In honor of The Daily Fuss's second birthday, I poured a glass of wine and sat down to read through two years' worth of nostalgia. Here are some of my very favorite musings from the past seven hundred and thirty three days:
January 27, 2011 | Identity Crisis Part III: How Did I Get Here?
September 1, 2010 | Howdy Neighbor
August 18, 2010 | House
May 5, 2010 | Identity Crisis Part II: Work Life Balance
April 23, 2010 | Identity Crisis Part I: Suburban Living
March 19, 2010 | Un-Apology
March 3, 2010 | Daddy Wisdom
February 5, 2010 | Self-Evaluation
December 21, 2009 | Fungineer
September 11, 2009 | Urbane
September 5, 2009 | The Darker Side of Love
August 18, 2009 | Handy Dandy
August 7, 2009 | Parachuting Philosopher
August 1, 2009 | The Difference Is Four Percent
July 25, 2009 | Mess E. Nest
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.
That pretty much sums it up.
Friends and family members had similar reactions to my commitment to plant twelve tomato plants this spring. "You'll have a bumper crop," said one. "I guess I don't have to shop for vegetables this summer," declared another. "I give you 'til July 'til you're sick of it," said my mother.
Umm hmm. Go big or go home, I say. No one will ever accuse me of being lazy.
I bought these plastic connector thingies from Improvements and had 2x8s cut at the Ho Depot. I wanted something that could easily be removed if I decided gardening's not my thing. They seemed rather temporary ... until I filled them with several square yards of dirt, of course.
I have twelve tomato plants total - most of which are heirloom: 2 Big Mama, 2 Italian Ice, 2 Honeybunch, 1 Black Krim, 1 Big Rainbow, 1 Supersteak, 1 Brandywine, 1 Red Lightning and 1 Tye-dye. I nearly lost them during the alternating rain/scorching heat we had early on, but they are thriving now. I divided them into three beds. The bush tomatoes are split between two beds with Fairy Tale Eggplant and several varieties of peppers: Pinot Noir, Great Stuff, Bananarama, Golden Giant, Red Delicious, Costa Rican Sweet and The Godfather.
The climbers are mixed in the root and leaf beds where I have Kaleidoscope Carrots and Sweet Kohlrabi (that I accidentally planted in the same row - ugh), Bull’s Blood Beets, Bright Lights Swiss Chard, as well as Red, Green and Yellow Flying Saucer lettuces, and summer-Long Leaf lettuces.
I also have Spacesaver and Lemon Cucumbers surrounding the beds on two sides and Summer Squash on a third. I planted Mara Des Bois Strawberries in two planters temporarily and I still need to figure out what the heck to do with those for the next two years.
I'm having a lovely time so far - most likely because I haven't had to pick much of anything yet. If all goes according to plan, I will have more food than I know what to do with. I might even need to get into canning to avoiding wasting any of my yield.
Another project you say? Yes. That's exactly what I need.
That said, I do not particularly care for the label on Hendrickson's salad dressing. In fact, I found it so unattractive that I almost passed on it when my mom offered it to me for my salad.
And, I'm glad I didn't. Yum. It's unbelieveably delicious. We always have a bottle on hand. Plus, this 80 year-old recipe is made with natural ingredients, is fat, wheat and gluten free and Kosher.
So, I put it on the salad we made last night. I started with a few handfuls of different lettuces from my garden - washed, chopped and placed in a big salad bowl.
Ryan seared wild salmon on the stove top with a dash of Penzey's Sunny Paris and Herbes de Provence and plated it alongside the salad. It was such a simple meal, I didn't even think to take a picture until I was half way through dinner.
By the time dinner had ended, I wasn't quite sure which name to use to address my child. Dorothy? Are you there? Where are you Dorothy? Annie? Rapunzel? Let down your hair.
Kit Kittredge? Is that you? Are you going to eat your carrots, Kit? Can Toto have them? Daddy Warbucks made salmon. Yummy? Are you waiting for Flynn Rider to give you a kiss? Are you going to save him?
It may be a jumbled mashup of fairy tales to you, but in Leighton's mind, she is the star of a very complicated, detailed, two year-old fantasy built on the cornerstone of the unstoppable force of Disney.
She's incredibly dramatic. I love it.
I bought the Rapunzel wig a few months ago as a "poop-on-the-potty" present. (See? I just can't escape it - even in print.) She loved it for five seconds and then lost her shit completely because the long synthetic strands tickled her arms and then got caught on her hands, in basically the same fashion as each of the Tangled Rapunzel dolls we bought for her.
Crying ensued and I hung the wig up for a spell. Until she asked for it last night. Right after we finished watching the first half of Kit Kittredge: An American Girl while playing with Barbies, babies and wearing a Sleeping Beauty nightgown with her ruby slippers.
Ryan is putting Princess Annie Rapunzel Kittredge to bed right now. She was pretending to sleep for a thousand years anyway, so we convinced her that it would be much more comfortable to await her true love's first kiss in the comfort of her own cozy little bed.
Luckily, she agreed.
I'm sure one day, Ryan and I will be sitting on the couch enjoying a glass of wine, and one of us will say, "Wow. We haven't talked about boobs and poop in such a long time. I really miss having little kids."
I'm not saying that I don't enjoy having wee ones. I absolutely do. I'm simply commenting on the frequency with which I say those words - "boobs" and "poop" on a daily basis. It's stunning really.
The whole "boobs" talk has everything to do with breastfeeding. They're either sore or exploding or Leighton just jumped on my lap and kneed me in one of them or they don't fit in my shirt or I need to pump while driving my minivan to the city for a meeting while taking a conference call and putting on my makeup. Kidding, of course.
The "boobs" talk will terminate when Mairin turns one year old. I will cry like a baby on that day and I can't really go there mentally, so right now I refuse to take the "boobs" talk for granted. Mairin eats like a champ and has since the day she was born. Many moms and babies struggle with breastfeeding and we don't. So yay for small victories and yay for boobs.
As for the "poop" talk, Leighton has been completely and totally potty trained for a while now. Still, most of the time, she tells us what she's doing on the potty when she's about to do it, is doing it or has already done it.
Lei has no idea that the running commentary on her business is not polite conversation. It's so normal for her to announce to everyone in the room, "I have to poop" - mostly because we've been making such a big deal out of it for some time now. And, because we have no less than eleven books on the subject. When she first started using the potty, we would cheer and clap and call grandmas and grandpas and tell anyone who would listen "Did you know Leighton poops on the potty?"
So yes, of course she believes that our neighbors and friends want to hear about it. They do, or they should, because the fact that my twenty-seven month-old poops on the potty every day without fail is AMAZING.
I am a proud mama. I celebrate the simplest things and tiniest victories - several of which involve poop and boobs today.
I love the Bug. The bassinet is fantastically roomy and I could just pick up and put down my little babe with ease. It turns on a dime, has decent room in the under seat pouch, and has the perfect handle for hanging a bag.
Once Mairin came, I avoided all stroller discussion that culminated in procuring a dually. The last thing I wanted was a Bob or other dual jogger monstrosity. That's so NOT me. I basically wanted a new Bugaboo with a side by side bassinet and toddler seat. Alas, this does not exist.
Or does it?
We bought the Easywalker Duo (EW Duo) at Zulily a few months ago. And we love it for many of the reasons we love the Bug. We were on the fence between silver and red and ultimately chose red because we clearly like to draw attention to ourselves.
The EW Duo has the side by side toddler seat and bassinet (which converts into another toddler seat, or can be used with two bassinets or carseats).
Better than the Bugaboo: The EW Duo has loads of pockets and a cleverly designed shade flap that hangs down, tucks up or covers over the bassinet so nobody gets sun in her eyes. And, unlike the Bug, the bassinet pops off and the whole thing folds down with ease.
Pricing starts at $599 for the base. The bassinet and carseat adapter are sold separately. We paid $680 for everything on Zulily in April, but now that I have it, use it and love it, it's worth the full price of admission.
Perfect for the city, suburbs or anywhere in between. The Easywalker Duo is one sweet ride.
For those of you who enjoy mixing your sweet and savory, I have another fruity salsa for you to try - Sugar Tree Fruit Salsa. The recipe and it's contents were procured by my mother, courtesy of Sendik's Food Market in Milwaukee.
It's as easy to make as it is delicious. My mom whipped it up last night in fifteen minutes.
The key to this salsa is the Pluot - a cross between a plum and an apricot. The result is a sweet, fleshy fruit that stays slightly firm even when fully ripened. Still, the overall effect isn't too sweet - the salt brings it down a notch. Plus, the cilantro tames the onion and the Jalepeno adds just the right zip.
Let's just say we ate until we ran out of chips.
To make Sugar Tree Fruit Salsa, dice the fruit, chop the rest, and salt to taste.
3 Raspberry Splendor Pluots
3 Black Raspberry Splendor Pluots
2 White Flesh Nectarines
1 Medium Red Onion
1/2 Jalapeno Pepper
1/2 Bunch Cilantro
Yep. This salsa is so good, I just ate it for breakfast.
We moved to Highland Park from the city just under one year ago. We spent the several weeks after the move unpacking and painting and basically ignoring (or maybe just not fully appreciating) the most annoying phenomenon in our glorious suburb.
I'm referring to the goddamn bikers.
I don't hate them based on the numbers. In fact, I'm not overly bugged by the throngs of helmet-capped heads out and about on the weekends - sweating profusely all over their $3000 racing bikes that never make it out of second gear.
It doesn't really bother me that they all appear to be over 55 and aren't in the appropriate physical shape for even the most leisurely of bike rides.
I don't even care much that every last one of them is decked out in full tour de France regalia. I mean honestly, it would be like me putting one of those shrinky-dink bus wrap ads on my car to take a relaxing drive up LSD on a Sunday.
Truthfully, I hate them because they don't obey a single rule of the road. I'm not even sure they realize how ridiculously dangerous it is to NOT stop at an uncontrolled intersection no matter the mode of transportation.
I would love to pull up alongside one of these posers and say "Love your jersey. You must have to kick some serious biker ass to get sponsored by Energizer." Unfortunately, none of these inconsiderate a-holes bothers to stop at a sign or light allowing me to strike up a candid conversation about how their alleged "sponsorship" is tantamount to my 5'9" dad showing up for a pickup game in the "hood" wearing a Jordan jersey circa 1998.
Admittedly, Highland Park boasts some of the most beautiful trails in the area. Still, that fact alone cannot excuse the hoopla and utter weirdness that brings me a daily dose of frustration, April - October.
Such was the last two months of my life. I had a major piece of writing due for an industry publication (for my work job) and it's finally done. Completo-finito.
I had mastitis twice in as many weeks and have been super busy with clients.
Ryan's been traveling for a new role he's taken on at work and so it became a struggle for me to so much as brush my teeth on days I didn't have meetings toward the end of my writing ordeal.
The good news is, I've gone from being entirely overwhelmed to just plain old whelmed. Of course, I know "whelmed" isn't a real word, but, I really think it should be. Mostly because "whelmed" is exactly how I feel.
"Whelmed" s the space I'm in when I feel as though I've just opened my eyes for the first time in weeks and allowed myself to see the disaster my house has become. It's not a huge mess disaster, but a disorganization type of disaster. The kind of mess I didn't know I had until I tried to remember the last time I bathed the girls or the dog ... and I can't come up with anything concrete.
I don't know where anything is. Kids' clothes, shoes, sunblock, sunglasses, barbies, teethers, ponytail holders, diapers, mish mashes, chapsticks, loose change and sand fill every every stroller, bag and pocket we own. The cars are trashed and the minivan has a dent from a recent and tragic parking ramp incident in the city.
And, I'm so exhausted, I barely have a care to speedily square away the wreckage. I guess I'd rather spend my spare moments writing about it than cleaning it up.
Whelmed. There you have it.
Two drops of Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate before bed revitalizes you from the neck up by morning.
Generally skeptical, I may not have believed had I not tried it. But it works. Some days, I wake up looking younger than when I went to bed.
And, at two drops per use, one $43 ounce should last months.
We regularly buy Kiehl's moisturizers, men's shaving items, sunscreens and baby products - all of which come with amazing samples. You get even more bang for your buck when you split up the orders to meet the minimum free shipping and maximum free sample thresholds. Usually $50.
On my last order, I received three generous samples of Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I'm still making my way through them and I'm hooked. When those little bottles of magic run dry, I will gladly restock this liquid gold.