Monday, April 27, 2009

Water babies

I signed E up for Water Babies today. I'm not a member at this particular pool, so when I got to the front desk, I went to the receptionist rather than "Member Services."

"Oh, you can go over to Member Services," the receptionist told me after I explained I wanted to sign up for a class. In the interim, four people had formed a line at Member Services. Oh well.

The Member Services lady *loved* E. She called him "curly top" and asked him to hand her my credit card (he was gnawing on it). His ID photo features him chewing on the card (a first?).

I also met a mom and her son who would be taking the class. Her son was six months old and she said, "We've been waiting for this!" (Whereas E is 11 months old and I'm just now enrolling.) I had a flicker of guilt for not yet signing him up for SAT prep.

The Member Services lady gave the other mom the spiel about swim caps for both of you (mommy and baby).

"But he doesn't have any hair!" said Other Mom.

"He still has to wear one," said Member Services.

I tried a swim cap on E later, and I don't think he liked it. Hopefully the water will distract him.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Asparagus quiche


This is a vegan asparagus quiche that I made today. I selected the recipe primarily for its size - it promised to feed 6-8. (My mom, niece and nephew are in town.) Unfortunately, it was not a big hit with the kids, but my mom and I enjoyed it. The crust (which I made from scratch) came out perfectly.

D has lost about 30 lbs, following this routine where he figures out the calories of everything he eats and works out accordingly. He discovered that the entire quiche contained 4320 calories. Scary, isn't it? And it's vegan! Imagine what the egg quiches are like.

My niece and nephew were excited (but also disturbed) to see their first "insane person." A woman was cursing and yelling at an invisible someone by her side.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

On teeth and adults

So yesterday E and I were trapped inside by the rain. I could have used his plastic stroller cover, but it was the type of torrential rain that drowns you within minutes. It was a very grey and sodden sort of day. So we stayed indoors even though I think he's cutting about 3 teeth - the pediatrician said he had several "buds." He has two teeth on the bottom already, but they didn't cause half as much trouble.

I survived the day with a sense of pride (got through it! yay) and got up to make carrot raisin muffins this morning. They were awesome. Then E and I wandered the streets and went to a playground near my building. He swung a bit in a bucket swing, and then we went to a little wooden house intended for the young 'uns. I couldn't help but remember the playground of my own youth, all rusted tin and flaky paint. Everything in this park was wooden or plastic with nary a sharp edge to be found.

I did find some graffiti, which surprised me (its content, not its existence). It said: "I'm having trouble learning to become an adult. I know how to be a kid. Let me learn." This was something that plagued me after college. It felt like I was suddenly plunged from having fun into a dull, corporate world. I still didn't really grow up, not until I had E. But this time, it feels like growing up in a good way. And you can still keep your inner child alive when you have a baby :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Venturing into veggie sausage-land

So tonight I will be cooking veggie sausage for the first time. I was never a fan of the meat version, but I have a recipe for white bean cassoulet that calls for veggie sausage, so I decided to dive in. D and I are both excited and repulsed by the idea. Whole Foods offers 3 types of phallic veggie links - chorizo, Italian and apple-sage. I went with the sage because it seemed most compatible with the French-inspired dish I will be making.

I'm also thinking about getting a slow cooker. I was always sour on them, and not sure why. I think there was an unflattering description of a crock-pot in one of the Ramona books, so they always make me think of limp pieces of stewed meat. But I have a vegetarian cookbook with some appealing slow-cooker recipes in the back, and there's a whole other book devoted to slow-cooker recipes by the same author. Also, they're good in the summer because they don't heat up the kitchen. Summer is the season when I tend to forget about cooking, only to slink back in the fall like a fickle lover. So I'm planning to order a slow cooker from Amazon by then.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

So today my mom, D and I went to Vinny Testa's for lunch. (By the way, I'm in Massachusetts.) Vinny Testa's is a Boston institution. They used to take a bottle filled with tiles and shake it at the end of the meal, then pick one to see if you won a free meal. D said it ended the meal on a bad note because you usually don't win. We never did, anyway. They got rid of the tradition, whether because of the economy or D's hypothesis, we'll never know.

Anyway, they have fantastic bread, served with a big head of roasted garlic in a dish of olive oil. E had some of the bread, crumbled up. Nearby was a baby named Isaac, with adorable pudgy cheeks. Suddenly his mother looked in his mouth and screamed.

"He just popped his first tooth! RIGHT NOW! I'm calling his grandmother." And she whipped out her cell phone.

I was bemused because I couldn't remember when E's two teeth came in. They both arrived after his nine-month "birthday" and before his tenth. And they're cute. That's all I know. And he's working on a third one, I think.

I saw that the mother was a formula-feeder. That's one of the things I'm curious about but think I shouldn't ask - how many people breastfeed as opposed to using formula. And if they breastfeed, how long they did it. It's funny, I went into it planning to breastfeed for 3 months, and only if it was easy. Now E is ten months and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon. I might wean him at a year. Or I might go a little longer.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

So E and I went to a nearby park today and he tried the bucket swings for the first time. Of course, he was more interested in chewing on the swing (the chain and the rubber part) than the actual motion. He also caught the eye of a little girl using the "big kid" swings.

Girl: She's so pretty!

Me: He's a boy.

Girl: Well, he looks like a girl!

I give up.

We also gave up with someone who lives in our building. He's a very nice man, but the idea that E is a girl is lodged in his brain, and he can't let go. Sample conversation:

Man: You have such a beautiful daughter. God bless you!

Me: Yes, he's ten months now. (Admire the subtlety?)

Man: Well, she's gorgeous. Enjoy! What's her name?

Me: Eric.

Man: That's beautiful. Bye, sweetheart! What a perfect girl.

We also checked out a preschool this morning. Though this particular place takes children very young, even younger than E is now, we have no interest in putting him in preschool until he's at least 2 years old. Maybe even 3. But we figured we would check out the local places.

We were both a little disappointed. We like the concept of the place - lots of outdoor activity; the kids even cultivate a garden. We got a peek at some daffodils they planted. But there was one kid crying in his high chair for kind of a long time. At that point, there was one woman with two kids in her charge (the other caregivers and kids were outside). One of the inside kids was just wandering around contentedly, so there was really no barrier to her taking care of the crying kid. Eventually she brought out a jar of food for him. I don't really know what the deal was with the delay. D noticed it too.

So we weren't thrilled with that. But we're going to look at some other places and get a feel for what's out there.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Here's a polenta casserole I made today. It was fabulous...and vegan. I had actually put off making it, because I don't always like polenta. It can be mushy. But this had a nice, crisp top. And it was a different way of cooking with polenta...buy it prepared, unwrap it and grate it. It gave it more personality, somehow.



And E wants to say hi: