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Posts Tagged ‘Water Boy’

Getting Bent(o)

I know this is meant to be a book/culture blog, and I don’t plan to turn it into a bento blog. But I love my lunch packing skills, and sometimes I just want to show off. So there.

Another of my (many) New Year’s Resolutions was to take our lunches every day. This was of course back when we were still both working, but I’ve modified it to include Water Boy and I, when we go to playdates or park lunches. I still pack Stillmog’s lunch most days, but I’m not to concerned with making his cute, obviously. (There is one girl a work that’s totally jealous of him, though, especially on the days I pack sushi.)

I’m trying to lose weight, and Water Boy has a stomach the size of his toddler fist, so we can easily share my lunch box.

The first lunch is for a park lunch he and I shared last week. The big box has two cucumber and hummus wraps in whole grain tortillas. (I decided I’m fine eating one of these, but two is just too much hummus for me.) There’s also some raw veges in the corner. The small box on the left has sliced cantaloupe in it, with a clementine above it. The round container has two soy sauce eggs, pepperoni slices, a babybell cheese wheel, and cherry tomatoes. This ended up being way too much food for either of us. I definitely overdid it with the little round box.

The second picture is a lunch I packed for us on Friday, which we ate at the mall food court after being at the play area downstairs.

The main box contains a turkey bagel sandwich with tomatoes and lettuce, as well as a babybel cheese wheel. Sliced string cheese in the cup, pepperoni slices and three rolled up turkey slices are at the top. (Water Boy loves pepperoni and rolled deli meat. He’s not crazy about sandwiches yet.)

The top little box has a diced avocado and halved cherry tomatoes in italian dressing. I discovered this concoction by accident, but love it. Bottom little box has whole grain goldfish crackers, organic raisins, and red grapes. (I know, two kinds of grapes, I don’t care. He ate them, so I’m cool with redundancy.) This ended up being more than enough for both of us, and I almost couldn’t finish my salad.

I also picked up a neat little bento trick at Macy’s while at the mall. These silicone baking cups from Martha Stewart Baking (I now have red) are perfect for keeping things separate in your bento, while being reusable. I slice string cheese a lot, and they are perfect for that. I also send pickles with Stillmog, and Water Boy had his crackers piled in one at lunch on Friday. I’m also planning to use them for my soy sauce eggs. They add a good splash of color to your bento, are fun for little fingers, and are a great green alternative to disposable paper cups. At 9.99 for a set of 12, they’re a good bargain, since you’ll spend more than that on paper cups over time, and I had a gift card for several dollars off. I wish they’d had other colors besides red, but maybe I can justify buying another set when more colors arrive at our local store.

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I have a notoriously brown thumb. Stillmog shivers in horror every time I bring another victim home. But honestly, I can’t help myself! I grew up with my mom’s garden, and a house full of plants. It’s not my fault I can’t keep them alive to…well…save my life. Or theirs. So I just keep trying, and hoping. Hoping that some day, there will be some lucky plant I can’t kill. (I’ve even killed cactus because I forgot to water it. How sad is that?!)

Water Boy and I made the drive over to my mom Virgo’s house this morning to pick her up. Then off we went to the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens’ Annual Spring Plant Sale. Too bad it felt like the middle of winter! It was about 38 degrees, with a wind chill factor of Holy Shiate It’s COLD! But I came prepared. Water Boy was in three layers, with a hat, and I bundled him up in his favorite quilt in our little red wagon. I of course forgot to factor in that the plant sale is over a series of Hills and that wagon is hard to pull with thirty pounds of toddler and Stuff in it. But we managed.

I didn’t get much, under the cautious assumption that I might kill things if I tried too many plants this time around. So I picked up three pepper plants, some elfin thyme (which is adorable!) and some catmint. We currently have four cats, so I felt it was necessary. I still have a mint plant that I haven’t put in a pot yet, from our weekly Co-Op. I was strongly tempted by the key lime trees they had for $20, but expense and experience (two dead citrus trees last year) deterred me.

On the way out, Water Boy decided he’d had enough of the wagon, and demanded he be let out. Then I’m guessing he decided we were Going Too Slow and took things into his own hands, dragging us along behind him as he pulled the wagon to the car. I love a man who will take charge like that.

After the plant sale, we went to try out a new cafe in town. Stillmog and I have had terrible luck with local coffee shops, they keep closing on us! Panther City Coffee closed last year, then this January, EuroTazza closed. We spent the majority of my pregnancy with Water Boy at Panther City, playing Magic the Gathering and drinking hot chocolate until late at night. So when my friends at Artisan Baking Company told me about some new clients of theirs, the Gallery Art Cafe, I knew we had to try them out.

Two thumbs way, way up, as Siskel and Ebert would say. They not only serve your standard espresso drinks, but hot food, too. Virgo and I both had their traditional breakfast, two eggs, sausage or bacon, fried potatoes, and wheat toast. We added two large hot chocolates to help us thaw out from our trek across the Frozen Tundra earlier that morning. And yum, it was good. They’ve just extended their evening hours, so I’m hoping to take Stillmog there some evening very soon. Unfortunately, they aren’t that close to our house, about 15 minutes or more away, but if we like them, I feel it will be worth it. This morning, of the five occupied tables, four of them had kids, a very positive sign for Water Boy. The owners were very friendly, too.

The added bonus is that they aren’t called Gallery Art Cafe for kicks. They display the work of local artists on their beautiful brick walls as well as the standard coffee menu. So now I can feel like I’m soaking up culture at the same time I’m soaking up caffeine. Wonderful!

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One of my New Years Resolutions was to get out to more community events, and I think I’ve really done a good job of trying.

Tonight, we went out to the Fort Worth Arts Goggle. A slight play on “google”, it’s meant to represent local artists in all mediums. Sculpture, jewelry, paint, music, and of course, food. Local businesses open their doors for the evening, set out trays of food and free booze, and let people in to admire (and hopefully buy!) a piece of local color.

It’s based in South Fort Worth, my neighborhood, so I’ve always felt a little partial to it. We went for the first one a few years ago, but have a missed the last few. I was determined to go, so I strapped Water Boy into his umbrella stroller, picked up my brother Archer from my mom’s, and away we went, in 45 degree weather, to tour the businesses.

A few cups of wine and a few cupcakes, a great oldies band, and Archer and Water Boy were out on the dance floor! Water Boy is at that age of absolutely no public (or private) shyness. He’s ready to throw himself out there, regardless of who’s watching. I appreciate that, and I think it’s made me a less self-conscious person, too. Nobody cares how well you dance when you’re partner’s as cute as mine is.

We saw some really awesome pieces, including some beautiful instrument-themed paintings that looked like they might have metal thread or wire incorporated into the painting. We had a chance to walk into some Very Swanky Galleries, including one where I set my wet plastic wine cup down on a $6000 ebony and gilt inlaid table. *swoon*

I took Archer home a couple hours in, and then Stillmog met us after work. We went over to King Tut’s, a great Egyptian restaurant that I’ve now eaten at twice and been completely satisfied. The prices are a little steep, but I feel the quality of the food makes it worth it. The portions are HUGE! The added bonus of KT’s are the “artifacts” scattered around the dining area on display. Sarcophagi, busts of Pharoahs, and statues of Anubis are just a few things that meet your eye as you dine. Water Boy is fascinated every time we go in.

It’s possible we’ll go back Saturday night for Gallery Night, which is spread all over Fort Worth and Arlington, not just South Funky Town. Stillmog was a little bummed because he really didn’t get to see anything since he got there so late.

I can’t wait for next year, I’m hoping the weather cooperates this time. It’s hard to enjoy the outdoor neighborhood when your eyes are watering and your fingers a frozen to the handles of the stroller.

That’s how I spent my Friday night, how was yours?

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Read Friday Night

The Eleventh Hour by Graeme Base

Oh Graeme Base, with your intricate pictures and interesting stories. We’ve ended up with several of your books, and that’s a good thing. But I get so distracted by the pictures that reading them for Water Boy takes twice as long as necessary!

In The Eleventh Hour, several party animals are invited to Horace the Elephant’s eleventh birthday. They play hide-and-seek, poker, and pool, among other things, all while in costume dress. The Zebra comes as a Punk and the Swan as a Princess, for instance. They are anxious to eat the birthday feast Horace has prepared for them, but wind up disappointed! It’s discovered at the end of the book that someone has stolen and eaten the beautiful feast that was laid out waiting for them! They sorrowfully eat plains sandwiches and wonder amongst themselves who could have eaten the wonderful food.

This would seem like story enough for anyone, but you now have the opportunity to solve the mystery! Hidden on each page are clues to solving the case of the feast thief, and it’s as though you’re reading a story within a story. At the very end of the book is a sealed section that you must open to finish the entire mystery, adding a whole new dimension to an already great experience. The story is written in rhyming couplets, which adds a nice touch. I once again highly recommend this book by Graeme Base for readers of all ages.

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I was so looking forward to my book club tonight, for which I read Eat, Pray, Love. But apparently, it wasn’t to be. I mean, I managed to go. I just didn’t manage to stay, thanks to Water Boy. I was there for about fifteen minutes before he had a total meltdown and we had to leave.

I felt particularly bad, because my book club is populated by attractive, hip, mostly childless women and I always feel bad taking him, but even worse when he manages to be a poster child (ha!) for Why You Don’t Want Kids.

So not only do I feel frumpy, fat, and uncool when I go, but tonight I also managed to feel completely embarrassed for being forced to slink out of the room and come home, without even getting to discuss that stupid book.

Three cheers for motherhood!

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There was no bedtime book tonight, but it wasn’t my fault, I swear! Blame Stillmog, he worked some crazy sorcery on Water Boy and put him under for the night.

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I’m a member of a co-op, which means I own a share of the farmer’s crop and am entitled to a percentage of each harvest. What this really means, is that each week I go and pick up a box of locally grown veges and get to gloat over my produce without actually having to grow or pick it myself. Seems almost illegal, doesn’t it?

Now that Spring has sprung in Texas, or at least, almost, our boxes have been stuffed full of green leafy vegetables and sprouts. Everything in this salad came from my co-op, minus the eggs and tomatoes. Several kinds of lettuce, spinach, green onions, and sprouts.

Aren’t you jealous? I got to eat this for lunch, sharing with Water Boy, of course. He’s a salad fiend.

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