Sunday, February 27, 2011

Imagination Movers!

Liam LOVES the Imagination Movers from Disney Channel. We found out in December that they were coming to L.A. and bought tickets instantly! We went yesterday with our friends Laura and Alivia, and had so much fun! Liam was in awe most of the time. He just couldn't believe that he was seeing them in person. He picked out his souvenirs, wobble goggles and a hat, which he had on the entire time. We got to see all of the movers, plus Nina, Warehouse Mouse and Eddie the Monster. Choo Choo Soul was there too! It was a great show, and as an adult, I had a lot of fun too!

Snow Day

Today we took a trip to Oak Glen to play in the snow! Liam loved it! I even caught him eating the snow! It was really crowded up there, and it was hard to find a parking spot, but we ended up finding a spot in front of a closed store and there was a large area to play in that no one else was playing in. It kept us close to the car and close to a diaper changing area for Brendan. Brendan didn't really know what was going on, so he just fell asleep in his big snow outfit!

Eating the snow!

 I can't put my arms down!
(This reminds us of the Christmas Story movie!)

And this is what the little guy looked like when we got home. He didn't get his nap today and he fell asleep while eating his Happy Meal. What amazed me is that Brendan was screaming the whole way home, and Liam still managed to fall asleep!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Final week in cake class

This past Wednesday was the last day of our cake class. This week we learned how to do flowers. I loved making these flowers. My icing was a little dry, but it gave the flowers a more realistic look! I am really going to miss taking these classes each week and learning something new, but there is always 3 more classes to take! I feel like I learned so much in just those 4 weeks! My next challenge is to make Brittany's birthday cake for her birthday next month!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Oh those 3's...

I love this face. I love this little man. But, today, he is has seriously been testing my patience! I have determined that the 3's are far more terrible than the 2's! At least in the 2's they are not as vocal and do not know how to really hurt your feelings. In the 2's, they are learning what the different words and emotions are. In the 3's they use those words and emotions to their advantage and try to break their parents! Liam has been so back and forth on everything that he makes us feel like there is nothing we can do correctly. We had to hold him down in order to get him dressed this morning because at first he can do it all on his own, then he wants mommy to dress him, then he doesn't want to be dressed at all. One minute he wants to go to daycare, when we get there, he wants to go home. One minute he wants to get the new Wiggles movie at Target; next minute, he is throwing a tantrum in the parking lot, yelling at me to take it back, while people are staring at me, giving me the look like I do not have control over my child. One minute we are at Carl's Jr. getting chicken stars (his request); next minute, yelling at me to send them back, after I've already paid for them, because he doesn't want them. That is just a taste of today. His new trick is to request that we feed him in order for him to finish his meals. A result of seeing is brother being fed by mommy and daddy. There are times that I feel that I am failing as a parent because I feel that I should have more control over my child and he should be respecting and listening to me. But, my many years of child development classes and one-on-one experience with children tell me that I am doing just fine. And I know that I am when my child comes up to me after being disciplined and tells me that he loves me. Just in that moment, when I am being yelled at by my own child and feel that I have no idea what to do in that situation, it feels like everything that I have studied and experienced has flown out the window! In addition to already turning to God for strength and direction, we have started using resources such as The Strong Willed Child, Bringing Up Boys and Tempering Tantrums by James Dobson, not to mention Super Nanny (because those naughty chairs do work most of the time). Don't get me wrong, not all of our days are like today. There are many moments where Liam just makes us smile and he shows how much he loves us and his brother. He really is a good kid, which is probably why the bad days take such a toll on us. I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it just feels like it is so far away!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Whoopie Pies

Here is our first try at a recipe from our new whoopie cookbook! We modified it a little bit and they turned out great! We made chocolate whoopie cakes and filled them with the classic buttercream, plus some black cherries, then rolled them in mini chocolate chips.

Friday, February 18, 2011

2 month check-up

Today was Brendan's 2-month check-up. He has put on the pounds and now weighs 12 lbs 9 oz. and is 22 3/4" long. He's doing great and is very healthy. I cannot believe how much he is growing. This week he really started smiling at us and it is so adorable. He is getting more and more alert every day, and his neck is getting even stronger. Today Brendan had his first set of shots, and the rest of the day was a nightmare. With Liam, he would cry at the doctors office and then that was the end of it. Brendan woke up from his nap screaming and then didn't stop for the rest of the night. It wasn't consistent, but it was a whole lot more than what he normally does. He usually never really cries at all, but this was crazy! He is now sleeping and hopefully will sleep for his normal 6-7 hours before waking up. We are praying for sanity tomorrow if this continues!

Here is a picture from this week:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Week 3 in cake class!

Here it is... our week 3 project!

This one was by far the hardest so far. The people were hard to make, I think mainly because the instructor told us to use a certain tip for the entire person and I think it would have been easier to use a smaller tip on the arms and legs! But I'm just the student :) It was neat to see how this cake came to be though. So many people in the class had great ideas and everyone's cake looked different! I'll let you know how this one tastes since it has a chocolate fudge and strawberry filling!!! Next week we are making flowers!

Testing my own flavors

Since I have been having an urge to explore my baking skills, today I decided to make cupcakes from scratch and add in my own ideas. I made a vanilla lime cupcake with cream cheese frosting! It was really good. I had my friends Leanne and Laura taste test them for me and they really liked them, but we all agreed that the lime flavor wasn't strong enough. Not a big deal, just need to add a little bit more! I was really proud of myself for just trying something new! The cream cheese frosting turned out really good too! I can't wait to try out so many new ideas that have been floating around in my head!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My New Obsession!

Since I've started taking these cake decorating classes, I've realized how much I enjoy baking! I have always loved to cook and bake, and these classes have brought something out in me. I am feeling the urge to just be adventurous and try new things. I bought 2 new books on sale the other day and I am really looking forward to dirtying up the pages trying out all these wonderful recipes!
The cake pops book is by Bakerella and I am so inspired by her. She makes the most adorable and creative things. She has a website,, and she blogs about all of her baking adventures! This may sound cheesy, but I would love to be like Bakerella and start my own baking adventure :) There may be more posts in the future of things that I have made from these books as well as things I have created on my own!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Peyton Leann Brown

Our newest family member arrived yesterday, February 13th! She is 9lbs 6 oz and 21 1/2" long. She has all the boy cousins beat! Deron and I went and visited the new family yesterday and she is so cute, and feels really big! We look forward to seeing her grow and interact with all her cousins! She is definitely the princess of the McCandless family. Congratulations Sarah & Erik!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A great recipe for kids!

I don't know about you, but I have one picky eater on my hands! Liam trys so hard to make sure he doesn't eat ANY vegetables! He will, however, eat most kinds of fruit. So, I went to my Deceptively Delicious cookbook to see if there was a recipe that I could use to incorporate some veggies into his fruit, and there was! It is a fruit dip, and it is a hit in our house! Liam will eat an entire apple with this dip, plus he is getting some carrots at the same time.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Dip (with carrot)

1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1/2 C. cream cheese
6 Tbsp. chocolate syrup
1/4 C. carrot puree
1/2 tsp. salt
fruit slices for dipping

Stir the peanut butter, cream cheese, chocolate syrup, carrot puree and salt together in a bowl until smooth. Serve with fruit!

My New Favorite Thing!

I already love peanut butter and chocolate, as well as snickers. This combo rocks! By far, my new favorite candy bar!

Monday, February 7, 2011

My Adventures in Cake Making

I started taking a cake decorating class last week with two of my friends. I am so excited for this class, and I am really looking forward to learning new things.

After our first class, I realized how much time, and money this class is going to require! There is so much that we have to buy in order to make these cakes, but we were able to find a great deal at Michael's on an Ultimate Cake kit that would be good for this class as well as the other 3 classes that Michael's offers. It was $199, but I had a 40% off coupon plus getting 10% off for being in the class. I ended up paying only $108! This is probably one of the best investments I have made in a long time!

Our first lesson is to make a traditional cake, or a character cake, make the icing and have it partially done when we come to class. This is the first time I have ever made homemade butter cream icing, and it was so easy! There are only 5 ingredients, including water (unless your making chocolate butter cream, in the case, you add cocoa powder).

Since I made a Batman cake already this year on my own, I wanted to try something harder for my class. The instructor wants us to challenge ourselves and do a character cake, so I decided to try a football helmet!

I'm not sure of the colors that I am going to use yet, but since our team, the Packers, just won the Superbowl, I just might use their colors!

I am making a French Vanilla Cake with a Chocolate Pudding filling! Our homework was to crumb ice a cake and bring it back to class on Wednesday, along with all our icing colors that we would need.

Here is my completed crumb iced cake (it fell apart on me where the mask is... but I "glued" it back together)

And, this is the "finished" product. I ran out of yellow while completing this in class, and if I made another batch, the color wouldn't match anyways. But it's cute, and I like it :) More importantly, it tastes delicious!