Can this garden be saved?

I think my basil is suffering from heat exhaustion.

Unlike the basil the tomato plants appear to be flourishing in the 100 degree weather..

Although the top of the small tomato plant appears to be getting out of control…kind of like Super A’s hair after he twirls it.

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Building Blocks

After nap time is over and snack time is completed, Super A loves to sit in the afternoon and build with his mega blocks and watch “Down Home with the Neelys”. I wish the Neelys could convince Super A to eat some of the tasty vegetable dishes they make on the show! I highly recommend their asparagus casserole with their pot roast. And their honey cornbread muffins. Super A would recommend their banana cupcakes. ANYWAY. I love watching Super A build and rebuild his block towers as he watches the show. I got some pictures of him building in action to share!

The starting tower from last night.

Blocks in motion (eyes still focused on the show)

Placing the blocks together. And wondering why I’m taking pictures.

Selecting the right colors for the tower.

Almost completed…

And tada! A new tower is formed.

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Twenty-One Months

Can it be that Super A is three months away from two?? Well here is an update of what is going on in Super A’s world…

Super A is about 35 inches now and around 26.5 lbs. I’m having trouble finding shorts that are the right length, but don’t fall off of him as he is running around.

He is taking about a two hour nap in the afternoon now and (when he sleeps through the night) he sleeps from 8 p.m. to about 6:45 a.m.

Super A is still in size 5 diapers and wearing 18-24 month clothes. And is now in size 6 1/2 to 7 shoes! What a leap from three months ago (size 5 shoes in May).

And he is running! And not looking where he is going! Which leads me to constantly shout “look in front of you!” A good amount of the time he spends looking up to the sky trying to catch a glimpse of an airplane, helicopter, or the moon.

He is also working on jumping. It is a bit of a skip/shuffle, but he is definitely making the effort.

His favorite game right now is hide and seek. We play hide and seek everyday and he has now got the idea of hiding himself and we come find him (which is easy because he ALWAYS hides in his tent).

Hide and Seek

He is currently getting THREE teeth (two molars and one in front). Which means we have been getting up with him at least once or twice a night for the last week.

Food favorites are still cheese quesadillas, cheese pizza, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, and plenty of fruit. He has become remarkably good at trying new foods (salmon, asparagus, anything without soy, HA!). He also dreamily twirls his hair at the table (which means his hair gets covered with food). I tell him to stop, but it’s not helpful that I also twirl my hair. Doh.

Peanut Butter Twirled Hair

He is finally drinking some milk. Which he only does when I say “big boys drink milk” and he says “let’s see…” then he grins really big takes a few swigs of milk and then he’s finished. So we are supplementing with plenty of cheese and yogurt.

He loves building with blocks, flying airplanes and helicopters around the house, cooking tasty pretend food for us to try, pushing his cars around, hammering his fort, taking care of his stuffed animals, reading, and running around outside. He loves playing with play-doh, coloring, using stickers, and finger painting.

Sharing water with his bunny

He loves going to the pool, but he’s more of a lounger. He likes to be in the water for a few minutes, then sit on the side of the pool and eat some teddy grahams (grahmmy bears) and drink a box of juice.

He can successfully sing all of twinkle, twinkle little star and we are working on refining the ABC song.

He can count to ten and count down from ten (with the appropriate “blast off !” at the end)

He can drink from a straw! I was super proud that he picked this up with little trouble.

He loves to read on his own now. He will frequently sit with his books and point out the different pictures, and flip through them casually.

He never ceases to surprise us and make us laugh everyday. Today for example his stuffed Yoda was in “time-out” for most of the day, for reasons not known. Apparently Yoda got out of trouble by dinner time and we found him sitting in Super A’s booster seat for dinner. He also loves to get us to pretend to sleep. He will put a little blanket on us and bring us a pillow and rub our backs. So cute! He also now will pick up a phone and say “hello? hey. What’s happening? Oh. That cool. Okay. Bye now.” Hilarious! Do I talk like that on the phone, I wonder?

Super A is spending quite a bit of time in time-out lately. We are getting very close to 2 and the amount of temper tantrums, fits, and non-listening have been steadily increasing. But despite all this he is just unbelievably well mannered, kind, and sweet…it never ceases to amaze me.

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Can this garden be saved?

Part of the reason that I haven’t posted lately is that whenever I try to take pictures of the garden (let alone pick a vegetable) it’s crazy bug world out there. If there isn’t a bee swarming close to my head, there’s a flurry of gnats, flies, etc. to torment me. However, today I decided to brave the outdoors and capture a few pictures. Here is what I found…

A tiny ladybug, nothing to fear.

I then moved on to the tomato plants and found…

I could write horror novel about this grasshopper. He was leering at me from his post. I knew he was after my tomatoes, but I didn’t want to risk shooing him from his spot and having him leap at me.

The second reason I was reluctant to post was this…

I have GOT to dig up this cabbage. It is long past its prime.

Our peppers are changing to a brilliant yellow, I’m hoping they turn red and delicious…

And finally this…

It’s a weed. As fast as we get rid of the weeds in the front beds they return. Boo.

Oh! And I am wishing right now I had decided to grow cucumbers this summer. My sister and her husband made these Refrigerator Pickles from Fly Through Our Window and they are SO GOOD!

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A New Attitude

We are swimming dangerously close to the age of 2. I can see a new resistance in the tantrums, more time is being spent in time out, and we cannot mention the words “pacifier, juice, or ghrammy bears” without a complete meltdown. Oh and Super A is teething.  These past few days have been trying to say the least. It’s not particularly the large meltdowns that inch to get under my skin, but the consistent whining that really gets me. I have never had really ANY patience for whining and so I have been looking for a multitude of activities to avoid it. This is really difficult to do when it is a steamy 100 degrees outside and all your little one wants to do is “GO OUT” and “PLAY WITH HOSE”.

Yesterday afternoon I was determined that we were going to do some fun (although extremely messy) activities that would hopefully get Super A’s mind off of whining and teething. So I stripped him down to his diaper and we painted, and then went outside in the shade and ate Popsicles and sprayed the hose. I, of course, readied my camera (with it’s telephoto lens) and sneaked in a few photos of our fun and messy experience that would hopefully bring about a new attitude.

This was part two of a finger painting project Super A’s been working on for a while. I will post the finished results soon!

Big Baby belly, Sticky Popsicle, and Blue Paint Smeared Hands

And finally a new attitude emerges.

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Beyond Pringles.

As the nap time clock ticks away, as I munched the last Pringles, while simultaneously watching an episode of General Hospital, and checking my blogs I realized I have absolutely nothing interesting to blog about!

While attending Bible Study this past week we were talking about how there isn’t one of The Pioneer Woman’s recipes that we don’t like. One of my friends and fellow bloggers has been blogging though The Pioneer Woman’s cookbook. She tackled the cinnamon rolls. Based on my past baking experiences, I’m a bit afraid to make any cinnamon roll that doesn’t come out of a can. Maybe it was that sad last Pringle urging me to get a better snack, or maybe it was my realization that I have posted almost no recipes this summer, which was my original plan, but I felt the need to share.

So here are some of my favorite Pioneer Woman recipes, all that can be found at her website.

First, Pizza Dough.

I made the pizza dough out of desperation, when we were completely off of soy. Super A LOVES pizza and I felt so bad that he couldn’t have any for two whole weeks. I was afraid at first to make the dough myself, but it was actually extremely easy. I have to concur with her recommendation of letting it sit for a few days. It makes a ton of dough so we had it the first day we made it and then a few days later and it was good both times, but REALLY good a few days later.

Second, Spaghetti with Artichoke and Tomatoes.

I made this for our weekend Settler’s of Cattan nights. It makes a bunch and it is so delicious and creamy and good as leftovers.

Third, Marlboro’s Man Second Favorite Sandwich.

Otherwise known as lemon pepper chicken sandwiches. This is super easy and yummy. I actually cooked the chicken on the grill instead of the frying pan. Did I mention that it’s a steamy 99 degrees here? I can’t stand the stove/oven running in this heat unless I have to. So I’m heating up the yard. And maybe my basil. It’s starting to look a little sad. I’m wondering if it’s the heat from the grill wafting on to it.

Fourth, Cinnamon Baked French Toast.

I love this because you can make it ahead and then cook it the next day. I pretty much love anything that I can make during the quiet of nap time, when a one and a half year old isn’t pulling on my legs saying “little bite? little bite?” the whole time. I cook mine until it isn’t gooey. I’m not a big fan of gooey.

Fifth, Shrimp Pasta in a Foil Package.

Again I made this and cooked it on the grill. Next time I may throw in some scallops, cause I love them.

Sixth, BBQ Meatballs.

These are great for kids. Super A LOVES them and it is also how we figured out he is allergic to soy sauce. I dumped our traditional BBQ sauce on the meatballs instead of making the sauce that comes with the recipe. And presto…red faced child. Now I make the sauce that comes with the recipe (AKA Soy Sauce Free).

Seventh, Fresh Corn and Avocado Salsa.

Okay now this I love. I love love love avocado’s and I made this with my family chicken enchiladas when my in-laws where here. And we couldn’t eat it up fast enough! I left the cilantro out of mine. Sorry cilantro lovers. No matter how many times I eat it, it still tastes like dirty socks to me. Not that I have eaten dirty socks. Lately.

And lastly, macaroni and cheese.

I really have never met a macaroni and cheese I didn’t like. Super A doesn’ t like it, but Super A doesn’t like ANY macaroni and cheese. I have tried EVERY type. He’ll take a cheese quesadilla over macaroni and cheese any day. And if you are making cheese quesadilla’s you should try the pineapple quesadillas. It’s next on my list. I’ll let you know how it works out!

And no I do not have any pictures. The Pioneer Woman does a far better job of posting pictures with her recipes than I ever could. But just for the grandparents…


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Look Who’s One!

Happy Belated Fourth of July! Ours was relative quiet, I’m not a big fan of fireworks although apparently our neighbors are based on the amount of noise. Luckily our little cupcake slept right through it. Our biggest activity was the celebration of one of Super A’s besties turning the big ONE this weekend. I’m officially counting on this post convincing my sister she needs to start blogging!! I know you are reading this! Super A has two BFF’s one being his older cousin, and one being his younger cousin. Although Super A is still having a heard time adjusting to the fact that his younger cousin is officially walking, talking, and getting all up in his business, he loves him dearly and is constantly concerned if he cries (which he doesn’t do very often).

I’m still adjusting to the fact that a whole year has gone by since this sweet baby was born! J is the littlest of the bunch, the strongest (he can push his cousin and brother in a cousy coup!), most easy going, is all about his Mama, and LOVES his Doggy Blanket (Given to him by a spectacular Aunt, Uncle, and cousin I know:) ). I happen to love that whenever he sees me he gets super excited and reaches for me. LOVE IT!

And no Mom, we still do not have a quiet one. Here’s a typical conversation on any given day with the three cousins….

M: That’s my napkin! He stole my napkin again!

A: (Waving napkin in M’s face) AI AI AI! Napkin! Napkin! (Hysterical laughter ensues when dropped on floor).

J: (Loud screeching and Hitting of table)

M: “Hey Aunt N, Hey Aunt N”

A: “Hey Aunt, N, Hey Aunt N” At an unfortunately higher decibel

M: “I’m trying to talk!” ”

A: “No No No!”

J: (Loud Yelling with Exacerbated Pointing)

All while my sister and I are discussing something that is typically split up in about five segments because we have to stop every two minutes to say something like this….

“Don’t hit”

“Give him back his napkin”

“Are you done?” “No don’t throw the plate” “NO DON”T THROW THE PLATE” “LEAVE THE PLATE ON THE TABLE” (It’s a paper plate by the way”

“You need to say sorry” “Well go sit in time out” “You need to wait your turn” “Let him have a turn” “Watch out for J!” “Don’t step on him, step over him!” “Go sit in time out” “Did I tell you you can come back from time out?”

They are three silly rambunctious cousins and they bring out the best (and sometimes the crazy) in each other and it’s so fun to watch them be together, and celebrate birthdays together. Of course you want pictures, right? Well here are just a few.

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