11 months

Emma girl,
It's hard to believe this is your last monthly post before you turn one!  You are such a sweet, happy, energetic little girl. You are hardly a baby anymore, although I don't want to admit it. I caught myself, just the other day, thinking about the morning you were born. You have changed so much since then and we have fallen even more in love with you.

You are walking more and more every day. You can go from sitting to standing up all by yourself.  I keep watching you pop up in the middle of the room without holding on to anything.  You take lots of steps (too many to count) before you either fall into someone's arms, fling yourself onto the dog bed, or just decide to get down and crawl.  It's fun to watch you decide between walking or crawling, hesitating, crouched down with your legs bent and either standing back up or going down. I can see the wheels turning.  And more often than not, when I set you down you firmly plant your feet and either just stand there or take off walking.

You are fearless too.  You love to fling yourself around, be held upside down, or be thrown up into the air.  You go down stairs head first.  You can get off the couch all by yourself as long as we face you the right way.  You slide off and are on your way. You tumble off Mason's bed and roll over, smiling. Mason tackles you to the ground and you laugh hysterically. You're giving us gray hairs already. 

You still love to eat.  You prefer to feed yourself and will eat whatever we are having.  I think at most meals you eat more than Mason.  Current favorites: spaghetti, chicken, wild rice, eggs, fruit and veggies, cottage cheese, and bread of any kind.  You mostly eat with your right hand and are getting really good at holding your cup. 

At 11 months, you:
~love to bounce
~dance whenever you hear music
~wave and say "bye-bye" when someone is leaving
~play peek-a-boo (which mostly consists of you covering one eye partly with your hand and then peeking out)
~blow air out of your mouth with your lips in a perfect "o" when we blow on your face (hopefully you're practicing for your birthday candle!)
~just started stringing together lots of different sounds, "talking" more and more
~say dada, mama (only occasionally), dog, thank you, and hi
~are over the moon about Mason; he can always make you smile
~still have the chunkiest baby thighs

You are such a precious girl.  Lately it's been impressed upon my heart what a priviledge it is to get to be your mommy. We love you so much sweet baby girl.



New York-Style Crumb Cake

We love a good coffee cake around here. We went through a time when we made it every weekend. We've tried lots of different recipes. There are so many different ingredients you can add. When I first browsed through the Baked cookbook, this one caught my attention because the description said that the crumb topping "is obscenely large in proportion to the cake." Now that sounds like my kind of coffee cake. Everyone know the crumb topping is the best part. Yet, every time I looked at the recipe I just couldn't bring myself to make something for breakfast that had so much sugar and butter in it. But, I finally decided I just had to try it....then I could adjust the recipe to our liking.
I did adapt this recipe the first time I tried it by reducing the sugar and using {homemade} maple yogurt instead of sour cream because it's what I had on hand.  It was the best coffee cake I've made in a long time.  It was cousin {Marylin} and Mason approved.  Mason actually called me (well, had daddy call me) at school one morning and we had the following conversation:

Me: Hi Mason
Mason: Hi mommy!  I ate all the coffee cake!  We need to make more.  You know? The one with all the butter?
I couldn't stop laughing.

The huge amounts of crumb topping did not disappoint.  Actually, there was so much crumb topping that I saved some for another use.  I was planning on topping some peaches or apples with it for dessert, but after eating the coffee cake we thought it would make a delicious filling for homemade pop-tarts.  But I haven't done either.  We put it in the fridge and just keep adding some to our oatmeal in the mornings.  I'm sure I'll be making this again. 

New York Style Crumb Cake
adapted from Baked

Crumb Topping
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 c. butter, melted and cooled
2 1/2 c. flour

2 c. flour
1/2 c. wheat flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 Tbsp) butter
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla

Make the crumb topping by stirring together the sugars, salt, and cinnamon.  Add the melted butter and whisk until combined.  Stir in the flour and set aside.

Make the cake by sifting together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl.  Cream the butter until smooth.  Add the sugar and cream until fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated.  Add the yogurt and vanilla.  Add the dry indgredients gradually. 

Pour the batter into a greased 9x13 pan.  Squeeze the topping into balls and pull chunks off, dropping them all over the cake.  Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes. 



When I went in to get Mason after his naptime yesterday, I walked in and he was just sitting there on his bed with all of his stuffed animals lined up next to him. I asked him what he was doing and he said, "we're getting ready for a smile." In Mason lingo that means taking a picture. I asked him if I could go get my camera and he said, "Yes, please take a smile of me and my friends." Precious.
Also, on the way into town yesterday Mason was singing to Emma in the backseat and she was responding with all sorts of jibber jabber. After awhile Mason says, "momma...we're singing it up back here!"

I spent the morning working on my national boards portfolio at the library. I'm hoping after naptime we can squeeze in some homemade crackers and a walk. The weather is just beautiful today!



Just a relaxing Saturday hanging out at home. It was much needed after a super busy week at school and an aching heart for a friend. I've spent a lot of time in prayer in the evenings and find such comfort in closeness to my Savior.

We started the morning off by making doughnuts. Mason just couldn't believe that we were going to have chocolate for breakfast. But, he actually ended up filling up on yogurt and he didn't even finish his doughnut. He informed me that it was too big. I didn't seem to have that problem.

The recipe came from the Baked Explorations cookbook. Ryan said they were his favorite so far.

We spent the morning making Valentines, reading books and chasing Emma around the house.

Now they're resting/napping and Ryan and I tackled the kitchen floor. Complete with pulling out the stove and mopping behind it. I'll spare you the details.
We're enjoying a sunny day. The peas have begun to sprout in the greenhouse and we're already dreaming about what seeds to order. More cleaning and writing papers this afternoon and then a card making session this evening. I know I say this all the time, but I love weekends!