Thursday, January 27, 2011


I know it's gonna be a long day when Kiersten wakes up and says, "I want daddy to stay home today". I had to be the bad guy and tell her he was already gone to work. a classic, pouty bottom lip was her answer to that, and I've been hearing about how much she misses daddy all day. (I didn't even mention that he has a late meeting in Seattle tonight and will be home extra late). Kara joined in the daddy missing when I agreed to let her play wii. The controllers wouldn't link up, and I had no clue what to do about it. So they both were wishing he would come home. Luckily, they had a dentist appt. to look forward to. They are still at the age where going to the dentist consists of getting fawned over, and told how cute they are, getting "pictures" of their teeth, a little cleaning with bubble gum flavored toothpaste, and "mr. thirsty" to suck the water out of their mouth. Then they are sent home with a goodie bag and stickers, so it's something they really look forward to. While we were waiting for it to be time to go, Kara was still upset about the wii, so I told her we could do any kind of project she wanted. She chose a "fashion shoot". She wanted to be the photographer, but I talked her into being the director instead, so she could be in the pictures too. She chose everyone's outfits, tons of jewerly, and picked the settings. She tried to pose her sisters, but that didn't work out too well for her. This first one was cute, but the lighting was not working out, so I encouraged her to find another spot for the shoot. This worked out better, but Evie had started to get cranky.

The best Kara picture. She loves coming up with poses, but sometimes they just turn out looking odd. So this one was the best.
Kara got to help take the pictures of the other girls. She really loved Kiersten in this pose, and did about 8 pictures all posed the same.
Kiersten finally changed it up on her own, and we got this one.
Evie was crying a little, so we were trying to snap pictures each time she was calmed down. But once she saw the flash and heard the click, she'd start crying again.
Finally, the last pictures I'm gonna post from Kara's birthday. Kiersten helped me bake these big cupcakes while Kara was at school monday. I've had the jumbo cupcake pan for several years, and this is the first time I've used it. I can see why. They were really huge cupcakes. Who wants to eat that big of a cupcake?!? (besides Kiersten...) I didn't have quite enough chocolate frosting, so 2 had to be pink. Kara wanted her 5 candle on one of the pink ones. The other pink one mysteriously disappeared when Kiersten was left alone in the kitchen for a few minutes. I still can hardly believe she could eat such a large cupcake so quickly, but I have to believe it since I haven't been able to find any remains anywhere.
I got out the milk for the girls to have a drink, and by the time I turned back around, this little rascal was investigating the refrigerator. Since the camera was already on the counter, I had to snap a picture.
Kara asked for mac and cheese for her birthday dinner. I made chicken with it, and made her pick a veggie. She went with broccoli. While I was making the dinner, she had Kiersten help her set the table. I took their plates over first, and by the time I made plates for Ben and me, these 2 had already started scarfing down their dinner. notice she even made place cards.
Even Evie had a place card.
making a wish on her birthday cupcake. She got that crown at school. She was so excited to come home and tell me that she got a pair of sharp scizzors to use at school, and no longer has to use the little plastic safety ones.
I told Ben to take a picture of Evie by the cupcakes. He kept telling me to let go of her, and finally convinced me she'd be okay, so I let go. She didn't fall, but she did grab a handful of chocolate frosting, so I quickly grabbed her again as he took the picture. She was desperately trying to get her fingers in her mouth as I cleaned her off. So Ben felt badly, and snuck her a little of the pink frosting while I wasn't looking. Kara was talking to Nancy on Ben's phone.
Kiersten just had ice cream since she'd already snuck a cupcake earlier.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Kara bear's 5th

We thought we would let Kara open her gifts yesterday so that she could have time to play with them. She had school today, so If we waited for her to be out of school, then for Ben to get home, it'd be time for dinner. So she wouldn't have had a lot of time to play. So Kiersten helped me put up a few decorations, and we let her open all of her gifts. a few cute action shots.

we gave her this singing hamburger card. Both girls loved it, and we heard the song all day yesterday. Kara even wanted to take it to school today for show and tell, as it was her turn to be class helper today.
she got this guitar, and was even nice enough to let Kiersten play with it while she read a new book. I like this shot of Kiersten rockin her Bieber hair, and Evie standing so proudly in the background.
rock star Kara. She has been making up songs already.
She is also thrilled about her own scrapbook. She made a few pages last night. I cleared out a corner of my scrapbook room and set a little table in there for her to have her own space.
standing and trying to figure out how to use a bottle at the same time. No one can say she isn't driven...
Kara trying out her new hello kitty scooter in the kitchen. Ben took her outside to try it after this. She told me today that she will be giving Kiersten scooting lessons now.
Kara was excited to get ready for school this morning. She wore a new outfit, and kept saying that it was a big kid outfit. The dress Kiersten is wearing is the same dress Kara wore on kiersten's first birthday.
doing one of her glamorous poses.
I love how Keirsten is all into the hug, and Kara is still trying to look pretty, and look at the camera.
Kiersten silly pants wanted her picture taken alone too. Can't let Kara have the spotlight...

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I had to get a picture of Evie and Tommy together. They are both so busy moving around, that I finally had to have the dads hold them to get a picture. Kara had a story book party at school on friday. She brought in Peter Pan: Retutn to Neverland as her book. She dressed up like a pirate. All the kids were dressed up super cute that day!

Kiersten was pretty scared of the hook. Kara's teacher said some of the kids at school were made nervous by it as well. It's just hollow plastic, so I don't think it could do too much damage.

Evie had her first baby cookies today. She did pretty well with them. I thought she ate them completely, but when I got her out of the highchair, she had a few little pieces stuck to her thighs. She had a doctor appt on thursday, and he thinks she will be walking early, like her sisters. She is in the 90% for height, and 75% for weight. She can now stand without holding on to anything. she'll stand for a minute or two, but hasn't taken any steps yet. But I think standing is a pretty good accomplishment for a barely-6-month-old.

Kiersten can out-mess pretty much anyone. She just looks at food, and suddenly her face is filthy.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Karalee's birthday party

Kara really wanted to have her birthday party while Nancy and Victor were visiting, so she could invite her cousin Tommy. So we decided to have her party on the 15th instead of the 22nd. It turned out well, because one of her friends from school is having a birthday party on the 22nd, and they would have overlapped. We had her party at the Norpoint center in Tacoma. It was a luau/swimming party. Kara looked so cute in her little party dress. the norpoint staff did all of the decorating, and then all of the clean up as well. That was pretty nice to just be able to show up, and set up the food, and be ready for the party.
We had dominoes pizza for lunch. I made a few desserts to go along with the cake.
I used my babycakes machine to make these cheesecakes. I think it would have been easier and faster just to make them in the oven though. Ben made a strawberry topping for them.
I also made cream puffs for the first time since I was in high school. They turned out right, but I didn't take out enough of the center, so I think they were a little too dense. I made a pineapple cream filling for them too.
The last thing I made were these flower shaped brownies. I used a flower shaped silicone mold, and most of them turned out well.
my pretty little birthday girl. It has been a little confusing for her to have had her party early. She keeps saying she is 5 now. Close enough, I guess.All the kids loved dressing up in grass skirts and leis. I didn't get any pictures of them swimming though. One of the mom's did, and I'm hoping she'll share a few of her pictures with me.
limbo, one of Kara's favorite games.
I kept trying to think of games to play, but never ended up getting anything for games, so I was glad when we got there, and they had provided a few games for the kids.

Evie slept through most of the party. She did get to swim, and really liked it.
blowing out the candles. She was very careful, trying not to spit on her cake.
she got so many fun gifts from her friends. She will be busy for the next few weeks at least!
some of her party guests. She had 4 friends from school, 2 from the ward, 2 kids of our friends, her sisters, and her cousin. I think that totals 12 kids including Karalee, a decent sized party.

I'm glad she seemed to really enjoy her party, and as far as I could tell, all the other kids did too. It totally feels worth it, when you see your kid having so much fun, and just feeling happy and special.

Friday, January 14, 2011

cleaning carpets, creating cakes, and a cruising cutie!

For Christmas, I got a much needed carpet cleaner. We usually get the carpet cleaned once a year, but that just wasn't cutting it with 3 kids, so I was thrilled to get the Bissel pro heat 2X. It is working so great! I've been going through room by room, as I've had time, and the results are great. No more scrubbing on my hands and knees every time something gets spilled, or someone has an accident(...Kiersten....). The cleaner does most of the work, and I just stand there, pushing it around. Here's a before picture of my shamefully filthy livingroom carpet. We spend lots of time in this room, and so does our cat, Daisy. So it was first. and after, much cleaner.some of the spots didn't come up completely, but next time I'll use the pre treater on those, and see if it gets even cleaner!
The girls' room was another really dirty area, as that's where many accidents have occurred lately. It didn't exactly smell fabulous in their either.
after the cleaning. I feel much better about my kids living in this room now, and have even let Evie crawl around in there.
Evie stood up 4 times yesterday without holding on to anything to pull herself up. We thought it was time to bring in the hippo toy. Kara and Kiersten both used this to learn to walk, though, not at 6 months old...
Kara's birthday party is tomorrow, and it's a luau/swim party. I wanted to be lazy and buy a cake, or just make cupcakes, and put flowers on top. But Ben came up with an idea for an island cake, so I agreed to at least try. We decided to make the palm tree out of rice krispies and Kara wanted a "hula Kara" on there as well. So I made the rice krispies, and Ben shaped them for me. I know what this looks like, and, yes, there were many jokes made about the shape of the palm tree.
we dyed some fondant green, and Ben traced out a shape for the leaves. I cut them out, and then Ben cut little notches in the sides.
Then he had a good idea, to set them on this sifter to dry into a curved shape.
I was going to just stack the cakes in a column, but we decided that would make too large servings, so we went with more of a figure 8. the carving was minimal, and simple, so Ben took care of that.
then I frosted the sides blue, and the top white. I also covered the cake board with blue scrapbook paper, and then we covered that with butcher paper to protect the blue from frosting drips.
The next step was sprinkling on crushed graham crackers for the beach, and Ben kind of molded the head into a face, for me to cover with fondant. I wish I would have colored the fondant a flesh color, but oh well, it's white. Kiersten ate Kara's rice krispie body, so we decided to bury her in the sand. Ben cut some marshmallows in half, and we just covered them with the crumbs.
Ben gave her some beachy hair, and I piped on some grass. I couldn't find my grass tip, so I just used a large star tip, but we figured it would mostly get covered by the palm tree anyway.
to cover the tree trunk, we melted some chocolate, and spread that on. I did pour some burning hot chocolate on Ben's hand, unfortunately. Good thing he's such a tough guy! When it was set up, he drilled holes in the bottom and used sucker sticks to secure it to the cake. I piped the border, because we didn't like how the sand was meeting the blue.
I figured we weren't gonna be fooling anyone into thinking it was an actual island anyway, so it didn't have to be realistic.
here's a closeup of the buried Kara. She's a little surprised, I think.
He drilled another hole in the top, and stuck a toothpick down. We then made little holes in all the leaves with another toothpick, and just slid them on. It was what really brought the cake to life. Then he just clipped off the top of the toothpick that was sticking out, and we had a finished palm tree. It was looking cute, but we thought it needed a few more finishing touches.
good thing I bought these swedish fish. I didn't know what I was buying them for, but figured I could use them for something at her party. I cut out those little fondant flowers last night. Ben didn't want me to. He said they would turn a classy cake trashy. That made me laugh because classy wasn't exactly how I was envisioning the cake anyway. I wanted them all over the beach, but he thought they'd be better just in the grass, and I think he was right.
I think the two of us working together made a pretty fun cake. I do think it looks better in person, than the pictures, but so do most things, I guess. It was lots of fun working on this together, and it is my new favorite cake I've made. I'm glad I didn't cop out and just do cupcakes. It may have been cuter with the hula Kara that was supposed to be dancing under the tree, but this turned out to be less work, and that's not something I'm gonna complain about! I sure love that Ben, what a great dad, right?