Baking with Whitman










Letter to Whitman – 6 Months


Dear Whitman, 

I have already forgotten far too many things–although to be honest with you, I find the task of recording them to be impossible, since every little moment with you is worth remembering. You continue to surprise me by stretching my heart more every day, expanding beyond reason to hold all the love I have for your tiny being. For now I simply want to record a few of your favorite things, so that not everything will be forgotten. 

A few of your favorite things:

– Breastfeeding. There is absolutely nothing you love more, and MAN that makes me feel important. When we’re getting ready to nurse you get so excited that you make rapid breathy noises and kick your legs; it’s like you just cannot handle the anticipation (and if it takes me too long, you really cannot handle it).

– Jumping–in your Johnny Jump Up in the kitchen doorway, on our laps, basically wherever you can find a useful spring. You bounce and giggle and squeal, and it is adorable. 

– Crawling, rolling, scooching and otherwise moving around the entire house, generally towards the closest object that appears to be least like a toy and most like something a baby should not chew on. 

– Pulling on daddy’s beard, especially in the morning and especially if he is still asleep. This is followed closely by pulling on mommy’s hair.

– Being outside – walks, swings!!, eating grass, eating sand, eating flowers, feeling trees, splashing in tide pools–you love it all. 

– Making the bed–including, but not limited to: fluffing pillows, peek-a-boo with the sheets, blanket burritos, and hiding under each layer of sheets and blankets. As a general rule, you pretty much always enjoy fabric tossed over your head. 

– Eating, drinking, and attempting to join and/or disrupt any kind of eating or drinking that may be going on around you. 

– Taking baths, or really anything that involves water (although baths are especially good because mama takes them with you which allows you to not only swim and splash, but also unlimited access to #1). 

– Pulling your socks off. I have no explanation for this, but you will, without fail, bust up laughing if you or someone else removes one of your socks. 

– Staring at daddy and smiling until he looks up and smiles back. Dad currently works from home and you spend a good portion of your day concentrating your gaze on his face. 

– Snuggling. This is my absolute favorite. When you wake up from your naps I come in quietly and crawl across the bed to you–we lock eyes, you smile, and we snuggle for a few minutes. 




A Letter to Whitman on Mother’s Day


Dear Whitman, 

Today isn’t really a celebration of me, it’s a celebration of what you have made of me. I became your mother just 5 1/2 months ago, and already you have changed me in ways I had never guessed you would.

You have softened me–gently washed away my cynicism and hardness and uncovered joy and hope and so much love. You have awakened in me infinite love, not just for you, but for all of humanity. You dug deep inside me and you found empathy that I had only wished for. I will never look at another human being the same way, and you have given that to me. I am overcome with the pain of others as I imagine them to be tiny, sweet and innocent beings just like you. I want to help them, to love them and embrace them, and I want you to always do the same. You have shown me the divinity in myself and in everyone else, because your divinity is so apparent. You have filled my whole being with love.

You have brought lightness and joy to the forefront of my soul. You have made me into a silly and wonderfully ridiculous person. Your giggles have inspired me to dance and wiggle and contort as I never have before–to attempt accents and invent songs and balance objects on my head. You reminded me of things I’m sure I once knew, like how much fun it is to throw pillows in the air and jump out from behind curtains. 

You have made me patient, my dear baby. You have shown me that I can spend hours attempting a simple task without getting frustrated, and get thrown up on without flinching. You’ve reminded me that hot food is not the most important thing–nor is laundry or sleep or being on time. You have taught me that I can choose calmness and love over frustration and annoyance, even when it’s been 2 hours and you still haven’t gone to sleep. 

So today Whitman, I want to thank you. Thank you for making a mother out of me. 

All of my love, 

Your mother

Letter to Whitman – 2 Months

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Dear Whitman,

You are 8 weeks old today. As with many of the best things, it seems  as if it’s been forever and it was only yesterday all at once. You’ve turned our entire world upside down and we love you more every day.

From the moment of your dramatic arrival you’ve had a sweet disposition. Your nurses in the NICU frequently commented on your calm and peaceful temperament; in fact, I’m not sure I ever heard you cry in the hospital. I figured you were doing that for me, so that I would know you were ok and would rest peacefully when I had to leave you in your little incubator. Since you’ve been home you’ve begun to show a little more spunk, but you generally only fuss when you’re uncomfortable. Quite often you simply gaze around you quietly, taking in the world.

You have an incredibly expressive face and some seriously dramatic eyebrows. You often look very serious and concerned–which shouldn’t be surprising, as your papa and I are pretty weird. You occasionally break your furrowed brow to bust out a huge grin which immediately melts my heart, even if it turned out to be just gas. You’re particularly cheerful in the morning when you wait patiently for me to wake up next to you and greet me with a big smile at the first sound of my voice. I would love you anyway, but it’s pretty great for my ego that you love me so much, too!

Your preferred form of communication is grunting. You grunt and growl more than any baby I’ve ever been acquainted with. You are starting to supplement your vocabulary with coos and squeals, but I still like your little grunts best. Maybe that’s why I sometimes call you baby bear–or possibly because you look so good in a bear hat (and with a bear on your little bum). Your other audible talents include gassing and burping. Your belch would put any sailor to shame, and your toots are as loud and rumbling as any adult (your dad has taken advantage of this on more than one occasion). I honestly cannot fathom how your tiny little body produces such a ruckus.

For the tiny human that you are, you are one strong little man. You prefer flexing over relaxing and are constantly head butting me as you lift your head to look around and let it fall back onto my shoulder/face/stomach/chest/ear . . . When we lay you down on your blanket (which you quite enjoy), you immediately commence waving all four limbs about, figuring out how to move everything around, I would imagine. Just last week you rolled over for the first time (from your stomach to your back), which astonished us as the average baby doesn’t achieve this feat until 5 months. I guess we’ll have to start monitoring you a little more closely sooner than we thought.

Your favorite activities include nursing, sleeping on dad, sleeping on mom, projectile puking, bathing (see previous hobby), tummy time, and hanging out in the sling with mama.

You are already my best little buddy and I love having you around. We do just about everything together– take long walks, poke each other in the belly (actually, you really just kick me in the belly), cook, talk (I think your dad is pretty happy that I finally have someone to talk to all the time–you respond about as frequently as he does anyway), do laundry, fold the laundry, do more laundry–you get the idea. I get to know you better every day and love to watch your little personality emerge more and more.

We sure love you, little man. I hope we don’t mess you up too badly.



Good evening, I’m insane. How are you?

Reasons I have cried uncontrollably in the past four months:

1. I didn’t feel like doing the laundry

2. I’m epically bad at staining furniture (and remarkably good at staining myself, my clothes, and everything we own).

3. Christian stuck his tongue out at me.

4. Christian said “hi” on gchat.

5. There was a huge spider on the wall.

6. Christian left the house.

Can’t wait for 5 more months of inexplicable, unpredictable, hormonally-induced insanity.


Well, clearly I’m not exactly a world-class blogger. But I’d like to do better — I’d like to spend a little time getting my thoughts down and a bit of my life recorded (heaven knows I’m not doing it in my journal . . . ). You (mom, dad) may notice that I’ve revamped the blog a little. I thought perhaps it would help me organize my thoughts and encourage more actual writing. I think the tabs across the top will encompass most of what I want to write about. They’re not done yet; some of them are blank. Sue me.

This is really just a short, sweet post about a pretty awesome PBS documentary just released (you’ve probably all heard about it, it’s like, a really big deal–I mean it’s not that kid that was cured of AIDS or anything, but it’s cool, ok?). That is, Makers. It’s a 3 part series that tells the story of the feminist revolution in America. You may want to go watch it immediately (click the watch video tab at the link to watch the whole thing online for free). Even if you don’t want to, you probably should. If for no other reason than to see Gloria Steinem still looking hot at 78. MAKERS-logo_lg_870x400

In the spirit of brevity (laziness?), here are a few takeaways:

– It has only been 50 years since the height of the feminist movement. 50 years! That’s like, chump change in a historical context. It’s really quite incredible to me the huge strides that have been made since then – it’s both encouraging and also a little bit terrifying. It’s not that I didn’t know this before, but knowing something and thinking about something are two very different things.

– I really need to read The Feminine Mystique already.

– There’s a lot I take for granted, and there’s a lot that still needs to change.

– Sometimes I get a little frustrated with myself for not getting up and doing something really incredible that will change the world completely, like, right now. You know the feeling? I think mostly I just sort of want to feel like I’ve found my big calling or something. Maybe just pride and envy? Also, the age comparisons have already started (when she was 24 she had already ______!). I can only imagine this is going to get much worse.

– Women are awesome and I can too. Maybe I’m having a bit of a feminist revolution period (life? It’s so hard to tell these things without hindsight). Maybe I’ll burn my bra tomorrow, so what if I do?

– My mom is awesome.

I Seek Beauty

I love to make and eat beautiful food.  Even when I’m alone, especially with others.  I don’t know why my food’s appearance is so important to me, but it is.  I don’t want to make casseroles, I want to make delicate tarts.

I see beauty in the process.  I spend extra time cutting butternut squash because I like the way the shavings look, changing shades of brilliant orange just next to the skin. I wipe the counter before, between, and after every step, and I don’t like to eat until the dirty dishes are stacked neatly by the sink, looking as far from dirty as possible.

I think that our food was meant to be beautiful.  I believe in God, and I believe that He sees beauty in the pattern of a sliced lemon and the perfect budding leaves of a mint sprig. I think our desire for beauty–our desire to create beauty–is a wonderful thing.  It’s not frivolous or indulgent, it’s exalted and sublime.

These are not only beautiful, they are delicious.  I have made all of them and highly recommend each.  Links and credit below:

Skillet Rosemary Chicken from Minimally Invasive | 2 Roasted Grapes with Thyme, Fresh Ricotta, and Grilled Bread from Alexandra’s Kitchen | 3 Lemon Tart with Rosemary Crust from So Good & Tasty | 4 Butternut Squash and Crispy Sage Pizza from Alexandra’s Kitchen