Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Another week done. Whew... now that the weather is nice, seems like days are flying. We've got our tomatoes planted, ditto for herbs, and I can't *wait* to be making my favorite sandwich of tomatoes and basil on toasted bread in a few months.
In the meantime, I've been having fun playing with food making Bun's lunches. Here's today's. It's so nice to have the local strawberries (best on earth, in my honest opinion) back in the stores -- and to have the 'strawberry lady' going down the street on weekend afternoons to sell flats. We devour good strawberries around here.
Maybe I'll make strawberry tallcake for Bun's birthday dinner with the family...
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Cole is really starting to come into his own. He and Carter are playing more, with mixed results, of course. Sometimes they're on the same wavelength, and sometimes Carter wants to build something while Cole wants to UNbuild that same thing. Then the beatings begin.
They're only 4 pounds different than each other in weight, so it's a much more even match than you'd think, at least. I wonder how long it'll take before Cole is the alpha physically, because that *is* what is going to happen. :)
Still, I truly enjoy hearing Carter talking to Cole and the beginnings of them playing. Right now they're collaborating on disassembling the wand and other accessories to my vacuum, so, um, I better get back to them. Carter is very mechanically inclined... see ya!
Monday, March 23, 2009
Commence planning NOW. :)
Bunny wants a smaller, more ‘special’ party this year for her birthday. YAY! That means it’ll be more interesting to plan, and also more fun for me as well as her and her guests (I hope!).
Having set the date, it’s taken me longer than I’d like to create the invitations, as they’re rather labor intensive, and special, like our guest of honor. I kid… well, kinda.
Bunny wants a doll tea party as her theme, so I made paper doll chain invitations. I found THIS template, and used only the ‘girl’ half.
They’re simple to make as long as you know how to fold paper and use scissors. But they’re rather tedious, as I said. And, though I was only making 8, it took me a long time to find time when the boys were otherwise occupied.
Nice paper dolls, huh? They’re a little plain, though. Time to dress those dollies.
Bunny and I had already chosen a few lovely scrapbook papers to use as dresses. I love scrapbook paper—but NOT scrapbooking. That’s why I blog, FYI… I like this. :)
AnyHOO, as you can deduce, I made a dress template, traced the dresses on the wrong sides of the papers, then Bunny and I worked together to glue them to the blank dolls. Finally, I printed up the invitation details on plain paper and freehand cut them out as ‘aprons’ for the middle doll in each chain to wear so they are proper invitations. I didn’t photograph that part, though… just imagine it on the red dress in this photo.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Mother Nature is so fickle this month. We’ve been swinging from temperatures near 70 to having frost for days in a row, which seriously messed with my new tomato plants. One was fried by it all, but I will take it an exchange it either today or tomorrow. I will not give up on my quest for perfect summer tomatoes and my favorite sandwich—tomato, basil, mayo, toast. Mmm, I am salivating thinking of it.
But anyway… I seem to have yet again digressed. :)
The weather was chilly and windy this weekend, but we bundled up and headed out to the park. It was nice to get in a good walk, and we always have fun at ‘our’ park.
Carter and Bunny love to play a form of tag with their Daddy. Carter rides on Paul’s shoulders and Bunny runs around, claiming that nearly every stationary object is ‘base’.
Here Bunny works to evade the ‘two headed monster’ (Carter and Daddy).
Cole is still a bit too small to take part in all the shenanigans, so he and I play or walk around, and also cheer on the big kids.
Shhh! Don’t let them know I’m hiding here!
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I had gotten in a real rut with Bunny’s lunches recently. Call it end of winter blahs, but whatever it was, I was phoning it in, and I could tell she was not interested in eating what I sent for her. After thinking about it for a while, I realized part of the problem for her and me was her lunchbox. She had one that was a modern version of a sack, reusable, but still in the shape of a sack. Although made of what appears to be insulated material, her class leaves their backpacks outside the classroom, and her lunch was never kept cold by the time morning sun had worked its way across the sky because of the orientation of her little building (her school is basically many, many buildings – no central hall, just groupings of two room units that more or less stand alone).
Also, it’s like a bottomless pit, that bag was. My routine is to empty her lunch while she’s having snack, and often I’d ask why she didn’t eat a particular item. The answer often was that she didn’t know it was there. Similarly, I would find it hard to concoct a cohesive meal that was appetizing all together. Looking back, some of those ‘meals’ were messed up and NO WAY would I have put the same grouping of stuff on a plate together.
So, I got her a new lunchbox. I’d been eying the Laptop Lunch system for a while, but wanted to see how Bunny is with bringing containers home before investing in this. After 2 years with almost nothing lost (2 lids over all that time) I made the plunge and bought a lunchbox set and a bento sleeve to keep it all cold. Our district is participating in the ‘go green’ zero waste initiative, and the wastefree ethic of laptop lunches is spot on with that.
It’s been a couple of weeks now, and I think we’re both pretty happy with the Laptop Lunchbox. The sleeve keeps the foods inside refrigerator cold, even until after school. I can see the whole box at one time and it helps me think about what would go nicely with what (no more cheese and yogurt and cheddar crackers). Bunny also can see it all, so she eats more variety. And, it’s just plain neat, which makes Mama happy – I like compartments. :)
Here are a few I made recently.
One concession to keeping with what other kids always have, is the mini fruit rollups. I was glad to find there is a ‘mini’ version, so Bun’s not taking in nearly as much sugar and HFCS… however, she’s been enjoying her lunches so much more lately that about half the time she doesn’t even eat her ‘treat’ until after school. I suppose that proves the mantra, ‘given appetizing healthy options, they’ll choose them over sugary snacks’… until later, at least haha!
Friday, March 13, 2009
How can ONE HOUR make such a difference? I have lost the past week to this one measly hour, I tell you. Just can't seem to get my go... going. Every morning I have dragged my sorry butt out of bed at about 7, which is much later than I would normally (I like to be up by about 6:30 so I can make coffee and think about breakfast and lunch). I'm pretty amazed I didn't wimp out and get Bunny to buy a school lunch any day this week. I have even tried my best to catch a nap a couple of times (to no avail)... this week just was weird.
Oh well, next week will be better.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I am a recovering anal person. Meaning, I have to let a lot of things go, or I’d be either running around like a crazy person cleaning up everything all the time, as I am utterly outnumbered by people who do NOT seem to care about neatness, or I’d be nagging my family every other minute about picking up, cleaning up, putting away like a crazy person. I have had to relax a LOT, or else the crazy person part – or at least the ‘martyr’ part comes to play. And I don’t want to play those roles, though I do find myself slipping into them once in a while when I am tired, when it’s too rainy, when the kids are just on fire, or when I have not had a real break in weeks.
But like with substance abuse, I am only a recovering anal person (and I look forward to the day when I can let my anal flag fly, lemme tell ya).
Some things drive me up the WALL. Things I know should not. Things I know do NOT MATTER AT ALL. But they bother me, okay?
Pretty much anybody with a boy under say age 6 will recognize this Thomas sippy cup set. They’re a little old, let’s call it a patina. :) But that’s not what’s wrong with them. See… the lids are reversed. They both were in the dishwasher together one day last week and my husband grabbed one to give to Carter, and *gasp!* chose the wrong lid! Then they were utterly mismatched for days. Days, I tell you! And yeah, it bothered me. Wrong, I would think to myself.
Also, one day last week we had a lovely time at a playdate with one of Carter’s friends, a boy who has the Cars sippy set (as we do, too). The kids had a great time, we moms also had a nice visit. Sonya is a fantastic mom, who clearly does not have the same set of issues I do, as she served Carter the orange cup with the blue lid (the orange lid goes with it). And yeah, it kind of bothered me.
Finally, after that harrowing week of separation, I was able to match each one with its mate, as they both were clean at the same time.
You have no idea how relieved I was. Okay, not really. I was not exactly up nights fretting about this. But yeah – it bothered me. Vexed me a little.
Monday, March 09, 2009
Another Monday, and oh, boy... first weekday of Daylight Savings (the new, improved, early as heck version!)... no one's wanting to do anything here today.
My menu is a bit partial... still working on it.
Sunday: Shrimp Gumbo (made meatball soup on a whim instead last week, so this is that shrimp [frozen])
Monday: Sausages & Peppers w simple tomato sauce
Tuesday: Roast Chicken, fauxtatoes, soycutash
Wednesday: Meatloaf, snap peas, salad
Thursday: Chicken with Lemons and Olives
Friday: TBA (Tacos?)
Friday, March 06, 2009
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
I went off menu last night – I had planned to make shrimp gumbo, but just wasn’t feeling it, Dog.
After a quick perusal of my options, I spied a bag of Trader Joe’s mini meatballs in the freezer. These suckers are really tasty. So I decided to see what kind of meatball soup I more or less had the ingredients for and found THIS recipe. More or less meaning I had to change it a wee bit, which is not exactly a shock for me even if I plan to make something ahead of time…
I didn’t have escarole on hand (gee, must’ve just run out, hahaha), so I subbed a bag of frozen cut spinach, and I only had to thaw the meatballs in the nuker instead of making them by hand.
This was my first time making any kind of egg drop soup, and I was pretty delighted when it came out—and easily! It’s gotta be high protein with the meatballs, chicken broth, and eggs, and all that spinach (which was very mild and as Bunny said, ‘not bad like spinach usually is’) made it a nice one pot meal. A keeper.
A couple of days later her ears look great, and I am glad I didn't get too bunched up over sticking to my idea that she should wait until she was 10. I'd read somewhere a long time ago that it's best to either pierce a baby's ears or wait until 10 so they can care for the healing. But honestly, I just clean her ears, and it's not a biggie. Hey, I'll take it over clipping her toenails. I admit -- I really won't miss that when she's able to take over. ;)
Monday, March 02, 2009
I got a new crockpot cookbook a couple of weeks ago and am trying a new recipe from that this week. It sounds really random, so hopefully everyone will eat it, haha! It's the milk braised pork. Odd, but I need to know how this tastes, LOL.
I'm making an 8 day menu this week as I plan to shop Trader Joe's midweek and have to pick up some stuff from Costco also (which means rotisserie chicken, my new must have from there--hey for $5 for two meals worth of chicken, it's just silly to skip it).
Sunday: Ribeye steaks, sauteed shrimp, fauxtatoes, salad, homemade ice cream cake (DH's bday dinner)
Monday: BBQ chicken legs, broccoli slaw, salad
Tuesday: Shrimp Gumbo
Wednesday: Pork Tenderloin Braised in Milk with Fresh Herbs, spinach fritters, zucchini
Thursday: Roast Chicken, sauteed chard
Friday: Salmon with Lentils
Saturday: Chicken Noodle Soup
Sunday: Bolognese Sauce