Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Slow cooker

Santa brought me a slow cooker for Christmas.  It's the size of a small boat and arrived dented on one side but I'm too lazy to exchange it and the functionality isn't affected so it fits in well in my kitchen.  I should mention that part of the reason I got on this whole slow cooker bandwagon was because everyone told me how EASY they are.  Dump the ingredients in, turn on low or high, and come back in 4-8 hours for a delicious meal.  What's not to love, right?

So, for my first recipe I decided to try this healthy and EASY-SOUNDING chili recipe from WebMD.  I got excited when the 3-step instructions were:

1.) Put all ingredients into slow cooker; turn on low or high and cook accordingly.
2.) Go do something creative.
3.) Before serving, taste for seasoning adjustments.

What I neglected to realize is that someone (i.e. ME) was going to have to wash, peel, and chop the 8 different vegetables, as well as saute the garlic and onion and brown the meat before simply "putting all the ingredients into the slow cooker." 

So, two hours later that prep work was done and 5 hours after that our meal was ready.  Never mind that it happened to be 8:00 p.m. by then and I had already fed Audrey instant mac 'n cheese because she couldn't wait any longer.

I'm not giving up on the slow cooker yet.  But clearly I have a lot to learn.  And for the time being I'm reverting back to my trusty Cooking Light 30-minute 5-ingredient cookbook that is more my league.  The chili was good though.  And yes, it feeds a small army.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My poor nose

T is going through a super cute phase of loving to sit on my lap. I love it. He is also super obsessed with this uberly boring video, “Mighty Machines,” so sitting still with me might be partially due to the hypnotizing effect of watching trucks and trains on TV. Ok, he would sit in front of it all day long if he could.  (The obsession is to the extent that the hubs just bought him another 4 Mighty Machines videos out of desperation because we might just poke our own eyes out if we have to see a diesel engine filling a railroad train up with gas one more time).  Anyway, he likes to sit on mommy’s lap, we’ll leave it at that.

Sunday morning, he was being a good boy, so I turned the trucks video on for him. He came and plopped down on my lap – and inadvertently head-butted me in the nose with the back of his head with all his might. Man oh man, I saw stars. And it still hurts. I keep asking the hubs if it looks broken to him, but he tells me unless there was blood, it’s not broken. I ask if it looks crooked now, and I get the feeling he’s not taking me seriously. I know I don’t have a delicate nose, but ouch!

On the bright side, this might be my Jennifer Aniston-style excuse to get that delicate nose one day.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Taking the plunge

Clearly I have some blogging catch-up to do!  Well, we're back from Brazil, back at school and work after the holidays, and finally taking the plunge on the dreaded potty training.  I had been waiting for some magic sign from Audrey that she was suddenly ready to potty train seriously but that is clearly not coming so it's time to take a stab at it. 

Because I feel lost and clueless as to how to even begin this process, I checked out the only book I could find at the library, which happens to be a how-to on potty training girls, so things are already looking my way, right?  Of course, I'm about a quarter into the book and already getting depressed because the author keeps talking about how easy girls are to potty train and how this whole thing should be a breeze that's over in a few days.  And I keep picturing my child running around the house butt naked screaming, "diapers ARE for big girls!" and then peeing on the floor and wondering when the easy part starts.

Anyway, we went to Target this morning looking for the following:

- a reward chart
- stickers
- Pez
- a new potty
- a stepping stool to the toilet
- big girl underwear

We found everything but the reward chart.  I know it's super-lame that I want to buy one already made but I'm lazy.  I'm not crafty.  I need all the help I can get.  I'm not even sure a reward chart will work with Audrey (beyond a day or two) but she recently became obsessed with Pez candies after getting them in her stocking (ahh, grandparents) so I thought maybe if that were the reward we could get somewhere.  Just don't tell her dentist.

The book told me to get Audrey involved in all of the purchasing and picking out of potties, etc. to get her interested and excited for potty training.  She did pick out the potty this morning but then told me she wanted to take a nap and pretty much passed out in the cart so I'm still waiting for the interested and excited part.

In the meantime, I'm thinking up a reward chart for mommy as I may need some rewarding and motivating of my own when I'm cleaning up the 10th accident of the day.  This is when a full-carpeted house (bathrooms and all - who does that?) is your worst enemy.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Magical Mommy Powers

So, sometimes there are moments that I just want to remember as being so darned cute.

We just wrapped up a stretch of a good month or so, where every night, when got back from our daily walk, T and I would go and visit the “Magic Light.” This magic light is a lamp post about two houses down the street from us on a timer – whereas all the others on our street turn on at dusk every night.  So, we walk hand-in-hand down to this Magic Light, bang on the lamp post and say “Magic Light ON!” Eventually, the light comes on – and receives an amazed gasp, a huge smile, and a happy scream from the little guy. It's totally magic. And I swear, it's been the highlight of his days.

Needless to say, we'd spend a good 5-10 minutes out there at the same lamp post every single day waiting for mommy's magic powers to kick in, the timer to cycle through, and the light to go on. (Our neighbors must look out their window and laugh at our ridiculousness on a daily basis.) The magic light craze even caught on with the other toddlers on the street. Who doesn't love a magic light? Seeing his face light up in pure excitement that we personally got the light to go on (before it goes “night night” and cycles through its dark period again) is worth it.*

Hey, I'm fully aware that I'm not going to be this cool to him forever, so I’ll gladly keep using my magical powers where I can! 

*Especially because a "I don't wanna go inside!" tantrum usually follows immediately after.