Monday, July 30, 2012

Site Seeing with Dadio

This past wekk my Dad has been visiting. He had never been to Boston before, so we spent the week checking out the sites.

I insisted that my Dad join me for a whale watching cruise, since Micah is too afraid of merpeople to go out in open water. I forgot my camera, but will have to get pictures from my Dad, cause it was flippin' amazing! We saw like 4 or 5 whales that came right up next to the boat, including a nursing mom and calf.


We went to Plymouth, where they have a site where actors pretend that it's the 17th century and you check out a recreation of the original village that the pilgrims established. It was really interesting and I learned a lot. The one thing I didn't like was the portion of the park that was recreating a native village. The people there were current day members of the Wampanoag and other native tribes. They were dressed as they would have been in the 1600s and were demonstrating traditional practices but they were not actors, they answered questions from the perspective of modern native people talking about their ancestors. I thought it seemed a little awkward.

We visited Ralph Waldo Emerson's house and Walden Pond where Henry David Thoreau wrote "Walden". They were out in Concord around Minuteman National Park, where we went, just missing the visitor's center being opened. Several times we were frustrated by places not having very late summer hours.


We saw a recreation of the Mayflower and it was unbelievable what awful conditions the pilgrims endured in the hull of that ship! 9 weeks sitting in the dark packed into a room with livestock and disparaged by the crew. We saw Plymouth Rock.... it was a little.... dissappointing :/ Only like 3 ft across. I was expecting more of a cliff face or something!


We walked the freedom trail. When I went to Micah, we didn't finish the whole walk, so I got to see the Bunker Hill memorial and the U.S.S. Constitution for the first time. 



We popped over to Salem to see the sites of the Salem Witch Trials. Only 20 people were actually killed here, far fewer than in Europe, but I guess that there is a strong presence of Wicca in the area. Nowadays, very commercialized and plays off the magic theme. I felt like I was walking through Hogsmeade.


Then we drove up to Kittery,  Maine and got some ice cream, since it was only an hour away and my Dad had never been to Maine. The drive there was probably the only decent nap Natalie got the whole week. She was so curious and wanted to take in everything everywhere we went!

On Friday, we checked out Harvard and the JFK Library.


My Dad watched Natalie while Micah and  I went to see Brian Reagan perform on Friday night, and it was HILARIOUS. I was worried that he would have trouble with her, since she screams a lot even when left with Micah. But they had a great time it seemed. My Dad must have inherent baby calming skillz.


Her crawling continues to develop as she lifts her tummy and gets up on her tummy. She also likes to pull herself up and crawl on us. 


Tomorrow we will be having dinner with a guy that Micah works with. We're making dinner but taking it to their place. I am waiting for a cheesecake to come out of the oven and am a little worried that I ventured too far from the recipe. Used a granola crust instead of graham cracker and added peanut butter swirls and big gobs of chocolate pudding mixed with white chocolate and caramel creamer. I think the texture might be a bit off, but it will taste great I'm sure. Have I mentioned that I love making cheesecake? This recipe is super easy, costs around $6 to make and is DELICIOUS: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-sour-cream-cheesecake/detail.aspx

We have less than 2 weeks here in Boston. Urgh, that means packing and cleaning and then lots of driving. I will be relieved to be back home and have full use of all of my kitchen supplies, the pool and our king-sized bed!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Top Ten

Top Ten: Things that are Hard To Do while Carrying a Squirmy, 18lb Baby

Check out at the Grocery Store
Tidy Up the Livingroom
Put on Clothing
Butter Toast
Tie Shoe Laces
Operate a Spice Grinder
Wash Dishes
Use the Toilet
Fold Laundry
Open Medicine Bottle

Thursday, July 19, 2012

MI!

Natalie and I have spent most of the last week in Michigan with family while Micah stayed in  Boston alone feeling depressed and "wishing he had a wife".

In Traverse City, MI the National Cherry Festival was underway. We got to enjoy fair food and check out tons of interesting local cherry products. I bought some cherry beef jerky for Micah (and left it in my Grandma's fridge accidentally. Doh!), Sampled tons of cherry jams, syrups and fosters. Listened to the finalists of the Cherry Idol competition- which was disappointing. I so wish Eric would have entered, he could have killed them.


Here Brooklynn waits to start a a race. She got second place in her batch of 4 kids. She ran the whole way on her little tippy toes!



Aaron is such a little flirt!


We enjoyed a lot of time at the beach. I tried to keep Natalie from eating too much sand, but she did get a little. I was worried that she would get too much sun, but with plenty of sunblock she didn't mind too much and got a wicked tan.





Aaron and his Uncle Randy:

 Natalie tries to show Aaron the joy of playing with cups:


We didn't make it to the cherry pie eating contest, so we had our own back at camp. Shockingly, Darlene beat me. I still think I could have won if they hadn't announced after the start that we had to swallow the pie.


We enjoyed camping with everyone. It was hot, but fun. Here Natalie and her cousin Charli snuggle with Grandma.



I'm glad I went but relieved to be back home. Flying alone with a baby was really stressful and I've missed having Micah around to watch Natalie at night so I can just relax. She did pretty well in MI at playing by herself, maybe because there were so many new things to try to crawl to. Since our return home, she has gone back to wanting to be held pretty much all the time. It's frustrating.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Smiles and Squeeks


Friday was National Kissing Day. Hope you all got to celebrate in your own special way :)


Natalie continues to figure out how to scoot around. She likes backing herself up under the elitical. Sunday she began getting up on her knees. I'm eager to get back home, where it will be easier to babyproof. This place is just full of things she could hurt herself on! Though, fortunately, she is proving to be a pretty tough cookie. She has had a few bumps and doesn't react too much. Even last night while visiting another family from church when their 2 year old dropped his toy vaccuum on Natalie's head, she stopped crying relatively quickly. Ironically, she was much harder to sooth later that night when she burst out crying for no apparent reason.

She is plenty vocal, though we just learned that she is supposed to be making syllables with consonants and she only makes vowels. And laughs.

video video

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Some Recipes...


So, when my sister called this evening, it reminded me that I wanted to share a few cool recipes/ideas I have been playing with lately. I have more to maybe post later, but here are the best things I've tried lately:

Almond Milk
This site shows how to make almond milk. I used whole raw almonds- the skin did make it a little bitter. I sweetened by adding dates instead of honey/syrup. The leftover stuff? Spread out on a dish towel until dry, throw in a blender and- bam- you've got almond flour. Store in the freezer since there may be  some moisture in it!

Oatmeal Zucchini Cookies
(Hide veggies in a cookie. Sneaky, eh?)
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2-1 cup raisins, craisins, chopped dates, nuts or any combo of these 
2 medium zucchini, shredded
Beat butter and sugars, add eggs. Add other ingredients. (Be fancy and combine dry ingredients before adding, but I think dirtying any extra bowls is stupid...). Squeeze zucchini in a cheesecloth/clean dishrag or add a few extra Tbsp of flour to compensate for the wetness. Bake for like 15+ minutes at 350-375. They will be cakey, so I prefer letting them get brown all over before taking them out so they stay together more.

Graham Crackers
I thought these were fabulous and not as hard as they look. The recipe is here: http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/05/graham-crackers/
I didn’t have a processor or a paddle attachment for an electric mixer, so I used a good old fashioned knife to cut in the butter. I also pretty much stopped following the recipe once I got the soft, sticky dough because I’m impatient and don’t like long instructions. I stuck the dough in the freezer for an hour, then kneaded it on a floured surface, rolled it out flat and thin (about 1/8’’) and cut it up into pieces, sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar and baked at 350 for about 15 mins. Also, parchment paper isn’t really necessary.
It would be amazing to put marshmallows and chocolate chips on top and stick it back in for a few minutes until melted. 

Granola
Really, the only essential parts of this recipe are the oats, sugar, honey, oil, vanilla and salt. Careful not to overcook, it will firm up as it cools!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Natalie Goes Mobile

Natalie, feeling exceptionally motivated to grab at the dog, has been mastering new skills at an incredible rate. She has gone from this:
video

to this:
video
In just a few days.

  Sammy, who has been doing great with her up until now, is a bit nervous. He doesn't like being grabbed or having her play with his toys. So, we shall have to keep our eyes on them.

Just like I have to keep my eyes on these turkeys who I have now spotted 3 times in our neighborhood, once almost running them over backing up out of the driveway. No wonder the pilgrims ate turkey for thanksgiving, they're everywhere!



Natalie is becoming more and more difficult to put to sleep, the only method that works well is holding and bouncing her until she is totally out, then trying to put her down with as little movement as possible.

Here  Natalie waits until Micah starts typing then kicks at the computer. Hahaha.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

CVS is the Bomb Diggity

So... last week I got a crapload of stuff for free/profit at CVS.

The store has a machine that will give you coupons if you scan your card. The store coupons were great bc they were general (e.g. $2 off any shampoo, conditioner or styling item) and could be applied toward sale items and plus I kept getting sweet coupons for % off my total purchase and $ off a total purchase. Combining store coupons, manufacturer's coupons from the paper, % and $ off total coupons and then ECB rewards (sale system in which certain purchases trigger extra care bucks- in-store cash- to print), I bought over $180 of cosmetics, personal care items and diapers, spent like $25 out of pocket and used $8.79 of in-store cash and ended up with $42 of in-store cash and a $10 gas card. I probably could have planned it out better so that my out of pocket was lower and I used more of my extracare bucks, but I was sort of just rolling with it and making purchases here and there as I got more coupons.

Feeling pretty much awesome.