Apr 29 2013

food, three ways


ned got home from work this evening and i gave him and josephine kisses and dashed out the door.  my favorite cookbook author, deborah madison, was speaking at a nearby cookbook shop (a book store entirely devoted to cookbooks!) and i was excited.  deborah madison’s vegetarian cooking for everyone is my go-to what-are-we-going-to-have-for-dinner book.  if i were stranded on a desert island, it is the cookbook i would bring (provided, of course, this desert island was the type with a plethora of healthful ingredients and basic cooking implements).  she has a new book out, vegetable literacy, and this is mainly what she talked about: learning about botany and plant families, growing food and cooking from her garden.  it was fun to be surrounded by fellow deborah groupies.  while i was standing in line to get my copy of vegetable literacy signed, i had some regrets. i should have brought my dog-eared well-loved copy of vegetarian cooking for everyone instead. i should be buying many copies of her new book and sending them to loved ones (sorry, loved ones). regrets aside, i’m happy to have her name scrawled in my newest cookbook and glad to have an evening immersed in something i enjoy that doesn’t involve josephine.


i made pasta for dinner the other night. i’ve been wanting to make homemade pasta for a while; it’s been a long time.  so, using a recipe in the above-mentioned tome, i made pasta.  i topped it with asparagus from the farmers market, some goat cheese and some pine nuts and we all licked our plates clean.


thanks to our generous friends jami, ann and dylan, we now have  little garden plot. their family has been on the waiting list for a p-patch plot (seattle’s community gardens) for years and years and finally got a plot.  they invited us to inhabit a small corner of their plot and we’re plotting (heh) a little grazing garden. we hemmed and hawed for a bit about whether we wanted to garden this summer but when josephine guessed that maybe a tomato tree would grow out of the pea seeds she helped plant at school, i knew we had to do it.  we’ve gone a few times already and planted some pea seeds (which will hopefully yield, wait for it, pea plants, not tomato trees) and some chard and kale.  we’re also going to plant some tomatoes and some herbs.  we have a farm box that provides us with lovely produce all summer and we like shopping the farmer’s markets. the goal isn’t a big harvest, but rather a chance for josephine to see things grow, to get her hands dirty and for all of us to experience the joy of picking our food and taking a big bite, right there in the sun and dirt.



this article about feminism and the food movement (and michael pollan’s status as sexist pig) seems like a relevant link to include here.

Apr 25 2013

spring fever

what a week.

on monday, i took josephine to the doctor’s office to begin the process of scheduling her for hernia surgery. it’s something we’ve known we’re going to have to do for a while and, with two painful hernia incidents in the previous week, it’s time to get going.  i am not at all enthused about any part of it, but i admit that it will be nice to not have it hanging over us anymore (or poking out of us, as the case may be).

on tuesday morning, i sent a seemingly healthy josephine to school, but when i arrived there an hour and a half later to do some crafting with the kids, she was laying on the rug and moaning. i got the rest of the group started crafting and then carried a droopy, warm josephine home.  her temp was 102.6 (hi, doctor’s office! thanks for the germs!).  she spent the rest of that day and most of the day yesterday hot and uncomfortable in bed.  she probably had more hours of screen time than she’s had in the rest of her life combined.  i introduced her to mr. rogers and they got along great (and i realized i still know all the words to his songs). we read an entire 89-page book (my father’s dragon) and finished another chapter book (jenny and the cat club).

the highlight of the day:

last night, she started to perk up.  i was hopeful today would be better.

and then today.  i don’t know if she melted some brain cells during the fever or if there was still some bug in her body making her crazy, but SHE WAS CRAZY.  stepping back, i’m sure what she was doing is just a normal tantrum for your run-of-the-mill three-year-old.  but josephine’s not really a tantrumer.  oh, she’s as sassy and screechy and temperamental as any good kid, but she’s not a scream-for-20-minutes-while-kicking-things kind of kid.  today she was.  actually, it started in the middle of the night when she woke us up shrieking but not making much sense. after about 20 minutes of writhing and wailing (hi, neighbors! sorry about that!), she finally was able to tell us that she was hungry. she gobbled down the food we gave her and had a pretty quiet rest of the night. but this morning, hoo boy.  i didn’t give her the milk she asked for and that warranted a long screaming fit.  if she were a more practiced tantrumer, i think the living room would have been destroyed; she had that much rage in her. i’m thankful she’s a wuss dainty.  we somehow got out the door to walk around the lake with a friend (a walk which restored and bolstered my sanity), during which josephine was a pretty major pill.  there was another screaming fit before lunch about how she didn’t want to eat what i was offering even though it was exactly what she had asked for. and then she didn’t want to eat the second lunch i had prepared exactly to her specifications. (getting food into her was more important at this point than making her eat the first lunch.) and then there was more screaming about which friends she was going to nap with. there was some kicking of the sides of the bed and of whatever body parts of mine i was stupid enough to get close to her feet.  and then, finally, she slept.  she woke up twice from her nap raging and yelling nonsense for a few minutes and then, both times, rolled over and politely asked me to tuck her in again.  after sleeping for over three hours, she awoke a semi-normal josephine.

now i’m hopeful that tomorrow will be better.

Apr 21 2013

last month’s news

i can’t believe i forgot to tell you about how josephine was “kid of the week” at school last month.  last month!  i’ve had these sweet photos for a month and have been holding out on you.  so sorry.  kid of the week is a lovely tradition wherein the said kid gets to create a poster about themselves that hangs in the classroom for the week.  they get to have a special kid of the week circle where they tell everyone, in great detail, about the things on their poster.  parents are invited to this circle so ned took the morning off work and we sat amidst squirmy preschoolers and watched josephine be her cool school self (circle time also included a dance party).  at the end of circle, the other kids and teachers give that week’s kid some “appreciations.”  hearing these appreciations were my favorite part of the whole deal. some of the appreciations josephine received:

“joey is really sweet and loving.”

“i like joey because she’s nice and i like her and sometimes when i bring my fuzzy toys she asks if she can hold them and i say yes.”

“it’s just because i love her.”

“she is safe and kind and responsible”

“she’s really loving to me and really nice to me.”

how great would it be to hear things like that about yourself?  safe? kind? loving? good at asking to hold fuzzy toys?  all awesome.

although she’s the kid of the week every single week of the year around here, it was wonderful to watch her be honored. she was pretty thrilled about it, too (a nice change from last fall’s sob-fest during her birthday circle).



Apr 17 2013

baby book: milestones

a few things the kid now knows, only some of which i’ve taught her:

:: the names of all the months of the year

:: the names of all the days of the week

:: how to count to 39

:: how to zip up her jacket

:: how to read the words “and” and “oma” and “joey” and “ned”

:: how to skip (well, almost)



Apr 11 2013

so that’s where it’s been

Josephine: Sometimes there’s not a moon at night.

Me: Oh really? Where does it go?

Josephine: To the neighbor’s house, so they can enjoy it…  And then we have a peaceful dinner and don’t have to look at the moon.


Can I just note that we live in Seattle and it’s April?  We haven’t seen the moon in about six months.  So it must be something else making our dinners not peaceful…


Apr 9 2013

a what’s-been-happening photo dump

i took many hundreds of photos in the past month and only a handful have been shared.  here are a few more, just some peeks into our days (the happy, sweet parts, anyway).

josephine spotted photos of a little knit hedgehog and requested one for herself. i couldn’t resist.

meera came over a couple times, which was great — the two of them have opposite school schedules and don’t get to hang out much anymore, and they had fun with play dough and playing doctor.

we had lunch downtown with my friend renee and then got to check out the view from her office’s conference room on the 60th floor.

i taught joey about the joys of a patch of sunshine.

she took a call on her block phone while making a play dough cake.

ned turned rose and fella into marionettes and they put on a puppet show, sound of music style.

i had some work to do, so we packed up the laptop and the play dough (which apparently has been popular lately) and the dolls and headed to a local coffee shop.  it all went great for about 10 minutes until josephine spilled her drink, decided she was done with the play dough and then announced loudly that she had to poop.

we went to a celebration at seattle children’s for a beautiful new wing they just completed. (we toured the ER and the pediatric intensive care unit and i kept commenting on how nice it all was. and how i never wanted to be there again.)  josephine got to give rose a check-up at the kids’ clinic.

that glittery fairy birthday party…

lots of time has been spent coloring and writing at the little art table.

and, finally, all the cats in bed together!

Apr 6 2013

milestone: baby’s first tootsie-pop

“the barber was so good to give me this!”

not captured: the tears when five minutes of pre-nap time sucking were up.