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!

Pumpkin Spice Toasted Quinoa Wednesday October 27, 2010

Filed under: Daily Life,Food Glorious Food,The Chef — The Professor @ 11:43 am

I have been looking EVERYWHERE for a fun and healthy pumpkin recipe.  Although opportunities abound in the cake/cookie/loaf domain, a more savory option is harder to come by.  I was hoping for a dinner recipe, but what can you do?!  Breakfast or snack works  for me too.  I found this one at Healthy Tipping Point.

INGREDIENTS (one serving)

  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar, ample syrup, or honey
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch cloves

PREPARATION

  • Mix together and serve with toasted quinoa (see below).

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 huge pinches cinnamon
  • 1 tiny pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds (unsalted)

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Mix ingredients and spread out on greased cookie sheet
  3. Bake for 15 minutes, remove, and let cool completely
 

Then We Came to the End (Joshua Ferris)

Filed under: Books,The Reader — The Professor @ 9:45 am

This is the kind of writing that I love.  Dark, smart and clever, with a heart.  The world that Ferris creates in Then We Came to the End is alive from start to finish. I haven’t read a funny book in a while and after reading a post over at Book Snob I decided to move this one up on the list.  Katy was most certainly right about this one.

As the yellow Post-it’s on the cover indicate, this is a book about an office.  An advertising agency to be specific.  The New York Times review remarked on how the characters could have walked out of The Office in either it’s US or BBC versions.   As a fan of the show, it should be no surprise that one of the things I enjoyed most about this book was the characters.  From enigmatic Lynn Mason to wildly inappropriate Tom Mota and chatty, do-gooder Benny Shassburger, each of the characters felt familiar.  Ferris chose just the right details to reveal their inner lives.

It’s not just the characters that draw the reader into this world, it’s also the voice with which Ferris has chosen to write.   Although there are small segments of the book that don’t adhere to this, much of the story is written in first person plural.  The book opens with the lines, “We were fractious and overpaid.  Our mornings lacked promise”.  Immediately the reader is drawn into this world, actually becoming a part of it.  The language is familiar and when it’s not familiar it’s funny.  After becoming bored with all of the traditional ways to refer to getting laid off, the group adopts a new phrase.  The next one to go is suddenly “walking Spanish down the hall” and making sure that you are not the next one to be walking Spanish is all that really matters.

If you are looking for something that will make you laugh out loud, Then We Came to the End is your book.

 

The Third Week in October

Filed under: Daily Life,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 8:23 am

was a lovely one.  Perfectly Fall.  Cool mornings, brilliantly colored leaves and that particular scent of autumn in the air.  I love it.

My exciting development of the week is that I have a new phone:

Can you believe it?!!  I’m actually on the cutting edge of technology.  Oh what a baby will do for your life.  Who needs a camcorder when you can just get a swank phone?!  Loving my new toy.

Bean’s Grandpa came for a visit late in the week and gave Toad and I an opportunity to have a non-baby meeting with the social worker who will be working with us on the adoption.  This adoption is going to be quite a process and I have conflicting feelings about it.  Looking at the list of information that needs to be gathered and the time and energy that will go into collecting it so that I can adopt my.own.son. is irritating.  In more mature moments I am just grateful that we live in a state where this adoption is not expressly prohibited.  There is no provision for families like ours, but there is also no explicit rule against it.  So, we will be walking the fine line that runs down the center.  AFTER we finish all the paperwork.

We all enjoyed Grandpa’s visit.  While I always enjoy visiting with him, I also really appreciated the opportunity to get out of the house on my own.  With Grandpa on baby wrangling duty, I was able to take myself out to lunch AND wander slowly through a bookstore.  Bliss.

On Saturday afternoon the three of us went to a local brewery to meet another lesbian couple with a new baby.  This is a couple that I became acquainted with through my obsession with lesbian baby-making blogs.  Their daughter was born about a month before Bean, so it was cool both to meet them and to hang out with another new baby.  It was also cool to find such a fun, casual spot so close to our house.

The Unitarians have a tradition of announcing new babies with a rose during the Sunday service.  Bean was officially welcomed this Sunday and he agreed to a few pictures with his rose.  How funny is this one?!

The four of us spent the afternoon outside hiking and hanging out on the grass.  Perfect.

 

 

The Crimson Petal and the White (Michel Faber) Thursday October 21, 2010

Filed under: Books,Daily Life,The Reader — The Professor @ 1:28 pm

You should read this book. Yes it’s long, but it’s tons of fun.  Really.  I’ve wanted to read this book for awhile, but I just couldn’t get past the fact that it is set in 19th century England.  I’m not a big fan of that kind of thing, or so I thought.  Maybe I’m changing my tune.

 

The Second Week in October Tuesday October 19, 2010

Filed under: Daily Life,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 11:03 am

WE MADE IT!!!!

That is the biggest news around here for the week.  Toad began the transition back to work and I managed to keep both myself and Bean alive during my first week as SAHM.  Attending to Bean is quite different than dealing with unmotivated college students and crazy colleagues.  Different in a good way.

I experienced MAJOR bottle anxiety in the days leading up to what I rather obsessively thought of as “Go Day“, but I arranged the boy for his first bottle feeding on Monday morning and he went for it.  Hooray!  He continues to make it clear that he has very little love for the bottle, but we made it through the entire week without insurmountable objection.  That is an achievement in my book.  Bean spent the workweek going on walks with Baker in the sling (which he ADORES), playing in the swing, taking naps in his crib (Woot!  Woot!), taking the bottle like a (somewhat reluctant) champ, and rocking through the tears with his Momma.  Although he’s still not getting as much sleep as this lady says he should be, he’s certainly getting more than he had been getting.  During naps when I wasn’t serving as Bean’s paci police or doing chores, I was preparing for this.  Yup!  I’m doing it.  After reading about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) since about this time last year, I’ve decided to do it.  Somehow, I will be writing a novel this November.  I’m mentioning it here for accountability reasons.  If you say it out loud, it’s true, right?!  More on that later.

During our first week together, Bean and I had two major outings.  The first and most exciting is pictured below:

Yup, on Wednesday we packed ourselves up and met Toad for lunch.  Actually, only Bean had lunch but it was lots of fun to see her and show him off to the work set.  On our second trip we went Krogering.  He was happy to sleep/look around from the comfort of his sling while I took care of a little business.

By Friday evening we were exhausted, but looking forward to the weekend.  On Saturday night, we went downtown for a Halloween 10k/costume party.  In my hurry to get all of our stuff together I forgot the camera (BIG disappointment), but the race/party was something to see.  And bc I have to brag about my peeps, the little guy you see below was the first male through the finish line.  You heard that right.  My wife pushed a stroller and took first place overall.  She would tell you that it mas more of a fun race than a competitive event (many of the runners were costumed after all), but I still think it’s pretty cool.

We went to church on Sunday morning and made it through the entire service thanks to a little support from a new friend.  On the first Sunday we brought Bean, we met another couple with a  6 mo old little girl.  It turns out that the Dad is a serious cyclist (he actually offered to set Toad’s bike back up) and we have some things in common with the couple.  They sat with us this Sunday and when Bean started to fuss (he was hungry), she encouraged Toad to just feed him right there in the pew.  Happily, she did and we were able to stay for the whole thing and we were glad we did.  The talk was a good one.

Later that afternoon, we headed to the pumpkin patch.  Bean slept through the entire trip, but I bet he’ll have lots of fun next year!

 

Tempeh Bourgignon Monday October 11, 2010

Filed under: The Chef — The Professor @ 9:13 pm

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am now officially a full-time homemaker, but I’m feeling fancy.  Oh and I found this recipe on the Vegetarian Times site.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups medium-bodied red wine, such as Pinot Noir
  • 1 8-oz. pkg. tempeh, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped (about 1 Tbs.)
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. herbes de Provence
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 7 oz. sliced shiitake mushrooms (about 4 cups)

PREPARATION

  1. Combine wine, tempeh, onion, carrot, garlic, 1 Tbs. olive oil, herbes de Provence and bay leaf in large bowl. Cover, and refrigerate 1 hour.
  2. Strain vegetables and tempeh, and reserve wine.
  3. Heat remaining oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add tempeh and vegetables, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until tempeh cubes are browned on all sides.
  4. Add vinegar, and quickly stir to coat evenly.
  5. Add tomato paste, and cook 1 minute.
  6. Stir in red wine marinade, scraping bottom of pot to release any stuck brown bits.
  7. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes, or until carrots are tender, stirring occasionally. Add water if mixture seems too dry before carrots are fully cooked.
  8. Add mushrooms and 3/4 cup water, and simmer 10 minutes, or until tender. Remove bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over rice.
 

The First Week of October

Filed under: Daily Life,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 3:37 pm

This was the last week of Toad’s maternity leave, which made it a week that was both special and sad.  Sharing these eight weeks together has been such a tremendous blessing.  I just can’t say that enough.

The week was a bit of a transition as Toad spent a few half days at work interviewing Fellows and even going to lunch with the applicants.  This was a good opportunity for all of us to dip our toes in the water of what will soon be the new normal.  Unfortunately Bean wasn’t thrilled that we expected him to eat from a bottle.  The nerve!!!  His reaction to this expectation was pretty unsettling.  There were lots of “what’s going to happen next week?” conversations.

Bean had his next check-up with Dr. Wonderful and it was a BIG visit.  The first big news was that our tiny Bean has grown to a whopping 9 lbs,  9 ozs and 22 inches long.  The next thing was a bit more traumatic.  Bean had his first round of shots.  The whole thing involved three injections (on his tiny little thighs) , one oral injection, one screaming red-faced Bean and two cringing Mommies.  Man.  It was as hard as everyone says it is.  Happily we were able to calm him down quickly with big family hugs.  At least we got that behind us.

Here’s a Bean picture update.  I had no idea that my wife was a clothes horse until this baby was born.  She is OBSESSED with buying cute clothes on ebay.  Although I keep telling her that Bean isn’t big enough to wear actual pants, let alone overalls, she cannot be stopped.  Exhibit A:

I got in a good yoga class late in the week and Toad got on her bike for her first big post-Bean ride with the guys on Saturday morning.  The girl went 50 miles!  Yeah, she amazes me.  That was pretty much the week.  Next week I’ll have my first day on the job as SAHM.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!