Sunday, December 28, 2008

Catching Up

It's been a busy Christmas season, to say the least. Before we get into the heart of celebrations and family matters, here are some noteworthy tidbits from the last few weeks.

Let's start with weird birds. A couple of weeks ago Norah and I went out to the Central Park Zoo, meeting up with Heidi and Parker Collet. It was a small playgroup, but fun nonetheless.

That's a polar bear in the background. And a plastic bird to prevent real birds from hitting the plexiglass. I would much rather see a real bird with a plastic polar bear on the plexiglass to prevent... Really I'd just like to see polar bears hitting the plexiglass.

You may have heard that alpacas sometimes spit as a defense mechanism, but in this picture the alpacas are keeping their distance from Norah's spit. Well, drool.

Meanwhile, Norah has found her toes.

Here are 17 dogs. No big deal. We often see this guy out walking all these dogs. I would like to see where they live, how well they eat, etc. This is the Upper East Side, after all.

This is a picture of where I teach, Hunter College. I really enjoy this shot, particularly because it includes such things as the Chrysler Building (faint in the distance), a construction worker, the distinctive Hunter walkways over the street, a woman with her hands up in the air for some reason, and the Hampton Jitney. You can click on this photo to take it all in on a larger scale.

Here we have the local Canadian guy who provides Christmas trees around the clock (it was very important for me to include the camper that he sleeps in).

And to finish, here's a nose made of rhinestones.* Simply awesome. I need to go back to see how much it costs. That is, unless someone has already snatched it up. We all know that despite the recent economic downturn, the demand for rhinestone noses remains fierce.

*There's a great story about me, noses, and rhinestones that you should know if you don't. Ask about it sometime. For those of you who are already in the nose (ahh terrible pun, but I can't resist), this photo is truly (resistance is futile!) a gem.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Norah Speaks

Norah is getting more used to the camera. We were able to coax some laughs and talking.

The best is when we're not sure why she's in a good mood. That said, it still blows my mind how rapidly she is learning to communicate. One thing is very clear though: happy feet = life is good.

'Oh, you're filming me. Better stop chatting and check out what you're doing... Make sure you can be trusted and all.'

Once I gained her trust, I eventually got her to speak directly into the camera. Ladies and gentlemen, Norah's first speech. For some reason this footage reminds me of Mars Attacks. 'Greatings Earthlings. I come in peace.' I get the feeling she would have made the International Sign of the Doughnut if it weren't for being swaddled.

Turkey Meatballs

I have found great recipes on many of your blogs, so I thought I'd share a new one I recently came across. I found this recipe a few weeks ago and thought it looked delicious. I'd never made meatballs before, so I was a little intimidated, but we decided to try it. They actually turned out well. I used dried cranberries instead of golden raisins because that is what I had on hand, and next time I think I'll bake the meatballs rather than sauté them. Has anyone ever made meatballs before? Any suggestions on baking them? What temperature? How long? Anyway, here is the recipe if anyone is interested. The yogurt sauce was delicious, and I'd serve these with some warm pita bread and a great Mediterranean salad.

Turkey Meatballs with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts

½ pound ground white-meat turkey
½ pound ground dark-meat turkey
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 egg
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
½ cup toasted pine nuts
½ cup golden raisins (chopped if they’re large)
½ cup fine bread crumbs
A few pinches ground cumin
½ tsp salt
A few pinches freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil

Mix all ingredients except olive oil together in a bowl, preferably using your hands. You don’t want to overwork the meat—that would make your final product tough—but you do want all ingredients to be evenly mixed. Form the mixture into balls of whatever size you like (mine were about 1 inch to 1 ½ inches). Heat a thin film of olive oil in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, and sauté the meatballs in batches, so as not to crowd them. As they begin to color, turn them regularly so that they are golden on all sides. They should be done when they are evenly browned and feel medium firm—but not hard—to the touch. Place on a paper towel to catch excess oil. Serve hot, warm, or cold with yogurt sauce.

Lemon-and-Cumin Yogurt Sauce

Nonfat plain yogurt
1 lemon, juiced
Garlic, finely chopped
Ground cumin
Ground chili

Mix ingredients to taste in a bowl, and keep chilled until serving.

Monday, December 15, 2008


This weekend Leo and Norah were reunited. Here they were back in August at ages 4 months (Leo) and 3 weeks (Norah).

And here they are now! A couple of happy, thriving babies. Ages 8 and 5 months.

BIFW 2008

Best Impromptu Friends Weekend 2008. Let's do it more often. And with even more friends.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Now that it's the Christmas season, we feel it's the perfect time to tell you about our Thanksgiving. We were in Hilton Head, South Carolina! The light house below was painted to anticipate Christmas, and is kept that way all year long.

The whole gang.

Here's us enjoying the warmer weather as a family unit. It's fun down south.

Down south, you find such things as turkeys getting fried in the parking lot. If you click on this image you'll find all sorts of goodies, including the 'Real Men Fry Turkies' apron.

Brigham got into the southern spirit by shaving all but the handlebars.

Mom, Sarah Jane, and Norah got into the Southern spirit by hanging out together. We're sure this activity would have worked well anywhere.


Here the cousins play. And by 'play' I mean they kind of stare at each other.

Sunset over savannahs. Not pictured here are the several dolphin(s) we saw on our boat ride. It was a gorgeous evening.

This is maybe the best photo I've ever taken. I really like it. I like all of the looks by my people, and then the chairs, the lighting, etc. The mysterious thing reflected in the upper right corner. The lens cap. + 959 more words...

But really, what about this baby?

And this baby? Well, you can't see him that great here... What about this dad? Cute, right?

It was really wonderful for Norah to hang out with her grandparents. I think Papa Scott is telling her a good knock knock joke.

It's hard to tell who's most pleased here.

This space is devoted to the pictures not taken in Savannah, Georgia. We spent a really fun day there taking a historical carriage ride, eating lunch, enjoying Sarah Jane's success pumping in a public bathroom, and narrowly missing rental car damage with Norah's total blowout.

All in all, it was a grand trip. We're very thankful for gathering together. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for...

I've been trying for a while to capture Norah 'talking,' but she always gets distracted by the camera. So today I attempted to film from the side while maintaining eye contact, but it didn't take long for her to see right through that ploy.

Caught red handed!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Door lock

To state the obvious, door locks are meant to prevent unwanted visitors from getting in a given space while still affording the key holder the flexibility to open and close at will. What it is not intended to do is keep the key holders inside that given space while providing access to everyone else.

That might have been the case a few Sunday mornings ago when we were trying to leave the apartment early in order to get to church on time. We tried to get out the door, but couldn't turn the lock. It reminded me of that part in Napolean Dynamite where Uncle Rico's client tries in silent fury to tear tupperware, eventually gives up, and quietly mutters "can't do it." Yes folks, we were locked in. Our keys? Left in the key hole over night.

Our door, locking us in.

Fortunately our good friend Joanna was on her way to church too and was able to stop by and free us. We buzzed her in and she procured the keys without difficulty. We're glad that it was her and not the person who stole our umbrellas and air freshener.

(SJ here: I also have to add that it was also FREEZING that day, so Joanna leaving her apartment earlier than planned to come free us was quite a noble, good deed. Thanks again Jo. I hope it was at least a good story to tell people at church that day how you had to let your idiot friends out of their own apartment.)

The Scream

So in the last week Norah has figured out how to scream. Don't get me wrong, she could wail before, but it seems that she has discovered a new register to her voice, and she has been producing this high-pitched scream ever since. Not all the time, but sometimes she'll start crying and it is like she remembers she can do this scream and she just starts going for it. And it isn't just when she's upset, she does it in glee as well. Is this a phase? Or do we have piercing screams forever in our future?