Thursday, September 23, 2010

Virginia Lately

It's hard to learn to use a spoon. Perhaps not as hard as eating yogurt with your fingers. But Scout tries both regularly, just to be sure.
Looking at herself in the mirror remains one of her favorite pastimes. She does not always have pants on her head for these sessions of self-adoration.
She loves bathing and reading. Now, thanks to the duckie tub, she gets a little of both.
She spends a good deal of her time hanging out with this adorable boy...
...and his adorable brother. They both walk, and with a good dosage of peer pressure, Scout will try it too.
She loves to push things around, her stroller here.
Usually, these days, she's pushing a little walker. It's given us both a lot of independence.

She still loves playing in the dirt.
We recently took a little road trip out to our CSA farm and picked a LOT of basil. Scout thought it was great fun.

And this is just a typical day at our house. Virginia makes her way into the bathroom whenever the door is open, trying to get someone to give her a bath, or let her participate in theirs.
When she does have to get dressed, she loves to put hats on. And her diaper is usually sticking out the back of her pants.

She still loves to read.
Many happy hours are spent pulling books off the coffee table and reading them.

She's getting better with the spoon (and still working on growing more teeth).
Another favorite pastime, staring out of this window.
She is occasionally distracted by the pile of toys next to her perch on the couch.
Always the poser.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


I like the fall
The mist and all
I like the night owl’s lonely call
And wailing sound
Of wind around

I like the gray
November day
And dead, bare boughs that coldly sway
Against my pane
I like the rain

I like to sit
And laugh at it
And tend my cozy fire a bit
I like the fall

I didn't write this poem, Dixie Willson did. But a friend recently introduced me to it, and I love it. It was exactly what I needed to cheer me up on a miserable, hot August day. No, I am not a summer person. So now that things have turned cooler, I'm welcoming Autumn and the opportunity to enjoy more beautiful leaves (it's not that fallish yet; the trees are changing, but the picture above is from last year). Bring on the fall!!
The mist and all
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Healthy Observations

This summer, for various reasons, I've been trying to be more healthy. First, my good friend Bethany invited me to participate in a competition with weekly challenges to improve our health. Second, the size of our garden plot quadrupled this year, so we had a lot more vegetables to eat. And third, back in the pre-Spring when we hadn't eaten anything fresh in months, fresh veggies sounded like something we couldn't get enough of. So, because our fabulously "progressive" health insurance gives us up to $200 toward buying a CSA share, we opted to split a weekly produce share with some friends. Thus, for the past few months, veggies have been making their way into our house like summer will never come again. And we've been eating, and storing, them as quickly as we can.

Although The Great Produce Plethora of 2010 will continue for another month or two, the healthiness challenge is ending tomorrow. So, I thought I'd share some of the things I've learned.

1. I don't love bread nearly as much as I thought I did. I still like it, but I don't need it.

2. I do love chocolate every bit as much as I thought I did. Possibly more.

3. Most cookbooks use vegetables as minor ingredients but aren't great at recipes that give you the vegetable as part of a somewhat nutritious side dish where you really get to enjoy the flavor of the vegetable. However, if you can find them, the cookbooks that do this are great.

4. Lettuce goes out of season. Who knew? In the middle of summer when it's really hot, it's too hot for lettuce. Of course you can still buy it in the store, but then you can buy tomatoes in January too.

5. All Bran tastes like cardboard. Cliche, but true.

6. Flax seed tastes worse.

7. All Bran and flax seed make excellent ingredients in delicious breakfast bread products that completely disguise their otherwise undesirable flavors. I do love whole grains, but it seems I enjoy them more collectively than individually.

8. 64oz. of water isn't that much. You can even drink it on a Sunday night after you finish fasting. Have a bathroom handy.

9. 96 oz. of water is a lot to drink in a day and takes concerted effort. Not to be attempted on a day when you have to fly somewhere.

10. Strength training is not that bad. I don't know why I always avoided it before, but I actually enjoy it in some forms. I will no longer neglect this aspect of exercise.

11. If you don't do any abdominal workouts for two weeks, no matter how great your abs were before, your abs are pretty much going to be gone at the end of those two weeks. And when you resume the ab workouts, you will be sore.

12. It's a lot harder to keep my healthy habits in line when I haven't had enough sleep. It takes energy to talk myself into making healthy decisions.

13. I can get almost as much pleasure from thinking about the food I want as I get from actually eating it. Okay, I already knew this one. But it's a great little trick.

14. The second (or tenth) bite of ice cream doesn't taste any better than the first. It's important to take time to enjoy it, and when you've had enough, save some to enjoy another day.

15. The difference between runners (them) and joggers (me) is that they pass me.

16. It's a lot easier to run three miles at the beach than in Phoenix (elevation friends, elevation).

17. There are a lot of things you can do with vegetables that put their nutritional value in question. But fennel really is a lot yummier if you braise it in butter.

18. Yoga is addicting.

19. No matter what the scale says, having a baby has permanently altered my shape. We suspected this to be true and it has been confirmed. Or maybe being old altered my body? After all, the pre-baby clothes fit just fine, but the pre-law school clothes, less so.

20. You can freeze tomatoes. Just wash them and freeze them. The little ones turn out like marbles and the big ones are like billiard balls. It's actually kind of cool.

21. As it turns out, you can have too many fresh vegetables, but that doesn't mean we won't do exactly the same thing next summer. Because which ones would we want to do without?