When I have kids…

We have all said it at some point. “When I have kids I will never do that!” “I will only do this.” etc.
There are some things you will absolutely stick to your guns about. And then there are days when you decide to put the high horse in the stable and say “screw it.”
In the year I have been a mom, I have learned that everyday is new and different and comes with another lesson. Each day I evolve as a mother. I get better overall. But I have moments of weakness.
I think back on the grand plans I had; how I was going to do so much once I had kids and the things I would never do.
And then I had her. My beautiful little girl. The girl that has slept next to me every night of her life, even though I said I wouldn’t have her in the bed with us. The girl I play movies and cartoons for just so I can get things done. Which goes against my “no tv until she is older” plan. The child I planned to teach sign language… But I forgot to. The child I tried using chocolate chips as walking motivation for, even though bribing with food is a no-no.
Having things that you won’t compromise on is very important. But at the end of the day there are some things you decide aren’t as big of a deal. You get tired and overwhelmed at times. You cut yourself a little slack and move on. So instead of lists and lists of things I want to do or teach my children, I narrowed it down to the ones I will never compromise on and try not to stress over the rest.
I will (try to) teach them to be kind to others and to love themselves. To build people up, not tear them down. I will strive to love them in a way that leaves them with no doubt of my love (No name-calling or belittling). And through this I hope they learn the power of kindness and love.
There are days I will fall short of my second string goals. Days where I will get in the bed and think “Whew! I survived the day.” And that will be my major accomplishment of the day. And it is ok to have days like that.
So what if the only sign my 13 month old knows is to point to where she wants me to carry her. 😉 She is loved dearly.
Live, love and learn; no compromises there.
-Callie

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Smash cake!

Ainsley had her first birthday party a couple of weeks ago. I started thinking about it and gathering ideas for her party months in advance. One of the biggest things I was unsure if I would be able to pull off, was her cake. I knew I wanted it to be gluten free, at the very least. We are keeping her gluten free for at least two years.
The more I read though, the more ingredients I decided were unnecessary for her first cake. So her cake ended up being free of refined sugars, grains, gluten and food coloring. It started out dairy free as well but I added creamed grassfed butter to the frosting. Ainsley never made it past the frosting. She still is not really into eating solids, so there wasn’t a whole lot of smashing going on. Hunter and I tried the cake with the frosting and we both thought it all tasted great.
Below are the recipes I used and the modifications I made. It was really easy and I definitely think it was worth the effort.
I made the cake friday, wrapped the layers in saran wrap and put them in the fridge. My sister and I decorated it Saturday afternoon and then put it back in the fridge overnight. Her party was on Sunday. I took the cake out when the party started so that it had a little time to soften before she ate it.
The cake: For the cake I used The Urban Poser’s smash cake recipe.  I could not find a 4 inch cake pan so I made the recipe twice using a 6 inch pan. So where the recipe makes two four inch layers, it only made one layer using the 6″ pan. So I made the recipe, cooked one layer, then did it all over again. Also, I had to increase the cooking time to 35 mins because of the bigger layer. I definitely suggest getting two 4″ pans. Save money on ingredients, plus time. The only thing I changed to the ingredients was I used maple syrup instead of honey. This is a good option if you are concerned about giving honey to your baby right at one year old.  I did one layer with honey but ran out. So the next layer I just used pure grade b maple syrup. I actually liked the flavor of the syrup layer more.
For the filling: In between the layers I used the 365 brand raspberry spread , found at Whole Foods. It was the only one I saw that did not have added sugar.
The Frosting: I found I could not get the coconut butter smooth enough when using The Urban Poser‘s frosting recipe that she has with the cake. It tasted amazing but the coconut butter would clog the tip I was using to pipe on the cake. So I turned to Against all Grain. I doubled her vanilla frosting recipe that is in her cookbook. I don’t see the recipe on her website but trust me, the cookbook is worth buying! I did add about 3-4 tbsp of butter to the frosting. I needed the frosting to be thicker for the way I wanted it decorated. I put the butter in a bowl, beat it with the hand mixer and then added it to the frosting. You could probably use palm shortening and get the same results.
To get the pink color I put red beets in a small sauce pan with a small amount of water. I cooked it on the stove until the water was colored and then poured it into the frosting and mixed. (Probably why I had to add butter to the frosting.)
And lastly, my sister and I watched videos on youtube on how to decorate a ruffle cake with buttercream.

I made the cake twice. Once for her birthday pictures (without coloring the frosting) and then again for her party.
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Photo credit: EllPhotography

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Sharing with me at her party.

7 month update

I told y’all time goes fast! Ainsley is now 7 months old! She is growing a little more each day, both physically and mentally. She now weighs about 19.5 lbs. Everyday she seems to have a new trick.
She has learned to walk forward in her walker. She is doing a lot of scooting on her belly. She can go backwards and sideways but has not quite figured out how to crawl forward. She enjoys playing peek-a-boo and looking for Lexie.
She is really enjoying trying new foods. The first time she tries a food she seems a little unsure. But after a few tastes she starts chowing down on it. I have not found anything she doesn’t like.
This was my first full month being a stay at home mom. I am truly enjoying being with Ainsley all day. A couple days of the week we keep another baby. So I stay pretty busy! Hunter has been keeping busy with work and keeping all the girls of our house happy!
All is well in the Beall household!

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