Wednesday, July 28, 2010

a post-it to my house

dear messy house,

the motivational system in my brain is not functional. it's been a long day, and i just want to sit. so that is exactly what i am going to do.

xo, susannah

*note: full disclosure-these dishes are actually from a super fun blogdate i had with bloggers & friends erin and holly (plus holly's husband ryan). silly me, that night somehow i neglected to take any pictures except for the aftermath of hours of eating good food and lots of great conversations. i have way fewer dishes tonight, but nonetheless, the kitchen could use a little cleaning.

let the games begin, or at least the cooking

pre-march or so, matt and i used to cook a lot. but...we've been in a hiatus of sorts.

the house-buying adventure began, which led to not much cooking and lots of packing. buying lead to moving and unpacking. and then a couple of weeks later, ruby was born, which lead to not fully unpacked and not yet a chance to cook. i mean, we cooked here and there, and threw things together, but that was the extent of it.

last sunday we planned to have some old high school friends of matt's over for dinner...and we decided to cook! on saturday we went shopping, figured out our menu, started to prep, and then matt checked his email and our little soiree was off! rainchecked for another time due to sickness. we had all of this food, and it was all fresh and wouldn't keep for another time, so we cooked anyway, and a few last minute replacements joined us for some delicious food and wonderful company. i love last minute get togethers!

i made this onion tart, which is one of my staples, and a fav. so so good.
you can find the recipe here when i blogged last summer about its deliciousness. do yourself a favor and make it sometime.
we had lots of pre-game food...including one of my favorite cheeses-saint andre triple creme, and some olive bread matt picked up
a delicious squash terrine that matt makes. the first time i had it, i admit i was dubious...but it is so so good. i'll try to find the recipe and post it on here. i promise, it's another go to recipe- especially in the summer, when squash runs rampant in gardens.
we sipped wine while we appetized and waited on the main course
which was fried chicken! the recipe is from thomas keller, and is in his ad hoc cookbook. we went to ad hoc last summer on our food-stay-cation, but alas, this wasn't on the menu that night. you can find the recipe here if you want to try it yourself! here, the 2 chickens that matt cut up. this is so his job and not one i will even pretend to take on.
working away at his fried chicken station
precision frying...
the final, amazing, worth the wait product!
i made some creamed corn out of the same ad hoc cookbook to accompany the chicken, as well as some barley salad with ricotta salata (not pictured.) this creamed corn recipe is pretty straightforward and simple, and won't make you want to tear your hair out, like other thomas keller recipes that take 57 steps and 38 sub-recipes to make a final product. you can find the creamed corn recipe here. yum yum yum.
we drank some more wine, because that chicken took a while!
and for dessert? a refreshing grapefruit granita i made from fresh grapefruits. so easy, so perfect on a summer night, especially after fried food. we added a bit of campari to add color and a little hint of bitterness. so addictive- i finished it off later in the week!
the best part of our impromptu dinner party? our kind guests washed all of the dishes. that is usually the bad aftertaste in my mouth after a lovely dinner party, but this time around i woke up to a sparkling clean kitchen and lots of good leftovers.

it's nice to be cooking again...
(although the two kids does throw a wrench in how quickly we can whip meals up)
wanna come over?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

lastest hits

m is currently into a few things...
like towers (exhibit a-the crackers+cheese version)
prancing around in my shoes-especially the high ones
more towers (exhibit b-the blocks version)
ponytails and clips
taking care of her babies
oh, and taking care of baby ruby of course, which entails a lot of gazing lovingly and holding for about 13 seconds

and more towers (exhibit c-the wooden city version)
and really, most of all, she is into slaying my heart with her cuteness.
i swear lately she is so funny and silly and creative and delightful.
(except for those nasty temper tantrum whine fests she also has in her arsenal, but i prefer to think that is just her learning how to communicate, although it exhausts me, all of the drama. matt would say that that is quite fitting, since i tend to have a teensy amount of drama buried really deep down inside.)


you know, it was just one of those days where things don't go according to plan.
so many things i'd like to write about, but a few other things to do first. like try to bring some semblance of order to a single room in my house.

Monday, July 26, 2010

memory lane

have you ever stumbled upon a bunch of old photos or letters and suddenly you are rewinding time back to another place and season? i've been trying to update our hard drive in case my laptop crashes, among other reasons, and i opened up some old photo folders while the hard drive was connected to my computer.

it was pretty surreal to reverse in time: before ruby, or monrovia, back to the days when my dad was still in our life, pre-graduate school, a few less wrinkles...

so suddenly i was thrust back into memories that had faded a bit as i looked at old photos

this afternoon i have been reliving weddings... (here we were at courtney and chetan's)
old paintings
adventures in new jersey when we lived there for a few months in the garden part of the garden state, at my aunt fern emma and uncle arthur's house
where we used to go for long walks through the woods
or sit on their deck and enjoy the snow covered backyard
or play in the snow
or when we drove across the country and went to graceland
and stopped at beautiful places along our route west
walks with friends-these little babies are now going into kindergarten!
fun vacations in tahoe before any of us had kids
parties in our front yard way back when we lived in pasadena in 2003...back when matt wore baggy pants!
my mom's garden birthday tea in 2005
and the days of being a bridesmaid (in 100 degree heat-i swear. sweat was dripping down our backs and legs as we took this photo)

time in the hospital when adriane was fighting leukemia (she just celebrated 5 years healed of cancer!)
...and hundreds more pictures that reminds me of how quickly seasons come and go- the good ones and the bad ones. it saddens me to know that my dad and my sister-in-law, who are all over these photos i have, are no longer a part of our family. but then i think of new members of our family- my niece sadie, my daughters, my sister-in-law to be sarah. these moments are buried in us and shape us, and hopefully make us richer human beings. it was a glimpse to me of people and places that i love. it made me want to soak up today a little more intentionally.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

hit the spot

i love being a mom.
i love being a mom of two.
but i am also trying to sort out what it means to be a mom
and also continue to be all of those other parts of myself that make me susannah.and then this morning, i got an email that ended with these words.
just what i needed to hear,
just a little reminder:
"I hope that "artist" and "friend" both pop into mind
when you are thinking about who you are..."

i hope so too.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

deaf moments

part a:i knew this moment would come, but i thought it would be when m was a little older for some reason.

a few weeks ago m and i were sitting on the couch hanging out, and she was staring at my ears intently. finally she said, "mommy, why no put on ears? roro put on ears." matt and i knew that at some point she would ask why she wears implants and not everyone else does. after all, she has a set of toy cochlear implants that came with a stuffed animal when she got her implants, and she often plays with them by trying to put them on me. they look identical in scale and color to hers, so they look like the real thing. she notices when people have hearing aids. she'll point behind our ears sometimes, but when she actually asked me why she had them and i didn't, it took me off guard.

i've used the word deaf with her, and explained that she is deaf, and that's why when her ears are off she doesn't hear, but i don't think she totally understands it yet. i think she assumes we all stop heraing once we take baths or showers, or when we take naps or go to bed. i think she thinks it is normal to attach a device to one's head with wig tape, and to lose sound every so often when the implants coil falls off.

so i began a conversation that will last a very long time-throughout our lives i imagine, about what it means to be deaf, and to have implants, why she has them and we don't. it was short, and i tried to use words she would understand. for now i said her implants were special ears that helped her listen and speak, and that when she was born her ears couldn't hear, but when mommy and daddy were born our ears could hear, so we didn't have special ears. moments later she moved on to playing, and that was it.

then the other day i was changing ruby's diaper. m was laying on the bed next to her, snuggling up to her sister as she likes to do. m pointed at her head and said, "mommy, ruby no have special ears. roro, special ears."

so i guess she remembered at least a snippet of what i said.

part b:
this is how you know you have a deaf child with implants-

multiple times when i have been holding ruby i check her head to make sure her implant coils haven't fallen off. then i remember-oh wait. she doesn't have implants.

it's funny what becomes normal. every time ruby startles to a sound it startles me. i often forget that she can hear at this age. it became so normal to us that m couldn't hear (even with her hearing aids) until she had her implants that whenever ruby responds to sound it kind of surprises me.

Monday, July 19, 2010

our family just kicked it up a notch

{some of my fam: sister rebecca, me, sister-to-be sarah, brother aaron, matt, & my mom.
missing here, my brother jonathan & bro-through-marriage mark plus our kidlets}

in family news,
my youngest brother aaron made a brilliant move and
proposed to his beautiful, funny, gifted, and kind girlfriend, sarah.
she made an equally brilliant move and said yes.

it's an easy equation: awesome + awesome = super awesome.

love these two, and can't wait to have a lifetime of sarah and aaron together!
this is a really good thing.
so happy for and with them.
also, ruby marks two months of joining our family outside of the womb.
right about now i was chilling in my hospital bed, fending off the world's most tragic and frustrating student nurse and snuggling up our sweet baby number two!
i love having two little ones, even though the learning curve is steep...
two months in, and she is as sweet and lovely as can be.
i can't imagine our family without you, ruby.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

red velvet cup-awesome-cakes

have you ever had red velvet cake?it's matt's fav.
last week, our friend linda came over and
schooled us in her wicked red velvet cupcake making ways, a la a paula deen recipe.
i decided the cupcake version is even better- a higher frosting to cake ratio.
yummy + pretty- what more could you ask for?
our cute taste tester.
despite her ear infections she seemed to be able to lick the spoon.
m gives the batter a thumbs up

i can't lie- maybe we sampled the frosting too.
linda bears with our hot kitchen and frosts up the cupcakes
{love the raspberries!}

{sprinkles aren't bad either, and are in honor of little m}
hard working bakers, post frost fest
note m's matching cupcake shirt.
don't get that impressed-
i'm not usually that awesome as a mom.
some days you just luck out!