beach day | take the time

11:55 PM

we've entered a really sweet stage of parenthood lately. a stage where holland tells me things like "i want you to stay with me forever" his arms tightly wrapped around my neck, and nights that end with him praying the lord would, "grow me big and strong so you can touch the ceiling (like daddy)", because in his mind being grown-up is everything right now which means being big and being able to touch the ceiling, which i cannot, and therefore he feels for me as he does his small self who so desperately want to be big. he's so verbal, and more often than not quite thoughtful being all of three years old. he shares even his best toys with clark, and they've really just begun to play together. they play things like drums, and ball, and doctor. clark looks to holland like no one else, he always has. it is almost like they knew each other long before ever laying eyes on each other. having clark join our family has been such a natural adjustment. i cannot wait to see the bond that forms between them. clark is at an age where i am not the end all be all, and has learned to enjoy his dad and brother, even family friends. he initiates games of peek-a-boo and chase, and tries his darnedest to wrestle with us and "knock us over". he is quite truly a crack-up, and a fireball. sweet and sensitive, hot and cold, a bit dramatic and totally emotional, with a sense of humor of his own. i am not sure who this little guy will become, but i am equally excited and terrified. he's got that sweet, kind of funny, whipper-snapper type character going on. he is also so busy and so fast these days, mind you he's not yet one and literally running most of the time. we may have our hands very full in a couple years. all that to say, with it being summer, and with will having a little more time on his hands sans school, we've been doing our darndest to soak up time with these boys and  enjoy them. we've also been trying to survive one heck of a heat wave. this little old house of ours gets cooking about four in the afternoon, so we've been packing up and heading out to the coast to beat the heat. being that we both grew up along the coastline,  i think naturally, we retreat there.

this last trip was so special. the difference was simple. we played. i mean we really played with the boys. so often we lay out our blanket, dump out the sand toys and sort of just let that be it, interacting intermittently with them. they have fun, we have fun, and if we are lucky we get a little break, sneak in a few words with each other, maybe luck out and get a car nap on the way home. we pack up and head home, tired, sandy, and content, but not overflowing. this time was different. we ran, we dug, we played (a lot) of ball, we played chicken with the waves. we brought out the kite. we laughed. we were present, involved, playful. i get so darn serious sometimes. we really enjoyed them and they really enjoyed us. basically, i realized that i really need to lighten up. i'm not exactly sure when or how or why i've gotten so serious so much of the time, but i do know i could be having loads more fun with my children than i generally do. i am so grateful these boys have a daddy who is silly with them pretty much all of the time.



chocolate zucchini cake

9:35 PM

it's that time of the year where either you have zucchini coming out of your ears or someone you know does. we fall under that someone you know category. now, we are likewise brimming with the green veggie. 

though my youngest and i love it sauteed, h and will do not, and because i totally needed an entire 13x9 inch chocolate cake sitting around (eye roll) what better way to use up some of that zucchini? and also, coffee and cake. i know what i'm having for breakfast.

yield: 1 9x13 cake 

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 eggs
4 medium zucchini, shredded
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sea salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup cocoa nibs, for garnish (optional) 

preheat oven to 350 degrees. line 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper. set aside.

in a large bowl, combine applesauce, butter, eggs, zucchini, vanilla extract and sugar. whisk. add cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. mix until combined. fold in flour. pour into parchment lined baking pan. garnish with cocoa nibs.

bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted. cool 10-15 minutes before transfering out of pan. slice into squares and serve warm or at room temperature.

store covered or in tupperware 2-3 days




milestones | 11 months and counting

10:52 PM

being that clark will be ONE in just a couple short weeks i figured i better post again. i very well may cry on his first birthday. i cannot believe a year has almost flown by, nor that my baby is much more a toddler than baby these days. clark, slow down.

  • has nearly seven teeth
  • sustains himself on blueberries, watermelon, avocados, sausage, chicken, and cheese
  • has completely said so long to purees
  • loves to play ball/bat the ball around like a cat
  • tries and often succeeds using a fork
  • tasted his first chocolate cake on brother's birthday a few days ago
  • loves balloons
  • RUNS with the silliest of grins on his face, cracking up hysterically. everything is a game of chase, especially diaper changes.
  • remains the hardest kid i have ever had to diaper
  • falls down about 100 times a day
  • loves water
  • still hates getting dressed/undressed
  • still wakes 2-3 times per night
  • waves
  • clicks his tongue at me when he wants to eat or nurse
  • signs "all done" and "more"
  • says hi, mama and dada, makes the "pa" sound for grandpa
  • officially outgrew his infant car seat at nearly 24 pounds, and has been upgraded into a convertible one
  • is still the snuggliest bug
  • was left during waking hours (with grandma) for the first time whilst we snuck out on our first day date since he was born. hurrah!
  • wants to do everything holland does...and so it begins
  • let's you know how he feels if a toy is taken away from him (he puts up a good fight)
  • is after ALL the cords ALWAYS
  • shares a room with holland
  • is becoming a great napper with two naps per day (9am and 1pm or 10am and 2pm)
and that about sums it up.


holland's dinosaur party

8:46 PM

saturday we celebrated holland's third birthday. there were dinosaurs, chocolate cake with sprinkles, friends, and painting, per his request. he likes to keep me on my toes…all of his primarily three-year-old friends and paint, a lot of paint. thanks holland. ;) 
our day started out with our (big) boy pouring himself his own bowl of cereal, the birthday song, which he also sings along to, and facetime from his grandpa across the ocean who gave him directions on where to find his birthday surprise. it was so special to watch it all unfold, and to see the joy on their faces as he unveiled his new tricycle. then, it was party time.
my mom drew out twenty-four feet of dino madness (thank you!) for the kids to paint. we hung it on our fence, put out the decor, opened up the paint, and the kids arrived. they ran, they played, they jumped with dinosaurs, and popped every single balloon on the trampoline in all of maybe five minutes. they dug for dinos, we served up cake, opened gifts, handed out treasure rocks, and just as fast as the party started, it was over.
holland was showered with so much love and more gifts than a boy could ask for. i feel blessed to have been able to capture some of the magic in the midst of toddler craziness. friends, thank you for blessing our boy.
after the party, we went out for burgers, opened every single toy, and tucked our tired selves into bed. at the end of the day he said his favorite part was all of it.
(mission accomplished)

happy birthday holland. we love you to the moon and back (and to the moon again).


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