Sunday, August 23, 2015

What's cooking?

We are a meal planning family.  Ish and I have actually been planning meals together since before we were married.  After I graduated college, I spent a summer living in Delaware just a short walk from Ish's childhood home.  We spent the summer cooking dinners together in the basement of the St. Thomas More Oratory and all of our meals were made according to a meal plan we had devised together.  It was no surprise when we got married two summers later that meal planning fell naturally into place. 

Even though we use a meal plan regularly, we are not impervious from the occasional falling away from this strategy.  In the past couple weeks we have failed to meal plan and it has led to insufficient leftovers for lunches, a couple of take out dinners and a handful of rotting food.  These few weeks away fro meal planning have led me to want to be a little more on top of things, so when Simcha decided to start a weekly meal planning post on her blog, I decided to join her.

How does meal planning happen here?  The process has evolved over time.  I used to do all the meal planning with a pencil and paper, but Ish discovered Trello last year and now our plan and grocery list are digitized.  Ish and I have shifted meal planning responsibilities back and forth over the months and years.  I am working to make that my domain right now, but he is incredibly competent when it comes to meal planning and grocery shopping so it is easy enough to swap off when necessary. This is an especially big blessing during 1st trimesters and the first few months post-partum.  As for actual meals, we only plan dinners.  Lunches are generally leftovers of some sort and we just make sure to always have oatmeal, eggs, and chapati on hand for breakfasts. Also we generally don't generally need to plan dinners on Friday, Saturday or Sunday due to generous family and friends.

What's cooking this week?

Monday: Chicken Curry over rice or possibly  over spaghetti squash if it is ready to be harvested.  This dish consists of chicken and vegetables in a curry sauce that Ish makes.  We will also be eating corn on the cob from the farmers' market.

Tuesday: Roast pork, butternut squash from the garden, applesauce, and green beans.

Wednesday: Lazy Man's Lasagna  This is a new recipe for me but it looks similar to a dish my mom made when I was a kid.  We will probably have raw vegetables on the side.

Thursday: Chicken Tacos

Friday: Grilled Cheese Night at Ish's parents' house.  I am hoping to contribute some more tomatoes from our garden to the salad.

Saturday: Dinner with friends.

Sunday: Pizza at Ish's parents' house.  My father-in-law makes the best pizza.

What's cooking at your house this week?

Friday, July 24, 2015

East Hill Farm 2015

Before we headed to Massachusetts to visit family last month, we took our own mini-vacation first.  We spent 4 days at The Inn at East Hill Farm in Troy, NH.  Ish and I have mad a weekend trip here every year since we got married, and I vacationed there for years when I was a little girl.  One of the major benefits of vacationing here is that, although it is a planned financial splurge for our family, we nknow exactly how much it will cost us because it is all inclusive.  Any vacation that doesn't involve figuring out how and when to feed the kids gets bonus points in my book.

The kids had a blast this year.  Lily was old enough to remember the farm trip last year so she and Little Ish were able to anticipate it in the weeks before we arrived.  Last year when we went, Atticus was only 5 months old so he didn't really have any interest in the animals at all.  This year he was so excited.  He especially liked one of the smaller pigs and will still tell you that the pig eats milk and corn.  He still asks to see the goats several times per week.

One thing that was new for us on this trip was that the kids were super interested in doing the planned activities offered at the farm.  They especially enjoyed arts and crafts and made an effort not to miss a single session. They also overcame their trepidation of years past, and participated in milking both a cow and a goat.  Little Ish was really good at milking and took right to it.  Lily was nervous, but managed after a little extra encouragement from an awesome staff member. 

For Catholic families thinking of vacationing here, there is a Catholic church about a 5 minute drive away.  It is a nice parish with tons of kids.We had a family of 8 people in front of us and a family of at least 7 behind us.  So if you are nervous about bringing your kids to a different parish because of behavior and noise, there is little reason to worry about bringing them to Mass there.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Little Ish Turns 5

Little Ish turned 5 on June 26th.  He had been anticipating be 5 for months and his anticipation was heightened when his cousin turned 5 six weeks before his birthday.  As for celebrations, we had a small family celebration in Massachusetts on the day of his birthday.  His requested birthday dinner was pulled pork subs, potato chips, and cucumber slices.  My mom made a cake, and Little Ish worked with Big Ish to map out where he wanted to put each of his Mario action figures on the cake. 

On July 4th, we celebrated in Delaware at our friends' house.  He was thrilled that part of his birthday celebration included watching a local fireworks display from our friends' front yard.  He later reported to me that it was his favorite birthday present, and during the display he told Big Ish, "It's the best gift that ever the sky has given me."

He has spent the past several days declaring that whatever he is doing is the "first time I've done this as a 5 year old". 


In light of my recent posts about Lily and Atticus, I thought I would use this space to note a few things about Little Ish at 5 years old.

--He loves to cut things out and will spend hours cutting out miniature pictures of various cartoon characters that he has printed off the computer.  He was thrilled when I relayed to him that Saint Thérèse spent a fair amount of time as a child cutting paper.

--He loves cracking eggs and will help crack them whenever he gets the chance.

--He likes harvesting sorrel wherever he finds it and puts it in salads and on burgers.

--He has a real tender spot in his heart for Atticus and gets super excited every time Atticus learns something new.

--He is starting to read a little bit here and there.  He can read most of the Level 1 Bob Books with out help.

--He loves to count but generally gets bored with it somewhere around 230.

--He is often making up word problems that require basic addition and then solving them.

--He loves playing Super Smash Bros.  with his cousins.

--He has recently shown an interest in learning to hit a baseball. 

--He still love to cuddle and will climb up on my or Ish's lap just to spend time with us. 

--He has just started to enjoy playing board games.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Lily at 3 years 7 months

After my brain dump about Atticus on Tuesday, I thought I would follow up with one filled with things I don't want to forget about Lily.  Today she is 3 years and 7 months old so it seems as good a time as any to jot a few things down.

--She loves helping Ish water the garden in the morning.

--If another child takes a toy from her she throws a royal fit, but when they ask nicely she readily gives up whatever toy she is using.

--She loves picking flowers.  She especially loves picking dandelions.  Every time we go outside, within seconds she says, "Mommy, I have a surprise for you," and  she pulls a dandelion out from behind her back.

--She collects things and stores them in bags.  When she can't find a bag she stores her treasures in a hat.  She has one hat that she lovingly refers to as her "hat-bag-purse".

--She likes to wear necklaces and bracelets and has reached an age where she'll actually keep them on for more than a minute or two.

--She would subsist on carrots and hummus if she were allowed to.

--She is starting to draw a lot more often.  Recently balloons are a favorite.

--She can recognize her name when it is printed (both Lily and Liliana).

--She has several characters that she pretends to be.  The two most frequent are Etta, who rides a horse and Callie who has fuzzy pink and purple hair.

--When she is scared of something in a movie she asks Ish to "protect me of the bad guys".

--When she is looking for Atticus she asks "Where's my Ats-a-bats" and when she is looking for Little Ish she wants to know where her "Ferks-a-berks" is.  She refers to her cousin Percival as her "Herfs-a-berfs".

--She is still tiny enough to front-carry in the Boba carrier and will often request for Atticus to ride in the grocery cart so that I can wear her.

--She is petrified of ants.

--She gives an amazing side eye.

--She likes to play a game she calls "Grape Shoopa" in which she pours water from one container to another.  She will often play this for an hour at a time.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Atticus at 17 months

Atticus is 17 months old today.  I am writing a brain dump of little things that I don't want to forget about him at this age.

--He has lots of words and the occasional sentence.

--He is still nursing frequently, but has started to drink the occasional few ounces of cows' milk.  He calls cows milk "Dada mulk".  When Atticus wants a cup of milk, he asks for a "puck-a-mulk".

--He is so quick to tantrum, and I have to stop myself from laughing at how cute his tantrums are.  He often throws himself on the floor and marine crawls backwards as he screams.

--He loves playing with toy cars and with animal figurines.

--He is particularly attached to a couple of action figures of Mario and Luigi.  He calls Luigi "Weeji"

--Atticus loves dirt.  He earns his baths.

--His nap schedule is erratic, but barring illness or teething he sleeps through the night.

--When it rains, he stands at the door yelling "Wawa" (water) over and over again.

--He loves all kinds of foods except for broccoli. Oh the faces he makes when he bites into broccoli!

--Recently when he bit me on the shoulder he apologized by saying "Na bite. Na eat." and making lots of kissing noises.

--If he spills something, he will gladly wipe it up with a rag.

--He still loves playing with balls.

--He calls Little Ish "brother" and Lily  "Lilla".

--He sings and dances a lot.  Occasionally when I am singing him a bedtime song he'll stop me if I mess the notes up (sometimes by singing the right notes back at me).