Thursday, February 26, 2015

Wednesday, 8:47 pm

Kurt refuses to go to bed until 9.  An yet, does it really count if you just fall asleep on the couch instead?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

This mom's favorite three-way (food swap, that is)

Dinner tonight: Celia's minestrone soup.  Buttery breadsticks not pictured.

Life with 2.75 small children is hard.  No doubt about it.  Wonderful, glorious, rewarding, love-filled and yes, hard.  So today I share with you one of my sanity saving secrets.  (See how I alliterated there?)  Once a week, I cook a giant quantity of food, split it three ways, and share with my friends Celia and Jill.  On a different day of the week, each of them does the same.  It's almost too crazy to work, but it does.  Last year I swapped with just one friend.  I think two is my limit, but who knows?  All I can say is that two nights off of cooking a week basically keeps me from losing my mind.  What's left of it, anyway.

For the curious, here's some of what we've made and shared this year:

Chicken curry
Taco lentil soup
Pollo verde con papas
Zucchini cheese pie
Mac and cheese
Tater tot casserole
Sesame chicken
Orange tofu
Pepperoni rolls
Tamale pie

And I am sure there's more, but no one took a nap today, so bedtime is nigh. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

5 Good Books That We Don't Own

Isabel "reading" with Elmo, post-bath
There are so many good kids' books out there.  There are probably almost as many terrible ones, but I'll let you find those on your own.  Or Elijah can help you find them because so many of them manage to make them into our library bag.  An easy reader based on Scooby-Doo movie?  Someone save me.

But back to the good stuff.  Ideally, we go to the library once a week, although Elijah's school schedule has definitely made this slightly more challenging.  We do own far too many books, which is why I have been trying to avoid buying more.  Instead, I've been replenishing our stash library-style.  The only bad part is that sometimes I forget which good books we've read after I return them.  Elijah has his own GoodReads page, which helps, but I thought I'd start recording some of the books for posterity here as well.  And I am sure Jenn will appreciate this post.  You're welcome, Jenn!

1. McElligot's Pool by Dr. Seuss - Continuing our trend of seeking out lesser-known Seuss, we came upon this book.   It's pretty long, which I appreciate more than Daddy, and the pictures of the various fish (the two-headed eel in particular) are very funny to Elijah.  A related warning - if you pick up a copy of Seuss's Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose, beware of the ending.  Not what you might expect/hope for in a children's book 

2. I'm a Frog! by Mo Willems - For Elijah's second birthday, we had a Piggie and Elephant themed party, and bought him a complete set of the books.  Since then, a few more have been added, and we haven't kept up with his collection, so we got this new one from the library.  Isabel's preschool class has bit of an obsession with P & E, and this one is a particular favorite.

3. How Many Mice? by Michael Garland - I love math.  I haven't talked about that nearly enough on this blog.  It's true, though, and I have already begun plotting ways to get my children on board the math-loving train.  This books is perfect for that goal of mine, subtly introducing addition and subtraction with integers in the context of ten little mice and their search for food.  If you really want to math it up, read this book and use paper manipulatives to figure out the answers to the questions.

4. The Big Book of Slumber by Giovanna Zoboli - A perfect going-to-bed book, this gem has gorgeous illustrations and lovely rhymes.  It also includes lots and lots of animals, if you, like me have a child who is into that sort of thing (Isabel, I'm talking about you, ahem).  It is translated from Italian, and the translator certainly deserves some of the credit for its sweetness.

5. The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred by Samantha R. Vamos - This cumulative story is written in Elijah's favorite language - Spanglish.  Pronunciations and translations are provided, but I suspect that this is a book that would be enjoyed most by those who, like me, fancy themselves a bit bilingual.  Kit, I am talking to you.

So, there's a peek into what's in the book basket this week.  Maybe I'll make this a regular feature.  Now, back to reading my own book until I can't stay awake any more.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Jumping with Joy

First off, sorry for the low quality of today's pictures.  The lighting was terrible, and I am sure there is a way to compensate for that, but we have new camera that I have no clue how to use.  Perhaps this Lenten blogging resolution will prompt me to learn to take better pictures.  Or I'll just keep making you, dear readers, suffer for my ineptitude.  Probably the latter.

Anyway, the past few days have been a bit of a whirlwind, mainly because nothing in the past 72 hours has gone according to plan.  Hideously loud fire alarm while at a restaurant with hungry children?  Check.  Baby shower nearly snowed out?  Check.  Poop and more poop, here there and everywhere?  Check.  (I'll spare you a more detailed explanation of that last one.  I did, however, have a lovely visit this past weekend from two of my favorite ladies, so that basically made up for all else that failed.

My point is, I had a lovely morning planned for Elijah and myself while Isabel was at school today...and then her school was cancelled.  We soldiered on with our planned trip to Joyful Jumps, with one unexpected Isabel in tow, and it actually worked out great because we were able to stay later than we would have otherwise.  The place was a little pricey, but really perfect for a cold and icy day, and Grandma Marty's Valentine's Day cash for the kids made it all possible. 

Tomorrow, supposedly Elijah has school and Isabel does not.  But I'm not banking on it.