Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas, a terrible-but-delicious recipe, etc

(recipe at the bottom)

I really, really like socks. The more insane the better. At Christmas, when everyone opens up their packages of garish atrocities, I cross my fingers that they'll pass them on to me.

This year I only got one pair of socks. Black with red and white candy canes. I was disappointed. I usually get at least three pair. Sigh. James got a three-pack of nice Chaps socks with fuzzy lining around the sole of the foot. I eyed them covetously, but he always needs new socks, and besides, his feet dwarf even my flippers.

So we got all our gifts home, and I threw all the clothes in the wash, and hey! out of the dryer came three pairs of very tightly-knit, very nice, very SMALL (compared to what they were) socks. So I did, after all, get more than one pair of socks for Christmas. Even if I had to accidentally steal them from my husband.

He got a really nice flannel button-down shirt from his mom for Christmas, too. I didn't try to shrink it--I followed the washing instructions and everything--, but I must admit I did hope, just a little bit...

No dice. Stupid well-made shirt didn't even shrink a millimeter.

(but I can still wear it to bed, HAH!)

Other stuff we got:

Me: From my brother- and mother-in-law, a whole bunch of the one and only perfume in the world that doesn't smell like cat butts on me, Chanel Chance. I don't know what's wrong with me, but any other fragrance just turns sour the second it comes into contact with my skin. This Chanel stuff actually smells better on me than it does in the bottle. I wonder what the difference is. I have body sprays and things, but I always spray them on my clothing, never on my skin. Anyway, my brother-in-law retrieved the name of this perfume from somewhere in the back of his head. I ran out years ago, and I don't exactly talk about perfume all day, so I was pretty impressed.

Grace: She had a walking toy that she liked and used, but she got another one (this isn't the exact one she got; I can't find hers, so maybe this is the newer model) for Christmas from Jeremy's aunt. HOLY COWS. The Child is obsessed. She walks around ALL DAY with it, laughing maniacally. It was a great gift.

HOWEVER. It has two different sound settings, presumably one soft and one loud. Hah. Hah. Hah. Soft = I CAN STILL HEAR THAT STUPID MUSIC ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE HOUSE. Loud = I CAN'T HEAR ANYTHING ANYMORE. I don't know what they were thinking, but this toy may make me completely crazy before she finally learns to walk on her own.

Me/Grace/James/Emmeline (even though it was for the girls, James and I were so thrilled with it, it might as well have been for all of us): From my mother-in-law, a Radio flyer wagon (I had an image up here, but Amazon won't let you direct link to their images, so feh).

When we went to Colorado, my sister had one of these, and we took it on one of the outings. Grace loved it, we exclaimed over it, and then I kind of forgot about it. Yeah, it'd be nice to have one, but we are cheapskates. So, when we opened it up, we were ecstatic. This thing is awesome. There are two seat with seat belts and four cup holders. The seats fold down, so you can do all kinds of things with it (like take baby for walk, fold down seats, put down cushy blankets, and voila! a portable crib. It'll be good both for baby/toddler and for when the girls get older. And judging by the beating it took when we put it together, the thing is indestructible.

We got all kinds of good gifts, but those are the ones that stick out the most.

The Child is feeling much better today, but is still really, really clingy. Today I don't really have much to do, but I hope this doesn't last too long. Otherwise we'll be up to our ears in dirty clothes and dishes. That would be smelly.

We had a great time yesterday with our friend. I managed to shower and blow-dry my hair, go grocery shopping with a baby, stop at the bakery, wash three loads of dishes (most of them from cooking), do some laundry, clean a bathroom, pick up the house AND cook dinner all before James even got home from work. All this and I STILL remembered to put pants on. It's a Christmas miracle!

Dinner was delicious, but I can't really take credit for it. For a wedding present, my sister gave me a one-year subscription to Easy Everyday Cooking, and this chicken dish was one of those recipes. Sadly, they are no longer in print. I went to restart my subscription a while ago and couldn't. And then I cried.

This thing is a heart attack in a casserole dish, so I never make it, but it's so easy I think even Grace couldn't screw it up. Even if I fed her a shot of whiskey first.

Chicken Milano (Yes, I'm sure people who know real Italian Cuisine cringe at that title, but I DON'T CARE. It's delicious.)

  • 24 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts (the recipe calls for 6 4-oz chicken breasts, but never in my life have I encountered a chicken breast that small, which is probably what I get for buying the cheapest, most hormone-laden chicken I can find that still looks edible)
  • 1/2 cup butter (yes, a whole stick of butter)
  • Italian bread crumbs
  • flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup marinara sauce

(I like to brine chicken ahead of time in some salt/sugar water for about an hour, but it's still very juicy and good if you don't do that)

Preheat oven to 350.

Trim, rinse and pat dry chicken. Place one whole stick of butter in a frying pan and set to medium heat (recipe says medium high, but it ALWAYS burns when I do it this way, and I've made this one three different stoves).

While all that delicious butter is melting, roll each chicken breast in small bowl of flour, dip in beaten egg, then roll in bowl of bread crumbs (this part does get messy; I have to keep cleaning off my fingers in between chicken breasts or the egg mixture on my fingers keeps taking off the breading coating from the chicken).

Place chicken breasts in pan o' melted butter, and cook for about ten minutes, turning once. (I take comfort in the fact that about half the butter is still left when I remove the chicken from the pan)

Meanwhile, mix marinara and half and half in casserole dish (I have a 2.5-qt oval Corningware dish that's perfect for this--high sides, just big enough for all the chicken, and not so shallow and wide that all the liquid sits on the bottom while the chicken dries out), holding back about 2 tablespoons.

Mix all three cheese together in a small bowl. Set aside.

When chicken is done, place in casserole dish, cover with cheese, then drizzle remaining sauce over the top of the cheese. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

Now I need to go get into some leftovers. Bye.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Go away burglars

Oh, hi there! I am back from Indiana, so you may wish to shelve your plans to rob my house. Not that there's anything particularly valuable here. I think my laptop is probably the best you'll find, and it's three years old.

The trip was pretty uneventful. Nothing insane happened, no near-death experiences. The Child, of course, screamed on the way there and on the way back, but only for about an hour each way. And it never reached Nazg├╗l Shriek levels. So, distressing and irritating, to be sure, but oh, it could have been worse.

The best part? She slept like a champ the whole time we were there. Well, the second night not so much. We shared a room with her the first two nights. First night, she crashed and slept like the dead for 13 hours. Second night, she was all caught up on sleep, knew we were in there with her, and decided that meant it was party time. So we moved out to the living room floor.

There were lots of card games, and way too much good food (I'm pretty sure I gained at least five pounds), and even more fun. After going to Colorado, I was dreading this trip. But a baby who sleeps makes ALL the difference.

Tomorrow an old college friend is coming for a visit. We haven't seen him since shortly after we were married. He was an usher in our wedding, but then he had to go and move to the other side of the country. It's too bad because he's one of the funnier people I've ever known.

Anyway, I'm excited, but, of course, The Child has chosen this week to go and get sick. I'm not sure what's wrong with her. She's been mildly feverish for a day now and has had a slightly upset stomach for the last three days. Good timing, Grace!

(Of course I'm more concerned for how she feels than I am for the state of our house when our friend gets here tomorrow, but I still wish she could have waited a couple days longer to get sick)

I don't really know what to do with a sick baby, except chase her around with a cup of water all day (when I got her up this morning, she downed about 7 ounces in less than a minute). She needs to eat, of course, but I don't want to feed her too much and upset her stomach. Today she had a small bowl of oatmeal, a yogurt, half a quesadilla (1 quesadilla = 8" tortilla folded in half), a small bowl of applesauce, and some berries. Normally she eats that much just at lunch. She also slept 13 1/2 hours last night and had a 4-hour nap this afternoon. That's the really huge, sparkling, silver lining. That and the super cuddliness. She even wanted ME instead of JAMES at bedtime tonight, which happens once in... well, never, not since she suddenly became ALL DADDY ALL THE TIME a few weeks ago. Is it selfish and awful that I kind of like it when she's sick?

Speaking of All Daddy All the Time, do any of you SAHMs have this, too? I certainly enjoy the break when James gets home from work--she won't have anyone BUT him then--, but I have a little trouble not taking it personally. If she were a little older, I'd understand it. But it just seems weird at such a young age. I feel like I must be doing something wrong.

I got on here because I wanted to write something, anything down, but there's really not much to write about. We had a nice trip, life is boring but good, etc. I'm sure I will think of something more amusing soon enough.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Pregnant women are smug

An Italian made this video. What English sounds like to foreigners (American English, specifically):

Wild, right? I keep straining to understand the lyrics, even though I know it's complete gibberish.

(Apparently this has been around for a while.)

This is one of my favorites at the moment. It's probably only funny if you've known someone like this or--horrors!--caught the same tendencies in yourself (I know I have, a little--a very little, of course).

I'm supposed to be packing right now for another fun-filled road trip; instead I'm sitting on the couch in my pajamas fiddling with the Internet. I manage to feel okay about this because at least I'm not sitting on my couch doing lines of coke.

Speaking of which, this baby? 2.0? NEVER STOPS MOVING. I don't know who is giving her the drugs, but it's like she's constantly high. Grace was given to bursts of movement, usually violent but pretty sporadic. This one, on the other hand, makes my stomach look like a bubbling cauldron all day long. If you're not into babies and stuff, it's probably a little creepy. In fact, I'm totally into babies and stuff, and I sometimes find it a little creepy. Any second now Sigourney Weaver will pop out from around a corner and shoot me in the torso before my little passenger can hurtle teeth-first out of my chest cavity.

So, packing. Yes. Last time, I spent a day packing and two days before that planning, and we ended up with way more crap than we ever needed. So, this time I'm going it in the usual manner: pack everything at the last minute, hope it all fits into one suitcase, and just assume we won't forget anything vitally important. I do have some laundry going. And a very short list (I stopped writing things down on it a few hours ago when something shiny flickered in my peripheral vision). There is that.

I really love making lists. In my mind, I'm a list-maker, a really organized person (if only I could stay focused for more than five minutes). And if I stick to them, they really are helpful. Problem is, my house is littered with half-made lists, some of which I can't even understand. Every time I clean around here, I find at least six scraps of paper like these:

-drill bits
-wipe down radiator
-hair dryer

And I stare at it for at least ten minutes before giving up on ever figuring out what Project I'd been working on that day.

There have been a lot of Projects lately. Nesting has been vicious this time around, probably because I'm stuck inside all the time while Wisconsin does its best to kill my soul. These Projects always start around the beginning of The Child's naptime, or when James gets home from work, or when The Child goes to bed. James likes the last kind the best because it means I try to drag him into it. Three nights ago it was clearing out the office closet and giving him boxes to take down to The Pit of Despair the basement. Two nights ago it was hanging a set of curtains in the living room (really boring tan curtains that don't really match very well, but that's what happens when you have accidental pink and burgundy walls). Last night it was putting up plastic on the windows. We were going to watch a movie, but I had Just This One Thing to Do, and it Will Save Us Money! (on heating), and by the time we sat down to our movie it was 11:00, and I started dozing off about twenty minutes in.

Poor James. I'm either lazy, shiftless housewife who doesn't do anything, or I'm maniacally driven housewife who cannot stop moving, and oh, can you just give me a hand here for just an hour second, please? He was raised by a woman who somehow managed to keep a huge house clean, a cat and two dogs happy, and three men well-fed. Sometimes I wonder what he was thinking marrying me. It must be the hypnotic powers of my Forehead of Doom.

Okay, it is time to pack. For real. I just heard a baby scream, so we may not get a three-hour nap today after all, and it's really hard to pack with an irrational dwarf-like creature bumping around the house behind you on your pant legs.

Maybe if I could convince Pregnant Brain that packing was a Project, it would get done faster.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My little grease monkey

Enough with the NaNoJoMo and DePhoMo already! I cannot possibly read all these entries, even though I want to. I take one look at my (freshly-trimmed) bookmarks page and am so overwhelmed I just don't read any of them. People, it's exhausting.

(Of course you can do whatever you want with your own blog, but there are people like me who just never read because it's too much.)

The Child has dandruff. This is just super. What does one do about baby dandruff? I don't think it's true dandruff, just dry skin. Apparently she inherited my scaly, dry winter skin. This is not a hydration problem. The Child drinks more water than a crocodile.

Another reason this is super is that she has crazy drool rash. So I have this otherwise-adorable baby whose mouth and cheeks are red and scaly and whose hair is covered in little white flakes. Doesn't that just scream, "AWESOME PARENTING HERE!!!" Vaseline or lanolin on the cheeks has helped. But we can't exactly put Vaseline on her scalp. Well, we could, but she looks greasy enough with it all over her face.

James's work has a yearly wellness seminar. This is the third year. The first year, I was pregnant. The second year, I had recently delivered a baby and was nursing (which meant I still had the baby weight and was still eating like a half-starved hippopotamus). This year, I am very pregnant. None of these conditions is conducive to feeling good about the answers you put down in their questionnaire. I filled mine out a month or two ago, before the magical second coming of Champion Sleeper. Also, I'm still dealing with near-constant food aversions, and my diet consists mainly of whatever I can put in my mouth without gagging. Yesterday, for instance, was two pieces of toast, the end of a summer sausage, and a whole bunch of pasta (at least it was Barilla Plus, which has a good bit of substance).

This has been great for keeping my weight in control, probably not so great for actual health. And don't get me started on exercise. I had to stop swimming because I can no longer breathe while I swim. What's left is walking, and it's so cold here right now I can feel my eyebrows shattering every time I walk outside. Furthermore, when you're pregnant, you're not supposed to make any significant changes to exercise; starting swimming was probably more than my doctor would have recommended (I don't care; I felt REALLY good for a few weeks).

Anyway, this questionnaire is riddled with fun questions like, "How many servings of green vegetables do you eat per day (you disgusting slob)?" "How many hours of sleep do you get each night (you disgusting insomniac)?" "How many hours of vigorous exercise do you get per week (you disgusting slob)?" "Do you plan to start exercising more in the near future (your disgusting slob)?" "Do you plan to start sleeping more in the near future (you disgusting insomniac)?" blah blah blah. Also, they wanted to know my weight, which is actually good for being very pregnant, but of course they don't actually factor pregnancy into these evaluations (even though they ASK if you're pregnant), which is a level of stupidity I can't even comprehend.

And the questions that I could answer with pride, like blood pressure (extremely low, always) and cholesterol (extremely good, always) ask me for specific numbers that I don't know off the top of my head, so I have to answer, "I don't know," which makes me look even more like I don't take care of myself. They need to have a comments section at the end, where I can tell them all these things. I would probably run out of lines.

Or they could have a bunch of questions that almost anyone could answer with pride and scatter them through the entire thing. "Do you like puppies?" "Would you ever harm a kitten?" Things like that. It would relieve the relentless beat-down of the health questions, and I bet people would even answer more honestly.

So, we've lived here for over a year now, and we STILL don't know any of the neighbors. We wave and smile at each other, but I think it'd be nice to have a little more than that, if only so we can ask someone to retrieve our mail and feed the cat when we're gone.

Shirtless Yardwork Neighbor Man and his wife used to be very friendly with us, but since we had them over for dinner LAST DECEMBER, we've hardly seen them at all. I'm still trying to figure that one out. The soup I made was the kind of recipe that only a mentally challenged puppy could screw up. We didn't pick our noses or talk about religion. The ONLY thing I can think of is that we prayed before the meal, but... this is small town Wisconsin, and they've lived here all their lives. That's what people DO, even people who are only nominally Christian. If they're weirded out by that, they must never leave their houses.

The neighbors across the street are friendly. The lady has even wandered over to say hi a few times when Grace and I have been in the front lawn. This is where having a knack for baking would be very handy. I could bake some fun Christmasy things and drop them off at the nearby houses. That's a friendly-but-not-TOO-friendly kind of neighbor thing to do. But I'm just about the worst baker that ever baked. Every time I think, "Oh, well, it's been a while! And you're good at cooking! Just give it another shot," James and I end up gnawing our way through a couple of hockey pucks before giving up to go nurse our poor bleeding *gums back to health.

*Dear Firefox, I am CERTAIN that there is no way you can explain to me how "gums" is not a word.

There's an older lady a few houses away who is VERY sweet, but she's selling her house, so who knows how long she'll be around? And then the lady next door, who plowed out the end of our driveway last week when it was covered in chunk of ice and snow the size of my enlarged torso. We didn't even ask her; she just did it. She's never home, though.

So it's not that these people aren't friendly (except for Shirtless Yardwork Neighbor Man and His Wife; I think there's something weird going on there, can't put my finger on it), it's just that there's this weird resistance to anything more than surface friendliness. James and I were thrilled when we first moved here. No one brought us pie, but everyone was so friendly; we were sure we'd had friends in no time. But... nothing. Not even in cases where we've tried. It's very strange. I almost prefer Madison, where almost everyone was unfriendly, but if they were friendly, you knew they meant it.

A while ago I downloaded a whole bunch of Dean Martin songs on iTunes. I love Dean Martin. His voice makes Frank Sinatra--whom I very much like--sound like a goat in heat.

But he's kind of a sleaze ball. Behold, the lyrics to "100 Years from Today" (which I realize he did not write, but still...):

Hey don't save your kisses - just pass 'em around
You'll find my reason - is logically sound
Who's gonna know that you past them around
A hundred years from today

And why crave a penthouse - that's fit for a queen
You're nearer heaven - on mamma Earth's green
If you had millions - what would they all mean
One hundred years from today

So (Hey) laugh and sing - make love the thing
Be happy while you may
('Cause) There's always one - beneath the sun
Who's bound to make you feel that way
The moon is shining - and that's a (very) good sign
Cling to me closer - say (that) you'll be mine
Remember baby we won't see it shine
A hundred years from today, a hundred years from today

Doesn't that just remind you of someone's dirty uncle?

It does me.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I sojourned in the land of Mullet

but have returned to the sweet promised land of Jaw-Length Bob with Bangs.

My last haircut was freaking awesome. Probably my favorite ever. It was short and fun and... really high-maintenance. Like, I had to actually do stuff to it so I'd look female (have you seen my jaw? it is, shall we say, very masculine). Usually "stuff" meant just flat-ironing the crazy Zac Efron swoopy bang thing down and putting some goop in it once it was dry, but for me tha's a lot. Like a prom 'do. Oh, and my hair now grows at the speed of light. It's always grown fast, but pregnancy really kicks it into high gear. Within a week of getting this haircut, it was already looking like something with a nasty flu had died on my head.

So, of course, I waited two months to get it cut again. All because I don't like talking on the phone. In the meantime, the hairs on the back of my head just sprouted like crazy, leaving me somewhere between this:

and this:

Great for laughs, not so great for feeling superfabulous. Because when your belly resembles a basketball, and your waddle resembles that of a mare in labor, the attractiveness of your head and its various *accoutrements is pretty much all you've got. In fact, you don't even have shoes because the single most important thing to a very pregnant lady is shoes that slip on and off easily, preferably without the need to bend over at all. And this is winter in Wisconsin, so that leaves out cute slip-on shoes, and all we're left with are nursing clogs with very functional soles.

*Firefox Fail #3574: "accoutrement" is in their dictionary, but its plural is not. Lame.

So. Haircut. The mullet was funny for a while, but my vanity couldn't take it. And I went back to Bob. Bob is cute, and with him I feel feminine, even when I let my hair just air dry. Bob grows out nicely, so that if my terror of the telephone keeps me from making an appointment for two months, no worries (so long as we don't go past shoulder length). Long hair, no matter how it's layered, makes me look like a boy in a wig. A stringy wig that got rolled in grease. And short hair, as I've learned, makes me crazy, no matter how good it looks for a week.

But I am sick of Bob. I have had Bob since about sophomore year of high school. Bob is comfortable and suitable and right, but so are old socks. I want to trade him in for a newer model, but all the newer models turn out to be Mullet in the end. And Mullet don't treat me right.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A whole bunch of boring...

...but I wanted to write some things down.

I don't want to jinx it, but The Child has suddenly started sleeping like a champ again. She's still teething, she still has her grouchy days, and she even just had a growth spurt, but sleep she does. I have no idea what happened, but I am so very grateful.

I didn't realize how crummy I'd felt all the time until I felt uncrummy. Like the last seven months are this haze. Sure, she's had periods of decent and not-so-awful sleep off and on over those last months, but nothing like this. For about three weeks now, I've gotten eight or more hours of sleep almost every night. In fact, I don't think I've gotten this much good sleep since I was about 8.

Unisom helps, of course; I've never sleep well, even without interference. It also helps that I just stopped caring. The trip to Denver was so awful (speaking ONLY in terms of sleep; everything else was wonderful) that I think something snapped. I hear her cry for a few minutes over the baby monitor at 10:00 at night? Let her. She'll live. It used to be that would have my stomach in knots for the next half hour. Before we go to bed, if she wakes up for real, I'll go in, give her a drink of water or a hug or a song or some Tylenol, but once we're in bed, I shut our door and turn the fan on high. We'll hear her if she's really screaming, so I'm not worried about anything bad happening to her, but if she wakes and just fusses for half an hour, I don't know about it.

I was pretty desperate when we got back from our trip--so short on sleep, so frazzled and so pregnant--that I started doing that out of desperation. I felt terrible, but I knew that she was well-hydrated, that at worst she might be having some tooth pain, and I needed to function as a mom. A few days later I forgot to shut our door one night. Not a peep from her all night. Or the next night, or the next. And she's now taking one three-hour nap in the middle of the day instead of two short ones. All three of us are happier. The house stays cleaner, I actually feel like playing with her and carrying her and talking to her, and James comes home to a wife who is (usually) happy and has some energy left to care about him. I cannot believe the difference in myself.

And, of course, now that she's sleeping beautifully, we have a trip to visit relatives in Indiana coming up. I think it'll go better. It's a much shorter trip, for one. And despite my attempt at optimism, I'm mostly expecting it to be a total nightmare, which means I won't be taken by surprise again. I am concerned about sharing a car with one or two more people this time (MIL and James's brother). We've warned them, of course, but there's really nothing that prepares you for it. Or they might be thicker-skinned than we are and have no problem with it. Or Grace might not scream the whole way.

*Naomi shakes with laughter for five minutes straight*

Ahem. I know I shouldn't be such a pessimist, but I've always found the pessimism serves me well. I always expect the worst that my mind can come up with, but I don't really worry over it--at least, not too much. I'm rarely surprised by bad things. I can't imagine the constant disappointment that must come with optimism.

We had church yesterday at 4:00. Our normal meeting place was booked, so another local church let us use their building in the afternoon. We should have church at 4:00 EVERY WEEK. The morning wasn't a frantic scramble to get showered and dressed and to get The Child fed and changed and strapped into the car seat, followed by hours of attempting to keep a cranky baby happy through church, followed by lunch for her in the car on the way home and trying to keep her from falling apart (we used to try to keep her awake, but, as you know, we recently learned that was completely unnecessary, since she doesn't sleep in the car) before getting her home, changed into regular clothes, and into her crib, where we'd hope she'd not be too overtired and thus sleep for more than 45 minutes. Yesterday, we woke up at 9:00, had a nice morning, The Child got her three-hour nap, we went to church, and our friends got to see that she isn't this whiny, unhappy little gremlin all the time.

I'm painting a really bad picture of Sundays. It's not all cranky baby and frazzled Naomi and James. That's just a part of it, and it's something that most church-going parents deal with, so we're not special or anything (well...). I love our church, and when we do miss it I feel kind of blah for the rest of the week.

Anyway, halfway through the sermon, a bat started flying around! He was just a little guy, and very cute. It's probably the closest I've ever gotten to a bat outside of a zoo. The Child was pretty thrilled, to. The best part was watching a bunch of the guys flail around the back of the room with coats every time he'd circle back there. I think they finally shut him in the kitchen.

Afterward, we went to our pastor's house for a meal, and Grace held it together much longer than I'd expected. We really do need to get out more with other children. She just doesn't know what to do around so much commotion. I'm sure having another baby around will help a lot, but I do wish she weren't so shy. If one of us is holding her, she does great. She smiles and flirts and waves. So I know she's not stunted. Much of it is my fault. I like to be comfortable in my house. If I want to go out with friends, I do that, but getting out of the house with her is a lot of work for a lazybones like me. Sigh. I'm sure having two is going to give me a real quick lesson in what the words "hard" and "a lot of work" really mean.

Her nap is almost over, and what do you know, I'm actually looking forward to her being up and about again. The old one-hour naps just didn't do that for me. It's sad when you often spend so much of the day dreading your own child's presence. It's such a relief to be rid of that.

Friday, December 4, 2009

I want to move to Devner

I think I am finally recovered from our Thanksgiving trip to Colorado. That, and I've learned to take my Unisom early enough at night that the stupor has lifted by the next afternoon.

This means I feel like writing an entry! That, and the vague memory of my sister waving a knife around in the air while proclaiming, "I don't care what you write about us and our family! Just write something already!" has me good and scared. She can be... intimidating.

(Dear sister, I love you. And you're totally fun and awesome.)

The visit itself was great. The drive there and back? Not so much. I don't think I've ever been so close to sticking a fork in my ear.

And, as far as sleep goes, Thanksgiving week wasn't all that great, either. It was like having a newborn again, I swear. The Child just decided that sleep was optional, and we were going to have to deal with it. Thank you, Child.

(I do think much of that had to do with teething. Two molars have just broken through, and when I stick a finger in her mouth, it feels like at least three more teeth are on the way. I think this is terribly unfair.)

Anyway, we had a blast even in the midst of bone-crushing weariness. The weather in Denver was perfect for most of the week (at least it was to this Wisconsinite), getting up into the sixties on our last two days there. My sister and I spent a lot of time laughing, too, though I don't think I could have been laughing a whole lot if I had 423 relatives and five small children under my roof for a whole week. I think it helps that they have a hot tub and plenty of wine. That and she runs a ridiculous number of miles every day.

I wish I could tell you more, but I don't really remember much in the way of events. I remember having fun, and I remember going shopping a few times.

I do remember packing. My goodness, people, never let a pregnant woman do all the packing. The day before we left, I spent hours in the kitchen putting together a gazillion chicken wraps for the trip out there (it took that long because my attention was constantly divided between that and keeping The Child alive). They sounded mouth-wateringly delicious at the time, and it was Very Important that we have good food for the drive.

I ate two. And then they were horrible to me.

So, thirteen hours of off-and-on cooking/child wrangling and one hour of frantic packing. In the two days leading up to the trip, I got a total of seven hours' sleep. And then we drove for 18.5 hours. Stupidity, thy name is Naomi.

Speaking of stupid, I cut a finger open for the millionth time on my mandolin slicer. See, it's only a time saver and a convenience if you don't use the stupid food holder. That food holder makes me insane, and it doesn't work unless the food I am slicing is exactly the right size and shape (it's good for potatoes and onions, and that's about it). So I keep not using the food holder, and I keep cutting myself. Yesterday I hate to slice up a bunch of carrots real fast, and it's not even possible to use the food holder for carrots. So instead of just using a knife and cutting board like a person with a brain would do, I started running carrots through the mandolin.

And then I yelled, "Oh s***!" at the top of my lungs (sorry, Mom, and whoever else may be reading this; I do have very CLEAR recollections of you and Dad using bad words at certain urgent times, though, so you can't be too hard on me). And then I stared stupidly at the blood pooling around my thumb and thumb nail for about thirty seconds. And then I yelled for bandaids. I cut deep enough into the side of my thumb that it even got my nail bed, which I'm sure will be super awesome fun as it heals. I think it stopped bleeding about two hours later. Thankfully, I cut a flap instead of a gouge (which, the thing is sharp enough that I could have done just that if it hadn't run into my thumb nail), so it didn't gush like it could have.

So, now that you are all thoroughly grossed out, I will leave now. Twenty minutes until The Child gets up from her nap. I need to go do something productive. Like play a video game or nap or something.

Edited to add:

The food! How did I forget about the food?

Best Thanksgiving meal ever. My sister and her friend did almost all of it. We pretty much just ate all day. Which actually works out well. If you start with some appetizers in the early afternoon, you don't gorge yourself to the point of illness when you sit down, starving, to the evening meal.

There is a picture on Facebook of my gnawing on a turkey leg, but I actually didn't eat much at all. I eat constantly, but since my stomach is now the size of a walnut, I can only eat three bites at a time. The turkey, which my brother-in-law grilled, was amazing. Best turkey ever. He brined it overnight in some kind of concoction, and then it cooked all day and made us all very happy.

Also, we have settled on the first name Emeline (pronounced "emma-lean") for 2.0. And I like Emma for short instead of Emily. Emily's very pretty, but I like Emma better.

I know, totally not what I had in mind, right? But it's so feminine and pretty and old-school and unusual, yet still normal. I like the names Emma and Emily a lot, always have, but they've become much more common over the last few years. So Emeline works. We think we like Adele for the middle name, but that's still up in the air. I had in mind a name that would mean something, either definition-wise or as a family name, or something, and this doesn't at all. I don't even know what Emeline Adele means. But it's just... pretty. And my grandma's name is Emma Adelaide, so it's kind of family-ish.

We can FINALLY ditch "2.0" and "The New One" and "This One" when we're talking about her. I mean, calling a baby 2.0 is amusing and all, but giving her a name makes her more real, more of a person in my mind. It's nice.

*or Emmeline. I am trying to figure out which spelling is more normal. I like weird names, but not weird spelling. Makes sense, right? Actually, there are about 40 different ways to spell Adele, too, so we have that to work on also. Goody!