Forty-Seven and Forty-Eight Weeks Old
Hmm, it has been a little while since I last wrote!
We've got a wonderful, crawling 11-month-old on our hands. His increased mobility has led to an increased number of head bonks (including a head-first fall off the side of the orange chair, which made both Arlo and me cry hard--but all is well now).
We have finally been spurred into action on the childproofing front, now that Arlo can get into everything. Initially, I had despaired of getting any cooking done while home alone with a crawling baby, but now that we've childproofed things a little better, I can make reasonable progress on dinner without having to chase Arlo down the entire time.
I'm really happy with the magnetic locks that we purchased for our kitchen cabinets. The spatula-through-the-handles trick just wasn't cutting it. The magnetic locks do a much better job, and they're easier to use than the little plastic latches I remember using when my sister was a baby. The only hard part is keeping track of the magnetic key, but we haven't had a problem with that so far.
We had our first family cold these past few weeks. Patrick brought it home from work, then I got it, and finally Arlo caught it. No fun! I'm sure there's plenty more of that to come in the next few years. Arlo has cut way back on his post-nap nursing these days, and I'm hoping it's because of his stuffy nose and not because he's weaning himself. I'm not planning to nurse him for years and years more, but a few more months would be nice...
It's just amazing how quickly he's growing up and how much he seems to understand these days. As you may have seen in the 11-month video, he can find noses pretty reliably and likes honking them. He makes word-like sounds with confidence, but still nothing really intelligible, other than "dada" and "dog." He's just such a cool little guy--it's so much fun being his mom :) Sure, when he's cranky from teething or his cold (or whatever is bugging him these days), it's not always fun, but his good moods totally make up for the grumpy times.
In non-Arlo news, I bound my first real quilt a few weeks ago (there was that lap quilt I made after senior year of college, but I machine-bound that one really messily, so it doesn't count). It turns out I really like hand-sewing quilt binding--what a nice way to spend a few hours (spread out over a couple of naptimes and evenings instead of all in one chunk, of course). I made the binding with my Clover tape maker, then I machine-sewed it to one side of the quilt and sewed the other side down by hand, following this excellent tutorial.
I worked on this quilt as part of Susan and Daniela's Quilts for Quake Survivors project. It was a group effort--the blocks were donated by generous quilters, it was sandwiched and beautifully quilted at Sew On, and I did the sashing, back, and binding (with donated fabric). Just a couple days after these pictures were taken, it got shipped off to Japan, hopefully to bring warmth and comfort to someone in need!
We've had an underwhelming series of meals lately. It's my fault--I revisited Nigella Lawson's Feast and made a bunch of dinners from it, even though her recipes never really turn out well for me (I love her writing style though!). True to form, three of the meals weren't so great, but the fourth meal--Mughlai chicken curry with cilantro-coconut rice and sweet and sour okra (from Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking)--was very nice.
I also made the rhubarb crumble kuchen from Nigella's How to Be a Domestic Goddess. The rhubarb topping was a little tarter and crunchier than I like it, but this was still a nice snack.
Here are a few recipes I've made in the past few weeks that I would make again:
Egg muffins (or "mini frittatas," if you prefer). These are a good make-ahead breakfast option (and a nice change from oatmeal). I've made these twice--once with sun-dried tomatoes, feta, and sauteed spinach and once with just Monterey jack and sun-dried tomatoes. They just need to be microwaved for 2 minutes in the morning, and they're ready to go (not quite as good as fresh-cooked eggs, but not bad!). Slap them on a toasted English muffin, and you've got yourself an easy egg sandwich.
Velvety broccoli and feta pasta. I used a food processor instead of a blender, so the sauce's texture wasn't exactly velvety, but it was still tasty and easy to make.
I made Chicago-style deep dish pizza on Easter, along with hot-cross buns (this time with candied tangerine peels instead of candied lemon peels). Yum! I had no particular reason for making the pizza on Easter, but I'd be up for making it an Easter tradition. It's labor-intensive enough (and loaded with enough butter and cheese) that making it once a year seems about right.
I had planned to put together an Easter basket for Arlo this year, but I ran out of time. Good thing holidays aren't important to him yet! I'll get my Easter basket act together next year (and maybe we'll even dye eggs!).
Patrick made Moosewood Hungarian mushroom soup, and it was tasty.
Also tasty (and full of cream)--skillet-baked ziti. Delicious fat content aside, I'd definitely make this one again, maybe adding some mushrooms and spinach to get some more vegetables in there. A good recipe if you have 1/2c of heavy cream leftover from something else, plus it only takes about 30 minutes to make.