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I have been thinking for a little while that I’d like to do a post documenting an average day in our life right now.  I was recently looking back at a note I had made on my phone back at the beginning of December where I kept track of our schedule for about a day.  At the time I was attempting to see if there was any pattern to anything as far as sleep, eating, etc. went.  I did not find a pattern.  Here’s that schedule, and a picture of what Madison looked like then 🙂  My how she’s changed!!

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Tuesday, 12/4/2012

2:45 am M fell asleep

6:45 am M woke up, I nursed her

7:00 am M fell asleep

9:00 am M woke up, I nursed her, changed her diaper, played with toys

10:00 am Swaddled and put her in her swing

10:30 am M fell asleep

12:00 pm M woke up, nursed her, changed diaper, changed clothes

1:15 pm fell asleep

2:00 pm woke up, nursed, changed diaper

3:00 pm fell asleep

5:15 pm woke up, nursed, changed diaper

7:00 pm fell asleep, put in crib

7:20 pm woke up

7:30 pm fell asleep in swing

10:40 pm woke up, nursed, played, put on nightgown.  Very fussy but wouldn’t go back to sleep.

1:00 am fell asleep in our bed

1:30 am woke up, extremely fussy, nursed.

2:00 am fell back asleep in our bed.

2:15 am woke up, fussy

3:00 am back asleep.

6:45 am woke up.  Nursed.

7:00 am fell sleep.

10:10 am woke up, nursed, changed diaper.

HOLY COW, I’m so glad our schedule doesn’t look like that any more!  So much has changed since December, and I had almost forgotten already how crazy our schedule was back then, so that’s what motivated me to want to document what it looks like now because in a few short months it will be completely different again, I’m sure!

Last night I put Madison to bed in her crib at about 8 pm, and she fell asleep on her own without crying, which is always miraculous and wonderful (and does not happen every night .  At least 50% of the time she still cries when I put her down for bed).

6:15 am She woke up crying so I went in her room and nursed her.  I put her back in her crib and she fell back asleep.  I also went back to bed, oh happy day!

8:15 am Madison woke up.  She wasn’t crying but I heard her babbling in her room, so I went in to get her, nursed her, changed her, and got her dressed for the day.

9:00 am I brought her into my bathroom and put her in her exersaucer to play while I took a shower and got ready for the day.

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9:30 am Madison and I went downstairs, I changed her diaper, and then sat her at the table for breakfast.

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This morning I mixed up a bowl of baby oatmeal with a jar of baby food (pears, apples, and oatmeal), and spoon fed her.

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9:50 am She was getting sleepy, so I put her in her swing and sat next to her reading some articles in the Rolling Stone magazine.

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10:15 am Madison still hadn’t fallen asleep, and I was getting hungry, so I ran the vacuum around the downstairs of our house, which is a soothing sound for her and we have Bryan’s family coming to visit, so I needed to vacuum anyway, and then I poured a bowl of Cheerios for myself.

10:30 am I sat down next to Madison to eat my cereal, and she fell asleep.  I read some more of the Rolling Stone, and then searched online for recipe ideas for dinners this week.

11:00 am Madison woke up.  I printed out recipes for chicken Tikka Masala and Slow Cooker Apple Crisp that both sounded good to me, and Madison played with her pacifier in her swing.

11:10 am I nursed Madison.  While nursing I debated what I wanted to do next.  Going for a walk sounded like a nice idea, but we needed things from the store, so going shopping might be a better idea.  I was also feeling hungry for lunch, so I decided we should have lunch first, and then go to Target.

11:20 am I set Madison up with some toys on the floor to play with while I got lunch ready.

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I put leftovers from dinner last night into the microwave (chicken, rice, and broccoli) and got her leftovers from breakfast out of the fridge.  I finished cleaning up from breakfast, and started unloading and putting away the clean dishes from the dishwasher.

11:26 am Madison fell over onto one of her toys and started crying, so I picked her up to comfort her and held her while I finished unloading the dishwasher.

11:30 am We sat down for lunch.

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I gave Madison pieces of broccoli and chicken on her tray, and one by one she picked each one up, chewed on it, and systematically threw each one onto the floor.

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After 3 pieces of broccoli and 3 pieces of chicken were on the floor, I gave up and spoon fed her the rest of her leftovers from breakfast and held some pieces of chicken for her to eat.

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12:00 pm Lunch is over.  I change Madison’s diaper, all set to go to Target, and it starts raining.

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Dealing with the car seat, stroller, or shopping cart, loading and unloading everything in the rain does not sound appealing, so Target gets put on the back burner.  Instead, I take Madison upstairs with me, and put her in her exersaucer to play so I can clean up our bedroom.

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I start to make our bed, but she starts crying every time I’m out of eyesight.

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I bring her into our bedroom, and finish straightening up our room, but she’s very fussy whenever I’m not right next to her, so I decide she must be ready for another nap.

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See that tear on her cheek?  But the smile on her face?  I couldn’t get a picture of her crying because every time I came near her, she was happy – she only cried when I wasn’t next to her, but that tear is evidence of what happened when I walked away from her to do something else 🙂

12:15 pm It’s still raining, so still no Target.  I put Madison in her swing.  I upload all the pictures I’ve taken today up until this point, get them ready for the blog, and start typing this up.

1:25 pm Madison finally falls asleep.  I continue working on this blog post.

1:30 pm I put together our shopping list.  It looks like the rain has stopped, at least for now.  I pick up the mess on the floor from lunch.

1:55 pm Madison woke up.

2:00 pm I nursed her.

2:30 pm We finally left for Target!

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2:50 pm Arrived at Target!

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Turned out to be a beautiful day.  Madison was a wonderful little shopper.

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She played with her toys, played with my fingers, played with my purse, and chewed on the shopping list to entertain herself.

3:35 pm As we were in the check-out lane, my brother Andy called, so I talked to him as we checked out, I loaded up everything into the car, drove home, and unloaded everything from the car.  Talking on the phone with a baby in one arm while caring groceries in from the car with the other hand… that is serious multi-tasking!

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4:15 pm As soon as I hung up the phone with Andy, it immediately rang again and was my doctor’s office calling about a prescription and needing me to call my insurance company about getting a fax number.  So I quickly put the cold things away in the fridge and freezer, and put Madison down on the floor to play.

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4:20 pm I called my insurance company, and ended up needing to give them lots of information to create an account as well as get the fax number.  Madison patiently played on the floor.

4:40 pm I finished my phone calls, and considered trying to put away the rest of the stuff from Target, but then I realized Madison was pooping, so instead I changed her diaper.

4:45 pm Madison was fussy because she wanted to nurse and was sleepy, so I nursed her.

5:00 pm She fell asleep nursing so I moved her to her swing, and tackled putting stuff away from Target.

5:20 pm Madison woke up from her nap, and I sat down next to her at my computer to work on adding to this blog post.  She sat in her swing smiling and waving at me.

5:25 pm I took Madison out of her swing.  She seemed to be in a happy playful mood, so I put her in her walker to play.

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She wasn’t too happy about being in there though.  I tried sitting and playing with her, but she was not interested.

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5:40 pm I decide to give Madison an early dinner.

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Usually we’ll wait and all have dinner as a family when Bryan gets home around 6pm, but Bryan’s not going to be home for dinner tonight, so I go ahead and feed Madison.  Tonight she has black beans with sweet corn, greens, and wild rice.

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She seems to like it.

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It starts pouring rain while she’s eating, so we listen to and watch the rain while she eats, and she listens to thunder a couple of times.

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Here’s the little river of rain water running by our house outside.

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So glad  the rain held off while we were out at Target!

5:55 pm Dinner time is over, so I take Madison upstairs and put her pajamas on.

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I’ve found that it’s easier to put her pajamas on earlier rather than later because if I wait until I’m actually putting her to bed, she’s really fussy and gets very upset when I am taking off and putting on clothes.  Doing it right after dinner seems to work much better.

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I can’t believe how big she’s getting!  She’s not a tiny little baby any more.  She’ll be 9 months this Thursday!

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6:00 pm We come back downstairs, and she’s really fussy.  She’s obviously still very tired, rubbing her eyes and unhappy, so I put her in her swing and I sit down at the computer to work on adding more to this blog post.  It’s too early to put her to bed, but the swing seems to help pacify her.  I uploaded pictures and got them ready for this blog post.

6:25 pm Madison fell asleep in her swing.  I uploaded the rest of the pictures up until this point, and proof-read the post.

6:45 pm I got hungry and decided to heat up something for dinner.  I put a frozen Amy’s meal in the microwave, straightened up a little in the kitchen, brought down a load of laundry, and ate my cheese enchiladas.

7:15 pm Madison woke up.  I put her in her jumparoo, which we currently use as more of an indoor playground swing since she doesn’t really know how to jump in it yet.

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She really enjoys it as a swing though!

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Then I put her back in her walker for a little while.

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She played with some toys and pushed herself backwards.

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Then she got sleepy and fussy again, so I sat with her and let her look at a magazine, which she enjoys doing.  She likes the feel and sound of the paper I guess, but she also likes eating the paper, so I had a pacifier in her mouth to prevent that from happening this time.  Finally, she helped me wipe down all the kitchen counters.

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8:15 pm She was acting pretty sleepy, so it was time to go upstairs to bed.

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I took her upstairs, changed her diaper, put on the ocean white noise, and nursed her.

8:30 pm I put her in her crib.  I heard her crying as I closed the door, but it stopped immediately, and I haven’t heard anything since, so I’m hoping she’s out for the  night, like last night.

8:35 pm I came downstairs in time to see a pretty sunset outside the back of our house.  Nice end to the day 🙂

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So there you have a glimpse into one average day in our lives right at this moment 🙂

The weather has finally warmed up around here, and it seems like it’s going to stay that way.  I’m so excited.  I’ve got Spring Fever for sure, and I’ve been planting stuff like crazy!  Friday night when we got back from Charlotte I planted my new raspberry bush that Bryan bought me for Christmas.  It just arrived this week.  I’m so excited for fresh raspberries!  I also planted some cilantro.  Then on Saturday and Sunday I planted tomatoes, watermelon, lettuce, broccoli, basil, daisies, poppies, and sunflowers!  I’m feeling the Spring Spirit!

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Saturday afternoon Bryan, Talan, Madison, and I went to Lake Wheeler to enjoy the beautiful mid 70’s sunny day.

This lake always has such nice memories for me since it is where we had our rehearsal dinner/ pig pickin the day before our wedding (almost 2 years ago!)

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The last time we were here was last summer in early August.  I was 9 months pregnant with Madison at the time, and I chose to sit in the shade while Bryan and Talan rented a pedal boat.  I just couldn’t stand the thought of trying to get into a little boat with my big stomach and then sitting out there in the sun with no shade.

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This time however was a different story!  All four of us rented a pedal boat, and we floated around the lake, enjoying the sunshine and cool spring breeze.  Bryan ended up doing the majority of the pedaling so it probably wasn’t quite as relaxing for him.

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It was Madison’s first time on a boat!  She didn’t love it.  She was tired, and she didn’t like having the sun in her eyes.

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Afterwards we had some ice cream sandwiches while we sat in the shade on rocking chairs, enjoying the pretty view.

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It was a nice way to spend the afternoon.

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Happy Spring!

This past week Bryan had to go to Charlotte for a work trip, so Madison and I tagged along.  We had a fun time!  It was Madison’s first big road trip, and she did really well.  She lives a good life.

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We arrived Wednesday around noon, and dropped Bryan off at the place where he was working that day, and Madison and I checked into the hotel.  Then we ventured to the mall across the street, and did some shopping!  We spent most of our time in White House Black Market where all the ladies ooooed and aahhhhed over what a sweet, easy-going baby she is.  (I was there for about 2 hours and she patiently watched me try on clothes from her stroller the whole time!)

I ended up getting a skirt, a shirt, and a necklace, all on sale. The sales lady who had been helping me was very disappointed by how little I bought after spending so much time trying things on.  Oh well.

After shopping, we ate at Maggiano’s for dinner, and Madison thought their bread was delicious.

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She was really good all through dinner even though it was well past her usual bedtime by the time we finished and made it back to the hotel for the night.

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It was Bryan’s first time eating at a Maggiano’s and he liked it as well.  Madison really wanted to dig into my lasagna, but that was not an option.

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The next day Madison and I drove to Concord Mills outlet mall!  Do you see the theme that is emerging of how we spent our time?

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We spent most of the day hitting up a bunch of stores at the outlet mall.  Madison scored some pink shorts for $4.99 and some pink sunglasses for $1.99.  I got a dress from Ann Taylor (marked down from $120 to $30!) and a shirt from Banana Republic, also on clearance.  Awesome.

That night we had dinner at Cowfish, which was good – it’s a fusion of burgers and sushi.  There’s going to be one opening up here in Raleigh soon at North Hills apparently.

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Then on Friday, our last day, Madison and I hit up IKEA!!  She was so excited to visit Ikea for the first time.  She was also thrilled to wear her new shorts and sunglasses.  Can’t you just see her excitement?

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I got a really cute napkin holder (for $1.99!), 4 picture frames, some kitchen scrubbers (2 for $.99!), and boxes and magazine holders for organizing stuff next to my desk.  Fun!

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That afternoon we drove back home.  It was a late night by the time we got back, and we were exhausted.  Bryan was exhausted from working and driving… and Madison and I were exhausted from all the shopping.  🙂

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Happy Easter 2013!  We’ve had an Eastery weekend.  Saturday Madison dressed up like the Easter Bunny and we had a little photo shoot.

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She seemed to really enjoy being dressed like a bunny.  She had a good time cheesing for the camera.

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She was also very happy to sit next to her big brother for some pictures 🙂

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So cute.

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Fluffy little tail and everything!

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We set up the timer and managed to get one good one of the whole family – Talan’s idea.  Glad it turned out!

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Later Saturday afternoon we decorated Easter eggs.

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Friday night I made an Easter cake with peeps, jelly beans, and edible Easter grass.  Talan was most excited about the peeps.

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I used a recipe I got online for white cake.  It turned out really good.  Melissa came over and had dinner with us on Saturday, and we had the cake for dessert, and we all agreed it tasted like a tasty moist wedding cake.  Yummy!

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Back to egg decorating.

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This year we blew out all the eggs first so we can save them (which we do every year).  Then we dyed them in regular food coloring dye, and then used little Q-tip paint stick things I had picked up at Wal-Mart for about $.99 to add some designs.

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They turned out beautifully of course.

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Bryan enjoyed decorating the eggs, too.  He created some masterpieces.

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Madison tried vanilla yogurt for the first time Saturday afternoon, and LOVED it.  She really likes food!  So far her favorites are sweet potatoes, green apple, strawberry, banana, vanilla yogurt, french toast, and steak!  We had steak for dinner Saturday night, and she just loved it.

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Easter morning – the Easter bunny came!  Talan and Madison had Easter baskets filled with goodies, and the Easter bunny had hidden eggs all over the house.  Talan had fun finding all the eggs.

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Talan and Madison both had bunny ears in their baskets.

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Madison seemed excited about her basket.

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We went to church and managed to get a couple of pictures all dressed up before going.

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Everyone at church was exclaiming over our cute baby bunny 🙂

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After church we came home and had an Easter brunch with french toast, scrambled eggs, sausage, and berry banana smoothies.  Then later this afternoon we went to Dallas and Christine’s house for an Easter egg hunt party.

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And that was our weekend!  Happy Easter!

I’m back! Hopefully I’ll be able to post more now that Madison is 5 months old and we’re on a bit more of a regular schedule… She’s slightly more independent.

Talan is turning seven years old on Tuesday.  This weekend I made him a Birthday cake, and we’re going to celebrate his Birthday tonight with cake and presents. It’s just going to be the three of us – no cake for Madison yet – so I decided to make a mini cake since we don’t need all that leftover cake sitting around our house for us to eat all week!

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I used two of my glass Pyrex storage bowls to be mini cake pans, and they worked out OK.  I had a hard time figuring out the baking time though.

Mini Chocolate Chip Layer Cake

1 1/4 cup plain flour

1/4 cup cake flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1 stick butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp almond extract

1/2 cup buttermilk (1/2 T white vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to make it 1/2 cup)

Baking Directions

Preheat oven to 375.  Lightly grease 2 small round Pyrex dishes or cake pans, and line the insides with parchment paper or foil, then grease again.

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Sift flours, baking powder, and baking soda.

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Remove 1 Tablespoon of sifted mixture into small bowl, and toss with chocolate chips.

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Cream butter.  Add sugar in 3 additions, beating 1 minute after each portion is added.  Add in egg and beat 45 seconds.  Mix in extracts.  Alternately add in sifted mixture in 3 additions with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with sifted mixture.  Scrape down sides of mixing bowl to ensure even mixing.  Stir in chocolate chips.

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Spoon batter into 2 baking pans, spread evenly, smooth tops with rubber spatula.  Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake turns out clean.  Baked cake should pull away slightly from sides of pan.  I don’t know how long the cake has to bake because I took mine out way too early and had to keep sticking it back in until the centers were done.  Maybe 40 minutes?

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I cut off the tops of the cakes to make them flat across the top (which was how I discovered they weren’t finished baking in the middles!)

Butter Cream Frosting

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp almond extract

1-2 T milk

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Directions

Cream butter in stand mixer.  Add in sugar, beat until fluffy.  Add in extracts and milk, beat for another minute, adding more milk if necessary for spreading consistency.

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I actually used the above recipe to spread white frosting over the top, sides, and middle of the whole cake, and then I made another batch of frosting to dye and decorate the cake.  The dyed frosting was probably about twice as much as  I needed, so I could have just made half as much for decorating.

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I think the sides turned out looking really nice!  I need to work on my writing skills though.  That part isn’t as great looking.