Happy Practically 2015!

It has been too long! Where to begin? With cautionary tales, obviously.

Item #1: the slimfit diaper. When packing for a long journey, and having already ordered cases of diapers and healthy-but-encased-in-plastic snacks to be delivered to your destination, you might think that a packing queen like yourself, who has no fewer than four uses for ziplock bags in her carry-on alone, might have come up with the idea of the year when deciding between a little-too-big size five diaper and a little-too-small size four diaper. Why, those size fours take up so little room, they practically disappear! And their slim and trim fit makes last month’s toddler pants almost big enough again! If the snug-fit diaper is such a win on your almost-two-year-old, why not let your seven-month-old go down a size as well? Little Max ended up in size ones, Frida rocked the size fours, and we headed to the airport with plenty of diapers and also plenty of space. Win, win, right? No, actually, the team was disqualified when the first kid pooped. Turns out pressurizing the poop containment unit turns it into more of a contaminant unit. Side note: you can never have too many wipes, especially on a 10-hour flight. Or a 3.5-hour flight. Or a 1-hour flight, if that flight follows a 10-hour and a 3.5-hour flight.

Item #2: the used ziplock. You might be the sort of person who can forsee the results of a too-small diaper without going through the process of strapping one to your baby, getting on an airplane, then tickling them til they poop. You might be the sort of person who has already come up with a fifth way of using ziplocs in carry-ons, as if 1.) individually-wrapped and flat-packed emergency outfits for all family members, 2.) powdered formula storage, 3.) see-through small toy repositories, and 4.) soiled clothes containment were not enough. But I don’t care who you are, you are not going to wash the ziploc well enough after purpose #4 for me to re-use it for any other purpose, and if you think I’m carrying around a shit-soaked used ziploc just so I can throw more shit in it you have another think coming. Throw it away, is what I’m saying. Immediately. I don’t care how fresh and new the crisp outer corners seem, or that it’s only been used once. Put a trash can in your laundry room dedicated to this purpose. Throw it away. Now.


Yup, that’s what’s new. Still pretty poop-focused, still cracking ourselves up re: our poop-focusedness. We spent 5 weeks in the United States, where Frida learned that dogs are fun and farts are funny. Max has some good days and some hard days and is working on rolling over. Our wonderful babysitter went out on medical leave from one day to the next, so Mom is here for a 3-week emergency visit, her third (3rd?!) this year. We are self-centered and sleep-deprived, but even we realize that it is more considerate to stage ones childcare breakdowns on the same continent as ones emergency caregiver, so we’re working towards moving to the U.S. Current plan is sometime between Jan-July 2015. We realize that we’ve set ourselves up for another ridiculous year: two little kids, one with special needs, one parent with a high-pressure, full-time job, the other with business meetings til 11:00 pm because she works East Coast business hours, living on the fifth floor of a downtown walk-up, sending the non-fluent parent to the German pediatric/therapy/cardiologist appointments because that’s who’s available. Yup, you’ve now realized why I haven’t been updating the blog: if I’d written any entries in the last few months, they’d all be about what carrying two kids up the stairs is doing to my rapidly aging knees.

A quick recipe for a stash-in-the-freezer dinner:

In a saucepan, mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup mirin, and 1 cup sake. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stir to dissolve the sugar, and remove from heat. Let cool, then mix in 1/2 to 1 cup miso (more if it’s mellow, less if it’s strong-tasting.) Use this mixture as a marinade for any mild-flavored fish: cod is good. Marinate for two to 48 hours, or freeze and defrost overnight in the fridge before cooking. To cook, pre-heat the oven to 350. Put the fish on a lipped baking sheet or broiling tray, and coat with some of the marinade. Bake on the top rack for 10-15 minutes depending on fish thickness. The miso coating should get a bit brown but should not burn. Keep an eye on it, moving it to the broiler for the last few minutes of cooking if needed.

When I read this entry two years from now, I want to remember that:

  • Frida loves counting right now. She’s pretty reliable to ten in both languages if you don’t mind an extra 9 thrown in between the 3 and the 5.
  • Tobias and I ran 10k together today with Frida in the jogging stroller. Through the Elbetunnel, across the Bloeh and Voss shipping docks, ending up at the climbing hall to meet Mom and Max for a little indoor bouldering.
  • Max got up on all fours this week, and seems really proud of himself!
  • Tomas Keller’s roast chicken recipe is a great idea; taking the two tiny children to a restaurant is not.
  • Tobias and I are having fun working on plans for our soon-to-be-built adobe house in Colorado.
  • I speak enough German to think that a non-English-speaking au pair is a good idea; she starts on Monday!

Hey, Marie, thanks for the kick in the pants. I think about you lots, but that’s not the same as writing a food blog entry containing the phrase ‘shit-stained’, now is it? Love you.