Growing up

I have been talking to Kaili a lot about kindness and empathy. After showing her a few videos and having conversations she seems to really be absorbing the message. The other day she told me that a girl at school was crying in the bathroom. She asked the girl what was wrong and if she was okay, but the girl didn’t answer. I told her that was all she could do and a high five for being a caring friend.

I went to her class party yesterday and was able to observe since I was the only parent there..side eye parents. I browsed the kids work posted on the walls and watched the them finish their work and hand it in all while Kaili was still sitting, dilly dallying. I came to find that Kaili doesn’t have the best penmanship, isn’t the first one done with her work and isn’t the most mature girl in her class.

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One little girl wrote that her favorite thing to do will be playing with her granddaughters. Can we say wise beyond age?  All said and done, none of this matters. She will catch up on all of this! What does matter is kindness. Humor. Empathy, all the things that our world really needs.

Averi asked to go to bed a little early so I told Kaili she could stay up until A was settled. I put on Free Willy  a movie she hasn’t seen, just to see what she thought. It was towards the end with an hour left but she got sucked in. This girl doesn’t watch movies…like ever…and it’s because she isn’t interested. After 10 minutes she climbed onto the couch with me, snuggled under the blanket and we discussed everything that happened. When it came to the end and Willy was released back into the ocean, she was tearing up. ” This makes me sad mom.” Empathy! At the end of the movie she was snuggled in my arms crying. I asked her why she was sad. This was a happy ending and the boy did a great thing, Willy now had his family and freedom. She said, wiping her tears…” I am sad that the boy lost his friend.”

 

Where Do the Days Go?

Is it really the middle of February? What the hell? I am turning another year older next week that probably explains why I can’t remember what we have done the past few weeks.

Aside from a couple of kids birthday parties and making hummus, my new weekly hobby, life has been mundane. I did, however make it to a USMNT friendly match. They played lousy but we still had fun time, with great seats on the field.

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I have been trying to take the girls to the park on Wednesdays, we have been exploring outside of our neighborhood park. Finding ourselves mostly at parks near the water when the weather is beautiful.

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Averi really wanted to hand feed the pigeon a chip, I almost thought she would succeed but   the bird chickened out.img_1137-1

The past few recipes I have made have been duds, I need to make something good enough to post. Luckily next Saturday Brian Malarkey will be cooking us dinner as we try out his new restaurant. What else should we do with a free night downtown?

Indian Cashew Chicken

Otherwise known as murgh makhani or butter chicken here in the states.  I am pretty sure Cooking Light knew what they  were up to calling this dish Indian Cashew Chicken.  If my memory serves me right, I believe the traditional murgh makhani is chicken marinated in cream and spices and then it’s cook in a tandoor, finished in a sauce of spices, butter and I believe a cashew paste. Maybe I shouldn’t be writing this without actually knowing the facts but it’s my blog so….

So, I made Cooking Light’s Indian Cashew Chicken and the results were good.

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This recipe starts with marinating chicken in a cashew, yogurt spice mix.

It’s not cooked in a tandoor or  even a grill, instead  a  dutch oven. Simmered with a fistful of spices, onion and some tomato.

It’s not heavy, it looks like it might be but it’s not.

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We ate it along riced cauliflower instead of rice and some toasted naan, I mean it is Indian cuisine, gotta keep something legit. I would make this again, maybe even throw a little butter in there.

Talk Time

I made the cilantro and serrano hummus, so good. Actually I used one jalapeño and two serrano’s because I’m not sharing,  so I get it how I like it.  Actually it wasn’t  as spicy as I expected but the flavor is perfect.

Yesterday, after I grabbed Kaili from school I took them to the park. They both needed the physical activity because we don’t get rain like this very often. Our park was flooded, but i was determined to get them out there.  I needed Averi to be worn out for bedtime.

Our entire park was under water.

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I lasted about an hour until I was too cold, so we headed home. Averi ended up asking to go to bed at 6:30!  YES! She had her eyes closed before I turned the light off and didn’t budge until the next morning.

Moving on…Books. I read a lot but when Shane is home I can read a lot more. I would much rather dive into a good book than start up a new show. I used to be up on all the new movies and into the award shows but life has proven there are more important things, and paying for a babysitter isn’t one of them . So I read, watch my favorite shows and see a few movies at home and at the theaters when it’s girls night.

Good Books- The  Killing Lessons by Saul Black

Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton

These two books were the best I have read in awhile. Follow me on Goodreads for all my ratings.

Are you watching This is Us? Ugh, this show makes me cry every week, not sure why I really want to watch it.

Homeland just started back up and it’s hard not to love that show. AND if you love that show, read Red Sparrow and  I am Pilgrim!

Favorite Movies- Um…. I just watched The Accountant, I was really disappointed. What else? I haven’t seen any  of the movies nominated for awards and I’m not sure I’m stressed to do so. I’m sure I will see them sometime if they appeal to me.

 

 

 

A Little This a Little That

It’s been a week and a half since Averi’s transition from the crib and I have to say it’s gone very well. Let me follow that up with why. We made sure to do it when Shane would be home and that played a huge factor. When the girls are upset at night, me entering their room makes it worse, Shane walks in and they shut up. Monday he had to go back up to work. Bedtime wasn’t too bad but Averi did try to pull out all her tricks to avoid sleep and keep me coming in, luckily it was short lived.

She woke up crying at 1:30 in the morning just long enough to wake me. I lied awake and read for about two hours until finally drifting back to sleep only to have her wake up crying again at 4:00. She refused to nap this morning and spent an hour crying in her bedroom. I popped her on our bed with cartoons so I could shower and while I was doing so,  she took a hand full of her poop and painted our bed sheets and comforter with it.  This kid..sigh. I am not holding my breathe for a smooth bedtime tonight, but hopefully she will be too tired to fight me. I can hope.

This past Saturday we took the day to drive up to Julian. A little snow, some wine tasting and lunch. All the while I had Anthony Bourdain’s New Mexican Chili in the slow cooker.

There was snow and rain and ice and it was cold, I was not prepared. Having just been in Washington I thought I would be ok but that was a negative. I didn’t bring gloves or an umbrella and spent most of the time in damp clothes. The little town was busy and the weather was forcing everyone into all the restaurants and cafe’s. We finally found a place without a wait and we tucked into a corner booth for a mediocre lunch, but hey, at least we were dry.

 

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Once we have seen all we wanted we wandered down the way to Wynola and popped into julian Station. It’s a neat building that houses tasting rooms, a taco bar, a few video games, a pool table and entertainment space for live music. Something almost out of the wild West. Definitely worth stopping at if you are in the area. We will be back.

Heading home we drove through Ramona and stopped at one of our favorite wineries, Chuparosa. We caught up with the wine maker who just got back from Walla Walla and then let the kids run free.

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We had just enough time for one last stop. A winery none of us has been terribly fond of but it’s been years since we have tried their wine.  The tasting room was inside  a tin can, okay more like an airport hanger with paintings and statues of naked women dotting the property.

img_1034 The wine wasn’t as bad as we remembered however…we all ordered a wine flight of five wines, all red. They were all the same color, the Pinot was the same deep burgandy as the Zin. None of them had any real personality so we left empty handed. I think we all agreed we don’t need to go back.

The Bourdain chili recipe from his latest cookbook was really good, depths of flavors from roasted chili’s and beef. We enjoyed it with some red wine and a game with friends. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

Israeli Style Hummus

I love hummus, we all love hummus. I pay way too much on store bought brands so I started making my own. As much as I love to make meals from scratch, avoid the big chains, drink local coffee and support small businesses, I am also human. I have been using gasp canned garbanzo beans for my hummus. Okay, canned is still better than say, Sabra’ right? I even used a packaged hummus mix that had everything but the beans and it was pretty darn good. This time I wanted to really make hummus, legit Israeli hummus.         I used Bon Appetit’s recipe found here.

It’s no more work than using canned beans and it’s cheaper, win win!

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I am not sure it tasted too much different than using canned beans but it was definitely creamier. No reason to look back, no reason to buy store bought. Next time I am going to throw in cilantro and a few serrano’s, actually I am going to do that now.

This is Two…and a Half

Every day is an adventure with Averi and every day is a mystery. Will she eat today? Will she nap today? How bad is bedtime going to be? It’s exhausting.

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She is not a great eater, lately she is refusing meals all together. One day she will eat a huge bowl of mac and cheese and then the next week, if she had her way would throw the bowl across the room.  She isn’t a huge meat eater, anything green she will push away.

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Sleep is another thing that we have been struggling with. Naps are random, some days she is asleep for a couple hours and some days she cries and cries and cries until I can’t take it anymore and get her up. Bedtime, for the most part has been a breeze but again, lately she is fighting it. So, with that we decided to convert her crib into the toddler bed. Like right now, she is in there for the first time. No she is not asleep but she is still in her bed and not screaming. Maybe it wont be so terrible.

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She loves cartoons ,Elena of Avalor and Mickey Mouse ranked highest and getting time with the iPad without sister around. She has no interest in potty training yet and loves shoes.

Hopefully the potty training will come soon so we can look into preschool a few days a week. This kid is with me every.single.second.of.the.day. I think she will really benefit from being away from me, socializing with other kids and having someone else tell her “NO.”

But, she is my little love, my cuddler and my baby girl. Happy 2 1/2 Averi!