Friday, August 30, 2013

Stella grew.

Our Stella turned 7 months earlier this week. She sits now, eats her own crackers, laughs at anything that jumps, grinds her teeth, sleeps all through the night, and even pesters on occasion. These are some since the last post about her (sorry about a few of them being sideways) -

Here she is - our future ballerina.

And here she is as Gumby. A necessary role in becoming a ballerina.

This is how she spends most of her days - happy. She is like tangible sunshine.

I wish I had Stella's natural highlights and lowlights!

At six months, she finally realized she could get over to the blocks that were so gingerly placed on the pillow to show her age in the photo... 

These next five are showing some of the ways I have caught her napping. When she's tired, she just falls asleep, where ever that may be.

And lastly, this video shows how Stella displays excitement - her hands and especially her feet turn tiny circles, independent of each other and in opposite directions. How does she do this?!!?! Its like watching an old cassette tape play. It is so fun to feed her now as she has recently started enjoying solid food and seeing a spoonful coming towards her makes her turn circles in fast forward.

We do still have 3 other posts featuring them will be added shortly.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Seafood Experimenting

After getting bored of preparing and eating the same meals over and over.......and over....we decided to experiment with a little seafood (or imitation seafood, as these sushi rolls would have it). They were a cinch and now California Rolls are a regular on our menu.

Just slice - avocado, crab meat, cucumber, cream cheese. The sushi rice is cooled and then a solution of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt is mixed into it and the combination becomes very sticky which helps in keeping it together once rolled.

The rice spreads onto the Nori paper very reluctantly but you just make it stay. Then just assemble.

And roll. The plastic wrap under the Nori helps to keep the rice and filling from sticking to the cloth - or bamboo mat if you have one - while tightening it back against itself.

One down, four to go.

We found this Wasabi Powder to be the most flavorful and authentic. It reconstitutes to a nice paste and will knock your socks off!


For Father's Day, we tried our hands at lobster tails. After they cooked we diced the meat, made traditional New England style lobster rolls, and were transported back to Connecticut for a few blissful moments.

Well, that was fun. So what's on the menu for tomorrow night? Hmm...looks like tacos.

Nathan's 3rd Birthday

We asked Nathan what he wanted for his birthday this year. He promptly replied, "A waygo man, gween fwip fwops, and a cweature powa suit." Oh! Is that all?? Check, check, and check. We threw him a Wild Kratt's birthday party complete with Creature Power Suits for the kids, and invited some friends over for a cookout and "Creature Adventures".

Even Stella's in on the fun. We were also lucky to have Jake and Carly visiting the weekend of his party - it was so fun to have them here.

One of the Creature Power Discs the kids got was a cheetah. In the video above, they're chasing each other around, trying to snatch another's cheetah tail from where is it clamped onto the back of their shirt. Way to go, Buster!

Another of the Creature Power Discs was a butterfly and the kids had to wrap up as a chrysalis and then bust out of it metamorphosing into a beautiful butterfly. Carly embraced it - I love the way this video ends!

Happy 3rd birthday, Nathan! Now stop growing.

Interestingly, shortly after his birthday, he asked when Christmas was coming and stated that he wanted a computer. A laptop, to be precise.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

More Stella

I can't believe how fast time goes with an infant. Stella is already three months old. What happened? I just brought her home from the hospital last week?!? Wasn't it??

 Above, Stella is pictured in the her baby blessing dress, a gift to her from our Bishop's wife. Our Bishop confessed he opened his eyes several times during the blessing, said she was so quiet and still that he had to check that she was still breathing. What an angel :)

A woman in our ward knitted this adorable owl hat for Stella. This is about as cute as a baby can be. 
Hoot hoot.

This photo reminds me of Nathan as a baby. He smiled with his eyes, and here Stella does too.  Love those cheeks, baby girl!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Meet Stella!

Our baby girl, Stella Grace, was born on January 25th, 2013 after 286 weeks of pregnancy. Here I was at that point -

Yes, that is a sleeper. It is my favorite Christmas gift from Ben, and Nathan's favorite I think too because without a doubt his absolute favorite thing to wear is his "suit" and now when I wear mine, we match.

You can see the boys themselves were enjoying the pregnancy to the fullest. Love that face, Buster! And love those thumbs, Nate. His right one is all ready for when he sucks his left one completely off.

Anyway, back to Stella. The doctor's warned me to be prepared to rush to the hospital because this was my fourth baby and they expect each delivery to be faster than the previous, and Nathan took all of 10 minutes.....but no. Stella was quite content to stay. And stay and stay and stay. I often wonder how long she really would have stayed  had we not coaxed her out. 45 weeks? 50? That she was a girl was a surprise to me, but Ben had a certain feeling all along that this time it would be a girl. She was 9 pounds, 21 inches, perfect and beautiful and to our delight, she came with inch-long dark brown hair. Here are a few from the day she was born when Mom brought the boys up to the hospital to see us -

Check out the boys' eyes.

Here are Peter and  Nathan trying to make her smile on day one. 

Of all the knitted hats we've received from the hospitals when we've had a baby, this one on Stella takes the cake. It looked like a huge pink mushroom on her head and we adored her in it.
This is my favorite photo of all.

Great-Grandma with her newest great-granddaughter. So sweet!  Definitely a photo to treasure.

This is Stella's most relaxing position. 

Love, love, love, love, love!

Some catching up to do...

 Here are a few highlights from the months that we missed updating our blog:

Remembering Dad at UK Car Days

Peter loved playing with Leah. Not so sure the feeling was mutual...

In the photos above and below, we were at the open house for the Finger Lakes Live Steamers. Twice a year, the club allows the public in to see the model trains up close and to ride on the miniature locomotives. It was really fun for the whole family. The trains were awesome, too! The steamies actually had tiny coal furnaces powering them. The (unavoidably over-sized) driver opened the miniature door to the firebox and deposited a scoop of coal inside with a kitchen serving spoon.  

Towards the end of summer, Nathan fell and cut his forehead just above his eyebrow and had to have three stitches. After they came out, we took the photo below to send to his pediatrician, and thanked him for taking such good care of Nathan.

Christmas with Grandma Cathy 

This was Christmas morning. Here the boys are proudly showing off their certificates from Santa, officially placing them on the "Nice List". The certificates were accompanied by wonderful, personalized letters to each boy in response to their letter to Santa asking him to bring whatever special thing they wanted for Christmas. Buster had asked for "a plastic cardinal bird". You can imagine how he felt after we read his letter and then he opened the gift in the photo below. His face pretty much says it all.

And  it was so nice to finally, FINALLY, have a true, white Christmas.