quiet (busy) book

i’ve been seeing a lot of homemade quiet books on pinterest.  a lot of them are oh-socreative!!!  but my question is always how long did it take them to put ONE page together?  and how long does the quiet book really keep the child quiet?  is the child’s “quiet time” nearly equivalent to the time spent on making the quiet book?  i just think that my little miss wiggly-e is probably immune to the powers of a quiet book.  and she’ll most definitely scatter and lose most of the parts within the first few minutes if they’re not attached to the pages.

but did i mention that these quiet books are oh-so-amazing?!  and did i also mention that we’ll be taking a 14 hour plane ride to asia in less than a week?!  mdh and i have been wracking our brains on how to keep miss wiggly-e occupied for this international flight.  we’re both a little terrified.  we are excited for our first overseas family trip, but fearful of the impending flight.

so these are the tricks we have up our sleeves (and in our carry-on bags):

dvd player–for her to watch her favorite pixar movies,

elmo & toy story reusable super sticker books,

LOADS of snacks,

lots of little trinkets from the $1 section at target (update nov 28:  miss e’s most favorite item turned out to be a glow-in-the-dark snowman necklace, since the majority of our flight was at night),

must not forget boogie bear!

…oh, and did i mention i’m making a busy book (is what i prefer to call it, since our little one is more of a busy bee than a quiet mouse)?

miss e's busy book

my favorite page is the tree that becomes a cloud on the next page.

tree page

p.s. it took me 4 days (about 22 hrs) to put the whole thing together.  at one point during the flight, she played with the book by herself for about 30 min while mdh and i napped.  the book also occupied her on various car rides while we were traveling.  turns out miss e liked the bead counting page the best.  so was it worth the time spent making the book?  yes, i’m satisfied with the amount of time miss e spent on playing with the book, but i don’t think i’ll be making another busy book any time soon.


minestrone soup

this tuesday’s minestrone soup came about because of a massive amount of leftover meatballs that had inadvertently been placed in my care.  but i didn’t want to make spaghetti and meatballs, because i didn’t have spaghetti or spaghetti sauce.  fortunately, i found 30 ways to use meatballs, and meatball minestrone caught my eyes.  furthermore, i had all the ingredients in the house.

so here’s my slightly altered minestrone recipe:

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 5 cups broth/water
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 4 roma tomatoes chopped
  • add as much or as little oregano, basil, and thyme as you like
  • 3 zucchinis chopped
  • 1/2 lb cut green beans
  • 1/4 lb sliced mushroom
  • 1/4 lb kidney beans already cooked
  • 1/3-1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 lb of pasta, preferably small shell, elbow, stelle (star) pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste

in a big soup pot, sautee onions, celery, garlic with some oil.

when onions and celery are slightly transparent add broth, tomato sauce, roma tomatoes, oregano, basil, and thyme.  bring the soup to a boil, and then turn down the heat and let it simmer for 20 min.

then add the zucchinis, green beans, mushroom, kidney beans, and parmesan cheese and bring to a boil.  add the pasta while soup is boiling, and let pasta cook for another 5-10 min.

i usually add the pasta just a bit before i’m ready to serve the minestrone.  if the pasta sits in the soup for too long it sucks up a lot of the soup and becomes soggy.

our very own “no, david!”

yesterday miss e’s most favoritest book arrived in the mail–no, david! by david shannon.  that book get a lot of mileage every time we check the book out from the library.  and i can tell other families get a lot of mileage out of it too because the next time we checked out no, david! it had a patched up page, and that was only a month after we had returned it.  miss e would call many other boys in other books “david.”  and she’ll often request the book even though we’ve already returned it back to the library.  so i realized this book’s a keeper.  it was actually one of my favorite children’s books in college.  and i had my own copy, but then i loaned it, and it never got returned because it’s just that good of a book.  well, we have our own copy again.

list of miss e’s (1 year old) frequently requested books:

binky, leslie patricelli

brown bear, brown bear what do you see? bill martin & eric carle

david, david shannon

ten, nine, eight, molly bang

trouble with friends, stan & jan berenstain

the very hungry caterpillar, eric carle