Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween

For Halloween this year, we traded Anders in for a pumpkin.





This pumpkin reminded us a lot of Anders.  For example, he wouldn't sit still for a nice picture with Halmoni.


And he liked to sit in Anders's chair.


We also threw a Halloween party, attended by many cute toddlers...

...and the occasional big kid...

...but mostly toddlers...


...and a few costumed adults, and even a few pre-toddlers.


The redwood was a popular hangout spot.


Some very deep conversations were had...

...and also a few interesting exhibitions.


And the most train-obsessed boy in the world found out that if you think about trains long enough, you actually turn into one!


There was an attempt at a group photo of the kids. It was a bit chaotic.




Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Goggles!

Anders really doesn't like sticking his face in the water at swim class. I thought maybe if he had goggles, he'd do better....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Theramin

We went to the Exploratorium along with the Ways. Anders loved it.

The adults liked it, too.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

pre-schematic drawing

Anders has begun drawing heads with legs in a classic pre-schematic form. As best I can tell from a few Google searches, he may be slightly ahead of schedule.

Here's one particularly detailed example. He drew this just before I left to pick up Sigrid for her birthday dinner, so I say it's a present. Happy birthday, Mama!

He told me this is a little mouse.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Babymoon #2

When Sigrid was pregnant with Anders, we flew to Palm Springs for a babymoon. This time, with #2 on the way, we zipped up to Calistoga for a couple of nights (Anders stayed home with a babysitter).

We stayed at the Mount View Hotel, a cute little hotel & spa in the middle of Calistoga. Our room, the Rombauer Winery Suite, had a pretty art deco flair to it.

We were greeted by a friendly dog in the sitting area.


There were a lot of mirrored surfaces.


At the foot of our bed, we had this zebra-print chair.


The far wall of our bedroom had this funky display.


The mirrors there lent themselves to artsy photos like this.


The wallpaper is not anything I'd like to live with day-in, day-out, but it was kind of interesting for a weekend. It helped that not every wall was done up that way.


The windows at the foot of the bed opened to a lovely view... so long as you focused on the top half of the window, that is.


That first night, we zipped over to the east end of Calistoga, on Silverado Trail, and ate at Solbar, the restaurant at the Solage resort. There was a wedding going on that night, which meant that there was a lot going on, but the restaurant itself was fairly empty.

This cool water fountain greeted us as we approached the restaurant.

...and this fire feature was next.


The restaurant itself was similarly modern in style.

The food was quite good—Solbar is definitely worthy of the star Michelin has bestowed upon it.

On Sunday morning, we had massages at the hotel spa, and then went for a hike (pregnancy hike #8). Sigrid picked out a state park a few miles south of Calistoga, and only when we got there did we realize it's the same park we hiked when we came up to Napa to eat at The French Laundry.

But it was October, not December, and this time Sigrid was pregnant. So it was a bit different.



Sunday night, we drove to Healdsburg to eat at Cyrus. Sigrid had the five-course vegetarian tasting menu, and I had the regular five-course tasting menu (there are also eight-course options).

But the dinner actually was well beyond five courses. We started with some champagne, accompanied by a set of five canapes—representing sweet, bitter, salty, sour, and umami (savory).


Next, we each got an amuse bouche. Only after that did we make it to our first courses. For Sigrid, a deconstructed Greek salad (Top Chef fans: think Michael Voltaggio).

My first course was "Thai Lobster 2.0," which had a rockin' Thai basil sauce (to the right).


Next was a soup course. Pumpkin soup with chestnuts and pepitas for Sigrid.

Abalone with matsutake mushrooms, served with a kinoko-mushi broth.


Sigrid's next course was, to me, the best thing served all night: sweet corn and black truffle risotto.

My next course was medai (Japanese butterfish) flash-seared one one side, over sweet corn.


Finally, our main courses. Well, almost. Next was a palette cleansing bite—thimble-sized kiwi-lime ices.

Ok, now on to the main courses. For Sigrid, agedashi tofu with matsutake mushrooms, served with a sea stock. Sitting on top is a delicate fried squash blossom.

For me, that's some roasted duck breast over garlic chives on the left, a few dots of Asian pear in the center, and a duck confit bun (a French take on Peking duck, perhaps?) on the right.


After that came a little something extra they gave us help us celebrate our babymoon (we saw them serve the same extra bit to another table that was celebrating a birthday—if you go to Cyrus, make sure to let them know what the occasion is, and if you have no special occasion, just make something up!). They brought us chocolate chip cookies served with what I guess you could call chocolate milk.

The cookies arrived on a glass-domed plate, attached to which was a valve with a balloon attached.  When they turned the valve, the air from the balloon puffed up a dusting of chocolate inside the dome. It's a bit hard to explain, but it was a cute trick. Here's what the cookies looked like once they were removed from the domed contraption.


The "chocolate milk" was some valrhona chocolate in a shot glass, with some milk (or perhaps it was cream?) layered on top, to which they added some seltzer at the table. We were told to stir with the metal straws until it was all mixed together. The cookies—still warm—were delicious, and the chocolate milk was an incredibly rich accompaniment.


Finally (well, not quite finally, as you'll see), desserts. On the menu, Sigrid's was called, simply enough, velvet cake, but it was quite a bit more complicated than that.

Mine was a new take on ice-cream (mint-chocolate chip) sandwiches, accompanied by some hot chocolate.


The mignardises cart that came around while we had tea and coffee had a ridiculous number of options. Sigrid settled on a pair of pate de fruit. I was a bit greedier, and had a couple of chocolates, but also a couple of unusual suckers (to give you an idea, one was watermelon with black pepper).


And that, actually, was not quite the end. They sent us home with a personalized menu to remind us what we had eaten, and a beautifully boxed brownie for each of us.  So five courses, plus the canapes, the amuse, the palette cleansing ice, the cookies, the mignardises, and the brownies. One could, I suppose, call that eleven courses.

Monday morning, we checked out and drove back home, and had lunch at Le Zinc.  It was sad to see our babymoon come to an end, but the end of the babymoon meant we got to see Anders again, which softened the blow.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

North end of Glen Canyon

Pregnancy hike #7—the least hike-like of our hikes to date. We (a) failed to make it to the one mile mark (only 6/10 of a mile, in fact); and (b) had an average pace of less than one mile per hour. I blame this on the late start we got, which resulted from needing to give Anders a haircut today.



Pancake Sunday

Anders ran up to me this morning and proclaimed, "I want pancakes Dada!" Which may have had something to do with Sigrid having told him to tell me that. Which may have had something to do with Sigrid's own breakfast desires.

So we had pancakes. Anders decided he wanted to sit in a big chair, not his high chair. He ate with gusto.


He liked them pancakes.




And he did just fine in the big chair, with the help of a booster seat. Not so well that we're transitioning him away from his high chair just yet, but sometime....