Sunday, January 31, 2010

weekend fun

Matt took Tyler (and the camera) to Ian's birthday party on Saturday while I stayed home with Lauren and her friend Tera.
Tyler poses with BumbleBee the Transformer.
Tyler, in heaven, at a table full of pretty girls.
Pin the Nose on the Clown
Ian helps Tyler get oriented.

fun with balloons

It was such a FUN party.
moving on...
Sunday Warrior

the Warrior eats breakfast

Jiffy Blueberry Muffins...YUMM!

Where is Tyler?

Where is Lauren?

Hide-n-Seek Tower

Hope you enjoyed the glimpse into our weekend fun.

P.S. Fun not pictured included an adult-only dinner-out with friends to the Farmhouse. If you actually click on the Farmhouse link (I never do when I read blogs but just do it anyway...) you will see the actual table that Dave, Susan, Matt and I sat at.
P.P.S. Go Pro-Bowl...whatever that is.

Food and Stuff

Wheat Berries

the rest of the ingredients for the
Garlic and Kale Soup
(kale, thin sliced garlic, 1/4c rice vinegar & baby bella mushrooms + 4c. veggie broth)

Matt loved it and said he would order it at a restaurant.
This is the highest compliment coming from Matt, especially for a vegetarian meal.

I had extra Kale so I spread it out on a baking sheet, lightly tossed it in olive oil and sprinkled coarse salt over the top. Then I baked the kale for about 12 min? at 350 degrees. I baked them until they started to brown on the edges. I was the only one who liked these but according to me they were fantastic and ZERO weight watchers points...well maybe ONE for the whole tray. =)

Feta Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppadews

Take a halved and seeded Peppadew or Cherry Tomato, add a Mint Leaf and top with diced seeded Cucumber and Feta.
instant yummy-ness
new pressure cooker
oh the pressure I feel to actually use it now
soon, I promise

Birthday Parties galore on Saturday
Matthew got a Transformer's walkie talkie set and some Sponge Bob 3-D playing cards.
Ian got a portable soccer game. Mini soccer field, mini soccer players, mini goal, mini soccer ball.

Lauren's Art Club:

Penguin on canvas

framed Glitter Bird on Branch in the Snow

I love that Lauren loves Art Club. She may have some talent in the art thanks to my genes. She may turn out to be a talented artist like her Daddy.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

strep by strep

Strep by Strep we are slowly making it through this miserable week. It started over the weekend when one of Lauren's lymph nodes below her ear swelled to the size of an egg. On Monday we brought her into the pediatrician and he suspected strep and gave her antibiotics. That evening I came down with a sore throat, headache and a high fever. I tried to wait until Lauren's test results came back so I could just have her doctor prescribe me the antibiotics (and save a co-pay.) But two days later (yesterday) I was still miserable and results weren't back yet so I went to my doctor. The instant test results were positive. Rather than take the antibiotics orally over 10 days, I opted for the shot. While the nurse prepared the huge needle I pulled up the sleeve on my shirt. She just shook her head and said that's not where this shot goes. I guess it takes more muscle!/flab? to absorb the strong penicillin. When I got home from the doctor Tyler said his mouth hurt and on closer look I saw a nice pimply rash all over his body. A quick google searched confirmed my scarlatina suspicion. We then called the pediatrician with his symptoms and secured our third anti-biotic prescription in as many days. Let's just hope Matt can hold out! He's been a wonderful Mr. Mom and working Dad this whole week.

Normal blogging should resume as soon as I start to feel better.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Vegetarian Wheat Meat

Don't you just love that name? Vegetarian Wheat Meat. It is such a "sweet" name. I think I will just call it Sweet Meat from now on. This week's dinners are from my new Vegetarian Times magazine. Today was Ultimate (almost) Vegan Chili and tomorrow is Garlic and Kale Soup. The chili called for seitan (sweet meat) and the soup called for wheat berries. Both can only be found at Whole Foods in our neck of the woods. I didn't feel like driving into Atlanta and since Matt was in the office working today I asked him to stop by WF on his way home. I only asked him to get the wheat berries for me. I knew, Just Knew, if I asked him to get me some vegetarian wheat meat that he would absolutely refuse. So to be sneaky...I made my own.

It was better than I thought it would be so I thought I'd share it with y'all. I followed this recipe.

Here's a spotty recap:
Start with some Vital Wheat Gluten. (I don't know what it is either but you can find it in the granola (natural food) section at your local grocery store.)
To the Wheat Gluten add ginger and garlic powder. In another bowl add chicken broth (or water to make it vegan,) and soy sauce. Mix together and then knead 10-15 times. You will have what looks to be a sweaty clump of "who knows what."
Break this sweaty clump of natural goodness into 3 or 4 pork chop looking filets. Then immerse them into a slow simmering bath of chicken broth, onions and other choice seasonings. (for details please check out the link) Simmer one hour.

Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a kitchen towel. I added another towel on top to soak up the moisture. I also added a cookie sheet over the top towel and loaded it with all my kitchen top appliances to smash the moisture out of them.

They looked like rubber dumplings but they actually tasted very good. (seriously!) To make the chili I chopped them up into soggy crouton/sponge-like pieces. and then chopped up the rest of the ingredients.
carrots, onions, mushrooms, garlic, chili beans, tomato paste, seasonings, Worcestershire's, soy sauce, adobo chili and a cup of water.
add them all together and simmer for one hour or so.

and serve.
This was (according to me) very tasty and super filling.
This was (according to Matt) good but he'd prefer just veggies and beans...omit the seitan.
(He didn't feel this way until I couldn't keep a straight face when I told him the meat was chopped up hot dogs.)
For the record I liked this sweet meat much better than tofu and although it takes some time to cook it is very easy to make. Plus a serving of chili is only 5 weight watchers points. BONUS!!

Here's a preview of tomorrow's dinner. Matt's gonna love it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

sick day

The school nurse at Lauren's elementary school called me yesterday afternoon saying Lauren was in her office with a 102 degree temperature. She had been battling a cough and a sore throat and I guess it just progressed on its course. Whenever you pick up your child at school with a fever it is UNDERSTOOD the next day is a sick day. (Twenty-four hours fever free is the rule.) Lauren woke up this morning without a fever and feeling fine so she basically just had a day off.

It was not long after breakfast before Lauren and Tyler were annoying each other. Tyler kept singing his abbreviated version of Jingle Bells. "Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle All the Way..." repeat this and only this at least one thousand times. I told Lauren to just ignore Tyler but she could not. I then suggested she put on her headphones. And she did.
Since Tyler was not able to annoy Lauren with her headphones he opted to go play outside in the sandbox. I'm glad he was able to take advantage of the mild temps. It is supposed to rain tomorrow.
Lauren has been spending A LOT of time on the computer lately. She has also become quite a bit sassier as well. I am not saying they are related but I am making the move to find out. My latest parenting technique involves computer time. (And I will also try to honor this by cutting back on my own computer time....ahem) Anyway...I had the kids decorate two paper plates each and write their first initial on them. I hung them from the kitchen counter and told them they were "computer time tokens." They can bring me their token in exchange for twenty minutes of computer time. They are allowed two tokens per day. Today it worked great.
Lauren spent her computer time today on PBS Kids, specifically this site. She learned to cook. It was pretty cool...she got to stir together and toss pizza dough all with the mouse.
Since Matt is out entertaining "corporate" who are visiting from Seattle, I get to choose my own entertainment for the evening. It is between my new book purchased from Amazon, Cook This, Not That, by David Z. and Matt G., my new book borrowed from the library, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See, and "The Soloist," rented from NetFlix.

or maybe I'll just catch up on General Hospital and American Idol. So many choices.
Good Night Y'All.

Monday, January 18, 2010

nonchalant conversation

Lauren and I had a disturbingly nonchalant conversation today.

(This happened after I asked Lauren what she wanted to be when she grew up. As always, she answered that she wanted to be a Mommy. )

Lauren: What will happen if you die when I am six years old?
Me: Daddy will take care of you and teach you to be a good Mommy.

Lauren: What if Daddy dies too?
Me: Then Grammy, Grandma Jan, or MeMa will take care of you and teach you to be a good Mommy.

Lauren: But how will I get a baby in my tummy then?
Me: (thinking...OMG are we having this conversation for realz?) Well, you will meet a nice boy, get married and then he will help you.
Lauren: Okay, I have to go tee tee.

Yes, I feel this was a good enough answer to a five-year-old's nonchalant question.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Weekly Menu

Last week I joined Weight Watchers on-line so I will be cooking some very healthy dinners for awhile. I know what I need to do to lose weight...EAT LESS and EXERCISE MORE... but my motivation and follow-through is greatly increased when I have to PAY a monthly FEE to do it.

twenty-five pounds to go
most recipes are from Feb. 2010 Vegetarian Times magazine or Feb. 2010 Real Simple magazine. I will link to recipes if I can find them with a simple google search.

Monday: Ravioli with Sweet Peppers and steamed broccoli
Tuesday: pantry dinner (I have a Mom's Night Out planned at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse)
Wednesday: Chicken with Broccoli Rabe, Apricots, and Pine Nuts (minus the Pine Nuts for me)
Thursday: Vegetables Korma
Friday: Garlic and Kale Soup & l/o cornbread from freezer
Saturday: Ultimate Vegan Chili
Sunday: left-overs
Monday: Roasted Vegetable Linguine with Torn Fresh Basil & Feta Stuffed Peppadews

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Non-Stop FUN

It's been Non-Stop FUN for our family lately, particularly for the youngins. We've had three play-dates in two days.

The first play-date took place Friday at Chick-Fil-A. Tyler and I met Ian (3,) Eric (1,) and Susan (around 20-something just like me!) for some lunch and some hard-core playland playing. Tyler did great but I got in trouble when I brought my Diet Coke into the playland. I was in there maybe 30 seconds before the hostess tracked me down. She did thank me for being cooperative while she confiscated my beverage. =) (now I know the rules)

After school Lea came over to play. Lauren and Lea played one of their favorite games: "Hair Cut." They don't actually cut hair but they do comb it all out and dress it up with clips. They play this game quite often and I've never heard a yelp nor an "ouch." Now if I'm the one playing "hair cut" with Lauren there is always a few yelps, many "ouches" and at least one "Can you just not comb it so hard?!"
Friday also brought with it temperatures which I feel are more appropriate for Winter. Say low to mid 60s! While I made dinner (Mushroom and Ham Quesdadillas...similar to this recipe) I sent Matt outside to play with the kids. Matt had just gotten home from a 4-hour drive and (I just knew/assumed) he was itching to stretch his muscles.
Soccer Time
Tyler had a blast playing with his new goal. (Christmas gift)
Lauren was quick but Daddy managed to snap a picture of her.
Please admire her new's her latest and favorite article of clothing.

Today, Saturday, brought even more fun. Tera came over to play. As soon as she walked in the door the kids never stopped once...not to play quietly, not to watch a show, not to stop yelling and chasing each other all over the house and not even to breathe.
It was (as Lauren would say) tons and tons and tons of fun.
Check out Tyler's aerobic Ninja (definitely not a Geisha!) outfit.
try to ignore the blur that is Tera =)
After having such busy and exciting days it was time to clean the Non-Stop FUN right off of Lauren and Tyler.
Lauren thought she would test the "tear free" claim on the Johnson's Baby Wash label.
After at least five minutes of this silliness I assure you she was still tear free.

Even Tyler got in the action by giving himself a "beer."
"No Tyler it is not a beer, it is a beard"
"That's what I said Mommy, a beer."
the goofballs
refusing to stop the Non-Stop FUN
and the fun continues this evening.... Lauren is currently enjoying her fourth? hour today of (I know I'm jeopardizing my 'Parent of the Universe' award by admitting this) and Tyler is on the computer next to her playing (the pre-school games.) It is a good thing we have a total of four computers for the four of us so Matt can check his Fantasy Football Play-Off score and I can type up today's blog post.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

is it bedtime yet?

Pink Eye did not visit us this time around. Tyler woke up with a slightly swollen eye but it was goop free and that was a good thing.
Snack Time

After bath and before story time Lauren requested curlers.
I'd write more but somehow I got stuck on American Idol: Atlanta style.
Goodnight Y'All