Portraits of my daughter

I have taken more photographs then I can count of this girl, and at times choosing just one per week has been difficult, so as promised, here are some of the photographs I have loved but left out of the 52 project:20130825-142207.jpgShe still looks so small sometimes when she sleeps.20130825-142738.jpgShe is starting to get into Elmo videos on our phones. She doesn’t get to watch tv so she must be one cranky girl if we’ve handed her an Elmo video.20130825-142755.jpgI love the light in this one.20130825-142809.jpgWe bought this pool as an early birthday present last weekend. The Wonder Woman airplane raft we’ve had for a while.20130825-142830.jpgShe was climbing me here. It’s one of her favorite activities. Also, those eyes!20130825-143123.jpgWe went to an outdoor concert at a brewery on Friday night with my parents and she loved it. She sat on the table eating pork and crackers and dancing.20130825-143139.jpgShe didn’t feel like sleeping after her bath on Saturday, so while the sun set she played with her books and toys until she was tired. There’s something so fascinating to me about watching her entertain herself.

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20130825-001027.jpg“A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013”

Every week there’s something new. A million somethings. This week it’s dancing. My baby has started to dance, and it is the cutest, most hilarious thing I have ever seen. There’s something so amazing about it. That uninhibited natural movement to rhythm. The first few times she did it I almost cried. She is becoming so much more a little girl and less a baby by the minute. She’s broke two more teeth this week, for a grand total of seven. Although who knows there could be more in there, as it’s getting harder and harder to look or feel in her mouth. It’s getting more difficult to get her to do anything she’s not interested in doing these days. Diaper changes often turn into a game of tame the wild alligator and she’s perfected her newest screech of dismay. I fear this kid will become quite good at throwing temper tantrums all too soon.

Speaking of tantrums… No she was not having one in this photo. She cried for a second while I took the camera strap away and then happily went back to playing. And I swear I wasn’t torturing her for photos. I have a harder time choosing photos lately, as I find I have too many I love. Maybe I’ll post a few later this week.

Last week I loved this photo. The crib next to the bed, the pose, sleeping in just a diaper, it so reminded me of my girl.

Wildberry Sorbet

20130822-231831.jpgThere should be another photo here. One of the blackberries, before they became sorbet. Yes, yes there should. But alas, there is no other photo. There is no other photo, because after making the sorbet, the berries I hoarded for their solo photo were devoured by my dog. Along with a pint of blueberries, a slice of cake and some cottage cheese. Apparently I left the fridge open. Oops. What these dogs lack in attention since the arrival of our daugther, they more then make up for in food. They are both getting fat. And now that she has figured out how to intentionally throw them snacks from her high chair, I fear they will just get fatter. Hopefully it makes up for the handfuls of fur she occasionally yanks out of them. Were still working on the concept of gentle with her.

Back to sorbet. Have you ever had a dessert that was just so pure and simple and perfect that you could not get enough? That’s what this sorbet is. Three ingredients. Berries, water, sugar. And it’s pure bliss in your mouth. The second I tasted it I wished I had bought 10 more pints of berries at the farmers market. Berries only labeled “wildberries” since that is exactly what they were. Some unknown variety of blackberry that I’ve never seen in stores, not the typical larger berry, yet not a black cap. But so perfet and sweet. There is just no way to replicate this sorbet with a store bought brand. It is worth going to pick wild berries to make this dessert. But if you can’t, just buy some blackberries and make it anyway. I promise you it’s worth it.20130822-231840.jpgWildberry Sorbet

A note on this recipe: This is one of the easiest desserts you will make. But not everyone has an ice cream maker(go get one they’re fantastic!). If you don’t have an ice cream maker simply turn it into a granita. Pour the strained puree into a glass baking dish and freeze, removing every 2 hours and scraping with a fork until it is light and fluffy.

Ingredients

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 pints fresh blackberries

Directions

1. In a medium saucepan heat sugar and water over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool. Transfer to a blender and add blackberries. Puree until smooth. Pour through a fine mesh sieve and transfer to an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturers instructions.

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20130818-215520.jpg“A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013”

For the first time since becoming a mother I’m really started to notice the exhaustion creep in. I’m certain it was there in the beginning but amidst all of the chaos I never felt it. Yes, I felt weak physically. Especially that night when she transferred hospitals and we followed the nicu ambulance to the children’s hospital. Trying to keep up as they pushed my 4 day old child down hallway after hallway felt like running a marathon. But now I just need a good nap. Or 5. I didn’t sleep well throughout my entire pregnancy so were coming up on a year and a half since I had a solid 8 hours. I don’t even remember what it feels like. I’ve tried caffeine in the mornings and I just get jittery and feel sick. No what I need is a good nap. And I told my husband today that next weekend I will be taking one.

This weeks photo is brought to you by beautiful summer weather. It’s been a little warmer then my perfect weather, but not too hot to play outside. And this kid loves to be outside. I wish our yard was more kid friendly and less dog friendly. Ok it’s not the dog friendly I have a problem with, it’s the dog poop and pee. Although I am looking forward to fall, we are soaking up the last bits of summer swimming, roasting marshmallows and grilling out. It’s been really lovely and I’m planning on continuing until the weather no longer permits.

You can find my favorite photo this week here. A beautiful girl, gorgeous light and vacation. Oh vacation how I miss you.

Mini Berry Cheesecakes

20130813-231658.jpgI’ve been noticing my childs little brain growing these days. As in literally, before my eyes. Where as she once simply inspected toys, she now figures them out. Putting her tiny little ducks inside of a cup, watching her face in the moment of realization where she understands that the pieces of her blocks go back on the posts of her train. She is learning. Quicker and quicker each day. She understands when I tell her to do something. And then she does it. It’s insane, and quite possibly one of the coolest parts of parenting so far.

When I made these little cheesecakes she happily played at my feet. She entertained herself for a good 20 minutes. Something I previously would have never thought possible. But she’s becoming so independant, fiercely so. Trying to kiss her cheeks results in a hand pushing your face away almost every time.20130813-231642.jpgBack to cheesecake. The only baking you do is for the crusts, the rest gets beaten in a mixer and sets in the fridge. And these are painfully good. Intensely so. I need to realize anytime I make these I should probably make double as I eat 5 in a matter of 2 minutes. They’re addictive. And so easy. Did I mention they’re adorable? Perfect party food.

Mini Berry Cheesecakes

Makes 48 mini cheesecakes

Ingredients

For the crust:

1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
3 tablespoons sugar
7 tablespoons melted butter

For the filling:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping:

1 pint fresh blueberries, blackberries or raspberries
3 tablespoons sugar

Directions

1. Make crusts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix crushed graham crackers, sugar and butter until well combined. Press into lined muffin cups and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool completely.

2. Make topping: Heat berries and sugar over medium heat until berries have just started to break down. Remove from heat and cool completely.

3. Make filling: In a mixer beat cream cheese, mascarpone, confectioners sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Transfer to a pipping bag with a large tip. Pipe into crusts, filling 3/4 full. Spoon bluberry topping over filling. Refridgerate at least 2 hours and up to 1 day prior to serving.

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20130810-231437.jpg“A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013”

I didn’t photograph much this week. Or cook. Or bake(well actually I made some mini cheesecakes that I will have coming your way shortly). I was tired before the week even began. I knew all along I had to work an extra shift this week and I think I psyched myself up to be tired. I can’t imagine what would happen if I actually went back to work full time. But this baby is only little once and I don’t plan on going back to work more until she hits preschool or elementary school. Hopefully by then I have some sort of career plan, since I’ve pretty much decided to throw everything up until this point out the window. I have a lot of dreams, and a lot of ideas, but somehow they all have a missing piece which I just can’t seem to figure out how to put together. Frankly at this point in my life, a career is simply not that important to me. This girl and my family, is.

I love this long flowy dress on her. It’s funny, when she was born I dressed her in so many boyish outfits, because I simply just did not see her as delicate and feminine. I still love boyish clothes on her, but now I also love putting her in dresses and even(gasp) pink. Not that she is all that much more delicate or feminine now, but there’s something about this dress on her that I just love. And that hat. She does not care for that hat however. And that little pensive look. I love this face. It’s just so much who she is.

Last week this was my favorite photo. I tried all week to get a good shot of us nursing for breast feeding awareness week, but a crappy iPhone “selfie” was just not going to cut it for me. This photo on the other hand, is quite beautiful.

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20130804-105622.jpg“A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013”

This week we moved her crib into our room. We’ve been cosleeping since she was 3 months old, and she has simply become too mobile. Even though we had the bed on the floor there were numerous times where I found myself sprinting to the bedroom to nab her before she crawled her way off of the bed. It’s went surprisingly well, and in other ways has been exactly what I expected. She is fairly easy to transfer to the crib upon falling asleep, however she does not sleep soundly unless she’s next to us(as in pressed up against one of us).

She has discovered how fun her crib can be, and is pulling herself up easily and screeching at the top of her lungs. We have the mattress set on the highest setting so it’s level with our bed, which makes it very easy for her. Quite soon I’m certain we will have to lower it as she will be climbing her way over the edge. I would go on cosleeping forever if only I could convince this child not to attempt to crawl off of the bed.

My favorite photos this week can be found here. I especially love the light in the black and white.