Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Productive Morning...

Our morning started out very well. Adam was up and down a little last night, but he fell back to sleep this morning and got some solid snooze time, which he needed. So then we were off to finish our taxes as we have to walk in our city taxes (they do it for you). We walked right in and were taken care of immediately - always nice! Then we had a few errands to run. We'd been putting off the upgrades on our phones as that is also a place that can take forever. Well, we walked right in there and got that taken care of as well. Adam was cranky by this point, so we went home. He actually stayed awake on the way home, which boded well for a good nap....nope....and downhill our day went! Adam has been sick, so naps are key for helping him get better (we know that, but he doesn't). So we tried to get him down, he fell asleep and then woke back up in like 15 minutes, so I tried to lie down WITH him - no dice. So we gave up (this was over an hour of trying different tactics).

So then Ray had been working on my computer - trying to get the fax to work and ran to Wal-Mart for a part - which they didn't have. So we never got that working. We made dinner and did some stuff outside. Then we came in to try to work inside. So I was working on paperwork/cleaning and was doing our phone rebates - WRONG FORM! AGH! So I've emailed our sales rep, who emailed back that I had the wrong form - hopefully I'll have a link tomorrow to fill out the RIGHT one.

So I finally got my paperwork caught up (checkbook tomorrow, such fun). Now I'm working on finishing the grading I PLANNED to do during Adam's nap. So much for plans.....

But hey, we did get two time consuming things done today - now I just need the right rebate forms!

DC Trip

Our trip to DC was short, but well worth it. I'm really glad we made it down to see the terra cotta warrior exhibit at the National Geographic Musuem. They were just so awesome to see! They must be simply awe-inspiring to see in person - the pictures were breathtaking of them in their pits! The ones there were really neat - they had a great variety of the types of figures so it felt like you really were getting the "whole" picture. It was VERY crowded though and the exhibit rooms were HOT.

Adam and Ray


Jennie and Adam
Ray with replica terra cotta warrior (to see size)

Jennie and Adam with replica (as you can see Adam fell asleep halfway through!)

Adam checking out a fountain we found!

Adam watching his DVD player while waitng on Daddy to get the car to load up - parking in DC, of couse, sucked!

New Push Up Aide?

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They should market this system! Not only are you adding like 30 pounds, but you have to be very careful, meaning you work your muscles more!

Helping Mommy Cook

Adam loves to help me mix cookie dough now!


Telling me to get the butter!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Home for now....

We got back last night from DC (we only went on Sunday). The terra cotta warriors were fabulous, but definitely a lot of driving to do in two days. Adam has been in and out of a cold for awhile now and it is finally really hitting him, poor little baby. Him and Daddy just went for a car ride in hopes of getting him SOME sleep. He got to sleep at nap, but couldn't manage to stay there and he really needs sleep.


Ray got new glasses today, but one pair (the regular ones, not the sunglasses, which would be much simpler!) seems off, so if that continues he'll have to go back and bug them about that.


I have to grade, so I'd better get my butt in gear.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Making your own brown sugar

I was making chocolate chip and butterscotch chip cookies yesterday. While turned out I was out of brown sugar and so didn't want to go the store (its only a couple blocks, but when taking a two year old there is no such thing as a "quick" trip), but I knew I'd heard you could do your own from white sugar. So I looked it up. Turns out that if you add 1 tbsp of molasses to 1 cup white sugar (put in cup together - you want one finished cup), you are set. I made my cookies this way this time and aside from a little color difference (a little darker), I couldn't tell the difference (and given just how many times I've made thes cookies, I should know). I have a lot of problems keeping my brown sugar from getting all lumpy, so this is a very nice substitute to know! I always have molasses in the house anyway.

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

This turned out very nicely, but I'm classifying it as an appetizer, not a main dish, like the magazine had it. This would be a great party appetizer as it reheats well, you can freeze it and you can easily vary it. I really like the versaility of it. You could easily let a little kid pick out their favorite pizza toppings and do a batch like each. You could also go totally different and do Mexican or something else. Really the possibilities are endless, making this a great appetizer for parties as you can easily do a nice variation.


Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

Modified from Everyday with Rachael Ray


3/4 cup flour

3/4 tsp. baking powder

3/4 cup whole milk [I used 2%, which is what I had in the fridge]

1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella [I actually used my grocery store's Italian cheese blend here]

1 cup diced up pepperoni [okay, this used an actual pepperoni, I'm guessing....I had extra sliced from making pizza a week or so ago and used that....it wasn't quite enough so I chopped up (really small - I used my hand mincer thingie) onion and red pepper to fill it out.]

1/2 cup pizza sauce [just store bought stuff]

2 tbsp fresh basil, minced.

[sliced red pepper for dipping....I tried this, wasn't impressed....I liked it better IN the puff]


Preheat oven to 375. Great 24 cup mini muffin pan.


Whisk together the flour and baking powder. Then whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in mozzarella and pepperoni (and whatever else). Let sit for 10 minutes. Stir again and then divide batter into muffin pan.


Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Heat up pizza sauce and add 1 tbsp basil to it and stir. Sprinkle puffs with basil [not impressed here either, so will just do1 tbsp in the pizza sauce.]


Serves 4 [this is as a main dish...I didn't think this made it as an entree, so I"m going to use it as an appetizer from here on out, so it would serve more.]


***Freezer tip: Freeze puffs in a single layer on a baking sheet. Put in freezer bag once frozen. To reheat, bake frozen puffs for 8-10 minutes at 350 (a great a idea if you are planning a party as you can get them done ahead and reheat as needed).

Tacoritos

We made these this week and they were a hit. Ray and I both liked them and Adam ate some of the meat out of them. I do think this will make a great "kid-friendly" meal for later (when Adan is older and out of the "everything must be separate" phase) as it is delicious, simple and very mild.

Tacoritos

Modified from Taste of Home


1/4 cup butter, cubed

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

4 cups water [see notes in instructions on this]

3 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp garlic salt

1 lb ground beef

1 lb sweet sausage [this was a nice mix with the two kinds of meat]

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup cooked rice [this original recipe used 1 cup refried beans, but I hate refried beans, hence I used rice, but if you like the beans, you might like it that way.]

8 flour tortillas (8 in) [I ended up needing more...now I didn't measure exactly, but I did fill them up to full...I think I might use 10 inch tortilla next time.]

3 cups (12 oz) shredded cheese [they used Monterry Jack, I used the Mexican blend my grocery chain sells]

Optional toppings: [we actually didn't use any of these]

shredded lettuce

chopped tomatoes

slicd ripe olives

sour cream


In a large saucepan, melt better. Stir in flour until smooth, gradually add in water. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Stir in chili powder and garlic salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. [Okay, this was too thin for me, even with boiling longer than they recommended, so I'll probably use less water next time.]

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the beef, sausage and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in rice (or beans); heat through.

Spread 1/4 cup sauce in a greased 13 by 19 inch baking dish. Spread 1 tbsp suace over each tortilla [a thicker sauce would make this easier]; place 2/3 cup mixture [as I said, I didn't measure, just went with what looked "full"] down in each. Top with 1/4 cup cheese [didn't measure this either]. Roll up and place seam side down in prepared dish. Pour remaining sauce over top [and this was too much in my opinion, hence less water, thicker, etc.]; sprinkle with remaining cheese. [A suggestion the contributer made was to make this lasagna style in a round pan and I think I'll do this next time as it would be easy and save me the hassle of sauce going everywhere!]

Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 18-22 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Serve with optinoal toppings if desired.

Makes 8 servings.

Sleeping Better

Adam made it through last night without waking up. We gave him some tyoneol before bed and that seemed to help relax his legs. He's got a little bit of a runny nose, but that's not really the issue - it seems to be his jumpy legs! Anyway, we are all better for a good night's sleep!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sleep? What's that?

We think Adam is going into a growth spurt. He's been VERY kicky at night and he wedges himself into the corner of his bed and then proceeds to make his head hurt trying to KEEP going. So he starts moaning (he's not awake, but obviously unhappy/uncomfortable), so we go up and pull him back out and he goes back to sleep without an issue. BUT this was on and off ALL last night (usually he might do it once a night, no big deal). Ray always has trouble getting back to sleep and right now, because I'm pregnant and its hard to get comfortable at night, have trouble as well. Needless to say, our house did NOT sleep well last night. And honestly, it hasn't been that good for the last few days, but last night was especially bad. I think we'll try some Tynoel tonight - see if we can just get his little legs to relax.

Weather today, though, is gorgeous after two days of rain. I'm making cookies for Ray's students tonight. Spring Break is next week for them, they have to start regulations tomorrow and so are, no surprise, a bit spacey. So Ray is bribing them with cookies.

Adam is napping right now, hopefully he goest some good sleep as he REALLY needs it. He was up and down all last night and then up early this morning. While he was in a pretty good mood, you could tell he was tired -his method of dealing with being tired is to try to go faster (and then fall more).

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Not our Best Morning

So it started off good. We managed to catch Adam and he peed on the potty once this morning. But when we got to Mass, I realized that I had packed an EMPTY snack container....not good! Our Mass starts at 11:30, so you can imagine that Adam is usually hungry about halfway through, but can be put off with a few snacks to make it until aftwards, but without snacks...unhappy boy! Didn't help he saw the snack container and was asking for them, but here was nothing there. Then we had a sub priest who was, let's just say mroe wordy, than our normal priest. Lenten Masses are always a little long, but today was exceptionally long. In addition, I'm in the uncomfortable stage of pregnancy - especially when it comes to hard pews! We ended up having to leave early - more for me than Adam! Adam, since he was hungry, was being very insistent on being held, and by Mommy, which wasn't helping my back situation.

Now we always go to brunch after Mass. Well, fast food didn't sound good to me and we wanted fries for Adam so the "halfway" places - Quiznos/Subway - were out, so we went to Denny's. Now Denny's usually is pretty good, but they were SUPER slow today. I have no idea why either - they had plenty of wait staff and weren't overcrowded, but they were just s...l....o....w. Since Adam was hungry BEFORE we got there, this was an issue. So he's grumpy, which is making Daddy grumpy....yep, not good. He did practically dive into his food when it arrived!

We were planning to hit Wal-Mart on the way home, but we decided we had enough and just came home. Hopefully the day improves. I'm off to start dinner (trying to do somthing EARLY).

Oh, Adam is saying Ma now....but it comes out Ba! He's really good at "b" and not so much with "m"!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

New Laptop

I just got a new laptop. Yes, that should be exciting, but I HATE computer changes. Now we've been using Windows and Word XP for quite awhile....well, we pretty much are having to change. Ray says I have to keep up with the rest of the world. We got Windows 7. I would just like to register my complaint to all those evil computer geniuses out there - why can't you make a new, better, OS, but make it look exactly the same!!! This is so us "normal" computer people don't have to re-learn everything! We aren't as smart as you!

In addition, I detest, abhor, hate Office 2007. Again, why move everything and make it impossible to find? I swear it is some evil plan to make us all incompetent. So I'm still using Office XP, except, due to Windows 7 being evil, I had to upgrade to Outlook 2007 to make it work (we actually bought this awhile ago....but as soon as I saw it, I about threw up). I know I should upgrade, but its so much work to learn how to use the new stuff! What I think I'm going to do (as both are currently installed in my laptop) is new the "new" programs when students send me things in them - kind of slowly do it. But again, I swear Microsoft has an evil plot to ruin us all!

Why is it so hard to make programs work alike, so make it easier on us? In addition, why do some of my programs (yes, yes, they are 15 years old, but that shouldn't matter!) not work now? Again, EVIL!!!!

Okay, I needed to vent - I do NOT like computer change!

Andrew Update

We scheduled Andrew's c-section last week. If all goes as planned (and of course, Andrew could decide NOT to go along with our schedule!), he'll be born on May 12th. My mother will have been here for a few days by that point and it is within the last week before my due date, which is when they schedule c-sections.

Our biggest issue is that Andrew is going to be born during finals weeks - that kid can choose his dates (and yes, I realize, that really Ray and I are responisble for the date, not him....)! So both Ray and I will be trying to finish up spring grades at the same time, but once we get that done, we should both have a lot lighter schedule, which will help out with a newborn in the house! But Mom is coming for a month to help out, which is will be great. My father is coming for two weeks and then my grandparents for two weeks as well, so we'll have lots of company and help. All that company will also help Adam adjust to having a new little brother in the house.

We also got our last "big" piece of furniture we needed before Andrew arrives. We got a new stroller last week and we just bought a bassinet. When we moved the crib upstairs, we realized it won't fit through the doors, so Ray had to take it apart to move it. Rather than do that twice (once down and once up), we decided to get a bassinet that Andrew can use until we move him to his own room. Otherwise, we have everything we need for little Andrew's arrival. I'm going to slowly stock up on newborn diapers and we'll have a "get out all the stuff" day about two weeks before his arrival (so we have some leeway if he decides he's coming early).

Tulips are coming up!

How we know spring is officialy here - the tulips are coming up!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Potty Training Non-Update

We have stalled out. Adam will sit on it, but doesn't seem to get that he needs to go PEE on it. And he won't tell us when he's going to pee, even though we ask him all the time. So no progress at the moment. Hopefully, it will click soon in that brillant little brain of his!

PASSPORT APPLICATION LETTER

I got this an email forward. No idea if its "actual" like it says (I usually highly doubt anything like that), but still it made me laugh - so true!

Dear Mrs. Ms. Or Sir:

I'm in the process of renewing my passport and still cannot believe this.

How is it that Radio Shack has my address and telephone number and knows that I bought a cable TV from them in 1987 (22 years ago), and yet, the Federal Government is still asking me where I was born and on what date.

For Christ's sake, do you guys do this by hand? Ever heard of computers?

My birth date you have in my social security file.

It's on EVERY income tax form I've filed for the past 30 years.

It's on my Medicare health insurance card and my driver's license,

It's on the last eight damn passports I've had,

It's on every stupid customs declaration form I've had to fill out before being allowed off the plane for the last 30 years.

And it's on all those census forms that we have to do at election times

Would somebody please take note, once and for all, that my mother's name is Maryanne, my father's name is Robert and I'm reasonably confident that neither name is likely to change between now and when I die.

Between you an' me, I've had enough of this bureaucratic bullshit!

You send the application to my house, then you ask me for my address.

What is going on?

You must have a gang of bureaucratic Neanderthal morons working there!

Look at my damn picture. Do I look like Bin Laden?

And "No," I don't want to dig up Yasser Arafat, for shit sakes.

I just want to go and park my ass on a sandy beach.

And would someone please tell me, why would you give a damn whether I plan on visiting a farm in the next 15 days?

If I ever got the urge to do something weird to a chicken or a goat,

Believe you me, I'd sure as hell not want to tell anyone!

Well, I have to go now because I have to go to the other end of the city and get another copy of my birth certificate - to the tune of $100.

Would it be so difficult to have all the services in the same area so I could get a new passport the same day?

Nooooo, that would require planning and organization. And it would be too logical for the government.

You'd rather have us running all over the place like chickens with our heads cut off.

Then, we have to find some asshole to confirm that it's really me on the damn picture - you know, the one where we're not allowed to smile.

Hey, you know why we can't smile?

We're totally pissed off!

Signed

- An Irate Citizen.

P.S. Remember what I wrote about getting someone to confirm that the picture is me?

Well, my family has been in the United States of America since 1776.

I have served in the military for something over 35 years and have had security clearances up the ying yang.

However, I have to get someone important to verify who I am - you know, someone like my doctor WHO WAS BORN AND RAISED IN INDIA!

And you assholes want to run our health care system????

Wasilla Girls Second at State

They beat Colony, that's all I cared about! The girls lost to Juneau-Douglas yesterday to place second in the state tournament. An awesome season! If you read the article, you'll see my cousin Kelsey was the Wasilla point leader with 12! She was also named All-Tournament for 4A. Wasilla boys placed second as well, behind west.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cooking Tips

A few cooking tips - I didn't make these up, but have tried them and they work:
  • If you have a little bit of something you only use in small amounts left over (for me, tomato paste...like in that mole chili I just made), you can use an ice cube tray and freeze it in tbsp (or tsp) size portions. Once its frozen, just pop them out (I "pammed" (vegetable cooking spray...I don't actually buy Pam, the store brand is cheaper) them first to make this easier) and store them in one ziploc baggie. Then you can just take out as many tablespoons as you need at any given time.
  • If you don't use buttermilk, don't buy it. You can make it yourself with 1 tbsp of lemon juice in each cup of regular milk. I just made molasses cookies, which is what reminded me.
  • If you are measuring something sticky (like molasses or honey), "pam" the measuring cup first and it will come out easier.

Okay, those are my tips for the day!:)

Adam and Andrew Update

Adam is getting his two year molars and seems to be heading into a growth spurt (just when the kid was about "normal" height for his age!). Potty training is going slowly, but he's at least getting better on sitting on it and we've had a few small successes. Not sure he is really getting the concept yet, but we are trying.

Andrew is doing fine, as of today. Everything is one schedule. We are working to set a date for the c-section and hopefully will have that by the end of the week (mid-May). Andrew, of course, may choose NOT to cooperate with OUR schedule, so we'll see how that goes.

Otherwise, we've been very busy here. I'm on spring break from one of my schools and trying to get changed over to a new laptop and do some prep work. We've had Jason visiting from GF - he's been working with some Kent State people and so came to do a little face-to-face meeting. Ray's spring break is the last week in March and we have plans for that week as well.

Weather has been gorgeous here although we have some rain. The rain got rid of most of our snow though. Adam is really enjoying being able to really play outside again.

Look what we found again!

Adam "rediscovered" his sandbox today! It emerged from the snow a couple of days ago and he's been contemplating it, but today he hauled (by himself!) all his toys from the garage and put them in it! Took him three trips, but he did it! Then he wanted to climb right in, but we were on our way to the OBs (regular check up, everything's fine), so I made him wait until we got back to play in it. I decided I didn't care if he got himself all dirty (which he did!). He had a ball! It was goregous today and we've had rain the last few days (although that did get rid of the last of our snow).

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I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but his butt is covered in sand! I just stripped him once he got inside.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Some Cool Links

Okay, so I had a huge list of junk piled up on my Favorites list and I'm trying to "clean" house as I'm switching to a new laptop - or at least trying when Windows 7 isn't making me scream! So anyone a few "fun" things I wanted to share:
  • Canadian Curler Pregnant - I really thought this was pretty cool!
  • King Tut's Diseases - this is a cool article that discusses all the various diseases King Tut had!
  • 100 year old whiskey? - so a group of explorers were rescued in their attempt to reach the South Pole and left behind whiskey 100 years ago. The whiskey was recently refound and they are going to try to recover it. I guess the blend's recipe has been lost and they are hoping to be able to recreate it from these bottles.

Bathroom Art!

Adam's drawing while on the potty chair - just trying to keep him occupied! Today didn't see any successes, but he did sit on it a couple of times. He was pretty grumpy - tired and out of sorts. Some of it is that some new teeth just broke through.

New Stroller

We got a new stroller today. We knew we needed one as we pretty much destroyed our last one from overuse. We wanted a double stroller so we had room for both Adam and Andrew. We actually hadn't seen many in "person," so we were figuring on going to Babies'r'Us over Ray's spring break, but we came across this one at Kmart today for a great price, so we got it! Adam "helped" Daddy put it together!

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Adam "helping"

Prepping the stroller for Daddy!

Adam and Pat helping with the tires

Helping with the tires with the BIG hammer

Completed stroller

Testing it out!

Collapsed - isn't much bigger than our old single one!

Then the best part - the empty box!

Olga approved of the box as well!

Reading Daddy's airplane magazine!

Ray's starting him young!

Eating Chex Mix from the Frying Pan

I really don't know why. He wanted Chex Mix and he wanted them in the fry pan!

Our Airplane Mechanic!

We found this airplane for Adam - you take it apart and put it back together with that little power tool. Adam is AWESOME at taking it apart and just needs a little help getting to back together - he needs help getting the pieces in the right order and then he'll do all the screw for you. He takes it apart about 10 times a day!

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Twice Today!

Adam used his potty a second time before tubber time! Yah! We are on a roll...can we keep it up? Tomorrow is going to be a mostly "lost" day because Ray is picking up Jason at the airport in Cleveland (he's coming to visit - another YAH!) and since I'm volunteering at the First Ladies Library (last one until after this baby), Adam has to go with him. But still, we are happy!

Potty Training Victory!

Okay, its just a small one, the first one, but its a start! Adam went pee in his potty chair! YAH ADAM!!!! We put him there, rather than him telling us, but still - he went in it!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mole Chili

Remember the diatribe on ancho chiles? Well, they were for this recipe. I never did find them, but I found ancho chili powder and did some substituting. The result was fantastic! We loved it! Definitely recommend this one. I think actual anchos might give some more texture, but this was easy and it tasted great. It is a very mild chili and while you can smell the chocolate, you can't really taste it, it just balances out some of the heat nicely.

Mole Chili
Modified from Rachael Ray's 30 Minutes Meals

3 tbsp ancho chili powder [okay, she originally used stemmed and seeded ancho chilis - if you can find them great...I couldn't, so I substituted 1 tbsp of ancho chili powder for each ancho chiles....so if you used chiles and did the full recipe, you'd need three ancho chiles.]
1 quart beef stock [cheapo me used beef bullion cubes and water....1 quart is 4 cups in case you didn't know]
1 tbsp oil
4 slices of bacon, chopped [I just used what I had in my freezer rather than her recommendation of lean, smoky bacon...all bacon is smoky!...anyway, I used an extra bit since mine seemed scrawny]
2 pounds ground hamburger [she used sirloin, which would be healthier...I had hamburger in the freezer]
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste [this is just a tiny bit and I buy cans...I'm planning on freezing my extra in tablespoonful size portions for recipes like this and easy use]
1 (15-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes [and I did actually buy fire roasted tomatoes]
2 tbsp smoked sweet paprika [if you want a spicier chili, you can use more chili powder - just regular - here...I didn't, so I used the smoked paprika...you could also probably get away with cumin]
1 tablespoon coriander
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder [I used Hershey's - that's what was in my pantry]
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
salt, if necessary [wasn't for me]
shredded cheddar, for topping [we liked this]
finely diced red onion, for topping [we liked this as well]

Now if you are going to use the ancho chiles, you will need to reconstitute them:

Put the chiles in a pot with the stock and bring to a boil over medium heat. Then lower heat to a simmer until softened, about 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, add the anchos with the stock to a food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside.

I didn't, so what I did was take the beef broth and then just mix in my ancho chili powder and set it aside for later.

Meanwhile, heat the oil, 1 turn of the pan, over medium-high heat in a large pot. When the oil smokes, add the bacon and cook until crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the meat, raise the heat to high and brown for 8 minutes. Lower the heat a bit, add the onions and garlic and cook for 5 to 6 minutes to soften. Season the meat and onions with black pepper, to taste, (hold off on the salt until the chili is completed due to the addition of the bacon and the stock).

Add the tomato paste to the meat mixture, stir 1 minute, then pour in the ancho stock. Stir in the tomatoes, spices, cocoa and cinnamon. Simmer for a few minutes, adjust the seasoning and add a touch of salt, if needed. [I didn't need to adjust or add salt]

Serves 6 [Rachael's portions are always HUGE...I halved it and we still have plenty of leftovers...so I'd say this serves more than 6....it does depend on how big of eater you are, of course.]

Serve the chili topped with cheese and raw red onions.

I served this with cornbread - delicious or as Rachael would say "Yum-o!"

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Car Update

So FOUR warning lights on the Vue came on last week. It is still under warranty, so we set up an appointment with the dealer for Monday and we got it back today, all better and, since it was under warranty, it didn't even cost anything! Always a nice perk! It was some electrical screw up, but it turned off our All-Wheel Drive and anti-lock brakes.

Chef Boyadee Commericals

I just would like to say their current commerical REALLY annoys me. If I was ever inclined to buy their product (which I am not), I REALLY would not be now. So, kid and her mother are in the grocery store and the mom tells the kid, no we aren't having this for dinner. So then the can follows them home and the girl has it in her hand at the end. First, Chef Boyadee is saying that they disobey parents - I'm sure the mom had a reason why not to served canned junk that night. Second, how is the kid going to explain to mom where that can came from? The mom might think she shoplifted! Ugh! Stupid commericals!

Adam REALLY wanted to vacuum

So Adam comes in begging to vacuum (yes, my kid is crazy) and I say, yes, but I have to finish what I was doing. (Adam can't say vacuum, but can say "vee"). Anyway, I tell him to pick up his toys in the living room before I get there. Now, in general, Adam will, under direction, pick up toys and put things away, but I figured on his own he'd pick up like one thing. So I get out there a few minutes later and he has picked up like 5 blocks and put them away and put the basket on the chair. He has also put his table and chairs on the couch - just like Daddy does! His toys were still all over, but still I was impressed! The kid really wanted to vacuum!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Does my house have a floor?

We've been busy all weekend plus I was crazy with grading last week, so the house is quite the mess today. I'm trying to find the bottom. Adam is "helping," so it is two steps forward, one step back. But he is having fun and it is almost naptime, so I should be able to finish up most of it then.

Gorgeous here today - I even opened up the windows for awhile to help clear out stale air and all those sicky germs we've had all winter! Ray had the house open on Saturday as well, so hopefully they are all gone. Plus it just feels good to have the house opened up!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Productive Week Coming?

Today was a productive day for us. We bought a new laptop for me (we buy one new computer a year around this time if things go according to plan). We also dropped the Vue off so that they can work on it tomorrow. Adam was a super good boy all day today, except for the first 5 minutes of Mass. He even missed most of his nap, so he did really well. He was exhausted at bedtime, though! Since I had office hours tonight, we had to run to drop off the car at the time we'd normally put him down. Then we figured we might as well get out other stuff done, which included shopping for the laptop. I also actually got done the grading I needed to during office hours, so that is good. I hoping that this is the start to a productive week with no illnesses! We finally don't have any doctor's appointments scheduled, so hopefully it can stay that way!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Presidential Reunion

Okay, this is seriously hilarous! I tried embedding it, but it kept doing the wrong video, so I'm done with them. Here is the link.

Who Knew My Shopping Bags Were So Fun?

Adam enjoyed playing with my shopping bags yesterday - in and out! I suggested a potato sack race - I don't think he got that!:)

video

Sleeping Better

Adam slept better last night - dare I hope it continues? He woke up once and fussed a little, but went back to sleep on his within 10 minutes. He also didn't get up until 8 AM, which is more on his "normal" schedule. He's SO much happier this morning! I hope this continues, as I like a happy toddler boy! Ray and I also like the extra sleep as well!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Ranting on Ancho Chiles

Okay, so if Christine can find ancho chiles in Bethel, why can't I find them Ohio? Seriously, the Midwest has some issues with food!

It drives me nuts, in general, that Food Network stars (Rachael Ray in this case) are always saying how "easy" it is find items and so is NOT. It seems I often have to work very hard to find these items or pay a lot for them (which I don't). So I end up substituting a fair bit. In general, though, I think these chefs need to get a reality check. We all don't live in New York where even the normal grocery stores carry a wide variety of items.

I tried my local grocery store for ancho chiles, then I tried a more "speciality" grocery store in Hudson (we were in Hudson anyway). I also called four natural foods stores. NONE of them carried these and most didn't even carry dried peppers at all. Now I'm sure if I was willing to drive to Akron or Cleveland, I could find them, but I won't drive too far for what amounts to grrocery items. I also won't buy grocery items online. Just my rule on cooking. If I can't it in a reasonable distance, I'll gave to substitute or give up on the recipe.

What I did end up finding was ancho chili powder and I'll just modify to make that work. I am glad I was able to find something as RR was definitely making ancho chiles sound good - sweet and mild - and now I can't find them!

Finally Have My Meals Worked Out!

It always seems to take me two weeks to get my act together for Lent each year in planning for meatless Fridays. So this week, I'm finally together and made broccoli lasagna tonight so that we'd have meatless leftovers for lunch tomorrow.


As a note, Ray and I were discussing why we can fish, but not other mean, on Lenten Fridays (and while this is a requirement in Lent, the Church actually recommends all Fridays be meatless), so I looked it up. St. Thomas Aquinas answered this question in this Summa Theologica. Pretty much, the gist is that "flesh meat" give more pleasure (in general) than fish, so that's why we can eat fish - its less pleasurable. You can see his entire piece on this topic if you follow the link.

Update

Well, first I am finished with the dentist - hopefully for awhile! Adam still isn't sleeping that well - not sure what is up there. It is either a growth spurt or two year old molars.

Otherwise, we are just trying to keep up with stuff. I had one class end last week and another ending this week. But I only gained one new class, so I'm actually going down by one class, which is nice.

Our car today decided that FOUR warning lights needed to come on! So we have an appointment on Monday for it, but it should still be under warranty, so hopefully that won't cost anything.

We've lost a lot of snow, but still have some on the ground.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Teaberry Strangler by Laura Childs

I also got this book new this month. This one was good, but not her best. It was average among the books in this series so far. A nice addition, but definitely not stellar nor one that will stand out on its own. Anyway, I enjoyed it, but if you haven't read the rest of the series, you probably don't need to bother. Hopefully, though, with pushing the "old" boyfriend further out, the "new" will take a bigger role and if they get Theodosia moved to her new cottage, that should provide some new fun - especially with a dig in the backyard!

Sleep Issues

Adam has been having issues sleeping the last few weeks. He ends up waking up during the night, but he's never FULLY awake - just fussy and needs help getting back settled. This, of course, means both Ray and I are short on sleep as well. I'm really hoping this fixes itself soon! We can't figure out what exactly is causing it - might be two year molars, might be a phase, who knows....so wish he could tell us!

His talking is getting much better. He's really starting to use more words and make his needs known, which is helpful when trying to figure out what he needs.

Today he didn't nap well, so hopefully he'll sleep well tonight. I have another dentist appointment tomorrow so it could be a very long and hard day if he doesn't.

Oh, and Adam's achievement today - locking himself in the bathroom! Scared his mother good! I managed to get it open and when I talked to Ray later, it turns out ANY key will open it as it is just the pressure it needs. We have a key ring of random keys that go to SOMETHING in the house (no idea what though) and I was going through those (toothpick hadn't worked) and the first one worked because of this. Good to know it works all the time, though. Adam never even realized he was locked in - he was having a good old time!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Apple Turnover Murder by Joanne Fluke

I was VERY excited for this book to come out, but I have to say I was a little disappointed. First, I easily spotted the murderer (not something I can usually do). Second, Hannah is still doing the whole two boyfriends thing. I'm completely SICK of this - she needs to choose! This is so not Minnestoan in my opinion! The author seems to be screwing with it (bringing in another woman for Norman's attention) and honestly we just need to end this entire plot line. The thing is she could easily break up with Mike and marry Norman and not screw up the character plots/conncetions that much.

But I am very excited to try the apple turnover recipe - looks delicious! I adore Fluke's recipes - they are always easy to make and usually incredibly good.

Will March be better?

Okay, I said at the beginning of February, I wanted a better month...I didn't really get it...can March finally be the better month? Really if we could just get through it without being sick, that would be an improvement! We also don't have any trips scheduled until the last week (spring break trip to DC), so hopefully we can mostly stay close to home. This has definitely been a rough winter for us - I want to see improvement!

Now, on other things, we took down all but one baby gate (we left the one to the basement, which is our "dangerous" staircase, plus I wouldn't want him in the basement unsupervised) and we put away the high chair (well, I'm working on scrubbing it good). Now if we can just get him out of the crib! That's mainly because without it, he wouldn't STAY in bed when we put him to bed for the night. He's pretty good at going to sleep on his own after we sit with him, etc., but we're not sure how'd he react to freedom. We'll probably try it here soon as he's definitely okay to sleep in a toddler bed (which we have), but it is just an issue of getting him to stay in it.