Fridaze

The kids were with Aunt Ellen today, so the only pics I took were of food. I think I’ll spice this post up with some oldies but goodies.

Pears.

Good Morning Pears

Ava, age two, with a pair of pretzels boobs.

Pretzel Boobs

A bowl of shriveled stuff.

shriveled stuff

Maxine, shriveled.

Big Sister Kiss

A banana spinach smoothie, with a little too much spinach. Even for me.

Too Much Spinach

Ava and too much green finger paint. Even for me.

Ugh.

After my morning meals wore off, I made my everything-but-the-kitchen-sink salad.

Everything but the kitchen sink

Mixed greens, tomatoes, shredded zucchini, carrots and jicama, garden picked cucumber, mushrooms, all tossed in Italian dressing.

No pepper though.

Give a Mom a Pepper

I ate a scary amount of cherries. (OK not ALL those but let’s just say that bowl was full when I rinsed them.)

Cherries

No Cheerios though.

Cheerio Mess

Who’s watching these kids anyway?

For dinner tonight I made a tomato and white bean soup. I’ll have you know this recipe is a classic. This is meal is one of the first I truly cooked. When we were newly married and I had my first kitchen and was working toward preparing healthier meals.

Bean Soup

1 – 2 Tbsp EVOO
1 Large onion, diced
1 – 2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 15 oz cans of Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 cup of water or veggie broth (if needed, I didn’t use any tonight)
10 – 15 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 c lemon juice
salt to taste

Saute onion and garlic in EVOO until soft. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add beans, broth, basil and salt and simmer 20 – 40 minutes, stirring occassionally. Before serving stir in lemon juice.

I ate so many cherries I was only hungry for a cup of this soup.

Cup of Soup

I also had a dose of Vitamin G&BDC. (That would be Green and Black Dark Chocolate, of course.) It was about to take a picture when the doorbell rang so instead I just ate it while I answered the door. True story.

After dinner we made a paper chain to keep track of the number of days until we might expect our butterfly to emerge from it’s cocoon.

Butterfly Countdown

Zak as a caterpillar.

Catepillar

Maxine in her cocoon.

36 weeks

Ava as a butterfly.

Ava as a Butterfly

And there you have it.

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Pupa Don’t Preach

This morning’s run had a purpose: Go pick up the car.

The car was in the shop yesterday and was ready last night, but we didn’t get a chance to pick it up so I decided I’d just run down and get it this morning since it’s only 2+ miles away.

I disregarded the No iPod Left Behind Act and did a warm up loop though my neighborhood and then ran what I would call my 5K pace to the shop.

With my warm up loop it turned out to be exactly 3 miles and got down there in 22:29, making my average pace 7:47. I was hoping it was going to be faster than that but I think my warm up mile brought my average pace down.

Came home to some watermelon, which was also happened to be my pre-run snack.

Watermelon Rules

I finished up with some pushups (20), jump squats (damn you Jillian!), plank (2:30, my new record!), some roll ups (a la Pilates), butt kicks (Jillian style holding 5 lbs weights) and some downward dog to stretch it all out and call it a work out.

Ho ho ho Merry Chrysalis!!

It's a Chrysalis Baby!

I put a totally hippie new age branch in there for him to spindle on to but of course he chose the broken piece of plastic from Ava’s scooter that we mindlessly grabbed to cover the bowl to make his transformation on. We saw him getting ready to hang last night, Ava said he must like princesses. I can dig that.

The Chrysalis phase lasts 10 days. Mark your calendars! Can’t wait for the kiddos to wake up and see what Metamorphosis Claus left for them.

Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

We hung around the homestead today.

I ate fruit.

Strawberries

This sort of looks like something I might have hacked up and coughed onto the plate when in truth this was something I consumed. Fork smashed banana and fork scooped almond butter.

Smashed Banana and AB

I played “One For Me, One For You” with my mouth and the Gladware container as I cut up watermelon.

Pink Pink and More Pink

And around lunch time, I enjoyed my latest trend in sandwich eating these days. Open faced. Toasted sesame Ezekiel bread, avocado slices and homemade salsa.

No, not Poker Face.  OPEN face.

And three little dates.

AB Stuffed Dates

Have you noticed yet that none of my dishes match? That’s how I pretend to be cool yo.

Rolling right along with our caterpillar/butterfly theme these days, we got to work on some butterfly crafts after lunch.

arts

I took this opportunity to sneak off and check email, and Maxine decided to take her opportunity to get ready to go out clubbing.

Clubbin'

All I know is I better not see an encore performance of this shot on the internet 16 years from now.

I snacked on more fruit. Watermelon, apples…

I say jicama, you say jicama.

Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

Homemade pizza seems to be popping up all over lately, and it finally tunneled it’s way into the sheet rock of my head and I decided it was Mexican Pizza night.

Where Italy and Mexico Meet

I used my own whole wheat pizza crust recipe and smeared vegetarian refried beans on the uncooked crust for the base, topped with the last of the black bean and corn salsa from yesterday, a couple shakes of ground cumin and some mozzarella cheese.

Ideally I would have used cheddar or better yet, pepper jack cheese. But mozz was what I had so mozz was what we got.

Mexican Pizza

A slice with a very-typical-move-along-nothing-to-see-here side salad.

Thursday dinner

And just like the rules the girls have to follow, I could have another (small) wedge once I ate all my veggies.

We called it a night after a scintillating game of Red Light, Green Light.

Green Light.

Red Light, Green Light

Red Light.

red_light_2

I said Red Light!

ava_wins

Game over. Lights Out.

Your Personal Homeschooling Lesson

I got up this morning to do a little downward dog in the family room, only to discover a little outward skunk wandering around on the deck.

Holy Skunk

Take note that picture was taken BEHIND the safety of a glass door.

I flew up the stairs to snag Ava out of bed. Wake my child on purpose? Am I insane? I knew she’d love it though and I didn’t want her to miss it. She’d have been up shortly anyway. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

We got back downstairs to see there wasn’t just one but TWO!

Two Skunks

And one very cautious cat.

I swear I could read the cat’s mind at that very moment.

Don't Move

Don’t. Move.

Yes sometimes the sandbox cover gets left off. No the cats don’t use it as their personal toilet facility. I just pray to god those skunks aren’t litter trained.

I’ve recently been keeping a large compost bucket on the deck to help keep the fruit flies population to ZERO in the kitchen, but apparently it attracted a different sort of critter. On to Plan B with the fruit fly issue. We actually got to watch him stand on his hind legs and try to get the lid off the bucket, but he couldn’t do it.

Skunks are generally nocturnal, as we’ve come to learn. Zak has spotted skunks in the compost pile in the back, but usually at dusk or at night. They’re good for the compost and generally don’t come very near the house so we don’t mind them. It’s been a great opportunity for learning about skunks and the role they play in the food chain too.

And in case you haven’t already guessed, moving the compost bucket off the deck is the next thing on my list of things to do this morning. Lesson learned.

Once our morning excitement quieted down and the skunks moved on, I finished up about 40 minutes of yoga and got to work on some green juice.

Enjoyed on the deck, without the skunks.

green_monster_black_cat

The other newest critter in our life was pretty busy too. I put the leaf in there last night just before bed!

busy_dude

Yowza. Eric Carle isn’t joking around with The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

We’ve been learning about monarch butterflies here, among other sites. While of course we don’t know exactly how old our little buddy was when we found him, Monarch caterpillars take about two weeks to become fully-grown. Now we know. Now you know too.

I hope you enjoyed your homeschool lesson this morning. You’re welcome.

I Lost My Jicama

And no, Jicama is not latin for my “mind”. Or maybe it is.

After our crazy morning we packed up and headed to the park to meet up with our friends for some fun with colors.

Color Wheel

We talked about the color wheel, primary colors, secondary colors, contrasting colors and complementary colors. I like it.

We got rained on and our lesson was cut short, so we walked to our friends house and to play and snack.

My late morning oatmeal held me over for a long time. Around lunch time I ate one of the three apples I packed.

An apple, x2

And then I ate another one.

After an hour or so we said goodbye to our friends and went to run a couple errands and pick up a few groceries.

I got home to discover I was missing one item that I was excited to try: A jicama!

I wondered if maybe I’d only imagined putting it in the cart. Maybe it got separated from the herd at check out. Maybe it fell out of my the bag and was in the car.

I searched high and low and no jicama to be found. I checked the receipt, and oh yes, I paid dearly for that tuber. I actually had no idea how much I’d paid for it until I got home and looked at the receipt.

Jicama

I called the store to see if they’d found a renegade jicama. At $2.29 a lb weighing in at 1.4 lbs –> $3.21 for an overpriced potato you can bet my lily white ass I’m gonna track that sucker down.

The person on the phone checked and no one had put a mexican potato in the lost and found, but if I had the receipt I could come back and get another one, no problem.

In the meantime, Maxine rock rock rock rocked some funky beats.

Rock the Funky Beat

And I snacked on some cold, left over baked sweet potato slices.

Cold Sweet Potatoes

And a couple of carrots while I cleaned up the mess I left in the kitchen before we dashed out the door this morning.

Snacky Carrots

My mom came out to visit and hang with the girls for a little while tonight and I took the opportunity to go reclaim what was rightfully mine. And to pick up a few things that I’d forgotten the first go-round. Naturally.

A bee line to the jicama basket, I picked up one (out of five I’d say?) that looked awfully familiar. I’ve got crazy mad jicama recon skillz.

And weighed it.

Well whaddya know. $3.21 Try to escape me you tricky tuber? Not so fast!

sticker

Is this the lamest post ever and did I just give away what a total nerd I am when it comes to produce? Quite possibly. It’s the most exciting that happened today, what can I say?

So after all my jicamaschnanegans, I was finally home and ready to get to work on this sucker.

jicama

Peeled and cut into sticks.

Jicama Sticks

The verdict? Pretty interesting. I can’t put my finger on it but it reminds me of *something*. It’s sort of sweet and crunchy and reminds me of a potato too. A good veggie snack at the very least. For $3.21 and a 3 mile return trip to the store, I’m gonna eat it and I’m gonna like it.

Anyways.

For tonight’s dinner was fast and yummy. Black bean and corn salsa.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 ear of raw corn, kernals shaved off cob (any sort of corn will do though)
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 – 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
A couple pinches of diced fresh cilantro
salt
a few splashes of lime juice

Combine and serve!

I tossed about a cup of salsa in a bowl of greens with a little canola oil, topped with a few more spoonfuls and 1/4 of a chopped avocado and called it dinner.

Eat Now, Clean Later

Take note that my motto is “Eat Now. Clean Later.” I suspect this salsa will get even better as the flavors blend together. I probably should have doubled this recipe.

And a couple chocolate squares, because it’s been a couple days.

Chocolate

OK maybe just one day, but who’s counting.

Caterpillars Need Breakfast Too

Muggy but at least cool, I headed out this morning to run a comfortable 6.24 miles in 50 minutes. My legs felt pretty tired toward the end but nothing a little green juice couldn’t fix.

The star of today’s green sludge:

A beat up pear.

beat_up_pear

Thank you Heather for this fab idea!

Today’s concoction consisted a HUGE head of romain, cucumber, pear, lemon and ginger. Go ahead and call me a lettuce vampire, I love drinking the blood of plants!

wed_juice

Out of bananas, I contemplating eating my chocolate overnight oats without bananas this morning (BOO!) But then I realized that the caterpillar needed fresh milkweed leaves too, and that cinched it. We were making a quick emergency run for bananas and milkweed leaves. Even caterpillars love to eat their greens.

Fortunately the playground near our house (and also happens to be right on the way to the corner grocery store) has a nice stash of milkweed plants growing.

Stop #1: Caterpillar breakfast.

milk_weed

Stop #2: Crazy banana lady breakfast.

wed_bananas

Awww yeah, kids up, throw clothes on, forget the hair brush. Mama needs bananas.

A fresh leaf for our little buddy.

pillar_breakfast

And fresh bananas for our little mommy.

wed_choc_oats

Phew. That was a close one.

And now we’re off on our next adventure.

Can’t You Read the Signs?

It’s been one of those days.

what_does_this_mean

What exactly does that sign mean you ask? No yelling.

Now don’t get me wrong, I try not to yell. But you might say that I’ve been known to raise my voice. Sometimes I yell more than or louder than I’d like to admit. But I promise that I DO TRY not to yell. Some days I’m more successful than others.

Today when I scolded Ava because she purposefully hit Maxine in the head with a hair brush, she ran off upstairs in tears and got to work on some signs while I got to work on lunch. She came back down a short while later and we both apologized for our less than stellar behavior. Then she got to work merrily hanging up her signs up all over the house. The living room, the kitchen, the dining room. I see a couple upstairs now too.

I enjoyed signs while I ate my homemade garlic hummus smeared on toasted sesame Ezekiel bread topped with salsa.

sign_with_hummus

And another with my spinach banana smoothie.

green_smoothie

I asked her, “What does ‘Dai Oim’ mean? Does that mean ‘DIE MOM’?!”

Fortunately, no, that’s not what it means. It just says “Please don’t yell at me.”

I also asked if she made any signs for herself, because she yells too. (Funny how they not only pick up on your good habits, but they pick up on ALL your habits.) She replied that no, it was my job to make those signs for her.

Alrighty then.

no_yelling_back

Kidding. Kidding! I said I was kidding!

This is either going to save us both years of therapy or we’ll be declaring bankruptcy due to outrageous mental hospital bills.

But onto the splash park!

splash_park

Want to play Where’s Waldo Ava? (Her suit is blue and green!)

Apparently everybody and their mother had the same idea we did today. We didn’t stay long.

Afternoon snack unintentionally turned into an early dinner.

Fruit.

strawberry_snack

Fruit.

apple_snacks

And oh yeah, more fruit.

turkish_apricots

I think “Turkish Apricots” is latin for “These are kind of brown but don’t be alarmed they still taste the same.”

Some corn on the cob a little later too.

corn_on_the_cob

In other news, our monarch caterpillar survived the night!

pillar_still_alive

And much like a breastfed baby, we know he’s getting enough to eat because he’s pooping. A lot.

I’ll leave you tonight with this important message:

dai_oim

Dai Oim.