4.26.2012

The Well-Packed Daycare Bag

Don't forget to enter to win:
$25 from Ace Hardware
Cloth Wipes from As you Stitch, Baby
$30 from Love for Earth

Today I got schooled in the importance of the well-packed daycare bag. This morning I dressed baby M in his super cute denim overalls with the puppy paw print snaps and his gray and white striped onesie with the fuzzy bear on the front. He was looking so cute that decided to show him off and took him to Target with me to pick up a prescription before dropping him at camp. Not that you can see his super cute outfit when he's riding on my hip in his super cute sling....

BTW, he loved Target; he was all ooh momma it's so red in here and woah, look at all that milk as we cut through the bras to get from baby stuff to the pharmacy.

So I sent him off in these overalls:
And as S walked up the driveway holding baby M in his car seat, I peeked at him and said, "uh-oh." He was wearing an outfit I haven't seen in two months. S replied, "he had a pee like a waterfall. Or something like that. I think that's what she said." So what I gather from this cryptic account is that wee little M had a wee bit of an accident and wee'd all over his clothes as his wee diaper was getting changed. See the pee-pee tee-pee and how it's not a gag gift after all.

The peanut still fit into his extra outfit from two months ago, but as I unpacked his wetbag with his wet clothes, wet diaper and a couple of drool soaked bibs, I realized it's probably fairly important to take stock of his daycare bag beyond just checking for fresh diaps and milk each day.

We want to have a well-packed bag, but not an over-packed bag since sometimes we'll run with the jogging stroller to drop-off or pick-up baby M and need his bag and milk cooler to fit in the stroller basket. So after an assessment of what was missing and what was unnecessary, this is what we have in baby M's daycare bag:
Clockwise from the left:
Three wet bags, one large for clothing and two small for diaps
Three cloth diapers - we use BumGenuis 4.0 for daycare
One Sleep Sheep - this is attached to the car seat and because white noise is like crack for our baby, we never leave home without it. Nor does his daycare momma
One muslin swaddle blanket - to be used on hot days to cover his stroller at the park, etc.
One warm blanket - to be used on cool days at the park (we leave this home if the forecast is over 70)
One sun hat
One warm had - we leave this home if it's warmer than the low 60's
Two pacis with clips
Three waterproof bibs
One pair of pants or shorts
One short sleeve onesie
One pair of socks
One favorite toy from the Easter Bunny
One tube of lanolin for Mr. Drooly Pant's chin rash
Weekly, we send his laundered wipes and tomorrow we'll need to replace the cool weather outfit that's now tossed in the laundry hamper.

Separately, in his personalized Maddox cooler from L.L.Bean we send one serving of milk, one fresh bottle and a few (overkill) ice packs.


We also send one fed and happy baby wearing one fresh diap and one clean outfit strapped into one infant car seat.

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4.25.2012

Win a $30 Gift Card from Love for Earth!

In continuing with our Earth Day (week) giveaways we bring you one of our favorites, the un-paper towel. We've been using ours since we bought them from Love for Earth last fall and are as enamored with them now as we were back then.

We have un-paper towels everywhere. Right now there are three in my car, at least one in S's car, one in my diaper bag, two on my desk, three on the coffee table, one on the side table, one on my dresser, one on my nightstand, two on my sewing table, a couple in the nursery, at least a half dozen on the line drying in the sun, and a few on the kitchen counter. I'm like Hansel and Gretel and they're everywhere. Every time I do light laundry I walk around the house scouting out un-paper towels. We use them for everything. Totally love them.

Kara of Love for Earth has offered to give one lucky reader a $30 gift card to her very popular Etsy shop That's enough to buy reusable produce bags, a reusable sandwich bag and a set of un-paper towels. Awesome!

How to Enter (max 2 entries, one comment per entry):
 1. Leave a comment telling us which one of Love for Earth's eco-friendly products you would buy with your gift card
 2. Tweet, blog or post on Facebook about this giveaway and provide the link in a comment below

Make sure to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win!

We were not compensated by Love for Earth, nor did Love for Earth provide text, images or products  for this post. Love for Earth will provide one $30 (USD) to the giveaway winner. Contest ends Wednesday, May 2 at 6pm EDT. Winner will be chosen by random number generator and will be notified via email within 48 hours. Prize must be claimed within 48 hours or an alternate winner will be selected. Good Luck!



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4.22.2012

Win Cloth Wipes for Kiddos of All Sizes!

Yesterday we told you allllllll about baby M's cloth diapers in the most epic diaper post ever. And today we bring you a giveaway!

Like we mentioned yesterday, we love our cloth wipes for the bum, the cheese fingers, the cheese toes, the cheese nose. Want to try out cloth wipes? As you Stitch, Baby has offered to give one lucky reader a set of one dozen adorable reusable cloth wipes! Just head over to As you Stitch, Baby and tell us which one of their eco-friendly baby items you love the most. And as a bonus, enter the coupon code BEEHIVE at checkout for free shipping from their shop this week!

How to Enter (max 4 entries, one comment per entry):
 1. Leave a comment telling us which one of As you Stitch, Baby's eco-friendly baby products you love most
 2. Tweet, blog or post on Facebook about this giveaway and provide the link in a comment below
 3. Subscribe in a reader or become a follower of Our Little Beehive (or let us know you already are) in a comment below
4. Make a purchase from As you Stitch, Baby and then come back here and leave a comment telling us what you bought. Don't forget to enter the coupon code BEEHIVE for free shipping at checkout

Make sure to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win!

Don't forget to enter to win a $25 gift card from Ace Hardware too, and check back this week for more Earth Day giveaways!

We were not compensated by As you Stitch, Baby, nor did As you Stitch, Baby provide us text, images or products for this post. As you Stitch, Baby will provide one dozen reusable cloth wipes in either boy, girl or neutral patterns to the giveaway winner. Contest ends Sunday, April 29 at 6pm EDT. Winner will be chosen by random number generator and will be notified via email within 48 hours. Prize must be claimed within 48 hours or an alternate winner will be selected. Good Luck!

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On Cloth Diapering @ Four Months A.B.B. (After Baby Bee)

What better day than Earth Day to tell you about baby M's cloth diapers. Happy Earth Day! We've been cloth diapering baby M's hiney since he was very wee. Before he was born I thought we'd cloth diaper him from the start, minus the first meconium poos, which I've heard and darn near impossible to wash out. A few roadblocks and a whole lot of free disposable diapers from the hospital prevented us from starting straight away. But by week three when baby M was finally back up to his birth weight and I was feeling better, I was ready to test the cloth waters.

B.B.B. (before baby bee) I blogged about our cloth stash
I had bought a few of several brands and types of cloth diapers to start with, not really knowing what we'd like most. We diapered Mr. Bear several times to get the whole hang of how each of the diaps worked. I organized the diaps by size, stuck labels on the drawers so everyone could figure out how to use them and off to the delivery room we went.

Within the first few weeks of cloth diapering some clear front runners emerged in the race for the favorite diap. S declared the Hive a "cover free" zone, so I quickly sold all of our newborn fitteds. This included all the Kissaluvs and Thirsties. While these were perfectly good diapers, they all needed covers, thereby adding a second step to the diapering process. I wasn't bothered by the second step, but what I didn't love is that because the whole fitted diap gets wet with pee, I'd be actually holding pee when rinsing the diaper with our sprayer. That's a weak excuse now since I rinse our inserts and squeeze them out by hand as part of my wash routine. Eeew, I know. But it lets me go a full week between laundry loads. I'll tell you all about it sometime soon.

Our early favorites were BumGenius 4.0, Charlie Banana's Small, Fuzzibunz XS and Thirsties Duo Dry. Baby M outgrew the Fuzzibunz XS quickly even though he's a bit of a peanut still. When we sold those three diaps they still fit, but their inserts were small so they didn't hold enough to last through a nap. For the remainder of my maternity leave we used BumGenius 4.0, our two Thirsties Duo Drys, Charlie Banana's and reluctantly, FuzziBunz one-size.

Now that M goes off to daycare with BumGenius diapers each day, we've come up with a system to use various diapers at different times of day.

When we wake up in the morning I use a BumGenius. They're the most absorbent of all the diapers we own and baby M drinks a lot after sleeping for 11 or 12 hours. He'll eat and play for an hour and a half and then go down for an hour and a half nap in his BG's. Then when he wakes, he'll eat again, I'll change him into a Charlie Banana stuffed with a BG insert, dress him for the day and whisk him off to daycare. I send him off in a Charlie Banana because we don't own enough BG to use them exclusively and I don't want baby M's daycare momma to have to hassle with snaps of the Charlies. Otherwise, the Charlie Bananas are just as reliable as our BG's.

Baby M will use one or two diapers while he's at daycare. When he gets home he'll eat and then because it's unlikely that he'll poo before bath time, I'll change him into a Grovia. Grovias have a reusable outer shell with a snap-in insert, but so far we've found the outer shell isn't reusable after a poo. I've slowly started to venture into the world of flats during this last change of the day, but not with any regularity. An hour or so later we'll start the bedtime routine with a bath after which we lather M's bum with zinc lotion and slap a disposable on him for the night. We could probably use a cloth diaper overnight, but we don't ever do anything to mess with his sleep, so we've never tried.

In addition to cloth diapering we also use cloth wipes. We started using cloth wipes a few days after we got home from the hospital. We use them for the obvious purpose, but also wash baby M's face and hands with them each morning. I have used them for vinegar washes and baths, and I've heard that soaked in cold water and fresh from the fridge, they're great for teething.

We started with a stash of 40. But within a couple weeks we were finding ourselves running out often, so now we have a stash of about 80, but 60 would be plenty to get us through the week for all the gazillion ways we use them. We have a stack in the bathroom for bath time, a stack in my office to catch dribbles and drips from nursing and pumping and the remainder are in the nursery. We have a square, plastic container that we'll fill with ~20 wipes and just enough water to get them all nice and wet. Just water, nothing else. Every three days I change the water in the wipes. If there are still wet wipes left, I toss them in the laundry pail and start fresh so that the heebeejeebees don't grow. Sometimes in the morning I'll need a bit more than water to get everything clean and will use a spritz of California Baby Diaper Area Spray. Self explanatory name, no?

When baby M first started going to daycare I wasn't sure if I should send his nice wipes or not; I didn't know how many they would need, etc. So I cut up a few receiving blankets into squares using pinking shears and sent those. In hindsight, I could have just sent a little stack of our good wipes each day and have been fine.

The cloth wipes are by far the easiest eco-baby switch we made. One wipe does the work of two or three disposables. Plus, it's pretty easy to grab from the same stack of wet wipes to wash all ends of the baby. Cheese fingers, cheese nose, cheese toes and all!

Have you tried cloth diapering? What's your favorite brand? 

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4.20.2012

Going Green with LEDs & an Earth Day Giveaway!

Our old house is filled with old wiring. While we've done what we can to rewire some of our house and we've gone above and beyond to better distribute the load on each circuit, our kitchen lights make me nervous.

We've got nine recessed lights that we put in two years ago. The lights are on a dimmer and because the dimmable CFL bulbs hummed and didn't exactly dim, we stuck with incandescent bulbs.
But the incandescent bulbs get hot. The whole darn room gets hot; not such a bad thing in the winter, but definitely not good in the summer. Hot bulbs mean we're using a ton of energy. And hot bulbs mean hot wires. Hot old wires. So this week in the name of safety and energy efficiency we're taking smart old-house precautions and making the switch to LED.
I bought four of these dimmable LED bulbs by Philips since I read somewhere that when it comes to LED bulbs you should go with one of the major name brands, a "you get what you pay for" warning. I have no idea if that's true. (That was a white lie, my mom told me that and I have no idea where she read it. But she's a pretty smart cookie, so we'll go with it.) Anyway, I'll let you know in 22.8 years if these guys go the distance.

The lights were pricey, especially since I needed flood-light size, but I found them on sale for a buy one get one promo, which brought the price to $24 per light. Even on sale, it stings to write that. But they come with a 6 year warranty, should last 22.8 years based on 3 hours of use 7 days a week, and should only cost $1.57 per year based on 11cents per kWh. Facts...straight from the box, whose UPC code I will be keeping for that 6 year warranty, btw. Where did I put my receipt?

I have a feeling that, like everything else in NoVA, we pay way more than 11cents per kilowatt hour for energy. Regardless, I'm not counting on these guys to be our golden ticket to overall lower utility costs, we're merely looking for safety and are trying to do our part to increase our home's energy efficiency. I do, however, have my fingers crossed that we see a little difference on our next electric bill.

Even with only 4 lights mixed in with the other 5, they have a noticeably whiter light than the incandescent, which S pointed out last night, makes our cabinets look whiter. Excellent, I'm not a fan of cream. And while last night was kind of chilly, I did notice the kitchen didn't get quite as hot as it usually does. Of course that could be because baby M's daycare momma sent him home with a HUGE Sri Lankan dinner for us, so dinner prep was a few quick zaps in the microwave and we didn't exactly have the lights, oven or stove on all at once.

Want to take a step to greenifying your house too just in time for Earth Day? Ace Hardware has offered to give one of our readers a $25 gift card to spend on a greenifying product of your choice! 

How to Enter (max 3 entries one comment per entry):
 1. Leave a comment and tell us what steps you plan to take this year to make your home a little more energy efficient
 2. Tweet, blog or post on Facebook about this giveaway and provide the link in a comment below
 3. Subscribe in a reader or become a follower of Our Little Beehive (or let us know you already are) in a comment below

Make sure to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win, and don't forget to check out Ace Hardware's Lou's tips on how to make your house more green.

We were not compensated by Ace Hardware nor did Ace Hardware provide text, images or products  for this post. Ace Hardware will provide one $25 gift card to the giveaway winner. Contest ends Saturday, April 28 at 6pm EDT. Winner will be chosen by random number generator and will be notified via email within 48 hours. Prize must be claimed within 48 hours or an alternate winner will be selected. Good Luck!

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4.17.2012

Tuesday Treats: Oatmeal Cookies w/ Peanut Butter Filling...or Not

I'm not a huge cookie fan; cookie dough is a totally different story, but cookies, eeuh. I do, however, have a special little sweet tooth for one particular oatmeal cookie. So special, in fact, that I rarely make these particular oatmeal cookies lest that tooth eat too many.

I decided to make S some welcome home cookies last week. I was having a bit of a sweet craving because apparently sweet begets sweet with all those little chocolate eggs I was eating, and decided to make my favorite oatmeal cookies. Then, when they were done, I made them extra special and oh so very S, since he loves peanut butter (and I think it's the goop that we stick in Feeney's treat cone to keep him occupied while we're away.) But somehow that peanut butter filling was so darn good I found myself loving the stuffed cookies too. Mmmmmmmmm
Oatmeal Cookies w/ Peanut Butter Filling
I don't know how many this makes since S won't admit to how many cookies he ate after I went to bed and before I added the peanut butter filling in the morning. I venture to guess 2 dozen stuffed cookies.

for the cookies
1 c. butter
3/4 c. light brown sugar
3/4 c. granular sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 t. baking soda
1 1/2 c. flour (we use white whole wheat flour)
2 1/2 c. old fashioned oats
1 c. sweetened coconut flakes

1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat sugars and butter until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until pale

2. Mix in coconut until combined

3. Add dry ingredients and mix well

4. Drop by tablespoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet or a silpat and bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes until golden at the edges. Allow to cool completely before filling

for the filling
4 T. butter
3/4 c. peanut butter (smooth or chunky, your choice)
1 1/2 c. confectioners sugar
3-6 T. milk or cream

1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and peanut butter until smooth

2. Add sugar, mixing slowly so as to not make a snowy mess

3. Add enough milk or cream to make the filling smooth and spreadable, whipping well to make it fluffy

assemble the cookies

1. Match cookies according to their size, laying them all out on a baking sheet

2. Add a dollop of filling to one of each of the pairs of cookies, don't sandwich your cookies until you've dolloped all your cookie pairs, just in case you need to borrow from heavily dolloped cookies to give to the poor undolloped

3. Sandwich your cookies, eat and enjoy!

If you're looking for a variation of the milk making lactation cookies just add 3T of brewer's yeast to the cookie dough and swap out 1/4c. of the whole wheat flour for ground flax!

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4.14.2012

Mr. Drooly Pants, a Waterproof Bib Tutorial

Mr drool face is going through at least three bibs a day at daycare and would probably go through a dozen if I sent him with that many. I kind of hate bibs. They're not so cute and they cover up super cute outfits. What's the point of a cute outfit if drooly drool pants is going to need a costume change twice an hour?

So I decided to make a cute bib, using cute fabric. And I used a flannel back so it would be absorbent. But he soaked through that in no time too.

Last night I made waterproof bibs. They have cute fabric on top, an absorbent flannel layer in the middle and a waterproof PUL layer on the back.
M put them to the test straight away...
Final verdict on my latest design came when M only came home with one sopping wet bib jammed in his little wet bag. Success.

Here's how to make your own droolproof bibs.

1. Download and print this pattern, which is for your personal use only. Test to make sure your printer is printing at 100% by measuring the 1" square on the pattern.

2. Cut out three layers for the bib, one of a pretty cotton, one of cotton flannel and one of PUL, which is a fabric that has a soft, cloth-like side and a waterproof, shiny side

3. Pin the three layers together with the flannel on the bottom, then the pretty cotton front facing up and finally the PUL with the shiny side up
The good side of the pretty cotton and the fabric-feeling side of the PUL will be facing each other.
4. Sew around the edges with a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving a 2" space at the bottom for turning.
5. Turn the entire big right side out so that the flannel is on the inside, the pretty cotton on the front and the PUL on the back

6. Top stitch around the entire edge, making sure to catch the opening that you used to turn the bib

7. Cut a 1/2" piece of velco, sew the rough side to the cotton side of the bib and the soft side to the PUL side at approximately where the X is marked on the pattern

8. Put on your baby and catch the drool

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4.13.2012

The Great Fence Debate, Part II

Part one of the great fence debate two years ago centered around whether or not to enclose our side yard with a fence. Those in the "enclose" camp (me) won. Those in both camps are very glad we enclosed. Part two of the debate has been ongoing for two years: to stain or not to stain.

The fence is a focal point in our yard, it basically is our yard!
The fence comes right up to the street to create our side-backyard:
And then continues all around the side yard, behind the shed and back to the other side of the house.
It's a lot of fence. It's a lot of wood. A lot of unfinished wood. A lot of really rustic looking wood. And our house isn't exactly rustic. So I want to stain the fence. But until now I had no idea what color to use. Last summer, I thought maybe a shade of white in a transparent stain might look nice. But when I painted samples in a inconspicuous place that turned out to be visible from three rooms inside the house (duh!) something just wasn't right and I couldn't make a final decision.

Last week I saw a house with a fence similar to ours that was stained dark gray. I loved it. So I bought a few samples of Behr's solid fence & deck stain in shades of gray and tried them out on the fence behind the trashcans, ya know so it's not visible from inside the house....
The gray on the left is almost the same light gray of our shed. I think it's too light, like it might be a bight "woah, that's bright" focal point from the dozen or so houses that can see our fence from their yard. The center seems to have a bit too much green. But the dark gray, oh the dark gray, it seems jussst right. And not that I'm ever going to do this, but I think it would look cool to have the window trim the same dark gray as the fence. Not happening. But maybe the sunporch/office siding....

What do you think of the dark gray for the fence? I'm hoping to add a little more sophistication and less stockyard to the corral out there. Might the dark gray be my golden ticket?

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4.12.2012

We Survived Another BIG Milestone

S was away for another two whole weeks and this time baby M and I stayed home. If you recall, last time S was gone for two weeks, baby M, Feeney and I hightailed it straight to my parents' house. This time, my mom came down for most of the time S was away, but baby M and I did manage to get through another big milestone together: two days and nights all by ourselves.

It doesn't seem like such a big deal now that we're on the other side, but I spent a good amount of time figuring out how I'd be able to bathe him with only two hands, how I'd be able to walk Feeney at least twice a day, how I'd manage fussy time at 6:30 pm, when I'd be able to make and eat dinner and generally hoping that the "four month sleep regression" I keep hearing about wouldn't hit while I was alone.

I manged to get through all the hurdles by: using less water in the bucket (aka using it as instructed) so that I didn't need any hands to prop baby M up; taking a deep breath and gasp, walking three houses up the street with Feeney so he could do his numbers at the curb all while watching the baby sleep on his monitor that has an incredibly far range; walking Feeney with the baby in his stroller during the fussy time; dinner? there was plenty of leftover Easter candy, I mean ham; and not to worry, that sleep regression hit for the entirety of the first week S was gone; knock on wood, I think we're over it now.

So we survived. That's not to say we won't get the heck out of dodge for the next long trip, but at least it won't be so scary. Plus, I'm becoming an old pro at documenting daily nothings on my phone to email to S, but it's much nicer when he's home and we can share them in person.
Besides, how are any of our projects going to get done around here if all I'm doing in a day is walking the dog, feeding and bathing a baby and eating Easter bon-bons?

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4.10.2012

Tuesday Treats: Beehive Carrot Cake

S was away for Easter this year, which really stunk given how cool the whole basket episode was. Thankfully my parents were here so I wasn't like the crazy cat lady telling the dog to "look at this, look at him, look he's grabbing...." I suppose that would have made me a crazy dog lady. Anyway, they enjoyed it and my dad and I enjoyed Easter dinner together while my mom sat upstairs in the nursery rocking baby M back to sleep after he failed to stay asleep for me. She has this magic tummy rub/lullaby hum gig going on that was like crack when I was a kid and apparently still is. My momma knows magic. And then because S is away all the time and seems to conveniently miss lots of holiday-esque family gatherings, we went to visit baby M's Nola & Grandpa without him. No one's fooling anyone, we all know it's not us anyone wants to see anymore, we merely have the car seat. And milk.

The invite was for baby M, his momma, his Mamie and his PawPaw to join them for dessert. But, on Friday my mom dug up the carrots she planted for us last year. I could barely walk let alone crawl around on the ground digging up carrots last fall, so I'd left them in the ground. Then since that time period people down here call "winter" is more aptly called "the mild season with one or two cold days where you might be lucky enough to wear a scarf or a winter coat, but never both" or "that mild season where none of your dozen wool winter coats fit, but who cares 'cause you haven't worn them in three years anyway" or "that mild season where the locals complain just as much as they do any other time of year when the ground doesn't freeze and your carrots keep growing," we had a big pile of carrots to eat.

If you're not familiar with homegrown carrots grown in a year when the gardener a. was sick as all get-up in the late spring, b. left for the summer and c. couldn't crawl around on the ground in the fall, they don't get thinned out, they're crowded and are therefore the ugliest things you'll ever see. Left in the fridge, these things would have found their way to the trash.
But after a good soaking, a scrubbing and forever at the counter with a peeler I had myself three cups of delicious shredded carrots for Easter dessert. So when we got the invite to go to S's parents' house for dessert I offered to bring the entertainment and the dessert....
And we made sure not to show them the before photos of the carrots....

I used my beehive cake pan once before when I made a honey lemon cake and thought Easter was the perfect time to bring it out again. Since we all know carrot cake is merely a vehicle to deliver cream cheese frosting, I spread on a generous glaze with more between the two layers, trying my best to expose the bees from under the tangy goodness.

This recipe works just as well in a three layer cake or in 24 cupcakes. The cake is perfectly not-too-sweet, which works very well with a giant glob of the goodness on top.

Beehive Carrot Cake
one beehive or 24 cupcakes

2 c. sugar
2/3 c. oil
1/4 c. orange juice
1 t. vanilla
4 eggs
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking sods
1 t. salt
1 3/4 c. flour
3 c. shredded carrots
1 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. sweetened flake coconut

1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a whisk), beat together oil and sugar, add eggs until fluffy

2. Add orange juice and vanilla, mix well. Add carrots and coconut

3. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients

4. Add dry mixture to the wet in two additions, mixing well after each

5. Fold in the walnuts

6. Divide batter among well-greased pans (I use Pam or Crisco spray) or among 24 lined muffin tins

7. Bake at 350 until a tester comes out clean and the center of the cake bounces back - for the beehive pan it took 45 minutes, for cupcakes start testing around 16 minutes

Cool completely before frosting with your favorite cream cheese frosting recipe. Enjoy!

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4.08.2012

Maddox and the Basket

We did a basket for baby M this year expecting that it was more for us than for him. We were so wrong, so very wrong.

The Basket

Initial curiosity
 
Immediately grabs for the largest toy:
 
And then for another toy:
 
Bring the whole basket to me, fools
 
I've got bugs on my feet and hands, but I don't care, look at this toy


Ooh, grass?
 
This stuff feels nice
 

Yeah, basket!

 
 
Reaching, reaching

 
 
Easily the most fun we've ever had before morning nap.

 Happy Easter! Happy Spring!

Enjoy this beautiful day!
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The Office Playroom

A couple of weekends ago we moved around the furniture in my office, organized and secured the rat's nest of wires, brought in a bucket of baby toys and created an office playroom. My office before baby bee arrived was divided into two spaces, one half reading area:
And one half desk area, divided by a hutch holding books and office supplies:
 
We moved the dividing hutch over to the brick wall by the chairs, and moved the slipper chairs to under the window facing the brick wall. We pushed the chairs together to make a little sofa and put the ticking-stripe slipcovered table on the far right of the chairs.

So now when you look into my office from our living room you see the chairs, with katadhin the bear footstool in front of them.
As you step into the room, you'll see a few of baby M's toys over to the right.
The little table doubles as a spot for my coffee cup and a place to stick M's stacking toy...
instead of letting it sit in nine pieces in his elephant toy bin.
In front of the chairs is the hutch with my books and office supplies.
And on top we have the frame from my brother and sister in law with baby M's footprints on one side and an empty space just waiting for us to finally choose a photo to print. We had to do the footprints ourselves at home (nightmare for baby M, but super cute results!), do any hospitals do prints anymore?
My desk is still on the other side of the room, now flanked by two matching file cabinets since we got rid of S's desk area in the basement when we added a pantry.
Just behind my chair is baby M's play mat, where he spends his time talking to the birds...
and sucking on their toes:
We have a great routine down in our new office playroom now. In the morning after baby M's breakfast, I start work early and "make milk" using my pump that's hidden in that piggy bag on the bottom shelf of the tall bookcase, while baby M plays with the birds from all angles as he moves from tummy time to his back to sitting up in the bumbo.
When he starts to yawn and fuss, we're off for swaddling, a story, and a morning nap:
Before we get dressed for the day and head off to camp!
The changes to my office make the space feel so welcoming and open. And having one spot for baby M's toys has left the rest of our house looking pretty much the same as before, if you turn a blind eye to the jumperoo in the living room, the swing in the dining room and the pack & play in the den, of course. I like turning from my computer during the day to see his toy bin under the window, it makes me look forward to the late afternoon when I zip off to pick up my boy and have play time all over again. Plus, who doesn't love moving furniture around with the seasons?

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