Friday, May 25, 2012

the long goodbye to nursing

My three year old sat on the closed toilet seat while I brushed her hair before she brushed her teeth on the way to bedtime. She doesn't have much patience for this, even though she tries to be like her older sister and sit very still and enjoy the gentle brushing.

I stopped as she slid off the seat and climbed into my lap where I sat on the edge of the tub. She faced me and pushed her cheek onto my chest. She put her small hands onto my skin and sighed. And she finally said in that young-sounding three year old voice, "I want to be a baby so I can nurse again." Imagine a comma in between every word and no "r"s-- that's kind of how she speaks. This expression of wanting to nurse is very sweet, and it's something she says fairly regularly (maybe once a month or so), so I hugged her and stroked her hair and murmured something loving.

But then she said something else, and this time her voice sounded completely different. She said, "I miss it. I miss you." And I was struck silent. I tried to draw her closer, but no. She slipped off my lap to brush her teeth. She had said her piece and now she was moving on to the next task.

I think she knows we cannot go back. I think she knows how much we love each other despite the ways our relationship changes as she grows. I'm always learning on this job.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Why I blog

I want to practice writing.

I want to practice putting my voice into the world without apology.
I want to think through difficult problems out loud and with others.

I want to bring together and hear from a community of thinkers and doers who have ideas and comments to share.

I want to be visible in a world where women are often invisible, where children of immigrants are often invisible.

I want to create a space where others are heard and are visible, too.

I want to make people laugh.

Writing with Ink
Photo by Flickr user urbanworkbench

I don't want to be seen as a marketing device.

I don't want to compete with other bloggers or shut down anyone's voice.

I don't want to be a mouthpiece for anyone or anything other than my own true experience.

Are you a blogger or a regular blog reader (or both)? I would love to hear why you blog, if you do, and what your goals are, if any. If you're a regular blog reader, what are your favorite go-to blogs?

So easy: Green bean hazelnut salmon salad

Most nights, I'm scrambling to get dinner on the table. Something that's healthy, fresh, delicious. And doesn't take a couple days to plan and make.

Many nights, I rely on Debbie Koenig's brilliant book Parents Need to Eat Too. Each recipe is tested by over 100 moms with kids running around the house! So you can be sure they're all pretty easy, with ingredients that are probably close at hand.

Green Bean, Hazelnut, and Mint Salad with Lemon DressingNgoc Minh Ngo

But last week, I turned to my latest copy of Sunset magazine to find this beautiful recipe for Green Beans, Hazelnut and Mint Salad with Lemon Dressing.


  • 3/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 8 cups packed green beans (about 3/4 lb.), stems trimmed and strings removed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons hazelnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 375°. Spread nuts out on a baking pan and bake until golden under skins (break one to test), 10 to 15 minutes. When nuts are cool enough to handle, rub in a kitchen towel to remove as many skins as possible. Chop coarsely and set aside.
2. In a 4- to 6-quart pot over high heat, bring 3 quarts salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until just crisp-tender, 4 to 7 minutes. Drain in a colander and plunge beans into a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain again and set aside.
3. In a small bowl, stir together the mint leaves, lemon peel, lemon juice, and salt to make the dressing. Drizzle in the hazelnut oil, whisking constantly.
4. In a large bowl, gently toss the beans with dressing and hazelnuts. Serve at room temperature.
I made this extra easy by toasting the nuts in my toaster oven and using Trader Joe's green beans you can microwave in a bag. I know, I know- microwaving food in plastic is a very bad idea. Probably I should have emptied them into a bowl and zapped. But I take shortcuts here and there and generally don't feel too bad about them. 
Because we got an awesome salad out of this! 
Where's the salmon? To add protein, I added a can of wild sockeye salmon and mixed it in. The lemon worked beautifully with the fish and my kids loved it. I bet hard boiled egg would be fabulous too.
What are your go-to dinner ideas?