who dominic is at 3 years


I'm reaching a certain point here in this parenting game where I am sensing the independence that is coming my way. Just a little taste of what's to come. I've never experienced what it's like to have kids these ages obviously and what's more is having no baby to take away my time and also my freedom. I can leave the house without a diaper bag if I just bring a spare in case... I don't require a way to lock the kids down at the store they typically walk right next to me. Heck, Letty can even buckle Dom in his car seat. It's interesting, this taste of independence.... It is lessening the sting of the lost babyhood just a tiny tiny (tiny) bit.

All that to say that today, my youngest, is now three. And that is enough for me.
When his siblings left for school he really altered who he was. Or who we thought he was. He turned out to be a quiet kid, which we never knew about him when he was always screaming to be heard over the din of his brother and sister. He prefers to be silent and to play by himself. He doesn't require much from me other than like hey I'm hungry mom can I have a snack. He's content to have uninterrupted toy time. When he does speak it is soft and sweet and pretty much adorable. Sentences come out of him and leave us sort of like wait did Dom just say that?? Because well when one doesn't speak and then one does it sort of throws people.
He is in his big boy bed now, a full. He chose Star Wars everything of course, because he loves Star Wars. He goes to bed at 7 with his siblings and is typically the first one up in the house, usually around 6:30. He doesn't get up at night and we hear nothing from him till he calls in the morning for his daddy. Not me. I'm not allowed. He doesn't leave his bed which is huge. And no more naps. Also huge. Also sad.
He eats much better than his brother but still not as good as he should. He loves pasta and meatballs! Applesauce is always his go to when he wants another snack but he just had a snack... he knows I'll never say no to applesauce.
If you ask him his name he says no. If you ask him his age he says no. So he's a real gas. He loves to be read to but doesn't like to be "taught." So we are just reading and pointing life out as we go along. He knows colors and shapes and of course constantly surprises us but if you sat down to do an alphabet puzzle say and questioned him his answer would just be no.
His favorite thing is to smack you. He walks by: smack. He cuddles on the couch with you: smack. It's annoying and painful and well, needs to stop. He also loves to knead our stomachs. Like a cat on a pillow. He constantly throws himself into our stomachs. It is a very odd thing indeed. See also belly button love.
Potty? NO. Try sitting on the potty? No. I can't even get him to bend to sit on it. So that's on the back burner. We'll get there. Eventually. Anyways my Dominic, the happiest of third birthdays to you! May this year bring some breakthroughs in a few areas and a pause button or ten in others. We love you just so very much! You lovely child you!


farro summer salad


I don't even know what the technical title of this should be other than: Laurie's Most Favorite Thing Ever. I lost my taste buds for a week and all I wanted was this salad. I don't know what it is but I just love it. If it is in my fridge I cannot help myself from swiping a spoonful every time I pass on by. It's an issue. If you opened my fridge right now you would see an absolutely enormous tupperware full of this goodness. I probably have like three helpings a day.  I'm seeing a Buddhist about it. 

Anyways so I love it just so much I thought I'd share the love with you all as well!
1/4 cup basil
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 cucumber
2 large shallots
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups of Farro
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
One package of Mozzerella pearls or a big ball of it
Salt and pepper
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute for about five minutes. Add the Farro, stirring to coat each grain. Then pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover, cooking the Farro until it is soft but still chewy, about 20 minutes. Cool the Farro to room temperature (Matt normally spreads it out over a baking sheet to hurry the process). Then add the red wine vinegar and a little olive oil, stirring to combine. Next add the tomatoes, mozzarella. cucumbers and basil. Salt and pepper to taste. You can serve this room temperature or chilled, depending on your fancy.

And then eat it all.


peppermint candy ornaments, a diy


Every year I try and have an ornament that the kids make for their Nonna as her Christmas gift from them. I am not sure how anyone knew about such things before Pinterest though right? I mean there's only so many ideas but then Pinterest is like bam! Ideas times a million. There's also the difficult task of finding ornaments that go with my mother's decor. The basement tree is mostly blues and silvers and her main event living room tree is mainly white and red. She can afford to be picky I guess. Anyways so peppermint candy ornaments seemed just the ticket!
You need:

Metal cookie cutters
Wax paper
Peppermint candies (I kept the green and white for myself)

Preheat the over to 325. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and spray cooking spray on it, then place the cutters on the wax, having also sprayed them. This is a sticky business for sure. I would recommend trying one before doing an entire batch just to figure out the length of baking time or which cookie cutters even work because some did not, like that star there. It broke twice. I ended up baking for 4.5 minutes. That was the sweet spot. 
Remove from the oven then and cool. Obviously you touch those cookie cutters and ouch. I had read to try using a toothpick to make a hole for ribbon but I found that that really didn't work out too well because the hole kept closing.
I also found the wax paper stuck to the back of the ornament. Oh well. See also the candy would seep out under the cookie cutter. This wasn't a big deal though it just broke off pretty easily in my hands.

Then I used my hot glue gun to glue twine to the back and done!
Now we just need to figure out how to make them last for future Christmases...Sealer? Any ideas?

Also, Letty's Girl Scouts Troop did this the other night and they broke some candies down to "fill in" around the solid candies and that just worked so much better. The candy didn't even need to melt very much and so they were thicker and less fragile. Anyways something to keep in mind.


our snowy weekend


At first the forecast said that we may see our first snow flurry or two over the weekend... And then it said perhaps a coating to one inch... And then as our Saturday progressed and the snow band didn't move for quite some time it became well you may get six inches (!). Where we live ended up coming in just shy of that mark. When the day first started it was like oh just put on your boots and coats and gloves and play on the deck.... But as the snow fell heavier it became clear the big guns were necessary. The donning on the layers and the snow bibs and the hats and the please lord someone bring down a few beach towels because my floors are getting soaked! We ended up crashing some neighbor's sledding fun down the street and that of course turned into dinner and drinks and a huge long play date. Which really just feels like a snow day right?
Our Sunday found us at my parent's house for brunch followed by lots more sledding and of course the building of our very own snowman! Yes that is a stick for hair because he is Olaf. The kids were so full of giggles and so very rosy-cheeked by the end of it all! There is nothing like that post snow play tiredness that settles over them all once it's said and done.
We just really soaked up every snowy second while we could because as early snows do, they don't last...


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