Saturday, January 30, 2010

Crazy Eats

We are easing into solids for Angus because he seems to have a sensitive tummy. Eliminating the grain cereal seems to have helped. Now we are adding them back in. This is what he thought of peas with oatmeal cereal.
He much preferred trying to chow down on this apple! He doesn't have teeth yet so he couldn't break the skin.
Reese's new favorite treat is "Santa!" known to most English speakers as candy canes.
Daddy let Gus have a taste.
You can't see his mouth here but he sure is smiling--I think he liked it!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I bought The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook and got started on my sale flyer/coupon shopping. I actually always skim the flyer, but lots of times I'm not sure if the sale is actually a good price or not. Also lots of times it's 2 or 3 things at each store and I wonder is it worth it to go to more than one store. And then ultimately it boils down to the Weaton Way Albertson's is gross. I like Safeway better -- yes even the Callow St. one is nicer than Albertson's. SO I go to safeway, get their sale things and pay full price for everything else.
This week though I thought the deals were too good to pass up. I got pork shoulder ribs for $0.99 per pound.
I got 12 pounds of chicken breasts for $1.88 per pound. I cooked it and cubed it and froze it in 2 cup portions so it's ready to go for casserole type meals.I got 25 cups of cubed, cooked chicken! Some I seasoned while cooking and some not. We'll decide what we like better when I actually use it for a meal.
One of the things in the cookbook that I thought "whatever! Those prices are lies!" was her $0.50 each for bell peppers. Western Washington just does not have peppers this cheap, ever. But I did get them for $0.69 each.
We had stuffed peppers since I found them so cheap and I diced 6 up and froze them for use in future meals.Reese hates the peppers so his in a ramekin instead.For my shining Martha moment I made tortillas!
I used this recipe.Here they are resting before I rolled them out.Here it's cooking.It really was not too difficult or even time consuming. Kyle raved about their freshness, but I don't know if it was just because he knew I made extra effort.
Honestly I expected some great taste difference and there wasn't, but there was no preservatives and yucky stuff in it, so I'd make them again.
We had carne asada fajitas in the homemade tortillas.

This week we are eating:
Stuffed Peppers
Spaghetti and aidell's meatballs
Curry Stir fry--This recipe is from Nutrition Action Newsletter. They have tons of great info about food. This is the first time we are going to try a recipe.1 tsp curry
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp grated ginger (i'll have to use powdered)
1 large ripe tomato
2 cups+ veggies (bell peppers, cauliflower, onion, mushroom, peas, etc)
6 oz. chicken or 1/2 cup lentils cooked
1 TBls canola oil
1/8 t salt
1/2 cup brown rice cooked

Pork Shoulder ribs, Au Gratin Potatoes, Broccoli/Cauliflower/Carrot medley with cheese sauce
Chicken, Rice, Broccoli--made into a casserole with my pre-cooked frozen chicken!!

Check out other ideas at Organizing Junkie!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Angus at Red Lobster

When we went to Red Lobster last Monday Gus sat in a restaurant high chair for the first time ever. He loved it! He played with his toys and laughed at the waitress and nibbled the cheddar bay biscuits. Since this was Kyle's only day off in a 12 day work stint of 12 1/2 hour days we really didn't want to cut into Reese's time with daddy. So we went at 2:45pm thinking the lunch people were done and the early bird dinner eaters hadn't started so we could have the boys with us and not worry about being disruptive. Wrong!! It was totally packed. I couldn't believe how many people were there. Gus was perfect through the ordering, drinks, biscuits, salad portion. Of course about 30 seconds after the meals arrived he started getting loud. He's still at that stage where a laugh can pretty seamlessly turn into a cry and if you are not seeing his face you don't now which it is. So we did end up eating our meals with Gus on our laps. Reese was totally engrossed in coloring and eating, so that was very helpful. He's finally to the age where he can sit for the whole length of the meal without getting antsy.

Happy Valentine's Day to ME!

Look what I just ordered for my Valentine's Day gift! Of course this is the sample photo. Mine will have our names of course! 5 charms exceeded my budget so I didn't get a date charm. They have lots of other cute stuff too, look here. There are lots of places to order this style jewelry with the names stamped on metal charms. They always advertise in parenting magazines. I never bought one before because I knew we planned on having more babies, but now that we are done my charms will be complete. WOo hoo! I can't wait for it to arrive.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Heavy Drinker

Reese couldn't decide between water or orange juice with his breakfast.So double fisted the drinks.Notice Boost and DJ from Cars joined him for breakfast. For some reason his favorites are Doc, Chick and the 4 fast and furious style cars. He doesn't seem all that attached to Lightening McQueen.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Just Chillin'

Reese had several days in a row where he woke up in the am, but then kind of crashed on the couch and then took a 4 hour nap. He really did not seem to have any sickness. After the long afternoon nap he was raring to go at dinnertime and was playing normally all evening.
I'm thinking perhaps this mean a growth spurt was happening. I did have to release the adjustable wait band on these jeans he's wearing while he's relaxing on the couch watching...An American Tail...not Cars! I can't believe it. We still watch Cars of course but it's no longer the first thing he asks for when he wakes up.
Gus likes to sit on the couch too, but he likes to play with a pile of toys.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dinnertime with Gus

Since we got the highchair Gus has been joining us for dinner. So far he hasn't eaten in it, but he loves to play with toys pulled up to the kitchen table.
Here he's sitting next to mommy, looking at his black and white pattern book.

He's between Daddy and Reese playing with blocks.

And watching Reese's food.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Secret to Feeding a Toddler

Reese is still in the phase where some days he eats like a champ and other days he doesn't consume enough calories to sustain life. I found the key to getting him to eat on his calorie free days.Paper plates with characters he likes. I found these Merry Madagascar plates in the Christmas clearance at Walmart.
Reese was really excited to eat his smoked shredded pork quesadilla so he could uncover the animals of Madagascar.
Of course the barbecue sauce was a hit too.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Last week we did very well sticking to our plan. Normally Kyle leaves for work around 3pm so we have breakfast and "dinner" before he goes to work. He takes leftovers to eat on his lunch break and Reese and I either have leftovers or a lunch type meal, then we have salad when Kyle gets home from work at midnight. Last Kyle worked 5:30pm - 6am so he leaves the house about quarter to 5. It is a pain in the butt for any kind of normal functioning except giving me time have my tea and fully wake up before I have to think about prepping food. SO...we did not eat out at all. We followed our plan and Kyle had yummy home cooked meals to take to work while everyone else ate their lean cuisines and whatnot. Last week I posted my monthly plan, but I figured I may as well post the particulars for this week--it helps me keep on track. Since Kyle will be working the same shift straight through with only Monday off we are treating ourselves to...
MONDAY: Red Lobster for Crab Fest
TUESDAY: mushroom lasagna with broccoli
WEDNESDAY: chicken, stuffing, broccoli casserole (a made-up concoction)
THURSDAY: Breakfast for dinner--Reese has his 3 year old assessment this afternoon
FRIDAY: Cajun steak using A1 New Orleans Cajun sauce, brussels sprouts, rice
SATURDAY: fajitas using carne asada from costco and homemade tortillas
SUNDAY: Black Bean Corn Barley Burritos

Get more ideas at Organizie Junkie!
From last week the burgers made with Arizona Gunslinger Chipotle Salsa turned out awesome. I imagine any chipotle salsa would be tasty.

Peppermint Bark Recipe

I was almost sucked into buying boxes of full sized candy canes on clearance for $0.17 at Walmart. Then I realized we have about a million mini candy canes still, so I didn't get any, but if you did I have a great use for them!
This peppermint bark is super yummy. I melted regular chocolate chips in the microwave. I stirred after 1 minute then went another 40ish seconds. I stirred it up smooth then poured it onto parchment paper. I let it sit for about 3 hours--I didn't check it could take less--then I melted white chocolate chips, stirred well, poured over the brown chocolate and let it set. The I crushed some candy canes in a ziplock bag and sprinkled it on top.
I put it in the fridge on a cookie sheet to get good and hard. I intended to break it up and store it in a container, but it didn't last long enough to bother!
I dont' know why we bothered buying this! You could use any kind of meltable chocolate. I just had regular chips, but next time I think I may specifically buy dark chocolate to make the bottom layer.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Help for Haiti

By now you've surely seen some news coverage of the devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti. The blogosphere has exploded with giving today! Money Saving Mom started this help for Haiti campaign challenging everyone to do something, whether it is to pray or send money or actually join an aid effort. Then she asked people to link up with their plans or leave a comment and she'd donate money for each link and comment. WOW! It has taken on a life of it's own and tons of bloggers are posting giving ideas and are offering to donate money for each link. SO if you can't afford to give or can't help directly you can just hop around the blog world reading about what everyone else is doing and they will donate money for you! You may even find inspiration to create a unique way to help out. There is sure to be a lot of needs for a long time to come and every little bit will help.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Angus at 6 months

I forgot to tell you Angus turned 6 months on December 26. He had his well baby check up the first week of January. He got 4 shots...we skipped the hep B this time so he could get seasonal flu and H1N1. He was pretty unhappy about that situation. Reese was super happy he wasn't due for any. Gus measured in at 14 pounds 5 ounces and 26 inches. He is firmly in the 3-10th percentile all around, but seems enormous to us. Look at these chunky legs? How can he be barely on the chart? We ran into an acquaintance who has a 3 month old bigger than Gus. It's so weird since he seems so big to us, but I guess he is going to be a pip squeak like his brother. I really hope they both get a decent grown up height.
This is Reese at 6 months old.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ridiculously Cute Boys

Reese fell over a basket of laundry and scraped his chin on the rough rhino coating in the basement. Here he's showing off his "beeboo" --- not sure why he doesn't say boo boo as that is what we say, but he prefers Bee Boo yelled very loudly.

Gus can totally sit on his own now, but I still put the boppy behind him to break his fall should he lose his balance or his brother bumps into him.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Reese's Room

So after the Christmas haul we had to redo toy storage. I wanted this. See how it turned out:
This is the same name thing I've shown before I made with paper mache letters from Joanne's and scrapbook paper.

Here is the view from the door.

This is the same old original toy storage we had. I loved this at first, but it's a pain that you can't adjust the sizes. Those 5 open squares can hold only one toy, but if I could remove one divider I could fit 3 things instead of just 2. The bins have groups of stuff: tonka trucks and cars; small musical instruments (maracas, little tykes baby piano, toy drum etc); tool kit and medical kit; wooden blocks. Mr. Potato Head family, lacing beads etc on top. The Reese sign is right above this on the wall. He got new Cars bedding for Christmas that you can sort of see.

To the right of the bed is his drum set from last Christmas, Mimi replaced the broken cymbal. His book case is too full. Legos and puzzles are on the bottom...will have to move them but where? Ipod docking station on the top may have to move as well, but he likes too be able to turn it off/on himself so it will have to stay low. The basket is what we are currently reading.
You've seen this before as well. his preemie diaper and hat and 2 NICU photos around the wall sticker I bought from a home party wall sticker company--forget what it's called.
This is the toy thing we got instead of what I wanted (see link above). It's got 4 more bins than the Target and Lowe's one and was $20 less on sale--that's what won me over. The cars/trucks bin is essentially always empty because he is always playing with those. He sleeps with his cars actually. You can see his drums he got for this Christmas towards the right. All the way to the right is the potty chair -- we aren't doing it yet. That's the edge of a colors poster I bought for almost nothing at The Learning Tree then paid $10 to laminate at kinko's.
For now the motorcycle is an inside riding toy and it is about the most used $20 toy!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Yummy Prunes!

Yuck you say? Yeah me too. But this is the first food Gus tried with a smile. Usually he grimaces like he's tasting something yucky as he lunges for more, but he loved prunes. I fed them to him in the bumbo instead of his new high chair because I was afraid they'd stain the lovely cream colored chair pad. He uses the high chair everyday while we eat though!!This is what it looks like. It folds down totally flat and sits against the wall. That was a high priority for me since the kitchen is getting tight. Gus is too big for the head roll---do people put little babies in a high chair? -- behind it the polka dots continue.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

One of my resolutions was to save money, a goal I plan to meet by slashing our food budget. I am doing this more loosely than lots of bloggers. I probably won't keep all my grocery receipts and know to the penny what we are spending. But through more purposeful planning I know we'll easily spend less because we've been going to the grocery store twice a week or even more sometimes. I buy stuff whenever I feel like eating it as opposed to when it's on sale. So I've planned for the month of January and we've shopped ($82) so I know we can have dinner every night without returning to the store. I will keep buying whole organic milk for Reese for $3 per half gallon and I will buy matchstick carrots for our salad at $1.79 per bag which is probably the equivalent of 3 carrots, and I will buy 10 packs of my beloved butternut squash ravioli at Costco when the asterisk that indicates last batch appears (it did this weekend, so hurry). But I didn't say Kyle lost his job and we were in dire straits. I just am going to bolster our emergency fund and this a budget area where there is room to trim the fat.
So what are we eating this month?
1 tsp curry
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp grated ginger (i'll have to use powdered)
1 large ripe tomato
2 cups+ veggies (bell peppers, cauliflower, onion, mushroom, peas, etc)
6 oz. chicken or 1/2 cup lentils cooked
1 TBls canola oil
1/8 t salt
1/2 cup brown rice cooked

this seems like one serving to me but the recipe doesn't really say

  • breakfast for dinner using Aidell's Cajun Style Andouille Sausage--which is NOT budget friendly but very worth the splurge in our opinion, even Reese loves this
  • Black Bean, Barley, Corn Burritos
  • Homemade Pizza
  • Fajitas using some carne asada we got at costco and I'm going to attempt homemade torillas using The Happy Homemaker's recipe I'll do this for the barley burritos too
  • spaghetti and aidell's meatballs - the link is for our sauce
  • shake n' bake pork chops with mashed potatoes/gravy and brown sugar kissed carrots
  • stubbs pork chops, broccoli, some kind of rice dish...Stubbs marinades are pretty expensive but we think worth it.
  • I have a stray box of stove top stuffing so we'll have a chicken, broccoli, stuffing casserole
  • I'll also concoct a chicken, rice a roni, veggie skillet meal
  • Our beloved Butternut Squash Ravioli-- i think it must be made for Costoc because the website doesn't list them as a choice but they exist I promise.
  • Jambalaya--I use Jennie-O Turkey Keilbabsa and frozen shrimp
  • Enchiladas--I use the recipe on the back of the Old EL Paso green enchilada sauce can
  • Mushroom Lasagna--no ricotta cheese in the recipe, so an easy pantry meal (easy because I won't precook my noodles and I won't have to buy anything special)
That is the rest of our month. The 14th Kyle and Reese have haircuts before Kyle goes to work so they may eat out. That night while Kyle is at work and Grandma babysits I am going to Red Lobster with my friends, Laura and Wendy.

For other people's menu ideas check out organizing junkie every week.