Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Josie started eating solids with gusto this month. After seeing Plum Organics Hello Dinner on this blog, I thought we'd try them out. I found them on Amazon and at my neighborhood Target. She eats about 1/2 to a whole serving at mealtime and I feel good about not giving her another pouch of puree - she's better at handling texture and it's a wee bit more environmentally friendly. She also eats banana and avocado.

She loves bathtime - when she hears the water flowing she starts flapping her arms and smiling. In the bath - splash splash splash.

Still no crawling - she rolls everywhere. She doesn't pull up on things and can't get to a seated position yet.

She has a sweet, smiley personality. We adore her.

Sometimes she's up until 10 or 11...

And occasionally sleeps from 7-7.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Clementine has had a very busy month. She had a speech evaluation and we think she has a mild expressive language delay. Will re-assess in a few months to see if therapy is in order. She is putting together phrases and sentences (barely) now:

"poo poo my back" --- notifying us of an issue.

"cuckold, it's wet!" [bathroom floor after bath] "cuckold, Gigi!" "cuckold, hot" [pointing to candle] Cuckold = careful. Pretty funny.

"Don't want it my pants / don't want it 'nana / don't want it a-wa"  - rejection of pants, banana, water

She adds adjectives to nouns now - blue shirt, pink pants, yucky a-wa [the standing water in the abandoned baby pool in the backyard].

This month we've been reading Zooborns every night before bed and practicing the word aardvark, because it's fun to say [R Bark].


After about a week of reading it, I paused at the end of Hello, I'm Amani, and I'm an ____  and she supplied R BARK! It was the first time she filled in a sentence and now she's doing the same with the other books in heavy rotation now:


This weekend we were in the bathroom getting ready to go out for the day and she kept gesturing and saying something I couldn't decipher. I picked her up and she reached into my open makeup bag in the large cabinet and pulled out a tube of sunscreen. She insisted I put some on her face, then on my face. My heart swelled. It is so wonderful to see your neuroses rubbing off.

Her favorite foods are yogurt, milk, cheese, cottage cheese, macaroni and cheese... Also bananas, always bananas. She enjoys peeling them and plucking off the bitter-tasting end - 'YUCKY.'

When we arrive home, Luke usually takes C around the corner to count the cats in the yard of a neighboring house ("Want to see the cats?") or she plays in the car (MY SEAT!).

C spends a lot of time putting her animals and baby 'night-night' - they are often found prostrate throughout the house, covered by whatever hand towel, dish rag, or burp cloth she can find.

Some photos:

two little teeth!

New skill: taking off zippered pajamas.

Oh I wish this were in focus!


Putting on the pajamas, not so adroit.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring Arrives

Our weekend in pictures.

Luke was performing out of town Friday and in an outlying town Saturday; the girls and I hunkered down for rain that wasn't as bad as expected. I caught up on some magazines (did you know George Lucas' wife is a rags to riches fairy tale by the sheer power of her will (and extraordinary talent)?), made and froze some brown butter blondies, perused recipes in One Pot, a book I bought after Jackie's enthusiastic endorsement, and culled clothes based on the Un-Fancy algorithm (more on Hot Weather capsule wardrobe later, probably in the late summer at this rate):

The Pearl Farmers' Market expanded to Sunday. C and I checked it out after having brunch at Central Market, shopping for the week, and exacting our banana tax. [A terrible parent, I snap off a banana at her insistence and let her eat it in the cart. The cashiers never charge me the 19 cents, even though I insist].

Here she is running amok and a-muck in a grassy square in the center of the Pearl complex.

Blueberry danish from Sol y Luna Baking Company in the newly opened plaza.

Pearl is one of my favorite places in San Antonio because it's one of a few foot-traffic-only (on the weekend) spots in the city.

Foot pop.

Checking on Josie.

That afternoon I made the first One Pot dish, broiled ribeye with celery root and carrots. I had to google image search 'celery root' at the store:

Spoiler alert! It's celery with the root. Spoiler alert 2! It tastes like celery.

The ribeye was fantastic and the very first time I have successfully cooked steak at home. Broiling, who knew?

Other One Pot dishes: the no-churn coffee chocolate chip ice cream was delicious, quick to make and light and airy; pressure cooker kale and white bean soup was okay (Luke: "Is this just beans in water?") It was just beans in water because I didn't have any stock or vegetable Better Than Bouillon like I thought. The wilted kale + lemon juice brought to mind this fantastic appetizer at a restaurant near my parents' home -- fried spinach with squeezed lemon -- so I will make this again with stock. I have several other recipes bookmarked; One Pot and its spirit sister Sheet Pan Suppers are exactly how I like to cook these days.

Obligatory Target run: in addition to the item I allegedly went there for, I bought several seed packets to grow basil, cilantro, and peppers. Rekindled interest in Tower Garden. Or should I get raised beds? Or accept that my dedication is too sporadic to keep even a container garden going? Very inspired by SATX photog and blogger Amanda's patio garden.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Double Feature

Last night we watched two movies AND an episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. All critically acclaimed so we are not couch potatoes but discriminating cinephiles. THERE'S A DIFFERENCE.

First we watched Wild, which I loved. It maintained the essence of the book beautifully. Revised Strayed syllabus:

1) Read Wild
2) Read Tiny Beautiful Things
3) Read Torch but not the intro
4) Read intro to Torch
4) Watch Wild
5) Listen to Dear Sugar Radio podcast. I'm in the second episode and I think Cheryl's been reading my diary.

I mentioned this before but I love Reese Witherspoon's quote about Wild: "I’ve never seen a film like Wild where the woman ends up with no man, no money, no family, no opportunity, but she still has a happy ending."

Then Birdman. I was annoyed by the drum score in the beginning but warmed up a lot. Then I spent the rest of the movie thinking about how weirdly enormous Emma Stone's eyes are and Tina Fey's joke about it at the Golden Globes. I loved how very different this movie was (thinking here of stolid biopic The Imitation Game) and original.

Still might get around to Theory of Everything; will eventually watch Better Call Saul; finished House of Cards finally; have a physical and cyber-stack of books to read. Listening to Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist. A forecast of torrential rain will keep us inside this weekend -- luckily we have four bananas, a lot of yogurt, and a double batch of pressure cooker macaroni and cheese and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood streaming on Hulu - we're going to make it.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What's Making Me Happy

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is sooooo funny. Laugh out loud jokes.

Good snackin':

Barney Butters! Vanilla Bean + Espresso is a perfect post-lunch mini dessert.

This closet boot camp feature in InStyle. It made me text my sister... to see if she would come to SA to organize my closet for me with me.

Jenn's honesty with her Thoughts on Motherhood

Just as I finished hating on Un-fancy, I love this elegant post:

graphics via

Going to try out her wardrobe planner. Anyone else attempting a capsule wardrobe? I'm going to expand mine beyond pajama pants + maternity t-shirt.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

What's Making Me Happy

// Brown butter blondies!!! These were scrumptious and one of the best desserts I've ever made. Bonus points for using only generally on-hand pantry staples. I followed the Buzzfeed guide to browning butter because I've never done it successfully before.

// Started listening to Invisibilia. Liking it but it's no Serial!

// My cousin Jack's blog is some great writing. What can I say, my family is brilliant.

// I follow the blog Un-fancy for unknown reasons - her minimalist wardrobe is fine but unless your life consists of going to Target and brunch, there's not much else there. And I don't think it's even close to difficult to work within the confines of a 33 item wardrobe. But I wear like six things and I'm a hater. Anyhoo I really loved her guest blogger Jaana's Stages of Closet Purging especially Stage 2:

Stage 2 – Guilt: Look at all this money down the drain.  Piles of clothes just waiting to be sent off.  How can I live with myself?  I worked so hard to buy all this stuff and here I go, just giving it away.  I’m a monster.  A fashion monster.
And Caroline's observations about compulsive shopping:

You want to change your life? You need to buy something for that.
For example, last week:
I wished I was better about working out. So I wanted to buy cute workout clothes.
… Instead of just getting up right then and going for a jog around the neighborhood. Which would have been real progress — and free.
And I wished I was more outdoorsy and adventurous. So I wanted to buy a camper and renovate it with a modern, minimal, all white and wood interior.
… Instead of just getting up right then, bundling up, and hiking around a new park. Again, real progress — also free.
And I wished I was a better friend — AKA I wanted to be someone who brought people together and hosted fun gatherings. So I wanted buy a welcoming home out in the country.
… Instead of just inviting a few friends over to our apartment to watch Downton Abbey. Progress — free — you get the idea.

Tomorrow we have a House of Cards date! This weekend I plan on making the Pioneer Woman's burgundy mushrooms because we suddenly remembered how good they are (calls for a quart of red wine, can't be bad) and serving over egg noodles. And maybe another pan of brown butter blondies...

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Art & Almond Butter

[Scroll down and play the video so you have a soundtrack for reading]*

Hello lovers! Going to put all the notes I've been making into this post -- little bit news, little bit thoughts, little bit IT'S PRETTY AND I WANT IT.

My sister Robin has accused me for at least 15 years, nay, reaching back into the nineteen nineties, remember those? of liking shoes best described as

Space leprechaun. The shoes a leprechaun would wear in outer space.
                                                              --- Robin, shaking her head

Begs the question if the leprechaun is an astronaut (ie visitor) or permanent outer space inhabitant. Would the shoes be the same? Anyway you get the picture. (or do you - read this piece I just read during my allergy shot).

These Camper heels are so perfectly space leprechaun I can't even stand it. Love them.

See these two necklaces I snapped a pic of on my way to my speakeasy salon in the back of this boutique -- [a boutique that is 0.25 miles from our house and my very dear hairstylist Erin (hi Erin!) just moved there. Now all of my errands are within 2 miles. And everything else is Prime'd. #momlifehack]

Anyhoo, these necklaces are $315 a piece. Wha???? Some little bitty stones, braided leather, a glittery disc.

I started thinking about how Clem colors and exclaims - My aht! (my art!) - and how it's so cute, ha ha, babies can't make art. BUT WAIT oh yes they can and so can I! Instead of pottery classes, which turned out to be pricey (class fee + (2.5 hours babysitting x4)), my art project for this month will be the creation of a similar necklace (neck-iss, as C would say) with the help of Ann. Let's craft! May aim for a monthly creative endeavor. We can all make aht.

Other March project since no ceramics: Operation Not Hate My House. For each week of March I'm going to focus on one room, purging, rearranging. Mostly purging.

Good listening: composer Jeff Beal's process for House of Cards

Speaking of House of Cards, hating how Luke and I have no time together to watch it. We've only seen the first episode! AHHHHH!

Others to be streamed: Whiplash, Birdman, Theory of Everything, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Considering Parks and Rec but I really can't stand Aziz Ansari - his voice is fingernails on the chalkboard of my soul.

Focusing on clean eats again, trying to bring the grams of sugar consumed/day down. Starting with buying only Chobani Simply 100s (7 g instead of 15 plus) and these single serving Barney butters (I bought plain almond and cocoa coconut. A very satisfying snack. Prime'd it of course.) 

Loving the new NYT Sunday magazine. Caught up with the first issue during my work trip this week. So good --> Sam Anderson's Letter of Recommendation for Fleetwood Mac's 1979 'Tusk' is a great read, including lines like:
It contains many of Fleetwood Mac’s greatest nonsingles, as well as some of the most powerful transmissions ever received from the astral plane occupied by Stevie Nicks.

On that work trip I finally finished Cheryl Strayed's Torch, which I really enjoyed but had to check out three times in order to complete. It's not a long book or a tough read, those three weeks just flew by each time. Torch is the fictionalized account of Strayed's mother's death, recounted in Wild and occasionally in Tiny Beautiful Things. Now that I've completed this trilogy, I recommend* reading them - and definitely read them - in this order:

                    1) Wild
                    2) Tiny Beautiful Things
                    3) Torch but not the introduction
                    4) The introduction to Torch

So glad it's March! February was a slog capped off by this work trip (a lab inspection) which presented a months-long nagging psychic burden and now it's over! Yippee! Rearranging and crafting and studying for an upcoming course and streaming House of Cards and making this margarita cake for dinner with friends next week - here I come!

*C's daycare providers say that she tries to be a little teacher, echoing commands that they give to the other kids. She comes by this bossiness honestly.