Wow, I just looked at that sentence for about 3 minutes wondering where to even start. Maybe I am just too tired to think. Okay, here it goes.
Yesterday was Will's 15 month checkup. I somehow managed to go by myself with two kids in tow. Everything looked perfect. Kinda. He is 21 lbs 12 oz, 31 1/4 inches tall, and his head is 47 1/2 cm around. The doctor was concerned with his weight though. He has only gained a half a pound in the last two months. His liquid intake is now being strictly monitored. He is only allowed to have 20 oz of milk a day and 8 oz of water. We weren't giving him much more than this but now he is not supposed to drink while he is eating in hopes that he will eat more. This has led to several temper tantrums but they have been short lived. Will has to go back in 6 weeks to be checked again. I was concerned about this until about two minutes ago. I checked his growth from his last appointment and it looks like all of his measurements are leveling off. Also, in the literature that the pediatrician gave us about 15 month olds it says, "Most children at this age do not eat much, and it is normal to have a very slow weight gain at this time." This just makes me wonder what the big deal is. The kid is obviously thriving.
This morning I was off to the North Pittsburgh Moms of Multiples sale. They have it twice a year and this was the third one I attended. I got there early (leaving the kids home with Greg) and there was already a line of probably 150 people outside waiting in the cold. I didn't have much of an agenda this year. I did take my own bag and found that about 5 minutes after the doors were opened and I was fighting my way to get a glimpse at the goods, that my bag was already full. While I was checking out the clothing racks, someone who was helping to organize the sale saw me with my arms piled high with clothing. She asked if I had a bag. Yep, and it was full. I almost got a bad case of the giggles while going through the clothing. I was hoping to pick up some pj's in sizes anywhere from 18 months to 3T. Some lady grabbed a pair hanging in front of me and started to have a discussion with her friend about them. They were discussing whether these pj's would be a good pair to maybe have at the grandmother's house and kept going back and forth over whether they should get them or not. Finally one of the ladies said, "Yeah, they do look kind of girlie," and she hung them up on the rack. The hanger hadn't even settled and I had them in my hands. Not quite sure when hunter green pajamas with tents and fishing lures on them became stereotypically girlie... Even if they were girlie, they were $1. Can't beat that! About 30 minutes after I set foot in that place I had 8 books, 3 wooden puzzles, 3 pairs of shorts, 1 fleece pullover, a swim suit, a nylon swim shirt, and 9 pairs of pajamas. My pockets were a mere $42 lighter.
Today was our big modeling career kickoff. My friend Jen is a photographer. (You can check out her stuff at http://seedlingsphotography.com/) She came over to capture my cutie pies being their cute selves. I am already itching to see the photos and Jen just left a few hours ago. The kids just went about their daily lives while Jen shot away. There was some piano playing, bed jumping, hanging out in family room, and we were even able to get outside in the yard to play with twigs and with the pooch. Will was quite the little poser just kinda hung out doing his thing. As for Marcus, I am interested to see if there are any pictures of him that don't involve him jumping, running, or pretending to fall down.
Marcus's birthday party is tomorrow. We are having a rather no thrills meal of chips and dip, hot dogs, fruit salad, cake, and ice cream. However, I did decide to spice it up a bit and try a new dish - Plantain Soup. Weird? I thought maybe but I figured I would give it a try. I don't really know much about plantains other than they were the staple food of some tribe I studied in an anthropology class in college. I ate fried plantains almost daily while we were in Guatemala and thought they were rather yummy. (I had a college boyfriend who thought he was going to be all hip and eat plantains until he actually tasted one and then he threw them away. Still trying to figure out how I missed that plantain eating was the epitome of cool. Anyway...) My grocery store doesn't even sell plantains but Greg was in the neighborhood of a larger grocery store and was able to pick up a few. I got the kids to bed and got cooking. I used a recipe out of this amazingly fabulous cookbook that I just happened to put together to help raise money for our adoption. (And you can still order a copy of this INCREDIBLE book by clicking here.) I don't recall where I found the recipe originally. It was all rather easy, mostly. I have only made soup that didn't come from a can once in my life and I wasn't impressed with that result but I went ahead. It started off as a typical soup, just some olive oil, celery, carrots, garlic, and onion in a pot. (I cheated and bought pre-shredded carrots.)
(Sorry about the quality of these photos. It was nighttime and my camera doesn't like the dark.) Then came the plantains. Plantains look like bananas and apparently they are closely related, but they are most certainly not bananas. As that old boyfriend of mine discovered when he ate a bite of one raw, they are very bitter and rather hard, almost gourd-like. The recipe calls for green plantains which is what I used, but I would imagine the more ripe ones might have been easier to peel. Getting the plantains peeled and cut was the hardest part of the whole recipe.
It didn't help that I was making 2.5 times the original recipe amount. The chopped up plantains made their way into the pot along with lots of chicken broth, cilantro, bay leaves, and cumin. I just added a big helping of faith and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. Not risking anything, I followed instructions and pureed half of the end result, mixed it with the un-pureed portion, and went in for a taste. Really, there is nothing else to say but it is some damn good soup. It looks kind of like a potato soup but tastes like... well... YUM! It is currently hanging out in my crockpot pot in my fridge, waiting to be heated and served tomorrow. Thank goodness I was too busy today to eat or else I would have gulped it all up myself.
Even if you somehow managed to miss out on getting your own copy of the most astounding cookbook to hit shelves in years (and remember, you can still get one by ordering it here), I have provided the recipe for you.
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4-4 ½ cups chicken stock or broth
2 green plantains, peeled, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 bunch cilantro, stemmed and finely chopped
½-1 tsp cumin
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook, uncovered, for 3-4 minutes, or until onions are soft but not brown. Add 4 cups of chicken stock/broth and bring to boil over high heat. Add plantains, most of the cilantro (reserve a few tablespoons for garnish), cumin, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Return to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered for 40-50 minutes or until plantains very tender. Remove and discard bay leaf. Transfer half the soup to blender; puree until smooth. Return to the pan. If soup is too thick, add a little more stock/broth. Season with more salt/cumin if desired. (4 Servings.)