For the first time in quite a while, I'm going to take a break from my twice a week posting schedule (did anybody even notice there was a schedule?!). Thanksgiving week was busy and fun and so full of family togetherness. The weekend/week that followed was not. Ida had a 100+ fever for a couple of days and she is not a happy sick person... so there have been lots of whining and lots of cuddles. This week, my Boppa (grandpa) passed away at the age of 93. He lived a long long life and we were so lucky to have him around for so long. I love picturing him being reunited with my Grandma in heaven and I can only imagine what kind of welcoming party she threw for him.

So... maybe I'll be back next week, maybe the week after... we'll see. I'll definitely be back at some point to share pictures of my adorable babes and all the Christmas activities we're participating in. I'll leave you with this picture that Cora drew for Boppa when I visited him in the hospital. She started drawing and asked "Is Boppa old? Does he have wrinkles?" followed by quite a bit of time drawing wrinkles all over the little man before she added a sweater and pants.


Happy Thanksgiving!

"Thank you for turkey, and for family and friends and most of all... thank you for sisters!" - Cora's prayer

I've been working on stretching the practice of gratitude out throughout the whole year instead of just the holiday months (see #goldengratitude2017), but I love seeing everyone sharing their gratitude on social media. I'm thankful for so much these days... My wonderful daughters, an awesome partner, my sweet puppy, our little home full of projects, a family that I love to spend time with, and so so much more. We're looking forward to a day full of family togetherness and lots of yummy food.

Happy Thanksgiving friends!


Baby Bookworms : November

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That's Not My Monster...  We got this one at a garage sale and it's a favorite of both my girls. Cora loves 'reading' it and coming up with different adjectives for the monsters. Ida loves all the different textures.

Love You Forever - If this one isn't in your bookshelf, you're missing out. It's a sweet little book for us moms, but then I feel like the kids can learn that even when they're bad during the day their mommas love them forever. This one is a favorite for our family and I even remember my mom reading it to me as a child. Sometimes, Cora likes me to sing this song to her at bedtime even if we don't read the book that night.
Thank You and Good Night by Patrick McDonnell - This is a sweet little book about three friends enjoying the fun of sleepovers. Cora and I always loved to read it together and it's always nice when she brings it back into our stack of favorites.

Good Night, Gorilla - This one is a good read and Cora picks up on the words quickly... so eventually she is just 'reading' it to me and Ida. There are also some small things like a mouse and a red balloon that you can search for on every page.
Search and Spot: Animals by Laura Ljungkvist - Cora is really into this one... and Ida likes to pretend she's into it. Each page has a different variety of things to look at.  If you do every single thing through the whole book it takes a while, but we like to go through and I'll pick a different search option for each page so that we don't get tired of the book too quick.

SNOW by Uri Shulevitz - We're starting to get into all our wintery books now. This little boy sees little flurries and is so excited about the snow, but everybody else is doubting. Eventually it actually snows.


Sweet Potato Pie

This recipe made 4 pies... it seems easier to make in larger quantities, so I just do that.
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Pie crust (we like the graham cracker crusts)
+ 4 large sweet potatoes about 1 lb each
+ 1 and 1/2 cups of butter softened
+ 3 eggs
+ 2 and 1/2 cups of brown sugar
+ 1 cup of milk (we use this almond milk)
+ 1 Tablespoon of all spice
+ 1 Tablespoon of nutmeg
+ 2.5 Tablespoons of cinnamon
+ dash of salt
+ 2 Tablespoons of vanilla
1. Boil sweet potatoes (takes about 50 minutes)
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
3. Peel skin off potatoes (they should just slide right off... used a hot glove to squeeze it off)
4. Put all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl
5. Mix until semi-consistent texture
6. Put pie filling in crust
7. Bake for 45 minutes
8. Best if chilled before eating... and of course top with whipped cream


Life With Ida : 14 Months

Another month and Ida baby is growing bigger and bigger.
Ida has started sleeping in her room with Cora. We made it for a week straight before she figured out that she can get out of bed in the middle of the night and come into my bed. Like I said before, she's a huge cuddler so she really wants those night time snuggles. We're slowly working out some of the kinks with our bedtime routine/situation, 
Ida is world's cuddliest baby.  She always has to be touching someone and loves loves loves to cuddle. We still do some baby wearing whenever I'm doing something outside and she's happy to tag along and occasionally take a nap. I work from home once a week and she is always following me around and making sure she is getting as much cuddles in as she can.

Ida loves to eat and is always signing 'more' in the smallest way possible... even her signing is quiet. I usually sit her down in her high chair to start eating when I start cooking dinner. Ida will munch away the entire time I'm cooking dinner and then will even eat some dinner.  
Ida is a huge fan of the movie Trolls. TV doesn't hold her attention very much (which is fine by us), but when we play Trolls for her, baby girl will watch the entire movie. She loves the songs and she'll usually get up and dance when they come on. She doesn't try to say real words much, but whenever I mention Trolls she will make the most excited face and say something that vaguely sounds like trolls. She loves Trolls, but she also really likes reading. She loves to flip through her little books and checking out all of our touch&feel books.
Ida is really running around. She walks way more than she crawls and loves playing chase with her big sister. Ida also loves to tease her big sister.  She'll get some of Cora's toys and run off, or the second Cora leaves a chair or a cuddle spot, Ida will swoop in to claim it for her own. Ida also loves to carry around little stuffed animals and have anybody around give the toy kisses
Watching Ida grow up has been so fun, and it's really fun to watch a baby grow up with an older sibling and see how different life with a baby is when there is so much interaction with an older child. I can't wait for the holidays this year with Ida. She is loving our Christmas tree so far and I'm sure she will love checking out all of the Christmas decorations.


Fall Walks in the Neighorhood

Our town has been working on extending their bike path and it turns out that part of it is only a block from our house. When we headed out Tuesday to go vote, we were able to check it out  since it leads almost straight from our house to our polling place.  We enjoyed the crisp weather and all of the fall leaves.

Cora's style is really developing lately. Cora loves to pick out her outfits, so there is always a lot of compromising when we need to make sure she is warm enough for walks. On our walks, Cora is really into picking up as many leaves as she can (just like her momma) and enjoys looking at all of her nature finds. She puts her favorites at the top of the stroller so she can have them for a little bit longer.

Ida is always happy to be along for the ride. She watches as her sister runs around like a crazy person and will point to things she finds interesting. Once Cora and I have picked out some favorite leaves, we like to give some to Ida to play with. Ida will wave them around and take a good look at them as we continue to walk.

I love finding all these new places so close to our home that we can explore together. All of the trees in our yard are just green or brown or already bare, but I love that we can just go for a quick walk and check out the fall beauty around us. I also love having these two adventurers to explore with.


Conversations With Cora : Part VII

It's been two months since I shared my last convos with Cora post. She has been such a fiery spirit lately and I'm doing my best to keep up with both girls as far as documenting and enjoying life. She loves chatting nonstop about anything and everything, so it's hard to remember all the awesome things she says.  Here are some of my favorites lately:
I can't believe I didn't share this one before.  Just thinking about it always makes me laugh out loud. Whenever we go over to our neighbor friend's house, Cora runs up to the porch, opens the mail flap, and yells "hellloo?! wanna plaaay?!""

Cora: How do you cook food?
Ben: Apply heat.
Cora: I wanted to know how to cook food and dad told me! Woooo hooo!!!

Cora is really obsessed with passing time. She's always asking which days she goes to school, which days I'm at home, which days we have events, etc. Because of this I started a monthly calendar and have everything color coordinated so she can start reading those words or symbols for other things like parties, holidays, or my work from home days. We discuss what is coming up each month...
"after Nobember, comes YESbember!"

Me: what month is it?
Cora: Nobember, turkey month!
Me: What do we celebrate on Thanksgiving?
Cora: FEEEEAAAAST! Family and togethertime! ... And FEEEAAAST! First we kill the turkey, then we cook the turkey, then we chop up the turkey, then we eat the turkey!!!


Trick Or Treat

I got off work a little early so I could pick up Cora from school and see their little costume parade. All of her classmates are the cutest and I love seeing what each child decides to dress up as. Cora and I stopped by Kroger to pick up ingredients for Sweet Potato Pie and some more candy.

Ida greeted us in costume.  Ben said he put on her costume to drop Cora off to school, and Ida refused to take it off the rest of the day. It's pretty much a onesie with extra gloves attached, so I get why she wouldn't mind wearing it all day. I loved seeing her in costume whenever she'd sneak up on me. We like to take holidays slow so we can really enjoy them, so we spent the most of the afternoon slowly getting ready.

We made some Sweet Potato Pie (You can find my recipe here... it's the bomb!) and my parent's came over to see the girls, get some pictures, and have some pie. When I was younger, my grandparents always came over to our house to help pass out candy and we'd have pumpkin pie at the end of the night... so my parents visiting was a nice little reminder of that. Aren't they the cutest?!

The girls and I did a little bit of Trick-Or-Treating, then met up with our neighbor friends around 6:30. We headed down our street and weaved our way through some of the less crowded surrounding streets. It was fun catching up with my mom-friend and the kids always love running around with each other.
When we got home, I handed out the rest of the candy then we headed in to have some dinner and get ready for bedtime. It was a perfect first Halloween in our home.

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