Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Little Pirate's Birthday Party

Our last "birthday party of the week"  was for Little Pirate, who turned 3!  These kids are getting ridiculously old.  Little Pirate loves cars.  He has the largest car collection of any child I've ever seen.  So naturally his birthday party was cars themed.

There was a pinata, which was Thatbaby's first experience with a pinata.   He was reluctant to take his turn at first.  Because of all the people watching.   He was also reluctant to take part in all the candy gathering, because I am quickly discovering I have a very picky kid.  He only wanted lollypops.  So while other kids ended up with full bags of candy, my child was happy with his 2 lollypops.

of course, it probably didn't hurt that he also had cupcakes to look forward to.

I don't think I'll ever get tired of these colored cupcake faces.

Happy Birthday Little Pirate!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mommy Tuesday: Babywearing at 2 - Toddlerwearing

I was at a birthday party a couple of weeks ago with Superwoman.  She was wearing Superbaby in an Ergo and was trying to slide him over to her side.  She looked over at me and said "You wouldn't happen to know how to do a side carry?  Would you?"  A side carry?  Of course!

After I showed her how to do it, and how to unbuckle and rebuckle for later on, she mentioned she thought I might know because I wore Thatbaby so often when he was little.  But really, even though he's two, I still wear him!

1. Why?
Thatbaby is 2 years old.  He's hardly a baby anymore.  Shouldn't he be walking?  And in truth, he does walk, but he also asks to be held in situations where he's uncomfortable or when his little legs get tired. And now that he's over 30 lbs, it's hard on my to carry him in arm.  A lot of people use strollers in these situations, and I'm not anti-stroller by any means, but a carrier is much less bulky and easier to throw in my bag than a stroller.  Plus a carrier is still much easier in situations involving stairs or crowds.

2. When?
We don't use the carrier nearly as often as we once did, mostly because of the walking thing.  So the situations it comes out are those where I need 3 hands.  Like when Thatboy's out of town and I need to take Thatdog on a long walk.  Since you can't leave a 2 year old alone, and Thatbaby gets tired of walking, the carrier comes out when he doesn't want to walk any more, so I can walk Thatdog and pick up after him.  Or when we go to the beach and I need to carry a beach bag and a tent and Thatbaby.  Or when I'm bringing groceries across a parking lot and up 3 flights of stairs.

3. What?
We stick to mostly the Ergo or the Babyhawk.  I prefer the Babyhawk still, because it packs up much smaller to throw in my bag.  But the Ergo is nice because it has a little more padding - which I appreciate when carrying a toddler.  I know they make more toddler-specific carriers, and maybe one day I'll try one of those.

4. How?
Thatbaby still prefers chest-to-chest, or a front carry, although I usually try to get up on my back first.  It gives him a better view of the world.  If he's just tired, he'll usually be okay with being on my back, but if he's feeling shy and wants to be held for that reason, he'll request a front carry.

5. How much longer?
???????  I honestly don't know the answer to this.  Right now it's very easy to do, the pros outweigh any cons, and I don't have any back pain or problems.  If either of us start getting uncomfortable, I'll probably look into the toddler carriers.  When he doesn't want to be carried anymore, or when he is more trustworthy with walking nearby, we'll probably stop with the toddler-wearing. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

It's An Online Bake Sale!

Your Mommy Mondays are being postponed until tomorrow because today I have something far more important to share - cookies.

I know, I know - cookies and Passover don't really go together.  And that's part of the reason I have no picture to share with you - but let me back up a step.

A couple of weeks ago, Joanne contacted me and a couple other bloggers to see if we would be interested in helping her out with a project - an online bake sale.

Joanne is currently in training for the Nike Women's Half Marathon in Washington D.C..  This isn't Joanne's first half-marathon.  She's a seasoned runner.  And many of her races raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Joanne is currently training with Team and Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  And she's raising money to fund patient care and cancer research. 

So I'm helping out by donating cookies for her bake sale.  A dozen to be exact.  A dozen chocolate gobs to be even more exact.  And in preparation for her bakesale, I did a test run last weekend, before Passover started.  It was a test run, to give me a picture to give to Joanne, and so I could see where the recipe needed tweaking.

It started out well.  Thatbaby and Thatboy were out skateboarding, and we had about an hour before we had to head to yet another birthday party.  (I know, you're shocked)  I cracked eggs, melted chocolate and butter, and reached into the pantry to grab my instant coffee.  No instant coffee.  No problem, Thatboy was about to run over to the bank, which is right beside the supermarket.  So he offered to pick it up for me.  Thatbaby and I signed birthday cards and hung out...for a long time.  After 40 minutes I realized we needed to get going for this party, and Thatboy still wasn't home!  I certainly wasn't going to have time to make the cookies.  So the wet ingredients went into the fridge, shoes, went on the feet, and we were halfway out the door by the time Thatboy got home.  That was 3pm.  We went to the party, then a race, and got home around 11pm.  When I proceeded to make the cookies - because I didn't think the wet ingredients would be good much longer. 

Turns out, you probably shouldn't let the ingredients sit for hours, because instead of forming nice, gobby cookies, they spread out into flat discs.  Not very pretty.  And I didn't have time to make them again before Passover hit.  I was going to scrap the whole idea, until Thatboy tried one.  "These are really good" he said.  And we decided that even though I didn't get a good picture, I should still offer to make these chocolately cookies, loaded with chocolate chunks, pecans, and walnuts. 

So what can you do? 

1) Go check out Joanne's bake sale and bid on my chocolate gobs! 

2) Go check out Joanne's bake sale and bid on some other delicious goodies.  (I mean obviously, I put my cookies first, but really the other items look pretty darn delectable)

3) Just donate to Joanne's cause.

The bake sale starts today and goes till April 23 at midnight, so act now!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Runday: Adventure Run Recap

This is the third race in the "untimed for fun runs" I did during the month of April.  Put on my RoadRunner Sports, the Adventure run is held the second Thursday of every month, and has quite the turnout.

There are lots of vendors present who are handing out free samples, coupons, and most importantly, tickets.  Because the Adventure Run is all about the tickets.  It's a scavenger hunt style race, where you race between stations to get raffle tickets.  At the end of the run, everyone meets up and they raffle off drinks, clothes, shoes, race entries, and all sorts of other goodies.

I met up with some of my running group buddies.  Which was good, because I had no clue what I was doing since it was my first time.  One of my friends, on the other hand, was a seasoned pro.  In an effort to win some more tickets, she entered a contest to consume 5 running gels the fastest.

Aaaaaaand she won.  So I will now be referring to this friend as Gel.

Gel and I planned to run together, since we had a similar pace and she knew where to go.  Which was helpful because we weren't actually given a route or a map.  Instead, they flashed this thing up on the screen and expected us to memorize the locations of all the stations.

Gel and I decided to run to the farthest location first, and work our way back towards the store.  The farthest location?  A brewery.  Some people decided to just stay there for a drink.  We headed out to get more tickets.

As we stopped at stations we were encouraged to do pushups, burpees, and jumping jacks to earn extra tickets.  And we did them.  In the hour we had to do the race, Gel and I ran about 4.5 miles.  And we amassed a bit of tickets.  Gel had way more than I did, but I had a nice little stash.

 Despite our hard work and tickets, we didn't win anything during the raffles.  Unless you count the protein bars that they threw out to the crowd. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Passover Crabcakes

We have been so busy this past week, that the Passover sting hasn't really affected me.  No crazy cravings for doughnuts or pretzels.  Meals in general have been a bit of a rush about, going from one seder to another, or throwing together some easy weeknight options.

Thatbaby is off from preschool this week for Spring Break.  Which wrecks havoc on Thatboy and my schedule.  He took the first part of the week, I took the second, and Thatmom is on toddler-duty until he's back to school next Wednesday.

The first half of the week, I do admit lunches were pretty boring - I packed myself grilled chicken and broccoli.  But when I was home, I had the use of a stove and microwave, so things were pretty good.  As for dinners, being home with Thatbaby gave me time to be pretty inventive.  Alright, so not so inventive.  Really just Passover reinventions of normal, typical food.  Like crabcakes and hush puppies.
Both are easy enough substitutions to Passover.  The best crabcakes are light on breadcrumbs anyway, and matzoah meal is a pretty good substitute.  Hushpuppies are a little more difficult, since the main ingredient is cornmeal.  I used a sweet potato base instead, mixed with matzoh meal, green onions, and eggs.  I think these have a little way to go.  I used my food processor to shred the sweet potato, but I think it needs to be a bit finer consistency, like pureed or grated.  We definitely liked the taste of the hush puppies, just not the consistency.

Passover Crabcakes
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup crab
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup matzoh meal
  • canola oil
  1. Combine mayo, eggs, green onions, Old Bay, and Worcestershire sauce.
  2. Stir in the crab, green onions, and matzoh meal.  Form into patties (This made 8 for me)
  3. Heat 1 inch of canola oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Cook each patty 1-2 minutes per side, until browned.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pollo Asada Fries

"You should blog about this" Thatboy told me as we tucked into dinner last night.  "Anytime anyone complains about Passover cooking, you just point them right to this meal."  

To say last night's dinner was a hit would be an understatement.   Originally, I was going to just make "cheesy taco chicken" - chicken breasts cooked with taco seasoning and cheese baked on top.  I wasn't sure exactly what to do about sides, trying to choose between green (salad) and starch (mashed potatoes).  Neither seemed to fit.  Then I was struck with a brilliant idea - french fries!

For those of you not from Southern California region, the idea of tacos and french fries might seem to be a strange combination.  But "papas" make a frequent appearance in San Diego Mexican cuisine.  Breakfast burritos contain french fries, as do "California Burritos" which feature them alongside carne asada and guacamole.  And of course there are the "if you're in San Diego, you must try" carne asada fries - which are basically nachoes with french fries instead of chips, topped with hot carne asada, cheese, guacamole, and salsa.

This is my take on those - since chips aren't Passover friendly, and a chicken breast by itself is oh so sad and lonely.

Pollo Asada Fries

1 chicken breast
1 can rotel
1 package chicken taco seasonings
1/3 cup water
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
french fries
2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded

  1. Place chicken breast, rotel, seasonings, water, and oil in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
  2. Shred chicken and return to saucepan and cook for another 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350.  Spread french fries in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Cover with shredded chicken and tomato mixture.
  4. Top with shredded cheese and bake about 10 minutes, until cheese melts.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Skirts and Stuff

A couple weeks ago, a bunch of us in my running group got together to make our very own running skirts.  I'm not an experienced seamstress by any means, but I know the basic concepts, and I know my way around a sewing machine.  Just please don't ask me to change the stitch type, and apparently you're supposed to backstich (who knew?).

I made 2 different types of skirts at the get-together.  A tutu - which I knew how to make from The Color Run a couple years back (although Jurisslave made our tutus for that one), and an actual fabric running skirt.

Making the running skirt was relatively easy, but time consuming!  One of the ladies brought her skirt, and I used that for a template, spreading it out over my fabric, and then pinning and cutting one big circle. 

Step 2 was folding it into fourths and cutting a hole in the top.  Then cutting up the side so I could open it up into one strip of fabric and recut that top hole to fit around my waist.

Then lots and lots of pinning the bottom hem and the top elastic.  And sewing round and round.  Then all I had to do was sew the ends of the fabric together where they opened and form a seam.  I wore the skirt for The Neon Run this past weekend, and it was perfect!

It was easy enough that I'll probably make a couple more skirts for some other races I've got coming up this year.

As for the tutu, that just involved tying strips of tulle around a piece of elastic.   And I've already worn it twice!  Once for the tutu run my running group did, and once for the Adventure Run I also did this week.  Cripes, all that hard work last month really paid off this week!