Late night discursive


Arm asleep, drool on shoulder. Snotty, congested breaths, chests rise and fall. Various limbs nestled tightly with mine, comforted in the closeness. All other beds in the house emptied in the span of a few sleepless hours over a tearful bargain for ours. A haggle often lost by us, I’m sure the record is staggering. Such is the predicament of the midnight hours with our sick children.

It’s been a particularly trying phase for Luke, he is sifting and sorting emotions minute by minute. An internal struggle has arisen in him and the giant of his personal will has begun to stir. Previously simple moments of we will now do this or that, have been exchanged for complicated, passionate discussion of terms. I’ve gone to the end of my wits, and a little beyond, in the past weeks correcting, instructing and allowing “do-overs” for what feels like our entire day.

In the same breath, he has managed to race past a few milestones in his little soul. His understanding of how to follow our words and think for himself is budding. There’s so much marvel in it, really. I’m fascinated with how much he’s grown and grasped. While he shakes his sass at times, I’ve discovered that, despite it all, he would rather drop his argument or his disposition in exchange to be reconciled to us, or close with us. I can’t think of anything more dear.

A heartfelt “I really love you” and especially cuddly hugs keep us helplessly hooked .. even after a night-full of early bedtimes, scrapped chocolate desserts and toy timeouts. Oh Lord!

Monday morning diary

Most Mondays are spent on walks or homebound, with the occasional hangout as well. Our double stroller serves as our second car a couple days a week, so I’m usually somehow out and about with the kiddos, walking to the grocery store, park, coffee shop or down to the beach. This particular day we were still recovering from sickness and stayed inside a little longer. The gloomy skies definitely beckoned us home a bit too..

7am .. wake up and sleepily linger a little bit while Luke shouts from his crib to me. James has just left and the first flicker of light is streaming in through the sides of the blinds. I help Luke out and he begins to shuffle through his toys, looking for a certain racecar. I unbuckle Kate, who’s been stirring a little since James woke up, and nurse her while Luke plays on the ground.

8am .. we finally decide it’s time for breakfast. Chocolate chip pancakes it is. Surprisingly, Luke didn’t want chocolate chips after all. I complied as I was charged with the job of making sure they didn’t go to waste.

9am .. A peek outside the kitchen window while waiting for the clouds to part and the sun to give us enough warmth to play outside. 

9:30am Once Kate settles in for her morning nap, I clean up a bit and throw together two bowls of bread dough to let rise for the day. Luke plays on his own for a bit, ever so reluctantly, with his castle in the living room.

10am ..  Moment of silence for grocery list pondering. Shuffle some papers and we break out the play dough. I am commissioned to create a robot. Luke focuses on a skateboard.

10:15am .. Luke hears the gardeners outside and watches through the window shouting hellos and hi’s for a good fifteen minutes. I prepare a little snack of apples and peanut butter. 

10:30am .. we throw on jackets and head outside to run around in the fresh cut grass. Kate begins to chatter but I let her stir a bit. Luke brings out the motorcycle and rounds the pathway around the yard.

11am .. I grab Kate and we continue playing outside. The sun barely comes out as Kate scoots around the patio.

12pm .. We prepare some lunch and chat at the table together over pesto pasta, oranges and edamame. Our dog Maverick scavenges the ground for crumbs and I threaten him about with the squirt bottle when he comes round Kate, who happily throws her lunch down to him. I let Luke watch the latest Daniel Tiger while I clean up.  

1pm .. Last duties before nap time, watching the mail truck come and go. Grandma was home in time to join him on their ritual walk to retrieve the mail. Up the stairs we go to get ready for a little more quiet.

10 months with Kate!

Kate at ten months. What could I say about your little personality, Kate.. you are simply lovely to us! Here are a few favorites.

You hug so wholeheartedly! Every time we’re away for a little stretch, you squeeze our faces and necks with force, and you’d stay in the cheek to cheek position for however long you please.

I can barely get you to eat fruits and veggies! The Californian in all of us feels conflicted about this. We’re going to need to keep up the smoothies for you because currently you dislike: pears, bananas, apples, oranges, peas, edamame and you let butternut squash hang out in your cheeks for nearly only a half second. You do like every grain known to humankind: quinoa, oats, basmati, brown rice, sprouted grain toast, crackers, etc. Luke told me the other day that we should do some fruit picking for the family but that for Kate, we’d need to pick rice.

You are the most graceful crawler and scooter! I love that you go at your own pace and are so thoughtful and cautious about where you go.

You also kiss your baby friends. Wide open mouth and everything.

You love your big brother and nothing gets a bigger belly laugh than jumping on the bed with him. And he is, for the most part, gentle..

Twenty nine


Vanilla sponge cake, pastry cream, raspberry jam and a vanilla whipped cream dome inside. Marzipan shell outside, topped with powdered sugar and a fresh rose. Available in green, pink or lavender. (Princess cake, Gayle’s Bakery)

Classic Apple spice cake with chopped local apples folded in the batter, topped with Moonbeam cream and cinnamon frosting. (Apple spice, Buttercup cakes)

Our Italian-American friends once celebrated every occasion with this special dessert from their corner bakery. Now we bring them the same delicate vanilla sponge kissed with rum, then touched with raspberry jam, and filled with creamy Meyer’s rum custard. (Italian rum, The Buttery)

I’m twenty nine today. Birthdays usually cause me to be fairly introspective. A birthday gone-by is no birthday at all without deep reflection of the last year! This year, there’s some of that. But really, the main topic of birthday discussion this year has focused around what cake we will respectably eat after dinner and then quietly scoop handfuls of later in the evening once pajamas are on and judgements have left.

That said, the input of my two year old may have something to do with it, too. Balloons were also of importance.

Isn’t there something to be said about beautiful bakery language? The Princess cake so splendidly curt. The Apple spice warms you with nostalgic nutty sweetness and was most likely baked by your Aunt Margaret. And the Italian rum so deliciously cheeky, and ever so faithful to a sugary, sinfully rich texture. How could I ever choose?

Can I possibly align my need for cake with a deeper and self-shaking principle relating to this twenty ninth birthday? I imagine no. I actually just want cake. I am simply thankful for another year of life, decadent desserts and my little clan around me. Salud!

Our birth story–Kate Abigail

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well played, warning tag..
Hello! Well. Although I’m nine months late to this, my recollection of this incredible day does not grow dim. This girl. Our Kate. Born on a rainy Saturday morning in January.

My feelings toward birth this time around were on a whole, a lot less stressful. Maybe because our we had enough to worry about in our lives at the time? Most likely yes. But across the board, all I wanted was an anxiety, stress, tension free birth. That’s sort of a tall order when you write it out like that–sorry Kate! So stress-free meant that for the first seven months, all I considered in regard to this birth is that James and I would be present. I didn’t really think about too much past that, except signing off on the VBAC agreement and pinning a few hospital bag ideas.

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New platform, new look

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Welp! This may not be as exciting to you as it is to me, but I’ve officially switched to WordPress. I had toyed with the idea of navigating away from Blogger for a long while now, and finally took the leap. So far, I love it! It feels so fresh to log-in here.

I looked primarily at WordPress and Squarespace; this seemed to fit my blogging hopes and needs best. I also love the minimalist look. So goodbye to dear old Blogger. I will not miss signing out of our four or five Google sign-ons just to log into my home page. Though, there’s something about the orange and white “B” logo I’ll miss. The nostalgia of sharing my thoughts and photos (of the utmost terrible quality) for the first time.

While I cringed as I imported my old posts here, it was such a wonderful thing, to brazenly post about all sorts of topics I assumed I was some sort of an authority on. Many didn’t survive (you’re welcome). The posts that do stay in my archives remain because I found some satisfaction in them. Like peering through an old frame of my feelings, mindsets and emotions gone by.

Lest you worry, there are quite a few left that still make me cringe!

Crusty bread in Fall

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After a plethora of homebound days over the last few weeks, my inner baker has started to surface. The rainy forecast hasn’t helped. At this rate, our household will need an emergency juice fast before Thanksgiving. Until then, we march on!

I don’t have too much experience with the non-sweet breads. I’ve been coached a few times on Swiss Sunday bread (Zopf) and Sourdough. But come to think of it, that was before I had kids. So since I don’t really have the time for fermenting, leavening, or braiding these days, this no-knead recipe has been inspiringly easy.

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