Monday, June 30, 2008


Huz and I decided to spend our fun money for the month on this. I can't wait to get it and to start trying out some fun ice cream recipes. I'm sure we'll come up with some fun ones, like: chocolate chili, jalapeno lime sorbet, Heath bar coffee crunch, etc. If it comes quickly enough we can make blackberries and cream ice cream with the luscious blackberries we picked at our CSA yesterday. It was so much fun making the trip up there. Claire did great on the hour and a half drive each way and had fun picking blueberries and blackberries strapped to my chest in a carrier. She tried to reeeaaaach out and pick some berries too - she did get one, but Huz intervened before it went into her mouth. It was lovely seeing the farm where our veggies are coming from each week and to have a relaxing afternoon in nature. Ahhh. I want to go back!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 3:43 PM

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Vagina, How It Rages

Okay, I am a bit reluctant to post this, but I HAVE to tell you about last night.

Now, now, before you get excited, I am neither going to reveal some hot bedroom story that Huz and I shared, nor am I going to reveal some kind of woo-ha disorder (cuz I don't have any, thankyouverymuch).

No, what happened is last night my Fodder Friend called me up and asked me what I have planned for the evening. As we had just experienced Scream Fest 2008, Part Two the night before, I responded, "hopefully sleeping." Well, she had other plans and wanted me to join in the fun. She rented some crazy ass (ha!) film called Teeth and wanted me and another friend to watch it with her. I agreed, reluctantly, because the film is a comedy/horror (neither of which are my genre of film) about the cultural myth of Vagina Dentata (Latin for "toothed vagina"). Oh boy. This definitely sounded like a girls night out movie - no husband in their right mind would watch a movie about a vagina that had teeth in it. Talk about fear of castration! There were no less than 3 dudes who had their peniles bitten off - and we had to see the fake things as they flew onto the ground. OMG. It was so dumb, but so, so funny because of the company I was with. Four girls sat around watching this atrocity and - the most brilliant part of the evening, thanks to the crazy brain of my FF - every time a penis was bitten off, we had to take a bite of a banana. Of course this was accompanied by much screaming and laughter. If any parts further up were castrated, then we had to eat some M&M's (there weren't any higher-up castrations, but we enjoyed the chocolate all the same). Oh, and the third "rule" that she came up with was that if you got scared (which, believe me, this film was too dumb to be called scary) you had to draw a picture (the coffee table was lined with parchment paper and there were crayons everywhere) of your vagina (with teeth, natch) eating a penis. What happened to these lovely pictures? I don't know. My FF took them with her as she left. Are her intentions to sell them on EBay? To scan them and email them to me so I can post them here? Shrug. At least I didn't sign mine!

What a crazy, fun, head-shaking evening, to say the least.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 1:46 PM

Thursday, June 26, 2008

To Be or Not To Be A Carnivore

It's all the buzz over at Dooce right now, but for several years I too have been contemplating my meat-eating diet. I've mentioned it here before. It all started after I read the classic novel The Jungle, followed by Super Size Me, and then Fast Food Nation. I highly recommend all of these, as they are eye-opening to the realities of the meat industry and the impact they have on our health and the environment, not to mention the unethical treatment (and killing) of animals in these places.

It's been on my mind lately. Huz and I just talked about it last week and a friend and I touched on it yesterday. Last week I watched a 30 Days episode which was about animal rights and the meat industry, which got me thinking. Also, now is about the time we should start introducing meat to Claire's diet, if we choose to do so.

I've struggled with becoming a vegetarian, though, because I like the taste of meat. I enjoy a good steak, a pork tenderloin, a fish fillet. My problem is with the meat industry and how poorly they treat the animals - they are often sick, abused, forced into small cages, forced to sleep on their own shit, etc, etc. I read an article in the New York Times last week and decided I want to adopt a more vegetable-focused diet, rather than switching to hardcore vegetarianism. This way I don't necessarily have to eliminate meat from my diet altogether, but can eat much less of it - focusing on the greens on the plate instead. I'd like to only buy ethically produced meat (free-range, organic, etc.) from now on. It's more expensive, yes, but if it's not emphasized as much then we won't be buying very much. Also, going organic on produce is a bit more expensive, but I've made that switch on the most pesticide-heavy produce (check this handy list out) because I think it's worth it in the long run - both health-wise and conscience-wise.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:26 AM

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Needle and Thread

I have a huge aversion to all things sewing (I applaud Jen and my Fodder Friend for taking sewing classes - I've never had the guts), but that doesn't stop me from wishing I knew how. I bought a quilting book a few years ago

quilt book

and drooled over each page, then placed in on the bookshelf, untouched, for about a year before I sold it. I can sew a button back on a shirt and I taught myself how to knit, but I'm completely clueless when it comes to using a sewing machine or, God forbid, understanding and following a pattern. But I want to learn! Because I've just fallen in love with some fabric


and want to be able to make Claire bibs and dresses that are CUTE to the UTMOST. I don't want to have spend big bucks to pay someone else to do something so seemingly simple, plus, I get great satisfaction out of making my own things (photography, handmade soaps, ceramics, jewelry, etc.). I fantasize about making my own vintage apron and waltzing around the house in heels and a pearl necklace.

Whoa, where did that come from!?

Any suggestions for a needle and thread retard?

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:45 AM

Friday, June 20, 2008

Domestic Day Off

I took the day off today. Work is horribly slow and I hate being bored more than anything else, so I stayed home and gave Huz a bonus day of studying at the library. What did I do? Anything fun and exciting? Probably not to you, but I was more than glad to have a domestic day off - a day where I actually spent time cleaning my house (You know you don't clean the house enough when your child screams out in terror at the sound of the vacuum cleaner. She's all, "WTF!? I've never heard such a noise before!" That and the dust bunny armies were taking over.). I vacuumed, dusted, cleaned the toilet, the kitchen sink, under the kitchen sink, etc. Then, as is my wont, I checked to see how many bananas had found their way into my freezer.

A dozen (plus 2 peeled ones in a bag)! That's definitely my new record.

frozen banana city

So, while Claire played quietly by herself...

playing while mommy cooks

I mashed up most of the bananas for her and used the rest to make banana bread.

banana bread
banana bread
banana bread
banana bread

Now I'm enjoying a clean house that smells like banana bread. Ah, what a nice day off!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 3:09 PM

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Huz and I joined another CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) this year and have been receiving freshly picked, organic, local produce for three weeks now. I love it. Every Monday after work I go to the pick-up spot and pull dirt-laden veggies out of baskets and put them into my own. It was off-putting at first, getting my hands so dirty, but I've come to really like the gritty feel of soil because it reminds me of where my food comes from. Forget the pristine, chlorine-sprayed grocery store produce neatly packaged in plastic wrap. It's not real to me that way; it feels like produced, plastic Barbie food. I prefer knowing that the vegetables my family eats are picked the day before by local farmers who care about the produce and the land that they tend. Further, the flavors of fresh produce are beyond compare. Who knew that lettuce actually has flavor? It tastes like spring and makes my mouth a happy place. This article I read this morning talks about garlic scapes which is a common CSA veggie in early harvest. If you have a chance to join a farm, I highly recommend it, even if only for a year. The experience is well worth it.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:09 AM

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Making Baby Food: As Easy as 1, 2, 3

I've heard many people tell me that they thought about making their own baby food or that they tried, but it was "too hard" or takes too much time. There's nothing hard about it and it really doesn't take much time, especially if you already cook food for yourself. Now, if you're a eat-dinner-out-every-night kind of person, then, okay, making your own food - for yourself or your baby - just isn't for you. But if you're like us and you make dinner on a regular basis, then all you have to do it set aside a little of the produce to make for your baby. The first thing we made for Claire was pureed carrots that Huz put aside after cooking some for dinner. It made a ton and lasted a long time. My style, since I don't come home and cook after working and not seeing Claire for 10 hours each day (I leave that to Huz, thankyouverymuch), is to do large batches of fruits and veggies at once - usually on the weekends. I did that today, in fact. "What!? you say, "on your work from home day!?" I know, I know. But it's summer and I'm slow, so I had to do something at home today. Why not make baby food!? It's productive, right?

Like I said, making baby food is easy.

Step One:

Steam your fruit or veggie of choice.

Steamed Broccoli for Homemade Baby Food

Step Two:

Puree the soft fruit or veggie in a food processor, blender, or food mill.

Homemade Baby Food - Broccoli

Step Three:

Spoon pureed fruit or veggie into ice cube trays. Freeze and dump frozen food cubes into freezer bags. Be sure to label them because pears, apples, and bananas look awfully similar once frozen.

Homemade Baby Food - Broccoli

I also made peaches today but I baked them instead of steaming them because they are supposed to retain more flavor that way. Directions: heat oven to 400. While it preheats, wash and cut peaches in half laying them cut side down in a pan with an inch of water in it. Bake until soft and skins are wrinkled. Let cool, peel and pit, and puree in food processor.

Baked Peaches for Homemade Baby Food

See? Easy! Go forth and make some baby food! The benefits are that you control the ingredients (read: no pesticides, additives or preservatives), it's more economical, and you don't end up with a million glass jars to recycle or, God forbid, throw into the garbage.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 2:31 PM

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy First Father's Day!

Claire and I are the two luckiest girls I know. I had no idea what kind of man Huz would be when I married him at the tender age of 18, but I'm delighted by the man he has become. He is a wonderful friend, husband, and, now, father. He is the most devoted Dad I've ever met - he takes care of our baby girl for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. He never complains and he never ceases to find joy in watching our child. He adores her like nothing else in the world. He is gentle, kind, and loving. He gives his time and energy for his family. I love and appreciate you so much, babe. You mean the world to Claire and me.

We celebrated Father's Day by going out for breakfast. Claire enjoyed being in a restaurant highchair for the first time while eating bananas and oatmeal. She also enjoyed flirting with all the little boys in the place. We gotta watch this one!

Eating out for Father's Day breakfast - first time in restaurant highchair!

Here's to a wonderful husband and father.







Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:25 AM

Friday, June 13, 2008

Be Inspired

I just listened to the Harvard graduation commencement speech by J.K. Rowling (three parts) and am totally inspired. May we all follow our passion (instead of a career ladder), be imaginative, hopeful, empathetic, and do our part as privileged people.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 2:51 PM


I think this is truly the most adorable baby ever born.







Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:00 AM

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Check Out the Pearly Whites!

Them's razor sharp, yo.

pearly whites!


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 3:26 PM

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Claire and Her Cat

Huz just emailed me and told me to check Flickr because he had just taken pictures of a "cuddle session" between Neville and Claire. It's a good thing Neville can stand tough loving because that's the only kind Claire knows right now.

Maybe this will be incentive to crawl forward? Put a fuzzy cat in front of her!


Hello, who are you?


Let me just grab this soft stuff and p-u-l-l!



Did you like that?


I like this cat!


Neville says, this baby is pretty cool. She's giving me lots of love and attention, which is more than I can say for my parents! Let's walk around her and see what happens.



Ahh. I like my cuddle friend.



Yeah, we can keep her. She gives me good belly rubs


And sings opera to me.


Can you handle the cuteness? CAN YOU?

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 2:01 PM


I'm tired; like, fall asleep tired. And my printer is taunting me with it's "Sleep Mode" messages. Stupid printer.

Claire is a mystery to me. Sometimes she sleeps 11 hours without making a peep and other times, like last night, she wakes up crying at 1:00 a.m. and won't go back to sleep until I nurse her an hour later. I tried just changing her wet diaper, but that obviously wasn't cutting it for her. Ugh. Parenting. I'm convinced it's a continual guessing game.

Also? Baby teeth apparently start out really sharp, like razors, in order to cut through the gums. Want to know how I know? My worst nightmare became reality last night at that 2:00 a.m. feeding. She bit my nip. Holy frack, that hurt. I hope this doesn't become a habit because I won't make it to my goal of breastfeeding for a year if it continues.

Speaking of gums, I'm eating a mozzeralla sandwich at my desk and just chomped down on an olive pit. Ow. Now my gum is killing me!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 12:43 PM

Monday, June 9, 2008

Dress Clarification

I know I linked to the picture of Padma in a blue Greek goddess dress, but that's totally not what I meant. I meant the second dress on that slide show - the green and white one. Not that it matters, because I got a hot little number that was totally different. Mine was a white, brown, and black tropical floral print and it was short and sexy! The party was fun, but there was no dancing. It was more of a Southern swanky event, complete with valet parking and a full wait staff inside. I felt too sexy for the event and Huz, who looked like Brad Pitt in his tan pinstriped linen pants and white linen shirt, felt under-dressed. Oh well. We went out for drinks (he: whisky. me: chocolate martini) afterwards and thoroughly enjoyed our once a month night out. (I'm feeling sorry for myself that we only get to go out once a month. On the bright side, it makes going out really special. You people? The ones with family around to watch your kids whenever you blink? You have no idea. Thank your lucky stars that you get to go out whenever you want!)

Anyway, the best part of the weekend was shopping for our party outfits. Not only is it rare to go shopping together for an outfit (I'm more of a "happen to be at Target and found this shirt for a mere $4.99" girl), but I felt really good about myself in a lot of the things I tried on and THAT? That is rare. There were 2 dresses in particular that got rave reviews - I believe "wow" was Huz's response. Naturally I bought one of them. But I didn't need 2 dresses, so I didn't get the second wow-factor frock. Since Huz spent the day with the family on Saturday (which is usually his library day), he went to study on Sunday. I asked him what Claire and I should do with ourselves all day on Sunday and he said, "Go to Macy's and buy yourself that other dress." I was all, "Really!? It's not even on sale!" He was emphatic that I looked hot in it and needed to get it. Talk about making me feel good! Not only was I given a huge compliment but I was actually encouraged to shop! Hee! :)

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:33 AM

Friday, June 6, 2008

Odds and Ends

1. TGIF! Yahoo! I'm redeeming my Mother's Day mani/pedi gift certificate this afternoon when I get off. This is in preparation for my friend's engagement party (complete with a live band!) tomorrow night. Woo hoo! My Fodder Friend is babysitting for us so we can party hardy. We both need to go shopping tomorrow to find appropriate attire. I really don't own many dresses (and if I do, they are just black evening dresses). I think a nice spring-colored dress would be nice (I was admiring Padma's green and white dress the other night, but am not sure I can find one that I can afford). Wish me luck.

2. This totally makes me cringe. Ick, ick, ick. Sense of humor? Maybe. Sexy? Definitely not!

3. I had to stay late for a meeting last night and got home after 6:00 so I just got to see Claire for 45 minutes before she went to sleep. So sad. :(

4. We just got one of these so that we don't feel like we're walking on egg shells right outside of Claire's room (which is right off of our kitchen). I likey.

5. We have been in Constipation Nation at the Winters home for the past 4 days. Poor Claire Bear has only had rabbit turds and we don't know why, so we've introduced the mighty PRUNE to her diet. After 3 straight days of eating prunes mixed with her other normal foods (prune-cado, prunes and oatmeal, prune and sweet potato mash)....suffice to say, I've never been so glad to see prunes come out of the other end before. Poor thing must have been suffering with all of that inside of her.

6. That's it. What are your plans for the weekend?

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 11:01 AM

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Turquoise Be Gone


New Landscaping



Posted by Bird On A Line @ 11:28 AM

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Pajama party anyone?


(By the way, even though most of you thought I should chop my hair off, I decided to stay with medium/long because: a.) in looking back at photos of myself I think I prefer it longer, b.) Huz truly prefers long, even though he was adamant about me doing whatever I wanted (like I would do differently?!), and c.) Claire Bear just LOVES my hair and grabs it and eats it at every opportunity. How could I deprive her? I did decide to mix it up and get bangs, but I don't think I like them. Oh well. They grow quickly.)

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:59 AM

Sunday, June 1, 2008

hip baby wish list

I want good toys for Claire, not just your run of the mill Disney plastic crap, you know? I want hip, modern toys - ones that are environmentally safe too. Like this set or these geese (I bought her a white one last week at Pottery Barn Kids. I couldn't help myself - it was so cute and on sale! We named him Go-Go the Goose. I was trying to find her a safe bed buddy and also a replacement for my jaw which she likes to use as a teething ring.). I've been on the hunt for knit stuffed animals, but they are really hard to come by. I found these guys, but the store I went to doesn't have the giraffe which is what I really want. I like knit guys like this, but I just wish they weren't so expensive (all of these I'm linking too are high - guess you have to pay to be eco and cool.). Anyone know of other sources for knit toys? I guess I like Euro toys because those are the ones I keep stopping and looking at online, like: this caterpillar, this elephant, these hammer balls, these matching animals, these nuts and bolts toys, this frog. Also? I'm loving this CD.

[Added: Ooh! I like these too!]

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 1:44 PM

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