We braved the heat & smokey air to attend a kids concert at the Getty Saturday. It was far enough away from the fires that the air wasn't too bad & even the heat was bearable once the shade crept over to our blanket. Justin Roberts sings many of M's favorite songs & she had a great time at the concert dancing & singing and running on the lawn. Here's a long video of the fun (and some fancy camera work by both Tim & I), this song is called I Chalk.
Sunday, August 30
As you may have heard, there is an enormous wildfire here right now AND a heat wave with temperatures over 100. Lovely stuff. We have been trying to stay inside as much as possible to avoid the horrid air. The result is a lot of stir-crazy, sticky folks in our (seemingly) shrinking apartment. At one point today, I opened the apartment door to let our visiting neighbor out. A moment later Tim wandered out of the bedroom to see if something was burning on the stove. We both laughed as he realized his error & remembered that outdoors was the real source of the smokey stench.
Taken Friday in Glendale:
Taken today in our neighborhood:
We could even see the flames after dark from Sarah & Gaurav's balcony tonight. Hoping that both the fires and heat wave settle down soon.
Saturday, August 29
Tim's job ended yesterday and he is now officially unemployed for four! I am not yet overcome with panic about the uncertain future, but instead really looking forward to having him around for some solid family time. We planned a trip to NY that will prevent him from really accepting any job for the next month. Normally our weekends are a bit frenzied trying to balance squeezing in "quality time" together with getting errandy-to-do-items checked off. Today was totally different since we now have no workdays to interrupt our family leisure or personal productivity. It was wonderful as we just took time to unwind after his very busy last work week & enjoyed the day with no pressure. Maybe we should put find benefactor at the top of our weekday to do list?
Friday, August 28
Wednesday, August 26
We finally had a Bob success today where Porter rode, contentedly, in the jogging stroller for 30+ minutes. Every previous attempt Porter reacted like I was setting him on spikes as I placed him in the stroller so he was immediately removed again. Today we walked down to new farmers market (at the end of our block!) and refreshed our produce supply after the weekend away. Porter was so happy to watch everything and each time Matilda & I would pop up front to say hi, he would break into the biggest grin. It was amazing - his first stroller ride and my first hopes at getting back in the swing of running.
Of course, he was happier looking when someone wasn't smushing his head down. Sister-love is so hard to take sometimes.
Somehow we had loads of fun in San Diego, despite the fact that we all had an array of illnesses while there. It has been ridiculous, every day for the past week one of the four of us has woken up with some new ailment. I would say we are all on the mend now, but each time I declare that a new rash, fever or snot-nose faucet appears so I'll stay mum. Instead I'll share my wisdom from the weekend.
1. Diet tip: If you take two sick-ish, tired kids to Souplantation there is no risk of over indulging at the buffet what with all the walking the screaming baby outside, slicing & doling out of food for a starving M and then more pacifying of the baby with straw dribbles of water.
2. Just like Grammy says, a cool bath in the sink will soothe the itchy, unexplained rash, AND make for a happy Porter.
3. Don't bother going to the store, two spoons will work just fine as a fill in for your forgotten contact lens case.
4. Porter is a trooper/We are terrible parents. His fever was down, but his awful rash was not yet resolved and we still decided to go ahead with our plan for a long day at the zoo. The zoo was amazing, as always, and so was Porter who tolerated 9+ hours strapped in the Bjorn. I am sure with our first kid we would have aborted all plans and stayed home for a week until she was thoroughly better before venturing out for big doings. Once again, "Sorry, second kid."
5. Don't get too close to the elephants.
Friday, August 21
We are still not packed for our long weekend in San Diego so here's a quick recap of the week.
Snow boots in August? Why not.
Colorful shaving cream at school is best if it matches your dress perfectly.
Porter shares some super big smiles early in the week.
Then today, Porter visits the doctor & gets his first prescription for a cruddy sore throat. After some Tylenol and throat medicine he can finally catch up on rest & is seeming better.
Wednesday, August 19
One of Matilda's school mates is called "Baby bird." I guess when she first started, that was how she referred to herself and it stuck. She is a long, skinny little thing and fairly bird like so it really fits. Tim was telling me the other day how he thinks of Porter as our little bulldog puppy. He's just a baby, but a solid little hunk of baby. I think these pictures perfectly capture the bulldog puppy look.
"You wanna piece of me?"
Some weeks I can barely think of what to cook, so I thought I would share what's on the docket for this week's meals in case you need some inspiration. If I don't make a plan & grocery shop with a list of things to eat for the week, I get to 6pm each night and am at a loss for how to feed us. Half this meal plan has already been eaten since I didn't manage to get this post up on Sunday as planned. Here's the weeks market haul, minus the seafood which was already in the fridge:I usually just plan out 5-6 entrees (for dinners and some lunches) and a bunch of sides that can be mixed and matched. Each afternoon I'll then choose what to cook depending on how much prep time I have, what needs to get eaten sooner, and what we feel like eating that day. Here's what we have going for this week:
- Calamari with arugula - This is a super fast meal we have often on Sunday afternoon after market. Instead of using the grill we just throw the calamari in our grill pan to expedite the process.
- Red Snapper with olives, capers and tomatoes - First time trying this recipe; as you'll see from all the links, I often just sit at the computer and search with key ingredients to figure out a recipe.
- Fresh tomato-thyme sauce over pasta (I've been putting those tiny fresh mozzarella balls in this, instead of ricotta)
- Broccoli tofu stir fry (This recipe is a bit bland as written, I add more garlic, ginger & often other spices)
- Turkey sausage, garbanzo bean & pasta soup - recipe from mom maybe?
- Tomato sandwiches - Fresh bread, tomatoes mayo & salt. Perfection. We seem to have hit peak tomato season here and are loving it. Heirlooms are down under $3/lb!
- Smoked salmon rolls - Tortilla, salmon, and arugula eaten enthusiastically by M for lunch today. I would have offered cream cheese too, but I knew she did not want any creamy substance sullying her precious salmon.
- Pan roasted eggplant with shallots and capers - recipe from Two Dudes, One Pan cookbook, my current favorite (M is currently a caper freak)
- Sauteed zucchini - also from Two Dudes
- Green salad (twice at least)
Tuesday, August 18
Matilda & Porter were both sick today (snot for M and fever for P). As a result, M spent a good portion of the day yelling/moaning at me - poor thing was so miserable.
Porter has done pretty well with his first fever so far. He seems to have a built-in thermometer & starts up this constant moan, whether awake or asleep, whenever his fever gets up into the 100s range. A fairly convenient feature in a baby I would say.
Sunday, August 16
10. Had a snake dangled over my head.
9. Cheered Porter as he's starting to sit up and mastering control of his hands to grab all the things he's been drooling after for the past month. (No, we didn't actually let him play with the rubber-band ball; we are not quite that neglectful.)
8. Taught M how to hold her own puke bucket (during a very short-lived & mild stomach bug). Long after she stopped puking she would run into the bathroom claiming she needed to "spit" & sit like this with her bucket. Poor thing.
7. Lost one measly pound. I think I might never again reach my pre-baby weight.
6. Went to the preschool "mixer" picnic where some moms congratulated Tim on changing Porter's diaper. Just how low is the bar?
5. Went to the Hollywood farmers market alone with the two kids for the first time. While it seems like a huge feat, it wasn't too bad since we were there so early (7:30am!) and it wasn't crowded yet. To celebrate, M & I shared a maple-bacon scone. Yum. Not helping the cause of number 7.
4. Cleaned one of our bathrooms. This may not seem like news but judging by how filthy the other bathroom still is, the cleaning of a bathroom clearly is a huge undertaking.
3. Accidentally bought Sweet, Salty & Nutty trail mix at Trader Joe's that contained peanut brittle. Lucky for Matilda, I sacrificed and picked all the (delicious) brittle bits out so she wasn't forced into unhealthy snacking habits. (Again, number 7.)
2. Went insane?
Or possibly I just look unhinged while attempting to distract the boy from the fact that he's still in the car.
1. Watched an entire season of Dexter. Season 2, to be specific. As usual, we are so behind "real time" in tv land. It was awesome & totally worth being sleep deprived, I think. I managed to convince Tim to stay up extra late several times (even once until 2 am!). This line item was clearly the biggest deterrent to blogging for me since it occupied my normal kids-in-bed-blogging-window.
She's actually sucking his ear. Matilda has some major ear issues. I would say ear pinching is in the top five reasons Porter ever cries, also including (in random order) being in the car seat, being laid on the floor with what he deems inadequate entertainment, being removed from the boob before he's finished, and startling noises.
(She's wearing socks on her hands, for no good reason, and he's in his swaddling blanket ready for bed.)
Sunday, August 9
Suddenly it seems we have a kid birthday party every weekend. Although today's party, with a superhero theme, was much less terrifying than the last one. It also got more mileage out of the Wonder Woman costume and Porter's superhero inspired onesie, both of which will be too small very soon.
We decided P needed a headband today to accent the look. Tim went with a classic Hulk shirt while I wore my underoos-ish tank.
Instead of your standard bounce house the hosts got an awesome inflatable obstacle course for the villains and heroes to bounce around/clamber over. Porter & I didn't actually slide down this big obstacle, we were just trying to convince Matilda it was fun. She wasn't buying & preferred to just bounce and run.
Here all fingers move in for the cake. M gave me her mango moments after this photo to have her hands free.
When Tim brought home this great Tiny Titans title in the stack of comics for the birthday boy we discovered one character made the issue a perfect present from our gal!
Saturday, August 8
Friday, August 7
For two days now Matilda has been asking "what" about everything. What is breakfast? What is purple? What is a box? This morning she asked, "What is school?" I said school is a place to play with your friends and to learn things. She added, "and to eat popsicles!" Sounds like we could massively cut our tuition costs around here by just keeping M home and getting a Costco sized box of popsicles.
Wednesday, August 5
OK, so at this preschool pick-up her face wasn't painted, but her elbows were!
To resolve the sticky situation I let her use the hose to "water the plants" when we got home. Porter was fascinated with the entire operation but screamed bloody murder whenever he somehow ended up in the spray zone. You can't see it great in this photo but he's covered with a fine mist of water - Matilda gets so excited with the hose that she has a hard time remembering where to point it.
Monday, August 3
Sunday, August 2
In honor of missing our annual family beach week in NC we finally checked out a new nearby BBQ place. It was so yummy. What you see here is possibly the best biscuit ever made:The pork was amazing too, but the biscuit rocked my world. Here I attempt to teach Porter the finer points of good mac and cheese. Tim was more than pleased to learn they had Cheerwine. Porter says, "Full of Good Cheer!"
Watch out Porter, those chubby arms will look even tastier covered with some sauce.
Saturday, August 1
I think one of Matilda's favorite parts of school is body painting. She comes home almost everyday with her face done up or an animal painted on her arm. I feel like I want to document them all. Here's the face from Tuesday, as M is about to fall asleep in the car during some post-school errands:
And here she is Friday, charging up on decaf iced coffee after yet another exhausting preschool day:
The only downside is that the paint doesn't wash off completely well around her eyes so the entire next day she'll look like a child beauty pageant participant. I mean I guess that is only a downside if you have a problem with child beauty pageants.
Porter had his 3 month check up this week. The pediatrician remarked on his size, his happy disposition and his awesome big sister - all is well. P weighed in at 17 lb 12 oz and measured 26 inches, an increase of 3lb and 1.75 inches in the past month. These measurements almost exactly match Matilda's at six months! Porter is at the 97th percentile height for age and is above the 97th for weight. I joked in my post last month about our arm definition but it turns out we are really getting bigger arm muscles from hauling the boy. The problematic part is that since Tim & I both favor carrying him on one side over the other we have very lopsided biceps!