Monday, February 28, 2011

mascarpone

This was quite a transition weekend.  I know of five people who moved to new places and my niece is one of them.  She and Joe are officially new homeowners and her timing was impeccable for we were able to transfer many items to her new abode and are thrilled they will enjoy them.  I know Helen and George are smiling.  She wants to decorate it in the 70s fashion so they fit in perfectly.  Congratulations Melissa and Joe!  Enjoy your new digs.
I just have to share these two new breads I recently discovered.  My family is big on deli sandwiches and the Turano whole grain is so delicious and makes excellent toast.  The pita bread is a nice variety for dipping into hummus or olive oil, oregano and parmesan cheese after warming.  Speaking of warming, it looks as if our winter days are waning and since it is the last day of February, March provides a mental transition into spring.  Thanks, Mother Nature.  I can't wait!
To celebrate, I baked lemon cupcakes with green-colored frosting and sprinkles since St. Patty's Day is almost here.  Dan and Darcy will have their one year anniversary on that date; we must decorate accordingly.  Recently I discovered a new-to-me cheese which is the highlighted subject for today and look forward to using it more often.  I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of recipes from this ingredient.

Mascarpone is a fresh, very rich cow's milk cheese with double or triple cream (60-75% milk fat.) Its texture resembles a sticky pudding and is the color of cream.  The main ingredient is sometimes used instead of butter or Parmesan cheese and is not made from whey, as is ricotta.  Mascarpone originated in the southwest of Milan in the late 16th century. It is a specialty used in various dishes of the Lombardy region of Italy.

Mascarpone cheese is the staple in tiramisu which literally means to pull up.  The biggest problem with mascarpone is that most people pronouce it as if the r is before the s instead of in front of the p ~ marscapone.
Italian Chicken Spirals with Basil Mayo Dip

6 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (2 lbs.)
6 think slices prosciutto (2.5 oz.)
6 medium spinach leaves, stems removed
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, softened
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon paprika
3/4 cup mayo
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil
1/2 small shallot
1/2 clove garlic
red pepper for basil mayo
white and/or purple flowering kale (optional)

Place chicken breast half, boned side up, between 2 pieces of plastic wrap.  Pound chicken lightly to 1/4 inch thickness.  Repeat with remaining chicken breast halves.  Set aside.

Place spinach leaves in colander; pour boiling water over leaves in the colander set in sink.  Drain spinach on paper towels.

Place a chicken breast half, smooth side down, on cutting board or other flat surface.  Season with salt and pepper.  Arrange a slice of prosciutto on chicken.  Spread a rounded tablespoon of cheese evenly over prosciutto.  Arrange a spinach leaf on top.

Roll chicken lightly from one long edge and place, seam side down, in a greased shallow baking pan.  Repeat with remaining chicken breast halves.  Combine olive oil and paprika; brush over chicken.

Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink; cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate several hours.

For Basil Mayo: Combine mayonnaise, fresh basil, shallot and garlic in a food processor blow or blender container.  Cover and proces or blend until almost smooth.  Cover and chill up to 4 hours.

To serve, trim off ends of chicken rolls.  Cut each chicken roll into 6 slices.  Arrange slices on serving plate.  Serve Basil Mayo spooned into a sweet pepper half and garnish with fresh basil.  Makes 36 appetizers.

Make ahead tip:  Prepare chicken.  Cover and chill up to 8 hours.  Prepare mayonnaise.  Cover and chill up to 4 hours.

Of the recipe shares, the appetizer is the most time-consuming.
Pasta Shells with Walnuts

4 oz. dried tricolor medium shell macaroni or cavatelli
1/4 cup sliced green onion
2 tablespoons butter
4 oz. mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup coursely chopped walnuts, toasted

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

Meanwhile, for sauce, in a medium saucepan cook the green onion in butter over medium heat for 1 minute.  Reduce heat.  Add the mascarpone cheese.  Cook and stir until cheese melts.  Add milk and stir until sauce is smooth.  Stir in Parmesan cheese and toasted walnuts.  This is a meal in itself.

Now for the dessert!
Strawberry Dessert Pizza

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup whipping cream
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely finely shredded lemon peel
4 cups sliced strawberries
chocolate curls or grated chocolate

For crust:  in a medium mixing bowl combine flour and brown sugar.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles course crumbs.  Press firmly into an 11 to 13 inch pizza pan.  Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until light brown.  Cool completely.

Just before serving, in a medium bowl beat whipping cream with an electric mixer on low speed just until soft peaks form.  Add mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar and lemon peel; beat until fluffy (mixture will thicken as it is beaten.)

Spread cheese mixture atop cooled crust.  Top with strawberries.  Garnish with chocolate curls or grated chocolate.  Serve immediately.  Makes 12 servings.

I chose these recipes because I have all the ingredients in the house to make them immediately, but I urge you to browse around for whatever strikes your fancy.  I am amazed at how this dainty cheese can be utilized.  Enjoy.

Adios, February. Hello, March...xo


Friday, February 25, 2011

mini makeover

Every few years I get a bee in my bonnet to improve our humble abode.  Now that the days are fast approaching where we no longer carry the burden of another house, I find myself inspired to improve our own place.  Unlike most of our friends, we have not experienced the empty nest syndrome and probably will not for a long while, so we may as well pretty up the place to our liking.  After observing the traffic in our home, I find the most used rooms are the baths, so that is where I will put my energies.  The entrance living room and hallway could use a nice painting to freshen things up; the current salmon color is looking a little drab these days.  Mike is an excellent painter so I plan to offer him that challenge. 
These are some ideas I gathered for what used to be known as the boys bathroom, however, Darcy seems to hang out there more than anyone, so we may as well tweak it up with some fun stuff.  I am determined to decorate with those adorable vessel bowls that are quite popular now.
This is a little masculine, yet I think Darcy will like it. 
A new shower, fresh tiles and new toilet seat are first on the list.  I am fed up with the current crapper that is too low and wobbly.  The floor tile is still beautiful and very secure and the mirror and light fixtures enhance the stained glass window, but the old school sink and cabinet will be history. 
These are just some ideas that inspired me.  The lower bath is quite small but the upper bath is huge and is still considered my happy place.  We will probably replace the tiles, sink and mirror up there and spruce it up just a notch.  I really like this amethyst stone bowl.
Having lived in this home since 1984, we already invested in all the infrastructure replacements so now we can focus on fine tuning with pretty little things.  I might add beads to the window treatments as enhancements but everything else is the way we like it.  Someday we will have to refinish all the wood floors, but not anytime soon.  We all enjoy coming home to our mini mansion as we fondly refer to it and just like the three bears, this is just right for us ~  not too big, not too little. 
Next Steve can redesign the back garden a little more, perhaps adding more stones and making room for home grown vegetables just like we had a long time ago.  These are fun projects, not overwhelming extreme makeovers as in the past, or the huge endeavor with the other property.  One home is enough for us, especially since it is filled with much love and joy.  Plus, without the extra burden, we can travel more often and visit God's countries. 
Now that's a big bathroom! 
Renew and Redo xo

Friday, February 18, 2011

favorite things


tree of enchantment

Isn't this weeping pussy willow tree adorable?  Darcy and her mom, Julie, presented it to me last week.  The official name is salix caprea pendula and is among the most graceful of trees.  It is connected with all that is feminine-dreaming, intuition, emotion, enchantment, healing and revitalization.  The willow has long since been recognized as a sacred tree by poets, philosophers and religious leaders because of the flexibility of its twigs.  The willow's flexibility symbolizes resilience and inspires us to move with life rather than resist what we are feeling. 

Legend has it that willow is bestowed with magical power capable of fulfilling wishes.  For a wish to be granted, ask permission of the willow explaining your desire.  Select a pliable shoot and tie a loose knot in it expressing your wish.  When your wish is fulfilled, return and untie the knot.  Remember to thank the willow for your gift.

The plant must be kept indoor for the first winter and well-watered.  Silvery white catkins will appear followed by yellow stamens later in season.  After flowering, cut back to within six inches of the stem allowing new branches to come for the following year.  Plant outside in spring and keep well watered for the first year.  I must find the perfect location and follow my feng shui placements but methinks to just keep it in a big pot indoors;  my aunt had a dickens of a time with hers. 
This beautiful cardinal keeps me company every day.  He likes hanging around the window and I think he likes when I whistle to him. 
These are my slugs ~ Ponti is sleeping on my slippers. 

To celebrate this gorgeous sunny day, I had to make my all time favorite dish - chicken pasta parmesan.
cookie monster

 My girls and I are attending a baby shower this Sunday and I just had to get this little guy.  I had a blast browsing in the Babies R Us store and know this is my new stomping ground ~ already registered in their rewards program.  LOL.

These are just a few of my favorite things for today and I share some lyrics from Rodgers and Hammerstein Sound of Music.  It's such a catchy tune and keeps a smile in my soul.

My Favorite Things

Raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles, warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies, crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells, schnitzel with the noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with the blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And I don't feel so sad  xo





Wednesday, February 16, 2011

dill pickle rag


I found a delightful recipe for dilling pickles from our late Uncle Achie (Bonyok's Dad) and hope you enjoy the share.  He would make three crocks full of perfect pickles and I hope to continue his tradition.  We really don't have to wait for summer to create our own concoctions since baby cukes are available at the grocery stores all year round.  This is his exact recipe, verbatim.
Uncle Achie's Recipe for 80 Pickles

1 1/2 quart vinegar
8 quarts water
1 head garlic
dill cherry leaves (or grape leaves)
2 pieces rye bread
2 1/2 juice size glasses pickling salt
bunch of fresh dill weed
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 box pickling spice
Lay bread on bottom of crock.  Put pickles and dill in between.  Sprinkle chopped garlic and spice over top.  Mix water and vinegar and salt.  Heat on stove till very hot ~ not to a boiling point.  Pour over pickles and cover with plate so pickles are under water.  Pickles should be ready in 3 to 4 days and have to be refrigerated.

We just saw the movie The King's Speech, so I thought to include an oldie but goodie tongue twister.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
Did Peter Piper pick a peck of pickled peppers?
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

I love the word pickles.  It sounds so happy.  Enjoy! xo

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

thank you...


to all my friends and family who helped me celebrate another year in this beautiful life.  Even Mother Nature pitched in with an absolutely glorious day ~ she really let the sun shine in ~ a rarity this time of year.  I lived the day as if it were my last; embraced all the moments that took my breath away and took in every detail of the day.  My heart is filled with all the love shared.

My buddy took off work so we could spend time together so we enjoyed breakfast at the new joint ~ Honey Jam.  Perfect.  We ran a few errands and went to see The King's Speech.  Wow!  It was better than I expected.  Most of the day was spent with the kids.  Another rarity is having them at home all at the same time, but they did so we could sing and sample the tiramisu I prepared.  It is a winner and my all time favorite dessert to make. I did indulge in this one and my palate was pleased.  I never thought it would be so easy to create ~ it seemed too fancy to make at home.  Not at all. 
It was nice to connect with my facebook friends and family.  This heart is so full with my love I think it just might burst and spread throughout the universe.  Thank you so much. xo

The most memorable comment was made by my cousin Deena's daughter, who seems to be wise for her tender years.  Carolyn wrote "happy valentine's day to anyone without a valentine...I'll be everyone's valentine today" and she continued with another note "to carolyn...love, carolyn."  This really tugged my heart for she gets it ~ love yourself and everyone ~ we are never alone. 

I hope you made some delightful memories.  Let the sun shine and keep the faith.  I must share one of my all time favorite songs by Brooks and Dunn.  I hold the lyrics close to my heart with loads of wonderful memories.
UNLOVED

I know you know
Just how it goes when it goes
And how it feels
To be lost and left alone on your own
And what it's like
To give all you got and have to stand and watch it
As it walks away
So everyone deserves a chance to live and learn
From mistakes
That we make and hearts that break and bridges burn
Starting now
From this moment on nothing's gonna go wrong
Love is here to stay

You'll never be without
You'll always have enough
When you're in my arms
You'll never go unloved
As long as there is time
And for all of it to come
No matter where you go
I want you to know
You'll never be unloved

So in this life we lead
Some things are guaranteed
You can
Count on the fact that hearts won't act responsibly
Now and then
Comes a love that's heaven sent and meant to be
So baby look at me

You'll never be unloved  xo



Sunday, February 13, 2011

happy valentine's day


I was dancing ~ pure light
formless consciousness
when you called me ~
by the power of your intention ~
with the song of your desire,
in the intensity of your passion ~
you called me
and tentacles of your sending shot through timeless space ~
found me
and I sent back a joyful "yes!"
And the universe changed ~
a new frequency began to hum
And I was there ~
in those most tender moments
and most ecstatic
and you knew in that way you have of knowing
and I whispered my name to you...
and you smiled...
Fear is the only thing standing between you and your experience of love. 

Prayer for Embracing Love

Dear God,

Please show me how to love.
Teach me how to extend my light into the life of another.
Remove the barriers to my soul, the walls which stand in front of my heart,
My commitment to aloneness,
My resistances to joining.
I do not seek love, dear God, for I know it is all around me.
I seek instead the healing of my resistances to it, the strengthening of my spirit;
That I might learn to love, to love well, to love fully, to love deeply.
When my true love calls, dear Lord,
Please keep my ears open.
Let me not shut down.
Let me not forsake him.
Let me always remember that his call to love him is my call to love You.
Thank you very much.  Amen.


Let love fill your soul, share it by extending hugs, kind words and smiles. xo



Saturday, February 12, 2011

tiramisu


Tiramisu is an Italian dessert and is considered a semifreddo (a dessert served cold, but not frozen.)  Tiramisu has many variations with the only constant ingredient being the mascarpone cheese.  This is my all time favorite dessert which I will indulge in wholeheartedly. 

ingredients

2 packages ladyfingers, split
1/2 cup brewed espresso or strong coffee
1 (16 oz.) carton mascarpone cheese
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chocolate liqueur (Kahlua)
2 oz. chocolate baking squares
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, grated
unsweetened cocoa powder

 optional enhancements
chopped chocolate-covered coffee beans
fresh mint sprigs
strawberries, raspberries and blueberries

directions

Line the bottom of an 8x8x2 baking pan with some of the ladyfingers, cutting to fit as necessary.  I added a few chocolate ladyfingers just for variety.  Drizzle half of the espresso over ladyfingers; set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat together the mascarpone cheese, whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer just until stiff peaks form.  Lightly beat in the Kahlua.  Spoon half of the mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers, spreading evenly.  Sprinkle chocolate and bittersweet chocolate over the mascarpone mixture.  Top with another layer of ladyfingers.  Layer with remaining espresso and mascarpone cheese mixture. 
Cover and chill for 6 to 24 hours.  Sift cocoa powder over top of dessert.  Garnish with cocoa coffee beans (can be purchased at Trader Joe's.) Place a mint sprig and chocolate syrup on dish for presentation.   Serve with fresh berries that promises to please your palate. 
Yummy, yummy in my tummy!  xo

In honor of Abraham Lincoln, I share a few of his famous quotes:

"In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be wrong."

"Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right."

"Surely God would not have created such a being as man, with an ability to grasp the infinite, to exist only for a day! No, no, man was made for immortality."

"The Lord prefers common-looking people. That is why he makes so many of them."

Friday, February 11, 2011

stuffed french toast


cream cheese stuffed french toast

16 slices bread with crust
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1 dozen eggs*
2 cups milk
1/3 cup pure maple syrup*
powdered sugar

Cut bread into cubes and place half of mixture in 9 x 14 inch casserole dish.  Cube cream cheese and put on top of bread, add remaining bread. 

Whip eggs, milk and syrup together; pour over entire area.  Cover with plastic and let sit overnight in refrigerator.  Remove plastic for baking.  Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.  Add additional syrup if desired.  Dust with powered sugar.

*As an aside, I used 7 white eggs and 6 brown eggs ~ my baker's dozen is always 13; it goes back to boiling eggs during Easter ~ an egg for Jesus. 

*Pure maple syrup is divine and very healthy ~ worth the extra pennies.


Happiness is not in our circumstance, but in ourselves.
It is not something we see, like a rainbow,
or feel, like the heat of fire.
Happiness is something we are. xo




Thursday, February 10, 2011

beautiful boy


Mikey, I know how much you love the Beatles and immediately found this particular song to announce your firstborn.  The joy of being a father to a son has no bounds.  Your son will continue the Wind family name and he will have amazing role models in you, your brothers, you dad and numerous uncles.  He will just adore his great grandpa! Not only will both you and your son be the first grandsons, but baby will be the first great-grandson!  Just so you know, boys are all about the mama until they reach the tender age of about 10 or 11, then it's all about not the mama - that would be you, dear son.  :)
 You pondered who will be the godfather and brilliantly came up with the idea that if baby is a boy, your brother, Dan, would hold the honor; if it is a girl, then Steven would be.  Nice.  Congratulations, Dan.  Steve, you get the honor next round. Darcy was so cute when you broke the news - she just loves, loves, loves boys.

I'm glad I saved so many baby items and can't believe the day will arrive when we can pull them out once again.  It seems like yesterday that I lovingly dressed all you boys in those adorable onesies and I am sure a stream of memories will overflow in my heart once again.  Of course, I'll be hitting the stores for all the newfangled toys for baby; after all, it's a grandma's prerogative to spoil her grandchild. 
Now we move full speed ahead with baby shower arrangements.  Margarita put her finishing touch on the invitations and I'll bring them to the printer.  Thanks be that we know baby is a boy; I can begin making the baby blue blanket cake and Melissa can create the centerpieces and favors.  Stevie is the designated photographer so look out. Party time!  It won't be long before the blessed day arrives. 

a baby boy

A baby boy was created
by the hand of God above
to give the world the sweetest touch
of tenderness and love.
With the softness of a whisper,
God made a baby's skin
and then designed two trusting eyes
to put the starlight in.
With giggles from a waterfall
and breezes passing by,
God made a baby's laughter
and a tiny, sleeping sigh.
God made the world a precious gift
more dear and pure than gold,
with little toes to play with
and tiny hands to hold
then brought into the sunshine
a precious baby boy
All wrapped up in a rainbow
of wonder, hope and joy.

Congratulations, Mike and Margarita!  See you soon, baby Dillan...

Myliu tave, ma┼żyli xo





Wednesday, February 9, 2011

cupid (eros)


In Roman mythology, Cupid (Latin cupido, meaning desire) is the god of desire, affection and erotic love.  He is the son of Venus (goddess of love) and Mars.  In the Greek version he was named Eros, the Greek god of love and sexual desire.  He was also worshiped as a fertility god. Eros is the offspring of Aphrodite and Ares.  Sometimes Eros was worshiped by the name Erotes; this personified all the attractions that evoked love and desire.  Cupid (Eros)  is often depicted as a young winged boy, with his bow and arrows at the ready, to either shoot into the hearts of gods or mortals which would rouse them to desire.  His arrows came in two types: golden with dove feathers which aroused love, or leaden arrows which had owl feathers that caused indifference.  Eros is noted to be bittersweet and cruel to his victims, yet he was also charming and beautiful. Being unscrupulous, and a danger to those around him, Eros would make as much mischief as he possibly could by wounding the hearts of all. 
Cupid is frequently shown shooting his bow to inspire romantic love, often as an icon of Valentine's Day and the personification of love and courtship. He is frequently invoked as fickle and playful.
eros and psyche

The following story is identical in both cultures.  When Cupid's mother Venus became jealous of the princess Psyche, who was so beloved by her subjects that they forgot to worship Venus, she ordered Cupid to make Psyche fall in love with the vilest thing in the world.  While Cupid was sneaking into her room to shoot Psyche with a golden arrow, he accidentally scratches himself with his own arrow and falls deeply in love with her.  Cupid visited Psyche every night while she slept.  Speaking to her so that she could not see him, he told her never to try to see him.  Psyche, though, incited by her two older sisters who told her Cupid was a monster, tried to look at him and angered Cupid. When he left, she looked all over the known world for him until at last the leader of the gods, Jupiter, (or Zeus in Greek mythology,) gave Psyche the gift of immortality so that she could be with him.  Together they had a daughter, Voluptas, or Hedone (meaning pleasure) and Psyche became a goddess.  Her name Psyche means soul.
Cupid
Sam Cooke

Cupid, draw back your bow and let your arrow go
Straight to my lover's heart for me, for me
Cupid, please hear my cry and let your arrow fly
Straight to my lover's heart for me

Now, I don't mean to bother you but I'm in distress
There's danger of me losin' all of my happiness
For I love a girl who doesn't know I exist
And this you can fix

Now, Cupid if your arrow make a love storm for me
I promise I will love her until eternity
I know between the two of us her heart we can steal
Help me if you will

Now, Cupid, don't you hear me
Callin' you, I need you
Cupid, help me xo

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

dirt cake for darcy

Darcy loves this concoction and her sweet tooth knows no bounds ~ I made this especially for her.  We have half of the strawberry cake left so I hope they mop up these creations sooner than later.  I still have my all time favorite dessert ~ tiramisu ~ to create later in the week.  The ingredients are at the ready and I will share if all goes well.  Meantime, here is the recipe for D's dirt cake.
Crush (in a processor) 2 (20 oz.) packages Oreo cookies so they look like this ~ dirt.  Some people use an old-fashioned flower pot but I just used a pretty bowl.  If you use a pot, line the bottom with foil.  Place 1/3 of the dirt mixture on the bottom.  Set aside.
Cream 1/2 stick butter, 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.  Set aside. 

Combine 3 1/2 cups milk and 2 (3 1/2 oz.) packages French vanilla instant pudding.  Fold 1 (12 oz.) tub Cool Whip into the pudding. 

Fold together pudding mixture and butter-cream cheese mixture.

Layer this mixture (about 1/3 of it) onto the crumbled cookies in the bowl (or pot.)  Next, add another layer of dirt cookie crumbs, then pudding mixture and continue alternating until you have dirt on top.  Chill in refrigerator for 3 hours before serving.

Use your imagination to embellish - many decorate gummy worms and critters in the "soil" so they will seem emerging. 
Enjoy! xo

Monday, February 7, 2011

babies

It is the nature of babies to be in bliss. 
Deepok Chopra

Writing about babies fills my day with bliss.  I am in my happy place just reading about the amazing adventures babies bring to a family.  The memories triggered by my collection of notes and photos fills my heart with joy I must share.  These moments provide balance to the oftentimes heavy heart that we carry about other issues going in our lives. 

Every child begins the world again.  
Henry David Thoreau

Precious one
So small,
So sweet.
Dancing in
On angel feet
Straight from
Heaven's brightest star
What a miracle you are.
When God wants something special done in this world...
He sends a baby.
And then...
He waits.

Today's findings include some amazing facts.  At 5 months, our grandbaby is already 12 inches long and weighs about 1 pound.  Hair is beginning to grow on baby's head and soft woolly hair called lanugo covers baby's body.  Mother is feeling little butterfly movements, also known as quickening.  Baby's internal organs are maturing and eyebrows, eyelids and eyelashes appear.

Prenatal babies take less than a month to develop and begin using their heart - it takes only 18 days from conception.

Before the first month of the 1st trimester, they have begun to form their hearing, vision and respiratory systems.

Brain waves of a fetus can be recorded at the 42nd day of conception.

Babies begin sucking thumbs in the womb - some at 7 weeks.

Babies have developed all their bodily systems before the second month of the 1st trimester is over, usually by the 8th week of conception.

Babies can cry at the 26th mark after conception - they even have taste buds.

Can babies laugh?  no, however, on ultrasound babies are seen to react to their mother's laughing by bouncing up and down 32 weeks after conception.

Male sperm carries either X or Y gene that determines gender.  Any other tales on position, time of day, diet are just myths.  Oh, Mikey...

If you want to increase your chance of twins, eat yams.  Tribes in Africa whose diet was mostly yams show an exceptionally high rate of twins and multiple births.  Twins run in Margarita's family and it is her generation that is able to give birth to twins.  Look out next time!

For every 100 girls born, there are 105 boys born.  The Wind family is a testament to this fact.
People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one.

Newborns can hear as well as you - they startle at anything because it is new.  Smell is also advanced.

Newborn's eyesight is just as good as adults, however, they are not able to process information as well and start out at 8 to 15 inches of range. 

It only takes a few weeks in before a baby can visually distinguish between mother and other adults. Constant sounds and sights are soothing to a child and are missed when gone.  However, the voice and smell of the mother can be recognized from birth.

Baby is capable of their first non-gassy smile at only one month old.

The heaviest baby ever born weighed 22 pounds, 8 ounces (born in Italy in 1955.)  It is highly unusual for a one year old baby to weigh 22 pounds!

At 6 months babies usually double their birth weight - a near impossibility at any other age.

Pound for pound, baby is stronger than many animals.  An oxen is the best example of compatible strength.  Strongest muscles - legs.

Diaper backward spells repaid.  Think about it.

A babe in the house is a well-spring of pleasure, a messenger of peace and love, a resting place for innocence on earth, a link between angels and men.

Babies communicate physically - waving, clapping, pointing - the more physically they communicate, the better they will verbally communicate.

At the end of the first year, baby's weight will have tripled.

Any Dad takes 1 minute, 30 seconds to change a diaper - that amounts to two 40-hour weeks a year.

Nose and ears never stop growing - only eyes remain the same size.

During 9 months between conception and birth, a baby's weight increases 3,000 million times on average.
Thanks to Anne Geddes for her unbelievable baby photos.  They constantly tickle my fancy and provide giggles galore - at least until our wee one arrives! 

Always kiss your children goodnight ~ even if they're already asleep. xo