Friday, April 30, 2010

You win!

Winner of the Earth Day Giveaway is J$!

There were 6 comments at this time, and so I used the ultimate randomizer... I threw a die and good old lucky # 4 came up, and since J$ was the 4th commenter, she wins!

J, I'll get it out to you soon!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Earth Day Giveaway

Happy Earth Day one day later! This year Lili's questions about "Urt" Day made me think a little bit about the things we do to help our planet out a little, you know, reduce that footprint of ours. Because, with two kids, you know that's hard to do.

We compost - backyard composting
We recycle - between that and the compost, we have very little garbage - talking half a can or less every two weeks
We cloth diaper (at home) - which means we use about 12-15 disposable diapers a week.
We garden, and move worms about
We use biodegradable laundry and dish soaps
We wash the kids infrequently, to save water (haha that one's just a joke!)
Keith bikes to work most days, and the girls and I walk when we can
CFL lightbulbs
And I'm sure many others.

One of the big ones is using canvas bags when we go grocery shopping. And because I have "green" as an excuse, we have many {many!} reusable bags at home, in all shapes and sizes. And thanks to a local toy store, you can add another to your collection too!

The Plan Toys cotton shopping bag has an earth graphic on the front and a list of all the environmentally positive things they do as a toy company on the back. It's a good size bag as you can see compared to a three-and-a-half year old, and I'll send one to one lucky winner! All you have to do is comment to this post with one (or more) environmentally friendly thing YOU do on a regular basis. I'll choose one winner randomly from the comments at noon(ish - you know my life!) on April 30, 2010, so check back then!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Keep your eyes OPEN

The other night, Lili was playing chalk with our next door neighbor, who is 12. Lili had to go in to get ready for bed, but Jordan stayed outside for awhile longer. The next day, we saw a big "LILY" at the end of the driveway. Mind you, we had been in and out of the house several times already that day and none of us noticed it. So I pointed it out to Lili, and she read it, and you could see this whole gamut of emotions run over her face... "wow, that's MY name!"... "wow, someone drew that!"... "wow, someone drew that for ME".... until finally she says out loud: "i feel HAPPY!". It was a wonderful moment, so we share a picture of it...

I hope that she gets to feel that special every day.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A little creepy...

Due to some misfortune in a very hot car, one of my favorite stuffed animals lost her eyes. Black dog was in need of some eye surgery and the only thing I could think of was... buttons! So, we Coraline-d her up and now she's sporting some pretty red eyes. Hopefully she won't be watching us in the night...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Insider tips

One of Lili's friends (who is a boy) really wants to be a girl. He's had tantrums about it and I'm sure he's tried bargaining with his parents about it, but it all comes down to the same conclusion - sorry buddy, those are the parts you've got, so deal with it.

But it doesn't mean he can't learn some tricks of the trade... Lili's all girl, all the time, and so I thought I'd put together some of her pointers on channeling the female gender.

1. Start Early. Accessorize. The more the better. And some jewelry pieces need the right attitude to pull them off.

2. Commit to your fashion choices. Naptime, playdates, whatever the occasion, it can be all spruced up with a nice gown and tiara.

3. Learn to cook. All food items must have pink in them. In fact, all items in your life must have pink. Sprinkles are a bonus. Sparkles are an alternative.

4. Lastly, Tough it out. If you're going to push out a baby one day, then it does no good to cry when you scrape your knees.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Creemee season!

It's that time of year again! Creemee signs are popping up all over the place and that means that summer is just around the corner. You know, summer is not my favorite season, but creemees might be my favorite ice cream. Better known as soft serve (i dunno if it is a VT thing to be called a creemee, but the name does kind of weird me out), we can even get it in Maple Flavor here.

Did you know my absolute favorite soft serve is McDonald's vanilla? Maybe you think that's gross. Chicken McNuggetts are also my favorite fast food. It harkens back to my youth and many many car trips with my family.

Anyway, as a treat since the creemee sign just went up, the girls and I went to an area convenience store after school to get our first of the season. Lili ate all of hers. As did I. And it was good.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

First Foray into Food

" rice cereal? eh, i don't like it so much"

"nachos? that's more my style, i'll take some of those"

"oh, bananas are more appropriate for babies? those are good too"

Friday, April 9, 2010

Crock Pot Tortilla Soup

I've owned a slow cooker for many years. At least seven. That's probably not many to many people, but it is to me. I've largely been afraid to use it, mostly because the first few recipes I tried were horrible. But I've learned a lot about cooking since then, and I love the convenience of it, especially with 2 unpredictable kids to take care of. This blog helped, too.

Here's something I have learned about it recently that has been tremendously valuable: boneless skinless chicken thighs are the best meat to cook in the thing. Because they are higher in fat content, they don't dry out like white meat chicken does, and so you can cook for a long time without worrying that it will ruin the meat in it. Plus, the meat shreds very easily at the end of cooking, making chicken chili and the like simple to do. And being able to put them in straight from the freezer is the ultimate in convenience.

Coming back from Austin recently made me crave some Tortilla Soup, all limey and crunchy, so I thought I'd give it a shot in the slow cooker. It turned out totally fantastic, and even Keith, who's not a fan of tomatoes, really liked it. The bonus part was that very little added salt was necessary because we used Fritos instead of regular tortilla chips, and those things are mad salty.

Here's the recipe...

2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 small onion diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1-2 carrots, diced
1-2 bell peppers, any color (I used red and orange)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes
3-4 cups chicken stock
1 small can corn, drained
1 tsp cumin
dash cayenne
salt, pepper to taste

Dump in all in the crock. Turn on high for 4-6 hours, low for 6-8. Shred chicken with fork at the end of cooking time. Serve with lime juice, crushed Fritos, and shredded cheese. Cornbread too, if you like!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A taste of green

Aaaand because I can't resist showing off my beautiful girls in the green green grass:

There and Back Again

We have been a whirlwind of travel lately, and most recently got back from Austin, TX, where we attended a wedding for my side of the family (read: lots of Asian people). There was tons of activity - I'll give some of the highlights (and low lights) here!

This was Mira's first plane trip! 4 flights total, and she did wonderfully. Both girls are gold-star travelers. The flight(s) home were very late (arriving home at 12am) and there was minimal crying and absolutely no screaming. They both did great with the late nights too! Guess we have some party girls on our hands.

Being with family was also wonderful. I didn't realize it until now, but the move to VT has left me missing and craving time around Asians. Never thought I'd see that day. But, turns out I really like speaking Chinese.

Perhaps the funniest moment was when Cousin Phillip finally showed up. Most everyone was left gawking. I guess none of us gets to see much of him!

Mommy brain moments: nursing Mira, I looked over in her car seat and had a mini panic - where is she??? Also, packed and let Lili wear a dress that had chocolate on it to the wedding. Definitely didn't wash that one before packing it! Oops.

No water at the hotel. Hmmm. Very poor management for a full house!

Beautiful weather. Great Texas food (Salt Lick BBQ was mouth watering!!!). Lili had a BLAST running around the botanical garden.

The wedding was pure unique fun. The place it was held was full of charm and character and the whole thing was a pleasure to be a part of. Lili danced her pants off and was so patient with cake we let her be the first in line for a slice.

Perhaps best of all? Shorts and tanks on the first of April!

And because we were amongst many family and many cameras... The elusive family shot: