Next up: tiny adorable cowboy hat

We were recently notified by the Texas Department of Cultural Milestones that Anna was in danger of losing her Texas citizenship if we didn't immediately comply with Article II, Section 7: Mandatory Photograph Amongst Bluebonnets. I think we got in right under the wire with this wildflower season, and we had to travel north to do it since it hasn't rained in Austin since January, but this one is for the authorities:

I believe this expression is her attempt at civil disobedience.

We also put her in a pretty pretty Easter dress! Fortunately, she didn't let that interfere with her duties as groundskeeper.

Or game warden.

When we got back home I realized that now that my pregnancy isn't a secret I can start making recipes from my Well-Rounded Pregnancy Cookbook without lying about where they came from. Seriously, these are the types of situations that I actually spend my waking hours contemplating. It's complex, my interior existence. Anyhow, here's some Proven├žal Carrot Salad to go along with baked tilapia on ciabatta.

And here's some Stir-Fried Vegetables with Coconut Curry Sauce over brown rice.
Tastes like pregnant-lady food. Sorry, rest of my family.


It's not about food, except it kind of is

Well, our camera appears to be deceased, or is at least temporarily out of commission, which means: no food pictures this week, only a few grainy phone camera pictures of Anna. Just know that I made some pretty decent enchiladas at one point. Food is kind of gross right now anyway, right guys? Yeah! Who's with me?

So instead, here we are once again exploring the opposite of food: fashion.

This look is a little bit "street," and I'm kind of into it.
Okay, some food did sneak in, probably because any given picture taken at our house has about a 50% chance of involving eating. She decided to liven up snack time a little bit by pretending to be laundry.

This particular pile of laundry was only interested in picking out the cheese.
She's also pretty much mastered the concept of "restaurant kid's meal."
She no longer fears sandwiches that are 75% larger than her head. Congratulations, you're ready for an American diet!
Of course, it's important to understand where her food comes from, so she's been helping out her YaYa and PaPa with their garden.
She has chosen to specialize in irrigation science.


I blame today's inactivity on excessive fresh air intake over the weekend

Okay, we're going to rush through the food section, because, ugh. The idea of seared scallops sounded entirely awful the whole day they were planned, especially paired with spinach and arugula. I think I have it in my head that I don't like scallops very much, but then I eat them and remember that I actually do. Anyway, these ended up being really delicious, so if you're looking for a cooking method for scallops I highly recommend it.

This was by far the biggest disparity between how much I hated the thought and how much I enjoyed the food since I've been tracking that sort of thing.
Unfortunately, that just makes the mature, healthy section of my brain feel vindicated for forcing my sugar-and-grease-desiring stomach to behave itself, so I guess I'm in for plenty more horrid-sounding dinners in the coming weeks.

Over the weekend I did take a little break from virtue and made molletes, which are just refried bean sandwiches. Great invention, right? Well done, Mexico. I used homemade bread and homemade refried beans, so there was a little effort, at least. Plus, a large side salad which I made a comically repulsed face all through the eating of, according to Dan.

Our weekend was pretty much jam-packed (mmm....jam...) with exciting activities. Dan's band played an early outdoor show Friday night, so all the band babies were in attendance. Anna enjoyed rocking out to Daddy's smooth bass line almost as much as she enjoyed messing with her bright orange earplugs. There was quite a bit of clapping and dancing and some impressively accurate music-festival-hippie impersonating. When she announces at age 9 that she and her friends are hitchhiking to Bonnaroo, I'm not going to be entirely surprised, is what I'm saying.

"I'm with the band."
Saturday we checked out either the Pioneer Homestead Festival or the Homestead Pioneer Festival...something along those lines, of pioneers and their homesteads...at the park near our house. There was live music, various animals, tons of demonstrations and interesting artifacts, and funnel cake which I bravely did not eat but very much enjoyed the smell of. It was the sort of thing I can happily nerd out about (old-timey bicycles!) and most small children would probably find entertaining. My own small child chose to boldly ignore all of the offerings and focus on pursing her future varsity sport, "Stick and Field."


Okay, she did seem to like the butter-churning station.

Nutrition is important for the young athlete.
And you know if it's a weekend, there must be a birthday party! Our next door neighbor Parker turned 3 and we went to Kiddie Acres to help him celebrate. I know the name sounds a little bit like it belongs in one of the darker sections of Pinnochio, but it has a nice old-school carnival feel to it and there are plenty of rides for very little ones. Anna had a lot of firsts!

First merry-go-round!

First ferris wheel!

First ride sans parental support!

Okay, this was...not our first time around on the train.
It's possible that I'm so impressed by cupcakes stands just because I don't have one myself, but look how festive!

Maybe if I could get my salad greens into a tower formation they would be more appealing.


Joy and sorrow (dietary division)

Listen, I'm going to go ahead and spoil this NYT article Is Sugar Toxic? for you: "Yes, and you don't even want to know what your liver probably looks like." It's Adam's fault that I read the entire miserable thing, but I was probably bound to come across it eventually with all the food blogs I read. Anyway, this is clearly unfortunate news for all humans who enjoy happiness, but I feel it's especially disheartening for me because I'm currently in the throes of a fairly nauseating first trimester of pregnancy and absolutely all I want to eat is expletive-ing sugar. I know I'm jumping the gun on Officially Sanctioned Public Announcement Time by a couple of weeks, but I'm finding it increasingly difficult to discuss food at all outside the context of how much it makes me want to throw up. So that's doubly good news for you, Blog Reader! You get to find out this joyous news early AND read about where I rank my meals on a vomit-based scale. The miracle of life!

I've actually eaten very virtuously this whole week, but only because I'm keeping a food chart for my midwife and I don't want it to be filled with entries like "...and then I spent 20 minutes putting maple syrup on everything I could think of." Anyway, you can imagine how excited my vegetable-hating stomach was about a swiss chard/kale one-two punch on Tuesday and Wednesday. First up was this Swiss Chard Torta. I spent about three hours before dinner thinking about how much I didn't want to eat this, but in the end it was really just a big slice of cheese and olives and went down pretty easy.

Nauseating in theory: 8. In practice: 3.
Next was my old frenemy, the perversely beloved kale. I went with a Chicken Stew with Kale and Cannellini Beans, which was a very good call because the miraculous healing power of potatoes completely overwhelmed my horror of green things.

Nauseating in theory: 5. In practice: 0.
Thank you, potatoes! You are a lifesaver. If Adam sends me anything about how unhealthy you are, I promise I will just block him!

Anna knows what I'm talking about.


Salad, cupcakes, and canine disappointment

We mostly eat salad now, due to the fact that our last CSA box was comprised entirely of leaves. I try to put things on top of the leaves, such as grilled salmon and pineapple.

Sometimes I put something next to the leaf-bowl, like these Black Beans and Quinoa with Chipotle Raspberry Sauce. Pretty good, as far as leaf-accompaniers go.

No ice cream yet. Working out the kinks.

Saturday was Cash's first birthday party! Do we go to birthday parties every weekend now? (Checks.) Yes. But this one was extra special because Anna and Cash are super good rasslin' and rock-sittin' buddies.

They always seem to have a little trepidation embarking on that second year.
There was a giant cupcake, which by itself ensures the success of any party, even if there hadn't ALSO been many delicious satellite cupcakes surrounding it.

The cupcake-centered system is a happy place.
As if that weren't enough, there were also PUPPIES, a fact that I was 110% certain would cause the shrieking delight of my child. Haha, I should have learned by now her only delight in life is proving me wrong. I wouldn't say the puppies were upsetting, but she was definitely displaying signs of deep annoyance.

She seriously spent about 15 irritated minutes trying to ditch this adorable Coppertone-simulating creature.
Once we got home and she settled into Fashion Time, her spirits improved.

Maybe letting her watch True Grit was a mistake.


May as well plant a garden directly in my stomach

In my experience, few things improve a Monday as much as having eggs for dinner. Especially when they're all nice and spicy and you can scoop them up with flatbread, as in the case of this pepper and egg curry.

I'll go for a bowl of spicy egg mush every time.
If the smell of curry is like a warm fuzzy blanket for my nostrils (it is), then the smell of fish sauce is somewhere on the opposite end of the spectrum. I always have to remind myself that fish sauce somehow tastes a lot better than it smells, otherwise this Thai-style minced turkey with basil and chiles would have been disastrous.

Disaster averted.
On Wednesday night I went to the Mary Beth-hosted Bunko, where I not only won a prize way ahead of schedule,* I also got one of these:

So I just want to go on record as saying that I really, really like it when my dinner comes in gift-basket form. If there is green plastic grass involved, all the better.

Not that I need any more green things in my life, because holy cow you guys. Remember back in the day when I complained about getting beets in the CSA box before I realized that you can just make ice cream out of them? Well I take that all back because I'm highly doubtful that I can turn the EIGHT KINDS OF GREENS in this week's box into a delicious frozen concoction.

The healthiest and unhappiest countertop in all the land.
Dan's response to this avalanche of vitamins was to make French toast this morning.

I like a man who is cool under pressure.
Today in Anna's Fashion Corner: one red sock. She is quite insistent on this matter.

I hope this isn't a gang thing.

*Dan says it's likely that I'm regressing toward the mean. I say it's awesome when math makes me win jars of body lotion.


I'm thinking kale nachos

Friday night I made Quesadillas Stuffed with Greens and Feta. It's an effectively unhealthy way to use up a bunch of chard. Between that and the spinach pizza, I guess my take on this particular CSA box has been "hide the greens in junk food whenever possible." It's like I'm Jessica Seinfeld-ing myself.

"La la la la I can't taste you over all this cheeeeeeese."
I just want to say how fortunate I am that the other moms I know don't put very much time or thought into their kids' birthday cakes, thereby shaming me in my own efforts.

Such a relief!
We've been making a little bit of big-girl progress. We pulled off some big-girl pigtails the other day. For about 20 minutes.

I'm not complaining, I'm bragging, that's by far the record.
More progress: sitting in a booster seat instead of a high chair and using crayons appropriately.

Less progressive, not pictured: me shoveling her PB&J into her mouth with a spoon.