Tag Archives: You Capture

Question of the Week

Tuesday in town, a reporter from the Inquirer and Mirror approached us and asked if we wanted to answer the question of the week and be in the newspaper.  How fun, we thought.  Of course, this week’s question was, what are you thankful for?

There are a ton of things that I could have said.Beachesand lighthouses. Continue reading


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Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake

We did a lot of baking this week: muffins for the La Leche League meeting, bread for our house, a practice cake for Nora’s birthday.  Some of it was good and some of it was a complete failure.

This is the second time I’ve tried to bake bread that requires a sponge (from a reliable recipe source) and had batter that never developed enough gluten to shape.  The first time, I just added more flour until it was a consistency I could work with; this time I tried to just go with the recipe and stick it out in hopes that something magical would happen.  Unfortunately, no bread fairy appeared to fix the mess that was my attempted at bread.  Considering it took close to 20 hours from start to finish, 10 cups of flour, and I was previously super confident about bread (have you seen some of the loaves I’ve been baking?), to say I was disappointed would be a huge understatement.  The worst part was in the afternoon when I’d hit the fourth “knead”-let-rise step and it was so clear that there was no change.  Frustration doesn’t even cover it.  I finally decided to split the dough in half and go with my gut with one half (add flour, add flour, add flour) and let the other half go.  Half number one came up with an okay loaf, not pretty but edible, which I cut up and stuck in the freezer to put in the strata at Nora’s birthday brunch.  Half number two failed miserably.  I should have taken a picture to so you could see the ridiculous mess it was, but I was beyond photography at that point.

Luckily, what did turn out well, turned out great.

Like these perfect whole-wheat apple muffins, not done justice by my lack of a camera. Get the recipe here.

And this was also Nora’s first time helping me bake, which was lots of fun. 

I pulled the high chair up to the counter, put a tiny toddler apron on her, gave her a spoon, and we got cooking.

Mostly, she liked to help taste things.

But she did a little stirring, too.

And as a reward for all her hard work, she did get a tiny taste of the batter (we’re laughing in the face of food allergies, now).

Which she must have liked:

I had a lot of fun playing baker with my girl, even if mostly she watched and listened to my narration – it’s way better than baking alone.  I can’t wait till next fall when she’ll be up at the counter really diving in.

It’s late, but better than never; this is my You Capture: Kitchen post.

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Filed under Chapter Two


This week’s You Capture theme was “play” and I had a hard time deciding what to shoot.  I’ve said before, my cellphone has trouble capturing quick movements, and now that Nora knows how to crawl, she is a super speedy girl.  She’s now mobile enough to be dangerous: moving Pip’s food from his food dish to his water bowl, getting into the recycling bin, and trying to climb into the bathtub when I’m not looking.  So unless the light is really good and my trigger finger is fast (lucky), most play in action shots don’t turn out too well.  And lately, she’s not much into toys – just stuff we don’t want her to have.  But then yesterday when I saw how well the pictures turned out from our trip to the park with Mr. V, I knew I had to share them.

You see, every afternoon when Mr. V comes over, we set out on an adventure.  I get out a carrier for Nora (so I can go hands free following Mr. V around)

fill up two water bottles, load him in the jogger, and off we go.  Sometimes we go down to the playground at Children’s Beach, but lately we’ve been heading over to Mill Hill Park so Pip can run around too.

Mr. V just cracks me up, so much!  The first thing he does when we get to the park is climb out of the “trailer,” sit down and take his shoes off.  And when we get to the valley in the middle, he says, “climb the dirt” and runs up to a hill that’s been washed bare by summer thunderstorms.

He climbs to the top, carrying his water bottle the entire time, checks out the “baby tree”

And goes right back to the hill and dirt, climbing up and down, and then stopping to sit for a moment or two before doing it all again.  He gets covered in dust and dirt, but it’s the end of the day and he’s having fun, so I don’t say anything.

I love how amazingly simple it is – bare feet, dirt, grass, and a park without fancy toys or even a playground.  And he’s so happy.

When I think about how play is supposed to be, this is it: just a little boy chasing a dog through the woods and meadows (and a grown up just following behind, saying little, letting him take the lead).  And then when he’s all tired out, he comes up to me and grabs my hand and says “home.”

So we walk back to the stroller, hand-in-hand, and I can’t help myself from looking ahead to when Nora will be this age running through the park.  I hope she will like dirt and baby trees.


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Powell Ears

I started following a mama blog recently by a mama who is a photographer.  She does a fun little thing every Thursday called “You Capture,” where she gives out a topic and encourages people to go out, take pictures for the next week, and then share their pictures the following Thursday.  I’ve been taking a lot of the same pictures (Nora sitting, Nora in her stroller, Nora in the grass, Nora standing up, Nora feeding Pip, Nora with Mr. V) over and over, so a challenge that makes me shoot some variety can’t hurt.  Since I’m stuck with only a cell phone camera, I realized they won’t be fabulous pictures, but it’ll be fun none-the-less.

And then this week’s assignment was black and white.  Darn.  All I had to do is shoot my same old stuff and edit it on the computer and I’d met the requirements.  Not very challenging.  Until I decided it was time to talk about Powell ears.

You see, ears are one of Nora’s features that can be exactly pinpointed to their source.  Where her eyes and hair came from, we aren’t so sure.  Her face is a good mix of both Chris’ and my features.  But her ears, they are 100% Powell.  They’re kind of big.  They’re kind of (err, really) sticky-outie.

Especially if you put a hat on the girl.

Or if you put her next to another baby the same age — the Powell ears are really obvious, then.  And they’re really gosh-darn cute.

Someday, I’m sure, she’ll be blaming me for her ears.  Because I have them too (although not quite as bad as my brothers, especially poor Chad).  I hated them in those awkward years when you hate most things about yourself, so I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point she does too.  But no matter how she might feel about them as a teenager, I think her ears are one of the most delicious things about her, which is why I wanted to share them with you.

Which, is how You Capture turned out to be a challenge this week after all.  It’s hard to get a ten month old to sit still for a close up cell phone picture of her ears.  The phone’s just not the fastest draw in the west; I got a lot of blurry pictures.

Or maybe it wasn’t the phone.  Maybe she just didn’t want me to talk about her ears.

Don’t worry Nora, you won’t be bald forever.  It’s the baldness that accentuates the ears.

Someday, she’ll be able to cover them up with hair just like me.  But until then, I’m going to take lots of pictures of her Powell Ears.

Because I love them.


Filed under Chapter Two