Thursday, May 30, 2013

Apparently there's such a thing as too much cooking.

So we are deep into our cook to beat the heat kick. I did the cooking, P and I vacuum sealed the meals, but it is P who placed the food in the garage freezer. I have never found cooking relaxing, unlike my husband.  However, P found some new recipes, few ingredients, and using the crockpot.  Before I knew it I had shopped for the ingredients and got my cooking on.

No reason to place this pic here, just for the cuteness.

But back to the cooking... The one recipe that was not cooked in the crockpot was the Pasta Carbonara Frittata. Since SS loves pasta with carbonara sauce so much, he thought she would like this as well. Eggs, penne pasta, Pecorino Romano cheese, and SS's favorite, bacon. We made it a few days ago, and it was a hit with SS. She not only finished her portion, but ate what was left on P's plate.  It's definitely an SS dish, but a once in a while only for us. The girl needs all the fat she can get.

That same day I made Hawaiian ribs, P chose the recipe because he knew the sweetness would appeal to SS.  Not only did the smell from the slow cooker drive SS crazy, but the name reminded her of Maui. They are Maui ribs for her now. Whatever works.
SS loved her ribs, and that led to a lot of Maui reminiscing, and SS's announcement that it is time to return. Sorry sweetie, it's going to be a while before we can roam Maui beaches, and feast of seafood. But it is our next trip.

And the dinner led to reminiscing about SS's first taste of corn on the cob, and how she polished it in no time.

When P came home yesterday he found me getting two more dishes ready, beef stew, and rosemary lemon roasted chicken. And there was one more on deck.  That is when P told me I needed to stop. Why? I finally find this tedious task fun and you ask me to stop? Well, since I do not deal with the garage freezer I had no way of knowing it was almost full.  P gently noted that we would have to start eating the food in there. I was having fun, I never really considered the eating part. What can I say, apart from not monitoring my freezer, I am not too bright. Our inside freezer was also full. We woke up this morning to beef stew and...

This beautiful, tasty bird, that we were forced to dig into for dinner; yet we have plenty leftover.

It's difficult to take a picture of SS without having her go into super hero mode.

Meet Captain America Bat.

Not to be left out of the fun P made citrus glazed chicken. I really need to learn to take aesthetically pleasing food pictures, but trust me, it's good.

And this concludes our first summer cooking binge.  Now we have to work on making space in the freezer. Maybe we should get another freezer.  Just kidding P, just kidding.  

SS has four days of school left, she can't wait to start summer camp.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

She had a good time.

SS had a great Sunday, while P and I needed Monday to recover from our full day of fun.  SS and A played so well together, and that is rare.  Not that SS can't play or share with others. But SS is easily intimidated by other children, and so far most kids in the team near her age are aggressive. A is a girly girl, but also very laid back, live and let live kid like SS.  She is also an old soul, had me laughing at some of teh things she said. Like SS A is very good at following instructions. Her parents only allowed her to dip her feet in the water, not more than that, and I did not have to remind her once.  We hope they get to play together in the future.

We came home, showered, changed, P put the finishing touches on his potato salad, and we drove over to M's house for a BBQ. When P was invited he told M about our DB commitment, and M told him to just show up sometime after five it was cool. Imagine our surprise when P received a text from L (a coworker) wondering where we were because everyone was hungry and they were waiting for us. Oh well, P wanted to make an entrance and that is exactly what he did. 

P's coworkers have teen/adult children, or have yet to start a family. So SS ended up once again being the only child there. Thankfully SS is used to be the only child at home and it does not bother her one bit. Even better, she had the pool all to herself and had a blast. M got in the water with SS and they had "swim races," with SS winning two out if the three. We got her out of the water when she was shivering too much for our taste, and her lips were bluish. SS whined that she wanted to stay in the water, but the decision was non negotiable. We got her in her robe, and kept her warm until it was time to go home. The first SS said when her butt hit the carseat was "I'm not tired." Too bad little girl, bedtime comes regardless of whether you are tired.

Happy to be back to DB practice.

Such a Baba's girl, even warming up next to him.

Playing with A.

SS got a new skull hat to add to her summer camp accessories.

SS was not happy about her chair, wrinkled her nose and said "But it's old, I need a new chair." Well Ms. Demanding is either the chair or the sand, your choice.

Always has to make sand angels, and bring five pounds of sand inside the van.

Coolest bike rack we have ever seen.

At M's pool.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

It's Dragon Boat time.

Why else would the Hummer be packed like a Grand Canyon mule? SS made a quick friend with six year old A. They are the only kids today not old enough to paddle. I volunteered for the exhausting task of watching them play on the sand, while everyone else paddles.

The Dragon Boat festival is the last weekend in July. That means that our Sundays are booked until then. As much as I enjoy doing this, and the opportunity for SS to be around other kids like herself, I don't think we could commit to a year round team. After practice we head back home to get ready for a BBQ at P's coworker's home. Busy Sunday, and we are hoping for an early bedtime for SS.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Lunch at Baba's work.

SS visited P's work for the first time today, and it really lifted her spirits. She spent a lot of time at P's previous lab, but that was a family owned business with less than fifty employees. SS really misses her Baba's previous lab, although P does not miss the pay and working conditions. On Saturdays things are more relaxed, and the guys occasionally bring food or cook at the plant. Today one of the guys brought carne asada and hot dogs, and they had the grill going.  The carne asada was delicious, we had a great lunch. SS was able to see where her Baba toils away, and of course she was excited about seeing her mug all over Baba's desk area.

When I told SS it was time to get ready to go visit Baba she asked me, "Do they at least have a puppy?" I had no idea where that came from but was certain that there are no puppies at P's work. SS then asked me if they had any kind of pets. Nope, had never been there but sure there were no pets.  P clarified the pet talk. I had forgotten that there was a turtle at his former lab, and since once SS sees or does something it becomes the norm, of course she expected to find a pet at his new lab. 

Look, it's me!

I love Baba this much.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Beating the heat.

We always welcome summer time, waterpark time, amusement park time, and now Dragon Boat practice. Last year SS began to complain about the heat as though she had never experienced 117 degrees F before. On Sunday she began to complain about the heat barely twenty minutes after we arrived at Knott's. And it wasn't even hot, just around 80. It usually takes more than that to kick in SS's whiny mode.  Then I realized that it was SS's first time in the park withtou her stroller, the mighty Hummer. She never had to be directly under the sun. Not using the stroller was intentional, in order to get SS tired. One of the reasons SS can remain at the park all day if allowed is that she does not walk anywhere.  P and I are crisscrossing the park, while Her Highness is pushed around in comfort.  We decided Sunday that we would stay only for as long as SS could walk on her own. 

As much as we love summer and the fun things it brings, we are not fans of cooking when it is so hot. On Saturday we started our beat the heat cooking binge of summer.  The idea is to cook ahead then reheat for most of our dinners. P is going to do a lot of grilling as well, and that will help so much. 

Our dueling crockpots made enough spaghetti sauce to get us through two months.  P has an aversion to store bought sauce unless we are in a pinch.

While the crockpots were simmering I had the time to make a large pot of pasta with carbonara sauce. SS really loves this dish, bacon and noodles are her thing.

Two days ago we added picadillo to our freezer. 

Our summer girl this morning sporting a very summery look. I'm working on getting SS to keep her hat on when outside. This is going to be vital now that she is going to spend so much time outdoors without our supervision.

On the last day of school (June 5) the kinder kids are going to have a promotion ceremony. SS missed her preschool graduation last year because we moved a month before it took place. We are glad that she gets to have that experience in kindergarten. It's difficult to wrap our heads around the fact that our baby is graduating from kindergarten.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

And now a PSA.

We have not done a public service announcement since we were in China. That's a long time, but we must, if only to warn others. Never, EVER hold an iron set at its higher setting anywhere in the vicinity of a child.  Especially when you are telling said child for the 100th time to get dressed or she will be late for school, and you have no desire whatsoever to deal with the consequences of a late arrival. What is so terrible about those consequences you ask? You walk into the office and your precious bundle of mischief gets a late slip.Then off she goes to her three hours of kinder instruction.

But wait there's more (a shout out from OMG 17 years ago to P), it's really not a big deal to us if SS is a few minutes late. But our daughter has an addiction, playground time (PT). PT seems harmless on the surface, then we were surprised by its hold. Thankfully SS is not the only child addicted to those ten minutes kinder kids are allowed to roam around like free range chickens before the school day begins. It's kid crack at its worse, and when SS does not get her fix she is impossible to stand.

But I digress... There I was  holding a hot iron while asking SS for the umpteenth time to get dressed.  SS can dilly dally like no other, then falls apart when she does not get her full ten minutes of playground crack. And I as gave SS her last warning, talking with my hands as usual, this happened.

P ran his finger under it and stated "that is going to be a nasty scar." Thank you Captain Obvious Sr. (SS is Jr.), it did hurt like a mother trucker, but better me than SS.

We took SS to visit The Beagle Sunday afternoon. It's the first time we have had to wait in line for rides. It was pretty crowded since Soak City was also open. We did not go to the water park because it was not hot enough, and the same breeze we cherished in the park would have made us cold at the water park.

Baba's turn to do the balloon ride.

SS wants the doghouse and the dog, but had to settle for a picture.  

It was the first time all three of us wore Snoopy shirts to the park, so we had to mark the occasion with a picture.  SS scored Snoopy sandals and a Snoopy hat at this store. We are getting her ready for summer camp.

Waiting for her turn on the bumper cars. SS is so excited to be allowed to ride on a big people ride that she has not made a fuss about not being able to drive.

P and I are not competitive by nature, except when it comes to each other. You'd think it would be a non issue after seventeen years together. We just can't help ourselves, whether it is Words with Friends or something as simple as bumper cars. I'm incredibly proud of myself for setting that competitive spirit aside for SS's sake. I allowed P to bump into my car, and that set off SS's very loud, contagious laughter.

Six years old and she still won't get on a moving animal on the Merry go Round.

Saying goodbye to her reindeer friend.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Yearbook pictures.

SS's yearbook arrived Thursday, and by the time we arrived at the open house we had not had the opportunity to take a look.  It was just one of those days, on the go from morning to late afternoon. At the open house one of the moms asked me "about all those pictures of SS on the yearbook." We had no idea what she was talking about.  How many could there be, the book was rather thin, not that and there were six grades to cover. Once we got home we realized why the mom said that.

We sometimes call SS arroz blanco (white rice), a term used in Puerto Rico for someone who just seems to be everywhere, an ubiquitous creature. Pick a home at random, and you will find white rice. Our girl certainly lived up to her nickname, and we hope this is not a sign of things to come. P and I also ended up in the yearbook, and while I was initially not happy; at least it shows I was there for SS. 

There's SS on the first row of portraits, second from the right.  Then on the lower left, along with her classmates. It took me a while to find her because she was wearing a black sky cap (with a cute S on it). And there she is on the lower right side with her teacher doing we do not know what. The teacher does not recall, but informed us that the pictures in a bluish hue were taken by the students who were part of the yearbook staff.  They would just go around the school snapping pictures.

In this one she is with her classmates posing with their 100 Days of School projects. Then you can see her Buzz Lightyear fleece blanket in the middle, during the viewing of The Polar Express. 

 SS managed to get her mug four times in the Science and Engineering Club page. I love the one when she is trying to blow her paper rocket to hit the target.

On the Around Campus page SS is on the lower left with the kids who dressed up on Super Hero Day (she is Batman).

On the Friday Flag page SS is on the middle right, after receiving her certificate for self control.

But they saved the best for last the Father and Daughter dance, and the only event I had not attended (I did consider crashing).  SS is at the bottom right dancing with H, a classmate.  At the top there's a picture of SS dancing with her Baba, and it got me teary eyed. P did not know the picture was taken and was very touched.  He asked me to buy another yearbook. When I asked why he explained that SS will eventually take hers when she moves out and on, and he wants his copy to always look back on that day.

The quality sucks but I wanted to isolate the picture of such a beautiful moment. Love SS's tiny fingers interlaced with P's. I found out yesterday that SS's teacher took the picture, and she is going to see if it is still in her computer. We would really love to have the full size picture. As you can see our tiny arroz blanco certainly manages to get around.