this one goes out to feta

Avocado toast ideas!!

Avocado toast is one of my favorite breakfasts. It’s fast, easy, tasty, cute, etc…but sometimes I get bored of the regular old salt pepper and lemon combo. So I thought I would throw out some ideas for different avocado toast fixings! Salt and pepper goes with p much all of these so I’m leaving it out.

- feta cheese + drizzle of olive oil (or cotija, or goat cheese…)
- toasted nuts and seeds
- chopped scallions + Sriracha
- thinly sliced cucumbers, lime juice, crushed red pepper, olive oil
- Labneh (spread underneath avocado), topped with avocado, and then topped with pomegranate seeds
- tomato slices + olive oil

Recent Happenings

Part I

Yesterday Isobel was in a terrible mood when I picked her up. None of the kids had napped well and just as I arrived, she and another girl were sprinting and slammed face first into each other. I anticipated a really teary ride home and sure enough, as soon as I buckled her in, she started doing a half-cry/half-whine. At a stop light, I reached back to grab her hand. I’ve noticed she will calm down more easily if I hold her hand and rub the back of it. She did calm down and then she saw a bird and a truck and all was well…until I tried to take my hand away. 

“AHHHHHHH!" 

"What’s wrong?" 

"HANDS. I have hands?" 

I reached back and she grabbed my hand again. I waited until she saw something else to distract her and tried to take my hand back. 

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! HANDS!" 

I snaked my arm back around again. She gripped it tightly. I had to drive the whole way home holding her hand. 

It’s nice to have someone holding your hand at the end of a rough Monday. I get it. 

Part II

Dips. DIPS.

Dips are the bane of my existence. Isobel wants something dippable with every single meal. She loves a dip. If she does not have a dip, she will find something that will work as a dip. If I am eating something that resembles a dip and she does not have any, she will get very angry.

We ordered pizza over the weekend and I got my usual mixing bowl-sized salad and we were all watching Doc McStuffins, chomping away, and Isobel realized I had something different. 

"What’s that?" 

She leans over to look at my bowl. 

"Dips?" 

I freeze. There is horror. She thinks my salad and the dressing is one giant dip. She does not have this dip. She has pizza. Wait a second! She has pizza. Why would she want my salad when she has pizza? Please don’t let her want my salad. I want this salad. She will eat all the feta and leave none for me. MY SALAD. 

"DIPS?” She holds out the crust of her pizza toward my bowl. She wants to dip her crust into my salad dressing. I oblige. She dips the crust, eats it happily. Then she notices my salad contains…

OLIVES.

“That one? That one?” She points at my olives. I scoop them out onto her plate. Then she wants my fork. I hand it over. She peers at my bowl, seeing what other delicious tidbits may be contained in this Bowl of Dips and she then decides to sample everything. She’s got the fork, after all. She spears lettuce, tomato, olives, feta. 

“Mmmmmm!” She says, triumphant. “Dips!" 

"Can I have some?” I ask.

She hands me her half-gnawed slice of pizza. 

Thanks. 

Part III

When I dropped Iz off at daycare the other day, one of the teachers told me I had to see something. She goes over to the classroom iPod player thing and puts on What Does the Fox Say. Now, remember—it is about 7:50 AM. The other kids in the classroom are sitting at the table and eating breakfast. But when that song comes on, Isobel completely freaks. 

She starts feeling the music in a way that I haven’t seen since the Let It Go from Frozen/MAMA’S A BUTTERFLY fiasco. She’s throwing herself around the room. She’s jumping. She’s doing interpretive dance. Hand motions, hair flips. And she’s singing the lyrics. 

The other kids are still eating. Isobel is launching herself into the air yelling, “WAPAPOW POW POW.” 

She takes a break from singing to focus on her dance moves, and then at the “your fur is red, so beautiful, like an—” part, she screams—at the top of her lungs—ANGEL IN DISGUISE. 

Part IV

We recently weaned Isobel off the paci. It was overdue but we had still let her use it for naps and at night. Then she started getting very territorial (Milo stole it once and she ran after him shrieking, “MIWO A PACI MIWO A PACI NO MIWO NO”) and we knew it was time. 

Our pediatrician had told us that the best way he’s found is to snip the ends of the paci and then cut it shorter and shorter until the kid realizes it’s basically useless and they forget about it. “It usually takes two or three days,” he said. 

Two or three days MY ASS. 

Anyway, we snipped paci on Day One. It wasn’t a very big snip, but I gave it to her right before bed and said, “Uh oh, it looks like paci is getting yucky!” 

She put it in her mouth and clenched it between her teeth. The next morning, it was still clenched. 

Holy shit, I thought, she’s not playing around. 

We snipped it shorter that night—short enough that she couldn’t really hold it between her teeth. I gave it to her at bed. “Paci looks yucky,” I said. She took it and tried to make it work. She tried off to the side, then the other side, then clenched. She took it out and handed it to me. “Paci yucky.” She looks around her room. “Where’s a paci?” 

“Here it is,” I said. I handed her back the same one. She pushes my hand away.

“Nooooooooo. Noooooooo. Paci, paci, paci." 

I put her to bed. Predictably, she screamed. Angrily. It wasn’t crying. I doubt there were even tears. That lasted about 10 minutes. At first we were horrified and tense (we haven’t had to deal with crying at bedtime in a long, long time), but as it kept going, we couldn’t help it. We’re going to hell for this, but we both started laughing. It was a full-on temper scream. If she had known to curse, she would have been saying:

"FUCK YOU ALLLLLLLL I’LL GET YOU FOR THIS”

That’s basically what she was saying, except just screams. And then she’d talk to herself and walk around a bit and come back to the door and remind us about how we’d just ruined her life. 

The next few nights were less…angry, but she remembered paci. At every turn, “Paci? Paci yucky.” It’s like she was testing us. Is paci REALLY yucky? Are you SURE? Because I remember a time when paci was not yucky. Do you? Do you remember? 

It’s now been about two weeks. 

She’s doing really good, but she still talks about it. First thing in the morning. “Paci yucky.” As we get her into the car, “Paci yucky.” 

A few days ago she started saying this weird thing.

“What color is paci? Blue." 

I heard her say it at least a dozen times. I told Brandon about it. 

I was 99% convinced she had a blue paci hidden somewhere in her room. I wanted to train Milo to be a Paci Sniffer dog. I told Brandon that this is what parents must feel like hunting for weed in the back of smelly teenage closets. Where’s the damn paci, Isobel? I TOLD YOU NOT TO HANG OUT WITH THE KIDS WHO HAVE PACIS. Anyway, I scoured her crib area. I looked in her drawers, her dollhouse, her kitchen. I checked under her changing table and in the corners of the chair. 

Then I spotted the bedside table. Could it really be that easy? I opened the top drawer. 

A blue paci. 

I think she’s just fucking with us now.