Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Baby On Campus

Today we took Theodore in to be a lab rat.  The infant research lab at UD has ongoing projects where they are researching language development in children.  I've heard plenty about these kind of studies in my undergrad studies, where they'll track children's attention as they show or hear different things, so I figured we could spend a half hour participating.  Theodore of course loved it, because he got to play with toys, meet new people, and be the center of attention.  When he was done he got this cute certificate and awesome t-shirt!  Brian commented that this is the first of many free t-shirts he will get for doing things for a college.  I was interested in all the presentation posters they had around the lab, and could have stayed and read all day if Theo wasn't with me. 

Then dada met us for lunch at Chipotle.  They need to make baby burritos, because Theodore really enjoyed his bites of Brian's.

After we left, we stopped at the UD Creamery to pick up some pints to go!  We've been talking of trying it for months, and it was finally a convenient time to stop when they were open.

The whole trip made me really crave my undergrad days on campus.  The heat wave we are going through probably helped create the Arizona nostalgia.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Kelli's Chicken

I'm in a rut in the kitchen for sure, so I'm looking for new recipes to vary up our diet a bit.  This one from Kelli's blog is as she says-easy and tasty. 


My cost break-down wasn't quite as good as her's.  I don't know if it's the difference in prices between Mississippi and Delaware or just her superiority in grocery shopping.

Chicken:  $4.63
Tomatoes: $1.39
Stuffing:  $2.39
Cheese:  $1.41

Total:  $9.82 (about 6 adult servings)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Theodore's Reading List: Great Books for One Year Olds

Theodore is finally interested in reading books!  He has always shown an interest in books, eating them, flipping through them, ripping them, writing in them, kind of listening when mama reads them, etc.; but now he is finally focused enough to bring me a book, sit on my lap, and help me read a book cover to cover.  It is pretty adorable.

We finally even have it in the bedtime routine now, that I will go sit on my bed and ask Theodore to go pick out a book.  I'm always excited to see what he brings.  Apparently, these are his top picks, because they continue to be repeat selections. 
  1.  Kitten's first Full Moon by Kevin Henkes.  This seems to be the top pick, as it was the one Theodore immediately opened when I set him in the center of these books for this picture.  The black and white pictures, and subject matter must appeal to him. (milk and a kitten-two of his favorite things).
2.  Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems.  Theo grabbed this book next.  He absolutely loves going down to the laundry room (he gets to holler in a long echoing hallway), and apparently likes to hear about Trixie's own tale of a laundry mat visit.  This book has black and white backgrounds, with the characters in color.

3.  Rhymes and Reasons by James C. Christensen.  This over-sized book is another favorite of Theodore's, and illustrates many common children's rhymes.  There are full sized pages, and half pages inside.  Mama and dada find this one interesting because it gives some historical background on each of the rhymes.  It was a great yard sale buy at $0.50. 

4.  If you Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond.  This one may be my favorite more than Theo's.  I like the circular theme of these books, and never get tired of going through the "if... then" statements. 

5.  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.  This classic from my own kindergarten days is also a hit with Theodore.  He loves to hear about the letters going up the tree, and the catastrophe that happens.

6.  Corduroy's Party by Don Freeman and Lisa McCue.  Grandma E. has been giving Theodore a series of Corduroy books throughout the year, and these board book editions capture Theodore's attention.  He also has an actual bear who gets to read along sometimes too.

7.  Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See?   The classic children's book authors/illustrators Bill Jr Martin and Eric Carle combine in this board book, that is enhanced by sliding flaps on each page previewing the next animal that will be "seen".  Very engaging, this was probably one of Theodore's first favorites.

8.  Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!  Another one by Mo Willems, this is part of mama's favorite series about "Just Saying No" to the tiresome bird.  Perhaps the cameo by Knuffle Bunny is what makes this particular book Theo's favorite.
Honorable Mention to this rainbow book.  I thought we were done, but Theodore wanted to add this book as well.  It is a nice story about the colors of the rainbow, and each turn of the page adds another color to the ribbony feature.

Baby Trip

Once we completed teacher day 72 post-student (ok, maybe only 6 days past the student's last days-still way too many), we loaded up the car and headed home to meet some babies (and a lot of canines as well).  Theodore did a great job with pretty much all of them.  Here are some shots.
First Cousin M:  He loved her!  He did a great job loving on her, giving her her binky, and holding her hand.
 My turn!


Us meeting Ady June 2011.

Kari meeting Theodore Feb. 2010.

Us meeting Liam June 2011.

Ashley meeting Theodore, June 2011.

We also had a blast at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, as well as the Huntington splash park!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Cape May/Wildwoods

We wanted to head for the beach a few days ago while my little sister was here, and instead of going the usual route to Rehoboth, we wanted a change of scenery.  So we headed across the bridge to New Jersey for a nice day in the sun.

We picked Wildwoods, because they are one of the free beaches in Jersey.  Apparently you have to buy "beach badges" to go to a lot of the other ones.  We had a quick lunch at Marvis Diner before heading on to find the board walk.  The sand was hotttt, causing us to immediately run in and find the waves.  Theodore loved it, and we spent a lot of time keeping him from eating the fine grained particles.

After enough time for Brian to get thoroughly pink (he spent so much time putting sun screen on T he apparently forgot to do himself), we headed on over to see the quaint little town of Cape May.  The town is fairly equivalent to Lewes in Delaware (a ferry connects the two), and is full of bed & breakfasts, beautiful homes, and lots of beautiful blooming hydrangeas in a variety of colors.  We stopped by the lighthouse here.

Next, we stopped at the Cape May Winery and did a quick tasting while Erin and Theo napped in the car.  I enjoyed their Isaac Smith apple wine.  The vineyards and facilities were quite beautiful, and a nice end cap to the day.

On the drive back, we stopped at an ice cream stop that had truly unique flavors and mixes of ice cream.  Erin enjoyed her black raspberry, while my monster cookie was slightly outdone by Brian's scoops of funfetti cake-both were delicious.  It was definitely worth the stop, but I can't remember the name of the place.  I guess we will just have to go back... :)

Strawberry Layer Cake

I don't have the recipe for this-yet-but wanted to post a picture.  This was a pretty fabulous cake my little sisters made with Grandma B.  We're not really about presentation in my family, but this was a beautiful and delicious cake.

Happiness Around My House

I seem to be in a very optimistic mood today (could it be that I finished my 4-day math training yesterday) and decided to document it a little.  I think the changing of the calendar was the first moment of happiness today.
I am very excited by Brian's ability to grow plants, and am anxious for us to have our own house with an actual garden.  For now, this has to do.  We have tons of little sweet orange peppers growing on our patio, exciting me every time I go by.

Between an Amazon order, bookshelf raid, and quick stop at Border's yesterday, I have amassed my summer reading collection shown below.  I already finished my official reading for school, "After Ever After" which was much, much better than last year's "Three Cups of Tea".  I'm glad T enjoys long afternoon naps, so I can settle down and get back into reading. 

And of course, I always find happiness in the little man himself.  His new thing is "dipping".  He lucked out and even got his aunt's left over fries as a snack today, just so I could get a shot of him in action.