Blue in the Sky

A lesbian wife and mother tries her hand at something new. Surely there is a hat that fits out there somewhere!

The Second Week in September Monday September 20, 2010

Filed under: The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 9:02 pm

Last Sunday we took Bean to church for the first time.  It was great to get out of the house and into a familiar groove.  Our new friends were excited to meet the boy and it was super fun to show him off.  I was relieved that he spent the entire service quietly snoozing in his bucket.  Perfect!  Later that afternoon, Jess came by to meet Bean.  She was in town visiting a friend from college and we were excited that she wanted to drop by to meet our little man.

Toad and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary on Monday.  Actually, we celebrated our anniversary with Bean.  This was pretty appropriate as the primary reason that we decided to do the whole wedding thing was bc we wanted to create a family.  We knew early on that we planned to be together in a long-term commitment kind of way and that we wanted to have a child/children, but we didn’t want the weight of our own families coming to terms with these things to fall on our child.  So, the major impetus for having a wedding in the very traditional way that we did was to cement the realness of our relationship within our own families in an effort to work out some of the kinks before a baby came along.

The three of us went our for a beer on the patio of one of our favorite new spots and then headed down the road to pick up sushi.  Bean hung out in his bouncy seat beside the couch while Toad and I gobbled up lots of delicious sushi.  We also got to watch our boy Raffa Nadal win the US Open in the background.  A perfect night!

The next few days were quiet ones with Toad going in to work now and then for interviews with potential Fellows.  The big happening in Bean-land was the advent of Monkey Island.  This is a little ADD preparation tool that most people refer to as a play mat.  Although we weren’t sure if he was ready for this kind of thing, he ate it right up.  Although I can’t help but think that it’s a ridiculous amount of stimulation, it’s fun to watch him take it all in.

On Thursday we hit the road for our first family road trip to Toad’s parents house.  After lots of thought and packing lists, we managed to get all four of us on the road in a fairly efficient fashion.  It looks like Bean is a pretty happy little traveler.  Although we did have to stop for feedings, we made it to the grandparents house without too much fuss.  Go us!

We loved spending the long weekend with Grandpa and Muzzy.  There was lots of baby holding and talking and lots and lots of smiling.  It is unbelievably exciting to watch someone fall in love with your child.  Heady stuff for sure.

During this visit, we were also able to drive to Asheville to meet friends at the finish of the Blue Ridge Relay.  This is a race that Toad ran shortly before our wedding two years ago. Happily, the Grabs were also on that team and this is when our friendship with them began.  Although Toad wasn’t able to run this year, it was great to be able to see everyone and show off our little Bean.

We also had lots of fun introducing Bean to one of our favorite towns.  Asheville is where we met and so it’s pretty special to us.  I’m not sure how much he was able to absorb ;), but walking around that town with our baby was fabulous.

By the time we got home on Sunday night we were exhausted, but happy.

Advertisements
 

Living Oprah: My One-Year Experiment to Walk the Walk of the Queen of Talk (Robyn Okrant) Wednesday September 15, 2010

Filed under: Books,Daily Life,The Reader — The Professor @ 8:13 pm

I found this book in the audio section of the library and in spite of being an Oprah fan (say what you will),  I had never heard of this book or this project.  Have you?  Well, I guess I should tell you the deal.  Robyn Okrant is a writer, performer, director and yoga teacher who decided to devote an entire year to following all of the guidance/suggestions that Oprah makes on her show and in her magazine.  Here are her words on the why of the whole project:

“I believe Oprah to be the single most influential person in the media today – especially when it comes to impacting women. And many of the women in my life were judging themselves against the high bar Winfrey sets for her audience. I’ve always been skeptical whether it’s truly possible to find happiness when attempting to live up to someone else’s ideal, and yet, I realized that I too would look to television, magazine racks, and the Internet to “fix” myself emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Because Oprah, in my opinion, is at the epicenter of the self-help and personal growth movement in the media, I thought I’d put her advice to the test — to see if following every suggestion, every “must,” every “gotta,” would actually lead me to my “best life.”

I also wondered if the costs – time and money – would be worth the effects of Living Oprah. Self-help is a thriving, growing industry and I wanted to weigh the price of committing to Winfrey’s lifestyle suggestions (which are completely holistic – from relationship advice, to fashion, to spirituality, to diet, to entertainment, to consumerism, and beyond) against the results. I was equally doubtful and hopeful about the outcome.

I allowed myself to be open to any and all possibilities…”

I really enjoyed the book.  I listened to it right when Toad went back to work and we were eagerly awaiting Bean.  It was the perfect distraction.  I’m always eager to find a good non-fiction book  and as one of those people who literally grew up with Oprah, this book was right up my alley.  Although I’ve probably watched 90% of her shows and I have a subscription to her magazine,  I don’t think that the woman walks on water.   I think that she is a woman with alot of power who has done an unbelievable amount of good in the world, but she is still a woman.  A person.  I mention this bc I have been conflicted about my (how telling is THIS word) relationship with Oprah.  I really get some of the frustration that people have her as a powerful public figure.  But….. again I think that the good work she does outweighs any of the other stuff.

The point of this long ramble is to say that I’m glad I read the book.  Robyn Okrant helped me sort out a bit more of this tension btw power and good works.  And hey…it’s just in time for Oprah’s Farewell season.

 

Little Boy Feet Tuesday September 14, 2010

Filed under: Daily Life — The Professor @ 7:28 pm

It was a loud day at our house today.  Toad was out of the house at various points and Bean was not pleased.  Not even a little bit.  Sometimes he has good days, sometimes…. not so much.  Today was definitely a “not so much”.  Surprisingly, Baker was my right hand man.  Of course, as a dog there isn’t a whole lot he could do, but he did as much as he was able.  When Bean geared up for a rampage, Baker stuck right by us, following me from room to room as we jostled and rocked and shushed.  No barking, no jockeys for attention, just solidarity.  We were together, trying to comfort our baby.

Baker is a good boy.

 

Two Years Ago Today Monday September 13, 2010

Filed under: Daily Life,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 4:32 pm

we tied the knot.  I’m so glad we did.  I love you beautiful!

 

Tempeh Etouffee

Filed under: Food Glorious Food,The Chef — The Professor @ 4:26 pm

This is one of our favorite dishes and I think we’ve made it at least 4 times since Bean has arrived.  Although we usually serve it over rice, it’s also really yummy with quinoa if you want to feel even healthier about your meal.  We did it this way last night and it was great!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2tbs olive oil
  • 12 oz tempeh, cut into smallish pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tsp Tabasco
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • .75 tsp dried thyme
  • .25 tsp dried marjoram

PREPARATION

  1. Heat 1 tbs oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add tempeh and brown on all sides (7 to 10 minutes).  Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. Reheat the same skillet with remaining oil and add onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic.  Cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the veggies into a crockpot.  Stir in the tomatoes, Tabasco, salt and water.  Add thyme and marjoram.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  5. During the final half hour of cooking, add the browned tempeh.  Stir gently to combine.
 

The First Week in September Saturday September 11, 2010

Filed under: Daily Life,Family,Friends,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 3:52 pm

Long time, no blog.  Got to get back into the writing swing.  Here’s a look at what we’ve been up to.

Leslie and Garrett came for a visit over the Labor Day weekend and we were really glad to see them.  They were eager to meet Bean and I think he was pretty excited to put a face to the voice he’d heard on so many early morning runs.  By the time they arrived Toad and Bean were settling into a nice breastfeeding groove, so everyone (read me) was calm and rested.  The weather was beautiful and the six of us got outside for some good walks.  On the last night of their visit we were able to go out to our favorite happy cow burger joint and the Grabs (and Bean actually) loved the place just as much as we do.  We had some good local beer, fried pickles, burgers and fries all while Bean slept soundly in his bucket.  Happy Momma.

Although we are both thrilled with the way that Baker has been handling the changes around here, it hasn’t been easy.  We’ve seen some evidence of jealousy and a few surprise break-ins to trash cans and the changing table drawers when the three of us have left him in the house alone.  This is another reason why the Grabs’ visit was so fabulous.  Baker got lots and lots of attention from his old buddy Garrett.  They had a number of deep and meaningful conversations like the one captured below.  Good times.

Also during their visit, Bean had his first photo shoot.  The father of a friend of ours is an amazing photographer and he came to our house to take some shots of the newborn Bean.  What a hoot that whole experience was.  Getting a picture with open eyes in which the boy didn’t look like a manic orchestra conductor was not an easy task.  Happily, the photographer was super patient and Les and Garrett were available to walk the nosy/take a picture of me! Baker.  After more than an hour of diaper changing, baby jostling, and change rattling, I think we got some keepers.

Gran and Pops arrived for a spend the night party on Wednesday afternoon.  Bean has been opening his eyes and being awake for longer stretches and his grandparents definitely enjoyed getting to see those big blue eyes.  Although our air mattress has not lived up to the expectations I had for it, Pops didn’t quite make it all the way to floor level by morning.  Overall, the visit was a fun one.

When we haven’t been playing with our friends, changing diapers, washing clothes, feeding Bean, going for walks or sleeping, we have been watching the US Open.  This is a surprising development for me as I know nothing about the game.  Nothing.  After watching faithfully for the last little bit, I think I not only sort-of understand the game, but like it.  I REALLY like this guy:

If you don’t know him, this is Raphael Nadal.  It might not be the greatest “tennis champion” shot, but it shows what I like about the guy.  Yes, he is an excellent athlete but he also really seems to be a good guy.  Don’t you think there is a sweetness about his face?  He seems to be both hardworking and respectful of his opponents.  I think the guy is a good role model for my son.

I’ll leave you with a lovely picture of my three favorite people.