Sunday, June 26, 2011

Garage Sale

When Mollie came to town we decided to have a yard sale.  Mollie is a great garage saler, my mom had lots of stuff to get rid of, and my house is in a great location for such an event.  I also had some things to sell, so it worked out great.  Mollie and I spent several days earlier in the week sorting and pricing all of our things, then on Saturday morning we got up bright and early to get the sale going.  My mom made some amazing cupcakes and lemonade for Harrison to sell and he was thrilled at the end of the day to have earned quite a bit of money for himself.  It was a lot of work, but we were able to get rid of a lot of stuff and make some money too.  When we called it a day we loaded all the remaning stuff into my mom's SUV to be hauled off for donation.  Here are a few photos from the day.
Mom and Mollie enjoying some shade

Harrison with his Cupcake/Pretzel/Lemonade Stand

Getting tired...

Spencer watched Clara inside while I worked the yard sale outside

I thought this was so cute - when Harrison ran out of lemonade, he made a little "sold out" sign

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Love at First Bite

Clara tried her first solid food the day before she turned six months old.  She's been interested in food for a while, but I definitely wanted to hold off until she hit the six month mark.  I knew she was getting all the nutrients she needed from breastmilk, and I wasn't really eager to give up the ease of exclusively breastfeeding (and the not-so-smelly diapers that go with it).  Plus, I was in a bit of denial about her growing up too fast.  Nevertheless, it was time.  Clara's first food was mashed avocado.  I thinned it out a bit for her, and she gobbled it right up.
She seemed to love it and know just what to do - she opened wide as each spoonful was brought to her mouth, and swallowed with ease.  After a bit of instruction during her first meal, she no longer tries to grab for the spoon or put her hands in her mouth while eating.  Since her first meal, we've added brown rice, barley, banana and peas to her menu and she's enjoyed them all!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day

Clara's very lucky to have a great father.  When I look at the thousands of photos we have of Clara, many of my favorites are of she and her daddy together: on a walk or a hike, snuggling, reading a story together, playing with the kitty, exploring the yard.  I feel pretty confident in saying that coming home to see Clara at the end of a long work day is a daily highlight for Spencer.  They both enjoy each other immensely.  For Father's Day, Clara insisted that we make Spencer breakfast in bed.  She also wanted to get him a 10 pack of Butterfingers that he wouldn't even have to share, and a chimney for the grill so we can continue to enjoy daddy's delicious charcoal grilling skills without the wait (or lighter fluid!).

Madsen Family Reunion

In Mid-June, we attended the extended Madsen Family Reunion.  It's a gathering of my Grandpa Glen Madsen's siblings (only one surviving) and their posterity.  Admittedly, I don't know much of the family beyond my first cousins, aunts and uncles, but it was still nice to get together and meet some other family members as well.  This year my dad was in charge of organizing the event.  The good thing about being in charge is getting to choose the venue - he chose to host the reunion at Nicholl's Park in Kaysville, which is only about a mile from their home.  It was great to see cousins, aunts and uncles and my Grandma Betty. We enjoyed a beautiful day in the park, had lunch, and took Clara to the park for the first time.  She seemed to enjoy the swing and I can see why some parents swear by them for their babies - she nearly fell asleep on her first go!
Spencer tries Clara's hat on for size
First Swing!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

5 Month Photos and Thoughts

{written 6/7/11}
It's 6:30 on Friday morning.  The sun is already shining brightly and pouring into the house through the living room windows. Aren't these early mornings wonderful in the spring/summer?  Also, having your baby's room on the west side of the house is wonderful.  Except for in the evenings when the baby is in bed by 7:00 but the sun stays out partying until 9:30 or so.  But I suppose that is why they invented blackout fabric (also wonderful).
I was at a baby shower last night, chatting it up with some of my favorite friends in the neighborhood.  We somehow got to talking about babies (imagine that).  One friend I was talking with has a baby who is ten days older than Clara, so it's been fun to kind of fun to go through the same things at the same times.  We were talking about how our babies are approaching the six month mark (!!!) and she kept saying how 6-12 months is her favorite age for a baby.  I kept thinking, "Really? Because it's hard to imagine things being any more awesome than they already are."  Then she was commenting about how it is so fun when you have more than one child, to watch them play together and enjoy life with each other.  So apparently I have some things to look forward to! (this is not an announcement)
Little Clara continues to be the sunshine in my life.  She has the sweetest little giggle and lights up with a  smile whenever I can lock her gaze.  Everyone around me is constantly commenting on what a good baby she is.  I've been around other babies enough to know that this is true!  I realize that she's spoiling me as a mother and I'm just trying to soak in all of her goodness and appreciate each moment.  Almost every night within an hour of putting her to bed, Spencer asks if we can go wake her up.  It's the sweetest thing.  Sometimes we do get her up, just to snuggle.  We're not trying to make a habit of it, but we know her babyhood will be so fleeting.  When we don't scoop her up for a snuggle (and even when we do) she sleeps soundly for 10-12.5 hours at night.
Here are some updates on the babe: She loves having her gums (no teeth yet) brushed before bed.  She loves standing up and has really strong (but short!) little legs.  She does acrobatic moves in her crib while she sleeps; I put her down on her back, but often find her on her tummy, side, or pushed up close to the bars of her crib when she wakes.  She is easily entertained and her favorite toys are a few plastic links strung together, her oball, and her teething rings (usually not all at once).  We go on a walk each morning before her first nap and she seems to really enjoy it!  I still have her stroller in the parent-facing orientation most of the time so I can watch all of her cute little expressions as we go. When she meets new people and they really make an effort to make her laugh or smile she gives them a blank stare, then looks up at me, with her "is this ok, mom?" look.  It is surprising to me just how many people will stop us in the grocery store or on a walk to take a peek at her or comment on her cuteness or her beautiful eyes.  I guess I've just never been one of those people, but if other people were toting around babies as cute as Clara, I guess I might be. ;)

Friday, June 03, 2011

Artisan Bread in Five

Over the past year or so, I've seen various references to a book called Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  I read quite a few food blogs, and every mention of it was a rave review, but also alluded to some special secret that you'd have to buy the book to find out.  I was a little intrigued and a little annoyed.  But when I saw yet another blogger raving about the bread they had just made (this time not a food blogger) using the books' trick, I decided to look it up.  Turns out the authors have a blog of their own where they have published the master recipe.  I've made bread and homemade pizza crust before, but this bread is by far the easiest I've tried.  Also probably the tastiest.  And definitely the prettiest.
I've still been wanting to get the book (or at least check it out from the library), but from what I can tell, it's filled with variations on the common recipe theme: mix the very simple ingredient list, let the dough sit, refrigerate, and bake whenever you need fresh bread.  The dough from the master recipe can sit in the fridge for up to two weeks.  The only problem with baking bread so pretty and good is that I eat way too much of it...  But I'm also excited to try the brioche dough and use it for some sweeter creations.
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