Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Bloop Bla!

The twins have created their own game called "Bloop Bla" which involves throwing a ball in the air with both hands and shouting "Bloop Bla!!!" and then laughing uproariously.  It can only be played with a very specific ball - the ball was misplaced for about 30 minutes last Sunday which caused considerable consternation.  When they found it, they stomped down to the basement triumphantly, grinning and saying, "we can play Bloop Bla!" and all was right in the world.

Here is some video of Bloop Bla in action:



It's very low-concept.  I don't want to call it too early, but the likelihood of us incubating the next Trivial Pursuit-like game creators seems pretty low at this point.

The good news is, that after 2 3/4 years, Twin A and Twin B are FINALLY starting to get along and be friends.  The bad news is: that more often than not their interaction consists of getting a rise out of each other.  It is very funny listening in on their conversations, the other day in Eddie Van Halen, Twin A was upset about being roused from his nap too early and was in a stroppy, contrarian mood and Twin B narrated, "He's mad at Mama, he's mad at Baba, he's mad at Tee-o, he's mad at EVERYSING!' Their general mode of being consists of being alternately exasperated/aggrieved with the other.

Things I'm hoping I'll always remember: how, when when either of us put the twins down for bed, Twin B has this sweet ritual.  I'm not permitted to leave without Twin B saying, "don't go yet," "lie down with me," and then throwing his arm around my neck and pulling me in close and burying his face between my head and shoulder, my cheek pressed tight against his, our breath mingling.  He has to stay like that for a good 10-15 minutes, until he's properly drowsy, and then I'm allowed to leave.  I always feel bad for Twin A, who is still in his crib, so I reach over and hold his hand while all this is going on.  Then I have to kiss both their palms and their feet through their blankets before I'm allowed to go.  It's labour intensive, but I love it, so.  There is something so revealing about Twin B's rough and tumble nature dissolving into a pile of mush at the end of the day.  He's such a closet softy.
Twin B walks heavily and carries a big stick.  Everything about him is big, even though he's small (still comfortably rocking their size 2T at almost 2 3/4 years!).  He's so sturdy and entitled on his little stubby legs and goes chest-first into everything.  He is incapable of whispering, but with Twin A, the little dreamer, sly, wise-cracking soul that he is, you can have entire whispered conversations.  It's very sweet.

We've had some nice weekends.  They've been low-key.  One day we'll have a social thing with friends, and the other day will be chill with a nature walk and then the afternoon spent making a Sunday Supper-type meal.  Two weekends ago we hosted our friends R & R.  We went to the Beach to check out the winter warming stations installation and met some friends there.  The installations were okay - we had the kids with us so only managed two, and we went just at the point when that warm, spring-like weather that had Toronto pouring out from the indoors took a turn for the cold and dreary.

Hammering baked beans straight out of the pot

Twin A's sweet little face

The entire beach is turned into an off-leash dog park in the winter, so it's gross. I saw a tampon applicator on the sand and the entire place was filled with garbage - cigarette butts, Starbucks lids...it's disgusting how people treat this place.  I hung back and chatted with my friends as Twin B, confident as ever, walked up to one of the stations and hopped up on a bench and started chatting with the adults surrounding him.  He was eating a Pocky and I saw one of them ask if he would share and he said no.  He's such a swaggering, jovial personality.

Skating with Twin B

Showing off his pirate Xmas present from Aunt V and Uncle C.  The pos3 was his own.

 This past weekend was the inaugural Article Club - this thing Dr. Rei and I have started.  We send out a curated list of articles on a theme, and then we invite a rotating cast of people over to dig into them.  It was really fun - a little hairy with all the kids, but doable.  It was nice to go deep on some stuff with my beautiful, intelligent, wise friends.  Not everyone was conversant in the subject matter (we took on authenticity, race, and BeyoncĂ©'s Formation video, who can speak, who can't, etc.), but that generally added to the conversation as we tried to figure stuff out.  It was really great and I want to do more of it.

Here are the articles we read, if you're interested:









The thing that I love about all the people I hold near and dear to my heart, is that without fail, they are all people who love to dig deep down into s**t.  Who love to debate and think and explore and figure out the universe.  I need more of that in my life, always, but a concentrated forum in which to do that is all kinds of amazing.

We've been dragging the kids on nature walks every weekend, if the weather permits.  That means that on the way in, the kids are fine - skipping, good-natured, dragging sticks.  Scene cuts to: 45 minutes later, and a bedraggled, crazed family emerges from the woods, carrying at minimum, 2 out of 3 children, all of whom are by turns: crying, screaming, being held horizontal, or covered in mud.  It's a solid hang.  Two weeks away we ended up at Charles Sourial park, which runs along the Don River.  This walk was notable because we got to go THROUGH the rainbow tunnel, which has captured my imagination since I was a kid.  This past weekend we went to Guildwood Park, which features random sculptures collected from all over and a walk along the Scarborough bluffs. It's very easy to get dangerously close to the edge of the bluffs (the fencing is tenuous at best), so that lead to some anxious moments for me.

We are in a heady TV time at Casa Dotytron Lagerfeld.  This season of Girls is so good.  I love it.  Do I have the hots for Adam Driver?  Indubitably.  Has the writing gotten better.  I'd argue yes.  My affection for the show has grown as the characters have grown.  Then there's Broad City.  Just seeing the icon for Broad City appear on our TV is enough to get the Dotytron to start laughing.  We hopped back into The Affair for a bit, but we're not heavily invested, and yet cannot look away.  We should probably talk about how into Angie Tribeca we are.  Classic, Airplane and Naked Gun style humour is life-affirming stuff.  Like, if you don't like Airplane, then I can pretty much tell you're dead inside.

Here is what we've been eating:

I'm back in the thick of bread baking.  These were my first two loaves.  Did I already post a pic of this?  They were okay.  I've gotten much better.

Freezer bolognese and pasta with roasted brussels sprouts because Twin B loves them.

Shrimp and grits with andouille sausage

This has been a favorite breakfast around here, lately. Cheese grits and fried eggs with pan-fried scrapple.

Trying to stay on track with the grocery budget - twice baked potatoes, steamed broccoli, and merguez sausage

Freezer cauliflower soup and melted cheddar-onion toasts

A kale and squash strata with cheddar cheese and homemade tomato jam

This past weekend's Sunday supper: chicken marsala, with pappardelle, steamed broccoli (Twin B also loves steamed broccoli) and this Swedish gooey chocolate cake (recipe here).

I made this apple pie following a Serious Eats recipe that had me stir the apples and bring them to exactly 160F for 20 minutes before piling them into a crust.  The idea was to "activate the pectin" so the apples wouldn't shrink nor get mushy.  The resulting pie was okay.  I think maybe I'm just not a classic double-crust apple pie fan?  


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