Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Because then-and-now is like crack to me.

Eleanor supervises craft time circa mid-January:

Eleanor supervises craft time circa mid-June:

She has way louder opinions from down there.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I'm so vain.

I have been packing for a WEEK and my hands are all shitty and dry and paper-cutted and hangnaily as a result.

Also, I haven't painted my fingernails since high school because who has time for that shit. But Joel got me a spa package for my birthday and I couldn't get in until just today and I've never had a facial or a manicure before in my LIFE but I might have to start making time to paint my nails again because look how pretty I am.

Like a laydy.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Rawr, you guys.

She makes these great, drawn-out baby dragon noises now, and she'll look at you sideways when she's making them, like, Are you hearing this? I'm a dragon.

I don't have any footage of the dragon noises  because she's always making them unexpectedly. Like when I'm dressing her (NOBODY PUTS CLOTHES ON THE DRAGON) or while she's gnawing on her Sophie giraffe (THE FEROCIOUS DRAGONOR TEARS HER SOPHIE LIMB FROM LIMB). In lieu of dragons, you will have to accept...

finger guns.



Thursday, June 21, 2012

She is so VENGEFUL.

For those of you who don't follow me on Instagram and with whom I am not friends on facebook (there is at least one such person), I present to you:

and also:

I...cannot stop laughing.

Monday, June 18, 2012


We went camping. There were sunny bits. We lay around in them.

And made eyes at older boys.

And yes, we did a bit of drinking.

Eleanor does not approve of wine-less wine spritzers.

But she enjoys a hot coffee on a drizzly morning.

And a snuggle under a blanket.

And a bit of sport.

We napped wherever we were inclined to nap.

Even if it was WELL past our bedtimes.

And then we woke up well past our bedtimes and were not INTERESTED in going back to sleep, thanks, even though we were so, so tired. So thank goodness for extra hands.

And I won't even talk about the things we ate. You know how we do.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Portland: The foodstuffs

iPhoto updated and changed a thing and then I couldn't figure out how to upload photos again. STOP CHANGING ON ME, technology.

But so. PORTLAND WE ATE YOU GOOD. As I mentioned yesterday days ago, we buzzed through Portland on our way to the outlets and just happened to pull off the highway near Pioneer Square, where two dozen or so food carts congregate. SERENDIPITY.

And we'd seen EuroTrash on Eat St and we are slaves to what our tv tells us to do and the EuroTrash cart is just so come-hithery. And this is where I will get into mad amounts of trouble because we had the foie gras on chips

and YES CRUELTY TO GOOSES and I already feel terrible about it so keep your lectures. The CHIPS, however, were fresh and lightly sauced and diVINE.

And then we had the Squidfana

i.e. the calamari sandwich, and I don't love seafood but calamari is mostly crunchy legs.

And then we went to the malls and SHOPPPPPED and had mall-Chinese

and you really have to watch yourself around Eleanor now, because she is quick, and strong like an ox.

The next morning, after Amy's rhubarb cake (DID I MENTION AMY MADE US RHUBARB CAKE? WHICH I WOULD EAT FOR BREAKFAST EVERY DAY UNTIL IT WAS GONE, AND I MOURNED IT?), we went to The Big Egg and I have strong feelings about eggs, in that I love them fiercely and inexhaustibly.

I especially love them on ciabatta with steak and pesto and caramelized onions. You guys, ciabatta bread makes ALL my dreams come true.

Oh, and all the things I said I feel about eggs, I feel doubly about donuts.

And Voodoo Donuts is a DIVE but they make a maple bacon (bottom left [durrr]), an Old Dirty Bastard (bottom right: chocolate sauce, chocolate chips, peanut butter drizzle, oreo chunks), a Memphis Mafia (top right: banana fritter with chocolate sauce, chocolate chips, peanut butter drizzle) and a PB & J (top left and basically just a pb&j sandwich and therefore not worth your donutty time).

And we sort of left dinner too late that day, so the street cart pickings were slim (SWAMP SHACK I AM STILL INTERESTED IN YOUR FRIED GATOR. BE OPEN NEXT TIME, PLS) so we had spicy homemade noodles at The Noodle House

and by this time we were jaded old eaters and weren't going to be impressed by anything that wasn't, like, Miss Kate's chicken and biscuits.

Fried chicken and biscuits are not things Canada does well, and we especially do not put collard greens on them, and we have no concept of white gravy. We might be able to match you for maple glaze, though.

Because we'd gotten screwed over the day before, we started thinking about dinner at around 3, and while I was changing Eleanor's diaper on the floor of the Starbucks, Joel was googling food carts that might still be open. We'd seen The Brunchbox on Eat St AND it was open AND it was maybe ten blocks away, so we scooted down there for a Trial By Fire on grilled cheese buns.

And I thought it would be sort of gimmicky but the grilled cheese actually added to the burger, as did the enormous fresh charred jalapeño. I am going to butterfly and char one whole jalapeño for all my burgers now, because that sort of made the day for me. We did not (tragically) get any Cheezasaurus Rexes, but if Eleanor had been, like, a year older...

I mean, right? ROWR, little sandwiches.

The next morning, before driving home, we stopped at Pine State Biscuits, and I'm so glad we hit up Miss Kate's first because that chickenandbiscuit was fried and salty and hearty and great, but Pine State's chicken was a bit spicy and their biscuit was tender and light and clearly their Thing They Do Well and the apple butter/cheddar combination was UHMEZZING.

Also before driving home, we swung by Voodoo again to pick up some donuts for my folks (which we helped them eat, obviously). The Mango Tango (bottom left) tasted like fuzzy peaches, the lemon chiffon cruller was sort of disappointing for something that combines two things I love, the apple fritter was AS BIG AS MY FACE and had those crusty edges that all good fritters have, and the maple bacon was still a maple bacon.

And then we ate Mike and Ikes all the way home, like savages.

In conclusion, I'd like to thank all the Starbuckses for letting is bogart their wifi to figure out where we were and where we wanted to go, Seattle's Top 10 radio for teaching me all the words to 'Call Me Maybe,' Amy and Colleen for letting us crash at their place and for loving on Eleanor even when she was testy, Portland's terrible street signage for keeping us on our toes, Joel for doing all the driving, Eleanor for not being worse than she could help, and my stomach for having hithertofor undiscovered capacities for digestion.

Red vines for the road.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Portland: the frolics

And then we packed our car and drove to Portland, where we stayed with the lovely Amy whom I know FROM THE INTERNET and who invited us to crash with her and who made us lattes every morning and who did not harvest our organs. NOT EVEN ONCE.

(And when I say 'drove to Portland' I mean 'stopped in Portland for lunch and then swept on through to Woodburn where we ravaged the outlet malls YET AGAIN.')

Joel needs a lot of grown-up clothes because he is a Serious Doctor now, so he does well at outlet malls. I do not need grown-up clothes, and I favor cheap clothes that can be washed ad nauseum, BUT. Of the many things that I hate about running (the perspiration, the effort, the running), the expense of clothing items that I'm just going to sweat into and then boil in the wash makes me want to barf.

UNLESS YOU ARE AT AN OUTLET MALL. I'm super jazzed to go for a run today, because we hit the Under Armour hard and I have a long-sleeved shirt and a running jacket and (should it rain) a running rain jacket and two new sports bras to add to my running skirt. OH MAN, I SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT SOCKS. I freaking love new socks. You guys, I am the lamest.

And then Joel and Eleanor talked me into some Clarks because I am prone to wearing ten-dollar flats and my Clarks are hideous in a way that I kind of enjoy but since I don't have any photos of them, here's a video of Eleanor losing her mind in the Clarks store.

And then we went to the Oregon Zoo, which is not as large or as sexy as the Woodland Zoo. However, I do not judge zoos on their size or sexiness, but on HOW CLOSE CAN I GET TO YOUR  HIPPOS. For your objective comparisons, the Woodland Zoo:

The Oregon Zoo:

Right? And the Oregon Zoo is way more learny and save-the-habitatsy and altogether hippy-ish which,  having lived in Victoria, Joel and I can appreciate. And it rained and rained but we just hunkered down in the polar bear exhibit and watched that bear with OCD do his shuffle.

And by Portland we had run out of steam and also eaten some things (I'm not sure if you read yesterday's post, but...) and if you are weary in Portland and also fat, I recommend the 4-T Trail.

Trail, Tram, Train, Trolley! I enjoy things that alliterate, even if by 'tram' they mean 'gondola' and by 'trolley' they mean 'city bus.' I can appreciate an effort.

So we did a gentle hike from the zoo to the hospital, and then took the tramdola down into town, and then took the train further into town.

And this is the point where I talk about my baby's poops and I'M SORRY. But up until now we'd been traveling with a few diapers and a change of clothes and spit-up blankets and sundry baby paraphenalias every day, but because were hiking I just stuffed a diaper and wipe into my purse and called it sufficient. Eleanor hadn't spit up or pooped on herself for days. OH MY HUBRIS.

Because obviously she barfed all over her jacket, like, six times, and then POOPED THROUGH HER PANTS ONTO MY JACKET SLEEVE BUT I HAD ALREADY BEEN SHAT ON BY BIRDS SO NBD. At least she doesn't mind being changed on the floor of a Starbucks bathroom.

And then we went to Powell's because you have to. There are rooms and they are colored and so they are like, Oh yes, you'll find that in the Yellow Room. IT IS UPSTAIRS.

And then we took the 'trolley' back home and showered and changed and 'nothing I'm wearing has feces on it' is the second most depressing thing I said on the trip (falling in the end to 'I slept in til 6:30 this morning').

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Seattle: The Foodstuffs

I don't think Joel and I have ever driven into the States without stopping at Jack In The Box for a sourdough Jack to kick things off.

It's like a sickness. And then we were at the outlet malls for ages and picked up some double-fried chicken, because when you're about to embark on an eating adventure you need to build up your tolerance.

Because this was essentially an Eat-cation, with a few zoos thrown in. Joel and I watch a lot of Eat St. And a lot of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. And a lot of You Gotta Eat Here, which is the shitty Canadian version of DDD but which at least has restaurants in Calgary that we might some day eat at (Modern Donut, I am coming for your maple bacon).

But so Eat St. We are really into street food, and Vancouver is only just getting into the scene, so we have a couple of Japa-dogs and a Re-Up (which, I'll level with you, isn't that good. Japa-dog probably isn't good either, only I was so hungry when I went there that I can't tell). So before we left, we watched all the episodes of Eat St that featured food carts in Seattle and Portland.

And then we went and ate at those food carts. Our first rainy, rainy day we hit up the Where Ya At soul food cart in the parking lot of the Starbucks headquarters. I had the jambalaya

and it tasted of ALL THE THINGS. Good jambalaya always tastes like it's been made in a pan that's never been washed and it has, like, six different meats in it. Joel had the catfish po'boy

and it was fine. It's just, the jambalaya was so FLAVORSOME, and the po'boy was a fried fish sandwich with some lettuce. But the beignets!

I will one day go to New Orleans and have some more beignets because fried squares of dough in powdered sugar are never not delightful. Even if you have to eat them in your car while you fend off a wily infant.

And then at some point on the underground tour, we stopped above-ground just outside the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to discuss...something historical, and the Factory must pay the tour a pretty hefty royalty fee for this because as soon as it was over we were like, CASHEW CARAMEL APPLE WHAT?

And they cut it for you, which feels like cheating but which means you get a much better ratio of apple to apple-toppings and much less feeling-like-a-fool.

And the thing with street carts is that most of them close down for dinner, but some of them become successful enough to open up brick-and-mortar restaurants and you can go to those instead. Which is how we ended up at Skillet Street Food, sitting at a table, with a proper server and everything (who was great with Eleanor, and was like, You should try the kale Caesar salad, and guys, you should really try making a Caesar salad with kale because IT IS FORTIFYING AND TEXTURED).

Joel had the burger with bacon jam, which is a thing that exists and which you can buy in a little tub and which we did, obviously.

It also had bleu cheese, which is a thing we are both trying to start liking (see also: cilantro) because it is ON so many interesting things and we like liking things and we'd like more things if we could also like the things that have bleu cheese on them. It was surprisingly mild and non-dirty tasting.

And then I had the fried chicken sammy, which ranks in my Top Three Things I Ate That Week. The chicken breast was slightly spicy and the aioli had both pickled and charred jalapeños in it and the bread was chewy and kale is just winning ALL my awards these days.

Eleanor had a spoon.

The next day we went to the Pike Place Market and had Many Small Snacks. Like a German walking sausage (what?) and a pepperjack cheese stick

both of which were pleasantly dry and chewy. And this is where the recommendations from my book blog came in handy, because we'd be wandering along and I'd see The Crumpet Shop and I'd be like, SOMEONE TOLD ME TO STOP THERE, and we'd stop there and have a crumpet.

And neither of us have ever had a crumpet before and when you're not-English, you mostly think that crumpets are just English muffins but different. YOU GUYS THEY ARE NOT. They are like a hot, crispy pancake, and this one was light and fluffy and warm and covered in cream cheese and maple butter and walnuts and pretty well set the bar too high for any crumpet to ever follow, ever.

And then on the way out we were like, We need just maybe one more fortifying snack before we head to the zoo, and lo, the same person who recommended The Crumpet Shop told me to swing by Piroshky Piroshky, and a beef and cheese piroshky is the most hand-sized and warm and spicy fortifying snack.

So that worked out well. And after the zoo we swung by a Starbucks to bogart their wifi and check which food carts were in the area (how did people find things before the internet? With their eyes?) and hit up El Camion just as they were closing. They kindly stayed open another half-hour so we could order chicken tacos

and fish tacos

and spicy pork gorditas

and a steak mulita, which is not pictured because we took it back to our hotel and re-fried it for breakfast the next morning. And even though we were WELL OVER-STUFFED, we were too close to the Krispy Kreme to NOT have a Krispy Kreme or perhaps two.

And I cannot see that glaze curtain and not be like, TWO OF THOSE, PLEASE and Joel got two of the specialty donuts even though I warned him that the plain glazed trumps everything on account of you can see it come out of the oil just over there and it is still hot and also the glaze-curtain and his donuts were less good, although he seemed to enjoy them.

I could go for a plain glazed right NOW.