Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Bunny Encounter & Egg Hunt on the Farm

     We took the Sugar Snaps to a local farm where there was an Easter celebration complete with an egg hunt amongst bales of hay. Adult bunny helpers continuously walked around tossing eggs onto the hay as little ones excitedly picked them up. The Sugar Snaps enjoyed finding the colorful eggs.


Capri enjoyed collecting the eggs

while Ryder had trouble with the balancing act
and left his basket unattended while he searched for more.
The Sugar Snaps inspected their loot

before waiting to see the Easter Bunny.
who was just as terrifying as the bearded man in red.
     We  had a wonderful time at the farm's Easter celebration.  It is fun to see the Sugar Snaps gain a new understanding each time they do an egg hunt.  Some day, they may have an awe of the Easter Bunny who brings "baskets full of Easter joy" but that will have to wait.  I hope you are enjoying Spring with your family.  I'd love to hear what you have been doing.  As always, comments are welcome.  


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Going on an Egg Hunt

  This is the second time the Sugar Snaps have gone to the Mothers of Multiples club's Easter egg hunt.  Last year, they had fun but really didn't get it.  You can peek back at last year's hunt to see the difference.  This year, they got the concept a little better and I imagine by next year they will have it down.  We were lucky to have beautiful weather for the egg hunt which was held outside at a park.  Parents of children under three filled the eggs with things they could safely eat while the parents of older children filled the eggs with all kinds of candy.  The little ones found eggs 'hidden' in plain sight on the lawn while the older children found eggs hidden all over the playground.

Xayden had fun finding eggs to put in his frog basket.

Ryder was on the lookout for all the colorful eggs. 

Capri wondered what was inside her pretty white egg decorated with hearts.

Grayson's green basket matched his shirt and the grass below.

All four Sugar Snaps opened up their eggs and began to consume the contents.
     It was fun seeing all of the families with multiples.  The Sugar Snaps are too young to see the significance of going on a hunt with other families who have multiples as they do not know that they are multiples.  Some day, I imagine, they will think it is pretty fun to get together with other children who are twins, triplets or more.  Have the children in your life gone on any egg hunts this year?  I would love to hear from you.  As always, comments are welcome.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cutting the Curls

     We have been cutting Grayson and Ryder's hair for a while now.  We were afraid to cut Xayden's curls as we had heard that they may be gone forever.  I took all four of the Sugar Snaps with me to get Ryder and Grasyon's hair cut.  Xayden started to say "Xayden's turn" from his seat in the stroller and I felt bad that I did not have my camera as I document all first haircuts.  I also was unsure as to whether I was ready to take the plunge.  I spoke with the hair stylist who assured me that he would not lose his curls as they were curly right next to the root, a sign that they are here to stay.  I booked an appointment with her in a couple of days and ventured out with just Xayden and my camera as it was Greg's day off.

Xayden contemplated his curls in the mirror

then watched intently as they fell to the floor.

In the end, he seemed pleased with the results and charmed by his stylist.

I love the way the sunlight captured his new smaller curls.

     I was so relieved when his curls bounced right back after his haircut.  They reappear each time we wash his hair.  At least for now, his curls are here to stay.  What are your experiences with first haircuts?  I'd love to hear from you.  As always, comments are welcome.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Kale Chips Fresh from the Farm

     I have seen several posts on making kale chips, such as this one from Simona of Fuel the Body Well.  It was one of those things I was anxious to try and hoped our family would like them, but I wasn't sure.  One time I sauteed kale after reading about the nutritional benefits and we were not all that enamored with the results. So, I put that experience aside and we went to a local farm where we were able to pick fresh kale.  The kale takes a little strength to pull out, so I did the pulling and had the Sugar snaps hold and experience the kale fresh from the ground afterwards.  I wanted to make sure the rows of kale were intact for the next people who wanted to pick some.

   The kale is much more abundant further down the row.

      While I stood in the row of kale, staring at it,  unsure of what to do next, a woman and her two daughters joyfully picked kale as she videotaped her daughters' happy faces.  I watched them and waited until the videotaping was done and asked her about how to best pick kale.  She had picked the entire plant which is what she recommended.  She planned to regrow it at home but also did not see the value in picking the plant clean and leaving the roots.  She told me how much her daughters loved kale chips and said they would not eat it any other way.  She advised that I shred the kale by hand and then toss it with a little olive oil and salt and bake it at 350 degrees until the edges just started to brown. 

Ryder and Grayson happily inspected the kale

while Capri and Xayden took in the details, right down to the roots.

     I followed the helpful woman's instructions and to my amazement, it was quite a veggie success story.  The Sugar Snaps just couldn't get enough kale chips and the two bunches I had prepared all but disappeared amidst cries of  "more chips please!" Their grandparents and my husband liked them too.  So did I.  I am a new kale convert.  I plan to grow our own kale in the future to bring the kale picking experience home.  Have you tried making kale chips or growing kale?   I would love to hear from you.  As always, comments are welcome. 

 This post is linked up to the From the Farm Bloghop.  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

          Happy St. Patrick's Day.  I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.  I thought I'd share the Sugar Snaps' three St. Patrick's Day photos. 

 Our Four Leaf Clover 2011

Our Shamrock Bunnies 2012


Festive in Green 2013

     Did your family do anything to celebrate today?  I made green cake pops sprinkled with green sugar for the Sugar Snaps and Greg who has a sweet tooth.  Please feel free to share a link to your St. Patrick's Day posts if you have them.  I'd love to hear from you.  As always, comments are welcome.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Choking--a Moment that Felt Like an Eternity

     Each morning, I greet the Sugar Snaps with a treat, usually an animal cracker.  This adds a little spark of excitement to the morning and makes waiting for all their siblings to get ready a little easier.  Last week was no different, except that Grandma and Grandpa were visiting so Grandma and I greeted them together.  They each received their animal cracker and shouted, "animal!" and "Thank you Mama" or "Thank you Grandma!"  Grandma and I noticed that Xayden was looking a little different right after he bit into his animal cracker and immediately sensed something was wrong.  I asked him, "are you OK?" with no response and I realized he was choking.  I pulled him from his crib and began back blows to no avail and he began turning a greenish blue. It is amazing how fast he changed color.  I did some abdominal thrusts and he began breathing again.  So did I.


     I held Xayden for a really long time and cradled him like a baby in my arms.  I did not want to let go. His color slowly changed back to normal though he was a bit lethargic.  He was clingy with me for the next several days, shouting 'Mama!' and wanting to be beside me.  I had an urge to throw away the whole container of animal crackers, but resisted.  In hindsight, I know that Xayden was congested and panicked when he could not breathe out of his nose.  Normally, he has no problem chewing and swallowing animal crackers, though I still find myself watching him closely as he eats them. I remember when he was so small and fragile. Those memories came flooding back as I cradled him in my arms.

Xayden in the NICU

   Before the Sugar Snaps were born, I volunteered for the Red Cross and I regularly took the adult and child/infant CPR and first aid courses.  We also took one as part of the classes to prepare for the birth of our babies.  In scary moments, the information somehow kicks in and you do what you need to do to help the ones you love.  If you need a refresher on infant/child choking, check out this article from the Baby Center which includes a good explanation along with visual aids.  We have had other minor choking episodes in the past which were resolved more easily than this one.  I hope there will be no more choking incidents, though I am glad we have the tools in case we need them.  Have you ever needed to help someone who was choking or use CPR?  I would love to hear from you.  As always, comments are welcome.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fairy Baby Sprinkle

     My sister-in-law is pregnant with her second baby after trying for a while.  She had a scare in which her doctor thought she may have trouble getting pregnant, and then, the night before she was scheduled to see an infertility specialist, she sensed she was pregnant.  She was right!  We are so excited for Leanne and her family.  I decided to throw her a 'baby sprinkle' as she already has most of the baby gear she needs, but could still use some more things for her new baby girl.  I took a picture of my niece Emma holding a magic wand.  Then, at my request, Leah of Daydream Designs, tranformed her into a fairy sitting on a toadstool.  Leah did an amazing job and completely exceeded my expectations!  Here is the front of the Sprinkle invitation:

Design by Leah of Daydream Designs

     I chose the fairy theme because it looks like fairies are 'sprinkling' magic or glitter from their wands.  It seemed like a fun theme for a baby sprinkle.  I thought it was fitting for Leanne to be a fairy too, so I went to and found a fairy in which to paste Leanne's face.  The Leanne fairy greeted guests at the front door.

The Leanne Fairy Succulent Wreath

     The main table was decorated as the forest floor with various kinds of moss.  My Mom and I made lemon and banana cake pops which 'grew' out of the forest floor along with toadstools I made from paper mache.  I bought a toadstool cake  with a fairy on the front which was vanilla with fresh strawberry filling.  Fruit flavored petit fours and chocolate truffles were served too along with fresh berries. Chocolate truffle eggs from Williams-Sonoma were nestled in birds' nests purchased from a local craft store.

Fairy Sprinkle Tablescape
     Coffee table with more birds' nests with truffle eggs, petit fours and truffles
     Citrus Water, Baby Bump Punch and Magical Rasberry Rum Punch
A purple butterfly 'flew' above the guests at the Sprinkle.
     Since it was a Sprinkle and there are often many games at the first baby shower, I opted to go light on the games.  We did one game where I had asked Leanne for a series of interesting 'facts' about herself, some of which were true while others were lies.  The Leanne Fairy was at the top of the page followed by the statements.  Guests circled T or L next to each 'fact' and the one with the most correct answers won.  It was a fun way for the guests to learn interesting tidbits about Leanne while being entertained by her creative lies. 
     Along with the invitation, I sent each guest a onesie, fabric paint and a permanent marker which they were told they could use or choose not to use in decorating the onesie.  Each guest had the chance to decorate a onesie for Leanne's baby girl using whatever materials they wished.  They could make them simple or complex.  During the sprinkle, each guest presented Leanne with her onesie. She has talented friends and family! I wish I could show you all of them, but I will share one.
Leanne's friend Sarah came up with this cute onesie design.
     I purchased a Fairy cutout so that all the guests could take a fairy picture along with Leanne.  After the Sprinkle was over, our little ones got in on the pictures too.
Aunt Leanne with Xayden

Capri enjoyed a homemade cake pop after the Sprinkle was over.
     It was fun to spend time with Leanne's wonderful friends and family.  She has a cute baby bump and we can't wait to meet our newest niece this summer! 
Leanne's baby bump
     DIY entertaining is a lot of fun.  I would love to hear about celebrations you have had.  Feel free to include links to your posts so that others can see your ideas too.  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Four Leaf Clover Hand Print Craft


Hand Print Four-Leaf Clover

You will need:
  • Green Tempera Paint
  • Construction Paper (color of your choice)
  • Paint brush
  • Wipes or wet paper towels to wash paint off of little hands

 Daddy helped Capri make her hand print hearts for her four leaf clover.

     You may remember that we did hand print hearts for as a Valentine's project.  I took the concept of the hand print heart and made it into a four-leaf clover. You could also choose to make a Shamrock with three leaves.  Help your child make four hand print hearts in the shape of a four leaf clover and then paint on a stem. Here is a link to the hand print heart post  which you may wish to look at in order to visualize how to make it into a clover.  The key is to print one hand at a time.  I also found it useful to print one hand all the way around in a clover shape before adding the second hand to make each print into a heart (four right hand prints joined afterwards by four left hand prints to complete the hearts). 


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