Sunday, March 30, 2008

A beautiful day at Howarth Memorial Park

Today was a gorgeous, sunny, blue-skied, mild Spring day. It is most definitely Spring here in Northern California. Mark went to the exhibition game of the Giants vs A's with his friend, Gerald, to sit in our new seats at AT&T Park. He sent a photo and said that the seats are awesome. I'll get to see for myself at the home opener on April 7.
At any rate, Davey and I went to Howarth Memorial Park in Santa Rosa and met up with Mom, Mick and Jack. What a great park! Of course it has tennis courts, a baseball diamond and picnic areas. However it's got so much more: lakes, paddle boats, a train, merry go round, snack shacks and several playgrounds. I bet there is more but I that's all I saw today, on our first visit.

First time on the carousel

Davey got to ride on the merry-go-round for the first time in his life. He was pretty scared by it beforehand, but he sat on my lap, on the bench seat, and kept his fear mostly in check, while I talked with him about what was going on. Later, he enjoyed watching the merry-go-round from afar, but when asked if he'd like to ride it again, he'd quickly shake his head, "No."

Playing with sand and water

After that, it was time to explore the playgrounds. Davey was in heaven as there were two sand and water areas, lots and lots of kids around, slides, caves in which he could draw with chalk... it was a toddler's paradise!

Davey and Mick

After horsing around on the playground, we all went for a walk along the shore of the lake. Atop the dam, Davey obviously wanted to walk down the hill. Mom... er... Grandma Julia, took his hand and they ran down the hill together.

Mom and Jack

Plus there were lots of friendly dogs we encountered all day. Lucky, lucky Davey!

Davey napped as we drove home and, upon our return to the house, he got to eat a dinner of pasta with meat and vegetable sauce and some cubes of tofu (he LOVES tofu). While he ate I churned up some mango and tangelo sorbet, which Davey got to have for dessert. Uh... he LOVED it.

Risky Business

Mango Tangelo sorbet

Davey approved!

Also known as: Kid tested, mother approved. ;-)

Helping clean the bowl

Last week's organic produce delivery contained a few mangoes and several minneola tangelo and I decided to make a sorbet for Davey (and the rest of our family) to enjoy from those delicious fruits. The mangoes were a little small, not living up to the quantity required in the recipe for Mango Sorbet in The Perfect Scoop, so the thought of those tangelos added to them popped in to my head.

First off, it certainly looks pretty. Second, and most importantly, it tastes great and Davey and I love it. When Mark gets home, we'll see what his taste buds have to say.

Mango Tangelo Sorbet
Adapted from a recipe for Mango Sorbet in The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

2 smallish mangoes
3 tangelos
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
Pinch of kosher salt

Tangelo zest and mango

Peel the mangoes and cut the flesh away from the pit. Cut the flesh in to chunks and put them in a blender with the sugar, water, Grand Marnier and salt. Add the zest of two of the tangelos and, using a grapefruit knife, add the flesh of the tangelos (but not the membranes or the pith). Squeeze any excess juice in to the blender, as well.

The debris

Puree the mixture until smooth. Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Mango Minneola Tangelo Sorbet

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Teary eyed meeting

Teary eyed meeting, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

Someone just commented on this photo in my Flickr stream, which made me look at it. This may be one of my favorite photos of all time. :-)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Another first

Breakfast on Friday morning, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

Tonight Davey leaned in and gave Mark a kiss goodnight. His first real kiss to his dad.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


...or maybe it's Twinkle Twinkle Little Star... but since Saturday morning, Davey's been singing the tune under his breath. I'm attempting to catch him doing it on video because it's the sweetest thing...

He's also figured out how to cross his fingers, climb chairs and is saying, "Hi Dad," or "Daddy," more clearly and reliably.

God, he's growing up!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

A very fun Easter weekend

Visits from out of town friends, sushi, babies, dogs, family, feasts, museums, parks and sunshine... what else could one ask for?

Jackie in the De Young Museum tower

Friday afternoon Jackie arrived for a weekend visit from Sydney, Australia. Once she'd had a chance to shower, Davey and I swept her off to Kabuki Sushi for a delicious lunch, a couple of sake bombs and a glass of plum wine. Just what the jet-lag doctor ordered, no? Andy, the sushi chef there, really is a master. Then we picked up groceries for dinner and headed home. All the while, Davey and I attempting to keep Jackie awake, if not alert. Once we got home Davey got a chance to run around the back yard while Jackie and I prepared small lamb loin chops, rubbed with olive oil, rosemary (from our shrub), fresh garlic, salt and pepper. We (okay, Jackie) grilled up the chops, asparagus and fingerling potatoes for supper, as well as a jerk marinated chicken breast for Mark (who ate when he got home from work much later in the evening). To paraphrase Jackie, about grilling the veggies, "Once we Aussies fire up the barbecue, everything goes on."

Jackie and Davey in Golden Gate Park

Saturday morning Jackie, Davey and I went to the De Young Museum. Davey napped while we drove, so awoke as we neared the museum and was chirpy, happy and ready for a new experience. We arrived and I checked and found that I had, indeed, let my membership lapse. D'oh! So I anted up and renewed my membership so that we will feel more impetus to go more frequently. Joc, when you're in town, let's go!

The special exhibition right now is by Gilbert and George. Not really my cup of tea, but interesting. They're fascinated with penises and poop. Hm. Okay. After a quick trip through that exhibition, we toured around the first floor of the museum and then it was time to go outside and let Davey run. We went to the park between the De Young and the California Academy of Sciences. The new CAS building, by the way, is looking great and I'm really looking forward to the grand opening!

Davey in the De Young Museum tower

Davey had a blast running around the park, meeting friendly dogs, picking flowers, throwing things in to the ponds, snacking, playing chase with Jackie and I and just generally running around. After a while Jackie and I realized we were hungry, so we all headed back to the museum cafeteria for overpriced and mediocre sandwiches. Then, after that break for sustenance, we let Davey run around a bit more. Then back in to his stroller to go to the top of the museum's tower. The view from the tower, alone, is worth a visit to the De Young. The perspective is unique and offers a wonderful panorama of San Francisco. Then it was time to go home, let Jackie and Davey nap along the way, and then let Davey run around the yard some more.

The view from the De Young Museum Tower

We returned home to find our handy-man finishing installing a new screen on the front door (to keep the bugs out and Davey in) and the house painter putting the finishing touches on the new exterior paint job. Yay! Okay, Davey, go run around the yard while I pay these nice men.

Mark got home from work and we all piled back in to the car and headed to -- you guessed it -- Kabuki Sushi! There we had a raucous and delicious dinner with Dad, Linda, Polly, Chris, Sam (visiting home on Spring break from West Point), Snorky, Paul and Linda (Saturday night regulars there). Davey showed that he's a good drummer with chopsticks and again showed his adoration of cubes of tofu. He was such a good little guy, making very little fuss and enjoying the attention and energy of the evening, for nearly three hours.

Davey drums with chopsticks

Sunday we bid our farewells to Jackie as she went to San Jose to spend the day with another friend of hers, and then she's off to Boston for the rest of the week. Before she awoke, however, I made banana chocolate chip muffins and prepped an apple/berry/gingered crisp for Easter lunch.

Bonnie hosted a great Easter lunch at her house, Cocopah, on the Russian River. Bonnie provided bountiful amounts of food but then everyone else did, too. Foof -- so much good food!! We had nearly all of Davey's grandparents in one place (Dave & Dee couldn't make it, but all the others were there) as well as Polly, Chris, my brother Jack and several of Bonnie's friends and neighbors. The weather was gorgeous and much to Davey's delight, there were several friendly dogs. Yippee!!

Davey on the Russian River

After eating and playing around the house, Bonnie, Davey and I decided to walk down to the river beach. My, oh my, was Davey thrilled! He was immediately drawn to the edge of the water and started throwing rocks in to the water. Over and over and over. Quickly he was standing in the water. Shortly thereafter he was sitting in the water, gleefully splashing, throwing rocks and laughing wildly. Of course the dogs were all playing around him, adding to the excitement. And, as always happens, everyone came down from the house and to the beach, following along Davey's trail.

What a fun weekend!!

Davey on the Russian River

Vegan banana chocolate chip muffin

I made them again for Easter lunch at Bonnie's house. My, oh my, these are tasty! Not a crumb was left for us to take with us. In fact, the recipe makes a dozen muffins but only 9 made it to Bonnie's house.

*Note: Any good semi-sweet chocolate chips will be dairy free, which is all I care about with our little dairy-allergic guy.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c granulated sugar
1/3 c canola oil
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 c water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c non dairy semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease your muffin tins.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt and baking soda.

In a large bowl, beat the sugar and the oil. Then add the mashed banana and chocolate chips. Stir in the water and vanilla until incorporated. Add flour mixture, a little at a time and stir until just incorporated.

Fill all 12 muffin cups evenly and bake about 30 minutes, until they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of one or two comes out cleanly.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Davey on the Russian River

Davey on the Russian River, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Easter Egg Hunt with Grandma Bonnie


Dancing, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

Daddy and Davey

Daddy and Davey, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

Bonding over a bus. Awww.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Update: Getting better all the time

On the playground with Dad, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

The Amoxicillin is doing the trick! An hour after the first dose, Davey fell in to a peaceful two-hour nap. When he awoke he was back to his former, chirpy and energetic self. We went out for a long stroll from one end of Grant Avenue to the other and back, but as it was a bit chilly and it had rained a couple times earlier int he day, I didn't let him out to play on a playground.

Last night he slept soundly, aside from 30 seconds of winging around 11:30, from 8:15 to 6:30. He awoke to be happy, hungry and full of energy. It's so great to have our little guy back to normal. At this rate he'll be ready for the Easter egg hunt tomorrow afternoon at Pioneer Park!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Yep, it's official

1) Davey's got an ear infection.
2) My mother's intuition is working.

He's had his first dose of amoxicillin and is now napping peacefully.

Oh what fun to have a cold

Sunday afternoon, after a long afternoon of clothes shopping with Bonnie and I, Davey's nose started running like crazy. This continued through the night and through Tuesday afternoon. Tuesday night his breathing sounded horrible and a cough caught on. Wednesday morning I woke up not being able to breathe out of one side of my nose, a sore throat and Mark commented that I'd snored loudly most of the night (unusual for me).

Ahhh... Davey and I are both sick. How fun!

As Davey has been clingy and all-mommy-all-the-time since Wednesday and I wasn't feeling well at all, I called in sick Wednesday and Thursday. I did, however, make a big pot of all-organic chicken/veggie/barley soup which we all ate Wednesday and Thursday. Davey mostly ate it by himself, not wanting any help, as he ate it one piece of barley or corn or pea or whatever at a time. As you can see, however, he liked it.

Last night Davey woke at 11:15 and by 11:30, I couldn't take the screaming and pitiful squealing. I got him out of bed, he ate a bit of soy yogurt and wanted to snuggle (or squeal) until I finally got him back to sleep at 2am. At which point, I collapsed in to bed. He did watch most of "Fur," (a movie about how Diane Arbus became a photographer) with me.

Then he woke us with more pitiful, and pained sounding, squeals starting at 4:30. Ugh.

I'm concerned now that he might be getting an ear infection, as the only thing that stops the squealing is extended mommy snuggling and even then he sometimes smacks his ears with his palms. Just waiting for the pediatrician's office to open now...

Looking longingly at the ice cream truck

Egg and dairy allergies suck.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sleeping with Lobo

Sleeping with Lobo, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

This is the second time in the past week I've seen Davey snuggle up with his stuffed wolf. Snuggling up with any stuffed toy is a new thing... and very cute.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Events of the week -- starting with an allergic reaction

Puffy eyes the morning after

Yeah, the above photo shows why we don't feed dairy, eggs or peanuts to Davey. Sunday night I went to the movies with Linda to see The Other Boleyn Girl and meanwhile Mark gave Davey his bath and put him to bed. Yay, right? Well... I got home and at 10pm Davey started crying loudly and would not quiet. He doesn't usually wake at that time of night so I went in to comfort him, thinking maybe he had a nightmare or something. He was absolutely apoplectic and inconsolable. He cried and cried and cried, struggled to get out of my arms but then freaked out when I set him down. He was so upset he didn't know what to do.

He's been teething so I tried giving him some infant Motrin to help with the pain, if that was the problem. That didn't help. He gave me the sign for "drink," so I brought out the cup of soy milk in the fridge, left over from what Mark gave him at bed time and he took some gulps. A few minutes later he started crying harder again and rubbing his eyes uncontrollably. Then I saw that his eyes were swollen and his face was red, but I couldn't tell if the red face was because of all his high-energy crying nor if his eyes were puffy because he was rubbing them or if he was rubbing them because they were puffy. I looked all over his body and didn't see any hives, and I listened carefully to the sound of his breathing, which seemed okay. So I was struggling to figure out what was wrong and what, if anything, was giving him an allergic reaction.

All in all, it was horrible!

Eventually he did calm down enough for me to put him in his crib, though he was still crying. After about 20 minutes of rubbing his back and singing to him, he fell back go sleep. That was around 11:30.

Needless to say, he slept but I did not. I was constantly going in to check on his breathing and was strung out.

In the morning, around 5am, his eyes were still terribly swollen. However, he was in a chipper mood (unlike me, the zombie) and was eager to eat his steel cut oats. While eating his oats he, of course, signalled that he wanted to drink. So I got out the cup of left over soy milk from the fridge and gave him a few sips. Five minutes later, Davey rubbed his eyes. Oh CRAP!

I took a sniff of his soy milk and it didn't quite smell right. Nor did it look quite as creamy-colored as usual. So I took a sip and it didn't taste quite right, though it didn't taste exactly like cow milk either. I did a little taste test with a new cup of soy milk and a cup of cow milk... what I think happened was that Mark used the dinner's left over cup of soy milk for putting Davey to bed, but added more "milk," from the carton. But grabbed the wrong carton and added cow milk instead of soy milk. I dumped the milk in that cup and Davey's been fine ever since.


Otherwise, Davey's had a pretty fun week so far. He got to spend all day Monday with Grandma Julia and Grandpa Mick, where he got to see horses, chase chickens, pet dogs and cats, throw leaves in to the pool and listen and dance to music with his uncle Jack. Marina was here to play with Davey on Tuesday and Thursday, and Grandma Julia took care of him Thursday afternoon as well.

I think Grandma Julia will be taking care of Davey again today (Friday) up at her house, so that Mark can work on a car at his dad's shop and I can do my Sybase work and then get my hair cut and colored.

We interviewed a potential nanny on Wednesday and we think we'll like her. Her name is Diane and she's friends with Dad and Linda from their Buddhist practice. She doesn't have a lot of professional nanny experience, per se, but she loves kids, is very nice, smart, lives close by, is looking for part-time work and has plenty of non-professional experience helping friends raise their children. She's going to work a half-day next Wednesday and we'll see how we like her and how she likes it. If all goes well, she would work on Tuesday, Wednesdays and Fridays, with Marina continuting to work on Mondays and Thursday mornings (and Mom on Thursday afternoons).

Lastly, we're painting the exterior of our house! Our painter, Chuck, prepped a lot last week, finished this week and put on the main color on the house and the garage yesterday. He'll do a second coat on the front of the house today and perhaps he'll start doing the trim today. So far so good! We'll put up photos when the painting's done.

I'm ready for the weekend (though it's not going to be any more laid back).


Smiley, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

This morning, while we were snuggling and wrestling on the sofa in the pre-dawn hours, Davey leaned in and made a kissy noise. I wasn't sure if he was trying to give me a kiss or if he was just making a kissy noise. Then, a few minutes later, he did it again but this time kissed my upper lip -- it was an unmistakable kiss. His first kiss -- oh, my boy! On his 17 month birthday. Awwww...