Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Gong Hay Fat Choy...

...which is "Happy New Year" in Chinese! This is the Year of the Pig, supposedly ushering in a year of friends, luck and abundance. I was going to make a big old authentic Chinese dinner, complete with sao bao, but instead we went out for dim sum at T.C. Choy's in Tampa.

We had a fantabulous time at Sea World. It's a great place for kids, much smaller and less expensive than Disney, but still lots to do. The shows were awesome - I loved Shamu! The park is really convenient for nursing moms, complete with private nursing/changing rooms scattered throughout the park. It was so relaxing not having to search out a quiet place to feed A, plus it got us out of the chilly weather for a bit.

I haven't put up pics yet because I've been too busy eating. Baby A, reacting to being fed three meals of baby food a day, has been wanting to nurse more and who am I to say no? I'm trying to wean him from 4 daytime feedings to 3, but he still manages to sneak a fourth in there most days. He's clearly gunning for the 20lb. mark. So, I've had to bump up the calorie intake and this time I'm doing it with bacon. (Year of the Pig, indeed!) Bacon and peanut butter sandwiches, to be specific. Yum. I know I should throw some fruits and veggies in there, but I believe in eating what you crave and apparently my body is craving crispy slices of pork-y goodness. Also Cadbury mini-eggs, which I feel no guilt about consuming in mass quantities since they are only available from now until Easter at which point they disappear until next year. I love Seasonal candy.

Yesterday my friend S and I took the little kids down to the outlet mall. Probably one of my best outlet shopping trips ever. I was desperate to get some new tops that weren't t-shirts. I got some Polo shirts, a nice spring/summer sleeveless tunic-style top and some pants for the warm weather that we know is just around the corner. I had to get A some clothes too, since his 12-month stuff is getting a bit tight and short. Yes, my seven-month old wears 12-18 month clothing. The sleeves are usually a bit long, but at least they don't ride up in the diaper area.

This morning we're off to Michaels to pick up some craft supplies for my next attempt at craftiness from Martha Stewart. These look easy enough maybe even D can help me. Wish me luck though. Usually my craft attempts come out looking a lot like D's pre-school attempts at "art," minus the charm and originality.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Spring clean....

So, in addition to the new Martha Housekeeping book and a Le Creuset dutch oven (to bake my no-knead bread), I also want these.

Happy Spring Cleaning!

On Monday I'll be posting an update and photos (hopefully) of our trip to Sea World. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Breakfast time!

This morning A was on the couch waking up while we got D ready for school. I guess he got impatient and decided to get breakfast for himself. We all laughed and I think he knew he was being funny 'cause he was laughing too. These kids crack me up.

In other news, I was up at 5:30 to prep my second loaf of no-knead bread. This time, I bench-proofed it on one of my silicone cutting boards and only used 1-1/2c. water -- the dough was way less sticky and much easier to work with. Funny how just 1/8 c. can make such a big difference. The loaf just came out of the oven, but I'm hoping it's as delicious as the first batch.

Today Baby A and I are off to the Nissan shop to get the MomMobile serviced. Then someone better vacuum the house - I guess it should be me.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I need no-knead

Given some of my recent baking mishaps, I was hesitant to try the "fool-proof" no-knead bread recipe that is currently the hit of the blogsphere, cooking shows, Martha, etc. Happily, even though from start to finish it takes over a day to make, the results are well worth it and exactly as the recipe promises. Fool proof, indeed! The crust was crispy, crackly; the interior chewy, wheaty and dense. Yumm! We devoured almost a whole loaf last night (served along with a delicious fruit-glazed pork roast and fresh broccoli) and ate the remainder this morning with blueberry preserves. 18 hours to make, 12 to eat. I will tweak my next loaf - a bit less water perhaps and, since the very sticky dough absolutely ruined two of my favorite tea towels, perhaps I won't use towels at all during the rising stage for the next batch. But go see for yourself! It's very easy and very delicious.

So that was our Sunday. This is a busy week: I'm hosting playgroup on Wednesday and D is off school Thursday & Friday. Next weekend the kids, my parents and I are off to Sea World for two days! I've never been, so it's exciting for me too. The weather looks to be perfect and it will be nice to have a little getaway. Maybe I'll even take some updated pictures of the kids.

I'm going to go bake some bread. You should too!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sad truth

Here all this time I was thinking that Baby A is soooo much messier than D was at this age. Turns out my sister Debbie, who took care of D until she was two, was actually a much better housekeeper than I am. Those high chair straps looked spotless because she somehow had the time? energy? ability? to clean the caked on rice cereal off of them. Whereas I'm much more inclined to give them a once-over with a wet paper towel and call them clean. Those smushed-in peas can wait 'til tomorrow! I suppose if I did laundry every day, instead of waiting until there was a critical mass overflowing the basket, those spots would come out of his onesies too. The sad truth may be that I am just a slob.

I really need to get that Martha Stewart Housekeeping book I've had my eye on since Christmas. I wonder if she has hints for getting baby carrot stains out of a pale blue turtleneck sweater.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Fish story

After a lovely week visiting with the grandparents, it's back to normal this week. For our Special Sunday Supper over the weekend, I cooked up a batch of fresh fish that my dad had caught awhile back. About 4 lbs. of fresh, fresh Gulf Snapper. Yum. But a tad bit more than we could eat in one meal, or even two, so it's been Fish, Fish, Fish since then. Fish tacos, fish & chips. Last night we made fish wraps. Basically, got some rice noodles (cooked) and tossed them with shredded cucumber, red peppers, lettuce and red onion and then drizzled with Paul Newman's Low Fat Sesame Ginger dressing and a bit of sesame oil. Then wrapped the salad stuff up with a couple of filets of fish in a tortilla. Very tasty! But I'm fished out for awhile.

Baby A is doing very well with the baby food, but is not so happy drinking from a sippy cup. He likes regular cups, but is having a hard time latching onto the other kind. We'll keep trying! I gave him his first "meat" dinner yesterday - a bit of chicken & wild rice baby food mixed in with his rice cereal. He seemed to like it, but OMG, what a horrible mess. It has some type of cereal starch mixed in it and a tomato-y substance and bits of wild rice and it all congealed into a glue-y paste as he smeared it around. I think we'll lay off that type of thing until he's actually ready for table food. It got all over his shirt and face and hands and he looked like a Baby Oompa Loompa.

We're continuing our trend of waking up waaayyy too early and it's starting to take it's toll on M & I. And now A has started to wake himself up a few times at night -- I'm sure it has something to do with teething. Thankfully, so far, he's been able to get himself back to sleep with little or no intervention from us, but it still wakes me up and I have a hard time getting back to sleep. So I'm back to only about 5 hours of sleep at night. Yawn.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Dark and stormy night

We had some wicked weather last night. Which normally I would sleep through, but since our Dog is terrified of storms, particularly thunder and lightning, she woke me up about 4:40 with her panting and pacing about the room. Note that the KIDS slept through the worst of it, but the DOG woke me up. Argh. Then Baby A woke up at 5:00, crying, which woke up D at around 5:30, so hey-ho might as well get out of bed -- M went to make coffee and I took a shower. Good thing too because the power went out around 6, and if there's one thing I hate it's facing the day before I've had a shower and coffee.

Oh well. Pizza for dinner tonight and early to bed for me!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A meeting

We have a meeting this morning with a contractor/builder to talk about our wretchedly small house. He was supposed to meet with us Tuesday but "forgot," so we rescheduled for today. He just called to confirm, so I'm very hopeful that he'll actually show up.

Grandparent's Day at D's school went very well. I think all four were very impressed with the school, teachers, kids, everything. We're lucky to be part of such a dynamic, family-oriented parish and school. We find out at the end of this week if D has been accepted for Kindergarten so we're praying and hoping for good news there. On a funny side note, I got a note from the Home & School Assoc. president saying I had signed up to volunteer for G'parents Day and could I help serve refreshments, etc. Tuesday night I left her a message saying no problem, but I have a 6-month old that I'll have to tote with me. Well when Baby A and I showed up yesterday, he was in finest no-nap babbling form, and we were promptly asked to leave! The reasoning was the Administration didn't want competing siblings there to distract the g'parents (very reasonable) but I suspect A's full on display of his awesome vocal abilities also swayed the vote. He's one LOUD baby, especially in close quarters. I was assured I'd still get full credit volunteer hours just for showing up. M called them Pity Hours, but since we're nowhere close to fulfilling our 25 volunteer hours for the year, I'll take them!

In other big news, we finally decided to send D to school full-time. She'll officially start next week and she is SO excited. Obviously she has no idea that this is the start of a long career of going to school. She's just looking forward to spending more time with her school friends. Not sure what we'll do about playgroup. I'm as attached to my mom friends as she is to the kids. Maybe I can just show up with Baby A - he needs to socialize anyway.