Friday, October 31, 2008

happy halloween

Thanks to Oma for making our Mickey and Minnie Mouse costumes, and Aunt Pam for sending us the ears and enormous white-gloved hands. Katie has worn her costume everyday since last Saturday when she got to put it on for the Trunk-or-Treat at church. I did manage to talk her into letting me wash it on Monday - no small feat.

Here are a few things we've learned this week:

Katie loves her Minnie Mouse costume as much as she loves her 'nightgown dress.' At least we have one acceptable outfit for daytime, and a different one for evenings now.

Katie think that EVERYONE - mainly her brother - should want to wear their costumes all the time as well. This results in the 'battle of the ears,' as she 'helps' Alex with his Mickey Mouse ears.

Katie must frost her cookies ALL BY HERSELF, and the proceeds to lick the frosting off and then start again. Sometimes we just skip the cookie and go straight for the frosting.

Alex loves candy corn - the worst candy of all time - like no other. He went after the cookies already packaged in ziplock bags, trying to get at the candy corn. He likes the cookies purely for the candy corn - once the candy corn is gone, he's done.

Max makes an adorable skeleton, although I think he fills it out far too much already. I'm all for sleeping through the night, but he could stay tiny for just a little while.

Katie to mom: 'I'm glad that you and dad got married.' We are too!

The USPS actually works - sort of. I just received a package this week that my awesome friend Kari - this is something I've known for a LONG time! - sent back on Sept 10. This is good and bad - bad for Kari because she resent many of the items in the interim, and GREAT for me because now I have lots and lots of Trader Joe's treats to knosh on.

And, I CAN actually cook something with vegetables that Roger will eat! Linguini with a sauce made from sun-dried tomatoes, white beans and garlic. I skipped the olives because, hello, they're gross. Added some mushrooms. YUM! This recipe really did take only 20 minutes to make.

Linguini with White Bean, Sun-dried Tomato, and Olive Sauce
Makes 4 servings - Hands-on-time: 10 minutes Total preparation time: 20 minutes

(Mashing up white beans instantly produces a creamy pasta sauce – without cream – that's capable of binding together all the ingredients in a dish. Here I've [sara moulton] "beefed up" the sauce with sun-dried tomatoes and olives from the pantry. Of course, you could add any number of other handy pantry items – marinated artichoke hearts, canned tuna, frozen shrimp – or just toss in some leftover vegetables from the fridge.)

Kosher salt
1 pound linguini
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 ounce sun-dried tomatoes (about 6 halves), sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch strips (scant 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup white wine (I used apple juice)
One 19-ounce can white beans such as cannelini, navy, or Great Northern, drained and rinsed
One 14 or 14 1/2-ounce can vegetable or chicken broth, or 1 3/4 cups Chicken Stock
1/2 cup pitted, brine-cured olives such as kalamata, chopped
Freshly milled black pepper
1 1/2 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (about 1/2 cup)

Cook the linguini in the boiling water until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes; drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid.

While the water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks, heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot. Reduce the heat to medium; add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sage and cook 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add the white beans and broth and simmer for 5 minutes. Coarsely mash the sauce with a potato masher or fork.
Add some of the reserved cooking liquid to the sauce, as necessary, to reach a creamy consistency; add the olives and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the sauce with the linguini and serve. Top with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, if desired.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Nice call, Mag. While Mag was out here, we went out to get some yarn so she could finish a project. Not willing to let her outspend me, I found a cool mirror and some picture frames to try and jazz up our naked walls. The mirror, however, had a gold frame. Not my style.

We hit the Depot for some help. I was thinking brick red, but Mag talked me into blue. I love how it turned out. It's funny how what I have pictured in my mind is rarely how things work out in the real world. Instead of a dark mirror placed horizontally on the wall to balance the room, now there's a vertical blue mirror.

Here are some of the frames. They ended up to the left of the mirror and the artwork executed by our German friends.

This little project turned out way better than anticipated as well. And check out the size of the paws on Alex. He's almost a year and half younger than Katie, but his hands are almost as big as hers, and his feet aren't too far behind!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Well, not really. I save Yoplait lids, and now we have this lovely M&M option for donating for a cure. These small do things do not activists make.

Roger picked up ONE of these gals at the grocery store last night for Katie. Because, you know, Alex isn't quite as into pink as she is. Notice that while the right hand is holding a pink ribbon for breast cancer, the left hand is holding a fan, which is activated by a button. The smart folks out there are already shaking their heads because they know what's coming. Roger didn't, my naive little friend.

This morning Roger presented Katie with this little special something. Alex noticed the button IMMEDIATELY. And went nuts. Understanding begins to dawn. Roger came up with a couple of solutions.

  • Sharing time. Katie and Alex can take turns. Mom could grab a timer and set it for one-minute intervals all day long, and the kids could trade off every time it beeped. (Because 1.5 yr olds are WAY into that.)

  • No one gets one. We could hop into our time machine and travel back 10 minutes into the past, to a world where no one has an M&M guy.

  • Dad could hop back over to King Soopers and grab another one.

  • While I agree that kids need to learn how to share, and also need to learn that they don't always get the same things that their siblings do - and THAT'S OK, as long as one sibling isn't scoring everything at the expense of the other - I'm not convinced that a toddler is old enough to get that. Maybe I just don't give Alex enough credit, because the 'scream fests' did stop - after 2 days of him getting to visit his bed all by himself every time the dolphin noises escaped his lips. Also, Alex is the one who showed Katie where the M&Ms live in these babies - she was happy to have another 'girl' to add to her collection.

    I guess I'm just a wimp. I invited Roger to take Katie on an adventure and go find another one to restore peace and order in my universe. Well worth the $4. And for a good cause to boot!

    Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    mr. max

    Our little Max is one month old already! He already looks so much bigger compared to just 4 short weeks ago. I read somewhere the other day that mother's love their daughters, but are 'in love' with their sons. Right now, that is completely true. I am simply enamoured with this little man. Perhaps because he reminds me so much of his dad? . . .

    Last week was a rough one without Mag here to help. There was a LOT of crying on Monday. Katie wore her pjs all day 3 days out of 5, and would have worn them more if her 'nightgown dress' had made it into the laundry. We made it to the zoo on Wednesday (the bears were TOTALLY active, Oma!), but otherwise Disney/Pixar was the rule of the day. Walking over to the grocery store is an entirely different adventure with 3. Our list got drastically shortened once we got inside, and I realized that my plan for getting everything home might have been overly ambitious.

    Winter seems to be settling in this week, so maybe we'll hit pjs 5 out of 5 days this week!

    Here's a little quiz: which one of these pictures is Max, and which is Alex? Too bad these kids look nothing like each other at the start . . .

    Sunday, October 12, 2008

    fun with grandmother and granddad young

    (Somehow this post got lost in the cue.)
    On September 24th Grandmother and Granddad Young arrived at our house from NM to welcome little Max. It was great having them up here for a few days. Roger and his folks got to spend a day up in the mountains. We all went out to breakfast one day at our version of a Silver City cafe.
    Donna, Mag and I went to a quilt show, complete with my posse in tow. I'm sure I struck fear into the heart of every quilter there when I handed Katie and Alex some lollipops to work on while we checked out the booths. I got a few stage-whispered 'why didn't she get a sitter?' comments - I can only imagine the comments my mom got with her group of 7!
    Roger and Robert took Jethro - '63 GMC - to the dump. Robert gave Roger the secret key on how to make the truck actually drivable. I hesitate to suggest that I will be able to drive it, but it should be less of a workout for Roger now.
    Katie and Alex loved having her Young grandparents visit; they were both particularly smitten with the 'house on wheels.' With an RV, we might actually survive a trip of our own down south to Silver City!

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008

    fun with aunt mag

    (I'm pretty sure Katie is the photographer for this first picture.)

    Aunt Mag - more appropriately known about these parts as the 'baby whisperer' - returns home to CA on Friday. Here is a brief recap of her stay. There will definitely be a lot more crying without her extra arms to rely on. I am just not as good at 'wrestle mania' as she is! Here are a few of the highlights.

    Fabulous new hair cut and highlights from Sam.

    Katie and Mag making princess crowns. Katie sure has a thing for that glitter glue. Mag was able to control herself a little better.

    Katie and Mag sewing together.

    We hit the zoo with Uncle Tom a month ago, but according to Katie that was a 'long long time ago,' so we needed to go again with Mag. Being the queen of persuasion, she talked me into the merry-go-round AND the train. Maybe next time she and Alex will actually ride on one of the moving animals instead of the boring chariot.

    Today we hit the pumpkin patch. Much to Katie's chagrin, we did NOT have our costumes ready to do it up right. She managed to survive somehow. The kids had fun feeding the goats, painting pumpkins, and riding around in the wagon. Katie had fun in the bounce castle - once all the other kids left. Silly goose!

    Thanks a million Mag. The t-shirt doesn't lie!!!