Thursday, May 31, 2012

Spaghetti and Meatballs

There aren't many things I'd choose to eat for dinner over good ol' spaghetti and meatballs!  And that is what we had for dinner two nights ago; YUM!
I know I say this every time, but it was even better as leftovers for lunch the next day.  By the way, this homemade tomato sauce is the best ever, in my humble opinion.  However, the meatballs are only pretty good. I wish I knew how to make amazing meatballs.  Anyone make amazing meatballs who wants to share??

p.s.  You know that is basil from my own plant on top!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Please tell me you are watching this??

Is anybody else watching Hatfields and McCoys???
So good!  It is a mini-series on the History channel.  It is three day long and the last night is tonight.  Unfortunately, it is two hours per night and doesn't start til 9, so we have been having some late nights lately!

p.s.  I went to the post office this morning, and I got there at 8:13 and apparently it doesn't open until 8:30.  So we were putzing around for 17 minutes, and I weighed Violet on the package weighing scale.  If that thing is accurate, she has broken 16 lbs!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cal Cup - Year 3

Every Memorial Day weekend for three years now, we have gone to Cal Cup.  It is a field hockey tournament in Moorpark, CA. Well, the first two years we went Glenn was actually on the team and played.  This year, we were only 45 minutes away, so we decided to go watch ASU's games and cheer on Glenn's old team!  It was so much fun to see everyone again.  Everyone from the team is so nice, and treated Glenn like a member of the family as soon as he started playing with them, and acted like they were so happy to see us this weekend, even though we hadn't seen anyone for a year! 

Last year at Cal Cup, I was hugely pregnant.  A couple on the team had brought their little daughter, who was 8 months old at the time.  Since they were both playing, I held the baby most of the time, and I kept thinking, "Next year at Cal Cup, I will have a baby this big!" and it seemed so far away.  But sure enough, Violet grew up!  She had a good time crawling around in the grass, and was a great sport about not getting a nap on Saturday!

Now for an overload of pictures:
(we found a field hockey stick just Violet's size! ^^)
Oh, I can't believe I forgot to mention it, Glenn's team won the gold medal!  Go Sun Devils!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Project completed!

Yesterday, I shared a teaser photo with you of a project I had started for Violet's room.  Well, I finished! 

The walls in her room were completely bare, and I saw this tutorial a while back.  Basically, if you go to fed-ex office, they can print giant pictures for you in black and white for $4!  So I picked two pictures of us at the beach with Violet:
And rode my bike to fed-ex office, got them printed in 20x30.  Then rode my bike home carrying 20x30 prints.  You can tell in my picture from yesterday how big they are:
They took up the whole dining room table!  Or couch.  Or bed.  These pictures were definitely in the way while the project was in progress.  Every time we needed to eat, or sit on the couch, or go to bed we had to move them again.  

Anyway, here is what they look like now!
They are just mounted on double thick foam board with double sided tape.  It is nice to finally have something on the walls in Violet's room!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sneak peek

I am working on a project.  Here's a sneak peek:
I hope I can show you the finished product tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The First Harvest

As you may remember, last time we spoke of my basil plant, it was doing very well.  Last night I harvested for the first time!  See how well it was doing?
Practically a basil-forest!  I went overboard on the harvest and clipped far more than I was able to use in dinner.  

Here is what we had:
So good!  One of my friends brought this salad to a party, and it was so good I asked for the recipe.  It came from here, but my friend seemed to have changed a lot of things, so I didn't follow the recipe too carefully anyway.  Basically it is lentils and couscous with garlic vinaigrette, and then I added chopped basil, mint, tomatoes, goat cheese, and lots of spinach.  I actually also added a little chicken per Glenn's request, but he didn't even get a piece of chicken in his first serving because it was all kind of at the bottom, and he loved it right off the bat!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The beach on Saturday

On Saturday afternoon, we made an impromptu trip to the beach.  Seriously, at about 3:00 we were watching a movie, and at 3:01 we decided, "let's go to the beach" and by 3:15 we were on our way!  We had such a good time.
We stayed for an hour and a half!  That is definitely the longest we have stayed at the beach with Violet.  Strangely, she was more nervous about the sand this time than last time.  Last time we took her, she crawled all over the place, and yesterday she would just sit and shyly touch one finger to the sand.  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Parker and Violet

We babysat Violet's friend Parker a couple of days ago.  They were so cute together I couldn't stop taking pictures!  I wish I'd gotten out the real camera:
They had so much fun playing together.  Parker took a nap, and when he woke up, he wanted me to hold him.  So I was sitting on the floor with him in my lap, and Violet crawled right up into my lap and started kissing him all over his face.  Poor guy, she didn't even give him a chance to wake up!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Baby Vader

Violet's new thing today:
Putting the toy car in her mouth and breathing loudly through it.  It sounds just like Darth Vader and couldn't be cuter!

p.s.  Today I went over to the institute where Glenn usually has lunch to eat with him as a surprise.  Guess who came home for lunch to surprise us?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Violet the artist

I mentioned yesterday that my parents were in town this weekend.  They came to go with us to my cousin's wedding in San Diego.  Well, whenever my mom comes, she comes bearing gifts.  Among other things, this time she brought us a gallon of olive oil, a pound of good parmesan cheese, oreos, fresh squeezed orange juice, and a bouquet of flowers.  Oh, and clothes for Violet, of course.  I guess my mom's love language is "gift-giving"!  Anyway, the best gift she brought??  This:
Photo on 2012-05-15 at 09.29
Violet's first piece of artwork!

When we were in Arizona, we went to As You Wish, a pottery painting place.  Rather than paint her own piece of pottery, my mom helped Violet paint this tile.  It takes a few days for them to fire the pottery, so we could't bring it home with us right away.  We didn't get to see any of it finished until my mom brought it this weekend.  I think it turned out pretty cute!  We have been using it as a hot pot holder on the table, and it makes me smile every time I see it!

(Oh happy day, I just figured out how to get a normal sized font!  How is this for counter-intuitive:  I was setting it on either "Small" or "Normal".  Small was teeny-tiny, and normal was huge.  To get this size, I had to set it on "Large".  Whatev.)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mothers' Day

My Mothers' Day was perfect.  Here are five good things that happened:
1.  My mom was here!  So I got to be with my daughter and my mother.  It was fun to all celebrate together.  If you didn't know, I have a pretty wonderful mom.  Pretty and wonderful!
2.  Violet slept in half an hour later than usual in the morning. 
3.  Then she took a three hour nap in the afternoon!  All the extra sleep is about the best gift she could have given me!
4.  Glenn gave a talk in church, and did a great job.  And of course said a lot of embarrassing things about me being a good mother.
5.  Glenn gave me two really good presents!  One is a book I've been wanting forever, but they don't have at the library, called "Apartment Gardening".  I've read the first few chapters already and I love it!  You just wait, I'm going to have an amazing apartment garden someday.  The other was the movie Funny Girl.  I saw half of it a while back and have really been wanting to see the rest of it!  I was so surprised by both gifts.  Glenn is such a great gift-giver.

I couldn't have asked for more!  I sure love being a mom.  I got lucky having as cool of a daughter as Violet!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fanfiction is taking over nap time.

I don't have time to do a good blog post today because I am too busy reading Harry Potter Fanfiction during Violet's naps.

I'm currently on chapter 13 of 78 of a horribly written story about Lily and James.

Interesting fact:  one of the most common pairings for HP romance fanfiction is Hermione and Draco.  Weird.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dinner success

Glenn is like the least picky eater ever.  Which is wonderful, and I really appreciate it.  This means that no matter what I make, he likes it.  But sometimes I can tell he LIKES it.  And doesn't stop eating until it is all gone, and that is when I feel like dinner is a success.

I have had this recipe bookmarked forever, and this week the stars aligned and I had a few of the ingredients already in my fridge and I needed to use them up before they went bad.  I am so glad I finally made it because it is definitely one of the best things we have had for dinner in a while!


It is called Indian Butter Chicken.  That isn't my picture, it is from this blog, which is where I got the recipe.  It is basically chicken tikka masala, so if you like that you will love this.  You can go to the link for the recipe, but it it was so easy!  We ate it with pitas, not rice, so it took me about half an hour from start to finish.  The only slightly weird ingredient that you probably don't have around is garam masala, a spice blend.  Fortunately, about ten steps out my front door is a liquor store that sells Indian grocery, so I didn't have to look to far to find some.  Other than that, you just saute onions, ginger, jalepeno, and garlic and all the spices.  Then you blend that all together with tomato paste and chicken stock and add chicken and half-and-half when you put it back in the pan.  Then I stirred in tons of cilantro right and the end.  But that part was optional.

This is getting to be a long post about something unimportant.  You can tell I really liked it!  One last thing: the best part was the sauce and I could have done without the chicken (although Glenn loved that part) but next time I make it I might do all veggies instead, like eggplant and cauliflower.  The pitas are a must though!  Sopping up all that sauce with the warm pita was heavenly!

Monday, May 7, 2012

The toy of the day

Long before Violet was born, before we even knew if she was a boy or girl, her Aunt Courtney bought her this (gender neutral) sweet stuffed zebra.  For the last few days the poor zebra has gone everywhere with Violet.
On a different note, I just finished reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and I loved it!  I'd heard of it a hundred times, but hadn't read it because I feel like I've read too many WWII books and I'm not that interested in them in the first place.  But this one was so different!  It is actually post-WWII, and it is so happy and good. 
Becky, I think you especially will like it, if you haven't read it already.

The only bad thing about the book is it is a really quick read, so I finished it in like two days, and now I don't have anything to read.  And I am horribly injured from my soccer game (haha, at least the most horribly injured I've ever been) and I seriously can't walk for more than a few feet, which really limits our opportunities for entertainment today.  Even after just walking around church yesterday, my injury is about 10 times worse!  Ugh!  The possibility of doing the triathalon in three weeks looks bleak.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Violet the Smarty-pants

This is Violet's bathmat.  It is also her new favorite toy.  Yesterday she carried it around with her everywhere she wanted to play and used it as a nice cushy seat.  One time I even found her laying on it on her tummy.  Just resting.  

It seems like since Violet started eating food, she is getting way smarter.  Probably not related, but it sure seems like it!  Here are some of the smart things (for a nine month old) that she has been doing lately:

* When Glenn makes the Chewbacca sound, she crawls right over to her stuffed Chewy and picks him up.

* When we read "Where is baby's bellybutton?" to her, she lifts up all the flaps herself and squeals delightedly when she reveals the baby.

* The other day I was laying on my side in her room and she was trying to climb over me but couldn't.  So she pushed her bongo drums right up to my tummy, stepped up on them, and then climbed over me!

*  I am pretty sure she waved goodbye at someone on the street yesterday.

*  She can kind of put the shapes into her shape-o block.

I can't think of anything else right now.  Don't feel bad if you don't think she sounds as smart as I seem to think she is;  I'm a little biased.  :)
p.s. this is my other choice for the size of the font.  I hate it.  If anyone knows how to get the font somewhere between tiny and giant, like how I used to have it before they changed blogger, let me know.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The downside of Violet being so good at eating food now

This post is partially about breastfeeding.  You've been warned.

(but rather than embarrass you further and post a picture of myself breastfeeding, I will provide you will this sweet one of Angelina:)
One of the best things about our trip to Arizona was that Violet began to eat.  She has always been a champ at nursing, and maybe liked nursing a little too much, because food didn't interest her at all.  I remember watching my cousin's daughter (hi natalie!!) eat baby food for the first time.  She got so excited, opened her mouth wide, and cried if the food didn't get to her mouth fast enough!  Violet, on the other hand, even once she was doing a lot better at eating, would take about two bites, and then a tiny speck on the table would interest her for five minutes before she would half-heartedly open her mouth for one last bite.

However, Glenn's mom (master of baby-rearing) worked her magic and the whole time we were at Glenn's parents' Violet ate three good meals a day, mostly of oatmeal and applesauce.  When we got to my house, my mom and I took turns feeding her, and she continued to do great job at eating.  Since we've been home, I've really gotten on a regular schedule of when she eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

All of this is wonderful, and she is gaining weight like a champ!  But I am not ready to stop nursing her.  And I can tell that already, if I wanted to, I could pretty much cut out her nursings during the day.  She rarely acts like she wants to nurse during the day, and isn't satisfied by just milk anymore.   A couple of days I have cut out one of her usual feedings and she didn't even notice!  It's not the end of the world; it is actually a really good thing that it looks like she might stop nursing someday.  For a while there I thought I would be nursing my kindergartener.   

I feel so lucky that I am able to nurse her.  I don't want anyone to feel bad who couldn't/didn't nurse their babies.  But my advice to pregnant women is to learn everything they can about breastfeeding before the baby comes and then try to breastfeed.  And if it works out, then lucky you, because it is so cool.  I told my friend the other day that I think breastfeeding is one of those things that you pay for upfront.  While those mom's who are not breastfeeding are healing quickly and feeling more like themselves, you have sore and cracked nipples (yep, I just wrote that word on my blog, I'm so embarrassing) and are SO engorged for a month.  But now, I don't know how I would even take care of Violet if I didn't nurse her!  I love getting some breaks during the day when she will just sit still and cuddle for a few minutes.  

That is the end for today.  Obviously this is a subject I like to talk about.  I didn't mean for this to be so long!  You'll probably hear from me again on this subject when Violet stops nursing altogether!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The True Test Of My Spanish Speaking Skills

Before we left for Arizona almost three weeks ago, I asked my next door neighbor if she would water my basil plant while I was gone.  She speaks NO English, so I did the asking in the best Spanish I could muster (while her husband stood by and translated my Spanish into better Spanish.  ?????????)  I figured the true test of how well I did was if my basil was still alive when I got home!

So here are the results:

My precious pot of basil went from this:
To this!!

I was so pleased when I got home and it was flourishing!  However, today is the day I to thin it out.  It is going to be sad to pull out some of it, but I will save what I pull out and put it on our pasta tonight!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Our trip in instant photos - part 2 (the last part)

One of the highlights of our trip to Arizona was my family's talent show!  My mom told us a few weeks before we came that for family home evening we would be having a talent show, so to get ready!  For my talent, I decided to make dinner for the family.  I also helped Glenn with his talent and we learned a piano duet together!  We played "A Whole New World".  It was magical.

I made homemade pasta.  I love that picture of everyone getting ready to help me throw the pasta in the water all at once!

To wrap up, here is what everyone else did for their talents:  My dad also played the piano, Kenny juggled, Judson and Courtney did an awesome dance they made up, Annie made the best cookies ever, and my mom started a family scrapbook for each of us.  It was such a fun night!