Toothpaste, ABC, and Counting

Love the "L, M, N, O" and the yawning "A, B, C"s

Party On

Saturday night we got the chance to host a 30th-birthday-bash-dance-party for two sweet friends, Kelly and Whitney. Grayson got shipped off to Raleigh for a night with "Shu-Shu, Judge (George), Caya (Callie, one dog), Ro-rose (Rosie, second dog), and Ma-maaawww" (thanks mom!).

White Christmas lights are a must in the Smith household...

The birthday girls and their party-planning hubbies...

Patio turned dance floor...

And without a little person running around at my feet, I had time to bring this sketch to real life in the kitchen. Yum-o-licious.
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Farmer's Market Season Returns

Mil was leading worship at the women's fellowship at church this AM so Pookie and I went to the Market. Out of the blue, Jeff called and he and Eli joined up with us. Here are the highlights:

After we got out cinnamon bun, I let her hold it as we walked around. A few minutes later, I looked down and saw she couldn't resist. Whoops.

Coffee in Millie's inspirational mug. It's kinda blurry, but the message it speaks is so clear: "You're an Essential Piece." It really inspires me to keep drinking my coffee.

Lastly, we scored some flowers for Mil.

Grayson was counting them here. It goes: "teyooo, faaaa, siihh, sewah, ti, yay" (translation: two, five, six, seven, ten, yay!)
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a girl after my own heart

in the last 20 minutes, grayson asked for "more stickr"...

"ribba" for ribbon...

and crayons made their hourly appearance.
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Gops and Waffles

This picture cracks me up. I didn't know Justin was taking it (hence my rumpled shirt and focused-on-the-dishes look). But I laughed when I saw it because its such a clear picture of what our kitchen looks like most days. I'm either cooking, or cleaning up from just cooking. There are an abundance of cereal boxes on the shelves. Grayson has somehow figured out to make the contents of her play kitchen explode all over the floor. And the poor dog is hiding in the mix, lying there patiently, hoping someone besides the curious toddler will come and pet her or let her out for some relief from the madness.

My favorite Grayson word of the day is "gops", aka "grapes". I made her say it ten times at lunch.

And here is our new family favorite waffle recipe. Gray is a waffle-eating-machine for breakfast, so I've resorted to making them from scratch and freezing them for later. These are actually much better reheated in the toaster oven than right off the waffle iron for some reason. I double the recipe below, we eat them for dinner one night with smoothies and eggs, and then we have enough leftover for a week of breakfasts. I tried to triple it this week, and the batter lost its fluffiness. Stick with doubling if you want leftovers for freezing, or keep it the way it is to try them out. I'd give a shout out to where I found it online, but it was some random Q&A site that I don't really remember and that didn't print with the recipe. Sorry random source.

Best-Yet Waffles:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
2 cups milk (I used 1 cup milk (1%) and 1 cup water and it was still good)
2 eggs, separated
1 Tbs. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla (this is optional, I added it because we love vanilla in all things waffle/pancake-ish)

1. Preheat waffle maker (we use our Belgian waffle maker).
2. Sift dry ingredients together in a bowl.
3. Separate the two eggs, then add the milk, egg yolks, melted butter, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and mix well (it will look very liquidy here)
4. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff (this takes a few minutes but is key to the recipe)
5. Fold/gently mix the stiff egg whites into the batter (it's ok if its a bit lumpy from the whites)
6. PAM your waffle maker, pour about 1 cup batter on the bottom grate, cook for 2 minutes-ish? (our maker has a light that goes off when they are done). I read once that when the steam stops rising from the edges of the maker, the waffle is done.
7. Repeat. Lots. It makes a bunch. The recipe as is says that it makes 12. I can't remember exactly how many it makes in real life. This is one of those things where I multi-task and make them while doing something else. They might look floppy when you cool them on a plate before freezing, but trust me, they crisp up perfectly in the toaster. Enjoy!
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He has risen; He has risen indeed!

To kick off our fun-filled Easter weekend, Grayson stayed with Gramashu and Dampa George in Cary Thursday through Saturday morning while "Shu" was on spring break. Happy spring break to mama too! I got maybe 1/3rd of my "to do" list done, but Grayson apparently lived it up.

Back at home, we baked a cake together on Saturday. I love Grayson's "cheese" here for the camera! And how about those aprons?! Ha.

And of course an Easter egg hunt at church. She knew exactly what to do when they said "go". Ten eggs went straight into her basket.

Then it was off to church on Sunday morning to celebrate with friends. I love the one on the top right where Maddie is looking at Grayson, waiting patiently for her to grab on and hold Anna Cate's hand for the picture.

Then it was off to the house for lunch with grandparents. Top left is Grayson licking icing off my finger and bottom left was her attempt at yogurt consumption at lunch.

My friend Jan sends out weekly emails that I cherish. Yesterday she talked about how we get all pumped up and excited about Easter, and then the week afterwards, we're back to the grind and living in the after-sugar-rush. But she wisely pointed out that after the resurrection, Jesus' disciples just went back to doing what they knew how to do: fish (John 21:1-13). And the great thing was, Jesus showed up and provided a whole bunch of fish when they thought there were none to be found. So after her sweet reminder, we're back to life here this week with play dates, coupon-clipping, cleaning house, cooking and to-do lists; knowing that Jesus shows up in it all because He has risen indeed.
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18 Months...

Her current sleepsack/woobie/"wa-wa" got so much love that the seams busted through at the feet. I had to sew it up one night and she couldn't see it out without putting a hand on it to make sure it was ok. Before I repaired it up, we would zip her up in it and she would say "uh-oh" when her toes stuck through the holes. Here she is wearing a consignment sale bathing suit and skirt we were trying on for size. She l.o.v.e.s. to try on clothes. Still one of her favorite past times is to sit in front of her dirty clothes bin, pull the clothes out, and try them all on at once. She's getting pretty good with pants and shirts and shoes.

She's still a giant. At her 18 month check-up she was still cruising in the 97th percentile on height and 50th on weight. I'm glad we're almost into spring so her too-short leggings and jeans can now pass as capris.

Here she is saying "cheese" as we tried to snap a shot of a playdate with friends. It doesn't get much cuter than 3 little ones two and under.

We picked up a play tool box and a play doctor's kit at a recent consignment sale. After a quick lesson from daddy, she now runs (with much determination) back to her room to get her screwdriver whenever she sees a screw. She had to pull over her kitchen helper to reach the one in the door below. Most of the time I see her toddling around with the stethoscope around her neck too (on top of a shirt or two from her dirty clothes bin of course).

She will pretty much say anything we say now, and its cracking us up. Current favorites include...
--I love you = "I wa wa"
--Again = "aga" (which is said after any song is sung, book is read, or funny noise or sound is made)
--No = "naaow" (she draws this out in true southern style. It's currently a favorite word of hers, much to our dismay)
--Yes = "yash" (only said when prompted by "can you say yes?")
--Bless you (after a sneeze) = "blesshu"
--Chip = "chip" (very short, and very to the point once she figured out how yummy those crunchy tortilla chips were)
--Mornin'! = "mayin!" (if you pretend to fall asleep, she whispers "night night", then a few seconds later in a high pitched sweet voice says "mayin!" to which you must promptly lift your head and say it back)
--Toad Hall (aka maymay and peeps' house) = "toe-ba"
--Strawberries = "staba"
--Edamame = "eh-mama"
--Color = "ga-ga" (as in coloring with crayons. we have no idea how the c turned to a g sound)
--Trace = "tra" (as in, please trace my hand, which is the request we get every time a crayon is picked up)

She also loves to sing along with us when we sing the ABC's (she chimes in with a handful of letters), and we realized just this week that she chimes in on "two" and "five" in the one to ten lineup. Her animal sounds are hysterical, with the newest one being "baka-baka-baka-baka--BAKA" for a chicken that we told her says "bok bok bok bok BGOK!"

A day in the life of a little but tall one-and-a-half-year-old. And I (finally) have all of these words she says written down somewhere permanent instead of scrawled on a notepad in the bottomless kitchen drawer. Hey, at least you're fluent in toddler talk after this post if you don't have a toddler of your own in the house right now!
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