Like the MamaLand Empire!

Have you joined the MamaLand Empire?
      Oh, yeah... and BUY MY BOOK, The Family Torah!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Do you...?

When you're looking around frantically for the spray oil, do you wiggle your index finger up and down and wave your arm in a grandiose spritzing gesture? Everybody does the cut-cut thing in the air when they're looking for scissors, right...? Oh, never mind. You probably know exactly where the oil is in the first place. Sheesh. Yes, Naomi is half-naked here. She was playing in the bathroom sink and had just soaked her second shirt of the day...

And in my defence, I'm not the only person around here who uses the spray oil.
Posted by Picasa

Still not sitting... (this is a test)

Not a test of his SITTING ability, silly... a test of my ability to fix up pictures and blog them directly from Picasa. So far, so good; okay, as long as you don't count the three error messages along the way, and the fact that the picture is definitely not staying where I asked it to stay. Oh! There it goes!
Posted by Picasa

That's not OUR baby...

...in the Miracle Blanket shown in the previous post.  Just wanted to include a picture of what it was.
 
Sold a bunch of Craigslist items in the last couple of days - yay!
~ Juicer
~ Bumbo
~ Baby Sleeper
 
Almost inspires me to get downstairs and clear out a bunch of other stuff for CL'ing or Freecycling.
 
<3
 
J

We're sleep-training the baby...

So if Ted looks more tired than usual, that's why.  :-)
Bought one more Miracle Blanket because I love them.  That makes four, but one seems to have gone permanently missing.  Four and a half months is late to be swaddling, but he seems to really love it.  The blanket comes with a warning not to use it for more than something like eleven hours a day.  BUT we use it for every single sleep, which adds up to way more... still, he seems to be developing okay, and I hope it will see us through sleep-training.
What is sleep training?
Basically, I sleep in the living room and Ted's on his own.  I got sick of being an all-night nummies factory, especially for a baby who doesn't really seem to need it.  He just latches on and dozes off... he'll swallow if the stuff is pouring down his throat, but otherwise, doesn't make much of an effort.
 
Last night went well (shouldn't say anything yet, though).  I woke the baby to feed him at around 12:30, the settled him back into bed.  He woke up at about 5 and cried for 5-10 minutes.  I woke up briefly and heard him crying, then drifted off again... what a wonderful, caring parent.  But Ted looked well-enough rested, too.  After that, the baby slept until almost seven.  Yay!  Hope this means things will go smoothly...
 
Early supper tonight because Elisheva has her program at 6 at Yorkdale and I have swimming at 6 with Naomi.  And then I'm out doing a parent-volunteer thing for Elisheva's school.  Have not volunteered enough yet this year and if I don't, they'll bill me again at the end of the year.
 
Early Supper:  (must be ready by 5 on the dot)
 
Quiches (two) - tomato (diced from a tin because I thought we had no fresh veg in the house) and baby spinach (because it turned out Ted had dropped off some veggies right on the table where of course I missed seeing them)
Roasted wedge potatoes - yummy, with the skin on for a change!
Whatever-veggie-is-in-the-freezer - nuked with water and salt
Brownie-mix cookies - super-easy:  mix up any brownie mix with slightly less water than the recipe calls for.  Add choco chips if not included.  Make into cookies, bake at 375 for 10 minutes (chewy) or 12 minutes (crispy).  Makes exactly 2 dozen I'm using the Ghirardelli Brownie Mix we bought at Costco - mmm...
 
Starch, starch, starch... oh, plus sugar.  But it fills everybody's tummies, cheaply and everybody complains if we veer too far off the beaten path.
We have become a two-quiche family... two is too many for one meal, but one is definitely Not Enough anymore.
 
The happy news from my downstairs grow-op is that something is sprouting!  I planted dill and basil; I didn't label them because I was feeling adventurous.  One is sprouting like crazy, the other, not at all yet.  There is also a weird tiny white wormy thing I have seen in the soil of the one that's sprouting.  I have only seen one, but I've spotted it twice (or maybe it was different worms each time) - no idea what it is, but it grosses me out...
 
Also, the baskets are sprouting - I have "salad mix" and alfalfa sprouts, both from Mumm's, from seed I ordered last year.  I was excited about basket sprouting but the baskets grew crazy mold when I tried it upstairs.  Downstairs, they're right next to the dehumidifier, and I think it makes a difference.  This old house & its various mold issues ... ugh.
 
Cookies about to beep - must run!
 
Aaargh... where is the milchig cooling rack?  It came with the set of nonstick pans we got at the same Costco trip as the brownie mix, but it keeps getting put away with all the other racks, which are all fleishig!  And now my lovely cookies are cooling in a tinfoil pan instead of on a proper rack.  I used my new birthday silpat for the first time - it doesn't fit in the baking pan so I had to flip the pan over and put the silpat on the bottom.  The cookies are unnaturally smooth & shiny on their bottoms, but NO STICKING!
 
<3
 
J

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What a totally cute BABY...!

(realized I didn't have enough baby pics on here considering I spend all my time with the BABY)

Re: More garden pics! (from 07)

Well, one more.  Ignore the 36-weeks-pregnant lady in the foreground... admire the heuchera, coleus, lamium, and the volunteer tomato plant just to the right of my head.  :-)))

More garden pics! (from 07)

Well, one more.  Ignore the 36-weeks-pregnant lady in the foreground... admire the heuchera, coleus, lamium, and the volunteer tomato plant just to the right of my head.  :-)))

Chomping at the bit...

Well, I totally let the garden down in '07 - something about being 8-9 months pregnant at harvest time, maybe.  But here, to inspire me, are some pics I dug up (get it?) of my early efforts at the start of the 07 growing season, just before the camera broke...
 
As seen in these pictures:
- Beets - failed due to leaf miners :-(((
- Potatoes - failed due to grass dumped on top by dumb newbie gardeness :-(((((
- Foundation - wow, I forgot that there were daffs there - now I can't wait to see them again!
- Raspberries - yum!  Early crop mostly consumed by insects, but the fall batch (couple dozen) were yummo!
- Strawberries - did indeed take over the world
- Watermelon - one grew; left it too long on the vine and it got icky-tasting.  Ew.
 
Maybe THIS will be the year I grow something worthwhile...
 
<3 J

Ugh...

The sun forgot to come out today.  :-(
But at least it's nice & warm!
 
And in plant news, the Coleus Count is now officially:  15!!!
With 5 more on the kitchen windowsill... yay!
Here are some old coleus pics...from about 3 weeks ago.
 
And a purse - did I mention I made a purse?
And a dress for Naomi!
 
The order of the pictures always gets messed up when I email them to the blog... but still, you get the idea.  :-)
 
<3 J
 
SUPPERS:
 
Monday:  I made pasta - yummy President's Choice Casarecce (sp?) with blender onion-pepper-tomato tomato sauce
Tuesday:  Cabbage rolls from the freezer - too peppery but still, yum.  Maybe noodles on the side.

Monday, January 28, 2008

It's BLENDER-iffic...

Yay! First drink with the new blender. This is my standard Frap-u-cheapo recipe:

1 cup milk
8 regular-sized ice cubes
2 tbsp Condensed Milk (secret creamifying ingredient!)
1 tbsp instant coffee

Buzzed up in about 3 seconds in the amazing new blender. In fact, my only complaint is that the ice was TOO pulverized... I kind of like it to have a more icy/slushy texture. Maybe next time I'll blend a bit, then add the ice and just pulse a couple of times.

Anyway, it was SMOOoooth, delicious, and CHEAP! Yay! Here it is, going into my thermal cup so I could take it along to Mrs. ViKi's (playgroup across the street).

Climbing Laundry Mountain...AGAIN...

Once again, I've challenged myself to finish the laundry this week. Here are pictures of what I'm dealing with. Try not to faint.

:-(((

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Grandma & Granpa Monkey do Vegas!

OMG!!!

There's even a Celebrity Meet n' Greet in the form of a Dora standie... :-)))

I am so excited with these pictures it is completely unreal. They are a ray of sunshine on an otherwise shoe museum occupied day.
I know that should have hyphens, but there you go. No hyphens.

<3>

Leaving Calgary airport...

Buckle up, everybody!

Can you say Product Placement Opportunity???

Our hero!

Amazing view from our hotel! But who wants to sit around when you can...

...Play Twice Your Monkey???

Ahh... the end of a long, wonderful day. We'll have to visit Vegas again someday, my dear.


Here's STEWERT...

New lanky monkey guy... and friends!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Shabbos food

All homemade:
- Sweet/sour crockpot meatballs
- Spinach kugel?
- Corn!
- Chicken soup w/kneidlach
- Challah
- Mommy's Pesach lemon dessert

Hmm...
Shabbos lunch: salmon w/sesame noodles
Nothing much fancy planned...

Good Shabbos!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

All the Suppers so Far

Here's the data from all the suppers I have logged (blogged!) here so far... in no particular order!

Soups:
Steak soup with tons of veggies
spicy corn chowder
Potato-Leek Soup
Leftover Shabbos chicken soup
creamy sweet potato soup
chicken/corn soup
creamy corn soup ( Imagine) from a package (Ted thought we should try it).
tinned Campbell's veggie soup
"French" onion soup

Mains:

Lasagna, using yummy roasted-tomato sauce left over from last week
homemade spaghetti w/leftover sundried tomato sauce (tinned sauce with an onion and a few sundried tomatoes thrown in, then blended)
Takeout pizza
Perogies & cheapo frozen salmon.
Quiche.
Pan hamburgers with mushroom sauce
TED-MADE PASTA w/tomato sauce
Takeout Tov Li falafel
stirfried chicken with a TON of veggies
Red-pepper quiche
steamed turbot
leftover s/s chicken meatballs from Shabbos
impromptu "casserole" - ww bowties with creamy sauce made of the rest of the cottage cheese (not much), cream cheese (not much), spicy braided mozzarella (yum!), evaporated milk (lots), garlic (lots), salt and pepper
Shepherd's pie
Ted fried Lazer Yitzchok sausages (amazing!)
Matzah Brei, the supper of last recourse
Macaroni,
Pasta with roasted-tomato sauce
Steak on the barbecue

Sides:

mashed potatoes,
stir-fried multicolour peppers
crusty baguette bread
vermicelli rice - nowhere to be found anymore :-(((
tinned peas
Basmati rice
Garlic bread
Beans
Corn

Desserts:
chocolate pasta, with the most amazing frugal almond sauce
dessert pizza

Drinks:
Egg Nog

Shabbos:
Terra-chip chicken (terra chips ground in the food processor), zucchini latkes (zukes, carrots, potatoes, onion, all grated in the food processor), corn, soup (carrots and celery sliced in the food processor) (1000 kneidlach - matzah balls - made by ECH who accidentally doubled the recipe!).
Shabbos Lunch: Nothing much - bagels, cream cheese, assorted salads. ECH made peanut butter tea biscuit "salad"
"Easy Shabbos" - shake n' bake chicken, rice-a-roni, corn, spring rolls, mix brownies doctored with chocolate chips, pecans and marshmallows BUT also homemade challah and the most divine chicken soup I've tasted in a long time. Kneidlach, kreplach
Shabbos Lunch: Salmon noodle, crunchy broccoli salad, gefilte fish, pickles, sliced meats, spring rolls, cholent

Hey, Ted - or anyone!

Here's the tomato planter I want! Mother's Day is good... :-)

Going wild on eBay...

Here are some pictures of monkey attempts and matching t-shirts I appliqué'd for Elisheva Chaya and Gavriel Zev.

In my wintertime restlessness, here's a link to what I've bought or bid on recently from eBay. (still craving Robeez, but I refuse to pay insane prices...)

You can see the blender on there if you're deeply interested. $40 in duty - $10 in taxes, $30 in brokerage fee. Ugh. Still not too expensive, for the high-quality, well-reviewed kitchenware item I hope it will turn out to be...


(read 121 mostly-good reviews on Amazon here)

Also deep into Freecycle (and the FreeTOReuse kids' list). It's addictive but also quite wearying. I can see why I stopped keeping up with it after a while... it's a full-time job trying to score anything, though it's nice having people come take stuff off your hands. Beats shlepping to Value Village.

Today, Elisheva and I worked hard on Sara's birthday present. She doesn't know what it is... the lovely thing is that it's the kind of present she might not know what it is even after she opens it, looks at it, and holds it in her hand. Hee hee hee.