Thursday, November 29, 2012


I introduced Gareth to the wonder of the pomegranate today:

He fell in love instantly and kept eating them while taking them out, which was fine since there are plenty. He stuck it out through the entire pomegranate and his hands, arms and entire face were covered in pomegranate juice specks and splotches by the time we were done. Despite loving them greatly, he struggles to remember what they're called. All while we were removing the arils he kept calling them polygrams. But by the time dinner rolled around they'd turned into garbanzo seeds.

I've never actually used pomegranate in a recipe before. Except that one time some friends and I tried to make a pomegranate pie our freshman year of college (it was a little crunchy). But typically I just remove the arils and snack on them. Today we used them to make this:

It may not look it in the bad lighting of the picture here, but this is probably one of the most aesthetically pleasing dishes I've ever made. If you want a salad that will look stunning, this is the one to go with. Spinach, black quinoa (hard to find, but I got lucky and a store nearby just started carrying it in their bulk section in the last week or two), pomegranate arils, toasted almonds, red onion and feta cheese. The dressing is a basic red wine vinaigrette. I was very pleased when it tasted as delicious as it looks.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hair Update/8 Months

Here's what Ryan's hair is looking like these days:

Okay, so I was taking blurry pictures that night for some reason, but you can still get the idea. If the baseball cap were off, you'd see that the front is starting to be annoying and get into his eyes a lot. It's curlier than he'd like, so Ryan often complains about how horrid it looks at the moment. Still holding out hope that it'll straighten a bit as it gets longer and weightier.

I haven't had a chance to take a shot of Gareth recently. I'm still thinking of taking him to get it trimmed/evened up a bit, because I think it'd look less ratty if the sides were a bit closer to the same length as the back. Maybe we'll work on that over winter break.

Here's Malcolm at 8 months:

This is the first time I felt comfortable enough to leave him sitting on his own for a bit (long enough to grab the camera and take a picture). Up until just a few days ago he was a pretty wobbly sitter, falling over at the first sight of anything he wanted to grab (so, pretty much instantaneously). But since I took this picture his sitting skills have improved considerably to where he'll stay sitting for several minutes at a time.

No crawling yet, I think partly because of our wood floors. It's really hard to keep your knees under you when the floor is so slippery! Plus, because of the slick floor he can move quite quickly with his army crawl/scoot movement.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Malcolm at 7 months

Malcolm is continuing his foray into the world of solid foods. He's tried banana, avocado, carrots, rice cereal, squash and applesauce. The favorite so far is acorn squash. I made up and froze some squash, carrots and peas the other day. I also finally got around to making up some applesauce from the apples on our tree. Malcolm was okay with that, but it wasn't the hit that the squash was. I've got some pears to make up and am hoping to do some sweet potato soon as well.

His favorite thing to say would be "da" or "uh-da". Sometimes a "gah" gets thrown in there and the other day we even got a "bur", but most often we hear "da".

He's started banging on things (table, books, whatever) and watches fascinated when Ryan starts drumming on the table or other surfaces. (Gareth and I usually don't notice Ryan doing this; it's just part of the background of our lives. I'm interested to see when Malcolm stops noticing as well.) He also drops toys and seems interested in the noise they make when dropped, but we aren't quite to the point where he thinks it's a fun game yet.

Since Malcolm's growing quickly and Gareth not-so-quickly, Malcolm usually has a worried expression on his face these days if Gareth tries to hold him.
This kid is amazing in the car. It's rare for him to cry. Of course, when Gareth is along for the ride he's very helpful at keeping Malcolm entertained. But even if we're on our own, Malcolm usually hangs out back there so quietly you forget he's there. And he always greets you with the cutest, crinkle-nosed smile when you come to get him out of the car. It probably helps that we're not often in the car though. We walk Gareth to and from school and otherwise don't have much reason to be in the car.

Malcolm is quite the little traveller these days. He manages to roll and inchworm along and cannot be left on his own for long if you want him to stay out of trouble. He's pushing up on his forearms and knees and rocking back and forth, so he'll likely be crawling soon. Sitting is not there yet, though he does well in the high chair and other well-supported scenarios.

He will smile at just about anyone, but has started to hit the separation anxiety stage. It is rare that he'll go to a non-family member for more than a couple minutes. Unlike Gareth at this age, he will still go to Ryan without screaming, at least for a little bit.

Sleeping is hit and miss. I know he can sleep through the night, but it feels like it's not often that he will. He was doing quite well for a while, until those two bottom teeth came in and ever since he wakes up more often than not. I'm grateful when it's only once a night rather than twice. Then there are the nights where he would sleep through, but Gareth wakes up and is incapable of doing anything quietly and ends up waking up Malcolm.

We're getting closer to getting a laugh out of him. Sometimes he squeals. And he's started doing this rather funny thing where he'll smile really big, scrunch up his nose, and breathe in and out really loudly when he's amused by something. So I'm feeling more confident that he'll figure the laughing thing out eventually.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween 2012

Our Halloween was a bit lame this year. Ryan was on-call, so he was stuck at the house where he'd have access to work. And I had an orchestra rehearsal. Having an infant around and adding in the other happenings earlier in the month left no time for cool costume making. We didn't even get our traditional honey popcorn made.

About a week ago I broke down and went out to purchase a cheap costume. Cheap in quality it certainly is, but it wasn't cheap in cost. Thirty bucks for a crappy Spiderman costume that was fraying right out of the package and where the hood/mask thing didn't even fit Gareth's head. I'd put a picture here, but we never did have a chance to take one.

Thankfully Gareth's class took a field trip to Remlinger Farms and they each got a pumpkin. Gareth picked out a good size one and that turned out to be the only pumpkin we got this year. I did manage to snap a picture of our jack-o-lantern on the way out the door Wednesday night.

If it looks like it was designed by a five year old that's because it was. I did the carving (for which my wrist still hasn't forgiven me), but the design is all Gareth. Ryan advised me on the mouth, helping me get it as close to what Gareth drew as we could. The mouth was particularly difficult as we don't have great pumpkin-carving tools. Something we're going to have to work on for future years.

Gareth's class had a party and a parade around the school. We came home, Malcolm and I took a nap, and then we ate some dinner before dropping Gareth off at a friend's house to go trick-or-treating. He had just made it into bed when I got home just before 10 pm from rehearsal. It sounded like he had a great time, despite the light rain and the less than stellar costume, and he came home with a full bag of candy. So, as far as he's concerned, Halloween was a huge success.