a hanukkah fiesta

Today was the first night of Hanukkah. Days ago, Ethan had requested burritos and I sort of went with some sort of Hanukkah Fiesta theme. Hanukkah was a little all over the place this year, what with being away from home and my husband having to return home to work and miss our festivities, so I wanted it to be special. Which is hard when you're vacationing in a place where Hanukkah isn't as widely celebrated as it is back home (to say the least). But there were homemade tortilla chips and beans and rice and my perfected burrito rolling technique (thank you YouTube) and Ethan made sombreros and my aunt and cousin were able to come spread some Hanukkah cheer. A couple of years ago I threw a bridal shower for one of my close friends at my family's lake house and I reused the antique teacups and decorations for our Hanukkah Fiesta -- because they were there. And cute, although a little irrelevant. It was a little quirky, and we missed my husband's presence, but Ethan's Hanukkah Fiesta otherwise went off without a hitch and I think he had fun -- especially with his new Automoblox that Grandma and Grandpa got him for Hanukkah.

This is me. With mangled hair. And eyebags, because I haven't slept for more than four hours in days. And serving as a prime example of why I'm so excited about my Hanukkah gift. Hello, flat iron, you beautiful thing, you.

Happy Hanukkah, friends!


ho, ho, ho, 2013 edition

But first, a necessary flashback!

Where does the time go?!

2013's Santa photos may be my favorites yet. Well worth the nearly three hour wait (argh!) to see Santa. It was a little iffy at the start, but Ethan (to our surprise) absolutely loved Santa and is carrying around the stuffed penguin that Santa handed out everywhere.


sorry about that

Ethan and I made our way up to my parent's lake house last Tuesday, four hours from home, for a vacation that has had all the makings of a disaster so far. Perhaps my first clue should have been that vacation is a generous word for a four hour road trip with a two year old to a house a minimum of forty minutes from civilization; a house that is the definition of child unfriendly, right on down to the marble staircase built just so that no baby gate fits in the entryway. My husband and I went to college an hour away and I was anticipating all of the quality time spent with friends who we never get to see often enough, and some who haven't even gotten to meet Ethan yet, but an hour each way in the car with a two year old seems a lot longer than it does without a two year old, especially one who hates the car. And then throw in the rain, and the dark nights trying to fall asleep to the sound of creaky trees and snapping branches and strange animal sounds that seem like they couldn't possibly be anything short of a starving, gigantic bear. Or Sasquatch. Or Mountain Men. Or someone with some kind of motive that includes breaking into this house and killing me. I know. Maybe I should break out of the suburbs a little more frequently.

Over the weekend, my husband was able to drive up and we spent the night in a hotel closer to downtown Orlando to watch my sister compete in a major dance competition. She came in second and I could sit here and rant and rave how she was robbed, but the truth is, I'm proud of her. She worked hard and in my wildest dreams I couldn't ever imagine standing up there on a stage by myself (or, really, with anyone else) and dancing my heart out to be ranked and studied by a panel of judges (who don't get hip hop, I'm just sayin').

The highlight of Ethan's trip up until today had been visits to a dingy Perkins in the middle of nowhere, the GPS leading us down streets lit only by the stars and moon and the occasional lights of other cars. Something about a small town breakfast-all-day joint makes you feel a little bit at peace, or something, your kid in half-pajamas, half-real clothing after a water bottle spill, laughing and reveling in the fact that this restaurant won't take no for an answer on serving up two chocolate chip cookies with every kids meal. "Two! Cookies!" Ethan laughed in between bites of gooey chocolatey goodness. It made the trip seem a little less disastrous, my child covered in cookie crumbs and giggling to the point of hiccups, my husband there for long enough to break up the monotony of being apart. Which we are again, because he had to leave back home for a few days of work and won't be back for a couple of days.

Today we found a farm in a city we'd never heard of before. On the drive there, Ethan asked if he could feed the baby animals some milk which seemed like a weird request until he was given the opportunity to feed a baby goat with a bottle. The rest of the farm visit was spent seeing (and snuggling) some super cute animals and every last piece of stress and disaster from the past few days sort of melted away. It was the family time I think we all needed to throw us back on track, even in a house that isn't home, even with a kid who insists that two a.m. is a perfectly fine wake-up time because we're on vacation so why shouldn't it be? I hadn't intended to take such time away from blogging but sometimes life has other plans. And chaos ensues. And my laptop has giant cracks in the screen so I can only see a good sixty percent of what I'm even typing, so there's that. But bear with me because I'm finding my groove and, provided temporary rural living and doesn't kill me, I'll be back to some variation of normal soon.


cooking with toddlers: baked holiday tortilla chips

When Ethan was finally starting to feel better, he began readily asking for snacks again. And everything had to, of course, be holiday themed because I dug my own hole by doing this for Halloween. Now that Target is no longer "the Halloween store" and is now "the Hanukkah and Christmas store," he's slowly converted himself from skulls to snowmen. Which is great, save for the fact with him being sick, we have no food in the house. And I've hardly had time to wash my face, let alone prepare the Christmas and Hanukkah magic he's already requesting. We had some cookie cutters and a package of gluten free corn tortillas, so on a whim we decided to make baked tortilla chips.

All you need are corn tortillas, olive oil and some sea salt and black pepper (if you want). And, of course, holiday cookie cutters of which I have slim pickings. I had a dreidel, a Menorah, a mitten and something that is either a kid or a Gingerbread Man (we went with the latter). This could probably be cuter if you planned your shapes better. Regardless, Ethan loved using the cookie cutters to cut out the shapes.

Once your shapes are cut out, you just use a basting brush to brush on a little olive oil.

Once they're ready to go, pop them into an oven preheated at 350 degrees and bake for 10 minutes.

They come out crispy and cute! And perfect with guac, Ethan thought, though of course we had none. The one thing I would do differently next time is adjust bake times for bigger shapes (the mittens) versus smaller ones (the dreidels) because the smaller ones got a little crispier, but they were still the perfect snack -- and, best yet, something little chefs can do mostly on their own with a little supervision. Minus the oven part. That part is all mommy.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...