Saturday, July 14, 2012

Gordon Lee at 1 year

I am still in awe of the fact that in just 1 year, my sweet little boy went from this:
To this:
A child grows and learns so rapidly in the first year! To any new parents out there, it really does fly by.

Here are Gordon Lee's current stats at 1 year
Height- 32.2 inches
Weight 24 lbs
Head Circumference: 18.5 inches (this is the closest estimate as his head kept breaking the tape measure)

His height is almost off the charts in the 97th percentile.  His weight is somewhere in the 50th-70th percentile (I am not sure why the range is so wide). His head circumference is also in the 50th-70th percentile. For anyone confused, percentiles compare him to other babies his age.  So he is taller than 97% of 1-year-olds. 

Right now he is saying a few words
-Dada/Daddy.  Sometimes, he calls his Daddy "Yayee." This is when he is super excited.

He also has some gestures he uses.
-Gives high five and low five
-Kisses (not sure if these two are gestures, but I don't know where else they'd go)
-Reaches for who he wants (but this is a pretty old one)
-Plays peek-a-boo

He feeds himself with a fork and a spoon.  He has become very good at this! I still have to get the food onto the fork or spoon, but he will take it from me and put it straight to his mouth.
He likes to pick large objects up and carry them around the room.
He always wants to climb the stairs.
He tries to climb up on the furniture, but it is just a little too high for him right now.
He has also gotten very big on copying people.  He will try to get you to do something so he can copy it.
He also likes to bring things to people and put his toys in a box or a bag.

I am probably leaving stuff out.  The growth and development is so rapid!

Friday, July 13, 2012


For Gordon Lee's 1st birthday, we had two separate parties. We had friends and family who wanted to be a part of his big day, and it made more sense to have one party in NC and one in VA.  The first party had a rubber duck theme. So, to add some creative flair, I decided to try a recipe for duck cupcakes. First, my sister-in-law and I did a test run with the cupcakes.  I had been to various blogs reading about other people's experiences with the cupcakes, and I had some changes I was going to make. The trial run was definitely just that! The ducks looked sad to say the best.  So, when I went to make the ones for the party I had worked out the kinks in the recipe, and they came out okay.

After the party (and sharing pictures), I have had numerous people ask me how I made them.  So, I will share it here! Unfortunately, I was multitasking in preparing for both parties.  So, I didn't have time to take pictures of the process.  But I will share pictures as best as possible.
So, here is how I made these bad boys.  First of all, let me show you how they are SUPPOSED to look.
Yeah...NOWHERE in ANYONE'S pictures (and I saw several places where people tried these) did the cupcakes even remotely resemble this one. I am assuming that beautiful cupcake for the picture was made in a fancy studio and not a home kitchen. 

2 boxes of cake mix (the recipe calls for vanilla; I used yellow)
2-3 jars of vanilla, white or cream cheese frosting
Yellow food coloring
1 bag of standard-sized marshmallows
Mini M&Ms or Chocolate chips
Baby goldfish for beaks (or orange fruit chews if you want to follow the original recipe)
This makes 24 cupcakes. 20 are supposed to be heads up and 4 tails up. I made more like half heads up and half tails up.  For feet, my SIL melted down orange chocolate and piped out feet we stuck on the duck later.

First, I am going to go through some changes I made.
1.) The recipe calls for donut holes as heads.  I tried that.  The heads tasted odd with a cupcake.  Plus, when I tried to stick a beak and eyes on, the head fell apart.
Instead, I opted to make cake pops for heads, which tasted MUCH better and held up better.

2.) The recipe called for orange fruit chews for beaks and feet (on the butt up ducks).  Well, everywhere, people said that the beaks were so heavy, they just fell off. By looking at those pictures, most of the ducks were losing their beaks and looked very sad.  So, I decided not to struggle with it.  Instead, I found baby goldfish that I stuck in there for beaks.

3.) The others who shared their ducks had similar problems with the eyes.  The recipe says to use white frosting as a dot and place mini M&Ms on them for eyes.  However, the eyes were falling off as well.  So, I used chocolate chips sticking the pointed part into the duck's head. 

My beaks and eyes stayed on very well.

Alright, so onto making the cupcakes.

FIRST- Make cake pops.  I was intimidated by this at first, but cake pops are insanely easy to make.

1.) Bake a cake.
2.) Let it cool
3.) Crumble it up into a bowl
4.) Add some frosting and form into balls
5.) Freeze (The cupcakes needed to be frozen as well.  So what I did was make the cake pop heads and have them freeze with the cupcakes together.)

SECOND- Bake the cupcakes.

I used yellow cake.  

THIRD- While the cupcakes are baking, there are two things to do.
1.) Cut marshmallows in half diagonally and set aside in a bowl
2.) Dye frosting yellow (I used cream cheese frosting).
3.) Place some of the yellow frosting in a zip lock bag squeezed to the corner for piping.

FOURTH- When the cupcakes are finished, frost them after you let them cool.

1.) Place the cake pop head and marshmallow tail on top of the frosted cupcake
2.) Freeze for about 3-4 hours (more if desired). They need to be good and frozen.

FIFTH- Take out of the freezer

1.) Melt down frosting in microwave for about 20-45 seconds.  This is going to depend greatly on the power of the microwave.  The recipe suggest microwaving for 45 seconds..stirring often. However, when I did it that long, the frosting came out like a liquid.  The consistency should be more like a whipped cream.  So, 20-25 seconds in our microwave worked for me. 

2.) Dip each cupcake in the frosting.

3.) Use the frosting in the bag to pipe in frosting where dipping the cupcake didn't cover it completely.

As an added note: You will need A LOT of frosting.  You need at least 2 jars and possibly 3.

The result: A duck cupcake fit for a 1-year-old or anyone for that matter.  They were a hit and people loved them!