Jul 26 2010

ISO finger foods

in an attempt to feed my daughter something other than Os and black beans when i need an on-the-go snack, i made crackers today. (i know, i know.  a cracker is really just a flat O, ingredient-wise.  i’m starting small.)  i rolled the dough out thicker than i would for adult snackers and didn’t bake them as long, so they’re a bit more like really thin biscuits than crackers.

i think she likes them.

and, by popular demand, the recipe:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup white flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt (although i might use a little less next time)

3.5 tbsp cold butter, cut in chunks

1/2 cup cold water

the method’s just like making pie crusts (which you’ve all made lots of, right?).  i used a food processor to mix the flours, baking powder and salt.  then i dumped in the butter and pulsed it all until the butter was broken up into pea-sized pieces.  then i poured the water in while i ran the machine until a dough formed.  you might need more or less than 1/2 cup water.  let the machine knead it for a minute, then turn it out onto a floured board and roll it out into as thin of a sheet as you would like.  the thinner the dough, the crisper the cracker.  if you want, you can sprinkle seeds (poppy, sesame) or coarse salt on top and press it into the dough a little.  cut into squares or, if you’re fancy, use a cookie cutter to make shapes.  bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until they’re as crisp as you like them.  cool on a rack.  try not to eat them all before your daughter’s had a few.

(if you don’t have a food processor, you can mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork then mix in the water until a dough forms.  knead for a minute with your hands either in the bowl or on a floured board.)

Jul 23 2010

her seventh state

four loads of laundry are done, the fridge is stocked (if multiple pounds of snap peas and not much else counts) and josephine is in bed.  nothing left to do but update the blog, i guess.

we ventured south down the coast to sunny (and, at times, foggy) california for a long weekend with old friends.  ned went to college with a whole heap of wonderful people; i feel very lucky that such friends come along with a relationship with ned.  josh and andrea and their son eli were our extremely gracious hosts and welcomed a large crowd into their home.  there were the three of us, deb and anthony and their two girls, and uncle peter.  josh and andrea gave us each a bed, provided all manner of baby gear, had shopped for enough food for nightly feasts (falafel! sushi! indian feast! pasta night! homemade ice cream! blackberry pie! breakfast burritos!) and calmly let us take over their world for six days.

and what a world!  josh and andrea have lemon, peach, plum and olive trees growing in their yard.  they have chickens.  and they live quite near the ocean.  we attained a nice balance of activity and leisure (or the closest thing to it with four children) and spent time both touring the area and lounging around the house, catching up.  we saw elephant seals flop their way into the surf, hiked along a bluff overlooking the ocean, squeezed fresh lemon onto our pasta, dipped josephine’s toes into her first ocean, stayed up far too late (and got up far too early), and picked chard leaves the size of a ten-month-old from the garden for dinner.

at the risk of sounding trite, it is so amazing to see our friends as parents.  and then to realize that we, too, are parents now.  eli and olivia — three and two-and-a-half, respectively — made me both anxious to meet a three-year-old josephine and preemptively nostalgic for her baby days that she is speeding way too quickly through.  i was strapping josephine into her car seat in eli’s car; he was watching me, trying to figure out how he felt about sharing his back seat territory.  i told him that josephine was probably going to fall asleep soon, so if he didn’t talk to her for a little bit it would help her sleep.  and then i added, “is it a deal?” and he looked at me seriously and said, “i can’t make a deal on that. i might just talk an awful lot.”  and he did.  and josephine fell asleep anyway.  olivia referred to josephine as “that baby.” as in, “why is that baby nudie patoodie?” when josephine was wearing just her diaper.  amelia, only five months old and flasher of the best gummy grin, is nearly as agile on the floor as josephine.  i worried she’d start crawling before josephine did.

josephine, it turns out, had a personal goal of attaining forward motion and she achieved it.  she crawls now; not for very long or very far, but she moves forward on wobbly newly-born-horse legs.  someone else’s toys were very motivating targets.

i had a personal goal of eating a burrito every day we were there and ended up eating four burritos over six days of vacation.  is that wrong?  if it is, i don’t want to be right.

thanks, josh, andrea, and eli, for the most comfortable and welcoming accommodations.  you may regret telling us to consider your house our beach home.

(many more photos are here.)

Jul 22 2010

jiggety jig jig

we’re home again after a lovely vacation.  stories and photos are coming soon (as soon as the laundry is done and the fridge is re-stocked), but here’s a hint as to where we were.

Jul 14 2010

how to tell

i’ve been trying to figure out for days now whether josephine has a cold or is teething.  i don’t know how to tell the difference; the symptoms are so similar. she’s had a runny nose, is more moody than usual and sometimes emits rivers of drool.  her sleep, which was getting better, has backslid a bit.  she’s also had a day or two where her little head feels warmer than usual.  so which is it? teething or a cold?  yesterday, i hit upon an ingenious method to figure it out.  i caught her cold.  yuck.

i do not look as cute with a cold:

newly-discovered fun food -- rice cakes

new ridiculous(ly cute) smile

Jul 11 2010

too cool for school

it usually doesn’t get too hot here.  except when it does.  last year, the hottest seattle day on record ever occurred when i was almost nine months pregnant.  that was fun.  this week, we’ve had several days of record-breaking heat in the 90s and, because the heat is rare, it’s a big deal.  very few people have air conditioning so staying cool requires a little more creativity than just staying home.  for us, it’s involved water, shade, and moving even slower than usual.

on wednesday, anya and desmond hosted the pool party that was supposed to happen during the rainy, chilly fourth of july bbq.  the weather was much more amenable to babies in the pool.

that night, josephine enjoyed a topless dinner.  hands coated with carrots and sweat apparently make a great hair gel.

the pool was so refreshing that anya and i decided to try out one of the city’s wading pools on thursday.  we weren’t sold.  big kids splashed the babies, desmond wanted to be walked everywhere and josephine could only sit in about an inch of water while i hovered over here, baking in the sun.  anya and i decided we needed to be in more water ourselves.  the best part of the wading pool excursion was sitting in the shade afterward.

ready for a nap

in the mornings, before it got too hot in the apartment, we played in the sunlight on the floor.  and josephine announced her future political goals.

on thursday night, when it was 94 degrees, we picked up ned from work and sat by a breeze-less lake washington for a while.  then we took refuge at flying squirrel pizza and enjoyed delicious pizza in air conditioning.  josephine gnawed on her first pizza crust.

fortunately, the heatwave has ended and the weekend has been two days of sun-drenched, reasonably-temperatured loveliness.  hopefully it will stay warm enough for short sleeves, though.  i can’t get enough of those rolly arms of hers.

Jul 5 2010

how we celebrate 234th birthdays

start the day with some strawberry jam, made the night before from strawberries picked earlier that day.  (no jam for you if you’re under the age of one.)

dress the youngest member of the family in a ridiculous outfit.

go to the farmers market

and get excited about the arrival of summer produce.

see some birds that are much bigger and more colorful than the ones that hang out outside the living room windows.

make faces at each other in the car.

make some rhubarb crisp and go to a bbq at desmond’s house where the rain moves the party indoors and cancels the babies-in-a-wading-pool portion of the celebrations.  instead, pose on the couch with babies,

desmond, ellie, reilly and josephine

moms and babies,

and dads and babies.

go home early and sleep, for the most part, through the fireworks.  get ready to celebrate a 10 month birthday tomorrow.