Sunday, June 16, 2013

Update on Munchkin cuteness

The Munchkin is not getting any less cute as time goes by.  In fact, I like her more and more.  Here is the new list of cuteness:

1.  At the zoo today, she decided that goats (in the petting zoo) are the best things EVER, and continued to adore them even after one head butted her and knocked her down.  The keeper put it away and the Munchkin stood at its gate calling to it over and over again until I took her out of the petting zoo.  She called it "kitty" but all animals are kitties still, including the moose.  If she could have pet the wallabies, they might have ranked with the goats, but it's a small step down.

2.  When the kiddo is entertaining herself, she carries things back and forth between toddler selected locations several times and it's hysterical.  Today's selection of items was 1 plastic spoon, 1 dish towel, 1 doll sweater, 1 wash cloth, and a baby doll.  These items moved from the coffee table to the doormat near the patio and back again no less than 5 times in approximately 5 minutes.

3.  The Munchkin is a little dicey with consonants these days (totally normal I am assured), so her "baby" is called "ye-yee" like yeti without the T.  The thought of her naming her baby after a snow monster keeps making me laugh.

4.  Any time there are rocks, she will drop everything else to get the rocks.  You might think that her daddy is a geologist and her mommy is a rock hound (he totally married me for my tourmaline.  It's nice tourmaline).  I never thought a love of rock was genetic, but I may be mistaken.  Car seat cupholders make excellent places to store car rocks when you don't want to bring them in to daycare.

5.  The kid is starting to get interested in her potty, and keeps wanting to put her baby on the potty.  Right now this process involves shoving the baby head first into the (molded plastic) potty as hard as she can.  Thank God her baby is machine washable.

Toddlers are awesome.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Not dropping off the face of the earth.

The last few weeks have been survival mode again.  DH is off at an earth-shatteringly important army training (still without a CPAP, but that's a rant for a different day) so I've been solo parenting.  This one is long-ish at over a month.  I miss him.  The good news is that we are surviving, which is helped by better (if not yet good) sleep by the Munchkin and also netflix.

I've had netflix on a lot since DH left.  I mostly watch in the evenings, since I try to keep the days mostly tv free for the kiddo.  We generally watch something as a family after dinner before bed, and once the kid goes to sleep, the house is disturbingly quiet and lonely, so Netflix stays on.  We got rid of tv a while ago, so it's netflix or hulu, and hulu mostly annoys me. I like having no ads.

My recent list of shows includes The Glades, Fringe, and Hole in the Wall.  I started Fringe right before DH left, but he doesn't like it so I don't have to feel guilty watching all of it while he's gone.  Generally we try to watch shows we both like together.  He does like the Glades, but they got new episodes and a month is a long time.  He'll need space out time when he gets home anyway.  Hole in the Wall was a recent discovery and it's a totally silly game show where people try to fit through shaped cut-outs in a wall or else get pushed into a pool.  It's totally mindless and very fun to watch.

With the solo parenting, the Munchkin does watch more tv than when DH is home.  When I need a show for her, my staples are Mythbusters and Dinosaur Train.  She likes both of them.  Today I discovered something called Color and Sound (I think?) that's all people drawing pictures to classical music.  It's designed for babies, and I got a 30 min nap while it was playing.  We tried Yo Gabba Gabba, but it made her cry, so that's out for a while.  Her favorite recent tv clip was a bunch of singing corpses from a Fringe episode.  I really need to play that clip again and videotape the kid's reaction, because it was too funny.  I probably lose parenting points, but such is life.

While watching all this tv, I have been doing something neat.  Do you remember that hobby I had before I got pregnant?  The one with sticks and string?  Yep.  I'm knitting again.  SO MUCH FUN.  This may be survival mode, but it's a much prettier kind of survival than even a few months ago.  DH still needs to get his butt home, but there will blankets and scarves and silly tv until then.  And maybe even semi-regular blogging.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


My daughter has one book that I really hate.  It's called Furry Friends.  The author is a diabolical sadist who hates parents.  Of course my daughter loves it.  That's the only reason why it hasn't been permanently "lost".  Oh, and it's short.  It involves a series of improbable animals all wanting to be friends with each other, and playing together "all day".

My daughter has started talking a bunch more since last week's post, and her new favorite thing is to read this book over and over and over again saying "ALL DAH" over and over and over and over and over again.  In fact, "all dah" goes with all books now.  We were reading Moo, Baa, La la la, and the whole book was "all day".  She did pause for a minute or so to work on "la la la" ("ah ah ah"), but then we moved back to the reliable "all dah".

Then, this morning, my daughter decided to mix it up by adding read it again to her vocabulary ("ree-ditty-ghen").  How could I say no to that, especially with Let's Be Friends deep under the couch?  There was some other stuff I wanted to do today, but apparently, "all dah" is booked.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


My kid (16 months now) is doing this developmentally appropriate, but incredibly annoying thing where she uses a word once and then it vanishes from her vocabulary.  I'm assured that they will come back eventually, but it's a frustrating wait.  Here is a collection of words she is using or has used:

Regular usage:

"kit-tee" kitty
"neh" water
"dada" an all purpose word that can mean daddy or anything she wants
"nu-nu" banana
"all done" sign language symbol

One time words:

"chow-ee bown" charlie brown
"mama"  mama
"teet" tweet -- what a bird says
"cack" quack
"gae-doon" gate down -- what she says when I'm on the opposite side of a gate
"pree" not sure if pretty or green (pointing to the butterfly at the end of The Very Hungry Caterpillar"
"got it" when going for my mom's cats

There have been more, but those are the ones I can think of right now.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New recipes

Each week I've been trying at least one new recipe to jazz up the meal planning.  Meal planning is serious business around here as food is one of our largest expenses.  We have dairy and soy allergies, so we can't just eat something grabbed from the supermarket unless that thing is a rotisserie chicken or a sushi roll.  Between whey (milk protein) and soy, about 90% of processed or convenience food is out.  Also, my husband and daughter NEED meat at every meal.  My husband becomes an unbearable grouch without it, and my daughter gets diaper rash from hell.  When I figured out that meat cured her diaper rash, it was a giant headtilt moment for me, but we'll go with what works.  Meat isn't cheap either, so we meal plan.

This week I tried two new recipes.  I like cooking on Sunday when I can swing it.  DH is there to help with the Munchkin, and it's nice to know the fridge is stocked with lunch food for the week.

Recipe 1:  Crock pot lemon chicken from here

Modifications:  I forgot the sugar and added ginger to the crockpot.  Also, I used chicken leg quarters instead of cut up thighs.

Thoughts:  Good.  "Very carroty" according to DH.  This will go into rotation.  Definitely needs the rice made separately, which does require a little more thought than some crock pot meals.

Recipe 2:  Meat pie.  I made this one up myself.

Ingredients:  Store pie crust (the kind with lard, not butter), 1lb ground beef, frozen mixed veggies, an onion, 1/4C flour, 1/2C beef broth, a little bit of fake butter (soy free), worschteshire sauce (however you spell it), sweet paprika, aleppo pepper, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.

Brown ground beef and set aside.  Chop and saute onion.  Add back in the beef and veggies.  Season.  Put into pie crust and then into 425F oven for 20 min.

Thoughts:  DH thought it was too spicy, but the Munchkin and I loved it.  In fact, I had it for breakfast and lunch yesterday.  This will go into rotation too.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Homemade ice cream

My husband gave me an ice cream maker for mother's day and I've been experimenting, and I thought I would share my recipes here.  All of these are dairy and soy free since both my daughter and I have allergies.  The ice cream maker takes 1L of mix to make 1.5L of ice cream.  It's electric and generally takes about 40 min to get ice cream.  It's much softer than commercial ice cream, but still tastes good.

First attempt:  Chocolate banana ice cream

Ingredients:  5 bananas, and all the rest chocolate almond milk

Thoughts:  Very banana-y.  Not wild about this flavor mix, although my daughter likes it, and it's low enough in sugar that I don't feel bad letting her have the odd bite.

Second attempt:  Strawberry sorbet (recipe per the ice cream maker pamphlet)

Ingredients:  2C strawberries, 2C water, splash of lemon juice, 1/3C sugar

Thoughts:  Very tasty.  We will be making this again.

Third attempt:  Chocolate strawberry chip

Ingredients:  2C strawberries, 2C chocolate almond milk, 1C dairy-free chocolate chips

Thoughts:  Very good flavor, but the chips were too hard after being frozen into the ice cream mix.  Will be making this without chips next time.

Tomorrow's attempt:  Peanut butter vanilla ice cream

Ingredients:  Unsweetened peanut butter, unsweetened almond milk, vanilla, sugar (we didn't have vanilla almond milk, but that might be a good investment if I like this flavor)

Thoughts:  The bowl needs to be frozen for 24 hours between ice cream batches, and my husband wanted the strawberry tonight.  I have high hopes for this flavor

Most of these are pretty low sugar so I feel pretty good about them as an occasional treat.  Next I need to learn to make lemon sorbet.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Sidewalk chalk

We had our first adventure in sidewalk chalk today.  The Munchkin didn't really understand drawing with it, but she very much liked carrying the giant chalk around.

I have video, but am having some trouble uploading it.  I'll put the video in tomorrow.