Friday, July 30, 2010

The Children's Museum

The Monday after Sloane was born, mom and I took Breck to the Explorium (Children's Museum) downtown Lexington. It was Breck's first trip so it was really fun to watch him run from exhibit to exhibit. I think he had a great time, but it was almost a little too much for him to take in. He only had the attention span for about 5 seconds at each place, so needless to say, mom and I were exhausted by the end of our little trip!

One of the first exhibits that he ran to was the cave. You got to put on a hard hat and crawl through it. My mom is a trooper and got right in there with him.
They also had an entire exhibit about the Kentucky river. Breck loved playing in the river boat.
Riding the tractor at the farm exhibit.
I thought for sure that he would want to play in the water tubs for a long time, but I was wrong! He played for about 2 minutes and then was on to the next spot. He went through that museum like a whirling dervish!
Playing on the computer...for about 2 seconds.
This was probably the one spot that he actually stayed in for over 2 minutes! He loved the spaceship, mainly because it had about 3,000 buttons that he could push!
They have an entire room dedicated to bubbles! The bubble room was always my favorite as a child and I just knew Breck would love it. Well, he thought it was great, but only because he could put his entire arm into the bubble solution to "wash" his hands. Ha! Silly boy.
After the museum we took Breck to chickfila for lunch. I managed to snap this cute picture of "Go" and Breck.
We had a great trip to the museum, but I am betting that in a year or so, Breck would be able to appreciate it a lot more. I think he was so overstimulated that he didn't know where to go first. But it was a nice little outing and I am glad we took him!

I'll be back soon with some more pictures of sweet Sloane. She is absolutely perfect! Have a great weekend!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Testing 1,2,3

This is my first blog post from my phone! I have been meaning to download an application that will let me do this and I finally got around to it tonight. Should be fun!
Things are good around here. I decided to go to NYC for my birthday weekend so I have been working non stop to save up some extra money. I do have lots of pictures to share from my camera but my battery charger is missing at the moment. I'm going to order another one and then I will get a few posts up.
For now I will leave you with 2 sweet pictures of miss Sloane taking a nap on me this week. If you follow me on Twitter you have probably already seen these but it's too sweet not to blog.
Be back soon with more pictures and details about the upcoming girls trip to NYC!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, July 11, 2010

More Sloane...

Kristin took this picture today after her bath. Isn't she so sweet?
Tonight we took Breck out to dinner and then headed back to the hospital to visit with Sloane some more. This picture is from the first time Breck actually held his new sister. He did great with her! He even gave her a kiss without us prompting him :)
I didn't take a ton of pictures from tonight's visit, but I did get my camera out to take some video. I figured some of the out of town family would love to actually "see" her. The first part of the video is when Breck was holding her and the second part of the video is when Kristin unwrapped her from her swaddle for the first time. One thing is for sure, we are all smitten over this little girl.

*I still have not been able to figure out why my blog cuts off the right side of youtube videos (it does it no matter what size video I import), it obviously has something to do with the formatting of my blog, but I am not tech savvy enough to figure it out ;) So if you are having trouble seeing the whole thing, just click on it and watch directly on youtube*

We are taking Breck to the Lexington Children's Museum tomorrow, so I am sure I will have lots of cute pictures to share later this week.

Sloane Annabeall Tatem...

is here!
And this Aunt J happens to think she is just perfect.

Kristin went in this morning at 6am to be induced. When she got to the hospital, she found out that she was already having contractions. We kept in touch with her all morning, and about 12, she gave us the heads up that Sloane should be making her debut sometime before 1:30. I drove on over to the hospital and spent some time with Kristin and Lee before all of the action started. The nurse actually came in right after I got there and said that Kristin was fully dilated and ready to push! I went on to the waiting room and 15 minutes later, Kristin and Lee welcomed Sloane into the world. Kristin only had to push two times and she was here! So thankful for an easy and short labor. Here are some pictures from the day.

Lee and me
Kristin before the action started. She had Sloane probably 20 minutes after this picture was taken. She was so calm!
She is a little peanut! 6lbs 4oz, and has a head full of dark hair!
Mommy and Sloane
This is probably the best face picture I have. I am going to go back to the hospital tonight and hope to get a better one of her after a bath.
Proud daddy and Sloane.
Breck did so great meeting her! He was very gentle and when she started to cry, he immediately searched the room to find her a paci. He is going to be such a great big brother!
A very proud Aunt J and Sloane. I am already so in love.
Kristin is officially a mommy of 2!
The new Tatem family!
I will be back later with more pictures! We are so blessed to have a healthy baby and mommy!

Guess What?????

My sister is having a baby TODAY!

My sweet niece will born on July 11. 2010. Sounds like a great birthday to me! I have my camera charged up and will be sure to take plenty of pictures of her when she arrives. Stay tuned...

ps- isn't my sister the cutest pregnant person you have ever seen?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Flag Cake Tutorial

In the 4th of July post I showed a picture of a cake that I made for the holiday. I was really happy with the way it came out, so I thought I would share how I did it. I got the idea and instructions from this blog. This is the first time I had ever made this cake, and it was really a learning experience. I have made notes throughout the instructions about what did and didn't work for me. I think this is one of those cakes that I can really improve on over time. And just as a warning, it was really tough to type these out in a clear way. But there is a nifty diagram at the end that I think will help, so be sure to read all the way through it.

{photo courtesy of Mama Fink}

You will need:
-2 boxes of white cake mix (and whatever eggs, oil, water, etc... you need to bake them)
-Frosting of choice (I used white, but you could use whatever color you want really. I just liked the idea of using white because I knew I was going to cover the outside with fruit)
-Food coloring (red and blue)
-Blueberries and strawberries (this is completely optional. In fact, the blog I found the cake on did not have any decorations on the outside. I just thought the fruit was cute, but it's completely up to you as to how you decorate it)
Ok, here is the first thing that I messed up on a bit. The original instructions say to divide your prepared cake batter it into 5 equal bowls and I really wish I had done it the way they said to. In the end, you need to have enough red batter to bake 2 round cake pans, enough of the white batter to bake 2 round cake pans and enough of the blue batter to bake 1 round cake pan. I just divided into 3 bowls and tried to make sure the red and white batter bowls had more than the blue. Well, that was dumb, it's just hard to eye that accurately. Once I started filling my cake pans, I realized I had way to much blue and not nearly enough white. I ended up having to buy another box of cake mix to add to the white batter. So, moral of the story is to actually divide it into 5 equal bowls before you use the food coloring. That will ensure you have enough of each color :)

Oh, and just fyi- you can use as much food coloring as you want to get to your own desired color. I used the entire bottle of the red and about 1/2 of the blue bottle, but it's really dependent on what colors you want for your cake.
Once your red and white cakes come out of the oven and cool off, slice them in half. This will yield 4 layers of red and 4 layers of white.

This picture is one cake that has been divided into 2 layers.

You will actually only be using 2 full layers of each color for the cake. With the other layers, take a bowl that is smaller than the cake by about 2 inches and cut a red circle and a white circle.
Use the same bowl to cut a circle out of the blue layer. *Important: the blue layer stays a full layer, you do not cut it in half*
Now its time to layer your cake. This picture below is from the original recipe blog and they opted to start with a white layer at the bottom. I started with a red layer because that it what the flag really starts with, but it's up to you.
So, you have a red (1/2 cake) layer, white (1/2 cake) layer, red (1/2 cake) layer, white (1/2 cake) layer, then put the blue ring on and put your cut our red and white circles inside of it. I added icing between every layer. This is what it should look like, mine obviously ended with a white layer peeking out of the blue.

After I iced the outside I put my berries on in a star pattern. And when you cut it open...voila!
I didn't tell anyone what was inside the cake and just let it be a surprise. It was really fun cutting it open! White boxed cake mixes tend to be really fluffy and not dense which made it hard to make it a really clean looking cake. I think pound cake would work better with this recipe as it is dense and wont crumble when you cut it. Just something I was thinking about for next time.
Here is the nifty diagram I was talking about earlier. It is REALLY helpful in understanding the whole process. Like I said, the only difference was that I started on a red layer and ended on a white.
Good luck! Let me know if you try it.

One other do end up with an extra 1/2 layer of red, 1/2 layer of white and some of the cutting from the blue layer. You can use those to make cake balls or just toss them. I ended up just tossing them, but they would really be perfect for cake balls.

Happy baking!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July! I hope you have had a fun and relaxing day.

First off, if you follow me on twitter or facebook, you know that I got stung by a wasp a few days ago when I was trying to hang 4th of July decorations. Ugh! Turns out, they like to make nests under the rail on our front porch and I made them really angry. They were flying at me before I even realized I had invaded their home. Anywho, I got a sting on my arm and pouted around about it for the rest of the afternoon. After buying some wasp spray, my dad eradicated the area of all stinging insects and I went back out to finish decorating the porch. I am so happy with the results so I thought I would share. I also wrapped white twinkle lights, but you obviously can't see those. It looks really pretty at night.
This morning we all got up and took a bike ride to Seaside for the annual 4th of July parade. I have been in Watercolor for the past few 4th's but have never made it to the parade, which is completely crazy. It was a great time. We got a spot right on the sidewalk and in the shade. I even ran into Seleta and her dog Pippi, which was an added bonus. You have got to check out her blog. It is full of great interior design goodies and absolutely hysterical insights into her world as a mommy of 4 children and a dog! I often find myself laughing out loud at her posts. Hop on over and check it out.

The men waiting for the parade to start. Mike, Seth and Dad.
The ladies waiting for the parade to start. Mom, yours truly, Brittany and Michelle.
Seriously, how cute is this post office?
I took over 20 pictures of parade floats. Ha! Looking back, I probably went a little overboard on float pictures :) Here are some of my favorites.

There was a fire truck...
There were boats...
There was dancing...
There were floats of all kinds! Including this next one, who easily won the competition in my book. This float had a group of ladies on it all wearing sequined patriotic dresses. There was also one man wearing a flag vest, very nice ;) They stopped the float right in front of the judges and performed a great dance routine to the song bugle boy. It was a hoot! The crowd was going wild. The ladies were dancing and the one man had a baton and was doing a routine of his own in front of them. I took some video and will try to edit it together and post it. They were great!
After the parade we walked over to the Great Southern Cafe and had breakfast.

Britt and me at breakfast.
After breakfast, we rode our bikes home and packed up for the beach! We spent the afternoon on the beach and in the ocean. Also, shout out to Brittany here... she has always been afraid of going out into the ocean, and today she went out with us and had a great time! I was so proud. Yay for overcoming fears!

Seth and Dad took the kayaks out for a little spin. They were so funny out there together. Today was a red flag day so the waves were pretty big at times. I think they only capsized one time each, ha!
After the beach we came home, cleaned up and got ready for dinner. Dad has really gotten good at using his smoker and he smoked us a pork butt for sandwiches. Oh my word, it was YUM! We had pulled pork sandwiches, corn on the cob, cole slaw, baked beans and potato salad. It was the perfect 4th of July meal.

After dinner, we went back up to Seaside for a concert and fireworks. Unfortunately, it started to rain and they had to cancel the concert. Bummer. We ended up going to Bud and Alleys which turned out to be perfect.

Me and Britt in Seaside
Britt and Seth.
Michelle and Mom. Aren't they cute in their matching shirts?! hehe, that was not actually planned, but it was funny ;-)
Mom and me.
This is quite the pair! Dad and Mike.
The family, minus Kristin, Lee and Breck.
Mike, Michelle and Brittany.
Bud and Alleys is a restaurant and bar that sits right on the ocean. It almost worked out better that the concert in Seaside got cancelled, because we ended up getting an amazing table at Bud and Alleys. They were literally firing off the firework show on the beach right in front of us. It was the perfect spot to see them!

Despite the rain, it turned out to be such a fun day!

I'll be back soon with a post on how I made this cake... Have a happy Monday!