Tuesday, July 29, 2014

swordfish skewers with orzo.

i have a dirty little secret. sometimes…food goes to waste in my house. it's the worse feeling in the world to look in my refrigerator and find bad broccoli, string beans, brussle sprouts, etc. i feel a deep sense of sadness as i throw away those precious bits of produce. i try to plan meals pretty diligently, but sometimes stuff just comes up. one night we might randomly go to our parent's house for dinner, one night might have unexpected commitments that don't allow for meal prep- and all of a sudden, it's thursday and monday's chili and all the veggie fixens are bad. :(

i thought i'd give plated a try. it's a meal delivery service that sends all the ingredients for that night's meal- you just have to do the prep and cooking. it's relatively inexpensive and it feels sort of- fancy. fancy always makes me excited and that means there's a smaller likelihood that we will avoid making that meal. 

 also- i cook the same stuff all the time. plated gives me the choice of different meals to have delivered, some of which i would never have even thought of to make! it has added a bit of variety in our extremely boring lives (just kidding :).

tonight, i made the swordfish skewers and orzo. it's amazing. every bite is delicious, and less than the cost of a meal out. 

 when i opened the plated box, inside (for this dinner) was:
swordfish~ zucchini~ grape tomatoes~ basil (although i used the lime basil i bought at the farmer's market instead)~ orzo~ one lemon~ garlic~ skewer sticks~ honey (for the marinade).

i got the two thumbs up from tony! tonight's meal was a success (and super easy).

Friday, July 25, 2014

notes on travel: camping at lake richardson in tahoe.

tahoe is one of my favorite places on the planet. i never went to tahoe as a child, so all of my experiences there have been as an adult with tony by my side. it sort of feels like, our special place (we even honeymooned in tahoe!).

needless to say, we were very excited to plan a little family get away to one of our favorite spots. we had high expectations and looked forward to camping with just the four of us. it wasn't all that we thought it might be. easton was an absolute pill. he never let up. he acted like a different kid inside of my kid's body. maybe there was three or four stretches of 20 minutes or so of happiness- but that was about it. the rest of his wake time rotated between tantrums, freak-outs (usually over dirt in his shoe), whining, and defiance.

i def learned a few things about camping with children, and most of the trip actually went perfectly (except for the easton hurricane). here are a few tips from me to you about camping with TWO little ones.

1. be prepared:
we packed most everything the morning of. we got it all done (and in pretty good time) but i think that the scrambling around all morning put easton off, and contributed to his record breaking bad behavior. i get a little bit of travel anxiety, which i'm sure i've passed down to him. one thing that always keeps me calm before traveling is having all my t's crossed and i's dotted in advance.

2. bring more clothes than you think necessary:
 i got peed on twice. that's two outfits that became unusable for sailor and two outfits unusable for me. i needed just a bit more.

3. keep meals simple:
i cooked mac and cheese the first night with salad, and the second night;  trader joe's frozen asparagus risotto with sautéed veggies on the side. i didn't want to bother with things that needed a lot of cooking, or worse, lot's of condiments. we brought bread for pb and j's for lunch, cereal for breakfast, and fruit and berries to snack on.

4. bring a surprise toy/game:
 i brought a big puzzle for easton, which was a total surprise. i bought it the day we left and tucked it away until we arrived at our campsite. it was one of the only things that we were able to do as a family that didn't cause whining.

5. bring a pac n' play (even if the baby won't sleep in it):
 it was so helpful to be able to put sailor in a safe place for an extended period of time while i tended to easton, cooked dinner, set up, and broke down camp.

6. know when to throw in the towel:
in the middle of the night on night two sailor peed on me, himself, my sleeping bag, and sleep mat. while i was stripping down in the middle of the freezing tent, i said, "that it. i can't take anymore. we're going home tomorrow." we'll try the camping thing next month. everything can't be perfect the first, or even second time around. this was a great start, but it needed to end.

easton was napping, so tony was all smiles!

 (doesn't this picture look fake?? the background is so beautiful that it looks like a painting.)

camp richardson is right on the lake. we spent some time on the beach and rented a paddle boat to cruise around the lake. it was really fun, and one of the rare times that easton truly enjoyed himself. sailor even fell asleep in his little life vest as i was paddling.

there is a really delicious ice cream shop on the camp richardson property. there are lines outside of it at all time of day and night. i got the most amazing cherry vanilla ice cream ever. truly, it was the best ice cream i've had. (doesn't sailor-boy look jealous of my cone!?!?)

by the grace of God i brought a play hammer for easton. he "helped" tony hammer in the steaks while they set up the tent. that was pretty fun! he was really proud of himself.

we ended the trip with a stop at fairy land in sacramento. that was a really good idea. easton had a great time there, and it was really refreshing to see him play be excited after three days of discomfort. we will give the camping thing a try again next month!

Monday, July 21, 2014

mama to an eight month old.

eight month old sailor is quite a pill these days. sleeping has been nonexistent. it's not that i don't love cuddling with sailor-boy in the middle of the night, but four to six wakings in one night is just too much. other than that- things have been great. he's a sweet baby who loves to be with his mama. he cries the minute i put him down and wails when i walk away. he sweetly says "ma ma ma ma, mama" and curls his little lips to cry when easton ROARS at him. (i would too!)
i love watching sailor laugh at easton. it's probably one of my favorite things about having a second child. seeing his little eyes light up when easton plays with him- what a joy.

sailor is sitting up very well these days. he's trying quite hard to crawl, but no success yet. rice cereal is going a little better- although that's still all he's had. i'm going to try some avocado this month and maybe something like carrots or squash. any first food tips?? i made lots of delicious food for easton, but for some reason i can't seem to remember what i started with…

 it's really cool to sing both of our boys to sleep at night (at the same time!) and lay them down in adjacent cribs. they seem to like sleeping together. usually by the third waking, i'm too tired to do anything other than bring him into bed and nurse him in my sleep. the second half of the night rotates between him in my bed nursing and the bassinet that he barley fits in in our room.

one night, sailor was crying and we heard easton trying to calm him down from his crib, singing "you are my sunshine, my only sunshine, sailor, you are my sunshine." that was BY FAR the sweetest moment of motherhood thus far. sailor finally drifted off to sleep, listening to his big brother croon.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

big changes and a big weekend.

there have been a few changes here in the frascone house. usually, we have all summer to hang out and laze around. with tony's principalship and my contract work the last few years, we got to make our own summer schedule.

this year, my, how things have changed. it's with a heavy heart and lot's of excitement that tony has accepted a job as the HR Coordinator for his school district. this is a big job, but one he will ROCK. we are so sad to say goodbye to our elementary school family. the teachers, staff, students, and parents have been so amazing- not just to tony, but to me and the boys as well.

this new job gives tony the opportunity to grow his career at the district office level and gives us a chance (hopefully) to spend more family time- as the hr job is far more likely to be an 8-6 kind of work environment. as a family with two small kids, his work hours and commitment were pretty high and kept him away far more than he liked.

so, our summer has been cut a little short. he accepted the position last wednesday and started on thursday. we've had to make some adjustments and are getting all we can out of our weekends. this weekend started with a baptism and birthday party, and ended with the farmers market, a fun drive to the oakland hills, and cooking dinner as a family.

maya's baptism was perfect, and oh-so-special. here is a pic of easton and maya giggling during the service. these two break my heart, they are so sweet to each other. easton looked lovingly at maya and said, "maya, you're my best friend."

we celebrated david's birthday at his and stacy's house in livermore. we had so much fun hanging, eating, and playing a rousing game of bean bag toss.

los gatos farmer's market wear we got eggs, veggies, fruit, and olive oil. (easton counted the tomatoes as he put them in the bag, ever so carefully.

there's a neighborhood in the oakland hills that has a pocket of eichler homes. these are my dream homes. so we took a drive to look at them. one was for sale… (one day…)

i cooked spaghetti with kale, green beans, and yellow and gypsy peppers from the farmers market. plus we had cherry tomatoes with fresh locally made olive oil and peaches for desert. 

then, rice cereal happened. (tony didn't want sailor to feel alone in messy eating, so he smeared rice cereal on his face. what a guy.)

Monday, July 7, 2014

bits of our morning.

with tony off for the summer, we have been enjoying quality time as one big family. this morning we just hung out- for a really long time. tony and sailor slept in while easton and i played puzzles and watched daniel tiger's neighborhood. after easton "pooped on the potty" (he wore his diaper, but he did it while sitting on his potty) we decided to jump into bed with our other boys and share the good news! here are a few photos from around the house this morning…

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