Archive for July 2011

You Know It’s Bad When You Lose Your Taste for Chocolate Fudge Brownie

Friday, 22nd July 2011. Filed in Family and friends, RunningNo Comments »

Though it’s only been a week, it feels like a lifetime since I blogged about food and cooking. I haven’t seen much of either this week. My running shoes have taken an unplanned mid-summer break, while I have tried to get my energy back and feel a little better.

But, on the bright side, this week was one of those weeks that improved as it went on. I was nauseous and ill at the beginning, which felt familiar at first, but it wasn’t (for anyone reading and hopeful). It was a mean bug. It’s taken me days to get back to the place where I can look at food and eat it without my stomach turning. You know it’s bad when you can’t stomach ice cream. I couldn’t. (But, I’m fine now. Ben and Jerry’s can relax. We’ll be stocking up at the store today.)

Amidst trying to take care of a toddler while running on empty, I’ve had some really positive things happen. My mom’s here now for three weeks and is soaking up the Noodle and all his goofiness as fast as she can. We live in a world where you’ve got to make the absolute most of it, when we’re together, because it’s feast or famine. All or nothing. My mom wasn’t planning to come visit now, but then she decided she couldn’t wait until we make it back to California for a visit in the fall, that she was missing too much of the baby time she’d never get back. It might sound crazy, given the price of airfare, but I understand. Family’s important. But, I think the airlines should thank their lucky stars. This family keeps them in business. Majorly.

Also this week, I was fortunate enough to be able to reschedule a job interview (for some part time work) from Tuesday to Thursday and am now back to doing a little bit of what I love for money again. Not much, but I think it will work out well, given my situation as a mom, and I am really looking forward to it.

It took me a long while to decide whether I would even apply for the job, given our current situation and the fact that I can no longer be as flexible as is ideal for the post. (It would be super if low tide could be at 10 a.m. every morning. That would work out very well for me now. Moon? Earth? Can you work together and make that happen? That’d be great, thanks!) But, in the end, I finally decided that I would be really disappointed if I didn’t go for it, especially if it turns out Crunchy husband’s job is saved and we are stable again, which is more of a possibility now that the site is not closing after all. To be honest, I’m getting tired of waiting. We are so very fortunate in a million ways, but life on hold can start to bring you down.

So I went for it. And now things are going to change a little bit around here. I really want to continue running and blogging, but once I have a clearer idea of my new schedule, I will have to amend my calendar (and my expectations). It’s a good thing. It keeps life interesting.

This Cooking Thing, It Could Become a Habit

Friday, 15th July 2011. Filed in Family and friends, Love to eat, hate to cook1 Comment »

My mom has always said she started cooking when she had kids. Whereas I haven’t eaten crap for my whole life, I can see where she was coming from. The burrito, pasta, some sort of chicken dish rotation doesn’t quite cut it once you are cooking for a little one.

I mean, it does. There are always vegetables involved and it’s all at least semi-balanced. But, I’ve come to feel like we need more variety to make sure we are eating right, and enjoying it. When the Noodle began to eat solids last year, I firmly decided I would make all* of his food. Part of this was determination not to be lazy – I am his mother, I should be able to prepare meals for him (since I wasn’t also going to a job for 8 hours or more a day). Part of it was just the idea that the less processing there is, the better. But, I think a main driver was the transition between him eating through me and him eating independently of me. I had nourished him for 41+ weeks inside me, and then nourished him with milk from my body for another 25 weeks. I didn’t stop breastfeeding completely until Noodle was 9 months old, but it felt like that was the “cord cutting” for us, that was when he became separate from me.

The weaning was hard at first. But then I realized that I could still be that food making factory of nourishment, I just had to approach it from a different angle. And not only could I, it had to be me. My 1-year old was not going to stand in the kitchen and say, “Burritos again? Mommy, you are not feeding me right.”

We found a bargain cookbook at WH Smith’s one day, and I have to say, I think it is the best cookbook ever. We don’t have any another where I have made so many recipes. My mom is coming next week, and I don’t think she is going to know what hit her. Chicken and artichoke pie, mango chicken and quinoa salad, Mediterranean chicken. I’m on a roll. I’m even making additions, improving on the recipes. (Like, come on, if you are going to make sesame beef with pak choi and spring onions, how hard is it to throw in carrots, mushrooms and red chillies – yes, I feed my toddler food spiced with garlic and chillies. He likes it.)

I made lasagne this week. As I was stirring the bolognese sauce, I realized, “in my whole life, I don’t think I have ever made lasagne.” I’ve eaten it plenty of times, and had it lovingly made for me, but I cannot picture myself in any of my kitchens layering out the pasta and baking up the dish. It wasn’t bad. Not great. It needed way more cheese, and dare I say more bechamel sauce on the top layer (I’m not a big fan), but that can be accomplished next time.

I’m so proud of myself. This “best bagel toaster in the world” is moving up. But, to be fair to myself, I’ve never been a bad cook. Even Crunchy husband jumped to my defence the other weekend when one of our friends, when trying to understand the situation, started to say I wasn’t good. I can cook. I just don’t like to. It bores me. I can think of so many other ways I’d love to spend my time. But, it has to be done. So, I guess it has to be done right.

*There were always food pouches and baby food jars in our kitchen for times when we were traveling over night, or just in case, but for the most part, I did it.

Tuesday: Run – 30.14
Friday: Run – 30.28

Seal of approval - a happy boy after his lasagne

Yes, It’s Full of Excuses

Monday, 11th July 2011. Filed in Family and friends, RunningNo Comments »

Okay so the run didn’t happen on Friday. Nor did a blog post. To be fair, those activities were supposed to be replaced by an extra morning of volunteering this week. Which was then superseded by a fever and a poorly, clingy Noodle.  I knew something was wrong when I took the little boy swimming on Thursday afternoon and not even launching himself off the wall like Humpty Dumpty made him smile.  We didn’t stay long once it clicked that he was not well.

So, no run or blog post or clean house on Friday morning. (Which doesn’t excuse the rest of the weekend, but let’s just over look that for a minute.) But, I feel like I had quite a bit of exercise pushing the Noodle all around the village on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday trying to get him to nap, so at least I made it up a bit. (I only had to admit defeat 1 out of 5 tries. Yeah, baby!)

I fully intended to go out Saturday morning, but then we decided to head out to the Cherry festival at Brogdale Farm, which Crunchy husband pointed out was weird because I don’t even like cherries. (Subconscious procrastination, perhaps?) And then Sunday fell to a very weird morning schedule trying to catch up on sleep and deal with a little boy who is still waking at 5 a.m. like clockwork. Once everyone was up and accounted for, there was no way I was stalling on the day. We hit the beach to play in the sand and to take in some of the beach volleyball tournament. And then it was dinner time. And time to track the USA women’s world cup game on (Yeah, ladies!) Just like that, the day gone. (I won’t mention I snuck in a few minutes to paint my toenails last night. Which was weird, since I never paint my toenails.)

Oh well, it happens. I am now making up the blog post. And will feel suitably “made up” once I hit publish.

Bring on the week!  I am feeling ready for it, despite the fact that my baby has started the back arching, shoulder blade dropping, butt to the floor antics of resisting a pick up when he’d prefer to be running around getting into trouble at the grocery store. I have a toddler, oh yes, I do!

Bring it! (Granny’s coming next week.)

Tuesday: Run – 32.15


This Week, Not So Good

Friday, 1st July 2011. Filed in Family and friendsNo Comments »

Some days can just suck the will to live right out of you. I’ve had three this week. I’m not complaining. I’m just sayin’. I feel like I am at the end of my rope. I know it’s not unique to me. I know it’s what we signed up for. I’m just sayin’.

This has been a long week. The period of getting the Noodle down for a nap with relative ease was a short and fleeting phase. It seems that once we turned that corner, we turned it right back again. So we are cranky. And disheveled. And tired. And emotional. There have been tears shed. Some of them by the Noodle. I was just starting to settled into those couple good weeks, where I felt like things were lining up, getting organized, and under a bit of control, if only in my mind.

We are clingy, but then we are not clingy. Up, down. Up, down. Help me, don’t help me! Again, I know it is not unique to me and my child. I know it’s normal and healthy. I love him and I am glad he is starting to push boundaries. And I know it’s only the beginning of a long haul. I know this. But, I’m just sayin’. I’m tired. I need a break. Bring on the weekend, and hopefully I can regain a little bit more patience to be a better mom. Maybe if I do, he will say my name rather than shaking his head “no”, smiling his gorgeous smile with that mischievous look  in his eyes and stating quite distinctly, “Daddy!”

Tuesday: Run – 30.14
Friday: Run – 30.58