they are rare and wonderful.

I thought I should take a picture of us and not just the sunset, so I have a picture of my handsome, loving husband to remember our evening.

And here we are nearing our end...after our night in Seaside we spent the day in downtown Cannon Beach, where G&G and little joined us later on. What a perfect place to meet up at--the park with a kiddy swing. True love at 20 months! Grandma & Grandpa took turns pushing this little monkey.