Cooking Crockpot Eggplant Parm

July 2nd, 2012

First, Maddox painted the eggplant slices with olive oil.

Then, he dredged them in seasoned breadcrumbs.

Then, before Maddox sprinkled on the feta, Mom poured the rest of the pasta sauce over the eggplant in the crockpot bowl (Maddox could have handled this as well, but Mom thought she should probably contribute something to the process).

Then, Maddox turned on the crockpot and we were good to go!

A Rainy Day

June 25th, 2012

Before it started to pour today, we got in a quick game of “spray the pumas” with the water pistols that Dad brought home. This also let Mom sneak in a couple of outdoor tasks – staking & filling up the dirt for a decorative potato vine and moving the car from the driveway into the garage to make loading the car for our trip to Grammy and Papa’s easier tonight. Mads is my helper, and he was very good at helping with both tasks, but I drew the line when he reached for the gear shift.

water guns

Some parents are pretty careful about letting their kids play with toy guns, but I figure that having photos of Jon and me at the shooting range cycling through our photostream on our TV kind of makes that a moot point.

pouring in newburyport

It was really coming down! Mads and I have recently discovered arts and crafts, plus Dad let us wander around Michaels for an hour this weekend, so we had a lot of indoor things to do:


We painted a box for Grammy’s birthday and a few pictures, and we did one of those marker mugs that I’ve always wanted to try.


Mads is awesome with helping me cook (which is great, because I find it totally boring without him) and we threw together some bread dough for Umbumbee (Uncle Brian)’s birthday dinner tonight (white for the crowd, low carb whole wheat for Dad’s healthy living, which I support because he will live a long, long time).

bread dough

I always forget, white flour dough rises so fast! This is after just an hour:

rising bread

Then we made some post-lunch ice cream:

ice cream mixing 1

Then we tried to figure out things to do for the 15 minutes while we waited for the ice cream.


ice cream mixing 2

And then we ate it!



All in all, a pretty fun morning. Now it’s nap time for one (or both) of us and then we’ll hang out for a bit and head down to celebrate Grammy & Umbumbee’s birthdays. Shockingly, for the first time in about 10 years, we actually have gifts for both of them – and relatively on time, too! – plus the bread to contribute, so my Puritain New England manners (which are usually ignored and then result in massive guilt trips) are for once satisfied! Never mind that Dad is picking up the second half of the gift tonight. =P Good enough!

Maddox & Mommy Monday

June 11th, 2012

After Mom was sufficiently caffeinated, Mads and I sat down and decided what to do today. We vetoed the grocery store, the park, and the duck pond and settled on the brown playground (about 5 minutes from our house) followed by a quick walk through the woods near the playground.



When we got back and ate (a lot, we were hungry), we watched a Diego and then headed back outside for our own safari adventure.


In the afternoon, we decided to make a thank you card for our nice neighbors who just handed-down a terrific bike to Maddox, which he’ll love growing into.

glitter pens

This meant, of course, glitter pens. The little tiny ones are awesome, because there’s only so much you can squeeze out at once, and the huge variety of colors (thank you to Annie who gave them to us!) meant that we got the entertainment of opening all of them, then switching back and forth between colors.

Mom was happy to be doing something artsy, and Mads was happy to squeeze fun colorful glitter paint onto the paper. He is really coordinated with this, and only got a tiny bit of glitter on his shirt (which looks even better now, as it’s a cool punk shirt already and now it’s accessorized).


The near-finished product:


Later, Dad came home, and Mads was thrilled to get in some guy-bonding time while Mom threw dinner together. There was many a manly grrrrrrrr!

with daddy

Making Coffee

June 5th, 2012

New Pediatrician

May 31st, 2012

Today, Mads and I stayed home because he had a mid-morning doctor’s appointment at his new pediatrician’s office. We played the morning away out back, and then packed up and drove over to the new office.



We had been very happy with the office in Salem, where we had taken Maddox since birth, but facing the 40 minute drive for all those dozens of first year appointments for the new baby was just too daunting. In addition, his pediatrician decided to close his practice, and while there are many other great pediatricians available, we figured it was time to find an office closer to home.

doctor 1

We ended up choosing a pediatrician that was 5 minutes away from our house (exciting!) and I was really impressed with the office. Maddox had the finger prick, plus they squeezed to get a larger sample for a cholesterol test, and he was calm and interested throughout the whole thing. The nurse explained everything to him, and he was actually playing and being silly while she took the sample.

finger prick

silly at the doctor

The doctor was great – she explained to Maddox that she was going to guess what his breakfast had been, and examined his stomach and spleen and such on that pretense. She also let him listen to his heart (a bunny party), gave him the tongue depressor to help her check his teeth, and searched his ears for race cars.

After the visit, we went to MacDonalds as a treat (probably not something to share with our health care provider) and then we went to the playground for a half an hour to run around before nap time.


I am really looking forward to this summer with Maddox – we will be spending more time together, as Jon and I recently made the decision to decrease Maddox’s preschool days down to 2 a week, plus “Grammy’s preschool” on Wednesday mornings. I’m excited about trying new outdoor activities, and, now that Maddox is old enough to negotiate, reason, and most importantly, to listen, it is even more of a pleasure to just hang out.