Thursday, December 22, 2011

Las Vegas for the First Time

Once again we stuck with our recent tradition of traveling around Christmas. Usually we are gone during Christmas, but we decided to get a tree this year and stay home. We went to Las Vegas for the first time. I thought I would hate it, considering I don't like "nightlife" that much and I expected to get tired of the artificial-ness. I actually really liked it. I loved seeing Cirque Du Soleil twice. I really liked Mystere, but wasn't a big fan of Ka. Anyway, there were more shows I would have liked to see, but we ran out of time. There were lots of things to do for the Holidays. We went to several hotels - The Bellagio, The Wynn, The Venetian, and Caesars Palace. With the last two being really cheesy and fake, while the others were actually really pretty. We LOVED the Cosmopolitan. It was quite entertaining just to walk around and see all the art, bars and restaurants. It was all very entertaining to look at.

We got there on Friday night and went out to dinner at Holsteins, a fancy burger place. I don't think I've ever eaten that much food. We started out with a chocolate peanut milkshake (alcoholic of course) and deep fried pickles,  then we all ordered burgers, which were huge and very good. When I was definitely ready to be done eating, the waiter surprised us with desserts made by Carlos from Top Chef. I am a huge fan of that show and could not miss an opportunity to try them.

On Saturday we took a drive out to the dessert to visit some friends and their dogs. The scenery was really pretty just a few minutes outside of Las Vegas. We got back and met up with the family for Tapas at Firefly. This place was okay. Not amazing. Everything was really spicy and just average tasting. After Finley went to bed, we went out to a Cirque show. Ben walked home pushing me in a wheel chair. Oh yeah, I tore/pinched my meniscus. It turns out it's OK to walk, but I didn't want to risk ruining my knee so I got pushed all around Vegas.

On Sunday we toured the Bellagio and Caesars Palace and then went to Mandalay Bay to the aquarium. See Vegas is really kid friendly! Then we went out to Ethel M Chocolates to  see the light display and get some handmade truffles. So good!  We had to see the "Winter in Venice" show at the Venetian. This was the cheesiest thing we saw in Vegas. I really can't even explain it, but it was bad. The only interesting thing was the ice skating rink made from plastic instead of ice. Then on Monday we started out with a huge breakfast at Hash House Agogo, where we were served portions that were so massive. I ordered a hash, which was served in a full sized cast iron skillet. Ben's Fried chicken benedict was very tall. To keep Finley entertained we then went to the Lied Childrens Museum. She loved it. It wasn't as good as others I've been to, but it's always fun to give her the opportunity to explore and not have to be strapped into her stroller. Later we went to an early dinner at China Poblano at the Cosmopolitan for some Chinese & Mexican food, owned by Jose Andres and then another Cirque. We were busy!

We couldn't leave Vegas without trying a buffet. Ugh. I won't do that again. We went to the Wynn buffet for lunch. It was gross. The food was okay - typical buffet/cruise food. Nothing special but lots of choices. After another drive to the desert, we got our plane back to Seattle!














Surprisingly, I can't wait to go back!






Thursday, December 8, 2011

Our Holiday Display


Our first full size Christmas tree. We got it from the Forestry Dept at UW. Not the prettiest tree in the world, but really fun to decorate and see our collection of ornaments. We also have two Menorahs. Despite not being religious at all, we'll to celebrate some generic American version of both Christmas and Chanukah. Lots of presents, baking, Santa, making wreaths, candle lighting. We haven't celebrated Chanukah before, but we have some Christmas traditions. We used to travel every Christmas, but when we are home we plan an elaborate dinner and breakfast for Christmas morning. We sit around all day in our PJs, slowly opening presents throughout the day. We usually don't leave the house and just cook and relax. I'd like to start some new holiday traditions that will be fun for Finley. I need some ideas!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A girl with personality

I am way behind on taking photos, but did manage to get some of Finley this morning. It's so much fun to watch her personality come out. She has lots of opinions about things now. She likes to pick out her clothes, especially which shoes she will wear. Her favorites are shiny magenta colored mary janes. It's also quite amazing how many things she can identify. It's hard to understand things she says, but it you ask her to point to anything in the house or go get something and she knows it....even if I've never taught her. She points to EVERTHING and says "this?" or "that", wanting to know what it is. We put up holiday decorations this week. We've got stockings, a Christmas tree and two Menorahs. She knows all of them...although she is slightly afraid of the tree. She points at it and says "HOT". She is really into her Dad right now and gets extremely excited when he gets home. Ben's not sure what to think because she points at him and laughs, saying "dada" dada" while laughing. She still loves books and toys that are challenging. She is also still totally fine with being left with people other than Ben or I, which is very nice. We get to go to flyball tournaments and don't have to worry about her missing us too much.

We are going to Las Vegas for the first time (for me) next week! I probably won't like it, but I'm looking forward to laying around and doing nothing but eating, walking around and relaxing for a few days. Oh and also Cirque Du Soleil X 2! Very excited about that!

I haven't done anything to get ready for our move, other than get rid of more things this week. That helps right? Time is going by really fast right now and it's a bit overwhelming. The countdown continues to find out if Ben gets an interview. We should know in a month or less. 

 My owl photos got slightly of from 1 per month. I took these today and as of Nov 28th Finley is 19 months. I told her to smile for the camera and she did! What a good girl!







Thursday, December 1, 2011

Small Thanksgiving

We had a small thanksgiving for the first time at our house. Or the first time I (with a little bit of help) cooked everything. I kept it pretty standard. I made a roasted turkey which was flavored with butter, thyme, garlic, onions, salt and pepper. It came out fairly well. The first time we took it out it was undercooked and after another 1/2 hour if was better. I've had better, but I also realized that I don't love turkey all that much. I'd love to try another main course next year, maybe brisket or some sort of pork or beef roast. I also made roasted vegetables (fennel, potatoes and Brussels sprouts), sourdough stuffing, gravy, blanched green beans with lemon and shallots and homemade dinner rolls. And for dessert we had a French apple tart with cinnamon maple whipped cream. My favorite thing from the meal was the stuffing and the gravy.

The apple tart looked the prettiest :)










Sourdough Stuffing 
(adapted from a recipe by Dave Lieberman)

Ingredients

  • 1-pound loaf sourdough bread
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/2-inch thick in both directions
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 to 4 stalks celery with leaves, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • About 10 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped from the stems
  • 10 to 12 fresh sageleaves, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish and set aside.

Cut or tear the bread into 1-inch cubes and spread it evenly on 2 baking sheets. Toast the bread in the oven until completely dry and beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and a few pinches of salt and saute, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add celery, onion, 2 tablespoons butter, and thyme. Once the butter has melted, cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add sage and remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Add chicken broth to skillet and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste
Transfer toasted bread cubes to a large bowl and add the walnuts and cranberries. Pour the chicken broth mixture over the bread cubes and toss to combine until the bread cubes absorb the liquid. Pour the mixture into the greased baking dish, and sprinkle with parsley. Bake in the center of the oven until heated through and the top is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool about 15 minutes before serving.


Overall we had a nice relaxing Thanksgiving at home with my parents. I cooked all day Wednesday and Thursday. We watched movies, had constant fires in the fireplace and stayed out of the nasty, cold rain. Ben was gone all day Saturday at an agility trial. My parents and I checked out the Seattle Childrens Museum, an Etsy craft show and then went to the YMCA for a swim. And of course Sunday was flyball practice and back to our regular lives. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Looking forward

We are moving in 4.5 short months! It sort of doesn't seem real, but at the same time we are slowly getting ready and talking about plans. We are mostly focused on waiting to find out if Ben got into Vet school. The first possible interview date is December 16th. Ben didn't get called for this one. We will know if he'll get an interview by January and if he does get one, we'll know if he got in by mid March.

We aren't making any major plans until we find out. We are moving either way, but it will change things a bit. He will apply 2-3 times if needed to get in.  It often takes awhile.

I just went through all of Finleys clothes and toys and got rid of stuff we don't want anymore and packed stuff that I want to save. We are slowly packing up our house and talking about how long we want to rent vs buy a house. But again so many unknowns: when will our house sell? what town do we want to live in? Schools for Finley? Where will I work? What will Ben do if he doesn't get in this round? How will we get our stuff there without renting a storage unit? The list goes on....

I find myself pondering about what things I'll miss from the last 11 years I've spend i the Pacific Northwest. I know I missed it when I was in Massachusetts for a few years. And then there are also things that I won't miss at all and look forward to about New England. I've got a list going in my head and it goes something like this.

Things I won't miss about Seattle: constant traffic everywhere, short/coldish summer, gray skies, no where to swim/gross beaches, no good ice cream or eggplant parm,  superficial friendly people, our lack of yard and space, our neighborhood

Things I will miss about Seattle: year round growing season, year round farmers markets, compost pickup and recycling options for everything, good coffee, PCC, Vietnamese food everywhere, huge trees and mountains, constant green, some dog sports, the North Cascades, picking blackberries,


I'm looking forward to snow, good ice cream, being close to several fun cities, lakes, good flyball, open space for hiking, changing leaves, cross country skiing, having land, growing hot weather vegetables, apple picking, cape cod, maine, hot summer nights, more light, pretty country drives, antiques.



Thats a start...I've got more to add to the list.


Friday, November 18, 2011

slowing down

We've been enjoying the cool weather this year. I love making soups and stews that cook for a long time, having a fire and enjoying the warmth of our house. Since we started having our kitchen remodeled, I haven't been doing a lot of cooking. I'm really excited about the way it looks and kind of sad that I've had to spend the last 5 years looking at the awful pastel fish tile backsplash and stained laminate countertops.

We put in an above the stove microwave, mostly black (with gold specks) granite counters and a white subway tile backsplash. The cabinets and appliances were in good enough condition that we decided to leave them as is. I'll post photos when it's done.

We had a real estate agent come over a few nights ago, which was actually pretty encouraging. Our house doesn't need a ton of work. We just need to do little things like fix some drywall, get new doors and clean, clean, clean. We need to have the furnace checked too and pray it's still doing well. We decided to wait until we are out of the house before putting it on the market, as our house is mildly chaotic with 3 dogs and a toddler. We are thinking we can get enough for it to buy the type of house and property we want. Woohoo!

Speaking of toddlers, our little Finley is doing great. She is getting better and better at talking, understanding things and having preferences for things. If she asks for something she knows to say please, even though it sounds like "zzzsss". She can put things away and absolutely LOVES books! When I pick her up at daycare or when we get home, she is always climbing up in someones lap with a book for them to read. She has a pair of pink maryjane shoes that she wants to wear everyday and loves taking baths. She will stay in there for as long as we will let her. The best thing is filling up a water bottle and dumping the water on herself. Obviously she's a dog trainer in trainer and so the other day I asked her to say "sit" to one of the dogs. Instead of saying it, she just sat down herself! Funny! Oh yeah and she chipped a tooth! Ouch! It's not too bad and the dentist pretty much just said to watch it for any color changes or infection and otherwise look forward to a new set of teeth in 5 years.


Anyway, we don't have a lot of plans this weekend.  Tomorrow we'll go out to breakfast and then Finley and I will go do some clothes shopping at the outlet mall and then visit with some friends in the evening. On Sunday, we are going to a flyball party to make tug toys for the dogs.


 Pumpkin Patch Visit in Oct 


Bat Costume
19 months

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

work play balance

We just got back from NYC for Rachel's wedding and to visit Finley's great grandmother and our good friends Carly, Fritz  and Beau. The wedding was exactly what Rachel wanted and went very smoothly. I learned that I hate getting dressed up and having my makeup done, which is sad because it looked good. It's just torture for me though!  I sucked it up and had fun anyway.

Finley and Beau very close in age, which made it very easy to stay with them. We went to playgrounds, kid friendly restaurants, stroller rides around some Brooklyn neighborhoods. It was perfect!

Photos from our trip are here. Here is a favorite




Finley had a fun Halloween! We went to three neighbors houses and got more than enough candy. We let her sort through her bag at home. She had no idea that there was candy inside and would have been fine with no candy, but I couldn't resist letting her have one piece. She picked a Snickers bar. Smart girl. Oh and she was a bat and Ben was Dracula. I'm lame and don't dress up.

What else is going on? We are slowly packing up things that we won't need for awhile. We had a new fence put in and the kitchen is being minimally remodeled. The real estate agent we might use is coming over next week.

I LOVE my job. I never thought I'd love clinical dietetics so much, but it's perfect for me. Just the right amount of medicine/science, working independently, a little bit of counseling and days that zip by. The per diem aspect works really well too. If we are going out of town, I'm just not available to work.  Luckily this is a common job for a dietitian and easy to find positions.

Finley is still an amazing sleeper and eating. Who knows how late she would sleep, because most days we wake her up at around 9 am. She eats as much food as me, if not more. She is getting better and better at communicating and putting words together. Sometimes though she gets this intense look in her eye and tries to tell me something important and I have no idea what she wants. So I just start asking her questions and eventually figure it out.

I'm really happy with our weekly schedule right now. I think it's a nice balance of everything. It looks something like this....

Monday: Ben and I work all day. Finley goes to daycare. Nothing in the evening usually make dinner, walk dogs, train dogs or go to the gym.

Tuesday: Finley and mom day. We go to Little Gym and just hang out all day doing errands and playing. Ben has agility with Pax and Indigo.

Wednesday: Finley goes to daycare. I have the day off. This is my day to catch up on things I can't do when I have Finley. Study for my nutrition support dietitian exam, clean, blog etc. In the evening I volunteer at dog training class

Thursday: I work 1/2 day. Finley goes to daycare. We've got box practice some weeks. Otherwise we make dinner and spend the evening at home.

Friday: Ben has the day off, but usually does school work all day. Finley is in daycare. I work all day.

 This is the first time in my life that I've found a balance between work and play. It's a nice feeling.







Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I've been in a state of transition for the last few months and will be until next April when we move ACROSS THE COUNTRY!

The move from Seattle to Olympia was meant to be temporary, as there were no jobs in Olympia. It was a toss up between Portland, Eugene and Seattle. Seattle seemed to have the most jobs. I got a great job right away and was happy for a year or so until.... I decided that I wanted to be a dietitian and applied to several graduate schools - Bastyr (here in Kenmore), UW, Arizona State, Oregon State and UMASS. I was accepted into both Bastyr and UMASS. I chose to go to Bastyr, mainly because I already accepted the spot when I got my acceptance letter from UMASS and it didn't seem like a great time to move across the country.

So I went to Bastyr, Ben went to UW for his first (of many) graduate degree and we were again in Seattle for another few years. We bought a cute house in North Seattle and were satisfied for a few years that our arrangement. Then when it came time for me to apply to dietetic internships, I picked two in Seattle as my first two choices and my first long distance choice was again UMASS. Well this time I didn't have a choice, as dietetic internships are matched and you get your first pick that accepts you. So I moved for a year to Massachusetts with Indigo and a car full of stuff.

Despite being away from Ben and the comforts of home, I loved it. I knew I would. It's exactly the landscape that I wish Seattle had more of: beautiful countryside with old farmhouses, town centers, farmland that's not really far from everything. I love the rail trails, the local markets, the seasons and being close to both NYC and Boston. There is also a wonderful community of people with similar interests in flyball and other dog sports.

It all seemed to fall into place when Ben decided that instead of getting a Phd at UW, he wanted to be a Vet. Of the 28 Vet schools, Tufts is the only one that I'm willing to live near, so that make our decision for us. Ben is in the process of applying now. and YES we are moving in April whether Ben gets in or not. Bad decision? Maybe, but we don't care, we are ready for a change.


17 months

Saturday, September 3, 2011

We just got back from a trip to Reno. I enjoy going to Reno because it's usually a very relaxing trip. We have a full time babysitter and get to spend lots of time lounging around. We also make sure to go to Hiroba at least twice. It's an all you can eat sushi restaurant and it's amazing. I'm lucky it's not in Seattle. We also love going to the Pet Edge warehouse and the Patagonia outlet. The only thing that could make this trip less fun would be breaking my foot. Oh yeah. I broke my foot, falling down 3 stairs. I'm not wearing one of those aircasts and Finley thinks its a monster!

Anyway, back to fun in Reno...We took went to Truckee on our last day and had lots of fun walking through downtown and playing on the beach at Donner Lake. While we were in Reno Finley learned how to say "Moo" when you ask what a cow says. She also has been getting better at walking and is almost running. She still eats like a machine and immediately upon waking in the morning and after naps does the sign for "more and says "mo, mo mo". It's cute, but I wonder where all that food is going!

The photos are HERE
And the video is HERE

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

toddler territory


Finley is officially a toddler. I'm not sure what kinds of thoughts she has yet because the only words she can say are - more, mom, dad, goose, pax, the dogs, bat, water, food, moon. I'm pretty sure, though, that she thinks "what would be the worst thing I could touch right now" and then she goes for it. Is it breakable? "yes I should drop it" will it call a random person if I press the buttons? "sounds good". Is it dirty? "great I eat it or rub my hands in it". All we can do it laugh and watch her very closely. She is also starting to run more than walk, which makes it even more of a challenge. Supposedly the ability for impulse control kicks in at around 2 -2.5 yrs. We've got a long way to go!

She's been in part time day care this month, but will be going back to full time in September and I'll be going to work more often. I love daycare because she learns a lot about being with other adults and kids and she enjoys it. I've been frustrated the last few days because several of the boys have managed to hit her. Yesterday she got pushed down right when she walked in the door and then hit on the head when Ben went to pick her up. Boys really are more rough than girls. It's amazing how young it starts.

Our highlight of the week so far was going to Greenlake with sushi take out and having a picnic. We brought Goose (formerly known as Epic) because he didn't get to go to flyball practice. It was a lovely day and perfect for being outside. After we ate we played at the playground. Finley is now able to climb up the slide and push herself down. She also really enjoys swinging and of course watching the other kids.

On Thursday we leave for Reno! I'm excited to have babysitters for Finley, all you can eat sushi and the Pet Edge and Patagonia warehouses!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Victoria Beach

Untitled by taydeb06
Untitled, a photo by taydeb06 on Flickr.

Family Trip to Victoria

We went to Victoria this past week for vacation and flyball. A report on our dogs is here . We stayed at Weir's Beach RV resort from Tuesday until Friday morning. It was a great place to explore downtown Victoria and the Harbor and also see some of the wooded areas and beaches. I was surprised at how pretty everything is in Victoria and how much different the climate feels from Seattle.

This was the first time we took our RV on a trip that wasn't just for flyball. It was nice to have time to relax and go on trips and come back to our little traveling home. Finley was a great traveler as usually and absolutely loved playing in the sand and going for walks in her stroller. We will definitely go back.

Finley is now 22 lbs and is walking more steadily and saying more works everyday. The words I've heard so far are: "the dogs", bat, more, water, food, moon, goose, pax, mama, dada. She understands when we ask her to do something, like sit down on a chair or go get something. She is very agreeable at this age and is easily distracted from things she isn't supposed to get into. We are hoping that sticks around for awhile. She loves when we play "hide and seek" and chase her around or hold her hands and jump her up high in the air.

Oh and also I changed my mind about weaning. I decided to try to nurse her until she's two or until she is no longer interested. I've read a lot about the benefits of sticking it out until age two

Saturday, July 30, 2011

picnic


We had fun at the flyball tournament last weekend. It was nice to finally have some time outside in the nice weather. It's lovely again this weekend and Finley's grandparents are here visiting. We've been spending a lot of time outside at playgrounds and going to walks.

Yesterday was Finley's 15 month Drs appointment. She is 78 cm and 10 kg, growing right along her growth curve. She is just below the 50th %ile. She is right where she is supposed to be in all other areas...walking, climbing up stairs, feeding herself, sleeping well, asking for things without crying, saying a few words (more, dog, mama, dad)..the important things, . She is now signing "more" and "food".

I decided to completely wean her a few days ago. She hasn't been especially interested in nursing and so it seemed like the right time. She didn't seem to notice the change. I'm quite proud of myself for making it until 15 months.


We went to a picnic for Finley's daycare yesterday. It was so much fun to see her being independent and having a good time. She was excited to see her teachers and her friends from school. She loved the sing-a-long and making bubbles.

We brought this recipe to the potluck. I love it because it's good both cold, hot and at room temperature.

Lemon Fusilli

adapted from a recipe by Ina Garten

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 2 cups heavy cream or 1/2 & 1/2
  • 3 lemons
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch of broccoli
  • 1 pound dried fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds. Add the cream, the zest from 2 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.

Meanwhile, cut the broccoli in florets and discard the stem. Cook the florets in a pot of boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain the broccoli and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the package, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta and place it back into the pot. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook it over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed in the pasta. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl, add Parmesan, tomatoes, and cooked broccoli. Cut the last lemon in half lengthwise, slice it 1/4-inch thick crosswise, and add it to the pasta. Toss well, season to taste, and serve hot.




Thursday, July 21, 2011

journal

I've decided to attempt to use this blog as more of a journal for recording things that we do and especially to document the things that Finley does as she grows up. I'll still post photos as I take them here and on my Flickr site.

Things have been pretty mellow around here lately, probably because Seattle is skipping summer this year. The weather has been completely awful. I keep hoping it will get warmer, but we are not well into summer and it's freezing outside.

I started training for my job last week. So far it couldn't be a more perfect arrangement for me, especially when compared with my last job. I'll be at a small hospital working as a clinical dietitian. The part that makes it perfect is that it's 15 minutes from my house with NO traffic, it's per diem with an expected part-time schedule (but if I'm not available, I don't have to work) and I'll be working on all the floors of the hospital from psych to babies to oncology patients. It's been two years since I finished my internship, which means I have a lot to review. I've got time though...I won't start working regularly until September. This works out well since we are going to Victoria for a combined vacation/flyball tournament and then to Reno.

The biggest news around here is that finally Finally started walking! She has been very cautious to walk on her own, even though she has been physically ready for awhile. Cautious is alright with me. Just today I saw her get up from sitting down and walk across the room. Such a proud moment.

She has a blast at daycare. She loves all the toys and the awesome variety of food and snacks. She loves circle time and singing songs with her teachers. She does get upset when the boys want to play with her or take one of her toys. She prefers to play with girls. Apparently she has learned to go to one of the older girls when one of the boys steals her toy and she gets it back for her. I'm not sure how she communicates that, but it's funny to see her start forming relationships with other kids.

Speaking of communication, she has been trying to talk and sign a lot lately. Her favorite sign is "more", specially related to more food. She is a big eater and needs to let us know when she wants more! It's pretty funny when she takes a bite and just as she starts chewing it, she asks for more. Or she will ask for more before she even starts eating!

We are off to a flyball tournament in Canada tomorrow and will be back on Sunday night!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Our Fourth

Yesterday morning we slept in until 9 am, when we woke up Finley. She is a major sleeper. That's okay with us. I made a new recipe. A cherry clafouti. It came out okay after some extra low temperature cooking. I'm still experimenting. Here's Julia Child's recipe, let me know if yours comes out.

Julia Child's Cherry Clafouti
1 -1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
3 cups cherries, pitted
1/3 cup sugar
powdered sugar, for garnish

***************************
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a blender, combine the milk, 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour, and blend.
Lightly butter an 8-cup baking dish, and pour a 1/4-inch layer of the blended mixture over the bottom. Set remaining batter aside.

Place dish into the oven for about 7-10 minutes, until a film of batter sets in the pan but the mixture is not baked through. Remove from oven (but don’t turn the oven off, yet).

Distribute the pitted cherries over the set batter in the pan, then sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Pour the remaining batter over the cherries and sugar.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes, until the it's puffed and brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.

Servings: 6-8 for dessert, 4 for breakfast.



Then we tried to go to Gas Works Park, but there were crazy lines to get good seats for fireworks, which start at 10 pm and it was only noon! Crazy people! I don't even like fireworks. Instead we went to the much less crowded Green Lake and played in the playground, crawled around in the grass in the sun and then had lunch at Tutta Bella.

After a lovely trip to the dog park we lounged around the house and had Thai take out for dinner on the patio. For dessert we had homemade coconut popsicles. They came out really good and were super easy to make. I'm going to be experimenting with different flavors this summer!


Limber de Coco (coconut popsicle)

1 can evaporated milk
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 egg yolks
Cinammon to taste1 cup of shredded coconut

Directions

Mix evaporated milk, coconut milk, sugar, vanilla, and egg yolk in a bowl. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze for at least 2 hours.







14 months

Monday, July 4, 2011

Roslyn


We took an overnight trip to Roslyn on Friday night to visit some friends from college. It's a tiny town off I-90. I would go insane living there, but we had fun experiencing the small town feeling for the day. We brought our trailer and parked it in an alley. We have it stocked so that all we need to park are clothes and food. We are so happy to have that huge apartment on wheels.

Finley is sooo close to walking. She took a few steps today on her own and then she loses confidence. Oh well. I'm sure we'll be wishing she waited a little longer when she is into everything. She has been really into climbing on things, usually things that she can't get down from...or stairs. She has been talking a lot and trying to say new words. Nothing really clear other than Daaaad or Momomomom.

She really seems to be getting into the toddler phase with some demanding whining and even some fake crying. Overall, she is a very happy, easy kid and she still sleeps like a champ. This morning she woke up at 9 am. Yes!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Builder

Our daughter the builder...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZ8140T7n6U

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Taste of Island Life


Today we took a family trip to the lovely Vashon Island. We loaded up Finley and the 3 dogs and headed for the ferry at around 10:30. We started out at The Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie and had Toddy Lattes and shared a cinnamon bun. This was where Seattle's Best Coffee was made before it was bought by Starbucks.



Then we went for a lovely drive to the Point Robinson park. The dogs had plenty of space to run through the woods and on the beach.




After that we went to the farmers market and had lunch at Rock Island Pub & Pizza, which was quite possibly the worst pizza I've ever had.





It was exactly what we needed - a sunny, relaxing day with a little taste of island life. I can understand why people would want to live here. It's quiet, lovely and quaint. I'd love to go back and check out more of the farms and wild areas.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fun Times With Gran



Finley, Gran & I have been having a fun all girls week! Aside from Finley's crazy teething experience....which was pretty bad. On Monday night she slept horribly and then was crying all day. It was awful. She didn't want to nurse or eat much (other than frozen blueberries and a smoothie) and kept trying to suck her thumb, but I think it hurt too much. And then the follow day she was back to her happy, goofy self.

On Tuesday we stayed home and cuddled and watched cartoons. On Wednesday we attempted to go to Bainbridge Island, but missed our ferry and ended up having lunch at Elliots Oyster House and then going to the Aquarium. Finley LOVED looking in the tanks and touching the starfish. It was a fun outing.

Today I had a job interview for a clinical dietitian position. I thought the interview went well, but I also thought the last one went well. This would be an ideal position for me because the hospital is 15 minutes away from our house. I'm not getting my hopes up this time, but HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO GET A JOB THAT REQUIRES EXPERIENCE, WHEN I CAN"T FIND A JOB! so frustrating! At least I'm getting interviews. The rest of the day was much better and nose work class with Indigo and a long walk to the park to run the dogs and a trip to the Lake City farmers market. We got cherries, strawberries, asparagus and had grilled cheese for dinner. For dessert Finley and I shared some locally made chocolate peanut butter ice cream.

The rest of the pics are HERE

Monday, June 13, 2011

Back on track?



Wow two blog posts in a row! Maybe I'm back on track or maybe I just have some extra time. Finley's gran, Frances is staying with us right now while Ben is in Boston and we have been having a great time! With a full time babysitter I've been getting a lot done.

We went to a "carnival" in Georgetown, which was a nice effort, but pretty lame compared to other carnivals I've been to. There weren't even any rides or caramel apples. We had fun anyway strolling around and checking out the neighborhood.

Last night we went to one of our favorite restaurants "The Sandpoint Grill". I love it because it's not pretentious and the atmosphere is really relaxed. The service is great and very accommodating to kids. They give out a plate with cucumebers, apples and carrots as soon as you sit down. They know that kids need something to occupy themselves. The only downside is the food. It's just okay. However we did get dessert to go this time and it was pretty amazing. We had rustic cherry pie and a homemade "ho-ho". Pretty cute and really good.

I'm hoping that on Wednesday we will go to either Vashon Island or Bainbridge Island. It will be fun to teach Finley about boats!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Inspiration & Out of Space


13 months

I'm going to start posting most of my photos on my new Flickr account since I'm out of space on Google. I'm still working on adding and organizing all the photos.

I've been fairly uninspired in the garden and in the kitchen lately. I'm not sure why. The garden is way over grown and there are no vegetables planted. I guess it seemed more stressful to deal with than relaxing and enjoyable this year. I have been cooking and using local, seasonal foods from the farmers market, but nothing especially exciting. I need some inspiration!

I've been spending a lot of time with the dogs and focusing on training. My posts have been regular and are HERE.

Finley is amazing and so much fun. She is just over 13 months and is a wonderful little girl. She loves goofing around and playing games. She smiles a lot. She loves putting things around her neck (dog leashes is a favorite) or trying to put clothes on. At daycare and at home, she does a great job of playing by herself (filling and emptying containers or pushing things around). We go to playgrounds and have lots of fun on the slide and swings. When you give her a phone, she puts it up to her face and yells into it. It's hysterical. She isn't sure about swimming and still hates being changed. As of this past week, she has started to get upset when someone leaves the room or leaves her alone.

She is an eating machine. She probably eats more than I do and more variety than most kids her age. She pretty much eats anything you give her, including pickles, sauerkraut, yogurt, salad, beans, pasta, pizza, any kind of meat or cheese, asparagus, berries, canteloupe, fish etc. I hope that continues for a long time. She takes a multivitamin, vitamin D and fish oil and I still nurse her in the morning.

We have several trips planned this summer, which I am really looking forward to. I'm hoping that getting out of town will give me the inspiration that I am looking for. We are taking our RV to Vancouver Island and to Northern California for combined vacations and flyball tournaments.

Right now Ben is in Boston visiting Tufts and deciding if he wants to be a vet

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

waiting for the sun

It's been a hard Spring in terms of weather for us, so we have taken advantage all 3 nice days we've had so far. We have been exploring play grounds and enjoying playing in the grass. Both of Finley's grandparents visited for her birthday and and had lots of fun. I don't think she had any complaints about having two birthday celebrations.

I decided to leave my job and look for another one with better hours that is a better fit for my interests. We are keeping Finley in daycare for two days each week while I am job hunting. I am looking forward to spending more time with her, as she changes so quickly. She is just about walking now. She enjoys using her walker toy to help her with this. She is also beginning to play with toys more intentionally. She especially loves emptying and filling containers.

We started a new day care this week. I was a bit nervous because the kids have to sit at a table to eat and nap on little mats. Her report for day 1 was great! I was shocked that she stayed at the table to eat and slept on a mat on the floor. It was a proud moment for us.


She is 1! I'm going to keep taking photos, but probably not every week. I'll aim for monthly owl photos from now on.



We have never been to the tulip festival and so this was the year to finally go. It was well worth the traffic and long drive for the views of the flowers.





this is my favorite photo












The drive home


We have been checking out some of the playgrounds in Seattle. This is our current favorite








trying to let the dogs escape











video