Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Port Discovery

Baltimore has the coolest childrens' museum ever. I accompanied Isaac on a field trip there with his Kindergarten class. I like doing this whenever I can, because I get to interact with him in his school world and watch him interact with his little buddies. I have a lot of respect for teachers!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


We took a quick there-and-back trip up to Boston to see my brother-in-law Joel graduate with his Master's degree from Tufts. Boston is a cool old town! We didn't see too much, because our trip was short, but we did go to this cool church for Joel's fancy graduation. On a side note, everyone clapping for the grads was so disappointingly composed, we really whooped it up when it was Joel's turn. I hope we didn't embarrass him. If that didn't do it, though, the goldfish smashed into the floor surely would have.
We also went to the Old North Church of Paul Revere fame and I recited as much of The Midnight Ride I could remember.

The other highlights of the trip were our visits to the U.S.S. Constitution and the U.S.S. Cassin Young. We had so much fun touring these ships. Becca and Joel took pictures for us because we ran out of batteries in the camera. I'll post those when they send them. The kids did really well in the car. Brody had the hardest time. He just loves to move and a five-point harness cannot be comfortable for a two-year-old.

On our way home, we drove through Manhattan on our way to the Statue of Liberty. Isaac had been studying symbols of freedom in school and we told him we'd stop and see it on our trip. He was totally enamored of the city. He kept pointing out buildings and saying "Take a picture of that one!" We have about a hundred of these pictures of buildings, taken out of the sunroof.
Lots of work going on at Ground Zero.
We rode the ferry to Staten Island.
I think when I was younger, and without children, and not driving, I would have loved the energy of the city. It was Sunday evening and cool and everyone was out. But I felt a bit claustrophobic by all the tall buildings and I just kept thinking strange things like, "Where do all these people buy things like beds and toothpaste?" "Where does their trash all go?" "How long can this small bit of land possibly maintain all these people?" Deep, I know.
It took us forever to get through traffic, but I think I got pretty good at what Dirk calls "combat driving." And the city was beautiful from the ferry. Just beautiful.
Lady Liberty was pretty too.
We had time to kill while waiting for the ferry on both ends and the kids ran around taking pictures of everything.

Brody-man and I have been at odds lately. I think between the potty training and the pesky habit of crawling into my bed at four a.m. and asking me to make him breakfast, we have been having trouble seeing eye-to-eye. He also likes to punch me and kick me in the shins when he is upset. As feisty as he is, though, he is so charming! He sometimes hugs and kisses me spontaneously and says, "I love you so much, Mommy!" And he loves his siblings and his cars and his trains with such passion and energy. And his eyes are round enough and blue enough to convince me that he is guileless and that he will not always be two.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I joined a CSA.

I sure did. That's community sponsored agriculture, also called a food co-op. After reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, and talking to my friend Melissa in San Diego, I was sold on the concept. Basically, you get together with some friends and you each pay some money to get produce each week based on what crops are plentiful and in season (except we are big cheaters and our supplier has agreements with some international folks and we get bananas and stuff. I have guilt about this, because one of the main reasons is to support local farmers, but sometimes getting started is the most important thing. I figured for my first time, I wouldn't be too fussy.)

So, my first week was this week. For my $10 half share, I got 5 sweet potatoes, four turnips, two beets, six zucchini, 8 bananas, 20 oz. of spinach, 8 tomatoes, two bags of carrots and a bunch of apples, oranges and minneolas. I think there was more, but I cannot remember. Isn't that fun?

All my menus have been focused on how to not let any of that goodness go to waste. I used the turnips in beef stew at my sister's suggestion, and they were tasty!

The beets were another matter entirely. I happened upon this recipe for beet hummus and gave it a try. It wasn't inedible, but it did taste like beets. And hummus. Which was disconcerting because I really like hummus, and really don't like beets. Dirk ate it. Having a Dirk in a situation such as this is extremely handy because he will eat almost anything, especially if it seems like it should be healthful, and he hates to waste food. If I get beets again, I think I will explore other options, like making ink with them. They have a very pretty color. Or maybe I could boil them and mash them up to feed to the baby. He eats anything, just like his dad. My friend also sent me a recipe for beet bundt cake. If pressed, I suppose I will try that. If I ever get a juicer, I could use them there. My brother-in-law makes juice with beets in it and it tastes good.

With the zucchini and sweet potatoes, I made a delicious hash with some kielbasa thrown in. Oh, so good. The spinach became seafood lasagna. The best part of this thing so far is that it has caused a menu shakeup for me. I had all but lost my desire to cook, but now I have to look at my supply and then go hunt a recipe that uses as much of it as possible. So, I think I will start posting some of the recipes that have worked out so that I can remember them, and maybe inspire someone else to go the co-op route.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I keep telling her to stop, but . . .

she keeps growing up. Way too fast. I registered her for Kindergarten today. Lord help me. I am ready, but I am not. All I can think about is my teeny tiny baby who let me dress her however I wanted. The one I always called Thumbelina because she seemed impossibly small, even though she was a perfectly average birthweight. The child who, for years, screamed and sobbed if I left her sight, is now getting ready to head off to school for six hours a day. How did this happen?

She seems excited, but she told me today that we needed to go shopping because the kids at school (six months from now) will definitely be nice to her if she has beautiful clothes. What? I promise I haven't taught her this.