Friday, September 19, 2014

It's that time of year...

No knead bread, Italian eggplant rolls in red sauce, and salad for dinner. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Random Topics and Help Needed

1. Martin has finally started enjoying forts!! Jared had to be somewhere Wednesday evening and Martin and I both are recovering from some weird cold or allergies.  We built forts and knocked them over. Then we ran cars down the cushions at an angle. The fun is only beginning. I am looking forward to the first giant cardboard box that comes to our house. :) 

2. I also let Martin dump water all over the kitchen floor while I cooked dinner... Why? It keeps him busy, cleans up easily, and teaches him how to pour water from bowl to bowl. Oh, and it is FREE!!

3. I finished grading my labs today during nap time. This was the only funny answer: 
Q: What gas is it and why is it important?
A: the gas is called oxygen, it is important because it kills fishes and other organisms. 

How can you be in college and think fishes is a word or that oxygen kills them?!? Sigh. Otherwise, I have a really good class so far this year. I have told the baby that he can't come more than six days early. If he comes any time after November 3rd at about 730 or 800pm, that would fit my schedule perfectly. 

4. I made a maternity shirt. It is based on a design of another shirt I have that I really like. It turned out mostly well. 

5. After taking care of a sick baby this week, I have finally gone grocery shopping, gotten dressed in something not covered in snot, emptied my sink, semi straightened my house, run my dishwasher, and washed three loads of clothes and a load of diapers. I am almost caught up. It is amazing how much you accomplish when you aren't constantly holding a sick toddler. Speaking of sick toddler... He is getting way too heavy and long.  

6. Also speaking of the sick toddler... He has had four bloody noses in the last week. I have never had a bloody nose. I imagine they are quite upsetting. I need your help.  

Do you have any tricks for toddlers with bloody noses (ie how to distract them and how to stop the blood... He hates having his nose pinched)?

Do you have any tricks for getting blood out of clothes? 

How do I stop him from rubbing his head all over the crib when he falls asleep at night? He loves to smash his face into his blankets. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


I love hand-me-downs and thrift store clothes. How else can you get such good quality clothing for free or around $2 a piece of clothes?!? I am very thankful for good quality clothing, especially knowing a second little boy is coming along to wear out more clothes. Thank you to everyone who has ever given me clothes!!! We love you.  You have saved us SO much money!! Thank you for your generosity. 

My third option for clothes is Target. I found jeans there the other day, on clearance, for less than $2 a pair. And let's not forget about the 5 pairs of shoes for less than $20 I found last month at Target!! 

This is my latest find:
4 pairs of swim trunks and a rash guard in sizes 2T-5T!! 

My boys are set for the next few years for at least one pair of swim trunks. I bought these 50% off at Target at season end. I need I remember to do that more often. 

Also, I went to the big twice yearly consignment shop at the civic center and bought 22 items for cheaper than $50. It was mostly in sizes 2T-5T. I will need a few more summer things, which they sell in their spring shop, but mostly I am set for those few sizes. Oddly, 3T is my weakest lot right now (I should look for a coat after season in 3T and 5T). 

P.S. I am not saying that I don't need hand-me-downs. But even if I don't receive any more hand-me-downs, I wouldn't have to buy that much (t-shirts and play clothes). I mostly have stocked up on dress clothes and pants.  I am guessing pants are going to take a beating from two active little boys. 

For dinner tonight:
Sour cream chicken
Squash and zucchini

Thursday or Friday dinner:
New recipe - stuffed eggplant (if the recipe is good, I will post it)
No-knead bread
Spinach salad 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Gingery Stir-Fried Chicken and Bok Choy

Chicken marinade and coating:
1/4 c. Soy sauce
1 c. Water
1-2 pounds chicken, trimmed and sliced
2 T sesame oil
1 T cornstarch
1 T flour

1. Trim and slice chicken.  Marinate chicken in soy sauce and water for 20 minutes to 1 hour. Drain. 
2. Mix oil, cornstarch, ad flour until smooth. Toss chicken in mixture until evenly coated. 

I cut the bok choy incorrectly in this picture. I didn't read the directions. 

Sauce and veggies:
1/4 c. Chicken broth
1 T soy sauce
1 T oyster sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornstarch 
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
4 tsp minced ginger
1 medium garlic clove
Chicken from above
1-2 heads of bok choy
1-2 peppers, cut into 1/4" strips

3. Whisk broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, sugar, and red pepper flakes and 2tsp of the minced ginger. 
Combine remaining ginger, garlic, and 1 tsp oil in another bowl. 

4. Heat 2 tsp oil in pan. Add half chicken in flat layer. Cook without stirring until golden brown. Flip. Cook other side. 
Repeat with rest of chicken. 

5. Heat 1 tsp oil in pan. Add bok choy stalks and peppers. Stir fry until brown. Add garlic/ginger mixture in center.  Cook until fragrant (20-40 sec).  Mix with veggies as cook until they are tender-crisp. Add bok choy leaves and cook until they begin to wilt. 

6. Add sauce and chicken. Heat until chicken is warmed. Serve over rice. :)

This chicken is amazing. I love the texture and flavor. It uses up two of our csa veggies!!! Hooray. Now if only I could find something to do with eggplant. Grr. 

P.s. I want this wool flowery rug from Pottery Barn. I love the gray and purple together. Love. Love. Love. If this baby was a girl I would be very tempted to purchase it. Okay, I am still tempted.  Purple is my favorite color. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Yesterday, we went up to Lewis to cheer on Aunt Anna and Uncles Andrew and Luke as they raced in the dragon boat race. It was a gorgeous afternoon and we loved being outside. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Shelves in the Closet

Happy thought indeed!!

Jared was able to finish the shelves in the closet today. This time no one was injured (last time we worked on the closet, I sliced my thumb open on something unrelated in the kitchen and had to get stitches). 

Martin had a blast handing Jared screws and watching him screw them in. Martin even got to hold the drill once. He was very excited. He seems to really enjoy playing in his closet and I really love how it turned out. I am so thankful for my handy husband. :)




The shelves are great because they raise everything off the floor so the boys can play under the shelves (for a bit more floor space). It also give even more storage than before. I can even store a few Christmas decoration boxes and puzzles on the top shelves. 

They are 8" deep on the end wall and 12" deep and 10" deep on the side wall. The higher shelves are both longer and wider. The two lower shelves are shorter and only 10" deep. 

And the play table (which you have already seen):

I plan on making two more cushions to sit, lay, jump on. I also am planning on making a puppet theatre curtain for the doorway. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

When a child is sick

Thursday I had a whole list of things to do. The only thing I finished off the list was to cook dinner and grocery shop. Why? Martin started a fever while we were out grocery shopping and just wanted to be held most of the day. He would play by himself sometimes, but only if I was in the room, close by. 

I find games, books, and toys that Martin hasn't seen before distract him better when he is sick. I invent games sometimes (let's pick up pine cones, pour this water into different size bowls and cups, can you slide these matchsticks down the straws? etc.). I gave him this colander and some pipe cleaners and it became our favorite game yesterday. He would put them in, take them out, hand them to me, and repeat. 

He woke up three times last night.  The first two times I was able to pat his back and he fell asleep. The third time he was up for almost an hour. Needless to say, I am tired and glad we have no plans tonight. Oh, and our neighbor's car alarm went off at 2am, but somehow didn't manage to wake Martin. However, as I have mentioned in others posts, I am thankful for the times that I get to rock and hold him. Someday I won't be able to do that anymore and it will make me sad. For now I enjoy the  snuggles, even when they are at 3am. 

I had my cookbook out, and turned to the correct page, to post my pancake recipe, but as you can read, I was sidetracked again. Maybe today while he naps I can find some time. 

P.s. The highlight of my day was reaching into the bottom of my diaper bag and finding a banana tht had been there for over a week, maybe two or three. I have no idea how long it has been in there. It was all black and completely slimy. It spilled its stinky slime all over my diaper bag. 

Have you ever found anything strange or gross in your purse, backpack, or diaper bag? 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

CS Lewis

This q&a by John Piper is excellent (but when is John Piper not excellent?):

I didn't know they had featured him at their national conference last year. I am looking for those talks and audio files to listen to next. 

While we were away we listened to 5 of the 7 Narnia books, in the car, and I started rereading a Lewis book. I will leave you with this Lewis quote that is one of my new favorites. I think this needs to hang over my kids' changing table so I remember this in the midst of changing diapers. :)