Apr 27 2011

other recent hijinks

I’m just going to give up on my plan of giving each of these activities their own post. I don’t know what I was thinking.  Even though I haven’t done a speck of work-work since the 15th, somehow mass quantities of blogging time haven’t presented themselves. Probably because we’ve been too busy doing things.  Things like…

Going to the aquarium with Carrie and Syndey:  Carrie and I went to grad school together and then she had to up and move across the country.  But she and her husband have moved back to town and with a bonus — their lovely daughter Sydney.  Sydney is two and it’s so fun to watch her and imagine Josephine being so big and so able in just six months.

Kissing the big otter.

Surfing on the back of an orca whale.

Going on ill-advised outings: A few weeks back, we woke up to a sunny morning.  Ned had the car for the day so I devised a field trip that involved taking the bus to what I thought would be a really fun place to get out some morning energy and prep Josephine for a nice long afternoon nap.  We were fresh from our trip to the Nisqually Refuge and I remembered that there’s a boardwalk in Seattle, just south of the UW campus.  We took the bus to the trailhead and it quickly became apparent that this was not the place to bring a toddler for a walk.  What I remembered as a boardwalk from a visit years ago was really, in most places, a narrow path at water-level with freezing cold swampy water on both sides.  Instead of the high, grate-covered walls like the boardwalk at Nisqually, this path has two-inch-high wood planks separating the (very muddy) path from the aforementioned swampy water.  Not the best blockade for a toddler who isn’t fond of walking in a straight line.  Or of walking particularly quickly.  And who, when a parent gently places a hand on a shoulder to reroute a small body veering dangerously close to water, likes to jerk her body away in a fashion that sometimes nearly lands her in the water. I couldn’t win.  What should have been a fun outing in the sun that wore Josephine out ended up wearing me out.  It’s a lovely place, really, and we’ll be back when she’s a little more able to differentiate between solid ground and not.

This was the first sign of trouble. See the break in the fence in the background? That's where we started our walk. We got this far and the rocks were too difficult to resist.

This was a rare section of the trail where there wasn't water right up at the edge of the path and I could get far enough away to snap a picture of a girl and her stick.

Playing in tunnels at Meera’s house: It took her weeks (maybe months?) to build up the courage to go through the tunnel at Meera’s.  Now she loves it.

Making good burgers: We all thought these were delicious.  They’re black bean burgers and there’s nary an objectionable ingredient in them.  (I got the recipe via Angry Chicken and she read about them in Yoga Journal.)

1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (15 oz. can very well drained)
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, very well drained
1 cup fresh cilantro (you could use parsley)
1 t. ground cumin
1 clove garlic
2 green onions
2/3 cup shredded carrots
1 3/4 cup rolled oats

Put all ingredients in a food processor and turn it on.  When you have pulverized everything, scoop 8 blops of burger onto parchment-lined baking sheets and press them into burger-like shapes.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, flip them over and bake another 15 minutes.  They’re great fresh from the oven and they also freeze well.

Ok!  How’s that for a random all-over-the-map post?  Up next, my parent’s visit, our trip to the Oregon coast, maybe something fun from the video archives… and I know you’d all like to hear about our packing progress for Hawaii, right?

Apr 23 2011

another great friday

we’re on a roll, folks.  yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day here in nearly-almost-spring seattle.  during breakfast, josephine and i decided that our adventure for the day should be to take the bus down to seattle center (home of the space needle (“pace needew!!”)) and check out the world rhythm festival.  it was a very good decision.  it was children’s day at the festival so, along with a million other families, we attended an enormous music class.  then, while eating our lunch, we listened (and danced) to two groups of school kids playing african drums and then steel drums.  the one strange moment: among the sea of children watching these drummers pound out an infectious beat, josephine was one of the few who seemed compelled to join in and dance.  where were the squirmy, dance-y kids?

ned came home from work early and we struck out again in to the sunshine. we got free drinks from starbucks for earthday (really, the only time we go to starbucks is when they have free drinks) and supplemented homemade pita and hummus with some grape leaves and salad from the local greek place.  then we picnicked at the lake until the cool breeze blew us towards home.  well, first it blew us into the new frozen yogurt place, where josephine perfected the skill of asking for more ice cream the second you finish swallowing the previous bite.  (she ate mostly strawberries but i was happy to call it ice cream.)

i anticipate stellar fridays for at least two more weeks.  next week is the royal wedding (and, oh yeah, my parents are in town!) and the friday after that we’ll be on our way to paradise/hawaii.  the friday after that one, we’ll be coming home, but we’re not thinking that far into the future yet.

Apr 21 2011

we’re not all pickled ginger and seaweed around here

for lunch, we dipped our grilled cheese in ketchup.  (or, the toddler-preferred method: licking ketchup off a piece of grilled cheese, re-dipping, licking again, re-dipping etc. multiple times before actually eating the bread and cheese.)

and last week, josephine had her first licks of ice cream.  our friend had chastised us for not sharing the joys of ice cream with josephine earlier, but we figured as long as she didn’t know how great it was, we could eat it in front of her without her caring.  not to mention the fact that we wanted to put off dealing with a sugar-crazed kid for as long as possible.  but now that she recognizes ice cream in books (ann?  did you teach her that?) and knew what that we were enjoying ourselves after we all waited in line for free cones at ben and jerry’s last week, we had to start the ice cream initiation.  despite her funny face, she instantly begged for more.

Apr 19 2011

oh, right. the blog.

i haven’t forgot about you, dear reader, despite all evidence to the contrary.  the truth is that i was working all last week on the final report for the project i work on (and although “final report” makes it sound like it’s the final thing i’ll have to do for the project, well, it’s not quite true).  i put in 16 hours of work between monday and friday and, while that might not sound like many to someone who works 40 hours a week, these hours were almost exclusively worked while josephine was sleeping.  and have i told you lately how short her naps are?  or how she doesn’t much enjoy sleeping through the night?  needless to say, the 16 hours were mainly ones during which i also should have been sleeping.  so there wasn’t much time for things other than data and writing (such as blogging, for example) when josephine wasn’t around.

when she was around though, hoo boy! we had a full week: friends, new recipes, sleep miracles, ill-advised outings…  i’ll tell you about it soon.  but now i’m going to tell you about friday and how nice it felt to be done with a big project that’s been sucking my time (and soul, i swear) for way too long.

it felt really nice to be done with a big project.  in the morning, before the report was actually totally done, but it was close enough to be relieved, we had a long playdate with josephine’s friend emilee.  she’s about this happy all the time:

the two had fun together.  i even made the gutsy move of bringing two toddlers to the park.  we didn’t last long — as soon as they were both out of the swings and wanting to do different things, i scooped them up, we said hello to the ducks and headed home.

after emilee’s departure and lunch and nap, josephine and i went to meet a new, tiny friend: baby sven.  josephine likes to call him “baby pen.”  he is, as she’ll tell you, so tiny and so cute.

then, the best part of the day, we met up with ned on capitol hill and went out for dinner.  we had some sushi and a kimchi tofu veggie dish and josephine ate everything.  really, everything. even the pickled ginger and the seaweed salad.

i love her lack of pickiness.  i have no expectations that it will last so i’m enjoying it while i’ve got it.  nothing better than a 19-month-old asking for more seaweed, more tofu and more ginger.

finally, we capped off the night with ice cream.  josephine has just figured out that ice cream exists and is delicious and life will never be the same.

and that was friday.  i haven’t done a speck of work since then.  i’ve slept a bit more, played a bit more and had some actual naptime free time, which is so sweet.  this afternoon, josephine and i did a practice run for hawaii.  we sat in a sun-drenched seattle park and she played in the sand and i sat next to her and read a magazine.  it went really well — i think we’re ready.

more soon.

Apr 10 2011

walkin’ ona boardwalk

i was getting a touch of cabin fever.  josephine had her umpteenth cold this week (after a few months of good health) and we were inside wednesday and thursday.  friday was a lovely, sunny day at the zoo.  but i needed more.  i needed further afield.  so on saturday morning the three of us hopped in the car (doesn’t that make it sound so quick and easy? in reality, i’m still floored, every single time, by how long it takes us to get out the door.  or, more accurately, get josephine out the door.) and headed south on the highway.

we just got a copy of nikki mcclure’s new book, to market, to market.  (not to be confused with josephine’s favorite book of the same title. i wouldn’t blame you for being confused. she is.)  in THIS to market, to market, the author and her son shop at a farmers market and, for each item they buy — kale, apples, honey, smoked salmon, dyed napkins — there’s a lovely explanation of how that product is grown/made/harvested. seriously, it’s like she called me and asked me what she should write a book about.  we’ve been reading this book a lot this past week and, because nikki mcclure’s from olympia and the book is about that city’s market, i thought we should head there.  a nice book-real-life tie-in.  i also was hoping, i’ll admit, to spy the author purchasing some apples or napkins or honey.  we didn’t see her, but we did enjoy a good lunch and basked in some nice spring market vibe.

bellies full, we drove a little bit north up I-5 to the nisqually national wildlife refuge.  they have four miles of trails, about half of which is a boardwalk that is suspended over tidal marsh land.  the trees are budding and that little hint of fresh green was such a welcome sight for these winter-weary eyes.  and boardwalks are the best place for a lolly-gagging toddler to explore.  we saw baby owls and herons and lots of ducks and geese.  and we saw a bald eagle tearing into a fish and then engaging in mid-air combat with a hawk that had flown too close to its nest.  nature drama at its best.

Apr 9 2011

a week of firsts

first pigtails.

first (non-immunization-related) band-aid.

and first pee on the potty.  (sorry, no picture.)

it’s been quite the week.

Apr 8 2011

a few with friends

with adailia at the zoo:

with sydney and colin:

with sydney (and her loving hugs):

and with the boys — des and brixton — at the zoo.  yes, we like the zoo.

Apr 5 2011

this morning, in bed

i was lying next to a very-awake josephine, trying to keep her content enough to stay in bed a little longer while i attempted to remain semi-comatose.  this is my morning challenge and delight.  she makes up new verses to songs with me (what else would kleenex say when they get up in the morning but “blow! blow! blow!”? genius, jo!); she nags me, “get up, mama!”; she pokes my face when i close my eyes.  this morning, i curled my legs under her sleepsack-bound body and untucked my toes from under the blankets.  she spied them instantly and shouted, “here come toes!   let’s go get ’em!” and dove at them and tickled mercilessly.  i know it’s a slippery slope to let toddlers into your bed every morning at 4am, but these are the rewards.