Friday, September 28, 2012

Yogurt Dots

 I'm so irritated.  I've been trying for days to figure out why blogger has put some of my pictures sideways and doesn't give me an option to rotate them.  But instead of nixing the post all together I've left them in the way they are - tilt your head for the full effect.

I can't take credit for coming up with this idea on my own.  Shelby mentioned it to me in a comment on one of the many pics I have on fb with bub.  This particular photo showed Daven with his lemonade rocket pop.  She brought to my attention all the other yummy things we could freeze in the molds and then told me about these yogurt dots.  She had found it on Pinterest, so I'm sure there's already a blog on this out there somewhere, floating in the vast interweb universe.

Daven has loved yogurt since he was a wee one and scarfed the Gerber baby yogurt out of the cups that look like pudding cups.  Lately though, he hasn't really wanted much to do with it, and we had yogurt that needed to be eaten before it expires.  This recipe was just the trick!

Start with yogurt - I used Daven's GoGurt.

Cut a notch in the side and squeeze out until desired size.

If you don't have the squeezy kind of yogurt, Shelbs said to put it in a plastic ziplock baggy and cut a hole in one of the bottom corners.

I decided to add sprinkles, to make them look even more colorful and fun.

Into the freezer they go.  I left them overnight, but I bet if you gave them a few hours they'd be good to go.

The next morning, the dots were ready for snacking.  I used a spatula to scoop them and they came right off.

I really wish these picks of bub were the right angle.  But you can tell, even though he wasn't a fan of clothes that day, he enjoyed the dots.

It's so cute when he asks for them now.  "Eat dots, please".  This was an excellent idea and I'll continue to make more batches of them.  They look like candy, but it's just good 'ole yogurt.

Thanks, Aunt Shelby!

Book Review: Clubhouse Adventures

I'm not sure who gave us this book or how long we've had it, but Daven pulled it off his bookshelf this morning and was very excited to show me. "Look, mommy. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!"

We brought it downstairs with us and read a few of the stories this morning. There are are 7 stories in this book, each designed to help young ones read. The pre-reader stories have a lot of pictures to help follow along. The beginning reader stories use simple language, rhyme, and repeat words and phrases. Finally, there are more advanced texts for the accomplished reader.

I love the bright, colorful pages throughout the book. There's not a dull page to be found. There's plenty to discuss in addition to the words of the story. It's amazing to me how much Daven can tell me when I ask him "What do you see on this page?"

I have a feeling that this book will be read for a long time. And if you were the one that bought this for us - thanks!

Clubhouse Adventures is definitely mommy and Daven approved.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Toddler Telescope

Since I've been rather crafty lately, I started saving the cardboard rolls from the toilet paper so that Daven and I could make something out of them.  I had two saved up and had planned on making binoculars for him since that's what he used his kiddy menu for last night when we were out to eat with Nana at Red Lobster.  He had other plans though, and I just sort of followed his lead.

 I set all the materials out in the living room and he picked what color he wanted to cover the rolls in.  I cut the paper and taped them on.  Next, I was getting ready to tape the two rolls together but he wouldn't let me.  "No noculars, mommy!"  Really?  Are you sure?  Because you seemed so into it last night.  "OK, well what do you want to make with them?"

He couldn't tell me what, but he did let me know that I needed to tape the two rolls end-to-end instead of side-by-side.  (This would have been easier with a paper towel roll!)  He seemed to be satisfied with this, and took it to look out of it.  I guess he wanted to be a pirate?

Then we added stickers to the telescope.  I figured he would want to stick every last one on there, but at that point he was done with crafting and wanted to simply play with it.  It worked out, because the baby that I watch doesn't nap for very long.

There ya go. A simple, seen it before craft.  But you've got to admit, my kid is a cutie :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Book Review: Emergency Room
I saw this book on the featured ebooks on the library website.  It immediately took me back to middle school.  Why?

Caroline B.  Cooney was my first favorite author.  It started with Face on the Milk Carton.  I couldn't tell you why I read it or how exactly I got a hold of it, but it was such a great read.  There were sequels to it, and I read those as well, along with my bff, Shelby. 

Immediately after downloading this book by her, I had to text Shelby and make sure that my memories were correct.  Yes, we both read the books.She could remember more detail than I could.

Cooney is a writer for teens; I'd call it YA although I'm sure there's a slight difference.  I wanted to see if I still enjoyed her writing as much as I did when I was younger.  If you read my last blog entry then you know that I read YA anyway, along with handfuls of other genres.

Emergency Room - the title tells you the location of the literary journey.  But it's not a story of doctors and surgeons - it's about two college freshmen who are volunteering at the hospital, hoping to get a jump start on their medical careers.  Along the way you meet more characters who are all in this inner city hospital.  Each has a small story to tell, from the teenage single mother with twins to the college classmate who is also within, although not to work or volunteer.

It was a quick read and Cooney lived up to my expectations.  It made me want to go back and reread the books I used to love.  Most importantly, because I found out that she is writing a 5th book to the series that is supposed to come out sometime next year!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Book Review: The Declaration Series

I am an advocate of young adult literature, and I enjoy reading it despite the fact that I am no longer considered a young adult.  So many kids get turned off from reading because of what is pushed on them at school.  Sure, lots of people bash the Twilight series, but look at how it got people reading. I don't understand why some people turn their noses to YA, because it is a much-needed genre.  Anywho...

The Declaration series is a three-book saga that follows through a future dystopian society where a longevity drug allows people to live forever, and having children is forbidden.  Some people can't resist the urge to procreate, and they are imprisoned and their child is taken away for life.

The reader gets to know Anna, a surplus child forced to live in a hall full of other children who were taken away from their parents.  Submissive and careful to follow the rules, Anna's whole perspective changes when a new surplus arrives - Peter.  I could go on and on, but I wouldn't want to ruin the plot for anyone who plans to read the books.

Apart from the age of the characters, there is nothing young about these books.  The subject matter is serious, dark, and occasionally violent.  Readers who enjoyed The Hunger Games series would be drawn to this story.

I love Gemma Malley's writing, and plan to read her other two books.  Anyone who wants an easy read that will make you think should pick up this trilogy.  I'd love to see it made into a movie.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

"My Daddy take me golf course!"

Happy Fall!  The weather is absolutely beautiful today for the first official day of autumn.  

Our first stop of the day was over to Nana and Papaw's house to see the dogs.  They are upstate with Aunt Lauren this weekend and we are looking after the pups.  Daven, having the radar for everything boy, found a rock pile out behind the shed and decided to get dirty.

Then we went out front so Daven could practice golf.

 Finally it was time for what he had been waiting for and what daddy had been promising - a trip to the golf course!  We went out to Hidden Creek to spend a bit of time at their driving range.  Daddy has a golf scramble to play on Monday with his work and wanted some practice before swinging in front of coworkers.  I loved seeing Daven so excited to be where the golfers were.

 Watching daddy "hit ball high!"

Daven behaved so well the entire time.  It was pretty much a Daddy/Daven thing, although I did manage to get him to pose for a quick picture with me.  I was glad that I was able to get some shots of them both in action. 

Daven started out cautiously tapping the ball around and hitting them into the baskets.  After a while, though, he really dug in and started hitting them "down the hill".  Adam set up a tee for him (me drink tea, mommy) and that helped him hit even further. 

After they had used their two buckets of balls on the range, we headed over to the practice green so that Daven could "hit ball in hole!"  Just like on the putt putt course, he would set the ball right next to the hole and then tap it in.  "Yay, me!" 

He was a little upset when we told him it was time to go, but didn't put up a fight.  When we got home he was already ready to play golf in the yard and didn't want to go in the house.  Adam turned on tv and guess what was on?  Bub fell asleep on the couch watching golf.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Reversible Scarf

It started with one scarf. I completely finished it, put it around my neck, and cringed at the itchiness. While it feels soft to the touch, around my neck it was just uncomfortable. But I loved the color.

So I stitched on another color that was softer and I thought would look good together with the maroonish one.

First I continued on like you would changing a color on a blanket. But when the gray section matched the width of the maroon one I stopped, folded it in half and hand-stitched up the other three sides.

The maroon side is double stitched. The gray is single stitched. While its not perfect, I like how it turned out. And it's double thick for the coldest days.

Also, I need to add that this darn app won't let me sort my pictures in order. So boo to that.

Maybe this should be a worksheet sorting exercise. Can you put the pictures in the correct sequencing order? Gold stars for those who can!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Modern-Day Lullaby

To the tune of "Oh, My Darlin'"

Oh my baby,
Oh my baby,
Close your eyes and take a nap.
I'm so tired of your crying,
So please kindly shut your trap.

Recycled Wine Bottle Craft

Yesterday while I had a few quiet moments I got crafty. Daven was asleep on the couch and the wee one I sit for was content to observe.

There is this feeling of sad when a wine bottle goes empty, and I can't seem to throw them away. It's been a long time since I've bought wine for myself, so I've been holding onto the bottles for a while.

Pinterest showed that some people crocheted around their bottle - I'm not that cool yet. That would require not only working in a circle but increasing/decreasing. These are for the most part above my level.

I decided to do something simple instead - chaining. It's the foundation for anything crochet, and it looks a lot like a braid.

I really don't know how long the yarn got to be. I'd chain for a while and then wrap and glue. A hot glue gun would probably be most effective but I didn't want to use it with little ones around.

The bottle I used was from a cheap wine, so it had a lid instead of a cork. This helped, though, because I was able to anchor the yarn in the cap of the bottle to get it started.

Chain, wrap, glue, repeat. Originally I was thinking of adding eyes and a mouth to make a ghost, but I like it plain so much!

I might try this with green yarn next, in hopes of making a Christmas tree. I have some sparkly pom poms in the craft box that Daven might like gluing on :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tortilla Soup

A few days ago I tried my hand at tortilla soup. I knew the basic ingredients, but between my husband and I we have picky palates so I didn't go straight to a recipe.

I started with frozen chicken. I used 8 small, tenderloin pieces. I put them on the stove with enough water to cover them and added salt, pepper, garlic powder and chili powder.

Watch to boil, then simmer and cover. I flipped a few times and let cook for an hour.

Next I used two forks to shred the chicken. To the stock in the pot from cooking the chicken I added a can of tomato sauce and a few cups of water.

I have been growing my own cilantro, so I used my own to chop and add. I didn't have near enough for my own taste though, so I need more next time.

Add the chicken back in to the mix.

The night before Adam grilled corn on the cob. We had more than we needed so I cut the corn from the cob. This is what I used for the soup although you could just as well use frozen. The picture shown was from two cobs.

Add in more seasonings and simmer until dinner, stirring occasionally.

We didn't have the crispy tortilla strips to put on top like the restaurant but it was still pretty tasty.

It could have been spicier, but I made it on the mild side so my toddler would eat it. (He didn't anyhow). And as I said, I would have preferred a ton more cilantro, but that's just me.

Have you made this soup? What do you do differently?

Book Review: The Color of Hope

My sister gave this book to me to borrow a read a while ago. She had picked it up at the Dollar Tree and told me it was good. We generally enjoy the same kind of book so I was excited.

I started right away. And then stopped. Then it spent many months as the bathroom book.

Ew, she has books in her bathroom?

Yes, yes I do. Makes me feel more productive if I can read a few pages while nature calls.

The beginning was so depressing though, that I opted for other potty reads and this one sat neglected for a good while. No joke, the book goes from Nicholas-Sparks-sad to classic literatures snore.

After a while I decided that I needed to go ahead and finish it so I could get it back to my sister.

After the halfway point, it does pick up.

The characters in the book consist of a dad, work-obsessed mom, defiant daughter and son. All I will say is at the end, the family is down to three members.

You might think this gives away the ending, but it doesn't! I'll give the author that much - I didn't expect how it was going to end.

I would give this book two and a half stars.