Friday, February 29, 2008

FFFF: Recipe

Here's the easy recipe for Ravioli Lasagna that Doodle prepared in her cooking class and that she has made for us several times since then.

Ravioli Lasagna
1 jar (26 oz.) tomato and basil pasta sauce
1 family size package (20 oz.) frozen and thawed or refrigerated ravioli
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 cup shredded zucchini1
1/2 cups reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9-inch square baking dish and the bottom side of a square foil sheet with nonstick cooking spray.Spread a few spoonfuls of sauce in the bottom of the dish. Top it with 1 layer of ravioli (let their edges touch but not overlap). Top the ravioli with 1/2 of the sauce, 1/2 of the vegetables, and 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat the layers once more, starting with the ravioli and ending with the cheese.Cover the lasagna tightly with foil, sprayed side down. Cook it for one hour, removing the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking.


Doodle has a cold/cough and is home from school today, being tended to by Nana while I sit in my office at work, fighting a headache from finishing up budgets for next fiscal year. I just got the following e-mail from Doodle:

"I am still coughing a bit, and I am playing with the cats. Opal stuck her paw in Pearl's butt. F.Y.I you might want to clean Opal's paw. "

She didn't like my response: "You clean it."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Snow Day Activities

I must have been wishing for summer as I grabbed a plate for these cookies. Doodle and a friend also spent the afternoon writing and illustrating a story called "Greg and the Golden Spoon." The story is to be continued; I can't wait to read more.

License to Steal

About a month ago my mom noticed that her front license plate was missing. We were uncertain if it fell off or was stolen. She called the police to report it and an officer told her to turn in the remaining plate and get a new one within 48 hours. I took a morning off work to take her to the DMV, and we promptly forgot about the incident, at least until Saturday at 11:30 p.m. when someone pounded on our door. I had unintentionally fallen asleep with Doodle around 10, leaving some lights on downstairs. I went downstairs and asked who was at the door before opening it. The answer: police. I quickly opened the door to find three police officers at the door. They asked if I owned a white Mercedes or knew anyone who did. I answered no in confusion and invited them to come in. They then asked if we had lost a license plate recently and if we had reported it. I answered affirmatively to both questions.

The exchange following the next question freaked me out a bit: they asked what kind of car had the previously missing plate. In my half awake state, I answered Subaru Outback (my car, not my mom's). They asked if it was the one parked in the garage. Yes, I answered tentatively, a bit surprised to learn that they had peered into our garage (which has a glass window). My mom had emerged by then and corrected me about which car was involved. She had been asleep longer than me, but she must get awake a bit faster. They then told me that the plate had been found on an unregistered, assumed to be stolen Mercedes less than a mile from our house. I think that they thought we were connected to the theft, and they were ready to make their arrest. They quickly realized that their case wasn't going to be such an easy one, apologized for disturbing us so late, and left. It's hard to believe that this was such an important case that they couldn't wait until morning to come calling. I'm also surprised that someone would steal just one of two tags, thinking that they could get away with just having one plate and that we wouldn't notice it or report it. The police told me that it happens all the time.

Friday, February 22, 2008

FFFF: Motion--The Snow Day Dance

Doodle did the snow day dance and put her pajamas on backwards and inside out to guarantee a snow day. It's our first snow day of the year, but unfortunately we're having ice rather than snow. We won't be going sledding or making a snowman. I guess we'll have to make cookies instead. To see other cute kids in motion, go to Loving Lydia.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tootle the Grouch

Ever since Tootle had a bad sinus infection in January, she has been responding to questions and making her demands in a grouchy, nasty voice about 60 percent of the time. The infection is gone, but the attitude has remained. She only uses the nasty, grouchy voice at home, but on Friday she used it on a friend who was over for a playdate and I had finally had enough of it (it went on way longer than it should have because I was sick too and then away on a business trip for a few days).

Once I had made up my mind to eradicate the behavoir, I promptly employed the approach that I successfully used with both girls to end the constant whining that comes at age 3-4: pretending that I can't hear until the request is said in a normal voice (I wish I really couldn't hear; it's like nails on a chalkboard). When I explained that I couldn't hear her when she used that voice, she covered her ears and only made her request in a louder, meaner voice. Not a good start, but I knew that I had to hold firm and not give in. Tootle went to sleep that night in tears because she fooled around at bedtime and I told her there wasn't enough time for books. Her request for just one book was said in the nasty voice so I wasn't able to read to her. She didn't want to listen when I told her that I would be able to hear her and read to her if the request was made in a normal voice. I modeled the voice; I told her how sad it made me not to be able to read to her, all to no avail.

Yesterday morning started off badly again, until I told her that she could wear shoes that I don't normally let her wear to school later in the week if she used a nice voice for the rest of the day. It worked for the rest of the morning. At recess, she apologized to the friend who she went off on, and in the evening, the grouchy voice made no appearances. At bedtime she learned that she had earned her reward. This morning the nasty voice stayed under lock and key. Perhaps we've turned the corner and Tootle the Terrible is no more. If not, I'll have to dream up another motivating nonmonetary reward, while perfecting my hearing loss.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Our recipe can be found here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

FFFF Valentine's Day

I helped organize the Valentine's Day party in Tootle's class. A frame making/picture taking craft, cookie decorating, face painting, bingo, and valentine distribution: the perfect number of activities for a little more than an hour. Despite all the sugar in Tootle's body, it only took a wee bit longer than usual for her to fall asleep tonight. Doodle's party was a bit more low key; I think she was more excited that the teachers didn't assign much homework tonight, allowing us to go out for dinner.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Mock Election Results

Yesterday, in anticipation of today's primary, Doodle's school held a mock election (they have the day off because the school is a polling place). According to Doodle's report, Barak Obama won 260 votes, Hillary Clinton 57, John McCain 29, and Mike Huckabee 7. These kids are definitely strongly influenced by their liberal parents. It will be interesting to see if the Obama/Clinton gap actually is this wide.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fractured Fairy Tale

As we got ready for our day, Tootle informed me that my bedroom had been transformed into a castle. "Are you a princess?" I asked. "No," she replied, "We're here to save the prince and princess from the dragon. The princess sent me an e-mail saying she needed my help." We then saved the day. A bit later, Tootle said that we had to go back to save the prince. He needed help because he was wearing slippers with no tread and couldn't run; the princess was smarter and was able to get away. My modern day hero.

Friday, February 8, 2008


I adore kindergartners. The kids in Tootle's class were enthusiastic and inquisitive about Chinese New Year, and so very pleased to be horses or snakes. (No one was quite as precocious, however, as the boy in Doodle's kindergarten class four years ago who asked why China and Japan don't get along.) The 19 kids were wide-eyed as they made firecrackers by popping the bubblewrap and then worked together to parade their dragon throughout the school. All seven other kindergartnen classes were in the hallway to watch the parade, and a few of the older classes joined in the fun too. Several of the kids told me it was their best day ever (see what I mean about the enthusiasm). To see others' CNY photo, go here.

Year of the Snake?

Our Chinese New Year did not get off to an auspicious start. On Wednesday night, our kitchen sink drain clogged. I started the new year by having the drain snaked and getting a new disposal. Better than rats in the kitchen, I suppose.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Happy New Year

In about an hour, I will gingerly put red envelopes filled with a "significant amount" of money under each girl's pillow, per the instructions of my coworker/friend who was born in Shanghai. Tomorrow I will go into Tootle's classroom for Chinese New Year. We will talk about new year's customs, read The Dancing Dragon and Sam and the Lucky Money, do a game involving the zodiac, do a dragon lantern craft, and have a parade throughout the school with our homemade dragon, created by Tootle and me last weekend. It should be fun as long as my cold and fever magically disappear.
Sadly Doodle has outgrown my CNY presentations. Fourth graders don't seem to have time for such things; the intensity level has stepped up a few notches this year. Fortunately I have two or three more years before Tootle too becomes too old, and my plans are already in place for the next two years (paper cuts in 1st grade and tangrans in 2nd grade).

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Ice Time/Equal Time

Most of my recent posts/pictures are of Tootle so here's one of Doodle. She and I went ice skating at an outdoor rink with the entire 4th grade from her school. It was a beautiful night, and I loved having some special time with my big girl and her friends. Tootle was forced to stay home because she was sick.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Wii Bowl

Before the Super Bowl, we had a Wii Bowl with the girls facing off in baseball, tennis, and bowling. Doodle won all three games, leading to some tears from Tootle, who is not totally recovered from a virus that sent her temperature soaring to 104 on Friday.

Earlier in the day (10:30 a.m.) we saw the Hannah Montana 3-D movie. Tootle danced and danced at the front of the theater but Doodle and her friend were a bit more reserved, making two brief forays to the dance zone. As soon as we dropped Doodle's friend off after lunch, we headed to the ice rink for Tootle's skating lesson. This was one of those weekends where practically every minute was scheduled, and next weekend isn't much better. We have Chinese New Year events on Saturday. Doodle is invited to two birthday parties at the same time on Sunday; she has decided to go to both the swimming party and the solve a mystery party. This is possible because one of the parties is 4 hours long, but it will take some logistical planning on my part because I also have to find a way to get Tootle to her skating lesson. Sometimes I think mom is a synonym for chauffeur.