Month: October 2012

Ongoing milestones

We had a blast this weekend with my parents visiting for Amanda’s birthday.  We picked pumpkins on a farm, ate lots of delicious food, and shopped till Jack dropped.  But I haven’t uploaded photos yet.

I wanted to pop on the blog though.  Just an update on how Jack is doing, which is great!  For a slow talker, he is really blossoming now.  Tons of verbs and nouns, some pronouns even, and he is dappling in conjugation.  He will imitate any word you give him.  He makes three word sentences.  He knows his numbers and letters.  I hate to say it, but I think TV taught him to read letters.  Out of no where he started to name them. Then I watched some Super Why! with him after Paige finally translated for me.  I kept hearing him ask for “Shoop Aye!” Now it’s “Shooper Why!” Anyway, that show is all about letters and making words, so I guess that’s where he picked them up.  Now I have him read letters to me everywhere we see them.  Again, I have some video but it’s not up yet.

He knows ALL the animals.  Seriously.  He knows the colors.  He follows two step commands.  He can wash his hands all by himself (water on, rinse, soap, rinse, water off, towel dry, hang towel, light off, door shut).  He can balance on one foot.  He can turn on tablets and select the next episode he wants when one finishes (and I already told him it was the last one, the little stinker).  He still can’t jump with two feet off the ground.  He swallows his toothpaste.  He helps put his clothes on but can’t do it by himself yet.  But boy, have the last few months been crazy for growth!  Two and four months is very different than two. 

I started a sticker chart to help him be more responsible.  We hope to work towards potty training soon, and this is a preliminary step to that.

I posted this today and explained it to him.  Now I hear him wander over there and read off the pictures “toys…eat….POOP!”

Making Chi Chi Dango

Later today Jack strapped on his apron alongside with me to make another mochiko-based treat.  Chi Chi Dango is a Hawaiian treat that we made using this recipe.  Now here’s a step by step with lots of photos!
Dump a box of mochiko in a big bowl.
All of it.
Add sugar.
Add baking powder.
Practice some words.
Pause to each a red bean mochi.
Add water.
Add a can of coconut milk.
Measure and add vanilla.
While one person whisks…
The other sings “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes!”
Butter a casserole dish.
Add the final ingredient: food coloring.  First he picked green.
He saw how fun it was to make colors.
So he insisted on blue too.  He wanted yellow next but I said two is enough.
Mix and pour.
Keep pouring!
Get it all!
Cover with tin foil.
Put in the oven at 350 for one hour, and say “Bake More?”
After baking it has to cool completely before being cut and rolled in potato starch, kind of like homemade marshmallows.  I did this after Jack’s bedtime. 
Two kinds of mochi packed for Ben to take to work. 

Making Mochi

I have not found a source in Denver for fresh mochi.  So I made my own!

 I’ll consider this attempt and experiment.  The results will not convert anyone to loving mochi.  But I think I can improve upon it.

I used a combination of these two recipes. 

  • Boil 1 cup water with 1/4 cup sugar
  • Add 3 drops red food coloring (which was too much, see below)
  • Dump in 1 cup mochiko flour
  • Stir like crazy
  • Dump onto prepared cutting board (potato starch all over it)
  • Tear off pieces, pinch around filling, roll in starch

It took minutes to make!  So easy, so tempting to try again already. 

I used canned An (sweetened red bean paste) and froze it to make portioning and wrapping easier.  Apparently Jack will eat spoonful after spoonful of An.  Weirdo. 

However, I’m glad I waited until nap time to make this.  The dough is warm-to-hot and you have to work fast.  Also, with no baking step, it’s extra important that no dirty little hands get in the dough. 

I got the ingredients at Viet-Hoa, an Asian grocery store on Alameda.  

Next time:

  • Less food coloring. 1-2 drops is plenty.
  • Flavor the dough.  I wonder how they make strawberry in the bakery?
  • Figure out the best filling to wrap ratio.
  • Vary the filling.  Chocolate? Nutella? Fruit? Maybe use these instructions with pistachios?

Perks of having a nanny

We come home after long hours to a happy, rested, entertained boy.

 The house is tidy, the floors are cleared.   Jack’s play area is even organized.

The lasagna we left is cooked and cooling on counter.

The dog is walked and content.

Oh, and dishes are done.

It’s much, much better than a daycare would have been.

PLUS! All of that happened while Jack works through ANOTHER cold. (I blame this one on the flu shot he got Friday.)

Need I remind you that a daycare would not have taken him today, necessitating one of us missing work?

So much better with a nanny.

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