Tuesday, September 11, 2012


No boring long narrative on this one. Just some pictures chronicling the ever developing bond of sisterhood between my Golding Girls. 


You might think a 6-layered rainbow cake and Rainbow cupcakes would suffice for birthday treats... but since birth Elle isn't particularly known for doing anything halfway, so The Big Four turned out to be nothing less. Given the choice of any restaurant for her birthday dinner, E chose the local Mexican one. It absolutely sums up her personality that she drools over the attention one receives while being serenaded with great Mexican fanfare, musical instruments, and of course a giant sombrero. There are those who are mortified by such an experience, but not Elle. The kid loves an audience, and knows EXACTLY how to work one. Trust me, I'm aware of the potential dangers of this character trait in its teenage form...

The ENORMOUS fried ice cream sundae was equally well received. Seriously, don't they make kid-sized versions of these things?!

Sporting the school Birthday Hat on the way to dinner
Oh sweet Elle, I can't spend too much time thinking about how much you've grown over the past 4 years as it makes me inexplicably teary-eyed. I've said it a thousand times, but it truly does seem like just yesterday we were welcoming you into this world-- our precious, perfect, endearingly high-strung-from-the-beginning firstborn. I know I've said it at every birthday, but this year you really have become completely a Little Girl (excuse me, BIG girl), with not even a trace of baby left. You are brilliant. Absolutely brilliant in so many ways that continue to amaze me. You may be one of the most strong-willed mammals ever to grace the planet, but you also have a huge heart and a sense of compassion and kindness well beyond your years.

You are hilarious. Witty beyond belief. The majority of adults are not as clever as you are at age 4. You are inquisitive, with an insatiable curiosity about things I'd never thought of but wish I had. You have the vocabulary of a (well-educated) adult. You know all your letters and the sounds they make, and you can write most of them. You are great at puzzles, and have every word of pretty much every book we own memorized. This makes trying to paraphrase in effort to shorten bedtime routine challenging. 

You are impulsive, which is both frustrating and delightful at times. You love the spotlight. You do things with all your heart; if an apple can be eaten passionately, you can do it. If a game of chutes and ladders can be played in dramatic fashion, you can do it. You have your moments, but most of the time you are an awesome big sister.

You love dressing up, pretending to be all sorts of things, assigning us all sorts of roles in your elaborate scripts, dancing, chewing gum, going to the beach, books, and pretty much all food. You wear party dresses everywhere you go. Your favorite meal is steak, brussels sprouts, and bulgur, which makes me incredibly proud. You don't like riding your bike, naps, bedtime, mayonnaise, pants/shorts or getting your nails clipped. 

You are decidedly bossy. But in a way that I hope will make you a great leader as you grow up.

You make me smile every day of my life. You are my heart, my sunshine, my angel. I am so blessed to be your Mommy. Happy 4th Birthday, EKG!

Somewhere Over the Rainbow...

When Elle requested a "rainbow party" for her 4th birthday bash, I was initially skeptical. And surprised. Princesses, My Little Pony, ballerinas, Barbie, Strawberry Shortcake I would have expected. But leave it to my Elle to be unexpected. And trendy apparently, as (thanks to Google) I found that Rainbow Parties are all the rage these days. 

Let me preface the following party pictures by emphatically stating that I am not the most creative bear in the forest. Well, mostly I get overwhelmed by great ideas/intentions and either never attempt to execute or do so with mediocre results. But I must say I was incredibly proud of how things came together this time. Granted, I may have spent ridiculous amounts of time planning, shopping, baking/icing, assembling what the average Martha may have been able to accomplish much more efficiently. But I think my favorite newly 4 year old was pleased and for that I'd invest all the time in the world. 

Early in my google search rainbow party research, I kept coming across the famous Rainbow Cake, breathtakingly photographed in all its multihued glory by what I assumed must certainly be professional bakers. In a bold moment of confectionary ambition, I decided to tackle it. What is a Rainbow Party without the Rainbow Cake?

I laboriously made the 6 colors of batters, and baked the layers ahead of time. Obviously I had an appropriately low amount of faith in my ability to do this right the first time as the first casualty was encountered shortly after Green emerged from the oven. 

Oh, the tragedy!
Thankfully the other colors behaved themselves, or more accurately, I learned to be patient for full cooling prior to removal from pan. Patience is not my strong point. I froze the noncrumbled layers and on Party Eve rebaked Green and nervously assembled the Tower O' Color. 
Homemade buttercream icing unfortunately has forever spoiled me on the store-bought stuff. Who knew?
I told Elle there was a surprise inside her cake and she insisted on guessing. Earrings, flip-flops, an alligator, and a giant strawberry were postulated.
The finished product wasn't perfect, but not bad at all. Accompanied by my rainbow jello oranges and cupcakes (just in case a 6 layered rainbow cake wasn't enough), the dessert table was pretty spiffy.
These made me happy :)
Also pretty impressed with the rainbow tutu I made for Elle, but the cost savings in the DIY project was mitigated by the fact that it took me many, many, MANY hours. And gave me wicked carpal tunnel. Ce la vie. 

Fruit rainbow and color coded goodie buckets
My sweet rainbow girls

Checking out the loot
Rainbow lunch

Loved E's reaction when she saw the "surprise" inside the cake.

Swimming with the besties after cake. So much for no swimming  30 minutes after eating...

The party turned out better than I could have hoped, and most of all my precious little 4 (!!) year old had a blast. But I hate to tell you Elise... your 1st birthday cake will likely be unicolored...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Facial Orifice Milestones

At less than 8 months, Elise's first chomper appeared... beating her sister's toothless streak by more than 2 months. Tooth #2 rapidly followed, and we now have a pair of pearly whites on the bottom row-- perfect for noshing on soft cooked sweet potato fries, green beans, brocolli, and her favorite, asparagus. Elle astutely wondered if her sister's diaper would now smell like asparagus? You'd be surprised how exciting aspara-pee is in our household. Or maybe you wouldn't...

Not to be outdone by her sister's milestone, Elle demanded attention for a facial orifice of her own... Earlier, she told me she had something stuck in her nose. After lengthy discussion, (and in light of the overly dramatic/creative/imaginitive source), I concluded that she was talking about a booger. THREE days later, she blew THIS out of her nose. Mother. Of. The. Year.

What is it you say? Some tiny doll's microscopic shoe. Clearly the toy manufacturers have never been asked to repeatedly put on and remove said accessory, locate a matching pair, or retrieve them from a child's nare.

Please, children. Enough drama with the face holes already.