why i hate 11:00

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*Please note that I have been working on this post for over a week. No, it’s not a finely honed jewel. I just can’t find time for-well-anything that doesn’t cry or pat my hips saying “Mommomomomom” to get attention.*

It seems like every twelve hours I find my self saying What? How can it possibly be 11:00 already??? Which inevitably leads to the sick stomach feeling of Well, now it’s 12:00. Great. Now I am in bed late (or for the am:) Now the morning is over and what did I accomplish? Oh well. I will keep on hating 11:00 until I am either asleep or have actually accomplished something at that time. So, for the next 20 years or so.

Enough complaining. Allow me to share a bit of what I’ve been doing instead of blogging. Amanda is growing REALLY quickly. I don’t remember this going quite so fast with Meg or Emily. She wants to sit up and watch the action. (Which she thinks is all directed at her. With reason, I admit we are all quick to try and entertain her.) I love that she will light up and smile and squeal at me when I am talking on the phone or to one of the other girls. This usually leads to me finishing the conversation in a syrupy baby voice. My apologies if this has happened while I’m talking to you.

sw2

After a massive (and painful) cleanup effort, Michael got out his old Star Wars toys. The girls have played Star Wars nonstop. It cracks us both up to listen to the excellent dialogue. Just imagine if George Lucas had also been an avid Fancy Nancy fan. They wanted me to assemble the Death Star yesterday. I told them that I didn’t know how it went together. (This is my first time playing with them too.) Emily looked at me and said in her little exasperated tone “Mom, you’ve seen the movie.” Ha! She also insists that Han be called Captain Solo. At least she knows who the real man in Star Wars is.

sw1

playdough

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I can’t tell you how many recipes I’ve tried for play dough; but I think I’ve finally settled on a favorite. This one is quick and cheap, with common pantry ingredients. It also has a fantastic texture–just like “Playdoh”.

clay1

materials

  • 3 1/2-4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tarter (found with the spices on the baking isle)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cups of water
  • food coloring (optional)
  • cherry, strawberry, vanilla, or lemon extract (optional)

directions

1. Heat water to boiling in a medium saucepan. If you want one color of dough, add the food coloring now. This makes it very easy to color. If you want multiple colors, you can work the food coloring into the finished dough.

2. Measure a generous 3 1/2 cups flour into a medium-large mixing bowl (one that holds at least 8 cups.) Reserve extra to add if the dough is too sticky. Mix in the salt and cream of tartar. I have to admit that I love the way this feels, so I always use my hands. Salt and flour just have an interesting texture together. Is that weird?

3. Once the water is boiling, whisk in the oil. Remove from heat and add extract. I like this because it makes the playdough-and your hands-smell good. It can smell too good and be tempting for your child to eat, but this dough is fully edible–just not tasty. I prefer lemon because it smells clean. My girls haven’t ever been interested in eating it, but leave it out if you are concerned at all.

4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the water mixture in. Stir with a spoon until flour is incorporated, then turn it onto the counter or a cutting board and knead until smooth.

5. Now play! clay2

parmesan chicken melt

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I may not have been blogging lately, but I have been cooking. We have especially been eating a lot of paninis and grilled wraps since one of my favorite friends, Juli, gave us a panini press for Christmas. Mike has been very grateful! I’m loving how quickly I can turn out a crowd-pleasing meal. Somehow those little grill marks make sandwiches very dinner worthy. This one is gooey, warm, and comforting (and not partiularly low-fat, so not to be had too, too often–but hey! You’ve got to live, right?)

pchick

ingredients:

2 (smaller sized) chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

1/2 c. mayonaise

1/2 c. Parmesan cheese

~3 Tbs. minced onion (I keep a bag of the frozen chopped onion in the freezer for recipes like this.)

Dash of salt

Dash of Herbs de Provence (or other preferred herb blend)

Ciabatta rolls (or French bread or whatever)

directions:

1. Cook and shred chicken then blend in small mixing bowl with other ingredients.

2. Heap onto bread and grill in panini press. You could also lightly butter french bread and grill in a skillet (`a la grilled cheese) or broil open-faced.

3. Serve with salad and fruit.