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Thursday, June 30, 2011

anti-recipe #35 daring escapades with quinoa

Once again I found myself the other day as I too often do - 4:30, no dinner plans, starving, and no dada in sight.

I remembered the bag of quinoa up on the top shelf that I spied digging around for popcorn the other day.

I looked in the cheese stuck out.

So I did like all mamas do in such a predicament...googled "quinoa and blue cheese".

After digging around I found this recipe. I didn't have half the stuff it called for but it served as a good model.

Fast forward to 6:45pm. Dada is finally home, mama tries to finish cooking while dada gets kids ready for bed, feeling slightly defensive about trying a new dish (kids already having been fed an enticing meal of dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets, oranges and broccoli) then the computer dies and mama can't remember recipe for the sauce, then dada mentions he was going to go out for beer with the guys from church (which he never does) mama says forget it just go, then dada says helpfully "maybe I can finish it?"and  mama, as too often these days, bursts into tears.

A fun evening.

The meal however (which mama DID finish ALL BY HERSELF) was a resounding success, suprisingly, eaten while still slightly pouty in front of HGTV after kids were asleep (dada always puts on HGTV for mama when she is crabby, good man).

i seriously suck at taking pictures of food...sorry. i thought
the spinach was pretty though...
Here is how it went down.

Chop some onion, cook in butter in pot.
In same pot, bring 1 cup quinoa to boil in 2 cups water, turn down to simmer, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Fry up 3-4 pieces bacon. Remove bacon. Save grease (yes, that is right, save the grease)
Stir a handful of spinach and can of drained garbanzo beans into quinoa pot. Reheat until spinach wilts and beans are warm.
Add 1 tsp sugar, 2 tsp dijon mustard and 2TBS of vinegar to bacon grease in skillet. Reheat and whisk till sugar disolves well.
Dump sauce into quinoa pot.
Add generous amount of blue cheese.
Crumble in bacon.
Serve warm.

The original recipe had red wine vinegar in the sauce and white beans instead of garbanzo and included carmelized onion and mushrooms. Carmelized onions would be a nice touch but...that was one step too many for me. And mushrooms? Eh. I also was thinking this would be good with kale or chard.

Tasty huh? Definitely need to experiment with quinoa more. Maybe a cold salad next? OOOH. With feta and mint and fresh tomato! Definitely...
Tuesday, June 28, 2011

zen parenting moment of the day

the babies love cuddling mama and dada to sleep in the big bed.
we leave them there until we go to bed too.
here is how i found them tonight....

here is how i found them a few nights ago.

on leaving, and coming home again

Okay, so maybe I was a little melodramatic about being alone in that last post.

It was reallly weird though.

Surprisingly, I adjusted to baby-free life quite quickly. I slept without opening my eyes for three out of four nights away (only experiencing insomia on the last night when I was nervous about getting up for my flight on time).  I quite easily adjusted to only putting on my own shoes when leaving the house, going to the bathroom alone, shutting the bathroom door while showering, not picking up any toys, and only carrying a small clutch around town.

Surprisingly easy.

And then the ease of adjusting to an all adult life. My friends house was beautiful. There were no crayon marks on the wall. No Cheerios to crunch underfoot. Dirty dishes placed immediately in the dishwasher. Knick knacks displayed on lower shelves for all to admire. The adult conversation was refreshing and strangely uninterrupted. I laughed and talked with my girlfriends. I even swore once or twice without thinking about it.

I reveled in sitting in sunshine on the patio. Quietly sipping tea in the mornings. Thinking thoughts to myself in peace. No snacks to get, toys to retrieve, videos to rewind, butts to wipe. Having people actually treat me like a very pregnant woman, somewhat dotingly ("Oh, dont get up! Let me get that for you!" "Can I get you a drink? Do you need ANYTHING?" My friend actually once said, "We need to get this lady home for a nap poor thing!" A NAP. WOW.)

These things were all rather marvelous.

And then. I come home. I snatch my babies in my arms. They kiss me adoringly. Fat hands patting my face, squeezing my leg. Dada breathes a sigh of relief, yet admiringly assures me they had a wonderful peaceful time. We snuggle together at bedtime, little man asking me what I did, where I went, who I saw.

And then, the next day, mama is old hat. Dada goes to work. And then the squabbles start. Toys tossed around the room. Cheerios on the floor, many of them. Little man's temper is out of sorts. He flails and screams. The water gun dada bought ("they were being SO SWEET!") gets taken away.

And I get flustered. And I yell. And I call dada and complain.

And this is what parenthood is. The ups and downs. The sweet fat arms embracing you and the shrieking whine of a child wanting more TV, one more book, longer playtime.

Moment by moment.

We live it. We breathe it in and out. And through it all, we love it. For it defines us. And really, I don't mind that. I am more, but I am also this. And I am good with that.
Thursday, June 23, 2011

On going away...alone

I am sitting in an airport. Alone. People keep looking at me and I think, "what? WHAT?" Nobody looks at me anymore, they look at my adorable crazy children and if anything I get the pitying glance, "you have your HANDS full...and a baby bump? Geez lady, good luck." This is what I get. So when grandma types or business men smile at me as I pace the halls of the airport I feel, once again, like a socially awkward teenager. Oh right, I should smile back, huh? What ARE they looking at?
I feel sick leaving my children. I miss them. Is that weird of me? And dada, I wish he could come but, alas, not enough time off work, not enough skymiles to make it feasible. Will I even be able to relax? To sleep? No pudgy hands on my face. No little bodies curled next to me.
This is good for me, right? Getting away? It feels selfish. My dear college friend is getting married. I am ecstatic to go, visit her, support her, but I find myself feeling jealous of people walking by me. Young college kids with only adventures to look to. Women in business attire (damn look at her suit! Those shoes! That bag!) young couples, hand in hand. And I wonder, are their hearts in two places? Do they feel torn in two? They are so carefree, so easily and effortlessly self-focused. Or, they look it at least. Can I be that? I can't. Will I ever again?
I am a wanderer at heart. Despite my love of home, I am an adventurer. Or was. Yet I still am, right?
I have been to crazy places, done crazy things. Bus stops in Malaysia in the middle of the night. Convoys through the streets of Baghdad. Bushwacking in the jungles of Brazil. Yet here I am, literally nauseated about going to San Francisco for a weekend by myself.
Who am I? What is this?
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Wednesday, June 22, 2011

adventures in urban gardening, take 3

I grew up with a big old garden out back. Everyone had one. If you didnt you were kinda lazy or rich or something. I would pick green peppers when they were barely a mouthful and eat them, whole, or the little tiny brussel sprouts which tasted terrible but looked exactly like mini-cabbages for some fairy tea party play.

This was my childhood.

Nestled under the lilac bushes, blooms long gone, in the heat of a July day, sun filtering through the leaves, with fairy friends beside me, eating snap peas off the vine or tiny cherry tomatoes, still warm from the sun, drinking water from the garden hose to wash the feast down.

Perhaps these memories are why I cannot for the life of me let the dream of an urban garden die, as my tomatoes did around mid-August of last year, fruitless, stunted, pathetic.

Here was our first effort, at our old place where we had NO yard space. Growing spinach and greens in rain gutters strung up on the side of a fence or house. Brilliant, right? Wrong. Apparently one needs to water like crazy with this set up. They withered and died approximately 2 weeks after sprouting.

Last years effort, well, I blogged about that. Remember the five marble sized potatoes? Yes, they shriveled up uneaten on my window sill. I threw them away a month later, disheartened.

I wasn't even going to bother this year. New baby coming and all that. Plus we have the largest farmers market in the state a mere mile away. Who needs to grow produce when you can buy beautiful greens and herbs and tomatoes for just dollars every weekend?? But, I couldn't help myself. MUST. GARDEN. MUST. GARDEN.

Last year the real problem was the sun, that is, our yard has none. Just one little patch on the side lawn. So. I had this brilliant idea. Growing a garden in tubs! Better yet, putting the tubs in our unused wagon sitting down in the basement to tow around the yard, following the sun and also ensuring that our rented patch of grass does not die.

I think it just might work.

so far we have...tomatoes in the tubs (old barrels from getting
apples last fall at an orchard) some sage in the planter with the flowers,
some random flowers from seeds (dont remember what they are!),
a pot of mint (hmmm), some mung beans (i think?)
and the prickly plant is a pineapple! which we have been rooting inside
from a pineapple top for a year and finally planted.
yes, it will grow a real pineapple. read here if you want to try.

little miss LOVES watering. here she is diligently dumping rain water from
her swim pool even though it was raining all morning, and started raining
again as we played outside...

in demonstration of how my children are so different,
here is little man, playing in the rain (mere sprinkles and
80 degrees)

and here is little miss, playing in the rain.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

my life, in purses

I was laughing with a mommy friend the other day about all the purses we used to carry and how we just don't anymore.

I have had this conversation a few times now.

Upon having a child we leave behind our "purse/handbag/clutch identity" for the diaper bag identity. I can't even remember the last time I actually carried a real purse.

Can you?

So here is a tour, plus my latest hand clutch wallet type thing (which of course gets carried IN the diaper bag!) made by my lovely talented sister (and who has an ETSY SHOP and who you should TOTALLY buy something from. HA. How is that for a plug?)

This is like the very first bag (I can't find the real one, alas) I carried in late high school, and on my international adventures in the two years after high school, and in my first year or so of college, except mine was a knock off version. You know, the SAK. Worn slung over the shoulder, across the chest. It contained things like lip gloss, drivers license (so proud!) and two keys on a jumble of like 40 key chains. When traveling it was the perfect size for passport and such. I later managed to fit in a pack of Malboro Ultra Lights and a lighter (can you believe I just admited to that???? SO BAD. SO not JUNE.) It was also a great size to tuck into my leather backpack that I carried all through college.

In year two of college I upgraded for a larger size. This was procured in Mexico. It is scratchy and, frankly, rather ugly. It still holds remants from those years. A card dada sent me when I was hospitalized after my junior year. The flyer of the Louisa May Alcott House I visited with my roomate one year. A ticket stub from Shakespeare in Love. Licorice wrappers.

In my junior year I studied abroad and spent six weeks touring Europe with some friends and obsessing over finding the right purse. This is the one I found, from a little stall on the only remaining bridge in Florence, Italy that dates before WWII. I carried it mostly when dada and I were first married. Until one day the shoulder strap snapped off, in the rain, and the contents went spilling all over the sidewalk. It still holds my business card from my first "real" post-college job, ticket stubs from my annual trip home to visit the fam, scraps of paper with frantic scribbles about graduate school admissions, and, er, a pack of matches.

After the broken strap incident I carried a variety of Nine West purses, the whole trying-to-look -professional-but-totally-broke bags. Eventually dada purchased for me my most glorious treasure, a Coach purse, with matching wallet. This is what I carried for years, along with the green leather book bag I used during grad school years. Starbucks cards (hmm, wonder if this has anything left on it?) one of those in-between-the-toe inserts after you get a pedicure (ask me the last time I got a pedicure, go ahead, ask me), honest-to-God-lipstick, eye drops, an old gym membership card (no matches or lighters in here, HA HA) and business cards from my last "real" job in both English and Arabic.

 For about a year I carried this one, reclaiming my international adventuring self. Purchased in Vietnam along with a cute little red silk coin purse. This one still has more bilingual business cards, a carrying case for a fold up knife, coins from random countries, and an Elvis lighter. (Oops.)

Then babies came. I went back to the Coach purse. It felt grown up. My first pediatrician once laughed at me as I heaved our Pottery Barn diaper bag, Coach purse, and baby carrier in for a check up. "You are still trying to carry a purse too! Oh you are so cute!" Bite me lady, I grumbled inside. But she was right. Ridiculous.

I soon transitioned to this little zipper clutch, created by my sister in her early years of sewing. It carries chapstick, under-eye concealer and bandaids. As well as of course cards and a few pennies.

It gets toted around in this monstrosity. THE DIAPER BAG. Much more utilitarian than the Pottery Barn version. Pockets. Washable. Pockets.

And now, I get a clutch upgrade, arriving in the mail today from my cute California dwelling sister.

Isn't it great?? Maybe I am sliding back in to the purse carrying world?? For a few months anyway.

Her online shop is HERE if you are interested in one too. She also makes super cute clothes (for super cute skinny girls, not so much big old pregnant mamas, sigh....) You should check it out!  (Love it sister, thanks!)

So that is my life, in purses. Perhaps next a small leather embroidered bag? Hmmm. Who knows what the future holds...
Monday, June 20, 2011

thoughts on being lazy

dream house great room
I woke up this morning and just didn't feel motivated to do anything. Its a grey day. Windy, humid, hints of rain in the air. I have a hard time getting going on these kinds of days. And its not like I have a headache or am crabby or the kids are crabby. I just don't FEEL like being productive.

So, I am not going to.

Its not often this mama does that. Its my JOB to be busying around here, being productive, being creative, and making merriment for little people.

So far I have spent the day in my "mama chair" laptop on my lap designing my dream great room on this nifty site my friend showed me. (see results of hours of puttering online above. Isnt it lovely??)

I havent attempted the sink full of dishes. I havent even eaten lunch. Just sweet rolls and coffee. (Which maybe further explains my pounding heart and lack of energy. HA.)
And you know? Its been a really pleasant day! The kids played all morning, then watched a movie. They ate popsicles and peanut butter sandwiches outside while I sipped at coffee. I did sweep and wipe up the floor. ANTS. And I did throw in a load of laundry (pee pee accident by little miss).

Otherwise. Nothing. Now the kids are playing and/or cuddling next to me and the breeze is coming in the window and the sun is trying to come out.

I have a busy week ahead. A trip to visit a dear friend (leaving my babies for a weekend!) And then in a few weeks I may go away for a WHOLE WEEK to teach, in an attempt to reclaim my pre-baby brain cells. We shall see it that is possible.

For now though. I sit. I blog. I dream. And I perhaps will eat some bread and cheese and sweet tea soon.

And I am content. Which is a good thing to embrace every now and then. Along with laziness, I say.
Sunday, June 19, 2011

happy day to dada!

Dada is a great guy. He cooks, like a gourmet kinda cook. He knows how to clothes shop. He goes to the grocery store, often WITH the kids, and I think secretly really likes that chore. He goes out of his way to help people. He is funny and wise and kind and patient and cute.

And he is a GREAT dada.

And we love him.

dada drawing silly pictures with the kids.
little misses latest funny thing? poop. dada draws
a giraffe. what is it little girl?? POOP.

this is my dear mother-in-laws sweet roll recipe...
which uses no less than TWO sticks of butter.
then you eat it like dada and his brothers, hot sticky sweet and

dada with his plate of yummy goodness.
he was shocked i actually made them the
right way. he wont say this but i know its true.

our morning of artwork while dada slept in...
Thursday, June 16, 2011

my baby goes to school

little man. ready for school.
(in front of my newly planted urban
garden which i will blog about shortly)
Ok. So its not "real" school. Its a three hour nature immersion program, run out of a woman's home, once a week. But, this is the first time we have sent him off to a program like this - no sister, no grandma, no cousins. Just his little self, and his giant backpack, filled with the 71 items we were told he HAD to bring with him for this summer-long once-a-week adventure (I felt like I was outfitting a child for summer camp, walking around REI with a dazed look, spending what felt like a small fortune with the "gear list" in hand.)

He popped out of bed at approximately 5:45AM, declaring it was SCHOOL DAY! (Dada got up with him, PHEW) Soon we were packing up into the car. He explained to little miss the whole way there that he was going to school, not her. She pouted. "NO, my 'COOL TOO!" He finally soothed her by holding her hand the rest of the way there.

When we dropped him off, little miss and I got out and chatted with the teacher, he smiled and happily talked about his giant backpack and then happily waved goodbye when it was time to leave. For the record, I did not cry.

Little miss started fake crying for "'COOL TOO" so we stopped and got pastries (and coffee) which perked her up and then ran errands all morning.

As I drove to pick him up I imagined all sorts of scenarios. He peed his pants and was embarrassed. He mouthed off to the teacher. He shoved a little kid into the lake. He bawled for me when I left. I should've called to check on him! I should've texted!

I drove faster and faster, getting lost in my hurry and cursing at the red lights. (Luckily little miss had fallen asleep!)

I arrived to find a happy little man in wet shorts (from wading in the lake), swinging on the swings, rock collection in hand, full of stories about monarch "capatillers" and egrets and dead toads ("...with ants coming out of its mouth mom!!")

The teacher declared him a "darling sweet boy" (yes, he is, MOST days) and we packed up his gear and drove away.

Heading home, we passed by a McDonalds and he asked (fine, he whined, hard core) for a Happy Meal. Smiling at the irony of the "organic snack" we paid for him to consume that morning I happily gave in to the whining. Sweet tea and a cheeseburger sounded good anyway.

We ate our food in the parking lot, little miss still asleep, as he told me more about his morning and I tried not to feel teary eyed at his grown up little self and at how all too quickly I will be hearing stories about "real" school, and bus rides, and soccer practice, and then camp, and sleepovers, and first jobs, and first crushes, and AP classes and college selection and.....


Okay. Deep breathing.

I want to gather them both under my wings, declare them off limits to the world and move to my goat farming yurt to keep them to myself forever. These ones? NO. These ones are MINE.

Can I? Please?
Monday, June 13, 2011

anti-recipe #34 strawberry rhubarb jam

Jelly/jam making has always seemed a bit of a mysterious process to me. There is the pectin, what is that? And the stirring and the sticky and ... etc.

Nevertheless it seemed like a worthy "June" activity. Right? Although, I wonder if June really would've done this in the days when Wally and the Beaver were still in diapers, fighting over Hot Wheels and tugging at her frilled skirts. I am thinking no. She might've just gone out and bought the neat little jars of Smuckers and called it a day.

In any case, this June attempted it. (And I do this despite past canning fiascos, as documented here, here, and here. NOTE: the applesauce is still sitting in the basement pantry. No one will eat it. I use it to cook with. Note to self - buy sweet apples or ADD SUGAR.)

I especially wanted to after eyeing some gorgeous strawberries for super cheap at the farmers market recently. SO PRETTY. I did, however, wait too long, and this Saturday, after acquiring some rhubarb at the farmer's market that morning, I opened up my bags to find the strawberries from last week were mostly molded...UGH. I however, remained undaunted, and pulled out the good ones, washed and cut them and still had two cups of strawberries to work my rhubarb.

No problem.

After digging around a bit on the internet I found this recipe, to loosely follow. I had gotten "no sugar" pectin so I planned to reduce the sugar amount in half, but then got nervous about working with rhubarb and just reduced it by 1 1/2 cups.

So. Let me start at the beginning. First wash your jelly jars. I got little ones, that hold just a cup of jam each, perfect for our little family. Then put water on to boil in your big canning pots. I used two pots, which held three jars each. Not fancy canners, just regular pots for a hot water bath is enough for jelly. Once the water is boiling turn it off and add your jars and rings to warm up. You want them hot when you put in your hot jam. Don't put in the lids until the last minute when you are warming them, you don't them actually in the boiling water because it could ruin the seal (DON'T RUIN THE SEAL....AHHH. NOOOOO! NOT THE SEAL!)

this is the longest rhubarb i have ever seen.

the pretzels were to address my heartburn. they did not work
the ice cream i snuck while the children were in the other room
did however. PHEW.
Cut up your fruit. You don't need to use the same ratio as recommended in that recipe as long as your total amount is the same. I used two cups strawberries (mashed) and four cups rhubarb - thinly sliced (which took a long time).

Baby girl attempted to join in on the mashing of the strawberries, really fun SPLAT SPLAT noises followed, juice all over the counter. Once the smashing part was done she was done too. Little man's contribution was to ride his little knights all over the counter and then ask if he could eat some sugar  (NO!!) They then played nicely in the playroom, allowing me to finish. YAY BABIES!

I dumped the fruit in another big pot and added 1/4 cup lemon juice and one packet of pectin, along with some water (it didnt look gushy enough) maybe just 1/4 cup.

I let this get to a boil, constantly stirring, then added the sugar - 4 cups total. I stirred like the recipe said and still it didnt look spreadable and gushy enough. Finally, of course - you KNEW this was coming - I called my mom to ask when you know jam is "DONE."

Apparently it needs to boil at a "rolling boil" for quite some time, stirring constantly. When it dribbles off a metal spoon in sheets, rather than a drop at a time like a liquid, then its done. Another tip online said if you put a spoonful on a plate that has chilled in the fridge it should set up in a few minutes and will wrinkle if you push it around with your finger. I noticed this happening where I had dribbled on my stovetop, the wrinkly "jelly-ish" look. After about 20 minutes of a good rolling boil - CONSTANTLY STIRRING! - I then decided it was done.

this is when i first started, see how the fruit is still kinda chunky
in there? not done yet...

fuzzy picture but, still with the chunks.

that is more like it! apparently adding a little butter can help
reduce that frothy bit. i added some and it didnt help.

the finished product. see the little bubbles? kind of like molten lava,
rather than boiling water, they pop slower maybe? hard to explain
if you have seen "the incredibles" with your kids or some other movie
involving hot lava you know what i mean. (or maybe
you have seen actual hot lava, who knows?)
At this point I actually tasted some. OHMYGOSH. REALLY GOOD. I think I might be good at jam-making! How exciting! Something besides quiche and potato soup to add to my repertiore! Dada will be so proud! (Although it was a bit sweet, next time only 3 cups of sugar...)

My water for canning had cooled, so I heated it up for a bit first to make sure the jars were hot, just enough to get a tiny boil going. I dropped in the lids for a bit too. Then I removed them using my nifty canning tongs and placed them on a towel. Next I ladeled in a cup of jam into each jar. Then - this is important! remember, the SEAL!! - I wiped down the dribbles from the edge of the jar to make sure the lid part was clean for a GOOD SEAL. Then I placed the lids and screwed on the rings.


Next, using the tongs (jam and jars are HOT) I placed them into the hot water bath and turned the heat back up to high. Once your pots have reached a boil cover with a lid and set the timer for ten minutes. After the ten minutes is up I turned off the heat and let them sit in the water for another five minutes (so say the directions, again, dont want to mess up the SEAL!!)

Remove your nice little jars and set them on your towel to cool. You should hear the nice satisfying "pop" as the seal takes hold. YAY. They SEALED!

Also, don't shake! Don't tilt! Let them sit! (I read somewhere online the urgency of this so as to ensure your jam SETS!) After fretting for a few hours about whether or not MY jam would indeed SET as it is supposed to I finally caved and tilted a jar. Looks like jam! YIPPEE!

I can't tell you how pleasing to my inner domestic goddess it was to see those six little jars cooling on my counter. I know June would agree.
so pretty!
Sunday, June 12, 2011

the haircut

No, not me. HA. Little man. He gets one haircut a year, around early summer, and goes from shaggy wild hippy boy to prim and proper in one foul swoop. This year we had to bribe him with a long coveted Playmobile catapault that really lauches rocks and whatnot around the house. Fun times.

Here are some photos of the somewhat traumatic experience: (posted especially for grandmas and aunties)

notice the look of enthusiasm. he looks like he is about to vomit.

that is a lot of hair dude.

a little boy emerges!

umm, dad, can we get the catapault now??

such pretty eyes!
Saturday, June 11, 2011

a mother daughter first

ooooh, says she, i LOOOOOOOOOOVE paint!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

where i am at

Don't you love this song? And also, isnt Lisa Loeb just so cute?

Monday, June 6, 2011

anti-recipe #33 the family pasta salad

It is hot out. REALLY hot. I kinda like it though. Makes me think of happy days by the pool or the little lake by the house, sweet tea (which I can drink by the GALLONS in summer) and drippy popcicles.

photo from recent family gathering...
 One problem though...I really hate cooking in heat. I just dont know what to make. I open the fridge. I stare inside. I shut the fridge. I walk down to the pantry. I turn on the light. I stand there, trying not to gag on the smell of rotten onions. I turn off the light. I walk back upstairs. I open the fridge...etc etc.

You can see where I am going with this.

Finally, the inevitable. I call dada. At 5:15. Umm. Honey? Anything in mind for dinner tonight? Uh, sure Sara. I will be home in 15 minutes. Phew. Dodged the dinner bullet again.

Truly pathetic.

I am SO not June.

So. To remedy this dilemma I have decided to come up with a list of back up meals for hot weather, when I dont like to cook. And always have the ingredients on hand.

Here is what I have so far:

Fajitas. Minimal cooking required. No ovens involved. Lots of nice veggies.

Pasta salad.

That is it so far. Help? Please? I need ideas.

Here is the pasta salad I grew up eating. We still make it at nearly every family summer time get together. The possibilties are endless, depending on what you have on hand, making it a great "anti-recipe". In truth, it is nothing remarkable, just pasta salad, but on a hot day, it's perfect. And make sure you make enough leftovers for the next day for lunch. Hmmm. With sweet tea. HMMMMM.

Boil 2 cups tri-colored "curly noodles" (I think the are called rotini in real life, right?) or, those cheese stuffed curled up ones. Geez. What are those called? Or a combination. Or plain colored noodles. Or penne. (Rocket ship noodles, we call em.)

Cut up salami (I know, ewww, some might say, but me? I like salami every now and then) and cheddar cheese cubes and some carrot pieces, maybe some celery or green peppers. Toss in a can of peas (or fresh). Or not. Then some olives (I prefer whole, black, pitted of course.) Sun dried tomatoes are really nice, or you can chop up some fresh. Sprinkle in some fresh grated parmesean. Next some fresh herbs - basil, or cilantro, or fresh parsley. Fresh is key. Dried are pointless here.

Now dress with Italian dressing (EYE-talian, my family says. HA. Midwesterners to the core. Like, from EYE-taly you mean??) Or mix your own (we usually do this) olive oil, a little balsamic maybe, pepper and salt to taste. I dont know. Dada makes the dressings in our house. Something like this. Google it I guess.

Eat promptly, if you are impatient. Or, after cooling for an hour in the fridge.

Okay. I am soooooooo hungry right now.

So, what are your hot weather favorites? Dada would be appreciative if you would share. (HA)

PS. They are called tortellini, those curled up cheese-stuffed noodles. Good grief Sara.

today's zen parenting moment

let the pool play begin!! "mama," she says "oh i weally like it!!"

Friday, June 3, 2011

baby thoughts...

So, yes, baby is a long ways off. 13 weeks? 15 weeks? Depending on when little he or she decides to arrive...

However. I, being a planner, have already started to rearrange the house, thinking about where to squeeze in a bassinet and where to store little ones clothing.

I have also started making lists. I love lists. I call them "nice things" lists and I have whole folders on my computer of nice things I have wanted at one point or another, not even that I wanted it all but, as inspiration, like how you look at pretty blogs (not mine HA) full of gorgeous pictures and inspiring posts. I like to look at these nice things lists and dream up what the future holds. Maybe it makes me feel more "in control"? Who knows.

For now I dream. I make lists. Here is part of it.

i know it totally looks funny
with the hat so much bigger than
the sleeper below.
hopefully this will not
be my baby's proportions.

for some reason i imagine this baby in grey,
gender neutral clothing...i keep having to remind
myself that even if we DON'T know the gender
the baby will in fact HAVE a gender.
go HERE for this sleeper, hat is the same brand

i think i am gonna buy this. also i am gonna buy new
diaper covers and pocket dipes. i know, i know, i have
posted about how they are "a snap" to sew but...
i am lazy and tired and...oh well.
go HERE for this cover
i LOOOOOVE pilot caps on little tiny babies.
go HERE for the hat

again with the gender neutral clothing...but i have wanted
silk/wool blend underclothes for my babies since i learned
of the wonder of such things...gotta do it.
go HERE for the pants and shirt

i adore this woollen suit.
look at it HERE

this is a baby kick sack. i plan on knitting it. in my spare time.
download pattern for free HERE (on Ravelry, you may have to
join the site but its free and sooo great!!)

i also plan on knitting this. in a better color though
Ravelry pattern HERE

another wool sleep sack
(not sure where i found it...)

i also plan on knitting this
download from ravelry HERE

my sister will laugh at me for this but i TOTALLY
want a babywearing poncho for this baby...
isnt it great?? dont you want one too?
or maybe i just want to be a skinny scandanavian
mama hiking the fijords with my baby??
(possibly the latter is the true appeal but nevertheless)
hmmm...i wonder if i could find an old poncho in a
thrift store and simply cut a hole for baby??
will post if it works... :)
(this version is $220. not gonna happen)
(if YOU wanna pay that much, you can buy it HERE)

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