January 30, 2013

Little lady.

7:30am looks particularly good on Miss Colette.

(the crazy hair is the one thing that belies her otherwise calm presence at that hour).

January 29, 2013

Waving hello.

She is addicted to waving. She wakes herself up to practice. I watch her do it in the middle of the night; I can see her in the little video screen of the monitor, roused from her sleep to sit up, point with her little finger to the stuffed animals at the end of her crib and wave. Yes, just wave. Then she plunks back over and falls back to sleep. Totoro gets a lot of waves too. So does every new human she ever encounters - especially while sitting on her throne in the grocery cart, maybe her favorite position of all. So basic and so human and so delightful.

January 26, 2013

Per Se.

Here is the view at "the best restaurant in New York" (as they say of Per Se). My friend Amy and I can now say that we agree with that estimation. Although I am no foodie, to sit down to the chef's (Thomas Keller) tasting menu at Per Se was a life event - mainly because I may never eat like that again. The whole experience lasted over 3 hours. Sampling of just a few items of which we partook:

"Sabayon" of Pearl Tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and Sterling White Sturgeon Caviar

Poached Rhubarb, Young Fennel, Piedmont Hazelnuts, Greek Yogurt and Sorrel

Celery Branch, Medjool Dates, English Walnuts, Whole Grain Mustard and Creamed Arrowleaf Spinach

And to follow:

January 23, 2013


The other evening, we were watching the daily video news roundup on French television channel Canal+: " Le zapping" - clips of everything viral, newsworthy, tragic, hilarious, banal, comic, impressive and idiotic in France, or according to the French (if you are a francophile, this is one way to stay connected to what is going on in French people's heads).

I seriously perked up when I saw a strange image and heard the word "fabophile." There she was, Madame Jacqueline Goepfert of Pfastatt (quite a mouthful). Behind her lovely ~70 year-old head were tiny shelves full of her collection: the trinket/toy/figurine one finds in the middle of the traditional Galette des Rois - la fève. To be more precise, she had 123,000 fèves. Every spot in her apartment was covered in the things.

You see, un fabophile: c'est un collectionneur de fèves (it is a collector of fèves). I looked into it a bit more. There are three kinds of fèves: Les Santons - religious themed; Les fèves standards - the most common found in cakes in all boulangeries (like the one featured above); Les personnalisées - these are of the highest value because they are limited edition pieces - in cakes sold only in special places. Oh my! The Galette des Rois tradition was already one of my favorites chez les Français, but this, this(!) brings that status even higher.

Check her out.

Fast forward to 2:06 in the footage and you'll catch a glimpse of her collection (watch the first part too if Gerard Depardieu's defection interests you):

ZAPPING ACTU DU 08/01/2013 by lezapping

I bet she belongs to AFF: Association des Fabolphiles Français. If we ever move back to France, you can guess which club I am joining.

Get the whole Galette des Rois story here.

January 21, 2013

Of course.

I gave her my phone for about 30 seconds. 10 months old and that is all it took for her to figure out how it works. Entirely repeatable - I give it back to her and she unlocks it immediately and starts toying with her options. These digital natives. The things her little fingers will know. (She also loves that picture of her on the screen saver - yelps with delight when she sees it. Maybe she just loves the idea of a baby sitting there like that).

10 months.

January 20, 2013

Come quick.

"Hurry babe, come quick and help me. I am in the middle of something, can you just keep Colette away for a minute?" I hear from Colette's room. So, I scurry to the room thinking Xavier needs to fix something in the room or do something useful. He is lining up airplanes. That's right. I need to clear Colette off the runway since she is getting in the way of take off.

And then he turns on Run DMC and they have a dance party. Colette bobs up and down in her approval and enthusiasm.

January 18, 2013


Muppet friend. We named him Simon. When she wakes up in the morning and sees Simon sitting there (kind of slumping), across the room, she waves with a big open hand at him. He is her friend. Tonight though, Simon went after miss baby as she tried to escape.

She was wide-open mouth laughing.

January 17, 2013

Gulabi Gang.

Since my post below on girls/women in the news recently, I've received a lot of emails with friends' thoughts. One of my friends, Ann Marie, sent me a great article. On her recent voyage to India, Ann Marie had the chance to stay with the author of the article. It features a heroine whose approach to rape and abuse is sincerely heartening. I love this. The Pink Sari Clan, who publicly shame and even beat rapists/abusers with big bamboo sticks, is "a gang for justice." So powerful and reading about it does the exact opposite to my internal organs - instead of sinking/twisting in my body in response to vile reports of how women are treated, they lift a little and seem to expand.

Read about this women's vigilante group in India (image borrowed from the article)

More from this author on her wordpress blog here

January 14, 2013

Art Deco delight.

Nickel plating and Louis Rigal and the particulars. Love the art deco all about of course at the Waldorf Astoria.

January 9, 2013


Every day on my way to and from work, I listen to NPR podcasts. Especially recently, I've had a deep sense of sadness as I listen to story after story about women and girls. The story of the recent gang rape and death in India. The story of the recovering 14-year old Pakastani girl shot by the Taliban. The recent explosion of sexual bullying of young girls online. Even Obama's lack of women in his new cabinet. These stories have had me simmering with petulance and disbelief.

I am heartened by articles like this highly circulated article in the NYTimes by a woman who survived a gang rape: I Was Wounded; My Honor Wasn’t (in response to reactions to rape like this). She articulated something that I've felt hearing each one of these stories: that the most difficult thing might not actually to be the victim (an impressive assertion coming from a victim of a gang rape), it would be to be the parent of the girl who lives these things. I've been a feminist for a long time. For those who think that the world no longer needs feminism, I would ask them to simply read the news - just a daily glance. As a mother to a daughter, my belief in feminism and advocacy for women has been buttressed in every way. Much more difficult than my own struggle in being a woman, in whatever form that might take, would be to live through Colette being disadvantaged, mistreated or harmed simply for being born a girl.

Heartening are articles like this one: The Internationalization of Women’s Issues, that the outcry country-wide in India over that rape/murder and the exposure events like these are getting in international press and that people are thinking in different ways about gender and how gender relates to humanity.

January 3, 2013

Gold rush.

I put Colette in the sink for a bath and Andrew, my youngest brother, put dry ice in the sink next to her. She thought it was amazing. And it was. Great idea, Drew.

Xavier saw these photos and wanted me to title this post, "Gold rush bath time." Anything a bit American rustic that he has never seen before qualifies as "gold rush" - e.g. bathing a child in a sink, eating without a knife or eating dinner at 6:00pm, using blankets on a bed instead of a duvet, no shutters on windows, soup or stew...the list goes on and on. When exposed to these things, he pronounces, "C'est super gold rush" (emphasis on the French accent on "gold rush").

January 2, 2013

Pretty Bedda

...got married over the holiday break. Marguerite kept talking about her dress (she was delighted!) and drawing Rebekah pictures of a bride and a groom with a dreamy look in her eyes.

January 1, 2013

Great-grandpa Ivan and Colette.

While we were in Utah for Christmas, Colette paid a special visit to my Grandpa Ivan (he is 94 years old). My grandpa is losing his memory and he has good days and bad days. My mama has been spending a lot of time with her dad and sees him vacillate through moments of lucidity and moments of being adrift - wandering somewhere in between his past and a present to which he can't easily relate. He is such a grand old guy. Colette loved him. She locked eyes with him - his smiling clear blue eyes and face and just oozed Colette charm. She smiled and clapped and waved and reached out for him - his buttons, his face. She showed him all her tricks, pulled herself up by the knobs and handles on the cabinets and turned around to where he was sitting to wave and smile - insisting, "look at me." He did and he gazed at her with a lot of love. Her great-grandpa - she knew him. It made me melt.

Here is my grandpa as a little boy (right). So cute.

And here is my grandpa's father (Lester), his brothers and their dad. Such an impressive group. Time is beautiful and terrifying.
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