Monday, August 24, 2009

My new favorite recipe

I love finding new, healthy recipes. I got this one off of the back of a bag of dry chick peas. It was delicious.
Falafel Sandwich
1 cup dry chick peas
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 medium jalapeno seeded (I didn't have a jalapeno so I used some chili garlic sauce to make it spicy)
2 tsp. cumin powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda

Soak dry chick peas overnight, drain and combine with onion, garlic, parsley and jalapeno. Grind mixture in food processor. Add the remaining ingredients. Shape into patties 1 1/2" in diameter and 1/2" thick. Fry in deep hot oil until brown and crisp (I just used a little bit of olive oil). Serve hot in a pita with tomato slices.

(I know a lot of you are looking at it thinking that it looks like a green hamburger. The truth is, it does look kind of like a green hamburger. But a very yummy one! Even Peter, who would prefer to eat meat and potatoes at every meal, agreed that it was good enough to make for dinner again. This is high praise for something healthy coming from Peter.

Weekend Projects

I love having a new house to decorate. Even if it is on a very tight budget. But thanks to some great end of summer sales, I completed two projects this weekend.

We bought these chairs at Kmart on clearance. I hated the wicker seats, so I decided to try to cover them. I love how they turned out.



We needed curtains and I wanted something bright and fun to liven up our living room.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

No more tip-toeing to the crib

Ever since our car trip across the country, our baby no longer takes naps. And, the only way she falls asleep is if she is being held and fed. Then we play my favorite game of all: Tip-toe to the crib, say a silent prayer that she stays asleep, and try to put her down very gently and quietly as to not wake her up. 9 times out of 10, this is followed with screams and crying. After playing this game several times a day, I was starting to feel very frustrated. So I checked out a book my sister-in-law recommended, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. The book was great. I learned that I need to be in control of my baby's sleep and that she is old enough to learn how to fall asleep on her own. The author recommends putting the baby into bed for bed time and naps and not coming back in to rescue them regardless of how loud the baby cries. It sounds a little harsh, but, as the author explained, you are doing it because you are the parent and know that this is what is best for the baby.

So I decided to try it today and it was marvelous. Laura took 3 naps and went to bed at 8:00. She cried as usual when we first put her down, but I just let her cry until she fell asleep. With the first nap she cried 45 minutes. It seemed very long, but by the last nap she only cried about 5 minutes. And she was a much happier baby all day. And I was a much happier mother.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bath Time

Laura loves her bath these days. That is, after she gets over the initial shock of the cool water. It just seems to cruel to give her a warm bath when it is so hot inside. So we give her cold baths. Sorry about the nudity, but these pictures were too cute.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Our New Home

I know for all the rest of you who have been living in a house for the past several years, it is nothing special to live in a house. But after spending the last 8 years of my life in apartments, I love having my own house. Of course, it is not our house at all because we are renting it but it feels so much more like our own personal house when we don't have neighbors above and below us. This morning I had so much fun mowing my little yard and checking my mailbox to see if there were any letters for me. And everyone time I use my washing machine to do a load of laundry, if feel as if I have died and gone to heaven.

You might be wondering why my baby is naked in this picture. It is because my husband doesn't want the air conditioning in our new house to run up a large bill. So, we don't use it. And for those of you who have been to TN in August know how hot and humid it can be with no AC. Our house stays above 80 degrees all through out the day and night. And even though I have a cute little room upstairs for our baby, she is sleeping downstairs with us where it is cooler.

Things I will miss about the Brigadoon

Now that I am living in a new cute little house, I am reminded of all the things that I learned to love and will miss about the Brigadoon. The Brigadoon is the name of the apartment complex where Peter and I lived for the past 18 months. And yes, it is as romantic as it sounds. I will always treasure the memories from our first year of marriage spent in the Brigadoon. Some of my favorites include:
1. The star print bathroom counter.
2. Hauling my laundry each weekend to my mother-in-law's, or anyone else who took pity on us and let us use their washer and dryer.
3. The fact that I could stand in the middle of my kitchen and not be able to reach out my arms all the way with out hitting a wall or cupboard. I still can't believe I cooked as many meals as I did in the teeny, tiny space.
4. The 90 degree summers and the 55 degree winters.
5. The bathroom floor that was stained all around the toilet. No matter how hard I scrubbed it still looked like somebody had an accident.
6. The paint on the wall that would wash off with water. (Don't bother trying to clean off any stains, you just make the problem worse by removing the paint as well.)
7. The gamble that each night your's could be the car that was broken into.
8. That only 2 of the four burners on the stove worked. The other two, not matter how many times I cleaned them, would fill the small apartment with smoke if they were turned on.
9. The fire alarm that went off everytime I used the stove. (even the two working burners sent off the fire alarm.)
10. The community garden two blocks away where I had my own little plot.
11. It was where we took our baby home.
12. It is where I first lived as Peter's wife; our first home together.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Goodbye Salt Lake, hello Virginia. Goodbye Virginia, hello Tennessee

Wow, what a crazy couple of weeks. In the last two weeks we have moved not once, but twice.

Two weeks ago, we said goodbye to the Brigadoon and left for our road trip across the country to Virginia. Peter was planning on attending William and Mary law school and we were moving out to get settled before school started. We loaded up our furniture and stuff on to a big semi that we had rented space on (it was the cheapest way to do it) and shipped my car so that I could sit by Laura in the back seat to feed her bottles, hold her pacifier and keep her from screaming on the 33 hour drive. She actually did amazingly well. She slept most of the time and was much better than I would have been had I been strapped in the sweaty, milk and spit up soaked, smelly car seat for 2.5 days. We arrived in Virginia Sunday night and moved in to our apartment and signed our 1 year lease Monday morning. Then we spent the next 2 days going to Target, Wal-Mart, and Bed, Bath and Beyond buying all the things we left behind. Tuesday, the day our furniture arrived in the semi, Peter received a phone call from Vanderbilt law school asking if he was still interested. He had been put on the waiting list last January and we haven't heard from them since. Both he and I had pretty much given up on that and felt confident that we wouldn't be hearing from them again. Peter, thinking he didn't have anything to lose, told them he was still interested. The next day, Thursday, they called to tell him he was accepted. We debated as to what we should do. Vanderbilt is a better school, but is also more expensive. And we had just spent almost 2 grand moving out to Virginia! By Thursday, we had decided to move yet again. So by Friday night, we had packed up all our cars, loaded up a semi with our stuff again, and were driving through the night to get to Nashville by Saturday morning. We arrived in Nashville with our cars jammed full of all the stuff we had bought in Virginia and I felt like a homeless family living out of our car. To make things even more exciting, it was like 500 degrees plus 110 percent humidiy in Nashville that day. Laura was getting so hot and sweaty as we drove around looking at apartments I was afraid she was going to suffer from heat stroke if we didn't find some place to cool her down. But we didn't have a house to go home to. So we went to a grocery store and hung out for a couple of hours, taking advantage of their AC while we waited for our next house appointment. Luckily the next appointment was a little, cute house with a landlord nice enough to let us sign the lease and move in that day.

Yesterday, our furniture finally arrived for the second time, and for the first time in a couple of weeks, I have a bed to sleep on. You don't realize how great it is to have a bed, until you don't have one. I kept reminding myself that my Grandpa Fielding spent 3 months sleeping on a buffalo rug while he drove a covered wagon across the plains on the Mormon Trail reenactment. And he was over 65 years old. I figured if he could sleep on the floor for 3 months, I could handle it for a couple of weeks. But I've decided I am not as tough as Grandpa and hope to never have to sleep on the floor again.

It feels so good to have a bed and a home again. I hope Peter gets a job in Nashville after he graduates from law school because I never want to move again.