Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hoop School + Easy Cheesy Rice

Had a pretty epic day today after a string of pretty boring ones.  I couldn't stand being cooped up in the house any longer, so this morning, while Jonah was parked in front of Survivor Man and Maeryn was contentedly playing with blocks, I asked what they wanted to do.  Maeryn gave no answer.  I gave several choices.  Jonah said "nah" to everything.

So I said, "Okay, I'm choosing.  We're going on a hike."

There was some protest, I admit.

I brought clothes downstairs along with toothbrushes and other morning essentials.  Both kids reluctantly donned clothing and brushed teeth and chomped vitamins and we headed out the door.  It was 11 AM.

"I'm hungry."

"Me too."

"Okay - we're going out.  Where do you want to do?  You have four choices:  Panera Bread, Applebees, Burger King, or Bob Evans."

Jonah:  "NOT Panera Bread."

Me:  "Okay, Panera's out.  Maeryn, what would you like to eliminate, Applebees, Burger King, or Bob Evans?"

Maeryn:  "I want go to Applebees."

Me:  "Okay, where do you NOT want to go?"

Maeryn (crying):  "I WANT GO TO APPLEBEES!"

Me:  "Okay.  Maeryn wants to go to Applebees.  Jonah, where do you want to go?"

Jonah:  "I want Burger King.  I want to get a toy."

Me:  "You already have the toy they're giving out."

Jonah:  "Burger King anyway."


Me:  "Okay.  I'm thinking of a number between one and ten.  Maeryn - what number do you like?"

Maeryn:  "Ummm...four!"

Me:  "Okay, Jonah, pick a number between one and ten."

Jonah:  "Six!"

Me:  "The number was two.  We're going to Applebees."

There was some protest and some rejoicing.  Probably both a little over the top - but this is normal for my brood, so I talked Jonah down and explained that it was sort of mean to gloat about things to Maeryn and we headed to Applebees.  Got a SWEET parking space right next to the door and seated almost immediately.

The service was...  well...let's just say the ridiculous wait time for food, drinks, and everything else left a bit to be desired, but we all had fun choosing from the menu and ordering favorites, coloring on the kids' menu, filling out mad libs, figuring out puzzles, and playing the "box game" while we waited.  Maeryn even took advantage of the "potty" facilities!  We all shared a huge glass of water until the kids got their lemonades in kid cups, talked about our days and what we're into right now, and eventually gnoshed on our tasty food items (okay, Maeryn only ate her fries, but Jonah and I enjoyed EVERYTHING).

An hour later, we were back in the mobile and headed for hiking.  Jonah chose a new trail that we hadn't explored much before - a nature trail on the recreational annex of the nearby Naval Base.  It wasn't a very long trail, but the air was frigid and Maeryn isn't much for long distances... yet.

Jonah collected several gumballs from the snow-covered ground, Maeryn survived several face plants, including one that drew some blood on her wrist, for which she later received a Dora Band-Aid, which made it all worth it, and I managed to stay warm and enjoy the fresh air - briskness and all.  I LOVE hiking.

After the hike, we headed over to the outdoor swimming pool, complete with twisty slide, where the kids took lessons over the summer - they wanted to see what it looked like without water.  I admit, it was fun for me to see as well, as there was a blanket of snow at the bottom of each pool and it looked like a pretty amazing skate park for those who are avid on wheels.

Back at home, we waited for Michael to come back home, and he made burritos and hung out with the kids while I did some cardio in the bedroom.  Yeah, the whole idea of calling something "cardio" seems kind of weird to me - I'd rather just say "I went for a run" or "I'm going cycling" - but this was truly a workout straight out of the pages of a magazine, so I might as well call it like I see it.  It was a fifteen minute hard-core work-out that I LOVED.  I showered after and joined the fam for some burritos and specialty family recipe: Easy Cheesy Rice:

You will need:

2 cups whole grain rice
4 cups water (to be cooked with the rice, as directed on package)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Colby Jack cheese
1/2 cup salsa (your choice - we like the black bean variety)

-  Cook rice as directed on package.
Once rice is cooked thoroughly, reduce to low heat and stir in cheese and salsa until cheese is melted completely
-  Serve steaming with inside refried bean burritos or as a tasty side.

(For Jonah's dairy allergy, we add salsa first and stir, serve Jonah's helping, and then add the cheese for the rest of the fam.)

After dinner we hopped in the mobile and headed to the town square, where we got to see the town Christmas tree, and then we stopped at Lowes to pick up materials for hoops (can't call them "Hula Hoops"...the term is apparently patented).  Each of us made our very own and took turns "hooping it up" in the living room (the only room in the house remotely big enough).  Jonah is by far the best at the art of the hoop, followed closely by Michael, and well...I trail quite a ways behind, but I'm practicing!  (Maeryn slept through most of the ordeal, including the trip to Lowes, during which she was asleep in the cart.)

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