Thing of the Week: Kristen Bell



Liner Notes 1/30

I have no idea what has happened in the last week. Days happened and hours happened and things happened within those days and hours. Everyone came down with colds. I met a friend for lunch. Everything was crazy and awesome and crazy and then suddenly extremely stressful and then awesome followed by the awesome kind of stress I like to call strawesome. I joined Instragram because I am so fashionably late I'm out of style. I also bought an iphone because my brick finally died and after fighting the purchase for several years, I finally gave up. Two days later I'm an iaddict with its innoying. I don't know how anyone gets anything done with an iphone in their pocket and am giving myself one month to learn to live with this thing without letting it live me. ONE MONTH, iphone, YOU BEAUTIFUL BASTARD. In the meantime, it takes it some pretty pictures, it does.
In this week's baby news, Reverie decided she'd like in on the action and became a little more outspoken in her needs. She experimented with crying occasionally like a normal baby human. I'm relieved in a way but also frustrated that I don't have two laps and four arms. Whatever, biology.
The girls started grabbing for each other's faces and hands and while Reverie has ditched the paci in place of her thumb (which, regardless of its orthodontiacussions is the cutest thing of all time) and Bo has taken to sucking her sister's hands because they're ... there.
I took the kids out for a walk to get smoothies over the weekend. We survived the walk TO the smoothie place but on the way home, not so much. Babies woke up from lack of movement, both of them SCREAMING and me unable to remove them because I had two other children to hold the hands of as we crossed the various streets. And then Fable tripped and face-planted on the sidewalk, smoothie explosion fest 2012. She was bleeding and crying and Bo and Revi were screaming and all the young, hip couples walked around us on the sidewalk and straight into the convenience store to stock up on condoms as I held my open arms to the sky and said "LET ME BE YOUR BIRTH CONTROL!"
Luckily, all bad moments must come to an end. And then, the goodness appears like in every terrible quote that references rainbows. We made it home. The bleeding stopped. The babies calmed. We all held hands and sang kumbaya around the invisible fire.
In the last few days our house hunt has reached a fever pitch and I've spent every last bit of energy weighing pros and cons of home ownership, meditating, praying, playing with crystals, rubbing dreamcatchers all over my body and following Archer around with a notepad to write down his every word in case he says something home related that will serve as a sign. I'm dying to write about our adventures in real estate right now but cannot. Yet. Because, yeah. In the meantime, here's a blurry photo of something that might be more than something and my stomach is doing flips right now while I type this because holyshitthisislikeebaytimesamillionandthenihadapanicattack.
P.S. Today Fable went to school dressed like a fairy.
(Fingers crossed for some magic.)


When you're in Vegas, seven is the luckiest number. Seven is the jackpot. Seven is what you pray for at slot machines with empty pockets. 7 and 7 is the drink you order before you pull the lever, surrounded by 1.lust and 2.gluttony, 3. greed and 4. sloth, 5. wrath, 6. envy and 7.pride. Seven is for winners. Seven is for sinners. This should be a country western song.

Every night we go to bed at midnight. It used to be later but then we had one kid and two kids and four kids and now we go to bed at midnight. It should be earlier but the babies don't go down until 11:00 so the last hour of the day belongs to us: our hour. An hour we typically spend picking our noses and holding our noses because it smells like farts in here.

"Wasn't me."

"Yes it was."

"It was the dog."

"It was you."

"It was the baby."

"It was you."

"It was the other baby."


I was engaged once but it wasn't to him. It was ten years ago and I was twenty and the proposal happened at the tippy-top of a hill in San Sebastian, Spain, and it was romantic. So romantic we broke up a few months later. And then I got married to someone else.

We got married alone. Our parents weren't invited. Our friends weren't invited. Just the receptionist at the chapel with the grey beehive who wasn't even real. We weren't ready for real so everything was cardboard, including the flowers we posed in front of after he kissed the bride. We were running from real. We ran to Vegas and we ran home, and on May 23rd we ran to the hospital and into the glass. January 22nd was the day we became legally wed by the state of Nevada but May 23rd was the day we made our vows. The child we held between us was as beautiful as we'd ever be together. He was our hope and the ring around our hearts.

When you get married it's like reciting the pledge of allegiance and how the teachers try to explain what it all means but you don't care. You say it because you have to. Because you are born with its words in your mouth. And to the republic for which it stands, to have and to hold from this day forward, one nation, under god, till death do us part, I do.

It took four years for me to call him husband. Four years of undoing forced vows in my head, replacing "till death do us part" with a blank line and an ellipsis. We are here today. And most likely tomorrow. But death is too tall a fence to wrap around our perimeter so we place stakes in the land instead. Otherwise we would be fixated on the fence. We spent our first three years of marriage fixated on the fence.

Everybody bet against us. Sevens are hard to come by, they said. It can take years of gambling to get there. Years of pulling levers with a drink in one hand. Everybody bet against us including me and Hal, and we all lost. Fuck yeah we did. We all lost.

Weddings are as beautiful as marriage ever looks on the outside, with its decorative words and couture gowns and floral displays, with its first dances and exchange of precious metals. That is, until your perception of beauty changes. Until you wake up one day and realize you're both on the same team, even when you play against each other in scrimmages. Even though sometimes I drop the ball and he misses the kick and we spend the night under the same cloak of silence, watching instant replays in our children's eyes.

"It smells like farts in here."

"It was me."

"And that's why I love you."

Seven years ago, we repeated words we didn't hear in a place we didn't know with an audience of strangers. I don't have a dress to pass down to my daughters. Or a wedding album. We never picked a song. All we had was the invisible incline. And every year, we get to turn around and look down.

Getting pregnant was the stupidest thing we ever did. Getting pregnant was the smartest thing we ever did. Our wedding meant nothing. We laughed through the ceremony. We posed in front of a bouquet of fake flowers. We lost the bet.

We lost the bet and won everything.


I've posted The Head and the Heart before but it's been a while. This one's for everyone I love who doesn't live inside my house. Sigh... missing you.

105. Rivers and Roads by: The Head and the Heart


Eat Well: Easy as (Red Lentils and) Chocolate Pie

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, mom!
When Archer was born, I didn’t stay with Rebecca and Hal like I did at the births of their other children. Their apartment was so small I would have had to sleep in the bathtub shower. The day Archer was born, Larry and I, Rachel and David, drove up from San Diego, arriving minutes after his birth. We held and stared at him all day, but when I left that night I cried wishing I could hold him longer, be there, breathe him in. I remember feeling betrayed that no one had ever told me that the hardest thing about being a grandparent is the heartbreak of leaving behind babies you love more than life itself. I had only heard the very popular adage that “the best part about being a grandparent is you get to spoil them and love them and then return them to their parents.” What a bunch of baloney, I thought, aching from the pain of separation. With your own children, you don’t experience this ache until they leave your home or go away to college. But with your grandchildren, it’s continuous.

Larry and I went to LA a couple of Sundays ago to spend a day with Rebecca and family and Hal’s parents who were visiting from New York. It was the first time we had been there since my two-month stay. (They were at our house for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.) When I got home, I couldn’t get Bo and Rev out of my mind. Every time I closed my eyes to go to sleep, those two precious faces stared into my heart and I found my eyes tearing up just thinking about them. The next morning I spent way too much time flipping through pictures on Rebecca’s flickr and blog. Because, as it turns out, one day is not enough time to get your baby fill when you have twins. With a singleton, you hold, hug, play with and kiss one tummy all day, and even though it is hard to pull yourself away, you at least feel somewhat satisfied that you spent quality time with the baby. But with two, you spend half as much time with each baby and you return home unfulfilled and unsatisfied. And that isn’t even taking into consideration wanting to spend time with my other two precious grandchildren—getting enough Fable hugs, hearing about Archer’s ideas on world events, playing games, and doing puzzles.

I am sure you are wondering what any of this has to do with food. Well, at the last minute, I decided it would be a nice idea to bring dinner with us so Rebecca and Hal didn’t have to worry about feeding all of us. I didn’t have much time to cook on Saturday so I made my favorite one-pot easy dinner, red lentils, and for Archer and Fable, the 15 minute chocolate pie I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Since I’ve posted the lentil recipe here before, I typed “red lentils” into Rebecca’s search engine and found it, but it was buried in a post about rutabagas and cucumbers. “OH, NO,” I thought. “What if people can’t find it?” Since I love this recipe so much, I decided to reprint it here, giving it its own special place.

For those of you who have made this before, I apologize for posting it again. But for the rest of you who haven’t, I cannot express enough how delicious AND good for you this recipe is. It has become my absolutely favorite dinner to bring to a friend who is sick or to serve to the family. We eat it almost once a week and we never get tired of it. On the contrary, we CRAVE it. Plus it is inexpensive and you can whip it up in a half hour. (GGC Note: This is my favorite WWW recipe of ALL TIME, Kanye West.)

Make sure you use RED lentils, not the brown ones. In fact, you can substitute red lentils in any other of your favorite lentil recipes. They have a much creamier texture and I prefer the flavor.
So here it is, an encore performance of Red Lentils from Six Spices by Neeta Saluja. I always double or triple the recipe (it freezes great!) and serve it in bowls over basmati rice for a complete meal. Don’t substitute olive oil for the ghee (unless you are a vegan) or ground cumin for the whole cumin. Both of those give the dish its signature flavors.

Lal Dal (Red Lentils)

1 cup red lentils, washed
4 cups water
½ t turmeric powder
1 t salt
2 T ghee
½ t cumin seeds
1 green chili, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced (I use Anaheims)
1 small onion, chopped
½ t cayenne pepper
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 T fresh lemon juice
¼ cup fresh cilantro.

1. Place lentils in a medium-size saucepan with the water, turmeric powder, and salt. Bring to a boil on a high heat. Reduce heat as froth starts to build up. Remove froth from the surface as it builds up. When froth subsides, turn down heat to low. Partially cover and cook until they are soft and turn into a soup-like consistency, about 15-20 minutes.
2. In a small frying pan, heat ghee on medium heat. When hot, add cumin seeds to ghee, soon followed by the chilies and onions. Cook until onions become soft. Add chili powder and tomatoes. Cook for another 3-4 minutes or until tomatoes are soft. Add to lentils and simmer for another 10 minutes.

3. Add lemon juice and garnish with cilantro. Serve hot.


And because I have now mentioned it TWICE and failed to post the recipe, here is the recipe for the heavenly chocolate pie that is easy as pie to make. (Thanks to Larry’s mother for giving me this recipe!) For a gluten free version, buy gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies. (I use Kinnitoos or Mi-Del, both found in the gluten free section of your grocery store.)

Chocolate Mousse Pie

28 Joe-Joe’s cookies with vanilla bean filling
(or any other chocolate sandwich cookies)
¼ cup melted butter
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
14 oz can light coconut milk

1. Preheat oven to 350. Crush the cookies in food processor. Pulse cookies until fine crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse until combined. Press the crumbs in an oven safe pie dish. Bake crust for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.

2. Melt chocolate on the stovetop on low, stirring well until completely smooth and melted. (Don’t scorch.) Pour coconut in blender and add the melted chocolate. Immediately blend until completely smooth (20-30 seconds).

3. Pour filling into crust and chill for 4 hours or overnight in the fridge. (Prep and cooking time: 15-20 minutes, not including cooling/chilling time.)
Serves 12

GGC Note #2: The whipped cream dollop (pictured above) is totally weird and lame because HAL ATE ALL THE WHIPPED CREAM and this was all that was left by the time I got to the canister. Womp womp.




From the Vault: Fable Laughing

I found this video yesterday, while comparing photos of Fable and her sisters at four months old:

Fable was a couple weeks older than Bo and Revi here, and we were in our old house and Auntie Ang was visiting and I almost forgot how I used to prop Fable in the corner of the couch and she'd just sit there smiling all day (kind of like Reverie does now) and I was like, "this is EASY. I could totally have 42 kids!" And then I met Bo and realized that EVERY baby is (wonderfully!) different.
(Oh, hi Bo.)

This morning, Fable insisted on feeding and burping her baby in the car before we went inside to school.

"Just need to get this last burp out, okay? Okay, mommy?"

"Okay, mommy."
The Drooling Closet Day 19
Fable, four months x 3 pictures
Drooling Closet Day 20
Fable, four months + 3 years


Liner Notes 1/23

"Orchid." Orchid is the baby Fable has kept in her shirt for the past week, refusing to remove her even at school. She sleeps with her, wakes, and promptly tucks her into her shirt or dress or coat, pulls her little face through so that her little head rests below her chin, chest to chest.
Fable has always been maternal but it wasn't until this week that she started wearing her babies on her person.

"Hey, how's she sleeping?"

"Good. She really tired. She sleep a lot."

"What are you coloring?"

"A spider heart!"
I took Fable and the babies to the Flea Market over the weekend. It was our first sojourn the four of us (five, including Orchid, who Fable wore in her dress all afternoon). We perused piles of discarded treasure, old barbies in orange crates, costume jewelry Fable insisted I try on, slap bracelets. I let Fable pick one for herself.

"What about Archer?"

... And one for Archer, too.
Every week I take pictures of the girls on the rug with the intent on making them flip books of their first year, but really, I just love dressing them up and taking their pictures. It's just... fun.
Boheme and Reverie had their four-month check-up last week, weighing in at twelve and a half pounds (Revi) and fourteen and a half pounds (Bo) respectively. It was the first time I took them to the doctor alone, and between shots, comforting after shots and feedings took three hours from start to finish. But we did it! We survived. I think I might even be getting the hang of this, manybabybusiness.
(Kind of?)
With Archer and Fable's help, I can get dinner ready on my own when Hal's working late. Archer has mastered the art of entertaining the girls:
"It's because I know their passwords," he says.

Indeed. So much so, I can FINALLY remove Bo from my body when Archer's home and set her up in her chair next to him. Chop some broccoli, stretch ye olde weary bones, etc.
An Archer and his Bo
The flowers came in the middle of a fight. The timing couldn't have been worse. Hal and I were mid-argument and then, all of a sudden. "Knock, knock, knock!"

"Delivery for... Rebecca Woolf?"

The bouquet was beautiful, an anniversary gift he designed himself, which of course, at the time, made me all the angrier. Because I wasn't finished being mad. I needed AT LEAST another hour of slamming doors and sweeping hallways. Because there's nothing worse than a beautiful bouquet of flowers when you're trying to be pissed off. It wasn't fair.

I refused to look!

"Do you like them?"


"Don't you want to read the card?"

"Goddamnit, YES."

We made up just in time for the sitter to arrive and later that evening, at our fancy anniversary dinner, I spilled an entire bottle of champagne in my lap. But not before we toasted to seven whole years and four perfect children and two full spider hearts.