Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Recipe Wednesday - Chapati

If anyone has ever eaten Indian food, you've likely eaten some Naan.  For those who don't know what Naan is, it is almost like a tortilla that you tear into pieces with which to eat the curry.  There are many other tortilla-like breads that Indians use to eat besides just Naan, though.  One very easy and quick "bread" is the chapati. 

I came home from India in February with some recipes from my mother-in-law and as much as I want to make all of them, I've been a little chicken.  I'm worried I'll completely ruin everything.  I got brave one afternoon awhile back and tried my hand at making chapati.  It was sooo easy.  It helped that I watched Mom make it in her kitchen, though, so I took a few pictures to help those of you who may be visual learners.

Mix together until it forms a soft dough:
3c. whole wheat flour
pinch of salt
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 c. water (Add the last 1/4 cup or so slowly to be sure you need it.)

This recipe seems to be quite forgiving.  I wanted to halve this recipe and my brain went on vacation around the time I was figuring up my measurements.  I added too much water so had to add more flour little by little.  It still worked out in the end. 

Pull off a small bit of dough (think ping-pong ball or a bit smaller) and pat it into a circle, about palm size.

Apply a little bit of oil (you could use a silicone brush for this, but I just used the back of a spoon to spread it around) and fold twice - into a triangle.  Roll out the triangle.

The first couple of Chapati I didn't roll out thin enough and they ended up a bit dense.  As I went on I figured out the feel of it and the final chapatis were much better.

Apply a bit of oil to one side, lay that side to the heat and cook (over mediuim heat).  When you start to see air bubbles, spread on a bit of oil then flip to cook the other side. 

You can continue to flip/apply oil as long as you need.  (Don't go too crazy with the oil, it really doesn't take all that much.)

Serve this w/ a curry OR..... you can eat it with jelly, or PB&J!  It's pretty good that way.  It's actually how my boys ate it while in India.

Alex munching on a warm chapati, plain.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Aren's 4 month check up

Four Months Old!!

Aren turned 4 months old on Monday, the 19th.  I took him to his check up on the following Wednesday and it turns out he's a wee little thing.

Height: 23 inches (1%)
Weight: 11 lbs 6 oz. (1%)

So 99% of all the other little boys his age are bigger than he is.  He's still in size 1 disposable diapers and size small for cloth diapers.  He wears 0-3 mo. clothes. 

We'll go back in two weeks to have a weight check to see that he's still doing some growing.  When we go back, I'll also have them give the rest of his vaccinations.  I wanted to split them up so he didn't have 3 shots and an oral all at once (like he did for his 2mo. appointment).  As it was, he had 5 different vaccinations (via two shots).  He did get a low-grade fever and was quite sleepy.  He has a hard time napping for longer than 45 min. at a time during the day, so I spent my afternoon (2.5 hours or so) holding him so he could get some rest. 

Despite being so small, he's still hitting his other developmental marks quite well.  He holds his head pretty steady when I hold onto his hands and pull him from a laying position to sitting up.  He has no desire to stay sitting up, though.  He still goes a bit floppy :)  

He's not only giving all of us great grins but he's started to giggle, too.  Love the giggle! 

He has started to roll from his back to his belly.  This meant it was time to get rid of the swaddle.  I tried this a couple of times but he just screamed and screamed so I kept swaddling him back up again.  On Sunday morning I found him on his belly in his crib and I had a little moment of panic.  I quickly checked to see that he was still breathing.  When Biju saw his position, he asked "Is he alive?" So that night we knew we had to just go cold turkey with the swaddle. 

That night was horrid.  He fell asleep and I put him down but he immediately woke up (which never happens!).  He couldn't be consoled.  I held him and it took a good 20 min. to calm him down again.  He slept for about a half hour then was screaming again.  Another 30 min. of crying and then he slept.  We did this quite a bit through the night.  At one point he scream/cried for forty-five minutes and no matter what I did - rubbing his back, patting his bottom, giving him his pacifier, helping him find his thumb, holding him - he just cried and cried.  Then, all the sudden, he gave up and conked out! 

I'm so glad that only happened the first night.  The second night was much improved.  I did have to go in twice to give him his binky but he went right back to sleep.  The third night, he slept solid until 5:45am when he was ready to nurse.  Last night (the fourth night without the swaddle) was more like the second night, but the poor babe had the slight fever from his shots. 

He's such a sweetheart.  He's got a very calm temperment - so I'm hoping he has some influence on his more exuberant older brothers.  He brings such happiness to the rest of the family. 

This is what he was doing while I was typing up this post:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Recipe Wednesday - Hummus

I am currently refraining myself from eating this stuff with a spoon.  Instead, I'm scooping it up with red/yellow/orange pepper slices.  Crunch crunch yum yum.

3 cloves of garlic
- put into the blender/food processor/Magic Bullet and chop it up.

Add into the blender with the garlic:
1/4 cup of lemon juice (I'm sure it'd be better from a fresh lemon, but I just used the stuff from a bottle.)
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. Tahini (I'm guessing it was around 3Tbs - it was separated so sorta hard to measure.)
Blend it all up.

2   15oz-cans chick peas/garbanzo beans (drained, juice reserved)

Start blending.  It won't take long until you'll need to add in some of the reserved "juice" from the beans.  I ended up using close to 1 cup.  It all depends on the consistency you'd like.

Enjoy with peppers, pita/pita chips, cucumber, as a sandwich spread, etc, etc.

You can always add other stuff, if you like. 
a little paprika on top
maybe drizzle a bit of olive oil on top sprinkled with sunflower seeds
(I'm even toying with the idea of blending up a cup or so of the hummus w/ an avocado!)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wearing what was made

Anyone remember this sleep-sack I made?

That was Aren in my tummy as I stared longingly at the cuddly sleep gown.  I couldn't wait to hold our new baby in our arms and put him in something I created specifically for him.  He's the third boy in the family.  Let's face it, there isn't much around here that was only for him!
Finally, he's gotten big enough to fit into it and the weather has cooled off a bit.  It still isn't cold enough to put him in this very warm gown for any length of time but it was cool enough to put him in to check the fit.  It fits pretty well right now.  I'm hoping it still fits okay enough to wear in another month or so when the weather starts go get even cooler. 

That grin gets me every time!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


He's so close to flipping to his tummy..... soooo close.  Just not quite there, yet.  I think that arm gets tucked under him and prevents him from finishing the job.

Halfway there.

Pretty much there but can't get past that arm.

He was close enough, so I helped him finish the roll so he could play on his tummy.  Alex gave him a toy for encouragement.
And just for fun, here are a couple other shots of Mr. Handsome Pants.

The day he turned 3 months old.

Occassionally, he'll find that thumb!!

One of the rare photos of a smile - he usually sees the camera and stops smiling.  I do believe it was during the bath prior to the picture that he let out his first laugh.  It was so stinkin' cute.

Aren and Papa.

Me and the boys with their Great Grandma (my dad's mom).  She was riding through town with my parents.  They stopped for a visit and to celebrate Kyleigh's 5th birthday.  We had picnic food and sour lemon cupcakes.

Friday, September 9, 2011


Alex likes to help with anything that has to do with Aren.  He's crazy about his little brother.  The other morning he had an opportunity to throw a diaper in the trash for me.  He took off towards the kitchen to throw it away as I put a fresh cloth dipe on the baby.  Suddenly I heard a crash and a scream.  This wasn't the typical "ow, I'm hurt" cry, it was a scream that had me sprinting into the kitchen to see Alex walking slowly towards me.  His mouth was open in a silent cry and his eyes were tear-filled and wide open telling me he was in pain.  I looked behind him to try to get an idea of what had happened. 

To get a better idea of how he hurt himself, let me describe this portion of my house to you.  We have a rectangular "back to back" kitchen (I call it back to back because if one person is standing at the sink and another person is standing at the stove, they're basically standing back to back).  You have to take one step down into the utility room where we keep our trash can.

Apparently, Alex had taken a little stool to the kitchen - it wasn't a step stool, it was a little folding stool, about two feet high, with a round black seat to sit upon.  He, I guess, was standing on the stool to throw the diaper away and somehow or another the stool either slipped out from under him (which Biju had warned him just the day before that it might do!), or he put it too close to the edge of the stair and as he climbed up it slipped off the edge.  
So there was the stool, laying on it's side next to the trashcan, the diaper over by the washing machine, and Alex's mint gum laying on the floor, exactly where it had fallen out of his mouth as he landed.

I looked back at Alex and blood was startig to pool in his still open mouth.  I scooped him up and tried comforting him while taking him to the bathroom to rinse his mouth out.  I inspected the outside of his mouth to see if he had bit completely through the lip.  I saw a mark but couldn't quite tell if it was from biting through the lip or just a mark from where he hit the floor.  I called my mom, first, to ask if they normally put stitches on the inside of a lip.  Her response "Ohh, noo." and then a little bit of laughter, then "What happened?"  I figured she'd know best considering my older brother, as a young toddler, fell down some stairs and bit off the tip of his tongue (I think.  Either that or he did bite through his lip.  Or both.).

I then called the pediatrician whose nurse advised that I keep ice on it (we were using the ice cube from a Boo Bunny) and suggested giving him a popsicle to help him keep the cold directed to where it was needed.  He didn't mind that treatment at all!

He was a good sport about it all, even with Mommy asking him to push his lip out so I could get a better look at the cut (and pictures, too!).  By the time Daddy got home and we showed him, it had bruised up even more.
Shortly after the fall.

Taking his medicine like a man (or, like a kid).

The mark under his lip from falling, the next day.

Ugly lip bruise.

Just had to throw this in there - the two boys zoning out on Angry Birds.
What lip pain?? I'm just excited I can hold the baby all by myself!! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A baby shower!

So you know what that means - there will soon be a new baby to snuggle.  This time, the proud Mama and Daddy are Tonya and Brian.

We celebrated Tonya's pregnancy recently and we just can't wait to meet Baby Jazmine.  (I'm sure that's the name they've settled on, but I know Sage was also on their list, and I do like that name for them, I must say.)  

Ajay and Alex stayed home with Biju while I took Aren with me.  We met up with Lisa, Natalie, Erin and Janel.  (Pssst.... Lisa made that necklace she's wearing!  Cute, no?)

We had fun playing games, watching the couple open their gifts and eating cake.  I got a kick out of the plates - another party goer pointed this out:
Sure, it says "Cute as a Button" but what pops out at you?  I guess all babies do have cute little butts, right??
After the shower, a few of "The Girls" and I went to drool over some yarn at a local yarn shop.  We ooh'd and ahh'd to our hearts content, and felt everything up.  We then headed over to Hobby Lobby and bought some yarn.  (Was that wrong of us??)  Natalie and Janel even bought a "learn to crochet" kit so they can have yarn fun, too!

Later in the afternoon we gathered at my house.  This allowed Biju to go out and do some shopping for an upcoming trip and the boys got to play with their aunties.  Lisa brought over Russell (her hubby) and Ellie, their 3 yo daughter. 

Such hams.
As you may recall from a recent post, I'm teaching Ajay to crochet. He took this knowledge and passed it on to Natalie. I couldn't help but look on with pride and a fat smile as he patiently showed her how to do the slip knot and start the chain.

Erin took over the crochet lesson when Natalie was ready to move on past the chain.  And since Ajay refused to teach Janel (we don't know why - one pupil only??) Lisa helped get Janel started with her lessons.

Aren helping Janelzebub with her yarn project.
Don't forget to check out our craft blog.  There's more than just crochet projects there.  Hopefully we'll be adding more soon!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Recipe Wednesday: Coming back?

For those of you who frequent my blog, you'll recall that I used to have a "segment" called Recipe Wednesday.  It has been awhile since I've done one of these and I was thinking of bringing it back.

Does anyone find this useful, besides me?  I mean, I'm always referring back to the recipes I put on here (I looked up the crock pot yogurt recipe just this past weekend, in fact).  I also know, from checking my "stats" feature here on Blogger, that random strangers have searched for/found some recipes, too.  (Namely Grandpas Potato Salad and Patio Weed Killer.)

So humor me, please, and vote on the poll to the right of the screen.  It probably isn't going to change things as I've already got a couple of recipes that I want to share, but I'm curious anyway :)  I've also got some ideas that aren't really food recipes but might be helpful, so I think I'll put them in this category..... even though it really has nothing to do with a recipe.  Just go with it. 

By the way - there are two different ways you can find previous recipes. 

1.  You can use the "search" feature on the left of the page.  For example - you're looking for a something that uses coconu?  Just type "coconut" in the box and you'll most likely come up with the Oatmeal Coconut Cranberry Cookie recipe (along with a lot of other posts that mention coconut!).

2.  Click on the "Recipes" label, also on the left.  This takes everything off of the page except for the posts that I've labeled as "Recipes." 

If you have used a recipe, please leave a comment, I'd love to know what type of recipes are useful.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Gorgeous weather!

Is anyone else (at least those in Kansas) completely in love with the weather we're having right now??  After having waaay too many 100+ degree days this summer I am just eating up this upper seventies/lower eighties stuff. 

This weekend, whenever a child would ask "Can I play the *insert electrical game device*" I would shout "NO! Go outside!"  It was nice not having to worry if they were getting enough water, or watching them come back inside after 5 minutes all red faced and dripping with sweat.

And ya know what?  Even *I* played outside for awhile with them!  We played tag and baseball and other times I just sat out there with Aren watching the two bigger boys run around.  And can I tell you how much Aren loves being outside?  Even when it was 104deg. on our front porch and we were waiting for Ajay to get off the bus he just lounged on my lap.  If he ever starts getting fussy and I want to try to keep him awake a little bit longer, we head out to the porch swing.  Good boy.  (Alex is always saying "good boy" to Aren, which I think deserves a "good boy" for Alex!  Way to be a positive big brother!)

Since I was busy chasing down baseballs I didn't get any photos of the outdoor play this weekend.  However, I do have some pics of Alex and Aren outside last week while Ajay was in school.  So here is a little something to feast your eyes on. 

Just a little sidenote - We've got the house opened up for fresh air and to give the ole a/c a break and I'm actually tempted to put on a light sweater!  As I type, it is 11am and it is 65 deg. outside! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A few firsts

Can you see it?  Alex wrote his name :)  It's really light but it's there.

Ajay's first crochet chain!  He gave it to a neighbor-girl as a bracelet.

Nice and even chains - I'm so proud of him :)

Aren's first bottle!!  Gotta love pumped breastmilk.  And he didn't have a problem at all with drinking from a bottle.
Gettin' into the groove.

Ahhh....happy tummy - provided by Daddy!
**I had a picture here of Ajay's first day of school but I noticed it had the name of the school in the background so I deleted it**

This is Alex getting a drink from the fountain after dropping Ajay off in First Grade.

The first time the boys got to give Aren a bottle.

They love being able to "nurse" Aren, too.

Ajay's first piece of homework.