Showing posts from June, 2008

Recipe Round II

Since many of you seem to like seeing recipes on this blog, I'll try and post one every weekend. It gets me out of the "obsessed with my kid" mode that is the basis for this blog. The concession, however, is that all the recipes I will include will be for things Vivi loves. Now, hopefully, you and your family will too! This recipe is for Watermelon Salsa which I first had while visiting my husband's friends in Vermont. I don't know if it was the salsa itself or eating it on their little farm on one of those beautiful Vermont summer evenings that made it so perfect! It still tastes good here in L'il Rhody though. WATERMELON SALSA 3 cups chopped seedless watermelon 1/3 cup chopped red onion 2 medium garlic cloves, crushed small handful of chopped fresh cilantro 1/2 teaspoon salt juice from one lime Put chopped watermelon into a colander and allow juice to drain for 20-30 minutes. Afterwards, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well and serve.

Summer Treats

Vivi and I spent the morning sweating it out at our local farm . Oh, how I love this place! It is prime strawberry season around these parts so we took full advantage of the opportunity to pick our own. We came home with over five pounds of strawberries (not counting the two or so pounds we consumed while out in the field.) I can't wait to turn them into various summer treats. There is something about going to this farm with Vivi that makes me feel so in love with my life. The joy of seeing her run wild in the dirt and my not caring that she ends up totally filthy. The taste of a perfectly ripe berry grown a few miles from our house when everything surrounding us seems to have been subdivided decades ago. The ability to show Vivi where our food comes from-- that it is so much more than mommy going to the store and forking over some money. The fact that on a random Friday I am able to do something really neat with our child because my husband is willing to be the sole wage earner. I

Potty Mouth

At the ripe old age of 26 months, Vivi has developed a deep interest in her body and a penchant for poop jokes. We were in the store the other day when the following conversation occured: Old lady: Hi cutie, what is your name? Vivi: Poop. Me: No really. Tell her your name. Vivi: I name is Pee. Me: Her name is Aviva. Vivi, can you tell her your middle name? Vivi: Toot. Vivi, of course, thought this whole exchange was hysterical while I just cringed with embarrassment. Yesterday, I was down on my hands and knees cleaning up a potty training accident. Instead of getting a rag like she usually does, Vivi put her hand down the back of my pants and yelled, "Mama's tushie crack! Mama's tushie crack!" And just today, she felt the need to point out a woman in Target who was bending over. Even though there was no skin in sight, Vivi loudly announced, "I see dat womin's butt crack." Now I am pretty sure that I have never used the term "tushie crack&


We have a little late afternoon routine in our family. Around 4:30, I let Vivi outside into our backyard to blow bubbles. She LOVES bubbles and it generally keeps her occupied for a while so I can start preparing dinner. This afternoon, I realized that things had gotten VERY quiet. Never a good sign... When I went out to check on her, I saw her little feet sticking out of the stroller. She had climbed in, buckled up, and fallen asleep. This is how I found her: The thumb and belly button combination works like a charm!

Bad Ideas

I have had a few bad ideas lately. Of course, they seem like good ideas at the time but somehow during the implementation phase of my idea something goes wrong. For me, it almost always involves Vivi melting down because I try to do one more errand, make one more call, or start one more project when she really needs my attention. Doesn't this point to the universal question all parents grapple with: How do I respect and honor the needs of my child and still get something done? Well, my bad ideas reached a whole new level of insanity this past weekend when I got it into my head that it was time to paint our kitchen. To put this project into perspective, I should tell you when I moved into this house three years ago, my husband already had been living here for 13 years without making any obvious changes to how the previous owners had left it. Like a dog marking her territory, I quickly got to work stripping wallpaper, painting, mixing and replacing furniture, and making this place


Vivi loves snacks. I mean she REALLY loves snacks, especially if they belong to other people. When we arrived at a birthday party for Vivi's friend Will last week, she was a bit timid about going inside. When Will's mom Karen said, "Vivi, we have snacks!" we were up those porch steps faster than you can say "cupcake." The thing is that Vivi will eat, eat, and eat. A bowl of salad, she'll try it. Oh, you happen to have a corndog , can she have a bite? Moussaka? Bring it on. It is not uncommon for her to have a banana, some Goldfish crackers, toast with peanut butter, and a strawberry smoothie in one sitting. When she grabs her purse and heads to the door, she tells me that she is going to "Ho Foods. Gonna buy rice and beans." Now don't get me wrong, I am so relieved that she has a healthy appetite and is an active, happy child. Sometimes, however, I feel like the parent who never quite has it together. I don't know how many times we&#

Pottying for a Purpose

Vivi has entered the realm of potty-training and it is an exciting time in our house. I am SOOOO over diapers and luckily, she's starting to feel that way too. I've tried to do my part for the environment by using cloth diapers and letting her go " nakey " whenever it seemed like there was little danger to our rugs or couch or beds. (See previous posts about how well THAT has worked!) Lately, however, I've found myself in a bit of an environmental quandary. With Vivi peeing as much as four times an hour on her potty, what do I do with all that urine? I know that right now the words "just flush it" are running through your head and generally that's what I've been doing. Every time I pull the handle though, I think about how much water I use to flush a little bit of pee. I've tried just collecting it in the grown-up toilet and flushing once an hour but I have to say that there are times when I forget and well, that's kinda gross. Thanks

Lost in Translation

Everyone knows I've got a thing for refugees. This isn't some sort of Angelina Jolie complex. In the late nineties , I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Turkmenistan where I met Afghans who had fled the Taliban, Russians who were trapped following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and other ethnicities just trying to make their way under one of the most oppressive regimes on Earth. (Turkmenistan or the Taliban? Good god that is a choice no person should ever have to make.) And, of course, there were times when I felt like a refugee myself. Everything was different in Central Asia and I frequently found myself torn between an overwhelming desire to return home and honoring the commitment I made when I joined the Peace Corps. Until Vivi's first birthday when I decided to stay home full-time, I spent my career working on behalf of refugees. Fast forward to a few months ago when my husband and I made the decision to hire a babysitter for a few hours each week, for the sake of my

Man vs. Squirrel

With the rising prices of everything these days and our recent completion of Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma , my husband and I have decided to do our best to eat locally this summer. While the notion of "living off the land" doesn't generally come to mind when I tell people we live in Providence, Rhode Island, we have always maintained a rather productive vegetable garden. Plus, the city itself has a healthy share of farmer's markets. Since we are vegetarians, we have no need to roam the wild countryside brandishing our weapons either. (That's best left to the mafia around these parts anyway...) As romantic as our eating adventure sounds, we are actually engaged in a rough and tumble turf war with the most devious, scheming, and shrewd opponents. No, it's not Cargill or even Whole Foods. Our enemies are far more insidious than they. (Well, maybe not more insidious than Cargill but I digress...) Our adversaries are the squirrels and our mut

Peeing or Dirty Shoes, which is worse?

Vivi likes to go "Boingas." This is her term for jumping on anything that has a little bounce to it and, not surprisingly, we seem to have a lot of those things in our house. While bouncing, she repeats "Boinga! Boinga! Boinga!" over and over. It is such a thrill for her to jump and a joy for us to see it that we have yet to curtail all the bouncing. Her favorite place to go Boingas is on our bed and we have just one rule- no shoes. We had just come in the house yesterday when Vivi headed upstairs. When I asked her where she was going, she said "Upstairs." Well duh, mom! For some reason, I didn't press it and since she generally yells when she needs something, I let her go and headed to the kitchen. About ten seconds later, she yelled "Going Boingas on mamadaddy bed!" Shit! I had a vision of muddy shoe prints all over the quilt covering our bed and flew upstairs. When I got to our room, she was sitting on the edge of the bed carefully holdi

Tube Babes?

Since our daughter was born, television has not been a part of her life. We've had no Baby Einstein, no Dora the Explorer, no Disney, and no Sesame Street. This wasn't so much an active choice in the beginning as it was an instinct that TV probably wasn't a good thing for her. It just didn't feel right to me. Vivi turned 2 in April and with her leap into toddlerhood , I've started to reassess some of our parenting choices. Many times adults have talked to my daughter about Elmo or pointed out Dora to her and I've had to explain that she doesn't know who they are. Are we turning her into some sort of social outcast by not letting her watch TV? Perhaps, but I'm okay with that right now. I've read two wonderful books: Buy, Buy Baby by Susan Gregory Thomas and Taking Back Childhood by Nancy Carlsson -Paige that have helped me feel better about our choice. They discuss the myriad reasons to turn off the tube for young children-- everything from how c

And they call this child-proof?

So I should have just done it. I've been thinking for weeks (months?) that I need to get rid of all of those heavy duty cleaning products that reside under our sink. After all, how can I use them to clean my house when they just pollute our environment? What I was not thinking, however, is that my two-year-old would figure out how to break my 100% guaranteed child-proof barrier. Well, she did and now I am cleaning with vinegar and baking soda like I intended to do all along. Oh, and I'm writing a letter to those child-proof gadget developers....