Sep 30, 2009
On the first day of kindergarten the parents lined up next to their little ones holding hands and asking questions like, "Are you excited?" more to validate our own excitement than anything else.
Daniel and I are rampant people watchers. This joy is often dampened in public situations as I try to send my observation telepathically and he looks at me like I'm a looney bird. If you haven't met us in person you'll know that the Great Divide, otherwise known as our height differences ( 6'3'' and 4'11'') restricts whispering capabilities.
Never stops me from trying though.
So, we're in line with Penn walking into school and I'm behind the cutest, tiniest little lady. Tinier than me. So I sent telepathic messages to Daniel about the tiny lady and got the looney bird. I tried whispering and settled for, "I'll tell you later." She turned around, made friendly conversation and complimented Margot.
Not long after Daniel and Penn were taking a bike ride around the block and who should be outside but the tiny lady! And now I have a friend I can make eye contact with. And they live right there! Joy.
The other day the kiddos camped out on the portrait set-up I had been shooting on and had a spontaneous Sunny D break and some dress up time. I couldn't not take their photo.
And Penn? Well, he's almost huge now.
Sep 29, 2009
Sep 28, 2009
Our neighbor turned four last week. And I love him!
I also love his little shadow, Felix.
And we can't possibly say enough cute things about Judith.
I like my neighborhood and the amazing families that fill it. The Guthries are really special to us in a lot of ways I can't explain. Perhaps as an example of family and community and involvement. Perhaps as a level of coolness and wit. Perhaps as a role model for how to manage more than one child. I can't explain. I just feel really grateful to have them in our lives and right around the corner at that! I hope I know them forever.
I hope I'm around when Joseph comes to visit from college and has a brewski with his old man and Daniel and we quiz him on the seriousness of his girlfriend. Or we check out his new car or listen to him wonder about changing his major. You get the picture.
But for now, he's freshly four and his firetruck birthday was really fun.
Happy birthday, Joseph.
Click here for a few more photos.
Sep 21, 2009
I was replying to an email and thought that this excerpt was interesting, even out of context.
... Deep down we all know what we should do. We know almost instantly, although we tend to drag it out to enact as much pain upon ourselves, and maybe others, as possible. In all sorts of situations including relationships. It's when what we should do conflicts with what we want to do that it's difficult to act. It's when what we should do sounds too hard that it's difficult to act.
Penn whines all the time, "But I caaaannn'ttttttttt....[open the cabinet] [reach something] [turn on a light] [carry everything from the car] [etc.]." And every time I make him do it. And every time he can do it. Despite what he thought he could do and despite what he told me.
I say that to say this: As adults we don't always have someone bigger than us to say, "You can do it," and make us follow through. We don't always have someone to say, "It's going to be okay." We don't always have someone to say, "Do it anyway." We don't always have someone who totally knows that we can do it.
BOY AM I ON AN UNRELATED TANGENT NOW!
Perhaps what I'm trying to say is when you told me that you and your boyfriend were good at "resolving conflicts" and that he wouldn't take care of the dog I wondered, "When is she going to dump this guy and move on to someone better?" :D For every door that closes a window opens? There's someone better. Someone who will take care of the dog for chrissake. ...
Sep 17, 2009
Daniel and I consume 90% of our media from a computer. Much of that time is spent cozied up in bed, teeth brushed and pj's on with a host of podcasts. (Although, Margot has seriously cut into this time.....)
One our favorites is Mark Bitman's "The Minimalist." I recently checked out from the library his mega book, "How to Cook Everything." This thing is jam packed not just with every recipe you'll ever need, but also with everything you need to know about food and how to prepare it. It's practically bathroom reading material.
I found myself consulting it so much that I broke down and bought "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian."
Last week I made Bean and Cheese Empenadas and Rice with Peas. So good! Can't say enough about cracked black pepper on rice. And I've lamented here about my dough never living up to my expectations. But I made this dough from scratch and without any appliances and it is more than acceptable. The recipes are too long for me to stretch out here. You'll have to get the book or ask nicely.
Sep 15, 2009
Believe it or not, I'm a 30 year old Fried Plantain virgin.
So I went for it. I made them at home and YUM! Next time I'll squish them a bit more.
So I went for it. I made them at home and YUM! Next time I'll squish them a bit more.
Ingredients:They were nice and crisp salty on the outside and soft and sweetish in the middle. The lime gives it the perfect unexpected twist.
2 large yellow turning black plantains
Cut the plantains into 1/2 inch slices and fry on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Between two pieces of parchment paper hammer lightly with your fist once and they'll squish out a bit. Fry again until golden brown. Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle a lime wedge across. We dipped ours in hot sauce.
Now that I know more about plantains I think they are a highly underused fruit.
I'm a little obsessed with this playground. Last weekend was the first time I noticed the steps on the slide say "American." I was coveting the steps out loud and Daniel began coveting the whole slide. Anyone my age will share the memory of the long line you had to wait in to climb up the long ladder to slide down the long slide. Inevitably, and similar to diving boards, it would be too high for at least one kid and we'd all have to scrunch to the side to let the coward by. We would groan adult groans and wonder every time, "Why did you even go up there then?"
I'm really curious about the history of this playground. This slide in particular with it's "American" steps. How old could it possibly be?
Sep 14, 2009
I miss taking photos for fun.
Margot is only seven weeks old and already I have things to edit and ship. But -- I haven't finished my taxes or gotten to the bottom of my physical or virtual inbox. I haven't cleaned all of those corners I was supposed to have a moment to clean. I haven't...... I haven't..... I'm not swamped or booked up or anything, but I am feeling the corners of time tug at my days reminding me that life isn't all about babies and cuddles, sleeping and playing pretend store. It's not all neighbors and dinners and splash parks and walks and talks and fruity glasses of wine and women piled in the livingroom or men on the porch with cigars.
It was a good summer.
I miss taking photos for fun. Real photos for fun. The above was my front yard this morning. These moments are becoming as much of an art to me as anything else.
Sep 12, 2009
I got Ringo as a 6 week old pup. He was the cutest thing I'd ever seen and the best puppy. He's never chewed anything but a bone and his potty training was ridiculously easy. I thought he was perfect. But about a year and a half ago he developed a skin condition that no amount of money or vet could "fix." He went from soft and plush to greasy and smelly and itchy and his crayola orange hair was thinning to bald spots. His skin was turning black. His back was full of scabs. He scratched constantly.
I didn't want to hug him. Which made us both sad. Half the reason to have a dog is for the cudding, right? All the while I tried everything. I got him shaved so I could better see and doctor the sores and scabs.
I read the whole internet about dogs and although I didn't find a "cure," I did discover that there were lots of people in my situation who couldn't "fix" their dogs skin.
Ringo and I would like to announce that we have FINALLY figured out something that works. I switched his food to Eukenuba Salmon and Rice in case it was a food allergy. I add a dollop of yogurt in case it was a yeast infection. I add a spoonfull of The Missing Link because it's supposed to help promote healthy skin. I use this Zymox Rinse in case it's a bacteria or yeast on his skin. I feed Pavlov outside and Ringo inside so that Ringo actually gets to eat all of his food at his own pace.
And I know all of that sounds ridculous. You should know I'm not the "pet pampering" kind of person.
But after doing this for three or four months, I have my dog back. Not just my dog but my dog with really pretty hair again and practically zero shedding. He hasn't had a bath in forever and he still doesn't smell. He's putting on some healthy weight.
And you can just tell. He feels better.
And, bless him, his bits aren't bald anymore. Whew!
Sep 10, 2009
Last weekend we held a brunch. You were invited if you are in Dallas and one of our Twitter or Facebook friends. Which is sad, really, but convenience rules the modern world.
I served Black Beans with Oranges and saffron rice to put in tortillas with cheese, guacamole, sour cream and salsa. I made a fabulous corn salad with avocado. There were sides of cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries and chips. I didn't have time to cook everything I wanted and although everyone got something there certainly wasn't enough food. Good thing we had beer too.
The babies did their tricks.
Then they fell asleep. Well, Judith fell asleep and Margot practiced her Pirate Face.
The exuberance from the older children was so thick and boisterous it flew around the room and knocked off tiles from the fireplace. We really have no suitable explanation for how this happened and if you know how to repair it, do tell. I'm just grateful all the five year olds still have all of their toes and I'll leave it at that.
WHY DON'T WE DO THIS MORE OFTEN? This is time frame in most of my friend's lives where we're all settling into this world we created. We're settling in to our ideas and our beliefs and how it's all panning out. We're settling into our mates or what we want out of a mate and understanding more about what was so totally wrong with that last boy/girl friend. We're nestled in with sticky-faced children. We pride ourselves more on our practical functionality and less on our storebought fronts. We're not so swept away by the masses, trends or media and can focus on the big and small pictures individually. When we gather around food and beverage we can connect things from all over and we suddenly need to take care of one another.
Community. Who knew? I like it. It's important. I wish I had figured that out sooner.
Thank you to everyone who came and filled our house with happy and laughter. Thank you for welcoming little Margot in. Thank you for the loads of gifts that I totally wasn't expecting, but, um, yay! And next time we'll start later than 11 and I'll make more food. :)
Click here for more photos.
Sep 7, 2009
She's growing Out instead of Up. Her thighs are starting to double over. Her cheeks are plotting world domination. She's my sweet little Love Chunk. She sounds a little like a broken clarinet sometimes. She's my Squeaky little love Chunk. Nomnomnomnom.
Sep 3, 2009
Penn's one of the lucky ones. He's good at almost everything. He can hit a baseball over the house, throw a football with a group of kids for the first time without fear, memorize his student i.d. number on the first try, understands numbers and math easily and can make coffee in the morning with the perfect amount of cream and sugar all delivered to us in bed.
Totally serious about that last one. He wanted to surprise us. Did he ever!
I'm still waiting on him to really understand and believe how amazing he is. Self esteem is a tricky beast, though. It's not a characteristic that can be taught or fed from the outside.
So this bike thing is really awesome. He knows he's good. He pedals down the street swooping up driveways, around parked cars, up and down curbs and listens when I yell about cars. He can hang on long rides with the big boys even though his tiny little legs have to pedal three times as fast. And he's only five!
There is so much in this little boy waiting on him to find it all.
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