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Saturday, October 31, 2009

One year pics

Trena took pictures of an incredibly uncooperative Emilia this morning. I don't know how Trena manages to get good pictures of a grumpy baby, but she somehow does. You can go here to see them. I think this one might be my favorite. Or maybe this one. I can't decide.

School Halloween Party

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ella's story

Ella wrote this at indoor recess yesterday.

I love my tycher By Ella Burrows.

My tycher Misis Ploger. Shy is the vary best tycher in the Werd. I love love love Scool. At ferst I thot thit i wode not like the holl yer. Love Ella

Translation: I love my teacher by Ella Burrows. My teacher Mrs. Ploger. She is the very best teacher in the world. I love love love school. At first I thought that I would not like the whole year. Love Ella

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Written Confession

Mom I rote this leter becas my backpack got wet and it allso got my liybary book wet. it was not my fallt. it was the wan's fallt.


Ella Kathren Burrows

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My baby is still fat

Emilia has always been chubby. Okay, fat. We thought that when she started walking, she would slim down. It didn't happen. While her weight gain has tapered off (she only gained two pounds between August and October), she's still a chunk.

At her one year check-up, she weighed 26 pounds and was 29 inches long. That puts her in the 95th percentile for weight and between the 25th and 50th percentiles for height. To quote my mother-in-law, "Well, that means she's short and fat like the rest of us."

She wears 18-24 month clothes in several brands. To get her pants big enough to go around her waist, they're so long we have to cuff them. (She does take after her momma.)

Emilia has junk food radar. She's generally a good eater, but she's not always big on formal meals. She would rather snack all day long. And she seems to know when something isn't good for her. She can recognize candy from across the room, even though we really haven't let her have any yet. (Well, at least, I haven't. Maybe Ryan has a secret?) Once she found a Hershey's bar of Ella's in the groceries I was unloading and carried it around for an hour. She loves any kind of cookie, cake, cracker or cereal. And cheese. The girl can't get enough cheese. Chocolate, too. (Maybe she likes things that start with C?)

The Plogers have watched Emilia a few times, and they quickly learned that keeping her mouth full is a great way to keep her happy. Nicole had to cut Emilia off from dessert though. She just kept stuffing more and more and more in her mouth. Kind of like this.
What really confuses me is how she recognizes the junk food. How does she know to reach for the Kit Kat and Pepsi when she's never had either one? And how does she know not to reach for broccoli? It must be that we give much more to our children than eye color and skin tone. In Emilia's case, it would seem that she genetically programmed to find pleasure in food. Yep, she's our baby!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Birthday Chaos, Part 2

This time we let children we're not related to run wild...followed by police with searchlights roaming through the backyard at midnight. We're not sure what that was all about.

Emilia is starting to get the hang of opening presents.

She loves her new baby doll.

Ella thought the singing was way too loud.

More pics to come.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bundled-up baby

Monday afternoon I really wanted to go a walk. I decided not to let the soupy weather get in my way, so I bundled up Emilia, loaded her in the stroller, piled up blankets on top of her, opened the garage door...and realized it wasn't just misting any more, it wasn't even drizzling, it was flat-out raining. Okay for mommies, not so much for babies. Back in the house we went.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Baked Stuffed Pumpkin

This is another fall recipe.

1 4-pound pumpkin, 6 inches in diameter (I use a small pie pumpkin)
1 T. butter, softened (I forgot it this time, and it was fine without it)
3 cups bread crumbs, fresh bread cubes, or croutons (if you use croutons, you'll skip the spices)
Spices: 1 1/2 t. salt, 1/4 t. pepper, 1/4 t. nutmeg, 1/2 t. ground sage
1 cup grated Swiss cheese (I used Gruyere this time)
2 T. flour
2/3 cup chopped onion
6 T. butter
2 cup heavy cream
1 bay leaf

If you are using fresh bread, spread crumbs or cubes in a roasting pan to dry out in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Cut off top of pumpkin at an angle so the lid won't slip back inside.

Remove guts of pumpkin and stringy insides.

Rub inside of pumpkin with soft butter and sprinkle with salt. (This is the the step I forgot this time.) Place in baking dish.

Cook onions in 6 T. butter until translucent.

Stir in bread/croutons. Cook two minutes.

Add other seasonings, except bay leaf.

Remove from heat. Coat the Swiss cheese with flour and stir into the bread mixture.

Spoon into the pumpkin to the top.

Pour cream on top of stuffing to 1/2 inch of rim.

Place bay leaf on top. Replace lid on pumpkin.

Cover lower rack of oven with foil to catch drips. (If you use a deep enough baking dish, this won't be an issue.)

Bake at 400 degrees for 1 and half hours until pumpkin begins to soften and middle is bubbling.

Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake for 30 more minutes.

It is done when the outside is browning and pumpkin is soft to the touch.

Serve by scooping some of the pumpkin meat with the stuffing.

A few good recipes

Chilly weather makes me want to cook. Here are links to a couple of recipes I've made lately.

First, there's these French Onion Gruyere Cups from Rachael Ray. They are a quick version of French onion soup in cute little individual biscuit cups. They have Gruyere cheese (obvious from the name, huh?), which makes anything taste yummy. I think the little biscuit cups would be a great way to serve other thick soups, too, like chili or broccoli cheese soup.

Last week I tried this Gingerbread Pudding recipe. It makes a delicious gingerbread with caramel sauce. This version of the recipe calls for sorghum syrup, which I didn't have, so I just used molasses. It was perfect for a cold night.

Speaking of perfect recipes for cold nights, here are a couple of incredibly easy soups I've made lately.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Start with some broccoli. I use 3-4 small heads. Put them in a soup pot and cover with water. Add about half a chopped onion. Cook until the broccoli is bright green. Add a can of evaporated milk, a can of cream of mushroom soup, a big block of Velveeta, cubed. Cook until the cheese is melted.

Tomato Soup

Slice up a couple of cloves of garlic. Saute in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a soup pot until just starting to turn golden. Remove the garlic and discard. Add a big can of tomato juice to the olive oil. Heat. Add a tablespoon or two of dill (to taste). Just before serving, add heavy cream until the soup is as creamy as you want it. This is great served with TV critters (those dilly ranchy oyster crackers I always make at Christmas).

She couldn't wait...

We got Emilia a Rody for her birthday. I asked Ryan to air it up before the party so that Emilia would at least have some idea what it was. We didn't bother to hide it from Emilia since she really has no concept of birthdays, or presents, or opening presents, or surprises. The problem? This immediately led to jealousy on Ella's part. "Why did Emilia get a present early? It's not fair. I can't wait until my party to open my presents." She had already been driving us crazy all day, and this new whining about pushed us over the edge.

We knew Aunt Brandi wouldn't mind if Ella opened her present early. (In fact, she'd already given us permission. Aunt Brandi understands the need to open presents early.) So we let Ella at it.

A Sponge Bob stereo!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Birthday Chaos

We held a combined family birthday party for Ella and Emilia tonight. As you might expect, I have lots of pictures. Here are just a few for now, and I'll add more later. Leanne made an adorable and delicious cake, which you can tell both of the girls thoroughly enjoyed.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pumpkin Paradise

We really should have gone to the pumpkin patch yesterday when the weather was absolutely beautiful. But we didn't. We were tired. Ella was asleep. Excuses, excuses. We were lazy, and we paid for it.

We should have left Emilia at home. It was really too cold and windy for her. But we didn't. And she was a little trouper.

We bundled up and discovered it was much windier and colder without the windbreak provided in town. Baby hair a blowin' windy. And dustier, too. Much dustier. Gritty teeth dusty. Dirt in the nose dusty.

Still we had fun. And found lots of cool pumpkins.

And some gross ones.

And warmed up with hot chocolate when we returned.

Happy birthday, Emilia

Emilia turns one today. I can't believe how quickly this year has gone; I'm sad to see her growing older. When I held a friend's newborn last week, I realized Emilia has lost her baby smell, which really made me sad, but I'm also looking forward to a time when I won't constantly have a 25 pound tumor attached to my hip.

Here's what Emilia is up to these days....

She's walking all over the place, and she's so proud of herself. She loves to go up and down stairs, too. She would spend all day on the stairs if we would let her.

She loves to be outside.

She wants to be where the big kids are.

She loves to clap. She claps like a proper lady, holding one hand still, palm up, and tapping the fingers of the other hand on top.

She loves to be tickled and scared. She has the cutest laugh.

She can blow kisses and wave hello and goodbye, but you have to be pretty special to see any of these actions.

She can say several words (ducky, apple, mama, that), but her favorite catch-all word is dada, which seems to mean just about anything.

She loves drinks. She's obsessed with straws. She loves snack foods. She's not always in love with real food (table food or baby food), but she's always up for crackers. (We have discovered that she loves Stonyfield's Yo Baby 3 in 1 meals. They combine yogurt with a fruit and vegetable, like apples and sweet potatoes or pears and green beans. They're a good way to sneak in foods she doesn't like on their own.)

She has junk food radar. Let anyone drop a chip or cookie on the floor and she's there.

She gets her feelings hurt whenever anyone tells her "no." She cries and cries and cries.

She is the cuddliest baby in the world. She likes to get as close to people as she can, especially when she's sleepy. Pick her up, and she'll put her head on your shoulder and snuggle right in.

Happy birthday, Emilia!