Monday, March 29, 2010

1st Birthday

Our littlest boy turned one yesterday!

Yesterday morning I was remembering Silas' birth day. I remember being a week overdue. I remember that I was hoping to get induced that very day but ended up going in early after my water broke. I remember Erik & I both having a terrible cold (in fact, Erik was so sick that our doctor delivered Silas and then gave Erik a quick check-up right there in the hospital room). I remember how I wasn't surprised that Silas was a boy. I remember the nurses and doctor commending me for such a quick delivery (as if I had a choice in the matter, right?) I remember 2 luxurious nights in that beautiful hospital room while my Mom looked after the big brother & sister at home.

And, yes, I remember the pain. But, all of it together is such an incredibly good memory.

Silas is a contented kid for the most part. Now that he's on the move he's like a little man on a mission. There are no limits to what the kid can do now! I've been quite a bit more laid back about what I let him get into - maybe too much so. I let him happily sort through this craft bin for almost 2o minutes before realizing that a lid hadn't been screwed on tight to one of the paints. I'm still not sure how he didn't manage to get any on himself!

Silas loves to giggle and get in our jokes.
And he's super-duper ticklish.

And Silas is the loudest of our babies. No joke. I think he feels the need to have his voice heard above the other chaos in the house. If he didn't scream, we probably wouldn't ever feed him.
Or play with him.
So, I guess he's gotta get our attention somehow :)

Unfortunately he's been on a bit of a food strike lately. The staple foods that Micah and Keziah loved are just not working for him. Like fruit? Not a huge fan. I can usually get him to eat peanut-butter on bread, yogurt, sweet potatoes and his baby cereal. So, we've got the 4 food groups basically covered - but without a lot of wiggle room. He's on a 1/2 homo milk-1/2 formula bottle now and I'll continue to increase the milk and decrease the formula. Seems to be working so far.

I found him like this after he had been shaking his milk bottle...

As for other milestones and points of interest:
~ He's been sleeping 11-12 hour nights for a long time now, but usually has one token wake-up every night which is taken care of by a quick re-insertion of the soother.
~ He's been on 1 nap/day for the last couple of weeks. After several days of refusing his afternoon nap, I intentionally started keeping him up all morning. So far it's working - and I'm liking the extra freedom to go out in the mornings with the kids :)
~ His favourite past-times are watching Baby Mozart, jumping in his jolly jumper, chewing on straps and buckles, and playing with those little springy door stop things.
~ He has 8 teeth total and seems to be working on more.
~ I have no idea what he weighs, but tomorrow is his 12-month check-up. I'm curious to see how he compares to his siblings at this age.

We celebrated Silas' birthday last night during our weekly Toews family supper. The supper was also a farewell for Rosanna who is leaving at the end of this week for a 3 month mission trip.

It was pretty low key, but I made birthday cupcakes for dessert. I used a trick I learned from Kelly to dip my cupcakes in the icing instead of spreading it. I heated up the (store bought) icing in the microwave for about 10 seconds and stirred in some food colouring. I had made the cupcakes the day before and put them in the freezer. So, while they were still frozen, I dipped them in the warm liquid-y icing and swirled them just a bit to get an even coating. It worked great! Some of my cupcakes started to thaw and then it didn't work as well, so keeping them frozen is the key!

Maybe this isn't a new trick to all of you, but it was new to me and I'll never go back to regular spreading again :)

Then I decorated them with some white sprinkles and very cute Easter m&m's. Here are the miniature ones:

And the grown-up ones:

Silas was a big fan.

However, I learned that this wasn't his first cupcake. Erik confessed to feeding him a whole one the day before :P

"Oh, I think there's just a little more..."

Pure satisfaction.

Then it was time for a few presents. Cousin Caleb was eager to help Silas find his new Zebra.

A little bit stunned by all the action, I think.

We love you Siley-bear!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Almost One

As fast as this year has gone, it's still crazy for me to think that this is where Silas was one year ago:

Now we're nearing his first birthday!

Maybe part of what makes it hard to believe that his birthday is approaching, is the fact that Silas has just been a bit... well... slower, than the average bear. He finally started crawling this past week which has been exciting for us to watch. But now comes the real baby-proofing. We have one baby gate already - the stationary kind that will get screwed to the wall. But we're thinking of also getting a tension gate that can be moved to any doorway (and brought with us on summer vacation...)

I took "matching" pictures of Micah & Keziah pulling up on the dishwasher at our old place when they were each around 11 months. I wanted to get a similar shot of Silas, but since he isn't even close to pulling up on anything, I had to prop him up there myself :)



You can tell he's pretty pumped about his first encounter with a dishwasher.



And here's a few more pictures of the older kids enjoying some spring-like weather the other day...

I bought this appropriate shirt for Keziah a few weeks ago. It says, "Little Girl, Big Drama".

The more I "get to know" Keziah, the more I see myself in her:
- She loves to play by herself and has a great imagination.
- She loves to sing and make up songs.
- She's extremely shy around new people - and even a little shy around people she knows.
- She's accident-prone.
- She's whiny (or "owly" as my parents would say)

Yes, I was all of these things as a child. Keziah seems to have a stubbornness that I don't recall having, but otherwise, we are one and the same.

We saw a huge bald eagle fly out of the trees right above us and he left a few of his feathers behind:

And if Keziah is a mini Jamie, then Micah is definitely a mini Erik - a mixture of loving to tease his younger siblings and being worried (even panicked) about their safety in public settings.

We've noticed lately that Micah can talk our ears off. It seems when we're trying to get him in bed or out the door or to finish his supper, he can't get anything done, because he's SO busy talking...

It seems to me that the excessive talking might also be a trait of his father's :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Homemade Salsa

I make homemade salsa almost every week because (most of us) LOVE it at our house. Our family and friends refer to it at "Jamie's salsa" just because I always seem to have some around - to serve to people at our house, or to bring when we're going out. But I can't actually take credit for the original recipe since I got it first from my mother-in-law who got it from someone else...
But I have tweaked it a little bit to make it more "mine" I guess :)

The first thing that makes salsa-making so easy at our house is this baby:

This food processor was a wedding gift (from the Toews aunts/uncles, I think?) but it sat in the box for the first year or 2. But then I learned that it could shred my cheese and slice my potatoes... And then of course when it came time to make baby food, my appreciation deepened.

But its most common use at our house is salsa-making.

First I use about 5-6 medium size tomatoes. I personally like these hot house "on-the-vine" tomatoes.
I don't know why. I just do.

Next comes the red onion. Regular onion works too, but red onion is definitely superior. I use about a third of a medium size onion.

The third ingredient is cilantro. I cut up just a small handful and off it goes into the mix.

Then comes the pepper. I use these smaller ones - about the size of my finger. I'm not sure if these are called jalapeno peppers or chile peppers. Anyone know?
As you can see, I use a very small amount - about 1/4 or even a 1/5 of the whole pepper. I chop up my little piece quite small so I don't end up with any big chunks in the mix.

Recently I've started throwing in 2 or 3 cloves of garlic to add to the flavour - also chopped up to avoid chunks.

Then comes the last ingredient - a squirt of lime. I use about 1/4 lime squeezed over top. Luckily, I have a handy little lime squeezer that I brought home from Peru :)

Ready for mixing!

Don't skip this next important step: Taste-testing!

So delicious by itself, but if you're in for an even better treat, we can easily turn this salsa into guacamole.

Scoop the middle out of a soft, ripe avocado with a spoon and mash it up. The best technique I've found is on a plate with a fork. Looks appetizing, hey?

Then mix in with desired amount of salsa and you have instant guacamole!

Plus, now you're half-way to a delicious meal! Just fry up some ground beef or turkey, shred some cheese and lettuce and you've got tacos for supper :)

Monday, March 15, 2010


This post has taken me awhile to get around to, but here it is - pictures of our completed tile backsplash.

I totally appreciated all the helpful comments and suggestions that many of you gave me regarding the tile colour and style I should use... But, in the end, we went with the most economical and "safe" choice - the white subway tiles that I had originally wanted. Besides, I really do love white on white.

Unfortunately, the first night I went to bed really disappointed with how it turned out. I was happy with the tiles themselves but really thought we'd made the wrong choice with the grout colour. And this was a bit of a sore spot between Erik and I for the first day! He had originally bought a bright white grout but after thinking about it, I decided that a light grey would give it a little more contrast between the tiles. Erik went out and bought what he considered to be "light grey" but when we started applying it, it was really dark. In my mind, I had envisioned a much more subtle grey (basically white with a grey-ish tinge) and I probably should've communicated that better to Erik, but by this point, it was much too late. Thankfully the grout lightened up quite a bit as it dried out over the next 24 hours - and I have gotten used to how it looks - though it's still not quite what I originally had in mind.

But, the bigger picture is that we want to sell our place - sooner than later - so then I suppose it doesn't really matter if I love it or not :P

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

A Day in the Life of a Princess

Last week we inherited some princess dress-up hand-me-downs.

Even though the play clothes were given to us with Keziah in mind, I knew Micah would be pretty excited about them too.

I guess I just didn't expect him to be THIS excited...

It's especially fun when Mommy pulls out her princess clothes too!

Princess bride...

But like a true princess, play time always seems to end in tears...