Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring Update

Around the House: It is Spring Break for Embry this week, which means my days are harder and easier. Harder because I am not used to picking up after and entertaining two kids all day anymore. Easier because we are not rushing around trying to get ready for school in the mornings, and I'm not waking Matthew up from his nap to pick Embry up in the afternoons. Overall, I like that I get to spend more time with Embry, but it makes it a little harder to get the house clean.

In the Kitchen: I have always liked avocados for as long as I can remember. But, when I was pregnant with Matthew, even the thought of them turned my stomach. It took me a while to warm back up to them, but now I can't have them enough. I buy them 6 or 7 at a time from (where else?) Costco and eat one almost every day. My favorite thing to do is mash one up with some green tomatillo salsa and some lime juice and eat it with tortilla chips. I have that for lunch 3 or 4 times a week, at least. Yum.

New with Embry: Embry went to a gymnastics class last week with a friend from school. She loved it, of course and wants to go back for more. She was also upset, when at the of the class some of the little girls went on to dance class in the next room. "Is it time for dance, now?" she asked. And my heart broke that she wasn't signed up for that one too. So we are considering a summer class for her at the community college. But what subject? She wants to do everything from dance to golf. I really want her to take swimming, mostly for practicality, but I want her to enjoy it too. We'll discuss it some more and, I guess decide later.

New with Matthew: Since the weather has been so nice, we have been going to the park a lot. The kids have a blast, but it completely wears me out, because Matthew is a total dare-devil. He refuses to stay on the little kids area of the park that is clearly designated for "ages 5 and under." He wants to climb on the huge parts of the playground, and slide down the biggest slides. Of course, he doesn't want any help, all the while getting pushed and shoved by all of the 12 year-olds running past. I want to let him be brave, but it is exhausting running around after him, ready to catch him if he stops paying attention for 1 second and walks off an edge. Whew!

Matthew is also very much into counting, right now. Rather than explain how cute that is, I am trying my hardest to get a video. Stay posted.

I'm Grateful For: All of the time that we are going to be able to spend with family in the coming weeks.

The Weather Outside: Spring is finally here! It is sunny and warm... and a little wet. But that's spring in St. Louis, right?

I'm Obsessed With: I remember seeing this egg dying technique on Martha a few years ago, but like a lot of things on her show I figured it would never work if I tried it at home. But, the same technique was featured on a blog that I follow, along with lots of comments from readers who had tried it and were successful. I'm so excited to try it, I can't wait for Easter!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lost and Found

The day of Embry's birthday we pulled out the video camera and discovered that the battery was nearly dead. Five minutes later we discovered that we had lost the power cord. We managed to tape a minute or two before it conked out, but I wasn't able to download what we recorded with no way to recharge the camera.

A couple of weeks later we ordered a replacement from Amazon and when it arrived we promptly left it on the box on top of a pile of junk mail for another week. Last week, I finally remembered to charge the camera and download the video to the computer. So, sorry Mom for the delay, but here is a couple of minutes from Embry's party.

Today, when I was putting away the kids' hats and gloves I found the original charger... in the coat closet in a bin of old hats and gloves. I don't why I didn't look there before. At least we have a spare now, right?

Banana Bread

I am just finishing up the last piece of the banana bread that I made a couple of days ago. It is one of my favorite recipes for two reasons. It is super easy, and it is so yummy! The recipe is from my favorite and well worn cookbook, The Best Recipe. My copy is so stained and torn and burned, it is definitely time to get new copy.

Anyway, I thought I would share it with you today (the recipe that is; you're too late for the bread).

Recipe makes one 9-inch loaf.

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups toasted walnuts, chopped coarse
3 very ripe bananas, mashed well
1/4 cup plain yogurt (the secret ingredient, do not omit, and be sure not to use vanilla or any flavored yogurt as a substitute)
2 large eggs, beaten
6 Tbs butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. *TIP* I like to put the walnuts in the oven to toast while its preheating. By the time that the oven is ready the walnuts are done about 10 minutes.** Grease and flour bottom only of regular (not nonstick) loaf pan. If you use a nonstick pan the bread will not rise as much and will be a little too dense.

2. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and walnuts together in a large bowl. Set aside.

3. Mix mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. Fold wet mixture into the dry mixture gently. Do not over mix or the bread will be tough.

4. Pour batter into pan and bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Easy peasy! Enjoy!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March Update

Around the House: I'm trying to organize toys this week. It seems like all of the sudden, we have no place to put anything, and I am tripping over toys everywhere. Embry has agreed to fill up one huge box with stuff for the yard sale, so that will help. The best part is that I may have to make a trip to Container Store!

In the Kitchen: I made a super easy cream of broccoli soup for the kids' dinner last night. The recipe was so easy that I made it from start to finish in the 40 minutes between bringing Embry home from school and going to work. All while getting dressed for work and wrangling the kids during their usual after school craziness. I can't find the recipe online anymore, so I'll try to post it later.

Also, I'm making Puppy Chow tomorrow since I can't stop thinking about this recipe I saw on my new fav food blog last week. Hello, sugar coma!

New with Embry: It's going to be a busy weekend for Embry. She has the day off from school tomorrow because of parent-teacher conferences. We're gong to meet with her teacher to discuss her upcoming transfer to the Elementary class. Yikes! She's going to a friend's house to play Friday afternoon, and then a birthday party on Saturday. Phew. I never remember being this busy when I was 5.

New with Matthew: It's been so long since Matthew's last haircut, that he is starting to remind me of a tiny werewolf. He has an appointment next week, and I am dreading it. Holding him down for his last haircut wore me out and gave me a sore back for 2 days. maybe I should just let him grow it long until he gets over this. Ugh. I just can't. I cannot have a little boy with long hair.

I am Grateful For: Matthew and I finally feeling better. He and I both slept through the night a couple of times this week. Yeah!

The Weather Outside: It's looking a little like spring outside...45 and sunny. I'm sure we're not done with the cold yet though. It is St. Louis, after all.

I am Obsessed With: Well, if I have to think about it, there must be nothing, right?