Saturday, March 30, 2013

Good Friday

It's that time again...

Egg dyeing time!

Their finished eggs...

After good egg dyeing behavior we enjoyed the perfect weather for some playtime! Check out Scarlett's "mad smile"...
Emma kept trying to kick my camera...

Scarlett playing fetch from a safe distance...
It was absolutely a Good Friday!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bunny Butt Cake

Last year for Easter I made this Bunny Butt Cake and several friends have been asking about it for this year. I can't seem to find a blog post about it in my archive so I'll walk you through it now!

Believe it or not ... I totally winged this cake. I had no instruction when I was making it. I had merely seen pictures of it from other people.

You will need:
  • 1 box of cake mix (any flavor)
  • Prepared batch of Buttercream Icing (or any favorite icing)
  • 4 XL packages of Kit Kats
  • Easter M&Ms
  • Prepared fondant (either store bought Wilton or homemade marshmallow fondant)
  • Coconut shavings (optional but I think its so cute this way)
  • Pink & Green Food Coloring
Bunny Butt Cake:

Mix the cake mix according to package and bake two 9" round cakes. Once cakes are cooled and removed from pan, place one cake on the serving tray. Add a thick layer of icing to cover the top surface of the cake and then place the 2nd 9" round cake on top of the previously iced 9" round cake. Then frost the entire cake (top & sides). It doesn't have to be smooth and pretty because it gets covered with candy. 

Next, break your Kit Kats into sections of two and just simply stick to the sides of the freshly iced cake (the icing needs to still be wet). 

For the fondant bunny butt:

The actual butt is just a half circle of fondant. So try and make a ball to desired size and cut in half. I just shaped the feet by hand to be oblong with a slight narrowing at the toes. For the tail, make a smaller ball of fondant and cut in half to make a 1/2 ball again. I used a butter knife I believe to kinda just "stab" the tail in all different directions to make a fluffy texture. There is no reason to be perfect here. 

Grab a small amount (ping pong size or less) of fondant and add a few drops of pink food coloring to dye it pink. Hand shape the foot pads and apply to the feet with a dab of water. 

For the green grass:
I placed coconut shavings in a ziplock bag and added free food coloring and just shook it until it was dyed green. Spread around the base of the cake...easy!

All you have left to do is assemble the bunny on top of the cake. Simply place the butt piece down onto of the wet icing first. Then add the remaining pieces. If the fondant is sticky enough, just stick the tail & feet on. Otherwise, use a dab of water to get the pieces to stick to each other. 

Then pour M&Ms around the bunny butt until the cake is covered!

I tied a ribbon around the Kit Kats since I was traveling with it so that they wouldn't fall off. You are done!

*Note: the Kit Kats will go stale within a day or two so try not to prep too far in advance. The fondant bunny butt can be made a week before. It will stay soft if kept in an airtight container or it will get very firm and hard if left out unsealed.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

How's Bailey?

Yesterday Bailey had surgery to removed the Mast Cell Tumors that were growing (& bleeding) on her side.  I was kinda shocked by how large the incision was but they had to remove the surrounding tissue too in an attempt to get all the cancer.

The girls were so sweet to her and loved on her. Reese picked a flower just for Bailey!

We decided to not send the tumors for pathology grading. We can't do anything for her if its inside her already. If the cancer was just localized to her skin, then hopefully the surgery buys us a lot of time. No matter what, the tumors needed to be removed...they were growing larger and bleeding.

She doesn't seem to be in pain. She never whines or tries to mess with the incision. We did put an old Tshirt over her so that Harley would leave the incisions alone.

Scarlett's 15 Month Stats

Guess who is 15 months!
I am!

Scarlett loves playing Peek-A-Boo...

You can't even tell she just got 2 shots! She got a hold of Reese's Doc McStuffins ... guess she made her boo boos feel better ;)

15 Month Stats
Weight: 22lb. 9oz (48%)
Height: 31in (69%) ... this one was inaccurate though...she was very squirmy. We measure her at 32"(90%) which is more on track with her 12 month stats
Head: 18.7in (89%)

New words are: "good girl", "ouch", "shoes", "up" & "tickle tickle"

We are bottle free as of last month but unfortunately picked up a bedtime paci habit instead. The paci never leaves her bed. We will break this in a few months but felt like getting her off the bottle was more important.

Scarlett is literally the HAPPIEST little girl! Can't you tell from these pictures? She is always smiling, playing, & laughing! She has no problem keeping up with her sisters.

You are our little angel, Scarlett! We love you more than words!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bunny Bark with Freebie Labels

Oh my word.
I am so excited over the girls' Easter treats for their friends at daycare this year!

I love when you taste something for the first time and your heart just sinks a little because it's that delicious!

Seriously. My husband didn't want me to make the last 10 teacher bags so that he could have some of this for himself! Unfortunately, he lost that debate ... or did he? I'm pretty sure I got suckered into making him a whole batch for himself on another day.

Recently, I saw on Pinterest a neat idea for Easter Marshmallow Bark but was shocked when I couldn't find the Rainbow Miniature Marshmallows in store. 

Instead all I could find were these super cute Rainbow Bunny Mallows. 

Hence, the birth of Bunny Bark

Adaptations to the original {linked} recipe
The 1st batch I made I skipped the Crisco and used the whole bag of mallows (vs. the 3 cups it called for) per 12oz bag of white chocolate chips and I quickly realized it needed some adaptions. I really wanted to use the whole bag of marshmallows vs having a small amount left over. I'd rather have left over chocolate than left over mallows.

The 2nd and 3rd batches I did use a few dollops of Crisco to help make the consistency of the chocolate more spreadable. I also added 1/2 bag of Wilton Candy Melt (because that's what I had) to each 12oz bag of white chips to accommodate for the full bag of mallows.

Bunny Bark

  • 1.5 bags white chocolate chips (about 18oz)
  • 8 oz bag of Bunny Mallows
  • 1-2 TBSP shortening (optional, but it really helps with the consistency of the melted chocolate)
  • Easter sprinkles

Put the white chocolate chips and shortening in a medium microwave safe bowl. 

Melt chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute on 50% power. Stir for about 15 seconds, then return to the microwave for an additional 15 seconds on 50% power. Stirring actually helps the chocolate melt down the rest of the way. If you overheat the chocolate, you can't fix the consistency. You must work fast at this point. 

Pour the Bunny Mallows into the chocolate melt and stir quickly to coat the mallows. Pour into a parchment paper lined 1/2 cookie sheet and put in freezer for 10-20 minutes to set the chocolate before it melts the mallows. 

The easiest way to make single portions was to just break the bark after it has set in the freezer for 10-20 minutes. Plus I wanted to get the most out of my batches instead of cutting out shapes and having wasted bark pieces.

Those who know me know I like to make personalized labels/tags to attach to each crafty item/gift I make. I whipped up a batch of Bunny Bark labels from each of my girls.

I simply added a serving of Bunny Bark to a bag, hole punched the label and bag and attached the label with a ribbon...easy peasy!

Get a set of free Bunny Bark labels here and add in your own child's name (or yours if you wish)! The labels can be cut out with a 2" circle puncher. *These labels are for personal use only and not to be sold*

Note: I was able to make 47 individual bags from 3 batches of this recipe and that is with 10 of those getting a larger portion since they are for the teachers.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter Bunny 2013

All smiles this year!!!

After we left the Easter Bunny we looked around the Disney store and then passed by Build-A-Bear. Reese was suddenly not starving for lunch anymore and wanted to go into Build-A-Bear ("please, Mommy")! Cody and I told her "no, maybe we can go in there next time". 

Commence the pouty, silent treatment.  She didn't throw a fit, cry, or make a scene. She just would not talk to us for the rest of the walk to the car.

On the way to lunch Reese was concerned that she had forgotten to tell the Easter Bunny that she was a good girl. Thus, the following conversation occurred:

Reese: "Mommy, did you tell the Easter Bunny I was good?"
Me: "Yes, I did! But you 'almost' threw a fit about not going to Build-A-Bear."
Reese: "Well don't tell her that!"

Cody & I couldn't stop laughing!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Another Door

I followed up on the interview I did 3 weeks ago that seemed so promising right away... I did not get the job. They decided not to add anyone so they can expand in another city and regroup their staff.

And another door closes.

I got the best perspective from a friend today: 
I pray that if the path I am supposed to be on isn't clear that God would shut other doors so it would be more obvious as to what I was supposed to do.

Another close friend posted this as I worry about the future: 
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:33-34

When I spoke about my worries about successfully teaching my girls & why didn't I just fail grad school from the beginning if it wasn't the right path, a dear friend told me because I'm not the type to fail and I won't fail in teaching my girls.

I am so grateful for my friends and family who are supporting me through this crossroad in my life! 

Sunday, March 24, 2013


I am truly blessed with great friends and family! 

I was so thankful for each and every comment, text, phone call, email and private Facebook message I received in response to my last post. It makes me smile to know that I have people in my life that truly care and support me.

Cody has been amazing and even though this situation is affecting both of us - it is ultimately me that will choose what these next years will involve. The decision still isn't clear and I will be making a sacrifice no matter what we decide. 

I applied for a job last week with still no call. I will be contacting the one I've been waiting on for 3 weeks on Monday ... but I doubt I'll have an answer. 

I am starting to become at peace with the idea of staying home with the girls. It helps to know that they are actually choosing to stay home versus go to school. A part of me was so torn over the thought of taking them away from their friends. But now I realize that these few years they have been in daycare have blessed us with some amazing friendships and that won't end even if daycare does. 

It still bothers me what the future will hold in 6 years when the job search would begin all over again. Why would anyone want to hire someone with no experience plus a 6 year break? one wants to hire me at least I would have this precious time with the girls and trust that God will provide for me when the time comes. 

I'm trying to remain patient. I'm trying to keep me head clear. I'm trying not to rush a decision based on emotion. 

The ultimate goal I want to accomplish in life is to be the best mom I can be for our children. That in itself may be my answer. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Searching for Answers

Today I need to vent. 

I'm having a bad week...make that a bad year. The reality is I have a lot going on at once that is dragging me down emotionally. 

Who knew job hunting could be so stressful?! The fact of the matter is - I chose to be specialized in Women's Health because that is my passion. Unfortunately, this field is not thriving with job openings right now. And it isn't just my city...its my long distance classmates struggling too. Several classmates have decided they are willing to relocate for a job offer. I however, am not. 

So here we are. 
I graduated with my MSN in August and I passed my boards in September and have been looking for a job ever since. I've gone on interviews...loved some...hated some. I've applied to jobs I have no interest in just to "try" to get hired as a new graduate NP. You would think places would consider your years of RN experience - but frankly they don't. All they want is experience in your current certification but no one wants to be the opportunity for you to start gaining that experience. 

"Be patient", "It will all work out", "Everything is going to be ok", "Don't give up", "The right job will come"...

Well, I have been patient - for 7 months! I've been waiting on my last interview to make a decision for 3 weeks now (apparently they aren't sure if they want me or an MD). The right job did come - but what good is it if you never get the offer? 

Reality is it is expensive to have 3 kids in a reputable daycare. We never assumed I'd be staying at home. We never assumed I'd get through grad school and not be able to work with my qualifications. I have prayed and prayed for answers...for the right job to come along...for my chance of getting my foot in the door. 


Just tears, anxiety, pressure, doubt, feelings of being worthless, not being able to provide for your family. 

So now we are the crossroads of deciding what to do. Do I give it more time? If so, how much longer? Do we pull the girls out of daycare and let me be a stay at home mother until they all reach elementary school? We are very very close to the latter. 

Of course I'd love to stay at home and not work. Who wouldn't?! But then what was the point of all that education and schooling if it isn't used. If unanswered prayers are God's way of saying "wrong direction - stay home", then why go through all those tests, papers, presentations, and certifications? Why did I leave my babies at such a young age to do clinicals if it doesn't even matter?

I have been doing a lot of analyzing over the thoughts of becoming a stay at home mom (for at least the next 6 years). I'd love to have all the time in the world with my girls! I'm their mother - why pay someone else to raise them 5 days a week? They would definitely be sick much less without daycare! We would be able to go on more family outings, vacations, and enjoy their childhood. Family is the absolutely most important thing to me.

But I have doubts about pulling them out of school. Can I teach them enough of what they need to learn before Kindergarden (including Bible teachings & Spanish)? Won't they miss their friends? What about Reese's ballet class? What about Cody and the stress it puts on him to be the sole provider (although he has been for several years now it wasn't supposed to be permanent). Who will want to hire me in 6 years with no more experience than I have now + the added fact I'll probably forget everything by then. Am I giving up?

I wish I knew the magic answer. Cody wishes he knew the magic answer. Have faith & pray - I am. I have been. That isn't solving the problem. 

If you're still reading this, I could use some words of wisdom because I don't know what to do.

Clubhouse Password

Bailey decided to run up the ramp become the gatekeeper of the clubhouse...

The girls would tell Bailey different passwords ("pretty please", "cherry on top", "dog treat") so they could be allowed into the clubhouse. It was too funny to watch!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

When It Rains, It Pours

I worried about how Bailey would handle Harley's inevitable passing. They are best friends, like brother and sister. They don't want to be separated and she refused to eat the night Harley spent at the ER. 

Yesterday, Cody took Bailey to the vet for vaccines and to have 2 spots tested that have been growing on her left side. Both dogs have these growths and we have been told in the past, "don't worry - these kind are benign." When one of Bailey's growths started bleeding and we noticed Harley cleaning it for her we decided to have it looked at again.

I have begun to notice that Bailey isn't eating much from her bowl at night - and she is my eater!

The vet looked at the spots and again said, oh don't worry about these! She aspirated the two growths and looked under a microscope. When she came back into the room she was at a loss for words...She said 

"It isn't good. She has Mast Cell Tumors".

aka: Bailey has cancer

Bailey: Age 7.5
(she will be 8 this fall)

Both spots were the same type of cancer, which means it had metastasized. Metastasis is never good. She will have surgery next week to remove the two cancerous lesions that we can see. I'm sure they will analyze the lesions and grade the cancer for us so we can understand her prognosis a bit better. 

50% will grow back in the same spot. If she remains tumor free for 6mo after the surgery her chances are good. 

The vet thinks she isn't eating due to the high amount of histamine that these tumors release and if she bumps it, it can be very dangerous to her - releasing massive amounts of histamine (like a severe allergic reaction). So we are giving her Benadryl twice a day until her surgery. 

Our hearts hurt right now. It is highly likely we will be loosing both dogs this year. Part of me wants them to be able to go together so that they are together in Heaven and so that Bailey isn't lonely here on Earth without Harley. 

An even bigger part of me wants many more years with her! She's still young and full of energy. God help us - it would be so incredibly hard to lose both dogs!

I have been trying to prepare the girls the best way I can. I tell them they need to love on the dogs because they are getting old and they may die and then go to Heaven. My heart breaks that my girls will have to learn about death at such a young age. 

I'll be a lot of pictures of the girls with our dogs.

We know you don't feel well Bailey - stay strong for us!
We love you Bailey!!!