Saturday, August 29, 2009

Steele County Fair

Last week we drove down to Owatonna for the highly anticipated Steele County Free Fair. We often heard about the event while we were living in Owatonna last year. My students were raving about it even before school was out for the summer! We knew there really was no choice but to check it out ourselves.

We arrived at the fairgrounds and quickly realized we had greatly underestimated the magnitude of what Steele County had to offer. There were tons of booths, an impressive assortment of rides, and endless people. Ella was prepared to take on the crowd in her carrier, which she'd never used before arriving at the fair. We shifted her around in it until we found a position that she seemed to like. Babies are supposed to face the parent while in this, but she was much happier being able to look around. As you can see, she folded her arms under her chin and enjoyed the ride! Later, to avoid the sun, she rode in her stroller.

We had a great time at the Steele County Fair and now feel even more prepared for our next big adventure: the Minnesota State Fair.

Ella's ready!

all the excitement wore her out

Ella's first cheese curd? (maybe we'll wait till next summer)

Daddy makes due & changes Ella on a game counter

Sort of like a totem pole! with Verity (Dr. Jason's daughter)
Yum! a giant pickle

family pic at the fair

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Apricot Scones

For the past couple weeks I've been dreaming of baking again, so I finally decided to choose a new recipe and give it a whirl during one of Ella's naps. This return to baking called for something adventurous, something completely new. In the end, I stepped out to make something truly grand. I made scones.

Ok, so it wasn't so grand or complicated, but it was something I had never made. I love scones, especially as a treat with coffee. I found a simple cherry scone recipe here on Martha Stewart's website (video included!). I easily substituted dried apricots for the cherries.

in the process...

final product!

I enjoyed making the scones, which is why I made three different kinds. I attempted another recipe with whole wheat, oats, apricots and raspberries. I think it called for too much buttermilk, because the scones turned out looking like big cookies. The batter was far too wet. They tasted okay but I'm not going to be handing those ones out. The third batch used the same recipe as the first, but I used fresh raspberries from Erin's garden and I shaped them into mini scones. They're pretty cute.

Although I enjoy baking all kinds of goodies, eating them is off limits. Unfortunate, I know. Pete and I share one mini version of what has been created just to make sure the recipe is okay before giving them to friends, but no more than that. How else am I supposed to shed this baby weight?

I think I'll try a new cookie recipe next...

Mommy's Helper

Ella enjoyed doing laundry with me a few days ago.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Visit from Grandma & Grandpa

Ella was happy to spend some time with Grandma and Grandpa Olsen this past weekend. Pete's parents met us on Saturday for an afternoon tour of Minneapolis. (Pete is really good at those. I don't know my way around yet.) Ella liked riding in the car. It always puts her right to sleep. We also enjoyed burgers and fries at Annie's Parlour in Dinkytown. Yum! On Sunday we headed to the Loring Pasta Bar, also in Dinkytown, for their brunch buffet. It was amazing. Really, how often do you have live music while eating waffles, omelets, sushi, steamed mussels, mini burgers, and creme brulee all in one sitting? Ella seemed a bit bored by the brunch (oh, just wait till you have teeth, little one!) so Grandma Olsen took her on a walk and spent a good amount of time sitting on a bench outside the open doors of the restaurant. It was a lovely morning and I think both grandma and granddaughter thoroughly enjoyed their time together. We're looking forward to their next visit!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Two Little Girls

After a couple of very long delays due to road construction on Interstate 35, we made it to Duluth on Friday afternoon for a much anticipated visit to meet Ella's new cousin Malena. Malena was born on August 4, just 5 1/2 weeks after Ella. Auntie Becky (Ang's sister) got to meet Ella for the first time, too. The little girls were adorable together. Family gatherings will never be the same!

Ella & Malena

a pair of glow worms

Uncle Jake with the girls

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Garage Sale Princess

Ella's adventure of the day: her first garage sale. At noon I drove up to see my mom, Grandma Scott, at her sister's house in Coon Rapids. I needed to run to the store, so Grandma took Ella for a stroll through the neighborhood. Not surprisingly, there was a garage sale down the street (a common occurrence on a Thursday morning). Although our little bug didn't buy anything this time, we're proud to say she's starting out as a thrifty shopper. Way to teach her how it's done, Grandma!

Friday we'll be making our first trek up to Duluth. We're looking forward to introducing Ella to one of our very favorite cities and maybe even dipping her toes in the lake. Only if it's not too cold. We'll be making one very special visit while in Duluth. Ella will be meeting her brand new cousin, Malena, for the first time. Malena was born last Tuesday to happy parents, Becky (my sister) and Darell. We'll definitely take lots of pictures of the first meeting. They're sure to be adorable!

Also, we'll be spending time with some very special guests in Minneapolis on Saturday and Sunday. Pete's parents, Grandma & Grandpa Olsen, will be visiting.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tummy Time!

Ella loves her tummy time. At least for the first little while. It gives her a chance to look around at the world from a completely different perspective. While she's been on her belly in the middle of the living room floor over the last few days, I've caught her stretching way up to be able to see higher places. It's always been when I've had my back to her while doing something like adjusting the radio or folding clothes. I think she's trying to see what I'm doing! I turn around and she gets a big smile. I feel like I've caught her in the middle of something. It's absolutely adorable.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Meet the Godparents

Ella met her godparents weeks ago, but I'm just now getting the photos uploaded. (We added some back-up devices to our computer shortly before Ella came along, and I still get frustrated with the speed at which it takes to deal with photos. There has to be a faster method, although I haven't figured it out yet.) Both Kristin and Anton were able to meet Ella on the same day. We spent some time at the apartment before going to dinner at the very cool new Burger Jones on Lake Calhoun, which was actually Ella's first restaurant.

Kristin is Pete's oldest sister and the source of Ella's middle name (along with my mom). We look forward to Kristin teaching Ella a few dance moves in the future. She's a very talented dancer and spends lots of time dancing with a studio in Wisconsin.

Anton and Pete have been very good friends since Pete's days singing in the St. Olaf Choir. Ella has already sung her first duet with Anton, which probably came as a bit of a surprise to our little girl. Anton joined her as she sang out (some might say she was crying out), which quieted her momentarily. With Kristin's dancing influence and Anton's in the world of music, Ella's opportunities in the artistic world will be many.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Six Weeks!

That's right, Ladies & Gentlemen, our little Ella is six weeks old! Today the two of us (Ang & Ella) went to Owatonna for a doctor's appointment before doing a little shopping. Ella got a pretty stylish little red dress for the end of summer as well as a baby book. The three of us are about to head out the door for a walk with one very specific destination: ice cream. It's a great day to celebrate!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Gooing & Cooing

It's amazing how quickly Ella is growing and how the time is flying. She's 5 1/2 weeks old already! Can you believe it? One of the biggest changes we've seen in her in the last week is that she is starting to coo. It's adorable. Pete wonders if she'll be as big a talker as her mommy. Time will tell!

Another first this week: Ella has a cold. I have one too. She's still eating well and seems happy, so maybe it's not bothering her too much. I've never wiped such a tiny nose. It's pretty cute.

Today Ella is going to be a big cousin! Ang's sister, Becky, is currently in labor. She's expecting a little girl, Malena. Malena and Ella will be not be very far apart in age, which will make for fun family gatherings and play dates in the future!

I'm still learning how to upload pictures from our camera to the computer, so as soon as I do I'll get them posted.


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