1. Turns out that Maracas are a big hit among the eight month old set. I vaguely remember Serenity loving them about this age last year and now they are a big hit with Maggie. Ours come from this Melissa & Doug Band in a Box set. My mom has some cool miniature ones as well. We also have these nifty egg shaped maracas that I think are from the Suzuki Music folks.
2. We have lots of Easter tales to tell, but I'm sure what you really want to see is Lady M's easter dress. She had two and each is pictured here. You can also see a picture of her in her Easter hat on my mom's blog!
4. Today was also M's first day at Ms. Courtney's. The whole thing did not go as I would like. First, I delayed it as I took the day "off" for the funeral yesterday. Then, I tried to shift the start time today, but some crossed wires ensued. I ended up there late, but with all the stuff and a rested baby. I think it went OK from there, but was a much more rushed and stressed first day than I would like. It was also the first time Brent couldn't go with me on a first day, I think.... Hmmm.... I'll let you know how that progresses.
5. Liz at Mom-101 has been posting some very touching and thought provoking comments on the experience of parenthood. I love her writing and thought I'd share the most recent of these excellent pieces with you here.
6. I really want some new exercise pants, but am not sure why the ones online and in my catalogs are $50-$80 or more. Is there a reason for exercise pants to be in that particular range? It seems a little odd for something I'm going to just sweat in, but I'm interested in finding some I like and appreciate any input. So far, I've been looking at Athleta and Title Nine. I think possibly some of my reluctance is that I hope to not be this size for long, but don't like looking worn and frumpy while I am.
7. I tried out the Maple Cake with Maple Syrup Frosting from this month's Bon Appetit for the recent Wii/Crop party. It was fine, but really just that. I sort of wanted it to taste more like maple or be stupendous if it is going to call for an entire bottle of Maple Syrup. The frosting was quite good though and the cake did stay remarkably moist.
8. I did, however, love this buttercream frosting recipe and technique via The Party Dress. I made these rose cupcakes as part of our farewell to Ms. Maureen. They looked so beautiful and yet were quick and easy. All with just a simple 2D icing tip. Such a great find. (I suspect I knew this once upon a time from cake decorating class and had forgotten, but was glad to re-learn it).
9. With all the above baking, I have actually been using my cake dome! My MIL gave me this simple Anchor Hocking Presence Cake Dome Set set several years ago. It works both as a punch bowl and cake stand. I've used it as a punch bowl many times, but not very often for baked goods. I love it. They seem to stay fresh and my counter looks so much cuter with gorgeous goodies inside!
10. After an insane day today, I picked lady M up from Ms. Courtney's and the kids and I spent some time playing in the grass outback. I let them both wander around and crawl all over me. I tended the garden and just laid in the grass for awhile. It is amazing what a restorative that little time with them just relaxing and enjoying a sunny spring day was. Take some time to enjoy Spring around you and I'll be back soon with some Easter stories.
(As usual, some of these are amazon.com affiliate links).