Tuesday, October 19, 2010

19 Months

Sadly, I am a few days late with this post...because a 19 month old really keeps a Mama busy. And they like to go a lot of places with other little rug rats who harbor viruses (I'm looking at you Cosi kid's area). Anyway, after a day under the weateher, I am back to feeling like myself again and ready to update on a 19 month old Milo.

Each day we're starting to see more and more personality and by that I mean, he suddenly has strong opinions on certain things (like where to eat his apple sauce). His favorite new word is NO said using two syllables and making a duck face with the lips. We try not to laugh, but truthfully we probably encouraged this phase. In the past couple of weeks, we would ask Milo if he drank coffee and he would shake his head and say no sweetly in his quiet voice. The game progressed to asking him if he drank wine or if he was tofu chicken. Each time he would reply in the negative and we would all laugh. Now he will mutter no for a good several minutes at a time.

This past month we have been doing a Tuesday morning tumbling class at our local rec center to get out some extra energy. Milo loves it! Each week there is free play to bounce around the mats and try out skills. Then we have circle time where we stretch and sing songs. Each week a new skill is introduced (forward roll, handstand, backward roll, hanging on the bar) and each child gets a turn. Finally we play with the big parachute. I love that Milo is learning exercise is fun. I also like that he gets to practice things I wouldn't teach him at home (um, handstand) and taking turns / waiting in line. It's been a great experience. Since I signed him up as early as I could have (the class is kids for 18 - 36 months), we'll be attending again in the future.

Even with Milo's seemingly boundless energy and strong opinions, he is just so much fun. He's a giggly, cuddly little buddy who is now learning to kiss back. Since I am, for now, the only recipient of those mushy kisses, I am appreciating each and every one.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What Goes with Chili

The last week or so has been rainy and chilly. We've turned the heat on and our outside play was confined to small bursts between sprinkles. It's not the ideal crisp air and sunny days of fall we long for in August, but it is the perfect weather for making a pot of chili.

People have strong beliefs about their chili - with beans, without beans, what type of beans, corn or no corn, five alarm or just a little heat. For this reason, I am not going to offer up my chili recipe (plus there isn't one as I just wing it every time I make it). I, am, however going to say the best accompaniment to chili is cornbread. Corn chips are an acceptable substitute, but please hold the spaghetti and (eww) rice.

With Milo being allergic to dairy and eggs, I didn't want to use the usual Jiffy mix I have in the past. Luckily it was very easy to find a super good vegan cornbread recipe. This stuff is so good and so easy that I don't think I'll ever use the box again. The original recipe is linked to above. My changes are below.

Vegan Wholewheat Corn Bread

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup bread flour
1 cup corn meal
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tbsp ground flax seed
6 tbsp warm water
4 tsp baking powder
1 cup rice milk
1/4 cup canola oil

Measure dry ingredients into large mixing bowl. Mix with fork until combined. In separate small bowl, whisk together the flax and warm water. Add the other wet ingredients. Incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry. Scrape batter into greased 8 square inch baking dish. Bake in preheated oven at 355 degrees for about 25 - 30 minutes.

This cornbread goes great with chili and would be nice with other bean based soups as well. It's also tasty the next day with avocado slices. Enjoy the fall weather - even if it is rainy!