Sunday, August 30, 2009


In July the pumpkin and I went to visit my grandmother in Louisville Kentucky. My mom even flew in from Las Vegas to visit. Now I'm finally posting pictures of the vacation. She enjoyed tearing up her great grandmothers house. Of course she let her do and my grandma just laughed in joy. I got to see the church my mom grew up in and it's also the place my great grandfather was a minister at. It was amazing to me to be in a place that was full of so much of my families history. We went to the Louisville Zoo while we where there. The pumpkin loved all of the animals. When we where at the lemur habitat she sang "the move it, move it" song from Madagascar. Her favorite was the monkeys, but I think that all of the children like the monkeys.

She felt so grown up on the plane. The flight attendant gave pumpkin her own juice in one of those small plastic clear cups. She would even set it in the cup holder on the tray table.

Here she is tearing up great grandmas living room. She has or shall I say had the kind of living room that you walk by but don't sit in. That kind of space does not exist to the pumpkin.

She loved the zoo. It was something to see. Just about everything there grabbed her attention. That quite a feat. My daughters attention span is about as long as her pinky finger.

EWW! yuk here's a bad picture of mama and the pumpkin. ALL pictures of me are bad.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ratatouille's Ratatoulle

I was lucky enough to receive a large amount of zucchini from the garden of two of the boys I watch. When I say large I mean huge. Not only did I get quite a few zucchini but these suckers where huge. Their mother was also nice enough to give some yellow squash too. I love zucchini but the only thing I know how to make is fried zucchini. Then I remembered how yummy and delicious Remy's ratatouille looked in the Disney movie Ratatouille. So I googled the recipe, an after a few modifications I came up with my own version of Ratatouille's ratatouille.


1/2 red onion cut into circles

1 -2 garlic cloves chopped finely

1 cup tomato sauce

2 table spoons of olive oil

1 eggplant

1 zucchini

1 yellow squash

1 red bell pepper


salt and pepper

Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Pour the tomato sauce in the bottom of a pan. It just so happened that I had an oval one like Remy used in the movie. Then pour in one table spoon of olive oil and the chopped garlic cloves. Mix it with the tomato sauce.

Thinly chop zucchini, squash, eggplant, onion, and bell pepper.

Next arrange your veggies in a circular pattern on top of your tomato sauce mixture.

Pour the remaining table spoon of olive oil on top and season with salt, pepper, and parsley.

Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese over the top and cover with foil or parchment paper like Remy did.

Bake for 45-55 minutes and serve it over couscous or rice. It also goes well with some french or garlic bread.

Enjoy mmmm!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Update on update

So this evening while searching the net, I came a across some disturbing posts on other web sites. They were completely bashing the whole Your Baby Can Read series. They were saying that it only teaches the "whole word" approach to reading not understanding that that's what sight reading is. Its words that we have remembered. I don't really see the harm in that. I believe that when my daughter goes to kindergarten that she will also learn phonics. That's the sounding out of words and the letters that make the sounds in the words. And really, does it matter how your child learns to read, if the end result is that your child knows how to read?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Your Baby can read update

Well after almost 2 1/2 weeks of the starter DVD we have moved on to DVD #1. The kids know nearly all of the words in the starter one with the exception of maybe 2-3 words. They just wouldn't sit and watch it any more. I figured it must be because they've grown tired of it and need more stimulation. Ta Da ! I was right as soon as I put the new one on they all sat still and watched. You could almost hear the synapses firing off in their little heads. It's amazing, but yet it makes me wonder, if something so simple as showing babies and toddlers words followed by a picture can teach them to read, why isn't this something that is encouraged more in daycare centers ? Maybe its those doubting parents that only believe that the kids aren't really reading but simply remembering what the word looks like, or the ones who think that there's no way that a 6 month old knows what an elephant is. Now stop and think about this, us as adults aren't really reading half of the words we know. There's tons of sight words that we know because we've remembered, sense we were children, what the word looks like. Hello that's why they're called sight words and what is so bad about my toddler learner sight words when she's two. Just think how much more she'll learn when she's 5 and in kindergarten. This is a subject that I'd love to elaborate more on but the pumpkin is nagging at my side wanting to go to sleep. YES she lets me know when she's ready for bed.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Your Baby Can Read?

So a few weeks back the pumpkin and I went to visit my grandmother in Louisville KY. While we were there my grandma was excited about this thing that she saw on TV. She was sure that the pumpkin would benefit greatly by this program and she decided to purchase it. This box arrived about a week ago. At first I was a bit sceptical. How could these DVD's teach babies to read? Well, what the heck we'll give it ago, and if anything the parents of the children I watch will like it too. Now I am completely sold on the "Your Baby Can Read" DVD's. Its been a little over a week and the pumpkin and her buddies have already started to recognize about 5 of the 21 key words in the starter DVD. The "reading movie" (that's what the kids call it) has replaced our morning circle time. I'm very excited about this.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Amazing Technicolor Twirly Whirlys

So Banana's mom brought me some goodies a few weeks back. Banana is my Pumpkins buddy. It was a few yards of fabric that she scored at a garage sale for 2 bucks. There was this and that, but what really caught my eye was the yard or rainbow striped fabric and the red, orange, and yellow cotton solids. I added some navy and green that I had in my stash and, viola, the birth of The Amazing Technicolor Twirly Whirly x2.One person told me that the dresses reminded them of a bag of Skittles.

Action shots!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Raspberry Bliss

I do not have a green thumb. I grew up in Las Vegas ,NV were gardening was hard. Now I live in central Wisconsin, everything seems to grow here. I wont lie, I was trilled when the neighbors told me that I had raspberries growing in the yard, but I just don't know how to care for them. So I googled this and that until I had what I thought was enough info on growing raspberries. It did me no good what so ever. We kinda missed when we were supposed to pick them and half of them were a bit too ripe. So when life gives you too few raspberries, you make what I call raspberry bliss.

raspberries a few hand fulls or so
about 2 table spoons of butter
half of a cup of clear liquor ( vodka or rum )
maybe a cup of sugar

Its not really a recipe that gives you cups and teaspoons, its kind of a hit and miss thing.
you start out by picking your raspberries. Pumpkin likes to "help" but its more of a grab them off the plant and eat them. If you don't have raspberries in your yard you just head on down to your local grocery store.
Then you clean the berries.
Next you add about 2 table spoons of butter to an already hot skillet. Once the butter has melted, add the raspberries, sugar and alcohol. Bring that to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer. You let that simmer for a bit and then check it. If its not sweet enough add some more sugar, if its fine don't. It should be a syrup like concoction, but not too thick. If its too think, almost like a goopy paste add some more liquor. Let it cool a little and serve over some ice cream, angel food cake, or even pancakes. YUM!

Heres Pumpkin "helping ".