The toddler and I went to the Please Touch Museum today for a rainy day activity. I had been telling him I would take him last week, but I wasn't feeling great and kept putting it off. He has spring fever and needs to run around, so going to the museum was a perfect place to burn off some energy.
I am not a sports fan and don't really follow local sports, so I wasn't aware that today was Phillie Phanatic day at the museum. There was a grand unveiling of 20 Phanatic statues that were designed/painted but 20 different artists. Each artist was present during a small ceremony and got to unveil their statue. There were "ball girls" on hand giving out Phillies towels/large wash clothes and their own baseball cards. The actual baseball players were not there--they are in Florida for training, but the Phanatic did make an appearance. I am not sure why, but today was part of "Paint the town Red" week, so instead of being a crazy shade of green he was all red. Andrew and I stood patiently waiting for the introduction of the Phanatic. Andrew does not know who or what the Phanatic is, so he really wasn't all that interested in hanging out there. I thought it might be fun, but it was utter chaos.
The interesting thing that I noticed was that many of the kids, especially the younger ones, were in the same mind as Andrew. They were there at the museum to play, not listen to grown ups give speeches or look at funny looking statues. Who was creating the pandemonium? The parents, and other adults (there was an abundance of old men in baseball clothing without kids!) There was a father standing next to me with a stroller holding an 18 month old boy and a three year old boy next to him. The dad was SO EXCITED that the Phanatic was there. He kept running over my foot with the stroller and stepping on me. It wasn't that crowded, but he apparently thought I had a better view (I didn't.) This dad was so disappointed when his kids refused to take on a volunteer job to help unveil a statue because it scared them. Once the Phanatic was out in the crowd, this dad practically stalked him until he got a photo of his kids with the red monster. Crazy stuff.
What was the highlight of Andrew's day? Going inside the tree structure without me. They have a temporary exhibit on trees at the museum, including a life size tree that has a tunnel in the center with climbing ropes and a slide. To get to the slide, kids have to climb up a series of ropes to get to the top, go through a little tunnel and then to the slide. Andrew was too small for it, but a big girl helped give him a boost with the rope climbing, so he was able to slide down. He even did it twice. This was big for him, as he often refuses to do anything without me being right there. I was proud of how brave he was. He had a blast! He fell sound asleep on the ride home.
A while ago I entered a contest that I found listed on Etsy by seller EllaDean. The contest was to write a love story for a cartoon couple listed on the site. I quickly wrote out a short story for Herschel and Cleo and sent it in to Ella. To my surprise, I won the contest and she used my story as inspiration for a new scent of lip balms, love mists, and a blusher. She recently sent me samples of the products and I have been enjoying them and sharing them. My little story is listed on the side of the products--very cool! Check out the products here!
Who knows, maybe I'll develop the story further into a novella! (In my spare time!)
Somehow I subscribe to Family Fun magazine. I had subscribed to another child-friendly publication, but it apparently went under prior to the start of my subscription and Family Fun was the replacement. It is a cute magazine, but since it is published by Disney, it is VERY Disney oriented. (I'm not against Disney, just think paying for a bound advertisement is a bit silly.) So this month inside the back cover are directions for baking rainbow cupcakes. I decided to try out the recipe and have Andrew help decorate the cupcakes.
Since essentially the recipe is just a boxed white cake mix dyed, I figured it would be very easy. It was easy, but not as simplistic as I anticipated and I am glad I assembled the little rainbows while Andrew was napping. I imagine in a few years he'll be able to handle various dyed batters, but making those layers was more tedious than I expected. The directions were not clear about how much of each color goes into each cupcake. I went with enough to cover a layer, but by orange I was starting to run out of room. Normally when I make cupcakes I only fill the cups half or two-thirds full. With these guys, they were filled to the top so that I could at least get each of the six colors in the cupcake. (I followed that old pneumatic rhyme, Roy G. Biv, but left out the indigo.) They turned out to be HUGE cupcakes...but there is nothing wrong with that! I found a great recipe for cream cheese frosting, which was a good excuse to use one of the packs of cream cheese I had on hand for a cheese cake that I never ended up making.
After nap, Andrew helped with the decorating part of the cupcake assembly. I frosted, he added sprinkles of colored sugar. He also was the official taste tester. He declared them to be yummy.
Fun recipe that would be perfect for a kid's birthday party!
Update: my photo of my rainbow cupcake was featured on the blog Cupcakes Take the Cake. If you love cupcakes, this is a great site!
In my pursuit of new vegetarian recipes for Meatless Mondays, I checked a couple of books our of the library on vegetarian cooking. I was looking for an older Moosewood Cookbook, but not finding the one I was looking for I stumbled upon Simple Suppers from the Moosewood Restaurant. It is a great book! On Friday night I made Pineapple Fried Rice with Tofu. It was loved by the adults of the house but the picky toddler only ate a forkful. On Sunday night I made Po'boy sandwiches with fresh tilapia. Again, it was a hit with the adults but the toddler wouldn't touch it. (He said he "can't eat the fish!" ugh.) I've wanted to find ways to work more fish into our diets, so this was a nice way to try a new fish dish. I'm not sure why Andrew has been so picky/defiant with food lately. We seem to have hit or miss days where he'll either gobble up what we give him or days he'll only eat fruit, veggies and dairy. If he'd eat more beans or tofu, I wouldn't be concerned, but most of his protein is from dairy at this point.
I have discovered that some vegetarian cookbooks do not include fish in them. The Mark Bittman one I borrowed is one such book. He does cover many recipes though, so this would be a great book to own.
I also borrowed a book called the Amish Cook. Most of the recipes do not fit into our diet (they use a lot of lard and shortening,) but the stories that are told throughout the book are really interesting and there are a few recipes worth trying. Chris really likes shoo-fly pie, so maybe I'll try that recipe for him sometime.
For this week's Meatless Monday we'll be having a baked ziti type dish made with whole wheat pasta and salad. No recipe, just ingredients I have on hand.