Elena was born 3/8/11 at 4:59am weighing 7 lbs 8 oz, 20" long.
She is now six months old (29 weeks today!). She has 4 teeth (as of yesterday). She can sit up, kneel while grabbing things, run around while holding onto someone. She took her first unassisted steps this past weekend and today she happily toddled off while I was folding laundry to play with her toys scattered on the floor in another room.
This afternoon Melissa and her family are coming over with chainsaws and other pruning tools to prune the apple trees at our house. Afterward, she is going to teach me her quickest most delicious chard dish and also how she roasted the most delicious potatoes I've ever had. I'm going to make pico de gallo (the costa rican version) and it should be a lot of fun! I *adore* being addressed by "Dushenka dear..." or "Darling..." I'm glad I came to Boston to meet these wonderful people!
Saturday 2/27 I have another play date with Sophia. Sophia is *also* terrific! w00t!
This past Monday, Andromeda came over for a bike ride and it was *so* nice!!! and the LLL meeting yesterday was filled with really wonderful people as well. I feel like I'm begining to be connected to this Boston area thing and it feel nice. :-)
Jack Canfield said at one point "If you look up stupid in the dictionary, it says doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Well, by that definition, we definitely aren't stupid...but I am experiencing dejavu.
Halloween, Andrew's first year of grad school, I invited him over to make dinner, pass out candy to trick or treaters and I was hoping this would lead to making out. That night was the first time we kissed, but there was no making out due, in part, to the house filling with billowing smoke as I had forgotten to open the flue.
Tonight it was chilly; we have a house with a nominally functional fireplace. We built a fire. Remembering our previous experience, we opened the flue. We looked on the internet about flues and tested it to make sure it was working like the internet suggested. All systems seemed to be a go. When we called the Chimeny Dr. here in Concord a few weeks ago, they said that they had cleaned it in May so unless an animal built a home, it should be good to go. They said if an animal blocked the chimeny, we would see evidence in the fireplace itself.
The room the fireplace is in is filled with smoke. There was no cuddling in front of a fire this weekend. And now we both smell like we've been camping! sigh. Tomorrow I call the Chimeny Dr. to come over and figure out what went wrong...
The moon is nearly full, there are clouds scudding across the sky. The wind is blowing leaves everywhere. There are carved pumpkins on our porch. Andrew and I dressed as Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Bonnie is a Princess - complete with elbow length white gloves. Amyas is a teenage vampire. Pictures are at http://picasaweb.google.com/dushenka.ani/Holidays2009#
One of the reasons we got this house is because the owners want to sell and we want to buy but right now they have it for rent and we want to rent so that we can make sure we like MA before buying. Another reason we got this house is that when we saw it for the first time Andrew said, "I could really see us having kids here." and I could too. When we lived in Menlo Park and were looking at houses, there was a street off of Valpariso that I wanted to live on. I didn't particularly like the location, but every house on the street was beautiful and I could see us living there. The house we got is on a street that looks like that street. I got my wish! I just didn't realized I needed to move to the East Coast to get it. Where we live now is less than a mile from Concord Town Center; there's a train that goes into Boston there; we're two miles from Debra's Natural Gourmet which has all kinds of yummy groceries; our neighbors are wonderfully friendly and we had a lot of fun meeting everyone at the block party Sat.
Andrew is so excited and so am I. We sign the lease this weekend. So we will be living in Concord until May 31, 2011 (at least). The house is on a quiet dead end street in Concord walking distance to the town center, less than a mile from the commuter rail station that goes into Boston and backs up to a creek. It's a 20,000 sq. ft. lot with the house at the front of the lot, apple trees, holly bushes, roses, peonies, lilies, vinca minor, evergreen trees, willows, a large vegetable patch... The owners said that if the vegetable patch isn't large enough to feel free to dig up the lawn. We're going to plant strawberries under all the pine trees and look into the native plants to restore the riparian habitat near the creek on the back half of the property.
The house itself has enough space for Andrew and I to have the master bedroom, a yoga room, an office, a guest bedroom and Bonnie and Amyas to have their own room. It has a two car garage a formal living and dining room as well as a kitchen large enough to be a kitchen and dining room and a family room with a functional fireplace that is has a screened in porch and a deck off of it. It has a beautifully finished walkout basement and ample storage throughout the house. One of my favorite features is a knob on the top floor that opens up the roof and turns on a pump to pump all the air out of the house. Also, in looking in all the nooks and crannies we poked our head up into the attic and looked into the space under the eaves and saw the insulation is nearly 2 ft. thick. She told us that when they lived there, her parents were very interested in saving money so the house has lots of insulation. They also created a space they call the party zone that is insulated acoustically from the rest of the house so that her brother could throw parties with all his friends and they wouldn't have to hear it. I love that all the doors are red on the outside and everything is just so cute! They chose the house because the road in front of the house is reminiscent of a gently meandering stream and the house is compact with lots of views of luscious landscaping from every room of the house. I took pictures but they don't do it justice and I discovered that I'd forgotten the cable to download pictures from the camera onto the computer in CA with our desktop so I may delete them if I need to and take new pictures once our stuff arrives and I'm able to actually share them. I woke up in the middle of the night because I couldn't breathe, but I feel like I can breathe more easily now, so I'm going to try going to bed again.
I'm happy to report that Staybridge in Burlington is equipped with a measuring cup and a mixing bowl. It also surprised me how little it took to make the place feel like home: our spices in the cabinet, vitamins in the fridge, our ring box by the bed, our notebook where we write each other love notes, my two orchids...
Things I meant to bring but didn't and wish I had: Baking Powder, face powder, comb and brush
Things I didn't think to bring but now wish I had: raincoat, super nice make-up brushes, earrings
Things I meant to bring but didn't and am now glad I didn't: mixing bowl
We bought 3 new belts, 3 new ties, 3 new shirts (two of which have french cuffs), 3 new pair of kaki pants and dress socks. We still need to buy comfy dress shoes (business casual) a new large stainless steel colander and juice glasses. Then we will be all set. :-) There is a William Sonoma at the Burlington Mall which will be close so we will probably hold off on the the kitchen stuff until we get out there. But it was good to get the clothes all sorted out.
we use unsweetened soymilk instead of milk in hot chocolate, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and hot cereal.
Instead of ricotta cheese in baked dishes we use a white sauce made from tofu in a blender with basil, salt, and olive oil.
Instead of paramesan cheese, we use brazil nuts that have been in a food processor with one clove of garlic and 1/4 tsp. sea salt.
Instead of ricotta cheese in salads or other non-baked dishes, we soak raw cashews for 8 hours, drain the water and rinse them, then put them in a blender with lemon juice, water and salt.
Instead of creme-freche, we prepare cashews like for ricotta cheese and then add a little agave nectar or fructose.
Instead of cream/milk based ice creams, we make ice cream from premium coconut milk, vanilla, and agave nectar or fructose.
Instead of gelato, we make the ice cream described above and use 2x as much honey as we would fructose/agave nectar.
This evening - we went to a restaurant where they made a creme brulee from soaked almonds and feta cheese from soaked macademia nuts, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. But I haven't experimented with the proportions yet so I can't guide you but for all the other dishes I know it's very much a cook by taste process.
Instead of butter we use coconut oil in baked goods.