Monday, Funday

We woke up to our first bit of Montana snow this morning. It had started around 8 last night as what was reported to one of my friends by a cashier as The Storm Of the Century. The wind was howling and the snow was coming sideways. In the end there was only a thin layer of snow on the ground this morning. If that was the storm of the century this is going to be a nice calm winter and I’ll be so happy.

Somehow after getting over her initial excitement about the snow Lil’s attitude deteriorated and we spent the first almost 30 minutes of the morning in tears (hers) and grumps (again hers) and frustration (both of us) so I decided to change my plans for school today. I was originally going to do language and reading practice and some math in the morning. I changed my mind to do fun creative art type stuff. Lil is so creative I figured the creative outlet would help get rid of the grumps. It worked like a charm.

First I gathered some snow in a 9×13 cake dish and set up Lil’s water paints.  While she molded the snow into a snowman (shocking) and then painted it I worked on making some playdough. She loves painting snow and spent quite a bit of time making a whole scene out of the pan. The she decided to see if she could make ice out of the snow by putting it in water. We talked about the science of what happened when she put her snow in the water and it was very interesting.

I was trying out a new playdough recipe and was still working on it when she finished her painting. She proceeded to dance around the kitchen counting to 118 for me and then counting by 10 and then singing the days of the week. This is the stuff I love about homeschooling Lil. Even when we aren’t doing a real lesson there’s still learning happening all day everyday, it’s awesome.

I made this huge batch of playdough by the recipe because I wanted to see how it worked out naturally. Let me just say I should have gone with my intuition and made a 1/2 batch or something because I have a huge mountain of orange playdough with orange glitter. Normally I make my playdough plain and then separate it into smaller amounts and then add the food coloring to it before I knead it. This works fine with my normal recipe, but like I said I wanted to make this recipe the way the author intended first. So I only made one color and Lil chose orange. I should mention that this is a 5 cup of flour recipe, it really did make a mountain of dough. Before I kneaded it and it became smooth it looked like someone had dumped a bunch of sweet potato mashed potatoes on my counter (and added glitter). I really do like the texture of this recipe and will be trying it again, but my way to see if it works out. Of course my way ends up with me having very colorful hands for a few hours, but I’d rather that then so much of one color.

With Thanksgiving being around the corner I decided to have her make a playdough turkey. I cut a (really bad) turkey body out of brown construction paper and she added to it. She loved it!

Then she made a turkey in her hand, I think it’s suppose to be like when you do a hand outline to make a turkey. That’s my best guess.

Then she made a dog.

After the dog she asked me what to make next. I don’t know where it came from, but I told her to make a ostrich. She said she couldn’t because she couldn’t remember what they looked like. I pulled up Google on my phone and found her some pictures. I think she did a great job with it.

He’s hopping if you couldn’t tell. I think she made a hippo in a pond and a bunny that I didn’t get pictures of. I’m sure more playdough fun will be happening soon.

The Little Brother Song

At my 24 week ultrasound (it should have been my 20 week US, but we were in the middle of moving and 24 was the earliest I could get in) the wonderful tech gave Lil her own copy of one of the pictures of Little Brother. When we got home I asked her where she wanted it and she picked a spot right above her toy boxes “so when I’m playing I can see him and think of him”.

That night while watching the video monitor (we were watching her then because sleeping in her own room was so new and it made her feel better to know we were watching) Waldo said it looked like she was singing or something.

The next day Lil tells me that she was singing and wanted to sing the song for me. While her song wasn’t the most interesting thing to some people I’m sure, but was one of the best songs I’ve ever heard.


We’re having a little addition

This will not come as news to any family or people from Facebook, but we’re having a baby. I’m 29 weeks pregnant with a little boy and we couldn’t be more excited.

This picture of Lily is how we told most of our families and friends.

We waited to tell anyone (except Waldo’s Dad because we were living with him) until I was 13 weeks and we knew the gender of the baby. I had this amazing genetic testing done that told us the sex so early, it was awesome. And bonus, we know he doesn’t have any genetic issues.

Don’t worry about Lily, she wasn’t thrilled about getting a brother at first, but now she is all over it. She can’t wait to meet him and she is just so attentive to me and crazy sweet. I can’t wait to see her with him. Of course she hates the name we picked out and refuses to call him by it. We have decided on Jake Stephen and because of the Disney show Jake and the Neverland pirates; which she doesn’t watch BTW, she hates the name. She insists that we can’t name him after a show, I tell her that we aren’t and she just doesn’t care. She calls him Brother or Little Brother and that’s it, end of story. I’m betting she’ll warm up to it eventually.

This is one of the first pictures of all 4 of us. We were out buying some maternity pants and I snapped this shot in the dressing room.

I’ve had a number of ultrasounds, this one was at 11weeks. This is the one that was attached to Lily’s sign.

I’m going to do my best to update more often and try to even post some things from the last 29ish weeks so I can remember them. That’s my plan anyway.

Getting things back to normal

My main goal in life is to get things back to normal right now. I’m on the right path, but not there completely yet. Since the move we have gotten back to normal for our works lives and bedtime stuff, and mostly our eating. I know that sounds pretty good and I swear if I stopped there we would all survive, but I want more. I want my frozen homemade food back so we can eat something yummy and somewhat healthy at a moments notice, I want more things unpacked and I want our homeschool area ready. One thing at a time.

I can only do so much at once so I’m stating slowly with the frozen food. Last week I made our favorite tomato soup. I always make a double batch and freeze the leftovers, so now I have just about 3 meals worth of frozen tomato soup ready to go. I had never done it with the cheese sandwich croutons before, but this last time we had the soup I made grilled cheese sandwiches on our new panini press and we finally figured out why people eat grilled cheese with tomato soup. It was awesome! Due to my lovely gallstones I only had a bite or two of sandwich, but loved it. Waldo and Lily were sold and I think I’m never going to get away without the cheese sandwiches.  So now I’m going to have to make sure I always have cheese slices in the freezer.  What we did this last time worked great. Waldo sliced the leftover cheese from our Costco blocks of cheddar and Gruyere and put what he felt was one sandwich’s worth in a slightly offset stack and wrapped them in parchment paper (next time I think we’ll try freezer paper as I just found it in a box) and then he put them in a freezer bag. We took them out a few minutes before we were ready to grill the sandwiches and they worked out awesome.

Today was a big day, I made banana bread just for fun and because our banana started to look really sad. I have read that you can unpeel the bananas and put them in a freezer bag for later bread making (or whatever floats your boat), but I’ve never tried it myself. I always just make the bread. I don’t have a link for the recipe I use because I didn’t note where it came from and I’ve changed it quite a bit. I will try and remember to post my recipe at some point.

After I finished the banana bread I made southern biscuits and froze them unbaked, now when we want some biscuit love we just have to pull them out and bake them. I’ve never done this one before, but it’s noted on the recipe so I have high hopes and I’m looking forward to a surprise of buttery biscuits for breakfast one day. Side note: these are buttermilk biscuits and I never have buttermilk at home. I use powered buttermilk and it works out fine.

Now I’ve got pasta sauce simmering on the stove. That is again a double batch and I’ll put it in freezer quart bags and we’ll have months worth of easy pasta dinners almost ready to go. I don’t change much with this one, except that we don’t like chunky tomatoes so after this is all simmered I use my immersion blender and make it fairly smooth. I think I need to start simmering this sauce longer because once we put it on our plates the sauce kinda leaks water that drives Waldo crazy. It’s still delicious, but he hates the water portion. Our cook friend suggested that I cook it longer. I’ll try and remember to report back with how this works.

Next week I plan to make pizza sauce and chili. Whew, I’m tired just looking at all of this.  We love this pizza sauce, it’s the BEST. Much like a lot of Alton’s recipes it’s a lot of steps and fiddly, but I think that’s what makes it so perfect, it’s very tasty and full of flavor. I use my immersion blender on this too and we make it fairly smooth. I think you’ll see a trend when it comes to tomatoes and us. I can’t recommend this sauce enough.

**I started this post a few weeks ago and have been trying to get it finished this whole time. At this point we have polished off the soup and pizza sauce. Waldo has informed me that he wants us to try and find another chili recipe. The one I use is good, but not knock-your-socks-off.

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