What is this Adventure?

Full-time Mama & Part-time school social worker in the throes of toddlerhood at its best and worst. In my short tenure as a member of the prestigious Mamahood club, I find the reality of it all to be amazing, exhausting, hilarious, challenging, a blessing, lonely at times, nostalgic, guilt-ridden, and the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me...all at once. Sit back, read, laugh and cry with me on my adventure!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Updates on the basics of life....fuel and fuel removal

Now wasn't that a nice way to say "eating" and "pooping"?
Ha ha ha...it's good to be able to make yourself chuckle on a Sunday night.

I wanted to update the cyber-world on my progress...Hazel's progress with eating, Kieran's progress with potty-training, and my progress on cooking yummy things.

Hazel really wants to eat the "good stuff"...she hates her rice cereal and constantly reaches for other yummier things.  One night, I decided I would give in to her whim and give her some ground-up cook carrots.

Here's a side note...I always like to give you side notes to let you know how to tell that Hazel is my second child...I would have NEVER just decided "on a whim" to give Kieran carrots one night, especially when rice cereal wasn't going so smoothly...but...hey...the girl WANTED them, so...

So yeah, she choked.  Big time.  And it scared me back into first-time-mamahood...and I didn't feed her solid food for a week!  But, then I realized that I couldn't hold back on her forever and started back with rice cereal.  Surprisingly, the second time around, she is doing much better!  She still has a significant tongue-thrust issue, but sometimes she manages to figure out how to get the food to slide down her throat.

On another proud topic, I am very pleased that my little princess recently found her voice of defense.  Hazel, prior to this week, would typically allow Kieran to roll right over her, get in her face, and try all sorts of other "affectionate rough-housing" with her and she wouldn't let out a PEEP!
Oh, the days of meek Hazel are OVER!
She has been learning self-defense tactics rather quickly lately (self-taught).  She first tactic she learned was that she could roll away from him.  Then, she learned that she could scoot her body back away from him.  Her third technique has proven most effective:  the scream-in-your-face technique works wonders!  Kieran immediately runs away and I run to the scene.  She typically is not hurt and looks up at me with a huge smile as if to say, "look Mama!  I CAN defend myself!"  I give her a proud Mama smile back as if to say, "keep up the good work, dear!"  This is a picture of her right after a huge YELP in Kieran's face.  Kieran is trying to "sweeten" up to her after the "roll over".

On to my toddler...my hilarious toddler...who has now dubbed himself "Jumper Boy" as he flies from one couch to the floor and jumps off every object worth climbing (read: everything).  He is doing pretty well with potty training.  I am exhausted...but we manage to go most days with only a few accidents.  I have to say, with a rather frustrated heart, that Kieran is still not too pleased about pooping in the toilet.  What is it going to take? WHAT?!?!  I'll leave it at that.

Now...on to my kitchen experiments...I made a really good meal tonight, if I do say so myself (insert pat on the back here)...I'll give you the low down:

I'll call this:  Orange Salmon with Mango-Black Bean Salsa over a bed of Quinoa and sauteed spinach....I know, it's a long name...I'm not too creative in this department.

1.  In a plastic bag, marinate 2 pieces of salmon with 2 T of sugar, 2 T of orange rind, salt and pepper to taste (and red pepper flakes if you so desire).  Marinate for at least 5 hours.

2.  In a large bowl, combine 2 mangos diced, 1 can of black beans, diced cilantro, 1/4 C orange juice, juice from 1 lime, diced red onion to taste, 1 T honey, 1 T diced up ginger root, and salt to taste.  Let this also marinate for a few hours.

3.  When about 20 minutes out from eating dinner, start the rest of the dinner:
     ~ 1 C quinoa in 2 C broth on the stove for 10-15 minutes
     ~ broil the salmon about 4 minutes per side or to taste
     ~ saute fresh spinach with a little bit of olive oil, garlic, and sesame seeds

4.  To serve:
     Put the quinoa down on the plate, cover with sauteed spinach, place salmon on top and then cover generously with the mango salsa.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Udon Soup

Recently made a delicious Pork Udon Soup with a combination of different recipes and a bit of my own flair....it was tasty!

Saute thinly sliced carrots, chopped onion, and minced garlic with a tad of oil.  How much?  meh...I don't know.  How long?  About 3-4 minutes.  If you have bok choy, add that in too!

Then, thinly slice into bite size pieces 2 pork chops.  Add in bowl with salt, pepper, 1 1/2 T of cornstarch, and 2 tsp of minced ginger.

Bring 5 cups of water to a boil in your soup pot.

On the side, bring pot of water to boil and cook udon noodles per directions.

In your boiling water, add the carrot mixture.  Then add the pork mixture.  Cook for 3 minutes.  While cooking, add 1 1/2 T oyster sauce, 1 1/2 T soy sauce, and a slurry mixture of 1 1/2 T of cornstarch mixed with water.

Add udon noodles.  Stir for one more minute.

Turn off heat and add cut up spinach.

So yummy and easy!

Monday, April 16, 2012

On the Move!

I have a lot of catching up to do in my account of my main lil' woman Hazel.
She's rolling everywhere, jumping like a bean, and trying new foods...
I will simply show you in pictures and videos...so much more fun than my words!
Let's start with the food...let me just note...she's not a big fan...

 This is my super smiling easy going baby....just don't give her Rice Cereal...as Kieran says..."yyyyyyyyyyuck!"

Aaaand now, without further adieu... Heeeeeeeeere's Hazel!

Gotta love my lil' cutie! She's already texting!  OMG!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bunnies, potties, and yumminess

If there was ever a very random posting, this is it. 
See if you can hang with this one...

We had a lovely Easter at the Krotser residence.  The kids got WAY too many presents, in the usual Krotser style, and Paul and I were overwhelmed by the sheer number of them.  Kieran ran around like a crazy toddler, loving every second of attention from Grandma, Papa, and Uncle.  Hazel had a number of outfit changes, just to make everyone happy that had "gifted" her things to wear for Easter.  Pictures below:

That covers it for bunnies...

On to potties...
Have I mentioned that I would like to hire someone to potty train my kids?
If I can say one thing about potty training, it's this:
It is a character builder and sense of humor builder.

This week I think we've gone backwards...but I'm too stubborn to give up...we are pushing forward...

Here are some funny quotes from my potty-training toddler:

Me:  "Kieran, do you need to use the potty?"
K: "No, Mama, me ok.  It was just farted."

Me:  "Kieran, do you need to use the potty?"

K:  "Hahahahaha Mama!  Me pee on you pants!  See, Mama?!  Pee!"

Me:  "Kieran, next time, let's try to do your stinkies in the potty."
K:  "Nope.  Maybe pee."

Me:  "Kieran, you are such a big boy!  I'm so proud of you!"
K:  "Mama, you big gul too.  I proud too."

And lastly, I wanted to post this simple recipe for all those that have a pressure cooker.  If you don't have a pressure cooker and are a busy mom or just like quick meals, YOU NEED ONE!

I found this recipe on Fagoramerica.com
It was simply delish!  I LOVED IT!


Serves 4

3 thick whole boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1” chunks
1/4 Cup olive oil
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 cup rice
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/2 cup flaked coconut
Salt and pepper to taste*

  1. In saucepan, heat orange juice, raisins and marmalade and stir until marmalade melts. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in pressure cooker and add chicken chunks. Lightly brown. Add the orange juice mixture plus the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and rice.
  3. Close lid and bring to high pressure, then lower heat and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and release using the cold-water release. Open, stir, taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. To serve, place chicken and rice on dish and sprinkle with flaked coconut.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Woot Woot! The Potty Train has left the Station!

...and left its trail of tears everywhere around the house...
Yes, potty training started yesterday, and wow...it's hard to imagine that mostly everyone on the planet has been potty trained...because boy...it's draining difficult stuff!

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I shall give you a picture of the "night before potty-training pep talk"...
Yup, the underwear instantly became a hat...I think I've seen this very similar picture in the female version on a friend's blog... A Constructed Life
It must be a two year old thing...he thought is was hilarious!  I did too.

I geared up big time...reaching back into the realms of the "social work Elizabeth"...
I figured my years of training and work using cognitive-behavioral strategies with my school kiddos would come in use, so...

I bought stickers as my secondary reinforcement, and just in case stickers weren't motivating enough, I bought Trader Joe's Mini-Peanut-Butter-Cups...a perfect primary reinforcement for a boy who thinks that peanut butter cups are "happy birthday" treats (they look like cupcakes to him).  I even made a sticker chart to "count" the success.  (My son's alphabet obsession has grown into a number and alphabet obsession.)

Well, about a million "happy birthday" treats later and stickers everywhere I could imagine, we are on our way!

Day 1:

1st accident went unnoticed by Kieran, who happily played in his pee-soaked pants and underwear.
My thought:  "Um...I thought cloth diapers were supposed to make kids more sensitive to wet and therefore easier to potty train?....um...not so much."

2nd accident...5 minutes later...
Kieran:  "Mama, pants wet.  Look."
My thought: "What?  We JUST had an accident!  AND we just sat on the potty and went pee-pee!  How much pee does a 2 year old have stored up in that little bladder of his????!!!"
Second thought:  "Well, at least he noticed."

3rd accident...10 minutes later...
Kieran:  "Mama, I go pee-pee.  See?"
My thought:  "yup.  I see....but we are getting somewhere (other than a lot of laundry)...he actually sees that he is wet from his pee!  Sigh...progress!"

The day continued on with many many accidents.  Did I mention that he ran away, told me he was hiding from me, and refused to try the potty to poop?  Yes, that happened today too...twice.  Hopefully before he is 18, he will poop on the potty.

Day 2 was considerably better.  It went a bit like this:
Kieran:  "MAMA!!  I go pee-pee on the potty!"
Me:  "OK!  Let's go!  RUN RUN RUN!"
He had already started going by the time he would tell me...but we would make it to the potty in time for the majority to land in the potty....or around the potty.

Side note:  What the heck??  Boys pee goes EVERYWHERE!

Another side note:  Hazel must think I'm crazy.  I keep putting her down suddenly and running away.

All in all, I see vast improvement in these two days.  Kieran actually made it from 2 pm until 6 pm without having a single accident!  I was amazed....and sooooo thankful because I was dangerously close to running out of underwear (the morning was a doozy).

This potty training thing is simply exhausting.
Did I mention that Kieran skipped his nap today AND is cutting his 2 year molars as we speak?
Good grief!

It's a wonder why someone hasn't created a "consultant company" who would come out to your house for a week, live with you, and potty train your kid.  While we are seriously strapped for cash right now...I just MIGHT consider it....

All you entrepreneurs out there willing to deal with a little pee and poop....here's your grand opportunity to cash in...

All Aboard the Potty Train Express!