Friday, August 27, 2010

A 5 minute glimpse into "life with toddlers"

This is a good example of how many messes little boys can make!
After breakfast, Timmy let me know very clearly that he wanted down. However, I needed to clean up a mess under the table (I'm guessing it was doggy pee) before I let him down on the floor. Just after cleaning up that mess, I walked over to Timmy and realized that he's made a mess (poos) on his feeding chair (he's had a rash, so we're giving him extra "nakie" time). Thankfully, we'd put a cloth diaper on top of the chair in case such a mess occurred (though this was the first #2 mess). I pick him up, cleaned him off, set him free, and carefully picked up the cloth diaper to take care of the poos. While I was rinsing it out, Timmy decided to spill over the doggy water (left out from last night). Water begins runs all over the floor, and I grab a towel to wipe it up. While I am doing this, Timmy crawls into the living room, stands up, and pees on the floor (and part of a rug). And so I run for another cloth. And then clean Timmy off, and put a diaper on him.
None of these were big messes, but it was a bit funny/overwhelming to have them happen just as I was cleaning up from the last one.
In general, Timmy gets into MUCH more trouble than Jeremiah ever did- unrolling toilet paper, climbing on chairs, tables, tops of sofas, etc. I was apparently spoiled with Jer! Which worries me, because Jer is a pretty intense, active 3 year old! What will Timmy be like at age 3?!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

How to make 18 burgers from 2 lbs of ground beef

I knew there must be a way to "stretch" ground beef for burgers, but I'd never tried until now. Last night we had a group over for dinner and we wanted to grill. So, because I've been stretching my ground beef recently with lentils and/or grains, I decided to give it a try in the burgers.

The procedure:
I used, approximately:
2 lbs ground beef
1 1/2-1 3/4 cracked wheat, cooked in 4 C of water (I used a cup of the cooked cracked wheat for bean burgers so make less if it's just for the 2 lbs g. beef; basically use enough so that 1/2 of the mixture is beef, and half is cracked wheat)
1 egg
seasonings: dried basil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, minced onion, Montreal steak seasoning, salt, pepper
Mix together, form into patties

The Verdict: They turned out well. Everyone seemed to like them, and no one could tell they were half cracked-wheat. Even when I tasted one plain I didn't notice it. So, it's definitely worth the stretching! Lentils are also a good ground beef stretcher in enchiladas, burritos, casseroles, soups, etc.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Birthday fun and a big 3 yr old!

This weekend we celebrated Jer's 3rd birthday. And what a big boy he is! He's learned so much in the past year. He knows the alphabet and can recognize all the letters. He knows many of the sounds they make and can even write a few (H, C, T). He knows the basic shapes, and can count up to 10 in Spanish and 20 in English (though he skips either 15 or 16 whenever he counts), and he likes to count out objects. He loves singing and telling silly stories. He's active, but much more focused on small motor skills (using his hands) than large motor skills. And just yesterday he learned to go down a water-slide!
On Sunday (the day of his actual birthday) we celebrated as a family. Next week we plan on having a joint birthday part for both boys. Since I'll be making a birthday cake for that party, and we had a whole aullama, I decided to make a "birthday" pumpkin pie (and pizza, as Jer is pointing out to me as I tell him what I'm writing). He loved the homemade pizza as well as the pie.
The next day, Monday, we headed to Kaskada water-park in Santiago, along with one the students. We had an absolute blast! I love playing with Jer in general, but this was the best Jer/Timmy play day yet! The water-park had a hug kid section. Think of a large playground surrounded by water, with water running over the stairs and down the slides. The pool was shallow enough for Jeremiah to talk around in it (up to his chest). Throughout the day he built up enough courage to go down the water-slides by himself, and even went down a few without us catching him at the bottom. It was amazing to see his confidence grow. At the end of the day I felt like I truly had a kid, not a toddler anymore. And these slides were super fun and fast- even I enjoyed going on them.
We did take a quick break from the kid section to each go on a few "big kid"/adult water-slides, including the "Kamikaze" that was super high up and dropped at a 70 degree angle (Daniel convinced me to go on it- what a rush- and a bit painful), as well as a few tall, long spiral slides. While we didn't bring our camera, I did find some pics online. Here's one view of the kids play area. And here's another.

Jer's birthday Jer chair

The birthday lion

Timmy enjoying some homemade cheese/avacado pizza

Jeremiah enjoying his pizza

Looking at his TALL card

His birthday pie

Making a 3

Enjoying a birthday present