Friday, August 26, 2011

Birthday prep mode

Here's a few pictures prepping for Laurel's party this weekend.  I found tons of great ideas on Pinterest and am making most of them - regardless of how much leftover food that will mean in the end!:)  The cake pops were very easy to make - I made a sheet of chocolate cake and crumbled it up.  I mixed in a tub of icing and then molded the strawberries by hand.  For future, I would refrigerate the pops to keep them more firm.  I bought red chocolate chips and melted it.  Keeping that liquid enough to dip was difficult.  But they ended up turning out ok!  I made the cake out of a 2 layer circle and lots of fondant.  I think this was my best cake yet!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

End of summer camp

For about 2 months this summer, Laurel has been attending a summer "camp" through the mar vista parks system. Not sure if I've mentioned it. It's play-based, so they spend time outside on the play ground, make crafts, play with toys and dress up clothes, sings songs, etc. It ended up being a good decision to try this out with her because she's going to be continuing in through the school year. Most of her little school friends from her 3 year preschool have other arrangements for 4 year. Plus, the cost is a fraction of the cost of the first preschool. I do like the intimacy of the first one, and it was around the corner from the shop. But with the change of kids and the pricing, we decided to move her to the same school as her camp. Not much will change during the year from the camp, it will run on the same basic schedule. The class is larger, about 20 kids instead of 10 or so. They also do very little academic prep, so I'll be trying to continue that at home. I really believe play time is important since every year after this will be devoted to academic learning, and some day, working. Laurel enjoyed her summer and finished it off with a mini concert with her class. It sure is sweet to see the little ones sing, even if they're mostly disctracted and wandering off at times:).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Playing together...or at least near each other

Laurel and Audrey are really starting to play together...or at least next to each other and tossing toys back and forth. Audrey will usually want what Laurel has, but Laurel is pretty good at sharing. Laurel thinks Audrey is pretty fun and usually announces proudly when Audrey is doing something new. "Look! She's reaching for it!", "Mommy, watch! She's trying to stack the blocks!" Audrey is more possessive of the toys than Laurel. Laurel will share easily but you can't take anything away from Audrey without hearing about it! She's a feisty one and is really starting to show some new colors. Audrey plays very well by herself as well. She loves to sit infront of the basket of toys and touch and explore. Laurel will play with the baby toys too just to spend time with her:). It's so nice right now!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

my birthday

Last weekend we celebrated my birthday. At my age (generally not an old age, but not an exciting one either!), birthdays come and go and there's not much pomp and circumstance. I was actually more focused on Laurel's birthday, still to come on the 31st. She is focused on her birthday too, to say the least! My birthday was pretty chill, spent the Saturday afternoon at the studio, but in the evening we went to Huntington Gardens. I love the gardens, so peaceful and it's such a nice atmosphere in late afteroon. The early evening gets cooler too, so it's a nice chance to picnic in the gardens - the only time they will allow it (member only summer evenings). Here's some pictures of our picnic - both girls being sweet and cute as usual!

(that is audrey's "snorty" face:))

All day during my birthday, Laurel was asking when it would be her birthday. "Mommy is your birthday over yet?" "After the presents is your birthday over". She knows hers is the next birthday we'll be celebrating at home, so she's been asking about it constantly. Even toy she sees in a commercial is something she wants for her birthday! She decided she wants a Strawberry Shortcake birthday party. Appropriate since she still insists on being called "regular strawberry shortcake"! I just took her to party city to choose decorations and we're all stocked up. I also went to Carter's and toys r us for her presents. All set! Her party will be at a local park so that the kids can play on the playground and we have access to picnic tables.