Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Favorite- Kale Chips, Two Ways

I've posted before about Tye's love for kale chips.  She literally cheers when I tell her I'm making them (such a proud mama moment!).  With that kind of enthusiasm, we make them frequently here.  I've posted a great recipe before, but I thought I'd share two more that have become favorites in our family.  They've made Etta a kale lover, too!
Shoving it in!
I didn't use amounts here because one bunch of kale can be either super tiny or ginormous- and measuring torn kale leaves is no science either.  Even if you're usually a strict recipe follower, these are easy to throw together and will be delicious even if you use a little more or less of any of the ingredients. 

Sesame Kale Chips

kale, torn into pieces
olive oil
roasted sesame oil
sesame seeds
sea salt

Combine oils in a ratio of about 4 parts olive oil, 1 part roasted sesame oil. Mix oils with kale so the kale is lightly coated and massage the kale for a couple minutes (massaging the kale makes it much easier to chew after it's cooked, which is important for younger kids- and it's Tye's favorite job!).  Spread on a baking sheet (parchment paper optional); sprinkle with salt and sesame seeds to taste. Bake at 350 until crispy.
Parmesan Kale Chips

kale, torn into pieces
olive oil
freshly ground black pepper, optional (because Tye finds it too spicy)
Parmesan Reggiano or Pecorino Romano, finely grated

Massage kale for a couple minutes with enough olive oil to coat the leaves lightly.  Spread on a baking sheet (parchment paper optional); sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cheese to taste. Bake at 350 until crispy.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Etta follows Tye everywhere.  When Etta is in the carrier and Tye runs ahead, Etta yells at her and reaches her hand out towards her.  When Tye puts on her snorkel mask in the bathtub and blows bubbles under water, Etta blows raspberries on top of the water.  When Tye offers Etta a bite of food, Etta eats it.  Period.  

Before bed each night, the girls say goodnight to each other.  I might ask one or the other if they want to say goodnight, but then, on their own, they hug and kiss each other before they walk to their beds.  Even if naps fail and Etta is up late, she still won't fall asleep without waving towards Tye's bed, saying, "Niiiiigh!" and blowing her a kiss.  

No matter how roughly my day is going, when I think about the girls' relationship with each other, I can be confident that I actually am doing something right.  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming, Swimming, Swimming....


I'm still here.  Remember me?

Things here are finally- well, I was going to say "slowing down," but I'm certain that isn't actually true.  I guess a better way to describe it is that I'm finally catching up.  It's hard to describe, but I feel like I spent all fall barely holding my head above water as I flailed.  And the winter catching my breath.  And then, I found myself treading water- not very confidently (do we ever reach that point as mothers?), but no longer half a breath from drowning.
Logistically, the fall was hard.  Etta was learning to walk, still nursing frequently, and wanting to be held constantly.  Tye was expanding her play repertoire and needing frequent support, learning to deal with really, really big emotions, and testing boundaries, both physical and parental.  Perhaps most stressful was Tye learning to safely interact with a newly mobile sibling.  Some days, I considered myself successful as a parent if both girls just made it through the day alive.

 On those days, I had to prioritize, and any activities that weren't necessary for survival took the back burner.  And most days, my back burners were off, diverting all possible energy to whatever emergency was at hand.  And then, slowly but surely, this magical thing happened.

The girls started to play. Together.  
 Tye reached an easier phase of 3 (the calm before the storm of 3 1/2, but that's another story).  Etta learned to explore safely and truly play.  Sometimes, long chunks of time would pass with the girls both peacefully playing in their bedroom.  Between the doll house, the dress up clothes, the baby dolls, and the books. they can entertain themselves long enough for me to actually finish not just one task, but three or four.  It's life-altering.

 As wonderful as those chunks of time are, the biggest difference in day-to-day life is the more relaxed pace.  Perhaps we've just finally found our rhythm, or maybe we're in a temporary lull, but whatever it is, my mind is calmer.  I can actually complete thoughts, and not just survival-type thoughts, but higher-level thoughts.  I find myself reflecting- on mothering, on childhood, on growing and developing, on sibling relationships.
 When I start connecting all these dots, all I want to do is write it all out, get it in type, and hope that maybe the process will cultivate an even deeper level of understanding.  Writing is an opportunity to study my own life.  It is therapeutic and cathartic and most of all, revealing.

And I really, really miss it.
So I'm returning.  I can't promise regular posts, but I can assure you I'll be around to share.  You'll get to see more of this.
 And this.
And if you feel like it, read more of my rambling.  Because as it turns out, Mama Em can swim.


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