Friday, April 30, 2010

Mexican Pork Chops

1 onion, chopped
2 pork chops
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 can water
cumin, garlic and chili powder, to taste
flour tortilla
shredded cheese

Brown onions in olive oil and spices.

Add pork chops and brown on both sides.

Remove pork chops to well-oiled baking dish. Add tomato sauce, water and more spices to onions and simmer for a while. I just kept adding cumin and garlic and (very carefully) chili powder until it tasted Mexicany. You could also use taco seasoning, I guess.

Top chops with tomato sauce, and bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

While the chops are baking, heat the tortillas in a little olive oil. I like mine to get kind of crispy, but that's optional.

Check to make sure that the pork chops are cooked all the way through, then slice or cube them. (I sliced for me and cubed for Peeper and for leftovers.)

Serve on tortillas.

With cheese. (I used what was left of the taco flavored cheese from the other day, plus regular old cheddar. Monterey jack or anything else Mexican flavored would be good, too.)

Meat on a fork!
Meat on a fork!
Mexican pork, served right on a fork!

Meat on the floor!
Meat on the floor!
I can't take much more of this meat on the floor!

Lucky she's cute!
Lucky she's cute!
She's a little toot, so she's lucky she's cute!

I'm thinking you could serve this over rice instead of on tortillas, and that if you're not a pork person, it should work just as well with chicken breasts or even beef.

Daily Peep: Ouch

This evening, I was emptying the dishwasher, and Peeper was standing in front of the open door, "helping," when she suddenly burst into tears.

It was definitely her "pain" cry but I couldn't figure out what could have possibly happened.

Later, (While she was eating applesauce. Sorry about that.) I noticed this.

I'm still not quite sure how she did it, but at least I know what she was so upset about.

What's the Donkey Say?

Notice what I taught her, and what she got out of it.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Daily Peep: My Baby

Peeper sure seemed big when we were watching our friend's five-week-old this afternoon, but naaah, not so much really.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Daily Peep: Ice Cream

Peeper and I took advantage of 31-cent scoop night at Baskin Robbins this evening.

And brought home a little sus-prize for Mommy, too!

No, I didn't give Peeper an entire scoop of ice cream. I gave her some loaded spoons out of my scoop, and then let her play with my empty (but still very, very messy) bowl.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

1 small onion, chopped
1 can chicken, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can cream of chicken soup
Garlic, cumin and chili powder, to taste
3 large flour tortillas
Shredded cheese - some sort of Mexican flavor
1 small can sliced black olives, drained

Saute onions in olive oil.

Add canned chicken . . .

. . . black beans, cream of chicken soup and spices.

 You'll need to keep the kid entertained while you're working. This is effective.

So is this.

Layer tortilla, chicken mixture and cheese in a well-oiled 9" x 9" baking dish, repeating until dish is full. (I got three repeats.) Top with more cheese and olives. A toddler comes in handy for throwing on the cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, until all melty and yummy looking.


The Mayor of Whoville

Daily Peep: Panda Pics - 18 Months (78 weeks, 1 day)

Eighteen Months

Dear Peeper:
You are eighteen months old today.

You had your (not totally - we're still getting over a cold) well-baby check-up this afternoon and it went great!

Weight: 20 lb 2 oz / 3rd-5th percentile
Height: 29 3/4" / 5th percentile
Head Circumference: 18" / 25th-50th percentile 

Once again, the doctor said that you're "small, but well-proportioned, and growing well." He also said your head is "the biggest part" of you, to hold all your brains.

Mommy says it's because we're always telling you how great you are, so we're giving you the big-head.

You've had a very big month, learning and doing all sorts of stuff.

For starters, you've finally learned how to stand up on your own, from sitting or lying down! You still often ask for help (Uppa! Uppa! Uppa!) but can get right on up by yourself when we give you a bit of encouragement - or if no one is around.

A couple of days ago, you were sitting in the kitchen floor and I came in the room. You said, "Uppa! Uppa! Uppa!" and I said, "Okay, I'll help you, as soon as I let the dogs out (or in or somesuch)."

As I reached the door to the dogs' room, I turned around, and you were right behind me. I guess you didn't need as much help as you thought!

But you still don't crawl. The closest you come is scooting around (and off) the bed, but that's mostly a backward belly crawl. With several rolls, especially as you approach the edge of the mattress, just to freak me out.

You've also picked up a few new signs this month - including "please" and possibly "thank you" - but (depending on which ones we "officially" count) you may have actually added more new words (and animal sounsd) to your vocabulary than signs.

This is the first month that's happened!

You can now tell us what the sheep says, and sometimes the bear. You've called each of your four grandparents by name at least a few times, and can talk all day long about (and to) the cats.

You've got a few words that you say spontaneously quite often (Mama/Mommy, up, hot, here, apple, kitty/cat, night-night), a few animal sounds that you've got down solidly (cat, dog, monkey, elephant, lion/tiger, sheep), a few words that you mimic pretty well on request (yuk, knock-knock, toes, panda) others that you've spontaneously mimicked at various times, but that haven't really "stuck" yet, plus a few that seem to have come and gone.

We went over all that with the doctor, and he showed us his little check list which looks for 4 - 10 words at 18 months, as well as understanding what you hear, identifying body parts, "jargoning" (putting non-word sounds together in phrases and such - sounding like what you're saying should make perfect sense in another language) and such as that. You are definitely doing all those things, so he's happy.

He said to "just keep reading to (you), and keep talking to (you), and keep signing with (you)" and that we can expect to see huge developments over the next six months.

Other than all that learning, our big adventure this month was a trip to Texas to visit Grandma and Grandpa and the rest of my side of the family. Once again, you were a real trooper with the travelling, and I was very proud of how much more sociable and comfortable you were with everyone this time - despite being sick for a couple of days while we were there.

Lately, you've started to make your opinion known more and more, and to be much less blase' about things like having really-not-a-toys taken away from you.

You've also started being much less cooperative about diaper changes, getting dressed, putting on shoes, having your hair done, and the like.

I was just reading a couple of days ago that that's to be expected at this age, so I suppose it's a good thing that you're doing what you're "supposed" to, but boy, it sure is annoying.

Especially when you want to practice your new-found standing up skills on the changing table!

You're also, again, getting quite vocal when you're frustrated with something. Around your birthday, you went through a phase of grunting angrily and clinching your little fists when you were frustrated, but it didn't last long. I didn't really realize that you'd stopped doing it until you started again, actually.

I wonder if learning to sign helped with the frustration back then, and that's why you stopped doing it so much?

Lately, it's not been communication that you're frustrated with, but either something physical that you're not quite able to do (like yesterday, when you were trying to screw the lid on an empty milk jug - you are obsessed with lids) or, well, us - because we won't let you do something you want to do - like eat a cookie (or dog food), or pull everything out of the refrigerator, or call someone who's in the middle of having a baby!

Speaking of cookies (which you are, alot), remember how I used to brag about how you'd eat anything we put in front of you?

Yeah, not so much any more.

You've become much more, um, selective than you used to be. You are still, by far, getting most of your nutrition from nursing, which is a good thing, because you're sure not getting it from that handful of goldfish you eat each day.

Mostly, you still prefer to eat "on the run" and can't be bothered with sitting around in your highchair too long, which doesn't really lend itself to a lot of fancy foods.

We discussed that with the doctor today, too, and he pretty much just commisserated, saying that yep, "that's the challenge of feeding a toddler - trying to get something in them as they run by," and agreed that since you still nurse so much, there's really not much worry about nutrition.

I worry more about what habits you might be forming, especially since you definitely have a sweet tooth, and would eat all the "cookies" (you use that sign for anything sweet) that we let you. I give you things like that in teeny pieces, so that even if you have several "bites" you're still not getting much.

The doctor asked if you're willing to eat some fruits and vegetables (which you are, on occassion), and if you're feeding yourself (which you always have) and using utensils (which you at least think you are) and he was happy with all that.

When I told him that I was a little worried about your iron level (it turned out to be just barely within the normal range) because you don't eat a lot of meat (nor do we, actually) he said, "Well, she's getting some from nursing," in very much a "Eh, don't worry about it," way.

(I like him much better than that stupid guy at the Children's Hospital!)

All in all, he said that you're doing great, and you don't have to go back until you're two years old!

Which I can't believe is only six months away!

It seems like we just finished celebrating your first birthday - but on the other hand, you are such a totally different person already than you were then.

I can't imagine who you'll be by the time you're two.

And I can't wait to find out!

I love you, my little one-and-a-half year old girlie!


Happy Birthday, Shrike!

Thanks for putting up with me for another year.

I love you!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Congratulations, DoulaK!

DoulaK's little BabyBoyK was born this afternoon, and I hope he likes older women, because Peeper is already smitten, based on the one photo that we got with the birth announcement text.

(Aren't all births announced via text message these days?)

Actually, Peeper wanted in on the action even before he was born.

DoulaK texted me around noonish, saying that things were underway. Not too actively yet, I assume, because we texted back and forth a couple of times.

Then, Peeper took the phone and started punching buttons, and the next thing I know, it says it's calling DoulaK and the little call timer is at 5, 6, 7. . . 10 seconds!

I'm saying, "No! Stop! Give me the phone, Peeper! Don't do that! She's busy!"

Which DoulaK could evidently hear, because by the time I got the phone away from Peeper, and said, rather timidly, "Hello?" she was just cracking up on the other end of the line.

"I am so sorry!" I said. "That was Peeper!"

She said, "Oh, how sweet! I was at her birth, so she wanted to be at mine!"

I apologized again, told her "good luck" one more time, and hung up to let her get back to, you know, birthing a baby!

Later, when we got the text with the photo, Peeper kept taking the phone, looking at the photo and signing "baby."

Then she pushed buttons and tried to call like three times before I was able to get the phone away and keep it away.

I really hope that I got it hung up before it rang, or that they just saw some missed calls (followed by a text apology) later, rather than trying to answer the phone over and over and finding no one there!

I did finally manage to get control of my phone long enough to forward the photo to my email, so Peeper could look at it on the computer instead, and stop bothering them!

Daily Peep: Walk Which Way?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Daily Peep: Danger Zone

As you know, Peeper has a thing for hats, and often makes asks me to wear one while she's nursing.

Recently, she found the hard hat from Shrike's Halloween costume, the year that I was pregnant.

(As it turned out, of course, I was not, technically, pregnant on Halloween, but we hosted our party a couple of weeks early. Good thing!)

I've been wearing it a lot lately.