Monday, March 21, 2005

Music and Food

Gabriel's Monday 21mar05 photo with train

Gabriel was a pill today - he was sleepy and clingy much of the day but had a really hard time falling asleep. We thought that babies are supposed to learn to fall asleep, but it's been 8 months of trying everything under the sun, and he's still crying himself to sleep. We've tried rocking him to sleep, and he isn't interested in falling asleep in our arms. We usually let him cry it out, but he isn't getting better with time. We've tried sitting in the room with him, leaving the room, putting on a fan, turning off the fan... he just hates going to sleep. But he does everything else well and makes us so proud that we really can't complain too much.

There is something interesting about the picture above that we didn't notice at first. Gabriel is pushing a button on the train with the middle finger of his left hand. This is remarkable because he'd just picked up the train and wasn't even looking at it, yet he knew exactly where to touch it to play a song. The place where he is pushing is actually designed so that if he puts a certain type of block on there (which he doesn't do yet), the thing inside the block will spin around. He's figured out that if he just pushes on it, it will vibrate against his finger while the song plays. That was one of the first things he learned about cause and effect, maybe the first, months ago. By the way, is this an indication that he's left-handed like his mommy and daddy?

The highlight of Gabriel's day was when we read him his new book - Barnyard Boogie, which he got in the mail from Great-Grandma Angle today. He loved the book right away, and we both had fun making voices for all of the animals. Part of the book is actually a puppet mouth that sticks through the middle of the pages. We have to hide our face behind the book when we're reading so Chip will look at the puppet mouth and not our mouth.

We discovered yesterday in the car that Gabriel is a fan of punk music. "I Wanna Be Sedated" by The Ramones came on the radio, and he loved it. We downloaded it for him today along with some Rancid (one song is a killer version of the Bob Marley and the Wailers song "No Woman, No Cry") and The Sex Pistols. Maybe we won't tell him the names of the bands, now that we think of it...

We went to Whole Foods today to stock up on organic food for the Chipster. He's down to a couple veggies and needed some variety. We got corn, peas, avocado, green beans, zucchini, squash, and pears. We ran into Kathleen, Patty's former boss, in the produce section and got a chance to catch up. The man working in that same section, Norm, told us that we needed to try kohlrabi and threw a bunch in a bag for us, wrote "Comp" on it, and told us that we could have it. It's supposedly a member of the turnip family but tastes sweeter than a turnip. We can't wait to try it; we need to branch out with our veggies.

Speaking of food, Patty has been obsessed with popovers lately and made two batches yesterday and one today. She's eating them almost as fast as they can come out of the oven, but she's been saving a few for Matt. The recipe is super easy: whisk together a cup of milk and 2 eggs, whisk in a cup of all-purpose flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt that have been previously combined, and bake in a greased muffin tin for 20 minutes at 450°. Lower the heat to 375° and bake until crispy and golden on the outside, about 10-20 minutes. It takes literally two minutes to prepare. Oh, here's a tip that makes it even easier: throw the muffin tin in the oven while combining the ingredients, and then put a little dab of butter in each tin and rub around to grease. The butter will instantly melt and will be easy to get in the corners, rather than trying to force a solid piece of butter to go where you want it.

We got some bread flour at Whole Foods today, so we're going to try to make our own bread. If it goes well, we'll never have to buy bread again - and at the rate we go through bread, that's a good thing!