Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Am I So Very Wrong...?

There's a good, but rhetorical question.

Am I so very wrong...

...to read a trashy magazine and polish off a gin drink while my son plays in the tub, threatening to dump water on the floor?

...to congratulate myself for serving him his favorite fizzy water in the tub, which, I proudly decide, is the very best way to help him learn to drink from an open cup without spills?

...to think that the phrase "Push Present" (found in Trashy Magazine in reference to a pregnant woman's receiving a vacation before the baby comes) is disgusting, banal and gauche all at once?

...to let him run the water from the tap at a trickle for the next ten minutes so that I can finish said drink and read more Trashy Magazine?

...to wow my son with Devo while I ply him with frozen blueberries and black olives for dinner? (okay, an explanation is at hand...he's teething horribly ((again!!!)) and he loves these foods, so I know he'll eat. As for Devo--yes, serious geek alert, but they were one of the best bands in the US in the 80's, so there.)

...to steal downstairs to type up a purely gratuitous post minutes after the guy gets home? Okay, so I did go up mid-post to find out what the kiddo's screaming was all about and nursed him for a while, so I'm not Horrible Mom, just a Kinda Tired and Crampy and Seriously Needing a Break Mom.

Here's to all of us who just need a break. Time to find out if Trash TV is on tonight, start the laundry, and go upstairs to get a drink for the man of my dreams. Cheers!

(PS--Trashy Magazines, Television and Drinks are the only guilty pleasures I have left. Please forgive me if I don't feel all that guilty... Oh, and God Bless You, Susan!)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lima Beans

So, I have only 15 minutes to share with you an abbreviated account of my afternoon. I'll try to hit the highlights, and leave you with a sense of a mom's real life---unlike the glamorous one you usually see in the magazines, complete with tummy tuck and radiant skin.

That glow on my face? It's not any sort of radiance, it's the sheen of sheer tenacity that comes with trying to make lima beans a little bit dressier. Less frumpy and earthy, more fabulous and sophisticated. Ironically, the experience in itself is the equivalent of trying to put me in high heels and a dress with sequins, ha ha ha.

At 3:30, I'd busted out my favorite cookbook, Deborah Madison's "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone". If anyone could make lima beans fantastic, this is the woman to do it. The recipe looks simple. In fact, almost every recipe I try looks simple, except for the one ingredient that I can't cook without: namely, a rambunctious 21 month old little boy.

Today, Boy was hungry about the time I started chopping up onions. Made up a plate of favorites for him--corn and cottage cheese-- and started chopping like a Cuisinart. In between that, running outside for rosemary, and several phone calls (because no one calls for days and now they all call now!), I was starting to feel like I was in whirling dervish mode. Whirling, dervishing, I minced rosemary, related a now-funny-but-not-funny-at-the-time story of my son playing in dogsh*t to a friend, which prompted my son to repeat the lovely word, and prepped the pasta pot with water.

Apparently the amount of water necessary for cooking pasta while changing diapers, playing waitress and social secretary to the dear Man of The House is far greater that what I'd started off with. I had to add water to finish the job.

Dinner, by the way, turned out great: lima beans cooked with onion, rosemary and parsley and shell pasta topped with Parmesan and a lovely salmon seasoned with dill and chili powder. (Really, they're a great combination.) Joe came home, whisked Boy out of the kitchen and promptly made martinis as soon as the counter was clear. I barely drank it, then ran down here to escape.

But my 15 Minutes of Lame are over. Time to head back to the Boy. Bottoms up!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

After 2 Weeks...

...so, in case people were wondering if I'd dropped off the face of the Earth, here I am. We have been very busy these last few weeks, holidays being what they are. If you are curious as to what we've been up to, here are a few highlights.

The Christmas Miracle-Last April our hot water heater circa 1970 gave up the ghost and committed water-heater suicide, spewing it's life force onto our basement floor and causing us to leave for a trip hours later than originally planned. Enter new, high-efficiency water-heater which was great until about a month ago, when I could have really used a hot shower. Warm water was what I got instead. You know why you never hear of someone taking a 'nice warm shower'? Because no one wants to, including me. Well, a couple days after Christmas, after some rather desparate words, Joe went down and fixed the water heater. Apparently we have temperature settings above Arctic Ice Floe. Joe is my hero, and I now think lovingly of him every time I take a Burn-Ass Hot shower and come out toasty pink!

Movie Date!: The first one since I was pregnant! We went to see "Vicky Christina Barcelona" which we loved. Afterward felt frisky and went over to Crema for coffees, then sat in the car and talked before we had to go home. Ah, the bliss of having a babysitter every now and then!

Cribbage Party: Our dear friends the Cohen family came over on New Year's Day to play a few hands of 4-person crib with us. We had yummy apples and manchego to snack on, and young Giselle brought pitas she'd made that morning and shared some dhooka to go with it. Dhooka is a Middle Eastern mix of herbs, spices and sesame seeds. You dip the pita into olive oil and then into the dhooka. It was delicious, and I really hope I have a chance to have some again soon. Joaquin loved having lots of happy people there to play with him too, so everyone had a good time.

Nights Out: Holidays without friends are just a bit boring. We were invited over to our friends Maarit and Aaron's for some delicious pecan pie and other tasty nibbles as well as good conversation. And I've had a few nights out to Produce Row with dear Lissa. Ah, those beer-battered fries! Makes me wish I was beer-battered myself! Getting out of the house was essential, and coming home to a fussy baby was a good reminder why I needed to get out. Poor Joaquin had just had a round of 3 shots and wasn't a happy camper at all. And by the time I got home, neither was his daddy.

One Last Holiday Date: Joe and I headed out to our old favorite pub, where the owner threw caution to the wind and had one last "Scotch and Cigar Night" despite the new law. (Apparently, the Scotch and Cigar night was previously cancelled as the pub was closed due to snow, and he was honoring his promise, and if it came down to the $2000 fine, so be it.) While we didn't partake in the smoke or whiskey, we did knock out three games of cribbage--Joe on a wicked winning streak--a plate of fries and a few really good beers. Want a great winter warmer? The Old Humbug was awesome. We then finished the decadence with a visit to Bay Leaf, our veggie restaurant of choice. The food was exquisite,the sizzling tofu served with brocolli, carrots, bamboo and wood ear mushrooms in a rich brown sauce. And the green plum tea? Heavenly. Reasonable prices, food comes out quickly, no attitude--this is what keeps us coming back to Bay Leaf, and this visit was the shining gold star on the top of a great two weeks.

So, hopefully, more child-centered posts soon. Our little guy is happy, busy and growing like the cutest weed one ever did see. Personality plus, that kiddo.

Have a Happy New Year and enjoy this weird, wacky weather! (or enjoy the staying cozy inside part of it!)