Monday, May 30, 2011

8th Grade Semi-Formal

So, 8th grade dances are apparently a pretty big deal here. The sponsors at my school spent weeks getting ready for this event, and it was a huge deal. We helped set-up, chaperone, and tear-down. Theo had a pretty good time, and slept really well that night!

2nd Mama's DAY!!

My favorite day of the year.

This year daddy made another fabulous supper, and mama spent a lot of time just enjoying her little baby (who refuses to stay small, and is really not a baby any longer).

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

The farmer's market opened up here recently, so we just had to start summer off with some strawberry rhubarb pie. I use an old recipe from a cookbook that was Brian's grandma's (Farm Journal's Complete Pie Cookbook-1965), and it is fail proof. You will need two crusts of your choosing to go with this recipe.

Combine 1 1/4 cup sugar, 1/8 tsp salt, and 1/3 cup flour.

Prepare 2 cups fresh strawberries and 2 cups (1" pieces) fresh rhubarb

Arrange half of the fruit in a pastry-lined 9" pie pan. Sprinkle with half the sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining fruit and sugar mixture. Dot with 2 Tbsp butter.

Adjust top or lattice however you would like, and brush with cold water and sprinkle on 1 Tbsp sugar. Cut steam vents if using a full top.

Bake in hot oven (425 degrees) 40-50 minutes or until rhubarb is tender and crust is browned.

Theodore approves of this recipe.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Zoo Time

So a couple weekends ago we decided it was time to take Theodore to his first zoo! It was a little dreary that morning, but I really wanted to go and we figured that would cut down on the crowds as well. We found that there is a little zoo in Wilmington called Brandywine Zoo, and with an admission price of $4 we couldn't resist! This nice little zoo was just the right size for Theodore, and runs alongside a beautiful river in Wilmington State Park. The zoo has been open since 1905, and the park has a very charming early 1900s feel. The zoo itself had some very nice exhibits, including a blue and yellow macaw (my favorite), lots of felines (an ocelot, bobcat, and clouded leopard to name a few), and a house full of monkeys. The Siberian tiger exhibit was being remodeled, so we'll have to head back up soon when they reopen it!

The next weekend we traveled to the second closest zoo to us, the Plumpton Park Zoo. This is a much newer zoo, which basically seems like it was a rescue for many unwanted animals that turned into a petting zoo, and then into an actual zoo. It was closed down for a while last year, but the new owners seem to really be making some improvements. Theodore really liked being able to feed the animals here (some deer, donkeys, sheep and goats). I was terrified of him feeding the donkeys, but he just giggled and loved it. My favorite here was the giraffe, those things always amaze me.

Now we can't wait to go home in June and go to the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo with cousin Maci! I seriously believe this is one of the best zoos in the country, and I am so excited to take Theo there!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Newark Area Restaurants

In the last few months, we have been cutting back on eating out, but do have a few places to recommend, all of them on the ever changing Main Street of Newark.

Ali Baba- We went here during restaurant week a few months ago. We've always wanted to go here, but their hours have made it hard for us to make it in here. The outside of the restaurant is not very appealing, but inside you forget you are on Main Street with the low tables, couches, and Middle Eastern decor. We had lots of spicy food, and Theodore even joined in eating the rice, pitas, and Moroccan carrot salad (Carrots, garlic, onion, parsley, white vinegar, olive oil, & special spices). I had a delicious kabob, and Brian enjoyed their specialty, the Moroccan chicken.

Catherine Rooney's
- I was very excited when we saw signs go up for a new Irish place in town. The food was about average for an Irish place, but the atmosphere was a lot more family friendly than the other Irish place in town, so we had a really nice time. The owner even seated us in a private booth area, and Theodore stayed asleep for a majority of the night, but woke up for dessert.

Peace a Pizza- We finally tried this pizza place in February when Brian's parents were out here for Theodore's birthday. The slices were pretty tasty, and we found the music played to be humorous, so we had a pretty good time. The tiny restaurant is a little cramped, but for a date night sans Theo it was fine!

Cheeburger Cheeburger- This place has been under construction FOREVER, and was supposed to open last summer and just now opened this spring. We tried it, and it was a pretty good burger place. Their onion rings, were much better than their fries, and they had a pretty nice atmosphere. Their menu was full of all their "options" for sandwiches, dips, salads, and shakes. It makes a math teacher like me a little excited to think about all the combinations and permutations.

Finally, Chipotle also opened out of the blue. I didn't even know they were coming, and all the sudden they were open. We loved eating there in Arizona, so now we've got another quick, cheap place to grab a bite in Newark.

Middletown- I have enjoyed a few lunch time meals from Caruso's in Middletown, and finally dragged Brian down here one night for dinner. I love their Penne with Vodka sauce!

Update... 15 months

Now that Theodore is mobile, it is much harder to work on the computer than one would think. Currently, he is out grocery shopping with dada so mama can have some alone time, and I finally have a chance to update my blog. I have only a month left of school, and am looking forward to getting to take Theodore out and about more this summer. I'm considering swim lessons, hope to find some story hours, and plan on taking Theo to many parks and markets throughout the summer. Dada is still working toward his "tam" so we hope to have many picnic lunches outside Brian's lab this summer.

Theodore began walking back at the beginning of the year, and is now almost a pro at walking without stumbling. He hasn't mastered going down stairs yet (he fell at the zoo today, and has a big mark on his head), but he is able to climb up on the table if your back is turned for a few seconds. He has learned "open-close" (with closet doors, flip phones, and fridge doors) and "on-off" (with light switches, the vacuum and the tv). Most recently, he also learned to LOCK doors, which really freaked mama out, but I called Brian and he instructed me on how to pick the lock.

In the last few months Theo has had his first birthday, got his molars (he's up to about 10 now, number 11 is trying), had his first hair cut, and has tried many new foods. His current favorite is wheat bread, but bananas and blueberries still come in close second and third places.

Some of our favorite pics from the last few months include: