Saturday, December 3, 2011

Happy Fourth Birthday, Sawyer!


Sawyer’s birthday fell during our Thanksgiving vacation this year, and we had plans to be in southern Utah with the Bates family. So we started the celebration off the night before we left with Sawyer’s request birthday dinner. He asked for pizza with sausage and mushrooms, with broccoli and green beans on the side.

Here is our homemade pizza before going in the oven.




It was a big hit with both kids, but Fielding gives much more jovial faces while eating than Sawyer.





Since Sawyer is such a pizza fan, I thought it would be fun to do a fruit pizza for dessert. I added almond flour to the crust and it was excellent.



And then we let him open a few small gifts.





The weekend after we got home from our trip we had his birthday party proper, with friends and games and cake. My friend Meredith had given me a Wilton Lightning McQueen pan, so I gave that a go for his cake. Man, this took forever, and was way harder than I thought it would be. I skipped the star tip, cause I’m not into the shag carpet look for cakes, and I’m not sure if that slowed me down or sped me up—either way, it was a labor of love, like all of my special cooking projects for family are, I guess.



We woke up the day of the party to one hell of a snow storm.







But despite the weather, most of the guests still managed to make it. We had several activity stations set up for the kids. The first was an art table where they painted ceramic cars to take home as their favors.



Another was where they made their own pizzas for lunch. I had made whole wheat dough, then had a variety of sauces and toppings for them to choose from. They were so adorable with their mini-rolling pins!












And when we called them for cake, they came tearing down the stairs like a band of rabid cake zombies.




A few shots of gift opening.







One of Sawyer’s gifts was something that Chris had been saving for years for his own kids: a Playmobil Polar Expedition set. He took Sawyer outside in the snow to set up an arctic play land with the little dudes and their vast collection of equipment.




And then there was some snowy horseplay. Chris shows Sawyer that there’s nothing scary about the tunnel.



Stella is very fond of the mini-sledding hill we built in the back yard.



Happy birthday, sweet little man. You are AWESOME, and we LOVE YOU.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Random pics from early summer

Fielding is a miraculous eater. I don’t know if it’s possible to express the extent of my gratitude for his willingness to glom on whatever I put on his tray. He had his 1 year check-up recently and, of course, as seems to be the pattern for the Gray boys, he’s pretty petite. But at least I know he’s getting lots of good stuff every day, because he’s the kid that cries when the tofu and veggies on his plate run out.


I gave Sawyer this really awesome haircut at the beginning of the summer. Eventually the front go so long that he started to complain about his hair being in his eyes—but it was so cute! Chris finally took the clippers to it about a week ago :-(

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This was a naughty behavior that I took a picture of, and then promptly nipped in the bud. No more dishwasher-escalade!


Oh yeah, Chris’ father’s day dinner! This was YUMMY. Argentine beef with chimichurri sauce (the greenish-red stuff next to the meat), Israeli couscous, and fennel-apple salad.


For dessert: ginger stout cake and stout ice cream. And man was that ice cream stout-y.


Proud papa and his offspring.


I had the camera with me early one morning when I was out on a walk with Stella. I thought, “Man, do I live in a beautiful place,” and snapped this pic of our neighborhood and the snowcapped Rockies behind it.


The garden got a late start this year, but did manage to bear some fruit. These are the raspberry bushes that we planted last year, and boy have they paid off! The first harvest last about three weeks and was amazing! There is supposed to be another one in September, but we’ll see.


The main reason for the late start with the garden is that we added two new small plots. This one has three kinds of tomato plants, two kinds of eggplant, and yellow squash.



The other one has pumpkin, lettuce, oregano, basil, carrots, and butternut squash. Yup, all of that crammed into that tiny space. My idea was that the vining plants like pumpkin would root there, but would wander off an occupy other parts of the yard eventually.


And here’s the main plot—in late May, at least. Now it’s a jungle. Have had amazing spinach, lettuce, beets, chard, loads of basil, as well as zucchini and cucumbers.


Giving up, in a manner of speaking, or maybe settling.

I’ve been insanely neglectful of our family blog this year. And I think one of my new years resolutions was actually to be better about keeping it up to date. But I swear that it’s not entirely my fault. Blame it on technology. And logistics. And a small dose of perfectionism. By that I mean that I hate to make a blog post of recent happenings when there are previous events that I still haven’t recorded. And so what happens is that I keep putting off catching up because I have an intimidating backlog, which of course continues to grow because I’m procrastinating taking care of it. It’s a vicious cycle which is actually only vicious to me, because I feel guilty for not doing a better job recording the touching day-to-day happenings of our growing family. So my conclusion is that I have to just stop fretting about the past and hunker down in the present: I’m just going to start posting from now, and not worry about what is past. Maybe I’ll catch up eventually, but I’m not going to hold myself to it, or I’ll never get started. The first order of business will be to at least post what's currently on the camera's memory card--brace yourself for a bunch of randoms.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Can’t stand the cuteness

A recent photo shoot of our boys in the midst of some major horseplay. Well, as major as it can be when one of the members of the team can’t sit up or really move much at all. These two guys are starting to form a really sweet little relationship—it mostly consists of Sawyer putting on Vaudevillian displays of physical prowess (or lack thereof), which include, dancing, jumping, somersaulting, falling, and launching, while Fielding watches from his command center, mouth agape, in a fever of torso shaking laughter.

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I like this one. Fielding kind of looks like he farted for the first time and doesn’t know what to make of it.




Fielding TOTALLY has Chris’ smile.



Friday, December 31, 2010

Quel petit gourmand!

Well, Fielding is eating human food kind of out of nowhere, and he FREAKING LOVES IT! He was fussing at the dinner table on Christmas Eve, and to quiet him, Chris let him suck on a piece of ham, and then on a chunk of butternut squash. He went completely crazy for them! So the next day I mashed some banana and avocado together, and, same thing—he couldn’t get enough!


We started Sawyer on solids at 7 months, and I remember that it took him, like, 6 or 8 weeks to even catch the vision of what we were trying to do. He would just let the food spill down his face, stare at me, then smear it all over his tray. I remember the day when I saw something click behind his eyes—“Oh! this goes in my belly and keeps me full! and it’s not bad eats either!” At that moment he leaned forward like a baby bird and opened his mouth. WELL, the minute Fielding saw the banana-covered spoon, he grabbed it with his hand and shoved it in his mouth. Since then he’s had carrots and sweet potatoes and rice cereal, and the freezer is starting to fill up with little portioned purees that I’ve made for him. He is a total, total gourmand.

Farewell, sweet buttermilky poops of the breastfeeding baby. Hello, total stinkers.


Sawyer was really excited that he and Fielding were eating carrots at the same time.


I did it all by self.

Bummer. The pics are a little too dark to see the extent of the silliness. Sawyer, now that he has his own bathroom stool and cup (who knew that that would be what pushed him over the edge into independence?) is now all about going to the potty and doing EVERYTHING by himself. He emerged the other day with his pants on backwards. We both thought it was so funny that we turned Fielding’s pants around backwards too and took some pics.




Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The successful maiden voyage of a cool xmas gift


In part because my food blog is now pretty much definitively defunct, and in part just because we got this awesome pancake pan for xmas, I’m going to bore everyone with the tale of Sawyer’s breakfast this morning.

Behold, the zoo animal pancake pan! Thanks Matt, Rach and kids, it’s awesome!


Sawyer helped me prepare the “healthy” pancake batter (silken tofu, banana, egg, almond milk, barley flour, rice flour).


We filled the wee indentations.


And when we flipped them? Animal cakes!


Clockwise from top left: monkey, lion, giraffe, elephant. Sawyer ate SIX of these little cakes this morning.