Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Self-Timer Family Photo Shoot

This evening, for our 2nd anniversary, we went on a little walk up at the "Sweetwater Wetland Preserve." It's actually right next to the waste water treatment plant, and should really be named something more like, "stinky water..." Anyway, we really like it despite the smell because it's beautiful and unlike most places in Tucson, there's hardly ever anyone there. I took these with the self-timer balancing on the stroller.



Chris took this one. I love the lighting on the pond. I was handing rocks for dropping in, one by one.


Supernatural Otzu


For my birthday, Tasha gave me a cookbook called "Supernatural Cooking" by Heidi Swanson. It has all these beautiful photos and healthy recipes. I think it was the first time I've ever sat down with a cookbook and made a shopping list. Here is the first thing I made: Otzu
(The photo above shows the page with this dish, and below is how mine turned out)


Soba noodles with a sauce made out of lemon zest and juice, tamari, honey, fresh ginger, rice vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, cayenne pepper, and salt. The sauce is poured over the noodles, and then everything is tossed with cilantro, cucumbers, green onions, sesame seeds and tofu that was browned on each side. This was one of the first things I've ever made that Chris said I should make again, exactly the same way. Noah clapped his hands it was so good. Thanks Tasha!

If anyone wants this recipe in more detail, let me know and I'll send it along.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Baked Zucchini and Eggplant Parm "Coins"



We headed excitedly back to our Thursday farmer's market this week. It was a nice cool, cloudy day and it had been springling off and on. A perfect day for veggie hunting... but hey?! Where the heck are all the farmers? Only in Tucson would some clouds in the sky dissuade all bu one farmer from coming.

Anyway, we did get some yummy looking little eggplants and some tomatoes. So I decided to try making zucchini coins again (from weelicious.com). I thought the eggplant might work too, and I discovered a great easy way to make eggplant parm without frying! All you do is slice the eggplant and zucchini, roll them in flour, dip them in a little egg, then roll them in a mixture of breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder and basil and bake at 400 degrees (turn them over once). Noah thought they were awesome! I melted a little bit of mozzerela on top of the eggplant a few minutes before they were done. Highly recommended.


Noah and Eva hit the zoo


We fed the giraffes. I was a little nervous, but Sara assured me that if the giraffes were prone to biting, they wouldn't have kids lining up to feed them. It was safe, but their long black tongues were a little weird...


As usual, Eva is a great little model. Our favorite part was the "Kenya Get Wet" area where we all cooled off (especially me, who got sprayed straight on by a nearby dad pressing the button on purpose!).



"Egg! Egg!"

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Playdate at the pool...

Last weekend we planned a little picknik and swimming playdate with some of our friends. We sort of miscommunicated on the picknik, so some of us ate out, some of us had a picknik... but we finally got it all together and made it to the pool, which by the time we made it, was "full" (apparently the 105 degree temperature does not override the fact that it is now "fall" so the pool can only hold 10 people. I guess I'm still hung up on it...) Anyway, we herded all the kids, bathing suits on and all, over to the duck pond and the playground. It ended up being a great evening. Beautiful sunset. And the best part was that we all went to Kristin and Jamie's house afterward and succeeded in getting all five kids to sleep so we could all play cards until after midnight!

This is not the most flattering photo of everyone, but it captures the fun of having all those kids (and adults) together, I think.


Another amazing Tucson sunset. This is looking over the duck pond at Reid Park.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Love of Airplanes

Chris took this photo this afternoon with his iPhone. It captures a really sweet little phase that we're in right now. An obsession with airplanes. Noah is so lucky to have a daddy that went out to the shed yesterday evening and made him a little wooden airplane. I also found these two, totally different, airplane alphabet books at the public library. It's amazing how this little boy because so infatuated with cars, airplanes, trains, boats, etc. seemingly overnight. Where does that come from?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunset Desert Stroll

Barrel flower ring

It's still so warm here, even in the evenings, that it's just barely cool enough for walks right as the sun is going down. We can't stand being stuck inside anymore though, so we just go out anyway. Tonight we were so glad we did, and got to stroll in this amazing sunset light. The barrel and cholla cacti are blooming now too. I didn't get much exercise because I kept stopping to take pictures of them.

sunset prickly pear

Barrel flower in sunset

Cholla flower with mountain backdrop

Chris took this one of me. I love the feel of it.

desert stroll

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Just Like Farmers

Well, not exactly like farmers... but, we did learn that our local farmers market (the Santa Cruz River Farmer's Market, just around the corner from us) is awesome! We got fresh, local eggs, squash, prickly pear popsicles, perfect tomatoes, and some other goodies all for less than $15. This will have to be a weekly trip.

As I was trying to get a good photo of our loot, to show you, a little thief appeared to steal tomatoes out from under my nose!

farmer's market goodies

irresistable market finds

tomato theif

Another farmer-ish thing that we did this week was make pesto from our basil garden, and homemade noodles to eat it with. Actually, Louisa made the noodles, and most of the pesto... but we were there. It was delicious.

homemade pesto & pasta

close-up pesto

The last thing was that I tried making carrot beet cupcakes for my birthday. I thought they would be just like carrot cake, only bright purple. It turns out that beets lose their color when baked, so they just looked like carrot cake. The taste was a little different, but still yummy.

carrots and beets

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Toddler Food

Noah is a picky eater. He's showing signs of taking after his daddy. Uh-oh. So, I've been trying to get creative with meals and making things that he'll be willing to try that include things other than cheese and bread.
Cooking for a toddler is interesting, as is cooking with a toddler. Here are some examples:




I found a great website the other day for toddler recipe ideas: weelicious.com I can't wait to try making sweet beet cookies, and the zucchini coins I made the other night had only one major downfall; I didn't make enough.



Here is a pretty picture of some cupcakes I made for Sara's birthday, really late... and, I didn't see her this weekend when we planned, so we've sort of eaten most of them. I'll make them again though, don't worry Sara :)





Noah and his buddy Eva hanging out after some fun in the kiddie pool on Saturday. Eva is a great model. She looks at the camera and poses every time I get it out. Plus, she's fun to hang out with (and so is her mama, sara).

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Good Morning

I was too exhausted from a sleepless weekend of new molars mercilessly breaking through sensitive baby gums to upload photos last night. They'll have to wait for now. This morning though, despite a rocky start (including a tantrum about not being allowed to have any delicious Tylenol for breakfast), was really good.

We finally got some much needed sleep last night.

I was really happy with the lunch I made Noah for school today. I know that seems silly, but fresh kiwi and mango, blueberry yogurt, special chicken nuggets, peas, and grapes all in one little lunchbag is just satisfying.

When we get to school, I usually take Noah out to the playground and drop him there with the other early birds and a little group of teachers. He loves playing in the sand, and hasn't been complaining one bit when I leave. This morning though, we arrived just as one of his teachers was heading out to the playground. I plopped Noah into the big wagon they use to bring all the kids back in (this is the cutest thing ever, four babies sitting in a wagon), and he was happily pulled along out to the playground without looking back. I was so nervous about sending him to daycare, but now when I drop him off to spend the day with four little boys the same age, who he's now known for 9 months or so, and some wonderful teachers, I feel really lucky that things worked out this way.

Friday, August 13, 2010

New Skill

Check out Noah's newest skill. This is from last week. He's getting really good at this. Some of the kids in his class that are the same age still just wave the utensils around. He doesn't really like to let me feed him anymore. An independent type...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Modeling at the Botanical Garden

Noah and I had a little playdate at the Tucson Botanical Garden this morning with Lotte, Alastair, and Perrin (and Ben and Josie). This was a rare moment of all the kids sitting (relatively) still with a perfect background.

Flowers in the Yard: part 1000 (or a lot, anyway)

Our Texas Rangers are blooming again, and I just can't let it go by without saying how much having those purple bushes in our front yard for a few days makes me happy.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Long Summer

Schools are back in session here. Noah and Chris are both technically in the fall semester as of this week. All the stores have sweaters and other fall items. It's almost enough to trick you into thinking that it might actually be getting close to fall. But, it's only the beginning of August. For some people fall is just around the corner and that itch to pull out a sweater might soon be satisfied. Not for us. Summer here will last another two months or so. We just bought Noah a new pair of sandals because he'd outgrown his other pair. Who buys a baby sandals in mid-August?! Well, sandal weather is really drawn out around here.

We've been praying for rain lately. Flagstaff and the rest of the state are having flooding problems, while we sit here watching the few clouds on the edges of town build up, drop a few little sprinkles, and then move away. Everyone who's sick of the rain this summer should spend a few minutes today trying to use the power of their thoughts to send that rain down here for us. We would sure appreciate it!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hop in the pool

Despite the hundred and some degree temperatures here almost every day, Noah always wants to be outside, and he rarely wants to be in the pool (I mentioned before that the sandbox is usually the most popular). Anyway, I was surprised yesterday when he hopped right in, shoes, clothes, diaper and all.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Raspberry Picking

Amazingly, my mom's raspberry bush that has produced a few raspberries a year for the past several years, is LOADED with raspberries this year. Noah thought this was the greatest plant ever. He ate them as fast as we could put them in the buckets.

We also had a fun time visiting with my grandpa, who just moved in with my mom and Ron. He and Noah enjoyed playing together. Here they are having a duel with canes.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Baby Sena Rae

In Flagstaff this weekend I finally got to meet my very good friend Juliana's new baby girl, Sena Rae. I wished I could have held her all weekend, but a sick little boy kept me away. I did take a couple of hours to bring Juliana some sweets and take some photos though. Isn't she adorable?

I have more to say about our trip to Flagstaff, but for now, just baby Sena.