Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I saw her cake a few months ago and filed it away in the archives of my mind to pull it out when I was out of the first trimester FUNK and back in the

baking world.

I hate it when blogger cuts off my titles… who said a title has to be short. Stephanie Meyer, I applaud you for the mouthful you decided on for your new little book. Anyone read it yet? The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. I think that's it. I usually forget and end up closer to The Short, Unfortunate, No Good, Very Bad Second Life of Bree Tanner. Too many kid's books.

Anyway, the book? It's good. Quick and a bit predictable ;) , seeing as we already know her fate. But so fun to get a little bit of a vampire fix for those of us who don't read books over again. It actually made me want to start (reading them over again.) But let's not get carried away.

Anyway, back to the title, and another thing that is GOOOOD. This is Sheena's, from The Little Red House: This makes me think I should put a little almond extract in EVERYTHING from now on.

Chocolate Cake with Almond Buttercream Frosting and Toasted Coconut

Copied in from Sheena's blog:

1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c butter
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c (or a couple good globs:) of mayonnaise. yup. get over it.
1 tsp pure almond extract
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
*this is my grandmas chocolate cake good to it:)
Mix together: 1 cup boiling water and cocoa. Set aside. (I also threw in a handful of semi sweet chocolate chips because I would have eaten them otherwise.....that part is optional!)
Mix flour, soda, and salt together, set aside.
Cream together in large bowl: butter, sugar. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. mix in mayo.
Add almond extract.
Add the cocoa/hot water mixture and beat for 2 minutes.
Add the dry ingredients, and stir just until mixed.

Pour into greased round pans.
Bake 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Don't forget to cool them on wire racks or they will stick to the pan and fall apart into pieces when you try to take them out, forcing you to glue them back together with a sloppy frosting job. Not that I know that from experience or anything.

Almond Buttercream
10 TBS butter, room temp
5 c powdered sugar
4-6 TBS milk
1 tsp pure almond extract (a little more or less to taste)

Cream together.

Toasted Coconut
Heat oven to 475°. Place 2 cups of sweetened coconut onto parchment lined baking pan. Place in oven and watch closely, turning coconut over as needed. 10-15 minutes.

It's hard for me to EVER make a cake instead of cupcakes, since then there's no way to sample it before your big reveal. I can't even make it home with a whole hot pizza. Another one of my very feminine idiosyncrasies. Ross is used to opening a box with a missing triangle. You can imagine the challenge of frosting a big beautiful cake just to "save it for later".

Psshh--- saving it for later, so over-rated.

It seems Mila is after my heart, she would like whatever you'll agree to, NOW, and two of them please. And if you don't agree to it, there are consequences.

Sophia however, has somehow learned this little strength of her father's. Have you ever heard of that study, where they take a bunch of 4 year olds and give them some m&m's and tell them they can eat them now, or they can wait a little while, and they'll be given MORE m&m's?

Well we've always joked that Ross would TOTALLY wait. And I would most definitely eat all of mine, and probably find a way to swindle some of my neighbor's. Well Sophia is SOOO her father. She begged for nothing more than a big lolli-pop for Christmas. Then she takes a few sucks and hands it back to us to "save it for later". She does the same thing with a tootsie pop from church. She rarely makes it through a whole dum dum. And if she ever gets two of something-- anything, she's LEAPING at the chance to hand one over to Mila. If we bake treats, she asks if she can eat some "healthy food first" and then have one cookie, "but only one--- then maybe one tomorrow?". She likes rules--- she's obedient and definitely has some grip on delayed gratification. She's too good for me. This girl brings me so much joy right now.

I, however, still don't have a grip on delayed gratification. And I'm fairly certain that the end of that study said that the kids who waited, grew up to be more successful overall in life. :)

Good thing I paired up with Ross. I'll be alright. We'll work on you, Mila.

Anyway--- off to have another cupcake. The few rules I MIGHT live by certainly don't apply while I'm pregnant, afterall.

P.S. I finished that last shoot--- check out the photo blog if you want to see one of the most perfect looking little families there ever was.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My predictions… a little late, so maybe it's all obvious to you… but I'm still claiming them… Top 4

She clearly wants him to father her children more than anyone else. Is it the dimples? Whatever it is, she is SO in to him. He just has to avoid total creep-out things like tattoos of armored hearts and he's a sure thing at the end. I think Roberto will be in the top 2.

Kirk--- I wish I was in to him, because his personality is pretty normal, and he was a runner which is respectable. It's a little weird that he implied he had some great big secret like a past life as a cross-dresser or a wife (ex-spouses are so overdone), and then just explained that he was once really sick. ?? Obviously she's got the physical thing with him though…. top 4 for sure.
Frank--- he was maybe my very favorite for the first couple of episodes… but he's lost a little of my love just like he has Ali's. I think he'll make top 4 but maybe that's the end for him.
Chris L--- hmmm---- he's sort of the guy in the movie that the city girl meets while on her much needed get-away to cape cod. He saves her after she tips out of her little boat and takes her back to his rustic house for some hot chocolate. Something like that. They'd probably cast J-Lo which would be a bummer. But I'd see it. He's a GUY. But super nice and simple. MAYBE a little too simple. Might be a little bit dopey. But I still really like him. He'll DEFINITELY make a great husband. He's sincerely all about family and the things that really matter. I think he'll be in the top 2 against Kirk or Roberto. And Ali will be faced with the age-old Bachelorette dilemma---- "do I follow my heart or my head?!"

PHEW--- good tv.

Oh but wait, let's not forget Chris N….


Ross and I thought he was a camera guy they accidentally let in the frame a couple of times. Poor guy--- finally gets his big 2 minutes of fame… "I like Mexican food??"

Friday, June 25, 2010

… and the living is eeeeeassy...

(iphone pics from a morning at the Renaissance pool.)

Ross's sister, Brooke and her family came out for a day and played at a nearby resort pool with us. She's pregnant too… like 20 weeks and sure she's expecting another boy…. but we don't know for SURE yet. She's got two boys about the same ages as my girls… so we're on track to keep the pattern alive. We'll see. :)

I have a love hate relationship with summer out here. The days are eternal, we're eating popsicles and finding pools to crash, wearing either work-out clothes or swim suits, and yet my kids don't need any "after-clothes" for the pool since their suits dry by the time we get back to the car, the water never feels cold, and we have to worry about things like green hair and sunburned ears…. and I love all of that….

But the temperature climbs to over 110 degrees, a car left in the sun sucks the air right out of your lungs and the metal on the seat belt becomes hazardous. The house windows are permanently sealed shut, with perfect manufactured 76 degree air pumping through the vents, and with the crack of a door (to let in some poor soul left standing in the heat) comes a wave of oven-air and like a hundred flies. There are goods and bads.

But I must say…. MAYBE it's because it's only been low hundreds…. no teens yet…. and there's been an evening breeze, but I think every year gets a little better for me. It seems we just find more ways to be under water, and I go fewer places without underground or garage parking maybe? And it's kind of nice to never EVER have to layer my kids.

Maybe my blood's thinning out just a little? Either way-- it's summer time, and getting Mila through her chicken stage and used to going under water, while watching Sophia take off and swim like a fish from pool to pool just feels gooooood. We like summer.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hello Monday

Surfed my morning blogs and saved this sweet little image from this blog, full of lovely things. Would it be weird to decorate my house with cupcakes. They just make me happy. I don't even really love cupcakes (besides a red velvet with cream cheese frosting), but I wouldn't mind a display case in my kitchen with lots of symmetrical rows of them for staring at. Little pieces of art...

Speaking of art. I ordered this print. I've been eyeing it for far too long… so now I wonder if it's old news…. but I'm excited for it's pop of pink.

I'm growing out my hair, I think. Do you think that with some good prenatals, I could look like her soon? Hah. I'll be dreaming….

Another week…. this one came on quickly. I'm not sure I'm ready.

Hope everyone had a happy Father's Day--- we celebrated the heck out of this daddy, got to call and celebrate this daddy, and this daddy…. and desperately missed this daddy. It was a little bittersweet. But all in all, a happy Father's Day.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Proof that Ross and I were actually at the campout….

and through the eyes of Rachelle's real camera. I can rest so much easier with some sharp edges. Thanks Shell.

And thanks for all of the baby congrats. :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Twelve weeks on Monday… but I couldn't wait another day

This was taken at like 10 and a half weeks. I think I usually go to the doctor earlier, so that first ultrasound is just a heart beat or a circle in a sac…. this was amazing to me that I could already see the baby! Wiggling…. floating… arms moving…. fingers.

It never gets old. Amazing.

Ross and I were talking and it's almost even more emotional and amazing this time around because we're that much more aware of what it all means. I can hear Sophia pray fervently on her knees, BY HERSELF in the other room that Heavenly Father not give us a big earthquake "I won't forget about you, and please don't ever ever forget to NOT make a big earthquake" (we had a little one the other night and she's been watching a lot of the Living Scriptures), and I can listen to Mila tell me the details of her snow-monster dream and how she doesn't want to go on the Matterhorn again even though the snow-monster said "RARRRR I'm nice Mila, I'm your friend!"...

…. and I can't wait to hear what this little one is going to have to say. With two parents AND two older sisters to adore and teach and lead, I can only imagine.

The first few weeks were rough, I felt really icky and nauseous and tired and emotional… and then my dad passed. It was a lot. I have good friends---- thanks…. all of the kind words were that much more needed.

I feel more lumpy and heavy than I ever remember feeling at the beginning of pregnancy--- I'm not even 12 weeks and if you're local, I'm SURE you've been wondering if I'm having a baby… or just ate something similar in size. The only thing that made me feel better those first few weeks was eating, so I seriously ate ALL day long. I was so sick of food and coming up with things that sounded palatable. But it was worth it to curb the nausea.

So I don't know if it's partly showing earlier on the third baby, and partly eating like I'm storing up for winter, or just entirely the latter. But I'm certainly nervous for the next 28 weeks at this rate. I stare at my closet and try clothes on for like a half hour before I go anywhere in one of the same two tunics. Or work out clothes of course. And it's swim suit season. Rad.

And then last night I checked my old friend Erika's blog, from my BYU Hawaii days…. she's pregnant too…. but apparently is of a different species than me. Check her out. You kill me Erika.

BUT--- it's worth it. I'm so aware that it's all worth it. I can't wait to feel it kick and elbow and stretch and hiccup… I can't wait to have Ross lay his head on my belly to hear the heart beat (he really can--- it's comforting at the end), and make him leave his hand there at an awkward angle longer than he'd like, to feel the movement. I hate being pregnant but I LOVE being pregnant. You know?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Ward Campout through the eyes of my iphone

I can't promise I won't post more when I find someone in my ward to snag some real photos from (both of you Rachelles… get a move on will ya?) but I needed to document it before I leave it in the past forever.

We decided last minute to do our ward camp-out up in Big Bear. We thought we'd be out of town, so we wrote it off…. then it snuck up and we realized we had no excuses. We went last year and loved it, accept for the sleeping in a tent with a not-quite-2-year-old that woke at the first crack of a twig outside and had to scream in the car from 5 am till she became human at 6 or so.

But this year was at the YW girl's camp site in Big Bear where there are CABINS with bunk beds and the whole bit. It was so much easier. Mila still gave us a little run for our sanity while everyone tried to go to bed and she felt like crawling out of her playpen and screaming. I've decided that there's always a flip side to any parenting technique. Our kids have always been really good at going to bed behind their closed door by themselves. But because of that--- we're a couple of idiots when it comes to getting them to fall asleep amongst us. I can never understand it when I see 2-year-olds asleep on mom's shoulder at church for an hour +. Not a chance. So Mila just wasn't feeling bed time in a room with eight other people… but after a couple of walks with Ross, and then a close snuggle in my bed while I sang rock-a-bye-baby as quiet as I could as many times as I could in her ear, her breathing eventually got steady and Ross saved me and lifted her into her crib. Phew. The rest was cake.

There was yummy breakfast, smores, volleyball, skits, a bear (a real one), some catch-phrase, a sneaky stake service project they tricked our husbands into ;), and lots of wonderful people with less make-up than usual. That's the best part of camping to me… just seeing everyone in a different, more natural light.

We got home and Sophia went on and on about how much she wished we lived there and how our house was SO BORING. Great.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


It used to seem like an eternity away… that phase of life where your kids are old enough to have friends over to play-- where it's not babysitting. It's been like that for a while now with Sophia, but Mila's friends are still a bit young… accept for this guy. Sawyer. He's always been like 3 going on 18. He treats Mila like a little lady, and usually gives her what she wants, which naturally, makes her a happy girl.

Several weeks back, Brooke told us that Sawyer had decided he needed to ask Mila to marry him--- they come over for dinner, and he asks for Ross. Upon finding him, he asks his permission to marry Mila. Ross says yes, as long as he has served a mission and has a good job by then.

He then proceeds to GET DOWN ON ONE KNEE, and ask Mila to marry him. None of us know where he got all of these details… but he had it all covered, so clearly Mila was wooed, and said yes.

He hasn't forgotten, and we had him over to play for the first time in a while last week. I spy subtly from the kitchen while they walk hand in hand to the corner of the family room, "and now we're getting married, at the temple", Sawyer says.

"Kiss me" ---- yup--- that's my Mila.

And so he leans over and kisses her. And then he says, we got married, because you have a baby in your tummy.

rrrrrrrrr------ there's my record screeching again. Teaching moment?

and so I taught…. about how the marriage comes first and all.

Then while driving to pick up the big girls from preschool, I hear him in the back seat saying, "me and you are going to have babies, and your mommy and daddy are the grandparents, and my mom and dad are the grandparents…. "…. like I said, seriously going on 18… I think Ross will be keeping a close eye on your little Don Juan, Brooke. ;)

But really, these two are something…. and we didn't even plan the matching stripes.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What would we do without him?

My friend Julie told me that once at her house, Sophia stood at the feet of her husband who was doing the dishes, perplexed.

"what are you doing?"
" The dishes.. (seeing an opportunity)… why doesn't your daddy do the dishes?"
"NO---My mommy does the dishes. My daddy jumps on the trampoline with us."

And this is how it goes in our house. I feel like I get the best job. They come to me for snuggles, for rock-a-bye-baby, for love-you's and bandaids and kisses. They color with me and sing with me and read with me (not as much as we should, I won't lie… but it still happens)…. but when the end of the day or the end of the week comes and all I want is to turn my mind off for a few, there's no question who they'll choose to jump on the tramp in triple-digit-heat with them, or chase them in circles around the house, or give them dangerous horsey rides around the coffee table with too many hard corners, or play "I have two teddy bears!" while pretending to sleep on the couch….

And I get to watch from the safe-zone of my kitchen sink. I love being mom.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Sophia right now

- She's obsessed with the following words and her and dear friend, Kate have designated them as the funniest words there ever were: hot dog, eye-ball, and cookoo. It's all even funnier when they're HAND says it (so they're doing a talking hand gesture all day.) Mila's picked it up and her little crab claw says "eyeball" to people left and right. All are equally confused.

- It's gotten incredibly old, and usually I remind her, "it's really just an inside joke between you and Kate, those words might not be funny to everyone… " but one day I decided to be nice-mommy and play along… "you're a hot dog mom!" to which I respond "you're a strawberry!"------rrrrr?--- (record screeching-- all humor gone, smiles gone, 16-year-old voice comes out of her mouth) "that's not even a funny word mom--- strawberry… psshhh… mom….",with head shaking in disappointment...

- And thus it begins…. THEY decide what's cool… and I am on the list no longer. oh boy.

- Do you remember the seal that died on the beach over Memorial Day weekend. We talked about it that one day, while we walked the pier… she was so concerned… but no more talk over the weekend. Then since we've been home, she prays for the seal along with Grandpa Randy in every- single- prayer. "We're thankful that we love the seal and that you'll take care of him in heaven." She's such a tender- heart.

- At her preschool graduation her teachers made her this cute scrapbook of the year. One of the teachers wrote this: "What an amazing girl you are! So nurturing and loving! Always with a kind heart. Friends with everyone!" I felt so proud.

- I've always thought of her as fearless since she would jump (with cannon-ball-yelling type energy) in the water at 2 and could care less if she came up choking on it… she'd get out and jump again. She's a fish. She loves all things physical-- climbing, running, swimming etc… always has.

- But on our first several trips to Disneyland, she was TERRIFIED of rides. I realized after a little bit that she liked roller coasters or things that were outside… it was the freaky loud music and witches handing you poison apples and doors opening and closing with big whales coming up to eat you,…. and even Poohs freaky honey dream... that scared her.

- The last few times we've gone (we just went yesterday with the Lamms!) she's OVER it. And loves every ride she goes on. It's so much more fun. Matterhorn is her favorite, and yesterday, her and Tanner had to ride together with no adult. Holy moly that made me nervous, but not her. She did Splash Mountain for the first time yesterday and LOVED it. (That was the scariest ride to me as a teen and it still makes me nervous… I don't understand the physics and always think I could fly out on the drop with no seat belt. As you can imagine, the photo at the end is usually embarrassing.) But Sophia loved it. Was grumpy it was over too fast. She's brave.

- But cries like a baby every time I brush her hair.

- She can get pretty mad at me these days and hit below the belt a little "you're not the best mommy anymore! We're not the best family anymore!" Where did she come up with this? I never know quite what to do. It hurts my feelings and I want to just give in and let her have another cookie or let her pick the seat in our car before her friend gets too…. but of course I can't. So my heart breaks a little… and she always apologizes later. She's an emotional girl. For good and bad. Like her mama…. I can't really blame her.

- My mom has always told me that if she were my age, she would want to be my best friend. It's one of those compliments that has always stuck with me. This is how I feel for my Sophia. I think she's the funniest, sweetest, happiest little girl…. oh if I were 4…. her rendition of "eyeball! hot dog! cookoo! ….. would SOO have me rolling. I'm a fan.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Blue and Pink Inspiration

Don't remember where I got this image… I always wonder if the blog police will bust me if I don't do the "via" thing at the bottom with the link. Sorry.

This one below, however, I can definitely tell you is from Allie's blog… the darling brunette is a dead giveaway.

I'm loving blue and pink right now. And since I already have so many blue walls in my house, I figure it's realistic…. somewhere?

I know I've already shared a couple of these images… but they still made the collage--- found the top right picture of this last collage a week or two ago and impulsively bought that gorgeous pink rug. It's plastic, and so might look a little like a beach or yoga mat at my front door… but I still sigh every time I look at it because I love the pattern and color…. so oh well..

Not sure it goes with my orange ikea rug in the living room… so I keep thinking I'll do a rotation and do an orange and pink room somewhere else… and I'm thinking of a rug more like this, or this, or this, or this or this for my living room. You get the idea… if you clicked on all of those links that is… It's that reupholstered chair that's throwing it off… I think the yellow or gray would work smoothly with it so there could be a hot pink pop…. who knows…. I prefer to use the trial and error method and do returns like mad. Ross LOVES it.

Preschool Graduation!

Don't know why I took this crazy angle… but it was all I had from her walking up there…

Too cute right? Caps and gowns and the whole bit….

"Sophia Biesinger…. will be attending ______ elementary school for kindergarten next year and wants to be an astronaut and a mom when she grows up."

I was so proud… and it's only just begun.

Friday, June 04, 2010

The Montage is working!

I think I finally got it to work! I had to change some of the music…. so it's a little different than at the service. But here's the link to save you the scroll down.

Did I mention I did newborn TWINS for the first time?

More coming soon on the photo blog…. I never get over the magic of twins. These two are identical, which I guess means it's a total fluke. Not genetic or anything… amazing.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

La Jolla Cove, seal beach, a picnic, some volleyball, and then back to mom's pool...

Memorial Day. This is Sophia in mourning. There was one sad little seal on seal beach by himself. "Is he dead?" Sophia's asks… to which the lady-who-hands-out-postcards too quickly replied "Yeah…. crawled up yesterday and died."

She was devastated. We've had a few more talks about death lately than I prefer, and this sparked all sorts of questions. Why did he have to die all alone? When is Heavenly Father going to come get him? Is the sea going to get him? How will Heavenly Father find him in the sea? Why is Heavenly Father so mean?

uh oh.

She had that same response when I tried to explain why we couldn't swim on Sunday because Heavenly Father likes us to keep the sabbath day holy…. etc.. (in kid language).. I think I'm going to have to take the blame for a while.