Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Apr '11

The Biggest Accomplishment

I forgot in my last post to mention Wesley’s latest biggest (in my opinion) accomplishment:

He calls me Mom.

Just this past week, he has started pointing to me and identifying me as “Mom.” He does the same thing for “Dad.” My biggest surprise this week was when I was upstairs in Carissa’s room and Wes came up the stairs calling “Ahhm! Ahhhm!” (“Mom! Mom!”), looking for me. What a cool feeling to be called Mom!

Apr '11

Some Accomplishments

1. Carissa is getting her first two teeth (front lower).

2. Wes is doing better about sleeping in his big boy bed, but he doesn’t usually make it through the night. So we still have a crib in his room that we use as a backup when needed (which is still somewhat often). I kind of feel like Carissa is missing out on some important rite of babyhood by not sleeping in a crib herself. She’s still in a cradle. (Also, I have some gorgeous baby girl crib bedding that I want to actually use, but I’ll wait until Wes is really done with the crib and it can officially be hers.)

So the other day I put Carissa in the crib next to Wes. He thought it was pretty fun to share it with his sister.

3. I tried to take photos of Wes and Carissa beside each other on the couch. Carissa is nearly always a ready model. Wes, not so much.

Good thing we got another round of professional photos taken of the kids yesterday. Here’s a sneak peek.

And here’s a link to our photographer.

4. I made chicken and dumpling soup tonight for the first time. We had leftover cooked chicken, celery, carrots, and sweet potatoes in the fridge and I wanted to use them. I used a combination of Rachel Ray’s recipe and Bobby Flay’s. Rachel Ray’s recipe actually calls for biscuit mix for the dumplings, but I didn’t have any so I followed Bobby Flay’s directions for making real dumplings (so easy).

Here’s basically what I did:

Chicken and Dumpling Soup

2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 tsp. onion powder (OR 1 medium onion, but I didn’t have one)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. poultry seasoning (I used a poultry rub we got at Costco)
2 Tbsp. flour
4 cups chicken broth
shredded chicken, cooked

Cook vegetables in the butter and oil in saucepan over medium-high heat about 5 minutes until tender. Add salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in chicken.

(All of the above is basically from Rachel Ray’s recipe. Now for the dumplings, by Bobby Flay…)


* 1 cup milk
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 3 eggs

Bring the milk and butter to a boil (I used a microwave), add salt and nutmeg. (Warning: It will smell good.) Remove from heat and immediately add flour stirring until dough leaves the sides of the pan. Incorporate the eggs, 1 at a time, forming a sticky dough.

Drop tablespoonfuls of dumpling dough into the pot, spacing dumplings evenly. Cover pot tightly and reduce heat to medium low. Steam dumplings 8 to 10 minutes (they will rise).

Apr '11

Spring Day

Today was nice weather. I took Wes and Carissa to meet my sister and her two kidlets at a spiffy toy store. Wes had fun.

Carissa just chilled in her stroller. She eventually fell asleep and slept through most of lunch as well.

After the toy store we played outside in the pedestrian plaza. Wes liked getting his hands (and clothes) wet in this fountain.

He was also intrigued by these outdoor speakers that were playing music. He went right up to this one and said, “Uzik.”

Then we all went to a newer pizza place called Malawi’s.

Dang. That was some tasty pizza. If you live here you need to try it.

Wes and I shared the Malawi pizza, which is alfredo sauce, a pesto oil, roasted chicken (paid extra for that, but it was worth it), tomatoes, fresh basil, and mozzarella. I wasn’t sure about the oil until I took my first bite. If heaven were a pizza, this would be it.

Then for dessert:

Peanut Butter Cup S’mores pizza. Um, yeah.

In other news, Carissa can hold up her own bottle! If it’s not too heavy.

She is also playing more independently, which is cute to watch because she’s so serious and focused. She is only 7 months and already so grown up.


More Stuff

Carissa is almost 8 months old (turns on Friday). She is getting better at sitting up solo, but she is still a little tipsy and so I buffer her with pillows. She likes to sit up (no surprise) where she can better see the world and play with more toys.

This is her after a bath, when her hair is curly to the max.

I recently tried a new recipe from chef Bobby Flay, found here. I doubled the amount of peanut butter caramel. Warning: They are fudgy.

I also tried my hand at making tortillas. Wes helped, a little.

Turns out they are so easy to make, and tastier than store-made.

We had this for dinner:

Chicken Bacon Ranch Wraps

Tortilla (homemade; click on link above for recipe)
Chicken (from rotisserie chicken from CostCo)
Bacon (pre-cooked from CostCo; just zap it in the microwave)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Ranch dressing

Even Wes ate it!


Family Pictures. Have a Look!

We recently got a look at the photos we took with our kids last weekend. We will finish our session this weekend when the kids are more cooperative.

Apr '11

Some few obsessions

1. Carissa

Carissa is 7.5 months old. I just took her in for her (ahem) six-month checkup. She’s 15 lbs 5 oz and 26 inches long. She’s in the 13th percentile for weight, which is up from 11th two months ago.

A week or two ago she started rolling over from back to tummy more frequently. She’s starting to recognize that she can get around. She spends a little more time on her tummy and sitting in chairs, which means her bald spot on the back of her head is starting to grow in!

Her first tooth (front lower left) poked through yesterday. She chews on her fingers a lot.

We’re trying to get her to hold up her own bottles, but with mixed results. She’d rather play.

I love the way her hair always smells like baby. Her eyes are big and blue. She is a joy to hold and kiss and cuddle.

2. Wes

Wes is 3.5 years old. He is about 30 pounds. Our current adventure is transferring him into the Big Boy Bed. For the last two months he’s been taking his daytime nap in the toddler bed, but I have to be right by him until he falls asleep. Otherwise he won’t stay put. Sometimes he wakes up from his nap an hour early and I can’t convince him to fall back asleep.

Three nights ago we started putting him to sleep at night in his toddler bed, too. The first night he stayed in bed all night but got up an hour early. Which meant I had to get up an hour early.

The last couple of nights he’s been waking up and getting out of bed and crying either in the hallway (if his door’s open) or in his room on the floor (if his door’s closed). We let him do this once, then if gets out again he goes into his crib for the rest of the night.

I sometimes wonder if/when this will ever improve. Carissa could use the crib, though (she’s in a cradle and soon will outgrow it).

We pulled out a game that Wes likes to play (and by “play” I mean, Wes plays with it like a toy rather than like a game). It was a gift when he was a baby, and he’s just now getting to where he can somewhat appreciate it. I have to help him put the leaves in the tree, then he puts the plastic bees in, and then he pulls out the leaves one by one untill all the bees fall out. You’re supposed to take turns and see who gets the least number of bees, but whatever.

4. Baking

It looks like apple pie, but it’s actually baklava. A while ago I accidentally bought filo pastry sheets and thought maybe I should use them. This was my first attempt at a pastry, and, actually, I think it turned out decently! Most things I make I’m happy to taste. But baklava is on a whole other level. Tasting it is like stepping into another world–certainly one outside of my own kitchen. It tastes like it’s hard to make, but surprise! It’s not.

4. Family photos

By Despain Photography.

We did one-half of the full photo shoot and are scheduled to shoot the other hour this weekend–except that this morning as Wes was running to the front door when he saw his school bus pull up, he tripped and sliced his forehead, and now I think maybe we’ll postpone the photos until we see how his head heals up.