Sunday, January 23, 2011

Traveling with a Toddler

This weekend we went away for a night. Steve had a work thing to go to so the hotel room was free. I volunteered to spend the evening with Miles. The pictures above was Miles and I relaxing early in the evening before everything unraveled into chaos. "What a deal for me" I thought. Miles and I took a train in to town, walked around for a while until we found a place to eat and then came back to the hotel room. It was close to 8:00 pm so that was a great time to put Miles to bed. I was so excited to put him down and then lay in bed and read. I wouldn't have a cat jumping on me and I could spend the time completely alone.

What I got was a screaming toddler. I knew he would not like being put to bed in unfamiliar surroundings, but I was sure he would settle down after about an hour. That did not happen. He cried for an hour. I then picked him up and turned on the TV (Miles never gets to watch TV so it is very exciting for him when he does). Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to get to the TV so all I had was the free videos. I first picked a review of a childrens' movie. That lasted 5 minutes. I needed something that lasted longer. Next I chose a workout video (I didn't have many choices). The workout video was targeting abs and since I plan to get into a swim suit this summer I thought it would be a great learning opportunity. Well it turned out to be a pretty interesting 20 minute work out video so I thought I would give it a try. I put Miles back in his crib and watched it again, this time while participating. While I was working out, Miles was in his crib throwing everything out saying, "Kitty out. Giraffe out. Blankie out. Other blankie out. Miles out?" followed by him banging on the wall and opening and closing closet doors very loudly.

After finishing my workout, which was pretty intense, I moved the crib so Miles could not touch any walls. I then turned out all the lights so it was pitch black in the room. At this point, it was around 10:00 pm. Miles started screaming as loud as he could. I was tired and grumpy and did not last very long. I picked Miles up and again turned on the TV. This time, I found a free video called "Sleep" that showed calming images while playing calming music. We watched it three times before Miles finally fell asleep in my arms. At that point, it was 11:00 pm. I was exhausted, and Steve was on his way back to the hotel. I didn't get any quiet time to myself, I was all wound up and my muscles were aching so I didn't sleep well, then Miles wakes up promptly at 7:30 am.

Lessons learned, don't expect relaxation when traveling with toddlers and keep your expectations low when it comes to "me" time.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jammie Dance

Don't you just love pajamas? They are so cozy, there's no buttons or zippers or anything constricting. If you have a good pair it's like wearing your favorite blanket. Growing up, my mom called them "jam jams" which, to me, made them so much more special. I have tried to instill that feeling in to my child.

At the request of a friend who stalks my blog, but never leaves comments I have posted a video of Miles getting excited for his jammies. It's the favorite time of day for everyone in the family.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I often find myself becoming obsessed with something. It can be a project, a food, a piece of fabric or people or stories...whatever. This week I was obsessed with horchata so I decided to make my own. The recipe I got from I didn't follow the recipe exactly and I think next time I make it, I will make more changes, but it was still really good and a fun drink to try.

For those of you who don't know what horchata is, it is a refreshing cinnamon flavored rice milk drink that is often served with mexican food. Apparently, it is often served at breakfast because it is considered to be great for a hangover, but I just read that online. I don't think I will ever need a cure for a hangover.

And now, for the recipe...

Lola's Horchata
1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
5 cups water
1/2 cup milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Put rice and water in a blender and blend until the rice starts to break up (about one minute). Let sit for 3 hours (Because I did this step before going to church, mine sat for more like 5 hours and it was still tasty, also my blender was leaking with 5 cups of water so I scooped some of it out to blend the rice and then added it back in for the sitting time).

2. Strain rice and water into a pitcher, add other ingredients, stir, and refrigerate. Serve over ice.

Easy peasy and it was delicious. I made some chicken enchiladas to go with the drink and we all had a fun time (not really, Miles drank the horchata and decided he didn't want to eat any of the meal but just have more drink which made for a high strung, stressed out mother. Eventually, I got him to eat a few pieces of broccoli (he loves broccoli) and two bites of enchilada).

The one complaint I had a bout the drink was it left a huge amount of silt at the bottom of the glass (sugar and cinnamon) which bothers me terribly. I think next time I make it, I might take some of the strained rice water and heat it with the sugar to make a simple syrup, then add the milk and vanilla. I might also include a cinnamon stick in while making the simple syrup instead of using ground cinnamon.

Cooks...what are your thoughts? How would you remedy the problem of the silt?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Natural Cleaning Products

For Christmas, my friend made me some all natural cleaning products and I was super excited to try them out. The cleanser is just baking soda and your favorite natural oils to make it smell nice. I don't know what oils my friend used (something citrusy I think), but I am loving this cleanser. First, I cleaned my kitchen sink and it was so nice to not cover my hands in a harsh smelling detergent. Then I went upstairs to clean the bathroom. I didn't realize how my system for cleaning the bathroom revolved around not mixing the cleanser with the glass cleaner and how my nose suffered with all the fumes. Two best parts, I didn't have to spend 20 minutes scrubbing down my arms from the elbow down to get all the toxic cleanser off my hands and, now, if I want to put Miles in the bathtub right after cleaning it, I don't have to worry about any cleanser being left behind.

The all-purpose spray was super great too. I don't know what is in it, but the other night Miles wanted to help clean up after dinner. Being under 2, there isn't a lot of deep cleaning he can handle other than clearing his dinner dishes. However, the table needed to be wiped down and I realized I had an all-natural all purpose spray. I set him up on a chair, gave him a rag and sprayed down the table. Together the three of us wiped down the dinner table and had a fun time doing it too. It was so nice to be able to include Miles in the house cleaning.