Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Snow Day in Pictures

What do you do when you get more than 6 inches of heavy wet snow in a few hours (and the 2nd parent is not home)?

First, you color and decorate a t shirt:
thanks, Gina!

Then, you do some coffee filter art:
washable markers and water on a paintbrush

And then, because your baby sister needs a nap but you really want to play with the snow... Your awesome mom brings it inside for you:
yes. that is snow in the tub.

We have still to make sugar cookies and have rest time...

Adventures in Slow Cooking

Thanks to my friend, Courtney, and her experiment with crock-potting recently, I decided to try something in the slow cooker yesterday... Plus chicken thighs were on sale at Hannaford so...

I amazed me (again) how much liquid comes out of stuff in the crock pot. Also amazing is the fact that you can add a grain to the liquidyness towards the end of cooking and it will soak it all up and create a delicious full meal.

Quinoa Tomato Chicken in the Crock pot (adapted from Courtney's recipe...)

8 Chicken (boneless skinless) thighs straight from freezer to pot
1 can drained artichoke hearts
1 can drained rinsed white beans
2 small can diced tomato (or 1 big 28 oz can)
1/3 cup marinara sauce
2 c chicken stock or boullion
splash of white wine

1 hour left to cooking... add 1 + 1/4 c of quinoa

Yummy slop.

Monday, February 22, 2010

It's Fishy!

It turns out that Lili really likes fish and shrimp. We discovered this when her Omi was here after Mira was born. Omi loves salmon and is very good at cooking it, and Lili first loved the fact that it was pink and then loved to eat it too! I think part of it is that fish is less tough/easier to chew than most meats.

We've not been big fish cookers in the past, in fact I used to be allergic to shrimp and never really loved eating fish. But Keith likes it, and now that I know Lili likes it combined with the fact that I've been told to get more Omega-3's into my diet means that I've ventured into the world of cooking seafood. I've been able to do tilapia well, and last night made some really great salmon. Here's my easy recipe:

Orange Soy Salmon

3 salmon fillets, marinade (for 2-8 hrs) in the following mixure:

4 T soy sauce
2-3 T chinese cooking wine (or sherry, sake, white wine)
2 slices fresh ginger
the zest and juice of 1/2 an orange
a few dashes of sesame oil
1-2 T cooking oil

heat oven to 400 degrees. remove fillets from marinade, and strain the marinade, reserving the liquid. heat 2 tsp sesame oil and 1 Tbs cooking oil in a large skillet. sear fillets one minute on each side and then transfer to a glass baking dish, skin side down. pour reserved marinade liquid over fillets, drizzle a couple more tablespoons soy sauce and wine over top. bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes, until desired done-ness. Served with rice and salad!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Where's the cheese?

Me: Where's the cheese? Did you finish the cheese?

Keith: I didn't eat any cheese.

Me: I had some cheese, but I didn't finish the cheese. But now I can't find it.

Cut to a few hours later...

Keith (opens the cutlery drawer): uncontrollable laughing...

This is what happens when you are sleep deprived and required to multitask and remember too many things at once.

Baby Wearing

We have many baby carriers. Probably not as many as my friend, R, but still... A Ring Sling, a Bjorn, a Moby wrap, and an Ergo. We also have several strollers (umbrella, basic/carseat holder, jogging, and e3 double). I'm not even gonna get into the number of bikes and unicycles in the garage, but I digress.

The reason we have so many baby wearing devices is because they all serve different purposes. The sling is great for when they are really tiny, it's great because you can easily slip them off into bed when they fall asleep, and it's very compact. The moby has been great from newborn thru now until ?? because it holds the baby so securely and it is SO comfortable. The Bjorn is really quick to put on and off. The ergo is great for heavier kids and wearing the kid like a backpack.

All this is to say... go try to win a moby wrap this week from Nicki's Diapers.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tummy time etc

When you have your second kid, you have to keep telling yourself to stop comparing to the first kid, because it is inevitable.

Mira's very talkative. So was Lili.
Mira's rolled over already (back to front, and front to back), but it took Lili a long while to figure that out.
Lili hated tummy time. HATED it, so we never really made her do it. And so she never crawled in the normal way, she did a butt scoot instead. Mira doesn't seem to mind tummy time all that much and so I wonder if she'll be a "normal" crawler...

Of course, NOW Lili doesn't mind tummy time, especially if it means a photo op:

It's interesting to note that Mira's become a relatively easy baby now. She naps pretty regularly, goes to bed pretty easily, and except for getting up too early in the morning (5:30-6am) some days, she does great at night. She's in her own crib in her own room. She nurses well, though not so much in public places (she prefers to nurse at home). It would seem that the kids did a switcheroo, because now Lili is a huge handful. She has all kinds of attitude, and daily meltdowns. It's probably due to an increased responsibility (she is 3 and a half now afterall), and the overall stress of not having her parents' attention 24/7.

And everywhere I go I still get the "she looks just like you" for both the girls. I used to find this to be a huge compliment because I thought Lili was the most beautiful thing in the world. But the fact is, though Mira is really really cute, she can also be a bit weird looking. We think she just needs to grow into her face :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Oy, sorry!

Whoa, it's really been 10 days since my last post??? Sorry folks. And just so you know, my posting frequency is directly related to my mood, so if you don't get a posting for a few days, send me a nice comment to cheer me up!

Last night, had a grrrrreat mom's night at a local spa, and man do I feel like a new woman today!

Hair today...

Recently, Lili told me she wanted to grow her bangs out so she could look just like me (glow of pride). A few days later she said it was so she could look like Cinderella (grumble towards marketing). Either way, she was standing firm on her decision, even through her first professional haircut.

Lately, it's been driving me nuts. I'm sounding totally like my mother did: "get your hair out of your eyes!". It made her look like a little hoodlum, in my opinion.

Today, I said... "Can I PLEASE cut your bangs???" fully expecting the same "NO" answer. Instead, I got a YES!

So into the bathroom we go!

Before: my little hoodlum

After: cute as a button, and so much more appropriate for a 3 year old

And since Mira doesn't like being left alone, this is where she was while we were in the hair cutting process: fully clothed, in the tub!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bread Making

Remember how I took that bread making class at CIA last spring? Well, I don't think I've made any bread since then...

BUT, Keith has! We have an old book from an old book sale, Breads of the World that Keith decided he'd try to bake from. I think it's his version of a New Year's resolution. He's going to bake one recipe a week, all the ones that interest him. Lili helps sometimes, and so it's becoming a fun weekend tradition.

This week was the third week, and they made english muffins! Did you know that english muffins do not get baked in the oven? They "bake" in/on a skillet! Keith used our electric skillet to do the cooking and they turned out beautifully.

Notice that we don't have a biscuit (or round) cutter, so we used my new big heart shaped cookie cutter. Very appropriate for the season, and made for some really fun muffins. And Keith says in retrospect that square (or rectangular) cutting would have made the whole process easier!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Family time

Family time does a body good.

We had a last-minute-drop-everything-and-go visit to my brother's house earlier in the week and it was a great but very short overnight visit. Getting to spend time with my brother and sis in law and baby Alexa was very refreshing and did wonders for my spirit. It helped a lot to see that Alexa (who is 7 weeks older than Mira) can grab and play with things... I forget in the midst of all this mothering that Mira won't be helpless and fussy forever. Fussy, maybe, but helpless, not.

And I think being there was also great motivation for Mira! Keith remembers that Lili reached many developmental milestones while we were on trips, so maybe the same will be for her sister. Or maybe we just notice them more when we are not home. I think Mira is starting to realize her hands, and as you can see in the last post, she seems to have some motivation for moving around.

In fact, if you look closely at this picture, you can see that Mira really is shaking her arm and looking at the toy attached to her wrist. While we were there, I definitely didn't think she could do that!


Mira is showing some development! She won't be a helpless baby forever!

This morning I put her down like this:

And a few minutes later, she was like this:

All the while, frustrated whining coming out of her, but she was working toward me, I think!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ebb and Flow

The only constant is change...

Today my family says goodbye to one of our cats. Bobo was with us from my early teens until now. She was the cutest little fuzzy kitten who would suckle at our dog, and curl up with her to sleep. She was a scaredy cat but never forgot who I was even after I left for college and my own life. She shed like crazy and ended up getting "lion" cuts for the second half of her life. She was always cute like a kitten, and so it's hard to believe she could go from old age. Amazingly enough, even Mira got to meet her when she came to visit us here.

Bye bye Bo. We love you so.