Sunday, September 30, 2012

Blessing Day

Today Noah and his cousin were both blessed (kind of the Mormon equivalent of christening). Sweet prayers said for sweet babies that they will grow strong and smart and kind and that their parents will know how to help.

A pretty perfect day.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Rent We Pay

The other day I posted this quote by Dianna Vreeland.  

"You Don't Have to Be Pretty. You don't owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don't owe it to your mother, you don't owe it to your children, you don't owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked 'female.'

Your comments helped me wrap my brains around, and put into words the things that I had been thinking. 

There is no rent for occupying the space marked 'female.'  What I was failing to realize is that we're not renters.  We're all home owners of the spaces we occupy.  Female, male and even human are spaces that we have been given.  We can't be thrown out and there are no foreclosures. 

No rent required. 

What we do with those spaces is entirely up to us.  There are no requirements.  And thinking about it that way is particularly liberating because (to carry this metaphor a little too far) there's no landlord who will get mad if you paint the walls a funny color and all of the upgrades that you want to do are totally up to you.

If we chose to make our place pretty, that's our choice. It's nice to have a pretty place but I want to make sure that the space I occupy is thoughtful, kind,inspiring, makes other people feel welcome and appreciated and happens to be full of laughter and fun too.  

I'd love it to be pretty but pretty comes WAY down on the list.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Goodbye Dear Friend

Tomorrow the  movers arrive.  Luckily I told the hubbs that we had to pay people to pack our house if we were going to move with a baby who is 5 weeks old.  He agreed which means that tomorrow I will be overseeing the packing of our house and basically making sure that the kids don't cause too much trouble and that not too many things get broken.  

Last week we had a family photo shoot scheduled with one of our friends who is enormously talented.  Then Noah got a cold.  Then Claire was getting new teeth and had a really high fever and a runny nose and then I threw my back out.  And I remembered that I'm 3 sizes bigger than I normally am and really, who wants to pay to document the beginning of post-baby weight loss and you're still wearing maternity pants?  maybe we'll have professional photos taken in January when we've settled into our new lives and I can squeeze into my real jeans.

So instead of having professional portraits we had grandma snap a few shots one evening when had 15 extra minutes (here they are pre-photo-shop.  In the tradition of being a family of 4 we missed the perfect evening light by 15 minutes.  Frankly I'm just glad we made it at all). 

Goodbye San Diego.  Thank you for the friends, the sun, the beach, the fun.

Thank you 
Thank you
Thank you

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Tear in My Eye

Okay, I'm laughing so hard I'm crying. Read this. Be sure not to skip the comments.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pretty Little Things

"You Don't Have to Be Pretty. You don't owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don't owe it to your mother, you don't owe it to your children, you don't owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked 'female.'

Diana Vreeland.

A couple of days ago I read this quote.  It has been rattling around in my brain ever since and I just love it.  This week I threw out my back trying to carry an obscene quantity of groceries up the narrow stairs to my apartment (let's add those stairs to the list of things that I will not miss about San Diego) and since then my life has spiraled into an affair of hershey kisses and begging the hubbs to pick the baby up out of his cradle because I can't bend over.  

Yesterday I thought, "this is enough.  You need to put on real pants and makeup."

And then I thought, No.  No you don't because "pretty is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked 'female.'"

And then the next question that came to my mind was, what is the rent we pay to occupy that space?  And I knew immediately that I needed your help answering.  

What is the rent we pay to occupy the space marked 'female?'

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The wrong kind of inspiration

Things haven't changed too much around here.  I still am having trouble getting my brain around the fact that in 9 days the movers will be here packing up my house.  In 10 days we'll be on a plane.  It still hasn't sunk in yet.

So I'm spending my time nursing and feeding the baby and rereading books that I've already read before.  The only hint of inspiration that has been in my life is baking.  And it's baking that I didn't even do myself.  My mom did it.  While she was here she baked and cooked and left us with a full freezer and cupboard.

So even though this isn't kind of blog where I really share recipes I figured that any of you who are also in the process of blocking out major sections of your life might want to take the time to make these bad boys.

These were a staple at our family Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner and I assure you, that you won't be sorry that you made these rolls (which are really more like a dessert than a roll, but hey, it's the holidays and if you can call something that contains cool-whip a salad you can certainly call a roll that is like a cinnamon roll but with orange instead of cinnamon a roll instead of a dessert.)

Orange Butterhorns

1 T yeast
1/4 c. warm water
1 T sugar

1 c. water
1/2 c. melted butter
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs lightly beaten
4 c. flour

1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter (melted)
zest from 1 orange

Mix the first three ingredients together and set aside for 5 min.

In a separate bowl mix flour, sugar and salt. Set aside. Mix water, melted butter and eggs with the first three ingredients and pour the whole shebang into the dry ingredients.

Pay attention here.  This is a special and important step.  Before you turn on the mixer let it all sit together for 10 minutes.  There is a scientific explanation to this that you can read all about in Cooks Illustrated but I will just say that I swear it makes a difference.

Now that you've waited mix the ingredients and knead the dough.  You can either do this with the mixer (my chosen method) or dump it out and do it on the counter.  Knead for about 5 min.  The dough will be wet and sticky.  That's good.

Now put the dough in a bowl, cover with a towel and pop it in the microwave, oven or any other place that doesn't have a draft and leave it for an hour (or an hour and a half--however long it takes for it to about double in size).  Punch it down and leave it again for about the same amount of time.

After the second proofing roll our your dough into a large rectangle that's about 1/4 of an inch thick (depending on the size of your kitchen counter space this might be easier to do in two batches). And spread the filling on the inside.  Now, when we made this the hubbs said, "I know that you have to have a certain filling/bread ration for proper cooking but I think we should push the edge."  That's true.  Make as much filling as you can squish into those rolls.  The more filling the better--just keep that 1:1 ratio of butter and sugar. Then roll them up, slice them up and put them in muffin tins.

Let rise for 30-45 min and cook for 12-15 min at 375.

These freeze beautifully (if you have any left to freeze that is)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

3 Things I Love Right Now

I think I have 30 minutes of quiet time left.  Claire is getting some two-year molars so she's been getting up at night and even though Noah is sleeping like a champ (hello 4-6 hours at a stretch) having two kids getting up on alternating schedules means that my brain power is a little on the low side.  I just sat down to write a post and though, "okay.  So what have I been thinking about lately?"  Sadly, aside from moving, candy/baked goods and a new baby the answer was a big fat NOTHING.

So instead of a thoughtful post or even a travel log of what we've been up to you're getting a list of 3 things I am in love with right now.  Enjoy.

1) These night time blankets.  I swear they are part of the reason Noah is sleeping so well.  Nothing like velcro-ing your baby into a swaddle and his face is so darling as he struggles and tries to get out.  ADORABLE

2) And not to seem too obsessed with blankets but these are also heaven sent during the day-time hours.

 3) But Mostly These Faces

(And the Hubbs and Grandma but I don't have any good pictures of them.  Though we did ask a nice lady to take a picture of us on a special mom, dad and Claire date at the pier.  And do you like how I have covered my doughy middle section with Claire and a hat so as to fool the viewer into thinking I look like my pre-pregnancy self?  Nicely done)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We did it

So, I think we just rented an apartment.

It's so beautiful.

These babies are what sold me on it.

Oh and it has 3 bedrooms.  And it costs an arm and a leg.  And they want us to send them every piece of documentation about our financial lives just to get an application.  I'm pretty sure that they didn't ask for this much information to loan us the money to buy our house.

I guess the moral of this story is that if you're going to visit us in NY you should do it soon.  Before we decide that we can't afford the place and move next year.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

It's Always Fun When Grandma Comes

My mom arrived on Saturday to help out around the house with the new baby.

One of the major perks of being when my friend Jen and I call "a skim milk cow" is that when you supplement your baby with formula they sleep a lot (this is one of the only perks and I have a great time joking about it but if you sit me down for a serious talk about breast feeding I will start crying because not being able to produce milk is such an emotional issue).  Noah is two weeks old today and he's sleeping for 5 hours most nights.  That means that we're tired but not so tired that we can't function at all during the day.  I'm enlisted my mom's help to help me get all of the things done in San Diego that we need to do or do one last time.  I'm also counting on her to help me not be too sentimental about it.

Today we hit free day and the San Diego Botanical Garden and our favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant in Encinitas.

Check and check.