Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Photo Diary of Eli's First two days.

Here's Noah a few hours before he becomes a big brother. He's been helping remove the paint on the gate, in preparation for our painting it.
After mild contractions for a couple of days, I went into labour on Sunday evening. It was really good to just stay in our bedroom- this is where I ended up having Eli. My parents came and picked up Noah at around 2am, 1hr30mins before Eli was born. The midwife arrived around 2:30am, just in time to help guide the hardest part of the labour.

Eli made it out*, caught by the midwife, the placenta followed quickly,  and we could all get into bed and hang out together. Eug got to cuddle with Eli while I was checked over**.
Noah really likes his little brother, though it's hard for him that I'm not as available.

Our neighbors are lending us this beautiful cradle, which we keep in the living room- it makes it easy for us to eat downstairs in the kitchen while Eli is little and our downstairs is not clean enough for him to be on the floor. Last night, we had our first regular family meal- it's great to work on getting to "normal" life very gradually.
This is our attempt at a family photo where you can see Eli. It was chaos, as you can tell. We're just happy everyone is wearing clothes. Anna's rabbit features prominently in our family.

*By "made it out", I don't mean to imply I'm either superwoman or that labour is easy. Labour was great because of many things- many beyond my control, like physiology or the prayers of friends and family- as well as the environment and having Eug and the midwives helping.
 ** This is in case you are wondering why Eug lost his shirt. Skin to skin contact to bring Eli's temp up.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 1 with Eli

Once again I'm really grateful to God for a healthy birth.

Mr Eli at 5am.
Two years ago I gave birth to Noah in Boston; while I was cared for by midwives I ultimately gave birth at Mt Auburn hospital- you can read about it here. It's fairly rare to give birth at home in Massachusetts, though one of our friends has done it twice.

Not having a point of comparison, I was pretty uncritical of the experience, but looking back it was mainly a test of pain endurance- lying down in a hospital bed to give birth with 6 people yelling at me to push was torture in comparison  to today's experience. Unmedicated birth is no walk in the park either way, but it doesn't need to be as terrifying and painful as it was that day- with alarms, monitoring and the like. The difference was less in the level of pain, but in the level of control: I didn't have to ask anyone when to push and when not to, worry about when I'd get my baby back, or whether I'd be forced to leave before lunch (or forced to stay, as the case may be). I also knew my bill beforehand this time around.

Anyway, so that's my plug for giving birth at home (with backup), for uncomplicated pregnancies.

This isn't turning into a very fun read, sorry! The short version: birth was painful but wonderful (I never thought I'd say such a thing). My midwife, and the midwife who came to assist, were amazing- I feel hugely blessed to have had them assist. If I think of better insights, maybe I'll try to write again?

Day 1 with Eli (Too much information included below):

  • I'm able to walk- thank you God. No stitches, after a million the first time.
  • I'm peeing in the bathtub, because making it up and down the stairs is still a little too much. I have to be extra quick crouching down, because there's a window in an unfortunate place and our street is pretty busy. The first day after giving birth is not super fun, but then it doesn't need to be.
  • Second time around breastfeeding is a lot easier. Less self doubt. Maybe that's like a lot of things in life?
  • Eli fell asleep during his first poop. Apparently I am crazy enough to catch his first poop in the potty- he was simultaneously enraged at the feeling of pooping and tired out by it. Second poop, size of a tiny grape, same thing. Life is hard when you're new to it.
  • He's been awake for pretty large segments of the day, so I'm hoping that means he'll sleep tonight.
  • Noah is super, super excited. He is pretty convinced he is personally responsible for Eli. 
  • We're so grateful for everyone's love and support. We don't feel responsible for any of it. 
Photos to follow!

With love.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Adventures and Celebrations

Moving swiftly on from the subject of free love and communes, here's a bunch of photos.

We have a lot to celebrate: Eug finished laying the concrete, I felt excited enough to do a little on my dissertation, Tiny Blob turned, we paid our U.S. taxes (our lives are a little geographically complicated), and today I was finally able to transfer our car into our name without going into labour in the long queue. Up to now, we didn't officially own the car and the whole thing felt a little tenuous.

We've also been fighting colds this week, so almost every meal has included squeezing orange juice and somehow consuming cloves and cloves of garlic. Noah only seemed sick for about a day, I'm a little sick, and Eug is holding out. We very seldom get sick so I'm grateful this time around seems mild.

Tonight's meal, in celebration of all the great blessings, was sausage, garlic naan, and orange juice. Something in between eating out and not cooking.

This week's spinach started out bigger than Noah...
Noah is back in our bed. He thinks it's awesome here. We're not sure.

Eug fitted an old macro lens on the camera today, and the manual focus meant I could take a better-than-usual photo of the view from our bedroom. This is Devil's Peak and Table Mountain: I can never quite get over the fact that we're in a super-urban environment, yet we get to look out at this every day.

Noah sometimes baths in a bucket several times a day, if we're home. 
Unsure of a better Friday adventure, we went to our old haunt: the aquarium.

It was good to return home. Noah and I haven't been home much the last couple of weeks, mainly because the house is very messy and chaotic at the moment, and if Eug is working on laying concrete, I usually can't keep Noah away from the action. It's been really good to stay home and let Noah play again, despite the chaos.
And sourdough garlic naan: Great comfort food if you're fighting illness. I've been learning how to make them most efficiently, with least cleanup. Shaping them with my hands on the stovetop, before they go into the pan, has worked well. I love that our stove has a glass top.
And the rest of our dinner:

We're very grateful for days like today.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hippies and Communal Life

I've been in communal environments during two key periods of my life: from 16-18, and (more or less) from 18-24.5. As I inch closer to my thirties, grounded by family, I find myself simultaneously drawn to, and terrified by communal life. It can go so wrong or so right.

My age 16-18 experiences were beautiful, partially because they were so fleeting. There was total freedom.

The second experience was in a communal church where Eug and I married. Perhaps surprisingly, I loved sharing physical possessions and living communally. The problem was that the second time around, community was not just sharing possessions: there was this accompanying confusing sense that you didn't quite know which way was up anymore. Kindness sometimes felt like abuse, love sometimes felt like domination, and so on. The community was much more important than family, which was disastrous for our new marriage. The experience left me confused and I spent several years healing afterwards.

Now, I wonder how we navigate the "Acts church" idea of sharing everything and having everything in common, without forcing communist conformity. One way seems to be learning to open our home, which we hope to do gradually as we live in Cape Town. I'm hoping that in doing this, we feel the safety of having our space while gradually edging out of our comfort zone.

The second seems to be related to having core truths that we're willing to stand by, and being willing to think rather than follow (recognizing that we learn huge amounts from relationship). A hippie-nomad-Jesus following-unschooling-blogger I've been following the last couple of months wrote- quite gently and forgivingly- about her husband "seeking passion with someone else". I innocently thought maybe he was thinking of traveling somewhere cool with his guy friends for a few months, but my friend set me straight.

I had memories from my second idealistic-community experience rush back. I wasn't quite sure which way was up, and felt super uncomfortable. Was the blogger trying to be ok with this, and using Jesus as the reason? Should I be? (I'm not) We're in different places, and I'd found myself (briefly) jumping on a stranger's bandwagon rather than thinking for myself.

Perhaps in community there's a lot to be gained in the doing: hosting, spending time, sharing cash when it's not coerced. Perhaps in the abstract- in saying how the world should be or how others should live- we have to be careful.

As I get more secure in my own thoughts, I am less fearful of community. If what I'm against is consumerism, life in a cubical, and so on, then what I'm for has to exist and has to be better. And community, with careful and gentle boundaries, seems essential to the good life.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Making Gnocchi from scratch

Here's a repost of a post from 2008, because I really want to put a post up but I also really want to figure some work stuff, and I want you to try making gnocchi, because it's pretty fun (don't let the pictures put you off, and don't use whole wheat flour like I did here):

Here's a link to tell you a little about Gnocchi. Here I learned that gnocchi were traditionally eaten in Latin America on the 29th of each month, when people were poorest, because it is a cheap but hearty meal. Perhaps that's why this recipe fits in this blog-- it's a cheap, simple, and good way to use up extra potatoes because gnocchi freeze extremely well (though you should not refrigerate them for more than an afternoon.)

But I associate gnocchi with Italy, with summers in a small town near Venice, with my high school roommates Anna and Lia and her extended family, by the river. We were surrounded by the huge garden sculptures created by her uncle and had the time to spend the day on making gnocchi. Those times contain so many good memories. Over the years, I've tried to make gnocchi with various friends in various places, specifically because they are time consuming they are also an opportunity to talk and enjoy friends' company.

At their best they're light and beautiful, and boil very quickly. You may also try stir-frying them with some tomato sauce (which is probably not traditional so you shouldn't publicize it too much) Although most commonly created out of potato, flour and an optional egg, you can also use ricotta cheese or even spinach. The ideal sauce would be a pesto or simple tomato-basil sauce. Keep it simple and wholesome.

Here are some pictures of the process, most recently performed last week with the unsuspecting Christine, my favourite American roommate of all time (my only American roommate-- we were roommates our first year at Wellesley, where I was privileged to spend a year with such an awesome woman before she transferred to another W school in Chicago).

Step 1: Prepare the Potatoes

The first thing you need to do is boil your potatoes with a little salt. Here are a lot of potatoes, you don't need nearly as many if you're just making gnocchi for one meal (2 would suffice). Some recipes suggest russet potatoes, or any drier potatoes. I used these potatoes because they were locally grown and in a cheap large bag. You leave the skins on while boiling so that excess water doesn't have the chance to get in. The drier the potato, the lighter the gnocchi.

After boiling and leaving to cool, peel the potatoes.

Step 2: Prepare the Dough

Next, crush or mash the potatoes. You want the mixture to be as smooth as possible but you don't want to add anything to help the process. You can add an egg per 3-5 potatoes though it's not essential. The egg helps to meld the dough together, so if you're making gnocchi for the first time, it may be a good idea.

Then, add flour. Above is a picture of dough made with white flour, below dough is made with wheat flour. The good thing about wheat flour is that it has some good proteins. You add flour gradually until you have about a one potato-to-one cup flour ratio, until the dough feels a bit like bread dough, although heavier. See below to get a sense. Try to squash as many of the bits of potato as possible, to make a consistent smooth dough. Knead the dough as you would bread dough, taking flour from the outside and folding the dough into the center. Once you're satisfied, onto the next step!

Take pieces of dough and role out into little worms.

Cut into 1.5cm segments as shown in the picture above.

Step 3: Make the Gnocchi

Making the gnocchi is the fun part. Place your thumb in the center of the gnocchi and flip off the fork, so that the gnocchi curves inwards and there is an indentation on one side and fork marks on the other. Don't worry too much about making this perfect. Look at pictures online to get a sense of what to aim for, but ultimately this is about increasing the surface area for boiling, not creating the perfect shape.

As you can see, these whole wheat gnocchi are far from perfect!

Step 4: Boil or Store

Finally, to boil a portion of gnocchi place in salted vigorously boiling water. They cook very quickly. You know they're done when they float-- even if this is after a very short amount of time. Make sure they're not stuck on the bottom, ok? Serve with butter, basil pesto, meat sauce, or tomato-basil sauce. I love gnocchi with creamy pesto.

If you made more than you and your family and friends can eat then and there, place in portion-size bags and freeze immediately.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Natural Body Care- On not buying Shampoo, Facewash, Moisturizer and Conditioner

I was at the mall a few days ago (!) when one of those makeup salespeople--think male European model--asked if I wore makeup. When I said no, he said "why not?" I wish I'd had a witty response (Do YOU wear makeup? Because I'm THIS beautiful without it?!) but I think I mumbled something about Noah needing to pee (again).

The reality is, I'm so far from wearing makeup I'm in another universe. I'm in the universe where water is good enough. And I like this universe.

Over the past year or so, I've stopped buying almost all beauty, body care, and cleaning products. Together, these changes add up to a lot in our household- both in what we need and in the chemicals in our home. That said, my clothing and house is not super clean, so I've also learned not to be too much of a perfectionist.

The exception is if I receive gifts of shower gel or moisturizer or soap- I consider those a blessing so I usually use them. I also use Sunlight dishwashing soap, regular toothpaste and floss.

So here's what we use:

  • For washing my hair, I use about 1tbsp of bicarb in a cup of water, every 4 days or so. It's become less and less frequent over the past 18 months that I haven't been using shampoo. Eug uses bar soap.
  • For washing my face, I use a mixture of castor oil and olive oil.
  • Although the oil gets steamed off, I don't have to use moisturizer because the face wash cleans and nourishes.
  • For super treats for my hair and skin, I use the occasional older avocado.
  • For exfoliation every week or two (or month or two, when I remember), I use a little nutmeg in a little milk.
  • For body moisturizer, I use almond or apricot oil.
  • For deodorant, I use bicarb.
  • We use bar soap for washing, and Noah doesn't get washed with soap unless something he becomes extraordinarily dirty (like, once every 3 months). Water works- even for things like finger paints.

There's plenty of ways chemicals still get into our house- paint, paint cleaner, anything new we do buy (in the form of linens or foam etc. So I'm not trying to earn frugal-sustainability points here.

I guess my main testimony here is that it's incredibly freeing it is not to have to think about many products. We don't have to buy them, store them, or worry about them. For most cleaning products, I've found that the benefits just don't outweigh the risks and waste and wasted attention. There are times of exception, and I love the nice smells of commercially produced stuff. Yet it's so much easier to know the one or two companies that produce vinegar or bicarbonate of soda or oil, than the multitude of companies that produce unnecessary products with unpronounceable factory-produced ingredients.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Noah and his Granadilla (Passion Fruit)

The latest fruit discovery for Noah has been granadilla (passion fruit). It's actually an invasive species in Durban, and growing up the granadilla was so plentiful in our garden that it literally fell from the sky (the vines would climb different trees and fences). Now, we are growing 3 plants outside, but I'm not sure how well they'll do in Cape Town, which has less of a tropical climate. We went one week without as much produce, because I hadn't gotten to Fruit and Veg City, and I noticed a difference in Noah's behavior- he was both hyperactive and moody. A couple of days of eating really well again, and he's back to his usual self.

The abundance of affordable fruit is one of our most tangible blessings here in Cape Town.  Good food and time, who could ask for more?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Home-Made Yoghurt Here in Cape Town

Looks so much better in a jar.
As longtime readers know, I used to make my yoghurt in a slow cooker. Making yoghurt is very easy, and it's a good way to save a little money while producing something tasty and wholesome. A couple of things make it more difficult here in Cape Town.
  1. We don't have a slow cooker.
  2. I haven't been able to find milk in glass jars, or really, good milk in general. One major incentive for homemade yoghurt is no waste and high quality yoghurt, but in this case, I have to throw away the milk sachets and I'm not sure of the quality of the milk.
  3. I wasn't super sure of the yoghurt starter options, either. Most had stabilizers, etc.
  4. We have been consuming much less dairy than we did in the U.S. (primarily because fresh fruit is so affordable here), so I've been unsure of how much milk/yoghurt to buy. 

There are many great tutorials for stove-top yoghurt making online, so I won't reproduce one here. I'll just let you know why I decided to make yoghurt, given the issues above:
  1. Stovetop yoghurt turned out to be very easy to make- just as easy as slow cooker yoghurt.
  2. I'll keep looking and asking for milk in jars (maybe even raw milk, one day!) but in the meantime, the amount of plastic used in a sachet is much less than a yoghurt container. I'm also just buying the same amount of milk every week (about 2 liters), but turning one liter into yoghurt. The yoghurt I make has only 2 ingredients, milk and a little yoghurt starter, so I think the quality is automatically better than most store-bought yoghurts. Fruit and Veg City actually doesn't sell full-cream plain yoghurt, so I'd have to make an extra stop during the week to get store-bought yoghurt.
  3. Finding myself trapped in Woolworths (which for some reason I find terrifying), I bought their plain yoghurt and felt like it was a great starter option. From now on, I just use a little of the previous week's yoghurt.
  4. Not sure how to deal with low consumption, except by knowing that the yoghurt is there and should be used. Yoghurt is healthier than just drinking milk, and we've been enjoying ours. 

  • The yoghurt has a gentle honey flavor because I put a little honey in the pot before heating the milk, ostensibly to prevent the milk from scalding. 
  • The cost of 1L of yoghurt is about R6, vs. R20 for the same amount of store-bought yoghurt. R14: enough for a drink of some kind!

Curtains are up. Made by hand, while watching movies, I think.

Other curtain, made of sacking material. It hangs straight down to cover the fridge and a shelf that I am still going to varnish. There's a glimpse of Eug's beer making equipment here. Encouragement for you to visit. Encouragement for me to hurry up and give birth so I can drink (a tiny, tiny amount of) alcohol again (sorry Tiny blob).
I am most excited about stealing bits of other people's plants and trying to grow them. I know this isn't really how you reproduce lavender (you're supposed to root in "rooting mixture") but I thought I'd give them a couple days in the kitchen first.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Life on the Wild Side

I'm sortof joking because we're not terribly wild characters, but I think our lives are nevertheless wild and full of adventures. Here's what's been happening the last couple of days:
Noah believes that if he can't see us, we can't see him. This is him playing hide and seek in his Pooh Gown. 
He Reveals his whereabouts. Who would have known?
Strawberry plants from my dad. I put them in self-watering soda bottles, and I'll hang them next to the others. I'm fairly obsessed with self-watering soda bottles at the moment: you can pick up bottles on the street, they are quite protected against pests, and it's almost infinitely scalable in a country with burglar guards. My resolve only strengthened when this week, an unknown creature dug up all my swisschard, which has been growing in tires. My gardening goal is now to have small-medium plants in self-watering containers, medium-large plants and fruit bearing shrubs in tires or stacked tires, and decorative plants (herbs like lavender) in concrete pots that we started making when there was occasionally concrete left over at the end of a day's work on the bathroom. I like the idea of container gardening using patterns to create a beautiful space- especially in our front area, since our street can be a somewhat depressing place without any signs of green life.
We've been investing in a collection of metal buckets. Noah has found one is big enough to bath in, or clean his bum in, in this case.  

And the bathroom update:

This is the shower before waterproofing etc. The pipes are all complete and plywood boards (waterproofed on the other side already) are Eug's choice for creating a flat surface for the tiles. Eug laid cement and installed the drain. We're going for a simple wet bathroom, so the floor needs to slope slightly towards the drain. 
You can see the stair boards above the shower. A lot of choices around fixing up such an old house revolve around the best ways to waterproof. 
Part of the floor has cement already. Eug installed new pipes behind the toilet and again, included a plywood board to create a space between the brick and the tiles. 
These are the floor tiles and associated gear. They're rust-colored stone tiles
These are the wall tiles, currently in our living room. They're really big. Unfortunately cement needs about 28 days to dry properly, so it'll be a while before tiling. Another thing that's new to us is that we can't leave Noah's car seat in our car when we're parked on the street. It's a minor inconvenience, but the car seat is always in our living room. We have to think of some kind of easy storage plan. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Facebook Fast and Introductions

I was off Facebook for Lent- though I went on a few times to check messages- and it was a quiet, understated experience. The biggest challenge for me was watching my Concrete Gardener stats go down, as many of my readers come over from Facebook. I realized how much I like knowing people are reading- maybe I like it too much. So I worked through that a little bit. I also had prayers answered in surprising ways during the Lenten time, which increased my faith.

It also made me think about community, and whether there's a way to generate more opportunities to talk: There's no pressure if you're a lurker, but I wanted everyone to have an opportunity to introduce themselves, for no reason but to create community. Many readers are connected somehow, or you could be!

I'm not trying to create an "in" community and "out of" community here, so don't feel you have to wash your hair with bicarb or make your infant pee in a yoghurt container from birth- I suspect only a few readers do, the rest just appreciate the crazy.

Some things you could include in your comment:
- Where you are in the world.
- What you're doing (however you define that).
- Anything you're excited about trying out this month or year.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fail Fast

Our pastor at the Vineyard in Boston sometimes shared the phrase, "Try fast, Fail fast, Try Again Fast". I'm not sure who to attribute it to, but I think it applies to our lives at the moment.

And it's good. Eug is failing with the bathroom a lot, and I'm amazed by all the progress he's making despite the pain and the mess. He's my hero. The bad news is that the concrete needs 28 days to set before he can tile. The good news is, he's very close to laying the concrete. The other good news is that we have tiles. The other other good news is that, barring tragedy, we will have a baby long before we have a bathroom (he is allowed to be born at home from today). But the take home message here is that my husband is a very gifted and persistent man- which is something many of you know already.

I'm also in the strange space of being grateful that my PhD proposal went abysmally. I am very seldom called on to show real character, and when I do have to, I often make the wrong decision- the one that is superficially "correct" or expected. This time, when faced with weeks of intense work improving the proposal before the birth of Tiny blob (who may arrive early-ish, I feel it in my bones, like every other woman), I just decided to just not  do it right now- or to do it very gradually. I feel quite free, despite having other work.

Postponing my rewrite/revisions went against my personality- my personality keeps every deadline and fulfills every expectation- but it really helped me develop character. The decision wasn't about what would be appropriate or look good for my career, it was about what I would feel good about in twenty years time.  I like the idea of failing fast, and trying again and again, until we make progress. I would like my final dissertation to be something I can "defend" proudly.

For those of you who are jealous that we are no longer washing diapers, there's a dark side: Noah's new obsession with public bathrooms. Today, we were at one of the most beautiful places in the world (pictures from a previous trip there) with my sister-in-law and nephew, and where did Noah and I spend half our time? Yes. The bathroom. Wherever we go, we find ourselves in the public bathroom, where Noah purposely just pees a little so that he can go through the ritual of flushing the toilet, washing his hands, and leaving the bathroom, only to ask to go back. Oh well.

If only I was in the bathroom...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Embracing Infant Safety Research Without Fear

There are a lot of things we're told as expectant mothers, and unless we're all reading the studies ourselves, it can be very, very hard to parse out what to embrace as serious guidance and what to consider "optional". I'm not a professional on this stuff, but I wanted to speak to how I navigate some of these choices.

Here's just a few safety recommendations: Babies should always be put on their backs to sleep. Cribs are not supposed to have drop sides, and slats have to be the perfect distance apart (these are fairly recent). Mobiles need to be far away, or not present at all. Never have a crib near a window. Mattresses should be very firm, and there shouldn't be any blankets or bumpers in the crib before 12 months of age (though your baby can be swaddled as a newborn). Breast pumps, crib mattresses, and car seats are all supposed to be bought new. The car seat needs to be rear facing, in the middle of the back seat, until our babies turn 2. There may be dodgy substances emitted by your new crib mattress, which could also be dangerous. The American Academy of Pediatrics is also against Water births (which has basis in water birth never having been subject to a randomized control trial) and ambivalent about Home births (which only has basis in the U.S. urban context, at most). They're also ambivalent about cosleeping.

I want to embrace good research (to the extent it's available) without embracing the overall regulation that often accompanies it. SIDs deaths are real and babies are vulnerable little creatures. 

Yet the underlying reasons that cribs seem to be recalled and blankets, bumpers and windows are such a problem seems related to social and cultural issues: sleeping far from our babies so that we don't notice distress (though I know we all need to leave our sleeping babies sometimes, and agree with the research that says they should be on their backs, far away from anything that could harm them). The pressure to buy items new seems related to social trust: did a user of the breast pump have Hepatitis? Was the car seat in an accident? Has the mattress been exposed to environmental toxins? The underlying fear of home births seems based in a strong interest to have a million backup plans (many technology-based) in the event something will go wrong.

I say "no!" to being motivated by these social pressures and fears, and also the sense that we can control all outcomes. At the same time, I say "yes!" to being as safe as we can be. We have a hospital five minutes away in case of emergency. I will take every precaution to keep my baby safe and healthy- at night, he'll sleep right next to me on very firm foam, without things that may suffocate him. I kept Noah in a rear facing car seat as long as I could handle it.

But in this, and all things, I acknowledge that there are many things we don't control. Rather than buying stuff to quell my fears, as I'm told to by various safety agencies, I want to accept that parenting involves fears and mistakes and losing control again and again.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Tokai Market and Happy Easter

Our wonderful neighbor introduced us to Tokai Market, which happens every Saturday. We're never quite in our element when encountering gourmet food, but it's a wonderful place to meet friends and share a meal outdoors. There is raw honey and quite a bit of good produce.

A large sand area for Noah to enjoy...

Pancakes, SA style

For some reason Noah wanted to be fed? Or maybe we were just afraid he'd eat all three pancakes.

Eug has been growing a beard. He looks good. obviously.

I wish I could video record Noah pooping. He is in love with our new toilet, and will stay on it for 30 minutes if we let him, making socially inappropriate noises.

Celebrating Good Friday together. I made Sourdough Naan with mushrooms and caramelized onions (and some corn), because it's a meal that takes a little longer than others to prepare and so it made the food feel sacred. It's the end of the day, --usually Noah seems to gradually lose his clothes so we're lucky if he has clothes by dinner.

Happy Easter! May this time be experienced as sacred/set aside.