Blog a la Cart

Month: May, 2011


I seriously cannot get over how precious she is.

I hope all parents are as obsessed and awed by their kids, because man, James and I are next level. Especially when confronted with images such as these.


That is the face of one tired toddler who spent yesterday afternoon and evening experiencing the vomit-filled joy of mommy’s sickness. We have never accumulated more loads of laundry than in that 2 hour period of time.


The upside of the throw up? Her wavy, flowing blonde locks.

After bath #4 yesterday evening, I decided that it was time to French braid her hair back in an effort to keep from coating it in yet another round of bile. After a happy morning of playing, eating, and bouncing around puke-free, we took out the braids and have been enjoying the new ‘do.

Now we’re off to New York for a wedding and some fun in a pool. Sunny is making us bring all of her bathing suits. She clearly has high expectations about the amount of swim-time she’ll pack in in 48 hours. Happy Memorial Day, all.

Lemon Mint Sorbet

I’m down and out with a stomach bug. Let’s just say that nausea paired with a 7 month old fetus boxing your tummy does not a happy mommy make.

Fortunately, last week we made some homemade Lemon Mint Sorbet thanks to the growing herb garden we have sprouting in their backyard. You can whip this deliciously summery treat up with or without an ice cream machine! And I have found it quite soothing on the upset belly. Enjoy!

1.5 cups sugar
1 cup chopped fresh mint (I had an expert mint picker to assist)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup boiling water
.5 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (4-6 lemons)

1. Combine sugar, mint and lemon zest in a large glass bowl.

2. Pour boiling water over the sugar mixture. Stir to dissolve. Let steep for 20 minutes and then strain out mint leaves. I left some in the mix for color and texture.

3. Squeeze lemons and stir in lemon juice. Chill entire mixture.

4. Once chilled, pour into ice cream maker canister and freeze accordingly. If you do not own an ice cream maker, freeze the mixture in a shallow metal cake pan until solid. Break into chunks and process in a food processor until smooth.

5. Relax, refresh, enjoy!


A Marital First

James and I have been together for nearly eight years. That’s a long time for two 20-somethings. During that time he’s seen me deliver a baby and experienced all of the post-partum recovery, including the post-partum bowel movement. Something I’m dreading more than labor this second time around.

Arguably all of that is the most extreme biological experience he could witness. The mother of all bodily fluids.

And yet, up until today, he had never seen me vomit.

You see, a puker I am not. I will talk and breath and cry my way out throwing up because there is little I hate as much in this world. The sound of a broom on a tennis court. Teletubbies. The “ring of fire” during the pushing part of labor. The 1st post-partum bowel movement. And throwing up.

They’re my top five.

There may have been a situation my senior year of college when I mixed a bit too much tequila and vodka and gin and other assorted hard liquors in my system and wound up on the floor of a communal dormitory bathroom, head over toilet, James by my side. I had the spins. I clearly needed to vomit up some of the alcohol slooshing around my body. And yet, there I sat, fighting with every ounce of my stupid, drunk 21-year old self to keep from puking. James even offered to pull the trigger for me as he was fed up with sitting on the cold, hard tiles that were frequented by bare, potentially wart-ridden, coed feet.

I believe my response to his offer was: “I AM A SOLDIER! A FUCKING SOLDIER. Leave me alone.”

Because apparently soldiers don’t throw up. Question mark?

Needless to say, I did not vomit. But the next morning’s hangover was an unmatched beast. James claims that I wouldn’t have felt so shitty had I just thrown up, but I haven’t learned anything for in 28 years of life I’ve never puked from drinking, despite a handful of occasions where that was clearly the best course of action.

Roll around to yesterday, when I developed an upset tummy, indigestion that I blamed on the Sesame Seed, and an unhappy colon which quickly spiraled into a night filled with debilitating nausea. Pair that with a 7-month old fetus boxing me in the gut and a happy mama I was not. I couldn’t sleep and kept marching to the bathroom expecting to be sick. James has seen displays like this before when I swear I’m going to throw up, and save for some gaggy spits of bile, I don’t deliver.

Imagine his surprise when at 7:15am he was awoken to the sound of my vomit. Which, when you have so little in your system thanks to it coming out the other end all night long, is a violent and gut-wrenching affair.

He stood over me, the double-ended water fountain, and told me I was beautiful and that it was going to be ok. He then washed out my bucket of puke, tucked me back in bed, and stroked my hair until I fell asleep.

I have no idea what I did to deserve this man. He’s a 21st Century knight in shining armor.

So, James, thank you for surviving this marital first so brilliantly. To think that puke could make me love you more than ever.

Now I’m off to eat some Gatorade ice chips and James will spend the rest of the evening tracking my urinary output. Midwives’ orders.

Ain’t marriage a beautiful thing?


The end of a long weekend of partying can lead to grumpy, tired faces such as these.


Mama having to help her blow out the cake. Didn’t I know she was a big girl now?


The quiet before the storm. Moments before the arrival of her guests.

Monkey Birthday Party

We celebrated Sunny’s 2nd birthday with a monkey themed party! Despite some inclement weather that drove the party indoors, it was indeed bananas and everyone enjoyed monkeying around. Here is an overview of the celebration.

Kimmy made some truly glittery, wonderful banners.

And then we added to her decor with other monkey accents and pink and yellow delights.

We even made the bar for the adults monkey themed. We served pink champagne and I and my fellow pregnant guest drank mango juice and sparkling water.

We had a table of monkey treats for the kids including Curious George bubbles, monkey coloring pages with crayons tucked in monkey cups, the monkey party favor hats and monkey-faced Play Doh. Kimmy was clearly disappointed that Ash didn’t make her a monkey hat in her size.

By far our favorite moment was when all of the kids wore their crocheted monkey hats. Sunny was the least cooperative of the bunch, but when distracted by the singing of happy birthday, candles, and her monkey cake, we managed to snap this series.

One of our dear friends knit Sunny her very own sock monkey. He blended in wonderfully with the rest of our plush monkey guests.

We served:
– Monkey Cake made courtesy of our dad, Sunny’s grandfather. Inspired by Martha Stewart’s recipe.

Monkey Cake Pops
– Banana Cream Pudding using Magnolia Bakery’s recipe. Many thanks to our guest, Denise, for providing this yumminess.

Sunny thought the entire affair was quite the success. And isn’t that what matters most?

Photos: Courtesy of Ashley Weeks Cart


Four little monkeys in their monkey hats.


Sunny is learning the deliciousness of mint.

And I’m busy celebrating that the mint came back… OH THE MINT CAME BACK! I’m not a total gardening failure after all. It’s like “Homeward Bound” for herbs up in this household.