7.12.2016

Because It's Amazon Prime Day

I have no fucking clue as to what I've ordered so far.

It's all stuff that we need - as in I'm only shopping in grocery deals so...it'll all get eaten. Last year I bought a bike rack and granola. This year I've purchased organic coconut milk, Annie's mac & cheese, and organic cane sugar.

Oh, wait. I bought a Barbie too.

And I think a few other items.

Maybe.

But in any case it's AMAZON PRIME DAY. IT'S THE DAY THAT AMAZON CLEANS OUT ITS WAREHOUSES SO GET YOUR SHIT NOW!

6.28.2016

Sit Properly On Your Chair

Sitting at the dining room table this morning was an absolute hilarious riot.

The Monkey reminded me of something funny that happened a few months ago.

The Monkey, holding up her hand and pointing to her pinky finger: Mom! Mom! Do you remember when I hurt my pinky and you put peas on it?

Me: Um...which time?

The Monkey: When I fell off my chair.

Me: Oh, yeah...that time when we were eating dinner and I looked up from my plate and you were on the floor?

Now you have to know something. She falls off her chair on a regular basis.

And I mean probably once a week or so. Mostly it's on accident because she's at the height where a booster is just too tall but sitting on her butt isn't exactly high enough to shovel food into her mouth without bumping the table with her arm and getting food all over. That's an eyebrow-raiser in itself to watch...a preschooler shoveling food into their mouth...

We have to talk about sitting properly on a dining room chair on a daily basis because if I don't then, well, she falls off. And this is what I see from my seat at the table:

A child is seemingly sitting "properly" at the dining room table shoveling eating food. A hand flies up into the air. The other hand flies out the opposite way. A fork or a spoon is suddenly spewed from a hand (complete with food, so really whatever plain carbs we're having for part of our meal) and in slow motion I realize that I'm going to be cleaning food from the walls, table, floor, and probably hair (not always the child's, but mine too).

Then there's a thump. A clatter of silverware. And there's no longer a child sitting at the table. But there sure is a plate full of food. And a drink with a silly straw.

And me. With a full on face palm. Seriously.

I actually said, "AGAIN?!?" out loud the last time this happened. Because I realized The Monkey was SQUATTING on the chair. Her toes couldn't hold her balance anymore and BAM. Over she went. Like a freaking domino.

So yeah, this morning I was laughing so hard because I know...she'll probably fall off her chair at lunch and will end up holding a bag of frozen corn on some appendage of her body.

Happy Tuesday. And sit properly on your chair.

6.24.2016

Fabulous Children's Books

Children's books can be terrible. I'm going to be brutally honest. There's nothing worse than being stuck reading your child's "favorite" book ten to fifteen times per day and the book just being horrendous. For example, any board book that only has a few words on each page. Or just descriptions of objects. Or any Disney Channel tv show easy-to-read book. They're all terrible.

But there's a few books that I would totally recommend - buy these for new parents. They'll be so happily surprised.



Blueberries For Sal by Robert McCloskey - classic book. Girl gets lost from mother. Eventually mother finds girl. Illustrations are AMAZING for being a book published in the 1940's.

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt - you have to read this in silly, angry voices. It makes way more sense. Plus from a parent's perspective I definitely agree with the crayons. And the poor Beige crayon. I get it, I totally get it. The Monkey loves this book - it makes her want to color for days!

Waiting by Kevin Henkes - patience. SO MUCH PATIENCE. And the illustrations are beautiful. The book is super easy and fast to read. It makes me want to look out a window all day long after reading this and take the time to just... wait.

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires - holy shit. BUY THIS BOOK. Not only does it teach a kid to keep trying and to take a time out when you're frustrated but it's so freaking awesome, especially for girls! Instead of having a boy the main character doing the building, it's a girl, and I think it's great.


So there you go. Next time you go to a birthday party or a baby shower...buy one of these books!

6.22.2016

CSA Recipe Ideas

YAY!! CSA season is upon us!

June - tis the season for so many greens, it's pretty ridiculous. I've been over and done with pesto for at least a year - but I still made two different batches of it this year - one with arugula and another with kale (mer, I make it and then I don't want it on pasta so I have to figure out different ways to use it).

So here's what I've made so far:

Salads - LOTS AND LOTS of them.

Pesto - made with either kale or arugula and then mixed with olive oil, garlic scapes, romano cheese (from our CSA too!), salt, and pepper.

Tacos - chicken tacos with the meat simmered with garlic scapes, young onions, and then put together with arugula, kale, and other simple salad greens.

Sauteed greens - any greens sauteed with coconut oil, salt, and pepper is amazing. Switch it up with olive oil, sesame oil, or sunflower oil.

Lettuce Wrap Tacos - Butter lettuce makes great taco shells!

Simple snacks - french bread or crackers with quark cheese (from the CSA) topped with blueberries or french radishes. Sliced raw turnips with hummus.

Scrambled eggs with arugula or kale

Basically, eggs any way with sauteed kale or arugula with sliced tomatoes or peppers on the side.



I hope that's a few options for you! It's hard to come up with meal ideas day after day after day with a whole bunch of greens. They get pretty old after awhile although I wish garlic scapes were year round! SO DELISH.

6.10.2016

Let's Do A Little Update

Well, let's do a little update since it's been a VERY LONG TIME since I've updated this thing.

Has my blog been on the forefront of my mind? Well, no. 

Chewie was born in early May. He's over 5 weeks old. I'm sleeping, don't worry about that. He wakes 2x per night unless he's going through a growth spurt and then it seems like he's up every hour. 

We've been through almost all the freezer meals. 

Our first CSA box was delivered yesterday (today for lunch it's going to be Lettuce Wrap Tacos!).

I'm close to being fully recovered from a C-section. This time my recovery has been AMAZING. I was approved to ride a bike before 2 full weeks (which was nuts BTW, and it didn't hurt too much, but I didn't go very far!). Still can't lift more than the baby with the baby carrier - and I can tell I can lift a little more weight, however, with major abdominal surgery you can tell if you're doing too much so no twisting or turning (it HURTS when you do and trust me, you DO NOT WANT TO POP AN INTERIOR STITCH). The Monkey is super excited that I can bend over to give her a hug too.

I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight, which I didn't think would happen for another two months or so but apparently involuntarily skipping meals and drinking lots of water, La Croix water, and tea will definitely help aide in weight loss. 

In any case, we're alive. We're well. So happy June!!

4.08.2016

From The Mouths of Babes

The Monkey: They shot down the shit! They shot down the shit!

Me, slightly puzzled, getting breakfast ready: WHAT?

The Monkey: They shot down the shit!

Me: Um? Shot down what? What are you doing?

The Monkey: I'm reading a book, Mom. They shot down the shit.

Me, peeking around the corner to see EXACTLY what's happening: What book, Monkey?

She turns around, holding up a Star Wars book as high as possible and says: See, Mom! They shot down the shit!



I think we're going to need to work on our "P" sounds.

And The Checklist Keeps Getting Longer? Shorter?

I'm not really sure at this point. Seriously.

We've got less than 4 weeks until this next baby comes and I'm not quite sure where we're all at.

Because it snowed today. Like a SERIOUS snow. It's all melted now but this morning I was thinking, "GOOD LORD, MINNESOTA. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER."

And I need to get outside to amend the front garden beds and get the compost out of the composter. I also need to determine WHERE all of my perennials are out front because I can't remember...I planted veggies where I pulled dead perennials so this year may be a mystery. I may just go and "rescue" plants at Menard's or Home Depot at 75% off, shove them into the garden beds with compost and cross my fingers.

Funny story (well, not really, but totally typical McTatty) - I found house plants at Menard's that needed, um, rescuing, because they hadn't been watered in awhile so I bargained them down because I showed how dry all the foliage was. And I brought them home. And I figured that since I've kept a child alive for four years, house plants shouldn't be too hard, right?

So far so good. My only worry is a cactus that Bimmer Man brought home. I think I water it too much. Is once a week ok?

I also wanted to buy houseplants because we live in an old house and I wanted to improve the air quality. Not only do houseplants do that but they're also really good feng shui too. I tried to ferret out the terrible plants at Menards and compare them to an indoor houseplant air quality improvement list (OMG, why did I do that to myself????). And to another list here.

And as it turns out, the only "air cleaners" that I bought turned out to be an aloe plant (from Trader Joe's, not Menard's!) and two Snake Plants - but I discovered two plants in one pot so I need to split that and put a Snake Plant in another room, maybe a bathroom?

Back to the Checklist.

We would like to get a new bed. Will that happen? UMMM....Maybe?

Donate more crap.

Clean out the laundry room so I can put up shelving for bulk items like toilet paper and paper towels.

Get all the small toys that can be choked on out of the living room and train The Monkey to keep her toys off the floor (I'm not sure this can be done).

Worship Mother Earth until she warms up enough so I can move the seedlings to the back porch.

Oh yes, and get the porch organized so we can actually sit out there - I want to move the loveseat outside and near the sandbox so I don't have to keep hauling a different dining chair out there to be near The Monkey while she plays. The back porch seems to be turning into a storage area and I'm not liking that shit at all so something needs to be done about that.

Hang up a rack for tea cups. Because. I like tea. I need more space in my cupboards.

Get rid of more shit.

And get rid of more shit.

And basically get rid of as much shit as humanly as possible that we don't use.

Happy Friday!

4.04.2016

Productivity - Freezer Meals

Freezer meals be damned. I got almost all of them done except for 3. And for the life of me...I'm thinking about just chucking the rest of the chicken into bags with marinades. Oh, wait...that's what I did with the rest of it all.

My list:

All are served with some type of fresh vegetable from our CSA or fresh from the garden. In the summer I don't typically serve a starch, instead I opt for more vegetables.

3 meals - Chicken Curry (served with rice & veggies)
3 meals - Shrimp Curry (served with rice & veggies)
3 meals - Tequila Lime Chicken (Grilled or Sauteed)
3 meals - Honey Glazed Chicken Thighs (Grilled or sauteed)
3 meals - Teriyaki Chicken (Grilled or sauteed)
2 meals - 4B's Flank Steak (Grilled or baked)
1 meal - Honey Mustard Pork Loin (Grilled or baked)
1 meal - Mediterranean Pork Loin (Grilled or baked)
3 meals - Honey & Spice Kebobs (Grilled, indoors or outdoors)

22 meals = TOTAL, plus I have 3 more packages of chicken so that's 25 meals total for May when baby comes.

One very large item is now off of my to-do list. Which is great...except now I want to eat all of it but nope, I can't. NOT YET. It's all for May/June. It's all proteins that we eat - plus we'll get CSA veggies starting in June (I think around the 17th), cheese, and eggs from the CSA to. I'll just need to stock up on frozen veggies the first few days in May and we'll be all set for meals. Possibly put Davanni's number on the speed dial on the phone (well, maybe not). 

3.22.2016

Toy Organization - Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

I don't like "stuff" out and all around. It seriously irritates the crap out of me when I find toy parts that don't belong with other toy parts. Maybe it's the OCD in me? I'm not sure but I do know this - do you remember when you were little and you pulled out a game only to find that pieces were missing so you had to scavenge around your house to play? Well, Bimmer Man doesn't put all the pieces back to toys and it seriously irritates me. I'm planning on moving two toy bins out of the living so stuff like that can't happen anymore (Oh, and getting rid of as many small plastic things that just don't fit with anything we have, things that don't get played with, and putting pieces back to the toys that they belong to).

Currently there are white Sterilite bins in my Amazon cart but I can't quite bring myself to buy them yet. I've got half my yarn organized into a bookshelf, 5 plastic storage bins that I need to either get rid of or fill up with toys to put into a rotation OR I need to figure out how to organize my clothes by season so I can store stuff properly.

But with all the toys that we have and another child on the way, I have a feeling that we'll probably acquire more toys. Since I'm more into the educational toys instead of the "one-time use" toys, I'm sure at some point I'll need to have a serious toy purge (in about 4 years!).

On my list of things to do in the basement is get everything on a shelf (a motto that I found - everything has a place, everything in its place), get everything a basket, make everything easy to see AND play with (because otherwise it never gets played with). To do that, we're going to need bookcases (which in the grand scheme of things is in the plan), to get bookshelves we need to get the walls drywalled, to get the walls finished we need to pull out the old carpet, and the list goes on.

These things will not be finished this year.

And that's ok for now, but that means that I need to figure out how to organize on the cheap and get stuff into its "spot" so that we have a relatively organized house by the beginning of May.

I've started small - bins for accessories for the red storage shelf in the front hall along with a bin for all correspondence stuff (like thank you cards, greeting cards, stamps, etc...), a bin for cleaning stuff in the master bathroom, and a large bin for Barbie stuff.

Next I'm going to have Bimmer Man take the rod out of the front closet so I can install 2 rows of trim so I can put up hooks instead of hanging jackets on hangers and The Monkey can hang up her own crap.

We'll see what gets accomplished this weekend.

3.15.2016

Nutella Cookie Recipe

Ugh. We've been eating so much sugar lately it's absolutely ridiculous. I normally don't eat this much sugar and there's usually no way that I even think about giving The Monkey this much sugar. But being pregnant and sometimes having weird cravings, it's sort of normal to have some sort of something with sugar in this house. And that absolutely needs to change at some point this week - it's soon to be spring and I'm so anxious for fresh berries and fruits that it's driving me nuts! I really just want to eat raspberries. That's all. FRESH PICKED RASPBERRIES. But I suppose I can settle for cane sugar, raw honey, agave, and whatever other sweet items I can get my hands on. But goodness gracious, we haven't eaten this much sugar in FOREVER. 

In fact, I rarely even let The Monkey eat macaroni and cheese (because OMG, if you've ever seen the CRAP macaroni and cheese that restaurants serve, you'd never leave the fucking toilet, I swear - literally AND figuratively - which somehow every time we go to a restaurant my mother-in-law insists on macaroni and cheese for The Monkey and every time there's major digestive issues, so we don't do macaroni and cheese anymore at restaurants at all. Future parents - take note, please!!! Oh, not to mention that all three of us have some sort of issues with either lactose or dairy products which means that in our house, we've cut down on dairy quite a bit!). 

Anyway, after all of our unhealthy sugar addictions, I still make some sort of "treat" at least once per week - but really it's just baking something so that The Monkey can practice measuring, dumping, cracking eggs and baking with me, and the treat is usually some type of chocolate chip cookie OR tossing ingredients into the bread machine for a french loaf or a regular sandwich bread, on weeks where it seems we're eating poorly are the weeks where I make bread instead of cookies.

But then I came upon a recipe for peanut butter chippers and didn't have peanut butter. So I swapped out the peanut butter for Nutella and added in the Nutella at the very end...because I forgot to add it in to the batter at the beginning. Sometimes mistakes turn out great!




Recipe:

Nutella Cookies

6 TBSP Butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup Nutella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a bowl or mixer cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

Fold in chocolate chips.

Fold in Nutella. Yes, that's correct, I didn't actually mix it into the batter at the beginning!

Use a tablespoon to drop batter onto a cookie sheet or an ice cream scoop.

Bake for 11-14 minutes until edges are JUST golden. Let cool two minutes on cookie sheet then remove to let cool fully on racks. 

Store in airtight container for up to 5 days.