Monday, February 28, 2011

hands of love #16...

I see other blog posts and pictures of food all the time that totally put my little "hands of love" entries to shame. (You know the type, right? Where the picture is just as stunning as the food itself? I am in awe of how people can make something as simple as POURING OIL into a recipe simply gorgeous. How do these people do that?? Is that even REAL?)

So I hope it's rather obvious I'm not trying to be (nor am I probably capable of being!) that blogger when I put up my "hands of love" entries. I am not even a cook! Over the last year I went from having never used a garlic press or fresh herbs in my LIFE! to cooking nothing but gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, & sugar-free recipes. Thankfully now we're just down to gluten free (for Daddy's sake, not even for Caroline!), and it's crazy how much I found myself beginning to enjoy the process of cooking colorful, nutritious meals.

I've considered stopping the "hands of love" entries before. Nevertheless, some of you have encouraged me to keep them going, whether it's for ideas or just to see what gluten free eating looks like, or just because we all like food, right?

SO, Daddy & Caroline, these were prepared for you with hands of love...

Cheese & bacon quesadillas & a salad. (got the recipe for both out of the magazine "Real Simple" & used corn tortillas instead of wheat to make it gluten free.)

This is a standard meal around here: salmon with balsamic mustard glaze, rice, & broccoli. Best recipe for baked salmon I've found so far. (I've probably already put it on here before, but it's worth repeating.)

Preheat the oven to 350. Sprinkle salmon with salt & pepper. In a cup, whisk 1 tsp of dijon mustard, 2 tbsps olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar & 1/2 tsp of dried dill (or any dried herb of your choice). Brush a thin layer on each salmon and bake for about 20-25 minutes until it's done. Serve immediately with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

An asian steak salad.

My valentine's day meal! A fresh side salad with homemade dressing, a DELICIOUS gluten free lasagna (yummmm), and some REAL garlic bread. (you know, where you actually use real fresh, roasted garlic and butter and such...) Now please note: I didn't make the bread, and this picture is of MY gluten-FILLED bread. :) But I used the same stuff on top of Marc's gluten-free bread and it was just as good.

And for our Valentine's Day dessert...

a chocolate souffle dessert! (got this recipe out of a gluten-free cooking magazine called "Living Without") It was yummy and moist. A gluten-free valentine treat, for sure.

But THIS was truly the best Valentine treat of them all. :)
Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 25, 2011

at 36 months...

Since I just turned 3 and am now officially a "big girl," I figure it's time for another update!

At 36 months:

  • "What's your name? My name is Caroline" is my greeting to just about every stranger I see. And as you can imagine, I'm pretty hard to forget, so even our librarians, grocery store workers, & our gluten-free pizza store owner know who I am by name now! :)
  • I am into MUSIC!!! (is it any wonder why around my house??) :) Right now I'm loving singing to a children's CD that was given to us of scripture songs for kids. But I'll sing or dance to anything! My singing pitch is pretty near perfect & I'm even starting to keep a beat!
  • Speaking of music, Mommy just started giving me music "lessons" today! (thanks to a music learning kit from Pop & Mamie) Today we learned where the high notes and low notes are on the piano and how to curve our fingers and sit up straight when we play. :) I LOVED it.
  • I'm also still obsessed with books and storytelling. Just start telling me a story (about a mouse, especially) and you'll have me captivated.

  • I LOVE to be outside!!! I like to run and chase leaves that blow in the wind, I like to go find sticks, I like to ride my tricycle, I love to blow bubbles, I love to go on walks, I love to help Daddy in the yard, I love to play on a playground, I love just being OUTSIDE.
  • Now that I am back on all foods now, like most kids I'm starting to be more selective about what I eat. And now that I can open the refrigerator or climb up & open cabinets, I'm starting to help get my own snacks. I know that Daddy can't eat my bread or my pizza, or else it will make him sick.
  • And pottytraining? Let's just say that I've got #1 figured out and under control. (even at naps and nights, with an occasional accident) But #2 ain't happenin' yet. On the potty, that is.

  • Mommy says I am 3 going on 20. I get along with all the older kids and grown ups. I talk alot about when I'm a grown up, too. Like this: "Mommy, when I get bigger I can wear eyeliner, too." "Daddy, when I'm grown up I can drink coffee with you! And I can eat bread at church." (talking about taking communion- so sweet!)
  • Now the flip side of me being 3 going on 20 is that I am not so good with the little people in my life right now. When I'm the big kid, I'm learning how to be gentle and share, etc. etc... it'll come.
  • Speaking of make-up, when Mommy puts on her make-up, I like to sit in her lap and watch. (She lets me put on my own chapstick in the mirror, too!) Whenever she starts putting on her foundation, I start singing the 1st verse of the hymn, "How a firm a foundation!!" ha!
  • I'm OBSESSED with clocks and time right now. And I'm getting pretty good at telling the time/reading the numbers. (except when I read the numbers backward-- I try to tell Mommy it's 13:1.) :) It has helped me with my counting & learning to recognize numbers above the 20's.

  • Had my first emergency dr visit yesterday. I was playing in my room alone during "room time." (That's Mommy calls it when I decide not to nap in the afternoons but I have to play quietly in my room until a timer goes off.) Well, I decided to stand on top of my little space heater instead of a stool to reach something high up on my bookcase. Well, you know where that one's headed... so crash! I fell off the heater and my chin hit a shelf on the way down causing a gash. As Mommy was cleaning up all the blood and figuring out what to do next, I kept telling Mommy, "I'm sorry I hurt my chin. I'm sorry, Mommy." (sweet girl...) Long story short-- the doctor was able to put the glue-stuff on the gash and we got outta there with NO stitches, thankfully! (still it was quite scary for Mommy & Daddy)

At 36 months, I love my Mommy & Daddy and all of our family, friends, and RUF students. And I'd say it's pretty safe to say they all love me, too... :)
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

the BIG red wolf...

Hooray! It's my 3rd birthday everybody and I'm at the zoo!

Granted, it's a super small zoo in Roanoke with mostly smaller, endangered animals, but hey-- it was PERFECT for a little kids like me! Plus you can't beat the views from it since it's situated on top of a mountain.

As soon as I spotted some animals, I took off with excitement!

It was so fun to have Nanny & Papa go with us, too.

Now HERE'S an animal I hope I never get this close to in person!

And then... I saw him. The BIG, red wolf. (now, you've gotta understand- in all my favorite stories right now people either catch wolves or get gobbled up by them: Peter & the Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood, Three Little Pigs, etc. So to actually SEE a wolf?? In person?? This was a big, BIG deal. Very serious business, folks.)

And on a not-so-serious note, Daddy & I loved the fun mirrors. :)

So for my 3rd birthday, it was a blast seeing all the animals!

And then it was OFF to go be party animals! :)
Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 18, 2011

the big 0-3...

It was ALL animals for this year's birthday! (remember a certain someone saying she wanted piglets and a giraffe on her cake months ago?) Today was finally THE day!

So collect the stuffed animals from around the house to watch. Put out animal napkins from the dollar store. :) (I'm a real big spender on birthday parties...)

Add in an animal cake that Nanny made.

Decorate the room with free (or dollar store) animal decor. :) (we printed off free coloring pages of animals online, colored them, & then taped them to the glass door.)

Finish with a super-excited birthday girl dressed like a zebra.

And we're ready to go!

Put the number on the door!

Bring in the family from all over the country!

Lights, camera, ACTION! (this child must be THE most photographed in the world, we're convinced...)

At LAST! The moment I've been waiting for! "Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you..."

I knew EXACTLY what came next. (Blow!)


Open presents...

...and more presents!

Have a fun, family dance party...

and finish off the evening watching our birth/adoption video. (Mommy Megan, we are SO thankful for you! Love you!)

Finally, guys! I'm 3!!!!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 17, 2011

the UN-birthday...

I'm SO lucky my best friend in the whole world, Leah, lives just 5 doors down the street from me.

Leah turned 3 yesterday! (the 16th)
I turn 3 tomorrow! (the 18th)
So what does that make today, the day in between??
Our UN-birthday, of course!

Here we are celebrating our UN-birthday last year...

...and here we are THIS year!

We are TRULY "rock" stars. :)

This year we thought we'd celebrate by getting some pizza!

Hmmm... let's see. What shall we eat, Leah? I think I'll have some pizza.

Leah & I were sung to in italian!

And then came the BEST part... dessert! Oh, you just don't know how good gluten, dairy, and sugar taste to me now... :) ha!

I've got a Daddy that loves me.

And a mommy that adores me.

2 was great and all, but I'm ready to get to 3!!!!
Posted by Picasa