Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Summer, Finally

Thank you so much: for the clam shack recs (Bob's in Kittery! Awesome, Kiki, thanks. And, Karen, the Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, where we went on a kind of seafood-sandwich pilgrimage last week, having not been there since I was pregnant with Ben and hormonally transported by the lobster roll there. Turns out it wasn't just the hormones.) and the doll clothes enthusiasm (please write or link if you make some) and the wishes for sun and fun. We had such a wonderful two weeks of vacation--visiting friends in New Hampshire and Maine, and then camping on Cape Cod--it's a little hard to re-enter real life, and I find myself blinking the way you do when you come out of the cool dark of a movie theater into the brightness of an actual, unpretend afternoon. I hope you are enjoying everything there is to be enjoyed right now.

Meanwhile, over at, I've posted a column about an incredible, bacon-y potato salad, and, also, about an incredible, un-bacon-y bowl of grains and vegetables, which you should try, even if you're revolted by or skeptical about the very idea of quinoa. If you're revolted *and* skeptical, maybe skip it.

I will post just a tiny few pictures here. Rest assured there was plenty of rain and emergency gas-station bathroom stops. Oh, but mostly, it was so lovely. The kids are such *kids*. These are summers they're going to remember.

New Hampshire was all about kayaking. Also, playing Bananagrams with our friends.

And Maine is for sailing. This is Biscuit, our friend Gordon's beautiful boat. We were right by Acadia National Park, and every second of every day was sky and water and blueberries.

Every second, that is, that the kids weren't playing the "picking game" indoors with a Playmobil catalogue. Do your kids do this? Sit for hours and hours deciding what they would get on every page, if they could get anything they wanted? All very dreamy and longing-filling, like they're little window-shopping Orphan Annies with their cheerful, deprived faces pressed to the glass? Beware if they ask you to play, though: they're very strict. "Oh, Mama, sorry--you can't get that whole set, only the animals from it." "But if it's just for imagining, can't I get anything I want?" "Oh, yeah, um, you'd think so, but no."

We spent one night in Ogunquit, since the beaches in Northern Maine somewhat elude the children, what with their wild and freezing pebblyness.

And then the Cape. I love this picture of Birdy and her friend Harry, like some kind of surfers 'wedding ceremony. Dude, I pledge to keep my board tied to yours *forever.* Or at least until we hear the clang of the ice cream truck.

The campfire always returns Birdy to my lap. I think she imagines that I can keep the smoke out of her eyes, and I have done nothing to dissuade her from this idea. Oh, Birdy. Stay right there.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Baby Doll

Hello, hello! How patient you've been. We are in full summer mode around here, which means our annual trips around the great Northeast (Upstate New York! New Hampshire! We are total jet-setters), scrambling to work when we're home, and lots of projects. I want to write about the fabulous cooperative day camp we ran with friends (this is such a brilliant solution for the cashless and campless), or seeing my nephews, or how profoundly this has become the Summer of Snakes (why is that?). But instead, I'm going to send you to, to my recipes for Asian-style Chicken Salad (man, that is a good salad), and the creamy, dreamy Mango Popsicles that we did, in fact, serve our aforementioned cooperative day campers. I am getting through your requests, though a camp meal? Really? It's going to look so gross, but maybe I should do it anyways.

And because it's what we just spent an evening doing, I wanted to alert you to this fabulous idea that I found on-line, when I was Googling "baby doll clothes free patterns." Thanks to the fabulous "Baby Clothes to Dolls Tutorial" over at a blog called Obsessively Stitching, we spent two dollars on baby clothes at the Salvation Army, and are now well on our way to the lovely, cottony baby-doll wardrobe of Birdy's dreams. And I didn't even have to futz around with a pattern! Not that I didn't jab a pin into my own forearm and say the f-word. Or manage somehow to sew the neck hole closed on my first pass over the sleep sack. Or tear a little hole in the onesie as I was removing the Salvation Army stapled price tag. Or lie down on the floor and say, with one arm flung over my eyes, "My god, enough, I'm done," about *doll clothes*. But still. I am so happy not to have spent the real money on real doll clothes. I am so happy to be rid of the revoltingly pilled nylon nighties that the dolls came with. I am so happy that Birdy's so happy. It was worth every curse.

Tomorrow we leave to visit friends in Maine. Wish us a bon voyage! Send us your clam shack recommendations! Take care of yourselves and have fun! xoxoxo