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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter, everyone! May your day be filled with laughter and joy.  And maybe a nap or two ;-)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I've been MIA for a few and may be for a bit longer--The Sick has been sweeping through our house, including a hospital stay for Iz :/  We are on the mend, though!  Hopefully I can finish the Texas posts soon :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A few of my favorite things.....

Two of the things I miss most about Texas (besides the sunshine but that goes without saying, right?) are Rudy's BBQ and Blue Bell Ice Cream so of course we had to have both whenever we visit :)  It has been about three, almost four, years since our last visit so I was feeling kind of impatient to have both :p

I can remember the first time I had Rudy's BBQ--I was visiting Texas for the first time and was in San Antonio.  My friend Sarah brought me to Rudy's and I must admit, I was a bit dubious.  They put your food in one of those big plastic trays soda bottles are carried in on top of butcher paper.  The squares of paper they put in the tray are your plates.  They toss in some slices of bread and you eat at enormous picnic tables.  If it is crowded, you will sit and share a meal with strangers, something I was definitely not used to.  Where I am from, you don't share tables :p  But its nice because people are generally friendly and the food is good.  You lay out your square of butcher paper and give yourself a big ole pile of Rudy's BBQ sauce and you enjoy :) 

S had been there numerous times as a little guy and again when we visited when B was a baby but he did not remember. But he was anticipated deliciousness since we had talked about it and were looking forward to it.  The boys loved the big picnic tables--it was a slow time of day when we were there so we had the whole table to ourselves and they kept sliding back and forth along the benches :p  They are polished and coated so no worries about splinters!  The coating makes them slick so they are good for sliding ;)  Once their Dad brought the food, though, there was no more sliding as they were too busy eating :p  Iz thought this stuff was the best thing ever and I was surprised at just how much she ate.  She outdid herself :)

We wrapped up our leftovers and put them in our little hotel fridge and they froze solid :\  Darn little fridge was on the fritz and froze everything in it.  While disappointing at the time, it actually worked out really well for us--we took it all with us when we flew out and by the time our layover hit, it was thawed and ready to eat and we avoided the expensive airport food for lunch LOL  Rudy's BBQ is just as good cold as it was hot :p

There was an HEB just up the road from our hotel so I also got my very favorite ice cream that night--Blue Bell's Banana Split.  I really wish they would expand and start to be sold up here :p  Best stuff ever.  They have many other awesome flavors but if I could have just one, Banana Split is it :)  When I was pregnant with both B and Iz, my intense craving for some Blue Bell made me seriously consider the $129 price tag to have four half gallons mailed to me.  My budget said no but my cravings said yes.  My budget won and that made me sad :p  But when I visit, I make sure to get my Blue Bell!


I suppose this is where my disclaimer goes where I tell you that none of the companies I mentioned asked me to write this or gave me free stuff or paid me or anything.  They don't even know I exist since I am sure the Rudy's employee who took my order forgot who I was the minute I walked away from her counter ;)  But they really are good and if you find yourself near a Rudy's or a store that sells Blue Bell, try it :p  YUM!



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Courtyard

We did not have any wiggle room in our travel dates so when we discovered that we were visiting Austin during South by Southwest, we knew we would have to do a lot of driving.  The few hotel rooms still available in Austin were way out of our price range!  So we stayed in San Antonio and drove in to Austin every day--it really cut into our visiting time but we made it work and had some great visits.

One of the kids favorite visits was the day we took Grandpa to the courtyard--he is at a rehabilitation center so he can get various therapies and build his strength back up to be able to go home.  The center is built in a big square with a big courtyard in the middle.  There is a little garden plot and lots of trees and benches and it is a lovely little spot.  One day, we all went outside and the kids got to run around and play and work out some of those wiggles while the adults chatted and soaked up some sun.  My kiddos would zoom off and run around and then come back in to show off their treasures--leaves, acorns, sticks--and then zoom off again.  They were kind of shy during our visits so this was a great opportunity for everyone to see a bit of their personalities--they were so excited to show off their treasures that they often forgot to be shy :)

My little S was born in Austin and lived there his first year and a half or so.  He spent a great deal of time with his Texas Grandma and Grandpa but he doesn't really remember them.  When B was born, we went to visit but neither of them remember that visit, either.  This is Iz's first time meeting them and while the boys eventually relaxed and got attached, she was always a little bit wary of the whole thing.  She would give hugs and go to her grandparents or aunts and cousins but she always kept one eye on me and was quick to dart back to me if she thought she had gotten too far away.  So this day of sunshine and running and treasures was good to see because even Iz let down her guard and enjoyed herself :)




Monday, March 18, 2013

San Antonio



The kids were so happy to land in San Antonio and get off the plane and stretch their legs.  I think Iz fell asleep within minutes of being strapped into her stroller and she pretty much slept until we left the airport to get on the car rental shuttle.  The boys were ready for bed and quite put out when we made them sit down and wait while their Dad went in search of a luggage cart to schlep all our car seats and carry ons down to baggage claim to collect our checked luggage.  They look quite exhausted and over traveling in these photos, don't they?  B started out feeling defiant, with that little fist on his hip, as he tells me he doesn't want to sit down.  He points to tell me he wants to go.  And then he starts to nod off LOL  The nodding off part didn't last long!  He was up and at them as we walked through the airport to baggage claim and went off in search of our car rental.

The shuttle bus was a hit.  No matter how many times they ride on a bus of some sort, it is still exciting :)

While we were waiting for our car, it was glorious to sit outside and listen to the wind rustle in the trees and feel the warmth on our cheeks.  It was a little chilly but we did not need our coats.  We had left the cold and arrived at warmth.  We sat on a little bench outside the car rental office and enjoyed watching these trees.  Well, the boys also had fun watching the traffic as we were near a highway as well but I enjoyed the trees ;) 

Even though it was quite late by this time (well, for us, since bedtime had passed and our bodies were still on eastern time.  The hour difference for central does make a difference to me and the kids LOL), we went to visit the San Antonio branch of the family, my sister-in-law.  B slept on her couch the entire time, S was shy and barely looked anyone in the eye, and Iz made herself at home and got into anything she could.  On the car ride back to the hotel, though, everyone was sound asleep, and when we woke them to go inside, they trudged upstairs and then went right to bed.  I really wish bedtime was that easy every night ;) 




Sunday, March 17, 2013

Charlotte NC

Unfortunately, the direct flights to our final destination in Texas were a tad bit expensive so we had a connecting flight in Charlotte, NC.  It was actually a good length for us--about two and a half hours.  Plenty of time to take some kids to the bathroom, to walk around a bit and stretch our legs, to grab some lunch, walk around some more :p

Even though the Charlotte airport looks very similar to the airport we had just left, the kids were still excited to be somewhere new, with many things to look at :)  We studied the map on the wall for a bit and talked about what we might like to eat for lunch that maybe would not cost too much of a small fortune and finally settled on a walk up our terminal and into one of the "hubs" where there was a Burger King.  We settled into a table and the kids attempted to amuse themselves while they waited for lunch.  Miss Iz, of course, could not hold still for a decent photo and this is the best of the bunch LOL  B was much more willing to hold still and even ham it up for the camera a little.  He told me a story about this dot of light on the table but I'm afraid I can't quite remember what it was.  He had fun telling it, though ;)  S, though, was tired and ready to be in Texas already ;)  Food in his belly brightened his outlook tremendously, though, and he was ready to fly again and told anyone who would listen that this would be his SIXTH airplane flight (four when he was Izzy's age, and the two from today).














 The second flight into San Antonio was a little rough, though.  I had hoped all three would do some sleeping on that leg of the journey since it was close to their bedtime but nope, none of them did.  The boys got tired of their movie and alternated between whining about wanting to get up and looking at the books they had brought.  I sure was glad to land, though.......





Saturday, March 16, 2013

Heading out for Texas.....

When S was about Izzy's age, he went on a couple of plane trips with me.  He did really well on those flights and mostly slept while we were in the air; however, he does not remember it.  Not remembering it has been such a big disappointment for him since he loves airplanes and he has long begged for us to please please please fly somewhere so he can remember riding in an airplane.  He finally got his wish as we flew to Texas to visit family recently.

We read books on airplanes and flying and went over what it was like on a plane and in the airport and how you had to behave and what to expect.  We decided what things to bring on the plane to bring comfort and distraction.  We packed our bags.  We were off!

The part I dreaded the most was getting through security because we had three kids, one stroller, three car seats (well, one was a booster but I'm throwing it in the car seat pile), four personal bags, three carry on wheeled suitcases, and the various and sundry things one finds in pockets and electronics needing to be pulled out of bags and kids scared of the metal detectors and one child with titanium rods in his arm who may or may not set off the detectors......  Well, you get the idea.  We had a lot of stuff to be sent through scanners and then re-gathered up.  But as we approached security, a friendly TSA agent waved us over and sent us through the priority line.  Another very patient TSA agent checked our IDs and boarding passes and let S hand them to her and take them back and she stayed patient even when he got distracted and didn't pay attention ;)  Yet another friendly TSA agent completely closed down the security line we were in and opened another nearby so we did not have to rush to get our stuff on the line and packed back up on the other side.  When nearby agents were free, they came over to help us put things on the belt and coax children through and generally were just nice and friendly and helpful.  The big city near our home has a reputation for being a not-so-nice place but there certainly are a lot of great people here :)  Every time I have flown out of or into this airport, I have had good experiences and our first big flight with all the kids was no exception.

We had time to kill once we got through security--we arrived about two hours before our flight just to make sure we had enough time for check in and security and the inevitable bathroom breaks ;)  But the kids were so excited about all the new sights and sounds that the time went by rather fast.  We walked around to get the wiggles out of them and then we settled down near our gate to watch planes and the ground crew.  This was Izzy's first time seeing anything like this up close so she was absolutely fascinated.  I don't think we got her away from the window at all until it was time to go :)  She kept saying "WOW!" and pointing and dancing and was just excited to be there.  B had never been this close either and kept trying to climb through the window to get even closer.  I think he thought maybe the ground crew would let him help if only he could get down there with them.

S played it much more cool but you could tell he was also thrilled to be so close to the planes :D  He was very excited that we would soon be on the plane but nervous at the same time.  S is my worrier.  About everything.  That boy worries about things that are extremely unlikely (such as a hurricane hitting us.  We get some rain but are too far away from the coast to get much more than that) but he frets and frets.  Luckily, his anxiety over flying was pretty low-key and his excitement won out.

When it was time to board, I had to give many reminders to wait patiently--they were ready to just push past everyone on the plane so they could find their seats :p  There was the inevitable exploration of the seats and the million and one questions of what's this?  and that? and this?  We had to open and close the air vents, aim them multiple ways, check to make sure the lights worked, move the window shade up and down, play with the seat belts, and check out all magazines and information cards in the seat pockets.  Taxiing out to the runway was met with giggles--it was just like riding in a car.  Takeoff was accompanied by huge eyes as we were pressed back in our seats and then B saying over and over "we up high? HIGH, MOMMA, WE HIGH.  Go back down now?"  HA!  Sorry, kiddo, we have a while to go before we go back down.

At this point, I should like to thank the inventor of the portable DVD player and headphones.  They are sanity savers ;)







Friday, March 15, 2013

But why do I have to sit here?

For years, I have sat at the table long after I am done eating because I had a slow eating child.  S was a dawdler, taking his time, enjoying each bite, playing around, exploring the textures of his food.  Fast forward to the present and we have a speed eater.  There are days he is done eating by the time I get the food served up.  He hovers while I cook, waiting for me to start putting food on his plate and is eating each item as I fill everyone's plates.  I've said it before but it bears repeating--this kid is gearing up for a major growth spurt!  Even if he has had a snack an hour before, he just can't wait the extra few minutes for all the food to hit the plate :p

When he was a slow eater, family time around the table was never an issue.  We had plenty of time to go over the day and chat and laugh and remind him to keep eating because we had sat there long enough (I kid!  Although there were days I wondered if I would ever be able to leave the table.....).  Now, though?  He is ready to run off when we are just a short time into dinner.  We have had to institute the "May I be excused?" rule.  And we get the "But why do I have to sit here?" when the answer is no.  He thinks it quite unfair that he has to sit there while we eat; however, once we start talking and he gets a chance to chatter away about his day, he forgets he wants to leave.  Now we just need to find a way for him to remember he likes the family chat around the dinner table before he gets upset that he has to sit there!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Is it supposed to be a puzzle?

Dear Car Seat Manufacturers,

When you advertise that the car seat cover comes off for easy cleaning, I expect that the cover will come off easily.  I know the cleaning part is easy--you just pop it in the washer--and since most people now have a washer in which to throw aforementioned car seat cover, it seems silly for you to use the word easy to refer to the actual process of washing.  After all, your consumers are intelligent people.  So when you throw in the word "easy" referencing the removable car seat covers ability to be cleaned, I think you are referring to taking off the actual cover.  I would be and am wrong.

These car seat covers?  Not easy to remove.  At all.  As I navigated the world of unbuckling, unsnapping, unthreading, uncoupling, prying, and muttering at the seats under my breath, I began to think I was working on a puzzle instead of a car seat cover that removes for easy cleaning.  I do not look forward to the moment when they are all clean and dry and need to be reassembled.

At one point during the ordeal, I tried to justify leaving my children in a dirty car seat cover.  Surely once that apple juice dries, it will be no big deal!  They will be wearing pants when they get in the seat--those spots won't matter!  That sticky spot where someone dropped a sucker probably won't touch anyone's clothing........  Not too long afterward, I contemplated just buying new seats with bright shiny covers.

I did eventually get the covers off.  And I easily popped them in my washer where they are merrily agitating away and getting squeaky clean.  And I will put the puzzle back together and reinstall them in my van.  But no, the process of removing said covers so they can be cleaned is not "easy" and is not a positive selling point for your products.

Frustratingly yours,
Piper

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What's for breakfast?

My three little monkeys certainly are different when it comes to breakfast.  On a typical day, when we are in the midst of the hustle and bustle of getting ready for school, I have three little personalities vying for the routine they like best.

S does not really like breakfast all that much.  If he could, he would skip it completely and just eat brunch later.  This works on the weekend when he can lounge around a bit and then eat but on a school day?  Nope, no way--he needs to eat before school.  It used to be a bit of a battle to get food into him but I have found if I let him get his own, he will eat.  Maybe not a lot, but he will have something.  So I try to keep things on hand I know he can handle--cereal, homemade granola bars, yogurt, etc.  Every so often he will decide he wants something more substantial and will ask me to make him oatmeal or eggs.  On the weekends it is a different story--once he has a chance to wake up all the way, he is ready for anything and everything--french toast, pancakes, eggs, bacon, oatmeal, whatever you are willing to cook for him.

B is a breakfast lover but not immediately after he gets up.  He wants to eat before S does but not too quickly :p  On school days, he typically skips breakfast here at home because he eats as soon as he gets to school.  On weekends, he plays for a bit and then tells me he is "hongray" and wants his food :p

Miss Iz is ready whenever you are.  First thing, after playtime, brunch, middle of the night, she is ready to eat ;)  Especially if you make her very favorite breakfast--scrambled eggs with ham chunks and cheese and a side of fresh fruit :)  When she sees me pull out the egg carton, she starts dancing.  When she sees the ham, she starts cheering. And when the fruit comes out, she starts demanding that we sit down and eat RIGHT NOW.  LOL.  She loves her food :)

What kinds of breakfast routines do you have?  Any favorite foods or recipes?  Any must-try dishes I can use to expand our breakfast horizons?

Monday, March 11, 2013

More dilated eyes......

It seems this winter is the season of the eye exam.  S got glasses, Iz got her eyes examined, their Dad got new glasses, and today B got his first eye exam.  For the most part, he thought it was great fun.  He got to sit in the magic chair that went up and down, he played games with the tech and the doctor, he got to show off his skills at identifying pictures and made them laugh with his descriptions of the pictures (the cake with candles he called "birthday!", the bird was either a "cheep cheep" or a "burr", the car was a "guy on bike", etc.).  The only part he did not like was getting his eyes dilated so the doctor could get a good look at them.

He did okay getting the drops in until the very last one and he fussed a little over that one.  But he did hold still and let the gal get the drop in so at least he didn't dissolve into kicking and screaming and crying :p  And he kept trying to rub the drops out of his eyes so I had to watch him like a hawk and keep reminding him not to rub.  He did NOT like the way the drops made his eyes feel, at all, and kept telling me it made his eye hurt :(  He went to sleep in the car after we left, though, so at least he was comfortable while the drops wore off.  I would give you a giant eye picture the way I did with Izzy but he would not hold still for one :p

The good news is that B's prescription is very low and so he does not need to wear glasses right now.  Plus he has a small chance of not needing them later (probably not, though--genetics are not on his side).  He is cleared for two years and then goes back for another check :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I need to stay healthy

Things around here are so much smoother when I am not sick!  I have had back to back viruses and each one is taking longer and longer to kick.  I have been sick pretty much nonstop since December :/  I am really really really tired of it and ready to be healthy again!  At the moment, I am on yet another batch of medications and they seem to be helping--I have been feeling a bit better and while not completely well yet, I am more able to act like I am.  I am slowly catching up on the household things that fell to the wayside when just walking to the bathroom left me too exhausted to do anything and I am getting back into doing more cooking instead of grabbing them quick things so I could lay back down.

Of course, I would bet my oldest two children would tell you that things are much more fun when Mom is sick.  They get to watch tv and play video games and sometimes they even get to skip homework because Mommy is too sick to help them do it :p  All those kid things that seem so much more important than chores and homework and stuff, right?  But I know that when we are in our more normal routines, things are quieter and calmer and nicer.  The kids get playtime and reading time and a cartoon is the thing that they might get once their homework and chores are done; the only reason I use the word might is because often they are too busy with imaginative play to take the time for a cartoon.  I like it that way :)  Oh, sure, we have those times when we take some time off and just veg and watch cartoons and movies and cuddle and eat popcorn but I prefer to make those a "special" event.  I remember as a kid, my family was always watching tv.  I wanted to go to the park or play board games or go for a walk or read but the tv was always going.  And I'll admit sometimes I have it on for background noise and watch while I do other things--but that is usually when the kids are asleep or outside or at school.

What kinds of routines do you guys have when it comes to the kids?  TV rules?  Chores?  Anything that works better than others?   Sharing ideas is always a good idea :D

Saturday, March 9, 2013

They outnumber me but I survived......

Recently, S's school had a carnival on a Friday evening and S desperately wanted to go.  His Dad works nights so wouldn't be able to go so I thought maybe I could get Aunt H to come with or maybe one or both Littles could stay with Grandma and Grandpa so I could take him.  Taking all three kids someplace alone can be.....overwhelming.  Especially if it is something big and exciting--they get hyper, they want to run around and see everything, they leave their listening ears at home, they are exhausting.  It is one of the constant sources of my mommy guilt, the fact that we sometimes skip doing things because they outnumber me and it can be difficult to make it through a trip with all three alone.  Sure, I do it.  Trips to the grocery store, going to the park, doctor's appointments, etc.  But it is not my first choice and I usually try to have one or two with me instead of all three.  Is it bad to admit that?

S modeling one of his prizes from the Carnival.  

But, alas, nothing was working out and I would either have to brave the concert alone or disappoint a little boy who talked of this carnival for weeks.  I packed them up and headed out.  It was crowded and noisy and crazy and kids were running all over and fighting and pushing and cutting lines and downing large quantities of brightly colored sugar.  And I was amazed to see mine calmly waiting in line, being patient, waiting their turn in long lines for games and bounce houses without complaint.  Who were these little angels and where were my children?

They had tons of fun and when we got home, I had no complaints about going to bed.  The next morning, they were up right away and got ready to go and did awesome in swim lessons.  They both listened, and participated eagerly, and when other kids were goofing around and ignoring the teacher, they were calmly in their spots, waiting for instructions.  Again, who were these little angels and where were my children?

They are both pretty hyper and there are days when I wonder how they can possibly stay awake after moving so much.  Part of it for S is the ADHD and SPD but he has been working hard both at home and school to learn how to calm himself and save the jumping and spinning and twirling for more appropriate times.  I guess the carnival and swim lessons were one of the times when he was practicing extra hard!  Of course, soon afterward we went to the grocery store and things were back to normal with the million and one questions about everything and anything and the spinning in circles whenever I stopped the cart to pick something up and the constant touching of everything ;-)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Stop Growing! Stay my babies!

All three of these kids of mine are going through a growth spurt--every day is a nonstop eating fest and just the other day I noticed those pants are above the ankles on all three of them :p  I was giving B a bath and he wanted to take it in the little blue Ikea tub we bought for him as a baby and now use for Izzy--he used to be so tiny in it and now he is just this solid little man who doesn't fit anymore.  S has that long, lean, lanky boy look about him now.  No signs of the chubby cheeked baby I used to cuddle for hours.  And Miss Iz, with the spirit bigger than life, who never stops and is my daredevil, leaving babyhood behind and becoming a full-fledged toddler.  Sometimes you stop a moment and look around and just can't quite believe the time has passed you by.

I took the Littles shopping the other day to get longer pants.  B could care less and was only interested in whether or not I would let him look at toys and buy him a book (he chose one about about Thomas the Train).  Iz, however, at the tender age of not-quite-eighteen-months, has a definite opinion about what she likes and wants.  Apparently sparkles, purple, and butterflies are the winners :)  We were looking at dresses as well since she has outgrown most of the ones she had before the cold weather hit and I spotted a cute one, purple with a butterfly on it.  She reached for it, asked for it, demanded it, and threw an impressive screaming fit when I put it back on the rack because it was too small for her.  The bad news?  I am not a girly girl and she seems to be thinking about becoming one!  Of course, she still loves a good game of cars or trains so I still have some safe ground ;-)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Isn't it too early for this stuff?

My oldest, S, is seven.  My memories of seven are fuzzy--a few things stick out to me but many of the day-to-day moments and conversations and relationships are gone.  I wonder if my parents were faced with some of the conversations I have with my seven year old all those years ago or if they had it a little easier :p  I did not expect such big questions so early!

The most recent once was a rather long conversation about many things centered around the concept of free will.  We spent a lot of time talking about why bad things happen, why God lets bad things happen, what free will is, what life would be like if we didn't have free will, having compassion and patience with kids still learning good manners and behavior, doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do.  All couched in terms that make sense to a seven year old.  I could have used a nap after that one!

What questions do your kids have that surprise you?  Anything coming up earlier than you expected?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snacktime!

Snacktime around these parts is very serious business, especially since it seems all three kids are going through a growth spurt at the same time.  So when we find a hit, they want it ALL. THE. TIME.  So I have made these homemade granola bars numerous times over the past few weeks, tweaking the recipe each time, and I think we finally have our winner! 

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened (I sit it out on my counter until it is soft.  Makes it very easy to mix up)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (We use Florida Crystals.  I am not being compensated to say that, I just prefer it)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup coconut 
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (we prefer raw but roasted works when I can't find raw)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (semi sweet or dark are the preferred choices around here)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (we prefer the golden raisins)
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix peanut butter, butter, sugar, honey, and vanilla.

Add oats, coconut, and sunflower seeds and mix well.  Next, add in two eggs and mix thoroughly.  If you don't want to use eggs, the granola bars will just be a little soft and crumbly.  Before I started adding the eggs to help bind everything together, we often had to use a spoon to eat the bars because every time you bit it, parts would fall off ;)

Next, gently stir in the chocolate and raisins and press mixture evenly into a 13x9 glass baking dish.  I usually spritz the dish with a little olive oil first--helps with cleanup and to ensure nothing sticks.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before slicing into bars.  We store these in an airtight container in our pantry and honestly I am not sure how long they stay good because the family eats them within a week :p

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What shall I feed these children?

What shall I feed these children? is a pretty common question around here.  With three underfoot and so many things to do (appointments, school runs, homework, playtime, reading, playgrounds, etc), we sometimes fall into a rut of eating the same basic things over and over and I know I sure do get bored :p  Occasionally, I get a little extra time and make something up--sometimes it is a hit, sometimes not.  Today, I have a hit--I need to save this "recipe" so I can recreate it when it strikes us to have it again!

I guess you could call this spinach and chicken pockets :)

I used the biscuit recipe found here and it came out really well!  Nice flavor, fluffy, the kids really liked it.  I rolled the dough out extra thin before cutting out my rounds and then I rolled the rounds out even more to make a slightly bigger "biscuit".  Once the bottom biscuit had the filling, I put another round on top and rolled/pinched the edges to make the pocket.  Because I had rolled the dough out extra thin, the two biscuit rounds make up the equivalent of one biscuit per serving.

For the filling, I started off with this creamed spinach recipe.  My kids like the flavor of this to be a little stronger so I usually double the garlic and nutmeg.  I sauteed some cubed chicken in a little olive oil and some onion, garlic, and pepper and then mixed it in with the spinach along with some shredded cheddar (my kids love the addition of cheddar to the spinach.  In fact, their favorite way to eat it is if I take the spinach and put it in a baking dish, top with cheddar and bake it so they can eat it as a dip with tortilla chips).

Once the biscuits were stuffed, I baked in a 350 degree oven for about fifteen minutes until golden brown on top.  I had more stuffing than room in the biscuits so I also baked the extra stuffing in a small pan until it, too, was bubbly and golden brown on top and the husband and I had a little extra chicken and spinach without the biscuit ;)

Monday, March 4, 2013

As part of the Early Intervention program, Izzy is in a playgroup this winter with some other younger kids who are also not quite old enough for the more formal playgroup.  Since the first year of her life was so isolated because of her heart, it is nice that she can get some small group exposure to other kids.  She mostly watches the others for a while and then goes and does her own thing but every so often she will interact with another kid so that is nice to see!  Today, she even completed some fine motor skills her evaluator has been trying to get her to do for many months--she and I worked on them at home, too, but until today she really didn't do it in any deliberate manner and would only occasionally perform the skills more on accident than anything.  But today, she was a rockstar and did it with purpose and five different times :)  Go, Izzy!

Of course, a hard morning of playing and then eating bunches of lunch means a well-earned nap on the sofa :p
 
She made herself all comfy and no way am I moving a sleeping toddler ;)  The boys have these black bean bag chairs and they are perfect to slide up against the sofa when a kid falls asleep there--if they roll off, they hit the bean bag chair and don't get hurt.  I don't think I have to worry about her today, though--she has been in the exact same position for nearly two hours now.......

Friday, March 1, 2013

Help me entertain my children!

Not too far in the future, we have to take a trip.  This trip will involve a plane and a two and a half hour layover.  Fun times.  I imagine there will be a lot of time to fill--at our local airport, they recommend you arrive two hours before your flight to ensure you make it through check-in and security with enough time to find your gate.  Usually that means I have over an hour to kill before we board but I'd rather that than miss the flight because a few times I have been in that hour security line!  Then we have the time on the flight, the layover, another flight.  And its the same setup on the way home.

So spam me with your favorite kid apps for the Ipad!  I like free but will buy some if you have a super great fantastic must have app :p  For a good portion of our trip we will be without internet access so apps that do not need to reconnect to use would be awesome :)

Share, please!  And, hey, if you have anything fun for me, share that, too--you never know, they might all three fall asleep and I can play instead :p