Category Archives: Food

Twenty-Eight Meals

Starting in January I will go from 20 hrs/week to 32 hrs/week. I’ve been 20 hrs a week ever since Calvin has been born and I’m definitely ready to increase. However, the work reason I’m increasing is we’ll be doing a major migration of the integrated library system (catalog) next fall and I need to work more to get ready for it. My tentative idea is to get up around 6 each day, work until it’s time to get Calvin up. Then I’ll take a break for breakfast, drop Calvin off at school, and then work some more until it’s time to pick Calvin up. In addition, I plan to stop doing regular work on Sunday and instead switch back to a traditional Monday-Friday schedule1.

My biggest concern at the moment is where I’m going to fit household tasks in. Right now, Monday is my “day off” and I use it to pay bills, balance the checkbook, run household errands, etc. I’ll be switching that to Sunday. Right now, after I finish work on Sundays I usually sit down and prepare my menu for the week and then go grocery shopping. This takes a ridiculous amount of time. I can easily spend an hour meal planning and then a couple hours shopping. In preparation for my hours increasing, I decided I should see if I could streamline meal planning and shopping.

This weekend I came up with 28 meals that I hope can be repeated without wearing them out too fast. You can see it here. I also wrote down every single ingredient needed for the meal and then sorted the ingredients by location in the store2. This way, when I’m making my grocery list, I can see what ingredients I need to buy for the week and put them on my list in the correct order. Since I grocery shop on Sunday, I have each week go from Monday-Sunday so I always have ingredients for the current days meal on hand3.

I’m not sure if this menu plan will work out or not. Nor, am I sure what this will do to our grocery bill. However, hopefully my scheme works out well.

  1. This will actually be the first time in my professional career where I don’t work Sundays. I started working most Sundays as a reference librarian to compensate for never working Saturdays. Others viewed Sundays as less popular to work because you only work 4 hrs so you had to make up the additional 4 hrs some other way. As a result, the other librarians were very amenable to me never working Saturdays since I took the dreaded Sunday rotation off everyone else’s schedule. When I transferred to IT, I was use to working Sundays and since we’re closed Sunday mornings, it was a great time to do server maintenance
  2. The Indian meals use a huge number of spices so ingredients list looks intimidating but most of them are relatively fast to put together. Since Jaeger likes Indian food so much I have a special spice carousel dedicated to Indian spices.
  3. Worst case, this allows me to wait to grocery shop till Calvin is in bed. I used home delivery for a while but had trouble getting my orders in. I’m not convinced I want to go back to home delivery, sometimes I had trouble getting them to delivery exactly what I wanted, but this meal plan should make it easier either way.

Masala Crêpe

On Jaeger’s first trip to India he encountered Dosas and became infatuated. Upon returning home he described them to me and I attempted to make some. Unfortunately, having never had dosas myself, I had only the vaguest idea of what I was doing. However, I found a recipe which made a huge amount of batter. This was fortunate as I wasted more than 1/2 the batter before I realized it was absolutely essential to use my cast iron skillet, not my non-stick skillet. However, I still had some trouble as my cast iron skillet has sides and is smaller than the traditional skillet for dosas. In spite of all this, I think I got the general idea even if it needed a lot of refinement.

Eventually, Jaeger found an establishment in Denver that served Dosas and took Calvin and I out to try them. They were pretty good. Then, a bit later, a restaurant opened up in Boulder that makes dosas so my enthusiasm for doing it myself waned.

Last year, we moved from Longmont down to Gunbarrel. Unfortunately, the stove that came with the house was a glass-top electric stove. I have not been impressed. It probably took me the first 6 months just to learn how not to burn pancakes. More disturbing, using cast iron skillets is not recommended for glass-top stoves. Up in Longmont I prepared more than half the meals we ate in my cast iron skillet and have profoundly felt the lack of it since. The one redeeming value the glass-top stove has is it’s attached to a convection oven that I love.

I did try to make dosas, from a pre-made mix, a couple of months ago and it was a disaster. I blame having to use my non-stick skillet. So, today instead of dosas, I made Masala Crepes. For some reason I can make crepes perfectly fine in my non-stick skillet, I’m not sure why. Maybe the egg makes it stick less? In any case, I used Jaeger’s mom’s crepe recipe and substituted some of the wheat flour for chickpea flour. I should have put some fenugreek in it too but forgot. Then I filled the crepes with “Mrs. Joshi’s Potatoes with a Fresh Coconut-Lime Sauce” from 660 Curries. It’s obviously not authentic but does provide the general feel of a Masala Dosa.

Calvin’s Birthday Party

Last Sunday we had a whole bunch of Calvin’s preschool classmates over to celebrate his birthday. Jaeger’s parents were also able to come for the party.

Calvin’s cake was really a brownie that I poured into a cookie sheet with sides. I used the “Fudge Brownie” recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook1. For the frosting, I used King Arthur Flour’s Fudge Frosting. I think the yogurt gives the frosting a little zing. Previously, I had made a double batch of frosting which ended up being way too much. This time I used a single batch. Jaeger thought the double batch kept the brownie moister, which is probably did, but I didn’t want to give preschool kids that much sugar.

Calvin adores sprinkles so I bought special primary color sprinkles for him to put on the brownie.

Calvin adds sprinkles to his brownie

After the sprinkles, I arranged the Lego candies which I had previously made.

Happy Birthday Calvin! using Lego Candies

Since Calvin’s birthday party ended up falling on Easter, I decided it would be fun to do a Lego-themed Easter egg hunt. I bought two sets of Legos: a “boy” set and a “girl” set. I also borrowed some Legos from Calvin. The pieces that were too big to fit in the Easter eggs, like the horse, went into Calvin’s Lego set so I think it ended up about even. I stuffed approximately 160 Easter Eggs. About an hour before the party Jaeger and I attempted to hide them. It takes a long time to find easy, but not too easy, hiding places for 160 eggs.

As the children were arriving for the party I had them gather around the table and decorate their Easter egg bags. I had found white lunch sacks at Target and then had a variety of stickers, crayons, and markers on the table to decorate with. The children seemed amused by this but it didn’t take very long to get all the bags decorated. Once it seemed a majority of the children had arrived, we started the Easter egg hunt.

This was the first Easter egg hunt that I had ever organized. I went looking all over the internet for ideas. The internet suggested I should have at least 12 eggs per child. However, I was worried that some kids would find a lot more than others. Finally, I hit on the idea of telling the kids they could have one egg of every color. I had enough eggs that there were about 8-12 different colors, depending on whether or not you considered two shades of a color to be the same color. All the children were very good at only picking up one egg per color. After it seemed that most of the children had at least one of every color, we told them they could go and gather the rest of the eggs.

Jaeger and I worked hard to find places to hide the eggs. It’s not easy in a yard that’s still recovering from winter. However, I think we managed to provide both easy and harder options. Some of the mothers commented that it was refreshing to go to an Easter egg hunt where you had to hunt for the Easter eggs versus them just laying randomly out on the ground. I hadn’t been able to find an estimate for how long an Easter egg hunt should take. The kids found most of our eggs within a half hour and seemed to lose interest about the same time.

Jaeger’s mom and I had looked in some books for some other activities to do. One of the ideas we had run across was balloon volleyball. Originally, we were planning to do it in our family room but the day was gorgeous so we decided to try to do it outside instead. I ran a yellow streamer across two chairs and then some of the parents blew up balloons to use as volleyballs. Unfortunately, the balloons popped as soon as they touched anything, including the grass. I pulled Calvin’s blue beach ball out instead but it seemed too little too late. Most of the kids weren’t interested in it.

Having given up on the volleyball game, we went inside to eat cake and ice cream. Afterwards, Calvin unwrapped his presents within a mob of his classmates. Having that many kids in the house towards the end of the party made me really thankful the weather allowed us to do the Easter egg hunt outdoors. It would have been a disaster indoors. Jaeger counted and we ended up with 14 adults and 13 children, including our family. That was a lot of people but I think it all turned out pretty well. I was really glad that Jaeger’s mom was around to help because I think we would have gone crazy trying to do it by ourselves.

  1. Note: if you search inside the book on Amazon for “fudge brownie” you’ll get the 2002 recipe which is different than my 1996 version of the recipe.

Making Lego Candy

Calvin is turning four this March. It seems both an eternity and an instant since he was born. When I asked Calvin what kind of birthday party he wanted, he said that he wanted a Lego party. Several years ago I had stumbled across a blog which had detailed instructions on how to make a Lego mold. Calvin’s birthday party seemed like an excellent excuse to try it out for myself.

My first hurdle was figuring out what type of silicone to use. Crafty Girl said she used Smooth-Sil 940 because she found some locally but liked the idea of Copy Flex better because it didn’t require as much math. Math doesn’t scare me but I couldn’t find any Smooth-Sil 940 in my area, or I was looking in the wrong places, and Copy Flex seemed easier to order in small batches.

I wanted to use the Legos to spell out “Happy Birthday Calvin” on his cake. I counted up the pieces and, using two 10×10 base plates, laid out the Legos I’d need. Then I did the math and discovered that using two base plates would require at least 4 lbs of silicone. Let me tell you, silicone is not cheap. 4 lbs was completely out of the question. After some changes, I decided I could get all the pieces I wanted from one base plate if I filled it up twice. I ended up with 40 2×4 pieces and 10 2×2 pieces and a couple spares to fill out the small amount of empty space left. This still required 2 lbs of silicone though.

I hunted around on Amazon and ebay and found some pre-made Lego-like mold options. However, the comments for all the molds I could find invariably said they weren’t standard Lego brick size. This was a problem because as it was, my Lego letters were barely going to fit on the cake. I went back to the Copy Flex website and asked myself if it was really worth the $50 plus $12.93 for shipping. If I had found the perfect Lego mold and saw the price tag was $62.93, I would never have bought it. However, somehow I managed to convince myself that this was a good investment because it was educational. We’d get to see chemistry at work! I ordered the silicone and waited with baited breath for it to arrive.

We had a couple of false starts. I had made the Lego base but Jaeger, correctly, suggested that washing the Legos would be a good idea. So, we ran the Legos with the base plate through on the top rack of the dishwasher with heated dry turned off (this is how we routinely wash Legos/Duplos ordered on eBay). The next day we got ready to pour only to notice that the Legos had collected water inside and so weren’t truly dry. *sigh* We took all the Legos apart and laid them out to dry on cooling racks. Finally, everything was ready.

Copy Flex comes in two containers: a catalyst and a base. The Copy Flex instructions suggested that refrigerating the two liquids would help slow down the reaction and provide more time to get the mold right. Other than being a little larger, I had constructed the positive Lego mold similar to how Crafty Girl had. I had tested it out with water and noticed the water leaked out so I worried that the silicone would also. To prevent an unexpected mess, I put the Lego mold on a cookie sheet. Then I took the two parts of Copy Flex out of the fridge and carefully stirred them together, trying to minimize the bubbles. As instructed, I poured the liquid from a height of about 12″ and let it spread naturally across the Legos. 2 lbs was exactly the right amount, it was perfect. I thumped it on the counter a couple of times because it seems like there were still bubbles in it. I wasn’t sure if thumping was helpful but I didn’t end up with any problematic bubbles.

Copy Flex cures within 4 hours but it was evening so this morning I woke up to take the Legos off. The silicone had leaked in a couple of small places but overall it wasn’t too bad. Interestingly, it seemed to be the places where I had made the border with Legos larger than the standard 2x4s. As Crafty Girl had promised, they peeled right off. I washed the mold with soap and water because Amazon reviews of the pre-made molds had mentioned that the dishwasher could leave a residue that would end up on the candy. The silicone is safe up to 400 degrees F so I stuck it in the oven for a couple of minutes to dry.

This afternoon, Calvin and I tried making our first Legos candies. I used Wilton Candy Melts and had bought several different colors. Walmart carries Candy Melts in their “wedding” aisle. Unfortunately, the candy melts are more pastel colored. I had tried adding gel fooding coloring to intensify the the colors but I didn’t have any oil-based coloring easily available so the melted candy kept seizing. Jaeger assured me it would still be ok and I’m trying to pretend the pastels are on purpose, maybe they’re the Friends Legos.

In any case, I melted the candy melts over a double boiler. You can microwave them but I felt the double boiler gave me more control and made sure they stayed melted. I used a small spatula to carefully fill each Lego slot with the melted candy. Wilton says the candy should be pudding-texture, because if you get it too hot, the candy is ruined. However, my later Lego bricks were made with a little more liquid candy and they turned out better. I would fill four 2×4 bricks and one 2×2 brick and then tap the mold against the counter, hopefully to get the air bubbles out. I wasn’t sure how fast the candy would set. I repeated the process until the entire mold was filled. Conveniently my mold holds exactly one bag of melted candy melts.

Here's how the mold looked right after I finished filling it.  You can see the small spatula I used.

Here’s how the mold looked right after I finished filling it. You can see the small spatula I used.

I was unsatisfied with how some of the earlier Legos had overflowed so I tried to smooth them out but I think that was a mistake. I wasn’t sure how long it would take to have the candy set so I looked it up online. Common consensus was that 20 minutes in the refrigerator should work. I thought you weren’t suppose to refrigerate melted chocolate but maybe candy melts are different. In any case, after 20 minutes I took it out and the Legos popped right out.

The finished product.

The finished product.

The detail is so fine you can even see the Lego logo on them.
Lego Candy 4

The first candies I filled tended to have air bubbles in spite of all the tapping I did. I think it’s because the candy wasn’t quite as liquid as it was at the end. Below is how it looks with the bubbles.
Lego Candy 5

All in all, I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. They’re definitely recognizable and I think they’ll work well on Calvin’s cake. Calvin’s birthday isn’t for a couple of weeks still but I’ll post pictures of the cake when it’s finished.

Calvin’s Tofu Loaf

Calvin is always very eager to “help” me in the kitchen. Usually I’m hurrying to try to get supper on the table and would rather not dance around him. However, I do try to set time aside to let him help me a couple of times a week. I view baking time with a preschooler as the mathematical equivalent of story time for literacy. I’m convinced that cooking or baking is a great way for kids to learn mathematical concepts.

Up to this point, I usually find the recipe we’re going to make, do any necessary prep, and then allow Calvin to dump the ingredients into the mixing bowl or pan. Calvin does enjoy dumping things in. However, he really would prefer that I give him more autonomy. For the last couple of weeks Calvin will dutifully dump ingredients in but then sneak off to the side and start making his own “recipes.” These are usually charming but inedible as he’s making due with whatever odds and ends are left on our counter1. This last week, I decided I should try to create a structure where Calvin could make the majority of the recipe decisions but we would hopefully end up with an edible product.

A couple of years ago I ran across The Magical Loaf Studio. Jennifer McCann is the author of two awe-inspiring cookbooks with recipes for vegan lunches. Her stuff is amazing. I’m completely intimidated by her adorable menus. Anyway, many years ago now she went to a vegetarian cooking class put on by an Adventist church. One of the things they handed out was instructions on how to create your own vegetarian loaf. One day when bored, Jennifer automated it and the Magical Loaf Studio was born. To be honest, I’m not that much into vegetarian loafs (and Jaeger believes they are evil). However, the setup seemed ideal to give Calvin a lot of options while still creating something that was edible-like.

Today Calvin and I tried the vegetarian loaf experiment. I pulled up the page and started out with the “protein” box. I pulled out every protein option that was listed in the box and that we had in the house and let Calvin choose which one he liked best. Predictably, he chose tofu. Then we moved on section by section until we got to the end. Calvin tried to get away without choosing any vegetable or seasonings but I insisted he select at least one. At last, we had a recipe:

Here’s Your Very Own Adventist-Style Vegan Dinner Loaf!

program created by Jennifer McCann for the Vegan Lunch Box Blog

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pecans
2 TB margarine
One large carrot, peeled and grated
2 cups mashed firm tofu
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 to 1/2 cup tomato juice, as needed
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal
2 TB nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp. salt
Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350º. Spray a loaf pan or 8×8 square baking pan
with nonstick spray and set aside (an 8×8 pan makes a crisper loaf).

Grind the pecans into a coarse meal using a food processor or
spice/coffee grinder. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Sauté any vegetables you’ve chosen in the margarine until soft. Add to
the large mixing bowl along with all the remaining ingredients. Mix
and mash together well, adding only as much liquid as needed to create
a soft, moist loaf that holds together and is not runny (you may not
need to add any liquid if the grains and protein are very moist). Add
more binder/carbohydrate as needed if the loaf seems too wet.

Press mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour,
or until cooked through.

Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto
a plate or platter and slice. Serve with potatoes, vegetables, and
vegetarian gravy, if desired.

Cold leftover slices of make a great sandwich filling.

I had told Jaeger yesterday that for dinner tonight we were going to have a recipe that Calvin created. However, I believe he hoped I was kidding. Jaeger was not amused to come home and discover that we really were having a Calvin concoction. To be honest, it wasn’t particularly good. Calvin only took a couple bites of it though Jaeger and I both ate reasonable servings. The recipe could have used a lot more seasoning and potentially more baking (I’m not entirely sure what the texture was suppose to be like). However, it was certainly edible.

I’m not sure I want to try the loaf generator again with Calvin. I’m certain good recipes can be made from it but it probably takes a lot more cooking intuition than Calvin has at the moment. So, I wouldn’t call this experiment a disaster but neither was it a success.

Maybe Calvin would feel more in control if he got to choose the recipe. He does own a cookbook specifically for children that I caught him looking through one night when he was allegedly going to bed.

We’ll figure out something, eventually.

  1. Calvin is always very careful not to add eggs to his recipes, and tell me he’s not adding eggs, as he likes to taste them and knows you “can’t” taste raw food once eggs have been added

This Week’s Menu

Ever noticed that every so often I get serious about my grocery store habit? I’m once again trying to cut back. Also, I’m trying to get rid of all the extra ingredients I have around our house so I don’t have to move or trash them. I’ve decided to go ahead and cook all my dried beans and then freeze them. I use dried beans fairly often but sometimes run out of time so I grab the canned ones. However, freezing works well when I’m organized enough to do it. My slow cooker lets me cook them without paying too much attention to the process.

You’ll notice that both Brussels sprout and asparagus are still on the menu even though they’re high cost vegetables. That’s because they’re one of three vegetables Calvin consistently eats, the other being broccoli. He refuses to touch sweet potatoes though I keep trying. Yes, our child is weird.

  • Sunday – Sicilian Lentil Soup
  • Monday – Aloo Gobhi with Naan
  • Tuesday – Garbanzo Pot Pie with Broccoli
  • Wednesday – Southern Style Black Eyed Peas, Toasted Millet, and Brussels sprout
  • Thursday – Leftovers
  • Friday – Chick peas with a coconut sauce and asparagus
  • Saturday – Spaghetti with Edamame and bread

Menu this Week

Someday I’m going to post more than just menus. However, this will have to wait till Calvin goes back to a normal sleep routine . . .

  • Sunday: “Curried Squash Soup” from The Roasted Vegetable by Andrea Chesman with Steamed Asparagus and Bread
  • Monday: “Millet and Chickpea Pilaf with Saffron and Tomatoes” from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison with Stuffed Acorn Squash and Halloween Candy (Double the Millet dish for freezing)
  • Tuesday: Takeout
  • Wednesday: “Ratatouille” from Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen (double for freezing)
  • Thursday: Leftovers
  • Friday: Braised Tofu with Wild Rice and Edamame in the Pod
  • Spinach and Cheese Ravioli with Broccoli

Menu this Week

  • Sunday: Been Burritos (made extra to freeze)
  • Monday: Garbanzo Pot Pie with Green Beans
  • Tuesday: Takeout
  • Wednesday: “Thai Tofu & Winter Squash Stew” from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison (try making double portion and freezing)
  • Thursday: Leftovers
  • Friday: “Tossed Spinach Lasagne & Goat Cheese Gratin” from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison (try making double portion and freezing)
  • Saturday: Store-bought Ravioli or Spaghetti and Edamame

Menu this Week

  • Sunday: “Mathura Palak Paneer” and “Sesame-Flavored Green Tomatoes” from 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer
  • Monday: Variation of “Garden Paella” by Rose Murray
  • Tuesday: Takeout
  • Wednesday: “Stuffed Pumpkin” from Dr. Sukol’s website and “Braised and Glazed Brussels Sprouts” from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
  • Thursday: Leftovers
  • Friday: “Slow-Cooked Creamy Black Lentils with Whole Spices” by Raghavan Iyer with a variation of “Stir-Fried Okra with Tomatoes” by Suneeta Vaswani
  • Saturday: Store-bought Spinach and Cheese Ravioli and Sauteed Spinach with Sesame Seed oil and Garlic

Additional Notes: Soak the beans for Friday overnight. Make a double recipe and freeze half for later.

Grocery Store Changes

Last week I had almost finished an update when my computer suddenly died. Of course, I had not been saving my epic entry. Jaeger helpfully pointed out that if I had been using a smart text editor, something would have saved anyway. However, while I like Vim for some things, copying and pasting into a browser is not one of them. Jaeger suggested I should try gVim for this purpose so we’ll see how well it works . . . Below is a quick recap of what I had typed last week as well as my new up/downs.

Our King Soopers store has been adding NuVal to many items. Their rating system doesn’t really match my own personal rating system. For instance, a product can get a pretty high rating for being low in sugar even if this is entirely due to artificial sweetners being used. I’m more of a whole foods type person. I’d much rather buy full-fat, full-sugar ice cream and eat a small portion than eat a larger amount of no-sugar, no-fat ice cream.

However, I was fascinated to discover that even though I don’t really believe in the system, it still influences my buying decisions. I buy a package of individually wrapped Dove Dark Chocolate pieces every week. I’ve discovered that if I don’t have something sweet within the house when I’m craving sugar, I will instead make brownies and eat half the pan the same night. Not a good idea. Instead, I compromise by allowing myself several pieces of Dove chocolate every day. I usually get the dark chocolate variety but two weeks ago I was contemplating getting milk chocolate. Then I saw that it had a slightly lower NuVal number than the dark chocolate. I couldn’t make myself by the milk chocolate variety. Same thing happened last week. I was reaching for the milk chocolate and got stopped by seeing the NuVal number. It’s really odd since I haven’t been impressed with the rating system so you wouldn’t think a number it assigns would stop me from buying something.

In other grocery story news, I was taught that, in general, buying larger amounts of items tended to mean you paid less per ounce for it. For instance, a gallon of milk tends to cost less per cup than a half-gallon of milk. However, I’ve noticed that this is less likely too be true these days. Quite a few times within the last month I’ve picked up the larger size without thinking and then just do a quick sanity check on the price per oz and discover that I’m better off buying two of the small sizes. This has been true for frozen orange juice, oil, and shampoo. I’m wondering if this has been going on for a long amount of time or if it’s a new trend in grocery stores. I’m use to a smaller size being a better deal when it’s on sale but in all of the cases mentioned above, I was comparing non-sale prices.

Down

  • Calvin stayed up later than normal for a couple of nights last week. He refused to stay in his bed and instead would bring out a book and quietly flip through it at the top of the stairs. On one hand, I can remember reading after I was suppose to be in bed when I was a child. However, he obviously isn’t getting enough sleep when he does this which is disastrous for the following morning. Also, the only way to get him to sleep like this is for me to go and fall asleep next to him in his room. Then, when I wake up, I sneak back to my own bed. It’s not very restful.
  • I lost my cell phone about a week ago. Somehow in the five minutes between checking the time on it to actually leaving the park, I managed to lose it. It hasn’t turned up. Several days ago I gave up and ordered a new unlocked phone. I took it into T-Mobile and was impressed by how painless they made it to transfer my existing prepaid account to the new phone. I think I actually prefer the new phone but I would rather have not spent the money for a new phone.

Ups

  • Calvin and Jaeger went to an airshow today which left me alone. I used the time to make a trip to Costco, where I spent too much money, and then cleaned out the fridge in anticipation of our next Fest.
  • I’ve had quite a few good books to read recently. I loved Ghost Ship, the newest Sharon Lee and Steve Miller Liaden book. I also enjoyed A Lady’s Lesson in Scandal, by Meredith Duran, Hounded, by Kevin Hearne, and Heart Search, by Robin Owens. Currently, I’m re-listening to Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie. A couple of weeks ago I had been listening to Faking It which reference characters in Welcome to Temptation and made me want to re-visit the first story :-) Not sure what physical book I’m going to read next but I’m queuing up Visions in Death, by J.D. Robb, as my next audio book. I love Robb’s Eve Dallas series but I have to take breaks between each book before I can listen to the next one.
  • It turns out that I had maligned Calvin when I claimed he lost my iPod. It had fallen into a box while I was cleaning the basement last December. I just found it. Since I already bought a new iPod that I like, I’ve decided to give this one to Calvin. That is, I’m loading it with “Calvin Music” and playing it in the car when he’s with me.

Calvin Moment
Calvin seems to be getting more into books recently. I checked out a copy of Richard Scary’s Best Storybook Ever from the library about a month ago. It’s not really my preferred type of book for Calvin. To be frank, I find the book to be a bit mediocre. The illustrations don’t speak to me and the stories are extremely simplistic. However, Calvin loves it. He’s spent up to a half-hour at a time flipping through those pages which, for a toddler, is incredible. So, when I stumbled across a used copy at The Boulder Bookworm, I immediately snapped it up. At this point, having Calvin enjoy the concept of books is much more important than nitpicking about quality.

Calvin is also becoming more involved in book selection at the library. When we visit, I’ll sit down at a couch in the children’s area and Calvin will scamper off to a book bin and pick out a book for me to read to him. Once we’re finished, he’ll scamper off to find another book. He still plays with the toys in the library some but obviously is becoming more interested in the books themselves.

Well, it turns out that Calvin is refusing to go to sleep again tonight. So, I must head upstairs to fall asleep on his floor as an example . . .