Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why, yes, this IS how we treat our guests.


Probably the least authentic minestrone you'll ever see. I didn't even follow the vegetarian cookbook recipe I had (artichokes? in soup? honestly!), except to remind me of the herbs to put in. There are potatoes and beans (canned) and onions (garden) and garlic and basil and oregano (garden) and a can of tomatoes plus a freezer-burned huge tomato (last year's garden (or 2 years ago?)) and celery and carrots.

But it looks good and smells good and right before I serve it (or right before I refrigerate it), I'll put in peas and little ring-shaped pasta.

I haven't been cooking much lately, what with exhaustion and nausea and karate classes, so started this at lunchtime for dinner tonight. DH is home with a cold (not....making....comments....) and has a conference call this evening and we'll be back from karate at 7:30-ish, so anyone can eat whenever they want. Not that DS2 will deign to even attempt to taste it, but DS1 might be persuaded.

UPDATE: I had a small bowl and ohmygoodnessgracious! Good stuff! And a big pot full - I didn't realize it was going to be quite so much when I opened that other can of beans and cut up a couple more potatoes. I had to add some more water with the pasta and poof!

Oh man, that's good stuff. If I do say so myself.

Oh, and to be fair to DS2: he doesn't like tomatoes and barely even tolerates tomato sauce on his pizza. He's a picky eater otherwise though!

Book review: "It's Not About the Accent" by Caridad Ferrer

Loved it. Two thumbs up!

It's the story of a small town WASP-y Ohio girl who goes off to college for the summer term before her Freshman year and decides to reinvent herself as being more Cuban than she really is - her only link to Cuba is through her great-grandmother who taught her to cook and whom she loved very much. She immediately starts dating a frat boy senior and goes to too many parties and almost goes further with him than she wants. When the boyfriend's slimy frat brother rapes her, instead of him being there to help, he's out boinking his other girlfriend. The assault is interrupted by the nice guy who lives down the hall who had helped her with her math homework - and who really is Cuban-American.

She somehow finishes the term and goes home with the intention of staying there and attending the community college, until her brother taunts her for being a chicken. So she goes back to school - this time as herself - where her new roommate turns out to not be a "psycho cheerleader named Bambi" and where she can manage to avoid the ex-boyfriend and spend more time with her rescuer-friend. She also decides to research her genealogy and try to find her Cuban relatives and if any others have come to the US, with some interesting results.

The writing was quite good and the characters well-developed and 'real' - though some of the frat boys were a bit flat. I did like that even minor characters seen in passing had enough to them to make them human and not cliche. I thought that Caro's recovery from the rape could have been explored more thoroughly, but can understand that we wanted to see her get on with her life and how she has changed instead of focusing on the hardest parts.

It didn't pull me in and fill up my head with absolute fabuloso-ness like Ms. Ferrer's first book, Adios to My Old Life, but was definitely very good. Both were YA novels, aimed at teens, I'd say late high school. This one felt even more grown-up than the last, almost past the point of YA, due to the sexual elements.

It took two Barnes & Noble employees and I almost half an hour to find it yesterday - turns out it was shelved with the teen series books (though it's not part of a series) instead of with the rest of the teen stuff, as it is published by MTV and that's where B&N generally puts the MTV books. At least it wasn't in the 7-14 section as the author reported she had found it - definitely inappropriate for grade schoolers! Considering I walked into B&N with a loose approximation of the title and the author's real first name (not Caridad) in my head and walked out with the book I wanted, I'm giving the employees the benefit of the doubt.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Me loves Sears!

I went to JC Penney and they don't carry the larger maternity sizes in store. I am sure as heck not buying matty wear from a catalog - I have enough trouble finding pants that fit around and are long enough when I'm not pregnant, I'm not going to trust their arbitrary sizing.

The nice women who worked there were very apologetic and said to try at Sears. Bingo! Not a huge selection, but I got one pair of black slacks that fit now for $30 (marked down from 40) and a fabulous pair that was too big but mostly adjustable for $2.99. Even if I don't get that big - which I will, oh I promise I will - they were only a coupla bucks.

I didn't find any jeans that worked for me, but got home to an email from a friend who said she has drawstring pants that might fit me and I can make skirts and sweatpants. I just might make it.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

the cutest kid

I met the cutest little guy at work today. He was about 18 months old and was there with his mom, baby brother, and aunt (or friend, not sure). As soon as they came in and put him in the cart, he saw me look and gave me a huge grin and it was love at first sight. They let him play with the little balls we have (that you unwrap to reveal washcloths) and was having a great time. I showed him how to drop them into the cart instead of having to hand them to someone or drop them on the floor, then helped by pulling them back out and giving them back a few dozen times. Happy, happy kid. They had to let him down and go for a walk after a bit - it really did take them ages to shop and finish, not that it ever takes me a long time in the fabric store. Big smiles for everyone. He was getting tired and a bit grumpy, but not very grumpy, mostly just restless.

Yeah, I guess I could have another little one.

From DS1: Why to seagulls fly over the sea? Because if they flew over the bay, they would be bagels.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

How the baby is doing

Someone asked me how I was on one of my email groups and another suggested I start a blog. Well, I have a blog, but I guess I haven't said anything about my pregnancy for a while.

This is the long, boring part - I can talk about it, my early symptoms are waning, we don't know the sex yet but I do hope we find out, my clothes are getting too tight but enough fit well enough that I don't have a new wardrobe yet, etc. I have trouble getting to sleep at night. I seem to be going straight from nausea to heartburn with no break between - a bit of overlap, in fact.

I did go to Target on the way to get the kids from school today. Apparently, if you are over size 18, you shouldn't have babies, because that's the biggest pant size they had. I started the pregnancy at somewhere around 18 (OK, a bit more, depending on the cut) and the slacks were all too tight in the thigh (which is a problem for me in anything as I have quite the pear-shaped build) and then gapped in the back so that when I bent over, I had to pull them back up.

Cause us fat chicks don't have sex, right?

I guess I'll be making skirts. Too bad I don't like wearing skirts in winter. Maybe leggings or tights under them...

Oh, I forgot to say that I am still doing karate. They were doing some mat sparring where one person had to lie on their back and the other sat on their stomach and the person on their back had to flip and escape. I sat out for that one! We are also learning to defend against knife attacks this time, including throwing the other guy on the ground. So far, I have been thrown gently by women who understand. I have only been going once a week because by the time it rolls around in the evening, I am worn out. I do enjoy it when I get there, though.

Monday, September 17, 2007

What's the difference?

Between scattered thunderstorms and isolated thunderstorms? Cause we're slated to have scattered ones on Thursday and isolated ones on Friday. We've started already on the fall weather here; it's only 85 or so everyday! Apparently, there is a cold front coming in tomorrow or Wednesday and we'll have highs in the 70's. Brrrrr. Get the woolly hats out.

Oh yeah! Haircuts!

This one is hair-free (well, almost). On this pic, you can't see the cowlick on his left front. You don't notice it too much in person, but I have a feeling that it's going to be entertaining as this military 'do grows out.

Super short, but about like usual. My big cutie.

Pirates! Arrrrrrr!

My pirate name is:

Captain Bess Rackham

Even though there's no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you're the one in charge. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham) is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Good thing I took a nap today

My friend called me a bit ago to say that they were at a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party and her younger son (5 yo) didn't like it there and wanted to leave and could she drop him off over here and go back for her older son?

So I have my two and him building wobbly stacks of couch cushions right next to the disaster area of train tracks, which will hurt if they fall on them. Dinner's cooking. I hope he likes baked potatoes.

Oh, I forgot to tell her that I will be late to the co-op meeting because Dh doesn't get home until after 7, so if they don't come get their kid, they won't see him for a bit after the meeting starts.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My baby he has no hair

I asked the boys what sort of hair cuts they wanted on our way from school to SuperCuts - it had been 3 or 4 months since the last cut and was in their eyes - and DS2 said he wanted it really short all over.

"Like S. and C?" I asked. These are a couple of their friends, boys the same ages as they are, sons of a good friend.

"Yes!" he answered.

So now after a #4 all over, Bubbala has-a no hair. It hasn't been this short since he was a baby and it all came out a few weeks after he was born. He has a widow's peak and you can see the cowlicks clearly. The one in front just sticks up a bit and the one on the right side of his crown looks like a Z.


He has announced, however, that he will grow it down to his feet next.

DS1 went with their usual #4 on the sides and back, trim on top. They cut it shorter than my tastes run, but it looks like usual.

Pictures to follow.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Insomnia again

I've been awake since about 5, up since a bit after 6.

DS2 must have spent about 5 minutes total in his own bed. He was plunked in there after he went to sleep, but was in our bed again by 1 am. At about 5, I woke up with him squashed up against me and me, escaping him, squashed against DH. Yes, the 5 year-old takes his half of the bed out of the middle.

Or maybe what actually woke me was the sound of DS2 in his room, whimpering. He had a headache when he went to bed last night and then ended up coming to our bed, too, before I was asleep, and then going back to sleep and whimpering and crying in his sleep.

So it was 5 am, I'm lying on my designated 6 inch strip of mattress, being kicked in the kidneys by a 5 year-old, smelling DH's armpits, listening to my 7 year-old baby cry, doing that early-morning irrational worry thing, trying to decide if I should get up and check on DS1, in case he's having a stroke or meningitis.

By 6 I was starved and got up to no milk and a strong desire for the vanilla frosted shredded wheats I got yesterday. So I went to the grocery store and spent $20+ on milk and all the stuff that I forgot to get at Trader Joe's or that I don't usually buy there because TJ charges too much (like milk).

7:17 and ds2 just appeared and crawled on my lap and is picking at the moles on my neck. School days, I have to physically remove him from bed by 7:30 and tussle over getting dressed and eating. Saturday? He gets up on his own.

And there's DS1, plodding down the hall.

And here I was, about to go back to bed.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

can't.... breathe....

There's a big forest fire up in the Plumas National Forest, which is 100-some miles north of here. However, the wind is blowing from there down through the valley and it's cloudy and stinky out there. DS1 went out for recess today, but they kept DS2 inside.

I have a splitting headache, but don't know if that's general whatever or if it's the air quality. I didn't have any caffeine until early afternoon, which sometimes can bring on a headache that doesn't go away even after an infusion of coffee.

I took a nap ALLLL morning long.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Please send happy thoughts for Jennifer

A friend from childhood, I guess you could say, or a part sister: my mom babysat her from 3 months old until she could drive herself home from high school. She and one of my sisters and my little brother were like siblings (she's 6 or 7 years younger than I am? 8?), only the lucky thing got to go home at the end of the day.

Anyway, she's expecting her first baby - a little girl they are naming Enya. They found cysts - CCAM, Congenital Cystic Adenomatoid Malformation - in the baby at the halfway ultrasound. Under constant monitoring ad MRIs and more ultrasounds, it looks like the cysts are a slightly less dangerous variety and have plateaued and are starting to shrink, but the baby will need surgery at a few weeks or months old to remove the remaining lesions, since there's a chance they could turn malignant and/or cause other respiratory problems.

So send out whatever sort of shout out to the deity or new age concept of your choice. She and her husband are Protestant, but those of us who aren't still send our own wacky vibes, right?

Doll soup! *cackle*

OK, it's Dal or Dhal. Trader Joe's Indian Fare Something Dal, which comes in a foil packet in a flat box (over-packaging). Black lentils, red kidney beans, and spicy. OK, just medium, but that's all I can handle and it would explode my mom's and kids' heads, though leave DH more or less unaffected. Claims to be 2 servings, too, but fits comfortably into an average bowl, even after I added a few ounces of water to the packet and washed what was stuck inside out.

Served with TJ's Tandoori Nan bread from the freezer section, which is quite good, even though I don't slather it with butter.

Not as good as my dhal soup, but then again I haven't made that for 2 or 3 years.

P.S. Yes, I know it's not even 11. I eat every 2 hours or so. Baby HUNGRY! Feeeeed me Seymour!

Sunday, September 2, 2007


I worked for 5+ hours yesterday and my feet were killing me. They are stiff and sore this morning and guess where I am going in a couple of hours? Back to work. For 5+ hours. And again tomorrow. I wish I could wear my Birkenstock sandals to work, but we have to have closed-toe shoes: too many pins, needles, and scissors in a fabric store, plus we're hauling around those 50 lb rolls of upholstery fabric.

It's supposed to be 101 F again today. Averages are supposed to be low 90's. I was just now gazing longingly at the weather.com calendar of averages for next month. Should be low 70's by the end of October. Sigh.