Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Our week

This week has felt like it has gone quickly. Last Friday night, Pat and Lisa invited Tyler over to play in the evening. This allowed us the opportunity to go see Slumdog Millionaire together. This is a rare treat. Between higher ticket prices, and difficulty getting away, we see very few movies any more. I was impressed at their ability to film in what looked like authentic Indian slums. Not that I really know. But, it looked just like the pictures my parents brought back from their trip to India when I was in the seventh grade. Anyway, it was a great film, the story really engaged me and I loved the soundtrack. (I looked away often, especially at the beginning - later Wayne told me that they didn't show as much of the torture/violence as I was imagining they had).

On Sunday, we celebrated Matt's birthday with a yummy meal at their home followed by watching some of the Oscar's. Because of the little ones, we all had to leave before the Oscars were over. Mostly, I enjoyed chatting and catching up.

Yesterday, Ted and Sue came down to celebrate Sue and Wayne's birthdays. (Sue's was a week ago and Wayne's is in a week). They treated us to a delicious meal at HuHot Mongolian grill!! I loved the tilapia in the Black Thai sauce (along with many other yummy ingredients). Tyler enjoyed watching them prepare our food ... and ate and ate and ate.

I was also able to finish painting polka dots in Tyler's bedroom. It is busy, but Tyler still likes it.

Tyler ate some M & M's yesterday and had a (minor) allergic reaction. I believe that the culprit could be yellow food dye. When I told Tyler my theory, he told me, "Mommy, it's not the yellow M & M's. It's the red ones shining through my skin."

It feels like spring these days.

Tyler's gotten more confident riding his bike lately. He rides to and from a park about 1/2 mile from our house. The other day he told Wayne that he was going to need a snack when they got back because the bike ride was going to make him so hungry.

Today, after work, I put on my tennis shoes and joined the crew at the park. The temperature was in the upper 70's and beautiful!

Wayne deserves the credit for all of the pictures in this post - he is enjoying his new camera!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

these days

I had the day off on President's Day. I really enjoy having unplanned days. I had been wanting to add polka dots to Tyler's room for awhile. So, on Monday, I found leftover paints from previous projects and got started. I had fun, and am still working on it. Here's a picture taken tonight. I'm afraid I added more dots than I originally intended, but at least Tyler likes it.

During the day, I kept hearing a clicking noise. Wayne and I were confused about what we heard. Late in the day, we discovered that it was coming from our (5 year-old) refrigerator. It was not cooling. We figured this out late in the day. I had called Sears on Monday and they scheduled someone to come out on Friday. Suffice it to say that our condiment selection has been significantly reduced and our refrigerator is now nice and clean. On Tuesday morning, as I lamented that we were going to have to wait until Friday, a coworker gave me the name of a reliable handyman who came out right away and got it going for us again!

And tonight, Tyler is working on his own painting project. We went to Hobby Lobby to get more light blue paint for his room and he found a train sun catcher.

So, nothing terribly exciting, but that's what has been going on in our house the last couple of days.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Blueberry Muffins

Thanks to my friend, Michelle, I own (and love) the cookbook, Sara Moulton cooks at home. One recipe that I have been making often as of late is Aunt Alice's Blueberry Muffins. I like the muffins best when they're still warm because they have a nice crispy top. Tyler loves to help bake, and he requested we make these tonight.

Aunt Alice's Blueberry Muffins
- Sara Moulton

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), softened
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup whole milk (I substituted 1% milk)
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup fresh blueberries, preferably wild (I've always used frozen blueberries and they're very good)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and butter 15 2 1/2 x 1 1/4-inch muffin cups. Beat the butter with the sugar in a large bowl until well blended. Pour in the milk, add the egg and beat until smooth.

Sift (instead, I whisk together) the 1 3/4 cups flour with the baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix until just moistened. Toss the blueberries into the remaining tablespoon of flour in a bowl. Fold into batter. Fill the muffin tins halfway with the batter. (My size 30 scoop makes this go pretty quickly).

Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then run a thin knife blade around each muffin. Lift slightly on one side and tilt gently to remove from the tin. Cool briefly on a wire rack. Serve warm.

The bookcase

This evening, Tyler was having fun playing with this balloon.

And here he's running around.
As Rachel requested, here's a picture my (fairly new) bookcase. It's still kind of empty.

But, we didn't get rid of our bookcase that used to be there. It's now being put to good use in the playroom. So, Rachel, we still have twin bookcases. :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

I think it's a good thing that Tyler is going to preschool next year. For one, I can't get him to hold his pen/pencil correctly. And another is that I rarely have him practice writing. I thought we'd give it a try this week on a few valentines. As you can see, he enjoys making letters "do" things.

Here, the "L" in Oliver is "holding up the other letters." Nice job, "L."

Also, the "R" in Tyler is "injured...because I ran out of room."
When he added extra lines on the "E" in Abe's name, (and I corrected him) he told me that he was making an "alien E." On Leo's valentine, he wrote Leo's name smaller, "because Leo is little." I never knew letters could have so much personality.
Well, I ought to get back to cleaning up the house. I finally took down the Hot Wheels ramp that had been all the way down the hallway, stairs and into the living room for about a week. While it was up, Wayne caught a few shots of Tyler sending cars down. I like this one because there are two air born cars on their way to the "belly of the pillow." (Which is protecting my new bookcase). Thank goodness for pillows.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Tonight, I had made popcorn. Tyler loves doing jobs, so I had given him the salt shaker to take downstairs. Instead, he was listening to the sound it makes when he shakes it. Which is fine...but then I felt salt on the floor and asked him to stop shaking it.

He replied, "but, I'm sorry. So it's not a big deal." :)

French Chicken in a Pot

I made this for lunch today. It was juicy and delicious (and easy).

French Chicken in a Pot - America's Test Kitchen

4 ½-5 pound whole fryer chicken, giblets removed
1 small onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
Rosemary sprig (I used close to a tablespoon of dried rosemary)
1 bay leaf
6 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Prepare the chicken – tuck wings back and remove fatty bits from the cavity. Place breast side down in the Dutch oven. Add onion, celery, rosemary, bay leaf, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for five minutes, or until lightly browned. Turn over onto the back and cook for eight minutes. Turn heat off. Cover with foil and lid. Place in a 250 degree oven and bake for between 1 hour 20 minutes and 1 hour 50 minutes or until the breast side reaches 160-165 degrees and dark meat side reaches 170-175 degrees. Remove from pot (do not discard the juice). Rest the chicken 20 minutes then carve. Meanwhile, strain juices and warm in a saucepan on the stove. Add a little lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve on the side with the chicken.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Rules of the game

Starting Thursday, Tyler has decided that when we play cars, there are three rules. Today, he told me that the three rules are:

"The first rule is no bashing the Cars cars hard.

The second rule is no taking peoples' cars.

The third rule is no stealing peoples' cars. Oh wait, I already said that. No stealing peoples' cars if they're new."

So, now you know. Except, I'm not sure what that means about no stealing the cars if they're new. Oh well. :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Wayne had been talking to Tyler about the Superbowl party a few days beforehand. Tyler could hardly wait. He woke up Sunday morning, with his eyes barely open and almost grouchily asked, "when is the Superbowl party? I've been waiting and you said it was tomorrow." He was very excited to know that the day had finally arrived. I don't know what he was expecting, other than knowing he would get to play with his friends. But he did know that that we were bringing all of Daddy's Steelers gear along to the party. Wayne even let Tyler and I each wear one of his hats. (That thing is itchy. How do people wear them for any length of time)?

Arrival at the party!

Lisa had prepared a craft activity for the boys. They had a good time decorating megaphones. What a great idea...that I never would have thought of myself. Leave it to the teacher in the group to come up with such a fun activity!

Michelle was my lovely model during the evening. She was such a good sport, I had to share her pictures. :)

The boys played well together. We ate delicious food. And to top it off, the Steelers won an exciting game. It was a good evening!