Saturday, May 31, 2008

I should have been suspicious much, much earlier.

Jed loves sneaking up behind me while I'm working in the garden on my hands and knees. He pulls up the back part of my shirt, leans his wet, slobbery lips close, blows a bubble into my backside and when I screech starts laughing like he's going so split in two. He thinks he is a real one year old comedian.

So the other day I'm working out on the sidewalk, hunched happily over my lettuce patch, and Jed does his usual back-bubble stunt. In classic motherly style, I start to tune out after the tenth time. Subconsciously, I notice that now rather than blowing bubbles he seems to be wacking me with some sort of wet thing. Still not paying attention, I assume the damp object is a rag he dug out of the carport storage shed or somesuch. Finally, and far too late, I get suspicious. I turn around. There is my child, stark naked, diaper cover in one hand and wet nasty old diaper insert in the other. He shrieks with laughter, victoriously waving the diaper in the air like he's found the gold standard for toddler humor.

So far in a year and a half (nearly) of motherhood I've endured all sorts of new and thrilling encounters with bodily fluids. Childbirth itself was a messy affair, snotty nursing baby was an unanticipated experience for the bosoms, the poopy diaper incident mentioned here was no picnic, and now I suppose I can chalk up having my backside coated with sticky toddler urine on my list of meaningful parenting experiences.


Friday, May 30, 2008


Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Day in the Garden

Back Yard from the Kitchen Window

Friday, May 16, 2008


Can you find Vanessa?

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Wednesday, May 14, 2008


This Arabic dish looks gross. Like you're eating rocks and pebbles. It also seems ridiculously easy. DO NOT BE DISMAYED. It tastes PHENOMENAL and sates some deep instinctual craving for comfort food. I give it a ten our of ten for ease, pure cheapness, and unbelievable taste.


3 T Olive Oil
2 onions (or one large) of any color, sliced into rings
Cook until brown, carmelized, almost burnt. 12 minutes or so on medium high. Set aside.

In a pot, simmer together until tender, about 40 min.:
3/4 c. lentils
3/4 c. brown rice
4 c. broth or stock

For a non-authentic, but nonetheless tasty addition, add to the above before simmering:
1 t. garam marsala
1 t. cumin

Serve onions over lentils with a big dollop of plain yogurt.

Alternately, you could try garlic, cinnamon, allspice, or/and freshly ground pepper for spices.

Daddy and Boy

Momma and Boy

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Vii is for VICTORY!

Every Thursday, Michael and I go on a pre-weekend lunch date. I drive down to his office, dressed up extra cute, and he comes out to meet me, a big smile on his handsome face. We hop in the car like a movie couple having a giggly, illicit affair (except we're married... and there's a toddler in the back... but ya know) and take off for Jillians. Jillians poses as a hip arcade/billards/pool/bowling hall, but really it's far too full of harried executive types to count as "hip." But we let them have their illusions. They also have a restaurant, a nice hostess named Becky, and a Thursday special where the Guacamole Bacon Burger happens to be half off for lunch, providing us both with a tasty, decadent meal for a happy 8 bucks. We love our lunch dates.

This past week, Michael challenged me to a race on the "Need for Speed" arcade racecars. I quickly agreed, cleverly restraining the fact that I used to play need for speed ad nauseum with Eric and his pals growing up. I never reached their prowess, but I can certainly hold my own. I played the wimpy female, and Michael offered to hold the babe. I accepted, took my post, and put the pedal to the metal. Five minutes later, I emerged, VICTORIOUS, as my screen read "FIRST PLACE!" and Michael's, darkened, said "UNFINISHED RACE."


I'm a terrible winner. The rush of victory is far too thrilling and unusual for me to take it gracefully. Michael blamed it on the child. I laughed and pointed and did a victory dance. I rubbed it in for days.

So, Sunday, while at his parents, Michael challenged me to a rematch of Wii Mariocart. I accepted. I lost the first game. Last place. Then I lost the second. Last place. Blast. Then I discovered the joys of MooMoo Manor (or whatever it's called) and I was back on my game. VICTORY! Then, VICTORY again. And a final TROUNCING just to show him who was boss. Then a few games of tennis during which my husband's poor ego was thoroughly trashed. He had to come home and go to bed early.

BOOYAH! (What does that mean, anyway? But it feels so... appropriate.) Must be all the "Car and Driver" reading since we were married. Maybe I should try out for NASCAR. Must be in the Indiana air.

Shrimp and Basil Pasta

Michael gave this a NINE on our dinner goodness scale, a departure from his almost universal "eight and a half." Need I say more? He did say I could hold the shrimp and double the mushrooms... ah, my mushroom lover.

Boil as directed on package:
* 1 (8 ounce) package pasta (any kind)
* 3 cloves chopped garlic
* 1 c. chop mushrooms
* 1/2 small package of shrimp, frozen
* 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
* 1 t. dry basil
* 1/2 t. rosemary
* dash oregano
* 1/3 t. thyme
* 1/2 cup dry white wine (or replace with 1/3 c. water and 1 capful lemon juice)
* 1/4 cup chopped parsley
Simmer until liquid reduced by half. Serve over pasta, topped with:
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
* 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Eat. Wish there was more.

Hee hee hee!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Family Photo

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother and Me

To commemorate the day, a photo of me and my best friend in the whole world. It's been a few years since this was taken, but we still make a pretty cute, albeit slightly chubbier, pair. I love you, Momma Ann!

(OK, it's probably just me that's chubbier. It's all Jed's fault. And Michael's. Can't be mine! Inside I'm just as svelte as ever.)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Peanuts? Yum! Tofu? Yum!

Yeah, this is a crazy dish because it contains two foods that aren't usually our family favorites. I have always hated peanuts, and Michael isn't a huge fan of tofu (although always open minded, bless his soul.) But this salad, from, made us both grin as we snorked it down and lusted for more! Michael begged me to save some leftovers for lunch, when he caught me at 9:30 PM frantically shoving noodles from the mixing bowl into my mouth while mumbling exclamations of joy. Yeah, it'll be a repeat around here. It's quick and easy. And what I love about it is that I already had every single ingredient in my kitchen! (I refuse to go to the grocery store more than once a week. Yuck.) I even threw in some frozen stir fry veggies for color and it turned out fantastic.

Lazy Day Peanut Noodle Salad Recipe

1 8 ounce package soba noodles (I couldn't find any, so I just used whole-grain rotini)
1 bunch asparagus spears, ends trimmed then cut into 1/2-inch segements (I used carrots)

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
drizzle of toasted sesame oil
big pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4-1/2 cup hot water

1 small bunch of spring onions or scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup peanuts
12 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into small cubes (feel free to heat the tofu in a skillet if you like, but cold is good too)

Big a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the soba noodles per package instructions.In the last minute or so of cooking toss in the asparagus. Drain noodles and asparagus, run under cold water for about a minute to stop cooking, and set aside.
Make the peanut dressing by combining the peanut butter, rice vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and a big pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Thin with hot water - the amount you'll need depends on the original consistency of your peanut butter. I like it the consistency of yogurt. Taste and season with a bit more salt if needed.
Gently toss the noodles, asparagus, spring onions, peanuts, and tofu with a big splash of the dressing. I reserve a bit of each ingredient to sprinkle on top of the serving platter to make it look nice. Add more dressing a bit at a time, until the salad is dressed to your liking, reserving any extra for another use. Taste, sprinkle with more salt if needed, and enjoy!
Serves 6 - 8.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Our Dogwood Tree

Friday, May 2, 2008


Yesterday Jed had his first real outside play day. What fun! Helping mom garden is so much fun! Stomping her broccoli, eating her eggplant starts, kicking over her rows of beets, a boy's never had such a wonderland of enjoyment! By the time we finished, he was soaked to the bone and covered with mud from head to toe. So we stripped him down, smooched him up, threw him in the bath and then to bed.