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It’s not always going to be like this, you know. Twice-weekly blog posts, near-daily showers, sit-down meals with the husband. Soon, the man of the house will go back to work and the baby will realize that sleep doesn’t have to take 23 out of every 24 hours. I’ll be focused on not forgetting to brush both sides of my teeth rather than trying to remember if I’ve flossed more often than my dentist recommends. In the meantime, I’ve been wading through my cooking to-do list: arcane recipes for specialized ingredients taking up space in the back of the pantry, down-home American foods that have sounded good for months, and fussy little conceits that I know I won’t again have time for until the sunset of this decade. Highlights include super-spicy posole (Mexican pork stew made with the dried hominy my sister sent as part of a spectacular Xmas care package,) and some golf-ball-sized roast beef sliders made with fresh horseradish mixed with shredded apple and served on buns topped with a combination of grated Romano cheese, black sesame seeds, and black Hawaiian lava salt. The black sesame seeds are incredibly flavorful, and they look devastatingly chic with the black salt. Hmm, the language purist might note that no one was, in fact, devastated by the chicness of the sesame/salt combo. Let the record show that the reader may, at will, substitute <fucking awesome> for <devastatingly chic>. Word nerd. Or: word, nerd.

News of the week:

  • Tobias surprised me with a gorgeously sleek heavy walnut serving tray as a glad-you-both-lived-through-the-birth present. Its wood matches our dining room table perfectly, and its width is exactly calibrated to hold our dishes but also to let you get through our doorways without banging your knuckles. Even so, I was completely surprised to find out that Tobias made the tray with his own two hands. Who knew the man had woodworking skills? Museum-quality woodworking skills? Also, who knew the man had like 20 hours of free time to spend at a wood shop crafting a gorgeous serving tray? Apparently the DIY carpentry guild is just around the corner, but, still, 20 hours? WHERE DID YOU GET THEM?
  • Frida is loving the sign language this month. She’s recently mastered the signs for grapes, bicycle, fish, bird, where is it? and potty in addition to the more utilitarian signs for all done, all gone, help, more, hungry, etc. She has been telling little jokes like the following: is eating a piece of bread, then throws it on the floor. Acting surprised, signs, ‘where is it?’ and ‘help’ to get you to look for the bread on the ground. In one’s own child during a moment of leisure, this is adorable; less so in other circumstances.
  • I hate the word potty, and resent having to repeat it ninety times a day during our intro-to-toilet-training phase. I would prefer to say poop and pee, but I respect the work of my BabySign forebearers and will use their patented system, patronizingly cute train-based imagery and all. The potty sign is a closed fist with the thumb tucked between the index and middle finger, with the whole fist wagged back and forth. This is the sign that Frida made when Tobias, with his light British accent thanks to a formative year in Dublin, talked about going to yesterday’s childbirthclass reunion party. Ha ha. Potty party. Can’t wait until she starts talking!
  • I’ve been living in Germany for almost three years now, and it’s starting to show: I made a batch of pecan sticky buns for breakfast, and they were almost (but not quite) inedibly sweet. The first bite was a shock to the system, and after a second serving I decided that they aren’t worth making again: too much sugar, too much refined flour, not delicious enough to be worth it. Especially when I calculated the grams of sugar per two rolls versus the grams of sugar in a can of condensed milk. Hmm, let’s see, would I like to clean sticky dough off the countertops, then clean burned sugar off the floor of the oven, or would I prefer to open a can and grab a spoon? It’s a wonder anyone bakes anymore.

T minus the end of paternity leave: one week. Damn it. I’d better get started on those petit fours.

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