Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hakka noodles, cookies and a baby

I'm kind of obsessed with Hakka noodles since reading this article in the February issue of Sunset magazine.

It's basically four recipes that you can mix and match: Chinese sesame noodles, chicken and ginger broth, soy-glazed vegetables and pork. I made mine vegetarian, with tofu. The sesame noodles are addictive on their own (I eat them cold out of the fridge) and also good in the ginger broth. And it's great to have lightly sauteed vegetables in the fridge, an easy way to get more veggies into my diet. My four-year-old likes the different combinations and is a tofu monster, so I'm happy he's eating good food.

And on an entirely different and crazy unhealthy note: I finally made the cookies whose recipe I've been making sexy eyes at for months now. Brown butter, nutella-stuffed, sea salt studded chocolate chip cookies. The name is an entire sentence, amazing.

And they are good. And huge. Are they really supposed to be this big? The recipe says it makes 24, I made 28 pretty huge cookies. I put a lot of sea salt on each, they can take it with all the chocolate in them. And nutella. And brown butter. Ugh, my diet starts tomorrow. This picture is pretty bad, but for great photos and the recipe, go here.

And finally, here is what I've been working on these last 11 months. Baby Adam is here and I'm feeling like myself again. I loved being pregnant, but it feels good to be able to lift heavy things and get some serious exercise, you know what I mean?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Amongst the joy of having a new little one in our family, I am constantly reminded of how lucky we are. My last job, working with disabled teens, always made me feel so grateful that my children were healthy, that we'd missed that misfortune at least, for now. But recently, through the network of friends and family (and ubiquitous Facebook) I've heard the tales of three separate, little children who recently, and sometimes suddenly, passed away. 

These lost kids are in my daily thoughts. I carry them with me while I sweep the floor. I think about them when I hold my baby and kiss my older boy to sleep. I can't help but wonder...will that ever happen to us? To me? 

As parents, maybe we all do this. I know my husband says that it's a part of having children, this fear of the worst possible thing happening. Do we have to imagine losing something to really love it? This fear sneaks in at the happiest moments in my kids' lives; I always stop and wonder why I'm thinking such dire thoughts when I should be happy.

How can we come to terms with this fear? The saying that fear is the opposite of love (even Yoda says it) isn't true, I don't think, because fear is tied up with love. I both love and fear my children--fear because I'm kind of terrified of what their existence means to me. My love for them makes me vulnerable. Breakable.

People always say that this is what makes life so beautiful, the temporary quality. Every moment matters, tell your kids you love them could all be over any second. I don't think it's really beautiful though, frankly, I think it sucks.

I don't believe in any kind of afterlife, so there's no consolation there. I envy those with a faith that gives them that hope, it's a beautiful idea. I guess my belief of a universal soul, the exchange of energy, doesn't mean an end, with death, but my belief that once we die we lose our uniqueness (soul) doesn't allow for a lost child that I will see again. Life would have to just go on, without them, irrevocably. 

I have this rule where every time I have a thought of something terrible happening to one of my boys I have to imagine three great things happening to them. I remind myself that not only are these more positive thoughts to have, they are more likely. I remind myself, quietly, not to chase my fears. Yoga helps. Acknowledging the fear and escorting it out is a good strategy too. But the thoughts are no less frequent, and perhaps this is one of the hardest parts of being a parent.

I signed up to take dinner to one of the families of one of the lost children. I wanted them to know that they are being thought of, that a whole community feels some of the loss that they feel so acutely, essentially, that they are not alone. But I suspect that there is also a part of me that wants to see them, like I seek the reassurance that people do recover from things like this. Perhaps I too, could recover. 

For now, I will try my darnedest to live in the moment and enjoy my kids and our life, because no matter what one believes, this is good advice. Maybe the non-permanence teaches us to have more meaningful lives. Maybe tomorrow I'll leave the dishes and play with my son the first time he asks me. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bits and bobs

My wee new son is now six weeks old and the craziness that goes along with bringing a baby into the world is starting to calm down; I am trying to take it all in and treasure/survive these early days. Life at home with a four-year-old and a five-week-old (both boys, no less) is loud. It's loud and active and frankly, totally exhausting. But there's just something so wonderful about it all too...

In other news...

I love this hairstyle, so elegant yet breezy.

This is what I want for Valentine's Day, the most gorgeous color ever.

Since having my last C-Section, I've been looking at comfortable and cute underwear that doesn't rub along my sore tummy. These pairs look cute AND comfortable. Wish I'd have thought to buy them before I went into the hospital. I even sewed a pair of my own granny panties, pattern here. I used synthetic jersey, which wasn't as soft as I'd have liked. I'd love them in something really luxurious, like organic bamboo.

I'd like to have this for dinner tonight and these for dessert, just saying.

I'm working through these TED talks at the moment.

And I love these dishes but really, Anthropologie, three-hundred dollars for a cake stand that won't even stand up?

And this is the funniest thing I've read in a long, long time.