Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Happy birthday Daddy!

Happy 32nd birthday Daddy!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Love and sweetness

Seriously, how sweet is this picture? Almost as sweet as seeing them sneak into one another's bed at night.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween- Hatzis style

Halloween came and went, and the candy continues to find it's way into my stomach. Luckily I was able to convince the kids that the best candy comes in an orange wrapper, hence the abundance of Reese's peanut butter cups in their bags. 
Elizabeth as one of her favorite princesses, Snow White
Conner as his own creation- the Recycle Monster

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sweet pumpkins at the pumpkin patch

Someone was all about getting her picture taken today
Lizzie with her pumpkin

Someone really didn't want his picture taken today
And the picture that made the trip well worth it!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

J'adore Paris

We all love three-day weekends but recently I had probably the best three-day weekend of my life. I got to spend a glorious Friday, Saturday, and Sunday strolling the streets of Paris with my mom and two sisters. It was! Paris is such an incredible city, full of history and beauty on each corner. We spent most of our time doing what every good tourist does- seeing the sights and eating the cuisine. And my two goals for the trip were to eat and take pictures, and I can happily report that both goals were accomplished. I can't wait to go back and hope to take Conner and Elizabeth (and baby sweet P) over there some day. In the mean time we are trying to learn French by reading Bonsoir Lune each night.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Holy crap, I could be a vegan bowl

Do you see that deliciousness in front of you? Are you dying to know what is inside that magnificent piece of art in a bowl? Well if not, you should. That is what my friend Katie would call a harmony bowl, my sister would call a Buddha bowl, and I call it, well, a "Holy crap, I could be a vegan bowl!". I made this for dinner last night after hearing Katie rave about it at work last week. It was so good, almost as good as the caramel ice cream I ate in Paris last week (yeah, don't you worry, I'll be sharing a lot more about Paris with you soon). Y'all really should try it, I promise you can't mess it up.

Holy crap, I could be a vegan bowl:
Package of tempeh
Veggies of your choice (I chose broccoli, mushrooms, stir fried sweet potatoes left over from another incredibly delicious recipe, and Japanese eggplant)
Rice or noodles (I only had egg noodles in the house, which aren't vegan- but you could use rice noodles to keep the dish vegan )
Sauces to put on top of the bowl (I put some Siracha on there, along with a tahini sauce and some tamari soy sauce)

Alright, here's what you do. First, cut your tempeh into cubes and marinate overnight. "Recipe" for my marinade is below. Cut your veggies up into sizes that will fit in your mouth. Get out some peanut oil and heat that stuff up in your wok (or other large sauté pan, but really a wok works best to keep oil splatters contained). Now one by one sauté your veggies and tempeh. Also, during this time cook your rice or noodles. While it sounds painful to sauté your veggies one by one, you surely could do it all at the same time but just adjust cooking time for the different veggies so you don't end up with veggie mush. Then when everything is cooked and ready, assemble the veggies and tempeh on top of your rice and noodles and top with some of the delicious tahini sauce (recipe below), Siracha (for those who like it hot), and soy sauce.

Marinade for tempeh:
*I don't measure things. It seems unnecessary to measure unless baking, which I know is why I will never be a professional food blogger*
Tamari soy sauce
Rice vinegar
Sesame oil
Hoisin sauce
Really, just mix up whatever sounds Asian in your house. Throw the tempeh in and let it absorb the flavor.

Tahini sauce:
I seriously make this sauce for just about everything. I haven't found one thing that it isn't delicious on yet.
Some tahini, maybe 1/4 cup
Lemon juice (I used 1/2 of a big lemon)
Enough water to get the sauce to the consistency you desire
Mix all of it up. Easy peasey.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Deceiving your children

While I don't claim to be the first to have thought of ways to deceive your children into eating things, nor the most famous (I think that honor goes to Jerry Seinfeld's wife), I am pretty proud when one of my tricks work. And, last night was one of those times. Currently Conner is a very picky eater. Well, I should say he is very selective in what food he will even try. I'm pretty sure if he tried more of the food that I gave him he would find out that he actually liked it. I mean have you ever heard of a kid who doesn't like hot dogs? Elizabeth on the other hand is ready and willing to try most everything put in front of her. A few vegetables aside, that girl is a pleasure to feed.

Last night I decided to make a simple baked ziti knowing that pasta, tomato sauce, and cheese shouldn't be  too exotic for Conner to try. But you ask, where is the meat? Well, I wanted to eat this meal too so no meat allowed, unless it was faux meat but that stuff is usually pretty unappealing. And then, a moment of brilliance came to me. What if I blended up some silken tofu with the tomato sauce? Not only would the sauce end up creamier, but the tofu would add some protein to the dish and wouldn't add much weird bean curd flavor. And I'm happy to report, it was a success. Creamy sauce, added protein, no taste of tofu. And Conner actually ate it! It was a happy dinnertime at the Hatzis household last night.

Also, another way that I have deceived my children in the past (just referring to food here people), is with what I call green curd smoothies. I know, the name makes it  sound delicious, right? Well, here's the secret to hiding some nutritious foods into your kid's smoothies. Flavored silken tofu and kale (or spinach, collards, really any type of green leafy vegetable). The tofu adds some protein and by blending up the kale in the smoothie, your children won't even know that they are eating vegetables for breakfast. Here is a general recipe that I use to make two smoothies:
Two or three pieces of kale, stems removed
Cup of frozen berries
1/2 cup flavored silken tofu (you don't have to use the flavored kind but you might need to add a bit of sweetener if you don't)
1 banana
ground flax seed
and sometimes for fun I might just add some oats
Blend, add ice if the smoothie is too watery. And, I really  have never measured any of these things so they are all guesses. I also recommend that you don't measure (because that is more work than you need) and just eyeball things. You really can't mess this up.

For another recipe which uses silken tofu to make a creamy dreamy oatmeal, check out my friend's recipe on her blog. She's always cooking up something yummy in her kitchen.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tales of the dynamic duo trio

If anyone is even still following this blog- thank you! I know I have been really MIA from my blogging duties but you see, I've been really, really tired. And just not feeling too great. What could be causing this immense exhaustion you may ask (well, besides chasing two very fast and energetic toddlers)? My mom would probably say that I'm tired because I don't have enough protein in my diet, which may be true. But there is another pretty good reason for how I've been feeling, something that seems to take a lot of work and never gets easier as I've learned. Right now my body is working double time to support the growing baby inside of me!

And when I say double time, don't get too excited- only one baby in there this time. Yep, the dynamic duo is about to become the dynamic trio. Conner and Elizabeth are going to have a sibling, sometime around March 14th! And Chris and I weren't scared off enough by raising two babies at the same time to keep us from going through the adventure once again. We're just hoping that it might be a little easier this time with just one. I'm finally nearing the end of the first trimester and have started to feel better and gain some energy back (hence the two posts this week). I'm not sure how much I'll chronicle the pregnancy on this blog, because the second time around just doesn't feel so novel, but I'll be sure to keep you updated a few times along the way.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back to school

A year older, a year wiser. And the best part is this year the weight of their backpacks doesn't cause them to fall over.
First day of school- 1 1/2 years old
First day of school, 2 1/2 years old
Conner, 2 1/2
Lizzie, 2 1/2

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What I did on my summer vacation- a short essay by Erin

You know what I hate? When I make promises. Like the promise I made about finally getting around to blogging about our vacation to Colorado, which happened almost a month ago. I don't know why I have felt so uninspired to share with everyone the details of our trip (uninspired being the nice word for lazy). It was a fabulous trip after all. I think the laziness is occurring because it's so hard to explain in words the beauty that surrounds you in Colorado. And as much as I had good intentions to capture the beauty in amazing photographs, I only ended up taking a few pictures of actual landscapes. But, a promise is a promise so here it goes. 

I won't recount every minute of our great vacation but instead will highlight a few activities (more like I'll tell you about the things I actually took pictures of). The first day we were in Colorado we rented bikes and rode down Vail Pass. And rode is a very loose term, since it was downhill and I think you could make it the whole way without pedaling once. We got passed by a lot of real cyclists who were climbing the pass rather than getting dropped off at the top of the mountain and coasting down :). But I would definitely recommend this activity if you're in the area. 
Getting ready to start our biking adventure

Beautiful views while riding down Vail Pass
The next day we went whitewater rafting. I wish I had pictures of this, because we all were in wetsuits! But rapids are generally not the safest place to bring your camera and we forgot to go look at the pictures taken by the professional photographers. And before y'all think Chris and I are nuts for taking two year old's white water rafting, Conner and Lizzie got to spend the afternoon at the Breckenridge ski resort kid's camp. We had a great time rafting- but next time we are going to up the ante and head down some Class IV rapids. 

The last few days of our trip were filled with less than optimal weather. One day was rainy and pretty cold so we took advantage of the crummy weather for spa treatments and shopping. Then on the morning of our last full day in Colorado, we woke up to a surprising scene. I looked out the window of our condo only to see the trees covered in snow and big white flakes falling from the sky! Seriously, snow? In June?! And of course the snow all melted pretty quickly but it made some toddlers very happy and surprised!
And that about sums up our vacation. It was great to spend time with Auntie Meg and Grannie Elaine and I know the kids had fun saying "Mountains!" at least 500 times. 

Our best attempt at a family photo

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Fourth. We are having a party at our house tonight with a 10 x 25 foot slip-n-slide, lots of wonderful food, three types of homemade ice cream, and fireworks to close out the night. Wish y'all could join us! Hopefully I'll remember to have my camera with and can get some good pictures. I'm especially excited to try taking pictures of fireworks. Here's a hint that I learned in my class about capturing fireworks in pictures- slow your shutter speed (if you can do that on your camera). You'll probably need a tripod to prevent camera shake but if you slow your shutter speed down enough you should be able to get the picture you are after. I'll try it and see if it works. So look for some firework photos next week and I promise I'll get around to telling all of you about our awesome vacation in Colorado that we took almost a month ago!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lo siento!

I must send out my most sincere apologies to this little blog project of mine. I've totally neglected you! Don't think that I haven't thought about you numerous times. Just every time I thought about sitting down and writing, my mind drew a blank and I made myself feel better by blaming my writer's block on the lack of excitement in the Hatzis household lately. But, we have had excitement over the past month- I've just been too lazy to actually edit pictures and upload them to share with y'all. I must cut myself some slack though, I have been crazy busy working on a half-million dollar grant that I just submitted last week. If the grant gets funded (fingers crossed!) I will have enough money to pay my salary for the next three years and do some pretty cool science!

And here on the homefront, school's out for summer! The kids finished up school on June 8th and we promptly headed out on vacation the next day (more on that to come). It was bittersweet seeing school come to an end. We have really enjoyed sending the kids to the Montessori school this year and it gave us such peace to know that they also loved going to school everyday. We were lucky to get a quick kiss at drop-off before both of them went barreling into the classroom to feed the fish and hamster. Their teacher put together a dvd of all the pictures she had taken throughout the school year and it was amazing to see how much the kids changed over that year. The most prominent changes to occur over the year were the loss of fat and gain of hair for both kids! Funny, I think if you look at my change over the last year you would probably see the exact opposite changes in me.

Over Memorial Day we were lucky to have Auntie Amy come visit for a few days. The kids enjoyed showing Amy all of their new tricks and taking Amy to the pool. Lizzie was also very happy to have a fellow dancer in the house and she made sure that she wore her tutu at all times!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. Mother's Day 2010 is really shaping up to be the best Mother's Day I have experienced as a mom yet. Yeah, I know it's only my third one, but this one just seems different. My first Mother's Day is a huge blur, due to the preceding two months of little to no sleep. Last year was nice, we had a picnic in the park and Conner and Lizzie got me a massage. This year I have actually been dreading this weekend for the past week. You see Chris is on-call all weekend, which in my mind meant that I had two whole days with two toddlers who are prone to tantrums and very strong opinions. Just the thought of it made me think this wasn't going to be that great of a Mother's Day. But I have to say, I was totally wrong. First, Chris earlier this week told me he wanted me to go to Anthropologie on Sunday (score!). Then, over the past 24 hours, the kids seem to have been on their best behavior. Lizzie has even been going to the bathroom on the potty for me! Yesterday they both picked the flowers from the clover in the backyard and brought the flowers to me as a gift. On Friday when I stepped into the classroom at school, they both ran up to me and proudly presented the gifts they had made for me in school. And then, when walking to the car Lizzie kept saying, "Mama, I love you." All the sleepless nights and changing of dirty diapers were forgotten at that moment. And while Conner hasn't been verbally expressing his love for me, he has been very willing to give me kisses and hugs all weekend. So thank you Conner and Elizabeth- for the kisses, hugs, laughs, and love.

And of course, a big kiss and hug to my mom! I love you!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I can't wait to see what our Christmas card will look like this year

In case anyone was wondering why I never post any pictures of both kids together. Here's what I get when I try to get them to sit next to each other and smile at the same time for a picture: