Monday, January 31, 2011

Weekend Update - Our Big Girl

Last weekend was a busy one. We did as little as possible on Friday night. I made homemade pizza and went to bed early. Luckily, Husband cleaned up because I was really only interested in wine, pizza and bed - in that order. In case you were wondering Rex Goliath makes a super tasty Pinot Grigio. 

Anywhoo, on Saturday, Little Miss and I had a quiet morning and then the three of us went to Ikea.  It was a little overwhelming and Husband lost his patience, but we were successful in buying a big girl bed, mattress, and bedding.  Also, we bought Little Miss a treat for being a Big Girl.  She picked the bed.  It helped her embrace all the changes if she had some ownership in the decisions.  So, even though a little of me cried inside when she chose a bed that did not match the rest of her furniture, she was very happy.  I would have even been happy with the version of the bed that came in natural but she chose the blue.  The In-Laws came over for dinner for a belated Christmas exchange and dinner - also a guise under which to get Father-in-Law over to put together the new bed.  I wouldn't trust anything we put together for Little Miss.
On Saturday, Sister and Nephew came to pick us up. We did a quick lunch at McDonald's and went to Baltimore to Port Discovery. The kids had a blast. It was 3+ hours of running, climbing, drawing, and playing.
They loved the water room. They could discover what sank and what floated. They could play with boats, legos and other items in water. They could make a giant bubble around themselves and spray water to musical instruments to make noise. Unfortunately, my kid is the one who walked in front of the water. The museum supplied raincoats and crocs though (which my kid also didn't want to wear) and had a heat lamp and dryers before you left. Let's just say my kid was damp even after we got home, but she had a blast (and wore layers so she was only wet on the outside - it never went through the sweater).
The kids were exchausted when we left.  Little Miss fell asleep first after putting up a good fight.  I gave her permission to rest and, within seconds, she was out.  Nephew fought a little harder, but before long, both kids were out until we got home.  Our little troopers.
Because she was a Big Girl, Little Miss got to pick out a treat at Ikea. She wanted a tent. So, we bought her the little tent, and I put it together last night. She says she really likes it though she's yet to really be inside of it. It's really a coincidence that she has a hat on outside of the igloo. It's not that cold in our apartment.  Sunday night, Husband and I had a nice dinner and watched a movie. It was a nice cap to a busy weekend.

So, busy weekend, but we got through it. Little Miss has been great about the new bed. She also had to say goodbye to her pacifier. We had prepared her, but it was still a little rough. However, both nights she's been in her new bed, she hasn't gotten out once. She stalls, but she did that with her crib, but she'll stay in bed. She does like to climb out in the morning and did so on Sunday. Husband awoke to a little face next to his saying, "I awake, Daddy!"

Friday, January 21, 2011

Future on Wheel of Fortune/Jeopardy!

Category would be Before and After.
The answer would be:  Lead singer of matchbox twenty who is useful on the Island of Sodor
The question would be:  Rob Thomas the Tank Engine.

Little Miss and I were in the car listening to my iPod.  I had no tolerance for kid music today so I made her listen to my iPod on shuffle.  A Rob Thomas song came on, and she was listening.  She tilts her head and goes, "Mommy, who's this?"  I tell her Rob Thomas was singing.  She waits a beat and then says "Just like the train!"  I agreed to which she responded "I'm so smart."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Difference Between Boys and Girls

Some of you read this on Facebook the other day.  For those who didn't, this was our conversation at the dinner table the other night.

Little Miss:  Daddy, you're a boy.  Mommy and me are Girls. 

We both nod at this.

Husband:  What's the difference between boys and girls?

Little Miss:  I don't know.  Tell me, Daddy.

Husband looks at me.

Me:  Tell her, Daddy. 

Husband:  Boys have a penis, and girls have a vagina.

This has been our answer to this recurring question.  At this stage, she seems to accept that answer without any follow-up questions.  So, she thinks about this information and then says:

Little Miss:  Boys are penises...

I laughed and couldn't disagree, but I did set her straight.  I mean, come on, sometimes, boys are penises.  She is a wise one.

(NOTE:  You should be able to click on the photo to enlarge it if you have trouble reading it.)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What I've Been Cooking Lately

2011 is my year to try new recipes.  The first thing you have to know is that I follow recipes.  I'm not an cook that cooks with instinct.  I can't put my own spin on things.  Husband is more like that than I.  He'll research recipes and then whip up his own creation.  I like a list and instructions.  Anyway, I've tried a handful of new recipes that have worked and hope to keep the trend up.

First, I baked cupcakes for the first time.  OK, they were from a box, but I've never done it before so it counts as something new.  Plus, Little Miss thought I was a superhero practically for making them.

Second, I made Honey-Teriyaki Chicken (photo above) with Snow Peas with Toasted Almonds. I actually made this twice.  It came out different both times.  Basically, the second time, it was less sweet.  Plus, the second time, I burned my almonds and added the lemon juice.  I think I liked it better the first time with no burned almonds and no lemon juice.  Of course, the time I burned the almonds was when I was cooking for a friend and not just myself.

Third, I made Tomatoes Provencal. These were pretty good. The lemon zest was strong, and I didn't even put the whole amount into the dish. Still, it wasn't bad, added a bit of freshness. I made these for friends, and we ate them with steak and potatoes and they were a perfect light side dish. They do not heat up as well unless you rebake, but the tomato moisture gets absorbed into the breadcrumbs. 

Snow Peas with Toasted Almonds
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 pound snow peas, trimmed
2 teaspoons minced shallot
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Melt butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add almonds and cook until golden and fragrant and butter begins to brown, stirring frequently, about 11/2 minutes. Add snow peas and shallot; sauté until snow peas are crisp-tender, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; add lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and serve.

Honey-Teriyaki Chicken
1/2 cup honey

2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 pounds total)

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. In a large bowl, mix honey, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken and toss to coat. Transfer chicken and sauce to baking sheet.

Bake chicken, skin side up, basting occasionally with pan juices, until well browned and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve chicken drizzled with pan juices.

Tomatoes Provencal
1 1/2 cups fresh plain breadcrumbs

1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
Leaves from a few sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 large tomatoes cut into 1/2-inch slices

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a 2-quart baking dish. In a bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups fresh plain breadcrumbs, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan, 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, leaves from a few sprigs fresh thyme and 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; season with coarse salt and ground pepper.

Arrange 4 large tomatoes cut into 1/2-inch slices, in prepared baking dish, overlapping slightly; season with salt and pepper. Top with breadcrumb mixture. Bake until tomatoes are tender and crumbs are golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

I will say that I used a 3-quart glass dish and lined with foil.  Also, I baked for the allotted time and then put it under the broiler for a few minutes until browned.  I think I'd rather some more thyme. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Movies Watched in December 2010

  1. When in Rome
  2. The Social Network
  3. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Books Read in December 2010

  1. The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
  2. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  3. Beastly by Alex Flinn
  4. Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume by a variety of authors
  5. A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas (NOTE: This is part of the Wallflower series. Details can be found here, but the order is Secrets of a Summer Night, It Happened One Autumn, The Devil in Winter and Scandal in Spring.)
  6. Rough Riders series by Lorelei James (NOTE: The order of the series can be found here.)
I actually have had A Wallflowers Christmas forever, and I thought it would be nice to read during the holidays. It was quite cute. A word of note that the last series listed is erotica so don't go checking it out if you're not into that type of thing. It's extremely graphic. If you do like that sort of thing, it was well done for the genre. There was an actual storyline with a touch of romance.

Weekend Updates - What I Haven't Blogged About

Let's see... Christmas was great. We spent it in western Maryland with the parents, aunt and uncle, cousins, sister and nephew. Little Miss had a blast skiing and, of course, she loved the deluge of presents. The week of Christmas, Husband started to have pain and was sick to his stomach. He made an appointment for after Christmas and mostly suffered through the holiday.

For New Year's Eve, we had some friends over and mostly hung out and watched movies. Then, the following Monday, Husband had his gall bladder out. It was a speedy recovery, but it did take a full week during which time he couldn't pick up Little Miss which made her sad, but she was very understanding and gentle with him.

Husband has been joyfully following the New York Jets. So, while he was recovering, he left the house for the first time and went to a local bar to watch the game while Sister-in-Law and the little nephew came to visit Little Miss and me. It was nice to see him after such a long time.

Then, last weekend, Husband went to Vegas. On Saturday, Little Miss spent a couple of hours with her grandparents while I went to lunch with a friend and Sister-in-Law to Chick-Fil-A. Then, we went to see Black Swan. Later, my friend came over and we had dinner and watched Howl. On Sunday, my friends came over to watch the Golden Globes and we had dinner and popcorn. It was a good weekend.

Today, there was an ice storm overnight so Little Miss had no school. She stayed home with Husband, and last I heard, was having a good day with him. Hopefully, now we can get on with the daily routine of life and hope 2011 gets a little more relaxing (though I don't see that happening).