February 28, 2012

(soon-to-be) big brother

I know I say it all the time, but there are days when I can't believe how big he has gotten ...

And I haven't even seen him next to his newborn sibling yet.

Four weeks (give or take) to go!

February 23, 2012

weekend away

Over the long Presidents' Day weekend, Malcolm and I had the opportunity to get away with my parents.

Although there were plenty of new faces and sights to see, Malcolm seemed to prefer settling in and doing all of the things he would have done if we were spending the days at home ...

Long-sleeved tee shirt: Old Navy (thrifted for $0.50)
Jeans: Genuine Kids (thrifted for $1.50)
Socks: Old Navy (gift)

It's nice to know this boy is easy to please.

I'm sure we'll be spending a lot more "lazy days" together before this winter (and spring) is over!

February 21, 2012

geology never tasted so good

Although I was a Biology major and am (currently) a high school Biology teacher, I have always had a soft spot for Geology ...

Geology in the form of edible, Chocolate Lava Cakes, that is!

These decadent desserts, my husband's specialty (and one of the many reasons he was "a keeper"), have been a Valentine's Day staple for me for many years ... So, with Valentine's Day a full week behind us, I am counting down the days until I will get to enjoy them again.

In the meantime, I thought I would share the wealth (and recipe) for any other chocolate lovers out there.

I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do!

You will need:

4 squares of Baker's Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
6 Tablespoons flour
Vanilla ice-cream to serve

To make the individual cakes:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter and flour (3/4 cup sized) custard cups or souffle dishes and place on a baking sheet.

Note: In the years of making these cakes, we have used different dishes of various sizes and shapes. As you will see from the photos, the dishes this year were a bit bigger than the 3/4 cup size the recipe recommends ... I blame it on the pregnancy and my need for the extra calories! If you, too, are pregnant (and/or just want more Lava Cake!), adjust the baking time as needed (ensuring that the centers are still soft, but the edges are done).

Microwave the chocolate and butter in a large microwave safe bowl on HIGH for 1 minute, or until the butter has melted. Stir with a wire whisk until the chocolate is completely melted. Return to the microwave for another 10-30 seconds, if necessary.

Add the sugar and mix well. Then blend in the eggs and egg yolks. Lastly, stir in the flour.

Divide the batter between the custard cups.

Bake individual cakes for 13-14 minutes or until the sides are firm, but the centers are soft and gooey (like "lava," if you will).

They should look a little something like the photo below (dry and cracked along the edges and a bit sunken in the middle):

Let stand for 1 minute, then carefully run a knife around the cake edges to loosen them. Invert onto a dish or into a bowl and top with your favorite vanilla ice-cream.

Enjoy the deliciousness!

February 20, 2012

year two (better late than never)

When Malcolm turned one, I composed a little slideshow/video of photos from our year together. I had every intention of doing the same thing for his second year (and in a timely fashion, too!), but, as they say, time flew by and I never sat down to actually do it.

With the upcoming arrival of Baby #2 at the end of March (and the fact that Malcolm will hit the two and half year mark around that time!) I figured that I should get my act together ...

So, presenting, Malcolm's second year:

I swear, with each day he grows, my heart grows right along with him ...

February 16, 2012

puzzles and paleontology

Malcolm has become quite the little problem-solver lately.

He has always enjoyed working on puzzles, but a couple of weekends ago, while spending the night with his grandparents, he mastered a (brand new) 24-piece puzzle in the span of an evening ...

All by himself.

I don't know if this is "normal" or whatever the case may be, but it makes my nerdy heart soar.

I have a kid that actually likes to use his brain and work through puzzles!

In addition to his puzzle-y love, is a love of letters (another nerdy score for me!) ... So, my husband made the genius move of combining the two when he purchased a cheap, foamy, floor puzzle at a discount store. We tucked it away for a while, but decided to use it as a "Job Well Done!" gift for the amazing transition that Malcolm has made (thus far) into sleeping in his "big boy" room and bed.

Needless to say, it's been a great big hit!

Long-sleeved tee shirt: Old Navy (thrifted for $0.50)
Fleece pants: Old Navy ($7.00)
Socks: Circo ($1.00)

And where does the cute dinosaur shirt fit in?

Maybe we can start working on spelling simple words with the pieces ... Like "T-Rex."

February 14, 2012

lucky in love

Who says a girl has to pick just one Valentine?

These two certainly have a firm grip on my heart ...

February 13, 2012

if at first you don't succeed

The house is on the market (again) ...

And (again) I'm filled with an optimistic attitude that it is going to happen.

Someone is going to come along and want to buy our house.

We are going to move.

This time it will be different!

We are (Really! Truly!) going to sell our house.

Sure, in the back of my mind, I know that there is a lot more to it than that.

So many things must fall in to place ... The most important being an interested party.

So many things must go right.

The housing market (especially in the Cleveland area) is a mess, so if the house sells at all we'll be taking a loss ...

And then we'll have to find a new house (that has all of the things we want and fits into our tight budget) someplace else.

All while dealing with an infant.

And a toddler adjusting to a whole new family dynamic (and dealing with an infant).

If I stop to really think about it, to fully and completely digest the entire situation, it is a big undertaking.



Potentially problematic.

Yet I'm strangely (calmly) optimistic about the whole thing.

What is meant to be, will be.

It is out of my hands.

The house is on the market (again).

We are going to sell our house.

February 10, 2012

teeny tiny

When I made a recent semi-routine trip to the Salvation Army Family Store (officially on the hunt for more warm clothes for Malcolm) I also took a peek at the infant section.

Although I don't know what I'll be having at the end of March, I do know that this spring baby will need more short-sleeved, warm-weather outfits once he/she hits about three months old (regardless of gender) ... So I rounded up as many cute unisex deals as I could find.

My favorite are the striped pants ...

And the yellow pajamas with somersaulting hamsters ...

So small in size, but so big in cute!

I guess my "nesting" instinct is starting to kick in ...

February 9, 2012

too little to be big

"Come on, Malcolm! Let's go play in your big boy room," I say.

(More for me than for him.)

Long-sleeved tee shirt: Circo (thrifted for $0.50)
Jean overalls: Faded Glory (thrifted for $1.00)
Socks: Circo ($1.00)
Shoes: Cherokee (thrifted for $1.50)
Trusty blanket: Circo (gift)

Some days, I feel like I need the reminder ...

He may be moving into a big boy room.

And eventually sleep in a big boy bed.

He might (one of these days) attempt to use the big boy potty.

And eat dinner at the table like a big boy.

And (so soon!) he will be the big brother around these parts.

Yet, somehow, despite all the learning and growing, there are times when he still seems so small to me.

There's no denying that he will always be my baby.

February 6, 2012


Malcolm drew his first picture ...

A goofy little smiley face.

(I literally had to wrestle the board out of his hands and quickly take a photo before he erased it!)

February 2, 2012


Since Mother Nature isn't sure what season to stick with lately, one could look at the following photos and think that they were taken this past fall ...

Or maybe that we've jumped through time into the spring already!

Her indecision in terms of temperature (hitting the 60's the last day of January?!), was mirrored perfectly by Malcolm's indecision over what to do with himself. After being cooped up in the house for a good month or more, all he could do was shout "walk!" and then "run!" as he busied himself in the yard and driveway.

Long-sleeved shirt:
Jumping Beans (gift)
Hooded sweatshirt: NFL Team Apparel (gift)
Jeans: Circo (thrifted for $1.00)
Socks: Circo (pack of six for $6.00)
Shoes: Crocs (gift)

Knitted owl hat: Old Navy (gift)

And, although he wouldn't wear the adorable owl hat he got for Christmas, I'd have to say that it was quite the successful (and fun) afternoon!

February 1, 2012

the mind of a two-year-old

Breakfast time is Malcolm's time to choose what he wants to eat.

Will it be oatmeal?

Or maybe cereal and milk?




Scrambled eggs?

Some toasted raisin bread?

Graham crackers?

He truly "pulls the strings" and makes his selection.

That is why I was thoroughly confused when he (through signing) occasionally requested "airplane bread."

What the heck is that?

Airplane bread?

Something he remembers from our Thanksgiving trip to Jamaica?

Nope, as it turns out, it is just plain old wheat bread (not toasted, not fancy, just plain).

Yes, plain (plane!!) bread.

This kid is simultaneously too smart and too funny!