Wednesday, June 30, 2010
1. Random two year old at Buddy's t-ball practices. Ignores her mom choosing rather to hang out with me, her hand on my thigh so I can't scoot away.* And then proceeds to jump off the bleachers. Each time demanding that I watch her. And she won't jump until I look at her, getting louder with her "watch me!" yelling until I actually look.
2. Random kid at our complex's toddler pool. While my own two year old is wandering around in the water enjoying himself, not demanding that I watch him, this two year old, whose own mother is just feet away, demands that I watch him. Over and over again.
3. New random toddler in the toddler pool. A new kid joins us in the pool and takes off with the demands that I watch him.
What's up with this? I don't want to be mean to a toddler, but seriously, this drives me nuts in kids. And kids that are strangers?!? I don't have to tolerate this, do I? Shouldn't their moms loudly declare to their toddlers their intentions to watch them and leave me in peace? It's only so cute for so long, and I can't stand parents that are so blinded by how "cute" their kid is that they don't realize how annoying their kid is being.
*I am not a touchy person. Strangers, even if they are toddlers, touching my thighs, do not make me happy.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Books in the house are correlated with good outcomes for children
A study recently published in the journal Research in Social Stratification and Mobility found that just having books around the house (the more, the better) is correlated with how many years of schooling a child will complete. The study (authored by M.D.R. Evans, Jonathan Kelley, Joanna Sikorac and Donald J. Treimand) looked at samples from 27 nations, and according to its abstract, found that growing up in a household with 500 or more books is "as great an advantage as having university-educated rather than unschooled parents, and twice the advantage of having a professional rather than an unskilled father." Children with as few as 25 books in the family household completed on average two more years of schooling than children raised in homes without any books.
Hat Tip: Tyler Cowen
Monday, June 28, 2010
- Going to bed earlier.
- Summer schoolwork 4 days a week.
- Outdoor stuff (running, pool, soccer, bikes, etc.)
- Homeschool group activities
- Working on all of my abandoned sewing and craft projects.
- Big art project for the kids.
- Teaching my kids to be better workers (any advice on this one?)
- Etc. Etc.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
I may have found the mint brownie recipe I've been searching for forever. I'm going to have to give them a try this week and see if I'm right. Cross your fingers for me. Although it's been so many years now, I have no idea if I would even know if these were them or not. Here's the recipe.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
We've had a reddish pink front door for the past five years in two different states. My mom thinks we've become red door people. Last week, we got a notice from our rent management company that they'd be coming through this week and painting everyone's doors. Today they painted our door... GREEN! We aren't green door people. It's a fresh start to reinvent ourselves.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Creamy Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
Skirt Steak with Crispy Garlic Potatoes
Pork BBQ sandwich
dinner with friends -
bringing a salad... maybe this one
Monday, June 21, 2010
Here is cookie number 2's recipe: Soft Sugar Cookie.*
These cookies may have won the contest, but I feel like I can't say that yet since we're only two cookies in to the contest. (See the other cookie review here.) The dough was delicious. Jed probably ate three cookies worth of dough. Baked and not frosted they tasted great. Baked AND frosted they tasted fabulous. They weren't too crunchy. They weren't too soft. They were the perfect amount of crunchy and soft. Jed and I had our taste test the night they were baked but the kids were already in bed, so we all tried them again the next night (a day old) and they were still super yummy, a little softer and more crumbly, but that isn't necessarily bad.
Jed loved these (which is a huge improvement from the last recipe). The kids loved them (but they aren't really picky when it comes to cookies) and especially enjoyed chomping off Florida followed up by the Pacific Northwest, etc.. And I loved them.
The only drawback is refrigerating the dough. But that is easy enough if you know that before you embark on making them. Telling your hubby there will be sugar cookies that night, and then saying, "Just kidding, they have to refrigerated overnight," may result in a slightly grumpy husband... luckily it is summertime so we have a large supply of ice cream on hand.
*I left out the nutmeg because I don't like nutmeg.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Lemon Raspberry Cream Cheesecake
What's your order?
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
As I'm on the way up the stairs to put Little Guy, clothed in only his diaper, in the bath...
Buddy: I like [Little Guy] best when he's naked.
Jed: Funny, that's when I like Mom best.
Me: (flashes furious squinty-eyed look at said husband)
Princess Sparkley: I like mom best when she's wearing clothes ...
I hurried upstairs to avoid hearing any more of the conversation.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Spaghetti (because our menu got all out of whack last week by eating leftovers one night)
(review: spaghetti is spaghetti... but I love the sauce from Aldi)
Buddy has a T-ball pizza party. I'm not sure if the whole family will go or just Buddy and a parent. If some of us stay home, I'll get California Pizza Kitchen frozen BBQ chicken pizzas for the rest of us. They are on sale at our grocery store this week, and it is our family's quick dinner of choice.
Potato-sausage foil packs.
(review: I mixed this up a bit this time and added squash and zucchini - which got over cooked- and I just seasoned it with olive oil, sea salt and pepper -we weren't big fans of the lemony marinade in the original recipe).
Chicken Tortellini Casserole
(review: I love this casserole. You really need 19 0z. of tortellini. This time I only had 14 oz. and there was too much sauce and not enough noodles.)
Grilled Tilapia with pineapple salsa
(review: Yummy. For fish. Little Guy refused to eat it and kept demanding fish - goldfish crackers are the only fish he's familiar with.)
Chicken Enchiladas (because I'm running out of crock pot recipes, and I've made this ahead of time before and stuck it in the fridge until time to bake)
(review: this is another go to recipe of mine. Top it with sour cream, salsa and guacamole... fabulous.)
Roxy's Fabulous Chicken (new in a group of recipes from church friends, I'll try it out and share the recipe if it's a keeper)
(review: we liked this. It's basically rice, baked with broccoli and chicken and a sort of cream cheese/Parmesan sauce. The sauce could be more flavorful... it was too much like plain cream cheese flavor, but still good. I'll have to add the recipe for you all to check out.)
lots of ice cream (definitely)
hopefully a new sugar cookie recipe for the challenge (not yet)
1-1/2 cups warm water*
4 envelopes** (1 ounce each) instant hot cocoa mix
2 cups vanilla ice cream
1-1/2 cups half-and-half cream
In a blender, combine water and cocoa mix; cover and process until dissolved. Add ice cream and cream; cover and process for 30 seconds or until smooth. Pour into chilled mugs. Yield: 4 servings.
I had high hopes for this recipe, but deep down figured it would taste too much like a chocolate milk shake (and I'm not such a big fan of chocolate ice cream or chocolate milkshakes). It did not disappoint my high hopes. As a hater of chocolate milk shakes, I LOVED this. So I figure, if you are like a normal person who loves chocolate milkshakes, this thing should be heavenly to you.
*Here's my question for you: Do you think I could use 3 cups of milk rather than 1 1/2 cups half and half with 1 1/2 cups of water. To me, those seem to cancel themselves out into regular milk. And I tend to have regular milk on hand, always. This is not true about half and half.
**One envelope is about 2 heaping tablespoons.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Jed: Uh, I don't think so. Do you?
Buddy: Yeah, I was just wondering who I got them from.
Jed: [chuckles] You don't get hiccups that way Buddy...
Buddy: Yes you do.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Oh, and looking over my resolutions for the year* and panicking that the year is nearly half gone and I have a LONG way to go. I think one of my resolutions for next year should be giving up New Year's resolutions.
*Complete analysis coming at the end of the month, when half the year has slipped away from me.
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Sunday, June 06, 2010
Saturday, June 05, 2010
Macaroni Salad (review: bleh.)
Slow Cooker Carnitas (review: the carnitas was good, but not as flavorful and citrusy as I had hoped)
Chicken and Pasta Dinner -I got my recipe from a church recipe exchange, but, minus the crockpot, it seems a lot like this one I linked to and this one. (review: this is a lot like Penne Rustica (which we've all LOVED) but Princess Sparkley and Jed both said they preferred this version).
Orange Chicken (review: Super yummy, but again, I wish the orange flavor had been stronger)
Hamburgers (review: I am incapable of forming raw meat into a burger shape and successfully making a hamburger that cooks right and tastes good. These are great for people like me.)
PW's Ranch Style Chicken (review: Yum. A little too mustardy for me, but I hate mustard.)
Beef Flank Steaks (flank steaks, 1 cup 7-up, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup veggie oil, 1/4 tsp garlic powder - marinate 4+hours then grill and serve with your favorite BBQ sauce) (review: I've made this one before. Yum.)
Spaghetti (review: I go to Aldi solely for their spaghetti sauce. Love it!)
Crockpot Brown Sugar Chicken (review: Okay. I was expecting a lot more flavor. And I came home from church to an overpowering garlic smell.)
Dessert (night unassigned):
Soft Sugar Cookies (for my greatest sugar cookie hunt)
(official review coming soon)
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
In the last year, I started being unable to wear earrings. I'm not a big jewelry person anyway, but I usually wore earrings to dress up a bit for church or a fancy occasion or sometimes just because. One Sunday, I didn't even make it the mile to church without having to take my earrings out because the lobes had swollen up, were red and horribly itchy. Since then, I've tried a few more times and it's been the same. I read about it online, and it seems I've developed a nickel allergy. The online forum I stumbled across was for people suffering from lupus who also have nickel allergies, so I'm trying not to let my hypochondria take over and convince me I have lupus. What I am going to do is avoid: white gold, sterling silver, stainless steel and tungsten. And I am going to track down some platinum or titanium earrings that don't cost a fortune.
Then I'm going to hope that I don't develop any other crazy allergies as I slowly (or way too quickly) grow old and that this allergy doesn't affect my entire body. One woman said she can't even wear pants that have a cheap button because she gets a rash on her stomach.
Has this happened to anyone else?