Saturday, February 23, 2019

NY Strip Steaks and 3 Country Bistro - Woburn Center

A few days after Valentine's Day, I decided to make a nice steak dinner for Jim and I.  Jim had a late work call that Thursday night (Valentine's Day) so we postponed our dinner a few days.

I chose two of the NY strip steaks from the ButcherBox delivery and made a side of broccoli with onions and roasted them in the oven.

I seared the steaks on the stove top and then put them in the oven with the veggies.

I then made a creamy Israeli couscous with a "gravy" made for the steaks. I basically used the au jus and added a bit of flour to thicken. It was a little thicker than I wanted it to be, but it was good and added flavor.

We of course paired it with a nice bottle of cab and watched Madmen. It was the best night.

In other news, we just wrapped up "school vacation" week.  Conor and Caden's morning preschool was closed, so they went to their afternoon school all day so Jim and I could go to work. Cal's school was closed, but Jim's Dad came up from the Cape and watched him a few days and my mom watched him a day too. It worked out great.

Since Tom was here, we asked if we could go out to dinner while he stay home with the sleeping beauties. We decided to grab a bottle of Stags Leap Petite Sirah and went to 3 Country Bistro in Woburn Center. They have a BYOB -  no corkage fee! It is such a hole in the wall, they don't even have a website. We usually just do takeout but it was nice to get out for a night. I got the Bibimbap and Jim got a few sushi rolls. It was honestly the BEST dinner out we have had in a long time...

Caught! ;)

And when we got home, here they were!

This is how I am going to enjoy the rest of my weekend! :)

All for now!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

President's Day Weekend in Cape Cod!

How was everyone’s President’s Day weekend?! We went to Cape Cod on Friday – and headed straight to our “Little House”. The boys love it there, and they love visiting Jim’s parents. We arrived about noon time and they immediately started playing with their toys and on their bunk beds in their room. We brought their amazon fires aka “ipads” and just relaxed. We also played outside and made a few stops at Craigville Beach. Such a great weekend!

We waited for Jim to arrive about 6PM. He took the Plymouth Brockton bus from Boston. I packed the boys scooters and they went up and down the walkway near the ferries and boats while we waited for Jimbo.

I will say, this was by far one of our best weekends in Cape Cod. The boys were SO well behaved. They slept great and got along great. No one was sick and it really went smoothly. Maybe it’s because they are all sleeping in the same room at our house, so when they get down the Cape they aren’t going to be as silly and fun at bedtime? I don’t know. I’m not going to psychoanalyze it, but I am thrilled.

Here are a couple fun shots of us playing around our house and at Jim’s parents house.

Gi Gi and Cal having some pretend ice cream.

Here are a few pics outside. These were really cute! It was kind of mild down the Cape prior to the snow, so it was nice to get outside and play. They have their own bikes down there too, so they were having a blast.

 We took the boys swimming at the YMCA in Barnstable. It was PACKED.

And here’s a few from when we stopped at the beach. They loved it. They pretty much wanted to go swimming in the ocean – which is why we brought them to the Y to go swimming.

2016 post: Check out this Presidents Day Weekend post from 2016. Chrissy and I took the boys to Jump on In in Woburn - but I was too pregnant to do anything. And it's crazy to see the boys bedroom like that since it's changed so much!  Then and NOW. 

All for now! Enjoy the short week!


Saturday, February 16, 2019

Bored? Try These Non-Toy Activities at Home!

My sister Chrissy had another blog post suggestion! She noticed that we do a lot of non-toy activities in our home - trying to reinforce creativity and using their imagination. I must say, going from age 2/early 3 to now 4, it is amazing to see how much their imaginations have grown.

The biggest change is that Conor and Caden went from the "parallel play" to really playing together and coming up with some creative things - remember the "baby tomato" photography blog post?? Hahaha....

So with it being winter, I thought it would be nice to share some of our non-toy ideas.

First, and probably my favorite: Pipe-cleaners, or one-sided Q-tips in a strainer!

Who can forget shaving cream fun?!

For Caden's 100th day school project, we glued together 100 popsicle sticks! I thought it was going to be WAY bigger! Haha

I often let them play with water - and I add food coloring and let them mix it around. The toss in some toys and boats sometimes, but they sometimes just like to watch the colors mix! 

In addition to using water in these bowls, I also use dry oatmeal or panko and let them use their diggers/excavators to scoop everything up and dump it out. This is best for age 3+. Cal still tends to make a mess of it...

Conor has oatmeal

 Caden has panko

 Cal has crushed graham cracker.  I then rotate them around so they can feel the different consistencies for sensory fun!

Bath in a sink? Give them (safe) kitchen utensils instead of bath toys! They get sick of the same stuff every night...

Sure, painting is technically a "toy" - but be creative and have them paint paper cups, toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, etc. It's more challenging for them to paint at an angle and the painting process lasts longer.

Cook with the kiddos - actually allow them to do things like crack the eggs and use the egg-beater. So what if you have to wipe up a little mess. They need to learn!

Look at this! Cooking back in July 2017.

I have another idea that I don't have a photo of, because I used to do it when the twins were Cal's age. I think my friend Kristin Z gave me this idea. Make three even piles of playdough in front of you (about the size of a clementine). Place a long piece of spaghetti vertically out of the pile of playdough. Then place ziti on the long spaghetti. Have your child work on speech by saying "put it ON" each time they place a piece of ziti on. This was hugely helpful for C and C!

AND YES, we definitely still do things like play with our Wii. :)

I love this pic of Cal's eyelashes.

I thought you would enjoy! Try something fun this weekend. If you have any ideas for me, please let me know!