Wednesday, July 2, 2014

June 2014

I went on maternity leave on the 26th, and I am LOVING IT! Chilling with Ishmael before his world is turned upside down, extra time to cook, catching up on writing projects, staying up later than usual to watch shows, being free to make day trips, even doing some cleaning - it's a sweet time before a different kind of sweet (and exhausting) time with a new baby. Plus, it's summer time. :) I can't get enough. [image]

Watched: I saw that Bram Stoker's Dracula was available on Hulu the night it was going to expire, so I stayed up late and watched it by myself. I'd never really sought it out before, despite my love of Dracula, because, well, it was the 90s, but I thought it was pretty good! Although some key story elements were different (such as Meena being in love with Dracula), I was delighted at how closely the movie followed the book for the most part. I was surprised at how demonic and sexual parts of the movie were, though. Still, pretty impressive! // Jonas and I started watching the new show Crossbones about Blackbeard. It's decent and still has my interest, so that's something! We also watched season two of Orange is the New Black, which started out weak, I thought, but by the end of the season, it was back in all it's incredibly-written and acted glory. We're 2/3 of the way through season 3 of Sherlock (so yummy), and I've just started watching Anthony Bordain's Parts Unknown, which is better than I expected. It's a pretty amazing look into some places in the world that aren't known well in the West, or perhaps known for only one [often violent] thing, such as Columbia for drugs or Libya for Qaddafi and Benghazi. Although Bordain strikes me as somewhat of a d-bag (sorry, mom), he's game for just about anything and is good about being culturally sensitive, which not all travel show hosts are. His crew filmed a camel being butchered, which I managed to never see during my time in China, and was kind of shocking. The show is a little less food-centric than I expected, but I don't really mind.

Heard: Although not totally fitting with the summer mood in general, I've been listening to King Creosote and Jon Hopkins' album "Diamond Mine" every chance I get.

Tasted: This months hits were this shrimp and dill pasta saladsweet potato fries with sriracha mayo, and green gazpacho (Jonas loved it, I wasn't blown away). I also made ebelskivers and dutch babies which were pretty yummy, but no special recipes. This seven-layer lasagna was also not too shabby, but it took SO long to make (days), that I question whether it's really worth it. It left me thinking I'd let other people who make killer lasagna make it and go to them when I want some, and stick with things I love to cook that are amazing and less frustrating. Similarly, I made this chocolate and candied kumquat tart, which was very time consuming. I get it in my head to make these things, despite not having much of a sweet tooth! It wasn't thrilling at first, but I left it at my parents after I'd made it and when I went back a few days later, the chocolate part had really set and chilled properly, and it was kind of amazing. // Right next to a place I love to shop for Thai ingredients in North Hollywood (Seafood City), we found this incredible noodle shop that recently changed its name or Ras Noodle. It is the real deal, and you should definitely go get their noodle soups, which you won't commonly find at other Thai restaurants. // We spent the day at Avila with our dear friends the Gees, and stopped at Avila Barn for lunch. I was really impressed with what their little deli/ice cream shop had to offer - it seems bulked up from previous seasons. I didn't get anything (except tastes of Irish Cream and Swiss Orange Chocolate ice creams, both delicious - I was quite impressed with their whole ice cream selection, and I am a great critic of most ice cream menus), but I eyed the Banh Mi sandwhich on their menu, the Ollaleberry Cake shake, and the Peaches N' Cream dessert (your choice of ice cream topped with fresh peaches, whipped cream, and pecan crumble). Yeah, they haven't seen the last of me....

  • Did you know Google has a patent search function?
  • This photo essay is a really interesting look in to how beauty is defined the world over. One woman sent her photo to photoshop artists in different countries and asked them to make her look beautiful. The results vary wildly (some are kind of hilarious to me). 
  • This list of the crazy things we find ourselves doing as parents had me guffawing on my bed. I haven't yet let someone pull my eyelashes out in order to keep them quiet on a plane, but I DO understand a situation in which that scenario could arise. 
  • A fun blog post about a mama who decided to say "yes" all day to her kids instead of no on top of no, as usual. "Yes you can ride a roller coaster that will probably make you vomit. In fact, you can ride it twice." 
  • On the banks of a river in Thailand, fireflies light up en masse, in sync. It looks both gorgeous and alien.
  • My brother Jonathan graduated from high school, one of the only members of his class to have held a 4.0 GPA or higher for all 4 years! Proud of him, and I'm really going to miss him when he moves to San Diego for school. 
  • We spent a few days in North Hollywood with extended family to celebrate the life of my great grandma Peggy and help sort through her things. It was great to see family, and a very interesting time in general. 
  • Ishmael and I got to go to our little friend Birdie's 3rd birthday, which was incredible because her mom Kenna is a professional party planner. Ishmael went straight for the adult desserts (macaroons) and loved riding all the trikes, wagons, and scooters in the driveway. 
Check out my instagram to see some personal photos from the month.

Boys: Ishmael is not a kid short on personality. He likes to beat box (who taught him that?!), dance with his hips, look at people out of the corner of his eyes, make animals noises, and drum with bamboo sticks on everything. He loves when we pray before meals and always throws his hands up and says "hooray!" (or his equivalent) at the end of the prayer, which is a habit I'm loving adopting. He hates to have his sleeves rolled up and he is inexplicably quite agitated if anyone tried to clean their toenails around him. He loves to start the dishwasher for us, and congratulates himself about all things well done ("good boy!").  He also says "thank you" for everything, but in a kind of flippant way (it's strange and eye opening to have your own voice parroted back to you), like a teacher might say to a kid who did something that was required, regardless of how the child handled it, "thank you!" (with an uptick in tone on the "you"). We went through a rough patch with discipline this month, where he wouldn't listen about anything, but we seem to have gotten over that for the time being, and everyone is happier. He also seems very clingy and wimpery (but in a fakey, "please cuddle me" way), which the doctor confirmed is him reacting to the pheromones I'm putting out as I gear up to have another baby, even though Ishmael has no idea what that all means! Our bodies are crazy and amazing. We've had a few instances of poop smearing after waking up from a nap this month, but hoping that will right itself once we wrap up potty training with real undies and access to the toilet from his new big-boy bed, which he stays in overnight (and for naps!) like a total champ. There's no way our next kid is going to be this easy. Ishmael fell off the kitchen counter this month, which was pretty scary for everyone, but seems completely fine. // Baby #2 is kicking me hard enough to cause pain, but it's all good, I'm still looking forward to meeting him. He's projected to be another big boy (at least 8lbs) and apparently it's likely that I'll have to be induced again, but only time will tell. We're still waffling about his second middle name, so hopefully we can nail that down soon. I've been thinking a lot about different styles of childbirth, and though I respect some aspects of the ultra-natural childbirth movement, I found this article refreshing.

Loved: Being close to my due date and still feeling great (and my favorite Instagrammer liking some of my #maternitystyle photos), and an excellent, powerful, and moving sermon about divorce at our church. // In case you're not up on my favorite color of the moment, it's been pink, hard-core, lately. [image]

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