Monday, April 28, 2008


Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following. They have to be real places, names or things, nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same first initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

What is your name?: M
A four letter word : More
Name a vehicle : Mercury
Name a city: Miami
A boy's name: Mikhail
A girl's name : Miley
A drink : Malt Liquor
Name a celebrity : Marlee Matlin (I win too)
A reason for being late: Movie
Something you shout: Move!
Dessert: Mousse
Name a song: Mickey Mouse Club Song

Update on Idealistic Mom Thoughts #1

An update on my original list of Idealistic Mom Thoughts:

1. cloth diapers with a diaper service - costs the same as disposables but is supposed to help prevent diaper rash as well as help the child potty train faster
none of the day care centers I've looked at allow cloth diapers. I think we'll try to do both and see how it goes. Of course, we can use only cloth diapers for the first 4 months while I'm off from work.

2. nurse even once I go back to work - everyone has heard the benefits of nursing
still on track for this one :)

3. make my own baby food (at least some of it) - I can see this one being the first one going out the window
getting more ideas about this one so hopefully it won't be the first one out the window

4. toys without batteries - I absolutely hate batteries but have heard that everything takes a battery. I hope that there's some way I can get around needing too many of them.
still working on ensuring everyone knows about this one :)

I'm sure there will be more thoughts soon.

Day Care Update

We went to two more day care centers this past week - Tabernacle and Grace Covenant. These are both part of churches so they are much less expensive. But, the other place, Ellwood House, seemed more organized. Of course, that's how it always goes. We're on all three waitlists as we have to try to have something available when it's time for me to go back to work.

My next thing to do is to look at nannies. I highly doubt that we go that route because it will be even more expensive but I like to understand all my options when it comes to something as important as this decision!

My first foray into tofu

For some reason, I decided that I really wanted to try out cooking tofu. Therefore, we had veggie tacos last week. The ingredients included: firm tofu, roasted carrots, roasted potatoes and roasted sweet potatoes. To prepare the tofu, I pressed out some of the moisture using paper towels and cubed it. Then, I made a dry rub of chili powder, cumin, cayenne, a little salt, red pepper flakes and fresh ground pepper. I added the cubes of tofu to the rub and stirred to coat. Using a pan with some heated olive oil, I sauteed some onion and green pepper. I then added the tofu and proceeded to get a nice brown coating. Since the rest of the veggies were already cooked, I added them last just to heat them through. We put the mixture on corn tacos. MTH loved it! I had enough for dinner the next night. The best part? The pound of tofu cost $1.79!!! That's way cheaper than a pound of meat.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Caliente - Park and Sheppard

We love this place for its outdoor seating and it's only about 8 blocks from our house. The food has a New Orleans leaning. They have shrimp and grits, jambalaya and collard greens on the menu. We started with the conch fritters. They were nicely fried and the sauce, a tamarind tartar sauce, was very good. For my main course, I went for the flank steak with chipotle steak sauce. It was served with roasted potatoes and garlicky broccoli. The steak was wonderful although I was only able to eat half of it (see the end of the post to hear more about what I did with the leftovers!). The broccoli could have been steamed a little longer and not topped with so much grease. The potatoes were perfectly cooked but also a little greasy. MTH had the pork tenderloin. He doesn't remember the flavors but he liked it a lot. He also likes the beer selection at Caliente. His favorite for the night was Acme Pale Ale.

Even though some of my food was too greasy, I would recommend checking out this place especially if you can it out on the front porch like we did. The view is not the best (a 7-11) but it's covered and we've never had too many people smoking around us. Plus, I'll bet you can ask them not to put so much of the butter sauce on the veggies. I just didn't know I needed to ask.

What did I do with the leftovers? For lunch the following day, I sauteed some green peppers, onions and mushrooms. Then, I added slices of the steak, chopped potatoes and broccoli to the pan. Voila, we had awesome steak sandwiches! Even, MTH liked it.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Black Sheep - A New Restaurant Addition to Richmond

A friend of mine from work has opened a restaurant with her boyfriend. It's called Black Sheep. It opened on April 15th. They've already gotten a write up in Style Weekly. I checked it out on Thursday night with another friend. It's a little off the beaten path (901 W. Marshall Street - one block from Broad Street in the middle of VCU's campus). The old house it's in is quite cute and they did an awesome job renovating the space. There are booths and tables with chairs. The atmosphere is laid back and the service was great. I ordered the Miss "E" sandwich. It has avocado, bacon, cheddar cheese, tomato and horseradish. I loved it except for a little too much horseradish that I had to scrape off. For my side dish, I tried the Bread and Butter Pickled Vegetables. In choosing them, I wasn't entirely sure that I was going to like them but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I loved them. My friend ordered the chicken and dumplings. She's from Massachusetts and has only had that type of dumplings one other time - a Southern friend had made them. She couldn't stop raving about the dumplings. She loved the gravy they were served in. The dumplings themselves were perfectly cooked. I know from experience that there can be "duds" when making such a dish. Her side dish was the fruit cup. I was more than just melon balls. Then, we had to decide on dessert. There were several that sounded good: creme de menthe brownies, peanut butter pie, banana pudding or upside down pineapple cake. We ended up sharing the upside down pineapple cake. Very delicious.

I'm ready to go again so I can try some of the other items on the menu. ALso, the breakfast loks great. They have sausage gravy and biscuits! A childhood favorite and sure fire artery clogger but hey, we only live once!

Day Care

MTH and I went on our first tour of a day care on Friday morning. It seemed like a good place except for the extremely strong smell of bleach in the infant room. I guess that could be a good thing in terms of keeping the babies from sharing ALL of their germs. But, I'm not sure about the fumes. Anyway, that was the only thing that struck me as a problem. The ratio of teachers is 1 to 4. About half of all teachers are first aid and CPR certified. A lot of the teachers have teaching backgrounds. They have development plans for the infants. Each day the parents are given a sheet of paper to tell them what the child did that day. Of course, the sad part about that is that instead of seeing what your child did that day yourself, you get a piece of paper that tells you.

We go to see two more day cares this week - one tomorrow and one on Friday.

All of them have waitlists that go past the date when we would need a day care. We need to find some other candidates in order to have a better chance of finding one. I think we'll look at the possibility of a nanny but the cost is probably more than we'll want to spend.


I'm excited about Tuesday. It'll be my first pre-natal yoga class. If I like the class, I'll continue it up until the baby's here. Part of it is as expected, they modify the moves for pregnant women. But, there's also a time at the beginning (or end, I can't remember what the brochure said), where we'll get together to discus things that are changing (there's lots of them!). Also, when someones due date gets close, a birthing buddy is assigned. No, that person does not assist!! She contacts the new mom after the delivery to find out how things went and comes back to the group to give everyone the news. Since the new mom won't be back in the class, it's a great way of bring closure to each person's time in the class. Then, after the baby's 3 or 4 weeks old, there's post-natal yoga where the Mom and the baby go together. I'll definitely be checking that out as well.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Middle Name Meme

I've been tagged by ETK! This one is my first.

The Rules

1. Post the rules before you give your answers.
2. List one fact about yourself beginning with each letter of your middle name. If you don't have a middle name, use your maiden name or your mother's maiden name.
3.At the end of your blog post, tag one person (or blogger of another species) for each letter of your middle name. Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged.

I was not given a middle name but when I got married, I decided to take my maiden name as my middle name.

U: Unique - aren't we all unique?
C: Caring - I try to take care of those around me.
M: Mild-mannered - I'm not a dramatic person.
L: Laughing - I try to laugh at myself as much as possible
Y: Young at heart - I definitely don't feel as old as I am
C: Cuddly - I love to cuddle.
N: Nice - I try to be at least.
E: Easy going - I'm easy to please most of the time. MTH may disagree when it comes to cleaning up.

As for tagging, I'm not sure that I know enough people that weren't already tagged by ETK. Therefore, my list will not be 8.