Monday, September 29, 2008

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

One of my co-workers passed along this recipe and claims that it is the most dangerous cake recipe in the world. Why? Because you are only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night.

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

1 Coffee Mug
4 tbsp flour
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp baking cocoa
1 egg
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp chocolate chips
1 small splash of vanilla
(nuts optional)

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips and vanilla. Mix again. Place the mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed. Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired and eat.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Nursery

I have officially survived putting Amaya in the nursery while at church and during my morning Bible study. Yes, I realize that she's 8 months old and should have been in the nursery a long time ago. Our church has a "cry room" that is completely sound proof that we can sit in as a family and still participate in worship. Lately though, as she's becoming more mobile and vocal, listening to the sermon with her jabbering away has become increasingly more difficult. So, last Sunday, Steve and I gathered up the courage (along with some Kleenex) and dropped her off at the nursery. Fortunately, our friends Kevin and Andi were volunteering in the nursery, so I felt a little more comfortable putting her in there. Today was the first day of Bible study, and once again, I brought her back to the nursery. This time was a lot more scary for me because she was going to be there for a little over 2 hours. She was going to potentially miss her morning nap (not a good thing, but unavoidable). I got paged twice - once because I think she was teething and they couldn't calm her down and the other time because she was trying to go #2 and was straining quite a bit. There are times when I wish she liked her pacifier - at least that way someone else could comfort her other than me or Steve. On the other hand, I'm glad that we won't have to deal with the attachment issues to the pacifier. Anyway, it actually went better than I had anticipated.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Name Change?

I was just getting used to the name Amaya, but now my mommy and daddy are calling me "Amaya NO!" I can't quite figure it out. I just started crawling and pulling myself up on the furniture and everyone was pretty excited about it. "Good job Amaya!" "You can do it!" "Come and get me!" "Way to go!" " Do it again!" But, last night when I was trying to crawl in the tub and pull myself to stand up, Mommy kept saying over and over, "Amaya NO!" See why I'm confused? Then this morning, when Mommy was making the bed, I grabbed on the comforter and tried pulling myself up. Again with the "Amaya NO!" I don't understand why she doesn't want me to practice my new skills. I've been discovering all sorts of new things. I don't like the taste of green leaves (Mommy had to move the plant away.) I've learned that Mommy needs to vacuum more. I've discovered that it hurts when you close the bathroom cupboards on your fingers. So from now on despite all these new discoveries and talents, I guess I'll have to get used to the name "Amaya NO." You'd think that I would get some say in the matter about changing my name. Oh well... Gotta run - I've got some cords that I want to chew on!

-- Amaya NO

Monday, September 22, 2008

Amaya's New Skill - CRAWLING!

Amaya's been trying new and exciting things like CRAWLING. We suspected that she might learn while on vacation and sure enough, she did. She's still in the beginning stages and doesn't move very fast, but eventually she gets where she wants to go. She's also learned how to sit up by herself when she's laying on her stomach or on her back. This has made life even more interesting!

More Pictures from Moose Lake Resort

The scenery around the resort was absolutely breathtaking...

Vacation Continued...

Since the weather wasn't the greatest and it was difficult entertaining Amaya in the lake home, we took some day trips to the surrounding towns. We spent one day in Walker, MN doing laundry and while we were there, Walker was having their 16th Annual Ethnic Fest. We were able to see a parade and visit quite a few tourist shops. Another day we drove to Nisswa, MN and did a little shopping. We spent two days in Bemidji - to see Paul Bunyan, shop, and hike around the State Park. We enjoyed hiking around the State Park so much we had to go back another day. At the entrance to the park, one of the staff members said that there had been a black bear sighting. We didn't see any bears, but we did run into a raccoon!

On our second day at the State Park, we took a trail to do a "bog walk." Part of the trail is on a boardwalk - to prevent destruction to the natural habitat - which led down to the bog. Amaya did so well in the Baby Bjorn (thank you Wiggins!) that when we returned, we headed back down to the lake where Amaya did some wading. She liked her feet in the sand, but I think the water was a little too chilly.

Where Have We Been?!?

VACATION! For the last two weeks, Steve, Amaya, and I vacationed with Steve's parents to Blackduck, MN and stayed at Moose Lake Resort. We shared a fully furnished lake home - two bedrooms, two baths, dining room, living room, kitchen, mudroom, sitting area, and deck. The following pictures are the back side of the house facing the lake, the private dock, and view.

We went on the boat a few times, but because of the weather, some boat issues, and Amaya's inability to sit in someone's lap with a life-vest on for more than a half hour, we weren't able to fish as much as we would have liked. Regardless, the times we were on the boat were memorable and Amaya certainly enjoyed watching the water.

On the nights when the weather cooperated, Steve made us a campfire - actually it was more like a bonfire. Lowell and Ruth Ann could see the fire from the lodge (about a 10-15 minute walk away).

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sitting, Standing, Dancing Next?

Amaya has been sitting up unassisted for awhile now, but has recently mastered the art of pulling herself up to a standing position.

A couple nights ago, while she was in her crib, Jan and I were in the basement watching a movie (with the baby monitor on) and Amaya started crying a different cry that I had never heard before. When I got upstairs to her bedroom, I freaked out a little when I saw her sitting up! Somehow, she discovered the ability to sit up from a laying-down position. I think she got scared when she sat up because she couldn't figure out how to lay back down again.

I've also been trying to help her to walk, but she hasn't quite figured it out yet.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Can't Sleep...

I've tried counting sheep, counting backwards, and counting by threes. I've tried warm milk. Can't take a Tylenol PM. I'm not sure if it's because I took a nap this afternoon or if that last little bit of caffeine is still in my system or if I'm just too excited for vacation. Whatever the reason, I CAN'T SLEEP! So, I've worked on a puzzle (that just made me more awake), read a little bit, renewed some library books, checked my e-mail, and here I am. It's almost midnight and I'm still wide awake! Guess I'll be getting another nap tomorrow...