I made pasta with ham and peas the other night. It was pretty good, I thought. Odin, however, had other feelings about his meal. Apparently I don’t serve peas enough because when he saw them in his pasta he freaked out. I then offered him some of his baby sister’s pureed peas as an alternative which he didn’t think was any better. I wonder what veggie I should torture him with tonight?
This little bug is 7 months old now. She finally decided that sitting up was something she could handle. It’s nice to be able to leave her with a bunch of toys… or her sister and walk away leaving her entertained for a few moments. I’d rather she didn’t start moving around but I suppose that’s coming soon too. It’s just nice when they stay where you put them!
Well, my pants are a bit more snug than when this long holiday stretch started and I’m a bit wiped out but it was a great Thanksgiving weekend filled with old traditions, good food and quality time spent with loved ones. Oh, and some work. Because if you don’t think trimming and decorating three Christmas trees in one day is work, well, then I’m not sure you’ve ever done it.
Part of our Thanksgiving weekend tradition is to cut down our Christmas tree with my mom and my in-laws. In years past we have spent over 1 1/2 hours searching acre upon acre for those ‘perfect’ trees. There have been melt downs from adults and children alike, frozen toes and snotty noses but we love this tradition and look forward to it every year.
So to Grandpa’s Christmas Tree Farm we went.
And in record time (about 25 minutes) we had three perfect trees cut and ready to haul home, a sleeping baby, just one frozen child (My boy really doesn’t like the cold) and smiles still intact.
I count that as a win!
We left Grandpa’s and took my mom’s tree to her place where the day before we had helped her (on the coldest day of the year so far) hang up her Christmas lights outside. I’ll post more about her lights later. It’s quite the chore but totally worth it.
45 minutes later we were on to my in-laws’ house to set up their tree. Some lunch was had, lights and ornaments were put up and 2 1/2 hours after arrival we were on our way home to set up our tree.
By the time we were home my baby was in need of another nap and I guess I was too because I passed out while “laying down for just a moment”. When I was woken by my husband 25 minutes later my tree had been set up. I wonder… If I allow myself to pass out more often, will any other chores get completed?… Yeah, you’re right. This ain’t no fairytale.
A bit later we hung the lights then decorated our tree prior to sending the kids off to bed by 7pm. It was a full day gearing up for Christmas. And then we ditched our sleeping kids on Aunt Baret and went Christmas Shopping.
Are you ready for the Christmas season yet or are you still nursing that Thanksgiving hangover? In this household it’s full steam ahead!
H0! H0! H0! Y’all!
A family of five kids. That’s what I was playing at yesterday. Since that’s the number of kids we aspire to I figured it’d be good practice. A friend of mine let me borrow her two boys yesterday afternoon so I packed them into my car and off we went.
I took the kids to an open gym and they played together the entire hour, running,
Jumping and burying themselves in the pit. Can you see all four kids?
We went done playing when open gym ended so i hauled the little hooligans to the new Chic-Filet in our town for a little ice cream treat and some more play time in the kid play area.
The kids had a blast and they were as well behaved as little people can be. I was amused by all the looks I got from people in the restaurant assuming that the 5 kids I was corralling were my own. It was good practice and turned out to be very doable. Call me crazy but I’d do it again!
I’ve mentioned before that my Grammy is awesome.
Every time we visit she makes the kids jello.
Sneaky little buggers touching the jello behind her back.
and she’s a great sport when it comes to playing games.
And when they’re jumping on the bed and bouncing off the walls I can’t say boo because she lets them. Did I mention already how much we love her?
In my spare time (the time I’m ignoring my other household duties) I like to make sugar cookies. I usually knock them out during the day when my youngest is napping and the older two are helping me (right…helping…) or playing together. Then I take a few hours at night and decorate them. Some decorating sessions go better than others. Here’s a pic from a batch I made earlier this month. They were fun to make and better to eat!
Yesterday Lilly begin riding her bike without training wheels. It was a rocky start but she soon got the hang of it and was riding without my help…sort of. I kept telling her to pedal faster so it would be easier to stay balanced. I soon found myself running to keep up with her. When she decided she was done practicing for the day she had the biggest grin on her face. She was so proud of herself. I love those moments!
Then we came inside and the kids watched The Polar Express and drank hot chocolate with colored marshmallows. Being a kid is fun!
Do you remember the colored microwave popcorn? That’s what these marshmallows reminded me of. Whatever happened to that stuff?
I didn’t grow up eating interesting things. We were a meat and potatoes household. Not that meat and potatoes are a bad thing because I love me some meat and potatoes. It’s just that it can get a little boring. We had chicken so much that when we asked my mom what was for dinner she would sing in a most annoying way, “Chicken! Chicken! Chicken! Chicken!” Cue groans, throw up noises and whining.
It wasn’t until I went away to college that my taste buds were challenged. My dad use to sweat just eating ketchup for heaven sake! My boyfriend (now husband) introduced me to the world of hot sauce and my first college roommate got me hooked on Thai food. Thanks to them I feel like I have a more well-rounded palate. Of course, while we were living in Chicago where there are tons of wonderful places to eat, my husband refused to eat Thai food with me. It wasn’t until after we moved to the burbs that I got him to try it. He had Pad Thai and fell in love. Go figure. We were soon spending about $25 a week on Thai food because we just had to have it. Eventually we acknowledged the strain of that indulgence on our finances so we cut it out and I was ordered to find a good recipe and make it.
It took a while to get my act together. Finally I whipped up a version of Pad Thai, usuing pork instead of chicken, to rave reviews from Mr. Pad Thai Lover himself. I really liked it too (added bonus) and will be making it a few times a month, I’m sure.
I used the recipe below from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen and substituted pork for the chicken. I also only soaked my rice noodles for 10 minutes (based on my rice noodle package instructions for stir fry noodles) instead of the 30-45 minutes suggested in her directions. I misread the directions and only added 2 tablespoons of peanut oil before frying the egg and assembling the dish and it came out a little on the sticky side so I’d say use the 1/4 cup called for. Aside from those changes, I followed this recipe exactly.
Pad Thai with
Yield: 6 servings
1 (12 ounce) package rice noodles
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 pound boneless
skinless chicken breast halves pork chops, cut into bite-sized pieces after cooked
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons fish sauce
6 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce (I used Sri Racha)
1 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups bean sprouts
1/4 cup crushed peanuts
1 green onion, chopped for garnish
1 lime, cut into wedges
Soak rice noodles in hot water 30 to 45 minutes, or until soft. Drain, and set aside. Heat peanut oil in a wok or large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Saute chicken, garlic, and green onions until browned. Remove, and set aside. Return the wok to the burner and add 1/4 cup of peanut oil. Heat oil in wok over medium-high heat. Crack eggs into hot oil, and cook until firm. Stir in chicken, softened noodles, vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, sweet chili sauce, red pepper, and cayenne pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste. Mix while cooking, until noodles are tender. Add bean sprouts and a squirt of lime, and mix for 2-3 minutes. Garnish with crushed peanuts, green onions, and a lime wedge.
Source: adapted from allrecipes.com
Life has been a bit busy. Life has been a whole ton of fun. The weekend before Halloween I took my baby girl and spent 4 days in Colorado visiting my sister and her finance and having an all around wonderful time. Then I came home and prepped for Halloween. I plan on sharing some of the good times with you as soon as I can.
For now, here’s a little Halloween snack I made for the kiddos:
Worms, anyone? Now doesn’t that look appetising?!?
Well, the kids thought they were great…mostly.
I found the recipe off melskitchencafe.com (http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2011/10/spooky-eats-jello-worms-seriously-gross.html) at the beginning of October and knew I had to make them for the kids. Essentially you fill straws full of a jello concoction, refrigerate and then slide the firmed worms out of the straws. It’s a bit tedious but well worth it based on the amount of giggles and delighted shrieks I witnessed as the kids consumed the worms.