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 of December Tuesday December 21, 2010

Filed under: Daily Life,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 9:46 am

The first part of the week was cold, cold, cold.  Temperatures in the teens are not what you want when you walk three miles a day with a dog and a baby.  Although my favorite way to walk with Bean is to wear him in the Bjorn, this week we broke out the stroller and bundled the boy from head to toe.  Baker and I were both a bit envious of his warm little nest.

I was wrestling a cold early in the week, but by Wednesday night I was well enough for dinner with the Jasper’s who we have not seen since both of our boys were born.  Their guy came the week after Bean, so we’ve all been a bit busy.  It was lots of fun to see them and meet their new son.  It was crazy amounts of fun to watch Bean play in their bouncy seat. He was clearly confused by the whole thing, but it was an excited kind of confused.  We don’t have a bouncy seat and I’m telling you I could hear him thinking “Man, they’ve been holding out on me.  I’ve got a fan and a paci and this dude has got an entire room of toys!”  Oh well.

Toad’s parents arrived on Friday afternoon and Bean was thrilled to see them. They came to town to care for Bean on Saturday when Toad and I would be heading out-of-town for my cousin’s wedding.  It was a super quick trip, but it was an important one.  Your baby cousin doesn’t get married every day and I’m glad we could be there to celebrate with them.  The good news is that Toad and I made it back home in time to spend Sunday with Bean.

After the grandparent’s headed out-of-town, we did a little Christmas shopping.  Battling the crowds with a baby is no fun, but we saved the best for last.  On the way home, we made our first trip to the library with Bean.  I have been excited about this for quite some time and I was glad the three of us could go together.  I’m pretty sure Bean had no idea that he was in a particularly special place, but we did.  It was a great way to end the week.

 

 

Tomato Bulgur Soup with Warm Spices Monday December 13, 2010

Filed under: Daily Life,Food Glorious Food,The Chef — The Professor @ 7:36 pm

This soup is on the menu this week for two reasons.  Reason #1 – I bought bulgur wheat on sale a while back thinking, “Sure, I’ll use bulgur wheat, I’ve heard that’s good for you” and have yet to find a use for it.  Reason #2 – the word “warm” in included in the name of the dish.  Warm is good.  When Baker, Bean and I took our walk this afternoon making sure to avail ourselves of the high temperature of the day, 22 degrees did not feel much like a high temperature.  At least not if you live in the south.  So, warm soup it is!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup uncooked bulgur wheat
  • 1 (14-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon feta cheese crumbles (optional)

PREPARATION

  1. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, bring 1/2 cup broth to a simmer.
  2. Add onion and garlic and cook about 5 minutes or until onion is translucent and tender.
  3. Stir in coriander and cinnamon and cook 1 minute.
  4. Add bulgur and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  5. Add remaining 3 1/2 cups broth and tomatoes with their juices and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until bulgur is tender.
  7. Stir in lemon juice. Garnish with parsley and feta.
 

The First Week in December

Filed under: Daily Life,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 2:54 pm

It’s been a chilly week at our house as you can see from the photo on the top right.  Bean’s first snow day came on Sunday 12/12.  We bundled him up as thoroughly as possible and only took him out to the courtyard area for a few minutes, but the initial excitement of the falling flakes exploded in just a few short moments into the angry wail of the irritated and I guess probably cold baby.  Oh well.  We didn’t want him to miss it and I think he thought it was pretty cool at first!

The major life event of the week was the home inspection.  Yup, you heard that right.  Toad and the Professor are in the process of home ownership.  We’ve fallen in love with a house that feels like it was made for us.  It has everyone of the aspirational items we had included on our list and it’s almost hard to believe.  In fact, it’s so hard to believe that I’m still keeping the whole thing at an emotional arms length because all sorts of things could happen between now and our February closing.  I really don’t think it will, especially after meeting with the owner/builder Friday, but you never know.  The picture on the bottom middle is Bean with the owner’s cat, Rufus.  Rufus has one blue eye and one green eye.  That sounds cool, but it’s mostly just creepy.

We met our new friend Bren and her daughter Sam for sushi on Thursday night.  Bren and Jae are another married lesbian couple with a baby only a month older than Bean.  We are so lucky to have met them.  Jae was teaching a night class, so we missed her, but getting the five of us together was fun.  We were also sitting at the front  table at the restaurant so everyone who walked by stopped to coo at and praise the babies.  All that AND sushi!  A good night for sure.

On Friday night I donned the FABULOUS shoes on the bottom right and Toad and I went to her work holiday party.  We always managed to miss these events during her residency and fellowship due to a combination of social avoidance and not wanting to spend the money on getting so dressed up, but this year we decided to go for it.  Every new Mom needs a good chance to feel pretty, doesn’t she?  After work one night, we blew through the local mall in a serious whirlwind and managed to come out with a rocking dress, heels and earrings for me and a new button-down shirt and pants for Toad.  It was a major score for two girls who don’t like to spend the evening at the mall.

In spite of the fact that it was an office holiday party, we both had a lot of fun.  Bean stayed home with my cousin and we enjoyed a night out.  Toad’s colleagues and their wives are great people and getting all dressed up, eating food I didn’t cook and hanging out with them, made for a mighty fine evening.  Unfortunately, I woke up the next morning with a pretty serious cold which made my plans to take Bean to Mommy and Me yoga seem like a bad idea.  Bummer.  We’re going to go soon though.  By Saturday night I was feeling a bit better and decided to go to yet another Christmas party that our friends were hosting.  By the second hour of the party, two things were clear.  Bean was not going to snooze in the bassinet in our friend’s room and my throat and head were not cooperating with the party plans.  After a little visiting and even less wine, we headed for home early.  At least we tried…

Snow was in the forecast for Sunday and I decided that I absolutely had to get the weekly grocery trip taken care of ASAP.  When I decide that I must go to the grocery, don’t try to talk me out of it.  I’m a very agreeable person by nature, but on some things I will not budge.  A grocery shopping trip is one of those things.  So, Toad and Bean went to church and I went to Kroger.  We spent the afternoon decorating the tree, making chili and quinoa muffins for the week, and playing in the snow.

 

New Horizons Thursday December 9, 2010

Filed under: The Runner — The Professor @ 10:53 pm

For the last six years I have been a fairly consistent runner and occasional yogi.  On the running front that has meant hitting the road three to four times a week and running an average of three miles at a go.  In that time I have run only two races, the first was a 5K and the second was a half-marathon.  One thing that I’ve learned from running in races is that I’m not all that big on running in races.  It’s not a terrible experience, but it’s not really my thing.  However, one great fringe benefit of running a race is that (at least if you’re me), you have to train for it.  I’m not sure I ever would have ventured much beyond six or seven miles if I hadn’t trained for a half-marathon.  My favorite runs are the long, leisurely ones where I’m not making an effort to push the pace, but only enjoying the time outside.

Over the years, the yoga has been much more inconsistent.  I’m a big fan of Brian Kest and use his DVD series when I yoga at home.  But, it is not an understatement to say that I have fallen in love with hot yoga.  Hard.  Unfortunately, it is impossible to heat my house to 102 degrees in order to stretch myself into odd positions on any kind of regular basis, so I have to go to a studio.  Going to a studio requires time, money and advanced planning.  All of those things are not routinely easy to come by.

Now here I am with a baby and just as everyone says, a baby changes everything, including your exercise routine.   I had gotten pretty serious about yoga in the months before Bean was born, but I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve made it to yoga since he was born.  Running?  I had already gotten pretty far out of running shape during the summer with all the yoga, so running is an even less compelling idea.  Where does all of this leave me?

Mommy and me Yoga!  That’s where! Bean and I are going on Saturday.  We’ll let you know how it goes.

 

The False Friend (Myla Goldberg) Wednesday December 8, 2010

Filed under: Books,The Reader — The Professor @ 10:49 pm

I should begin this post by stating clearly that I am a huge Myla Goldberg fan.  Bee Season remains one of my favorite books of all time and in spite of the fact that I didn’t really get her next effort (Wickett’s Remedy), I was optimistic about her latest, The False Friend. Based on the descriptions I could find, I was expecting to find that she had abandoned the historical fiction angle and had returned safely home to what I thought she did best, developing artfully articulate and introspective characters.

The author reads her own books for the audio versions and since I enjoy her voice and manner of reading, I downloaded The False Friend on audio from the library.  While Bee Season is the story of a family with particular attention to middle-school girl, The False Friend is the story of a 30-something woman who returns to her hometown in order to deal with a traumatic event from her past.  My first disappointment with this book came early when it became clear that the main character, the adult Celia, was no match for the twelve year old Eliza Neumann of Bee Season.  Although the intimate awareness and understanding of the complexities of each character was evident in her first book, the characters in The False Friend, and Celia in particular, were disappointingly hollow and narrowly drawn.

While the characters left something to be desired, the most compelling part of the book was the subject matter itself.  The story explored both the exclusivity and jealousy of childhood friendships between girls and the nature of memory, especially as it operates in high-stress situations.  Celia was going back home to confront an event that had taken place almost 20 years in the past.  As a part of that process, she meets with old friends who recall the situation much differently.  While the issues tackled are interesting ones, the story lacked the emotional resonance that I had hoped for.  I guess I’ll just have to re-read Bee Season.

 

 

Long Time, No Blog Tuesday December 7, 2010

Filed under: Daily Life,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 11:09 am

It’s been awhile.  Unfortunately for this blog, my National Novel Writing Month adventure left me not a word to spare for anything that wasn’t a part of the story I was working on.  Happily, I met the  goal of 50,000 words during the month of November and I have a pretty decent first draft to show for it.  I also have this snazzy badge to trumpet my achievement!  Hooray to me!

All of that is grand, but the rest of life has continued to go on without my online recording of it, and that certainly is not.  I’m resisting the urge for outlining the play by play since late October, as that would just end in frustration and failure to post anything at all.  Instead, I’m bulleting the highlights.

  • Bean enjoyed his Bookworm Halloween costume much more than we had expected, particularly his bookish specs (see above).  I imagined a brief, grudging acceptance that ended in irritated refusal, but the Bean is a good-natured Bean and he was happy to entertain his Mommies.  Good boy…
  • Our friends came to town for a weekend visit and Miss Bella and Bean were finally able to meet!  Bella’s verdict?  He blows lots of bubbles and he doesn’t know how to play.  Oh well, before long he’ll give her a run for her money.  I’m sure of it.
  • Toad and the Professor have been house hunting and are in the process of buying a house!  Very exciting stuff, more about all of that soon.
  • Winter has arrived and that has meant lots of chilly walks which Toad has been more than happy to wardrobe.  I don’t know where she finds these things, but Bean has quite the adorable cold weather gear collection.
  • All four of us traveled to North Carolina for a very fun Thanksgiving.  We celebrated the day with 9 people, 4 dogs and 1 baby.  The Grabs even came up on the following day for a post Turkey day afternoon.  Bean makes travel both much more enjoyable and much more complex.  So far, I’m thinking that is the way of babies.
  • Bean is growing into a smily, giggly, good-natured little dude.  We are so lucky to have such an easygoing baby.  He is an excellent traveler and so far, there isn’t much that we have asked of him that he hasn’t been able/willing to accommodate.  Joining us for a dinner out?  Sure!  Hanging out in the bucket for most of the day while we travel?  Not a problem.  Making it possible for Baker to get a decent walk when it’s 20 degrees?  Of course! We really do have a sweet boy.