Sunday, June 26, 2011

Five things I say on a daily basis:

1. "Dylan, where are you?"
2. "You are so cute!!"
3. "Hey hey, that is not for Dylan."
4. "I love you!"
5. "Mister what is in your mouth??"

Other phrases often used:
"Dylan please bring that to Mommy!"
"What is in your hand?"
"Iiiiiiiiiii'm gonna get youuuu!"
"Peee Yewww! Stinky!"

We talk up a storm with the kid, but we can't wait until he can talk back to us! Until then we have really been enjoying his cute little baby language. We hear lots of Ma Ma's & Ba Ba's (Daddy) but my favorite is what Ryan calls his "hootie hoo." When he can't find one of us, he will walk around the house with his little neck craned, peeking around every corner yelling "Maaaa??? Ma? Maaaaaaa?" It doesn't matter which of us he is looking for, (even Chloe!) it is always Maaaa. We love it. I can't wait to see/hear how his language develops!

Daddy & D practicing letters

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dylan's First Birthday {The Details}

Dylan's Birthday party was a project near to our hearts. We wanted it to be memorable, fun & cute! I LOVE party planning and decorating, so I was excited for this wonderful occasion. Ryan stepped up and got serious brownie points for being so involved in the decorating, and I had a help from a few friends and family - all who I owe a big thank you to! 
Here are a few bits and pieces from Dylan's First Birthday party...

Tasty Treat {French Toast + Bacon Cuppies}

My newest recipe to try is French Toast + Bacon Cuppies! I love to make cupcakes - they are the perfect size for a yummy treat. I found this cool recipe on Pinterest and I just knew I had to make them for Ryan. They turned out delicious! The recipe I followed called for them to be baked for 30-35 mintues, and that was a bit overdone/dry for my taste. I changed the recipe here to 20-25. They are definitely worth trying if you are or know a bacon lover - watch their eyes light up as you serve them a cupcake with the crispy goodness on top :)

{French Toast + Bacon Cuppies}

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)//room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour//sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 ½  teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs//room temperature//separated
  • Maple Buttercream Frosting, recipe follows
  • Crisp Bacon
  • Equipment: A 12 cup regular muffin pan
1.) Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F//Line the muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.
2.) Combine the butter and sugar and mix on low speed until just incorporated//Raise the speed to high and mix until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes.
3.) Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Set aside//In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and vanilla, and also set aside.
4.) Add the egg yolks to the creamed butter one at time, waiting for each one to be fully incorporated before adding the next.
5.) Reduce the speed of the mixer to low//Alternately, add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, waiting for each to be fully incorporated before adding the next//Raise the speed to medium and mix briefly until a smooth batter is formed//Transfer the batter to a large bowl.
6.) Thoroughly clean the bowl of the mixer and put the egg whites inside//Whip the egg whites on high speed, using the whisk attachment, until stiff peaks are formed.
7.) Fold the egg whites into the batter, until just incorporated//Divide the batter evenly among the cups in the muffin pan. Bake, rotating the pan once, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.
8.) Remove the cupcakes  from the oven and cool completely.

Maple Buttercream Frosting

What You’ll Need:
  • 2 Sticks unsalted butter//room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons heavy cream//room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon maple extract 

1.) With a hand-held electric mixer in a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar on low speed until incorporated//Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
2.) Reduce the speed of the mixer to low//Add the heavy cream and maple extract//Raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy//Store in the refrigerator until somewhat stiff, before using
{May be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days}

Finally – Frost the cooled French Toast Cupcakes with the Maple Buttercream Frosting and top with a Crisp piece of Bacon!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Ryan you are the most incredible man I have ever met. Thank you for being the most incredible, helpful, hilarious, loving Daddy to Dylan - he loves you SO much!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Introducing Nora Jane

A dear childhood friend of mine had a beautiful little girl on Tuesday June 14th!
At 11:21 Michelle welcomed Norah Jane into the world. 
9 lbs 8 oz // 21.5 in long. 
Ryan Dylan and I went to meet her on Wednesday. 
We couldn't be happier for her - Nora is absolutely perfect. I'm proud of you Momma! 

Tiny little bundle of joy!

Dylan was pretty excited to meet the baby girl!
Daddy//D photoshoot while they waited outside :)
My boys <3

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dylan's {First} Birthday

June 11th was Dylan's FIRST birthday!! It was the most amazing day. We had almost every single one of our nearest and dearest here with us to celebrate his big day. Ryan and I wanted to make his very first party a memorable one, and we worked hard on decorating, cooking, and creating. I am a planner...I want everything mapped out both in my head, aloud & on paper, so we started working on this party months before his big day.  It all turned out just the way we wanted, but what made it memorable was the house brimming with loved ones. We barely had enough room for everyone, and everywhere you looked there were guests rubbing elbows, but I would have it no other way.

Dylan was happy, mad, giggling, crying, laughing, and dancing during the three hours we had guests over. He wasn't quite sure what to think! He fell asleep to a quiet house, and awoke to a much different scene. He hid under my legs for a bit...
but eventually he started warming up to everyone and had a lot of fun. There were kids just about every where you looked, and I know he really enjoyed that. We have about 8 kids within our family and friends - I lovingly call them "the critters." Kid parties used to make me just a bit uncomfortable, but now I love nothing more than the utter chaos of screaming, laughing, running kids & babies together. They have almost no inhibitions, and they can have fun doing just about anything.

It was a nice 80 degree day, but the rain from the night before made it SO muggy! We decorated and set up the back yard with a few bits of fun just in case. Our little niece, (alright she is more like our second cousin or something, but niece works better) Ellie, was the first to explore the outdoors, regardless of the heat, and the party trickled out with her. Grandma Smith got Dylan the coolest water/sand table for his birthday, and the critters had so much fun splashing & building under its sun umbrella.

At the Smith's Mother's Day party, Bob got all the kiddos bubble sticks and they were such a hit. I followed suit, and again they were a blast! Everyone quickly learned a little secret Ryan and I have known about Chloe for years...she LOVES bubbles. She is determined to bite each and every bubble blown, and will zoom across the yard "snap snap snapping" at each clear orb! Both the kids and adults got a big kick out of it.

Dylan and I went in and cooled off, and while he ran around, I made it my goal to pull & push everyone into our homemade photo-booth. A few months ago I came across a kid's party that had the most adorable and simple photo-booth. All it required was a camera with a remote (check) a backdrop (check) and some fun props (check)! I found several sites that had free printable props and we got to work. I'll post my favorite websites and props along with the adorable pictures taken at the party in a separate post. Needless to say, we had fun gathering together and taking silly shots. If I could re-wind and do it all again I would have made sure to step in there more often throughout the afternoon. AND Ryan, Dylan, & I would have taken a picture together - seriously?! How could we not get in there together? *smacks forehead* The photos are so fun - I can't wait to show them to everyone!

Next came presents and cake. Dylan has never been a big toy kind of kid. We have bought him a few fun toys, and Sherry has scored some really neat finds from garage sales throughout the year. He loves two or three of them, but prefers weird things like toothbrushes, toilet paper rolls, pickle Tupperware (how appropriate), and his absolute favorite - silicone spatulas. So when we thought about him opening presents, Ryan and I were pretty sure he was going to be uninterested. Boy were we wrong. He sat in front of us while we helped him, and he just tore in to each present, eager to get to the goods inside. A few of the other critters even jumped in to help!

Everyone was so very generous. I'm pretty sure we need a bigger house to hold all of his stuff now! At the very end of the presents we took him to the garage and put him in his new radio flyer from Grandpa then wheeled him through the livingroom like a little sultan! He loved it. After we opened his presents, we took him down to his cute denim diapey and got ready to do the cake.

The candle was lit and the crowd started to sing Happy Birthday, only to find that Dylan and Ryan were in the other room...oops! They joined us and we had a laugh and kept singing. Dylan immediately stuck his hands in the cake - YES! He was going to smash right in and get after it right?! Wrong. He hated having his hands dirty, and me smooshing some into his mouth didn't help. (What?! I thought he would taste how yummy it was and want more!) I pulled the poor crying kid out and Ryan and I gave him a warm bath to clean him off. He was much happier after that!

We mingled, ate, photo-booth(ed) and had fun for a bit longer, then said goodbye to everyone as our guests left. We made sure they picked up an animal cracker favor along with a pair of cool shades for the kiddos on their way out. It was such an awesome, memorable day for us.

I have always loved birthdays, but this was my favorite yet. I can not believe a year has gone by. On one hand, I think back to that tiny little baby laying on my chest in the hospital and it puts me in complete disbelief thinking about that baby being Dylan. Sometimes it feels like it was ages ago that  we welcomed him into our lives - starting our family of three. On the other, I look at our little man and his adorable grin and I am shocked that he has gotten so big so quickly. He went from crawling and babbling to running and laughing in the blink of an eye. His personality seems to change every few days - always keeping us on our toes...and rolling with laughter! I put him to bed that night then read a book that my Grandma (GreeGree) got for him. It is called Two to Cuddle, and it follows a mommy and her son throughout the day during all the fun activities they do together, and their special bond they share. I started thinking about the immense amount of love I feel for him now, and how much fun we have. Reading the book reminded me that this year is just a drop in the bucket of the experiences and fun we have yet to share together! I read it aloud to Ryan through sobs and tears. We hugged and talked about how blessed we truly are. If one year was this exciting, we can't wait for the years to come! (But not too soon.)


{I'm sure you'll never believe this *insert sarcasm* but Ryan and I took about 8 million pictures. I can't wait to share tidbits from the wonderful day, but if I loaded them all at once I am pretty sure your computer would be crashing from overload right about now. I will post in sections as to not overwhelm!}

Tasty Treats {Party Appetizers}

Ryan whipped up a mini feast of treats for the party. Thanks to my pinterest addiction, I found some delicious new recipes for appetizers! Here are our faves:

Bacon Wrapped Potatoes with Spicy Sour Cream
Fruit Salsa & Cinnamon Pita Chips
Pizza Bites
Chocolate Raspberries

Monday, June 13, 2011

i love you.

I am your parent, you are my child
I am your quiet place, you are my wild

I am your calm face, you are my giggle
I am your wait, you are my wiggle

I am your dinner, you are my chocolate cake
I am your bedtime, you are my wide awake

I am your lullaby, you are my peekaboo
I am your goodnight kiss, you are my I love you

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

{Wordless Wednesday}